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Relationship and Dating Advice: My boyfriend is checking out other men on craigslist

Dear Guys,
I have been with my boyfriend (I’m a girl) for several years. When I met him I knew he had fetishes but I thought he reserved them for at home play. Over the years we’ve gotten into arguements about his constantly chatting with women online and receiving pictures, and looking at women’s porn sites. This led me to believe I had no problem with his ‘fetishes’ leaving the house.

Bottom line (no pun intended): In doing detective work based on his elusive behavior, and picking fights, and going to sleep before I get home, I discovered he has been perusing men to meet on Craig’s List, and has met several.

Of course, even with tangible evidence he would never admit to anything. Would you?

To get to the point, this has been an ongoing thing; we fight, don’t talk for days then it blows over and he wants me to believe—and I want to—that the ‘men on the downlow’ thing will stop and go away.

Will it ever? Or does he ‘need’ to be with men?

Thank you for your help.

Dee

Dear Dee,

Thanks for writing to us. So we know what your questions are, but what do you really want from this relationship? Are you hoping his desires will slowly fade, and that he’ll turn into the kind of boyfriend you envision building a life with? (That’s what we’re getting from you, although you don’t actually say it.)

Let’s not focus on the “men” issue, and let’s just focus on the fact that he feels the need to explore beyond your relationship. Some people are comfortable in an “open” type of relationship, but clearly you’re not. And therein lies the issue. It’s not that he’s hooking up with other men; it’s that he’s hooking up with other people besides you. Yes, the fact that he’s attracted to men, or at least enjoys being with them sexually, presents other questions that may need to be addressed at some point. And that may puzzle you and make you wonder what’s going on in his head. But we think you’d possibly be even more upset if he was hooking up with a bunch of random girls. In some ways, the fact that he’s with “men” is probably less threatening.

We don’t get the sense that this is going to stop anytime soon. At least not with you. Why? Because in some ways he thinks you understand him, and by understanding him, he thinks you’re kind of giving him the green light, even though you’re not. In order to reverse things, you need to sit him down and explain clearly that his behavior is not okay, and not acceptable in the parameters of your monogamous relationship. And if he gets defensive and says something like, “You knew who I was from the get go” then you’ll know he has no plans of changing.

Having said this, our gut tells us he may change for a time, but eventually this will all start up again because this is who he is. And if you’re not comfortable in this type of relationship it might be time to rethink it.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this. Leave us a comment in the comments’ section below. And ask as many follow-up questions as you’d like.

Take care,

THE GUYS

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