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Sex or Love?
May 1, 2012 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I have a boyfriend who I love dearly. We've been together 3 years, live together, I even moved countries to be with him. He's kind, smart, easy to get on with and everything I thought I wanted in a man.
Then there is Nathan. This man is my kryptonite. We've been friends a long time, very very flirty friends. We've been openly attracted to each other since we met, but always seem to be in other relationships or not looking for one when we meet up. We both love dancing, we can talk for hours about things we're interested in, and he makes me feel warm and loved every time I'm around him. We've been sneaking out to go dancing, or have snuggly movie nights, but up until recently we'd never slept together. We'd come close, but never crossed that line.
Before I moved away with my boyfriend, Nathan took me aside and told that his worries that I was moving for the wrong reasons - because I was unhappy and stressed where I was, because I had met someone new, and because I'm the kind of person who jumps from one brilliant idea to the next without thinking about it overmuch. I told him he was being an idiot, and put it down to him being upset he was losing his salsa buddy.
I've had a long time living with my boyfriend, Chris, and he truly is wonderful. He's a man who always needs to be worshipping at some font or other and since our relationship began has started to like all the same things I like, read the same books, listen to the same music, even completely change his opinions on a lot of topics. It makes things easy for me, and I know he does it because he thinks the world of me, but of late it has started to become a little cloying. More concerning, our sex life is nonexistant. Six months into our relationship I developed a revulsion of sex and sexual things I was still trying to shake off two years later. I hated Chris touching me, and I made him feel like crap a few times because I was too overwhelmed to hide it. He's never been a brilliant lover, very formulaic and animal, no tenderness. In many ways he's a blunt instrument, and thats reflected in bed. I've always been an intensly sexual person and all of a sudden I was uninterested not only in Chris but in the act itself. These days we have sex maybe once a week and for me its always a grit-my-teeth-and-fake-it experience.
I make him sound like an awful person, but in fact he's been nothing but good to me, more than good to me, and I love him dearly, but increasingly that is more as a close friend than as a lover. We've built a life together we both enjoy and find quiet happiness in, but I do feel stifled by his conventional sensibilities.
Just recently Chris has been travelling alot with work, and I've been here alone. This doesn't bother me much, but when Nathan came over to visit his brother, I leapt at the chance to catch up. We went out for coffee and within fifteen minutes I was feeling sexy and fun, more like my old self. we chatted for hours and coffee turned into lunch, turned into wandering around the city. The thing I like about Nathan is that he's a genuine lady's man, he honestly just loves women. He had a new girlfriend, which is why he'd stayed celibate on his recent trip to the UK, but as usual he avoided telling me about her even when I asked directly. He spent hours playing with my feet, my hair, hugging me for no reason, so when he finally kissed me it was no real surprise, but it was lovely and warm and delicate. He gave me a lift home, and we made tea and talked some more. I hadn't thought about it much but I had a vague idea that because we'd never slept together we wouldn't cross that line, so when he started to kiss me I didn't fight it. We kissed and talked for another few hours. We both got very emotional and talked alot about how important we were to each other in a general sense, but he always finished the thought with 'but you wouldn't leave Chris for me" and then changed the subject. When we finally did have sex it took me completely by surprise in a burst of lust that wouldnt let me think to justify it. By the time I was aware of it, it'd happened.
There are alot of things that worry me here. Since that day, Nathan has avoided me, cut short conversations online and by text, which is the only real way we can communicate, living so far apart. Since that day I've realised how much he means to me, how attracted I am to him, and I cannot stop myself from thinking about him every waking minute of the day. I've tried to tell him that but he sidesteps me every time. He knows I'm not interested in turning his life upsidedown, but he won't respond when I ask him to talk things through. Since that day my sex drive has kicked back into gear and then some. Its excruciating, but I'm still not interested in Chris sexually. I've thought about leaving but I really do love him and I don't think I'd be able to knowingly cause him that much pain. Also, despite my current addiction to Nath, he lives in another country and truly isn't in a position at this moment to get into a relationship, even if I thought he was interested in one. It kills me that I don't know how he feels. I think that is what I need to know more than anything, how he feels and what he thinks of all of this. The day we slept together was so emotionally charged, and I'd swear at one point I saw tears in his eyes, but now he's cut me off without a word. He's not a jerk, he's not a guy who's ever just in it for the sex, so why is he acting like one?
I'm sorry this turned out so long, I think if I didn't get it out I'd just burst. Please help me, I can't think straight! I think I'm in love with this man and it's breaking my heart.
That’s some story!
You fell into a full-blown infidelity. When cheatingSee Infidelity. has entered the scene, you’re long overdue for serious relationship help!
