Dear JoAnn, I would prefer that my name not be mentioned as I am so ashamed and humiliated. This is such a humbling experience for me to admit that my husband is a Sex Addict and I have stayed in such a relationship.  This is my story…(some personal details have been removed to protect her identity~JoAnn)

I met my husband while he was an Army recruiter. At the time his charm literally swept me off my feet. I was divorced from a cheating husband (who by the way seemed like a walk in the park compared to this one–a barefoot stroll through hot coals). I had been through a painful divorce at age 22 and spent many years single just finding myself and getting an education–I was 30 at the time.

When I met B he seemed just like the perfect guy. He had all the qualities I wanted in a mate-charm, charisma, wit and has a strong work ethic. A year after meeting we got married and I PCSed (Permanent Change of Duty station) with him to XX XXXX. This is when things seemed perfect but little did I know there was another life going on totally separate. We didn’t stay there long as he received orders for us to move to Washington.

By this time I still did not have a clue. Life was great and we were happy. By this time I was pregnant with my daughter in 2003. The pregnancy was very difficult and I was on bed rest and in the hospital for most of the pregnancy.  My daughter was about 4 months old when I got the cell phone bill and noticed all sorts of numbers. I asked about them he said military travel so much that some of the men he worked with had these numbers from all over the county. I didn’t pursue it.

Keep in mind that my husband was at another post when my daughter was born and couldn’t make it back (so he said). The next month I received another bill but this time the calls were for 3am and lengthy. I decided to call but I hung up on the person. She called me back and told me that my husband was her boyfriend and they were having unprotected sex.

I almost died, I was breastfeeding and knew the risks to my daughter if my husband was engaging in unprotected sex. That same month we lost my brother to AIDS (I knew all too well the consequences of risky behavior as my brother was a drug abuser). I confronted him and he not only admitted that he was seeing her but a few more–some of which he had met online and they had sex in cars.

The year he spent in Korea he had also slept with women. While in Korea I was raising his two sons from a previous marriage. The morning my daughter was born he was with someone and missed her birth. She is now almost 8 years old.

I didn’t know what to do. I was unemployed and I blamed the fact that we couldn’t have sex the whole pregnancy so I forgave him. We didn’t seek counseling as he felt that it would get out and impact promotion in the Army. Two years ago I got a vaginal itch and went to see my GYN where I was told it was an STD. I confronted him and of course at first he lied and said he didn’t know about it. He then confessed that he had had unprotected sex with a student while in school at another base. I couldn’t believe he would put me at risk.

Again I forgave him and moved on. Last year I got another STD–again he admitted he had been having unprotected sex with a coworker. Again I forgave. A week ago I was going through his camera and I found pictures of a female that he has been having sex with. I just lost it. I haven’t been so angry in such a long time. I blame myself for not leaving and now I feel like it is too late to leave.

I cannot take it anymore. I am afraid to get an HIV test but I know I should. I don’t want my children to be orphaned. I have asked him to move out so I can figure out my courses of action. I don’t know how I could have been so wrong. At the time he seemed so right and perfect for me. It turns out that he had the perfect job to get away with all of this.

We have just been fighting for weeks now. Since I started writing this email I also found his password for his myspace. He has a separate phone and has been meeting women via myspace and having sex with them. I ask myself. Why have I stayed? Am I just another dumb female that likes to be someone’s doormat (I know better) or is it because of the kids?

I’m not sure how I am going to manage financially but I cannot stay with him. I am really fearful for my life because of all the STD’s and the possibility of HIV infection. Recently, the husband of a female on the base brought up charges against him (he is an officer and she is enlisted and the Army frowns upon adultery) and now his addiction has impacted his job.

If the claims are confirmed (he is still under investigation) he will never be promoted again and will have to get out of the Army. He claims he can do this without help but at this point I want out. I pray to God that my HIV test is negative…I pray that no one ever has to go through this…I pray that he finds the help that he needs to get better so my kids will have a father in their lives. I pray for all the women like yourselves who has gone through this and came out on the other side sane and healthy…