Savage Love

Cheating Pieces

Comments

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.
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.
3
LAH: I agree with @1. Using emotion to put a questioning partner on the defensive is a classic sign of a CPOS.

DTMFA.
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.
5
Dan, you never addressed LAH's concern that she is at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
16
@2
He got the perfect advice DTMFA....

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

I thought so you LPOS , DB....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
29
Holy Crap WANK! Leave yesterday!
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.
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.
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.
33
Darn it #31! You wrote the comment I wanted to write, only you did it better!
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.
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.
36
Excellent advice once again, Dan!

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

@8: Amen!

37
@29: I second that!
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.
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.
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...)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
94
Cheers, all the way around.
95
@87: There's nothing implausible about a guy reading slash. Plenty of us do. It may be uncommon but it happens.
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.

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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
103
Sorry double post :-/
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.