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Cheating Pieces

August 31, 2011

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I'm in a bad place. I have been in a monogamous marriage for 19 years and have two kids. At least I think we're still monogamous. My husband is an avid reader of your column and loves to bring up the idea that it is perfectly normal to have outside sexual relationships with other people as long as you stay committed to your spouse.

We started our marriage saying that we would always be truthful and faithful to each other. I'm GGG, he probably gets more blowjobs than most married men, and I love having sex with him. He is far less likely to initiate sex than I am (which makes me think he is spending time with someone else). If one partner decides that they need outside activity, regardless of how much sex they get at home, is it okay to go ahead and do that without informing the partner they made a monogamous commitment to? He thinks if my needs are being met, then I have nothing to complain about. My main need is for honesty, and it doesn't feel like that need is being met.

When I ask him if he is having affairs, he gets angry and accuses me of being insecure and immature. (I would like to know if I'm at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection.) He says you agree with him that it is okay to lie if the other person has their needs met and doesn't find out. I am at my wit's end and am deeply unhappy and think about leaving him, but I don't want to end a relationship that works in so many other ways.

Lonely At Home

Before I can answer your question, LAH, give me a second to spit out all the words your husband has stuffed into my mouth.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhcckk—p'toooo.

Okay, LAH, here's a little something I recently wrote that sums up my position on outside sexual relationships: "Cheating is permissible when it amounts to the least worst option, i.e., it is allowed for someone who has made a monogamous commitment and isn't getting any at home (sick or disabled spouse, or withholding-without-cause spouse) and divorce isn't an option (sick or disabled spouse, or withholding-without-cause-spouse-who-can't-be-divorced-for-some-karma-imperiling-reason-or-other) and the sex on the side makes it possible for the cheater to stay married and stay sane. (An exception can be made for a married person with a kink that his or her spouse can't/won't accommodate, so long as the kink can be taken care of safely and discreetly.)"

As you are not sick, disabled, or withholding without cause, LAH, and as your husband doesn't have a kink that he's outsourcing to spare you, please tell your husband on my behalf that I think he's a cheating piece of shit, a word-stuffing douchebag, and an emotionally abusive asshole. Mr. LAH may read my column avidly, but his behavior and lame rationalizations indicate that he's also reading it selectively. If your husband walked into my office, LAH, I would be tempted to slap him with my laptop.

It is, of course, perfectly normal for people who've made monogamous commitments to want to have outside sexual relationships. It's perfectly normal to daydream about fucking other people, to masturbate to thoughts of fucking other people, to check out other people who you would be fucking if (1) you weren't in a monogamous relationship, and (2) they wanted to fuck you. And it's perfectly ridiculous the way people make themselves miserable scrutinizing their partners for evidence that they want to fuck other people. (Jealous types, please note: Your partner sometimes thinks about fucking other people, just like you sometimes think about fucking other people. Going ballistic over a little discreet and considerate porn use or meaningless flirting is an idiotic waste of your time, it's unfair to your partner, and I consider it grounds for DTMFA'ing your ass.)

That said, LAH, it is perfectly obnoxious to go ahead and fuck other people in violation of a monogamous commitment unless you have grounds. And while it doesn't sound like your husband has grounds, it certainly sounds like he's fucking other people. I suspect that your husband is fucking someone you know—a coworker, a neighbor, a friend, a relative (shudder)—and, realizing that it's only a matter of time before you find out, he's bullying you into retroactively giving him permission to fuck other people and unfairly dragging me into it.

In your shoes, LAH, I'd be thinking about DTMFA. Not because of the cheating—monogamy isn't important to me—but because of the lying and the bullying.


I grew up masturbating in the digital age. So in any given week, I get off on "Wincest," hypnosis porn, and erotic literature involving cat people. I'm also a young husband who's gone a few years past your recommended date for laying down his kink cards. I've been deliberating whether to out myself to my wife, but there's a rub: The last time she found out I had masturbated to someone other than her, she hit me. I cried and swore I would never look at porn again. Of course I just became more careful about hiding it.

Is there a limit on the necessitated disclosure of my wet dreams? I don't have to tell her the one where I'm having sex with her best friend while she, having been turned into a dog, looks on stupidly, right? Can I settle for "I masturbate to women who aren't you"?

Wife Abusive, Not Kinky

Fuck full disclosure, WANK. Your wife can't deal with you masturbating about others and she hits you? DTMFA.


I'm a 50-year-old married man with adult children. My wife and I live under the same roof but sleep in separate bedrooms. We have become roommates. Perhaps we will stay together, or perhaps we'll divorce once the housing market improves and we have a slightly bigger pie to cut in half. But we hardly talk and never have sex. Where does a man in my situation find women to have sex with and spend time with? I don't mean an escort or a hooker. It's not all about the sex act for me. I tried some websites like AshleyMadison.com and SugarDaddy.com with no luck. Do you think there are women out there who are single or divorced and would enjoy being treated like a queen by a healthy, respectful, decent-looking man who is technically married?

Please Help Me

I know there are women out there who would be up for what you have to offer, PHM, because I get letters from them all the time. Some of these women are in the same boat you are—married in name only and looking for some companionship and intimacy. If you didn't find one during your first internet search, my advice is to keep looking.

And Mr. and Mrs. LAH? PHM's situation is a good example of a circumstance under which cheating is not only permissible, it's not even cheating. He may be married, technically and legally, but the sexual dimension of his marriage is over. He is in no way betraying his wife, or putting her at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection, when he seeks outside sexual relationships.

Can you see the difference between what you're doing, Mr. LAH, and what PHM is doing?


Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

mail@savagelove.net

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Comments (182) RSS

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scary tyler moore 1
LAH, your husband is cheating on you. anyone who calls you insecure and immature is projecting his guilt onto you. and remember, it ain't about you. it's about him being a cheating and lying sack o' shit.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on August 30, 2011 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 2
For someone who signed himself "Please Help Me," the last writer didn't get much help. He isn't asking for validation of what he wants to do. He wants to know where he might have better luck finding someone to do it with.

I hope someone will offer some actual advice for him.
Posted by Fred Casely on August 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 3
LAH: I agree with @1. Using emotion to put a questioning partner on the defensive is a classic sign of a CPOS.

DTMFA.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on August 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM · Report this
4
I disagree with Dan on the first letter. Simply because LAH's spouse does not initiate sex very often *is not* evidence of cheating, and that's the only "evidence" that LAH provides. That LAH likes sex a lot more than her husband likewise *is not* evidence of cheating. And, agreeing with Dan's ideas of alternatives to monogamy *is not* evidence of cheating.

Good grief.
Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on August 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM · Report this
5
Dan, you never addressed LAH's concern that she is at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on August 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM · Report this
6
@4 - Dan doesn't think that Mr. LAH is cheating on his wife because he initiates sex less than her or because he believes in non-monogamy. He thinks he's cheating on his wife because he's a bully and a manipulative asshole and is twisting Dan's words. And I agree:

"And while it doesn't sound like your husband has grounds, it certainly sounds like he's fucking other people. I suspect that your husband is fucking someone you know—a coworker, a neighbor, a friend, a relative (shudder)—and, realizing that it's only a matter of time before you find out, he's bullying you into retroactively giving him permission to fuck other people and unfairly dragging me into it."
Posted by nyker on August 30, 2011 at 8:41 PM · Report this
7
@5 Get tested and in the mean time use condoms. If he doesn't want to use condoms, tell him to go fuck his hand.
Posted by mygash on August 30, 2011 at 9:25 PM · Report this
8
PHM. You are 50! My husband developed ALS at 50. DTMF, rent your house, split what you have with the Ex, and find somebody to marry or live with who makes you happy! If your wife was at least a decent companion, I might agree with Dan, but life is too short to waste time in what seems to be a loveless and even likeless relationship.
Posted by Xweatie on August 30, 2011 at 9:55 PM · Report this
venomlash 9
Wow, LAH's husband is an asshole. If your needs aren't getting met at home, the onus is on you to ASK. Take him to task, LAH.
Posted by venomlash on August 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM · Report this
rock bottom 10
@5 I think you're mistaken. By telling her to DTMFA, she won't have to worry about getting an STI. Presumably, she won't be having sex with the mf after she dumps him (if she were to take Dan's advice).
Posted by rock bottom on August 30, 2011 at 10:13 PM · Report this
11
Just gotta put it out there that Dan's a little over-zealous and I think defensive on the "Everybody thinks about it" thing.

To quote: "Jealous types, please note: Your partner sometimes thinks about fucking other people, just like you sometimes think about fucking other people."

Honestly, I don't. I've got a partner I find hot and sexy for nearly a decade, and my daydreams are about what he'd do to me, and vice versa. Not intentionally... it's just what happens.

Not to say I'm not energized by the attractiveness or appeal of others, men and women alike, or being turned on by porn, but when mental push comes to shove, sexual energy gets channeled back to my partner. I'm fantasizing about him and us doing whatever things I'm inspired to think about.

Maybe I'm a freak, maybe I'm lucky, or unlucky? But I think for monogamous-minded folks, the idea of having your partner literally fantasizing about fucking others feels like a small step away from betrayal and is a big turn off.

Not porn itself mind you. Use the porn to spice up your sex life with eachother! That's honest, and hot.

But if the way the porn is used means you're taking care of your fantasies in the bathroom, leaving your interested partner in the other room with nothing, that's grounds for a major problem, and justified for the partner to get upset about.
Posted by giddy on August 30, 2011 at 10:34 PM · Report this
12
Holy Shit. Does PHM live in Seattle? With the genders reversed that one could have been written by me. Yes PHM, women in the same boat as you are out here. You just gotta keep looking.
Posted by SeattleKim on August 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 13
@11 Jealousy still smells like shit, no matter how many word-doilies & phrase-ribbons you put on it.

Jealousy comes from insecurity. No amount of defensive slog-commenting is going to change that, or give you the self-confidence you need.

(& you're obviously the jealous type, or why would you feel so threatened by Dan's words?)
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on August 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM · Report this
14
@13 I don't understand your attempting to 'call out' 11. They could be right and truthful, thus expressing their opinion and personal experience. I find it hilarious and ironic you feel the need to call someone out... for apparently being threatened by Dan's words. As you are threatened by their words.

Please stop insulting someone who disagrees with you, it's very immature.

People make up this world with different experiences and different views. While I agree a lot of what Dan says, his view on cheating sorta irks me. I always believe communication is key and sneaking around, even with the 'sexual dimension', can still hurt and breed unnecessary anger.
Posted by Shibarichan on August 30, 2011 at 11:57 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 15
Honestly, I don't. I've got a partner I find hot and sexy for nearly a decade, and my daydreams are about what he'd do to me, and vice versa. Not intentionally... it's just what happens.
It's what happens when you make him lie to you.

I believe that you only daydream about fucking him. I believe that he daydreams about fucking you. I don't believe that he doesn't daydream about fucking other people as well, because he's a he. He's just lying to you about it, because...
the idea of having your partner literally fantasizing about fucking others feels like a small step away from betrayal and is a big turn off
So of course he's going to lie to you about what he thinks about. He's not planning on acting on it, you don't understand the rather large gulf between thinking about something and acting on it, and he's keeping the peace (and his piece) by avoiding the entire conversation.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on August 31, 2011 at 12:00 AM · Report this
16
@2
He got the perfect advice DTMFA....

and what is your advice?
....
....
....
....

