Red Responds: Porn Videos, Dirty Jokes and Emails

Dear Red,

About a year ago, I discovered that my husband had been exchanging porn videos, dirty jokes and emails with a single female who is an employee of one of his customers. We have had several discussions about this smut, and I tried to make him understand how much it hurt and upset me to think that my husband was sending and receiving this sexually suggestive trash with another woman. He can’t explain why he did it, or how it got started. My trust in him is gone, even though he denies ever doing anything physical with her. Since then she has sent some dirty jokes, and I discovered two ‘business’ emails, one that she signed ‘love’ with her name, the other one had ‘thanks, Dear’ in it. We have had ups and downs during our marriage, and have always maintained that we love each other. We/I have been working to strengthen our relationship, but this matter continues to haunt me. He works for a company that pays his cell phone bill, I have no way to monitor calls, emails or where he is during the day. Should I trust him or is there something going on? Or has something gone on that he won’t admit to because he doesn’t want to lose his family and home?

– Cindy in Apple Valley

Dear Cindy,

While your husband’s relationship seems to be far from appropriate, I’m very relieved to tell you that I have nothing that says he ever had a physical relationship with this other woman.

Yes, they flirt. Yes, they have a playfully risqué way of communicating with each other. Yes, they do share a little thrill of smut exchange.

Your husband doesn’t want to lose you, or anything else. However, he does seem to have some compulsion to seek this outside excitement. Other than “getting away with it”, and having his ego fed – your husband is being pretty honest with you. The flirting is what opened the door to the porn exchange, but it all seems to be in the realm of fantasy. I know that doesn’t make it any less painful for you, but at least it doesn’t make it any more painful.

While I understand how painful the knowledge of the smut-exchange is to you, your husband doesn’t quite grasp the severity of it all. However, the foundation of your marriage seems to be pretty strong. While I can’t just say the word and restore your faith and trust in your husband or your life with him, I can say that with time and effort things will improve.

Old memories, particularly ones that haunt us, can not be erased. Your husband screwed up, royally. You can focus on what has already happened, or you can focus on how you would like things to unfold.

Brightest Blessings,
Ext. 9226

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