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Carolyn Hax: She regrets saving sex until marriage

On premarital sex: This is a painful subject for me. Forty years ago I married the Love of My Life. I refused to have intercourse until our wedding night. The only way I can describe it is feeling like I had been raped seven times. We were married five years and never once did he care that I was not aroused; it was painful. I treated sex as a duty I had to endure. It only lasted a few minutes when I did consent, a few times a week. Even the marriage counselor had told me it was my duty whether I liked it or not.

Only after being with another man, 15 years later, did I forgive myself. This man took the time to make sure it was as enjoyable for me as it was for him. I honestly did not know it could be wonderful and wondered how girls got themselves “into trouble” when it was so dreadful!

So – yes, I would tell anyone who wanted to listen to have sex before. My husband and I were compatible in every other way.

To the outside world we were the Golden Couple.

I am not advocating casual sex, but before you make a lifetime commitment – check out this area, too! – Still Sad

On being “too old” to have kids: My husband was 11 when his father died in an accident. I was a teenager when my mom got sick, and in college when she died. Part of what drew us together as a couple was our shared knowledge that life doesn’t go on forever. Within reason, we have tried to live our lives and raise our children to make the most of every day. We have focused more on experiences that matter to us, like extensive travel, and less on social status, careers and material things. We have not assumed that we’ll have 20 years after retirement to live our dreams. Our goal is to greet death, whenever it comes, with no regrets. While I would trade all this self-knowledge for having my mom back, in many ways it has been a blessing. – Anonymous

E-mail Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com.


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