≡ Menu

“My Husband is Cruising Craigslist’s Casual Encounters”

I have been with my husband for four years. We have two children ages 19 months and 3 months. For a while it had seemed he was trying to hide his phone from me whenever I was around him. He only looks at movie and celebrity news online, so I became suspicious when he became overprotective about his phone. When he was in the shower a week ago, I looked at his internet history. It was nothing but ‘Casual Encounters’ on Craigslist. I got so scared but eventually figured he was just looking just to look. We all have curiosity about weird stuff like that (kind of).

Well, last night when he was doing laundry, I looked again. Same story!! I know there’s only so long he’s going to look til something happens. He’s always home on time after work and doesn’t act differently, so I don’t think he’s done anything. What do I do? — Not So Casual

It’s amazing what people will tell themselves when the obvious is looking them smack in the face. I’m reminded of two other letters I’ve published from women in your same shoes. They both discovered that their husbands had been cruising the Casual Encounters sections of Craigslist. They both wanted to believe that “nothing” was happening, and that their husbands were just bored and reading for the entertainment value.

Well, one woman found a “secret email account where he had posted on Craiglist saying he ‘was looking to watch and touching was ok with him if it was ok with them.’” The other woman, said that she actually caught her husband “writing an email to someone on Craigslist.” And that he told her he was reaching out to other women because “he needed friends for when he gets pissed off (he’s not very sociable).”

Even with all that, she was so disappointed in my warning that something was amiss and so deep in denial that she wrote an update, saying: “Unlike some people, I view these difficult opportunities as moments for growth and betterment. Not for judgment. Guess you don’t.”

You know what? I do view these situations as opportunities for growth and betterment, but you aren’t going to grow and get better if you ignore what’s going on or pretend it isn’t what you know it is. Your husband is looking for women to have some sort of sexual connection with. If his internet history is “nothing but” Casual Encounters on Craigslist, this is more than curiosity. This is an obsession and/or an active search.

For all you know, he has a secret email account like that other LW’s husband did and has been contacting women left and right. Just because he comes home on time and doesn’t act “differently” doesn’t mean anything. Maybe he sees them on his lunch break. Maybe he’s just emailing with them. But isn’t that enough? Hell, isn’t it enough that there’s a threat of him doing that? Isn’t it enough that he’s spending so much time looking at personal ads for people searching for casual sex partners? Isn’t it enough that he hides his phone from you?

Your warning bell should be ringing loud and clear. This is a HUGE red flag. Don’t ignore this. Talk to your husband. Tell him what you found. Open the lines of communication. Find out if he’s feeling unsatisfied in your relationship. What is he lacking that he’s trying to find elsewhere? Tell him that trust has been harmed and ask if he’s interested in restoring it. Talk to a marriage counselor if you need help getting your trust back.

This is serious. This isn’t nothing. Please don’t ignore this warning.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

{ 75 comments… add one }

  • avatar artsygirl October 31, 2012, 9:08 am

    A-FREAKING-MEN

  • katie katie October 31, 2012, 9:13 am

    WWS.

    LW, hold your husband to better standards!! is the standard *really* so low that actively pursuing online casual sexual encounters is ok?? is it so low that even just looking out of curiosity, while still hiding it from you, is ok? hold him to higher standards! there is nothing wrong with saying, you are not meeting my standard as a husband/partner. i need you to be better. his response to your needs in this situation will be very telling…

  • avatar Ali October 31, 2012, 9:20 am

    A lot of LWs don’t like to hear it but Wendy is telling the truth. Your husband isn’t “different” from all the other men in the world. He isn’t looking at Craigslist ads for fun, he’s looking with a purpose, NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS WHEN YOU FINALLY CONFRONT HIM. He’s your husband, of course you love him, but you can’t let him get away with this because you want to believe that he’s faithful–just looking at those ads is an offense to your marriage. Additionally, you have two very young children with this man, which brings up a whole bunch of serious problems. If he is in fact obsessed with surfing Craigslist for women, is he giving the kids his undivided attention when he’s watching them alone? How do you know he won’t bring some random woman around your kids, or vice versa? How do you know one of said women won’t be unhinged, violent or sick with an STD that he could give to you or (god forbid) to the kids (I’m not saying he’s sexually abusing them, but young kids often have more physical contact with parents and could pick up skin- or blood-born illnesses more easily)? Your kids could end up suffering terrible consequences from this if you don’t make every effort to put a stop to it. Even if you won’t do it for yourself, you owe it to your sons to keep them out of harm’s way and to make sure that the “cherished father figure” role in their lives goes to a man who you would want them to grow up to be like–not to a lying, cheating impostor who puts his family at risk.

  • avatar Sunshine Brite October 31, 2012, 9:20 am

    WWS, I feel like the updates here lately are of people distinctly not listening to Wendy’s advice. Throughout the defense words, you can see a situation about to fall apart and that’s what Wendy sees may happen here too. Please help yourself see this from another perspective.

  • avatar bethany October 31, 2012, 9:29 am

    My friends and I used to look at those for fun, because they were so crazy. However, I’d tell my bf (at the time about it)- like “omg, you won’t believe the crazy shit we saw today”– almost like when you see a funny youtube video or something, how you tell people about it.

    That is NOT what your husband is doing. If he thought it was funny like my friends and me, you would have heard about it. He’s trolling casual sex sites REGULARLY and keeping it a secret. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not a good one. I only hope he doesn’t bring home an STD.

    Please do what Wendy said and don’t ignore this.

    • avatar CG October 31, 2012, 9:48 am

      Every now and then when I need a good laugh and/or am bored, I’ll check out Casual Encounters too. But I’m not in a relationship, and if I were, I’d def tell my SO about it like Bethany did. So LW, please, like everyone else has said, don’t ignore Wendy’s advice!