I thought so you LPOS , DB....
Posted by chaya760 on August 31, 2011 at 12:06 AM · Report this
17
I think Dan went way overboard on taking LW#1's word for it.

Could be she's batshit crazy jealous for no reason, she bugs him all the time if he's cheating and, if he's not, it's a perfectly reasonable response. Maybe he's hearing all the time that he's cheating and he's not and maybe the wife is putting words into HIS mouth vis-a-vis what Dan says.
Posted by Doot http://serbia-sucks.blogspot.com on August 31, 2011 at 12:38 AM · Report this
18 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
19 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
20
What a depressing group of letters. I'd be hitting the sauce pretty damned heavy if I had to wade through shit like this day-after-day.

LAH, it sounds like you'd like to save your marriage, despite your hubby's likely cheating and certain misrepresentations of Dan. I hate to pull out the old Dear Abby cliche, but maybe couples counseling would do you some good.

You could unpack his (likely) cheating and lies that way. Another consideration is that her husband likely has his own resentments and frustrations.

Maybe he's a kinky boy, and blowjobs and vanilla sex aren't cutting it for him anymore--that would explain his disinterest in initiating sex.

Counseling might help them figure that stuff out. Even if it doesn't, they'll be able to walk away with the satisfaction of having tried to save their marriage of 19 years.
Posted by Functional Atheist on August 31, 2011 at 1:11 AM · Report this
21
LAH, which is more important to you, honesty or monogamy, or are you going to hold out for both? If you need honesty more than monogamy, let your husband know that.

For PHM, if you're not ready for divorce, then, yes, keep looking, but please also consider your approach from the woman's perspective. "Treated like a queen" may not sound as great to likely prospects as it does to you. Try to make some female friends (online or offline) who can read your profile and help you edit it so you sound confident and happy, rather than mopey and subservient.
Posted by EricaP on August 31, 2011 at 1:34 AM · Report this
Styles Bitchley 22
There's very little to go on to convict LAH's husband as Dan does. Sure, he could totally be right. Isn't it feasible that LAH's husband has a low sex drive and is hinting that maybe SHE look for something on the side?

Clearly the communication problem is the biggest issue going on here.
Posted by Styles Bitchley on August 31, 2011 at 3:38 AM · Report this
23
No, there is no conclusive evidence of cheating in LAH's letter, but there is some circumstancial evidence, indeed. AND LAH's husband has indeed misrepresented Dan's opinions in a way that seems to lend support to careless cheating.

So LAH's suspicion that her husband is cheating is not confirmed, but indeed the circumstances make it look like a very reasonable guess.
Posted by ankylosaur on August 31, 2011 at 4:18 AM · Report this
24
@1 My ex-wife WAS "insecure and immature" and it had nothing to do with projection. Your statement has zero validity. It was why I DTMFA'd, and moved on.

Posted by Kylere on August 31, 2011 at 6:36 AM · Report this
25
I agree with @17 - it's quite possible that the husband in not twisting Dan's words, but rather the wife is twisting the husbands word's. I like Dan's advice most of the time, but one thing he lacks is personal experience dealing with women in relationships.
Posted by dan333333 on August 31, 2011 at 6:39 AM · Report this
Styles Bitchley 26
@25 "he lacks is personal experience dealing with women in relationships."

Haha. Yeah, I often find myself saying that. I mean A lot of straight and open talk Dan advocates just wouldn't fly with the majority of women I know.
Posted by Styles Bitchley on August 31, 2011 at 6:48 AM · Report this
27
PHS,

Personally, I think you should leave. Do it with some class and you can leave guilt free. You know, don't try to screw her out of money, be as generous as is fair, don't flaunt any new women in front of her, don't drag your kids into it. Your children are grown and your marriage sounds dead. If you want, try some retreat or some other thing like that to revive your marriage, but no one should feel stuck in a marriage that comatose without a definitive reason.

You have so much more life to live! Seize it, don't waste it. And if it seems scary out there, just ask yourself if a life confined to grey is worth the security. If you think so, then do what works for you. Me? I'll take all the colors and heartache over dull and overcast any day.

And yes, I know I mixed metaphors. Oh well.
Posted by VerdeENL on August 31, 2011 at 6:57 AM · Report this
28
LAH's letter is quite a Rorschach test. Is he cheating or isn't he? Those who are so sure that he is are coming to that conclusion on very short evidence.

As far as "twisting" Dan's words go, I think a lot of people just get these things dead wrong. Quiz many people on the philosophies that they adhere to and you'll find a good bit of misinformation. There's no need to go after Mr. LAH on his motives. Just tell him to shut up about it already. You've heard his views on this subject.
Posted by Mr. J on August 31, 2011 at 7:00 AM · Report this
29
Holy Crap WANK! Leave yesterday!
Posted by uberdude on August 31, 2011 at 8:16 AM · Report this
30
@11: No, you're not a freak. I'm the same way, even after over 30 years. It's just the way I'm made. I don't want anyone else, but I want my spouse a lot! I can't say what goes on in his head that way since I'm not in there, and I don't really care what goes on in there either, but he's never given any indication of wanting to fuck other people.

@13: Neither 11 nor I are threatened by Dan's words, we're just pointing out that his "everybody thinks about it" is not true. It may be true for him and lots of other people, but not true for everybody.

@15: Good job at misinterpreting 11's comment!
By vice versa, she meant what she'd do to him, not what he's thinking. Sheesh.
Posted by been there and back again on August 31, 2011 at 8:20 AM · Report this
31
Every letter here might misrepresent the truth, intentionally or otherwise. But as an advice columnist, Dan has to answer the letters he gets, not the letters he wants to get.

"I'm not sure I buy your version of events," would be a stupendously bad answer. Whether or not the person who wrote the letter is totally honest / has a good grasp on reality, for everyone else reading this, I think it's better to give an answer that lines up with the question being asked, which is what Dan did.

But also if, "My main need is for honestly and I don't feel like that is being met," and "I would like to know if I'm at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection," strike you as the words of a jealous person who is just trying to make their partner look bad without regard for reality, then you have a very different radar for these things than I do.
Posted by l337n00b on August 31, 2011 at 8:23 AM · Report this
32
@31

I completely agree that LAH sounds like she has rational concerns. She could be the jealous type, but even then, the needs she has are completely reasonable and her husband isn't taking care of them.
Posted by VerdeENL on August 31, 2011 at 8:30 AM · Report this
33
Darn it #31! You wrote the comment I wanted to write, only you did it better!
Posted by waterccc on August 31, 2011 at 8:38 AM · Report this
34
While I agree with the posts that state there isn't really evidence of cheating, I also agree that there is reason to be suspicious. If someone I was with was constantly telling me all the reasons that cheating is ok, I would certainly wonder if they were doing it to convince me, so that I wouldn't be upset when I found out, or convince themselves so they didn't feel guilty. I would also consider the option that, while they might not currently be cheating, they were considering it and testing the waters.
I have been in both open and monogamous relationships. While I can be in an open relationship without *much* jealousy (I'm not perfect, it happens), I am also comfortable in a monogamous relationship as well assuming it is with someone who is willing to at least attempt to meet my emotional/physical needs. I understand that a relationship can be fluid and go through periods of "monagamish" behavior as well. However, honesty is what is important, at least as far as I'm concerned. If I'm in a relationship with someone, and am being told they want monogamy, then I expect that in return, and would feel betrayed if I found out they were behaving otherwise. Not because they felt the need to go outside the relationship, but because they weren't able to tell me, so that 1) I could decide what I was ok with and not ok with, and 2) I had the option to do so as well. By keeping it secret, it would seem to me that they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.
Posted by KateRose on August 31, 2011 at 8:40 AM · Report this
AmyC 35
for all those jumping on dan's assumption that the husband in the first letter is cheating...don't forget that dan has to edit these things to fit into his column. entirely possible that there was stuff he had to cut out in the interest of brevity (or identifying details, or whatever) that indicated his cheating.
Posted by AmyC on August 31, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
36
Excellent advice once again, Dan!

LAH: You've already heard it so many times, but DTMFA!!!!!

@8: Amen!

Posted by auntie grizelda on August 31, 2011 at 9:52 AM · Report this
37
@29: I second that!
Posted by auntie grizelda on August 31, 2011 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Certainly! 38
Oh, WANK. There is absolutely no reason for you to disclose your fantasies to a person with whom you ARE NOT SAFE. Her behavior would still be deplorable if it had been *just* emotional abuse the last time you hinted at having sexy thoughts about someone not her.

I urge you to take a close look at your relationship and hope that you determine that you are worth more.
Posted by Certainly! on August 31, 2011 at 9:55 AM · Report this
39
to LAH, I have just discovered last week that my husband of 18 years has had an affair. I was suspicious (and I am not normally a suspicious person) almost from the first time he mentioned her name. I began asking him one week into his relationship with her to tell me the truth and to cut it off. He lied repeatedly, and just took steps to hide it even further.

Everything (I think) is now out in the open. He is begging me to stay and we are in counseling, separately and together. I don't have any advice for you except to say, trust your instincts. They are probably right.
Posted by sad in chicago on August 31, 2011 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 40
But I think for monogamous-minded folks, the idea of having your partner literally fantasizing about fucking others feels like a small step away from betrayal and is a big turn off.


It's nowhere remotely close to betrayal. I can accept that you genuinely feel the way your post describes. I can believe that your husband may feel the same way (though it's just as probable that he's lying to you, knowing your feelings on the subject).

But it doesn't mean that an idle fantasy means that someone is going to go out and nonconsensually betray their partner by acting on it.

When I'm with someone, sometimes I do fantasize. It's rarely about a specific person. Usually it's situational (fantasizing about being in a fraternity hazing or being gang-banged in a bar). The people in my fantasies aren't even specific people. They aren't my boyfriend's best friend (which I admit would be a bit disconcerting) or even about Brad Pitt. They aren't real people, it's the situation I'm fantasizing about. And I'm not about to run out and engage in such a thing without my boyfriend's knowledge. I'm too old to pledge a frat (and most, outside of porn, don't haze that way anyway), and I'm not gonna get gang-banged anywhere, anytime. It's just a fantasy. And it's certainly nowehre remotely close to cheating, even if he's fantasizing about it while having sex with you. In fact, some of the best sex I've had is when my partner would whisper a situational fantasy story to me while we were having sex.

(For the record, I'm currently single, so if there's a fraternity out there that wants a 43 year old pledge, it wouldn't be cheating...)
Posted by Kevin_BGFH http://biggayfrathouse.typepad.com/blog/ on August 31, 2011 at 10:14 AM · Report this
41
LAH and her husband need to go to a marriage counselor and they need to bring a copy of this column. One of two things is happening: Either LAH's husband is cheating and can't own up or he needs to learn to say, "Honey, I'm REALLY not cheating" in a way that the paranoid LAH will believe. A counselor can help them do that.
Posted by DRF on August 31, 2011 at 10:26 AM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 42
@30: I interpreted her entire comment, not just the part(s) I quoted. It's pretty clear she sees any kind of fantasizing as cheating, so it's reasonable to assume she's making a statement about (what she thinks) her partner thinks.

