Polls

Does Your SA Partner Suffer From ADD/ADHD?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Get New Posts Immediately

Want to know when a new post or article is published?
Just click the icon below and sign up for our feed.

Subscribe in a reader

My Boundaries For My Sex Addict Husband

woman on computer 150x150 My Boundaries For My Sex Addict HusbandToday I was looking through my journals (all electronic files on the computer), e-mails and chats that were written before and during my marriage to my Sex Addict husband.

Time does give us a different perspective on things. Even last year I would get depressed whenever I read those files. All the pain and anger would come rushing back as if it were happening right then.

Now, with almost three years of complete sobriety under our belts I am able to read those words with a remote objectivity. I see so many things that I did wrong, and so many that I did right.

This letter made me laugh. I guess I was just as ballsy back then as I am now. I hope it makes you smile. It’s word for word, unedited, written in August of 2007–almost three years after I first found out about his addiction and while we were still living apart in two different states.  At this time we were considering moving back in together, but I still had my doubts.

Larry,

I really feel that we are going forward on a good path.  We certainly have enough love, intimacy and relationship issues to deal with, and we do not need to have the cloud of your addiction hanging over our heads.

So, here is the plan (you had to know there was a plan).

We will install the computer monitoring software on your computer when you come down here.  I think that this will set a boundary for you. This may be all that we have to do. (I hope)

Now, let’s face it, you have used up all of your chances.  There are no more.  So, ANY crossing of a boundary takes you to the next level of restriction.  This assumes you are living here.

For example:

One click on a yellow light website, even if it goes no farther, gets you blocks on your computer.  In addition, you will no longer have any access to cash.  Not even a penny.  You will have to use your debit card for everything, and I will expect receipts for everything.  I will check your debit purchases to be sure you are not taking out extra cash. If you are going to 12 step meetings I will go with you once a month, once a quarter or whatever and hand you the cash to make your contribution, watch you hand it over and wait for you until the meeting is over.

One phone call to a hooker, even if she doesn’t respond means that you cannot take your cell phone with you when you are alone any more.

One ATM or cash withdrawal, even if you don’t use it, means you hand over your debit card to me.  You will only be able to buy gas, cigarettes, etc when I am with you and you will have to pack lunches.

If I suspect that you are somehow trying to get it for free we will install a GPS tracking system on your car with real time internet access and logs of times spent at every stop.  If I suspect you are using a government car for illegal purposes I will have you tracked and prosecuted.

If that doesn’t work I will kill you—slowly and without a trace.  Remember, I’m a nurse and I do know how to do it.

That’s the plan, plain and simple.  I do think that it will work.
jr

Well, it did work. I put monitoring software on his computer, which acted as a reminder to him that I would see everything that he did.  For over two years he kept detailed receipts of every penny he spent. He gave me online access to all of his accounts; checking, savings, credit cards and phone bills. His paycheck was direct deposited, so he had no other cash. This worked to make me feel a little more secure that he was telling the truth. After three and a half years of being separated Larry moved back in with me last May. Things have been really good.

I’m glad it worked– I didn’t want to have to kill him!

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. ~ Proverb

112 comments to My Boundaries For My Sex Addict Husband

  • Lorraine

    Joann,

    Wow! As suspected, you are indeed a force to be reckoned with!!! This is going to set you up very nicely for your second book.

    “When all Else Fails– How to Murder Your Husband, (Slowly and Without a Trace)”

    LOL

    I was just trying to imagine my ex (“non-friend” as I am now calling him) having even one of these “restrictions” imposed upon him, by his partner, or by anyone?!? ha! He’d sooner have his balls cut off!

    Limit setting though… very cool stuff. Some people never had it growing up. Its actually a form of child abuse and what can create a narcissist who thinks he’s entitled to do whatever he wants, without consequence.

  • Diane

    I’m glad this approach worked for someone. But I am no longer interested in being the sheriff. I’m not going to monitor and check and witness and track. For me, that’s not a life at all. We all have to make these choices our own way.

  • I totally agree. We all have to make that choice to stay or leave.

    Monitoring for the sake of control is not healthy and eventually becomes obsessive. Monitoring to validate that our boundaries, which WE have set, are not being violated is simply wise.

    Anyone who takes a Sex Addict at their word is a fool. But, along with ensuring that things are as they seem by monitoring, comes the necessity of enforcing the consequences if those boundaries are violated.

    Monitoring without accountability will accomplish nothing. And monitoring without the addict knowing about it really makes no sense. It has to be a joint effort with the goal being to reestablish trust.

    If we choose to stay in a relationship with a Sex Addict we need to face the reality that it will take years (at least) for them to prove that they are continuing their recovery efforts and are being honest with us. I know of no other way to rebuild that trust other than total transparency, and that occasional monitoring just to reassure ourselves when we have doubts.

    As the years go by and trust is slowly reestablished the need to monitor diminishes. But we should never forget that they will always be Sex Addicts.

  • BAMBI

    OMG!!! DIANE, your letter was HILARIOUS!!! I am past the checking bank statements, phone statements, looking for things I shouldn’t have to be looking for. He just finds other, sneakier ways to filter cash. His latest…he seems to have lost his wedding ring (this will be the 2nd lost ring) probably cashed it in for a visit to the spa, or down payment on a hooker! When I do get up off that thang…the only thing he’ll be able to afford is a low end crack ho!!! Glad things worked out for you, Diane. I’m with Lynn on this one. My husband would rather have his balls cut off with a butter knife, than do any of the above mentioned. He wouldn’t even cancel his $150.00 a month blackberry to save his marriage. Guess I’m not worth it!!! I know exactly what I am worth these days. I certainly don’t need his evaluation. In fact… good luck with the next wife-E. I suppose he’ll find some dumb girl younger than myself to pull his prince charming act on. They always do. They can’t stand to be alone. Mine has real issues with that. He at one point told me what he expected from me when he would walk in the door from work. Not just a kiss, but a long “make out” kiss. And lets not forget what he said about having a bad day at work. “When I come home after a bad day at work, I expect you to get down there, and don’t come up until I say when”. I tried doing that, but it always ends the same. He doesn’t like the way I do things (guess I’m not as practiced as his prostitutes)that’s when he finishes himself off. Whatever. Speaking of whatever…any body else tired of hearing about pooooor Tiger Woods? I know I am! Tiger Woods has all of the sudden become hubby’s greatest hero. I sat through last nights televised apology (hubby wanted to make sure I heard all of what poor Tiger had to say) I personally found it sick. What a BIG faker!!! Sounded like some of the same crap I’ve been told over the years. I think we need to make a call to his wife & invite her into our little club! I hope she used one of his own clubs on him after finding out what an ass he is!!! Not a huge golf fan anyway! LOL. Thanks for sharing the letter, Diane. 2 FUNNY!

  • Diane

    I don’t understand what is so hilarious about my posting–especially since you make my point for me, Bambi, in your opening remarks about your partner’s ability to find new ways to pursue his addiction that are one step ahead of your detective work. That’s the life I don’t want. There is nothing hilarious about it. It’s devastating to lose my partner of 30 years–to realize I was trusting someone who shouldn’t be trusted. Perhaps you feel better because of your sarcastic attack on my decision. I don’t. And I don’t know why you had to mock me to say nothing new. Sex addicts are addicted. They lie. They deceive those who love them. They break our hearts, but not my spirit.

    Joann makes an important point about the difference between trying to control the addict’s life through the constant monitoring, and underlining the boundaries which may allow a relationship to be reborn.
    Again, my point is that choosing to be the monitor has consequences that impact the spouse’s life in a profound way. It is a choice, and an significant one.

    I did not register for this online discussion to be mocked. You may be laughing Bambi, but I’m not. Your unnecessary cruetly found its mark. And it’s an easy mark isn’t it–women like me whose sorrow sits just below the surface all the time. A bully is a bully. I’m done with this site.

  • Bambi, I’m confused. it sounds as if your husband has no commitment to his recovery, continues to arrogantly pursue sex outside of your relationship, does not respect you, uses and demeans you sexually and thinks more of his Blackberry than he does of you.

    Why are you still with this jerk?

  • Lorraine

    Oh dear… Please don’t leave us Diane. We love you and need you!!! Certainly Bambi can speak for herself, but I truly don’t think she was attempting to mock you at all, but I do understand how some of what she said was perhaps a bit ambiguous and could possibly be misconstrued.

    Over-all though, I interpreted what she was saying as agreeing whole-heartedly with what you are doing and finds the “idea” of policing her husband (as you do) to be a “laughable notion” (in its absurdity)and not directed at anything you are personally going through or any decision you have made. And also, if I am understanding her previous posts correctly, Bambi is in the process of moving away from her also very long marriage by going back to school, so that she can be self-supporting and independent.

    It sounded to me that her sarcasm (which is really justifiable anger and hurt combined) is only being directed at her husband who is very sick.

    Sarcasm is sometimes very difficult to convey on e-mail and I know that it is easy for messages to be misconstrued, especially when there is no immediate way of getting clarification of ideas. Emotions are already raw and ultra sensitive (and for good reason!) but I don’t think that anyone on here is intentionally trying to cause any further hurt to anyone else on here.

    As for Tiger. Lets not be too quick to say which way he will go. I say, the jury is still waaaaaaay out on his eventual outcome. But, it takes tremendous guts to get up on national TV and make those kinds of admissions and he is also going back to rehab. To me he seemed completely sincere and committed to doing whatever it took to recover. However, it seemed that every word out of his mouth and every gesture or blink of his eye was analyzed and then analyzed some more! Let’s just wait and see…

    Its tough not to lose all of our faith, but if we don’t, then what hope is there?

  • seren

    All your stories are tragic. I agree with Diane’s comments re monitoring and tracking. I don’t see that as a life because I would rather be alone than be with someone who can’t be trusted to be accountable for his actions – but it’s a personal choice. I also agree with Lorraine. I don’t read Bambi’s comments as an attack on Diane. Rather, I think she sees a strong women who has made a decision, where as she is still bitter and confused and devastated about her own situation. I don’t think any of us should cast aspersions or give our opinions on why someone has made a decision to stay or go. I think this site is about support – regardless of whether another’s decision would be the same as our own personal one. I hope you all continue to post. xx

  • Lynn

    I wish my ex had agreed to my boundaries, but he did not. He did not agree to anything and no one can ever tell him what to do. He actually got meaner when exposed.
    So, if there are men that do want help and agree to boundaries, personally I think if it is a joint effort to heal the sexual addiction it can happen. It has to have monitoring and openness, but forgiveness can not be allowance. Mine wanted me to just drop what I was finding and made fun of me if I monitored and changed passwords and he just continued to lie. It has to go both ways, and in my situation, he felt nothing was wrong with him and he did not need help, he is in huge denial still to this day….or is the sociopath the courts suspect….but at the end it does not matter why they aren’t sincere.
    Himself and strippers, porn, other women were more important than me, our young son who is autistic, his reputation (which he tries to save by lying about me),his finances (he is now 200k in debt, not even counting the tens of thousands in cash spent on strippers, when we had no debt and a savings when he left 2 1/2 years ago. He has not paid me a dime for my equity in our house or our child’s medical bills even though all is court ordered) He could have put his three daughters from a previous marriage and our son through college on just the cash spent on strippers. He even opened a business for a stripper and named it after her 3 months after he left us. There is nothing wrong with him he still states, instead, I am not a good woman according to him. It is impossible to make any good come from this sort of individual, this sort refuses to accept responsibility.
    So if any of you have a husband who really wants help and agrees to boundaries and you are prepared to follow through if any boundaries are transgressed, personally that is the way I would have gone, mine just did not want help and became abusive.

