Dear Annie: I have been with this guy off and on for 26 years. We are the best of friends. We do everything together that would have us a couple. Well, just a few weeks ago he told me he had "hooked up" with someone we both know. She is the wife of a friend who was just sent to prison. Now, she keeps texting and calling him, telling him she loves him and can't wait to feel his touch again. What really bugs me is that it sounds like the two of them were more intimate than he and I have ever been.
When I bring up how her texting him bothers me, he said that she annoys him, too, and he realizes that hooking up with her was a mistake. He doesn't acknowledge the texts that she sends and doesn't answer her phone calls. But she just doesn't get the hint.
Lately, I've started deleting some of her texts before he can read them. I texted her from my own phone to say that I'm a part of his life whether she or anyone else likes it. What more can I do to make her see that she's wasting her time thinking he's going to be with her? — Totally Stressed Out
Dear Stressed Out: The more useful question is why are you wasting your time on a man who won't commit. It sounds like he's not even recognized you as his girlfriend. And whether or not he replies to this other woman's text messages, he clearly gets something out of the attention, or he'd have blocked her number by now.
You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you entirely — not halfway. In a healthy, secure and truly loving relationship, you won't feel the need to fend off other women.
Dear Annie: Today, I wanted to share my experience with the hopes that it would enlighten you and others. Your advice to the woman was to leave her husband that has been unfaithful to her many times. My experience, however, and that of many partners of sexaholics, would say to put on the brakes. First, she should get tested for any venereal diseases, as these sexaholics are liars. Having said that, there is help for him and for her as well. If, and only if, he wants help, he should seek out a therapist who specializes in sexual addiction. I would also advise her, whether he wants help or not, to also seek a therapist who deals with partners of sexaholics. Clearly, she has a pattern of picking out partners with this behavior and she could utilize a support system for her.
It takes a long time and sometimes slips happen (on both sides) but this addiction is like any other. It can be helped with support and therapy. It may involve separation or even divorce, but it also may mean a stronger-than-ever marriage because now it is based on truth. — Joanie
Dear Joanie: Thanks for speaking to a light at the end of this particular tunnel. I have heard from other readers who have, with treatment, been able to manage sex addictions and improve their marriages. In addition to therapy, there are support groups available, including Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sexual Recovery Anonymous.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]