Savage Love

I'm going to say up front that I know I am a complete and total asshole.

I have been with my current boyfriend for about three years and we are living together. About a year ago, our relationship started to go bad when I found out I was pregnant and ended up having an abortion. Every time I look at him, all I see is this baby I didn't have and I feel horrible to the point where now I don't like him to even touch me anymore.

Compounding all of that, an old flame from Europe is back in my life, and I am still in love with him and I know he still loves me. This guy was my knight in shining armor in college but he had to return to the U.K. But now the possibility is there because our lives are at a stage where we could move and make it work. I have no idea how to deal with any of this. The old flame looks better and better all the time and I am doing so badly here, but I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't see any route at this point that won't end with at least one person in tears. Please help!

Definitely Out Of My Depth

Presumably there was a good reason why you decided against having a child with the boyfriend. Perhaps you told yourselves that it wasn't the right time, but it seems more than likely you realized, consciously or subconsciously, that he wasn't the right person: He wasn't the man with whom you wanted to have children. Or perhaps the boyfriend was so strongly opposed to becoming a father that you decided to have an abortion — an abortion you instantly regretted and resent him for. Either way, DOOMD, I don't see how your current relationship survives.

And we haven't even addressed the existence of the Euro. You still have strong feelings for your old college flame — clearly — and if you stay with the boyfriend for the rest of your life just to spare his feelings, your resentments will metastasize. Again, I don't see how this relationship survives.

But none of that answers your question, does it? You've asked me to identify a way out that spares everyone's feelings. Sorry, but I can't help you. If you pass on the Euro because you can't stand the thought of hurting the boyfriend, you'll be miserable. And if you stay with the boyfriend, you're only postponing his misery. Your resentments will grow and spread, like so many tumors, until they ultimately kill this relationship. If the Euro has moved on by that point, then all three of you will wind up miserable and alone.

I've been married for 12 years. Six months ago, I separated from my wife, and during that time I had an affair. Ultimately, I figured out that I couldn't make a long-term relationship work with this "other woman," and I am now working to reconcile with my wife. But the sex with the affair partner was incredible — not just because she was new, but because we were highly compatible sexually. The sex was energetic and adventurous in ways that it never was with my wife.

So now I'm worried that though I think my wife and I can rebuild all the other parts of our marriage, I'll always be comparing my wife unfavorably to this other partner. (I should say that I fantasize often about the affair partner.) Any thoughts? Will the memories of my affair partner fade with time? Can I somehow use my affair experience to build a better sex life with my wife?

Can't Shake The Other Woman

Maybe you and the wife just aren't as sexually compatible as you and this other woman, and never will be. Maybe the only thing you can do is focus on the other things the wife brings to the table, the emotional if not sexual satisfactions.

Or …

Sometimes we feel freer sexually when we're with people we care about less. When we're with someone we're never going to see again (a one-night stand) or someone we probably shouldn't see again (another woman), we're not as concerned about scaring that person off. When we're with someone who has "potential" — someone with long-term prospects — we tend to be a little more cautious. The stakes feel higher, and that can be inhibiting. We're less willing to take risks, we're less open, we're less likely to act on our fantasies.

So it's possible that your problem with the wife isn't sexual incompatibility, CSTOW, but sexual inhibition. Have you tried fucking the wife like you fucked the other woman? Have you ever risked fucking the wife like you've fucked women who you're never going to see again?

My fiancee and I — we're a straight couple — are getting married in July. We've lived together for four years, and as such we don't need any more than we already have. We're asking friends and family to make donations to nonprofits that are dear to us in lieu of traditional gifts.

We would like to include a nonprofit that advocates for marriage equality. Which one would you suggest?

Soon To Be Married

Thanks for thinking of us, STBM, which is more than President Obama is willing to do: I would recommend that you put Lambda Legal (they're lawyers, they sue) and Freedom to Marry (they're advocates, they woo) on your list. Unlike most national gay organizations, Lambda Legal and Freedom to Marry do good work and get results.

Thanks and congratulations!

[email protected]


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