RC is asked questions on all topics. Sometimes, the letters sent in inspire an essay (or close). Other times, just a few lines will do – and all those letters are popped into a semi-regular section called quickies. It’s just how it sounds – a short, fast dose of RC advice. Don’t forget, if you need advice from RC or the Manswers team, drop us a line via the Question Box.
Is his insulting behaviour normal?
I’m dating a man 10 years my senior (I’m 45, he’s 55). He always insults me by comparing me to his exes, saying I need to grow up. If I tell him I’m insulted he claims he was joking around and I need to lighten up. The other day we were conversing and I thought we were joking around as there was insults being bandied about. Words like ‘masshole’. (I was ‘lightening up’.) He then said I went too far and called me a ‘f’ing bitch’, said I was ignorant and to call him if I grow up. I am really new to relationships. Is this the norm? Ella
I actually had to look up the word ‘masshole’. I thought it was a typo! (For anyone wondering, here’s the definition). But uh, no – name-calling, being compared to your boyfriend’s exes, being insulted constantly and then having your partner turn on you when you try to give him a taste of his own medicine is not normal behaviour for two people in love and in a relationship together. If you’re really that new to relationships, I’d consider this your practice run and keep it in the past where it belongs. And next time the person you’re dating does any of the above, don’t stand for it. We’ve got set boundaries on how we expect to be treated and by doing that, you’ll eventually end up with someone who knows a thing or two about the right way to treat a partner.
Our sex life sucks. What do I do?
My girlfriend recently told me she has secretly been suffering from phallophobia her whole life. Apparently, she’s tried to force herself to like sex in the past, but never really did. If we make it to bed, she is generally ok with basic sex, but never wants to touch, or even look at my penis. I miss oral sex (she did do it a few times when we met but turns out she hated it and only did it because she wanted to be good for me).
Also, it turns out that in the past, in order to try and conquer her fear, she had quite a few casual hook ups, and even told me that one of those was in public. I’m really jealous as that’s been one of my fantasies for as long as I can remember, but now, of course, she won’t entertain the idea. How am I supposed to feel?? What can I do to make this churning in my stomach go away? I’m really serious about her, and I really don’t want there to be any issues between us, but this is kind of a big problem. Bill
Between massholes and phallophobia I’m really learning a lot today. This might be an interesting read for you, Bill – apparently most people who suffer this phobia have been molested as a child. You don’t say if she’s sought help / treatment but it’s something to think about. If she won’t or just wants things to stay as they are, you have some big decisions to make. Yes, you can be serious about someone, but not to the point of denying your own needs in the long term, and if a good sex life is a deal-breaker for you (and it sounds like it might be, and there’s absolutely no shame in admitting that) then you might need to acknowledge that you’re just not going to be compatible sexually.
Will my sexual predator husband ever change?
I’ve been married for 15 years now, we have children, and my tradesman husband is constantly having the cops called on him by female customers who say he has touched them inappropriately or harrassed them. A male customer complained saying my husband asked his wife out, and I’ve seen him with condoms (we don’t use them). When I get upset about these complaints and argue with him he gets very angry and defensive and says he works hard to make us a house and that he has to enjoy himself and do what he wants because he works hard. Has my husband been cheating on me from the beginning of our marriage until now? Will he ever change? Alison
I’ve sat on your letter for a while, Alison, because I wondered (and still do) if it’s a hoax. If not, I’m floored that a) you didn’t kick him out years ago and b) after all the complaints to the cops etc, your husband is still free to sexually harass women who’ve put their trust in him (and are probably often alone when he’s working at their houses). I have no idea if he’s been doing this for your entire marriage, but the guy sounds like a sex addict and compulsive sexual predator and that’s not going to change without serious expert help and ongoing counselling – if at all. And in the meantime I really hope one of the customers he’s assaulted or harassed presses charges and follows through.
I had sex with my ex, now what?
We were together for two years seven years ago. Long story short, my older sister married his brother so I see him occasionally at parties. He’s been in various relationships since we broke up. Anyways last month I ran into him at a bar and I ended up leaving the bar with him… and during our conversation he mentioned he and his new girlfriend were on a ‘break’. So we end up sleeping together and it was amazing. Now I can’t get him out of my mind. We saw each other a week later for coffee and we talked about that night, he said he had an amazing time but he felt a little guilty because he technically is still with his girlfriend! Obviously we both have different ideas of what ‘break’ means. I don’t know her but wouldn’t want to be in her shoes and feel bad… but I still have feelings for him. I’ve caught him staring at me too and he’s more attentive when she’s not around. Should I leave it? Was it more than sex for him? Michelle
Nah, it was just sex for him or he wouldn’t be putting you off with talks about how he’s ‘still with his girlfriend’. Move on and let him sort out his weird relationship dynamics.
Am I being ridiculous or could my girlfriend be cheating?
