Dear Mary: I love my pregnant girlfriend but I need more sex before I settle down
I am in a relationship with the love of my life. We have been together for a year and a half now. We are expecting a baby together in five months. I can't wait to be a dad and I know she is going to be an incredible mother so these are exciting times.
My girlfriend is an intelligent and open-minded woman, she is from Central Europe with no religious background. I'm from Ireland with a typical Irish upbringing.
I am having internal struggles at the moment, and they came in a way that I was not expecting. We share so much together, including past experiences with partners.
However, the more I get to know about her the more I discover that she is sexually experienced in such a mature way.
This is at times hard for me to digest and I find I am extremely jealous about the way she lived her life compared to mine.
She was an early starter, I was a late starter - 16 versus 22. I'm now 30. She navigated her way through friends with benefits relationships easily, whereas I have never experienced this. I feel like I have missed out on so much by living life the wrong way.
We have even discussed this, that's how well we get on together and how open we are with each other. I have always been faithful to this girl.
So all these stories are stacking up in my head to such a level that I feel there is so much of life that I still need to experience. I'm not ready to settle down but I am so lucky to have this amazing capable woman in my life who can achieve anything when she puts her mind to it.
I'm ready to be a dad, but not ready to settle down, and babies don't solve problems.
I definitely want to marry this woman at some point in the future, but feel like I can't until I get the need for some experience out of my system and get rid of this growing mental block.
I don't know if I can get over these feelings. It's hard to see forward when there is a lot of regret and a sexually vacant youth pulling me back.
Mary replies: I don't for one moment believe that you lived your life the wrong way when you were younger. You lived your life consistent with your background and your upbringing and there is nothing wrong with that. Your girlfriend had a different pathway through her teens and although it is one which you now envy it doesn't necessarily make it better.
You are getting increasingly obsessed with the fact that your girlfriend had many different sexual experiences with friends of hers, as well as having different emotional relationships, although you seem to be all right with that. You also had emotional relationships and sexual experiences but started being fully sexual later than she did. So the 'friends with benefits' is what is really bothering you and I don't think it should.
You describe this girl as the love of your life. With her you have both emotional and sexual fulfilment, which is really the ultimate goal and one which many people wish for but do not achieve.
If you go ahead and have some more sexual experiences you will probably find yourself comparing them to her and find them wanting. You also run the risk of her not being there to go back to you when you are finished sowing your belated wild oats.
Babies do not solve problems, and indeed they create some new ones, but they are totally dependent on their parents for quite a long time. So a new kind of love is going to present itself to you when you first set eyes on your baby.
You will have to ask yourself what sort of guidelines you will be giving to your child in the years to come and particularly when they are in their teens.
Will you be guiding them along the pathway of sexual freedom or will you be urging caution, and will your message be the same regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl? This is something that you need to think about as you wrestle with what might have been in your own case.
I really think you need to stop looking backwards and instead go forward with your life.
I hope that everything goes well with the baby.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at email@example.com 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