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“I Don’t Trust My Musician Husband”

My husband is a musician and he is starting to become very successful. I am so proud of him and wish him nothing but the best in fulfilling his dreams. Now, that being said, I also have had some trust issues because of an incident that happened in March. Because my trust was damaged, I have been keeping tabs on his Facebook and email (I know this is disgusting behavior but I felt like I had to) and unfortunately, my worst fears have been realized.

Somehow, he met a girl, I’m assuming a “fan,” and they have exchanged hundreds of private messages. She was extremely flirty and at first he was very kind but not flirty to her. But then she didn’t want to chat on Facebook anymore so they exchanged Skype names. Well, he ended up creating a new Skype name and she is the only friend under that new name. Last night they ended up chatting for a couple of hours and he did not get off his computer until 4 AM! So this morning I went to check his convo on Skype and he kept telling her how beautiful she was and kept sending her kisses. Then as they signed off he said: “I have never shown anyone my body before. Especially on the first night. So I hope you feel special Carolita bebota (which in Spanish means babe).

I was absolutely crushed. I feel so betrayed and hurt. I don’t know what to do or what to say or how to act. I realize that my discovery was found in a not-so-great way but I still feel like throwing up. Please tell me if I am wrong and if I should just pretend I never saw anything, or how to approach this if I do need to say something. My heart is heavy and I feel lost and alone. Please please help!!! — Wife vs “Fan”


I’m definitely not going to tell you you’re wrong and that you should pretend you never saw anything. Listen, I tried to pretend I didn’t see a naked Ricki Lake give birth in her bathtub in “The Business of Being Born,” and unfortunately, there are just some things that cannot be unseen. Like illicit messages from your husband to another woman. Anyway, snooping, especially when you have good reason to question someone’s behavior, isn’t like this black and white issue. And even if it were — even if you were 100% wrong for snooping through your husband’s private correspondences — that wouldn’t negate the fact that he is more wrong. He is more wrong because he’s disrespecting your union and has formed a relationship with someone outside your marriage.

While there doesn’t seem to be indication from what you’ve described that their relationship is physical, there has definitely been emotional infidelity and you absolutely need to call your husband on it. Yes, this will mean admitting to snooping for the last few months, but again, his wrong is worse. Don’t let him twist things and shift the blame onto you. You had reason to do what you did, but what he’s done to you is completely unjustified. So, tell him what you’ve found. Tell him you know about this girl and you no longer trust him. And then listen to what he has to say for himself and decide what you need in order to move forward.

You can’t have a marriage without trust, so decide what — if anything — your husband can do to earn yours back. I can’t say what that is. Only you can know. Maybe it means not traveling as much, or taking you on the road when he does go somewhere. Maybe it means giving you full access to his phone bill(s) to check outgoing and incoming calls and texts. Or maybe it simply means deleting his extra Skype account and telling this “fan” he will no longer be corresponding with her. I don’t know. You have to decide how deeply your trust has been fractured — and that means taking into consideration past indiscretions that lead to your snooping in the first place — and how much repair is necessary in order for you to move forward, and then you need to communicate that with your husband as soon as you figure it out.

And if he’s not receptive to doing whatever it takes to earn back your trust, you have to decide whether your marriage has a future. If he’s not willing to put you first — above his career and certainly above whatever pretty, young fan is throwing herself at him — what’s the point in staying with him? You definitely have a lot of thinking to do. But first, a talk with your husband is long overdue. Good luck.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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{ 100 comments… add one }

avatar David Jay May 26, 2011, 7:30 am

I’m agreeing with Wendy on this. Your “snooping” is justified because you had precedent from the March incident. Being a performing artist is a fairly “selfish profession” that does not readily allow that person to make the sacrfices necessary to maintain a relationship. (This is why there are so few successful marriages in Hollywood.) Even if he were 100% loyal, the rigors of the road and the being away is very difficult. Sorry to say, with the inclusion of this past incident, the future does not look good unless he is willing to roll back his career and put you first. Confront him, but don’t expect it to end well.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 8:46 am

I disagree that being a performing artist is innately a selfish profession. However, those who perform are more likely to attract others who will want to have a relationship – of some form, often brief and physical – with them. Performers are going to be more tempted with more options than most non-performers. I don’t think that makes them inherently less faithful, but I do think you’ll find more cheating rock stars than cheating accountants, simply due to easier access.

avatar ladiejoy May 26, 2011, 10:53 am

I don’t know that it’s really only about easier access. I’ve been sort of involved in the music industry, and know a lot of professional musicians. I actually agree that being a musician is somewhat of a selfish profession. Think about it… you are putting yourself out there. You are selling YOURSELF as an artist. How can that NOT be selfish?
If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s that musicians in general are a fickle community. Attention and adoration from fans is a drug to them. They perform for the satisfaction of not only the music, but for others falling in love with their music. Also, there is a more liberal sense of freedom in music, which translates to everyday behaviors. A free-spirited lifestyle is essential to a successful musician, and with that free spirit comes the inclination to feed the ego and find pleasure where pleasure finds them.
I’m in agreement here with DJ.

avatar Lexington May 26, 2011, 11:15 am

I agree with ladiejoy. Having spent way too much time around the artist community (although I wouldn’t apply it to every one, ever, as my boyfriend is a musician and I completely trust him) I definitely think that they are highly more likely to be self involved and have less desire to be faithful to one person.

I actually think the acting/producing/directing community is far worse in this respect, but musicians are definitely highly susceptible.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 11:18 am

I completely agree with your points about seeking admiration and being generally more free-spirited.

I just disagree with the work “selfish”. I don’t think entertainers are inherently less compassionate or less generous (i.e., more selfish) than those in other professions.

More specifically, I think that, if you took a lot of people and put them into the role of being pampered and adored and always deferred to, then they’d likely develop “entertainer-type” quirks and demands. So I think that, while the free-spiritedness and need for attention do tend to be dominate traits of entertainers, any actual selfishness is either innate in them as a person (regardless of career choice) or is enhanced and encouraged by the lifestyle.

Subtle difference, I know.

avatar ladiejoy May 26, 2011, 11:26 am

I see what you’re saying. But I also still think that the term “selfish” is not entirely off base. Sure there are different facets of selfishness – as you point out, one of those facets is an inherent personality trait.

In this case, “selfish” translates to “feeding the ego”. It’s actually defined as “concerned primarily with one’s own interests”. It would be terribly difficult to be a successful musician and not be selfish, if you’re adhering to this definition.

I realize that this tangential discussion really has nothing to do with the LW’s situation, but I’m feeling very _jsw_ today… ;)

avatar Sarah May 26, 2011, 12:02 pm

I think what you call selfishness for a performing artist is a thick skin they have to build up in order to put themselves up for judgement every night. As somebody who lives in Hollywood and is friends with many performing artists, but works in the business district, I am MUCH more wary of relationships in the business world. The girls I know who have musician boyfriends feel very secure in their relationships because they get a front row seat every performance of their boyfriend turning women down. How many women get that continuous affirmation of their boyfriend’s/husband’s loyalty? Spend an afternoon on the miracle mile and you’ll probably get hit on by 5-10 married executive in their 30′s. If its the lunch hour, 20-30. Musicians may get more access, but business men are much better at hiding it.

avatar JewelD July 21, 2012, 5:13 am

I’m married to a musician, and I am so tired of people using music as an excuse for badly-behaving men. Please, stop blaming music!

