Should You Tell Your Partner How Many People You’ve Slept With?

The beginning of a new relationship is a time of discovery, in which you get to unearth everything there is to know about this new person in your life – the good, the bad, and sometimes the downright ugly.

But when it comes to sex, – and more precisely, the number of people you have had sex with, – how much do we really want to know?

And does sharing (or not sharing) make a happy future together more likely?

“Whether or not you choose to tell you partner is entirely your decision,” says Peter Saddington, counsellor at relationship charity Relate.

“It is most likely to depend on how much you tend to share with others.”

“What you’re comfortable to share is influenced by many things, including: your culture or religious beliefs; the degree of security in your relationship and your own feelings about your sexual history,” Saddington adds.

So, we asked relationships about the benefits and potential pitfalls you should consider before deciding to lay bare your sexual history.

What are the positives of telling your partner?

You don’t have to waste energy keeping it secret.

When you are regularly sharing intimate aspects of your life, it might feel like withholding this one piece of personal information is using up a lot of mental energy.

Sarah Ryan, a dating expert who runs a matchmaking agency, believes opening up can help take your relationship to the next level:

“Any relationship that is set to last is built on two fundamental things – trust and respect. I think that comes with sharing as much about you as you possibly can, inclusive of sexual history,” she said.

“If you are in a relationship with someone that you want to run the distance then why hold back on previous partners and experiences?

“Holding back on things in life actually takes more energy than sharing and letting it go.”

Your past experiences are part of who you are today.

Undoubtedly your past romantic and sexual experiences play a part in shaping who you are as a person, and how you behave in relationships, so it might provide important context or understanding for your partner.

“While past experiences don’t determine your future, they certainly shape who you are today and surely your partner wants to know as much about you as possible, inclusive of divulging sexual liaisons; especially if it’s a serious relationship,” says Ryan.

Honesty is the best policy in relationships.

It might sound cliché, but honesty is often the best policy. And although withholding doesn’t necessarily mean you are being dishonest with your partner, you might find it means you have to tell a few little white lies along the way. Wouldn’t it be easier if they just knew?

“From my perspective honesty is the best policy and you should be an open book with your partner as much as possible, wherever possible,” says Ryan.

What are the negatives of telling your partner?

It might change how you perceive each other.

We all know that the number of people your partner has slept with shouldn’t make a difference to your current relationship – after all it is ancient history.

But you should be mindful of your own feelings towards casual sex, ‘promiscuous’ behaviour, or lack thereof, before you go digging around for information.

“If you ask your partner how many people they’ve slept with and they tell you, try not to judge them,” advises Saddington. “You wanted to know after all.

“If they’d rather not tell you, it’s fine to ask why this is, but don’t push them into it and respect their privacy if they say they’d rather not.

“If your partner judges you for the number of people you’ve slept with, consider that this says a lot more about them and their own insecurities and prejudices than it does about you.”

It could be a sign that your partner is too controlling.

When you are making the decision about whether to open up, bear in mind that you don’t owe your partner this information and you have a right to keep it private if you choose to do so.

If your partner casually enquires about this, then there is no need to be concerned, but if they pressure you into ’fessing up, be mindful of their agenda.

“It is worth asking yourself, or even asking them directly, why it is they want to know,” says Saddington.

“When they ask you the question, if it feels intrusive or uncomfortable, you’ll know instinctively. If they push you into saying it, this can be the sign of a controlling relationship.

“A sign of a healthy relationship is feeling like you can tell your partner if you want to, but not feeling like you have to.”

Giving an arbitrary number means nothing.

At the end of the day, a number is a number, so make sure you don’t torture yourself too much with this arbitrary marker of ‘sexual experience’, because we all know that how many notches you have on the bed post doesn’t determine how good one is in bed.

“Giving a specific number of people you have slept with might not achieve very much – unless they want to know,” says Ryan.

“It all really depends on the context and understanding exactly why they want to know.

“If it’s relevant to understanding what you both do and don’t like sexually then that’s important for physically communicating between the sheets, but if it’s about tallying up who is more ‘sexually experienced’ then this will achieve nothing for your relationship.”

If you have decided you do want to share this information, be careful about how you approach doing so.

