Several years ago, I met someone very special who lives in another city.
For nine months, we spoke and saw each other when we could. Because of work and family obligations, neither felt comfortable moving.
He then left to work abroad, for a limited time. Our feelings were strong and we kept contact regularly. I visited him several times.
He stayed abroad much longer than expected. When he returned, we picked up our relationship.
We still live in different cities, but for the past three years we talk and see each other as much as possible. It works for us.
We both have very specialized jobs and I have children whom I don’t want to leave. When we’re together, it feels right, amazing, and very special.
Yet, I felt something wasn’t right. When confronted, he reluctantly shared that he’d been intimate with someone while away. Also, he and another past girlfriend have been texting, sometimes inappropriately.
Since there were no ground rules set when he left, we decided to put it behind us.
When we’re together, I feel happy, loved, and wanted.
But when we’re apart, which is more often, I cannot shake my distrust. I suspect he developed other relationships while away, based on his social media comments to female "friends.” He denies this.
Recently, I discovered that he secretly communicates with the woman with whom he may’ve been intimate.
So I’m jealous of another woman or maybe several women who live thousands of miles away.
Close friends say that trust is essential, given our unconventional relationship.
I’m committed to it as he says he is, but I cannot move past my insecurities and distrust.
Should I continue to confront him with my suspicions? Or trust what he tells me?
Suspicious and Torn
Unconventional relationships have to rely on unconventional attitudes.
You still choose to not live with him.
He still chooses this “sometime” relationship with you as his partner, which feels good and works well when you’re together.
So the answer lies in what you can handle.
It’s likely he had close ties with one or more women while abroad so long. Now it’s just social media contact.
Be open and tell him how this persistent feeling of distrust may erode your connection. Insist that he be open too.
Then, be honest with yourself and decide what you can accept, or not.
Six years ago, I went into rehab for my alcoholism.
I’ve been sober for long periods but relapse repeatedly.
The problem is mine alone, but it’s exacerbated by my husband of 37 years being an alcoholic who continues to bring alcohol home and drinks in front of me.
He’s most happy when I HAVE relapsed.
Do I leave him and move far away? Or stay?
He now suffers from alcohol-induced narcolepsy but refuses to see a doctor.
He’s clear that he has no intention of ever stopping drinking.
He’s never been verbally abusive to me, but is now.
I’m planning my exit strategy. Any tips?
You’ll need support for yourself wherever you go. Connect with an Alcoholics’ Anonymous or other support group as soon as you relocate.
I invite readers who’ve gone this route to share some of their tips for starting fresh somewhere and staying sober.
As for your husband, you can only hope that he’ll seek some help when on his own. If possible before leaving, set up some contact numbers for him as to where he can go for help.
COMMENT I’m a sex addict - addicted to the Internet, pornography, magazines, novels, and movies. Looking, reading, fantasizing and acting out.
A glance at a woman in the supermarket or the click of the mouse and the obsession starts again. Binges lasting hours or days.
After getting caught again, I realized I needed help to stop and stay stopped.
I joined Sexaholics Anonymous and with their program and guidance, I’m now able to keep my addiction under control.
Contact can be made through www.sa.org
My wife, family, and friends found help, support, and understanding through S-Anon World Services at www.sanon.org.
Ellie – Thanks for reminding others of these avenues for help. S-Anon is a recovery program for those such as family, affected by another’s sexual behaviour. It includes a program offered to teenagers.
For the addicted person, Sexaholics Anonymous is also a program based on the Twelve Steps model of AA, not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, etc.
Tip of the day:
A relationship is what two people decide it is, but trust and honesty are essential.