  • BAMBI

    My apologies to Diane…I am truly sorry that I offended you in any way. It certainly was not my intention to hurt your feelings (or anyone else’s feelings) I did find your letter to Larry to be humorous, as you suggested we might. And yes, I did “smile” as you hoped some of us might. As I said…I am glad things worked out for you. I am still in my home, as it is to my advantage financially. My husband (of 30 years) claims to have seen the light. I just find it difficult to believe what he says, as we have had similar talks in regards to this problem before. As we all know…this is an addiction. Addictions make people do and say anything to get over. I’m just lookin’ out for number one!!! I have to be strong. It is all I have left! He isn’t strong enough for himself, let alone carry me. I have shared my weakest moments with him, only to have him use it against me when he is losing on the battle field. I think, maybe like a lot of you, find your husbands good in some ways, maybe many ways. My husband was the GREATEST (is great) just not when being confronted about his actions when caught. You just never know when that is going to be, as you all well know how good they are at keeping secrets, and getting around it when they are confronted. I am, and will continue to do all that I can to protect myself. My husband has to manage this one on his own. I , nor any one else can do this for him. If he is sincere when he says he is trying, then that’s great! I’ll be here. If he is not, then I have to be ready to accept that and move forward. It is not costing me anything to stay until I get my degree. Maybe things will work out. Stranger things have happened. If not…I’ve lost nothing, and I’ll have my degree and be on my merry way. I have to do what is best for ME. Have been far to trusting in the marriage, believing every thing he has said. I am simply looking out for my best interest. LOVE YOU ALL XXX. P.S. Again…apologies to you, Diane.

  • Caroline

    Bambi and Diane — I believe Bambi meant to respond to Joann’s original post, calling the letter to Larry “hilarious”, and she mistakenly called Joann “Diane”. She actually didn’t mean to respond to Diane’s first post at all. Is that correct, Bambi?

  • BAMBI

    Thank you, Caroline. I thought the letter to Larry was from Diane. Again… my apologies to Diane. I still think the letter was funny, and am glad that she didn’t “kill” him. I thought about using my husbands own power tools to gouge his eyes out while he slept, but thought better of it after considering what it might be like spending the rest of my days in prison, being some big girls “special friend”. Glad to know Larry is still alive! I would like nothing more than to have my marriage of 30 years go as planned. I wouldn’t wish this kind of hurt on my worst enemy. But, I have to be realistic about my future. Since I have been moving forward, taking care of ME, I have noticed a change. I think that less talkin, more action on my part has been beneficial, in that he is seeing that I will not give ultimatums, police his every move, threaten to leave, spill my guts. They are much like children at times, thriving on negative attention (at least my husband is). He is seeing that I am going forward, not waiting for him to make another mistake (as he calls it). That I won’t waste any more of my time playing the game with him. I don’t want to “talk” about the same problems, over & over with him in regards to our past problems. There is nothing new to say to him. He knows what he’s been doing is wrong. If he is going to change, then he will change on his own. For me, it doesn’t really mean anything if you have to force the person that you love to give back the same love and respect that you give to them. So…if he is to change, HE has to want change. I did tell my husband a while back, that if he wasn’t going to be the one to change, that I would. I took action. Less talkin, more walkin! I go about my business as usual (as close to usual as I can get). My actions have shown him that I will not go down that road with him again. No ultimatums, no policing, no threats to leave, no crying. I just do what I need to do for myself. Very important. No more “gas lighting”, which is a term used to describe the the arguments they will create, so that they can “light the fire” bringing things to the brink, then turn it around,and be the hero. Similar to the “honey moon” part of the cycle. They create all of this turmoil in the relationship, then bring it all home by being the guy that saves the day, telling you what they know you need to hear, all the right things. You believe what they say, make up,and they have saved the day. Basically, they start the fire, put the fire out and rescue you. No more for me, thank you. Think I’d rather burn at the top of the heap! If he really wants to be my “Hero”, he knows what he has to do & where to find me. I am a nice person (though I don’t think Diane thinks it) I try to treat people like I myself expect to be treated. But I am NO ONES fool. As Joan says…You’d have to be a fool to believe everything the SA says. I say little these days that might give him more ammo than he already has. I do what I think is in my best interest. I watch and listen. I have learned a great deal more in doing that, than trying to figure this guy out. These guys also know when they are under the magnifying glass of wife-e and are extra careful of their actions. So… I just keep rollin along and have pretty much left things up to him as far as getting his self straight. He is now realising that I do not need his financial or emotional support and that is very scary for him. It is not my intention to scare him straight, just seems to be an added bonus. He claims he hasn’t done any of those things since I last caught him…but how do ya ever really know? How do you know??? The sex addiction is such private thing. Unless you are at their side 24/7 than you really don’t know. It isn’t like a drinking problem, where they come home from the bar obviously drunk. You just have to take their word for it. My husband knows exactly all of the right things to say and when to say them, when it is of benefit to him. My husband is very well read and I’m sure has found a lot of useful information to use to his advantage. I would take him back in a nano second if I thought he was sincere. I have made that mistake before, as he is very good at what he does.They use the knowledge that is gained when arguing your point with them, to not make the same mistake twice that gets them caught. I am not saying he is a monster…just has a baked conscience. I am not making the same mistake twice either (mom drowned all the dumb kids!)If he can help himself to get things turned around and on track, as they should be, that would be a wonderful thing, but I am no ones fool and don’t plan on starting now. I am just trying to be honest with myself and practical in regards to my situation. I am not putting myself out of my beautiful home that I have worked so hard on. My children and grand children are very much attached to the house. They love coming to the “house of Nana’ ( as my kids call it). The house is a 1925 French/Nouveau inspired, 3000+ sq.ft.cottage style. It is very rich in it’s history and a one of a kind. I am very much into keeping the house original in it’s renovations and furnishings, going to auctions, tag sales ect. I’ll spend months finding the perfect light fixture, appliance, furniture or whatever…it has to be perfect! I love my home and my neighborhood! In fact… back in “the day”, Judy Garland would come for long visits, staying in my neighbors home. She had her own room/suite there. She would spend her visits buying furs and jewelry. How fun is that?! Every year I go on the historic home tours in our town. I’ve been asked three times now to open my home for a tour. The only reason I have not, is because I am still working on some things (probably will be till the day I die!!!) It still is a great compliment to me and makes me happy. I guess some may think it shallow…but I love my home and have worked very hard at making it a special place to be. So, no… I’m not just going to walk away from my home. I have a lot to lose and a lot to gain in staying. I didn’t get here over night and I won’t/don’t have to make any hasty decisions about leaving, simply because his behavior is wacky. When and if I do leave him, I want to be able to stay in my home. The house is paid for, but the property taxes alone are more than most people pay on a house note. I need to be ready and able to keep the home, when and if the time comes. If he can turn himself around great. If not, I need to be on it. Why make things harder on myself? I can stay here in my home that I love, that my kids and grand kids love, go to school, do things for myself and when I get my degree, well…who knows? Maybe husband will follow, maybe he won’t. All I know right now, is that I will do whatever it takes to get ME where I need to be. With or without him. I guess most would think this is extremely selfish on my part. Maybe so. I just know that in the past (the old me) would have felt bad for thinking this way. The with or without him attitude. Maybe it’s an age thing, a coping mechanism…don’t know. But it seems to be working out o.k. so I’m going with it! Hope Diane comes back. I really feel bad that she thinks I would intentionally be that mean. I should have paid more attention in reading the letter to Larry…thought it was from Diane. Again…I am truly sorry that I offended you, Diane. Hope you come back. LOVE&HUGS to you all XXX

  • Bambi,

    Thanks so much for all the background info, it helps us all to understand your situation (and you have a delightful sense of humor–I’m going to steal your ‘Mom drowned the dumb ones’ line). Sometimes we only get a ‘snapshot’ of who someone is when they make a comment and we ‘fill in the blanks’ with all the wrong stuff based on our own perceptions.

    Your courage in your situation is exactly the inspiration that many of us need. I am working on the financial section of my book, offering resources and options for women who are involved with a Sex Addict. The bottom line is exactly as you have stated. Many women choose not to leave for financial reasons, and we have every right to hold on to the assets that we have worked so hard and so long for. Staying for financial reasons is not shallow or creepy nor does it compromise our ideals or integrity. Often it’s just a smart choice. And, as long as we do it with full knowledge of why we are making that choice, then it is the right choice.

  • Diane

    Apologies accepted, Bambi.

    It is just so hard, isn’t it? Finding a safe place is a big piece for me, and thinking I had lost this forum just about finished me off. It took me months before I actually registered to participate.

    And thank you Caroline for tracking down how Bambi confused me with Joann (in spite of the weepy consequences, I think I’m flattered).

    On the financial side–when I was writing my last post, I was watching the “for sale” sign going up on the lawn. We aren’t poor, but with kids in university and my husband and I living apart, we can’t afford 4 households. So the main house goes. We are all sad about it, but I think it’s important for the addict to feel real consequences. This is one of them. And that takes us back to the boundary issue. Real consequences have to be felt by the addicts in our lives. It hit my spouse hard when he realized I was serious about selling this house. He thought he’d stay away for a few months and then come home. Well–home is gone. It’s as if they have to lose something they value, or they just keep going. And apparently, the house is valued more than the spouse???? Well, maybe that’s not fair–but I’m not sure what fair means anymore.

    Thank you, online team, for untangling the mess for me. And Bambi–may you find your way.

  • Diane–I’m so glad that you are back. We do love you. And, I hope that we can continue to help and support you through the difficult times and onward.

    I am always impressed by the strength and courage that women show when faced with a crisis. Whoever said that we are the weaker sex was definitely a very insecure man.

  • diana

    hello,
    well, my name is diana, and I want to preface this post with special emphasis on the fact that my name is very similar to diane’s, so try not to get too confused!!

