Dear Mary: I can't get erections with my wife since I started affair
I have been married to my wife for 16 years and we have four kids together. Since 2008 I have been in love with a girl but I kept quiet because she's very close to me and I didn't want to mess up anything.
Three months ago we were texting a lot and I had to say something, so I told her that I have been in love with her for many years.
She told me that she felt the same but said she was scared to say anything to me. Before I admitted to her that I loved her, I used to fantasise about her when I was with my wife. I never knew how that girl kissed or felt so I made up my own fantasy.
After we both admitted to each other that we had feelings for one another we went out and we had sex. It was better than I imagined. I love her more now and she feels the same.
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But now I can't get an erection when I am having sex with my wife, but if I just text my love I get an erection.
I tried fantasising about the girl I love so I can have sex with my wife, but now I can't because I know how it is to be in bed with this girl and to have sex.
What can I do? I can't leave the person I have been wanting for 10 years now that I finally have her, but I don't want my wife to be suspicious.
Mary replies: This is really a case of wanting to have your cake and eating it too. You were getting on fine when you kept everything as a fantasy. You were having sex with your wife but you were fantasising about this girl and everything was in working order, as it were.
But then you crossed over the invisible line. Now the fantasy has become a reality; all that you dreamed of has come true.
I have to point out one simple fact to you: you are a married man with four children.
Of course sex with the object of your affection is wonderful. It is full of intrigue, forbidden pleasure and deceit. So from the moment you are with her you are on a high, the adrenalin rush is probably very strong and you feel virile.
And on the other side of the equation, when you are having sex with your wife - and I hope you are using protection with both women - it is not surprising that you are unable to get an erection.
How can sex with the mother of your children, to whom you have been married for 16 years - no doubt through all the normal ups and downs which occur in a marriage - compare with illicit sex with a presumably much younger and nubile young woman?
When I got to your last sentence I fully expected you to say that you couldn't leave your wife, but instead you say that you can't leave your lover but you don't want your wife to be suspicious.
That is when I realised you want the best of both worlds.
Have you thought through what will happen when your wife discovers - as she more than likely will because she knows you pretty well by now - that you are having an affair?
Are you prepared for the fallout, possibly losing her and having to share custody of the children?
Have you thought about how you will provide for your wife and children as well as running a separate home if you divorce?
Have you thought about what your four children will think of you in years to come when they are old enough to fully understand what you did?
I ask all of this because it doesn't seem to me to be a situation where you have fallen in love with someone else and desperately want to leave your wife and family to be with her.
It sounds more like you have fallen in lust and want to maintain the status quo at home.
You ask what you can do. I suggest that you reassess your situation, and if you truly find that you cannot live without this girl then so be it.
It will be a rough road ahead but you will probably manage.
But if it is as I suspect, then I strongly suggest that you stop seeing this girl before it is too late.