I do give you credit for not giving a fuck about what your spouse thinks, just what he does. My sense is that @11 does not make that distinction.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on August 31, 2011 at 10:39 AM · Report this
jackdee 43
#26 Just because you think it wouldn't fly, doesn't mean that it won't. Actually, it's irrelevant. Just seems like a bad reason to not be straightforward, and if someone can't process you being straightforward with them, why should you even bother with them?
Posted by jackdee on August 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM · Report this
44
@40: I'm pretty sure that idea about someone's mental sex life being a betrayal comes from the Bible, which says that someone who lusts after another is an adulterer. The Bible is big on thought crime and it's made a strong impression on our culture, to say the least.
Posted by Orv on August 31, 2011 at 10:53 AM · Report this
nocutename 45
I don't think it is up to the readership of this column to determine, based on LAH's letter, whether her husband is cheating or not. But she is unhappy, and if her letter describes her husband's behavior accurately, he's being somewhat emotionally abusive. He is trying to browbeat her into sanctioning his non-monogamy, and when she asks him direct questions he evades answering by going on the offensive and accusing her of having problems. Both are cause for the two of them to get into counseling and work on bettering their communication skills, at the very least.

For what it's worth, I have had two friends whose husbands cheated on them and when the wives asked questions about suspicious behavior/incidents (lots of phone call/hang ups, discrepancies between where the husband said he was going to be and where he actually was, strange women coming up to the wife and making cryptic comments, etc.) the cheating husbands' responses were virtually identical to those that LAH described. Also, in both of these cases, and in the third case of another friend--who never had the slightest suspicion her husband might be cheating and so didn't ask those kinds of questions--the husbands suddenly developed a significant loss of interest in sex with their wives, which was better explained when their affairs were revealed.

In light of that admittedly limited sample, I'm inclined to be wary. Bottom line, you know your husband, LAH, and you know whether you believe him. Writing a letter to an advice columnist is a way of getting confirmation and of bolstering your courage. If you're wondering about your protection from STIs, you should trust your instincts, get tested, and either insist on honesty and marriage counseling or start initiating divorce proceedings.
More...
Posted by nocutename on August 31, 2011 at 11:04 AM · Report this
46
"I mean A lot of straight and open talk Dan advocates just wouldn't fly with the majority of women I know."

Hell, a lot of the suggested talk from FEMALE posters here at Slog would not fly with them or the majority of women.

Any guy who has been in a long term relationship with a woman knows much of what they say they want is bullshit, and that it should be treated as such.

Sorry, gals. Truth.
Posted by loves me some women, but they are flakey on August 31, 2011 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Helix 47
@11 As someone who is purely monogamous and really only has interest in monogamy, I have to disagree with you. I often fantasize about other people while I'm in relationships, just as I'm sure the people I'm in relationships have. And I look at plenty of porn, but I also have more than enough of a sex drive to satisfy my partners.

I don't think being "monogamously minded" has anything to do with it. I've never cheated on anyone, I never would, and I enjoy monogamy - I tried polygamy once and I hated it. But that doesn't mean I only ever think about my partner.

As it turns out, everyone is different :P
Posted by Helix on August 31, 2011 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Helix 48
To reinforce what @15 said, thinking about fucking someone, and actually fucking them, are entirely different, and to view the first as a betrayal strikes me as...a little more jealous than is really healthy.

I'm not saying that everyone should be constantly thinking about fucking everyone else. I just don't think viewing that as a betrayal of trust is a good thing. To elaborate:

I have no idea about the particulars of your situation, @11, nor am I going to try to interpret them. But I was in a relationship for awhile with a girl who thought very much like you - she only thought about me and wanted me to only think about her, and made it clear that she would be really upset if I didn't think about her. So I just never brought it up, because I cared about her and I wanted to be with her but my brain is my brain, and I know that I would never ever actually act on any of what I think about.

But she (and it seems like you, judging that you consider it a "small step away from betrayal") didn't understand that. But maybe don't consider it a breach of trust. That seems a little too controlling.
Posted by Helix on August 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM · Report this
49
mr. 'I hate screen names', a little dark and bitter are you? Presuming everyone lies or feels they have to, is what I took issue with.
You totally ignored how I pointed out it's NOT what is thought about, but how it's channeled (acted upon).
Using porn to spice up your actual relationship is totally different than using it to get off in hidden ways, when you have a partner you could be doing it with.

It's not jealousy, not sure where you got that from.

I was pointing out that a person hiding and wanking rather than sharing their kinks with their partner, is a betrayal.
If a partner is horny, GGG, and willing to explore porn and kinks, but you don't give them the chance because you don't have the balls to communicate or figure out how to share your kinks with your partner, then yes, that's a problem, and unfair to the partner.

Some people are just insecure and jealous, yes.
But some are actually confident and capable, and rightfully pissed off when their partner hides things from them, and blames them for their OWN insecurities that make them hide things rather than find a way to share them to strengthen their mutual sex life.

Big fucking difference.
Posted by giddy on August 31, 2011 at 11:26 AM · Report this
50
@ 46 "Any guy who has been in a long term relationship with a woman knows much of what they say they want is bullshit, and that it should be treated as such."

I suppose you are excluding the "FEMALE posters here at Slog" from your generalizations? Anyway, you sound charming, and I can't imagine why women freak out at you so often.

As to LAH--your asshole of a husband is cheating, and is blaming Dan for it. It's a dick move, and he should be dumped. The thing that's sad about this is: if he wasn't such a lying asshole, maybe he could have talked to you honestly and then had some above-board extramarital adventures without ruining his marriage.

Lastly: to #11 who said she doesn't fantasize about anyone except her husband, but is turned on by porn: WHA?! You've just contradicted yourself.
Posted by MichelleZB on August 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM · Report this
51
"But I think for monogamous-minded folks, the idea of having your partner literally fantasizing about fucking others feels like a small step away from betrayal and is a big turn off."

The world would be a frightening place if thought were always a precursor to action.

Thankfully, it isn't.
Posted by Mr. Deplorable on August 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Fred Casely 52
@16:
@2
He got the perfect advice DTMFA....

and what is your advice?
....
....
....
....

I thought so you LPOS , DB....
Yikes. Before you went all aggro on me you might have checked to see if you were referring to the same letter I was, which was from "Please Help Me", or PHM. Dan doesn't tell him to DTMFA. I guess you thought I was referring to the first letter – from LAH – which seems to be getting all the attention in the thread.

In any case, I didn't offer PHM advice myself because Where to Find the Ladies is not my area of expertise.

Hope that was cathartic for you, though.
Posted by Fred Casely on August 31, 2011 at 11:35 AM · Report this
53
It seems people in this thread aren't grasping the distinction of how being 'turned on by' or 'arroused by' porn, or other people, is different from the next step of following that arousal with 'fantasizing about fucking someone else' instead of actually physically engaging with your partner.

Also there seems a general idea that anyone who's upset about their partner hiding sexuality from them is insecure and jealous, as opposed to GGG and honest.

damn. Glad I'm not dating any of you.
Posted by giddy on August 31, 2011 at 11:53 AM · Report this
nocutename 54
Okay, Giddy, I think I understand what's happening:
You are using the word "fantasy" to mean a specific sexual act that one intends to realize. So that looking at porn or being aroused by the thought--momentarily--of another person doesn't count as fantasizing, if the sexual energy it produces is channeled back into the monogamous relationship.

Is that it?

If not, do you really mean that you consider the act of masturbating to the idea of someone who is not your partner, even if the person doing the masturbating would never consider actually acting out the scenario or having sex with anyone but his or her monogamous partner to be close to betrayal? Yes, I understand that you gave an example of someone who masturbates at the expense of having sex with his/her partner, but what if that's not happening?

To me, the word "fantasy" has in it the element of the un-realizable, either by necessity (many of my fantasies involve me being someone I'm not, in a situation that doesn't and can't exist) or by choice (I may think about that cute barista either when I'm masturbating or even occasionally when I'm having sex with my partner, but I'm not going to try and make that coupling happen). Since I would never or could never make my fantasies come true, I take issue with the idea that they could be even close to an act of betrayal.

If, however, I thought of a "fantasy" as something I want to happen that just hasn't happened yet but which I will try to make happen, then I could see your point.
I know that I don't share the same definition of "fantasy" as a lot of people, and maybe that's the source of the disagreement here.
Posted by nocutename on August 31, 2011 at 12:10 PM · Report this
nocutename 55

PHM, both the websites you mentioned are sugar-daddy/sugar-baby hookup sites. You say you want intimacy, not an escort, but that isn't what that relationship is about. Maybe you should look at Adult Friend Finder or OkCupid!. But I think it's a bit hypocritical--not to mention unrealistic--of you to restrict your search to single or divorced women when you are not fully available. A woman who is in the same boat as you, married, but unfulfilled, might be easier to find, given your situation and limitations. I think that what you have to offer a single woman sounds like a for-hire relationship, and I'm not surprised that you're not finding what you're looking for. Additionally, the term "treated like a queen" is offensive to a lot of women.
Posted by nocutename on August 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 56
@49: Yeah, giddy, you aren't expressing yourself very well here. Are you saying that masturbating-- or masturbating while thinking of someone else-- is betrayal? Because that's not really a "big fucking difference" from your original "fantasizing about fucking others feels like a small step away from betrayal" point.

Assuming you're still fucking your partner regularly, of course.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on August 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM · Report this
57
Erica (@21) has provided the only good advice to one of the letter writers today- Dan included.

LAH may want to try laying it out on the table what she wants- is it monogomy or honesty before DTMFA. There is not enough in these letters to say HE is being an emotionally abusive or cheating POS. Unless he is a trucker, a politician or a rocker on the road I have always wondered how it is possible to carry on an affair without the wife finding out. You could try blowing him every night and see if you can detect the tangy flavor of POS. cheating POS's usually @#!*% their spouse MORE, not less, when they are engaging in an affair.

Likewise she freaks out and hits him when she catches him jacking to porn is hardly grounds to break up a marriage. Context people! Maybe she wanted it in her rather than in front of the computer and he ignored her needs? Constant @#!*% about a habit may be grounds but one incident? Please Dan. Is that what you think of marriage? Then this is precisely why so many conservatives oppose letting gay people marry. You devalue the institution with this advice.

Finally, for please help, the answer is there are TONS of women in your age bracket who are lonely and single who would do anything to find a man- even one who is technically married. The web cites problem is due to your profile I will bet. Once you fix your profile you need to get out in the wide, wide world and meet single (or married!) women. They outnumber you by a fair amount at your age. Try getting a cute new puppy and going to the dog park. Join an organization or club. Take a class.
Posted by Professor on August 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM · Report this
58
Using porn to spice up your actual relationship is totally different than using it to get off in hidden ways, when you have a partner you could be doing it with.

I'm not clear on this, giddy--people in monogamous relationships should only enjoy porn/fantasies/masturbation if their partner is involved? I'm happily monogamous, but sometimes I like a little alone time. So does my boyfriend. If you're avoiding sex with your partner but wanking up a storm, sure, that's a problem...but when partners have healthy sex lives, what's the problem with masturbating alone with porn/fantasies?