    About a month ago, my boyfriend confided in me that he is a sex addict.
    I never fully caught him in the act (of course i was suspicious at times and never felt fully secure in the relationship) but his overwhelming guilt and birthing conscience forced him to come clean about his dirty sexual transgressions. Presently, we are in different provinces at different universities, which makes things a lot easier. We are also unmarried and in our early twenties, thus less is at stake. There are no children, no mortgages, no finances to make things more difficult, just simple, plain old foolish love and pride.

    I have not really found a forum to discuss the overwhelming trajectory of emotions, thoughts and questions I have and am experiencing. I stumbled upon your sight JoAnn, and your posts, Bambi and Diane, and could not help but feel a little lighter.
    I marvel at your strength, clarity, humour and wit.

    Just a few questions:
    should I stay or should I go?

    When, or should I say How can someone make a conscience decision to stay with the addict and provide for him a bottomless support system and put in the effort that should be spent making one’s own self happy, into a man that has a 95% chance in relapsing. How can you just be there for him, and hope for the promise of change when the odds are against it? I am nervous to love him and support him through this because I fear he is going to suck me dry and eat my soul, before gnawing on it slightly and then swallowing it whole.
    I am impressed JoAnn by your leap of faith

    And once my anger dissipates, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of compassion for him. For someone that is devoted to change and recovery. But of course my mind quickly asks itself, “how can you believe a lier?”

    Once an addict
    always an addict?

    ugh
    just feeling a little confused.

    • Karen

      I say you are young. give it another year and see if he continues his behavior. Don’t marry him though. Just keep a close eye on it. Dr Carns has a good book on sex addicts .Please read it ok. Good luck to you.

  • diana

    oh dear
    i spelled liar wrong!

  • Hi Diana and welcome–I hope we can help you. It is not often that I give advice (well, I really try not to, but I can’t help myself sometimes) as most of the people on this site need support for whatever choices they make, not another voice telling them what to do. But, in your case I feel compelled to give my advice, and I hope others here will do the same.

    If you do not have those long term ‘ties that bind’ such as years invested, children, emotional and financial bonds and such I would definitely say cut all interaction with this man and move on to a happy life.

    Anyone who stays with a Sex Addict gives up so much that there must be compelling reasons to stay in order for someone to make those compromises. Of course you feel compassion for this man, you are a caring human being. But, compassion does not require sacrificing a normal and fulfilling life.

    Living with a Sex Addict means that you will never experience the intimacy that normal couples enjoy. Your sex life will be chaotic to say the least. Normal, healthy sexual expression and intimacy is just not programmed into the Sex Addict’s personality and even lifelong therapy cannot change this.

    Most Sex Addicts suffer from depression, which can be controlled with medication, but is still an issue to deal with. In addition virtually ALL Sex Addicts suffer from Borderline Personality Disorders or BPD (sometimes described as emotionally unstable personality disorder) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD and Narcissism.

    Interpersonal relationships in BPD are particularly unstable. Typically, borderline persons have serious problems with boundaries. They become quickly involved with people, and quickly disappointed with them. They make great demands on other people, and easily become frightened of being abandoned by them. Their emotional life is a rollercoaster.

    Trying to be ‘just friends’ with a Sex Addict does not work. They will manipulate you and draw you into their drama. They will make you feel guilty for leaving them, swear that you are the only one who understands them, sometimes even threatening suicide if you leave. But, as soon as they feel secure that they have won you back the abuse will start all over again. They crave intimacy yet they will always reject it as it scares the hell out of them.

    So, unless you are going into counseling and want a life long patient destroying your life (watch ‘What About Bob? before you make that decision) you should grab your best pair of Nikes and run away from this man as fast as you can.

  • Diane

    Welcome Diana, but I hope (like JoAnn) that you will not need to belong to this fellowship for much longer.

    I wish (in that wishful longing way for innocence now gone) there was something to argue about in JoAnn’s posting, but there isn’t. This man does not have the capacity to love you and cherish you the way you deserve. All the good traits that make him special and unique are already being sacrificed to this addiction. Please don’t try to “HELP”. Only he can help himself by committing to a lifelong recovery/treatment program. And that is HIS work, not yours.

    Do not make a sacrifice that has no redemptive value. Choose life. Honour your own Life. Value your love. Be a good steward of yourself. Self-care is not self-ish. The world needs your gifts and talents–but when you find the right opportunity to offer the great richness of your passion and your love, it will bring joy as well as effort and sacrifice. Follow the joy, and Godspeed.

  • seren

    Hello Diana. I agree with Joanne and Diane. I am 36 years old and left my partner of 4 years when all suddenly became clear re his ways, narcissistic attitude and addiction. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I was deceived and I knew I would never be valued or loved the way I need to be. It was hard and still is because I loved/love him. He was selfish, confusing and at times abrasive and he was also loving, affectionate and caring. He was a sex addict cheat in simple terms. He led a secret life. He probably always will. But I’m still young and so are you. I had no financial ties to this man just emotional ones. I would rather be lonely and have no partner than have one like that. But, perhaps if there were children involved I would have fought harder. Like I did before I divorced my ex-husband (who wasn’t a sex addict but was certainly a womaniser). Looks like I don’t have a very good track record with men! What I’m trying to say I suppose is that life shouldn’t have to be that hard and love doesn’t have to hurt. But it’s easy for me to preach and what I will say is that it really does say something about him if he has come to you to tell you about his addiction. I would say that’s probably a major step because as far as I can gather, most addicts are happy with their secrets until they are caught. Only then do they want to change. But I could easily shout out to all the women on this site PLEASE PLEASE LEAVE HIM – THERE ARE BETTER MEN OUT THERE. At the end of the day it’s a personal choice and a realisation that there’s hard work ahead. I would say go with your head and your heart will recover or go with your heart and be prepared for dissappointment and discontent. Either way, and whatever choice you make my heart goes out to you. xx

  • diana

    Thank you all for getting back to me
    I really do appreciate the support, and from strangers too!!
    I feel however that I must lend a little more background information to paint a clearer picture.

    We met in Grade 11 on a study aborad program in Israel. Our relationship then was frivolous, innocent and intimate. After the program we went our separate ways and lived in separate countries for a few years and were reunited again in our second year university. (In our first year university, I still liked him, but he did not want to get back together with me and instead wanted to experience the “university” life style of banging as many chicks possible) We had an eight month tumultuous relationship last year (our second year in university) and I was consistently unhappy and felt insecure but did not know why. There was this tangible distance that he kept between us in order to maintain an illusion of freedom and sovereignty over his life. Regardless, I continued to stay in the relationship and yearned for that once carefree, beauitful relationship we had in Grade 11.
    At the end of university I decided to leave to travel and take a year off (this brings us to last may)
    We decided to be in an open relationship and tell eachother about the other men or women that we may happen to get invovled in.
    I told him about the men that I dated
    and he told me that he had not been with other women.
    (Obviously that was a lie, and only after I told him that i wanted to come visit him did he confide in me that he had been with women during the summer but lied about it)
    the rest of the story is too long and muddy, so instead I will just jump to the last few motnhs.
    I told him that I wanted to come back to university for second semester to give our relationship another go. His conscience got the better of him and he told me that he was unworthy of any of my sacrifices and my love and that I deserve better than him. I had no idea where this guilt was coming from. SLowly and surely, with little probing he told me that while we were together last year he cheated on me six times with anonymous men and fat/obese women. He told me that he thinks he is a sex addict and he wants to stop hurting me. He told me this and shortly after started seeing a therapist, told his close friends and joined SA meetings.
    I told him i supported his efforts in recovery, but that I cannot play a pivitol role in his life. He agreed and deleted me off facebook and other means of virtual reality so that he would not be tempted to drag me down with him.
    He is extremely commited to change, which is extremely beautiful to witness.

    So…yea.
    I mean, we have not spoken in a month and a half.
    he has tried to contact me but I do not respond.

    I want to forgive him
    but I am nervous that forgiveness with lead to kindness, which will lead to acceptant which lead to me falling back in love with him.

    I am still shocked.
    But I am impressed with his vigilance.

  • diana

    JoAnn
    do you experience true intimacy with your husband larry now? Has Larry changed? I know you said that healthy sexual intimacy is not programmed into a sex addicts brain, but is it possible to change that? Can the compulsion to have sex slowly dissipate with years of behavioural therapy? Can they be “enlightened” so to speak?
    The man that I was involved with is 22 and is the youngest by far in all of his SA meetings and moreover, he did not wait to get caught. For some reason I am inclined to think that he is a prime candidate for recovery and does not have a “severe” case. Yet, he is extremely wily, provocative, manipulative, selfish and a crowd pleaser.
    WHY DO I STILL CARE FOR HIM
    UGH
    i want to move on I do.
    but..
    I want to so badly trust him
    and believe in him.
    I am terrified of trusting him though because what if he betrays my TRUST AGAIN.
    Thank you Diane and Seren for your insight
    and you are right, and i have been taking a lot of time for myself
    and have never once tried to intervene with his healing process.
    I have serpated my self from him because I know that if I were to be involved it would be a hinderance to his recovery and take a significant toll on my own well being and mental health.

  • BAMBI

    Hey all…Thank you, JoAnn. Trying to keep my sense of humour. Diane, I’m glad you decided to come back. I felt really bad about our misunderstanding. I am sorry to hear about the sale of your home. I know it’s hard. These guys can really inflict the pain. After all of the excuses I have heard from my husband, I was just told that the reason he’s done many of the things he’s done in the past, is that he simply thought he could just “get away” with it. He says now, that he will do any thing to make me stay. That he doesn’t want me to leave, but that he understands why I would want to. Just when I thought I had heard every possible excuse! He is attending weekly therapy, and says he likes talking to his therapist. We’ll see. I have let him know that I am getting this degree, with, or without him. I know he is afraid that I will leave him, and for that, I am sorry. I lately hear of how bad he feels that his wife hasn’t “Come back”. He is missing everything that he lost when I found out about his activities. All of the nice “wife-e” things that we do for them, that they take for granted. I am fighting the urge to “help” him. Ahhh yes…the old “help trap”. Not falling for that again! I think maybe reality is hitting him. I told him last year that I wouldn’t be visiting this nightmare again with him. That I would be attending school, getting my degree. I let him know that I would be doing this with, or without him. I pretty much have left it at that. In the past, I would fall for his excuses & lies. Not this time. It has taken him nearly a year to get that I am not fooling around any more. Taking back my “girl power” is GREAT!!! Oh…and WELCOME Diana! Love You All XXX

  • BAMBI

    P.S. Diane… You are so right about the “losing something of value to them” thing! My husband nearly had a stroke when he realized I would be retaining my own cut throat attorney. His reaction at that time was…”That’s fair…take everything I’ve ever worked for.” Like it never crossed his mind that I might do exactly that if I ever caught him. And yet, that is exactly what he did. He thought he could “get away” with it. Don’t believe them when they say that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach…it’s all about the $$$. Although… at one point, I actually had a plan to feed him to death! Kill him with kindness. Extra bacon, sausage, lots of salt…I thought if he ate enough…he would just blow up, explode! Turns out he was trying to lose weight, politely refusing the extra smokie links at breakfast, passing on the mountains of mashed potatoes at dinner, and, our Dr. says that he needs to eat a lot of salt, as he now has been diagnosed with low blood pressure. CRAP!!!

