I am feeling very desperate for comfort. I have been seeing my boyfriend for five years (minus a year we were broken up). The other night I found a playboy in his drawer. He knows how badly those magazines bother me, so I feel very disrespected. I am having a hard time accepting that I have to share even just sexual thoughts with other women because for me sex and love go hand in hand. I can not separate the two. I know it has nothing to do with me, but that is why it hurts so badly. I know most women feel the same way I do, but most know how to deal with it better. I feel pathetic that it is bothering me so much. I am very depressed about it and don’t know what to do.
- ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
- ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
- Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
- ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
There is nothing to feel pathetic about here. Your feelings are legitimate and you do not need to judge them or yourself as pathetic. I think you need to speak with other women about this issue and how they have dealt with it in their own lives. It is not an uncommon thing to happen. It would probably also be a good idea to discus how hurt you feel with your boyfriend (although it might be a good idea to wait on this until you are able to discuss the matter from a position of emotional strength). You two have different opinions about how sex and love go together. This doesn’t mean that you and he are incompatible, and it doesn’t mean that he loves you less because he separates love and sex more than you do. It does mean that you two will need to arrive at mutually agreed upon terms regarding his future use of pornography if you are to stay together well. If you won’t abide by it (and many women won’t) then you need to make that clear. He’ll either comply with your wishes or he won’t. You’ll have information you’ll need to evaluate whether you want to continue with him as a boyfriend either way. This isn’t about sexual expression so much as it is about mutual respect and trust. There is no shame in that.