I’m in love with my boyfriend, but he is always accusing me of cheating. I’m not and never have, but I have thought about it because he doesn’t satisfy me sexually. His penis is small and [the oral sex] isn’t good, either. I knew this before we got together, but I gave him a chance because he was nice. He’s also been separated from his wife for a few years now and they haven’t officially divorced. She showed up at his house one night, they got into an argument and she keyed my car! He got mad when I filed a police report on her. I’m trying to make it work, but he doesn’t trust me. What do I do? Is it really worth it? —Anonymous
Ma’am? What are you doing?
There’s nothing right about this situation. This man was a red flag from day one. He was married when you met him. (His estranged wife is still his wife.) You knew this and you dated him anyway. From the very beginning, this relationship could only go but so far because there’s already someone in the top spot: his wife. You signed on with no possibility of ever being his No. 1.
You stayed on long enough to have sex with him and then found out he couldn’t satisfy you. Everything about your letter, especially how you’re confused about what to do despite a series of abnormally large red flags, makes me think that you’re pretending you enjoy what’s going on in the bedroom instead of being honest. You might even be an Oscar-caliber actress in the bedroom, but he’s had sex with other people, and they probably weren’t as eager to preserve his ego as you are. He knows he isn’t fulfilling you sexually. That’s probably why he’s insecure and constantly accusing you of cheating. I’d bet good money that an ex has done so before.
“Nice” is just that: nice. It’s the absolute baseline for what’s considered decently datable. People should be nice to people they are dating. There should be no awards for that. “Nice” is not an excuse to date anyone. And it’s not enough to stay with someone.
Your boyfriend is nice, but he’s also someone else’s husband. He’s nice, but he’s not pleasing you sexually. He’s nice, but he’s so insecure about that he badgers you about cheating on him. He’s nice, but he doesn’t trust you. Trust is an essential element of a healthy relationship. He’s nice, but your car isn’t safe in his driveway. He’s nice, but when it comes down to it, he chooses his ex-wife over you.
Babes, there is no alchemy. You can’t spin this rusty-metal situation into gold. No matter what you do, you can’t make him trust you. He has to address his own insecurity. Maybe you can work with him to learn how to please you sexually, but that’s a lot of effort for someone else’s husband, and that still doesn’t fix the other really big problems, like his insecurity or his lack of a divorce decree. Or the drama that he has with his wife that is so massive, your car gets keyed when they fight.
It’s great that you love him. Love yourself more. You can do better than this. I know you can. You can find someone “nice” who is actually single, doesn’t have a violent ex and can blow your back out. They exist. But just so you know: Sitting alone, wrapped up in a blanket, watching Martin marathons every Saturday night is better than this. You won’t have to jump through hoops trying to soothe someone else’s paranoia. You won’t have to fake-moan and stare at the ceiling waiting for him to finish. You can rest at night knowing that your car will be in the same condition come morning. And you won’t be some married man’s mistress.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. She is also a blogger at SeeSomeWorld.com, where she covers pop culture and travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Previously in Ask Demetria: “My Boyfriend Wants Me to Pay My Share on a Trip, but Why Should I Chip In When He Makes More Than I Do?”