I received this e-mail from a woman who asks the very same question that we all ask when we find out that sex addiction has touched our lives.
Hi, I feel at a loss right now and would massively appreciate the support of anyone who has been in my situation. I found out last June that my H had been using prostitutes. I saw the numbers on his phone and then the cash withdrawals from our joint bank account.
He broke down and admitted that he had seen prostitutes 8 times. He said he started to watch porn at work in January for the thrill of being caught and in March he then started to use prostitutes. I was devastated. We have a child together – he was 9 months old when I found old.
I left him straight away and moved in with my parents. I went through every emotion, anger (a lot!), hurt, sadness, grief, feeling like it was my fault. My F&F (I only told a few close people) supported me but after 3 months they were keen for me to make a decision on whether to go back to him or not. I just couldn’t, I felt paralysed, like my whole world had fallen apart and I was trapped in this state of purgatory.
I then decided in the October (so 4 months after I found out about the prostitutes) I would move back in with him half the week so he could see more of our son and it would give my elderly parents a break from having me and my son there. I made it clear to my H that coming back was not us getting back together.
He decided to go to a counsellor to get some help. He went for about 8 sessions. I also suggested that we go to couples counseling as when we were talking about it we just kept having the same conversations and weren’t getting anywhere. Again, I said this doesn’t mean we are getting back together, it’s a way to explore whether we can discuss what has happened and take it from there.
My husband started to see another counsellor within this time period also. He went to his brother’s for Christmas and me and my son stayed with family. I struggled through Christmas, missing him loads and towards the end of December I said I would give it a try to stay at the house for longer than 3 nights – I decided I would stay for a couple of weeks to see how we got on.
A couple of days later I checked his phone and saw that a payment had been made to an old bank account that he told me he had closed. I asked him about this and he said that he never closed the account and that actually he is in nearly £2K debt. He then revealed that he also used that bank account to pay for prostitutes. So telling me he had only used them 8 times was a lie. It seems he went quite a lot – sometimes 2 or 3 times a week for about 7 months. It seems that he managed not to use them when me and my son returned part time to the house – for about 2 months and then he had a bit of a relapse and went and got a massage at a dodgy parlour.
This revelation then shattered my trust again in him. I thought I knew everything and that he had been honest with me but then I find it was worse than I thought. I should also point out that in June I did a little digging and found out that he had a fling with a work colleague in the months leading up to our wedding (2 years ago) (no sex but flirty emails and texts and kissing) – he even invited her to our home the night before our wedding which just kills me. It also transpires that 2 years after we met he had a flirty relationship with another colleague at work although I’m not sure whether anything physical actually happened.
I guess I’m wondering whether you think he has a Sex Addict? I put it to him but he said he hasn’t seen a prostitute in 8 weeks and if he had an addiction wouldn’t he be having withdrawal symptoms? IS that a thing with Sex Addiction?
He seems to be responding well to his counsellor and told me that he decided that whether I decide to stay with him or leave him, he is committed to changing himself and the way he handles stress and negative emotions – that to me sounded positive.
I have been in utter turmoil for the last 9 months about whether to stay or leave and our couples counsellor said we really need to make a decision so we can move one way or another so I decided to give this relationship another chance. Since I made that decision I have been feeling really panicked and edgy and feel like I’m shivering all the time (I know that sounds odd!). He sounds very genuine in his intent to change but I have this feeling that he might be ok for a few months, maybe even years but then someone might happen and he will go back to this other world of prostitutes.
Could anybody who has been or is going through something similar shed any light on whether you think he has a SA and if so, whether these men ALWAYS relapse or whether this could have been a short episode of addiction which is very possible to break and move forward with? I feel like at the moment all I do is think about this. I want my son to have a stable, happy and healthy life (and Mum) and I question whether that’s possible with my husband, or whether that’s just fear and mistrust taking over my brain! Thanks so much – I would really appreciate any thoughts/words of wisdom/advice.