Question: I split from my ex five months ago. It was not a good relationship although I tried to make it good for 3 1/2 years. The reason we split was because of his sex addiction. He actually wanted me to go away for a couple of months so he could indulge his BDSM lifestyle - and then come back home. He never understood why I did not enjoy this type of sex (he liked domination, torture and pain -- for me, not him) and thought it unfair that I would deny him this indulgence and if I wouldn't play along he should be able to go outside of our relationship. Call me crazy but I think a monogamous relationship doesn't allow for extras. Our therapist suggested treatment for sex addiction but he never thought anything was wrong. He still doesn't understand why I had a problem with his request and has told family and friends horrible things about me. His parents won't even speak to me and I was very close to them.
I have a stalking order against him (there's another long story) and I have had no contact with him since the split. My problem is that I can't seem to let go. I think about him all the time, worry about him and I know he's doing foolish things. All things I have no control over and logically know I don't want in my life. I guess I just want to know why men say they love you and then can't control themselves concerning sex. And not think it's wrong or disrespectful. Can you explain that one for me? ...Tara
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Answer: From what I can gather from your letter, it seems apparent that your ex saw your relationship as one where his desires and wishes were of paramount importance, while yours were, annoying and insignificant. A relationship built on such inequality is doomed from the beginning, and the fact that you were able to last for three and a half years is simply a testament to your tolerance and determination to continue to invest in a losing commodity – him.
For the most part, I am of the belief that sexual behavior between two consenting adults should be as “white bread” or kinky as both the participants are comfortable with. In other words, if you both got off on S & M, go for it. But his badgering you to participate in an activity that he knew would cause you physical pain - pain which you obviously did not want to endure – is the epitome of selfishness and shows a blatant disregard for you and your feelings. In fact, the only masochistic tendencies you exhibited were those that lead you to remain in a less-than-satisfying relationship with a semi-sadistic narcissist. And while he may have been motivated to infidelity by his sex addiction, his rubbing your face in it by suggesting you should “go away for a couple months” so he could satisfy his desire to engage in extracurricular activities, smacks of emotional abuse, in light of your supposedly monogamous status.