    • avatar GatorGirl October 31, 2012, 10:03 am

      I look that the “casual encounters” and “missed connections” occasionally for a good laugh. But I never hide it from my fiance or like it more than maybe 5 or 10 of the posts, not PAGES as the LW said.

      So please LW, listen to Wendy and everyone else and ask your husband what the heck is going on.

    • avatar Anna October 31, 2012, 10:15 am

      I’ve done that too! Craigslist ads can be hysterical. But, like you said, it was a shared joke rather than a dirty little secret. I’m not the type to have a “casual encounter” with ANYONE much less someone from Craigslist. So I agree that what the husband is doing is not innocent internet browsing for entertainment value. If it were, he would want to let his life partner in on the joke (I mean unless she’s a total wet blanket, which it doesn’t sound like).

      Also thanks for saying that. I was thinking it but not planning to say anything because I thought I might get attacked from all sides for saying that there is an acceptable way to browse these kinds of ads…but definitely not how the LW’s husband is doing it.

    • avatar lemongrass October 31, 2012, 10:58 am

      I’ve checked them out too for shits & giggles. I don’t know if I’ve ever specifically told my husband but I certainly wouldn’t try to hide it from him. It’s really not that he’s looked at them- it’s that he’s looked at only them, tried to hide it from the LW and she doesn’t trust him.

  • avatar Amanda October 31, 2012, 9:37 am

    I have a different perspective. LW, I don’t think your husband’s Casual Encounters perusing is the major problem here. The problem is that he was trying to hide it from you. If your husband hadn’t acted suspiciously, would you have looked in his phone LW? Do you normally feel that you have to look at his internet history? A discussion about your lack of trust in your husband, what he can do to rebuild your trust and what was the impetus for his looking at Casual Encounters is long overdue. Talk to your husband LW.

  • avatar Michelle.Lea October 31, 2012, 10:05 am

    I agree that the hiding part is the big red flag here. he’s hiding it, and if he’s checking it out often, it’s only a matter of time before he acts on one. it also means you both have to take a hard look at your relationship together, and find out what’s going on.

  • iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson October 31, 2012, 10:08 am

    I’m going to summarize your letter for you: He’s so wonderful except for the fact that he is actively trying to bang strangers. Does that simplify the issue enough for you to see what has to happen? Do you actually want to wait until he cheats (if he hasn’t already) to address the issue? Because if that’s the case you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and some time if you just get it over with now.

    Infidelity used to be one of the cut and dry scenarios that required an immediate break up. (I am not going to get into whether what he did constituted cheating – or whether I think he has probably already cheated (I do)). Now we have lowered our standards so much that maybe even cheating isn’t enough to warrant a break up? Really think about that.

  • avatar rangerchic October 31, 2012, 10:17 am

    Wow. Ok so he is not looking at dirty magazines or porn…he is looking for someone to hook up with….eventually. With two young kids at home you guys probably haven’t had as much couple time as you both would like but that is no excuse to go looking for sex somewhere else. Talk to him and see what he says but I would suggest marriage counseling as well. I would have a hard time trusting my husband after finding out about something like that.

  • SixtyFour SixtyFour October 31, 2012, 10:26 am

    I think there are a lot of people out there who look at these websites the same way they look at porn and have no intention of meeting anyone from it. But the husband should talk to his wife about this. Maybe he wants a more exciting sex life. Maybe he’s dissatisfied with how often they have sex now with two little babies. Maybe he’s into some kinky things and too scared to admit it to his wife. Trolling the internet for kicks is not the solution and he should be ashamed of keeping this a secret and not opening up to his wife when he has issues. This in itself could constitute cheating depending on what the LW and her husband both agree to in their relationship. But I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that he definitely wants to go out there and sleep with other women. He may, but talk to him first. Since he is being the lesser person and doing this behind your back, you need to be the stronger person and open up the lines of communication to see what’s really going on.

    • avatar lemongrass October 31, 2012, 11:02 am

      Oh I think it’s pretty obvious that he wants to go out and sleep with other women, it’s just not clear whether he is ready to take the steps to do it. If he was just looking at it for jack-off material then he wouldn’t try to hide it so much unless the LW was one of those women who forbid porn, which she isn’t because if she was she would have already flipped out on him.

  • FireStar FireStar October 31, 2012, 10:50 am

    What is wrong with the truth, LW? What is wrong saying that my husband was acting shady and hiding his phone and when I checked I found he had been considering casual sex with strangers? Why hide from what it is and instead say he is entitled to just look? And to keep that ‘innocent fact’ from you? He isn’t entitled to look at adds for sex and to keep it from you – if for NO OTHER REASON than it bothers you. There is appropriate behaviour and inappropriate behaviour. THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE. But you already know that. Think of it like a sickness. Sure you could ignore it and pretend everything is fine on the surface but eventually it will grow and do damage. Maybe you caught it early – maybe you didn’t – but you are at the point now where you have to address it. And saying ‘I noticed you were hiding your phone and I checked it and this is what I found and I’m incredibly disappointed and we need to talk about this right now’ doesn’t make you needy or clingy or overbearing or whatever else you fear he will say. It makes you responsible in your own relationship and life. You get to have a voice in any behaviour that has the potential to destroy your marriage or your family. So use it.

  • Lianne Lianne October 31, 2012, 10:52 am

    WWS x100.

    The fact that you even felt something was off – that your GUT told you to look at his history! – is a huge indication that something is amiss here. I cannot stress this enough:

    TRUST.
    YOUR.
    INSTINCTS.

