Savage Love

Savage Love: A Terminally Ill Guy Loves his Cheating Wife


Dear Dan,

I have a slowly terminal disease and don't have more than five or six years left. I haven't told my wife, which brings me to my problem. We had lived together for seven years when she cheated on me the first time. We worked things out, we got back together, but we continued to live separately. Then I cheated on her. We got back together again but continued living apart. After a year of therapy, we got married, but again we kept our households separate. Fast-forward one eviction and three years of living in a studio driving each other crazy, and she cheated on me again—this time in our house. I moved out instantly. A few months and a terminal diagnosis later, I don't have the will to file the divorce paperwork. We've talked a few times about trying to figure out how to fix us, but I don't know if I can ride this messed-up roller coaster anymore. On the other hand, I don't want to waste the rest of my life being a divorced fortysomething. What should I do about us?

Doubting The Marital Future Again

You and the wife have a resilient connection, DTMFA. And reading between the lines—and ignoring the acronym your sign-off creates—it doesn't sound like being alone or your terminal illness are the only reasons you're hesitating to file those divorce papers. It sounds to me like you love your wife, DTMFA, and it sounds like she loves you. Imperfectly. And maybe your semi-imminent death is putting those infidelities in their semi-proper perspective. I'm thinking the real reason you haven't filed those divorce papers yet is this: On some level, you now recognize that your actual, existing, loving-but-flawed marital relationship should be given more weight than the marital ideal that you've both fallen short of, i.e., a flawlessly executed monogamous commitment.

I'm sorry about your diagnosis, DTMFA, I hope your remaining years are rich and rewarding, and it would be a shame if you had to face them alone. Maybe if you two changed your expectations of each other—if perfect sexual exclusivity wasn't one of them—you two would be less disappointed in each other. Good luck.

Dear Dan,

I have a fantastic relationship with my girlfriend. While we've been sharing our fantasies pretty much since we first started dating, we've recently been talking about which fantasies we'd like to try in real life. One in particular is posing a bit of difficulty. She really enjoys receiving facials, which I've known since pretty much the second time we had sex. She's even more turned on by the idea of multiple men coming on her face, a revelation that came much later since she didn't want me to think she was a freak or a bad feminist. (She isn't!) But figuring out how to find a man (or men) to aid in this kink is a little tricky. Assuming there was no intercourse or oral sex—the only contact with other men would be their come on her face—what are the risks of contracting something? No matter how good the aim, there's the possibility of her eyes and mouth inadvertently becoming a part of the show.

Imperfect Come Is No Good

Gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia—you can get all three in your eyes. A person can contract all three orally as well, ICING, but the mucous membranes in the eyes are more delicate, and the risk is both greater and grosser. You're gonna want to do this with strangers who are willing to test or with guys you already know and trust. Neither option is 100 percent risk-free, ICING, but nothing worth doing is 100 percent risk-free.


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