Dear Uncle Mat,
I found out my boyfriend has an online profile on a cruising site. I found the site open on his work laptop. I wasn’t snooping. It was what popped up when I clicked on the browser icon. He left the laptop on, open, and sitting on the coffee table in our office. He had “gone to the gym” for a late workout after working at home that afternoon. I am pretty certain he went to go meet another guy for sex. I read his profile and looked at his email inbox. I know he used to use the site before we were together and I thought he had deleted his account, though I can’t say he actually ever said, “I am deleting my account.” Still, we have been together for over a year and live together now. I thought we were in a monogamous relationship. After looking at the email subject lines (I didn’t read them) and the fact that he has naked pictures of himself, I can draw the conclusion he is actively fucking around on me. So here are my questions for you. Should I confront him directly or ask more indirectly if he is seeing anyone else or wants to see other people? Do you think he left it out on purpose for me to find out? If so, does that change what I should do? I thought about making an account of my own and trying to lure him into meeting me. Maybe if he picked me on the site, he would realize he has what he wants. I am in love with him. I am not desperate about it and I just want us both to be happy. Honestly, I am willing to try an open relationship, but I think we have to be completely honest with each other. I am angry that he has been hiding this, but I understand he might be embarrassed or didn’t want to hurt my feelings. What if other people I know already know? It would be embarrassing if someone saw us out and knew he was also online hooking up without me. What do you think I should do?
He’s a Manhunter
Yes, you have a problem with honesty and communication in your relationship. Yes, you will need to talk to him. No, for all of sanity’s sake, do not place an ad and try to lure him into picking you up. It is good you are being honest enough with yourself to admit you are angry and embarrassed, but the rest sounds a bit confused. That is OK, but careful with your rationalizations and solutions.
I would just start with letting him know you know. Be honest. Tell him you looked on his laptop. If he accuses you of snooping, don’t argue the point. Let him know that you are angry, hurt, and embarrassed, but still love him. After you have been honest about these feelings and asked him what he feels, then you may tell him you want to try what is necessary to make it work.
It is not that I don’t believe you, but to say all you want is for you both to be happy is not as easy to follow through with in the end. What if you both want completely different things to make you happy? He may want out completely. Sharing him sounds better than losing him, but are you ready for what that can entail? Sex with someone you have a monogamous bond with can be different from sex with the guy you live with who also sleeps with whomever strikes his fancy. Set some rules or boundaries and make sure they are truly in your emotional comfort zone and not in your do-anything-no-matter-what zone to keep him in your life.
You love him and seem like a sincere guy. Make sure he treats you well and doesn’t take advantage of the situation. After talking with him, I also suggest confiding in a friend. It’s good to have someone who knows and loves you hear out these kinds of situations. They should recognize if you’re being honest with yourself and help you look out for your well-being in and out of the relationship in question.
Much love and luck,
Your Uncle Mat