I realize I may have misunderstood your comment; my apologies if I did.
Posted by chicago girl on August 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM · Report this
59
I am someone who never thinks about fucking anyone other than my partner. The few times when I tried to do it purposefully, I couldn't get off until I turned my thoughts back to my partner. Just sayin'
Posted by quix on August 31, 2011 at 1:18 PM · Report this
60
>> "I'm GGG, he probably gets more blowjobs than most married men ..."

Heh. If he's cheating, I'd suspect so.

How many blowjobs do most married men get, anyway? I always figured married guys were getting blown more often than unmarried guys, in most cases. That's certainly the case in the decade I've been married. Proximity creates opportunities.
Posted by kbz1979 on August 31, 2011 at 1:55 PM · Report this
61
LAH's letter makes me realize that I've been a CPOS since I started fucking another woman a couple of months ago. My wife just has never been interested in sex (especially with me, I fear) and even when she remembers to try it's never momentous. Still, seeing LAH lay this out, I realize I'm wrong, even if she doesn't suspect a thIng. And she doesn't, because she doesn't notice that I think about sex until I tell her.

But goddamn I'm happier than I've been in years. People notice--even she noticed that I was happy when she took a business trip a few weeks ago. And it's translated well into my so-called sex life with her, too. Using protection with the other woman. I love being sexually desirable and powerful again. It's been so very long.

I have some thinking to do; a small child is involved. But I love feeling this druglike euphoria, and I. don't know if I can stop, even though it's wrong.
Posted by Steeeeverino on August 31, 2011 at 2:40 PM · Report this
62
Giddy, are you saying that every single time that you have sexual energy, that you must spend it with your partner or else suppress it? That's an unrealistic expectation.

There are any number of times where your partner may be unavailable: sick, tired after a long day, doing something else, PMSing, just not in the mood. If they don't want it, they have every right to decline to participate with you, but they don't have the right to tell you to just shut it down. Likewise, you have just as much right to decline to participate with them. Your private time is your own, to do with as you see fit. Your partner does not get to say that your private time is your own only so far as you are doing things that they approve of. ("Honey, you are allowed to read a book or clean the toilets on your own time, but if you use it to look at porn, you are in trouble." That's a lot of syllables for "Hand over your testicles, I'll keep them in my purse.")

If you are consistently avoiding your partner in preference to masturbation, there is a real problem there -- but the problem is that you are failing to take care of your partner, not that you are somehow "cheating" by taking care of your own needs alone. It isn't cheating until you actually involve somebody other than your partner. As long as it stays inside the confines of your own brain, it's nobody's business but your own. Any partner who expects to have a say over what goes on inside somebody else's skull is a massive control freak.
Posted by avast2006 on August 31, 2011 at 3:07 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 63
"To quote: "Jealous types, please note: Your partner sometimes thinks about fucking other people, just like you sometimes think about fucking other people."

Honestly, I don't."

Then the advice doesn't apply to you.
Posted by undead ayn rand on August 31, 2011 at 3:31 PM · Report this
64
Advice to WANK: Hie thee to a marriage counselor, you and that abuser you married. She desperately needs to hear from a neutral party a very strongly worded, "Wait, you physically attacked him? For THAT?!?! Lady, you need serious professional help."

Regarding disclosure (assuming you don't take Dan's advice and divorce her abusive ass): no, you do not owe her any sort of disclosure whatsoever at this point. She has demonstrated that she is not to be trusted with disclosures. If she wants to hear about your fantasies, make some shit up that you think will make her happy, and keep the actual contents of your own psyche to yourself, where it's safe.
Posted by avast2006 on August 31, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
65
To amplify on 63: More importantly, it doesn't matter whether _your_ sexual thoughts only ever involve your actual partner, and nobody else. Most of the rest of us have fantasies about other people, and you had better be prepared to deal with that fact without melting into a puddle (or going postal on your partner).

They are FANTASIES. That means they are IMAGINARY. If you are willing to screw up your ACTUAL relationship over imaginary scenarios, your grasp of reality and your priorities both need some serious adjustment.

That, and if you think you have the right to expect your partner's fantasy life to work exactly like yours does, that indicates a serious case of self-entitlement and lack of boundaries. Your partner is not you. Your sovereignty over your partner ends well shy of the inside of his head.

(Previous two paragraphs not necessarily present in any given individual, together or separately. No disclaimers necessary if you don't work that way.)
Posted by avast2006 on August 31, 2011 at 3:54 PM · Report this
66
Having been a dude in a committed relationship, WANK, whose significant other went holy batshit ballsdeep crazy when something that disturbed her about me or our lives together and beat the crap out of me not once, but four times, I can only concur wholeheartedly with Dan on this one.

I don't know you or her, I don't know what the deal is with her, but it is NEVER okay to hit someone you love. Ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever.

Were the gender roles reversed fifteen thousand women would swarm to your front door and demand to beat the shit out of that abusive asshole of a husband with 2x4s and a long nail pounded through the end.

But since you're a guy, you think, "Oh, well, I'm male, and it's got to be okay, because I'm male. And she hit me because she was so frustrated and overwhelmed by her response blah blah blah blah".

I was 6'4" and 250lbs, my abuser was a 105lb 5'1" sopping wet gymnast who cracked my ribs one night. I never hit back or even tried to defend myself simply because who'd believe me? I'm huge, she's tiny, she sports a black eye and I sport a few minor bruises along my ribcage where she pummeled me for ten minutes.

I filed assault charges against her; and a restraining order. Had I not done either of those things the cycle of abuse - mental and physical - would have continued. Later I dated a woman who punched me in anger once on the shoulder. She got a "never, EVER do that again" warning. The second time she was dumped hard.

You worry about your kinks; I worry about your acceptance of your wife's violence and what that implies for your safety.

Frankly, DTMFA isn't easy, and if you're married, stating unequivocably that you will never, EVER stand for being hit in anger again, and giving her advanced warning that if she does for ANY reason, you'll be gone, period, end of cycle, end of story, no do-overs, fin.

You might have a shot at rescuing the marriage and if you have to tone down your intense need for furry porn in the meantime, so be it, but you need to deal with the spousal abuse issue front-and-center first; the kink issue later.
More...
Posted by malachi on August 31, 2011 at 4:25 PM · Report this
67
@15 I couldn't agree more. @11 may truly fantasize about her husband exclusively, but for her to believe (and require!) that her husband only fantasize about her is laughably naive.

(And yes, I'm assuming 11 is a woman, because there's sure as shit no way it's a gay man.)
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on August 31, 2011 at 4:34 PM · Report this
68
@63: Personally I'm a hell of a lot more concerned about said wife's reactions and WANK's physical safety than any need of the wifey-poo to realize her actualized potential and sexual liberations of her husband.

Moreover, even if the wife in this situation goes, "Holy shit, I was abusing him? I have reformed my ways!" (which is highly unlikely; my theory is that if she's that tightly wound about her husband's kinks she's going to ignore the whole "physical abuse" thing in favor of justifying her own actions based upon the fact he wanks it to other chicks / dog-headed versions of his wife with vapid expressions) it still doesn't fix that breach of trust.

The marriage counselor is a prime idea, but the first step is for WANK to confront the wife with what she did and why it's not okay. He stepped up and did what he needed to do.

If the marriage is going to work out it's not just all on her self-actualization and realizations; WANK's going to have to do some digging and some work as well, and one of those is going to have to be learning when to STFU and not blurt out "I fantasize about you having identical triplet sisters and shagging all three of you at once while wearing fun-fur leggings and Hello Kitty masks."

Aside from that, knowing that WANK runs with /b/oards for his source material is a little disturbing.
Posted by malachi on August 31, 2011 at 4:38 PM · Report this
69
LAH, when a man gets that defensive about potential cheating and flips it around on you like that, HE IS CHEATING. I'm sorry, but this is true. Mr. Savage here is correct that Mr. LAH is seeking your permission by bullying you into recognizing some made-up-truth about having sex outside one's marriage being totally ok no-matter-what and shoving words into Mr. Savage's mouth in order to justify his position.

LAH, your husband is a selfish, cheating, lying asshole who is putting not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health at risk. If I were in your shoes, I'd get documentation of his cheating ways real fast and dump his sorry ass ASAP, suing for alimony and child support if possible/applicable. NEVER give him your permission and do not let him bully you into letting him live his disgusting lifestyle.
Posted by triskaideka on August 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM · Report this
70
LAH, when a man gets that defensive about potential cheating and flips it around on you like that, HE IS CHEATING. I'm sorry, but this is true. Mr. Savage here is correct that Mr. LAH is seeking your permission by bullying you into recognizing some made-up-truth about having sex outside one's marriage being totally ok no-matter-what and shoving words into Mr. Savage's mouth in order to justify his position.

LAH, your husband is a selfish, cheating, lying asshole who is putting not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health at risk. If I were in your shoes, I'd get documentation of his cheating ways real fast and dump his sorry ass ASAP, suing for alimony and child support if possible/applicable. NEVER give him your permission and do not let him bully you into letting him live his disgusting lifestyle.
Posted by triskaideka on August 31, 2011 at 4:41 PM · Report this
71
@61, wearing condoms with your girlfriend is not adequate for protecting your wife. Condoms are not 100% protection. Either wear condoms with both, or tell your wife about the new risk to her health and let her decide what she wants to do about it. What's the worst that could happen? You both have to downscale your expenses to support two households, but you have a chance to find a partner who is sexually compatible with you.
Posted by EricaP on August 31, 2011 at 5:03 PM · Report this
72
Dan, have to disagree on any "cheating is permissible" loopholes. You seem to think the ultimate concern is "saving" relationships. Shouldn't the ultimate concern be consent and respect? There are health and emotional health issues at play. To "cheat" is not just to put another's health at risk, but to steal from them the choice they'd make if they had all the information about their life. You're robbing them of autonomy.

I'm all for non-monogamy and polyamory, and in fact tend to think it's best to assume that all of one's sexual partners may be having sex with other people, but, especially in monogamous relationships, there are no circumstances that, to my mind, would make "cheating," or non-consensual non-monogamy, OK.
Posted by apiontek on August 31, 2011 at 5:39 PM · Report this
73
Dan, have to disagree on any "cheating is permissible" loopholes. You seem to think the ultimate concern is "saving" relationships. Shouldn't the ultimate concern be consent and respect? There are health and emotional health issues at play. To "cheat" is not just to put another's health at risk, but to steal from them the choice they'd make if they had all the information about their life. You're robbing them of autonomy.

I'm all for non-monogamy and polyamory, and in fact tend to think it's best to assume that all of one's sexual partners may be having sex with other people, but, especially in monogamous relationships, there are no circumstances that, to my mind, would make "cheating," or non-consensual non-monogamy, OK.
Posted by apiontek on August 31, 2011 at 5:41 PM · Report this
74
PHM, where's the part about _how_ your relationship with your wife deteriorated to this pathetic state? And what have you done to try to fix it? Have you talked about this with her? Couples counseling? If not, why not? Does she refuse to do anything to make it better? Does she promise to do better and then lapses within the week? What has caused you to give up on your wife?

