My wife and I were married straight out of college. At the time I knew she suffered from a potentially debilitating mental disorder, so I came into the relationship with my eyes fully open. Since then, nine years and two children have followed. About two years ago her disorder began to get worse. Suicidal ideation, hallucinations, delusions, and the like. Her psychiatrist put her on a new medication that for the most part has eliminated her symptoms. Here’s my problem, and I feel extremely selfish for this: One of the side effects of the medication is a complete loss of interest in sex. She’s still loving and affectionate, but her libido is nonexistent. We’ve discussed and argued about this many times. Over the past six months we’ve reached a tacit agreement: I don’t ask, and she doesn’t pretend. I’m 32 years old and married to my best friend, who wants nothing to do with me sexually.

Divorce is not an option: my children are my life. In addition, my wife needs me–and I take the “for better or worse” part seriously. More importantly, I love her. In short, I’m looking at forgoing sex for the rest of my life. I’m successful, intelligent, ambitious, kind, and better than average in the looks department. I’m flirted with frequently in my daily life, and I find myself increasingly desperate for even a small taste of sexual intimacy. What am I to do? –Desperately Seeking Anything

You’re to fuck other people, DSA.

You write that you take the “for better or worse” part seriously, and that’s admirable. I fully support your decision to remain in your marriage, stand by your wife, and be there for your kids. But that “for better or worse” stuff? It doesn’t just apply to you, DSA. It also applies to your wife.

So, yeah, it sucks to be married to someone who, as the result of a necessary medical intervention, is completely uninterested in sex. Likewise, it sucks to be married to a man who, to preserve his own sanity, occasionally has sex with other women. But you have needs that have to be met, DSA, and meeting them isn’t just about satisfying your need for sexual intimacy. You’re feeling “increasingly desperate” about the prospect of “forgoing sex for the rest of [your] life.” If you don’t find a nice woman you can be sexual with–perhaps someone in a similar circumstance?–your desperation will eventually reach an emotional crescendo and you’ll sabotage your marriage. So do the right thing and fuck other people.

Yeah, yeah, adultery is wrong. But when you consider the damage that a divorce would do to your wife and kids, a little adultery is the lesser evil. So don’t ask, don’t tell, and don’t get caught, DSA–though you might want to say something to your wife now, something you can remind her of if you do, something along the lines of “I’m not going to pressure you about sex anymore, but you have to know that if and when the opportunity presents itself, I don’t think I’ll be able to help myself.” You’ve resigned yourself to living with this “worse”; it’s not too much to ask your wife to resign herself to the probability that you will, at some point, fuck someone else.

About a year ago I moved abroad to be with my boyfriend. Now we don’t have sex anymore! I confronted my partner about this and he admitted he’s having impotency issues. He’s 35, drinks and smokes a lot, and has a stressful job;

I think these are the reasons for our lackluster love life. How serious is this? I don’t think I can survive without sex. He’s eight years older than I and claims that sex is no longer important to him. Does he not love me anymore? –Between a Rock and an Unhard Place

How serious is this problem? Deadly serious, I should think, since you say you “can’t survive” without sex and he’s apparently not willing to make any effort or changes, just excuses. Does he not love you anymore? Dunno, BARAAUP, but he clearly doesn’t love you enough to take your unhappiness at the current state of your love life seriously. DTMFA.

There’s this girl who’s dating a friend of mine, but we all hang out at least once a week. Their relationship is on-again, off-again, mainly off when my friend is sleeping with other girls. When we hang out, either with or without her boyfriend around, this girl is always talking about how she wishes her boyfriend was more like me, didn’t use drugs, etc. She also seems to always find ways to be in physical contact with me, sitting next to me, leaning on me, etc. I’m in love with her. I’m also married. I’m a 24-year-old guy, and my wife and I have been married for two years. We dated for eight years before that. I thought I was in love with my wife, but now I feel so much more with this new girl that it makes me wonder if either one of us ever really experienced true love.

The most sensible option, of course, is to assume that this is just a fleeting crush, and continue my married life. The other option is to talk to her about my crush, and see if she feels the same way about me. There’s no sense getting a divorce only to find out that this girl doesn’t really like me, right? What do you think? My wife and I have no children, so that’s not a concern. –Torn Married Man

First off, TMM, I find it odd that your wife either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that you hang out with a cheating, drug-abusing buddy and his long-suffering girlfriend at least once a week. If she knows and doesn’t care, it’s entirely possible that she wants out of this ill-advised early marriage just as much as you do.

So what do you do? Talk it out with your crush–she may be all over you because she’s into you or all over you because she sees you as “safe,” i.e., married, and therefore not a potential boyfriend. And just because she tells you she wishes her boyfriend were more like you, TMM, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s attracted to you. Anyone who repeatedly takes back a cheating, drug-using boyfriend has a taste for bad boys, something you’re definitely not. She may just be relying on you–aka using you–for emotional support while she gets her kicks from her bad-boy boyfriend.

Regardless of what the crush says, you need to talk with the wife too. You don’t have to share all the details, but before you have kids a frank conversation about how young you married and what you may have missed out on by doing so (true love?) might be a good idea.

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