Toronto Star

Husband is a serial cheater

- Ellie

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 proactive 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 travelling 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.

Tip of the day Erectile dysfunctio­n can have a complex affect on relationsh­ips. Read Ellie Monday to Saturday. Email or visit her website, ellieadvic­ Follow @ellieadvic­e.

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