  • Cindy

    Married 21 years. Two kids, 14 and 11 years old. Husband has OCD and depression which he i being treated(unsuccessfully) for. Today I opened the bank statement, I’ve been avioding this for years, only to find out that last month he spent $1100 on strip clubs. I am sick. I told him 2 things need to happen if he wants to stay in this family. First, he tells his doc everything and finds a counselor for his problem. Second, he turns over all the records from credit cards and bank statements over to me so we can see how bad this is and he must give me all his creditcards and debit cards. he has agreed, but not yet followed thru. I can’t believe this has happened to me. I am so humiliated.

  • Lynn

    Cindy,
    I’ve been there. His strip bars (and porn, affairs) destroyed my family. Mine went to a therapist and lied the entire time. He did not want help, just lied to everyone so he could continue. Quit going. Get online with the bank so you can watch everyday and go to the therapist with him so he can’t lie. But if he is not willing to be honest and desires to change, he won’t.
    Mine even opened a business for a stripper. He dated the strippers. He was there every day….and he ruined not only our family, but everyone’s finances (except the strippers)….and he never stopped, even after divorce. He had their phone numbers and would meet them outside the strip bar too. He has buddies and he was known as the guy to go to if you needed a stripper for something. The showdown was when I demanded he never go to a strip bar again. He left my son and I instead.
    I even had mine take me to “his” strip bar (he lied and did not take me to his regular one)and I sat across the table from him and said “here I am, why would you want the falsity and disgust of these women compared to the real love with me”….and I looked better than they did too! That did not even stop him.
    There is nothing you can do but arm yourself with the truth and knowledge. There is nothing you did to cause it either. Watch, be smart, make no excuses for him, and demand. Then act if he does not comply. Protect your finances. Protect yourself and your children. He won’t.

  • Diane

    Oh Cindy,
    my heart is aching for you. It is hard to believe it happens to us. And I understand your humiliation. It was so hard to start moving forward with MY life, because of the humiliation. But the only way out of that is to keep at the details that will build a life without humiliation for you and your children. Deal with the bank accounts, charge accounts, assets, and get good legal advice. Make yourself and your children safe first, then, if there is any hope for the relationship, you can build from safety and security. But that is NOT the first priority. At first I was trying to do what was fair for him, but now I ask what is fair for me. Hard lesson to learn that my innocent giving and forgiving was not the way out. Take some deep breaths, Cindy, and do what you need to do to restore your dignity and the dignity of your children.

  • BAMBI

    Cindy. Sorry to learn of your situation. These guys can seem so great at times, say all the right things (when they need to). Then they do all of these things behind our backs,and think nothing of it. When they get caught, they will tell you any thing! I’ve been married 25 years (together for 30). I’ve heard all excuses. My husband just recently said to me “I just thought I could get away with it”. He is going to weekly therapy. He claims he likes going. I suspect he hasn’t mentioned the real reason he is there. He’ll talk about his session a bit, then say something like…”We talked about my job today, and now I know how to better deal with some things at work” blah, blah. I know they talk about our marriage(what’s left of the marriage) as he is court ordered to his therapy at this stage of the game. My guess is… that he’s not tellin it like it really is. Now he’s bought a digital voice recorder to better remember his sessions, and whats being said to him. I’m thinkin…more like remember every thing HE says to his Dr. These guys lie so much, they can’t remember what they have said when they are called out on it. So, when he said he was recording his sessions, I was all happy. Then I said to myself… self, you need to stay on your game! If his intentions are to make things work, that’s great. If he is lying so that he can start again (once he thinks he’s in his “safe” zone)then that’s gonna be bad. Bad for him. Not me this time,sister! I get your “humiliation” thing. I don’t even shop the East side of my town any more. One of the spas that my idiot husband frequented, happens to actually share a parking lot with a store that I would often go to. I just avoid that side of town. Kinda funny…yesterday, I was talking with my therapist about all of my goofiness with “hubby”. She asked if I ever thought about just leaving the country??! She “gets” me, and is definitely a good thing. So, Cindy…GET GOOD THERAPIST FOR SELF!!! #1. Have a plan! #2. It does suck having to have a “plan B”. Especially after being married for so long. I didn’t work outside my home. But “plan B” is necessary. Get job, or filter $$$ from his account,his pants, whatever… but STASH the CASH, girlfriend! I’m starting over at 52! When I enrolled at the college recently, I was asked what year I was born. I replied…5-24-58. The young girl looked at me, and said 1958??? Then I really started thinkin (you know how we are). 1858? 2058? Just what was she getting at? A few years back, my grand daughter asked if I knew the Pilgrims! This was even worse, you know? Finding out just what prince charming was all about, with his prostitutes,ect. Now I have young girls asking 1958?! I’m 52, not dead! So, also important tip…TAKE GOOD CARE OF SELF!#3. I would like to say…spend as much of HIS $$$ as you can on YOU (not including the sacred stash). Get hair done, nails, new clothes (lets not forget the shoes, jewelry,handbags, ect.) Kids too! But that one is on you. It’s a personal thing, ya know. Don’t want to give bad advice to you. The taking good care of yourself part is good. The spending his cash could lead you into other problems. Like you don’t have enough problems to deal with. For me, it’s workin! I used to be all “wife-E”. I dressed like a wife should dress. Nice,but not “FLIRTY”. When I found out what was REALLY goin on…I emptied every closet, and drawer in my house. I immediately went to the malls & proceeded to SHOP! I’m now wearin platform shoes & sportin a 1/2 inch zipper (that’s taken some getting use to)on my skinny jeans, which are also taking some time adjusting to! I just feel better, look better, plus…I want him to see how good I look from behind & what he’s missin out on as I make my way out the door on my way to school, workin on “the plan B”, leaving him on his own to figure it out. That has been my best tool ever. He’s just now getting that I’m not kidding around, and now he is all concerned (and on probation). While I just keep rollin along. I have made it clear for him, that I am going to “save” myself. That I am doing what I need to do, because his “word” doesn’t mean diddly any more, and that this is not like all of the other times, the porn, hotel receipts, phone sex, whatever. This time he crossed the line with the prostitutes. If he can turn things around, great. If not, I’m ready to do what ever it takes 4 ME! My guy would say anything to save his own behind, yours probably as well. Focus on YOU more. Sounds like your guy has a lot of free time on his hands, going to the clubs (my guy did as well). Maybe you can give your guy a special little gift! A card (bought with HIS $) saying…Hope you enjoy watching the kids, honey! I’m going on a vacation. Be back in 2 weeks! Signed, the WIFE. I figured my husband had enough time to do all of his extra activities, he must have time to do all of the other things around here that needed doing. Needless to say, the list is very long these days. When I go to get my hair done, hubby has a looong list of things that I expect to be done on my arrival. So much for that spare time! Every one is different, ya know. Make sure you get a good therapist. They are your best tool. Your “gal Pals” are good as well, but be careful as they can at times make things worse if you are trying to work things out. Some of my gal pals wanted to burn him alive while he slept in his man-chair! Though I did agree with them most times…probably not in MY best interest. Take good care of yourself. P.S. Welcome to our little club, Cindy. Hope things get better 4 you. WE ARE GIRLS!!! WE HAVE GIRL POWER!!! XOXO

  • Matthew

    Hi Ladies,

    I am a sex addict in recovery in SAA and working with a sex therapist. I have only been in recovery for about 2 months. It’s work but I am willing to change for the rest of my life. Your emails have been very helpful to me.
    I am engaged and planning a wedding. I have been trying to decide whether to
    a) disclose to my fiance’ my past behavior and ask her to come to therapy with me and go to COSA and try and work things out with our relationship, as I have seen some men do that attend the meetings I go to or
    b) disclose my past behavior and leave the relationship, or
    c) simply leave the relationship.
    I have been writing and meditating and talking to men who have been abstinent from their bottom line behaviors for years in SAA and my therapist and I think I am going to leave the relationship. I do not want to inflict the pain I hear you wonderful souls have and are going through. One fear I have though is that if I don’t tell her why I need to leave her and let her live a better life without me is that I think if she doesn’t also get help she will pick another guy just like me and go through the pain again. She has always picked a guy like me. She is an amazing woman but from what I’ve read and heard, she is a co-addict. And that we attracted each other. I am so destroyed over this and can’t imagine what telling her what I was doing during our relationship would feel like to her.
    In your opinion… Do you think it’s best I leave the relationship and not tell her anything by simply letting her know that I just don’t want to get married? Or is it better to leave her and let her know the real reason why? Seems like a lot of extra pain. I have witnessed men recover and live happy lives with their spouses – I just don’t want to put her in a place where she is always wondering. I think that would be selfish and unfair on my part. Even though I believe it’s up to her to either love me as I am or let me go… I think she and pray that she move forward in life after a relationship that just didn’t work out and find a guy that is not a sex addict and does not have to go to meetings and therapy for years and years.
    I hope I have not offended any of you. You have already helped me by me being able to read your painful stories. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I wish you all the best. You deserve it.

    Sincerely,

    Matthew

  • BAMBI

    Hey all…(& hey to you 2 matthew). Matthew, ya sound like a reasonable guy. You are asking if you should tell your fiance’ about your sexual preferences/addictions. I wish my husband of 30 years would have talked to me, instead of lying, cheating on me, making/letting me believe it was something I was doing, or not doing, making me think that I wasn’t what he wanted, or a hundred and one other things that went through my mind when I wouldn’t get a straight answer from him. He just left me wondering. My husband now tells me that it was simply too embarrassing to talk about. In fact…he’s told me a lot of things…except what I really needed to hear… THE TRUTH. I am SOOOO angry at him. Angry that he never trusted/believed in me enough to tell me what he was going through. I’m a pretty forgiving soul, but what he has done has pretty much DESTROYED every thing that I believed in for the last 30 years. I will never see my husband as I once did. The man I loved so much. The man I would have walked to the end of the earth for. I gave him EVEERYTHING. Now I can’t even look at him without thinking about what he has done. He reminds me daily, that he can’t “UNDO” what he’s done. He’s absolutely right! It will never be the same, and now, he is sorry that his marriage is in the shape it is in. Be a stand up guy…tell your fiance’. Give her the chance to make her own decision. I’M SURE SHE IS CRAZY ABOUT YOU! You might be surprised. Best of luck to the both of you.

