Introducing Dr Love, who solves your relationship riddles in a confusing digital age
Q. I am 39, married, but addicted to dating sites where I hook up with other women. I know it’s wrong but can’t stop myself because the thrill is too great and I am quite lucky mostly. My sex drive is too high and I have tried other things like going to the gym, but there are only so many dumbbells I can lift. I tried abstaining for a few months, but became short-tempered and irritable. When I recommenced sleeping with other women, I became a happy family man again. How do I get off this dangerous roller coaster?
A. The fact that you recognise it as dangerous, wrong and addictive is half the battle won. Your marriage is built on trust and will only get better as you recognise what your partner brings to your life. Your inability to recognise it now is probably what makes it easier for you to smother your conscience while hooking up with other women. This isn’t an argument for the pros and cons of monogamy, because it’s your life. What it is, is a request for you to try and look at your behaviour from your partner’s perspective. Also try and figure out what a one-night stand leaves you with. There will come a time — and it comes to us all — where there will be no one interested in a one-night stand with you. What then?
Q. Are long distance relationships less satisfying for couples?
A. This differs from couple to couple, obviously. While some people find it hard to maintain a similar level of intimacy or trust, a number of studies that measure ‘relationship quality’ show that couples in long distance relationships report identical levels of satisfaction, trust, intimacy and commitment. Ultimately, it’s the kind of relationship you share, and the amount of work you both put into it, that matters. If neither of you takes it seriously enough, or lets things slide over a period of time, you can be worlds apart even while living in the same one BHK.
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