ask dr-robert

ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman

Hello there!

I just love your website. Love it!

Anyway, I am writing you because I have a question. I am a very happy guy. I'm in a relationship with a great guy. We have been together for a month now and I am convinced I have fallen in love with him. Last night however we were discussing some things. He brought up a problem I have been having with something he has been doing. You see, he makes comments on other men in front of me and others. He finds there no problem with saying "Oh, that's guy's hot" in front of me. I told him that I think that is disrespectful to me and embarrassing to me when we are in the presence of others. I feel as though it degrades me for him to be commenting on the attractiveness of other men. I was just wanting your opinion of this.

There is also something else I wanted to ask you. My partner feels as though it is not only permissible but natural to invite a third into our bedroom. This completely disgusts me. Despite all my trying I cannot force myself to accept this. It is hard for me to understand why he believes it is okay to have another person sharing something I perceive to be reserved for those in a relationship. I try to explain to him all the levels that I cannot even begin to think about doing it. My belief in complete monogamy, religion, social factors, just everything I know of says that this is completely wrong. He tries to tell me that this is natural, and is something that will strengthen our relationship. I cannot ever see that.

He is a smart man. He is an MD, a pediatrician. What can I do or say to strengthen my side of the argument? So two questions. How can I confront him with both of these issues. 1. Talking about other men in front of me. 2. The idea of bringing an outsider into bed. HELP!

Thank you so very much,


ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman

Dear James--

I am glad you enjoy my website, and thanks for your kind comments.

Your letter points to a kind of relationship which, unfortunately, is quite common: one finds oneself attracted to another person, but then one is made unhappy by certain behaviors of that person, and one wants the behaviors to change. In other words, this "great guy," whom you feel you love, also has some habits which, to you, are not at all lovable, and you wish he would change. In fact, you are trying to use all your powers of persuasion to convince him to change, because you believe that he would be the perfect match for you if only he would stop commenting on the looks of other men, and stop asking to bring them into your bedroom for shared sex.

The problem is, James, that these behaviors, which you find disgusting and repellant, are as much a part of your friend as are the things about him that you find compelling and attractive. Now in my experience, people do not change their behaviors because others want them to do so, but only if they themselves find potent reasons for changing. As I see it, this leaves you with only two viable alternatives: either learn to live with the sexual predilections of your new boyfriend, or else admit to yourself that although he is a pretty cool guy in many ways, his sexuality is too raunchy for your tastes, and move on.

I am sorry to be so blunt, but I have been privy to countless relationships of this kind, and unless there is a long shared history along with other important reasons for being together (important reasons beyond mere attraction, that is), it is almost always better--as difficult as this may seem when you are "in love"--to move on, and to keep looking for someone whose entire way of being works for you. But, naturally, that is a choice that only you can make.

Be well.

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