I have a friend at work and we have gotten very close in the past years. We’ve been lovers for four years now. We are both married and one night we went out after work we got intimate. We agreed that we should have a friendship with sex.

Everything was fine except for the night of a company party last week. We went to the party together but when we got there it was like if I didn’t exist. I didn’t sweat it for 2 reasons: that we didn’t want people from work to know, and because I am not the clinging type.

Anyway I noticed him being very chummy with some girls so I called him afterwards and told him that I didn’t want to do this anymore. But he doesn’t want to let it go.

I get to work and a worker that has been working with him for 20 years said he was a big time player. He told me that it was before he was married and that I am the only one aside from his wife.

We have a lovely relationship that unfortunately involves sex too. I know this is not the right thing to do but I love him and he loves me. He makes me feel like a woman. My husband can’t do that because he is sick but I don’t want to leave him because of that.

I don’t know what to do. I cannot talk to anyone about it because we have to be discreet. What can I do? Should I believe him that he is not with anyone else and keep this going or should I just end it?

A: I think you should admit to yourself that you don’t trust him about this, and then decide if you want to stay in the relationship even though you don’t trust him.

I do know some people who have been unable to have good sexual relationships with their primary partners due to illness and they have compensated for it with others, as you have done. Some of them don’t trust their lovers, some do. And some of them say they are very happy, even those who don’t trust the lover.

I keep wondering if your letter – and, ultimately, even your relationship with your lover – isn’t covering a lot of other things. If you love your husband and he is ill and unable to satisfy you sexually, a whole lot of questions come to mind.

Even without good sex, this may still be your primary relationship since as it is where you once put most of your hope for a happier life.

Regardless of the current situation and how much you can trust your lover, there are all the other trust issues.

Do you trust your husband? Does he trust you?

Did you trust your lover all along, and, if so, did you have to talk yourself into it and try to ignore all evidence to the contrary?

Can you trust the person who told you he was a player? What was that person’s angle (what were they trying to get out of telling you)?

So many trust issues usually lead to serious emotional pain…. You may have built a “house of cards” and you may have been associating for a long time with various others who live in similarly fragile situations.

See a good therapist in person to help you sort all this out.

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