Also, what about negotiating to open things up?

Concerned commenters will want to know this before giving you the green light to discreetly cheat.
Posted by avast2006 on August 31, 2011 at 5:59 PM · Report this
75
I'm really annoyed with the posters saying that all men fantasize about people other than their partners.

Men aren't all crazed sex hounds. That stereotype is bullshit and it hurts everyone - men who don't have a high sex drive feel unmanly, and women who ask a guy for sex and get turned down feel ugly and gross because, hey, if "guys will fuck anything that moves" then why won't this guy fuck her?

PEOPLE. ARE. ALL. DIFFERENT. Some people - men and women - can be completely one-track-mind monogamous. Other people - men and women - have more of a need for variety, whether it's through fantasies or actually fucking other people. Let's stop the ridiculous gender pigeonholing, shall we?
Posted by perversecowgirl on August 31, 2011 at 6:11 PM · Report this
76
@49/53: I think you, actually, are the person having a misunderstanding. For most of us, we can fantasize about other people without sexually neglecting our partners. You seem to think that sexually satisfying one's partner and fantasizing about someone else are mutually exclusive activities, which I don't think most of us believe to be the case. Perhaps the issue is just a semantic one, in which fantasizing about someone means masturbating to them in your mind, but that isn't what most of us mean, I don't think.

I say this as a person who doesn't fantasize about having sex with men other than my boyfriend, but who understands that daydreaming isn't anything like "a betrayal." I mean, let's be real: sometimes I fantasize about being a famous actress, but I don't actually want to put in the work or give up my current aspirations just so that I could be famous enough that I'd get fan mail. It's a "wouldn't it be cool" kind of thought process, like make believe where you daydream about being a cowboy or something. I don't think it's really different.
Posted by alguna_rubia on August 31, 2011 at 6:26 PM · Report this
long-time reader 77
First of all, Dan is a great advice columnist. But The God of Sex, he's not. His pronouncements do not entitle anybody to break any prior promises they've made to their partner. So even if he had given everybody a free pass to fuck like bunnies, LAH's husband could still be a CPOS.

Secondly, Dan, I'm kind of curious if you've thought this whole "unfulfilled kink" thing out to its logical consequences. How do you define "kink"? What if LAH's husband's kink happens to be orgies? That's one that simply can't be fulfilled in any monogamous marriage. And I'm not just being pedantic--my own kink happens to be threesomes. Lucky for me, my wife likes them too, so Dan's "permission" is irrelevant.

Thirdly, anybody have any unicorn-finding tips?
Posted by long-time reader on August 31, 2011 at 7:26 PM · Report this
nocutename 78
@77 (long-time reader): my issue is the phrase "stay sane" that Dan tosses around as a justification for cheating.
As if not getting your sexual way will drive you insane.

And I'm speaking from the position of a former CPOS--but at least I wasn't cloaking my actions in the self-justification of preserving my sanity.
Posted by nocutename on August 31, 2011 at 7:33 PM · Report this
79
I don't know if it's been said already in the comment thread, but I think it's really important to qualify your statement on disability. It is NOT ok to go out and cheat if your only provocation is that your partner is disabled. Newsflash, we disabled folks like sex. We like honesty. Many of us are GGG to the best of our abilities, and many of our abilities kick "able" people's abilities in the ass. I am disabled and queer, and although I have frequently thought about opening up my relationship with my partner, I would be devastated if she just went and cheated on me with someone else rather than discussing it with me.

Most disabled people who do withhold are withholding with very good cause. While I normally agree that it is better to open the relationship than loose an otherwise good thing, I object with as much energy as I have in my poor crippled (apparently sexless) body against this interpretation. It's not ok to involve someone in a lifetime of marriage without sex, if sex was implicitly or explicitly promised at the point of getting hitched. However, after an accident, during chemo, on bad pain nights, or during flares, you do not have the right to go see someone else without asking us first. If you don't sleep with other people while your wife is pregnant or menstruating, then don't sleep with other people for similar uncontrollable body reasons.
Posted by librarian.mobile on August 31, 2011 at 7:34 PM · Report this
80
I don't know if it's been said already in the comment thread, but I think it's really important to qualify your statement on disability. It is NOT ok to go out and cheat if your only provocation is that your partner is disabled. Newsflash, we disabled folks like sex. We like honesty. Many of us are GGG to the best of our abilities, and many of our abilities kick "able" people's abilities in the ass. I am disabled and queer, and although I have frequently thought about opening up my relationship with my partner, I would be devastated if she just went and cheated on me with someone else rather than discussing it with me.

Most disabled people who do withhold are withholding with very good cause. While I normally agree that it is better to open the relationship than loose an otherwise good thing, I object with as much energy as I have in my poor crippled (apparently sexless) body against this interpretation. It's not ok to involve someone in a lifetime of marriage without sex, if sex was implicitly or explicitly promised at the point of getting hitched. However, after an accident, during chemo, on bad pain nights, or during flares, you do not have the right to go see someone else without asking us first. If you don't sleep with other people while your wife is pregnant or menstruating, then don't sleep with other people for similar uncontrollable body reasons.
Posted by librarian.mobile on August 31, 2011 at 7:37 PM · Report this
81
@71 Sorry. I'm confused. If condoms don't provide 100% protection than how would wearing one with his wife protect her where they failed him? Not that I'm defending him, he probably should have told her by now anyways.
Posted by mygash on August 31, 2011 at 8:41 PM · Report this
82
WANK, do you have any idea how many nerd girls would fuck you just for being cool with Wincest? Dump the abusive bitch already.
Posted by nullandvoid on August 31, 2011 at 9:06 PM · Report this
83
PHM, don't give up on Ashley Madison. My SO was on Ashley Madison for a few months before he found me. I, on the other hand, was on for five days. The odds are incredibly tilted toward women, but the right one will be out there. Keep looking.
Posted by Tyche on August 31, 2011 at 9:13 PM · Report this
84
@@ 71&81 - if condoms aren't 100% preventative, using then more often will still increase the protection, even if it's not 100%. Statistics and shit.

If I tell her, she walks. What I want, in the best possible world, is for her to enjoy fucking me. (yes, talked about it, yes, counseling, yes, listened). If I stop now, I can learn from this, though trust in the marriage is compromised. But I'm not sure I can.
Posted by Steeeeverino on August 31, 2011 at 9:15 PM · Report this
85
Please don't give up on Ashley Madison, PHM. Remember the odds are incredibly skewed toward women there. I had my profile up for five days and was overwhelmed by responses; my SO had his up there for months before we found each other. Persistence and hope is what you need. She's out there, PHM, it will just take some time.
Posted by Tyche on August 31, 2011 at 9:18 PM · Report this
86
I think the first letter, while suspicious, isn't enough to say the man is cheating. Want to find out for sure? Hire a private investigator.
Posted by Hybrid Vigor on August 31, 2011 at 9:26 PM · Report this
Chicle Atomico 87
Uh... well, I guess after slogging thru all the miserable and depressing letters, Dan's gotta mix it up once in a while with a bizarre, implausible one like WANK's. "Wincest" (bleargggh)- really? REALLY? At the risk of being shot down for gender stereotyping, the idea of a man reading Supernatural slash fanfiction on a weekly basis defies credibility. Humiliating as it is for me to have to acknowledge our responsibility for its sometimes extremely unsavory examples, this genre is almost exclusively by and for women.
In fact, WANK kinda put me in mind of "Bi Pantyhose Guy" from the 8/10/11 column, who Dan diagnosed as a dude into "feminization" or taking on on the "feminine role" for sexual kicks. Between the bromantic slash fic, the cat thing, the victimization, and the tears, this letter writer sure milked the platform this sex-advice column gave him for all it was worth to display himself in a female-coded light. If WANK is for real, then so is Raul (TV Without Pity Supernatural Forum in-joke).
Posted by Chicle Atomico on August 31, 2011 at 10:30 PM · Report this
88
@84 Thanks! I don't go without them and I know their general shortcomings, but considering I'm only in my early 20s and it's my only form of protection; better to ask and look a fool than miss out on some real world info.

I'm really sorry about your situation and I'm sorry for trivializing it for a chance to ask my own question. It sounds like you sincerely put your best efforts into your marriage and are taking steps to keep her safe despite your inability to inform her. I hope that you can find some peace and joy for yourself regardless of the outcome.
Posted by mygash on August 31, 2011 at 10:34 PM · Report this
89
@84 - "What I want is for her to enjoy fucking me." The odds are not good, and they are especially bad because you're not remembering a past period of good, plentiful sex with her, but rather fantasizing that she might change into a vastly different person.

Tell her about the affair before she catches you -- it will make a big difference in rebuilding the trust that will be necessary for co-parenting your kid after the divorce.

Or don't tell her and ask her for a divorce, counting on her never learning that you cheated during the marriage.
Posted by EricaP on September 1, 2011 at 12:14 AM · Report this
90 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
91
@74 He wrote: "But we hardly talk and never have sex." They've moved from spouses to friends to roommates who barely communicate. I think he has a moral right to look for sex elsewhere without keeping her informed.

@77 "anybody have any unicorn-finding tips?"
High-priced escorts.
Posted by EricaP on September 1, 2011 at 12:31 AM · Report this
Noadi 92
@79 Dan has clarified in the past that he means a permanent disability that makes sex impossible, or nearly so, not a disability that sometimes gets in the way of sex or is temporary.
Posted by Noadi http://noadi.net on September 1, 2011 at 2:23 AM · Report this
93
Why is PHM focused on a single or divorced women?

I date online and am seriously discouraged by all the married men looking for something on the side.

Could it be that single women are not intrested because he is married? I'm not interested in men who are married. I am interested in a relationship that might have a future, and a married man of any kind is a waste of my time.

PHM needs to search for other women in his category. The fact that he feels he has a right to both a wife and an unattached girlfriend speaks volumes.
Posted by tinowman on September 1, 2011 at 4:04 AM · Report this
94
Cheers, all the way around.
Posted by Street Philosopher on September 1, 2011 at 4:49 AM · Report this
95
@87: There's nothing implausible about a guy reading slash. Plenty of us do. It may be uncommon but it happens.
Posted by BlackRose on September 1, 2011 at 5:08 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 96
@77 & @78 - While I agree with Dan's loopholes for celibate marriages and long term disabilities, I was surprised by Dan's loophole for "unfufilled kink" too. If my wife was into something I couldn't/wouldn't accomodate (scat play, for example) she has the green light to do it behind my back?!? Unless she was explicit about the kink before marriage and I acknowledged I would accomodate it in some way, I don't think the exception from CPOS applies.

Posted by Tim Horton on September 1, 2011 at 6:33 AM · Report this
97
Decrying possessiveness and jealousy as evil excrescences which must be repressed is as anti-human[e] as believing. that of lust or altruism (to cite the tenets of the Romish and Randish faiths).
Posted by Gerald Fnord on September 1, 2011 at 8:17 AM · Report this
98
It's no surprise that many people tend to twist Dan's words since he has often shouted that sex outside marriage is sometimes defensible; it definitely helps when he prints letters like LAH's so he can clarify his stand on the matter.

