Dear Amy: My husband of nine years has a secret Twitter account where he's been sexting other people, complete with exchanged pictures and videos.
I confronted him about it and explained that it crossed boundaries I'm not comfortable with. He promised he'd delete the account. But a few months later, I learned that he was back at it.
I confronted him again, and he apologized profusely again. But he still hasn't deleted the profile. I feel betrayed and cheated on.
It turns out that he wasn't just messaging other women, but also men. I asked him if that was something he wanted to explore. He's been very accepting about my own previous involvement with women (I'm bisexual), but he assured me that wasn't it. I'm wondering if he's possibly in denial about being bi-curious.
I know he wouldn't be comfortable with me sexting other people, so I don't feel bad about demanding that he stop. How do I let him know that although I love him unconditionally, I intend to stay firm on my boundaries?
Amy says: You feel strongly about maintaining monogamy in your marriage. You and your husband agree that his secret sexting violates this monogamy bond. (His apologies indicate that he understands he has violated it.)
Addiction can be described as self-harming and harmful behavior that interferes with a person's life. In this sense, your husband is demonstrating that he has a sexual compulsion that is interfering with both of your lives.
You sound like an open-minded person. You have invited your husband to be completely honest with you, yet he seems unable to participate in this level of intimacy with you.
He would benefit from working with a counselor. He might be able to fully discuss his sexuality with someone he isn't married to and currently contemplating betraying.
Because this crosses a line that you maintain is inviolate, you might consider a trial separation while your husband works on his issues. You can love your husband unconditionally and support his needs without living with him.
Dear Amy: I work at a food pantry in my small town, stocking shelves, packing boxes, etc.
In the past, I have loved working there. The volunteers were mostly older women (I'm retired). The few men that showed up were husbands of the volunteers. The director has done a wonderful job assigning chores and running the organization, so we worked like a well-oiled machine.
But in the past couple of years, several recently retired men have joined us. They all want to be the boss, changing the way things are done and, in general, adding a lot of chaos with their foul language and arguing with each other.
The poor volunteer director, who puts in more hours running this organization than she would at a full-time job, is at her wits' end.
How should this be handled? The director is just a sweet little 70-year-old lady. Who knew there could be so much trouble with volunteers?
Amy says: Anyone who works with volunteers knows that it can be challenging.
I suggest that you go to the director and report your concerns. She might write up a simple "contract" for all volunteers to sign, outlining basic responsibilities and expectations, and noting that anyone using foul language or engaging in conflict will not be welcome back.
In terms of being bossed around by a bunch of newbies, I suggest that you find your own voice. You can respond politely, "Thanks for your input, but I'm going to use my own judgment here."
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