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I have been dating my boyfriend for about eight months now – and what an amazing eight months it has been. He is so sweet, all my friends love him, I love all of his friends, and we always have the best time together. He has become not just my intimate partner but also one of my closest companions. I go to him whenever I am feeling upset, and he is always there to comfort me. However, since my last boyfriend cheated on me, I have been a bit paranoid throughout this current relationship. I just recently checked my boyfriend’s browser history and discovered he has been using online chat rooms to talk dirty to girls. I told him as soon as I found out, and he admitted to being addicted to online chat rooms for about four years. He also admitted he used to see a therapist for it. He makes fake accounts that don’t even use his name; however, he claims never to have met any of the girls he talks dirty to in this way. How do I know he’s telling the truth? He is really ashamed that he is still doing it and has promised he will go back to therapy for it. Should I stay with him? — Girlfriend of Chat Room Addict
No, I wouldn’t recommend staying with anyone you’ve only just started dating who has an untreated/unmanaged addiction of any kind that has and will affect your relationship, particularly your intimate relationship and your level of trust. The fact that in eight months your boyfriend never confided in you about this addiction and that there was enough doubt in his trustworthiness that you snooped through his computer confirms that this relationship isn’t as honky dory as you might like to think. There are serious issues here, and I suspect that participating in online chat rooms is just the tip of the addiction iceberg. Thankfully, it’s early enough in your relationship that you can get out relatively unscathed and without having invested a ton of time or energy. MOA and be glad you dodged a bullet as early as you did.