Hello, Suzie. My name is Eric, from Michigan.
I’ve been reading your website for a few days. I’m in a gay marriage. We’ve been married for five years, together for eight. My husband has cheated on me a lot in the past, which I found out about in the first three years of our marriage.
We worked through it.
We came up with rules to make sure cheating doesn’t happen again. But lately, though, I’m wondering if he has an addiction to online sex. In the last two weeks, he’s spoken with probably 20 to 30 different people online sexting, using a webcam, almost every day, sometimes twice a day. I don’t know, Suzie. What do you think? Do you think I’m overreacting? Should I be worried? Thanks.
Hi, Eric. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your question.
So, let’s just dive right into the key question (or the key component to your question), which is: Are you dealing with a serial cheater?
Coming from your own narrative or your own story, you said that this has been the case for you guys. You found out about these types of behaviors within the first three years. And it seemed to me that since you’re still in the relationship and you guys were willing to work through it… you came up with rules and you came up with things to make sure that it doesn’t happen.
But now, if I’m reading your question correctly, or at least if I’m hearing your question correctly, it seems that it’s moved out of the physical realm and onto the online world.
So, your question has two parts.
One is, is this a personality situation?
Is this someone that just has a propensity for this type of adventurous living, this type of deceptive life…. OR is this someone that is for them this just a way that they blow off steam (boys will be boys, whatever it is that you want to call it, on the other side of that equation.).
Here’s the thing that I want to maybe turn the spotlight back on you, Eric, and to say there is no way for me to tell just from even looking at the behavior hearing your story, whether or not we’re dealing with someone who has a true dysfunction or disorder in this area.
But you can know.
You’re the one that’s living with this person. So what I’d want to ask you is, what does your intuition tell you? What are you really dealing with if you really check in with yourself? What is the truth that you may be too afraid to actually face? And it could be either way.
Either a part of you knows that this is just the way that this person flirts…this is just the way that they get their ego stroked. Or we’re dealing with a pathology. (I believe some part of you knows what side of the coin this really falls on.)
It’s not going to be somebody like me that’s going to be able to tell you that.
Now, as you ask yourself the really truthful questions and you let yourself kind of sit in that place and allow that to bubble up and see what comes up for you….here’s a couple of things that I want to maybe bring to mind.
Sometimes we’re not really dealing with serial cheating as much as we’re dealing with people who are just not monogamous.
Now, here’s the thing with monogamy: I know that it’s romantic and it’s what we all secretly, on some level, hope, want or wish for. But the truth is, monogamy is not hard-wired.
So all of us, we have to override that programing… because the human sex instinct, the mating instinct is free. We’re not hard-wired like wolves or penguins. We have free will.
Now, I think monogamy is a highly intelligent choice, but that’s my choice. That’s my belief. So, the question that you guys really need to sit down and really get honest and real about would be: Is your partner truly monogamous? Does he see it as a value?
One way to look at monogamy is that it’s kind of like deciding if you’re a vegetarian or not, because monogamy is a choice.
But it’s not a one-time choice that you make at the altar. It’s a choice you make every single day, because you have to override the natural programming.
So what I am saying here is…
Maybe the deep conversation…without judgment, without condemning, without making people feel guilty… maybe the conversation is: Is your partner truly monomogomous? Is this a value for him? In the depths in the midnight of his soul, does he truly identify himself as monogamous? Or is he doing it because it’s the social rule?
This is the most important conversation you can have when you see this type of behavior and choice recurring in a person’s life. Rather than focus on wondering things like: Are they just a serious cheater? Am I dealing with some type of pathology? Instead, maybe the conversation should be more centered around questions like: Is monogamy a true value for that person?
That about covers it.
I hope you found something helpful here for you today, regardless of what you do, what direction you guys move towards.
Just keep in mind, at the end of the day…
Until we speak again…
Remember… Love Wins!