My common-law spouse is a cross-dresser.
Initially, I was hurt and sad that he hadn't confessed this before we’d become serious. We have two children.
When asked, he said he was not gay, and hadn’t ever had sex with a man.
He showed me that he had a profile on a fetish website.
Bottom line: I loved him and thought a fetish is okay if it stayed in check.
Well, years later I found a picture on his computer that clearly showed him having sex with a group of men!
When confronted, he claimed it was many years ago, and he’d just been experimenting.
He admitted to having enjoyed giving other men oral sex. But he says he’s been faithful since we’ve been together.
Over time, we were able to move past that, but it shattered my trust.
I began searching the Internet and discovered him on a gay dating site (again he denies it was anything) plus other compromising sites.
Recently, I again found pictures on his cell phone (which I had with permission) of him "cross-dressed" and a picture of another man "dressed."
That tells me he’s speaking with other people (which he also denied). He says he doesn't know how they got on his phone.
My spouse has always kept his passwords a secret and always logs out, history erased.
We rarely have sex and have gone six months without being sexual but if I complain, he’ll have an excuse.
When confronted, he’ll start an argument where he twists things, like attacking my parenting skills, how I spend my time, manage money, how I think I know everything.
He makes me feel useless.
However, he’s a great father (but I don’t like leaving him alone with the kids because I fear he’s watching inappropriate things on his phone while they’re around).
He works hard so I can be a stay-at-home mom, and we do most everything together as a family.
He has no opportunity to be unfaithful in person, so that isn't in question, but his antics online are turning me into a jealous crazy woman.
Is it unreasonable to ask him to give me all his passwords to prove to me that I have no reason to be insecure?
Therapy is far too expensive for our budget. And I don't want to end the relationship.
Tracking His Secrets
Decide what you can live with. And what you cannot.
You love him, and he’s a great father.
Yet you have little sexual life with him, while he has a private online life of sexual titillation, and likely of sexual release, too.
As years pass and your own sexual needs are neglected, how will you handle this?
Also, it remains uncertain whether he’s emotionally attached to anyone else.
But it’s clear that he needs his private connection to sexual arousal, despite his denials.
Most disturbing, when pushed to reveal his “secrets,” he pushes back with demeaning insults. It’s a tactic to divert you from whatever he’s scared to reveal.
He’s creating jealousy, anxiety, and insecurity in you. That makes for an unhealthy relationship.
Password access isn’t a conclusive solution - it’ll just keep you snooping further, wondering what he’s hiding elsewhere.
He’s unwilling to change, and so far isn’t cheating, at least not physically.
Either you can make yourself comfortable with all this, or you can’t.
You’d both benefit from seeing a counsellor. Sometimes only a few appointments can help make things clearer, and the cost is cheaper than the current emotional toll.
FEEDBACK Regarding two weight-related letters (Nov. 10):
Reader #1: “The writer, who has a weight problem, complains that during the holidays, people keep bringing fattening foods to her home.
“I’ve had a life-long weight problem, but consider it MY problem and wouldn't dream of making others forgo the pleasures of good food around the holidays.”
Reader #2: “This second writer was dismayed that a casual remark about love handles would cause a potential girlfriend to flee in tears.
“Yes, his remark wasn't appropriate, but maybe he just dodged a bullet.
“Clearly this potential girlfriend is currently too fragile for any kind of relationship.
“She’s also making her problem his problem.
“Or, she just wasn't that into him and was looking for any excuse to get out of the relationship.”
Ellie – The first writer asked close people for consideration re: her weight/health issues. It’s one meal. They can eat rich holiday foods everywhere else.
Tip of the day:
When secrecy and insults create jealousy and insecurity, counselling’s crucial.