Saturday 21 September 2019

I'm marrying soon, but find myself attracted to other girls

QI AM due to get married very soon. Is it normal to sometimes have doubts about one's commitment? Are doubts a sign that maybe I don't love my partner enough to go ahead?

On the surface, we are very happy. I can list lots of positives. I suppose the fly in the ointment is that I sometimes feel a real lack of sexual attraction or "lust" for my girlfriend. In fact, I find myself sexually more attracted to other women than to my fiancee. That's it. It seems pretty petty as everything else is there. But it does makes me think.

AMARRIAGE is not two best friends teaming up together - although yes, of course, couples can be best friends too. Marriage is based on romantic love, an integral part of which is sexual attraction.

When a couple exchange marriage vows, they may not actually include the words "sexually faithful until death do us part", but that is very definitely the presumption on which they both proceed.

Marriage is about sexual love, emotional commitment, facing the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as a sexually close couple.

If you don't think you can deliver that, then yes, you're in trouble. And, of course, only you can decide. All that I can give you are some thoughts.

Fancying other women in the sense of acknowledging that they are sexually attractive is part of being alive. Men say that it's a sure sign of mental health, arguing that only the stressed, depressed and unhappy men miss the vibes. The line in the sand between this and actually lusting after other women seems impossible to draw. Our fantasies don't follow nice tidy rules.

The real issue is how anchored a man or woman is in their relationship. That anchor is a subtle but powerful blend of love, commitment, sexual attraction, responsibility, romance, strength of character, conscience, and the absolute desire to make the marriage work.

That's why it's hardto assess, from the outside, how significant it is when you say that you fancy other women more than you fancy your fiancee.

We can be temporarily turned off someone we love when they become synonymous with stress - as in the run-up to an ambitious wedding. Sexual attraction can also wane when we feel unloved, seriously neglected, ignored - which can happen in situations as different as childbirth and conflict with in-laws.

And, of course, partners can become careless, both with their appearance and their attitude, sex being so easy to set aside as we pursue life's goals. Romance, in other words, can flounder. Other women, in such circumstances, can suddenly appear infinitely more appealing.

I suppose the bottom line is simple. If you can't promise sexual fidelity then you shouldn't proceed with marriage. And as I said, only you can make that decision.

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