Before sharing the information, talk about whether you both want to know. Otherwise you might be left feeling like you’ve shown your hand too quickly.

Ask yourself how important the numbers really are to you, how will you feel if your number was higher or lower than theirs? Would you rather not know at all?

Finally, remember what is worth sharing: “Going into details about who, where, when, what positions you did it in and the size of their various body parts may not be helpful,” advises Saddington.

It’s also worth considering the privacy of the people who you slept with – how would you feel if somebody was dishing the dirt on you with their current SO?



How long should sex last? Study reveals the average duration of a sex session

You’d be forgiven for thinking that we humans do nothing but talk about sex.

But even when us amorous apes actually stop doing the jaw-jaw and get down to business, there’s still one question haunting our horny brains: just how long should sex last?

If you’re Sting or Puff Daddy, you’d probably say sex should go on for at least the length of a bank holiday weekend.

Whilst if you’re an inexperienced spotty teenager, you’ll probably be delighted if the time taken to complete a dirty deed matches the duration of an average Ariana Grande tune.

Now science has weighed in (again) to tell the world exactly how much time they should be spending in the act of physical love: 5.4 minutes.

“If you’re a non-scientist, you might have once asked yourself, propped against the bedhead after disappointingly quick intercourse, how long does sex ‘normally’ last?” Dr Brendan Zietsch from the University of Queensland wrote in The Conversation.

“A scientist, though, would phrase the same question in an almost comically obscure way: What is the mean intravaginal ejaculation latency time?

“I know there’s a lot more to sex than putting the penis into the vagina and ejaculating, but the rest is not always easy to define (kissing? rubbing? grinding?).

“To keep things simple and specific, we’ll just focus on the time to ejaculation.”

Dr Brendan Zietsch recounted a study in which 500 couples were armed with a stopwatch and asked to press the button (of the clock) when the unspeakable act begun and then tap it again when the man experiences his magical moment.

“That is as practically awkward as it sounds: participants pressed ‘start’ at penile penetration and ‘stop’ at ejaculation,” he added.

“You may note this could affect the mood somewhat, and might perhaps not exactly reflect the natural flow of things.

“But science is rarely perfect, and this is the best we’ve got.”

This study found that sexy time lasts anywhere between 33 seconds and 44 minutes, with the median time coming in at 5.4 minutes.

Interestingly, the research also explores “conventional wisdom regarding penile sensitivity and its relationship to staying power in the sack”.

Older men weren’t able to last longer than young ones, while wearing a condom or being circumcised didn’t boost chaps’ performance either.

“Another surprising finding was that the older the couple, the shorter the sex, contrary to the prevailing wisdom (probably peddled by older men),” Zietsch continued.

Obese men last longer in bed

A study by researchers at Erciyes University in Turkey have found one surprising ‘plus’ to being severely overweight – and it’s your sex life which reaps the benefits.

Titled “Insight on pathogenesis of lifelong premature ejaculation: inverse relationship between lifelong premature ejaculation and obesity,” the study’s findings seem to point at a correlation between being overweight and stamina.

According to the study, the larger men with more stomach fat and a higher BMI could last for an average of 7.3 minutes in bed.


5 Genuine Reasons Guys Disappear After They’ve Had You

One day he’s all over you Sending you messages. Calling you in the mornings to ask how your night was and asking if you dreamt about him. In the afternoon, he’ll call to ask what you had for lunch. Then in the night, after exchanging series of text messages, he’ll call to wish you sweet dreams and tell you to dream about him. He simply floods your life with love and attention.

Then you begin to like him—you begin to fall for him. You begin to see him as that guy who deserves your attention. You begin to flow with him and at some point decide you have fallen in love with him. You finally say yes to his love proposal. After a month or two, something begins to change. He’s no more calling you as he used to. He’s no more sending you the usual “good morning sunshine” and sweet dreams my queen” text messages.

The worst part is, you send him a message and it takes forever to get a response. Somethings are not the same. Something doesn’t feel right. Your woman intuition tells you he’d changed. He’d become just like the other guy who left your life recently without any provocation. You’re losing him.

