Alison and Tony (or Leather and Lace if that’s what you’d prefer to be called): I am really not sure what to do, and your double-take advice might give me the answers I need. My boyfriend and I have been together nearly four years, but the past eight months or so haven’t been very good. He’s acting differently, coming home late and doing things that don’t seem quite like him. After this many years together, and the fact that we live together I had that woman’s intuition that something really was wrong, and so I checked his Internet history and discovered that he had been looking at escort services on the nights he’d been claiming he was working late. I am totally freaked out. We have a sex life, although it is not always smoking hot, and I have never heard any complaints from him. I can’t imagine what he’s thinking or what he might feel is so lacking in our relationship that he’d resort to paying for sex. I haven’t confronted him yet. I just don’t know how, but I feel so hurt and betrayed. I don’t know if I can even stay with him anymore if he has slept with another woman, and especially if it’s a prostitute. It’s just so perverted. What do you think I should do about this?
Tony’s Take Well, given his internet history and its correspondence to the days he worked late, there is a very high probability that he is using an escort service — but not a certainty. Some men fantasize about escorts and then go to strip clubs, which is not necessarily better, but it is safer. So my question to you is a practical one: are you being intimate with him especially if you are not using condoms? If so, there is a small but definite health risk and his “crime” is not protecting your health.
Obviously you wonder why men who have a full time sex partner would want to go to a prostitute? The answer is he is going because he is in control. He does not have to worry about the pleasure or feelings of the other indvidvidual Sex is complicated. You get hung up about things. You get to a point where you don’t feel you can ask your partner to do certain things or your partner has rejected them. Perhaps sex has gotten too routine and stale. Perhaps he’s intrested because he feels he is losing his youth and vitality, and he feels the fantasy of being with an escort is a way to obtain a bit of a reality of what would normally be unobtainable to him.
Alison’s Take: Oh Tony! You are being so ominous! Just because a man looks at something on the internet doesn’t mean he is going to act on it. Plenty of men, most men, like to fantasize about what they might do, but won’t go so far as to actually do it. I’d be willing to bet that if most women checked the hard drives of their partners, they’d find some evidence of looking at sites they wouldn’t approve of. But that doesn’t mean their special someone is actively engaged with the services on those sites.
However, ignorance is not bliss. I’d suggest that Gracie check his credit cards and banks statements for charges. I believe that in most cases, you should have trust in your partner, but at some point (and obviously Gracie is at that point) looking for clues in her boyfriend’s pocket in not inappropriate. Alas, if he is cheating on her and reasonably clever, she wont find his tracks But she might, and that’s one way to figure out where Gracie’s boyfriend is spending his money, let alone his time. If that doesn’t bring her any closure, she will need to move on to other steps.
The bigger question that Gracie needs to ask is why is her boyfriend’s behavior changing? Is he having issues at work or with his family or perhaps, with her? If she can figure out what’s bothering her boyfriend in general, she may have the answer to why he is either staying late at work on purpose, or using some of that time to look at escort sites online. If she really wants to know whether or not he is actually going to escorts, she will have to do more digging and eventually, confront her boyfriend or find a service that works with cheaters to do it for her. The truth may not be what she wants to know but she will get answers. Then she will have to decide what action to take.
Tony’s Reply to Alison: Most guys and most escorts prefer to deal in cash, therefore where to check is to see if he deposited his full paycheck or whether he took part as cash before he deposited it.
This all boils down to a matter of communications He doesn’t feel as though he can talk to Gracie about his sexual needs and he feels dirty about asking her to fulfill them. If Gracie wants their relationship to work I suggest that she reassures him that she will be all that she needs just as he will do the same for her.
Alison’s Reply To Tony: I am taking the liberty of getting the last work on this one. While I think the reassurance only works if the relationship is working, I agree with you on the communication aspect of this. Communication, and respect, go a long way in making a relationship work.