I know lots of grown-up men, and even younger ones, who play music for a living and live right – they don’t get chronically sh*tfaced, and they don’t cheat on their women. Opportunity is not destiny – we are each the sum of our ACTIONS.

Yes, there are lots of dudes who do act badly, and those men are called: douchebags. They’re narcissists who hide behind “music” and “art” to rationalize their douchiness. People who need undue attention are narcisissts, not musicians.

avatar Desiree May 26, 2011, 8:02 am

Ouch. I suspect this marriage is DOA. If his career is *just starting* to take off, and he has already transgressed this far, I see a very ugly future ahead. It sounds like this guy is far more in love with himself than his wife. Having said this, no one wants to let a marriage end without a fight, so she needs to confront him. In the part of the country I’m from, that would typically involve a large cast-iron skillet, but I don’t personally recommend that strategy. She needs to lay down the facts for her husband: what he did was absolutely wrong, and she expects XYZ in the future. I fear, though, that she will find nothing but manipulative narcissism on the other side. In the case, I hope she has the strength to walk away-maybe taking some favorite instruments on her way out?

Skyblossom Skyblossom May 26, 2011, 11:31 am

If you do confront him and he wants to maintain the marriage you both must realize and accept it will probably takes years for you to trust him again, if ever. He has to be willing to do whatever you need, for as long as you need. Even then it can be hard to trust because people can get secret cell phones so you know nothing about them. He could easily get another Skype account that he actually keeps hidden. You can also get software for your computer that hides all sites that are visited. As you think about what you will need to feel secure keep these things in mind. Then ask yourself if the emotional toll caused by the constant fear and checking up on him is worth it.

avatar ReginaRey May 26, 2011, 8:24 am

I’m very sorry to hear about what you’re going through. Since this is not the first time that your husband has broken your trust, I think you two are long overdue for some couples counseling. Getting to the root of why your husband has emotionally strayed may be the key to salvaging your marriage. If his infidelity is tied to problems in his past that he has never appropriately dealt with, perhaps speaking with a counselor will be the push he needs to confront his demons.

However, even if he makes great strides, YOU may not be able to trust him again. As humans, we don’t have the ability to wipe out memories that are painful, especially ones of betrayal. Through counseling, you’ll be able to decide whether this is something you can work through, forgive, and try to forget, or if you won’t be able to properly trust him ever again.

If every time he goes out, or every time he goes on tour, or every time he gets a text message, you’re worried he’s cheating on you…you need to consider if your mental health is worth it. If it’s making you anxious and distrustful (and no one would blame you, of course!), that’s no way to live your life. If after attending some counseling with your husband you BOTH can’t put this behind you forever, then I think you need to consider leaving. You deserve to be at peace.

avatar ReginaRey May 26, 2011, 9:20 am

And another thought – I can’t tell how hard he was trying to hide all of this from you. Knowing that you had trust issues from the incident in March, he should have been somewhat aware that your BS detector would be on high alert. Was discovering the conversations and Skype chat with this “fan” relatively easy, or was it like a SEAL Team Six stealth operation? If he wasn’t trying all that hard to hide it, I’m wondering if he WANTED you to find it…he would not be the first cheater to stray in hopes that he could avoid any real, difficult conversations with his wife about him wanting to leave.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 9:26 am

While it’s certainly possible that he wanted her to find out, and it’s also certainly possible that he tried really hard to hide it, I think it’s also at least as possible that he just wasn’t thinking and therefore didn’t do much at all to hide things.

I think I’d be most concerned if it were very difficult to find out what he did. If all he did was change usernames on Skype, then I’d say he’s likely not a die-hard cheat who’s used to covering his tracks, and it’s more likely that his behavior can be stopped before anything physical happens.

Obviously, we don’t know the LW or her husband, but I personally think that the least discouraging option would have been for it to be relatively easy to find out what he’d done but not blatantly easy (leaving the screen open to the session with a Post-it saying “note to self: remember to hide this from wife”).

avatar ReginaRey May 26, 2011, 9:35 am

I guess I just personally have a hard time believing that in some level, you WANT the wife to find out if you’re not overly worried about hiding it. It’s easier than saying, “I’m not sure I want to continue with this marriage,” or “I have problems that I need to discuss.” Instead of taking action, he forces HER to respond and take action when she discovers his infidelity. That way he doesn’t have to make a decision or do any difficult thinking – she’ll do it for him. I’m not necessarily convinced that it’s always a conscious thing…it could be something he unconsciously doesn’t try hard to hide. I don’t know, it really could be any one of our proposed explanations.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 9:40 am

I’m not in any way disagreeing with you that people will – intentionally or subconsciously – make their dalliances known to their spouses to avoid having to have “the talk”. And they’ll also not try to cover them up because they’ve simply ceased to care what the spouse thinks.

I’m just saying that it might be the inexperienced-and-not-thinking behavior of someone who’s not an innate cheat and who does love his wife, because I’d like to hope the situation is resolvable. I’m not naive, and I’m not saying it’s highly likely it’ll work out… but I can see how this could be him just being all sorts of stupid in a number of ways and how it could just be a blip in the marriage.

I really hope for an update from this LW.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 9:40 am

Apologies for the unclosed italics tag. I’d edit it if I could!

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 9:41 am

Darn it! Maybe I didn’t realize it continued down the entire page – I’ll add a closing tag here:

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 9:42 am

That didn’t work. Wendy, could you fix my comment? Thank you. :o

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 10:07 am

No way! I like the italics.

They make me feel fancy!

avatar silver_dragon_girl May 26, 2011, 8:56 am

Ugh, LW, this situation sucks. The problem with snooping is that if you DON’T find anything, you feel like a jerk, and if you DO find something, it can ruin your life.

I agree with Wendy. Even if you hadn’t had a previous reason to mistrust your husband, what you found totally justifies the snooping, IMO. So when you confront him, do NOT let him twist things around so he’s the victim. He will almost certainly try.

If you both decide you want to continue with this marriage and try to rebuild things, I think you’re definitely going to need some couples therapy. I think you can make it through this, but please do some soul-searching (and encourage your husband to do so, too) to find out if that is really what you want.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 8:57 am

LW, I’m sorry that you’re going through this, and I don’t think that looking at the accounts of your spouse after they’ve already given you good reason to not trust them is in any way “disgusting.” It’s a grey subject, and there are cases where someone is being prying and disrespectful by constantly breaking into their spouses’s accounts, but yours is not one of them, and I think there’s huge difference between boyfriend/girlfriend snooping and spousal snooping after the other has been unfaithful or acted in a shady way.

I do wish you luck in whatever you decide is the best course of action for you. It is possible that your husband is just caught up in the thrill of becoming “known” and was tempted by the new attention – and that being told about this discovery will shock him into acting properly from now on. I don’t think it’s the best of bets, but it’s not impossible. I would guess that the only way to get there would be to tell him what you know in a firm but not angry way and tell him that it was his last strike. Don’t yell or cry or scream because it’ll ratchet up his emotional response. Just calmly tell him that you will not accept that behavior and that, while you understand it might be what he wants to do, you will leave him if he continues. And let him know you’ll be monitoring his behavior because he has broken his vows and you need to protect your interests. I think that, if anything might save the marriage, that would be the way to approach it. The calmer you are, and the more assertive you sound, the more likely it will be to get through to him that losing you is a very real possibility and that you’re calm enough to ensure you will get what’s coming to you if the marriage ends.

