MAN REGRETS MATE-SWAPPING EPISODE


Dear Dr. Judith:

My wife and I were at a party the other night.  There was a lot of drinking and my wife and I became involved in a fivesome.

Since then, our sex life has not been the same.  I feel like she is comparing me with other men.

How can I get over this - or will I ever?

                 --EX-SWINGER

Dear Ex-Swinger:

Hannah Neil Center's Jeffrey R. Greene (http://www.iwaynet.net/~ibshrink), in Columbus, Ohio, who has his doctorate in Psychology, advises:

"You blew it big time.  To make matters worse, your choice to blame alcohol for your extremely poor judgement and disloyal behavior makes it that much more difficult to face the real problems in your marital relationship. 

"Although your insecurities about your sexual prowess barely seem punishment enough for such stupidity, I will tell you this . . . the voice that you are hearing in your head that suggests that you are not as good as the other men, is not that of your wife, but rather your own.

"Perhaps it is high time that you and your wife participate in marriage counseling and start to face your issues honestly.  Best of luck." 

The incredible intimacy of sexual love is meant to be shared between one man and one woman.  There are many reasons for this that affect us both physically and psychologically.  By getting involved in a "fivesome," you violated the precious bond of exclusivity and oneness that all too often couples respect only after they are lost.

If you both recognize that what you did was wrong, begin by apologizing to one another for your lack of mutual respect, sound judgment and foundational morality.  Determine that you will never again invite a third party into your sex lives.  Renew your relationship with a new heart-felt, older-and-wiser commitment to each other.

Some people are able to exercise moderation and self-control in their drinking.  This doesn't appear to be the case with either of you.  Because you believe your judgement was greatly impaired by your drinking, you may want to limit or abstain from alcohol consumption in the future. 

For the sake of your marriage, you'd both be wise to keep your distance from the other members of the "fivesome" - as well as from anyone else who approves of, or engages in mate-swapping.  Even if they are former close friends of yours, face it:  Your marriage can't afford friends like that. 

Will these significant changes be hard to implement?  Absolutely.  But at least they will indicate that you may have actually salvaged something from your disastrous experience.  You can't go back and change what happened that night, but you certainly don't have to make the same series of mistakes that led up to it the first time.

Finally, consider renewing your wedding vows.  Many churches offer vow renewal ceremonies around Valentine's Day.   Sometimes these are public affairs, with dozens of couples participating simultaneously.  At other times, they are private ceremonies, with only a few close friends present - or even just the couple and the minister. 

The most important thing to remember, however, is this:  From now on, keep the vows you make.


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