‘Kate’ and I have been dating since January and I used to trust her implicitly. I never thought she’d cheat and am still not sure she has, but something is off and I think something happened. Some background: she always dresses in clean clothes and makeup when going out; she showers and puts on makeup when she goes to the gym and showers and put on makeup when she gets home. She constantly checks her phone for texts and she has a desperate friend, ‘Betty’ who’s always on the hunt for guys (a woman who’s always late and cancels a lot).
We’d been dating for about 6 months when she heard that her ex-boyfriend ‘Tony’ (whom she’d broken up with and gotten back together and broke up again) became a bartender at a local restaurant/bar. She started going to this bar about 3-4 times a week and staying until 11pm – midnight. He’d give her free food and drinks and she told me that’s why she was going, then when I questioned her further she told me Tony and Betty are like her best friends. I told her I was uncomfortable with her going there so much but it wasn’t my place to tell her what to do and where to go.
Then she went to work out, came home and went to the bar because she says Betty wanted to see a guy she liked there. Betty never shows, we text back and forth a bit, she never texted me good night and she ALWAYS does. I texted her at 5.30am asking where she was and why she didn’t text me goodnight and she texts me immediately and says ‘aww good night I’m going back to sleep’. Later we talked about it and she says she didn’t text because she thought ‘I was asleep’ and that she ‘lost track of time’ and didn’t think I’d want to ‘listen to her complain about Betty not turning up’. We ended up breaking up. We got back together and she sent me a screen grab of the texts between her and Betty but it looks like Kate is the one trying to get Betty to go out.
Since we got back together, she has stopped going to the bar, has been very attentive, loving, considerate and demonstrative with the “ I love you’s”. She wasn’t that way before this happened.
However, every time I try to bring up the subject ….she gets angry, defensive and says that nothing happened we are just “going around in circles”. I don’t think I can go on thinking that she lied to me and continues to lie to me. I am not a jealous person. Nor am I insecure. I just have a very strong feeling in my gut that something happened and that I am being lied to. Am I being ridiculous? I would love your thoughts as to whether you think something happened and whether I’m being ridiculous. Michael
Hmmm. The wearing make-up to the gym thing is no biggie. Nor is putting make-up on and fresh clothes before going out. Don’t most women (and guys, bar the make-up?) Constantly checking phone for texts … well yeah. That could be a sign that someone’s cheating and it could be a sign that someone is addicted to their phone (which probably 99 percent of the population are) so I wouldn’t place any stock in those ‘observations’ of yours. Personally I wouldn’t be too jazzed either if my partner was going out 3-4 nights a week to hang at a bar where his ex worked and gave him free food and drinks. Especially if they’d had a sketchy history. But that doesn’t mean anything happened. I guess the one thing I got from your letter (and sorry, it was long so I had to cut it back quite a bit) is that you say you’re not a jealous or insecure person, but something just feels ‘off’ to you. And if that’s the case and you can’t shake that feeling, I say go with your gut.
Who do I choose?
For the past two years, I’ve been dating the most amazing guy, but we’re now long distance because we’re at school. I’m now a sophomore and we’ve made it work so far, but he has become very jealous and controlling. He hates when I go out or pretty much do anything that doesn’t let me talk on the phone with him at night. Now, I’ve started liking this new guy who I’ve met at school and he’s just like me (the boy version!) We hang out constantly and know we like one another. What do I do? Anon
I can’t see you staying home every night for the whole of college in order to placate your long-distance boyfriend. And if you’ve already got one foot in a potential new relationship on your campus, do the right thing and make the split with Mr Jealous official.
Should I trust my girlfriend after catching her talking to this guy on Facebook?
I am on the fence about continuing a relationship with my current girlfriend. It started off as a booty call (she was more into it than I was) and two months later we ended up in a relationship. All good, arguments here and there but normal. Then one weekend I went to a festival with my friends and when I returned I logged onto my girlfriend’s Facebook to find her speaking to a guy she slept with previously. She initiated the conversation by wishing him Happy Birthday and it got out of control with them reminiscing about how good their sex life was (she did say, ‘we shouldn’t be doing this’ but continued to flirt). Basically, I don’t know whether I can trust her. Ever since I caught her talking to this guy on Facebook I just have a bad feeling about her and the future. What should I do? Jeff
I’m a bit confused about why you were logging into her Facebook in the first place, to be honest – is this with her knowledge or just your own secretive way of checking up on her? It’s creepy AND a breach of trust that many women would dump you on the spot for, Jeff. And I think if you’re with someone you trust so little that you feel compelled to keep tabs on their private social media accounts, you shouldn’t be with that person at all. Sure, the reminiscing she did with her ex is shady and inappropriate. But whether it’s a sign she’ll cheat in the future is something no one can predict. Like I said to Michael above, sometimes in relationships it just comes down to trusting your gut.