Dear doc: Should I leave my wife?
Q Doc, I am a man who has a sexual dilemma. Should I leave my wife for a much sexier woman? And if I do, then what would be the effect on my children?
First of all, I must explain to you that it was a big, big mistake to marry my wife. We were both young, and she was pregnant. Her father was a powerful and influential man, and my parents had very strict morals. So there was a lot of pressure on me to marry her.
I thought that the marriage would work out somehow. But it didn't. Our sex life was always pretty awful because she was what they call 'frigid'. She never wanted sex, so I don't know how I managed to get her pregnant.
We have two children who are now in their early teens. She has not had sex with me for the last three years!
About 12 months ago, I met the most wonderful woman, who works for the same company I do. She is very attractive, and intelligent. She has a great sense of fun and we laugh a lot together. She was married when she was younger, but it ended in divorce. She has no children and we have been working closely for some time and get along very well.
Then we went on a training/bonding weekend with our company. It was obvious to everyone that we made a great team together. After dinner on the Saturday night, we had a few drinks together and we fell into each other's arms. At midnight, we went to bed together and had marvellous sex.
Since then, our relationship has prospered. I know that I am hopelessly in love with her. And she says that I am the most wonderful man she has ever known.
So my question is: Where do we go from here?
The other night, I talked with my wife about how disappointing our marriage has been for me. To my astonishment, she immediately said that she would do everything she could to put things right! She even said that she would go to a sex therapist to learn how to enjoy sexual relations with me. I was pretty staggered by this!
Doc, do you really think I should try to carry on with my wife in the hope that our sex life will really improve? Sometimes I feel that I should stay for the sake of the children, but my heart says I should make a new life with this new woman. What is your advice?
A This is a very sad and painful story. During the next year or so, life is not going to be easy for any of you.
You ask about the effects of a break-up on your children. Well, I have often seen young children who became quite disturbed and unhappy after their parents split. However, your children are now teenagers, so your departure is likely to have less impact on them than it would if they were younger. However, it would not be surprising if they develop some emotional problems or fall behind with their schoolwork.
You also asked whether seeing a therapist (or counsellor) would make you and your wife enjoy sex together. Frankly, that seems pretty unlikely to me. From your description, this woman seems to have some severe hang-ups. But, of course, I have only heard your side of the story.
Clearly, nobody should leave a marriage just to get better sex elsewhere. But it does seem to me that you are genuinely in love with this new woman - and she seems to love you.
So what I would suggest is that you and your wife have a few sessions with a marriage counsellor to see what the best way forward is. You could even ask the counsellor to advise your sweetheart. That sometimes helps in these triangle situations.
But it does appear that the prospects for saving this unhappy marriage are very poor indeed.
Q My doctor wants me to try the Mirena coil, which I understand is loaded with female hormones.
But could the hormones affect my man when we have sex, Doc?
ANo, that is quite impossible, so you can quit fretting.
Q My wife recently did a Pap smear, and the result was 'slightly abnormal'.
So Doc, is it okay for the two of us to continue having sex? Could I catch anything?
A No, you cannot catch anything from your wife. Generally, when a woman has slightly abnormal cells, it is quite okay for her to continue having sexual intercourse. But your wife should be guided by her own doctor.
Q At the age of 30, I started the Pill for the first time.
Since then, I have been troubled by tenderness in my breasts and also by spots of blood from my vagina.
Is this serious? Could I be developing breast or vaginal cancer?
A No need to worry. When a woman starts on the Pill, she will very often experience some breast tenderness. And it is also very common to experience some spotting.
Both these symptoms are likely to go away when you have been on the Pill for around two months. But if they don't, ask your doctor about changing to another brand.
Q I am a sailor working for a shipping line. Late last year, I was in Colombia and Guyana and I had sex with a few women.
Now I have a little dark swelling on the end of my organ. And there is also some kind of lump in my right groin. I don't have a discharge.
So have I got a venereal disease, Doc? And could I have given it to my wife?
A I am going to be brutally frank. You could have syphilis. Or you could have a rarer sexually transmitted infection (STI), which is common in parts of South America - though not particularly so in Guyana.
So you must get yourself to a clinic fast. They will check you out and do some tests.
If you have an STI, then I am afraid it is highly likely that you have already given it to your wife. So she, too, will need tests.
Rest assured: these things can be cured - if they are caught early enough.
Q I am about four months pregnant, but I have been very stupid and committed adultery last week. My husband does not know.
Have I hurt the baby?
A That is very unlikely - unless you have picked up an infection from this guy. Please take your midwife into your confidence. She will advise you about what sorts of tests you should have.