I'm married to a wonderful man but can't stop thinking about other men. I find my husband extremely attractive and we have a great sex life despite having small kids.
Yet I find myself constantly playing with fire - advertising on social sites for flings and talking extensively, exchanging x-rated photos and videos with other men. It gives me a high that these other men find me attractive.
I've met several for brief encounters before my children were born, and now that I'm back at work I'm getting too close to doing it again. Guilt's restraining me, and fear of risks with a relative stranger. I wish it were okay to cheat.
I find myself wanting to suggest an "open marriage" with my husband, but I don't know how I'd do with that.
On the Brink
Reality will smack you very hard, unless you stop deceiving yourself that you're "driven" to cheat, such that you keep "finding yourself" having this urge.
The plain and damming fact is that you're LOOKING for trouble, and you're about to give in to escapism instead of facing what's causing this restlessness.
It's not about sex. It's about your (immature) self-image as a femme fatale. Lots of women experience some hint of this when their lives revolve around work and small children. But they manage to control it (that's the mature response and actually boosts your self-image as a responsible adult) rather than risk losing their husband's love and respect, not to mention acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, and possibly choosing someone who's dangerous.
Get a grip! Take healthy breaks from the kids - if you can figure out how to prowl for sex, you can find time and money for going out with your very own husband for dates that make you feel sexy and desired.
FEEDBACK Regarding the elderly mother always yelling at her children following their father's hospitalization (March 30):
Reader - "I'm a senior in very similar circumstances, so can empathize. You're so right that it's probably a cry for help.
"She's suddenly faced with her own fragility, frightened of what lies ahead for both of them, and worrying how she can cope. It's difficult not having family close by, so she's feeling alone, but also hating that she needs to depend on her family for help.
"Her physician and hospital staff may not have made an appropriate effort to see that she has support in place. Above all, both mother and daughter must persevere to find someone who will actually listen to their concerns, and not just prescribe an anti-anxiety medication, which will only compound the situation.
"I'm also wondering if the mother has an undiagnosed hearing impairment and doesn't realize she's yelling. She may be thinking she's just speaking louder in her venting so someone will actually hear what she's saying. A hearing check should be part of her medical check-up.
"Also, Meals on Wheels may help. It's difficult for her family to realize that their parents are now needing their help as their roles become reversed."
Ellie - Your perspective from experience is much appreciated. When my own mother slipped into her early form of dementia, it was initially easy to become frustrated with her for not remembering things.
When I soon realized what was happening to her, I stopped expecting a traditional mother-daughter relationship, and realized that our family was now in the role reversal you describe. That made it easier to face the new responsibilities of finding appropriate supports.
I'm 20, and taking the year off to save up for a university journalism course. I work part time at a fast-food restaurant but want to get into the journalism industry for which I graduated college. But my mom doesn't understand why I still work at a part-time job.
I've explained that the reason I don't have a job in my field is the poor economy. She wants me to find a job as a secretary or administrative assistant in other fields. She doesn't understand that it won't make me happy.
Many family members say an office job is "where the money is." How do I get them off my back and finally support my journalism ambitions??
Young & Jobless
Stick with your dream, AND be practical. Look for office jobs in journalism, public relations, and advertising, all of which expose you to skills you'll use during and after the university course.
Tip of the day:
Playing with fire always leaves burn wounds - to you and others.