DEAR DEIDRE: SEXTING men until the early hours has become an addiction – until one day I dozed off with my phone in my hand and my husband discovered what I was up to.
I am 28, my husband is 30 and we have two sons, aged four and nine.
During our 12 years together, our relationship has not been easy.
I have always managed all the practical things. When we bought our house, for example, I organised everything as my husband is not confident dealing with business things.
He had a terrible childhood and I have always wanted to give him everything. When bills started mounting up, I simply missed paying the mortgage.
I was borrowing money from my mum. When she could no longer afford it, she told my husband everything. He left sorting it out up to me.
I just kept burying my head in the sand and longing to escape. Then an app came up on my phone. It was a virtual reality game where you could be anything you wanted.
I used a false name and started talking to one man in particular from Canada. He flattered me and soon the messages became sexual.
I fell asleep one night when I was downstairs messaging this other guy. My husband came down to check where I was and he saw the messages. I told him I had met someone else online and he was crushed.
We decided to try again and I promised to block that guy and delete the app. I tried but my addiction was too strong and I was soon back sexting other men.
My husband checked my phone again and was disgusted with me. We talked and I deleted the app again but I still couldn’t resist going back. In the end, my husband threatened to leave.
I realise I’m playing with fire and I cannot believe how much I have risked. I have put locks on my phone now so only my husband can approve apps, but I’m worried it’s too late for us.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Many of these apps are designed to be addictive but you were extra vulnerable because your relationship is out of balance. You need to tackle that, too, and not just rely on blocks on your phone.
Your husband has been leaving everything to you instead of taking his share of responsibility. He may have had a terrible childhood but, for his sake as well as yours, you need to reset your relationship to one where you are equals, not where you are his mum.
Set time aside to talk honestly with one another and work out a plan where you share the tasks in family life.
My e-leaflet Your Relationship MOT tells how to get things back on track.
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