Dear Annie

Thank you for all your sage advice. I hope that you can dispense some in my direction as I am at my wits’ end and too embarrassed to talk to anyone about my situation, but desperate for help.

My situation is this: I have been engaged for all of five months. My fiancé and I were together for 11 months before we got engaged.

Soon after we met, he relocated to work offshore and so I only saw him every third month. We corresponded when we could when we were apart. This was limited due to connectivity issues, being out of range, etc.

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Times together were precious and guarded, preferring our own company to that of others as we treasured all the real face time that we could get. After we got engaged, his work position changed and he now keeps regular hours and we have a normal couple’s life… hours wise anyway.

Recently we were out with friends and after five too many shots, the discussion turned to all things bedroom related. The couple suggested swinging and I was too shocked to even respond. What shocked me more was that my fiancé thought that it was a good idea!

The couple suggested swinging and I was too shocked to even respond. What shocked me more was that my fiancé thought that it was a good idea!

I am from a fairly conservative background and there is no way that I would ever be interested in doing that. I tried to tell myself that it was just the shots talking, but when I broached the subject the next day, he called me prudish and told me that I could not knock it until I had tried it.

Further discussion revealed that he would like there to be a third person present at times and he would like to introduce some other things that I will leave to your imagination.

I have discovered that he has cheated

I have since discovered that he has been with someone else while he was away, but he does not see this as a problem as he says that it was purely physical, with no emotional connection for either of them!

He was honest about it when I asked him, saying that he did not have anything to hide. I asked him how he would feel if I had slept with someone, and he said that as long as it was just physical he would have no problem with it!

He says that if we are all consenting adults, we should enjoy our bodies and not restrict ourselves. He does not see anything wrong with his supposedly evolved thinking and has no plan of ever changing!

I am horrified! I thought that I knew this man but I have since discovered a side to him that I knew nothing about and these things are devastating to me!

Other than this side, we get on really well and have a lot of fun together. Please tell me what I should do.

Love
Cassandra

Dear Cassandra

Thank you for your letter. Although you have been with your fiancé for a while, it is difficult to get to know someone when you do not spend real time with them. You have clearly learnt a lot about each other, enough for you to decide to commit to a picket fence and joint movie contract in suburbia.

Now you are really getting to know each other outside the candlelight love nest and in the real world.

It is always good to observe your potential partner in the company of others

How does he act when he is out with his friends, and does that differ from when you are alone? Can he hold his own when he is out with your friends?

You need to decide what the deal breakers are for you

You may be able to accept that he has two Maltese poodles that he kisses good night, even though you think it is pretty gross. You may hate the smell of fish, but you could adjust to his fishing hobby, complete with smelly boots.

Differences of religion and culture can pose great challenges, but if you are understanding and supportive of each other’s beliefs, you can still navigate a path that allows your choices to live fairly peacefully alongside one another. This will require compromise, commitment and understanding all around.

When it comes to differences in values and core beliefs we are looking at deal breakers

Clearly your fiancé sees physical intimacy in the same category as golf, soccer and even table tennis: a game to be enjoyed by two or more players, often a spectator sport

It would seem that intimacy in relationships for you is about, well, intimacy within that relationship, and exclusive to that relationship.

When emotional, spiritual and mental intimacy and connections have been established, the physical intimacy is the glue that holds it all together and makes your relationship completely intimate and unique to you as a couple. Splashing the glue all around certainly bonds far more people into the equation than you signed up for!

Your fiancé, perhaps raised in a circus of flying monkeys, clearly has a different opinion on how physical intimacy should look. Let’s hope that he is taking good precaution to only be spreading the love and nothing else, um, shall we say, itchy in nature.

You need to think twice about where he is putting what clearly has been all over, as you do not want to have the souvenirs!

You are fortunately not married and you can be glad that you have made this discovery now, and not when you have signed, sealed and delivered the monogrammed towels.

Perhaps you should change the locks before your keys get swopped.

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings
Annie