My husband is using adult chat rooms online
ASK THE EXPERT: QI have been married 10 years and we have four children aged 9, 7, 6 and 4. Recently, I discovered that my husband has been using adult chat rooms online and seems to have been communicating in sexually explicit ways with other people. When I challenged him, he was embarrassed and then defensive saying it was just harmless flirting and that he had not gone over any line. I still feel really unhappy about what he has done.
Up until this, I thought things were okay in our marriage, though of course we haven’t had much couple time with the demands of four children but this discovery has come as a bolt out of the blue. It wouldn’t have been as bad if he was just accessing porn, as I know men do this, but the fact that he was talking to other people has really disgusted me. I feel a bit betrayed and worry about whether I can trust him.
When I spoke to him again about it, he did apologise and said he won’t do it again but he then came out with a load of stuff about how unhappy he was in the marriage, that we never spend time together (which is true), but I don’t think it is fair for him to blame me.
My husband is a great father and has always been very hands-on with the children who really love him and I don’t want to end up separated.
AWith people spending more and more time online, accessing pornography and adult websites can be a big problem in modern marriages. Relationship counselling agencies report that a growing number of couples are now seeking help due to infidelity online or to one partner accessing adult websites. How much of a problem it is, depends on the degree and type of access and what it means in the context of the marriage. There is a big difference between a person occasionally viewing pornography with the knowledge and even involvement of their partner to a full-blown betrayal and using adult websites to start affairs with other people. Like many problems, it can start innocently at first, with a person visiting sexually titillating sites perhaps out of boredom or a seeking escapism but then it can escalate to other behaviours, such as directly communicating with other people online and over time can become addictive and harmful.
In the aftermath of discovering your husband’s online world, it is perfectly understandable that you might feel disgusted and betrayed and to worry as to how much you can trust your husband. You might benefit from going to counselling especially if you feel traumatised and need to the help of an impartial listener to process some of the feelings.
To move forward, it is important that you continue to talk to your husband and try to understand the extent of his difficulties and what the underlying issues are for him.