Boyfriend continues using online sites

I’ve been with my fiancé for a little over 2.5 years now. We met on an online dating service. We’ve lived an hour apart for our entire relationship except for the past month or so, I’m in the middle of moving in.

We’d still see each other every weekend, sometimes more. Initially we had web cams, I got rid of mine, he still had his and just put it away a couple months ago (5). I had always wondered why he kept it set up right next to his computer when we didn’t use it anymore with each other. He had a roommate and I just figured he used it to take pics of himself for the computer.

It bothered me because I didn’t really know, but I got over it and let it go. I’ve spent more and more time here for the past 6 months, since we’ve got engaged, so I’ve used his computer a lot more as well. I was messing around one day and found a ton of pornography on it. I told him I felt bad that he was looking at these women-but I felt even worse because I was the one who looked it up in his documents on his computer-I felt I invaded his privacy-I didn’t want to be one of those crazy girlfriends/fiancés. He felt bad and said he’d delete everything, I told him no, I know guys do that kind of stuff, and I didn’t want him to because I invaded his privacy.

Well, a couple months later, again I was on his computer, found reoccurring pictures of the same girl. I can never lie to him or hide anything, he always knows when something is up, he wouldn’t leave me alone so I told him I found these pictures of this girl that he must really like, and I saw multiple ones of her-again. I told him I felt bad that he was looking at the pictures; obviously I’m not what he was looking at. I told him I wasn’t like those girls, he told me he didn’t want me to be like those girls... I told him that I didn’t doubt his love for me, but was this someone he was talking to? He said that I doubted his love for me and that it was just some girl online. Eventually, he went and deleted all the pornography and included the pictures of that girl. He said it was to put an end to everything and I should never doubt his love for me.

That all happened in one day.

Well, I continued to use his computer and I would check every once in awhile just to see if I’d find any new pics of any girls. I hadn’t. I was searching for a site I had gone to before so I pulled down the bar where you can see past sites visited and ratemybody.com, adultfriendfinder and others were listed. Since then I’ve seen them reoccur quite often. I understand what these sites are and at first I just thought he was going to them just to look at the women. Then I continued to think about it... and it just was eating at me. I finally broke down, I knew his email password, and I know it’s wrong, but it didn’t stop me, I just needed to know if he was talking to anyone-more than just friends.

So I found emails from adultfriendfinder telling him he’s got new matches or so and so was contacting him. I then went to his sent messages and found he was contacting these girls. He’d sent things talking about how he was horny and was looking for phone (sex- I assumed),-he’d given his number out on a separate email, he’d tell them he had pictures of him he could send, he’d ask them if they had messengers and webcams, he’d let them know he did, he reminded girls of pictures they were suppose to take... so on and so on. This is over the period of our entire relationship (I could tell by the dates these emails were sent). The beginning emails- I felt we were just starting to date, so it wasn’t as big of a deal, then I saw emails in the middle of our relationship and some current ones. About a month ago a girl sent him something entitled from your Canadian girls, saying how they hadn’t talked for awhile, he told her he’d been really busy with stuff, said he’d explain later and hoped to see her soon... 4 months ago he received an email from another girl, not sure what she said, but he replied with I’m happily engaged but thank you:),-needless to say that one gave me SOME relief (I saw others where he told them he had a g/f and was just looking for fun, others said "nothing dirty just wanted to chat"..), and the one before that was one month before he asked me to marry him-he told her that he was busy with work and stuff and that he missed her and wanted to say hi you... 4 months before he asked me to marry him he wrote and I quote "awe you left i was gonna say hit me up on yahoo sometime and i’ll show you whatever you like same sn as aff *** take care....

I don’t know what to do. I’ve seen his profile on the adultfriendfinder... he describes himself as shy in the beginning but get past that and he’s got a very dirty mind... and his ideal match is a woman that’s not afraid to say exactly what she wants. He still visits this site. I don’t how often he’s does things-chats, gets on the phone, I don’t even know if he does it anymore... I don’t have proof. I’m not about to purchase something to hook up to the computer to follow what he does...

I just don’t know how to handle this whole thing, I love him dearly and it hurts very badly... He’s got so many good qualities and in my heart I feel as though he truly loves me, would never hurt me, but-I know I’ve babbled, I just wanted to make sure everything was clear. What do you think and can you help as to what I should do.

Response:

This is a very common problem. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution.

On one hand, your boyfriend has been turning to other women for sexual gratification—leaving you feeling hurt, betrayed and rejected. The feelings that you are experiencing now are very similar to what people experience when they discover infidelity. At an emotional level there is very little difference between discovering different types of cheating—it all hurts just the same (see what counts as cheating).

And from your boyfriend’s perspective, on-line porn/chatting/sex can be very difficult to stop. The experience can be extremely rewarding—exciting, stimulating and fun. And the interactive nature of online chatting/sex adds a level of uncertainty and unpredictability that can be exhilarating for people who crave such stimulation (see why people cheat).

Moreover, most people dismiss their online activities as NOT being real—it is like a sexual fantasy, it doesn’t have much consequence—because one can walk away from it or turn it off—unlike a traditional affair where there has been physical contact and a person who actually exists in one’s social network. Simply put, many people don’t consider online chatting/sex to be cheating.

But, the problem with this is twofold: Because online chatting/sex is rewarding but not very costly (one can easily control how, when, and where it happens), people are easily drawn to it. The high reward and low cost nature of online cheating makes it difficult to stop. But from your perspective, it is REAL; it feels like cheating and it hurts just the same (see online cheating).

So, how to solve this problem?

First, attempts to control a partner’s behavior, often fail. Typically, what happens when you try to control a partner’s behavior, especially a behavior that is very rewarding to him, a partner will learn to better hide or conceal his activities (see when people lie).

And it may help to be realistic about how much both you and your boyfriend can change with respect to this issue. In these types of situations, it is common for people to offer quick solutions, but easy solutions typically don’t work long term (see once a cheater).

So, our best advice is probably the most difficult. Set a smaller, but more manageable goal for right now. Try talking to your boyfriend about the situation honestly without trying to influence his behavior. Attempt to understand his side of things and see his point of view—and attempt to have him see your side of things and see your point of view (see talk about problems).

What are the benefits of doing this?

If you can pull it off, it creates a sense of intimacy, closeness, and it allows for a genuine solution to emerge from a true understanding of the problem. While this method won’t solve every problem—at the very least, it helps identify the problems that can and cannot be solved. And trying to understand each other typically works better than other methods of solving conflict.

Hope this helps.

 cheating boyfriend | online cheating

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