As I reflect on your recent sexual affair with Mr. Kryptonite, I couldn’t help but notice the fact that you chose to be with Chris, a man who you love but who doesn’t do it for you sexually. You knew this about him and still you went forward and pursued the relationship with Chris.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kryptonite has always been lurking in the wings. You both have been flirting with each other for years. You’re both drawn to each other but, as you said, you both manage to be in other relationships or not looking for one whenever you meet.
I’m thinking that your mutual lack of availability may cover a mutual fear of intimacyThe causes of fear of intimacy are nearly identical to the fear of commitment. See Fear of Commitment. Think about it. You never pursued each other when you both were free, and he decided to pursue you, now of all times, knowing that you both weren’t available.
I'm wondering if you are both drawn to forbidden fruit, meaning that you only want each other when you’re not available! Many people who are afraid of true intimacy hide out in safe relationships or have affairs, which is another potent way of diluting intimacy.
Think about it. You’re living with Chris who you love as a friend, but not as a lover, meaning you’re in a rather anemic relationship that lacks an essential element. As for Mr. Kryptonite…clearly he’s not happy in his primary relationship, otherwise he wouldn’t have cheated on his girlfriend and slept with you. But the two of you have never made the move to be with each other exclusively.
Since it’s so wonderful with the two of you, why isn’t he asking you to take the plunge with him? There are two possibilities: either he isn’t capable of forming an intimate lasting relationship; or he’s avoiding you because he’s sure you won’t end your relationship with Chris. Mr. K already said that he knows you wouldn’t leave Chris, so he may be avoiding you to protect himself from getting heart broken.
Rather than passing the buck to Mr. K, and trying to get him to say how he feels, you need to clarify how you feel and what you want to do about your relationship with Chris. If you aren’t prepared to leave Chris, then what’s the point of discussing the matter with K-man?
In truth, you’ve both been hedging your bets. He doesn’t want to show you his cards before you show him yours. You’re trying to get Mr. Kryptonite to tell you how he feels, meaning admit to you first that he would leave his girlfriend if you would leave your boyfriend. In other words, you’re in a Mexican standoff in which you’re both passing the buck. I say it’s about time for you to get buck-naked with yourself; bare your soul here, first to yourself and then to him!
I have to say that I have a sneaking suspicion that even if you told Mr. K that you would leave Chris, he would run scared.
But we’re never going to know until you face your own need to play it safe, perhaps due to a fear of intimacy. You must decide whether what you have with Chris is enough for you or not. By the way, your sex life isn’t supposed to be a swallow your medicine type of experience!
If you’re done with playing it safe and settling, then the cleanest thing to do would be to end your romantic relationship with Chris and be his good friend, and then open yourself to finding a more complete romantic bond with Mr. Kryptonite (if he's capable) or with another man.
I’ll be eager to know what you decide to do and how it shakes down for you.
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"Love Never Dies is guaranteed to give immense hope to those grieving the perceived loss of a loved one. Dr. Jamie Turndorf, together with her husband, Jean, now in spirit, provide stunning evidence of the continuity of love and life, along with the tools to help anyone connect with those in the unseen world."
Author of Messages of Hope
"Dr. Turndorf's eternal love story powerfully proves that our loved ones in spirit are waiting for us to reconnect with them! Read this amazing book and discover her new dialoguing technique, which enables you to reconnect and turn grief into peace and joy."
-- Mira Kelley,
bestselling author of Beyond Past Lives
“Dr. Turndorf's extraordinary memoir/self-help book provides astonishing proof that we don't die and that we are meant to reconnect and stay connected to loved ones in spirit. Read this book, learn her powerful new method for reconnecting and making peace with the deceased, and you will transform your grief to joy.”
-- Fr. Richard Rohr,
Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), and bestselling author of Falling Upward
“I found the book very helpful in guiding people to learn how to tune into spirit messages, and particularly liked Dr. Turndorf's guidance through meditations. In Parts two and three, Dr. Turndorf covered so many of the ways that spirits convey messages and this book will be a great help for people trying to get in touch with their loved ones.
Part 1 was her story of losing the love of her life. Reading about the pain and agony she experienced and SO MANY people experience will be healing to know that others experience the same emotions after the passing of a loved one. I think the first part could be a book on it's own merit because it is so beneficial to people dealing with the same intensity of grief.
As a scientist myself, I was glad to read that she didn't focus on a religion. As a medium, I have come to know that "god" not of a religion, but is the consciousness of all living things. Like Dr. Turndorf I've learned that all people are equal and all creatures part of all existence (and with "souls.").
I particularly enjoyed reading how she used her talent/mediumship to help people overcome their grief. Readers will get a lot out of this book and know that their loved ones are always connected.”