Then you become desperate to hold on to him because you’ve come to love him so much. No matter the effort you put in to save the relationship, Humpty Dumpty still falls off the wall. You ask yourself: “why do guys withdraw and later disappear just when you’ve given them your love and grown attached to them? This is what happens:

#1. The Thrill of the Chase.

Men have the hunting instinct. Naturally, they are the ones to chase after the woman and try to win them over. It’s their job. Chasing a woman doesn’t frustrate a man in any way. Actually, they revel in the challenge. A man is ready to go an extra mile to win the lady he has eyes on because he’s so much aware of what he’ll get if the lady finally say yes. It’s the end that justifies the means. So they’ll do everything within their power to win the lady. Some days after they’d won, they grow bored and desire to have another thrill. To the man, there’s always the next one—the next woman to chase after just for the thrill.

#2. The conqueror’s boredom 

There’s always something about a woman that gets the man attracted. Men have their eyes to dictate to them what’s worth their chase. So after they’ve gone outside of themselves to win the woman, they still want to be fed with the things that got them attracted in the first place. When it stops coming, they move on to find what is it that they are missing from another woman. Sometimes, most women stop giving a damn when they get the man. They stop trying. They become comfortable. Everything they did to get the man attracted comes to a halt. After all, there’s no one to impress. They forget winning comes with a responsibility.

#3. Faded mystery

Before a man makes a move, he’d already anticipated what he’s going to get after winning. To him, there’s some kind of mystery about the woman and he desires so much to unravel the mystery. It’s that mystery that draws the man into the woman’s web. He wonders how it will feel like to kiss a woman like her.

He sees her in a sexy dress and he wonders what’s behind that dress. He sees big boobs and large bums and he begins to imagine the ecstasy of having to play with those boobs and bums. Everything about the woman becomes a mystery—a mystery he desires to be engulfed in. After getting the woman—after having the opportunity to explore with her, the man feels he’s gotten all the answers and the mystery begins to fade.

The imagination of the unattainable keeps the man interested. Once the clothes are down, there’s nothing more left for the imagination. The dead of the mystery becomes the dead of the relationship.

#4. Commitment   

The truth is, not every man that comes into your life wants commitment. Yeah, they won’t tell you from the beginning that they seek not to commit to a long-term relationship. Some come just for the thrill. Others are already committed to another woman and they come your way just to seek what they lack in the woman they’re already committed to.

They found you interesting or there is this mystery about you that drew them to you. They are just on a mission to satisfy a plaguing curiosity. Once they realize you are turning the whole thing into a serious relationship, they skip.

#5. You overstayed

You’ve seen the signs on the wall long before it became apparent that the man is no more interested in the relationship yet, you kept assuring yourself it was just a blip. You’ve made the man realized you can’t leave him no matter what because you love him so much. You’ve stayed long enough to entertain his bullshit.

He takes you for granted because he knows nothing will make you leave him. You are so easy to predict and he’s taking advantage of that. The greatest weapon a woman could have in her armory is unpredictability. A man should not be able to predict your next move. It adds to your mystery. If there’s something he should know, he should know that you’re capable of walking away when he messes up. At the negotiation table, the one who’s likely to reject the deal always has the upper hand. The other party always tries to play the game to his tune or else he’ll lose.

It’s not different in relationships. The one who’s likely to walk away holds the ace. Cast your mind back a little. In the initial stages of the affair, the guy was always nice to you and couldn’t do a thing wrong. Yeah, that’s because he knew you could walk away and leave him dry if he misbehaved. When did you lose that power in the relationship?

Don’t Blame Yourself. 

It’s not your fault that he disappeared. It’s not your fault in any way that the guy you just said yes to stopped caring. Don’t take the blame. Don’t give yourself pressure thinking you might have said something wrong or did something wrong. If a man won’t stay, there’s little you could do about it. Playing hard to get won’t get you to nail down the man who is just looking for a thrill.

Delaying sex isn’t a sure way to keep a man who’s just passing through. “No sex before marriage” is as religious as its moral but it’s not the means to sieve off the chaff from the good. A good woman gets jilted not because she let her guard down, nope. A good woman gets jilted just because she believed in a lie.

The only sin you might have committed is to believe in a lie from a devil who came packaged as an angel. It’s not your fault. Some lies are shinier than the truth and most people will believe it.