That said, you’ve already caught him twice in a couple of months, and that’s what you know about. I am very sorry, but I’d prepare for the worst, and if you continue to be physical with him, use condoms. Always it will drive home your lack of trust, and it will give you leverage to use should he open up enough that you can begin to trust him again.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:31 am

That last part should be “Always. It will…”

avatar WatersEdge May 26, 2011, 9:00 am

I do believe that snooping is justified if the other person in the relationship is acting funny. I also believe in relative transparency between spouses. I don’t say anything to my friends or family that my husband couldn’t read. I may say a mean thing or two about him during an argument, but nothing I’d be ashamed to show him. My husband knows I have trust issues, so he lets me snoop. Because he lets me, I don’t really do it.

LW, I think you need to see what’s going on with your husband. As Wendy says, confront him. This is twice now in a short period of time. Maybe he’ll tell you that there are things in the relationship that make him unhappy. Things you can work on to repair your trust and his fidelity. I have to say though, it doesn’t look good. He sounds like a cheating jerk, and if his music career is really taking off, it will probably only get worse.

avatar honeybeenicki May 26, 2011, 11:46 am

After my husband got into trouble, I basically told him straight out that I was going to snoop. He made it clear that I could go ahead and do that especially since he knew it would help keep him from more trouble. I did it a few times, but it just wasn’t the same with permission. I agree with you that there should be relative transparency between spouses. I don’t say anything about my husband that I don’t want getting back to him. I kind of use that for most of my relationships – social, personal, business. I learned in the police academy that the best way to live is thinking about something before you do it and wonder one of two things: “Do I want to see this on the front page of the paper tomorrow and would I be embarrased by it?” or “Would I want to do/say this in front of my grandma?”

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 11:48 am

“I learned in the police academy that the best way to live is thinking about something before you do it and wonder one of two things: “Do I want to see this on the front page of the paper tomorrow and would I be embarrased by it?” or “Would I want to do/say this in front of my grandma?””

That’s what they say to us in Ethics class in business school! I guess it’s versatile advice.

avatar BoomChakaLaka May 26, 2011, 9:03 am

I haven’t dated a musician, but I went through what you’re going through with my ex. After he lied to me about something I considered essentially innocuous, I couldn’t trust him with anything. I snooped his facebook, e-mail, phones, you guessed it. And when I landed on something that finally confirmed my fears, that pretty much sent the relationship downhill for the next year and a half. There are many times I wish I had the lady balls to just get up and leave then, but unlike you, I was just in a relationship. You are in a marriage, and you’ve taken vows to stay together through good and bad.

Yes, snooping in any relationship is questionable, but I think that is one of the few issues you may need to discuss with your spouse and possibly a marriage counselor. Maybe the event that you mentioned needs to be aired out a bit more and any untapped emotions relating to that event need to be released. I’m sure this will all connect to why your husband felt the need to emotionally stray. But again, these issues need to be discussed and resolved to see if maybe you can both clear the ground for the foundation of a great relationship.

Good luck!

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 9:12 am

Hey…I’m not one to go snooping through my S/O’s stuff, but I’ve never had a legitamite reason to. YOU on the other hand, did, so good for you & be glad you did! I’ve always believed if you have a genuine concern about trust, snooping is the truest way to confirm that.
Aside from counseling, & talking to your husband, because everyone has pretty much given you very good advice on that, I’m going to reiterate Wendy’s statement on NOT allowing your husband to turn things around on you.
When you confront him about this, depending on the kind of person he is, there’s a chance he’ll blame you for going through his things & then whether you like it or not, you’ll be second guessing all your actions. DO NOT allow him to do this. As Wendy said, even if the snooping was 100% wrong, he was **more** wrong.
I’m hoping he is not that type of person, & he surrenders to your findings & wants to work things out, if that’s the case, then it’s up to YOU to figure out whether you can live like that or not.
Honestly, if you guys weren’t married, I’d tell you to MOA YESTERDAY. But it’s different when you’re married & it’s always possibly to work things out if both of your are inclined to. If you guys try again & things still don’t work out, you can have the closure you need, you gave it your all. Good luck to you!

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 9:18 am

One other comment:

The natural reaction is to vilify your husband for being a cheating bastard. The evidence as we’ve seen it doesn’t look good.

However, one thing I’d like to say is that, if he’s been an unknown and really has just recently started to see his career take off and have that cause other women to flirt with him, this might also be a case of him never before having been tempted and then suddenly being inundated with flirty behavior. Maybe he’s never done anything even bordering on cheating before. Maybe he really is a good guy who’s just caught up in the giddiness of being wanted. Maybe it’s like the poor and frugal person who wins the lottery and then buys all sorts of useless crap because they’ve never had money before.

So maybe this is just because he’s in a place he’s never been before and dealing with temptations he’s never had before – and so maybe a firm talking-to and a realization of what he stands to lose will bring him around.

We can all say we’d “never do that” for a number of things, but it only really counts when we’re actually in a position to do so. A lot of people “would never cheat” but then do when hot members of their desired sex keep offering themselves. A lot of people “would never bring their kids to McDonald’s” until they’ve got three screaming kids in the car and no nearby food. A lot of people “would never get plastic surgery” until they start to see their looks fade. A lot of people “would never ….” until their life changes in a way that “…” becomes a big temptation and they’re not able to resist it.

Maybe he’s just overwhelmed by a flood of new temptations and he lost his head and stopped considering what he was actually doing.

There are a lot of people who are natural cheats and who just become enabled by success to do so… but there are also a lot of people who need to learn to control temptations because they’re not used to them. For your sake and his, LW, I hope it’s just a case of a decent person suddenly becoming “wanted” and not yet having the control to act as they know they should – and as they really want to.

When you’re on a diet, that cheesecake is always going to be tempting. At first, if people keep putting it in front of you, you’ll cave. But once you realize it is preventing you from getting or keeping what you want (in this case, a healthy body), you learn that the way to not be tempted by cheesecake is to not be around it… at least not to let someone put it there right in front of you with a fork and napkin. And then, after you get used to it, you can learn to handle being around it again. But it takes time.

I hope he’s the kind of man who realizes – before it’s too late – that those tempting desserts are ultimately unfulfilling and unhealthy and could cause him to lose what he really wants.

avatar Desiree May 26, 2011, 9:30 am

I honestly might agree with this more if it were a drunken post-concert one night stand. But he has gone to some trouble to communicate with this one girl consistently, so it’s not like it’s just being shoved in his face. He is *seeking it out*. Which makes it seem to me like he is unlikely to reform.

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 9:50 am

Word up. This wasn’t a one-time event… it was a concerted behavior extended over months.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:03 am

I’m not going to disagree that Skype can be a gateway drug to physical affairs, but I also think that many people don’t truly think of it as cheating and instead consider it to be harmless.

I’m not saying it’s not cheating, and I’m definitely not saying it’s harmless. I’m saying that, to many people, there is a huge difference between spending hundreds of hours PMing and Skyping and chatting… and even a single in-person kiss.

So, just because someone personally considers this to be a divorce-worthy case of infidelity, it doesn’t mean that others cannot just as justifiably consider it to be a transgression of lessor magnitude – albeit one that points to a likelihood of a physical affair occurring.

