Posts Tagged partner
I have a partner and we have been together for 15 years. I was 18 when we met and he was 33. Our whole relationship we have struggled with his attraction to younger men. He dated a 16 year old for 6 months when he was 31. We have went to a therapist over it and they have told me that since he has been with me he has not made any advances onto a young boy. But I catch him watching 12 year old boys wrestle, kiss or anything else he can find on youtube. I am not sure what to do. I love him and we have a life together, but this worries me.
A: It should worry you. Being sexually aroused by young boys is not a benign paraphilia. A young person could get hurt. Your partner could land in jail. At 18, you fulfilled his fantasy of being with a young boy – and you were legal. I’m concerned that 15 years later, now that you are clearly an adult, sex with you may not be enough to gratify him.
It is true that as long as someone has strong impulse control, he may never cross the line. However, some of the leading researchers who study pedophilia believe that indulging in watching such videos is a slippery slope. It encourages an objectification of young boys and reduces the older person’s ability to empathize with what they might feel if he approached them. Further, being with a lover is not a reliable deterrent for inappropriate or illegal sexual activity.
It’s not enough to hope that because he’s with you, he won’t act on his impulses. It’s important that he has a clear plan for staying on the right side of the line. That includes having empathy for children, having a well articulated plan for keeping children and himself safe, and being clear that he does have control over his choices. If that hasn’t been talked about specifically in therapy, it should be. If the therapist isn’t comfortable with a frank and detailed conversation about it, please find a therapist with expertise in the issue.
People do have control over their proclivities. But they have to be committed to it. I hope your partner is being honest with himself and with you.
I wish you well.
Women Usually Push for Partner’s Health
By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 12, 2012
New research finds that women take the role as advocates for their partner’s health in heterosexual marriages.
For gay and lesbian couples, however, they are more likely to mutually influence each other’s health habits.
Sociologists Drs. Corinne Reczek and Debra Umberson followed 20 long-term heterosexual marriages as well as 15 long-term gay and 15 long-term lesbian partnerships in the United States.
Their findings supported previous research that discovered in heterosexual marriages, women put more effort into encouraging good health habits for their spouses.
In traditional heterosexual marriages, sociologists theorize that from early childhood, the socialization of women into caretaker roles has led to health benefits for husbands.
Researchers say this newest study is among the first of its kind to explore how gay and lesbian couples affect each other’s health habits.
The researchers examined what they called “health work” — defined as any activity or dialogue concerned with enhancing another’s health. In the study, 100 in-depth interviews were conducted with couples involved in 50 long-term relationships — couples who were involved for at least eight years or longer.
The study found that at least one partner in more than three-quarters of the heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples did some form of health work as a result of two reasons: the other partner had bad health habits, or one partner was considered the “health expert.”
Nearly half of the respondents — heterosexual, gay or lesbian — blamed a partner’s unhealthy habits for the other partner’s attempts at intervention.
Among heterosexual couples, men were typically identified as needing the prodding toward healthier lifestyles.
For couples identifying a “health expert,” the researchers say that straight women were almost exclusively identified, while gay and lesbian couples identified one partner as the health expert, regardless of gender.
A dichotomy was discovered in the marital groups as couples “mutually reinforcing” health behaviors were more prominent in gay (80 percent) and lesbian (86 percent) couples versus straight couples (10 percent).
Researchers believe the role variance occurs because of cultural underpinnings that influence the environment in which gay and lesbian couples live, including “a heteronormative and homophobic culture at large, and a non-institutionalized nonheterosexual union.”
“This structure results in a unique relational context for cooperative, more egalitarian health work processes to emerge,” write the authors.
The authors state that the findings suggest that gendered relational context of an intimate partnership shapes the dynamics and explanations for health behavior work.
Source: University of Cincinnati
Couple drinking coffee photo by shutterstock.