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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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I find myself in the following scenario at least once every

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I find myself in the following scenario at least once every year for the last few years: Either I notice or have been noticed by a gentleman. They tend to be quite attractive/attracted to me. The desire is to have something happen between us. I find myself escaping in to obsession land - revisiting situations with that man on several occasions to the point of frustration as there tends to be something 'morally wrong' with the situation (in my mind or possibly in reality). Shying away from him when he tries to approach as 'he's bound to want sex' but continuing to obsess about him and what if,etc. Then, in the end, never letting things develop. Feeling I've missed opportunities. Eventually moving on. In recent years, I've had to deal with a boss (who was married with 3 young children)and was indirectly seeking to progress things further if I wanted to....

I then got married and have faced the attraction to a man who showed interest in me for a whole year (staring, trying to be assertive in behavior to be close to me),etc. I avoided him due to inner conflict re hurting my husband and not being in control of what would happen if I got 'closer' to that gentleman. I want to deal with this situation in a more healthy manner. I find dreaming/internalizing situations out of fear and fear of rejection quite bothersome
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
Hello. So if I am understanding this, you are currently married. You mentioned a lot about attraction to and from other men, but you did not mention how your relationship with your husband was. Being married of course changes everything as you know. There are two different answers to your question; one if you are not married, it is healthy and not morally wrong to express yourself sexually with whoever you feel like you want to. There are no rules and you are free to do what you want with whoever you want, as you are an adult.
Of course being married, this changes as you cannot be with another man. There is nothing wrong with anything mental that you are experiencing, including fantasies, etc. as long as you do not act on them. You are able to control these things because you are in control of your own actions. If you feel like you need to wander from your marriage, then you need to look at what is missing in your marriage which would make you feel like you wanted to act on these desires. A healthy marriage does not have room for infidelity on any level. You absolutely should not cheat and you know this. There is nothing wrong with dreaming. If you feel as though your husband is not giving you enough attention, then this is an issue that you must approach within your marriage itself. Fear of rejection should not exist with any man other than your husband, as he is the only one you should want to accept you.
You need to let go and learn what feelings you are comfortable with and what you are not. Dreaming and fantasizing is perfectly fine and natural. Let yourself do it. The second part of this would be to address any issues in your marriage which you feel are missing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My husband has been busy most of our marriage either with work and study at home. I find myself with what we call 'my lover' ie. my laptop. I work long hours and also do 24 hour shifts so I've adapted to coming home from work, eating, chatting a little online and then just browsing online. I've been doing this even before I met my husband. I lived in areas where there were no outlets for 'single' women and even rejected from a church since they believed the few times I was there, was to seduce their husbands. I recall saying to one lady (who had the audacity to tell me that I should settle down and stop being free and casual) that she had it wrong (I hardly have dated in my life) and if I had met the right man in my life, I would have obviously married. The women in the church would exclude me and discreetly tell me that I should leave. It was really awful. I'm a quiet individual and have always been a modest dresser therefore I felt pretty offended but thankfully I have moved locality since then.


I don't have much of a social life and would end up doing quite a great deal on my own. I don't prescribe to any activities as I can be on call any day of the week. I'm also pretty tired most evenings. As an adolescent I did experience a depressive streak and became quite withdrawn and overweight -living away from family (lived abroad or away from home since the age of 11), I never got involved in any activities truly would cultivate any of my talents. From there went to university for 7 years which was traumatic in itself and didn't change matters. (Being alone).


Why I'm concerned about the dreaming aspect is because I did so even as a teenager and all throughout college. Men noticed me and would have tried to engage in my life but usually their experience with me died as I 'dreamed most scenarios' and made matters more complicated for myself. I simply got quite afraid about being rejected by them and being seen as somewhat deficient. I would come across as confident in general and funny, but when in these situations shy away and almost freeze unless in a 'non-introverted mode.' My husband would say that what I'm doing is unhealthy - as in being on my laptop all evening but he's not 'there' -he's 'having to study.'


I already know about the no life aspect of my life. It is probably the only thing I am consistent with. I would opt to fulfill certain challenges such as work out for a month, eat properly,etc, but I seem to fall short after about a week - due to my mental tiredness from the day. I do take extra vitamins and am quite focused and able at work. I know I'm not showing biological signs of depression. I believe there is a confidence/low self esteem aspect to all of this. Also, a fear of rejection. (I was adopted at birth). With the men who try to get my attention, I know that there is a point where a person can be in control and put up boundaries but I don't seem to know how to handle it. (low confidence). Instead I fantasize, get happy when the man makes efforts to prove his interest and then obsess over what is happening and looking to have several objective people tell me what I already know. It's a regular pattern I have experienced and even as a single woman. This is why I bring it up here to discuss.


