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Living In Sin: If It Don't Fit Don't Force It

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Every week in Living in Sin, Jen Sincero provides advice to LA's sexually confounded. Sign up for her newsletter and have it sent to you every week. Ask Jen your questions: all are posted anonymously.


Dear Jen,
I've been dating a married man for a year and a half now. The reason he hasn't divorced is because his wife has Multiple Sclerosis and he feels responsible for her both financially and as a caretaker. I am 53 and he is 71 years old. We see each other about 4 times a week and he manages to sleep over one night on the weekend. His wife is aware of our relationship.

My problem is that, at times, I want a more "complete" relationship. Because of this I want to date other men, but yet feel guilty, as we are having an intimate relationship. He has not been intimate with his wife for at least 20 years now. He had 2 previous 5 year long "affairs" prior to ours. Should I date other men and look for "Mr. Perfect"? Am I being foolish being content with a married man?

I really don't need to see anyone more than 4 days a week, as I work and am busy otherwise with girlfriends when I have free time. Would it be considered "cheating" if I did go out with other men and have it lead to possibly an intimate relationship? He says that I should date, but he acts differently.
- The Other Woman

Dear Other,
If you were content with dating a married man, you'd be out bragging to your girlfriends about the six nights a week you get to read in bed until 2am, poop with the door open and let your bikini line run wild. You would not be writing me letters.

So let's focus on the fact that you're trying to talk yourself into being okay with dating a married man. Perhaps you don't feel you can do better? Perhaps you feel you deserve to be #2. Perhaps you're scared of the intimacy monster?

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I don't know. All I know is that every time I try to buy a pair of shoes, the only ones in my size - size 11 folks, one size too many, one step over the last size, the ugly end of the shoe stick - I also try to talk myself into things that I know aren't worthy of me. Ask anyone who's ever come to blows with a transvestite over the one and only pair of stylish shoes in the far corner of the store and she'll tell you: It's ugly out there in Over Size 10 Ville. They just don't make em big and if they do, you wish they didn't.

I'm constantly talking myself in to buying size 10's that "run large" only to be walking like I have a rake up my ass a couple hours later. One time I was so delusional that I took a new pair of roomy 10's out on a hike, got completely lost and walked around barefoot and bleeding for 4 hours (my sense of direction is up there with my ability to find good shoes). Another thing I do is buy a pair out of desperation that fit but that are so ugly I wouldn't kick a pig with them, and then they end up in the Goodwill bag a couple months later. It just doesn't ever work. You will always pay later if you attempt to squeeze yourself into something that doesn't fit. I have bunions to prove it.

You've been understanding with this guy and have put up with his polygamist ways for over a year. You've even believed him when he's told you that he hasn't been intimate with his wife in over 20 years! If he can't handle you seeing other people, that's his right, but you certainly have nothing to feel guilty about. Wanting to go find someone who fulfills your needs is exactly what you should be doing, and if that someone isn't 71 with a wife and a saint complex, then so be it.