  • Lorraine

    Matthew,

    I dunno… you are a most brave boy. I will try to be gentle. LOL… In all fairness, my husband is not a sex addict, but I am in an open marriage and I was involved with one and also was the “whistle blower” (to his partner) which in my heart, knew was the “right” (there was no right) thing to do, except that by so doing… I knew I was also causing a lot of pain. very sucky situation.

    Sweetie… Whatever you do, if you love this woman and it certainly sounds like you do… Do NOT just dump her without telling her what is going on and do not assume that when you tell her, that the relationship is over. This will be certainly be quite the test, but life is full of tests no matter what and what better time, than BEFORE you get married. She may really surprise you! I did not ask to have an autistic child, but God had other plans for me. Yes, indeed. Her “curve ball” may be the best thing that ever happened to either of you.

    Life can be like that.

    But, here we go… and I know it isn’t easy… but, you must always TALK… and especially about the though stuff. Cause, no matter what, there will always be tough stuff. I think this is what gets people in even deeper trouble, is the idea that its all “okay” as long as he/she doesn’t know, and that can apply to many different situations in life. It is not okay. She is your partner, but I think you have a very special awareness… Cool!

    This is certainly going to be a bomb, but there are ways to do it (consult your counselor, perhaps) and yes, couples counseling is a first start. It will be painful, but not one fraction as painful as if you just leave her for no “apparent reason” (she would eventually drive it out of you anyway – right ladies?) :) or even worse, if she were to find out as most of wives have, “not by him”, but by some other means. Traumatic doesn’t even begin to cover it. Please remember, it is not the act nearly as much as the betrayal of trust and total DISREGARD for someone that you have claimed and vowed to love more than any other being on earth. Also, you are not responsible for her actions either, no matter what. You are two separate beings.

    By being honest and open about your problem, you have the possibility to actually deepen your bond and levels of trust. If it was me, and I loved you, it would touch me deeply that you had confided in me this way. If she is looking for a “perfect” man with no flaws or problems whatsoever… well… she is going to be looking for the rest of her life.

    Well, that’s my two cents :)

    Keep us posted!!!

    xo,

    L

  • Larry

    Matthew – This is Larry, you know the one that is the reason for this site, JoAnn’s husband. JoAnn asked me to read your post and offer my thoughts to you, man to man, addict to addict. I can tell by what you wrote, we have a lot in common. First I admire your willingness to give up your relationship to save your fiance (sp) the pain of your acting out behavior. There’s a problem though, (I’m going to scream now)”IT’S NOT YOUR DECISION TO MAKE” – “THAT’S HER DECISION”. OK sorry, I just wanted you to hear it. Now you think she may be a co-addict, but you don’t know. As addicts we are and can be controlling and have a tendency to “know what is best”, we’ve had lot’s of practice while hiding our secret life. Pss’t we’re wrong, I’m wrong, your wrong. You have the typical black and white thinking that addicts have. It’s taking a long time for me to begin to see shades of gray, and like a typical addict I can and have had lapses of black and white thinking.

    I’m going be a typical adict and tell you what is “the best course of action” for you to take. Seriously my friend, you need to tell her and let her make the choice to stay or leave. If she decides to stay or leave, she will need support. That’s what this site is for, her and other spouses/partners of guys like you and I.

    Matthew, I admitted my addiction in 2004, It wasn’t easy for me and I know this is not easy for you. Now, one more thought – when you tell her, you need to tell her as much as you can remember. Staggered disclosure just drags the pain out for you and her. Trust me on this, I’ve been through it.

    Matthew, I wish you the best in this journey back to sanity. Larry

  • JoAnn's Husband

    Matthew – Take what Bambi and Lorriane have told you seriously. They are telling you the straight stuff. No BS.

    Larry

  • Lorraine

    Thank you Larry — And here’s back at ya… Matthew — Larry said it even better.

    Now, who was it that said that women are complicated?

    Hmmmm… Guess that would’ve be from someone who can only see either black or white. :)

  • Hi Matthew,

    Congratulations on your commitment to recovery, I wish you all the best. It will be a long hard process but you will definitely find a sense of peace in your life that you have never had before.

    Have you discussed how to handle this situation with your therapist? I know that at this point working on the addiction is probably the focus of your sessions, but, with an upcoming wedding you do have your fiance to consider, so decisions must be made soon about what each of you choose to do. Your counselor may suggest that you tell her about your addiction during a joint therapy session with you, your fiance and your therapist.

    I think making any decision to leave her without even discussing the reason would be cruel and damaging to her. Don’t concern yourself about whether or not she has issues with men or co dependency or co addiction–that is her problem, and right now you have more than enough to deal with in your own recovery without diverting your attention toward trying to analyze her problems.

    My suggestion? Complete and total honesty. There just is no excuse for anything else. Recovery is all about giving up the lies and deceit and being honest and transparent and if there is any hope for your relationship it must go forward with complete honesty.

    How will she react? No one knows until it happens. We don’t have control over what other people do or how they will react to our truths, we only have control over what WE do. As difficult as it may seem, just take a deep breath and tell her what you have been going through. Women are stronger than you think, we can handle the tough stuff–as long as we know what the tough stuff is. What we can’t handle is the lies, the deceit and that nagging, ever present gut feeling of knowing things aren’t right but not knowing why.

    So, just trust her, share your pain with her. And then, let her make her own decisions about staying or leaving, going to COSA and therapy, etc. Those are her choices, not yours.

    In the end it will be your fiance’s choice if she wants to stay with you and work it out; leave and never see you again, put your relationship on hold for a while, or maybe just put the wedding off for a year or two and see how things go.

    I know this is a very painful and difficult time for you. I hope that others here on this site will give you their suggestions and support. We are all here for you–and for her if she would like to visit.

    Please keep in touch and let us know how things are going. In the meantime you are in my thoughts and I am sending all good energy for your recovery.

  • Matthew

    I hope this makes sense I am a bit beat. Thank you all so much! You have given me new insight and a new hope. It’s very overwhelming. In a good way. A scary way. But I will talk again to my therapist Monday morning – he mentioned doing a disclosure in a session with a female therapist with him. What I am also trying to decide is whether I am in love with her or not and I feel like my head is just coming out of a fog like Rip Van Winkle. I am waking up to this life that I’ve been asleep for way too long.
    What I think I am understanding is that even if I leave her because I decide I am not in love with her is that I owe her the truth and it will be much better in the long run for her to have a tangible reason to understand what was wrong? Then she will have an opportunity that is right for her to decide what she wants to do with the information?

    I get confused right now what is the right thing to do or if I am being self centered. I want more than anything to continue to get better and I am so thankful that you are all here.

    Like I said before I talk to my therapist – a man and men in the program and I wrote in my journal this morning, I wish I could hear her side. And then I divinely found your site. As I go through this I will most likely be back for more advice. I appreciate all your words of your experiences and hearing a man’s voice in the midst of it all and not holding back helps me to see more clearly. I was so scared to read the responses and as I said they are very helpful. Again, thanks so much.
    Matthew

  • I would be beat at 3 am too! I hope you got some sleep last night.

    If you are questioning whether or not you are in love with your fiance that puts a whole different light on things. We could look at this from a viewpoint of your personal boundaries and what you choose to share with others.

    If the main reason you are leaving her is because you are not in love with her, then that may be the only reason you want to give to her. Telling her about your addiction is optional and completely your choice. But, if you want to stay in the relationship, or if there is any chance that it will continue, then telling her about your addiction is absolutely necessary.

    Now I don’t want you to think that you can get out of telling her about your addiction by dreaming up some other excuse for breaking up with her, and then later just drifting back together. That won’t work.

    You see we each have personal rights to make choices–yes, even bad ones, and we are responsible for those choices and for any consequences. Sex Addicts have difficulty with setting boundaries and making healthy choices. I am merely pointing out some options for you to consider.

  • seren

    Hi Matthew

    I was going to say I wondered whether or not you actually loved her from your first post as you seemed unsure as to whether you want the relationship to continue for reasons other than what your addiction and betrayal might do to her. I would say always be truthful and honest no matter how hard because it’s deceipt and saying nothing that leaves someone who loves you dead inside and confused and damaged by the uncertainty of what has happened. It sounds like there are 2 issues you need to deal with here. Your own commitment and feelings about your relationship and your addiction and how this will hurt her and affect your relationship. That’s difficult for you and tragic for her. Best of luck.

  • seren

    Hi Matthew. I did send a reply to your post but possibly it was not deemed to be very helpful to your situation for some reason. I was with a sex addict but I left him – that was my choice. I think it’s good that you have comments and advice coming from all these different perspectives. Perhaps my post didn’t register on the site or perhaps I shouldn’t be on this site anymore because I am moving on and healing from my own devastation of my situation – albeit slowly – and am possibly not someone who’s opinion is valid to this site. Everyone’s pain is valid, including yours. I am also of the opinion that all comments are valid. Good luck with your situation. And good luck to everyone else. xx

  • Hi seren,

    I checked my comment logs and I do not see anything else from you that has not been posted. I have not had a problem as of yet with comments getting lost, but maybe you are just the first to point it out.

    Your comments ARE VERY IMPORTANT! Everyone here has a voice. I do not edit comments or prevent them from being posted even if I don’t agree with the viewpoint. This site is for everyone and each of you has a right to your opinions.

    I am glad that you are moving on, but it is such a long and painful process and I know that everyone here is ready and willing to help you through the process, and, of course, we need updates as we wonder how you are.

    Please send your post again and stay with us.

  • I found it! Somehow it got buried in the ‘spam’ folder. I have a spam filter which automatically filters out all those comments from entities that want to link to other websites.

    Sorry, I’ll have to check that folder more often.

  • seren

    Hi – thank you for finding my post:-). I think that perhaps I’m a bit sensitive at the moment. I hope I’m moving on. I’m really trying. I have forgiven him (I had to for my own well being) and he has been in touch and accepted that I had to leave but without acknowledging any of my pain. He can’t. All he can do is tell me that he feels a great loss everyday because he cannot share what happens in his life with me. Really, he was always this way and I accepted this before because it was enough – before I found out. I accept this now. But I feel like a part of me has left and won’t come back because I’m so sad. He got me – in a different way to the way anyone else ever has. I still love him but I know I have to let it go. Sorry to sound so morbid. I’ll keep reading. And hopefully Matthew will too! xxx

  • Diane

    Dear Seren,
    Yes, it is very sensitive time. I’ve been down that road too and this group of great women pulled me back–working overtime to untangle my sensitive mess. We all need people who will do that for us, when we just don’t know how close we are to the edge sometimes.

    Keep at this thing called “life”. There is still beauty and laughter and love. Let the ugliness go.

  • seren

    Dear Diane and Joanne.

    Thankyou.

    xxx

  • Sonya

    Back to the original posting, boundaries….

