Dear Dr. Saltzman,
My husband and I have been happily married for almost 4 years and are expecting our first child in March.
He is very successful in the finance industry and I am in the automotive industry. We have a very nice life with a big beautiful home, cars, boat, friends, family, etc. I have never had any reason to doubt my husband’s fidelity.
I recently noticed in his history on our home computer that he has been browsing at the yahoo personals for our age range in our specific local area--“men seeking women” and “women seeking men.” Needless to say, this has startled me. Should I speak to him about this? Or leave it alone?
I think you should speak with him about this, while trying to be as non-judgmental as possible.
Let me explain what I mean. I understand that you now suspect that your husband might be planning to look for sex outside your marriage. But I would not want you to jump to that conclusion simply because he has been looking at the Yahoo personals. Often men look at pornography or cruise on-line dating chatrooms, not because they plan infidelity, but simply because testosterone stimulates sexual curiosity—particularly curiosity on the visual level. On the other hand, just glossing this over would not be a good idea either, for if your husband really does desire other kinds of sex, now is the time to find that out and try to deal with it within the safety, trust, and possibilities of open communication provided by your marriage.
The best way to approach this, in my opinion, is simply to say to him (without anger) something like this: “You know, I noticed in our browser’s history that you have been visiting the personals. What’s that about?” If he seems reluctant to open up, then you might contiinue by saying, “I love you, and I know that men’s sexual feelings can be complicated. I hope you will be honest with me now so that I can understand what you are going through, and hopefully be with you on it."
The less blaming you are, the more non-judgmental, the better the chance that your husband will speak honestly with you about this. Once you have some idea of his real feelings, then you will be able to respond in the best possible way.
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