Dear Margo

Is her boyfriend hiding something?

May 28, 2010

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Q. I’ve been in a relationship with a fantastic man for two years. We are in our late 20s and have talked about marriage and our desire to have children. The problem is, I have caught him looking at gay porn twice, and now I’m questioning whether this relationship is the real thing or a “cover’’ for his secret desires and/or life.

He insists he was just looking at pictures and would never cheat on me. I realize that men can be curious and there is a gamut of sexuality that doesn’t preclude men from looking at other men. If this were the only problem, I think I could chalk it up to curiosity. However, he was on a dating website for men seeking men and was looking in our suburb. If he were just looking at pictures, why not include men from all over the city? He doesn’t really have an answer to that. I don’t have proof of betrayal, but my gut has never been wrong about deception.

SO MAD A. I think if I saw my significant other looking at gay porn and trolling the Internet for dates with men in our suburb, I would face the fact that the guy was, at the very least, gayish. Then I would have a weepy spell followed by a tantrum. I would probably also be wondering, “Why me, God? Why me?’’ This man may not have acted on his “curiosity’’ (and I’m not even sure about that), but because there are signposts and questions, I would call it a day and save yourself a likely divorce. Marriage is tough enough without worrying that the Mister is occasionally leading another life.

Q. The past few years, I’ve noticed an increase in qualities I don’t think are positive for the human species. Respect seems to be diminishing. Materialism, hate, and selfishness are pervading society. You see this in many different aspects, whether it’s politics or the news.

I’m losing faith in the goodness of people, and it’s depressing me. I was never like this before. I was an optimistic person and tried to see the good qualities in people, even if I found them less than appealing. Now I find myself closed off more often, and my optimism is faltering. It’s much harder for me to trust people or even try to find their good qualities. I no longer want children because I fear for their futures. Logic says I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t stop how I feel, and it’s affecting my daily life.

P.K. A. Funny, I periodically have your thoughts, but I basically will myself back. There is, indeed, a definite lack of civility, which some people are trying to address. There are also more crazy people, and the world can seem very threatening. The country is polarized, and “anything goes’’ seems to have overtaken earlier values.

I would say to you what someone said to me when I felt overwhelmed considering all the programs and charities needing help. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Seek out and concentrate on people doing things you admire and behaving in ways you approve of. There really are good people who are not just out for themselves. Don’t give up on everybody because you have been disappointed. As someone said on Twitter, “Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel.’’

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