    Your gut is so attuned to the world around you, please listen to it – and to Wendy!!

  • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 10:56 am

    God, Wendy. Could you possibly be more alarmist? Maybe she should simply talk to her husband about this. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that he is meeting up with anybody from craigslist. And many men DO view it almost as a form of porn. God knows I’ve done this… It’s skanky and yeah, it’s arousing… But as many times as I’ve scrolled through the ads on Craigslist — far too many to count or even vaguely remember enough to give a proper estimate — how many times have I actually hooked up with some random from there?

    Uh, that would be a big fat zero.

    And I don’t even have a wife and kids holding me back. Why don’t I ever actually contact anybody from there? Because it’s skanky. And while that may very well be arousing in the realm of fantasy, in the realm of reality, it’s just all very icky…

    Look, obviously, this needs to be discussed, but the last thing this LW needs is everybody pouring fuel onto the fire when in the reality it very damn well be nothing but smoke. And once again, it is very clear that far too many of you know precious little of male sexuality. Many of you seem to view men in the most simplistic of terms sexually. A is doing B so it MUST equal C… The reality is often much more complicated…

    • avatar Amanda October 31, 2012, 11:11 am

      WBGMS

      • avatar ktfran October 31, 2012, 12:13 pm

        I second that and think people are being a bit alarmist.

    • avatar llclarityll October 31, 2012, 12:02 pm

      I AM married (albeit a female) but I think CL’s casual encounters and missed connections are HILARIOUS to read. Not that I’m doing it often, but every once in a while it is pretty entertaining to peruse them.

      That said, I agree with you bittergaymark. If a dude wants to cheat, aren’t there way more ample opportunities in plain sight than finding a skeezeball on Craigslist?

    • avatar Lucy November 1, 2012, 6:30 pm

      I agree with you to a point. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reading Craigslist posts. They can be hilarious, or disturbing, or in the best of all worlds, both. I wouldn’t get upset with my husband for reading them.

      …But. That doesn’t mean the LW’s instincts aren’t right. She senses her husband is being deceitful. She needs to discuss it with him in a non-confrontational way and find out what is up. Right now she’s worrying and rationalizing, both of which accomplish exactly nothing.

  • avatar SweetPeaG October 31, 2012, 11:01 am

    I am growing so weary of seeing these types of questions. No, really! What the hell?! Why do people have to be such dicks to the people they choose (with their own free will!) to honor and cherish all the days of their lives?

    Couldn’t the husband here have decided to communicate with his wife? Here’s how it could have gone “Hey honey. I miss those days when we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. What can we do to get back on track with that?”. Or, “This is really hard to say, but, this marriage might not be working for me this way. Can we go to couple’s therapy so we can work on things?” Or, “I’m sorry, but this monogamy thing isn’t for me. If you’re not okay with me doing a, b, and c with other women, we’re going to have to look into getting divorced.”

    Seriously. Even when it is HARD to do the right thing, this is the person you agreed to respect and love for the rest of your days. Choose right over easy.

    LW, I’m sorry. This sucks. Even if he hasn’t taken this to a physical level, it’s clearly something he has been choosing to hide from you. As Wendy said… isn’t that enough? I am not saying this is doomed. People can work through some incredibly difficult things. But, you can’t ignore it or make excuses. It will just destroy you from the inside out. And you owe it to your kids (if not yourself) to not be a broken person.

    • avatar lemongrass October 31, 2012, 11:04 am

      People do say and do those kind of things. But they’re not the ones writing in to advice columns.

    • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 11:12 am

      Why do so many new mothers turn completely off their sexuality? Seriously? Why is that? And how do you know that he hasn’t come to his wife and been repeatedly rebuffed? And then why do so many –when having done so — flip out that their husband then jacks off to porn? What the fuck do you want him to do? Hack off his balls? Seriously. Tell me, please tell me because I wanna know.

      Meanwhile, there is ZERO evidence that he is even emailing any of these people on the side, much less banging them. And everybody is ready to crucify this guy. Stop projecting, people.

      • avatar SweetPeaG October 31, 2012, 12:02 pm

        You’re right… I do not know everything based on this short letter. That’s what we usually have to do with these letters- fill in the blanks where we can. Try to figure out the situation. I would have thought the LW would include that information if her husband had tried to have this discussion with her. It would have been pretty relevant.

        I don’t even know if this is an argument worth having. But, why do new moms turn off their sexuality? I’ve never had a baby, but I hear it is kind of hard, exhausting work. You may or may not have heard the same? And a woman doesn’t exactly feel pretty and sexy after the work of pregnancy & labor. So, yes, there might be a lull in the sex. I think that’s probably normal and acceptable. Or should a woman just constantly be at her husband’s beck and call for all of his needs at all times? While her vagina is healing up from an episotimy and she has an infant waking her up five times a night?

        The husband might help matters by helping with the baby as much as he can. Do things to help his wife get in the mood. Maintaining relationships is sometimes about work! And, if it was just jacking off to porn, I think the advice would have been a lot different. I would have told the LW to let it go unless it seems to be some sort of addiction. I would also tell her to work on some of the closeness and sexuality that might be waining between them.

        But, secretively hiding his phone? And, the fact that the sites he’s visiting aren’t run of the mill porn sites… but a site designed for interaction? They are ads where people set up sexual meetings.! That’s more than a little fishy. I guess I did fill in a lot of blanks here. But, whatever. My hunch is that there is something else going on. I wouldn’t just let it go if I were the LW.

        • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 12:12 pm

          It could be that he was hiding the phone precisely because he knew she WOULD freak out. Or just thought that she would. God knows the world is filled with women RAILING about the evils of porn and how its emotional cheating and all sorts of other assorted b.s…

        • avatar ele4phant October 31, 2012, 12:14 pm

          “You may or may not have heard the same? And a woman doesn’t exactly feel pretty and sexy after the work of pregnancy & labor. So, yes, there might be a lull in the sex.”

          Seriously, the baby is ONLY three months old. Are you even supposed to be having sex again at that point?

          • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 12:24 pm

            ALL the more reason he may be jerking off to Craigslist and not even bothering to tell her about it… Seriously.

            • avatar ele4phant October 31, 2012, 12:32 pm

              This is more in response to your “Why do mothers turn off their sexuality?” comment. I think its unreasonable for you to expect a woman who is only three months post-partum to have turned back on her sexuality.

              Frankly, I agree with you that most commenters seem a little quick to write the guy off as a cheater. It would be prudent, if I were the LW, to ask him what its about and see if *maybe* something more is going on, but I agree its totally feasible its just an outlet for his lacking sex life.

      • avatar Kim October 31, 2012, 12:46 pm

        On the new mother thing, I feel I can weigh in as a new mother. First, depending on the type of birth you had, it’s very common for anything sexual on her side to be painful for at least 3-6 months due to damage while giving birth. Second, if you are breastfeeding, your body releases hormones that reduce your sex drive to keep you from procreating before you are ready. These two things can combine to make it not that interesting to the woman to have sex (or even other forms of playtime) after having a baby. It wasn’t really my choice to be less sexual, nature just took care of that for me. And as the woman in that situation, it can be just as frustrating for us because I like being a sexual person. And having that taken away for a few months was not great for me either. Then this combines with the fact that you are super busy, sleep deprived, and taking care of another persons needs the entire day and makes it hard to want to take care of another persons (i.e. your husbands) needs during the few precious moments when the baby is asleep.

        Having said that, I have no problem with my husband looking at porn and entertaining himself. On days where I’m too exhausted, that’s actually quite welcome to me and he can have all the fun he wants. Also, my husband and I worked out an arrangement where we would both try to help meet eachothers needs post baby – his sexual, mine not. I make an extra effort for him and he makes an extra effort for me, and we are both happy. It took us a while to get that rythym down and that wasn’t happening in the first few months post baby. The first few months are mostly just trying to survive with the new baby, and it was around the 3 month mark that we were able to start carving out extra time to make sure both our needs were being met. And really, 3-6 months in the course of a long-term relationship is not a huge deal to put your needs on the backburner until things settle down. And I would expect my husband to discuss with me if his needs were not being met before overstepping any boundaries we had placed on our relationship. For us – those boundaries include porn being okay, but contacting actual human beings as not okay.

        • avatar Kim October 31, 2012, 12:52 pm

          Oh – and on the actual letter, the only thing that really bothers me is that he was being secretive about it. If you are doing something you know your spouse does not want you to do and have to hide it, that’s a problem. I do know some women are against their spouse looking at porn, and if that was the boundary they agreed upon, he should refrain from looking at it. If porn is considered cheating to her (but not to him) that’s something they need to discuss and figure out together.

      • SixtyFour SixtyFour October 31, 2012, 1:10 pm

        Uh, because they just pushed a human being out of them, forgive them for not being up for putting a penis back inside them every damn day. Because they’re breastfeeding and they’re bodies are sore. Becuase they gained weight during pregancy and are having trouble seeing themselves as attractive anymore. Because they are too damn tired from not getting any sleep to care for a newborn and sex takes energy that they just don’t have to spare. And a man shouldn’t be surprised that their marriage may go through a dry spell with young children. But the way to address that is not to troll the internet for rando hookups but to talk to their wives and help them see themselves as sexy again, pitch in with the childcare so she’s not so tired, and find ways to be sexual together that she can do that maybe doesn’t always involve p in v. He should have communicated his frustrations to her. And I’m assuming he hadn’t or that may have been something the LW mentioned.

        • becboo84 BecBoo84 November 1, 2012, 10:43 am

          Amen! Wish I could like this x1000. Thank goodness my husband didn’t do any of that whiny, what about me bs when our daughter was born, or a.) it would have put a real strain on our relationship and b.) we likely wouldn’t be welcoming baby #2 in a few months b/c I would have been so frustrated by his behavior with baby #1.

          Taking care of a new baby is EXHAUSTING, especially if you’re breastfeeding. BGM, take a minute to think about the fact that for however long a mother breastfeeds, she has to get up with the baby every single time it wakes up during the night. There’s no such thing as sharing nighttime responsibilities, because the mommy is the only one who can do the feeding. And during those first three months, babies wake up a lot at night to eat, typically every 3ish hours (or less), and nursing can taken anywhere from 30 minutes and longer for a lot of moms. So by golly, instead of worrying about themselves, it might serve new daddies well to think about the sacrifices their wives are making, especially if they’re nursing.

          And, as the commenter mentioned above, in the grand scheme of a marriage, 3-6 months just isn’t that long. And the lw above has probably been pregnant or breastfeeding the past 2+ years of her life.

  • avatar tbrucemom October 31, 2012, 11:18 am

    My BF for a very brief time was looking at the Craigslist Casual Encounters. Not because he was looking to hook up or unhappy with me but because he was amazed at what was on there (he said it was free porn). Of course the difference is he would tell me about the stuff he saw and would actually show some of it to me. I think the LW should definitely ask her husband about it. It may just be easy access to some free porn. Of course it could be something much more but I wouldn’t automatically jump to conclusions without having a conversation first. The fact that they have two very small children may also account for some of his actions. I’m assuming it’s been more difficult now than before regarding sex and this could be his way of satisfying himself if his wife is not up to it.

