QUESTION: My husband and I have been
married for approximately one-and-a-half years. My problem is that
he stills carries condoms around in his briefcase and travel bag.
I have spoken to him about it before and he got upset, saying wouldn't
I prefer that he protected me if something did happen.
I don't believe he is being unfaithful to me,
but I don't understand why he needs to carry them.
What should I do?
ANSWER: Though your husband may not
be actively unfaithful, he is planning for this possibility. Clearly
he does not want to give up the potential for an affair, or he is
actually having one despite your belief in his fidelity. His proclamation
that he is actually "protecting" you is evasive and an outrageous
insult to your marital vows.
Your husband's behavior is undermining the trust between
you. Do not accept his explanation. There is more here than meets
your eyes. Instead, require that he honestly address what is going
on. Consider the possibility that your husband may be suffering from
a sexual addiction of some degree. Clearly he does not want to give
up his sexual freedom, yet he has agreed to marriage.
What are your expectations of marriage? If they include
the usual commitment to sexual monogamy, your husband has already
broken the spirit of your marriage agreement. Carrying condoms purposefully
is an act of intent to engage in adultery of some type. This behavior
oversteps mere "fantasizing." Whether he plans on having sex with
prostitutes or in the context of extramarital relationships -- by
"happenstance" or by appointment -- your spouse is reneging on your
Do not close your eyes to this one! If he does suffer
an addiction, he will need your help to overcome it. If he does not
see this as a "problem," the future of your marriage is at risk of
deteriorating. Consider consultation with a marriage counselor for
help navigating through this breach in the marriage. Do not stop short
of answers. Though your marriage is young, both of you may need to
team up to fight to sustain your relationship.
Sexual addiction may prove to be the "monster" that
the two of you will have to drive from your marriage. As the saying
goes: You can only lead a horse to water, you cannot make him drink.
Be supportive but stop short of codependency. Your husband is having
a problem of some sort. His problem is now a marital problem. But
his actions are his own, and he alone is responsible for them. You
can help him, but you cannot save him. If he refuses to address this
issue with you, you may need to consider saving yourself!