He Likes to Experiment
Q: I just found out that my boyfriend has cheated on me with people he met on the internet. Some of these people were men. He tells me he is not gay and that he was just experimenting and that he prefers women, but he just got caught up in an online porn addiction. He started seeing a therapist but I cannot afford one. I need to know if I should try to understand why he did this and stay with him or leave him now? Is he gay? I'm so confused. I don't believe in bisexuality-- I think you always have a preference. I don't know what to believe. I'm 23. -- Julie
Dr. Susan: What to believe? Not him, for starters. So many warning bells are going off here that I can barely hear my computer humming. He cheated, he lied about cheating, he admits a porn addiction, he downplays his interest in men yet is obviously attracted to them. It's good that he's seeing a therapist (if you can believe him), and you ought to consider finding one at a free clinic for yourself (or ask him to pay for a few sessions for you, if he values your relationship). Bisexuality does exist, by the way. The thing is, labels don't matter as much as you think they do. Some alcoholics give up drinking because they value living a healthy life. Bisexuals settle on one gender when they value a permanent intimate partnership. Your guy is apparently too young to know his own mind (and body) yet, and you're likely to get hurt (or catch a serious disease) if you stick around while he tries out every permutation available in nature. It never hurts to try to understand someone's motivation, but I'd do it at some distance from him, for now.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.