Long-time reader and massive fan, first-time writer. I highly respect your opinion and don't recall ever seeing any past articles on the topic of stealthing and wanted to get your take. More specifically I'm wondering if there is any logical argument in the universe that makes it a forgivable offense to a reasonable person. Perhaps it wasn't relevant to me at the time, so forgive me if this is covered territory.Sponsored
I'm a 42-year-old single straight female who recently started dating a 36-year-old man in a somewhat exclusive, long-distance relationship. We have known each other for a short time (four months) but have clocked hours upon hours on the phone and have discussed important issues and values. He has asked to be exclusive with me but I'm not sold because of the distance and our differences in ambition. But I'm into him and I'm not sleeping with anyone else. I have specifically stated many times I don't want kids of my own (he does), am extremely safety conscious (only when I see someone's STI results and know we're 100% monogamous will I go "bareback"), and against hormonal contraception. Therefore I've insisted on the use of condoms since our very first encounter which he at first reluctantly agreed to, but has since obliged without incident.
He is expressively into me and treats me better than any guy I've dated; cooks for me, gives me massages, buys me gifts, showers me with compliments, listens to me at any hour of the night, and has shown nothing but respect towards me since Day 1.
Until our last sexual encounter. He woke me up in the morning clearly aroused and ready for sexy time. He asked if he could enter me, and after I said yes, I grabbed a condom for him and he put it on. We were spooning at the time so he entered me from behind. At one point early in the encounter I reached back to grab his hand, and all of a sudden, felt the condom he had been wearing laid out on the bed. Shocked and outraged, I immediately stopped and turned to him asking "why did you take this off?" to which he replied, "because I wanted to cum faster." All I could muster was "do you have any idea how bad that is? I can't even look at you." I covered my eyes and cried uncontrollably for a few minutes.
Now, after getting dressed, showering and exiting without a word, I started to process the atrocity of his actions. It's clear that he does not respect me, my body, my health or my reproductive choices and made his physical pleasure as top priority. He has apologized profusely and been emotional about his actions and has definite remorse. After sending him several articles on how it's criminal (including the one about the German man who got eight months in jail for stealthing), he now seems to grasp the severity.
It's hard to reconcile his consistent respect for me with a bold and disrespectful act like this. The best case is that he's a dumb-ass, the worst being that his respect and care for me is all a facade and I've been a fool. Is there any reason I should consider continuing to see this guy? Is it remotely forgivable?,
Stealthed On Suddenly
* Someone is probably gonna jump into the comments to make the obvious (and objectively true) point that anything is forgivable. People have forgiven worse. But mothers who've found it within themselves to forgive people who've murdered their children... yeah, they don't have to live with, take meals with, or sleep with their children's murderers. I'm not saying that forgiving the person who murdered your kid is easy (I wouldn't be able to do it), but most people who've "forgiven worse" never have to lays eyes on the person they forgave again.
So while it's true that people have forgiven worse, SOS, I don't think you should forgive this. And here's why: You only just started dating this guy and all the good things you mentioned at the top—everything that made him seem like a good, decent, lovely and possibly loving guy (the cooking, the massages, the compliments, etc.—sound like the kind of best-foot-forward fronting people do at the start of relationships. There's nothing wrong with that; the kind of person who doesn't make an effort to impress early in a relationship is the kind of person who can't be bothered to make any effort later in the relationship. Everyone erects facades, SOS, but some people are slapping those facades on slums you wouldn't wanna live in and others are slapped on what turns out to be pretty decent housing. And to continue to torture this metaphor... when the crack opens in the facade, as it inevitably does, and you finally get a peek behind it, you aren't a fool if it turns out there's a slum behind that facade. You're a fool if you move in instead of moving on.
Anyway, SOS, everybody fronts but eventually people reveal who they really are when they're no longer trying to impress—and your brand new boyfriend revealed himself to be a selfish and uncaring asshole with no respect for your body or your boundaries. He was on his best behavior until your guard was down. Then he violated you, he sexually assaulted you, he rape-adjacent'd you. Those aren't flaws you can learn to live with or actions you can excuse. Move on.