    My husband and I have set boundaries for his recovery together. I, like Joann, have monitored to the point that I am comfortable that the boundaries are not being crossed. He is aware of the monitoring, and understands it. I do not feel like a sherriff or whatever. I only do what I feel is necessary to gain the trust back.

    I do not feel as if my life is ruined because I am in love with a sex addict. Yes, as spouses of addicts, we live a different life than “normal people” (if there is such a thing). We do have to be conscious of the triggers. We have to be conscious of the ways they deceive us. It is like any other addiction. When their behavior changes to someone you know as the “bad” one, they have relapsed back into active addiction, and we have to pay attention for the personality switch flipping.

    I suppose the difference is that my husband is a willing participant in the recovery. He isn’t just here so he can use me and our finances to further facilitate his addiction. He recognizes the problems that caused the addiction in the first place and is working on those areas first and foremost. If you treat the break, the bone will heal. He has found where the “break” is, and is treating that. Of course, a solid foundation of support is necessary.

    I know my husband is committed because he sat down with MY parents and detailed EVERYTHING for them. Of course they were willing to kill him at the time I believe, but they supported me to begin with, and my desire to support him. They have come to see the changes he has made, and now do what they can to support HIM. I think he has found this invaluable.

    Matthew:
    If you are committed to sobriety, and it sounds like you are, tell your fiance what you are struggling with. Let her know you are active in finding support and therapy. Let her know you love her if you truly do, and let her make the decision to stay or to go. I love my husband and made the decision to stay and support his recovery. So far I have not regretted that decision, because HE IS SINCERE about his recovery. He is honest. I still check, but so far, he has come a long way toward gaining back trust.

    I wish you all success in whatever road you choose. Thank you Joann for your support, as well. Sometimes I need someone who understands what I am going through. While his addiction is like drug addiction, keeping cocaine out of the drug cabinet is relatively easy. Keeping sex sobriety is not so easy. It’s defining what that actually means, and then learning not to let the triggers in everyday life (the smiling bank cashier that compliments your shirt) be triggers at all.

  • seren

    Boundaries. It’s very heart warming to read about couples who discuss boundaries and are committed to recovery and about partners who want to do everything they can to recover. That’s what the partner of a sex addict needs. Keep posting! x

  • Pam

    I am recently married but we have been living together for the past three years. I first discovered his porn usage two years ago, when I found him reading erotica, and then subsequently found hundreds of stored sites on his computer. He has sworn that he’s not an “addict” (he hates that word. I have twice, since our marriage, been physically abused, due to my questions regarding huge amounts of KB on his cell phone, as I look at our ATT online account. He and I both are in individual counseling…he, for his “anger management”, and myself, for my “paranoia and constant badgering” The problem here is that I am certain that he is a sex addict, and he is in total denial. I found him reading erotica two years ago and then later found hundreds of downloaded porn sites stored on his computer. I have all the control of our checking accounts, credit cards, etc., as he gave me the job of paying all the bills. I felt it a legitimate question when I asked what all the data was coming in on his phone, and yet I was thrown to the floor in an attempt to reteive his phone, which I had in my hand. He wanted to kill me to avoid my finding something on his phone. He claims that he’s not doing porn at all. But the more that I read, the more patterns and behaviors are exactly like ours…only, he’s never owned up to it. I knnow that he will need to be caught red handed before he’ll ever admit that he has a problem. And the more I read, the more I realize that I deserve to be loved and valued…which I don’t feel right now. Thanks for listening!

  • Candy

    Wife or MOM?

    IDK. . .my husband has the same problem and we have two sons together. I am about fed up with him after 9 years together. I don’t know how you monitor and put up with it. I can’t help but think someone better is out there.

    • sw with 2 boys

      Candy what did you do? I am 10years in a marraige with a sex addict and two wonderful boys 4 and 7. Every thing about my marriage is great but the bedroom. He has cheated. And the atempts to cheat,one was with an 18 year old friend of my daughter. I have a daughter from being verry young and rasied her very well for 11 years on my own. When I met my husband I really had given up. Never thought I would get married. I always had the dream of a faimly. Well my dream has been hell. 1st chear was 1st year of marraige and I forgave for real. Then we had our 1st son. Things where ok. I started working from home and I did not like that too much but I did not have to lave my baby. Then I got preg with my 2nd child which my husband did not want. Hell broke loose. He had a text mess afair with his best friends wifes best friend. Then 8 mon preg was when he did the go after my 18 year old daughters freind who had been coming on to him. I never forgave hime and we that has been 5 years. I just found an email saying hey good looking thought you would be married by now. Call me. This was to a girl tha had a crush on him in shcool. Of course he says he will get help and stop but I herd that many time. He is a great dad and I do love spending time with him. I love our family. I don’t want to give up. But I have not wanted sex with him for years because I know in my heart he will never stop. What to do?

  • Carrie

    omg – glad to have found you guys! I have been feeling alone and CRAZY! I am in my second marriage – first hubby was an alcoholic….stayed because of the kids (not really – probably stayed because i am terrified of being alone / abandonment). I became involved with a co-worker (while still married) and was smitten – he was so sexual and seemed so open and worldly. I was impressed beyond measure. Fell completely in ‘love’ – we started a business together – and had a baby. We do get along well – usually. But if i am honest – it is good when i do what he wants and be my usual pleaser self.
    We started to experiment more and more – and to be honest – i found it very exciting. Watching him with other women seems incredibly hot and i get off on it LOTS! But – deep down – what is that really all about???? Me controlling him (or thinking i have some control)? OR – is it me getting off on the pain of seeing my biggest fear? Maybe sounds weird – i am just confused….btw – he loves to watch me with other men – i do it and fake that i like it. sick and needy, hey?
    also – he has stopped sweeping me off my feet – no more passion, kissing, cuddling like at first – just sex – either with others or fantasizing about others – it’s all he wants – so i give it like a ‘good little wife’. wouldn’t want to be abandoned…

  • Carrie

    ps
    can someone help me with this one….
    he went out to drop off a horse yesterday – and apparently some woman with a broken leg (pity) needed a ride from the gas station to the highway…he obliged and she offered sex for money???? showed him her triple h boobs….he ‘said no’ and dropped her off. he told me the story and how turned on he was – when i asked further details he got mad and gave me the silent treatment – AAARGHHH!!! i feel crazy – like i am the jealous insecure wife….what the hell is this? i left with the baby for the day because i hate the silent treatment…then i came home and he acted like all was ok…i just dropped off baby and went out for a few more hours – and he is mad again….i have no one to talk to about this – who could possibly understand this madness?

  • Lynn

    Carrie.
    A broken leg?
    3H boobs? Now how does he know this and why was she even in the car?
    I remember half stories and such, but his story and his reactions seem to me that he is simply enjoying your reaction.
    This scenario is just like the stuff that used to drive me crazy. The girls hitting on him everywhere he went “he said”…..till I found all his emails and it was him hitting on EVERY THING!
    We all live in the real world, and people just do not get hit on the way our SA hubbies would like us to believe. What I found is mine was doing all the set ups and intros, not the other way around. Constantly…..and he still is with the girlfriend he is with now, and she has no idea.

  • Jane

    Hi Carrie,
    Boy, I read your posts and things really sound confusing for you. It sounds like you want to make a change, but I’m not sure exactly what kind of change you want. Maybe that’s a good place to start. It does get confusing when women begin to participate in the “acting out” of their SA partner. But it sounds like you don’t like it. Do you think your partner could become violent if you refuse? Are you and your baby safe with him? Do you have some money to go somewhere else while you think things through?

    I think you need a therapist immediately to help you frame your feelings so that they aren’t so overwhelming. I also believe you shouldn’t have to do anything sexually that you don’t want to do. But I’m concerned that if you change “the rules” now, you might be in danger. So please make sure you and the baby are safe, and start working your options through with a therapist. You can do this. You can change the direction of your life in the way that is healthy and true for who you want to be. It starts with the first step.

    We all wish there was any “easy out” of the messes we’ve been living in, but it’s mostly just hard work that’s really worth it in the end. You are worth the hard work. Believe it. And so is your baby. Don’t raise her in an environment that teaches her she is at the mercy of a man’s sexual compulsion. You can both do better than that. I’m sending you some strength and courage. Grab it and take the first step.

    hugs, Jane.

  • sanityregained

    Lynn,

    Again another OMG moment for mr.

    I was always flooded with stories from my SA how women were hitting on him all the time..in flight it would be a co passenger or the hostess, at work it would be each and every co worker,at home it would be every neighbour..so much so that he once told me his daughter’s friends ,18 year olds (he is 50) found him “hot”.

    It used to make me very uncomfortable and i yet wonder what was his reason for doing so.Was he just living out his fantasies or was it that he enjoyed my discomfort?

    I am an attractive woman myself.I have never been hit on as much in my entire life as my SA got hit on in 1 year, in spite of being a woman.(statistics do show that women get more hit on than men).

    Even my Sa would describe in great detail the physicalities of all these women.

    I have just realized that women are on their minds 24×7.That’s all they can think about and that all they want to talk about.

    Scary space , their heads !!!

  • sanityregained

    Yikes..hit became “hot” at one place and “heat” in another in my post.

  • I fixed it! But, it was kind of cute. Freudian slip?

  • Mayam

    Sanity regained – so my SA isn’t the only one! I was also inundated with his stories of women hitting on him non-stop. The mom of one of kids he coached in little league, his college student-intern (he’s also in his fifties and not in a George Clonney way), once he claimed two college coeds grabbed his but while he was in line for coffee. And, I too enjoyed the stories that his high school daughter’s friends found him “hot”. Yep, exactly. Now, all of this struck me as impossible because we women don’t tend to throw ourselves at men – at least not in the kinds of circumstances he described.

    I am an attractive woman also and I decided the stories were likely all fabrications because he was monumentally insecure. He too seemed to enjoy making me jealous. I tried a strategy of not showing any jealous at all and instead saying, “Of course they hit on you because you’re so handsome.” That seemed to stop the behavior.

    I think your right – they are sexualizing everything all the time, constantly fantasizing about every female who crosses their paths, telling themselves naughty stories about each.

