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I’ve been with my wife for 10 years, and we have a great and loving relationship. She is a wonderful person and a great mum to our two young children. However, I was a virgin when we met in our mid-20s, whereas she had had a few partners and casually mentioned early on that a couple of her previous relationships involved doing things sexually that were wilder and more adventurous than anything we have ever done. She said she wouldn’t rule out doing things like that again, but we never have. I’ve tried to put this out of my mind, as I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it doesn’t really work. I’ve never wanted to pressure or guilt her into doing anything, but I would like to experience some of these things myself, and after so long together I can’t help feeling that I must not excite her the way her exes did. Is there anything I can do to stop thinking about this?

Partners often bring up real or imaginary past scenarios as a means of seduction, titillation, self-bolstering or to test another’s response. It is most likely that the reality was far less spicy than your notion of it and, in any case, your wife has indicated that is not where her current sexual interests lie. If your real wish is to have a more exciting sex life, your best course would be to begin to gently explore what might be mutually exciting now, rather than obsess about repeating elements of her past. Let go of any notion that you do not excite her as much as her exes. That idea is counterproductive and undermines your sexual confidence. Be patient. Couples who have young children are not necessarily going to be able to experience the kind of peak eroticism they had before – or can have in later times when life is less tiring and family-focused.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

Source: This post first appeared on The Guardian

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