Dear Em & Lo: Should I Cheat on My Husband Who’s Abroad?


Dear Em & Lo,

I read your articles, and you give great advice to other readers, so maybe you can help me! My husband lives in another country; he’s in the process of coming over here, but we aren’t even sure when! We have been apart for a year already, and we’ve been married for 3 years. The thing is, there’s this other guy. I do not want a relationship with him or anything, more like a one-night stand. Or a friends+benefits type thing? Is this wrong of me? I have been good for the past 3 years but I can’t take it anymore. How would I even ask a guy for a one-night stand? If my husband doesn’t know, it doesn’t hurt him, right? Plus, we don’t have any kids together. I really need your help.

— Married Without a Man

Dear MWAM,

Wait, we’re confused: you say you read our advice columns, and yet you’re asking us if you should secretly cheat on your husband?  If you read this site, then you should already know our answer to this question: NOFUCKINGWAY!

Traditionally, marriage is supposed to last a lifetime. You’ve only been hitched a measly three years — that’s nothing! And you’ve been apart for only a year. After 5, maybe even 3 years, we might be a little more sympathetic, but then again we have vibrators that have lasted longer than that — and you should too! Assuming your marriage vows included sexual fidelity (and it sounds like they have) then you need to either A) honor those vows, or B) renegotiate them with your husband. Cheating — even if it’s just a one-night thing — is not an option.

If you go with door A, then there are several things you can do to satisfy your longings. Invest in the aforementioned heavy-duty vibrators and use them. Fluff up your fantasy life. Have regular phone sex with your husband. Set up video chats between the two of you so you can masturbate simultaneously while watching each other. But most importantly, try to remember why you recently married this guy in the first place. When a person considers betraying their partner, it’s obvious some love and respect has been lost somewhere along the way — do a little soul-searching to try to get it back.

If you go with door B, then you need to be honest with him, in the kindest, gentlest, least offensive way possible. Explain to him how much you miss him and miss having sex with him, and how you’ve been feeling primal urges lately that are becoming too difficult to ignore. Would he consider some kind of arrangement for while you two are apart? One that wouldn’t negate your love or commitment, but one that might simply scratch that itch. Obviously, there are many steps to this kind of deal-making which we don’t have the room or time to go into, so you should check out Tristan Taormino’s book, “Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships” — it’s your best bet for having your cake and eating it too.

Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win,
Em & Lo

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15 Comments on "Dear Em & Lo: Should I Cheat on My Husband Who’s Abroad?"

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6 years 5 days ago

Truly amazing how everyone missed my point. Everyone assumes I *want* to cheat. No desire to do so at all–unlike MWAM, there is no other guy in the picture, nor am I remotely inclined to look for another. So I’m not posting in the fear that I could be led to lying, deceit, or unfaithfulness.

My point was that my husband moved across an ocean with minimal discussion and, apparently, without any understanding or concern about my feelings. Since he moved, he continues to pressure me to move–something he didn’t initially do when the job was offered. (“We’ll just visit often!”, he said. Keep in mind that his first planned trip back to the States is more than eight months after he left and I felt like I had to nag him for three months to purchase the ticket.)

Any reader should understand that I married after I was 40 and I’ve developed a career that I love. Beyond my husband, I also love my family and my current job is within a relatively easy drive of many of them. My mother is getting older and this has been a benefit for both of us. As I’ve already said, when we married, my soon-to-be husband and I were living in the same location and, when he was looking for a job at an admittedly stressful time, he had more than one completely reasonable option in that area. However, he still opted to commit to an overseas job that would last longer than the length of time we’d been married.

Can anyone comment without immediately jumping to the conclusion that I’m simply desperate to have sex with anyone? How sad if that is the immediate thought that crosses the mind rather than so many more serious issues that confront us.

6 years 2 months ago

That’s true kb, Frieda, just divorce him, save yourself any lying, deceit, and being unfaithful. Accept what has happened (him moving without blinking an eye) and get out of the marriage and into one with a husband that sees you everyday.

6 years 2 months ago

Frieda-if you feel that he’s left you already, why not be honest and make that official before you sleep with someone else? I don’t really see what you’d be losing by doing it with dignity instead of sneaking around.

6 years 2 months ago

Sorry to disappoint. I’m not the original poster, just someone who has doubts about her marriage as well. My husband is not fighting–he is not in the military. Unlike a soldier, he had a choice as to whether to stay living with me in the same city or going overseas. He chose to go when he knew that there was no way I could go with him. As for him divorcing me–with him there and the two of us apart with no clear plans as to when we’ll see each other next, I feel as if he has left me already.

6 years 2 months ago

^So you are the poster then, with your quote: “The thing is, there’s this other guy. I do not want a relationship with him or anything, more like a one-night stand. Or a friends+benefits type thing? ”

Then you say, quote: “It isn’t that I’m currently thinking of cheating or even have the opportunity,”

So which is it? You want to cheat on your husband, then you aren’t thinking of cheating, you are confused. Sounds like your husband wanted to do something for his/your/our country, and fight for it. He’s fighting for you too you know. For your daughter. Buy a vibrator, surround yourself with family/friends. Not some random ‘one night stand’ guy who just might give you an STD; you never know when you are that desperate. Don’t cheat on your husband. He just might divorce you faster than you can say ‘I’m sorry!’