  • Lynn

    Ha! Since we love, or in my case lovED (exceptionally pass tense, but ouch, it took some beatings and hurt like hell) our hims, their bragging/lying for sure illustrates their vast inferiority/lying.
    Why do they need approval of women so much? Why do they have to seek the sleeziest most mundane banter in active pursuit to feel? It would bore the hell out of me, but then I am real and would never lower myself to that nonsense. For what? Why would I want to? But they can’t stay away from it….addict for sure…..but there is a reason they are addicted….the reason they alter/devastate theirs and everyone elses world.
    Yep, “all the women are after them” yeah right, they lie to them and us, because the only way they feel like men is with our attention. Pretty sad, and delusional, and needy. Using women, all, to somehow make themselves men?
    I have had such enlightening being with my now new husband….he is a man, a real person, no smoke and mirrors, and men and women flock to him to know him because he is REAL and GOOD. I never realized all those years I was married to my previous husband why it was he had no friends (except the guys he would cheat and strip club with -good old boys-secret secret club)….because he could not have a relationship, he knew and could feel nothing on his own, he had to get every bit of his self worth from others….mostly women (who he sapped sympathy from with tales of being in a “bad marriage”- reading all his emails about me to the other women left me in shock….and women believe these lies!) and then sleezy men that were impressed he could buy strippers.
    What a sucky existance. But, and the big one is, they completely knew what their actions meant, and decided for it fully knowing.
    Doesn’t that say it all?
    No, they were not after him, he was actively, daily pursuing them and with horrendous lies about me…who had no clue. So we have cheater, liar, sex addict, and back stabber of the worse kind. We don’t need them or anyone, it is them that need us for their own affirmation.
    And that is what we need to see. It took me a really long time to see it, to see that everything. and I mean everything was just a great big fat putrid lie, but when you do, it does not hurt so much because you finally undertand that you will never make logic from someone who is illogical.

    • cat402

      I totally agree with your anology of what life has/is like when you are with a sex addict. I am still with one but like most of you online, I am trying to decide if I should stay or go. And the decision is a hard one but oddly enough getting easier to come to terms with every day that I talk about it, think about it and agonize about it!
      I haven’t done anything worng and I am tired of feeling like it’s my battle too! It’s not and he has made me the un-trusting and invading women that I have become and I don’t like it one bit so I have to decide if this is what I want to have to do for another 20+ years!
      I have gained insight from a lot of you that have similiar situations and those who have extreme. Mine I think has come down to me making a decision and moving on with it.
      He has made promises and does good for a while but then always chooses to test the waters and see if the coast is clear to start again with the lies, the secret meetings and agendas. He decides to forgo us/to sacrafice us for sex!
      So now I hold the cards and decide on the next card to play… And its looking like it’s time to play the wild card!

  • sanityregained

    JoAnn..LOL

    Guess the “heat” that i feel right now for my SA is all in my head..red hot anger.

    But even that is dissipating.

    All that i feel now is sympathy.

    Yes,my life got messed up,big time.

    But, i have hope,i have my life ahead of me and i am in control.

    I ill lead it the way life has t

  • sanityregained

    Sorry,i hit the send key midway.

    I will lead and live life the way it has to be lived.

    BUt , they will always be leading a double life.

    Always looking for validation from an external source.

    A source (us) whom they cannot respect,they cannot be honest with.

    They are doomed , unless they decide to get out of this life style.

    The very thought that were i like them ,living a life full of deception and subterfurge, lying to my partner 24×7, running after every male, reacting to every male sexually,haunting chatrooms and dating sites and casual sex partner sites,paying gigolos,having sex on my mind all the time,unable to work productively and not find pleasure in earning money,living always with the fear of discovery,on being discovered facing the recriminations,the anger ,the tears, the pain,the insults,the counselling ,the therapy,external disciplining,constant monitoring of every action,sends a shudder down my spine.

    YEs, from the outside it looks as if they are having the time of their lives.

    But, are they really?

    Imagine,if your hunger never gets satisfied no matter how much you eat.Every time ,you look at food all you can think of is eating it.
    The insatiety worsens so much that you even start rummaging through garbage bins to lay your hands on whatever is available.

    Being empathetic doesnt mean you have to be an enabler.

    You walk away,with anger ,with pain,with fury.

    But also with the thought,that inspite of all the devastation,the mind numbing soul shattering pain , you are much better off than they would ever be.

    Our misfortune that our paths crossed theirs, but at least we can uncross them and take a new path leaving them to walk the same path towards self destruction.

    Rejoice in the fact ,ladies, that inspite of the present state of affairs,at the core ,we are who we are.

  • LEE

    I loved sanityregained’s post. That helped me so much hearing how much better off we are. It sure has been feeling like our addicts have come out unscathed and I am the one in critical care. I also liked the comment, “Using Women, all to somehow make themselves MEN”. I have been working on the “stay or go” thing lately. I personally feel today that to stay and work on it would be something very desperate, and very masochistic. Surely, I deserve more. We all do. But here I find myself, a Christian women holding onto the bloody reigns of a Bronco, riding it till my hands and legs fall off. I realized I have great denial. Of course I want to keep the children near their father. OF course, life is easier with a help mate. I could fake that I am into this pain and just shut up and be his roomate, but who wants to do what I feel I have already done for 20 plus lonely years. Can I continue to walk on eggshells? Better yet, why should I? HE is INSANE without his drug of lust. It amazes me. I find myself humming, “Oh where oh where did my little HUSBAND go, oh where oh where can he be?” (smile ladies – if you can’t have a sense of humor about this hell on earth, you won’t make it) I have been thinking that if I put as much time into ME as I have trying to figure out why I was being abused mentally, and emotionally, Id be like Jesus. I am new at this. If you look at all I have read about SA, you could say I am obsessing. I am NOT. I am just trying to figure out what the hell just hit my life and turned it upside down. I am desperate for answers, and I am taking it all in. This site is by far, the best thing that has hit my brainwaves. It tells me, ok, you arent alone. These guys are nuts with and without their drug! Yes, as Christian wives (or any other religion for that matter, Lord knows this disease beast doesn’t discriminate) but as wives, of course we made a comittment to stick it out through sickness and in health. It is a very tough decisioin, especially when the big boys are now saying this is truly a disease of the brain, no different than cancer. But oh my what a different form of cancer this is. NO, PATRICK CARNES, I wouldnt yell at a person with cancer, but I may be tempted to if they behaved as beaten vicious pit bulls from their hospital bed. This is a different animal. I will speak to my situation, I DONT EVEN KNOW THIS MAN. He is trying to be sober, he has already spent the big buckeroonies to go to the so called “Best” inpatient treatment center where Tiger went. I went too, not very “Gentle” at all. It further traumatized me as a spouse – but guess what guys. He relapsed within weeks. Sure he is trying, going to meetings, and his life has become all about the program (good for him) but the kids and I feel left all over here alone to deal with his poo pot he left for us. Lets call it an elephant, shall we? I just have to say for anyone that is going through this, my opinion is, if they are not working this program like it is their last breathe, get out. Add to that, if they have NO empathy, you are in for a bumpy road. My addict SAYS he is sorry, but it feels like the words are being shot from a salad shooter, not a heart with feelings attached therefore for my healing, it means nothing.(He was always good at lip service, and that is how he stole these years from my life so brilliantly, so words are now and will always be cheap!) My mom said to me the other day, he didn’t care about you then, what makes you think he is going to care about you now? They didn’t give him a new brain at that place he went to.” Ladies, (and men) I am devastated by what has happened to my marriage and our lives. I havent taken a deep breathe for months, but I will say that praise God, I still feel a survival instinct in me rearing for the big fight. I dont want to stay for the desperation and I am petrified to be alone and dating in this whacky “match.com world” as well. I am scared of being broke BUT there have been plenty that have been brave enough to walk before me. If they can do it, so can I. If God is changing my path, even if it is to meet cool moms who also were devastated by their addicts in a homeless shelter, if I end up on Oprah being the next story about the lady who made wine out of ashes. Whatever it is that I must do, for MY SANITY, I will do. I cannot be a mother without my sanity. Thinking daily about how someone that says they love me is turned on by every tom dick and harry doesnt work for me, and no matter how hard I have tried, it hurts me to my core, even though the reading material says it is not about me or my beauty. Guess what guys, It IS about me if I end up in the looney ward. I need to be mentally well for my children. I will survive. And living with a sex addict, to me, even in recover, unless he is kissing your ass daily and “getting” ALL that he has done to you and HOW if would feel, Id hang up the hat. I think we should separate out the gate so that the really crazy crap you can spare seeing (withdrawals from porn and lust is no different than heroin) It takes years for many of these guys to come unnumb and feel for others besides the hot conchita with the boob job…………. (or their young pubescent son or daughter, perhaps even their dog???). I thank you so much for this site. We need to get this out don’t we? Here is to all of you struggling. A kiss and a prayer. Its complicated, but keep it simple. Focus on you and your needs. Keep it simple, pray, “This is a sick man, how can I be helpful to him?” Often times, that means expecting nothing. Not even the marriage that you so longed to be in, save and grow old with. We need to let go. If anyone has any feedback on how to do that, I would love the support, reading materials etc. I am tired of reading boundary books, I need some how to run away, or how to let go completely and heal! OUR MINDS WERE NOT MEANT TO BE BENT LIKE PRETZELS AND THIS DISEASE DOES IT LIKE NOT OTHER. I want to go find healthy man. What a soothing bath of the mind that would be!!!!

    • Linda

      Please tell me how you are doing now. I am going through the same thing and I feel helpless. I found out this past March and I am going insane by myself. Living in the same house but so very hostile to him and he couldn’t give a crap! (apologies) He is in total denial even though I have so much proof. He will admit to none of it. I cry every day…..I am so despondent of how my life has turned out after 35 years of being so good of a wife and mother. I am beginning to think that his problems were caused by me even though I know they weren’t. Is that normal. Please respond. Thank you

      • Laura

        Linda,
        I have been married 21 years and I’m miserable too. But I do know now that it’s not about me. We are married to mentally ill men that are putting us at risk of contracting a life-threatening disease. If my husband refuses to at least try to get help (counseling/medicine), I cannot stay anymore. It doesn’t get better, Just when things seems more stable in our relationship and I let my guard down, he betrays me again. It’s infidelity. Grounds for divorce. Feel free to email me for support.
        Laura

      • Glenda

        Hello Linda and you other gals,

        Listen I’m right where you all are. My husband of 17 years is still addicted…goes to SAA and prayer on Wednesdays, but was just on porn the other night and masterbates all the time. We have gone months without sex and I have threatened to leave him several times…I have adopted children out of the foster care system and do not want them to feel the abandonment of a divorce because they have already been through so much, but I just feel like I am so done. I just don’t know what to do anymore. He always says that at least he isn’t getting with women or men it’s “just” porn, but it has completely destroyed our marriage…what do I do? I have prayed been in counseling, begged God to help or give me some direction and I just feel lost…please help! Sincerely, Glenda

  • pam

    Dear Lee:

    I really empathasize with your pain and struggle. I too am of Christian faith, and leaving my spouse has been very conflicting for me. Again so sorry, it is a special form of torture being with these guys. I wanted to cut and paste an email response to the “christian wife stay or go dilemma” exhchanged on new life partners– a yahoo group, support for christian women married to sa’s. it really helped me. I hope it helps you.

    here goes:
    me:
    response:

    This issue often seems to bring out alot of emotion in many of us…the topics of submission, ‘duty’, trust, and how this translates into daily actions and life choices.

