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Dear Panel,

 I am in a four year relationship with a guy who is the same age (20). We are both very much in love and our sex life is great.We gave our virginity to each other. Recently, he told me that if I ever slept with another man and regretted it, he would be angry but would forgive me because he loves me so much and he knows that I am still young. I haven't been interested in sleeping with anyone else (despite my numerous guy-friends), so when he asked me what I'd do if he sleeps with another girl, I was really hurt. He said he would never cheat on me but he asked in case he got really drunk and made a mistake. What totally broke my heart is the fact that he accepts the possibility (which I believe makes him more susceptible to do it) and expects me to be as forgiving as he would be with me. I think he is influenced by his friends. Most of his friends are not in steady relationships and have had more than one lover. Guy and I are happy together and are always spicing up our sex lif! e. We have never pressured each other to be tied down and always give each other enough space. All this time, monogamy has been absolutely mutual and sex has always been a special thing between us. I feel so hurt and betrayed that now my trust has faded and I feel like I want to disappear out of his life without


warning, but find it so difficult to leave him. What can I do? Please help me!


Mare Answers:

I can't quite tell from your message whether or not your boyfriend is still monogamous, wants to stop being monogamous, or stopped being monogamous.

If he is still monogamous and is testing the waters with you, you have nothing to worry about.  Lots of couples talk about the "what if?" situations.  But, you need to make it very clear that you would like to continue your monogamous relationship and there are no exceptions to that.  Being drunk is definitely not an exception.  I've been drunk a few times and each time I managed to be monogamous.  Miracle strength?  No, just commitment.  Set the record straight so that there are no misunderstandings later.

If there is a chance that he is not being monogamous, you need to protect yourself from physical danger.  That means using condoms or not having intercourse.  Remember, he could be putting you at risk for herpes, genital warts, and HIV.  Even though it's not so prominent in the news right now, HIV is alive and well.  There are new strains that don't react well to the drugs. Plenty of people are still dying of AIDS or AIDS-related illnesses.  Don't put yourself at risk.

From an emotional perspective, if he is not being monogamous, you have to decide what you can live with.  Is that acceptable to you?  (It is to some people.)  If it's not, you may need to leave, as hard as that is.  There are plenty of guys out there who will stay true to you -- sober or drunk!


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