If we all considered Internet-based communication to be exactly the same as in-person activity, 99% of the mean comments online would disappear. We do not generally think of them as being the same, which is why we tend to go further online than we would in person. Granted, as I said, that makes it easier for in-person activities to occur, and that’s absolutely bad. But it is not ridiculous to think of online activity as being fundamentally different than the same activity in person.

Budj Budjer May 26, 2011, 10:15 am

I think people are more likely to be jerks online than in real life because there is no personal accountability.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:29 am

I completely agree. If the only way you could get online was to have some DNA sample to prove it was you and some GPS to prove where you were, the contents of the Internet would still fit on a floppy disk. Which we’d still be using, since few people would see the need to buy computers and so they’d not have advanced.

avatar ladiejoy May 26, 2011, 10:58 am

“We can all say we’d “never do that” for a number of things, but it only really counts when we’re actually in a position to do so. A lot of people “would never cheat” but then do when hot members of their desired sex keep offering themselves. A lot of people “would never bring their kids to McDonald’s” until they’ve got three screaming kids in the car and no nearby food. A lot of people “would never get plastic surgery” until they start to see their looks fade. A lot of people “would never ….” until their life changes in a way that “…” becomes a big temptation and they’re not able to resist it.”

THIS

avatar cdobbs May 26, 2011, 9:19 am

ick, one work “DIVORCE”!

avatar mirage14 May 26, 2011, 9:36 am

This title put me off at first, but after reading the letter, I think this has less to do with the fact that the LW’s husband is a musician, and more to do with the fact that he’s not trustworthy. It is the same if he was a businessman who travels alot, there is temptation, but it comes down to the person’s ability to remain faithful.

Wendy – I enjoy reading your columns and website, but I find the fact that the husband is a musician has little to do with the actual story.

As someone who manages a musician, I have many friends that are musicians, and I have been in the scene for many years now. Yes, I have definitely seen musicians flirting with girls, and cheating on their SOs. But, a musician’s life, no matter if they are in a bar band or on a international level, is the same – they will constantly be surrounded by adoring, and sometimes overzealous fans. This increases the temptations 10 fold. But not every musician is out there sleeping with a different person in every city.

What I’ve seen most in my time around bands is that often (and I am DEFINITELY NOT putting any blame here on the LW, I don’t know the situation) the musician’s SO cannot get a handle on the fact that it is the musician’s job to speak with fans, to interact with fans. Yes, there are alot of girls out there who are going to try to get in their pants, its a fact of life if you are any sort of entertainer. I believe the SO needs to keep their own jealousy in check for this reason, as long as the musician in question is being honest and trustworthy. Jealousy may end up pushing the person to do things they wouldn’t otherwise.

But beyond this being a job, for most musicians, music is their true love, the most passionate piece of them, it is something they need and crave to do, just like writers need to write, painters need to paint. To be dragged down by an SO’s jealousy and/or accusations when there is truly nothing going on behind their back, is going to make the person resent the SO and feel that the SO is taking their music away. I’ve seen it happen more than once.

Perhaps the LW’s husband is letting his success get the best of him, but you also don’t know if this girl he’s talking to his actually a fan. Be careful not to mix the profession and who he is as a person. Did you ever doubt him in the past? (Prior to the March incident you mentioned).

avatar Lindsay May 26, 2011, 9:47 am

While I agree that not all musicians are untrustworthy, I think it’s relevant because many musicians have much more temptation to cheat and opportunity. An accountant could easily have an affair with a client, but accountants are not out of town for weeks and do not attract as many followers.

Of course, as others have said, the LW should talk to her husband about what she saw. And if she feels that she can trust him in the future, she should. But there’s nothing to feel bad about if she cannot and chooses to move on. Snooping is understandable in a situation like this, but it certainly doesn’t feel good to feel that you have to do it long term.

avatar mirage14 May 26, 2011, 10:07 am

The point I was trying to make is that while yes, the LW’s husband certainly has more temptation that we should not automatically assume that it is a fan he is talking to, or that even has to do with his career at all. Fact of the matter is that as its not an isolated event, this would’ve likely happened eventually, whether or not he’s a successful musician.

Any person can go out and do this, they don’t have to be traveling or be an entertainer. He could’ve easily met this girl in a bar, or wherever. My point is that being a musician does not automatically make you a cheater.

avatar jennifer May 26, 2011, 12:01 pm

Really? I think accountants are solo hot. Jk.

avatar Foreveryoung May 26, 2011, 9:56 am

I actually completely find the fact that the husband is a musician to be important to the story, and your comments seem to agree, even if you don’t realize it.

“I find the fact that the husband is a musician has little to do with the actual story”

“Yes, there are a lot of girls out there who are going to try to get in their pants, it’s a fact of life if you are any sort of entertainer”

Clearly if the husband was not a musician he would not have girls throwing themselves at him. No this absolutely does not justify his behavior, but I think it is an important detail. So I am not sure if you’re annoyed at the title of the post or that his career was put in the article at all, but either way I think it is important to put the story in context.

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 10:01 am

I think it’s a completely unimportant detail. A husband cheated on his wife… who cares if he’s a musician or a medical biller? Why does being a musician earn you special treatment?

avatar Foreveryoung May 26, 2011, 10:07 am

It doesn’t warrant special treatment AT ALL. That was not what I was saying. But it is nonetheless an important detail. He would not have fans if he was not a musician. So no, it’s not an excuse. But to understand the letter, it needs to be known. Dearwendy readers are always complaining that we aren’t given enough details in letters, and some of her trust issues would be really confusing if we didn’t understand her husband is often gone for long periods of time with girls throwing themselves at him. If we didn’t know that we would *possibly* (I’m not quire sure how this post exactly would read without that detail) think that she actually was out of line for snooping. I’m really not sure how that would look, but i’m just saying I personally don’t agree that the fact that he is not a musician is not an important detail.

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 10:10 am

Would you believe me if I told you that if he were instead an operational risk manager, we’d be having the same condunrum involving either an intern or local barista? Cheaters gonna cheat.

avatar Foreveryoung May 26, 2011, 11:36 am

Agree, whether you’re a politician, actor, soccer mom, desperate housewife, or whatever, people that want to cheat will cheat. When there’s a will there’s a way. Again, i’m not excusing him. I’m just saying to fully understand her situation it’s an important detail. I’m not saying she should forgive him because it “comes with the territory”. If anything she should walk away because if he has shown the inability to turn down girls, and it’s not likely that girls throwing themselves at musicians will slow down anytime soon, so unless he gets a new job, she actually has more of a reason to walk away in my opinion. He will always have temptation, and she will *most likely* never be able to trust him.

Sorry we’ve gone off on a little tangent here. I just feel like you are not understanding that i’m not excusing his behavior, but I do think to give her good advice we need to understand everything about her situation.

avatar Julzie May 26, 2011, 11:33 am

I think the only reason it could be an important detail is that if his career is beginning an upswing, it’lls probably only get worse from here on.

avatar mirage14 May 26, 2011, 10:12 am

I see your point, and maybe I didn’t make my point clearly enough. As I just stated in my reply to the comment above – just because a person is a musician, actor, entertainer, whatever, does not automatically mean the person will cheat or that is the reason why they have.

The LW is basically blaming his profession, when really, that should have nothing to do with it. It is up to him to cheat, whether its a fan or a woman he met at the bank.

There is an underlying negativity in her words towards his career, which I think goes to show tension in the relationship elsewhere.

