Okay, that poor cow has danced long enough. Let’s give her a break.

Hi Jo-Ann, what a wonderful and helpful site. I found this site via searching and have read many of the stories and comments. Thank you for all your time and effort on this site. I have no issue with you posting my story…it can only help 😉
My Story, Laura

I am 50 years old and Michael is 44. We met on line over six years ago. I was separating from my husband of 14 year (2nd marriage) and just wanted to meet with someone for a fling, was not looking for a relationship. Michael was in the same boat. We had a great time together for months and against the intent things started getting emotionally serious. Michael decided he didn’t want us to continue due to problems with his ex and then 6 year old son. During that time we did keep in some contact which is when he told me in an email that he was a sex addict, which I now know was the reason he had stepped back from our fling. I knew of his sexual history with strippers and hookers but didn’t put 2 and 2 together till that time. He did explain his struggles to me, but in hind sight I think I was more interested in just nodding my head vs listening. After 2 months we ended up seeing each other again and he was somewhat honest with me about his addiction.

I never believed in soul mates and was always jealous of friends that worked well and had fun with their spouses since I didn’t have that experience. Meeting Michael changed that way of thinking, I truly love him, enjoy every moment with him and cannot see myself without him. 4 years ago he moved in with me and this past June, on my 50th birthday we got married.

I am not a flighty or stupid woman, I have a excellent career and normal life. We enjoy all the normal stuff in our day to day lives. I have a 26 and 19 year old son, Michael’s son is 11. My 19 year old son has Asperger’s disorder. When he was diagnosed I did all the research, worked with him and did all I could to assist and prepare him for adulthood with his disorder. When my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I again did research, learned how to help him, handled taking his car (not an easy task) arranged all the specialists, moved him, found care for him ect. I guess when Michael told me about SA I was too busy enjoying my life with him and didn’t take it seriously enough to do the research and learn about this addiction.

3 years ago I had a gut feeling and easily I found a number in his bb, did a reverse look up, it was a escort service. I was very upset and hurt and he admitted that he was struggling with his addiction. I finally got on line, did research, supported him in counseling and was open and honest about this…in hind sight, to a point. We got engaged 18 months later and decided to get married in June 2010. The December before I started to have a gut feeling something was amiss…something was going on. I confronted him about my suspicions and he snapped at me (which he never does) making me feel bad for not trusting him. My gut is usually correct and a week later I noticed an odd posting on his hotmail “Christmas came early” He had been given a small inheritance and the cheque had arrived. I knew right then that he was paying for something to do with sex. I was crushed and he admitted to being on line, paying for chats and that he had been doing it for a few months…I discovered by past postings it started in Aug…a month after he discontinued counseling due to the benefits running out.

After many nights of talking, tears, stating I don’t want to get married etc we agreed to work on having a nice Christmas for our family and friends and decide what to do after the holidays. Gradually life returned to normal, we continued to talk and he swore he was off line and I believe he was at that point. At that point I also realized I did not want to be without him and I knew the chances of him slipping would always be there. Needless to say here we are, 4 months married and my gut feeling returned. Once again I was right.

This is where you and your site entered our lives a few days ago. I had read one of your posts a woman (I think Pam) with the list of rules to monitor her husband…very cleaver and it really made me chuckle. and think. I phoned Michael and asked him to print off all bank statements for the past 3 months which he eagerly agreed. Driving home last night I knew that I was right and would be coming home to bank statements with the truth. This time I had no hurt or anger, I would say I was numb this time except I had a knot in my stomach to tell me I was feeling something. Michael left me a letter on the kitchen counter along with the bank statements. I have attached a copy of this letter.

After reading his letter we talked and I was very “matter of fact” and seem to have been dealing with this in that format since. I showed him your site, ordered your e-book, talked more, had some wine and went to sleep. I think subconsciously I’m avoiding the pain and continuing with this business approach. I realized on my drive home tonight (80 minutes) that I don’t think I took this addiction to the serious level it needed. I also didn’t really grasp the struggles Michael has and still does have. I need to take this as serious as I took the Asperger’s and Alzheimer’s diagnoses. This is effecting me as much and in some ways more and I think I need to stop putting it on a secondary level.

