To cut a long story short, I visited about five different escorts between 2011 and the end of 2012. The experiences were bordering on a visit to the doctor or dentist, as I just did as I was told each time. I was never rude or demanding towards the girls and was always was very respectful. I stopped seeing them not long before we had our second child. I have to say the visits in no way fulfilled me, it wasn’t much different from masturbation in my opinion. I think my head got turned because of what we hear and see on the internet in regard to porn and sex.
I have not gone near escorts in almost two years now, but for some reason I have been hit by extreme guilt for what I have done. This guilt has only come on over the last two to four months; I look at what I have in my family and home and how stupid I was…but I want to be honest with my wife and think I should tell her what I have done…do you think I should tell her? — Dying By Guilt
Two things jumped out as I read your letter: how passive you are and how selfish you are. First, rather than, oh I don’t know, TALK to your wife about your sexual needs/frustrations, you start seeing escorts. You say your wife wouldn’t “discuss” sex, but did you EVER initiate a conversation with her? EVER? I’m guessing not, since you take no ownership of anything you mention in your letter. Even going to escorts is like “going to a dentist” because you simply do whatever the escorts tell you to do (even when you’re paying for it, you don’t speak up about what you want). Guess what! Fucking a woman whose time and body you’ve paid for is NOT like going to a dentist. It’s actually like cheating on your wife…because that’s what it is. OWN THAT. You cheated on your wife. You say “for some reason” you’ve starting feeling guilty about the escorts you saw for a couple of years. THE REASON YOU FEEL GUILTY IS BECAUSE YOU CHEATED ON YOUR WIFE. Multiple times, with multiple women. That’s the “SOME reason” you’re looking for.
And then, instead of taking responsibility for your actions, at least internally, you justify your cheating by saying it was “like masturbation” and it “didn’t fulfill you” and your head just got turned around because of what you see and hear on the internet, as if someone has forced you to see and hear things against your will. Look, it’s not the internet that has left you emotionally desensitized. It’s the fact that you are so disengaged from the woman you vowed to be faithful to and spend your life with. Instead of turning to her to help fill some of the emptiness you seem to feel inside, you looked to strangers whom you paid for sex. It was “like masturbation” to you because it was just physical when what you really wanted was an emotional connection — someone to see you and hear you and talk to you and ask you how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. And you can have that in your wife if you want and if you try.
The first step to having that kind of connection with your wife is NOT confessing your escort history to her. You feel guilty and I appreciate that, but that’s your punishment to bear and not hers. YOU were the one who messed up. Now YOU get to live with the guilt forever. Don’t unload that burden on her. You screwed her over enough already. If you need someone to help you process this guilt, go see a therapist. Instead of turning to your wife to alleviate your guilt or heal you or make you feel less alone in this world, focus on how you can help her. Ask her — really ask her — how she’s feeling. Ask her like you mean it. What does she need? How is she feeling most supported and least supported? Is she satisfied with your marriage? Does she wish you spent more time together? What about sex? Is she satisfied there?
What if you spent the next three months focusing on your wife and her needs? What if you suspended your selfishness for three months and devoted yourself to being the best damn husband you can be. Help more around the house, tell your wife you appreciate her, take more responsibility with the kids, be kind, be loving, be everything you would want a partner to be for you. And don’t do it out of guilt. Do it out of love, because this is your wife and this is your life and using escorts for a couple of years didn’t help fill the void, so maybe this tactic will. Maybe devoting yourself to making your wife happy will bring the connection you’ve been missing. And then, as the three months progress, see how things change both in your wife and in your relationship. Is she opening up to your more? Returning the loving actions? Being appreciative of your efforts? Do you feel closer to her? If you don’t, then it’s probably time for both of you to see a therapist together. And I promise, it won’t be like going to the dentist.
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
niki December 2, 2014, 8:48 am
Addie Pray December 2, 2014, 8:57 am
Good response, Wendy!
TheRascal December 2, 2014, 8:58 am
Wendy, your advice is right on.
It perplexes me to no end that one would enter into a marriage and be so uncomfortable talking about sex with his or her partner. I am BAFFLED. To me, sex and intimacy are an integral component for a loving, close, and sustainable partnership.
TheRascal December 2, 2014, 8:59 am
* Sex and intimacy are INTEGRAL COMPONENTS. *
I need more caffeine.
Sunshine Brite December 2, 2014, 9:03 am
WWS, it’s time to re-open the lines of communication in your relationship. It’s sad that you can’t even bring up the fact that you masturbate. Isn’t that preferable to stepping outside the marriage and wasting money on an escort? (PS, once it moves towards sex and masturbation I believe the correct term is prostitute and escort is just used to make is sound nicer.)
