Q: I am in my mid-30s. My husband and I have been married for six years, and we have two children under 4. We are each other's first boyfriend and girlfriend. We dated for six years before we decided to marry. I thought I loved him, but after 12 years, I love him, but I'm not in love with him.
I have been involved in an affair that I thought would just be a side thing, but now it turns out that I am in love with another man! My husband keeps on insisting that we should try to improve our relationship. I don't have the heart to tell him directly that I have been cheating on him.
I already know what I want, but I don't have the heart to do it! How can I tell my husband so he will understand or is it that he will never understand? Or should I just live in this denial for everyone's sake but my own? I have two truly great guys who are in love with me, but, unfortunately, I am not in love with one, and I don't know how to end it.
A: I can only tell you the right thing to do, which is to stop seeing this other man and seek professional help to see if you can repair your relationship with your husband. I'm not saying that you can, but it seems to me that you haven't given your marriage a fair shot. You started this affair, and now you're about to tear apart your marriage, even though there was nothing seriously wrong with it.
As long as this other man is in the picture, your marriage doesn't stand a chance of being saved.
I'm not saying you shouldn't leave, if it turns out after several months of therapy that you are very dissatisfied with your marriage. But you shouldn't leave your husband for this other man just like that. You have to break it off to give your marriage a chance. That's the right thing to do. What you decide is up to you.
Q: It seems that my partner is addicted to porn. He goes online every day and looks at it. He can't wait for me to leave in the morning so he can go look at it. This is very upsetting to me, as I am not into this kind of thing and find it filthy and demoralizing. We have had many fights about it. Now he tries to hide it, and he denies looking at it.
I put a tracker on his computer so I can see what he is doing, as he had been on sites looking for other women and swinging, etc. He says he loves me and does not want me to leave, and that we are good together, which we are. But this porn and stuff really upsets me.
Is this my fault for tracking what he is doing? Should I just leave him to get on with it? Or try to carry on with our relationship? I feel that he has less interest in me sexually, and he very seldom initiates. Am I causing the problem?
A: Certainly you are not causing the problem, and if he is looking to cheat, not just view erotic images and videos, then perhaps this is an issue that you may have to break up over. The problem with tracking him is that you did it behind his back, and so now you feel guilty, not that you deserve to feel that way.
A better approach, and one you still might use since he doesn't know what you did, is to tell him how unhappy you are because your sex life is suffering and that you don't believe that he has stopped looking at porn. Ask him if he'd be willing to use software that blocks porn sites. If he agrees, then that should put an end to much of it. If he refuses, then you'll have a better idea of the severity of the problem, and either he agrees to go to counseling or you'll have to break up.
Q: I am 30 years old, and my wife is 23. Our married life is 2 years old. I am studying abroad, and my wife is also studying. I had sex with my wife for only six months.
I am wondering whether Internet sex will work with her. I would greatly value any advice that you might have for me about how to satisfy my wife from a remote country.
A: It's difficult to answer your question, because it depends on her. If she is someone who masturbated to orgasm easily before marrying you, then phone sex or Internet sex certainly could work. But if she is someone who never masturbated, she might feel very embarrassed, and then she wouldn't be able to have an orgasm. But then again, if she's willing to try, just because she's never done it doesn't mean that she couldn't. So talk about it with her and see what her reaction is.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the author of "Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50" (Quill Driver Books) and "Sex for Dummies" (IDG Books). Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her at drruth.com.
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