Style Sex & Relationships

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Dear Mary: Second thoughts after drunken video

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Photo posed

Mary O’Conor

I was in an on/off relationship for 10 years. I moved out of the country for career opportunities but stayed on good terms with my ex. He would always contact me saying he made a mistake and that he still loved me. It was like being on a horrible roller coaster with him.

He would drink heavily every weekend and sometimes during the week. He totally changed when he started taking drugs at the weekends. We never did any fun things any more. He was miserable to be around and it was like his life evolved around drinking or socialising.

Now I've returned home and things have totally changed. I feel like a failure when I see his friends or anyone who is connected to my previous relationship. I used to get so upset with him when we were drinking. He became so selfish over the years and I didn't hold back with my emotions. I've got a serious amount of anxiety with all the negative experiences and associate them with alcohol.

All my other friends and their partners are making a life together when all he wanted to do was waste my time. I was deeply in love with him. I'm a very loyal, committed and grounded person. But I don't plan to take any crap either.

Recently, I've been doing some online dating and met a guy on a dating app.

Things were going great - consistent messaging and dates. I actually felt very comfortable when I met him. He was the first guy I felt was quite normal and that I thought had possibilities. Then he sent me a drunken video of himself masturbating.

I've literally had so many dysfunctional men in my life, I'm wondering is this a major "red flag". Should I run and not get involved any more?

Mary replies: Ten years is a long time to have spent with somebody whom you now realise was not for you, and I can understand why you feel that he wasted your time.

It must be very difficult for you when you see your friends getting settled with their partners when you are still searching for a soulmate.

You have some very bad associations with alcohol and it is so unfortunate that the guy that you met on the dating app chose to send you not just a drunken video, which would be bad enough, but one in which he was masturbating.

This was in such poor taste that it would be very difficult for you to forget, even if you could forgive, and I have to ask what sort of mentality would think that it is all right to send a relatively new acquaintance such a video.

I am fairly unshockable but I find this distasteful and crude and totally unacceptable.

However, we all make mistakes, and a lot will depend on how he deals with this when explaining it to you.

He can't deny it because you have the proof, and so he may attribute it to being drunk.

I was on a jury some years ago where a girl had been strangled and the accused maintained he had drunk many pints of beer during the day that the girl died. When the judge was summing up all the evidence he took some time to tell us that alcohol could not be used as an excuse for anything, including manslaughter, and I feel the same holds good in this case. So on balance and to answer your question I also see a red flag flying high.

It must be difficult for you to keep positive and cheerful when you are having bad experiences with guys. I hope that career-wise you benefited from the years abroad and that professionally you are feeling fulfilled.

There is absolutely no reason why you should feel a failure because your ex treated you badly. He is the one that should be feeling guilty for his treatment of you, particularly regarding drugs and alcohol over all those years.

Try to take heart from knowing that you got out in time and before you had children together.

I hope that you will soon meet someone who will make you happy.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at 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.

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