Faithfulness

Faithfulness

A man wrote to me about a problem. It’s a gender neutral topic though so I’m going to handle it that way. I have known women who are naturally not wired for monogamy too so this is for women as well as men. I am not one to speak on this topic though, so hopefully some of you will have good words of wisdom for this man.

This man that wrote to me said he used to be unfaithful in past relationships. He met the woman of his dreams a number of years ago and has never cheated on her. She knew of his past and he assured her that because he knew she was “the one” he knew he would never cheat. He wrote to me because he said now after over a decade of being together, he realizes he was wrong to promise that. He has not cheated on his wife nor does he plan to, but the urge is very strong. She has no idea. He says he knows this because she is as happy as ever and their relationship is still very strong. Yet he doesn’t really want to have sex often with her anymore. It’s nothing she is doing wrong, and he still loves her. But he just realizes he is desperately wanting something new.

He wanted my opinion on this. Should he talk to his wife about this? Should he go get professional help without telling her so it won’t worry her? The good news is that none of his email was asking for permission to cheat. What this man wanted guidance on was how to handle those feelings. This man said he travels a lot for work. She used to go everywhere with him, but now they have kids so she stays home while he travels now. Thus making the urge pretty strong.

From what I can tell, your best bet would be to get professional help and I wouldn’t think you would have to tell her at first. I’m sure at some point you may need to but with professional guidance. I’m not 100% sure though, please remember I’m not a therapist.

If your wife knew of your past, my hope is that this would not throw her for too much of a loop unless she bought that whole, “I would never cheat on you because you are so different from all of them.” My hope is that she is smarter than that. Everyone I have ever known that has the nature to not want monogamy is not changing based on love. It doesn’t work that way. Nor do I think people who don’t want monogamy are bad. Quite the opposite. It makes as much sense to me to not be monogamous as it does to be monogamous. The problem is the lying. If you have built up trust with a person who “believed” you even though your actions in the past would prove otherwise then your situation is somewhat innocent in my mind, (mainly because you haven’t acted on it. Please hold off and don’t cheat. I do think you have to be smart enough to know that’s not the answer.) I say your situation could be innocent in that maybe you believed your words back then, and maybe she was naive enough to buy them too.

But I have found that people who cheat… cheat. People who aren’t content with one person… it’s in your nature. Unless you are not in your right mind when it happens, (meaning drunk, high… whatever,) If someone is stone cold sober and cheats on another person, I have found fundamentally there is something different about those kinds of people. Even an emotional affair can take place in lieu of a physical one just to satiate the need. And that often times can be more damaging then a physical affair. Yet I have compassion for people like you because I don’t think you are wrong for having those desires, I think you are just making a mistake by pretending to be something you perhaps aren’t meant to be?

I wonder if perhaps you need to come to terms with that? I could be wrong. But I just think our American White Picket Fence illusion prevents many from begin honest about who they are and what their real wants and needs are.

Being as you are married and have kids, it goes without saying, you have to have integrity and handle this in a very cautious way. Which is why I think professional help may be the best answer.

You asked what I would do if I were your wife and I found this out? I can’t say. But I can say I was in a relationship with someone who I knew had a background of being unfaithful and lying was very easy for him. It came as no surprise when eventually the same thing happened with me. I also am now married to someone who is the opposite. Stone cold sober, monogamy is in his nature as is the case with me.

You said your wife knows of your past. If she is smart, and if you are straight with her, my hope would be that she would see this perhaps was inevitable and you both need to come up with a healthy solution you can live with. If you handle this with tremendous care, I see no reason why you can’t find a solution that has integrity.

And as you already know… she isn’t the reason you are having these feelings, you said it yourself. You are having these feelings because it’s just how you are.

I know of women who are just like this too. Which is why I say this is gender neutral. The assumption of men are not monogamous by nature and women are is horse shit.

Any men or women out there that have dared be honest with themselves about their not so monogamous desires that go beyond the occasional fantasy… if you have any words of wisdom… please feel free to add your two cents worth here.

And last you asked me if I ever had this issue. I’m sorry but no. After years of being sexually free spirited I do see I am wired for monogamy. Yet if being monogamous was not the norm and having open relationships was, I would feel really uncomfortable which is why all I have to do is reverse the situation and I can totally see how hard this must be for you.

Best of luck bud. Don’t beat yourself up for thinking thoughts. Get help. If your wife loves you and not the illusion of you, my hope is that you will have a good partner to help you walk through it and find a healthy solution.

Anyone else have anything to add feel free.