Secret sex that could ruin my life
Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au's weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred. This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie tackles a man who has an explosive sex secret, a woman looking to experiment with sex toys and a lady hoping her BFF thinks of her as more than a friend.
MY SEX SECRET IS THREATENING TO RUIN MY LIFE
QUESTION: I have a bit of a situation unfolding that has the potential to ruin my entire existence. A couple of years ago, my now-wife and I took a break from our relationship. Her father was terminally ill and I was stressed at work and neither of us was our best selves.
We agreed to spend some time apart but after a couple of months, realised it was insanity and got back together. We got married shortly afterwards and now she is pregnant with our first child. We are stupidly happy together. But. When we were apart, I moved back to my home town for a while and had a casual thing with an old girlfriend.
When my wife called I ended things and haven't thought about the other girl since - until I was back home visiting my mum and bumped into her down the pub with a baby she is now saying is mine. She says she's going to tell my wife and my family because her son deserves to know his family and I have no idea what to do.
The dates appear to line up but we always used condoms. I guess what I'm saying is, her story is not impossible - I'm getting a paternity test done, but if it does turn out to be my kid, how do I tell my wife?
ANSWER: My primary question to you is did you have any understandings or agreements about whether you would see other people during the time that you and your now wife were separated?
There's probably an argument that you 'should' have told her once you got back together that you'd been seeing someone else, but if you had a clear understanding that you were separated, you didn't really do anything wrong by sleeping with someone else. Yes, the consequences of that are now huge, but the consequences shouldn't make what you did wrong.
I hear clearly that you didn't have serious feelings for your old girlfriend. My hope is that your wife understands that too.
Regardless of the outcome, this is a significant issue to be dealing with. I'm sad to hear that you can't talk to your wife about this, even before you get the paternity results back and be able to support each other through this. Though, I also understand she's pregnant right now, potentially making this even harder for her to hear.
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I don't think there's an easy way to tell your wife. However, I also think this will be harder for her to hear the longer you wait to tell her. Right now, you're keeping a (significant) secret from her.
When you do tell your wife, the key points to include that might help her understand are:
Your feelings for her and your desire to spend your life with her.
Your understanding about the agreements and boundaries you had while you were separated, which may give her understanding about why you slept with someone else initially.
What happened between you and your old girlfriend
The reasons you didn't tell your wife that you'd been sleeping with someone else. I imagine these to be fear of hurting your wife and feeling like the casual relationship wasn't significant.
How devastated you are to receive this news.
Your hope that you can work through this as husband and wife and continue to build a life together.
Your understanding that she might need time to process this and offer to support her as she comes to terms with this news. Allow her to ask the questions she needs to in order to do this.
You haven't had an affair. You don't have feelings for someone else. It sounds like you're very much in love with your wife. It isn't the ideal start to the family life you were both hoping for, but it doesn't need to be the end of your relationship.
HOW CAN I GET MY HUSBAND ON BOARD WITH SEX TOYS
QUESTION: My husband (65-years-old) has very old-fashioned views about sex toys but I'm curious and would like to try some out. How do I suggest it to him without making it seem like he's not enough for me, or I'm some sort of hussy?
ANSWER: It saddens me when I hear that women fear being judged if they're open about what they want sexually or are willing to explore. It also saddens me when I hear that people feel inadequate due to a partner wanting to introduce toys - or even new activities - into the bedroom.
You can't necessarily control your husband's reaction (or judgments) about what you're asking for, but you can decide how much of that you take on for yourself. Your husband might have old-fashioned views, but it's very normal and common to want to explore with sex toys.
In asking for what you want, I suggest beginning with positive feedback regarding your current sex life together. Then telling him that there's some things you're curious to explore and you'd really love to do that with him.
SHOULD I TELL MY BEST FRIEND I'M IN LOVE WITH HIM?
QUESTION: I have an enormous crush on one of my male friends, but a paralysing fear of rejection has prevented me from making a move. How do I safely suss out if he likes me 'like that' too?
ANSWER: Years ago, one of my friends showed up at my door to confess his attraction for me. Although I didn't like him 'like that', I admired and respected his courage in letting me know how he felt. I thought more of him for being open with me, not less. He's still one of my most-loved friends.
If this guy is your friend, he already thinks you're awesome - keep that in mind. If he isn't interested in you 'like that', it isn't rejection, it's just not the right fit now - or maybe he values your friendship too much to complicate it for a relationship.
To get a better idea of how he feels, try to arrange some one-on-one time with him or gently increase your personal messages with him and see how he responds.
Isiah McKimmie is a Couples Therapist and Sexologist. For more expert advice, download her free ebook Liberated: How to experience sexual freedom and follow her on Instagram.