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I just found out my boyfriend of 1 year has a child from a past relationship. Should I forgive him for his secret?
If your boyfriend constantly brushes off your emotions, it makes sense why you'd feel desperate. It's...If your boyfriend constantly brushes off your emotions, it makes sense why you'd feel desperate. It's possible he's gaslighting you. If you feel safe confronting your partner, you should tell him how his actions make you feel and explain how he can better validate your feelings. Have a question for Julia? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. Read more Doing It Right here. Visit Insider's homepage for more. My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and we both have daughters from previous relationships. I'm 25 years old. I recently found out that my boyfriend has a second kid from a different relationship he was in before dating me. He claims he wasn't sure it was his until he took a DNA test and it turned out to be positive. Even after confirming the child was his, he still kept it a secret from me. I only found out because a family friend told me. I'm hurt because I once asked my boyfriend whether he and the woman he had the secret child with were ever in a relationship, and he told me no. I want to be with him, but I can't really put this lie behind us. Every time I mention how the lie and his once-secret life make me feel, I feel like I act overly emotional and moody towards my boyfriend. What's the best way to get past this? Am I just being dramatic? - Texas Dear Texas, Considering the dramatic circumstances you're facing, I'm not sure it's possible to keep your cool. Before you decide how to best deal with this bump in the road of your relationship, you should first consider the root of the problem. Is it your boyfriend who makes you feel overly emotional about the situation, or are you putting yourself in that place? If your boyfriend consistently brushes you off or says your worries regarding the child situation don't matter, it could mean he's gaslighting you, either consciously or subconsciously, according to Tribeca Therapy couples therapist Kelly Scott. Although the term "gaslighting" is a scary-sounding word, it basically means a person, whether a romantic partner, friend, family member, or public figure, acts or says certain things that invalidate another person's experience to the point they question whether their feelings or perceptions were right in the first place. People who gaslight tend to treat their own opinions as facts and make others believe their opinions are wrong, rather than just different. Some people who gaslight do it on purpose, but others may do so without realizing it. If your boyfriend rolls his eyes at you, sighs loudly, walks away, or says things like "You're holding a grudge" or "You're being too emotional," when you try to talk to him about how you're feeling, it could mean he's gaslighting you. If that's the case and you feel safe doing so, Scott recommended confronting him in a firm but calm way. Say something like, "Whenever I approach you about this, it feels like you're not open to hearing my experience, but I need that from you," Scott suggested. It can be nerve-wracking to call a partner out, but try to remind yourself that you're not alone in your experience. "It's common for couples that I work with who are in the gender binary to have a situation like this, where the male invalidates the female partner's experiences," Scott said. A partner invested in your relationship should be open to your opinions If your boyfriend seems shocked at your statement but says he's willing to work on hearing you out, you could try an exercise Scott often uses in therapy session to ensure both partners are actively listening to each other. Here's how it works: When you tell your partner how you feel, ask him to repeat back to you what he heard so make sure he was paying attention. Only once he does that can he share how he's feeling, and the same goes for you. A partner who's truly invested in your relationship should be open to your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions for improving your connection, and if your boyfriend doesn't seem willing, Scott said it's a red flag. "If your relationship can't tolerate multiple experiences, that's an emotionally unsafe relationship," Scott told me. "An invalidating partner isn't a safe partner because there is no real partnership." But if you feel unsafe, whether physically or emotionally, about confronting your partner, it's a sign you should take steps to move on. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional who can help you cut ties with your boyfriend. You should also check your own emotional state Before you approach your partner, you should also consider whether your highly emotional reactions and mood swings aren't indicative of underlying trauma from previous relationships you've had, Scott said. For example, if you had a past romantic relationship where a partner lied to you, the fact your partner lied coul trigger those previous feelings of untrustworthiness and insecurity and cause you to have an extreme reaction to what he did. That doesn't mean what he did was OK, but understanding why you feel the way you do could help you better manage your feelings and move forward. According to Scott, talking with a therapist about your family and previous relationships could help you help yourself. As Insider's resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist. Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. Related coverage from Doing It Right: My partner won't have sex until marriage, but I'm very sexual. Should I have an affair to get it out of my system? I'm having an affair with my best friend's partner, and he's become manipulative. Should I come clean? My antidepressants make it difficult to orgasm. How do I tell my partner and make sex fun again?Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Behind the scenes with Shepard Smith — the Fox News star who just announced his resignation from the network
Sexting is a common practice, but new research suggests peoples' reasons for sending these messages vary...Sexting is a common practice, but new research suggests peoples' reasons for sending these messages vary and could have nothing to do with trying to have sex. A new study found that sexters could be grouped into three categories: people who sexted for fun that also often resulted in sex, people who sexted to feel more attached to their partner, and people who sexted in order to get positive body-image reinforcement or another non-sex reward. The researchers suggested sex educators explain ways partners who don't want to get sex out of sexting can best communicate their needs to their partners. Visit Insider's homepage for more. Sexting is a common practice, but new research suggests peoples' reasons for sending these messages vary and could have nothing to do with trying to have sex. A new study, presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, looked at 160 people between the ages of 18 and 69 who were in relationships and asked them their personal motivations for sexting. 