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.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.