Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "she is a bit concerned that I'm aroused watching men"

Name: Mike
Question: been married for 2 years. recently after getting drunk one night we each slept with our best friends in front of each other. After a few weeks went by, my wife told me for almost a year she hasn't been happy and doesn't know if she wants to be married or not, she said she has feelings for my friend but not enough to leave me. she insists that our marriage or what is lacking in it is the problem. she separated from me for a week, and says she needs to figure out if she wants this. again, she insists she loves me and misses me but wants to make the right decision, now I'm waiting on her. I told her cut and dry I would change and could go on without her I made it clear I wanted to work this out, yet she is still unsure. am I a waiting fool or is there more to it? what should I do?

Hi Mike,

RUN, don't walk, to a marriage counselor. While there are people who swear by "open" marriages, I never see them lasting very long. It only leads to confusion and pain, and most times sooner than later. She's confused because I think she sees issues with the partner swapping as just another yet very serious issue aside from the original problems she saw in the marriage. This is not going to be solved quickly...It will take a lot of work to put this back to being somewhat normal, but if you love each other, then both of you have to come to the table and give it your all. There's obviously communication issues that are a cause, as she didn't tell you of her feelings for over a year, and then your recent co-dalliance just exacerbated the situation. This is nothing that she will be able to figure out on her own...This is a major problem in Your marriage so Both of you need to work on it Together... Going to counseling immediately is the first step. Oh - and find other friends as that "history" will now always be an issue in your marriage and the friendships of those you had that "shared" experience with. Hope this helps, and best of luck to you...

Name: Phil
Question: My wife and I have been married about three years. We communicate well and have a strong marriage. Like many other guys, I look at attractive women on TV. and computer. My wife knows that I would never want to cheat on her. She trusts me... Here's the issue: I consider myself to be completely heterosexual. I dated lots of women prior to marriage. I would never want to be with a man. A few years ago, my wife and I started to watch figure skating occasionally. After a while, I gradually became a big fan. I like to watch men's figure skating more than women's. I noticed about a year and a half ago that I would often become aroused when watching men's figure skating. My wife began to notice that I like the men's more than the women's figure skating. She even asked me if it turned me on at all. I was reluctant at first, but I have admitted that it often does turn me on. I am embarrassed to admit that watching men figure skate is arousing to me. I don't get aroused watching other men doing other things. It's pretty much just figure skating. My wife has been very supportive and understanding. Naturally, she is a little bit concerned about the fact that I'm aroused watching men. I would never cheat on my wife with a man or woman. Is this very unusual? Should we be worried? I follow websites that cover men's figure skating. Sometimes I get stimulated looking through these websites. My wife will read this message and any response that you give. Thanks for any suggestions that you can give.

Hi Phil,

Thanks for writing...My first inclination is to guess that there's a lot of latent, historical, deeply underlying/hidden emotions that you are carrying below the surface that is leading to this kind of reaction. Seems to me that there are some issues that are unresolved (or maybe never confronted) that come to the surface during whenever you become immersed with this sport. The best and most helpful place to start is with a counselor/therapist. I don't think that it's an issue that is threatening your marriage as your wife seems to be solidly in your corner. However, this situation might be alarming enough to you to not simply just let it slip away unactioned. I'm pushing for closure on this as there could be a lot more to this than what I can tell, but also it might really be nothing at all...But it bears investigation if you are worried about it. Sorry for being a little brief on it, but I'm thinking that it will take a lot of concentrated digging with a therapist in person to get to the root of the matter. Let me know how you progress on this, and I hope this helps...Best of luck, and Happy Holidays!

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