Dear Miss Emily:

For some reason, my boyfriend has always differed in only one sense regarding having a Christian relationship . . . sex.  He is more liberated, claims it is beautiful between two people who love each other, yet believes marriage is not necessary.  I, on the other hand, believe that marriage was instituted by God for the very benefit of being able to be as liberated as a couple wants to be to each other, without barriers in sex, for that reason.  The idea of being able to,
excuse the bluntness, get as freaky as we want in the bedroom with Gods  blessing is such a turn on in and of itself.  My boyfriend seems to believe that is possible without marriage.  I could not figure it out until I discovered something recently.  Understand, he is the man of my most wildest fantasies and even the calm ones . . . all of them.  I was sharing one of those fantasies with him in an e-mail and his response was to check out the video he sent me (I was hoping it was him!).  HE SENT ME A XXX PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEO WITH A SPECIFIC ACT GOING ON, WITH TONS OF WOMEN REVEALED, ETC.  Am I correct in assuming that he is able to go so long without seeing me (we live 2500 miles away), go without intimacy, not want a committed relationship for one purpose being sex, and that he shares his focus with other fantasies due to pornography? This really shook me up tremendously and I do not know these answers, I do not know what to do about the shaking and hurt I feel, what to say to him, or how to view this!!!!!  Please help.  I am hurting for some reason and I don't know why.
A Cross to Bare

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Dear Cross Barer:

Men are something, aren’t they?  Give them a sexual inch and they take a sexual mile! I don’t discount that you have something with this man who lives 2500 miles away, but the fact that he does makes it easier to discuss this stuff (and share your fantasies), rather than continually putting it to the test. If you believe that sexual intercourse should happen only when it is sanctioned by God’s blessing through marriage, then find someone who is compatible on this score, because your value system will continue to be tested down the road.  The bottom line?  If you get seasick, I don’t recommend sailing as a career.  If you think you have discovered something about this man that you find offensive (his porno appetite) have the courage to stand by your convictions, even if it means ending the relationship.  I know that if you end up selling out on these very core issues, it will continue to nag at you.  Unless, of course, you can “readjust” your thinking – as we humans so often do – God fearing, or not.

Dear Miss Emily:

How do you not let your partner’s child from a different woman not bug you?

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Dear Struggling:

It’s difficult, but not impossible.  Difficult, because it seems to be a big problem in our society.  Numerous divorces – changing partners – creating blended families. And lots of new families screwing things up, because no one is getting along, and everyone blames the other party or parties.  Sounds like a good reason to join a convent, doesn’t it?   The saddest aspect of these equations are the children who get caught in the middle.  But this is why it’s not impossible, however, to make it work.  Realize that your attitude has to change.  Start viewing the child as an individual.  See what you can offer this person that no one else can give.  If you are smart, you will create a bond with this child, so that the time you spend together is not done with gritted teeth or, worse, overt rejection.  A child is like a pet, it senses when you don’t like it!  I know that taking the high road is not always easy.  It’s often something we wish we had done after the dust settles, and it’s too late to repair the damage.  If you are a caring person, you will demand of yourself an attitude adjustment concerning this child.  Do it before things gets out of hand.