All is Not Lost. 

Get your self-worth back. Be the woman who’s hard to predict and take this away: People aren’t the way you think they are at first. Like the clown said when the child asked why he’s wearing a mask: “Everyone wears a mask. The only difference is that mine is visible.” Guys mostly comes around in mask.

It takes time to see what’s behind. The mistake most women do is, they fall in love with who a man could become than who a man is. They meet a man who likes wearing suits and go like: “he’ll be a responsible man, see, he always wears suit.” They meet a guy who has a sense of humor and they instantly believe life with such a guy will always be about laughter.

Don’t fall in love with his potential. Don’t fall for what he could be. Take your time. He isn’t going to leave just because you want to take your time. Know what is in front of you, right now. Find out if you like who he is right now and decide to give your love to him or not. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Love him for who he is and not who he might become.


The Beautiful lady who was gang-raped on her wedding day

When Terry Gobanga – then Terry Apudo – didn’t show up to her wedding, nobody could have guessed that she had been abducted, raped and left for dead by the roadside. It was the first of two tragedies to hit the young Nairobi pastor in quick succession. But she is a survivor.

It was going to be a very big wedding. I was a pastor, so all our church members were coming, as well as all our relatives. My fiance, Harry, and I were very excited – we were getting married in All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi and I had rented a beautiful dress.

But the night before the wedding I realised that I had some of Harry’s clothes, including his cravat. He couldn’t show up without a tie, so a friend who had stayed the night offered to take it to him first thing in the morning. We got up at dawn and I walked her to the bus station.

As I was making my way back home, I walked past a guy sitting on the bonnet of a car – suddenly he grabbed me from behind and dumped me in the back seat. There were two more men inside, and they drove off. It all happened in a fraction of a second.

A piece of cloth was stuffed in my mouth. I was kicking and hitting out and trying to scream. When I managed to push the gag out, I screamed: “It’s my wedding day!” That was when I got the first blow. One of the men told me to “co-operate or you will die”.

close-up of Terry Gobanga

The men took turns to rape me. I felt sure I was going to die, but I was still fighting for my life, so when one of the men took the gag out of my mouth I bit his manhood. He screamed in pain and one of them stabbed me in the stomach. Then they opened the door and threw me out of the moving car.

I was miles from home, outside Nairobi. More than six hours had passed since I had been abducted.

A child saw me being thrown out and called her grandmother. People came running. When the police came they tried to get a pulse, but no-one could. Thinking I was dead, they wrapped me in a blanket and started to take me to the mortuary. But on the way there, I choked on the blanket and coughed. The policeman said: “She’s alive?” And he turned the car around and drove me to the biggest government hospital in Kenya.

I arrived in great shock, murmuring incoherently. I was half-naked and covered in blood, and my face was swollen from being punched. But something must have alerted the matron, because she guessed I was a bride. “Let’s go around the churches to see if they’re missing a bride,” she told the nurses.

All Saint's Cathedral is the national Anglican cathedral in Nairobi

All Saint’s Cathedral is the oldest Anglican cathedral in Nairobi

By coincidence, the first church they called at was All Saints Cathedral. “Are you missing a bride?” the nurse asked.

The minister said: “Yes, there was a wedding at 10 o’clock and she didn’t come.”

When I didn’t show up to the church, my parents were panicking. People were sent out to search for me. Rumours flew. Some wondered: “Did she change her mind?” Others said: “No, it’s so unlike her, what happened?”

After a few hours, they had to take down the decorations to make room for the next ceremony. Harry had been put in the vestry to wait.

When they heard where I was, my parents came to the hospital with the whole entourage. Harry was actually carrying my wedding gown. But the media had also got wind of the story so there were reporters too.

I was moved to another hospital where I’d have more privacy. That was where the doctors stitched me up and gave me some devastating news: “The stab wound went deep into your womb, so you won’t be able to carry any children.”

Terry pictured this year

I was given the morning-after pill, as well as antiretroviral drugs to protect me from HIV and Aids. My mind shut down, it refused to accept what had happened.

Harry kept saying he still wanted to marry me. “I want to take care of her and make sure she comes back to good health in my arms, in our house,” he said. Truth be told, I wasn’t in a position to say Yes or No because my mind was so jammed with the faces of the three men, and with everything that had happened.