85 women and 75 men answered the survey and most were white and straight. The researchers found that sexters could be grouped into three categories: people who sexted for fun that also often resulted in sex (58 people), people who sexted to feel more attached to their partner (54 people), and people who sexted in order to get positive body-image reinforcement or another non-sex reward(48 people). About two-thirds of these people, those in the latter two categories, didn't sext with sex as their end goal, the researchers found. People sext to get what they want, but that's not always sex According to the researchers, the fact that people who sext can be grouped into specific motivation categories suggests people often view sexting as a tool not just for signaling an interest in sex, but also one for covertly communicating non-sexual relationship needs to partners. In the study, these needs included more attention, feelings of connection, or body-image support. There were some caveats to the study. Since it relied on self-reports, it's possible participants lied or didn't accurately explain their sexting motivations. The participants were mainly straight and white people, so the study is also not representative of the general population. The researchers suggested sex educators explain other ways partners who don't want to get sex out of sexting can best communicate their needs to their partners. Read more: Most women don't orgasm consistently, and it may be because they can't quiet their minds Most people have fantasized about being in a polyamorous relationship, according to new research Teens girls who sext may be more likely to be depressed and anxious Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Behind the scenes with Shepard Smith — the Fox News star who just announced his resignation from the network
Only 25% of women report consistently orgasming from penetrative sex. According to the results of a...Only 25% of women report consistently orgasming from penetrative sex. According to the results of a new study, the biggest reason seems to be that they can't quiet their minds in order to relax and enjoy the pleasure. Taking time to quiet your mind and get into the present moment before sex could help you achieve orgasm more often. Visit Insider's homepage for more. Considering the number of women who have sex regularly, the number of orgasms they report having is shockingly low. In fact, only 25% of women reported consistently orgasming from penetrative sex, according to sex researcher Elisabeth A. Lloyd's book "The Case of the Female Orgasm." A new study, presented today at the annual meeting for The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, looked into the reasons why women aren't orgasming as often as their male counterparts, and found a common reason is women have trouble staying focused on the moment during sex. To determine this, study author and Finnish sociologist and sexologist Osmo Kontula surveyed 7,000 women and 1,000 men in 2018 about how often they experienced orgasms, whether they believe it's easier or harder for themselves to orgasm than other people, and why they believed they had trouble reaching climax. According to the survey results, the majority of women reported having trouble reaching climax because they couldn't quiet their minds in order to relax and enjoy the pleasure. Other reasons included low self-esteem, medication side effects, not enough clitoral stimulation, and feeling they were incompatible with their partner. There are ways to increase your chances of orgasming during partnered sex The brain plays a key role in sexual response and orgasm, so it makes sense the women who had difficulty often said it was related to an inability to focus solely on sex. Taking time to quiet your mind and get into the present moment before sex could help you achieve orgasm more often. "Sometimes I tell my clients to take five minutes to themselves and do something that doesn't involve any sort of electronics," sex therapist Vanessa Marin previously told Insider. "Focus on your breathing, maybe do a little meditation, maybe start fantasizing, do a little yoga or stretching, stuff like that." Marin also suggested taking a relaxing shower before sex, letting yourself fantasize about your sexual turn-ons, or spending time cuddling and talking intimately with your partner to help get your mind off stress and into the bedroom. Since the study results were self-reported, it's possible women's self-perceptions about why they couldn't orgasm were incorrect and there's another underlying problem like with medication side effects or partner incompatibility. In these cases, seeking help from a therapist or other expert could help pinpoint the real reason orgasm is difficult. Read more: People are trying to diagnose their gonorrhea and chlamydia on Reddit, and doctors worry it's making outbreaks worse Douching monthly could add a chemical found in cigarette smoke and rubber to your blood My partner won't have sex until marriage, but I'm very sexual. Should I have an affair to get it out of my system? Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: People are still debating the pink or grey sneaker, 2 years after it went viral. Here's the real color explained.
New research presented at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality annual conference found the...New research presented at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality annual conference found the most people have fantasized about being in an open relationship at least once before. Just one-third of people have actually been in a polyamorous relationship, according to the research survey. People who acted on their open-relationship fantasies said it was a positive experience. Visit Insider's homepage for more. If you've ever wondered what it'd be like to be in an open relationship, you're not alone. According to new research presented at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality annual conference, the majority of people have fantasized about being in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship, otherwise known as an open or polyamorous relationship, at least once before even though just one-third of people have actually been in a polyamorous relationship. Justin J. Lehmiller, lead study author and a sex researcher at The Kinsey Institute, asked 2,982 people to complete a survey about their sexual fantasies where they answered questions about their personalities, demographic backgrounds, sexual fantasies relating to polyamory, and actual experiences with polyamory. The study included a pool of which 40% self-identified as female, 56% as male, and 4% non-binary. After collecting results, Lehmiller found that 30% of the survey respondents said being in an open relationship was their biggest sexual fantasy and 81% said they fantasized about being in an open relationship at least once before. People who acted on their open-relationship fantasies said it was a positive experience Some people who said open relationships topped their list of sexual fantasies acted on that interest, but it wasn't common: only 20% of these people ended up having some sort of open relationship even though 84% of them reported having a desire to act on their top fantasy. But 70% of people who ended up acting on their open-relationship fantasies said it paid off because they had a positive experience overall. Of this group, 93% also said acting on their open-relationship fantasy exceeded their expectations and 61% said polyamory improved their existing relationship. A previous study that was published in April in the journal Social Psychology also found that open relationships add positive aspects to participants' lives. That could be because having more partners allows a person to be more satisfied in various areas, like being nurtured and sexually pleasured at the same time, because different partners can offer different things. Read more: 9 people in open marriages reveal what their relationships are actually like 7 celebrity couples who have gotten real about open relationships I've been with my spouse for 5 years, but I'm interested in an open marriage. How do I tell my partner, who also has zero experience with polyamory? Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A podiatrist explains heel spurs, the medical condition Trump said earned him a medical deferment from Vietnam