March 20, 2015

Ask me Anything: Boyfriend has “Dirty little Secret.” {Weekly Advice Column}


Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, where no question is out of bounds! To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected].
I look forward to hearing from you!

Dear Erica,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for over a year now. Things were going great until around about three months ago, when I discovered a rather dirty secret about him–one that I’m sure he never wanted anyone to find out about.

I found messages in his phone to several numbers that all linked to transsexual escorts when typed into Google.

I confronted him about it and for weeks he told me I was crazy or would walk away when I brought it up. I know I’m not crazy. It’s not just a coincidence that they can all link to the same thing—so, in an adult, mature, sympathetic way I sat him down and confronted him.

He confessed that he has fantasized about it and messaged escorts but has never actually followed through.

“Fantasy, yes, reality, no.”

I believed him—why would a grown man confess to one thing but not the full thing? But I’ve seen history in his computer of him watching she-male porn and found more messages since I have spoken to him that also link to more escorts of the same kind.

This has mentally ruined me. Is my boyfriend gay? Is he meeting up with these people? I don’t get the obsession with transsexuals.

My options are exhausted and I feel he needs help. He’s the most amazing person I have ever met and I would never have thought this was something he would be into.

I am just seeking a little help understanding an addiction to something like this. What I can do?

~ Desperate

Dear Desperate,

I have no idea if your boyfriend is straight, gay, transgendered or just intrigued by transexuals—and he may not either. The problem is, even if he does know his authentic sexual identity, he is not sharing it with you.

Often people who are “caught” doing something they shouldn’t be doing will confess a partial truth. They know they’re busted but can’t bear to admit the whole story.

Your qualifying his behavior as a “dirty secret” and as an addiction may provide some insight into why he is reluctant to elaborate about what’s going on. You are assuming there is a problem to be solved, when he may simply be exploring his sexuality. He knows that you won’t be open to this exploration.

What’s troublesome is that, since I assume you two have a sexual relationship yourselves, his behavior might be exposing you to STDs. The fact that the links are to transexual escorts tells me he’s not just watching porn—he’s interested in experiencing the real thing sooner or later.

If I were you, I’d get tested for STDs and when the results came back (hopefully) clean, I’d wish this guy well as I showed him the door.

Dear Erica,

My husband and I married young (at 21-years-old) and have recently celebrated 10 years of marriage. We hit a rough patch about four years ago and almost separated. Without really discussing the root of our issues, we just made up and carried on. 

Soon after, I became pregnant with out first child, and things were great for that first year. Now I feel even more detached from him than I did years ago. I just feel like we have grown apart, it’s hard to have conversations of anything other than mundane daily activities. 

He refuses therapy, so that isn’t really an option. I know there are highs and lows, but I just feel hollowed out and very unloved. 

How can we reconnect? Can we ever fix the past and move on or will digging it up kill any progress that we’ve made?

~ Hollow

Dear Hollow,

People change profoundly between the ages of 21 and 31—perhaps more than any other time, except adolescence.

You and your husband hit a rough patch in your mid-twenties, superficially patched it up, had a child, and are now sitting across the dinner table from each other like two strangers.

To re-connect, you must both be willing to re-discover the people you are today, and to do that, you’ll have to dig up the past.

You may find you still have a lot in common or you may not, you may find there is still a lot of love there, or you may not– but you owe it to yourselves and your child to see.

Therapy would give you a much greater chance of success. If he won’t go with you, go on your own.


*Relephant read:

Ask Me Anything: Husband Struggles to Accept Divorce. {Weekly Advice Column}


Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Image: flickr

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