I do not intend to cheat on my husband. I do love him even though, it feels like he's somewhere else -like my parents/family most of my life. He thinks that being in the next room is better than being in another country. For me, if it's a regular day to day occurrence, he might as well be in another country. He says he needs me and is happy knowing I'm in next store. I'm mixed. There are times, I like my quiet time (I am also an only child) and feel he is invading when he allows himself to be free to come into me and according to his own needs. When I want to be with him, the majority of the time he says ' Baby, I'm studying.' (Postgrad exams which will last for at least another year and a half if not more).


At times -ever since we did marry last January, I feel like our marriage is just like a serious relationship and at some point it will fade away. Maybe that's from my few experiences in relationship and in general relationships - having moved quite often (diplomats), I'm used to moving and making new friends for a brief period and then starting all over again. As I mentioned earlier, even my own parents have lived abroad from me since I was 11. I guess that's why my laptop is safe.


 

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
Well, at this point, you have all of these things going on internally. You need to ask yourself what will make you happy. If your husband responded to your advances and was more loving towards you, do you think this would change how you feel? What pieces do you feel need to come into place? Do you WANT more of a social life, but feel you can't because of your work situation? I know you have your laptop and that is safe for you as you said, this is a lot of how people feel these days with social media and there isn't anything wrong with that IF that is what you are happy with. It sounds to me like you are not sure what you want or need and that is your first step into figuring out what direction to take. Picture what you think is your perfect life. What does it include? What are the things that make you happy? That is step one. Figure that out. The next thing you need to do is decide what you can do to make those things happen. It starts with a positive attitude about it, not that you can't do this or that because of this or that.
Your self esteem issues are based on the fact that you are still searching for the things which make you happy. You give up on things because you feel like what's the point anyway. Your way of thinking needs to change, things are not going to just change on their own.
What do you need from life ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What do I want?


 


Well, for one, I wish our sex life was more exciting. We have passion but I have never orgasm-ed by my husband. I also find that a previous boyfriend (in my youth) was the only one who really made me feel turned on by kissing me alone. I miss that and even tried means to see if my husband could entice me in that way, but he just can't. It's just like touching me in the right spots, I've shown him a number of times, but he simply doesn't get it. So, it's frustrating.


I've sought to have a sex therapist (and hubby is willing). We've searched online but little response as yet.


 


As a child and up until my first sexual experience aged 28, I was made afraid to engage in sex. I was told horror stories related to people who did have sex late in life resulting in emotional pain and even death. I believe my mom either never had a good experience from sex because as inappropriate as this sounds, she said (out loud)'Oh now you're consummating the marriage.' I feel she has been too involved in my life as she has had very little in her own. She adopted me and always wanted another child of her own, but it never happened. I would get mixed messages about sex - my parents would make out or kiss lightly in front of me, but also mom would press against him in my view. Confusing to say the least and sex was something I only investigated in secret. In later life (18/19/20 y/o) I opened up to her about looking at pornography on occasion and she was accepting but kept on to the negativity about sex.


Most if not all of the situations with men were about sex. My desire to have it in secret but in reality I am not permitted (mental blockages). I've had a highly developed moral side from a young age therefore what I've wanted in the past was never 'allowed.' It gave up on this battle at the age of 28 and I felt punished once I broke it. Punished because I didn't gain what I was looking for (sexual fulfillment) but rather heart break.


 


I was with 2 men - one who I left after 2 weeks; the other 4 months later. The first guy was not sorted in himself and seeking to find himself a wife. He was also an alcoholic, ex drug user...really not my kind of bloke. He also had an issue with my profession and how I was more financially strong.


 


The second guy worked in Meryl Lynch. To sum him up, he was 'a liar' and very argumentative. Good family but they were very cold. Met them once and never met them again. He also wanted to conceal how we met and it pretty much sounded like I was a prostitute to him. It was awful. He was controlling. We went to NY together and knew that things weren't going to work out. Broke up and I found out many of his lies after that period. He denied it all, of course.


 


I had already dealt with a number of men who just wanted sex and interestingly, that's probably what I wanted too but felt I had to be in something serious in order to get it. I had a teenage idea of relationships - little about the talking but rather the sexual side. Very naive idea.


 


My thoughts about this other man 'Alex' are rather about sexual experience than stronger relations. I don't know him and from my experience, no one but my husband has been compatible or wanted more in a love relationship manner therefore, I would fear seeing that lost. If my husband was one of those open to me exploring sexually outside of the home (since he's had a much more exploratory past). That, I know, would NEVER happen.


