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.
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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.
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