Just because this guy is surrounded by 100 women instead of 1, does that mean its more tempting? Of course. But it is HIS choice to do what he’s doing. HE should be strong enough to fight this temptation and stay true to his wife. Its his own flaws, and has nothing to do with his career ultimately.

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 10:36 am

Um…I think it’s pretty safe to say from the information given on the LW, the girl was not “just a fan.” Technically yes, but skyping with her until 4am, etc…when he’s MARRIED, is unacceptable & *IS* cheating!

avatar Meg May 26, 2011, 11:29 am

I think the musician bit is relevant, not because it says anything about him as a person, but because it illustrates that temptation will always be a part of his life. This isn’t a situation where, in order to earn her trust, he can change the circumstances so that he isn’t in the position to be tempted. For a musician (or someone in a similar profession) to remain faithful, he has to have the innate ability to withstand temptation rather than just the determination to avoid tempting circumstances. Since the man in question doesn’t have a good track record in this regard, there doesn’t seem to be a good chance of this never happening again.

avatar Foreveryoung May 26, 2011, 11:39 am

Thanks, you said that much better than I attempted to above.
“This isn’t a situation where, in order to earn her trust, he can change the circumstances so that he isn’t in the position to be tempted” – totally what I meant.

avatar WatersEdge May 26, 2011, 12:15 pm

This reminds me of those cavemen who get offended by the “So easy, a caveman could do it” ad slogans…

Listen, if we can’t generalize about guys in bands hooking up with groupies, then we’ve gone too far. Don’t take yourself so seriously! Nobody’s calling you a cheater.

avatar SGMcG May 26, 2011, 9:37 am

Although your snooping is justified, I am sorry that your marriage had to come to that. It is a symptom that the communication in your marriage broke down. Besides being betrayed and hurt, I imagine you’re also very angry right now. You have every right to feel the way you do in your situation. In approaching your next step, you first need to decide if you want to still save this marriage based on what you have experienced so far.

If this marriage is something you still want to have with him, you need to open lines of communication with your husband again – tell him about the snooping and why you feel it was justified. Explain to him how trusting him is important to you and how betrayed you feel because of his recent actions. Push him towards marriage counseling if he still refuses to communicate yet still wants this marriage.

If you feel this marriage is broken, start preparation for divorce proceedings. Contact an attorney to protect your assests and obtain your fair share of the marital property. Save digital files of the facebook/skype conversations to obtain a marriage with just cause. Reach out to your family and friends for their help if available. Try to find ways you can redevelop trust in general.

Whatever choice you make, you NEED to communicate with your husband about his actions and rationale behind them. Only then can you get all the information to make an education decision regarding the state of your marriage. Yet no matter what happens, you importantly must do things for yourself at all times that will maintain your own health and sanity during this time of betrayal.

avatar SGMcG May 26, 2011, 9:52 am

“Save digital files of the facebook/skype conversations to obtain a marriage with just cause.” I meant to say “Save digital files of the facebook/skype conversations to obtain a DIVORCE with just cause.” In fact, whether you decide to obtain a divorce or not – obtain the copies and save them anyway. When you open lines of communication with your husband again about what to do next, seeing his infidelity on paper is going to be hard for your husband to deny, even if you obtained it through snooping.

avatar El May 26, 2011, 9:41 am

LW- before you say a word to your husband, please print out as many of his coorespondences with this woman as you can find and file them away for your records.These will be extremely important if you decide to proceed with a divorce.

There is a possibility he may become angry and pull the plug on the marriage himself when you confront him. He may also delete evidence of his relationship with his groupie. Please protect yourself, LW. You don’t want to be on the line paying spousal support for this idiot because you couldn’t prove that he was at-fault for the marriage ending.

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 11:25 am

That’s a great point! A lot of people don’t realize this because they are preoccupied with the emotional stress of realizing they’re being betrayed. It’s good that you brought it up so the LW can get those things in check before she proceeds. I hope she takes your advice!

avatar Flake May 26, 2011, 9:43 am

Personally, I can’t believe you are even asking this question. Do you honestly think there is ANY possibility of you waking up tomorrow (apart waking up with complete amnesia) and acting as if nothing happened? If people could just selectively forget things like that, there would be a lot less conflicts in the world.
Your husband messed up. If I were you, I would even avoid telling him how exactly I found out. I would say something like ‘next time, please make sure you log out of Skype, and the computer is turned off after talking to your fans’. I know this is a lie, but there is no reason for him to have any ammunition against you, because I am 100% sure that he will make it your fault. Guys like that always do. And then you have to decide if there is anyway YOU can forgive him.
I realize it may look very tempting to be a wife of a famous musician. You may feel that you have invested a lot of time into this relationship and supported your husband long enough for you to enjoy some of the ‘fruits of your labor’. But every day you spend with him is a day spent in doubt and mistrust. If your husband had a less ‘exciting’ job, I would agree with everyone else. I would say do go to therapy or counseling. But his job will always include lots of girls throwing themselves at him. So far he didn’t not show that he has the will power necessary to deal with that, and that is just the beginning of his career. You can’t attach him to your hip and keep tabs on him 24/7 unless you are ready to sacrifice your life and your sanity.
I know that this is marriage we are talking about, and I don’t believe in just giving that up. But in order to save it, both sides have to be equally committed. Tell your husband what you have found out. He is not even going to ask how you know that right away. If he is truly sorry, he will be shocked and apologetic and he will take responsibility for his actions. If he tries in any way to blame you for what happened, that would be sign that you may be better off without him. In that case, I would probably take his musical instrument on my way out. Might be worth some money one day.

Budj Budjer May 26, 2011, 9:46 am

If he let the little fame he has gotten so far get to his head this much…then the future doesn’t bode well for you. Unless this ends up being a wake up call for him and he tones down the music career I would drop him; you will worry about what he does from now on and justly so. Not all touring performers can’t be in committed relationships, but this is a huge red flag to me for how successful your relationship will be if his musical success continues.

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 9:47 am

After reading these comments, I just want to add that you shouldn’t feel obligated to go to couples counseling, seek out your husband’s emotional needs, psychoanalyze the effects of his budding stardom, or hold his hand through this in any way. You can absolutely do so if you choose to, but you are justified in storming out of this marriage tomorrow. You’re his wife… not his sex rehab nanny. He fucked up; you didn’t.

Regardless of whether or not anything physical took place, he cheated. I would bet my paycheck that if this harlot lived next door to you, they’d be banging four times a week. Trying to cheat on you and just not getting around to it is no excuse if he throws the lame “But nothing happened” line at you. Just the fact that he felt the need to hide things he was doing from you constitutes cheating.

I hate to say it, but given his past history of whatever compromised your trust in him in March, this is now officially a pattern of behavior and not some one-time slip-up. If you decide to try to save the marriage, it would have to be on a zero-tolerance policy. Not for nothing, but if it were me, my wife’s possessions would find the fastest and most direct route to the sidewalk, and I wouldn’t expect anything less out of her if the roles were reversed. Maybe that’s just us.

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 9:52 am

Best advice I’ve read yet. Completely merritted for this situation.

