I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back October 1st, when the book is finished. —Dan
Originally published Sept 3, 2009:
I love my boyfriend of three years, but I fucked up. We've had our ups and downs—he broke up with me for two months last summer because he said he was "young and needs to feel free"—but we've always worked through things. He is super supportive of me, and we've both really grown a lot as people together. But despite the affection and love, I just don't feel wanted. I don't feel like he wants to fuck my brains out like he used to. In fact, he rarely does, even when I try to initiate sex. Over the last six months, I've struggled with depression and not feeling sexy, and not feeling wanted is making both things worse. Last year, we talked about opening up our relationship, but I wasn't really comfortable with it.
Long story short, I went to visit a friend in another city who lives practically next door to a former fling of mine from four years ago, and I ended up fooling around with the former fling. It wasn't full sex, but it was highly inappropriate. And yet... it felt so good to be wanted so badly.
I feel like a terrible person for so many reasons. I told my boyfriend—he didn't respond emotionally, and after 45 minutes he got up and left and said he would call me when he knew how he felt. I want him to forgive me, but I have a feeling he can't. I don't want to cause him any more pain than I already have, but I have no idea how to do that. Do I give him space? Do I go on with my life?
Self-Loathing Unfaithful Tramp
My response after the jump...
Go on with your life, SLUT. Suicide seems a little drastic, given the circumstances, so let's not open a vein over this.
It seems to me that the boyfriend was causing you a great deal of pain before you caused him pain. He has essentially rejected you again and again—the time he broke things off so he could "feel free" (what are you, a cage?), and the many times he's rejected you sexually and made you feel unwanted. Your sexual and emotional needs were not being met, and you succumbed to the attentions of a man who made you feel wanted. And that was unfortunate, SLUT, but it wasn't entirely your fault. If the boyfriend wasn't sending you the mother of all mixed signals—doesn't want to leave you, doesn't want to fuck you—you would have been either single and free to fool around on that trip or not at all interested in fooling around because you were getting what you needed at home.
So feel a little bad about what you did—you were technically involved with someone else when you messed around with that former fling—but don't feel too bad. This relationship needed to end; it wasn't making either of you happy. Think of it this way: You slammed your car into a brick wall and totaled the thing. But it was a lemon, SLUT, and now you're free to get yourself a new ride.