Fifteen years ago my now ex-wife was free chatting on a primitive chat site with whomever was available. Not a dating site, but then there weren’t any back then. She would chat with intensity; all night long, 18 to 24 hour stints. She would wrap herself around the computer and entertain her partner all night long.
The chatting to other men was debilitating enough, but hers was extreme, intimate, chat, enhanced with paraphernalia, self-stimulation and long distance telephone calls. It just didn’t seem right.I had great difficulty in accepting, let alone even tolerating, her actions. I just didn’t like it, I was crushed by it. My wife knew how I felt, I told her many times. But, she couldn’t be without it. Her position was “I’m going to do this, you may as well get used to it.” She expected me to accept anything she did just so I could have her around.
On one occasion my wife offered up a solution. She was going to a friend’s and she told me I should get on the computer. I should ask the other “chatters” what I should do. I should share my “problem” with them and see if they could help me. She saw it as “my problem” rather than her infidelity, or her lack of judgment, or her inconsiderate feelings toward our union and relationship. I should go on the computer, talk to the people she spends her nights with and ask them to help me out with my “problem.”
I seldom went on the Internet. If I did, it was to play games, or to research or to work on a book I was writing. Once I figured out what went on at this site, I avoided it. I just didn’t want to do it. Cyber-sex didn’t interest me, it didn’t do anything for me and I was not going to get involved. My wife left for her friend’s house and I turned on the computer. I went on the Internet and then to that site. I entered the adult world and sat and stared for the longest time.
This was not what I wanted to do. I’m healthy; I have more than the usual sex drive. I just don’t like this shotgun type of approach to random intimacy. I could easily see how much fun it could be to a single person, but my wife and I were not single. Against my better judgment I regained my composure and decided to do what my wife had suggested. I quickly typed a message that went something like;”I have this problem. My wife gets on here and has cyber-sex with whomever and whenever she likes. I can’t tolerate it. I feel cheated on. Can anybody help me?”
It was short and sweet. I broadcast my plea; sent it out to the entire audience at once. Everyone who was currently on the adult part of that site saw it for at least a second or two. They had the choice, when a message would come on the screen, to immediately delete it, or to respond to it. Probably many of them just threw it away but there were far too many who were more than willing to share their thoughts on the issue. I received dozens of responses. So many answers were coming in, in such a rapid secession that I had no time to respond. The message balloons would eventually disappear if they were not acknowledged in some manner. It was all I could do to just read them and move on.
People had all kinds of “helpful” things to say;”Grow-up” “Get a life” “Let her have her fun!” “It’s only fantasy!” “She isn’t hurting anybody.” “You idiot, just play along with her.” “Stop it, you are messing it up for all of us out here who are just trying to have fun.” Finally, one message came shining through like a blazing spotlight. It seemed to sit there and sparkle. While others danced around it, it stood there and shouted at me. I just stared at it for what seemed an eternity. I was so relieved and grateful for at least one real message, one true response.
Someone had taken the time to really read what I had written, to understand what was going on in my head, to empathize with my pain and to transcend their compassion through the airwaves. There it was, there was no denying it.”I know what you are going through. I am going through the same thing.”There was someone else in this crazy new elecgtronic world that felt like I did, who thought the same way I did, who also felt abused and ignored. At least one other person out there understood my problem.
I felt I was almost to the point where I would have to tell myself “Well if everybody else feels the same way my wife does then it must be me.” It was so hard for me to believe that I was that far in the wrong on an issue like this, but every message was chastising me for feeling this way, so it must be me. What else could it have been other than my inability to cope? Until this one shining, fleeting message, this one last hope in the midst of everything else “wrong” came gleaming into my life.
I frantically tried to respond to this wonderful soul but the other messages were popping up so fast, they were blocking that one out and they were preventing me from responding. I had to keep deleting the nasty ones just to get to the one lonely good one. But I lost it; it was gone. Then suddenly, another one came in from the same person.”Well, I can see you are busy. I am headed out to go to breakfast, look me up sometime.”They were simple, yet woeful, words; just a few, plain, understanding, empathetic syllables. I just sat there and read it again and again until it automatically flashed off.
I had gotten her screen name and had written it down. Just to be able to speak to someone in the same situation would be a relief of some kind I just knew it. You see, that one lonely message didn’t come from just anybody. That message came from my one and only, true, future love. That is the making of an entirely different story but suffice it to say, this is how my current wife and I met. Our partners, of that time, threw us both at each other. They both told us to get on the computer. I was told to try to find help while my future wife’s partner told her, with a derogatory snicker;”Hey, come look at this idiot. You need to talk to him.”She did come take a look, she did respond to my message, she did talk to me, and here we are.
She was going through the same thing I was going through. Her mate was spending all of his time on the computer with other women. He was setting up meetings, accepting mail from his cyber girl friends’ at his Mom’s place, making telephone calls and all in all doing what we could not tolerate any longer.My emotional pain seemed to mean nothing to those on the computer. It was all about their immediate gratification at any cost. It didn’t matter who was hurt in the process, just let me do what I want, when I want, and with whomever I want to do it with.
The site I met my wife on wasn’t an on-line dating site but you will find the same type of people I dealt with on this early chat site on any of the current date sites. My wife and I were thrust at each other. I continue to reap the rewards; day after day after day. We talked on the computer for three months before we ever looked at each other. When we first laid eyes on one another we knew we had realized our purpose. We were finally in one another’s life and we would stay there.
I think it would take a great deal of investigation and questioning to ever give any level of trust to anyone you speak with on the Internet. All the usual suggestions; meet in a public place, meet only for coffee, meet during the day, you make the first call, don’t give out your phone number, and so on, apply. There indeed are honest, loving people desperately searching for you. You need to let them find you but you also need to make certain you know who they are.