Dear MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm married and I had sex with another woman this weekend. It was great, and here's the weird part: I'm not sorry! My wife "makes love" with me once a month, if that, and she puts up with it. We have three kids and she is fixed, so there's no fear of another pregnancy. She just doesn't like me touching her anymore. I will never abandon my kids and their mother until the children are out of the house, so where does that leave me? Sexless for the next 10 years? I guess not!
This woman is married, too, so I'm safe. We both have the same to lose if we're not careful. I feel exhilarated and manly again. Cheating will be the thing that keeps me in my marriage. Up until last weekend, I thought I was stuck in a sexless hell for good. Any advice for me now, Miss Smartypants? -- Problem Solved, Winnipeg
Dear Problem: It's interesting you wrote to brag about this, try to insult me and get more advice, all at the same time. You are not showing signs of being the kind of careful man who can pull off an affair and you seem to be feeling guilty, whether you admit it or not. Guilt and a loose tongue will get a cheater into trouble very quickly.
My advice? Many marriage partners need counselling, certainly when they get to the no-sex stage. Why not ask your wife to go with you for help? You loved that woman once above all others, and perhaps still love her deep down, especially if the sex problem could be fixed. At least get help and try. If that doesn't work, move out and live nearby to share custody of the kids. Then you can find a real relationship you can enjoy all the time instead of sneaking around with a married woman. Remember, you two have the potential to hurt a lot of kids' lives if you get caught.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I love eating chocolate to the point where I actually go crazy without it. Last night, my husband was furious because I made a midnight pilgrimage to the 7-Eleven to get three chocolate bars. Just one a day will not do me anymore. I went to a counsellor who said I was "stuffing a hole" with chocolate and asked, "What is the hole in your life?" How rude and presumptuous! My life is perfect. I have a great marriage and two fine boys. There is no hole, but is there an addiction. Can you be a chocoholic? I would like to hear from you, but no offence, I would also like to hear from your readers. If there is a support group out there, I might join it to shut my husband up. He has forced me to realize three chocolate bars a day (he doesn't know about the rest) is a little too much. -- Chocoholic or Not? St. James
Dear Chocoholic: "Chocoholism" is a craving, but not on the scientific map as a physical addiction. You'd be upset if you couldn't get your chocolate, but you wouldn't go through withdrawal or need to go to rehab. You could be craving sugar or the yummy taste and the small bump in endorphins. As for caffeine, the amount in a pure chocolate bar is comparable to less than half a cup of coffee.
The psychological aspect is something else. We associate chocolate with getting a treat as kids and with rewarding and comforting times from our childhood to adulthood. In your case, chocolate has become a forbidden treat, a guilty pleasure just for you to enjoy, to the extent you hide some of the daily intake from your partner. Your counsellor was not wrong, but you don't want to think there's a problem or you'll have to stop.
You say your husband and family life is perfect, but is work causing anxiety? Money? Weight? A fast-paced life? A sick parent or friend? Can you truly say you feel relaxed? If you didn't feel guilty complaining about your perfect life, what would come out in talking to someone who doesn't know you? Write back and tell me.
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