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 2:17 pm

I think I have my own purple thumb fairy…lolol

avatar ReginaRey May 26, 2011, 9:58 am

Totally agree, Spaceboy. I advocated going to marriage counseling, but I do not want the LW to think that means she is OBLIGATED to do that. I think if she wants to save her marriage, then that’s the logical next step. But if she decides she wants to kick him to the curb and start the divorce process tomorrow, I think that’s warranted as well. Counseling, however, can help you make decisions CALMLY, not out of anger. Though I agree with you when you say that your wife’s stuff would be on the sidewalk – I don’t know if I personally could stick around.

avatar MissD May 26, 2011, 6:59 pm

You know, I once thought the same thing-how could someone stay in a relationship after being betrayed by a cheating parnter? Until it happened to me…and I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay because I fully expected that he would wake up, realize how much he still loved me, and do anything to win me back. I wanted to stay because I wanted to believe my husband still loved me more than anyone else in the world, even her. I wanted to stay because leaving a marriage before trying everything possible to salvage it seemed wrong-even though my husband broke his vows, clearly disrespected me by having an affair that started before our first anniversary, and (after three weeks of “working on it”) ASKED for a divorce. I am a strong, independent woman who got married not because I felt unfulfilled as a single person, but because I wanted to get married and have the life I envisioned with my husband. And I didn’t want to give that future up.

All that being said, I totally understand why the LW wants to work on her marriage. However, the fact that the LW discovered the cheating herself is not a good sign. I also discovered proof of my husband’s affair, which he said he’d stop, but never actually did (for more than a couple weeks at a time). I’m guessing that since the husband didn’t feel guilty enough about his actions to come clean with the LW and ask for forgiveness, it means that he doesn’t feel guilty/want to change. And if that is true, it will make it extremely unlikely the marriage can be saved (barring a change of heart on the part of the husband). The LW will not know what can happen until she talks with him, and she must. If he tries to deflect blame, then he’s not sorry, and she has her answer.

Good luck to you, LW, whatever you decide.

avatar Desiree May 26, 2011, 10:00 am

I fully agree with this. Since he is a musician, I would definitely go for the belongings on the sidewalk routine. Don’t know what he plays, but there is nothing like a guitarist discovering his ’77 Les Paul got a little soak in the rain. Hold that thought. If he has a ’77 Les Paul she *definitely* needs to be selling that thing on eBay.

Budj Budjer May 26, 2011, 10:16 am

Yeah…I was going to say…why waste that? Make another musician happy and put some cash in your pocket…win win!

avatar jena May 27, 2011, 12:22 pm

i’m so glad we’ve all graduated junior high here. destroying someone’s possessions is immature, i don’t care what he did to her.

avatar Foreveryoung May 26, 2011, 10:02 am

Completely agree. Lw, don’t forget this is his mess up. So however you plan on handling the situation is justified. If that means you walk away without even giving him a chance to explain his way out, go for it. If you think you want closure and need to tell him everything you know and see what he has to say for himself, that is understandable too. If you want to work on your marriage and try counseling, then I wish you the best. But no matter what know that this is YOUR decision, because HE messed up.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:21 am

I agree with you that it is any spouse’s right to decide to get divorced for whatever reason they want to.

However, I disagree that this is cheating to the same extent as physical cheating, and I think that makes a huge difference. There are a lot of details we don’t know, and information might be revealed that completely turns this into what I’d consider to be a divorceable offense (not that it matters what I think when it comes to their marriage).

However, as I’ve said above, a lot of people look at electronic communication as being in an entirely different plane of existence that real-life interactions. I’m not defending it or condemning it; I’m simply putting it out there as fact. People will often behave differently – and in fact sometimes in an almost polar-opposite way – online than they do in real life. In particular, online affairs are often seen as fantasies by those involved. They can be devoted to those fantasies in the same way you can be devoted to anything else fictional but compelling – like a good TV series – but they aren’t really seen as “real”.

Not all people are that way. Some people see online activity as being identical to in-person activity.

But many people don’t, and if her husband is one of those people, and if he hasn’t done anything physical, and if he hasn’t had it made clear to him that his wife very much considers it to be hurtful and wrong and cheating, it is entirely possible that he sees it as something he doesn’t want to tell his wife but which isn’t really wrong… along the lines of viewing porn. I’m not saying that’s the right way to see it. I’m saying that he’d be one of a very large group of people who see it that way.

Maybe he’s fully aware of how crappy he’s acted. I don’t know. I’m just saying that we don’t know enough to know, and the fact that you’d consider it reason to get divorced and to destroy the person’s property and so on doesn’t mean that they’d have considered their actions to have been that bad… because they didn’t think of them as actions but instead as fantasies.

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 10:28 am

Emotional infidelity is just as bad, if not worse than physical cheating.
& regardless, I’m not 100% sure what he meant by “I’ve never shown my body to anyone, especially on the first night, so feel special.” Then gives her a pet name
If you pick apart that sentence, it has both physical & emotional elements…Sooo I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s a cheating bastard all around.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:35 am

I agree with you – I really do think it’s just as bad.

All I’m saying is that – to the person doing it – it might not seem like that because it’s online.

Again, I completely agree that emotional and physical infidelity are both bad things. All I’m discussing is whether the person doing the online cheating actually realizes it’s cheating. It’s one thing to hold someone in your arms and tell them you love them… it’s entirely something else to type “*kiss*” into a chatbox window.

To many people, it’s not real and therefore not cheating. I know it truly is real, especially to the person discovering it… but they don’t consider it to be, and it’s a very common perception.

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 10:41 am

Now I see what you’re saying & it is very possible. I truly hope he does realize he is cheating & doesn’t give the LW the run around & blame her when she confronts him…

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:45 am

Thank you. :-)

I’m in complete agreement that he should not have done what he did and that it was cheating on his wife and that it was very painful to her, and that he should have realized she could have discovered it and been hurt by it (in addition to it being wrong).

I’m only arguing that he might not have thought it through enough to realize what he truly was doing – not that what he did was in any way whatsoever right.

avatar SGMcG May 26, 2011, 10:45 am

It doesn’t matter if the person doing the online cheating actually realizes it’s cheating. He’s advertising himself that he’s open to pursue a relationship when he made vows to commit to her. If the LW discovered her husband had a dating profile, whether it be through eharmony or adult friend finder, she would be just as upset and justified in her betrayal and pain as she is through the discovered facebook/skype chats. Unless the LW and his wife are polyamorous and communicated about this beforehand, what her husband is doing is NOT COOL.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:49 am

“It doesn’t matter if the person doing the online cheating actually realizes it’s cheating.”

Of course it matters. To be punished or held to blame for something, you really should have to have done it with the realization it was wrong. I’m pretty sure he would have realized it was cheating if he’d thought about it, and it’s likely he knew he was cheating and did it anyway. But I think that, absolutely, you have to know you’re cheating to actually cheat.

avatar SGMcG May 26, 2011, 11:14 am

“I think that, absolutely, you have to know you’re cheating to actually cheat.”

There are two sides to cheating that you’re observing. That would be the intent to cheat as well as the act itself. In criminal law, this would be the mens rea (guilty mind) and the actus reus (guilty act) in order to recognize a charge of a crime. However, there are also those crimes that on their face, you would be automatically punished if charges are filed, no matter whether you have the intent or not – statutory rape is a good example of a strict liability crime.

