Her Guy Likes Strip Clubs
Q: My husband and I have been married 11 years. I found out last year that 7 of those years he had been going to strip clubs behind my back. He became "friends" with at least two of the dancers outside the club, although he swears it never turned sexual and was only emails. One of the dancers I talked to said the same thing, but I just don't believe them. He has lied in the past about various things but nothing ever like this. I am a bigger woman, and it has devastated me thinking that apparently I am not good enough for him. I can't get this out of my mind. I've thought about leaving but with two kids it's very hard to do. Any advice on how to get over this? It seems impossible at this point. -- Chloe, 32
Dr. Susan: First of all, it's not you. It's not the fault of your weight or how you rate as a wife. Because men are wired to enjoy visuals, some crave a lot of variety in their erotic stimulation. That's why porn of all kinds has always been so wildly popular. Not every man who indulges in porn or watches a stripper is making a statement about the inferiority of his wife's body (though it can certainly feel that way from the wife's point of view!). It's slightly possible that your husband isn't having sex with these strippers. But when someone lies as much and as long as your guy has, I find it hard to believe anything he says.
Time to tell him exactly how you feel. Also, talk with him about his lies, his needs, how he is going to change his habits so you can trust him again, and whether there's anything you can do to help. You have a right to ask him to remain monogamous, and hanging out with strippers doesn't quite fit that description. If he won't stop, think about how you can manage on your own, if it comes to that.
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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.