-- Rob Gutro,
Author, Medium, Scientist
“I could not put this book down!!! It is so gripping from the first few words, and beautifully written. Dr. Turndorf’s courageous story of her reunion with her beloved husband after his death and the heartfelt stories of others serve to validate what many may have privately experienced but discounted as just a by-product of grief and loss and not really “REAL.” The book’s simple and powerful techniques provide essential tools for connecting to loved ones in spirit and will allow scientists to amass new data from lay people, other than mediums. Your book will make a profound contribution to the now significant scientific data already collected in laboratories around the world studying survival of individual consciousness after death, while adding richly to our own sense of love and peace. Thank you for the Gift!”
-- Linda G. Russek, Ph.D,
Former Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory, U of Arizona, Co-author of The Living Energy Universe
“This is the most beautiful true love story that I have ever read. The depth of the author's love for her husband and her terrible grief at his death, and then her triumph as she learned to continue her relationship with him even after his death are all palpable. I lived it with her, and her story has stayed in my mind. For me, though, the reason to read this book is the author's wisdom in teaching her readers how to heal rifts across the death boundary. As one who has done extensive afterlife research, I can attest to the importance of post-death healing of relationships to both our dead loved ones and ourselves! Yet few people know how essential this healing is, and fewer still know how to begin it. As a prominent relationship counselor, Dr. Turndorf tackles this essential area, and she does it well. Hers is a wonderful book.”
-- Roberta Grimes,
author of The Fun of Dying: Find Out What Really Happens Next and The Fun of Staying in Touch
“Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased is as informed and informative as it is inspired and inspiring. Especially recommended to the attention of anyone who is suffering from the loss of a loved one.”
-- Margaret Lane,
“Midwest Book Review”
“Love Never Dies is an astonishing and refreshing story of survival of consciousness. She clearly shows the many ways spirit can communicate through us and with animals and even objects. I could hardly put the book down, and I have read many of these types of books. This is a great read for those who have lost a loved one and are looking for answers to the ways spirit makes contact with us, and also how we can contact spirit to make peace. I highly recommend this book.”
-- Dave Campbell,
Certified Windbridge Research Medium (WCRM)
“When I held this 248 page spiritual giant in my hands, even before I started turning the pages I knew I had found a special guide that would help me through one of the hardest journeys I have taken. To love so deeply and completely and then to have the person removed from my physical life is hard enough, but then to find a way to stay connected with them is even more frustrating. So it was totally Heaven sent when I was asked to review this gentle messenger that helped me to stay connected, to recognize the connection and to even validate the connection. I also loved the way the author shared on such a deep and personal level it helped me to not feel alone and gave me courage to bypass my mind. I would recommend this sweet giant to anyone who feels the loss of a loved one. Thanks so much Jamie for the awesome blueprint. “
-- Riki Frahmann,
Chief Reviewer for the ezine Mystic Living Today
"As a colleague of both Jamie and Jean, I have been blessed with firsthand witness to their devotion and mutual love, in life and now through death. In her eloquently written new book, Dr. Turndorf has made their everlasting love accessible to all. Just as the uniqueness of their emotional connection radiated to me, it will radiate to you, the reader, in this groundbreaking work that will guide you to reestablish your relationships with loved ones in spirit... and even make peace, if needed."
-- Dr. Robert S. Pepper,
author Emotional Incest in Group Psychotherapy
"In her book, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased, Turndorf teaches a method for dialoguing with the departed which holds tremendous healing potential for everyone who has lost a loved one. Turndorf is passionate in her certainty that we can actually communicate with those we’ve lost. Since reading Love Never Dies (which describes the dialogue process in great detail) I’ve used Turndorf’s technique and it has opened life-changing doors for me. It’s a powerful process, and I encourage everyone who feels ready to try it."
-- Ken Page,
L.C.S.W. from "A Life-Changing Exercise for Anyone Who Has Lost a Loved One" published in Psychology Today
"I just finished reading Dr. Turndorf's most recent book, LOVE NEVER DIES, and I highly recommend it for everyone who wants to connect with a loved one who has passed on to the Spirit Realm. This book tells the heartfelt story of the author’s tragic loss of her husband and his subsequent messages to her from beyond the veil, and it outlines the steps we should take to communicate with the spirits of the people we loved on Earth."
-- Garnet Schulhauser,
author of Dancing on a Stamp and Dancing Forever with Spirit
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack,
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book provides a down-to-earth, easy to apply, proven method for creating relationship harmony. This book should be mandatory reading for every couple that wants to head-off or resolve the inevitable relationship conflicts and build lasting love. Buy this book and put it to use!”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show