Sex, Love and Cheating

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Reader’s Question

I had a fiancé for over six years. I wanted to make sure he was the one I wanted to give my virginity to. After four years I gave it to him. He told me every day that I was the best he ever had. He said he was used for sex by every female he was ever with, so he never had quality sex until me. He bragged about our incredible sex life to his friends.

I had never had sex with anyone else so he was amazing to me. I didn’t need anyone else and he blew my mind in the bedroom. His friends even came over to watch us having sex and they told me how awesome I was in the bedroom. Well, when you’re in love, and having sex with who you think is your soul mate, you tend to perform better.

I found out later that my ex-fiancé cheated on me, and then accused me of using him for sex. All of this killed my sex drive and I couldn’t have sex with him anymore. We tried to make it work over two more years, and failed because he was still cheating. I broke up with him after over six years.

After that, he told his friends the complete opposite about me in the sex department. The last female he cheated on me with, he is now engaged to, and he tells her that she is the best he’s ever had and laughed at the sex life that he and I had. This is extremely painful for me emotionally and I cry every time I think about it. His current fiancée even contacted me a year after I had broken up with him, to brag about their sex life and rub it in my face. He backed her up on this 100% when I confronted him.

After breaking up with my ex-fiancé, I jumped from guy to guy using them for nothing more than sex. I wouldn’t let myself become emotionally attached to anyone and I wanted nothing to do with quality sex. I assumed that if someone who was supposed to love me would do this to me, then any guy would, and there was no reason to give my all.

I have tried to explain this stuff to my current boyfriend when he asks me what’s wrong. I wouldn’t talk to him about it for a while. He finally got me to open up, and now he won’t talk about it, and doesn’t want to hear it. I don’t know what to do and I can’t get past these emotions. He just tells me to get over it and move on. It’s not that simple.

Psychologist’s Reply

I think a change in your beliefs about sex may be in order. Other than procreation, the main reasons why people have sex are for personal enjoyment and enhancing your relationship with your romantic partner. Thus, while being ‘good’ at having sex is certainly a bonus, it is not the most important aspect of it at all. In fact, many couples learn how to have good sex together through experimentation and communication.

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From your description of your relationship with your ex-fiancé, it sounds like he was so fixated on having the ‘best’ sex, that he ignored the aspects of relationships that are lasting — things like fidelity, trust, honesty, friendship and emotional intimacy. Instead of having your sex life be about improving your relationship, he made it into a public commodity, even going so far as having his friends observe you having sex and commenting upon it. That, combined with your current difficulty associating sex with emotional attachment, makes me wonder if he may have convinced you to do things that you found initially uncomfortable.

Sex is not all about performance, nor is it about comparing former and current lovers. As you pointed out, when you’re having sex with someone you love, it tends to make the whole experience better. The best sex is when you want the other person to feel pleasure, your partner wants you to feel good and both of you are connecting on a deeper level. It is possible that your ex-fiancé emphasized the performance so heavily that the emotional aspects got lost.

Love can take many forms. However, any man who constantly compared you to former lovers (and bad-mouthed them to you), made your sex life public, repeatedly cheated, humiliated you after your breakup, and even went so far as to encourage his current partner to try and upset you a year after you had even talked, is not someone who knows how to truly love someone. As such, you should not allow him to dictate how you conduct your current or future sex life. Getting over something like this can be difficult though, so it may be time to call in a professional sex therapist or a counselor who specializes in sexuality for some help in moving forward. If he will go, you may even want to include your boyfriend. It sounds like he too is struggling with emotional intimacy. If nothing else, he may need to learn that if you cannot handle the answer, you shouldn’t ask the question.

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