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The Mouse That Roared

I'm a 24-year-old married woman. Last night, I participated in my first online, well, how do I say this? chat. Although I found it more interesting than exciting, I stayed on too long with the guy and lost my head. My husband came into the room and stood behind me for just a moment. I got nervous and couldn't even move. He didn't say anything, and I'm not sure what he saw. Should I tell him the truth? I know it wasn't a real experience, but was this a form of betrayal?

--Carried Away

SO, HONEY , what did you do today?" asks your husband.

"Nothing much," you say. "Bought dog food, picked up the dry cleaning, and had the most kick-ass cyber-sex with some stranger."

If your husband responds, "That's nice, dear," the two of you have either come down with a premature attack of marital deafness (manifestations of which include nights of speech-free chewing for two at Denny's); or, according to some premarital pact allowing you a long leash, your husband doesn't think you've cheated. But, if upon hearing your have-done list, he falls to the floor and starts flopping around like a fish gasping for air...well then, Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do.

Although an online sex chat might seem virtual, there's somebody real on the other end. Open even a mouse-hole in your marriage, and there's a chance that you'll end up letting in Godzilla. Now, normally, I don't think that those who color outside the lines of their marriage contract should dump that information on their partner's fragile ego (unless they're habitual wanderers). You do the dirty deed, you lug around the big iron anvil of guilt. In this case, however, since your husband might have caught a few lines of your cyber-slutting, you've gotta spill. But don't just confess. Use your mini e-ffair to a positive end -- as a springboard to keep your lust for each other from rusting over the long haul.

Now, it wasn't too many centuries ago that you and the hub would have lived to be about 40, providing he didn't get gunned down by musket-toting gang-bangers and you didn't die in childbirth while awaiting the invention of the epidural. These days, unless you get flattened by some ass talking on a cell-phone while mowing down split-level ranch homes in his split-level SUV, you could live to be a sprightly 120 or more. With that in mind, you'd better sit down with hubby-man and acknowledge the unspoken: It's BORING to have sex with the same person for that length of lifetime. Yes, yes...there's more to marriage than good sex. But, if you aren't having good sex, your relationship is likely come unglued.

The best way stave off naked tedium is to get creative. For example, pretend the hubber is a stranger, have cyber-sex with him, then make like you're having a post-virtual affair: Meet at some seedy bar, drag each other off to some cheap motel, and drive off pretending you wished you knew each other's last names. When you get home, and the hub asks you what you did today, you can finally answer truthfully: "You mean, besides screwing some cyber-stranger at a cheap motel?" Dirty, dirty, dirty 'til death do you part.

Copyright ©2000, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, Ask The Advice Goddess, which appears in 60 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.