I feel dreaming is more painful to me as I'll never know what could have really happened. Then the risks I have taken to see what would happen have often been troublesome. What differs is that I leave them knowing why (in reality).


 


What other things would I like to change...


yes my mindset. How I take care of myself. Used to reject myself as a whole despite attention from the age of 10. I recall one boy liking me but as soon as I became overweight after a summer abroad, I was rejected by many. So yes, weight has also been a means to feel validated. When I lost a certain amount of weight in college and high school and I was sought after by many men (staring, glaring, looking to speak to me, etc). Once I regained it, I felt low in myself and less desirable. I'm now in the in between stage and that's a reason why I question how come my husband was attracted to me and also this other man. Men usually like me more at lower weights. (I'm petite and small boned therefore a few extra pounds looks huge). I would love to be able to not need to feel valuable as a certain weight because I walk around less confident and act less confident.).


 

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
it's a good thing that you are looking to a sex therapist, hopefully a face to face, regular meeting with be beneficial to both of you. There are a lot of issues in the past which of course shape us as who we are today, but you need to look past some of it. If you weigh 100 lbs or 300 lbs, your confidence is within YOU, not from the attention of others. I have met a lot of very confident overweight women. Men are attracted to confidence and how you carry yourself more so than the number on the scale. How you feel about yourself is projected outwardly and everyone around you can feel it. You are more confident when you weigh less, therefore your self esteem is higher and people around you feel it.
You should not question why your husband was attracted to you. It was more than what you weigh, that's for sure. It is for who you are as a person.
As far as enhancing your sex life with your husband, have you asked him if he would be interested in maybe watching some pornography with you? Is there anything else that you would both be up to trying which would be new and exciting? I would encourage you to keep talking to him about what turns you on and how to touch you. Explain to him how important it is for you to have your physical needs fulfilled.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The problem with that option is that he used to use pornography frequently as a single and also prostitution, smoking and drinking red bulls,etc. To him, it was a negative part of his life. All a time when he was lonely, getting over a 4 year relationship and when he felt very low/lacking in being successful.


So, I really can't see it happening. Also, with our beliefs, pornography is a negative and not a plus. He's definitely satisfied with the sex part. He's disappointed that he can't satisfy me and does see the need to having a sex therapist.


 


As for the social aspect, I would love to feel that fun sense of togetherness and freedom I have had in my past. Good friends and activities outside of a bar or club (whereas it seems to be culture here and the only means to make friends/have fun according to the majority.) It simply isn't for me. Because I'm too 'deep' and not willing to engage with casual sex, I'm not a candidate.

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
Everything which you describe is very possible in a relationship. It sounds as though he is stressed out with studies, and hopefully the sex therapist will help and when things slow down for him, your relationship will be much better. You both can certainly be best friends, go out and have fun. Explain how doing these things are important to you. Don't give up on these things that you want, they are certainly achievable in this relationship. You seem to at least be communicating with your husband and he seems agreeable to working on things which are an issue, so you have a great start. You just need to fine tune your marriage, keep talking to him about things which would make you happy and work on it.
It is too bad that the pornography thing is an issue for both of you, it can help and definitely be a big plus for many couples. I'm sure that the personalized attention that the therapist you seek, will have some alternatives for you which will also work.
As far as the bar scene being the only way to meet friends in your area, I would say that if you have any hobbies or anything which you do or would like to, given your work schedule, you can probably find some groups which may be interested in that activity as well. I know time is something that is limited for you, but if some level of socialization is important, you can find a way!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Paige, quite frankly,why then do I obsess over the things I can't have but want? What is that about? It's been a struggle for years. I want to be able to work it out. Or is it all to do with the aspect of my life which I was never allowed to have - sex?

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
It is a little of both. Some of it lies in the self esteem issue, where you look for validation in other places other than yourself. Some of it is because of the way you were brought up and the way your mother viewed sex. Your inner morality battle has a lot to do with it as well. These are all things that you can move forward from, you just have to think differently and be able to be free with your sexual thoughts and other thoughts without the boundaries that you put up in your head. You need to learn to live for you and not others. Of course being married, there are the obvious boundaries which that creates, but you can still achieve personal happiness, even more so, with a partner willing to be with you through it all.
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1381
Experience: Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Paige and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you or your input.

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
No problem. I think the therapist will be able to help you a great deal. Face to face communication with someone on these matters will be a lot more beneficial to you than what we would be able to cover in this forum.
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1381
Experience: Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Paige and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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