A few days later, when I was less sedated, I was able to look him in the eye. I kept saying sorry. I felt like I had let him down. Some people said it was my own fault for leaving the house in the morning. It was really hurtful, but my family and Harry supported me.

The police never caught the rapists. I went to line-up after line-up but I didn’t recognise any of the men, and it hurt me each time I went. It set back my recovery – it was 10 steps forward, 20 back. In the end I went back to the police station and said: “You know what, I’m done. I just want to leave it.”

Three months after the attack I was told I was HIV-negative and got really excited, but they told me I had to wait three more months to be sure. Still, Harry and I began to plan our second wedding.

Although I had been very angry at the press intrusion, somebody read my story and asked to meet me. Her name was Vip Ogolla, and she was also a rape survivor. We spoke, and she told me she and her friends wanted to give me a free wedding. “Go wild, have whatever you want,” she said.

I was ecstatic. I went for a different type of cake, much more expensive. Instead of a rented gown, now I could have one that was totally mine.

In July 2005, seven months after our first planned wedding, Harry and I got married and went on a honeymoon.

Harry Olwande and Terry on their wedding day in July 2005

Harry Olwande and Terry on their wedding day in July 2005

Twenty-nine days later, we were at home on a very cold night. Harry lit a charcoal burner and took it to the bedroom. After dinner, he removed it because the room was really warm. I got under the covers as he locked up the house. When he came to bed he said he was feeling dizzy, but we thought nothing of it.

It was so cold we couldn’t sleep, so I suggested getting another duvet. But Harry said he couldn’t get it as he didn’t have enough strength. Strangely, I couldn’t stand up either. We realised something was very wrong. He passed out. I passed out. I remember coming to. I would call him. At times he would respond, at other times he wouldn’t. I pushed myself out of bed and threw up, which gave me some strength. I started crawling to the phone. I called my neighbour and said: “Something is wrong, Harry is not responding.”

She came over immediately but it took me ages to crawl to the front door to let her in as I kept passing out. I saw an avalanche of people coming in, screaming. And I passed out again.

I woke up in hospital and asked where my husband was. They said they were working on him in the next room. I said: “I’m a pastor, I’ve seen quite a lot in my life, I need you to be very straight with me.” The doctor looked at me and said: “I’m sorry, your husband did not make it.”

I couldn’t believe it.

Terry places a ring on Harry's finger

Going back to church for the funeral was terrible. Just a month earlier I had been there in my white dress, with Harry standing at the front looking handsome in his suit. Now, I was in black and he was being wheeled in, in a casket.

People thought I was cursed and held back their children from me. “There’s a bad omen hanging over her,” they said. At one point, I actually believed it myself.

Others accused me of killing my husband. That really got me down – I was grieving.

The post-mortem showed what really happened: as the carbon monoxide filled his system, he started choking and suffocated.

I had a terrible breakdown. I felt let down by God, I felt let down by everybody. I couldn’t believe that people could be laughing, going out and just going about life. I crashed.

One day I was sitting on the balcony looking at the birds chirping away and I said: “God, how can you take care of the birds and not me?” In that instant I remembered there are 24 hours a day – sitting in depression with your curtains closed, no-one’s going to give you back those 24 hours. Before you know, it’s a week, a month, a year wasted away. That was a tough reality.

I told everybody I would never ever get married again. God took my husband, and the thought of ever going through such a loss again was too much. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. The pain is so intense, you feel it in your nails.

But there was one man – Tonny Gobanga – who kept visiting. He would encourage me to talk about my husband and think about the good times. One time he didn’t call for three days and I was so angry. That’s when it hit me that I had fallen for him.

Tonny and Terry Gobanga

Tonny proposed marriage but I told him to buy a magazine, read my story and tell me if he still loved me. He came back and said he still wanted to marry me.

But I said: “Listen, there’s another thing – I can’t have children, so I cannot get married to you.”

“Children are a gift from God,” he said. “If we get them, Amen. If not, I will have more time to love you.”

I thought: “Wow, what a line!” So I said Yes.

