My husband and I have been together for six years; shortly after he moved in with me, I found my computer on, with a picture of a nude male.
He explained that he was doing research for a book about why guys turn gay. He had a brother who'd died of AIDS.
I was alarmed but thought I needed to trust him.
Two years ago, I left him because of a step-daughter who'd come to live with us.
During my absence, he set up a screen name with a profile that identified him as a "closeted bisexual." Again, he told me he was doing research.
We've been back together one year and I've again discovered that he's viewed pictures of nude men. He’s also visited sex sites.
He accused me of invading his privacy when I approached him with this, and hasn't given me any excuses for his behaviour this time.
Have I invaded his privacy? Do I have reason to be alarmed?
- Very disturbed
Privacy, schmivacy; don't be distracted. Deception is the priority matter.
He hasn't produced a book, or any evidence of his writing one. You're left with the obvious likelihood that he's hiding information on his sexual orientation, and that he's looking to hook up with men.
Tell him it's time to be open with you or lose you… lying and sneaking around is demeaning to you, and his potential sexual activity with multiple partners is a health risk to both of you.
If you two work on your marriage positively, then you can both agree on a privacy rule.
I lost my first wife to illness, and my second wife had also been widowed.
We lived together for several years until our children adjusted.
We've been married for five years.
I've never looked elsewhere. After working through all our baggage and the kids' feelings, I thought all was going well.
But I accidentally discovered that my wife has been corresponding with her first boyfriend, after searching him out on the Internet.
I don't know what to do as I cannot trust her anymore.
- Sleepless Nights
You've been through too much - personally, and together - to let sleep deprivation cloud your thoughts. Have a clear and comprehensive talk with your wife. You need to know: 1) why she contacted him; 2) what she hoped would happen; 3) why she'd do something so likely to upset you, without telling you; 4) if she's restless, what she'd like to change. Unless there's an acceptable explanation, you two need marital counselling to get past this. When the past has been filled with drama - eg. death, bereavement, children's reactions - some people need help settling into and accepting the routines of everyday life.
Although my husband of 10 years is mostly loving, he's sometimes insecure - imagining me cheating on him and making unfair accusations.
I've never cheated on him.
He had a horrible childhood and trusts no one.
The people he accuses me of cheating with have been men I've met once or twice, and even a stranger. I'm too busy with four children to have time. And my husband is far better looking than anyone he's accused me of cheating with.
My self-esteem is beginning to suffer but I don't want to leave.
Most of the time we relate well and get along fine.
However, I don't like going to parties or anything with him because he always imagines some look or some whisper that leads him into a jealous rage.
I'm shy around other people and I don't give off signals of any kind.
I'd like to help my husband work through this but I don't know where to begin.
- The Accused
There's no logic to deep-rooted jealousy and insecurity.
His accusations don't need to make sense to him, once he starts imagining them. That's why you can't help him on your own; but you need to convince him of how important it is that he gets professional help to battle his demons from the past.
Your children are victims of his jealousy as much as you are, since they undoubtedly hear and are confused by his rages.
Keep up your confidence and conviction, for their sake and yours, to insist that he get individual counselling.
*In Toronto, call 211 for referral from a community agency for counselling at a fee geared to income. Or search the Yellow Pages under Marriage, Family and Individual Counselling.
Tip of the day:
When there's an obvious lie, privacy is a secondary issue.