Swapping partners

I am a 35-year-old married man, working in a corporate, with a reasonably successful career. I got married 3 years ago to my girlfriend who I was courting for 4 years. I love my wife dearly and we have been very committed to each other. Recently my colleague at work, who has also become a close friend over the 8 years that we have worked with each other, asked me what did I think of swinging and wife swapping. We were at an offsite, sharing a room and were drinking heavily post the conference. I told him that I had never thought about it. He asked me to give it a thought. Much later the conversation registered with me on one side I felt angry with my friend about the suggestion, on the other side I must say that I was intrigued, interested, excited and even aroused at the suggestion. I want to bring it up with my wife who while is progressive and modern and yet very traditional when it comes to things like a one man-one-woman relationship. I can’t seem to shake the suggestion made by my friend off my mind and yet know it can be a very big risk if I bring it up with my wife.

Ans: The fact that you have considered your friends suggestion about swinging by giving it a serious thought, somewhere needs to be investigated. Because even though you mentioned that you are very committed to your wife and love her dearly, some part of you does want to experiment which might have negative consequences if not handled sensitively. Transparency between the two of you is essential especially if it has to do with mutual consent of adopting the concept of open marriage. thus, speak to your wife regarding the concept and get to know her independent views on it and then gradually bringing in your personal views regarding the same.

Gender complications

I am in a same-sex relationship. I know that I am gay, but have always convinced myself that maybe I am bisexual. My family wants me to get married and the pressure is mounting. My partner says that it is ok to get married and we can continue the relationship on the side and that way it will be less stress from the family. However, I do not know if I am wired that way to be able to get married to a woman and lead a parallel life on the side. The guilt of lying to my parents, deceiving the girl I get married to, and the stress of a relationship on the side seems to be too much to bear…. I have thoughts of giving up on life.

Ans: The fact that you have had to convince yourself that you may be bisexual requires further exploration as you are also confident about knowing that you are gay… because there is parental pressure, acceptance from your partner about you being married and the uncertainty regarding your sexuality which might require you to consult a professional to start regular therapy. There is an overlap of what you should be ideally doing and what you wish to do. Therapy will definitely help resolve these conflicts. As you’ve mentioned about having serious thoughts of giving up on life, this needs to be addressed at the earliest. I know that the parental reaction towards your sexuality might not be well received, however letting yourself into a relationship with someone for the sake of pretence may lead to far more negative consequences than simply being honest with your parents as well as yourself.

Intimacy issues  

My boyfriend is highly physical and sexual. I feel I am unable to keep up to his needs and demands. He wants to get physical and sexual at every opportunity we get. I just cannot, and this exhausts me even though I try. At times I feel that if I do not cooperate, he will just find an outlet elsewhere. Sexually, we are north and south even though we seem emotionally compatible. I wish I could just be as sexually inclined as he is.

Ans: Sexual compatibility is equally essential as is emotional compatibility. And it is imperative that between the partners there exists a communication channel regarding the sexual relationship that they share. Between you and your partner you are finding incompatibility, but get to know where does he stand and what are his views regarding being sexually satisfied with you. Many a times, our doubts lead to sabotaging the equation we share with other people. Thus, share your concern with your boyfriend and resolve it before you draw any negative conclusions.

In search of love

I am a 26-year-old girl and I have been in 6 relationships since I was 17. Every time a relationship does not work out, I go on a rebound and get into another relationship to cope with getting over the previous one. A close friend pointed this out to me recently and even though I did not want to admit it, it is true. I do not know what to do about this…I am suddenly not feeling good about this pattern in my life. Please help.

Ans: Instability in relationships, the constant need to be with someone probably to fill up some void might stem from deep seated issues that require a thorough analysis. Visiting a clinical psychologist can be helpful as she/ he would be able to help figure out whether it’s a personality issue or more to do with any maladjustment. The therapy process would thus depend on what we are dealing with: personality factors or environmental factors. The therapy process would have an easier start as you already have insight and willingness to work towards helping yourself.

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