Dear Barb – Wife’s Online Flirtations Must Be Discussed

Dear Barb:

I hope you can help me. I have been married for 20 years. My wife and I were happy for several years. As our three children were born life got busy and we seemed to grow apart. We rarely sleep together anymore and my wife spends all her time on the Internet. I have tried to keep my marriage together for the sake of my children. I wanted them to have a happy home to grow up in.

Recently I learned something that has devastated me and made me wonder if I can keep my marriage together. People have told me that they’ve seen my wife on adult chat lines and she wasn’t just talking to men, she was actually on the webcam exposing herself and doing other inappropriate acts. I am so distraught, I just don’t know if I even love my wife anymore, or if I want to stay in this marriage. I haven’t confronted my wife because I feel if I do I will explode and the marriage will definitely be over. What should I do?

Maurice

Hi, Maurice. Unfortunately, I believe your situation is more common than most people realize. Many individuals are looking to the Internet as a way to connect with others. Rather than working at a relationship that may be difficult, they are turning to chat lines as a distraction. Often these relationships begin innocently enough, perhaps two people talking about the problems in their personal relationships, but eventually it evolves into more.

As far as your wife exposing herself on the webcam, there may be something else going on with her. She may be inclined toward exhibitionism and enjoy this type of behaviour. I’m not saying she is an exhibitionist, but she does seem to be looking for some attention.

I think your first step should be to discuss this with your wife. Her initial reaction most likely will be to deny it, but if you remain calm and non-judgmental she may eventually feel comfortable enough to open up and discuss things.

If you want to save your marriage I believe you will have to get into some sort of professional counselling, as this is a very serious issue. Through counselling, you and your wife may learn the skills you need to resolve this matter and possibly save your marriage. On the other hand, if your wife does not agree to counselling, it will be very difficult to save your marriage and bring it back to a happy state for all involved.

I hope I was helpful. Best of luck, Maurice.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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