I do not want to leave, or him to leave. I do want to work with him on his SA. I am now the administrator on the lap top, have the visa and discussed taking the bank card. I did not want to do this but I read your comment about the difference of control vs monitoring to help keep your life sane. Trust but verify…Ronald Reagan quote. Michael seems very sincere about wanting help and controlling this addiction. The oxymoron is we can’t afford private counseling but seemed to have the money for the on line sex shows/chats/sex 😉

So…this is just the true beginning for me on this site. I am searching for support groups in our area but no luck. Since I am looking in Toronto I’m sure I am not searching properly because this is a major city…with I’m sure many people/persons/couples having equal struggles. Any suggestions, advice or information is welcome. Thank you for this opportunity to share.

Laura

Below is Michael’s letter. I toiled over whether or not to include it as a lot of us are emotionally raw and really don’t want to hear that ‘same old, same old’ pity party that we already live with day in and day out. But, I think it may be important for some of my newer readers who may be thinking that their partner’s cries for help and seeming remorse is unique. Unfortunately, it is a very predictable pattern.

If you find hearing that same old Sex Addict talk offensive, please don’t read this letter.

Laura,
I’m writing this so that my thoughts are clear and my intention is truthful. I am by all accounts a “Sex Addict” defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behaviour which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment. This truly sums up mine / our experience together and I have been rightfully called out by you and your feelings. I have been in great fear of this moment even though we have loosely talked about my problem and can only hope that you after all that I have already put you thought, ask once again to forgive me and find in yourself just a little more love / strength to help me. I am ashamed of my actions, the lying, the stealing of time, the secret life, the waste of money and mostly the way that I have hurt you on more than 1 occasion. I have printed off the information that you asked for and placed it in a sealed envelope hoping that you will not open it, but for you to know that your suspicions are correct. I’ve spent the afternoon searching for help and going through all the terrible feelings that have been bottled up inside me. The many late nights of lying awake with the stress of what lay ahead. The embarrassment that my actions may have on you and everyone else in our life. I have now reached the lowest point that I can in my life with this addiction and want to believe there is a way out but am not sure how? I’ve made a mess of so many things and don’t know where to begin. I wish you could feel how much I LOVE you, even with this terrible thing that I’ve have brought into your life, my love is real. As I said this morning for me quitting the excessive drinking is a small step in the right direction. I should have talked with you about my thoughts…..I hoped that working on a healthier body would make fixing the mind easier……that being sober would allow me some control……that walking with you would give us time together and maybe open the door to conversations……..baby steps. BUT I forgot to include you the only person that counts. I go through phases of wanting, seeking, finding, guilt, denial, shame, time out and repeat. This has being going on since I was 15. Because I felt socially awkward around not only girl’s put people in general I started to use Penthouse as a sexual release and this is where I believe it started. The many hours alone in my room with the door closed reading the stories and then jerking off to the pictures. I started to find ways to get more magazines (befriend the local shop keep whom sold them to me underage) older brothers and other strange connections that at the time provided me with hard core mag’s. Even though I had strong longings to be with real girls my many attempts always seemed to fail even with what my friends called the easy one’s that would fuck for hit off a joint.

So I would retreat into my room and have all the sex that I wanted on my own. At that time it seemed harmless, but I didn’t know what a horribly dysfunctional person I was becoming. As I started to make more money and my luck with the girls was not going anywhere my buddies thought that getting me a hooker was the answer…..and it was at that drunken time, but this too lead to another pattern of meaningless sex, much like the magazines at my convenience and with no emotional input from me other than I got what I wanted, when, how and could leave without ever investing anything of me as a person into it. I’m truly not sure how I managed to have any type of relationship as this pattern of magazines, which turned to vhs porn, prostitutes mixed with phone sex, telephone dating, internet porn (the internet porn is why I know so much about computers because it helped feed my addition), massage parlours and then webcam girls. These things have always been happening over the last 25 years and feel so compelling that I don’t know who I am and or how to stop. I’ve tried many approaches to beating this, some sincere and others not so, cold turkey / will power, I’ve been forced into treatment some only to make things appear like I was trying and others I truly wanted to work. I have terrible sadness over this problem which I hope will not cost me your love. The one good thing that has come from my addiction is that I meet you. Until you came into my life I didn’t know what grown up love was other than a parent to a child. You have given me so many things for which I can never thank you enough.

HELP ME please,

Michael