Hubby Likes Prostitutes

Q: I've discovered my husband is hiring prostitutes while I'm away or when he goes out of town. I'm 50. I'm not sure how to confront him with this, or even if I should. Other than that, we have a good marriage and he is a good father. I love him but this is a very painful discovery. Your advice? Also I'm curious. Just how many married men do this? -- Sandy

Dr. Susan: To answer your last question first, it's impossible to find out how many married men pay for sex, because a lot of them simply aren't going to be honest about such an activity. A little Internet research turned up one study that said 18% of men had ever paid for sex with a woman, and another that said 81% had. Hmm. Another survey, using a small sample of men, found that four out of the five married men in that group had used prostitutes, and that one out of three of those were "frequent users."

What do any of these figures have to do with you? Not much. When it's your husband who's cheating with a prostitute, that's one hundred per cent. Of course you need to confront him. He's endangering your health every time you have sex with him. Plenty of paid sex workers carry nasty diseases, including AIDS. A man can't tell from looking, and he can't be sure a condom is totally safe, and besides that, a lot of married men don't want to wear condoms. So where does this leave you? Unhappy, hurting, and in real danger, until you get this risky behavior out in the open and deal with it, preferably calling a halt to it. If that's not possible, at the very least you'll have to insist your wandering husband wear condoms (the best kind you can buy) with you.

Talk to your husband about what he gets from them that he can't get from you (besides the obvious: they're not you). Some women are happy to play sex games, like pretending to be a prostitute, to keep the novelty in their relationships. If that goes against your grain, or if your husband has no intention of being faithful no matter what you're willing to do to please him, you have a tough decision to make. Either you take it (his selfish behavior), or you leave him (or you give up having sex with him and let him pay for it all the time). Not a pretty choice, I'm afraid.

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