I bring this up because I feel you are trying to lessen the betrayal of LW’s husband by trying to factor if he really feels he cheated in this situation – did her husband act like he’s cheating and did her husbandintend to cheat? However, I don’t feel you can lessen the betrayal of the LW – that is her decision to make. If in light of her husband’s past betrayal she wants to interpret these facebook/skype conversations as him being strictly liable of cheating – I do not blame the LW for taking this stance, especially if she communicated with him about how her trust was broken from the last incident.

Personally, I feel all instances of cheating in a marriage are to be interpreted as strictly liable if they are not commmunicated with the other spouse. There are exceptions for pornography that my husband and I have discussed. Yet do either of us intentionally go out and expose our bodies, whether online or in person, in order to have our libidos tickled individually by other people, like the LW’s husband did? No – we both consider that cheating.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 12:20 pm

I think the fact that you consider pornography to be cheating unless it’s discussed with your spouse ahead of time suggests to me that your standards for cheating are a bit more stringent than are mine.

avatar SGMcG May 26, 2011, 1:11 pm

My standards for what I consider cheating may be considered stringent, yet I also have a bigger acceptance of pornography and masturbation (mutual or self) within a relationship too. My standards have been discussed with my husband and I am aware of what his standards constitute too. The fact that LW’s husband exposed his body to another woman behind her back without her OK or in the name of performance art, especially in light of past infidelity, is cheating. If I did that to my husband, I would consider that a failure to communicate and develop trust on my end and I would not blame him for leaving me at all.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 1:23 pm

Obviously, that would be his right, although I’d think that marriage vows – the very ones people validly cite as reasons to remain faithful – would also suggest that something like a spouse’s video chat with someone outside the marriage (naked or not) would be better seen as something to at least attempt to overcome as opposed to immediate grounds for divorce.

I don’t mean a history of video chats and nudity after repeated confrontations. I mean the discovery of one such incident or one series with the same person that becomes discovered at one time. Such a thing would, in my mind, be better suited to at least an attempt at healing instead of an “well, you messed up once and I’m leaving and disavowing anything I promised you” sort of attitude.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:40 am

Or to put it a different way:

If you’re really being emotionally unfaithful, then if you’re put into a room with your spouse/SO and the other person, you’re going to feel tom between the two of them, or simply just drawn to the other person.

On the other hand, even if you’ve carried on a long-term affair online with someone whom you may or may not have even met, if you’re then put into that same situation – your spouse/SO and them in a room – you’re likely going to feel as though a fantasy has painfully intruded on your real-life feelings – the online person was never real to you, and the fact they’re suddenly there would be jarring.

The situations are perceived as being different by the person doing them, even if those on the other side of the relationship are just as hurt by either.

This isn’t a defense of online cheating. I’m just saying that it often seems not the same to those doing it, and so it can often be stopped by making it clear to them that it really is the same thing. Showing him printouts of the conversion brings the fantasy very jarringly into his reality, and that might be all that was needed.

I hope.

avatar LTC039 May 26, 2011, 10:45 am

But from what she said, I gathered they have seen each other physically. Maybe not had actual sexual encounters (although, imo, I think they have) but she probably has gone to a couple of his shows & I’m willing to bet even hung out “with the band” after. So I get your point, but I think in this case, she’s not just an online affair… Maybe I misinterpreted the letter, though…

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:55 am

I agree they likely have seen each other at least across the room, but I doubt they’ve been physical – if they had been, his comment about showing his body makes no sense.

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 10:48 am

Great points, JSW. There’s basically two ways to think about it. One is to consider these interactions fantasy fulfillment just as you would porn. That’s a dodgy argument since porn performers are compensated for their provided service. Even if we’re talking about amateur porn where the people are doing it for free and just getting off on the voyeurism, it’s still a form of compensation. Here, there is no compensation taking place since this girl is honestly trying to forge an emotional connection here. The whole ‘nobody gets hurt’ argument that make porn fun is gone.

The other is the one I took: Attempted murder is still rightfully punished like murder and you don’t get leniancy for trying and failing to do something wrong because you suck at it. If this was indeed an ongoing thing, I would bet that the husband would have cheated given the opportunity or was actively trying to and just not getting the logistics to work out. The only people who could answer that would be the musician and the harlot.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 10:54 am

Well, before you call her a harlot, you’d need to know that she knew he was married. I’m not sure that can be assumed.

Also, I’m not sure she was trying to forge an emotional bond or just trying to get physical with a musician or just enjoying the attention with no real interest in anything physical ever occurring.

So, really, I don’t think we know enough to make a real call here on it. It could be a case of a real dog of a guy using the Internet to bond with his groupies and then to get physical with them, or it could be a case of people doing what they think is innocent – well, not “really” wrong – behavior online. Or anywhere in between. The cynical part of me thinks it’s not all that innocent, but I’d prefer to wait for more information.

What he did was wrong and hurtful, though, no matter what else comes out to fill in the details.

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 11:08 am

I was just jumping at the chance to call anybody a harlot. It’s like my new favorite word now.

I agree that we need a lot more detail on the cheaty relationship, but it’s likely that the only two people on the planet who can gave us the real answers either aren’t talking or aren’t telling us the truth. The odds of getting the old “it was just harmless attention grabbiness and flirting” line seem overwhelming. Camming definitely paints a very blurry line when it comes to cheating.

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 11:21 am

“I was just jumping at the chance to call anybody a harlot. It’s like my new favorite word now.”

Please don’t let it replace “bang”.

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 11:41 am

I was exceptionally proud of working them both into the same sentence. It’s a feat so impressive that I’m forced to publicly mention it.

avatar AKchic May 26, 2011, 8:24 pm

Okay… if cyber-cheating and emotional cheating isn’t the same as physical cheating, then send a picture of your crotch to someone of the opposite sex and tell your partner. See what your partner thinks. Let your partner send a picture of his/her naked crotch to another person and tell them “I love you, I’ve never sent a pic like that before to someone like that” and NOT get mad. Not feel betrayed. Not feel hurt. Especially after you’ve caught your partner with someone before.

How about if your dad was sending pics of his crotch to his secretary? Would you tell your mom it was okay, because he didn’t stick his dick in the secretary herself?

avatar _jsw_ May 26, 2011, 8:53 pm

OK, first, I think it’s difficult to argue that cyber-cheating, emotional cheating, and physical cheating are the same. Sending a naked picture is not the same as falling in love with someone is not the same as having sex with someone.

They are all very hurtful to the significant others of those who engage in the behavior, but they are very different things.

I never said it was OK or that it wasn’t bad. I said that those who engage in it might not fully process how harmful it could be to their significant others because it seems fantastical to them. I don’t mean that everyone who engages in cybersexual conversations is naive or unable to comprehend their impact on others or whatnot. But I do strongly believe that, in general, people who are the ones doing the cyber-whatever will, at least prior to being caught, tend to think of it as not being remotely the same as what they’d consider to be “real” cheating – even though those exact same people would be hurt if their spouses/SOs did it instead.

avatar David Jay May 27, 2011, 4:04 am

Granted, emotional cheating and Physical cheating are two distinguishable acts. The latter leaves physical evidence and at least 1 witness, making it legal grounds for divorce. But either one is grounds to end a relationship. In a physical relationship, the partner usually screws someone he doesn’t love. In an emotional relationship, the partner loves someone they wish they could screw. Granted I’m not as young and hip as you all, but I respect myself enough not to tolerate either behavior.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't May 26, 2011, 12:17 pm

A-freakin’- men!

avatar ladiejoy May 26, 2011, 11:03 am

I’m curious about the March incident. I wonder, with the lack of detail provided, was it something that he actually DID – or did the LW make assumptions about a situation? Did they talk about it at that time? I just think getting to the bottom of the original source of distrust would go far in determining what’s going on here. Also, the motivation for the snooping would be more clear.