Tonny went home to tell his parents, who were very excited, until they heard my story. “You can’t marry her – she is cursed,” they said. My father-in-law refused to attend the wedding, but we went ahead anyway. We had 800 guests – many came out of curiosity.

It was three years after my first wedding, and I was very scared. When we were exchanging vows, I thought: “Here I am again Father, please don’t let him die.” As the congregation prayed for us I cried uncontrollably.

A year into our marriage, I felt unwell and went to the doctor – and to my great surprise he told me that I was pregnant.

As the months progressed I was put on total bed rest, because of the stab wound to my womb. But all went well, and we had a baby girl who we called Tehille. Four years later, we had another baby girl named Towdah.

Terry and her daughters

Today, I am the best of friends with my father-in-law.

I wrote a book, Crawling out of Darkness, about my ordeal, to give people hope of rising again. I also started an organisation called Kara Olmurani. We work with rape survivors, as I call them – not rape victims. We offer counselling and support. We are looking to start a halfway house for them where they can come and find their footing before going back to face the world.

I have forgiven my attackers. It wasn’t easy but I realised I was getting a raw deal by being upset with people who probably don’t care. My faith also encourages me to forgive and not repay evil with evil but with good.

The most important thing is to mourn. Go through every step of it. Get upset until you are willing to do something about your situation. You have to keep moving, crawl if you have to. But move towards your destiny because it’s waiting, and you have to go and get it.

Source: BBC

‘I fell in love and married a man with dwarfism’ – Chloe Lusted

Chloe Lusted and husband James are like any other newly married busy couple – they enjoy hanging out together and have recently bought a puppy. But when they first got together, Chloe, 23, faced opposition from her family because James, 29, suffered from a rare genetic condition which causes dwarfism. Here Chloe recounts how their relationship unfolded.

As the phone rang I was nervous. I was about to tell my mum about my new boyfriend and I knew she would be shocked, so I had left it until I was on my journey back to university, almost 200 miles (320km) away.

I told her the name of my new boyfriend and her reaction was pretty instant. She said: “Why Jay, why Jay? Chloe, he is a dwarf, you’re not suited.”

She couldn’t understand what I saw in James, who everyone knows as Jay. She was in shock.

Jay was born with diastrophic dysplasia – a rare genetic condition that causes dwarfism – despite both his parents Dawn and Dave being of average height.

Jay stands at 3ft 7in (1.1m) tall while I am 5ft 7in (1.7m), and that was part of the reason I was so nervous about telling my mum.

I was a bit angry at her at the time, why couldn’t she just accept it? But looking back at it now she would have had reservations about any guy I got with.

And because Jay was “different”, I guess I can understand why she was so shocked and reacted like she did.

Growing up, I was very much into boys from the age of 16, but I was always looking for a long-term partner.

I have grown up in the church since I was five years old, so it has always been really important to me and I have always wanted to have a wedding and a marriage – I guess I am traditional in that way.

James and Chloe LustedPhoto: Chloe said she and James, pictured at the Great Orme, are looking forward to starting a family together

Before Jay I had two long-term relationships and always wanted to settle down with someone, I didn’t want to date just any guy. I was always asking myself – is this guy marriage material? And, if not, what am I doing with him?

To be honest, when we first met, I didn’t really think about Jay as a potential boyfriend. Because of who he is, and his condition I never really thought about him in that way.

He was friends with friends of mine, and we were acquaintances, but we became friends on the day he carried the Olympic torch when it travelled through Wales in May 2012.

He had been chosen to carry the flame because of his work encouraging others to become involved in disability sport.

As the British Class 1 badminton champion within the Dwarf Sports Association for nine years and someone who had travelled to Beijing in 2008 as a British representative, he was a natural choice to have a turn carrying the torch.

I went with some of his friends to watch him, and met him and his family properly for the first time.

What I liked about him was that he was an all-round happy person, and positive person to be around. He always carried a conversation which is really important to me, and he just shone.

But I was dating someone else at the time, so it wasn’t until we broke up the following year that Jay asked me out.

I was studying in Cardiff so he sent me a text message asking if I’d like to go on a date. I said yes, as I liked the fact he was so positive and outgoing.