And it must be overwhelmingly difficult to divorce after 19 years of marriage & 2 kids, but the bottom line is, she's better off single than married to that asshole.
Posted by wayne on September 1, 2011 at 8:34 AM · Report this
99
@84 -- there is no marriage without trust. You are just a CPOS who wants to have his cake and eat it too. Perhaps Erika is right, that having your husband voluntarily confess is better than discovering it on your own. I wouldn't know. I do know that the repeated lies, denials, and evasions have hurt far far worse than any sex act with another person could.
Posted by sad in chicago on September 1, 2011 at 8:46 AM · Report this
100
LAH should check out http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Infidelit… for a very supportive group of individuals who have experienced infidelity. Best of luck to her-- it is a truly shitting position to be in.
Posted by wxPDX on September 1, 2011 at 9:18 AM · Report this
101
LAH should check out http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Infidelit… for a very supportive group of individuals who have experienced infidelity. Best of luck to her-- it is a truly shitty position to be in.
Posted by wxPDX on September 1, 2011 at 9:18 AM · Report this
102
@93 "The fact that he feels he has a right to both a wife and an unattached girlfriend speaks volumes."

Yes. Well said.

@99 "the repeated lies, denials, and evasions have hurt far far worse than any sex act with another person could"

Absolutely. And I'm sorry you are in such pain, Sad in Chicago.
Posted by EricaP on September 1, 2011 at 9:18 AM · Report this
103
Sorry double post :-/
Posted by wxPDX on September 1, 2011 at 9:23 AM · Report this
104
@97: It's more like possessiveness and jealousy are powerful emotions that can affect your life negatively, and that your life can be better if you learn ways of managing them. (The same is true for fear or anger or sadness.)

@93, 102: What the hell? Of course he has a "right" to look for whatever partners he wants and date whoever wants to date him. And yes, there are certainly single women who would be interested. It may be true that he'd have better luck with married women -- I don't know -- but it's certainly true he'd have better luck by looking at both married and unmarried women.

It's ok for him to have standards and preferences. And since he's been in a shitty situation with his last relationship, he needs to build up his self-esteem and enhance his sense that he is worthy of the kind of women he wants, not diminish it.
Posted by BlackRose on September 1, 2011 at 10:56 AM · Report this
105
@104 - He has a right to keep pushing ahead with his current approach, but it doesn't seem like it's working for him. He might want to consider why women like me and tinowman (and the ones he has met online) are getting turned off by his attitude.
Posted by EricaP on September 1, 2011 at 11:37 AM · Report this
106
@105: tinowman specifically wants single men, regardless of attitude, so there's not much he can do about that short of getting divorced. I'm not sure what it is that turns you off about him. But online dating is a difficult skill that takes time to learn, so it's normal for him to not have much luck at first.

If he does need to change his attitude, I suspect he needs to seem less needy and desperate (as indicated by his "treated like a queen" line), which is why I think he needs to feel more worthy of the women he prefers, as opposed to less worthy, which sounds like what you're suggesting by hinting he's not good enough for single women. He is, and he needs to know that to improve his outcomes.
Posted by BlackRose on September 1, 2011 at 11:48 AM · Report this
107
@106 - tinowman was pointing out that he seemed to want more commitment from his prospective partner than he is able to provide in return. I was assuming he wants to date around, from his line "find women to have sex with and spend time with." If he wants to sleep around but he wants fidelity and availability from the woman, he'll be looking a long time.

But if he's looking for a long-term monogamous relationship then he's right to look for someone single. And if he's able to go out to restaurants & the theater & travel with her (rather than sneaking around) then he'll probably have plenty of luck once he rewrites his profile.
Posted by EricaP on September 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
108
@99: I DO have experience, and yes, hearing the truth from your partner voluntarily makes a much better start on healing the pain of infidelity. The people I know who had to find out from a friend, colleague, their own detective work or sometimes the affair partner have a difficult time believing the cheating spouse would have ended it on their own. This is a huge stumbling block to reestablishing trust and healing the relationship, which must begin with both spouses *deciding* to recommit to each other and the marriage.
Posted by wxPDX on September 1, 2011 at 1:01 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 109
@68: "Aside from that, knowing that WANK runs with /b/oards for his source material is a little disturbing."

What, you think she might have gotten so incensed because he was looking at the darker side of 4chan?
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 1, 2011 at 2:20 PM · Report this
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111
@110: Almost as much as you love self-promotion apparently.

Also, what's Wincest? It's not something to do with the Weasleys from Harry Potter is it?
Posted by James Hutchings on September 1, 2011 at 4:15 PM · Report this
112
Perverse,

Stereotypes persist because they're true.
Posted by Hunter78 on September 1, 2011 at 6:07 PM · Report this
113
I'm amazed that more people don't talk about how there are more than 2 ways to use porn (I keep reading about "using it to spice up your relationship" or hiding to watching it in secret behind your partner's back) -- what about all of us who watch it openly and with some regularity just because we feel like it?

Having nothing directly to do with our relationship, but both partners are fully aware, engage in it, and occasionally discuss it later. It generally happens when one of us is away, but there's never an element of secrecy. I just don't get the narrow views of porn.
Posted by bluemoonbaby on September 1, 2011 at 6:25 PM · Report this
114
WTF is "Wincest"? I'm visualizing erotic acts performed by two pieces of software in the same family.
Posted by Susan on September 1, 2011 at 9:53 PM · Report this
115
WOW, lots of comments on this post. I think it's too obvious a solution to conclude that you DTMFA. How long have they been together? What are the complexities we're missing in a one sided, 3 paragraph email. Sorry Dan; I love your advice until it becomes a simplistic- IDK, just get out.
Posted by cpapoo on September 1, 2011 at 10:13 PM · Report this
Chicle Atomico 116
People: Google is your friend.
http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.ph…
Although I'd give a lot to be able to unsee the contents of that page. Wait, make that, "of that fandom."

#68/#109: Indeed it is sad to see Dan Savage trolled by 4chan. Is not even the profane sacred?!?
Posted by Chicle Atomico on September 1, 2011 at 10:50 PM · Report this
117
in re lah:

we hear your side. we have no idea whether you are telling the truth yourself or giving us spin. for all i know you may be initiating 10X a day, not giving the guy time to breathe, or once a month. you may be giving a very cursory BJ or the BJ to end all others. you may have weird kinks or be so vanilla you're a bean. you may be obsessive jealous searching his phone records and pants pockets or truly perplexed. you could be amazing or the bitch to end all bitches.

having been in a similar situation myself [husband cut me off, told me to take care of myself] i can tell you IT DOESN'T MEAN HE'S CHEATING. there may be lots else going on and maybe DTMFA is the answer, but cheating is not necessarily why. as for me, i left.

WANK: GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN. she hit you for masturbating? next she'll come at you with a knife so you can't do that again.

Please Help Me: go to okcupid.com, lots of techno marrieds on that site.
Posted by wingedunicorn0205 on September 2, 2011 at 4:41 AM · Report this
118
"But I think for monogamous-minded folks, the idea of having your partner literally fantasizing about fucking others feels like a small step away from betrayal and is a big turn off. "

I'm monogamous minded and nope, it doesn't feel like that to me at all.
Posted by truthspeaker on September 2, 2011 at 10:12 AM · Report this
119
I'm not expecting you to endorse the sexual morality of the Talmud, Mr Savage---I certainly don't---but I think you might want to get some acquaintance with its concept of a "fence law". As the name implies, it is deemed necessary often to create a restriction to keep persons away from breaking a very important restriction---the fence law is more "breakable" than the underlying restriction, so (for example) an Orthodox Jew would sooner, in a survival situation, eat chicken cooked in milk (violating a fence-law) than pork (a primary prohibition).

In this wise, the fence-law would be, "Never have an affair without telling your spouse." That's the rule; it can be broken in exceptional circumstances, particularly to save a marriage worth saving.

(And why is chicken with milk forbidden under Halakha (the Jewish Sharia, complete with our own courts and such...just no violent power, just like American Sharia courst)? It is so because someone who knows the law well might otherwise eat chicken with milk but be observed by someone else who's not so well-versed and furthermore thinks that the chicken were veal...this is another lesson relevant to you, Mr Savage: when someone is accounted wise in some matter, what she might say or do needs to be explained _carefully_, lest others who are not wise get the wrong impression. I doubt that this could have helped the husband in the first case this week, who I think will do as he will but wants someone to tell him he's right, and will look until he finds someone he thinks is doing so, but for every extreme jerk there may be ten normal jerks who might be open to persuasion.)
Posted by Gerald Fnord on September 2, 2011 at 11:08 AM · Report this
120
WANK: GET OUT. NOW. Just.... go.

PHM: Seriously, go hang out where there are lots of single middle aged ladies. I suggest taking lessons at a higher-end horse barn. My old riding instructor used to comment that the largest female dating pool in the NATION was being overlooked simply because men in the U.S. don't ride horses...

Or join some other club where you'll meet someone with common interests. Take a class. Old fashioned, yes, and kind of square, but a great way to expand your social circle. If you're socially inept, you'd better work on that, because women don't go for that.

And... just get divorced already! Move out! You're looking like a wishy-washy geezer who wants it BOTH ways by sticking with your defunct relationship. You will become 100000000000000% more datable by reasonably sane widows & divorcees INSTANTLY.

It's kind of hard to swallow that creepy "treated like a queen" thing when the guy you're dating is still living with his lawfully wedded wife. I mean, it would make for an awkward "night in" if you were to run into the Mrs. in the kitchen at breakfast..... How "respectful" is that to ANYone?
Posted by RealWorldWoman on September 2, 2011 at 11:22 AM · Report this
121
Maybe LAH's husband isn't cheating.
Posted by sall on September 2, 2011 at 11:59 AM · Report this
mydriasis 122
I'm monogamous and the thought of my SO fantasizing about someone else is allowed but depending on who it is - it could definitely feel like betrayal a little bit.

Cute girl at work? Fine. Actress? Sure. Porn star? Duh. Someone off the street? Why not. Former ex/hookup? Meh.

Someone close to me? That would bother me.
Posted by mydriasis on September 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 123
Fred @ 2 & 52, in case you're still reading...

If you didn't find one during your first internet search, my advice is to keep looking.


Short advice, to be sure, but I'm going to guess that a) that's the only advice that can be offered, short of suggesting other dating websites similar to the ones PHM tried, and b) the main reason it was published here was to show Mr. and Mrs. LAH a concrete example of what Dan was talking about, and NOT so much to give advice. Which may kind of suck for PHM, but it's probably lucky that he got any kind of answer at all, given the volume of emails Dan likely receives.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 2, 2011 at 12:50 PM · Report this
124
I don't get how porn is such a big deal in straight relationships.

In gay relationships it is common for partners to share porn, send each other some hot porn pictures by email, enjoy porn separately or incorporate it into sex, etc., and think nothing of it.

