Ask Ellie: Husband with erectile dysfunction caught using dating app

Dear Ellie: I’ve seen emails showing that my husband cheated with four other women from 2015 to 2017, giving them his phone number and pictures of himself. He was messaging them after our first child was born and while I was pregnant with our second child.

But I didn’t think he was cheating as he loves me a lot. Then, several months ago when his email was open on his laptop, I saw the emails that showed he was signed onto a dating app as a single man. With one woman, he tried to make plans to meet and said he was willing pay for all the trips. He’s now said it was a stupid mistake, he loves me, and he wants me as the mother of his kids. He said he never met any of them in person.

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But there’s something I don’t understand: He also had a problem getting sexually active with me, even a couple of months after we married. Then he started taking pills for it, and still does. It’s me who has to get him to make love. I’m 12 years younger than he is, and it was a love marriage. I know he has stress and problems in his family. He says that affects his sex life.

He deleted those emails in front of me.I jointly emailed all those women and told them he’s been cheating with them at the same time, and that he’s married with kids. But no reply.

I love him. Should I believe him? What should I do?

Mother of His Kids

You already did something wise and direct by confronting him and informing those women that he’s a married father. You’ve also recognized that he has stress issues and/or some other causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) and can’t get sexually aroused without the aid of pills such as Viagra or Cialis.

You can believe him, that while he was “straying” by talking to other women, it’s unlikely that he had sex with any of them.

Be direct about his problem. Tell him that, instead of spending time/money in a dating app, he must see a counsellor about his stress, and ask his family doctor about any other reasons for his ED. Then decide your bottom line. You love him. But will you ever put up with this behaviour again? Tell him no and mean it.

Dear Ellie: I’m a woman, 41, with a similar-age female friend, whom I met when our daughters became good friends.

Several years later, the two girls are in high-school, and mixing with larger friendship groups.

I’d still like to get together with this woman, even if just for a socially distanced walk or a coffee, but maintaining that friendship has become like pulling teeth. She’s warm when I reach out, but she can never manage to actually meet. How do I find out why without confronting her?

Frustrated Friend

She’s warm, but not wanting to socialize may have nothing to do with how she feels about your friendship.

We’re living in an awkward time span between the anticipated flu season and the persistence of the coronavirus.

Some people are being more cautious, while others are fed up or reckless.

Your friend may feel safer sticking to the bubble she’s relied on more recently and waiting longer till she can be with more-distant friends. Email her occasionally just to say hello, to maintain a connection during this complicated time.

Readers’ cmmentary regarding the man’s letter about his wife’s monthly two-week episodes of difficult behaviour every month (Sept. 30):

“I, too, have a partner who for two weeks is loving, passionate and sweet; and for two weeks is moody, critical and intolerant.

“However, she’s not bipolar nor does she have a mental illness.

“She’s a woman with moderate to possibly severe PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or its more severe form of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

“This is completely natural and the result of strong changes in monthly hormone levels. Some women are more strongly affected than others.

“I’d like to recommend the book, Moody Bitches by Julie Holland, MD, subtitled The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy.

“It really explained what my partner was going through and how to support her, and how to develop strategies to manage these mood swings.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

When married people secretly use dating apps, they’re “cheating” on their partners before even making contact with someone.

Send relationship questions to ellie@thestar.ca. Follow @ellieadvice.

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