I’m 36 and have never been married. I graduated from a private university and have always been able to support myself. My boyfriend has been living with me almost three years. We have a great sex life and I know he loves me, but he says he wants to try new things.

We are best friends, soulmates, and I’ve never received more love and attention from anyone before him. He is very sexually curious and asked me to try swinging with him, but I told him I wasn’t into it.

Last week he let me know he met a married couple online and met them at a hotel (twice) and had sex with them. He thought it would be okay with me and wanted me to join them the next time they met. I told him I wasn’t okay with that.

I had him write them and tell them it’s over, and he promised me he wouldn’t do it again. But now I feel I can’t trust him and feel he will do it behind my back anyway. I don’t want to try the “swing” thing with him.

Do I kick him out and say goodbye forever? It’s not what I really want to do. I knew when we started dating he was a handful to deal with, although I didn’t realize to what extent. By the way, he rationalizes it as “just sex.”

~ Katherine

Katherine, if he rationalizes it as “just sex,” he is saying it doesn’t mean anything to him, which means it doesn’t mean anything with you.

But that’s a lie. Sex means everything to him. It means so much to him that he goes to meet strangers in hotel rooms. It means so much to him he tells you that you must be involved in this with him. It means so much to him he told you he had sex behind your back multiple times. That’s how much sex means to him.

You said he is a handful, which means you had an inkling this man was a problem when you allowed him to move in. That has led to “I can’t trust him.” He’s having sex with strangers, people who will have sex with anyone, and putting you at risk.

This is the perfect example how being with the wrong one can be worse than having no one.

It’s not that he made a request you disagree with. He made a request which erodes your love and your worth. Shakespeare wrote, “Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak, whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break.” That’s the unsaid thing in your letter and the hard thing to face.

But even worse than his request, is this. He may have promised the other two, “Let me play today, and I will bring my girlfriend next time.” He may have used your picture on his phone as his entry ticket with them. What he experiences in a few moments of pleasure means more to him than a lifetime with you.

Did he tell you he cheated because he felt guilty or remorseful? No. He told you because, quite likely, he has an obligation to bring you. So you need to get tested and retested for STDs. He may have been having sex with strangers all along.

Give sorrow words. Let the grief that does not speak whisper in your ear. See if it is telling you to call a locksmith, change the locks, and block his phone number.

~ Wayne & Tamara

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