Dear Wendy: The Sex Sucks, But Should I Marry The Father Of My Child?

I have, what seems to be, a huge dilemma. I am 22 years old, and have been with my fiancé for a little over two years. I met him when I was getting out of a relationship, and needed to feel wanted, so I had sex with him after about a month. The sex was awkward and uncomfortable, and once we started I really wished I hadn’t, and then two weeks later I found out I was pregnant. We decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend, and seven months later he proposed. The sex hasn’t gotten any better, and I’ve never had an orgasm with him (but I pretend), and I really want to have one, but now I’m just getting less and less interested in having sex because I know it’s just not going to happen. We barely have sex now, and he makes me feel really bad about it, which really turns me off even more than I was. I love him, but maybe we’re just not sexually compatible. What do I do? — Engaged and Confused

Oy vey — that is a big dilemma. First things first: I hope you haven’t gone so far as to set a wedding date yet, but if you have, it’s time to delay, delay, delay. Buy yourself some time while you figure out whether this is a marriage you can actually feel 100 percent right about, because if you don’t feel it before you tie the knot, you’re definitely not going to feel it afterward. Ordinarily, I’d advise any 22-year-old who felt sexually unsatisfied by a guy who was only meant to be a rebound anyway to run as far from the altar as fast as she could, but your situation isn’t exactly ordinary, is it? You two have a kid together and for that reason alone, the long-term potential of your relationship is worth evaluating from all angles.

Setting aside the sex issues for a minute, is this a relationship that fulfills your needs in other ways? You say you love your fiancé, but do you love him as more than just the father of your child? Does he provide you with emotional support? Do you enjoy his company? Are you attracted to him? Does he challenge you to be a better person? Is it impossible to imagine a happy future without him as your partner? Is he financially responsible? If you answered “no” to any of these, then, for the love of God, resist buying into the idea that just because you’ve procreated, you’re meant to be husband and wife. Believe me when I tell you you’ll be providing a much more stable future for your child as a single mom than by entering into a marriage that’s doomed from the start.

If, however, your relationship is solid in every way but sexually, then by all means, work on getting your sex life on track so you’ll have all the components in place for a happy marriage. For starters, quit faking your orgasms! If he thinks you’re enjoying what he’s doing, he’ll keep doing it! If you haven’t already, spend some solo time figuring out what pleases you (a vibe or your own fingers will go a long way here). Once you’ve got a handle on that, share what you’ve learned with your fiancé. Hand him your vibe and show him where you like it — incorporate into sex routine until you’ve broken the orgasm seal. Then play around with different positions. Watch some porn together for ideas, surf the net, go to a sex shop for some inspiration. The key here is communication. If he doesn’t know you’re unsatisfied, how can he help change things? The bottom line is: you deserve to have a happy sex life. You may love this man and he may be a great father to you child, but if it’s just not there sexually, even with communication and a lot of work, save yourself — and him and your child— the agony and skip the trip down the aisle. No one ever said you need a marriage license to co-parent successfully.

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