Lying: A Shitty Thing to Do to Someone You Love

Dear Dategirl, I just suffered the blindside of a lifetime. My marriage is ending and I had no clue of the pain my partner was keeping inside. As I look back, I can see signs of distress, but they were too easy to dismiss. The exception was a look on my partner's face—one of emptiness and sorrow—when we were last intimate. There was no sex that night or ever again. Masturbation doesn't work because I can't shake that sorrowful image. I hope we can have one last romp and move toward repairing our lives. My partner is almost open to the idea, but fears it might be worse than the last time we tried, though I find that hard to fathom. Will good break-up sex heal this scar, or should I give up on the idea and carry this scar with me forever? I'm looking for closure. —Torn This is a perfect example of how not to write a letter to Dategirl. What caused this great pain? How did you not know you were making someone so miserable? What did you do? And is a pained side-eye during foreplay really enough to scar you for life? If the way you write to me is any indicator of the way you speak to your spouse, no wonder it's over. And if your partner is too much of a dope to communicate what's wrong, that gender-ambiguous person isn't any good at relationships either. I have no idea what you should do because I have no idea what you're talking about. But I will tell you that closure is (mostly) an overrated myth, and "one last roll" rarely gives you any insights. Though it can provide an orgasm or two. I've been married to my second wife for a little over four years. I have never cheated, but I miss having sex with other women. I want to cheat, not because I don't love my wife—I do—but because I want new experiences. If I did it, I would take every precaution not to get caught because my wife would leave me in a minute if she ever found out. We've tried role-playing, but it's not the same as being with a new woman. I know it's selfish, but it's what I want. Any suggestions on how I can fulfill this fantasy? Or should I just leave it be and settle for what I have? —Wandering Willy See, Torn—this is how you write a letter. Willy, you are not some newbie to the marriage game. This is your second time 'round—surely you realized the first time that you were not a fan of monogamy. So why did you decide to do it again? And why not work out an "agreement" beforehand? I know there's been a lot of bloviating about town about how monogamy is an unnatural state for men (snort), but let me assure you, it's no picnic for women either. In fact, most of the philanderers I know lately are actually philanderesses. Are you positive she wouldn't want to try opening up your relationship? Lying, which is really the worst thing about infidelity, is a shitty thing to do to someone you love. Have you ever been cheated on? It's fairly devastating. So you need to decide whether getting some strange is worth how it would make your wife feel if she found out. Please note that it jumped out at me that your main concern with getting caught was not about her feelings, but the fear that she'd leave you if she found out. So before you get embroiled in tracking down some side action, you might want to work on that empathy thing.

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