James LustedPhoto: James carried the Olympic flame through his home town as part of the torch relay ahead of London 2012

Our first date was at a bar in Betws-y-Coed, Gwynedd, in May 2013 and we just got on.

But I had not long come out of my recent relationship and we were both very busy with our own lives. This meant we didn’t see each other that regularly so we decided to keep it quiet for a while.

And inside I was also having a bit of a struggle – sometimes I can get very caught up in what people think and say about me, mainly my mum, so I was worried about it going further. I was worried how people would react.

But as I started to find out how well-known Jay was in the area, and how much appreciation he had, the worry about what people would think gradually disappeared.


Diastrophic dysplasia

  • Features can include short arms and legs, a small chest and clubbed feet
  • Around 33% of sufferers have a cleft palate
  • The condition occurs in one in 110,000 births

Source: BBC


I wasn’t really 100% about it until, one day, my mum, me and my sister went shopping in Llandudno and we bumped into Jay.

In that moment I had that feeling in my stomach that you get when you see someone and you know you really like them. I never go shy, but I was lost for words.

When I went back to university that September we made our relationship public.

My mum was a single mum and fiercely protective of me and my two sisters, but it didn’t take her long before she changed her mind after her initial shock, and started to appreciate who Jay was and how he treated me. Now she just sees Jay, nothing else.

Jay has had a few people comment on photos of us on social media in the past: “How on earth has Jay got this really beautiful girl?”

James and Chloe Lusted

But it is not just about looks, Jay is very attractive to me and vice-versa.

Around a year after we made our relationship official Jay and I went back to where we had our first date in Betws-y-Coed for lunch. We then drove up to our favourite lake, Llyn Geirionydd, which is a beauty spot nearby.

Jay was particularly quiet on the way up to the lake, which is not normally like him. We got to the jetty and I sat down, and before you know it he was behind me tapping me on the shoulder.

I turned around and he was on one knee, and said: “What would you do if I asked you to marry me?”

I said yes.

Our wedding day last August was the happiest of my life, and I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with him.

But what I didn’t know as I teased him for crying at the altar was that the moment was loaded with emotion for him for many reasons, because he had spent part of his life believing he would never find love, let alone get married.

Jay says he appreciates how I accept him for who he is and that I see him, not the condition.

James and Chloe Lusted

We work as a team and love and support each other.

Since getting married we have moved into our house in Colwyn Bay and are busier than ever before. I am close to graduating from Bangor University after qualifying as a primary school teacher and Jay has just been elected a councillor on the local council.

I have always wanted a family and I’m so excited for that, but I’m happy to wait a couple of years as I would like to be in full-time work.

We have spoken to doctors about having children, and the possibility that ours will be born with the same condition as Jay, but because it is so rare, the likelihood is slim.

All the same we are not bothered about being tested for it.

If we do have a dwarf baby I wouldn’t have any worries about it, and the same if it is an average-sized baby – I will love it just as much.

Jay hadn’t dated anyone before me so I always feel very blessed that I was his first love, and will be his last love too.

He is someone who likes to dream big and have other people around him who are the same. I’m so lucky to have him in my life.

Source: BBC

Girlfriend who sent texts to boyfriend ‘to kill himself’ in manslaughter trial

A woman is standing trial in Massachusetts accused of manslaughter after she sent dozens of texts to her depressed boyfriend urging him to kill himself.

Michelle Carter, 20, allegedly sent her vulnerable 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy texts such as “The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!” in the days before his death.

After the pair exchanged hundreds of text messages, Roy was found dead due to by carbon monoxide poisoning on 12 July 2014.

He had battled depression and suicidal thoughts and was found dead in a Kmart parking lot a few miles outside Boston.

Prosecutors at Taunton Trial Court released transcripts of the text messages revealing they were still texting hours before Roy’s suicide where Carter, 17 at the time, appeared to be criticising Roy for delaying his suicide.

“So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then, all that for nothing … I’m just so confused like you were so ready and determined,” she said. Another time, prosecutors said she wrote to Roy: “When are you going to do it? Stop ignoring the question???? You can’t keep push [sic] it off.”

The court heard how they exchanged more than 20,000 text messages, more than 1,000 of which were sent in the days leading up to Roy’s death.