I think the basic realization that many women are missing is that PORN HELPS MONOGAMY!
Posted by cockyballsup on September 2, 2011 at 1:28 PM · Report this
125
Cocky,

” Porn helps monogamy”

Correct.
Posted by Hunter78 on September 2, 2011 at 2:41 PM · Report this
126
#11 Well said, & amen. I'm beginning to think I was kinky for NOT wanting/fantasizing/lusting after anyone but my partner. Glad to know there's at least a few of us weirdo mono's left.
Posted by CatK on September 2, 2011 at 2:59 PM · Report this
127
Letter 2 is obviously fake.
Posted by Frederica Bimble on September 2, 2011 at 3:50 PM · Report this
128
@124: It isn't a big deal in most straight relationships. Just ones with some psycho, controlling women (and maybe a few men as well) who can't deal with it.
Posted by BlackRose on September 2, 2011 at 5:39 PM · Report this
129
@15 It looks like this is off topic now, but have you considered the possibility that PHM is your husband?

food for thought:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xckBwPdo…
Posted by Lady of Eagle Lake on September 2, 2011 at 6:04 PM · Report this
130
@15 Have you considered the possibility that PHM is your husband?
food for thought:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xckBwPdo…
Posted by Lady of Eagle Lake on September 2, 2011 at 6:22 PM · Report this
131
It doesn't bother me that my boyfriend watches porn or if he thinks about others while jerking off sometimes (I assume most people do from time to time), however, I would have to disagree with Dan on his stance on 'innocent' flirting. Unless it's something that both parties have given the ok for each other to do, I really don't think it's right to flirt with others if you're in a monogomous relationship. Yes- even if that flirting isn't going to be going anywhere. It's disrespectful to the person you're with and can be hurtful.
Posted by Marie379 on September 2, 2011 at 8:03 PM · Report this
132
Hunter: no, stereotypes persist because most people fit them...not all. And/or because people are ignorant fucktards.

Everyone else: when my bf told me that he fantasizes about fucking other women, it did feel kind of icky to me...because I only fantasize about fucking someone if I'd actually do it, and I don't want to have sex with anyone but my boy. But he says his fantasies aren't connected to what he'd do in real life, and I've accepted the fact that our brains work in different ways.

The twist is that we have recently gone monogamish - I've made out with someone else a couple of times (and I actually have like five other guys I want to kiss, but I'm pacing myself for now because the monogamishness is so new), and he's free to do the same...except he hasn't. He doesn't seem to have anyone he's interested in yet.

So my interest in other people is both more broad and more tame than my boyfriend's. Or something.
Posted by perversecowgirl on September 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM · Report this
133 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
134
LAH- I am not married but hats off to your 19 years! Thank you for writing, I was feeling the exact same way you were. My BF brought up the idea of an open relationship last year sometime and decided NOT to mention to me that he was also having sex with someone else. I agreed to it so OK, but for the last few months I have had that CPOS gut intuition telling me something was FUCT UP. We never have sex and Im always made to be the boring one- but if I dont feel wanted and beautiful in my partners eyes than WTF, I do not feel like myself and sexy like I used to with him. Anyhow, we talked and I told him that the lying was the ABSOLUTE problem not the sex act. I just want the security of US and that nothing will take that love and commitment from me, when inevitably that's exactly what happened-someone else came along and all of the sudden I am not on the radar and I was made to feel insecure or WEAK, no thanks. I really want for us to be happy , all else- GAME ON and we can explore anything, Im up for it. I hope your husband sees the error of his selective reading. Thanks again for writing Mr. S and Mr. S thank you for being you (Dan)!

WANK: Your wife is certainly not supportive of what pleases you and in my eyes that is part of her wifely DUTIES (and you,her)! You have obviously tried to be more open and honest. I'd give it one more real, honest, 'you cant help who you are on the inside' try to include her. If she can work it in, great; if she can not, I agree with Dan, DTMFA. There are a few of us sexy, strong, exploratory beautiful women out there. It depends on the person what turns them on, for me its my MAN- and for my best friend its ANY HOT man with a BIG DICK; we are all made up different and we should all be our BEST selves even if that means being open to new ways to please your spouse-yes that person THAT YOU CHOSE (speaking to all- that give their spouses shit about their desires)

PHE- Life is too short, I left a relationship I couldn't afford to leave. I had to go out and get an extra income to do it but I made it happen because its not healthy to stay UNHAPPY especially in front of your kids; you want to show them that they should NOT stay in situations when they are not being built up and supported from their life partner. Why should you accept anything less? You are just as important as everyone else in that home. Good luck!!

More...
Posted by wonderwoman on September 2, 2011 at 11:41 PM · Report this
135
What is with the need to share that you're masturbating while fantasizing about other people? Is that really a need to know situation? I get that everyone has the right to do it and all, but why on earth would your partner want to hear about it? Why are you sharing with your SO? Its not particularly flattering. There'd be a lot less of these arguments if people just kept that info to themselves. Telling me that kinda seems to me like a sad attempt to make me jealous by an insecure SO. Its not the act itself that bothers me.
Posted by Karey on September 2, 2011 at 11:55 PM · Report this
136 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
137 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
138
What is with the need to share that you're masturbating while fantasizing about other people?

I'm betting that about 99% of the time, the person isn't volunteering the info; he or she is simply not lying when asked. Either someone stumbles over their partner's porn stash and wants to know what's up, or someone randomly feels insecure and asks "Do you ever fantasize about other people?" hoping for a no.

I asked my bf about his fantasies and his porn usage because the only way to get over my insecurities was to face them - and it worked. :)

Telling me that kinda seems to me like a sad attempt to make me jealous by an insecure SO.

Yeah, mentioning it unprovoked is a pretty sketchy thing to do...unless the person is in the kind of open or unjealous relationship where their partner would find it hot.
Posted by perversecowgirl on September 3, 2011 at 1:53 AM · Report this
139
@26 I think 43 already addressed your comment, but put it in different words than I would. IMHO, you need to find better women (yes, there's an implied "like me" there).
Posted by lepome on September 3, 2011 at 7:23 AM · Report this
140
@71: Really?

"What's the worst that could happen?"

Oh, I don't know - how about this? A small child has to cope with their home being broken, their parents becoming enemies (possibly), their sense of security being shattered...

You don't have a child, do you? I don't mean that as a pejorative, but I do find your "worst-case scenario" laughably, lamentably uninformed.
Posted by monkeywithcarkeys on September 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM · Report this
141
WANK:

Call a friend, pack your stuff NOW and get the hell out. She's fucking crazy and not in the Marla Singer "dirty whorish fantasy" sort of way.

She'll continue to hit and for less and less provocation as time goes on.

DTMFA immediately.
Posted by I_wish_I_ran_when_she_first_hit on September 3, 2011 at 2:38 PM · Report this
142
@71 I have two kids, actually. Perhaps I phrased it badly, but I meant to provoke Steeeeverino into thinking about why he was reluctant to divorce even though his wife was not interested in fucking him anymore.

I think children are resilient. And I think there are ways to get through divorce without becoming enemies. I do not recommend divorce lightly, but when a husband says that he wishes his wife could learn to "enjoy fucking [him]," that's not a time for business as usual.
Posted by EricaP on September 3, 2011 at 4:55 PM · Report this
143
whoops, I mean @140 of course, who was responding to me @71.
Posted by EricaP on September 3, 2011 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 144
Matt @123:

Good points. I wasn't so much knocking Dan as nudging more qualified sloggers than I to offer PHM some suggestions. And I was charmed by this gem:
Perhaps we will stay together, or perhaps we'll divorce once the housing market improves and we have a slightly bigger pie to cut in half.
Posted by Fred Casely on September 3, 2011 at 5:14 PM · Report this
145
Hunter73,

If stereotypes were inherently true they wouldn't be stereotypes. That's not the reason why they persist. Please reformulate.
Posted by ankylosaur on September 3, 2011 at 6:05 PM · Report this
146
@ Giddy - quoting you: Maybe I'm a freak, maybe I'm lucky, or unlucky? But I think for monogamous-minded folks, the idea of having your partner literally fantasizing about fucking others feels like a small step away from betrayal and is a big turn off.

Here is an article the Kinsey Institute refers to: http://www.defenseforsvp.com/Resources/P…

You can check the frequency and top fantasies for men.

So, as a male that talks with other males and females about sex and based on the article your guy is an outlier OR you are so obvious about you being turned off that he does not dare or care to tell you the truth.

If it is the later you may be creating an environment, where it is unsafe to be honest. Which will likely create bigger problems than you coming to a deeper understanding of your partner's sexuality and overcoming your turn offs.

My guess is that you're not just a freak, but probably a control freak. Ideally he is an outlier and gets turned on by your behavior and you're both having a great time.

Posted by traveller on September 3, 2011 at 10:30 PM · Report this
147
I am sure I am not the first person to say that this Dan Savage is riding the rocking boat of all who find their greatest peace in sharing sperm and other bodily juices and excrement with one another. Isn't there a greater liberty that affords a greater peace? Aren't we part of a civilized democracy? Or shouldn't we remember that we ought to be? The way that you use such a cheap, pop-culture mode, the lazy acronym, (DTMFA), to reduce the complexities of entire lives and histories unfolding as a divorce would need to be considered is yet another aspect of the cheap, throw-away world we suffer in as this is being written. Everything easy, right? Everything convenient? This discarding of so much sanctity is sickening and dangerous. How sad, you priest of perversion. What is the healing balm for those who have been nearly killed by perversion? For those who still grieve the loss of life because of perversion. Can't you see that this level of comfort with so many kinds of perversion simply inoculates the masses against protecting themselves and their young against the lethal dose?
Posted by motherwifelovercitizen on September 4, 2011 at 5:44 AM · Report this
148
Lonely At Home: not convinced Dan's read the situation right. You say you mostly initiate sex: maybe you want more than your husband and he's trying to say it's ok for you to go elsewhere, but he doesn't want to know.
Posted by curbivore on September 4, 2011 at 6:13 AM · Report this
149
@147: "The way that you use such a cheap, pop-culture mode, the lazy acronym, (DTMFA), to reduce the complexities of entire lives and histories unfolding as a divorce would need to be considered is yet another aspect of the cheap, throw-away world we suffer in as this is being written."

Sounds like a douchebag who wants his or her partner to stay with them through horrible behavior.

"This discarding of so much sanctity is sickening and dangerous."

Yup, at the very least a mental abuser.

Posted by you're dripping sanctity on my shoes on September 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM · Report this
150
anklosaur,

It's an epigram. I will not reformulate. It's perfect.

Stereotypes persisr because they're true.
Posted by Hunter78 on September 4, 2011 at 10:44 AM · Report this
151
@71: I get it. Sorry, I guess it's obvious that's one of my hot buttons. My own childhood would have been infinitely better with only one parent, but I see so many, many people just wrecking their kids' lives for greener grass or whatever the hell they think is more important at the moment... Maybe I've been teaching too long.
Posted by monkeywithcarkeys on September 4, 2011 at 3:45 PM · Report this
152
I love EricaP's looking glass, nicely put miss thang!!
Posted by wonderwoman on September 4, 2011 at 5:25 PM · Report this
153
Hunter78,

it's perfect but it's false. Doesn't that bother you? (That's also an epigram, by the way).

