Dear Amy: I have been happily married for 21 years. Communication is great, we rarely argue, and we spend a lot of time together. We have two wonderful teen daughters.
Unfortunately, I have a major problem: I am completely consumed by lust. I was faithful the first 15 years of marriage but for the past six years, I have had intimate affairs with 23 (and counting) girls in their 20s. I hook up with them on "sugar daddy" websites.
Thankfully, this terrible action on my part has not caused any financial burden or STDs. I have considered seeing a sex therapist, but I think my urges are too strong to fix. Recent example: I was shopping and came upon a hot 20-something. The second I saw her, my heart rate doubled, and I had butterflies in my stomach. I started to approach her for a potential date, but she walked away.
Believe it or not, I am a Christian and a churchgoer. I have extreme remorse over my behavior but can't stop it. Sometimes I think it would be best if I simply filed for divorce so I don't continue hurting people.
— Hopeless in the suburbs
Dear Hopeless: Divorcing your wife will not diminish the hurt you are causing — it doesn't even touch the damage you are doing to yourself (and others).
You sign your letter "Hopeless," which illustrates the personal hell of an addiction that is consuming you. The description of your physical sensations and intention to approach a stranger in a store for sex puts you in the predator category. This compulsion is personally and spiritually degrading. It is also in direct conflict with your stated personal values.
There is help for you, but you need to be honest with your wife, admit your powerlessness over this and seek professional help and treatment. The next time you are tempted to use the Internet to hunt for another sugar baby, I hope you will be brave enough to find help for yourself instead. The Society for the Advancement for Sexual Health offers information and links to articles, professionals and 12-step groups on its website: SASH.net.
Dear Amy: Your response to "Eager" was harsh. She was eager to meet in person a guy she had communicated with on Facebook. I don't think it's crazy to want to take an online situation into a real-life situation within a week.
Dear Sam: What I labeled as crazy was "Eager's" flat-out refusal to understand and respect statements this guy was making saying that he simply wasn't ready to meet.
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