The Washington Post reported that after Roy died Carter then texted a friend saying that she had been on the phone when he passed away. “I helped ease him into it and told him it was okay … I could’ve easily stopped him or called the police but I didn’t,” she allegedly texted her friend.

At one point Roy said he wanted to go back to sleep and Carter suggested that “now” is the best time to do it because everyone was still sleeping. “Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one’s really out right now because it’s an awkward time,” she said.

Carter stands charged with involuntary manslaughter and her legal team claim that she had actually tried to talk him out of killing himself and only began to support his suicide attempt when he confirmed he wanted to die.

Check out 8 things the happiest couples do every night before bed

We live in a busy world and between work, kids, bills and other daily stressors, many couples struggle to find time to connect.

That’s why it’s so important for couples to make the most of whatever alone time they have together ― whether it’s an hour or just 10 minutes. We asked relationship experts to tell us what the happiest couples do before bed to keep their bond strong. See what they had to say below.

1. They exchange “I love yous.”

“Despite all the hassles of the day, the quirks and annoyances you experience from one another and ominous feelings about the day ahead, make the effort to let your partner know they are loved. And rather than just heave it out with your last sigh of the night, say it like you really feel it.” ― Ryan Howes, psychologist

2. They go to bed at the same time if possible.

“Too many couples go to bed at different times, leading disconnected lives in the evening after already having spent all day apart. Happy couples, however, are intentional about coming back together at bedtime and reconnecting, if only for the few minutes of brushing teeth and getting under the covers. Going to bed together builds connection and provides opportunity for more intimate connecting.” ― Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men

3. They unplug from their phones and other devices. 

“We live in a wired world, and more often than not, this takes away from the time couples could spend connecting through dialogue, affection or intimacy. What’s more is that when your partner is on their phone, you feel like they’re not in the room and are somewhere else instead. In my therapy practice, couples who become aware of this intrusiveness sometimes create general rules such as ‘no phones past 9 p.m.’ or ‘no phones in the bed’ to counter such dopamine-inducing but oxytocin-suppressing social media habits. This can really set a couple up for feeling close throughout the entire next day.” ― Kari Carroll,couples therapist

4. They prioritize getting a good night’s sleep.

“Although this isn’t very romantic, beyond the usual advice ― i.e. kiss goodnight, have sex, and say, ‘I love you’ ― getting a solid night’s sleep fosters good mental health, which in turn, makes people more emotionally available during the day. If sleep is hard to come by, get professional advice to develop good sleep habits.”  ― Michele Weiner-Davis, therapist and author.

5. They take a few minutes to practice gratitude. 

“Gratitude has been shown to have a wonderfully positive effect on mood and mindset, so why not share that together? Whether it’s something specific you appreciate about one another or a positive experience from the day, share something you’re thankful for to end the day on a bright note.” ― Howes  

Read also: Relationship Adviser: My partner blames his erection problems on my weight

6. They don’t try to settle arguments that aren’t easily resolvable. 

“It may not seem logical, but happy couples don’t actually settle disagreements before going to bed. We’ve all heard the adage, ‘do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,’ but it’s actually misunderstood. Trying to address heavy subjects, especially those you disagree on, at the end of the day when you’re both tired and short on patience is not smart. Too many couples make the mistake of starting fights at this time of day when they should be building connection ― not creating division.” ― Smith 

7. They set aside time to chat about the day and open up about their feelings. 

“The happiest couples regularly discuss the external stressors in their life and allow their partner to vent often. This doesn’t mean going into negativity overload all evening, but it does mean setting aside 15 to 30 minutes to unwind and lean into the relationship by showing support for the other relationships and experiences in your partner’s life. In my practice, I help couples listen to their partner’s stresses without feeling the need to take them on or problem-solve. Their partner tends to be appreciative of this opportunity and just feeling understood empowers them to be ready to tackle the next day’s stresses.” ― Carroll

8. They keep the kids out of the bedroom. 

“Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for the two of you. Although nightmares and illnesses might trigger children to climb into bed with you, in general, if intimacy and connection is your goal, encourage children to stay in their own rooms. Couples need privacy and boundaries to stay connected.” ― Weiner-Davis

Source: Huffington Post