A listener named Becky left a vm. Becky stated she has been married for 15 months, she is 33 years old, and her husband is aged 43 years. Becky “snooped” on her husband’s computer and found some “shocking” sites he recently visited. Becky is uncomfortable with her husband’s on-line looking at other women. She said the women are fully clothed and nothing smacks of porn or gay/homosexuality. She read some forum exchanges and concluded her husband may just be seeking validation that his attraction to some different women is normal. Becky does not know if she should “trust him or confront him.”
1. I am curious about your motivation to “snoop.” When one partner snoops on the other, it suggests that you sense something is amiss. What indicators do you see? What are you looking for? What was the first sign that led you to check up on your husband?
2. Be mindful of psychologically splitting. For example, when you mentioned your “either or” position of “trusting vs. confronting.” You can do both. You can lovingly confront him and continue to trust him if you believe/understand his reasoning. Things are seldom black or white – especially when emotions are involved.
3. How is your sex life? Does your husband have any odd sexual requests? Now, the term “odd” is very relative. Sexual practices can be so variable and there is a very wide range of “normal” within the sexual spectrum. As long as both of you consent and are comfortable with what erotic energy transpires between you – all is well. The problem arises when a more “adventurous” partner has fantasies which make their partner uncomfortable. The more “adventurous” partner typically resorts to alternate sources to fulfill their fantasy.
1. Where is your comfort level on this subject? What can you emotionally handle, and what is an absolute deal-breaker? If your husband enjoys looking at fully clothed, attractive women on-line, that are not engaged in porn or gay sex – is that more than you can tolerate? Men are very visual and some need more visual stimulation to get aroused. (FYI: women are equally visually aroused – it’s a myth that we’re not…)
2. Get more information. For example, what does your husband get from these sites (other than an erection) – what need is he emotionally filling? My guess is that he feels embarrassed and/or ashamed of some of his sexual preferences, so he seeks on-line sex forums to validate and normalize his feelings. The good news is that at least he’s trying to work through what he perceives is an issue.
3. Be honest! Tell your husband you were snooping, why you snooped, and what you discovered. Try to come from a place of non-judgement and loving curiosity about his motivation to visit these sites.
4. You said you are at a “crossroads” in the relationship, and if you push him away, you will lose him. You’re right, you certainly could, and if you play the hard line, you probably will. So, make sure you have all the facts before you make any big decisions! Again, get more information from him. You need to hear his explanation. Then you can determine what is acceptable to you and what is not. Weigh the balance of your love for him verses his sexual needs. Ask him if he can or is willing to channel some of his sexual energy into you instead of looking on-line.
Lastly, my hope for you both is that you lovingly confront him and he honestly explains his secret desires which don’t conflict with your inner compass. I would never suggest you engage in sexual behaviors you are not comfortable with, but I would ask that you consider, expanding your sexual repetoire. The ideal result would be that you can help him fulfill his fantasies, you’re more satisfied, and your sex life soars to new and exciting heights! It could be a win-win situation.
Good Luck Becky! Thanks for sharing your story. Please let us know how it unfolds for you. Listeners – do you have any questions/comments for Becky? Please leave me a vm: 678-884-0524, or write in the comment box below.