Elizabeth in Pittsburg writes:
My fiancé and I recently got engaged on Valentine’s Day this year and I must say that I am so excited and happy that we are going to be married. I adore my fiancé – I feel that he is my true love and my soulmate. I want to be with him forever and I know he feels the same way about me (or he would never have proposed, I am sure of it). We went through some serious problems when we first met and started dating. I did some horrible things to him and he to me, things that split us up for months with no hope of ever repairing the damage.
But, we spent a lot of time and energy working through these issues because we love each other and hated being apart. My question has to do with him and his sexuality (not preference). When I met him, he was very loose sexually and frequently hired escorts and prostitutes, he had never had a meaningful sexual relationship before.
Well, when we were having problems, I had lied to him about something very significant and he then cheated on me with a hooker, to try and sabotage the relationship (which succeeded along with my antics to wreck it between us). This was about four months after we began to date, but we were definitely an exclusive couple then. Of course I was devastated and was constantly worried that he was going to do it again, especially if he got mad at me for the smallest thing.
I was paranoid and completely insecure, constantly texting him to see where he was and what he was doing. My question is this – we have worked through all of these past issues, it is two years later, I know he is faithful and has finally found the intimacy and healthy sexual and emotional relationship he was looking for with me. We have an incredible sex life and he always tells me he could not imagine ever being with anyone else. But will he be able to maintain his fidelity? I know he is not cheating now, but is he so unable to control himself that later, after we are married, given the opportunity, he will act on it? He is an avid watcher of pornography and our therapist says he could be a borderline sex addict. He is always talking about sex, but I feel that he is very open with me and he talks about it with me, not like he is hiding his feelings. Often, it just leads to more heat in the bedroom with us! He always says that I tamed him, in bed and out. I want to believe in him so badly, and conciously I do, but I continue to have terrible dreams of finding him in our bed with other women, saying that he couldn’t help it. Is this just my deep insecurities and fears of abandonment or does he have the potential to have a fidelity problem later in our marriage because he is addicted to sex?
You have come a very long way in this relationship and with this man. With therapy, and your help and support, your fiancé will continue to make positive progress – but he is addicted to sex. Just because he is learning to deal with his urges and needs in a healthier manner does not mean that they are fading away – he is just taking control of his life and his issues.
I’m not going to lie to you. Marriage isn’t easy, and a wedding ring isn’t a guarantee of fidelity – for anyone. When times are tough and your marital situation is tense, it will be quite challenging for your guy to stay on the straight and narrow, but not impossible. Just go into this knowing that when things get tough or start cooling down in the bedroom, you have more reason to worry than many other people would.
Elizabeth – if you love him, want to marry him, and want to make a life with him, then don’t live each day in fear of what could happen. Yes, there is a very real possibility that you will face a couple of “close calls” in your marriage with this man, but they are way off in the future, when the marriage becomes more stagnant. If your fears and insecurities are so great that they are disrupting your life and pervading your relationship, then postpone your wedding plans. You are in love with a man who has an addiction. What you need to decide is if you can live your life with his addiction, because it’s always going to be there, and so is a level of risk because of it.
I can tell you that the next three to five years look happy and faithful. Beyond that, I’d have to say you would need to check back because I really can’t promise anything. We, as people shape our futures with the decisions we make, and the manner in which we handle the challenges that come our way. If the two of you continue working on yourselves and your relationship with the same love, effort and sincerity that you have been, it is highly likely that your man will have the strength and determination necessary to be faithful to you.