Musings from outside the mainstream.
CONFOUNDED IN THE SOUTH writes into DEAR ABBY sharing that his wife was much more sexually active than she led him to believe. He feels “betrayed” and “embarrassed” as mutual acquaintances knew, but he did not.
DEAR ABBY’s advice focuses on CONFOUNDED changing his “attitude” and forgiving her or ending the marriage, which is blunt but true. She then lectures him that “many women in our society have had multiple partners.”
There are so many things DEAR ABBY’s response brought up for me.
I’ll start with this: the whole idea of this project (my writing advice columns by rebutting DEAR ABBY and others) is that the masculine voice isn’t heard or given much credence in the shaping and defining of what “relationship” is or means in our culture.
To wit; CONFOUNDED made a series of life decisions as he fell in love with his wife based partly on how she represented herself to him. But she lied. She lied about intimacy. This isn’t simply about having “multiple partners,” as DEAR ABBY would have us believe, but also about how one shares themselves with others. The word CONFOUNDED used was that his wife had been “promiscuous.”
DEAR ABBY also throws out a variant of the “if you say you love her…” line that many women seem to play like a trump card, as if their lack of honesty or poor behavior should be forgiven because, well, you love her. What utter bullshit.
ABBY writes that people lie when they feel threatened, want to impress or when they’re ashamed. And suggest s that his wife “wasn’t honest about the number of men she had been with because she knew you would react the way you have.”
While ABBY doesn’t actually say so, she and other women I’ve talked to on this subject seem to think it’s ok to be less than truthful on the topic of sexual experience. If his wife was falling in love with him, if she really loved him, she’d think enough of him to be transparent, rather than build a relationship on lie.
Sex matters a great deal in relationship for a variety of reasons. We often hear about frequency or monogamy or variety as the things that break relationships apart. But just as important is how we give ourselves to another and how we treat the act itself. I have found that people who are capable of casual sex are simply not good matches for me. They are hardened in way that does make me feel safe. And that is what I hear from CONFOUNDED IN THE SOUTH.
Dear CONFOUNDED, despite ABBY’s scorn and her perpetuating the lack of accountability of women, specifically on being transparent about sexual experience, she does zero in on a couple of things correctly. I’m going to pull them out from her rude tone and give you some things to think about.
All other things aside, has your sex life been fulfilling and do you feel loved and unique when with your wife, especially during intimacy? Before this, were there other things that you had trouble trusting or are your questioning more things now? Because, it comes down to whether you can you forgive her, move on and trust her again.
Don’t deny your feelings on this. They’re legit.