Laura Hope December 2, 2014, 9:04 am
Wendy, you nailed it!
Skyblossom December 2, 2014, 9:37 am
I think reading “His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair Proof Marriage,” would help you. It discusses the most common emotional needs of both men and women and can help you determine what your need are, help your wife determine what her needs are and help both of you work together to build an emotionally strong and happy marriage.
Miss MJ December 2, 2014, 9:45 am
There is so much wrong with this letter besides the obvious: the LW thinking real sex is like porn; him pretending he doesn’t know what he did was wrong; him blaming his wife for his actions; the list goes on and on.
But what I’m most curious about is what, exactly, the LW thinks his wife’s reaction is going to be to “Oh, by the way, honey, I’ve been hiring prostitutes for the last few years. It’s okay, though, because the sex was like going to the dentist. I just wanted you to know so you could make me feel better about it.”? Is she supposed to apologize for “making” him do it? Pat him on the back and tell him it’s okay and she will try harder? Say she understands and its fine now that he’s stopped? I’d really like to know how the LW envisions this going down.
I’d also like to know how the LW would feel if his wife told him that she’s been just as “unsatisfied” with their sex life as he is, so she’s been banging strange men she meets around town to see what good sex can be like. It’s okay, though, because one of them was her dentist. Or something.
Skyblossom December 2, 2014, 9:53 am
I love this. How would he feel if his wife had done the same as he has. Would he think it was fun because it was only like porn or would he feel betrayed.
Maybe he’s unhappy with the marriage and hopes that if he confessed his wife would divorce him. Then he gets out of the marriage and is free to do what he wants.
Mel December 2, 2014, 9:49 am
I disagree with Wendy on this one. I feel as if the wife is having a decision made for her. If I were her, I’d like to have all the information before proceeding.
redessa December 2, 2014, 10:23 am
Me too. If I were the wife, I’d want to know so I could go get tested for STDs and find a good divorce lawyer. Having my husband hire one single prostitute would be a deal breaker for me much less multiple of them – even after finding it “unfulfilling” the first, second, third…. times.
While I totally agree with Wendy on this guy needing to take some damn responsibility for his actions, I also think this is information the wife needs to have. Just the fact that he would step outside of their marriage to attempt to fill a need that he never so much as talked to his wife about speaks volumes about him as a husband. She deserves to know who she’s married to.
Ladybug December 2, 2014, 10:48 am
Agreed, if nothing else she needs to know about the massive risk he’s taken with his health and hers–and the health of their children, come to think of it, since he says he only stopped these visits after the second child was born.
bostonpupgal December 2, 2014, 1:23 pm
I agree with literally every word Mel and Redessa said. This LW has been cheating on his wife with multiple prostitutes for years, not to mention his severe denial and refusal to take any kind of responsibility for the lies and the serious risk to his wife’s physical health. This is not a situation that will be fixed by becoming a better husband now, if he is even able to. He needs to tell the wife so she can get std tests and make a fully informed decision for herself and her children.
Kate B. December 2, 2014, 10:39 am
Me three. I think he should tell her and face the consequences. If he doesn’t, he’s continuing the dishonesty.
Skyblossom December 2, 2014, 11:39 am
I’d also want to know.
RedroverRedrover December 2, 2014, 12:34 pm
It depends. It sounds like they might be conservative, religiously speaking, and that divorce is not an option. If divorce is an option, then I agree he should tell. If it’s not, then she’s probably better off not knowing. Would you want to know this about the man that you’re stuck with for the rest of your life? If he was going to keep doing it, that would be one thing, but it sounds like he’s stopped. What’s done is done, and if she can’t take any action on it, it seems pointless to put her through the pain of knowing.
Mel December 2, 2014, 4:05 pm
I still think he should tell her, They have a looot of talking to do. she looks at sex as a chore, they never discuss it, he doesn’t dare tell her he masturbates and to top it all off, they have two children. I don’t think the escorts should be ignored during all the talking they need to do.
Plus, even if they are conservative, she could choose to ignore it. She could try to work with her husband and deal with whatever issues led him to cheat in the first place, or whatever it is non-divorcing folk would do in a situation like this (is there like a protocol or something? Marriage counseling with the pastor? I seriously don’t know). But first, she needs to know everything about the situation she’s dealing with.
RedroverRedrover December 2, 2014, 4:16 pm
If it were me and I was a person for whom divorce was not an option, I don’t think I’d want to know. Me as I am right now would want to, but that hypothetical me would not want to. I agree that they need to talk, but I think he should be the one stuck with suffering the guilt of cheating. For her to know but not be able to leave would be horrible.
