Then one day I took the initiative and sent him an innocent text message. We then texted until 4 AM, remembering the short-lived summer fling we had a decade ago. Ever since, we have been light flirting via text on and off. Lately, we have been actually sexting each other well past midnight, continuing until the next morning and throughout the day while at work, which we both —I think — enjoy.
Now, here’s the problem: Each one of us is in a committed relationship with someone else. And we both have agreed the sexting has to stop. Easier said than done! There are withdrawal symptoms when I don’t text him. We have abstained from texting for days — sometimes even weeks — but, when I finally think I’m over him, he surprises me with a friendly text and we quickly get into sexting again.
I feel guilty because I do enjoy the sexting very much, but I am not ready to cheat or end the committed relationship I’ve been into for the past 10 years, just because I like sexting the guy I had the hottest night of my life with 11 years ago.
I don’t think I know what I want. This is the most confused I’ve felt in the 10 years of being with the same guy. Any suggestions? — Addicted to His Sext
Your whole entire letter can be boiled down to your final paragraph: you’re the most confused you’ve ever been in your 10-year relationship and you don’t know what you want. Honestly, this has almost nothing to do with the other guy, despite how hot your night together was ten years ago or how much you enjoy his sexting. This has everything to do with your relationship and how, after ten years, you don’t know what you want.
You’re probably bored and feeling stagnant. Or maybe you’re having issues you keep sweeping under the rug. Whatever is going on between you, it seems it’s easier for you to keep ignoring it and escaping in this fantasy world you’ve created through some random, 11-year-old memories and some late-night texting sessions. It’s not the other guy you’re addicted to — or his sexts — it’s the distraction you’re afraid to give up, because not being distracted means you have to deal with whatever it is going on between you and your partner — whom you only refer to as “the guy” you’re with, even after 10 committed years together — that drove you to look up some summer fling from over a decade ago, add him in LinkedIn and then start sexting him til all hours of the night. You don’t do something like that after ten years with someone unless you’re unhappy, unsatisfied, angry, or bored.
Quit texting the rando and figure out what your feelings are with your long-term. As far as “withdrawal,” that’s just a bunch of baloney. That’s not withdrawal you’re feeling; it’s the anxiety you’ve been sweeping under the rug for who knows how long because you refuse to deal with the issues in your relationship. The antidote to the anxiety is to quit avoiding it.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.