I received this poignant story from D, a gay man who has suffered tremendous emotional trauma from the betrayal of his Sex Addict partner. As I read his story it struck me, once again, that this thing we call Sex Addiction touches us all with equal devastation whether we are young or old, straight or gay, rich or poor or whatever ethnic or national group we belong to.
Thank you D for sharing your story with us ~ JoAnn
I am a gay male who found the love of his life in July 2010. “M” stayed with me through some very horrible things in my life, and I was there for him for some real rough spots too. We laughed so much together, and we did so much together, and traveled, and cared for each other very much.
In 2011, we had a split that lasted a month, which came from a communication breakdown due to work-related long-distance stuff. I also was really suffering due to my job loss that same year. While we were apart, I went to visit him at his workplace to bring him some mail that had come to the place we had been living together in. I missed him. I wanted him back.
He took the mail from me and coughed. I asked if he was sick. He said he was. I told him that he had to come back to my apartment and that I would take care of him. I insisted. He said “Yes.” I nursed him but he got sicker and sicker and lost weight. His fever climbed. Gently, I asked him, “Were you with anyone while we were apart because I fear you are now converting to HIV.”
He lied so very well. “What? No. No honey, no,” he said to me, and I believed him. I had to beg him to go get an HIV test, and in fact I had to lie and say I had talked to a doctor about his symptoms.
So he did go. He came to me, broke down, and told me that he had lied. He was in fact with someone, one time, and he did not use protection. But I took him back because I loved him. He was younger than me. People make mistakes. Eventually, we moved in together and lived in a nice apartment for two years.
In December of 2013, I rented a cottage for us to have Christmas in. I was seriously considering proposing to my beloved at that time. But, on December 11th, I had gotten wonderful news about a project I was working on — a book — and I decided to make copies of it for friends. My CD drive does not work right, so I decided to use M’s. I had used his laptop before, no problem.
It was about 12 pm. Lovely day. We had been to a lovely Christmas party the night before. Things were looking up with my work, my book, his health, our finances. Things were good, things were fun, we had each other. He was a clean freak, I was a Klutz. He used to joke, “Can’t have nice things” whenever I would break something due to my klutziness.
At about 12:05 that lovely day, I opened the laptop to discover that M. had an active visible profile on a gay sex site that is one of the most raw and explicit sites out there. On the other side of the screen was his “Skype” window. At 7:42 the night before, as I was making my way home from the gym and M was cooking “turkey meatballs with a reduction sauce”, he was also about to set up a sex session with another man that he had lured in from his profile on the sex site.
I looked in his Skype contact book. Utter devastation. There were at least seven other men in his contact book, all with naked pictures and erotic names. I literally felt as if someone had shot a gun inside my chest. My chest literally reverberated. I was in a mild state, or maybe a regular state, of shock. Come to think of it, there really was nothing mild about it at all.
I confronted him about it, he said it was “fantasy”. I said there was nothing fantasy about it. This was real, these were real men, and one of the worst things was that he was VERBAL with them, they could hear him, tell him what to do, and vice versa, things that we said to each other when we made love. It was shattering.
I left him, found my own place, went on anti-anxiety medication after I found myself drinking too much (I was just attempting to medicate with whatever I could) and when I came back to M two weeks ago, I told him, “So have you talked to your therapist?” He said he had, and he agreed it was a “disorder”. I asked what he would do about it. He said his therapist had recommended a “Kindle” so that he would read more, and that M was required to talk once a week to his therapist, on the phone (M was traveling for work at the time).
I told M, “what about Sexual Compulsives Anonymous?” He just bristled at that, shrugged his shoulders, lips twitched. He was like a zombie, a frozen little boy who could not say anything, who could not bury himself in my arms and sob and sob and say “Im sorry, Im sorry”. No. He was just frozen. I had never seen him like this. The ice that came between us was the antithesis of the years of warmth we had. I mean, I still cannot believe it. This was the person who always asked for a “goodbye kiss” when he went off for the day. Cooked for me, cleaned, cared, helped my bury my cat of 11 years, loved me, always asked me “Are you okay?” Cared, loved. But he would NOT say yes to Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and worse — much much worse…
HE NEVER SAID TO ME THAT HE HAD STOPPED. He never showed me that the profile had come down. It never came down.
It still hasn’t. I have snooped since I left, and I can see that his list of “gentlemen callers” on Skype has grown in leaps and bounds. It’s so very very sad and ugly and awful.
I reached out to his best friend and told his best friend the truth, not to gossip or malign, but to seek help. For God’s sake, M has his personal SKYPE ADDRESS on his sex profile, there for ANYONE to see. There are no “membership requirements” for this sex site. All you need to be is 18. Period. The same address he uses to talk to his father. Unreal. But now I am demonized for reaching out to his best friend. How dare I violate his privacy, etc. I must not — must not beat myself up for doing the best I could here.
Nobody — nobody gives you a manual for this stuff when it hits you like a mac truck. Nobody can prepare anyone for this kind of shock. I NEVER expected him to only think of me when fantasizing or masturbating. I never expected him to not look at porn when he wants. I even said to him, “I look at porn but most of those actors are DEAD.” But this — this was — and it is still — too much. It’s too much. Real men on his laptop, in our apartment, in our lives, with the cat walking around, and me on my way home. What? NO.
So I am on my own, living with my cousin in his extra room. My life is all in boxes. Here I am, writing to you. That is my story, and you are welcome to share it. I guess I’m “taking a risk” here if M or one of his friends can recognize who I am, but why should I care about that? This is a serious disease, and it is why I reached out to his best friend. I thought that M needed help. I still do.I still get concerned for his safety, his mental health.
I wish there was a way to go back in time, to pretend this never happened, or to adjust my brain so that the shock just won’t be there…as in, maybe I can “live with this”, let him “do his thing”. But then that would just negate the journey of hell I’ve been through. This has been one of the roughest things I’ve ever dealt with, for M was the person I was going to propose to, and there has never been anyone like that for me, not ever.
I call in to COSA meetings now, and I also rely on Al Anon (I’ve been going for 18 years). And I have an amazing therapist who does “EMDR”. I am blessed. But this is still very very hard, for I miss the life I had, though…
the life I had, wasn’t really the life I had, was it?
p.s. He also lied to me and so I got the “staggered disclosure” of how long he had been on the site, what pictures he used, etc.
Thank you Joann. You rock for doing this work. “D”