Mel December 2, 2014, 5:03 pm
I understand what you mean, but I still disagree. If they absolutely won’t get a divorce, the cheating is an issue to work through for the marriage to succeed. She will feel crappy, yes, but I still feel it’s her decision and not LW’s.
redessa December 2, 2014, 5:34 pm
Would someone that devout be calling escort services in the first place? I mean, I guess she could be and he’s more lax, but there’s nothing in his letter to indicate that any part of the guilt he feels is a result of going against his faith. So I’m not thinking religion is a factor here – or at least not a strong one. And even if it is, isn’t adultery grounds for divorce in almost all religions?
tenchyz December 2, 2014, 3:34 pm
True. His wife should have all the facts, before he has any chance to fix what he has done. I think its worse to cover it up and try to change the way he sees his life with his wife. Its all based off of false pretense and guilt.
Lyra December 2, 2014, 10:56 am
Oh yikes. This is a major communication issue, and LW, it sure comes off as if you’re doing NOTHING to fix it. Look, I’m no sexpert. Not even close. And I’m REALLY awkward about talking about physical wants/needs. But I do it. I initiate conversations so we both know we’re on the same page. We talk about expectations and compromises.
You say your wife sees sex as a “chore”. Have you ever thought about the fact that YOU can do something about that to fix it? Because you can. You can ask her what you can do to make things better and to lower her stress level. You can DO things to help her feel less stressed. It sounds like right now instead of working on your marriage you had gone outside the marriage to find satisfaction for yourself and that’s not ok.
Riefer December 2, 2014, 11:45 am
Yeah, anyone who says their wife sees sex as a chore, I have to think… why is it so crappy for her then? Why don’t you find out what she likes? If she hates sex with you, you’re obviously not doing anything for her. I mean I guess it’s possible she has a physical issue that causes pain, or maybe she was raped or something and has trauma from that which is stopping her from enjoying sex. But clearly he hasn’t tried to figure it out, at all.
Kate B. December 2, 2014, 12:11 pm
Yeah, guys. You need to make it worth our while. Guess what, if you turn us on, we’ll turn you on.
RedroverRedrover December 2, 2014, 12:31 pm
I’m thinking if this guy didn’t take any control at all, even with someone who he’s paying for sex, then he’s not very good in the bedroom. I mean, he as much as says he didn’t enjoy it with the prostitutes. So if he’s not even having fun himself, why on earth would he think it’s fun for his wife? They should go to sex therapy, because it sounds like neither of them is asking for what they want, or attempting to do things that the other will enjoy. Kind of sounds like they were raised to think about sex conservatively – that it’s not for enjoyment, it’s for married couples to have children. That’s just an assumption based on how they’re acting. Regardless, they need help.
Lyra December 2, 2014, 1:01 pm
tenchyz December 2, 2014, 3:32 pm
This is probably the first time i do not agree with Wendy.
I think he should tell his wife and let her decide if she wants to work with him through it. I don’t think its fair for him to change his ways, and find out if he wants to stick around. He should not get that chance, as he cheated numerous times over the years.
I do agree with everything else Wendy said. He does not take any responsibility for his actions. Come on, seriously, you went back to the escorts over and over. I its a bold faced lied to say you felt it was like going to the dentist. PLEASE. Get out of here with that.
John April 20, 2018, 11:45 pm
I’m a man. I understand this guy. Give him a break! Jeez, he’s only human. I don’t think a woman will ever fully understand the desire a man feels towards pure physical attraction, especially when deeper down he’s in need of emotional connection. It’s so hard wired in a mans brain. And I don’t blaim him for that. In fact, I celebrate him for being a man with the courage to put his dilemma down in words. I now fear he won’t be doing that again after women have torn him apart for it.
Kate April 21, 2018, 7:44 am
Well, we all have to deal with the world not working the way we want it to in some way, John. But on the plus side, you get to choose! Sex workers OR a spouse. You can live your life either way.
Skyblossom April 21, 2018, 8:11 am
Hey John, if that’s the way you feel you can always opt to be in an open relationship with the understanding that she can also be out enjoying pure physical attraction and then you can worry about whether she’s developing emotional connection with someone else.
You need to understand that many women need to feel the emotional connection to want to have sex. Try having fun together and see if that doesn’t create intimacy that leads to more sex.
JD April 21, 2018, 10:03 am
I assure you a woman can feel just as much desire for pure physical attraction.