That said, no matter WHAT happened, these chats and emails are clearly inappropriate, and a breach of your vows. This absolutely needs to be dealt with in some form or fashion, and I truly hope this ends up being something that you two can work through.

avatar Sarah May 26, 2011, 11:47 am

You know what the most disheartening thing about this letter was to me?

“Please tell me if I am wrong and if I should just pretend I never saw anything, or how to approach this if I do need to say something.”

A woman who has the right amount of respect for herself as a partner would NEVER think an option is to just pretend she never saw anything. She deserves to give this man every ounce of sobbing, screaming anger and pain she has in her body, yet she’s wondering what she needs to say to him, or if she even should? LW is not going to divorce this guy. She’s not even going to get mad at him. She’ll maybe tell him she saw it, she’ll cry, and he’ll lie to her and say it was a one time mistake and he’ll never do it again. I imagine that’s exactly how it went after the incident in March.

If you’re going to listen to anything I say LW, please listen to this: If you set a pattern in your marriage where he cheats on you and then you forgive him, he will always, ALWAYS cheat on you. You never really trusted him again after the incident, otherwise you never would’ve snooped. I hope you find that the urge to check up on him is a product of the distrust he’s created, not a flaw in your character. Very few men deserve a second chance for cheating, and you’ve already given yours after what happened in March. How many cheating husbands deserve a third?

avatar spaceboy761 May 26, 2011, 11:56 am

I wish that I didn’t have to green thumb this, but I did. This is exactly what’s going to happen. Even if the LW gets her courage up after reading these responses, it really sounds like she doesn’t have it in her. I think that the majority of the ‘MOA’ responses here are us basically cheerleading her to have the courage that we know she doesn’t. It’s like rooting for the Mets.

sobriquet sobriquet May 26, 2011, 12:19 pm

Ugh, this is the worst.

When I was 19 and dating an ex-boyfriend of mine, I hadn’t learned the perils of snooping yet. This was back when AIM logs were saved automatically to your computer. My ex had his logs saved directly to his desktop, so I decided to take a gander at our old conversations. Honestly, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong at the time. I found the date that we decided to be boyfriend/girlfriend. I was shocked to discover that later the same night, he had been chatting with another girl about how he’s not sure he made the right decision by “choosing” me and that he still had the hots for her. Not only did he lay out all my faults, he even had a flirty, verging-on-cyber-sex conversation with her! I was crushed. When I confronted him about it, he made the entire argument about how I violated his privacy. I did, of course, but my snooping quest was innocent (as in, I wasn’t searching for some dirt). He made me feel so terrible that he had me crying and apologizing to HIM. That was the last time I have snooped and I don’t plan on doing it ever again.

Of course, my situation is silly compared to yours, and you seem to have every right to snoop. So don’t let your husband turn it around on you. But you MUST talk to him. I think it’s a great sign that he (presumably) has not physically cheated on you, yet. If he really wanted to hop in bed with this woman, hasn’t he had plenty of time to do just that? It sounds like he may be living some fantasy… a fantasy that he could very well have no intention of acting on. Still wrong, but probably a lot better than the alternative. But you won’t know that until you talk to him.

avatar kali May 26, 2011, 12:58 pm

LW, whatever happens – and I wish you peace and happiness, however this turns out – please do let us know the outcome.

Hugs!

bittergaymark bittergaymark May 26, 2011, 1:44 pm

Okay, so it’s an emotional affair. And definitely one that merits getting emotional over. The LW has a big decision to make here. She needs to confront him and then not cave into the pressure of his lies… He definitely WILL try to make this all about snooping. But his guilt outweighs that in this instance. This is a flirtation that seems anything but innocent to me. I think it is high time to clear the air and then figure out where she stands and what to do next.

avatar MissD May 26, 2011, 7:39 pm

After reading the comments about the way an online affair may be perceived, I will admit there is a small possibility that the husband thought he was having fun in a way that didn’t connect up with real life. However, the fact that he was talking live to a real person makes it different, in my mind, than talking via avatars in an online gaming world. It shows intent to be unfaithful, IMHO. And I honestly think the LW probably doesn’t know all the details-remember, she’s putting together a picture with information she unearthed on her own; it’s not as if the husband “came clean” and gave her all the details.

avatar AKchic May 26, 2011, 8:17 pm

Look, I’ll say one thing about “musicians” (aka: wannabe rock stars) – they want to live the rock and roll life regardless of if they are getting the rock and roll paycheck.

My mom was with a “musician” for 6 years before he died. She walked away from her failing marriage with my father to be with him (I’ll admit, he was better than my father). In the 6 years they were together, he brought one daughter that was my age with him in the beginning. By year 4, there were four other daughters by four other women, all of them either older teens (I was in elementary school) or young adults. When he died (I was 12 at the time), a son contacted us a week after his funeral – he was 22. All of the kids he fathered – he fathered while he was married to a woman that he never had kids with. He didn’t pay child support until they were in their teen years (when he settled down and married the second time to the youngest daughter’s mother, then divorced her), didn’t get to know any of them.

I have friends who think they are “musicians”. What do they do? Play badly, drink, do drugs, and party. Mostly, the title “musician” is bandied about in order to justify the sex and substance abuse. “It’s all part of the rock and roll lifestyle baby! My fans expect it of me!” My ass.

Until he gives up the rock and roll fantasy, he isn’t going to stop stepping out – emotionally or physically.

avatar ladiejoy May 27, 2011, 9:44 am

Don’t take this the wrong way, but you really need your own TV show.

avatar kate May 27, 2011, 10:08 am

She does. I would watch it.

avatar Nora June 6, 2011, 11:48 pm

Monogamy is not realistic. There are exceptions. There are always exceptions. But this “problem” is so trite and tired and pervasive. This kind of thing happens all. the. time. There is evidence of it everywhere. Maybe Skype shenanigans with some random person doesn’t have to shake the foundations of your marriage. Don’t let it. Redefine the nature of your commitment.

avatar ellathibodeaux February 28, 2012, 12:09 pm

As a woman, I would be reluctant to get into a relationship with any man with a lot of power – be he musician, politician, actor, Donald Trump, whomever. There will always be women chasing after these men and willing to spread their legs at a moment’s notice just for the thrill without even a passing thought toward the man’s partner or family. It’s hard enough to trust an ordinary Joe. Men like xxx and most are as faithful as their options. Men who are “stars” have a lot more options. This is just a fact. So I would think carefully about whether I would get involved with such a man.

I don’t think monogamy is unrealistic. That’s like saying not murdering people is unrealistic just because some people enjoy murder. There are scores of people who manage to be happily monogamous, like myself. I have no desire to go bed hopping every couple of years or to be in some polyamorous situation with my husband and some other couple, let me just say ewww. But to each their own. People should find what works for them. Monogamy isn’t the only way for some, and that’s fine.

You just don’t have the right to start off being faithful and then switch up the rules without your partner’s knowledge or consent. That’s why the call it cheating. Every relationship has its rules and parameters. They need to be respected, period. You can’t just do what the f* you want and the people who chafe at that are the ones for whom monogamy or any type of relationship is a problem.

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