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Dear readers and forum members:

Thank you so much for the Ask April Relationship Advice Forum. What a warm and welcoming community!

Due to the demands of launching my new company, AIFI (American Initiative for Film Industry Research Institute & Development Council), I'm so sorry to say that I must suspend forum activity.

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April
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Sexting moral question

#1
Hi April, I kind of have a moral dilemma going on here. I found out a few weeks ago that my fiancé created an account on a porn site and is pretending to be a girl on there. He's sexting with multiple guys talking very dirty. I found out about it by accident and when I did I confronted him about it. He was defensive at first and after a few flare-ups he explained why he's doing it: it's just a masturbatory thing, he isn't cheating because he's never going to meet with these guys, and it's a stress reliever from the stress of job searching. He's still doing it, almost every day, for a few hours, whether I'm at home or at work. He also sexts using texting apps on the web. We have sex regularly and he says he's super happy with me. I believe him. We've been together for 4 years and he's made me very happy in multiple ways. I don't know exactly why but this sexting thing is still bugging me even though we've talked about it... Any ideas? Should I be right in being concerned? Is this something normal some guys do?
I know that he's pansexual he's made that very clear in the past, that doesn't bug me.

Re: Sexting moral question

#2
There are a few red flags here -- first of all, guys masturbate. That's not news, but they usually use porn that's in a magazine, internet images, videos, and memories, etc. But your fiancee is using interactive relationships and that's different. He's creating relationships with these people he's meeting through his porn website, and he's gone to significant lengths to do this. Simply setting up his own porn site is a lot of energy! This isn't just him masturbating. This is him taking these relationships beyond the page, the screen or the computer -- and into real life. Next, he's pretending to be a girl. Not a woman -- a girl. My questions is, is this part of his personality that he's trying to elicit and explore, and if so, at what point will he want to have real life relationships with men, if he hasn't already? Because if he does, there's going to be some changes in his primary relationship with you. You'll have competition, at the very least. The third flag is your age difference -- and I don't usually care about age differences -- but since you're 23 and he's 47 and you've been together for four years, you don't have a lot of dating experience, and my concern is that you're in a relationship with an April 2018 wedding date, where your fiancee is experimenting with his sexuality and his sex life. If you are okay with this, that's fine, but if you're expecting stability in marriage, I don't think you'll get it with him.

Clearly, you need to talk to him about this, and search your own soul about what you want for yourself. This isn't really a moral question -- it's a practical one. The only thing he's done wrong is to hide things from you. And that's kind of a big deal. But now that this secret is out, you have to ask, Do you want to marry someone in April who is so invested in exploring his sexuality without you? My advice is that you should probably have deep talks with him to try and understand and support his journey, but that you should move on because I'm gathering that you want something that is more traditional, and he's not a partner who's up for tradition. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.

Re: Sexting moral question

#3
Hi April,

Thank you for the response. You bring up good points. I’m bringing more context to the table: he is a pansexual man, and he’s had sex with lots of people in the past. He was honest about that, and I accept it. He is very libidinous in nature and can get quite dirty which I know.
The sexting thing is not new though: he used to do it when he was single too, posing as a girl and hitting up multiple guys. I thought this was a thing of the past though so when I found out about his new account a few weeks ago I was unhappy. After I talked to him he said it isn’t cheating because he’s not sexting as himself; he will never meet those guys because his secret will be out otherwise; porn doesn’t quite do it for him because of the fantasies in his head; and it’s just a quick masturbatory scenario. However, I think it’s deceitful to the guys he’s chatting up especially because he sometimes pretends he’s 15!! That’s icky even if it’s just a sex chat. And he does it sometimes while I’m in the room chilling or working. I don’t find that super respectful. Also he’s been job hunting for months and sent out applications (more like years but he’s started again a few months ago. I work and my income is barely keeping us afloat) but with no success. I think to myself “Maybe if you spent less time on your account sexting and a little more time submitting apps, it would help.” Because he does spend more time on that damn porn account than I would like.
So there it is. I love him with all my heart and I accept he is not your average Joe. He is amazingly intelligent, kind, funny, and we share a lot of interests. He helped me heal from an abusive household (my mom had narcissistic paranoia and my father was an enabler). I really don't want to have to break up with him because in essence he makes me happy. But if what he's doing is truly reprehensible and speaks of much deeper issues, I don't want to enable his behavior

Re: Sexting moral question

#4
Your instincts are good ones. He is being dishonest by saying he's a girl when he's not a girl, and engaging with other people who think he's girl because he said he was. And his excuse that he's not cheating on you because he's pretending to be someone else is laughable. That's one for the books. :roll: If he actually slept with one of these people, but pretended to be someone else, would that be okay because he used a fake name and identity? Clearly, not. :?

That you're a 23 year old woman supporting a 47 year old man who's got time to build a porn site, is a bigger problem. I know you want to stay with him, so my advice is to practice boundaries, as long as you are with him. This will prevent you from enabling him and it will preserve your self esteem and give him the opportunity to enrich his. It's tough, but it's healthy. For instance, you should stop paying his bills. I don't know if you live together or not, and if you do, who's name is on the lease or mortgage, but you need calmly, without anger, explain that you'd like him to pay the rent. You'll pay for groceries, or the other way around -- whatever financial situation works for you -- have a talk about it now. Way.... before you marry! And while I don't know a lot about his work situation or his unemployment situation, I'm sure his self esteem is tied up in his work and unemployment. He may be using his sexting relationships with other people to boost his self esteem and distract him from very unsexy real life problems. Men who take care of their partners feel good about themselves. They're proud. Give him that opportunity by using boundaries.

I think that as you get to know him -- because he's not honest, that's going to be a challenge that takes time -- you'll be less happy, and you'll question who it is you're living with and have chosen to marry. I believe you that you think he makes you happy, but I would ask you to focus on character and respect because those are the qualities that get you through a long-term relationship. Happiness comes and goes. Life can be tough. And when it is, you want someone with character and grit to be your life partner. ;)
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.