James May 31, 2018, 11:35 am
I’m kind of on the fence with this, if that’s possible? I agree with many of the viewpoints on here, or parts thereof. What strikes me is that LW has taken what he probably feels is a bold step towards addressing his issues in posting on here. Ok ideally he should perhaps be talking to his wife about their sex life instead, however I suspect his writing does not fully articulate the true situation in terms of his relationship with his wife or his guilt relating to escorts. As a consequence what LW has written is being taken too literally by most of you, including Wendy. For example, when he refers to visiting an escort like ‘visiting a dentist’ I suspect he was attempting to say that he found it to be an all too clinical experience.
Dave January 14, 2019, 7:49 pm
What’s done is done and he can’t undo his experience but he has clearly decided to seek advice as to what to do going forwards.
His biggest most recent mistake was to ask a woman. All the comments on here are not objective as to the situation, you ladies are JUST judging from your own viewpoint as if he’d done it to you.
Despite not being in a position to undo what’s done, most of you have just taken satisfaction from giving him a kick-in online. Telling his wife will probably break up the family and harm the children. What’s the point of that now being the preferred outcome? There are more important things at stake with two toddlers to support for years to come. Single parents are not a good start in life.
Yes he has erred and he recognises that, but please, advise on what is best for all concerned. Just because you would like to know if you were his wife, how does that solution really help anyone?
As far as I can see, he’s done it, regretted it and wants to not go down that path again, recognising the negativity of it. If he tells his wife, everyone loses. There will be no winners. People sometimes make mistakes and learn from them – let this guy learn for himself without causing pain to his family. If he does the right things from here on in, surely that is the best outcome for all.
Mate, did you really think you would get any positive and objective responses from women?
anonymousse January 14, 2019, 9:09 pm
Wow. Your great advice (to lie to her) is a little over four years too late, you sexist fucker.
You’re probably the same kind of ass who demands to know his partner’s sexual histories and bemoans that he wasn’t the first. Do everyone a favor, and crawl back into the hole from whence you came. That’s my positive and objective advice.
LutherstadtWittenberg January 15, 2019, 12:53 am
Just step into this abattoir.
Dave January 15, 2019, 9:35 am
Grow up and get real. No, not lie to her, just not tell her. Telling her just brings down the family and seeing as he came on here for help, that was a stupid idea as it’s a place full of rabid bitches that don’t appear to have anything better to do than satisfy their lust to see a man and his family in pain.
JD January 15, 2019, 9:39 am
Ah rabid bitches, the best kind. Yes we are all insane for thinking a man shouldn’t screw prostitutes. Bye bye miserable man. I feel so bad for whatever woman ends up with you.
anonymousse January 15, 2019, 9:58 am
Dave, you are FOUR years too late. Are you dense? This guy isn’t reading your stupid sexist comments.
Lying by omission is still lying.
Yes, we all lust to see idiot men like you in pain. Down with idiots. Sterilize the incels. Tell your partner the truth. It’s all the same.
Dave January 15, 2019, 7:46 pm
What a judging fuckwit you are. Fuck off and die.
Kate January 15, 2019, 8:25 pm
Dave, you’re the fuckwit googling about prostitutes and giving advice on a 4-year-old thread. Sorry you’re going through something. Hope it works out for you.
anonymousse January 15, 2019, 9:16 pm
Ha ha, glad to see I provoked you into the old “Fuck off and die,” comment. Really creative.
It really is pretty funny that you’re googling this topic. I bet the prostitutes aren’t the only reason she left you, Dave. I’ll let you guess the primary reason.
Bittergaymark January 16, 2019, 12:19 am
Honestly? Male or female? Confessing sins of the past only blows everything up. Straights love clinging desperately to delusions of blissful monogamy better than anybody, why shine a light on the truth now? Ignorance can also be bliss.
Kuba March 8, 2023, 7:31 pm
I very much thank you Wendy. And agree with Wendy’s response. Almost.
What i mean by that is firstly to stress how insightful and well thought, multilayered this reply is.
Secondly because it helped me to understand and appreciate women’s perspective. And this brings me to the point of having slightly different perspectives myself.
I also appreciate and can easily relate to our hero’s specific journey.
It is very difficult and never fully defendable to speak about differences between men and women since whoever speaks belongs to one or the other.
We might be having a good example of what that difference in sexes do to our relations and how we process same values differently.
But with this said i again conclude my thoughts by stating in 100% I agree and support the 3 months of devotion project.
Reading your message was inspiring and encouraging. You also displayed for us to see the most beautiful and admirable things in women and marriage all together.
I hope you won’t mind my comment