Dear Mary: My office affair is ruining my sex life with my wife
I am a 46-year-old man. Until recently my wife and I had great sex and we both enjoyed it a lot.
In the last month or so I have become physically involved with a 23-year-old woman in the office but we have not had sex.
She is married and three months pregnant from her husband.
We both like each other's company and I get very aroused when I am with her. Since this started I am not able to have proper sex at home. My erection is not strong and even with stimulation it doesn't react most of the time.
Even if I do get aroused with my wife it doesn't stay hard for long even if I change positions.
Masturbation doesn't seem nice any more, and I just can't do what I used to do with my wife.
Please suggest what I can do - I would love to have the earlier sex life back.
Mary replies: Some men seem to be able to compartmentalise their sex lives and can continue to have sex with their wives while they are also having sex with somebody else.
Others simply cannot and one of the first signs that a woman has that things are going wrong is when a previously good sex life stops.
I cannot agree with you that you have not had sex with this young girl in the office. You may not have had sexual intercourse but you are certainly having a sexual relationship with her - anything that you wouldn't do with your sister in terms of hugs and kisses is to my mind classified as sexual.
While it is no doubt exciting to be involved with somebody in the office, and it adds an extra frisson to your work day, the potential this has for ruining your marriage is fairly big.
People gossip, and if they haven't already done so your workmates will notice that there is something going on between the two of you. That is just a short step away from your wife finding out, and also the girl's husband. There are also lots of other ways that you both can be found out so my advice to you is to stop what is going on right now and go back to what you already had - a good sex life and presumably a good marriage.
This is something that a lot of people would love to have and you are in danger of throwing it all away.
I know that I will get emails from readers pointing out that I haven't said that what you are doing is morally wrong.
I purposely have omitted anything about the rights and wrongs of your case because I'm sure that you realise that yourself, and also because you wrote asking for advice, not a lecture.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.
Sunday Indo Living
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