Before I have sex, I check no one's hiding the wardrobe

DEAR DEIDRE: BEFORE I have sex with anyone, I check for people hiding in the wardrobe.

It’s embarrassing and I feel like a kid checking for monsters under the bed. This paranoia started when I was at university.


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I am 28 now but when I was 21, I was introduced to my best mate’s girlfriend.

She was 20 and so hot, and we shared instant chemistry.

I walked her home one night after my mate got wasted and went home early.

When I got back to her house-share, we kissed.

I couldn’t get her out of my mind — I never gave my best mate a second thought.

I texted her, saying there was something between us and she said she felt it too.

We started an affair. We’d meet up whenever my mate was away.

One afternoon, we were having sex in her room when there was a noise and my best mate fell out of the wardrobe.

He yelled and attacked me. I felt so vulnerable being naked, even though I was the one in the wrong.

His girlfriend called me later, explaining that he’d found out. She said she’d end it with me but he insisted that he wanted to humiliate me, so they set me up.

She knew full well he was in the wardrobe watching.

I drew a line under the whole thing — the fling was over, my best mate became a distant acquaintance and I never acknowledged the girl again.

But I get flashbacks every time I get close to a woman. I insist they come to my place because I’m confident there’s nobody else there.

If a woman insists we go to her place, I have to open the wardrobe before I get into bed.

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It’s spoiling the moment for me in every way.

Will I ever be able to move on from this unhappy experience?

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DEIDRE SAYS: Yes. You have been experiencing post-traumatic stress but if you reframe what happened, you will learn to believe that it’s unlikely that history will repeat itself.

Your friend wanted his revenge but in the most bizarre way.

How many people you know would really want to see their girlfriend having sex with somebody else if they knew cheating was going on?

How many friends have ever talked of a similar experience happening to them?

My guess is none.

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When you are getting close to a woman, if you have a flashback, check yourself and think back to a positive comment she has made about you to change your focus.

You can contact Anxiety UK for help with your anxiety and PTSD issues (anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774).

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