ED can have com­plex re­sults on a re­la­tion­ship

Journal Pioneer - - LIVING ROOM - El­lie Tesher Ad­vice Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@thes­tar.ca. Fol­low @el­liead­vice.

My hus­band of seven years and I are a blended fam­ily with four kids. (Three still live at home, only the youngest is ours to­gether).

For the last year or so I’ve sus­pected my hus­band of cheat­ing.

Lately, he’s been text-mes­sag­ing a woman he’s never met in per­son, and con­tin­u­ally “mak­ing plans” to get to­gether - even sug­gest­ing that he’ll get a room for the night.

Pre­vi­ously, there was an­other woman whom he’s had “fun times with,” and touched in­ti­mately.

He doesn’t talk to her much any­more.

I’ve seen their mes­sages. He ad­mits to the cur­rent woman that he al­ready cheated on me once, and that he can see him­self with some­one else in the fu­ture, but he doesn’t want to leave me be­cause of the kids. When he’s with me, he’s good and af­fec­tion­ate. He usu­ally mes­sages this woman when he’s at work and bored.

I do love him. But I don’t know if I should stay.

We don’t be­have any dif­fer­ently than be­fore.

He’s al­ways talk­ing about fu­ture plans and re­tire­ment with me.

When he’s around we talk and be­have like a lov­ing cou­ple, a fam­ily.

How­ever, we haven’t had in­ter­course in three years. We play around, etc., but he has erec­tile dys­func­tion.

He’s talked to a doc­tor about it, gets meds, but they don’t help.

I don’t think he’s at­tracted to me, but these other women look very sim­i­lar to me (ugh).

I don’t want to up­set my kids. He doesn’t know I know any­thing.

– What to Do?

The fact of his erec­tile dys­func­tion (ED) begs this ques­tion:

Does he con­nect with other women to make him­self feel more manly, since he can have “in­ti­mate touch­ing” with­out their nec­es­sar­ily know­ing his prob­lem?

I don’t know the an­swer, nor do you. And maybe he doesn’t ei­ther.

But you DO know that he’s mak­ing you un­cer­tain about your mar­riage and fu­ture.

It can’t be ig­nored. Tell him you know what’s go­ing on. Say also that you love him and want to be to­gether with your blended fam­ily in­tact.

If he wants that, too, then he has to be pro-ac­tive about it, rather than skulk around with texts.

He needs to try new treat­ment, see a spe­cial­ist, talk to a sex ther­a­pist.

Car­ry­ing on as a se­rial cheater is no longer an op­tion for ei­ther of you.

I’m 23 with a bud­ding ca­reer, and just moved in with my boyfriend of four years.

We love each other, love ex­plor­ing the city, and of­ten dis­cuss trav­el­ing the world. We agree that mar­riage is our next step.

I used to be sure that I wanted to have mul­ti­ple chil­dren, and of­ten ex­pressed this to my part­ner and fam­ily.

But lately I’m wor­ried that hav­ing kids will im­pede our hap­pi­ness and ad­ven­tur­ous­ness. Yet I’m con­cerned I’ll be a dis­ap­point­ment to my fam­ily, if child­less.

He’s not def­i­nite about hav­ing kids.

I’m con­stantly think­ing about this is­sue.

How long is too long to wait be­fore hav­ing kids? How can I be sure whether I want one (or not)?

– Look­ing Ahead

Your anx­i­ety about hav­ing chil­dren is pre­ma­ture.

At 23, learn­ing your tastes, in­ter­ests, and def­i­nite needs is a process, not a fi­nal de­ci­sion. Though some women can get preg­nant at 40-plus, some doc­tors are now ad­vis­ing a start in early 30s to avoid dis­ap­point­ment and/or pro­tracted treat­ments.

That gives you years ahead of ad­ven­ture, travel, ca­reer, and re­la­tion­ship-build­ing.

You can re­lax about the tim­ing for preg­nancy. Your body/ mind con­nec­tion will alert you to think about it again, in time.

My son-in-law is a ger­mo­phobe. He re­fuses to eat in my house, say­ing that my kitchen isn’t “clean” enough (it is).

He cites my us­ing a tea towel to dry my washed pots rather than put ev­ery­thing in the dish­washer (there’s no room for pots among all the dishes from a fam­ily meal).

My daugh­ter loves him, but though he pri­vately ad­mits that he’s “ex­treme,” she won’t chal­lenge him.

He doesn’t talk much when he ac­com­pa­nies her here, looks un­com­fort­able, and gets her to leave within a half hour. What can I do about this? – Boy­cotted Mother-in-law

Don’t chal­lenge his “clean­li­ness” be­liefs, that’ll only push him fur­ther way.

Be re­spect­ful, ac­cept his short vis­its, and stay close to your daugh­ter through phone calls, emails, etc. She may need even more sup­port if he be­comes too “ex­treme” for her.

Mean­while, ask to visit at their home. Don’t bring food, make your vis­its as pleas­ant as pos­si­ble.

TIP OF THE DAY

Erec­tile dys­func­tion can have a com­plex af­fect on re­la­tion­ships.

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