Dear Pastor
December 3, 2004

Hard to be faithful to my sailor man

Dear Pastor Jackson,

I am in a relationship with my boyfriend for over five years now. He sails and comes home for a couple of months every year.

Pastor, we are not church people or anything like that so we do have sex and things like that when he comes home.{{more}}

The problem is I am finding it real hard these days to be faithful to him when he is away. The original plan was for him to sail for four years, come home, then we would get married and open a business.

But when we speak now he keeps talking about the good money he’s making and I feel he’s getting to like that life too much.

Just last month I found myself kissing and making out with a friend of mine. We did not have sex because I could not go all the way; I felt guilty, but it was real hard. I never told my boyfriend about what I did but I try to hint to him that I feel lonely and he keeps brushing me off. I love him real bad but with my personality and the feelings I’m having I don’t know how long I can live like this.

I feel we can make a reasonable living with the money we have saved and the plans we have, but I can’t seem to get him to understand me.

Please help me; my boyfriend is due back soon.

Help Me

Hello, Help Me,

I am glad to hear that you could not go all the way because of guilt in your recent encounter. Although what you did was wrong, it is a hopeful sign that your conscience was still working.

You need to get your boyfriend’s attention and you may need to be real straightforward. He has to hear it clear as day that he might lose you, because that is what you are saying.

You tried being subtle and that hasn’t been working so maybe it is time for shock treatment. The brother needs to know that after he makes all the money and pushes for more and more he may come home one day and realise that the woman he was “making the money for” wanted something that money could not buy – romance, affection, companionship and so on.

I will not tell you about your lifestyle because you have already indicated that marriage is in your plans. So as I see it, unless your boyfriend has become so intoxicated by money or he himself is meeting his “needs” on the seas (or places of dock) that he can’t give heed to your desires, then sadly your relationship may very well be drifting away.

As to how you deal with it, though, I believe that you should be willing to compromise when you guys talk, when he comes home. If he says to you one more year or maximum two more years then you should practice self-control and wait on him, making it your final delay.

However, if you choose not to compromise and he is not willing to walk away from his current livelihood then be up front with him. Don’t be cheating on him while he is there working hard and sending back money for you. You can’t have it both ways; if you are leaving then leave him, less in the end it seems like you were using him, ok?

I do hope he is smart enough to make the necessary decisions if the relationship and financial position is in place as you indicated.

P.S. That kissing buddy… I think you might want to keep him at arm’s length; please don’t put your conscience and sense of decency to that test again.