Ah! Stereotypes... Can't live with them, can't live without them (cf. neurocognitive research). Can only try to keep them in check.
Posted by ankylosaur on September 5, 2011 at 5:43 AM · Report this
154
@61 @71 is there, like, a support group anywhere for people dealing with issues like this?
Posted by Domina on September 5, 2011 at 5:10 PM · Report this
155
To @1 (and many, many others):

Telling someone who's constantly questioning your fidelity that it comes across as insecure is not necessarily a sign of a cheater. Maybe the guy just feels that being questioned about something so basic to his moral code is insulting. Would you react well if someone asked you every couple of days whether you'd killed anybody recently? To some guys out there, and I assume this is going to come as a shock to you, the idea of cheating on the person we love is just as distasteful as the idea of killing somebody.

Granted I don't go around pressuring my partner on the idea of sex outside marriage, but you don't seem to be making any distinction; and frankly it does make you come across as a bit insecure.
Posted by TMN on September 5, 2011 at 5:59 PM · Report this
156
To @1 (and many, many others):

Telling someone who's constantly questioning your fidelity that it comes across as insecure is not necessarily a sign of a cheater. Maybe the guy just feels that being questioned about something so basic to his moral code is insulting. Would you react well if someone asked you every couple of days whether you'd killed anybody recently? To some guys out there, and I assume this is going to come as a shock to you, the idea of cheating on the person we love is just as distasteful as the idea of killing somebody.

Granted I don't go around pressuring my partner on the idea of sex outside marriage, but you don't seem to be making any distinction; and frankly it does make you come across as a bit insecure.
Posted by TMN on September 5, 2011 at 6:03 PM · Report this
157
@154 - The quick answer is there are many groups, some for people striving to understand their cheating spouse:

http://www.dailystrength.org/groups/rebu…

http://www.experienceproject.com/groups/…

http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.as…

Others for people learning about polyamory or swinging:

http://lists.polyamory.org/listinfo.cgi/…

http://www.lovemore.com/links.php

FetLife.com group: Practicing Polyamory

http://www.grapevines.org/home.htm

But I can't vouch for any of them, as I haven't found them particularly useful for me. If anyone here has a group they've found helpful, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
Posted by EricaP on September 5, 2011 at 6:08 PM · Report this
158
@Dan: Ruh roh. LAH is a perfect example of the danger I wrote about in your sometimes-endorsement of lying in relationships a few columns back. Clearly your intent was not this sort of situation, but you must understand that if one person is writing in about this, there are at least dozens of LTR partners out there who are justifying their douchebaggery via this imaginary source. Someone like you, I think, must be sure to conscientously use his powers for good. Your response IS an example of "making it right," --- yet you still stress it is sometimes okay to lie as if it is somehow "karma-imperiling" to be straight up about one's sexual needs with a sick/disabled/curmudgeony partner. Why? (Not that I have anything else bad to say about you, and I still fantasize about you being straight and available on occasion. ;) And what @119 said.

@11, 30: "Energized by the attractivenes and appeal of others," to me, is synonymous to "thinking about fucking other people." What else do you think energizes you aside from the possibility of sex? Think about what @54 aptly stated regarding fantasy/action distinction.

@44: "The Bible is big on thought crime." lqtm. You are awesome.

@62: "Any partner who expects to have a say over what goes on inside somebody else's skull is a massive control freak." THANK YOU. The newly separated zell_zyte badly needs to internalize this thought.

Shameless self-promotion alert: Mindwinds
Posted by zell_zyte on September 5, 2011 at 10:12 PM · Report this
159
@157: EricaP: Is there a support group available for understanding the opposite sex? Because I really have no fucking clue.
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 5, 2011 at 10:22 PM · Report this
160
@160: The only one I know is called "life". It is based on personal experiences with people of the opposite sex. It demands a lot of participant observation, a lot of thinking (both emotional and rational), and the capacity to draw conclusions without jumping to facile generalizations. After a while, it does pay off, though.

If you have specific questions, we might address them. :-)
Posted by ankylosaur on September 6, 2011 at 2:43 AM · Report this
161
"But I can't vouch for any of them, as I haven't found them particularly useful for me."

A ringing endorsement.
Posted by Hunter78 on September 6, 2011 at 8:25 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 162
@150: "anklosaur,

It's an epigram. I will not reformulate. It's perfect.

Stereotypes persisr because they're true."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selection_b…

This sort of idiocy is how all manner of pseudoscience spreads.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 6, 2011 at 10:57 AM · Report this
163
Or not seeing the forest for the trees.

Posted by Hunter78 on September 6, 2011 at 5:36 PM · Report this
164
@160: Thanks. I'll look into it.
Life happens, doesn't it?
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 7, 2011 at 12:08 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 165
@163: "Or not seeing the forest for the trees."

That's exactly what you're doing wrong.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 7, 2011 at 3:53 PM · Report this
166
@161 Hunter78: Ah...I guess that's why EricaP hasn't responded to my post (@159).....
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM · Report this
167
Maybe the first letter writer's husband is trying to feel around to find out if she'd like to have sex with other people. After all, if she's the one who's initiating sex all the time, then perhaps he thinks he is the one who isn't meeting her needs, and he's telling her to look elsewhere, but that he doesn't want to know about it.
Posted by anonymous23 on September 8, 2011 at 4:16 PM · Report this
168
@165 - Actually, I thought you were joking. Are you really looking for a support group?
Posted by EricaP on September 8, 2011 at 8:28 PM · Report this
169
@157 & @168 EricaP: All kidding aside, I really was seeking some advice.
A lot of the time I feel like I just can't relate anymore.
But please----no "dating coaches", whatever those are!
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 9, 2011 at 1:43 PM · Report this
170
I gather you're trying to understand men? Of what age & social background? Email works too: EricaPSavage @ gmail.
Posted by EricaP on September 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM · Report this
171
@170: Thanks! I'll check it out.
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 9, 2011 at 7:44 PM · Report this
172
WANK's spouse should be in a holding cell in her county's/city's jail awaiting arraignment for assault and domestica violence charges. WTH. Physical and sexual abusers belong in jail.
Posted by AzaleaRose on September 14, 2011 at 8:16 PM · Report this
173
PHM, sounds like what you want is a relationship. For relationships to succeed, it generally takes two strong, secure people sharing their lives. Strong secure women don't generally get involved with men still living with their wives. So either you can't have a relationship or you'll have to try and find some neurotic nutcase who seeks melodrama, but trust me when I tell you she'll be a pain in the ass and probably addicted to something.

Ergo the solution to your problem is to GET DIVORCED AND MOVE OUT already! What in the world are you waiting for? The housing market's gonna suck for years and you ain't getting any younger.
Posted by GG1000 on September 14, 2011 at 9:54 PM · Report this
174
I was married for a long time and never cheated, she got all I had to give. She was the cheating one and left me for another guy. That's Ok I guess, no reason to stay if you're not happy. The girl I'm with now is also a LTR, but we never got married (she says it's just 'paper'). I love her dearly but she hates sex (too much work she says) and after almost 2 decades of jerking off, I decided to start having sex again, just not with her. Besides, I needed to give the calluses on my palm a break!

I don't want to get in another relationship, it complicates things because sooner, or later, someone falls in love and all I want is sex, mostly so I can live with myself. I hate being angry for never 'getting any' and resentful or just plain cranky because I'm in need of release and someone warm to lie beside me. The final straw came for me when my GF said she'd give me a Bj for doing some chore I hate doing (painting). While she was at work, I did a craftsman-like job and fantasized all day about my after-work BJ when she got home. I got all shaved and showered up, and was pretty excited about it. She said with a grin, "I never said I'd give you a BJ". As it is, I feel like I'm being forced into celibacy and that just won't do anymore. You'd think after so many times getting my hopes up, I'd learn-and I finally did. I always thought I'd be ashamed of myself for cheating, but I don't, not at all.

I get what I need from local call girls and I truly have a good time with some very sweet women, and I've been a lot easier to be around lately, just a lot poorer. Paid for GFE sex isn't cheap, but I don't want to hurt some woman when I know that I'm not likely to leave my GF. And because she doesn't want me to touch her, I'm not likely to give her an STD, even though I play safe.

Sex is such a simple and meaningful thing, but it is so complex as well. I do feel for the woman who wrote the first letter to you, Dan. She's in a bad place and still needs to decide where to go from here-I wish her the best.

More...
Posted by ironvic on September 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM · Report this
175
@174

Why on Earth would you want to keep on living with her? She doesn't even like you. You are allowed to live by yourself, you know.
Posted by Old Crow on September 19, 2011 at 2:57 AM · Report this
176
*googles hypnosis porn*
Posted by yeas on September 25, 2011 at 12:04 AM · Report this
177
I'll be in a relationship with you... your move.
Posted by nanak8 on October 1, 2011 at 11:34 PM · Report this
178
@15. I think the vice versa was not about the other parter not thinking of others, but about the person writing in thinking of what they would do to their partner and what their partner would do to them.
Posted by adorabell on October 6, 2011 at 7:52 PM · Report this
179
This may seem crazy but if PHM asked me for advice on where to find a woman to have a relationship my first question would be have you tried to have one with the woman living in your house?

I’m not saying that moving on might not be a good option but why not try the more accesible option first? If you’ve grown apart then maybe now is your chance to start over? Why not ask your WIFE on a date? There must have been something there once upon a time. And this way you get the thrill of a new romance and if it still doesn’t work out you can go back to the current plan.

Once you start to put the effort in and spend time together and maybe even try to be intimate (not necessarily sex but start slow with touching, hugs and kisses see where it goes and enjoy the moment). Maybe it is worth trying to bring the romance back? People do grow and change but you might be surprised at just how sexy and amazing this older version of the woman you married can be. Maybe not. But what have you got to lose?

If you can fix the intimacy any other problems may become easier to overcome as well.
Posted by DeneRose on October 12, 2011 at 12:32 AM · Report this
180
This may seem crazy but if PHM asked me for advice on where to find a woman to have a relationship my first question would be have you tried to have one with the woman living in your house?

I’m not saying that moving on might not be a good option but why not try the more accesible option first? If you’ve grown apart then maybe now is your chance to start over? Why not ask your WIFE on a date? There must have been something there once upon a time. And this way you get the thrill of a new romance and if it still doesn’t work out you can go back to the current plan.

Once you start to put the effort in and spend time together and maybe even try to be intimate (not necessarily sex but start slow with touching, hugs and kisses see where it goes and enjoy the moment). Maybe it is worth trying to bring the romance back? People do grow and change but you might be surprised at just how sexy and amazing this older version of the woman you married can be. Maybe not. But what have you got to lose?

If you can fix the intimacy any other problems may become easier to overcome as well.
Posted by DeneRose on October 12, 2011 at 12:34 AM · Report this
181
I agree with @55. Why does PHM need single/divorced women when he is neither of those things?

Smacks of a double standard and IMHO, where there's a double standard, there's fire.
Posted by Screen Name Whatever on November 13, 2011 at 9:34 PM · Report this
Cynara 182
@120 Great advice for PHM. Horse barns, figure skating, ballet classes, any kind of couples dancing such as ballroom, swing, contra, or square. All places where there are a lot more women than men. I'm not sure why guys haven't figured that out yet.

But, "He who knows, knows": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O68uMR7dR…
Posted by Cynara on November 28, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this

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