  • SarahKat SarahKat October 31, 2012, 12:01 pm

    I’ve looked on craigslist casual encounters….for funny posts to show my boyfriend. Your husband is looking at them to either troll for strange or get off on thinking about trolling for strange. Either way, red red red flaggy.

    And also…omg, craigslist casual encounters is NOT PORN. Its a place where you find people to sleep with. Its a train station to sexy time. If porn isn’t good enough for your husband, meaning he has to have the thrill of thinking about cheating on you as opposed to just getting off on ladybits, then you need to confront him and seek counseling. W. W. S.

    • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 12:22 pm

      Uh, you can totally use it as porn though. You really can. Especially if you don’t care for explicit visuals so much as the idea or fantasy behind it… Now on Craigslist, many of the ads are meh… seriously like 98 percent of them are boring sexual dreck…but there are occasionally some VERY hot ads sprinkled in. Sadly, they are FEW and far between and this actually would account for scrolling through pages and pages of them… Many ads — usually the MEH ones are reposted ad nauseum… so it can take one a while to find a good one…

      PS: Fantasizing about cheating isn’t the same as doing it. Nor should it carry anything even close to the same emotional weight… Also, the fact that damn every other women on here admits to looking at craigslist for shits and giggles but can’t possibly imagine doing so for sexual gratification only underscores VAST gulf of differences between male and female sexuality…

      • CatsMeow CatsMeow October 31, 2012, 12:32 pm

        I pretty much have only browsed the m4m casual encounters. (It’s research! For work!). And sure, I can see how browsing those is porn-like.

        But the straight ones are SOOO boring. In fact, I just looked at the w4m (just now!) and, like, none of the women have pics. Seriously.

        • avatar iseeshiny October 31, 2012, 1:00 pm

          Suuuure, Cats. Research. :P

      • SarahKat SarahKat October 31, 2012, 12:37 pm

        Sure he can use craigslist to fantasize….ABOUT CHEATING ON HIS WIFE. That is literally the only reason he would choose that over actual porn. There is real porn of all shapes and sizes he could be looking at instead. One porn two porn red porn blue porn. It doesn’t really matter that you use it that way because you are not married to the LW. They have a different relationship, and obviously seeing as his wife has a problem with him using ADVERTISING FOR ACTUAL SEX in lieu of porn, he is crossing a line for them.

        Maybe getting off thinking about cheating on his wife (which is the BEST scenario possible right now) doesn’t seem like a warning sign to you, but it just is, no matter how many ways you smack it.

        • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 12:52 pm

          HELLO! Some guys DON’T like the visuals of PORN. Period. They don’t wanna see dirty movies… They instead wanna make them up in their head. On Craigslist the last thing I wanna see is pictures… Why? Because it destroys the whole fantasy… See, in the Fantasy, I’d… okay, fuck it, lets go there… answer an ad to meet some guy that looks like Tom Hardy and blow him in a fantastically art directed back alley that’s gorgeously lit like Madonna’s EXPRESS YOURSELF video… In reality, eh, I’d casually encounter some saggy, pudgy, aging Tom Hanks clone who has jarringly blotchy skin under bad florescent street lights… Oh, and he’d give me chlamydia…

          That’s why Craigslist has a reputation for being the home of a lot of flakes. Most don’t even wanna ever hook up in real life. Hell, even most of those on there that do email people have no real intention of ever really hooking up. Don’t believe me? Write Dan Savage and see what he has to say. Craigslist is well known to be the home of FLAKES… Oh, sure. People do meet there and do have illicit affair… But truthfully? Those people are the exception — rather than the rule.

          Again, the lack of real awareness about male sexuality here astounds me…

          • SarahKat SarahKat October 31, 2012, 1:10 pm

            BGM, if the fantasy for you is how close you are to actually meeting up with a person, super, you’re single. You aren’t LW’s husband. I’m not going to ask you whether you’ve actually done a casual encounter as its not my business, but seeing as the closeness of the actual act is what turns you on, that’s probably why the LW’S husband likes it too. Which, whether he is a craigslist flake or not, is not good for a married man to want.

            “Hey honey, I just read an response email you sent to SEXYWINGBUCKET37 that says you are planning on going to her hotel room and spanking her with a rubber chicken tonight.”

            “Yeah, but I’m probably not actually going to do it. I just love the idea of cheating on you and look for opportunities to think about cheating on the wife of my two children more. Porn actually doesn’t even work for me because I need to know there is the opportunity to cheat to get the rush. Mmmm cheating.”

            “Oh ok, cool. As long as you are just wishing you could cheat on me as opposed to actually doing it (of which I have no proof that you did not) then our marriage is totally fine. Troll for sex away!”

            • avatar ele4phant October 31, 2012, 1:20 pm

              But…we don’t know that this guy is actually emailing anyone. No such emails have been discovered, just an internet history that shows him perusing these ads. As far as anyone knows, he’s just been looking at the ads, not responding to them. Fantasizing about hookups, and using ads to inform those fantasies, are still nothing more than daydreams. If creating a scenario in your head where you hookup with someone who is not your partner is cheating, then I think we’re all guilty.

              I fully encourage the LW to broach the subject and ask him specifically what’s going on, because it IS possible he is actively seeking out encounters, but not assume from the outright that that is what’s going on. And I’d also encourage the couple to discuss and mutually agree on boundaries that make them both happy.

              • SarahKat SarahKat October 31, 2012, 1:33 pm

                The rubber chicken conversation (lol) was a response to BGM implying that most people on there don’t actually have sex even when they make plans to have it like that’s better than actually doing it. If a guy drove to a brothel but stayed parked outside, wouldn’t that still be a red flag? I just think that I would not be ok with my partner needing to have the rush of actually meeting someone is he so chooses to get off. The fantasy/real people boundary is broken for me at that point and it sounds like it is for the LW as well. But I think we want the same thing, we want the LW to talk to her husband about it and figure out what he uses casual encounters for and why he needs that instead of actual porn.

            • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 1:26 pm

              Again, huge LEAPS in logic here. Not to mention gaps in reading comprehension. First, there is no proof, or even an allegation made by the LW that her husband is answering ads on Craigslist. Second, nowhere do I say it is the fact that we are SO close to doing the act that is the turn on. Hell, I never even contact anybody… Honestly, where did you even get that from. No, instead, it’s just the idea of having sex with some random stranger… It;s the scenario that they lay out in the ad. Hell, its never even about the poster of the ad, it’s the situation they set up that gets most going, I imagine. It’s definitely not the fact that we are just oh so close to an actually hook up. In fact, that instantly KILLS the fantasy in that I know that the reality would… uh, probably suck.

              Also, please see my earlier post where I specifically state that I have NEVER, ever met up with anybody on Craigslist. It’s simply TOO skanky (for me) (no judgements!) in real life. Plus, nobody on there is ever who they claim to be from what I’ve heard on Savage Love and what not. And if it’s next to impossible to actually find a HOT, GAY DUDE on Craigslist — considering how much more slutty some gay men can actually be…. It’s gotta be well beyond that to score some genuinely hot babe on there. Seriously, does anybody on here know of a single women who has actually posted in the casual encounters section on craigslist? Yet alone followed through and banged some random she mets there?

              Anyone? No?

              See, it’s just NOT nearly so common as all of you are making it out to be.

              • SarahKat SarahKat October 31, 2012, 1:39 pm

                BGM, you talked about flakes…how are there flakes on craigslist if people aren’t backing out of meeting someone? And also, if craigslist is apparently FILLED TO THE BRIM with flakes, then why are you so sure the LW’s husband isn’t one of them?

                Also this “See, in the Fantasy, I’d… okay, fuck it, lets go there… answer an ad to meet some guy..” is where you said you fantasized about how easy it would be to meet someone. I’m sure the fact that the LW’s husband is picturing the chicks on there with pamela andersen’s boobs doesn’t remove the excitement of that.

                • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 2:17 pm

                  You can tell most of the people posting the ads on Craigslist are FLAKES just by the sheer repeats one encounters making return visits. You will often again and again see the same ad over and over and over. And we’re talking months, hell, even years later… “Nobody knows I’ve always wanted to do this…” “Been thinking about this forever…” “Help me fulfill my secret fantasy…” And then there is some outlandish scenario that you know damn well they have never acted out because it’s simply impossible or too outlandish to even attempt…

                  So no. I don’t fantasize about how easy it would be… Hey, if I wanted to do that I’d just get drunk at any old gay bar… Instead, it’s often the craziness of the scenario that gets me going. Such as blowing some random, nameless, hot guy in an alley. Hot Fantasy! But… in real life? God no! Diseases! Arrest! Possible murder by some psychopath! Yeah, lots of things hold me back.

                  Now here’s his list. Diseases! Arrest! Possible murder by a psychopath! Loss of Wife! Loss of Family! Total disgrace! Never seeing his kids other than weekends!

                  So yeah, odds are he’s just jerking it to take the pressure off. Especially since there is ZERO evidence of any damning emails. For starters (and I can’t believe NOBODY has thought of this yet…) Look, if he had some secret email account — wouldn’t that ALSO show up in his fucking history? You all make lousy detectives — the lot of you — even Wendy.

                  Also, I don’t get what the harm is in the husband fantasizing. Everybody has sexual fantasies about other people. Even married people. Oh, and those who claim they don’t? They’re fucking lying about it…

              • avatar ElevenSeven October 31, 2012, 6:41 pm

                “Seriously, does anybody on here know of a single women who has actually posted in the casual encounters section on craigslist? Yet alone followed through and banged some random she mets there?”

                I know three women who do this. One’s not single, but the guys she hooks up with don’t seem to care. The three of them vary considerably in attractiveness and age, but apparently that doesn’t matter much either because all three have had many encounters.

              • avatar Trixy Minx October 31, 2012, 7:19 pm

                Wouldn’t it be a leap of judgement to assume the husband is using craigslist to jerk off?

                • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 7:48 pm

                  Not if there is no evidence whatsoever of emails…

        • avatar GatorGirl October 31, 2012, 1:14 pm

          I have to agree with BGM on this one. There is a chance that he is just using the ads for his spank bank. Some men prefer audio, some text, some video, heck even some cartoons for their alone time. Everyone is entitled to their own preferences, even if they make no sense to other people. And fantasizing about cheating on his wife isn’t nessisarily off limits in a relationship, unless there has been a preset rule against having that fantasy with in the relationship.

          I do think that the fact he is being so secretive about his phone habits is a red flag though. Going out of your way to hide your phone from your partner makes me skeptical that he is only using the ads for self gratification (and may or may not be meeting up with people).

          • SarahKat SarahKat October 31, 2012, 1:23 pm

            Ok but….if you’re worried that he’s using craigslist ads to cheat on the LW because he hides his phone then maybe its because that’s a dodgy place for a married guy to be in the first place. The appeal of craigslist is not that its words, is that its real people asking for real sex.

            • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 1:31 pm

              Eh, he’s probably hiding his phone because a surprising of women are hilariously psycho about their men jerking off… period. Nevermind the extra added bonys stimulation of Craigslist or — God forbid! — actual porn.

              • SarahKat SarahKat October 31, 2012, 1:41 pm

                BGM the next time you accuse women of giving other women the benefit of the doubt and always blaming the guy….please remember this statement.

                • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 1:58 pm

                  Whatever. As if most women would be just thrilled to learn that their husband is innocently jacking off to ads on Craigslist. (Especially when they are insanely hormonal because they just gave a baby.) Gee… why ever would he simply not want her to know about this… Gee, I wonder.

                  Seriously, aren’t there some things you don’t want or don’t need to know? Is there truly no such thing as privacy in most straight relationships? (Well, wowee, no wonder so many of them FAIL!) Look, if my boyfriend was jacking off thinking about blowing some random frat guy from USC on Craigslist, I probably wouldn’t be that bummed out if he simply chose to keep that from me. His fantasy life is his fantasy life. God knows I have mine… End of story. At any rate, the bulk on the posts on this board confirm my long standing position that far too women simply don’t get — or even want to get — what makes men sexually tick.

                  • avatar ele4phant October 31, 2012, 2:09 pm

                    Perhaps not. But by the same token, could we not also say that far too many men simply don’t get – or even want to get – the comfort zone and need for mutually acknowledged boundaries that makes most women emotionally tick? There should be a balance, no? Neither gender should get do or demand whatever what they want while the other just has to suck it up and deal.

                    Men should be able to have a sexually fulfilling life that includes porn or thoughts that exclude their female partners, but they’re should also be a respectful acknowledgement of said partner’s comfort and boundaries. I believe its called “communication” and “courtesy”, from both ends.

                    • mandalee mandalee October 31, 2012, 2:15 pm

                      Ah, as a married woman I’m completely with BGM on this one. We don’t know the intentions of this LW’s husband. And really, if he’s not e-mailing or contacting these women, it could purely be fantasy material. My husband and I are both open about porn, fantasies, etc. and what he decides to do with his “me time” is his own business. I would like to hopefully think he’s not jerking off to my friend’s pictures or my random neighbors, but as long as it stays in fantasy, it’s really none of my business. Same goes for my fantasy time and privacy.

                      The LW just needs to have a conversation with her husband about this. Plain and simple. If I stumbled upon a longgg history of Craigslist on my husband’s computer, I would bring it up in a jokingly, casual way not to create a hostile environment where there may be no need for one.

                      And a married woman, I find the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist highly entertaining and very rarely a turn-on, but I’m pretty picky and most posters are un-original.

                    • avatar ele4phant October 31, 2012, 2:32 pm

                      Yes, I think this discussion (at least in my mind) has strayed a bit from the initial letter to a more general discussion about men and women in relationships together.

                      I don’t go probing in my boyfriend’s internet history, and I assume he looks at porn and I am unbothered by it. He has a right to privacy, and a right to his own sexual thoughts that don’t include me. However, if I inadvertently discovered something that worried or bothered me, I would broach the subject with my boyfriend, and I would expect that he’d be willing to discuss it calmly with me. Then we could both move on.

                      Bottom-line, I agree with you that the LW can’t unsee what she saw, so her husband should be willing to talk about it and reassure her that this is nothing more than porn to him. If he theoretically is unwilling to do that, well, that would be his bad.

                    • avatar lemongrass October 31, 2012, 2:47 pm

                      IMO it’s not that he looked at craigslist (or porn, or erotic lit or whatever) it’s that he’s all of a sudden “don’t touch my phone!” THAT is the sketchy part. If she had just found them because she was snooping with no reason, then that would be her own damn fault.

                    • avatar ele4phant October 31, 2012, 3:18 pm

                      Yes, I agree that *could* be seen as sketchy behavior, but its not necessarily a smoking gun. I agree with BGM that the reason he is hiding his phone is *because* he knows his wife is 3 months postpartum (and also chasing around a toddler in addition!) and dealing with all that that entails, and he doesn’t want her to feel bad that he needs sexual relief she’s not in a position to meet right now. An elegant solution, perhaps, but it could be innocent. Or not, but either way that behavior alone isn’t enough to freak out.

                      Start a conversation, sure, but not go nuts and assume he’s cheating.

                    • avatar lemongrass October 31, 2012, 3:31 pm

                      I agree that the general consensus is taking it too far, but I also think that BGM is taking it too far the other way. He could be cheating or he could be just whacking off. She should have a calm, rational discussion with him about what’s going on. If he says “I didn’t want you to feel badly about not being able to meet my sexual needs right now, which is totally acceptable since you just pushed my baby out, so I didn’t want to hurt your feelings by letting you see what was on my phone.” or “WTF how could you look at my phone! I can’t trust you anymore and you push me into the arms of other women with your distrust! This is all your fault!” then she will know which side to lean on. I think both parties here are putting words & actions in this guys mouth and it’s not really helping the LW because all she really needs to do is communicate with her husband so she can figure out whats going on.

            • avatar GatorGirl October 31, 2012, 1:31 pm

              Eh, we just see this issue differently. I see reading Craigslist ads and hiding the phone to be independent of each other. If my fiance was reading ads to have a textual pornography (so to speak) I’d be fine with it; so long as he was forth coming about it. If he was hiding it from me I would be concerned. Being secretive is the red flag to me, not the materials he is reading.

          • avatar tbrucemom October 31, 2012, 1:42 pm

            If he’s using the images for his own gratification he could be embarassed for his wife to know and that’s why he’s hiding it. Maybe she’s feeling insecure about her body after just having a baby and he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings, maybe she objects to porn, etc.. Bottom line she needs to ask him and I don’t think she needs to be thinking the worst before she does.

            • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 2:24 pm

              EXACTLY… Even if he’s just using the words to get off, he might not feel she needs to know. Especially, if its all just fantasy. Hey, if he’s just jacking off to craigslist as a stopgap until she returns to her pre-baby sexual being — meaning wants and desires — exactly why does he need to tell her any of this? Really? How does that help her? Him? Their marriage? I mean, hey, if he also has a sexual fantasy about the barista down at Starbucks, does he need to tell her about that, too

              • avatar ele4phant October 31, 2012, 2:38 pm

                I don’t think he was obligated to tell her upfront “Hey while you recover from pushing my child out of your body, I’m going to entertain myself by fantasizing about random encounters. Check back in when you’re ready!”

                However, now she knows about it and she’s concerned that it MAY mean something more. She can’t unsee that, so part of what makes a relationship work is when the two people in it are willing to talk about it and reassure one another. She doesn’t have a right to grill him or determine he’s guilty before he has a chance to defend himself, but I do think its reasonable for her to ask him what’s up. After he reassures her, the matter should be closed and he gets his privacy back. Its a balancing act, where both partners get their needs met, whether those needs are sexual or emotional.

                • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 3:00 pm

                  I agree. Now that she is concerned. They definitely need to talk about it. I just don’t see his whole hiding the phone thing as proof of his guilt at all.

                  Frankly, the fact that so many (not you Ele4phant) on here — Wendy included — have so casually and so quickly suggested to a hormonal, sleep deprived woman that — yes! her husband IS cheating on her or at the very least looking to cheat of her is just downright irresponsible. It’s actually, um, kind of fucked up. Really fucked up.

                  If there was ANY evidence, I’d be singing a different tune. But there just isn’t any…

                  • avatar GatorGirl October 31, 2012, 3:22 pm

                    You really honestly would not have a similar reaction if a person you were in a relationship suddently started hiding their phone from you? I’m not advocating that the husband is cheating – just that if he went from normally being “open” so to speak with his phone and all the sudden is hiding it away when the wife is entering the room, I would ask questions too. It could be anything from he bought her a surprise gift he’s checking in on, to he’s embarrased about using Craigslist for a spankbank, to he’s actually cheating (which I doubt).

                    A sudden change in behavior is cause for at least a conversation in my mind.

                    • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 3:36 pm

                      I’ve honestly never picked up my lover’s phone other than to hand it to him. So I am definitely the wrong person to ask on this. Frankly, I remain AMAZED at all the ways people innocently just HAPPEN to see something on their lovers’ phones… Cell phones must frequently fling themselves across the room at others and frantically open automatically to the most damn data… Somehow, it just has yet to happen with me.

                      Also, I am not blaming the wife here. I can see why she might be like, hmmm, that’s interesting. And yeah, by all means lets have a conversation about it. But for so many on here to leap to the conclusion that he’s banging people on craigslist is a huge, huge stretch… Infinitely more of a stretch than had she, say, found sexy texts from a coworker. The LEAP in logic from he’s scrolling through ads on Craigslist to he’s absolutely having an affair is simply absurd here in my opinion.

                    • avatar GatorGirl October 31, 2012, 3:49 pm

                      That’s interesting to me Mark that you’ve never used a partners phone. I use my fiance’s phone all the time (and he uses mine). Like the other day I wanted to look up something his FB friend posted that he told me about, so I just picked it up and looked up the friend. We were in the car together and he didn’t even flinch. In the same car ride he asked me to pull up his e-mail account and find a specific one. The only thing I would ever hide from him is say a gift.

                      As far as this letter we’re on the same page for once :)

                    • bittergaymark bittergaymark October 31, 2012, 4:05 pm

                      Eh, I’m in the midst of a dryspell. Being broke and unhappy somehow surprisingly limits those that want to date you. Oh, and being 40 and gay is rather like being 60 and a straight women… There, uh, aren’t a lot of options. The good ones are all paired off. And now with all this gay rights nonsense getting legally married and having kids. ;) The days of me being much of a catch are but a distant memory.

                      Plus, remember, I am MUCH older than most of you on here. And so, the bulk of my big and epic romances happened before the arrival of cellphones… Or at the very least before they got “smart” and could actually do much. Plus, I hated cellphones at first. So much so I didn’t even get one until like 2005 or so.

                      That said, I never busted into any of my lover’s dorm rooms or apartments to listen to their answering machine messages either. I was never that insecure. Well, not about that, anyway…

        • avatar Lucy November 1, 2012, 6:39 pm

          I don’t actually see the problem with fantasizing about cheating on his wife. It’s a fantasy. Having them doesn’t mean you would ever want that in real life. To use the classic example: rape fantasies are surprisingly not uncommon in women; that doesn’t mean those women actually want to be raped.

  • avatar Lindsay October 31, 2012, 12:03 pm

    I agree with everyone who’s saying the LW should talk to him about it, but then what? Chances are, he’s going to have the same response whether he’s just looking for fun or if he’s actually contacting women. Cheating spouses are not exactly the most honest people.

  • avatar SuzyQ October 31, 2012, 12:52 pm

    I have never perused craig’s list casual encounters before. But I will now! I need a chuckle.

  • avatar Amber October 31, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Based on the letters we keep seeing on DW, I’m starting to think there are only two kinds of men – those who get caught perusing craigslist, and those who haven’t been caught yet.

  • avatar Kim November 1, 2012, 12:25 am

    LW needs to wake up — if he is being so secretive he’s doing more than looking at Casual Encounters. I would be he has a secret email like the previous LW’s husband. Also as Wendy said just because he’s home on time means NOTHING…..Men (and women) who want to cheat will find a way be it on their lunch or leaving work earlier to be home “on time” ….. If he hasn’t cheated in person yet you can bet he has cheated via email/text/chat already.

Leave a Comment


+ 1 = five