My partner and I are both 50 and have been together for 18 months. Three months ago, he let slip that he had visited escorts for 10 years while in his 30s and single. I was stunned. All he has said since is that he paid for sex once or twice a month. He won’t reopen the topic because he says I am questioning his morals and sexuality. I find him more emotionally distant than usual. He had a difficult childhood (both his parents were alcoholics), but refuses either individual or couples counselling. However, he is faithful, hardworking, reliable and intelligent. (He watches porn, which I have accepted.) Now I wonder: is he trustworthy? What if he kept quiet to protect someone else? Is a decade of transactional sex a sign that he is incapable of emotional intimacy?
Try to focus on who he is now, rather than how he might have been 20 years ago. People change and grow. They have different needs and styles at different points in their lives, and most become more sexually mature as they age. A history of hiring escorts in his 30s does not render him untrustworthy. It might, for example, have been an expedient choice for someone wanting occasional sex, but too busy to date.
He does not want you to judge him for that, and perhaps he even feels shame about it. Maybe he was less capable of intimacy or of sustaining a relationship back then, but such things can be learned over time. When you are with him, try to enjoy the present rather than allowing your anxieties about the past or the future to fester. In general, if you allow yourself to be consumed with fears and suspicions, you will sabotage your chance to be happy. On the other hand, listen to your deep feelings; if you truly believe he is untrustworthy, trust your intuition.