It’s time once again for our weekly Sex Column, our regular series where experts advise struggling daters on navigating the sticky world of romance.
Last week, we helped a woman whose steamy fling ended with a surprise pregnancy.
This week we’re dealing with the issue of infidelity. Our dater is grappling with love (or is it lust?) for his wife’s friend. But is cheating ever worth giving everything up?
Let’s see if this is a problem that can be solved…
‘I’ve been married, mostly happily, for nearly 30 years and have two sons, both married with children.
‘My wife and I have a good sex life but when we make love, I’m always thinking of my wife’s friend, whom I have loved from a distance for years.
‘She never met the right man and has remained single. Because of that, she has tried to stay young and attractive, whereas my wife has let herself go a bit and is what our kids call ‘mumsy’.
‘This woman visits us a lot and there is mild flirtation between us but my wife never seems to notice. Last new year we even shared a kiss – more than a peck.
‘Recently I lost my parents. That has made me realise life is too short to mess about.
‘I want to tell this woman how I feel and see if she feels the same.
‘I know it would devastate a lot of people if we had an affair but the idea that I will never make love to her properly is unbearable.‘
What the experts say:
It’s normal to fantasise about other people but our experts agree acting on the fantasy is another matter.
‘This woman represents everything you fear you’ve lost,’ says James McConnachie. ‘Youth, freedom, lack of responsibility. Would these feelings survive if she was an part of everyday life?’
Don’t underestimate losing your parents.
‘Being a middle-aged orphan creates a sense of your own mortality, which can lead to recklessness,’ says Rupert Smith. ‘You don’t know how this woman feels. By gambling on a flirtation, you risk everything.’
Dr Angharad Rudkin suggests weighing up the pros and cons of an affair. ‘You might satisfy your fantasies but the ripple effect would change your life. When you’ve thought it through, if it still makes sense to have sex with your wife’s friend, you’re doing so with a sense of the consequences’.
You say your wife has ‘let herself go’. ‘Perhaps you are “dadsy” too,’ says James McConnachie. ‘Will any woman who becomes your partner not become ‘mumsy’?’
Have an honest talk with your wife. You might not be the only one dissatisfied.
Rupert Smith is an author and counsellor
James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)
Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist
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