    Who decides if any of us is following God or is trustworthy? God does, we are each accountable to Him for our actions.

    However, trustworthy actions show Fruit…the fruit of the spirit- Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, Faithfulness, self-control. (Gal. 5:21-23) When we seek to live this out in our lives consistenly and with humility, in both our private and public life, it shows. We don’t have to squint really hard to see it or figure it out. Will we be perfect at it? No, of course not. But there is a consistent pattern that makes the effort, and life-choices, evident.

    Galatians 5:19-21 (New International Version)

    19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    ~This is not subjective, this is Biblical. God is very clear on what actions are sin and must stop in order to inherit the kingdom of God. That is a pretty stiff boundary!

    When betrayal has happened, and trust has been shattered over time for many years, trust must be earned back- not handed back or expected back..otherwise we enable the sinful behavior by not waiting for the evidence of fruit from a changed heart. Jesus called this out with the Pharasee’s over and over again. So by His example, we are shown that actions speak louder than words, and law.

    If there is not evidence through actions and attitudes that these behaviors are not consistenly changing and stick, the Bible is also very clear on what is to happen again. We *will* be able to see fruit of a changed heart. This is by God’s design. Lying, secrets, abuse is not in that list.

    Forgiveness and trust are not the same thing- I can forgive, yet I am not automatically required to trust. No where in the Bible are we asked to do this..*except* when trusting in Jesus. As a matter of fact, trusting is Jesus is not even required…He has given us a choice whether or not to do that. He has provided the perfect example of the life and when living out those qualities are evident, in order for us to be able to trust Him!

    The big one- He keeps his promises, and laid down His life for us. And I *still* have a hard time trusting the ONE who has proven himself trustworthy with perfection! I do not see where the Bible teaches that trusting is an act of humility. Humbling myself before God is being obedient to God the Father, rather than a person.

    From my own experience, I know it has been very hard for me to see past how some spiritual leaders through the ages have manipulated scripture to provide the groundwork for the oppression of women. That has never been God’s plan or design. All are created equal. In an age where women were even more oppressed, Jesus singled women out even more and showed them compassion. How can we ignore that? And what does that say about His view of women, and what He was noticing in society at that time?

    I know I’ve had alot of soul-searching to do, shed many tears, studied God’s word, read many books and sought out balanced, Godly counsel to help me see through, and then past, what was once a stronghold in my own life. And that was believing that as a woman, my role of submission meant giving up some rights to some choices while accepting emotional, verbal, spiritual abuse from a man in the form of ‘leadership’. God does *not* call women to be like that, and I’d encourage everyone to take a chance to hear what ‘our role’, in God’s eyes, really is.

    take or toss~

  • Song Title: What did I do
    Subject: R& B song about infidelity. The lyrics also address the new tinsel town bogus “sex addict” cop-out. Video is the lyric sheet synchronized to the audio recording.
    Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZp8u_vGgYo

  • Lorraine (now Lexie)

    Hi Cat 402– Good for you! I am imagining, that you have found his skanky profiles somewhere. Craig’s List? I was always hoping that my predator’s partner, would open up her own phony profile and with the help of a friend (that her SA did not know where he or she lived), use their apartment (they live in NYC) to bait him by posing as a new encounter. (very easy to do) The partner gets there early with a male friend (for back up) and hides in the bedroom closet. Then the SA, “Predator” arrives and chats and has a drink with the friend who’s supposed to be the new encounter. The friend crawls into bed (with a spaghetti strapped top and pants on) while predator goes and “freshens up” (with his penis pump— yeah, that’s right)— He comes into the bedroom, when suddenly the closet door is flung wide open and there is his sweet, lovely partner who says nothing, spits in his face and leaves. The friends spend as much time as possible talking to the SA as a means of a stall. In the meantime, the partner has already had the locks changed and hurries home before he arrives…

    Is that the sort of wild card that you had in mind? ;) Please keep us posted!

    xo,

    Lexie

  • Ve

    Hahaa… That was funny! Good it worked for you!

    I’m trying do this too but I don’t have patience anymore to be all the time looking our account bank, our cellphone bills, to be checking our parental control records. I don’t have energy anymore to be doing this. I’m exhausted! However the records still there just in case. I don’t know if want this life for me…

  • Karen

    Just wanted to share a few things with those who are suffering with a sex addict.
    1. You can get a disease and die from your partners activities.
    2. you are a co sex addict. When you do all of the things like follow him, search his computer, and follow him, you are only playing Into his game. Either he wants to stop or not. it is that simples.
    3. If you choose to stay with an active sec addict you have a tough road ahead of you.
    4. Even if your partner is actively going through the 12 step program or in treatment there are no guarabntees.

    you might wnder how I know all this…. Well the Eason is that I am married to a sex addict for 8 years. I knew before we married…but he went to sex addicts anon group. Three weeks after we were married I came home to 20 min recording on my voice mail of him and a man in a
    Public place having sex. I guess his phone auto dialed. It might have been an accident but I believe it was god showing me the truth. I needed to know.
    I cried for weeks after that… Maybe years….but I had two choices. Stay with my. Best friend or divorce my husband. I stayed. Two things changed. I stopped checking on him which made me crazy… And I stopped all intimate connection with him. We simply don’t talk about it.
    Sometimes I still check things like I did tonight and found he was placing ads again…….I yelled at him and told him how discusting his behavior is to me and how ashamed he should be. )He said he was and then we both went into our own bedrooms.

    I will leave him one of these days. Right now I know I would not trust another man and he provides for me now. So I am comfortable for now.

    I am not worried anymore because I iknow what he is and what he does.

    You cannot stop a sex addict because there are thousands of other sex addicts out there looking for a playmate. in my experience they don’t have long term affairs, rather one time flings. my husband meets people I. The following ways…

    1. On craigs list
    2. While on business trips
    3. At clubs during the day
    4. Hookers
    5 chat rooms
    6. Personal websites like

    I saw a post one day on crags list. it said ” wife at work today till 5pm. Can have hot sex at my house till 4 today.”. I cried when I saw that because some unsuspecting woman was off working and her sex addict husband stays home meeting people in there bed. This is how it goes girls.

    I an sorry if I wrote something in this post that is not appropriate, but today I just needed to tell you how helpless I feel in a very sad situation with my sex addict husband.

    If I had to do it all over again, as soon As I finished playing that recording I should have packed my things and left that day.

  • deanna

    Are all sex addicts narcissists as well? my sex addict husband is and really I do believe a bit off in the head. He sneaks in my bedroom (btw not shared with him) and goes through my things and when he is caught he lies and says I need help because I’m crazy. When would he have time to go in my room, etc but the evidence is there, money missing from my purse and his diet dr pepper bottle on the bathroom counter. He invented this entire reenactment of what he says happened. HaHa, I can only laugh now because it’s only me and the sa, who is he lying to? I’m not buying it, but if I don’t allow him to state his opinion he rages and wont shut up til I hear it all. I smile and remind him that I do not deserve any of this. He had admitted to cheats written me cards apologizing but when counselor moved away, he never found another one and now says he lied to whole time to shut me up. How sad are those lies? There are many books and many groups to participate in but really – with that kind of crazy – I’m the co-addict? I don’t think so, it would make me a co-non caring imitation of a human being? We are separated in the same house because I cannot afford to live without his income for the time being. My youngest is turning 16 years old, so I pray I will last til she graduates.The need to check up and monitor them will pass, because after all you already know. It doesn’t help to talk to people he cheats with because they are cheaters as well or street walkers and have no morals whatsoever. @ bambi, my sa husband who drive a truck would carry the box the ring came in and I’m assuming he is trying to make them believe he is single. haha and he sounds so much like your husband with the lack of respect he gives me. I did however get a post nuptial where he penned a contract if he ever cheated talked to another woman aside from work that I will get it all, 100% and believe me I have fists full of evidence of his cheats. They are so arrogant and dumb. why would anyone put up 150,000 in ira plus stocks and he bought me a 2010 mustang convertable (paid in full) and a new house. He pretended recovery for a while but never quit with the sa or the romance addiction. When I first discovered my husbands sexual addiction, joann was a huge comfort and made me open my eyes. I never thought I would be at a place where I would be able to write and not cry, but today is that day. I do believe I was trying to make sense of it all, and I read several books until I found, “DON’T CALL IT LOVE” by Patrick Carnes Phd, and the information I found in that book affirmed what I needed to have affirmed. lol and answered most of my questions. I just recently I read that “when a compulsive liar tells the truth they feel the same as I do when they betray me and lie to me.” Thank you Joann, you have inspired and comforted me by setting an example of a spouse that is making some good out of a very bad situation.

  • deanna

    I wanted to share something on a lighter note, in the fall of 2010, I read the boundaries letter to my husband while otr driving right down to the I am a nurse etc and I am not a nurse, but at the time was in college doing pre nursing classes. The first chance alone with the counselor he told him that I threatened to kill him. HAHAHAHA I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna wet myself. The counselor said do you think she was serious. Needless to say next visit I set the record straight. My SA is such a big baby!!!! lmbo

  • I think they are all selfish, immature, ridiculous children who are looking for an excuse for their total lack of character and integrity. They are users, abusers and are not worth anything. They are subhuman ridiculous losers who deserve to rot. They make me sick as does SA and all their garbage. Ladies, do not lower your standards or your self respect…run…run far and know there are men out there who are wholesome, healthy and kind. You deserve better so do your daughters. Run my sisters run and keep reminding yourself you are worth more and they DO NOT deserve you. Let them have their hookers and porn stars….let them die alone, old, spent and ugly inside and out!

  • Junebugwalsh

    I just stumbled upon this now, two plus years later. Are you still here? I need your help.

  • Nicole

    I just moved 1700km and into my boyfriends house, we have been together now for almost 2 years. 2 days ago as I was moving things around to make room for my things I found a couple pairs of dirty panties, after the long process of getting an explanation from him via text message as he works in camp and is away 23 days a month, I eventually was informed that since he started keeping track approximately 20 years ago he has had sex with 400 different women. There is so much to this complicated mess of a relationship and I just do not know which side of the fence Im going to fall.

  • Emily

    Nicole,

    400, huh? Is that all? That is quite a staggering statistic, Isn’t it? I guess that means in another 20 years, it’ll be 800 women he’s had sex with?? give or take a few hundred? I certainly hope that you don’t fall on either side of the fence.I hope you rise up on the side of the truth and take back your life, before its too late! What’s complicated about a man who’s so sexually driven and reckless that he leaves some skanky woman’s skivvy panties laying around? I can guarantee you, that if you knew everything there was to know about his activities, you’d run like a bat outta hell, for that unfortunately, is where you have found yourself. I am so sorry, but there’s nothing complicated about this “relationship” from where I’m sitting. He’s using you. He’s incapable of loving anyone. Do you understand? This man is very sick and VERY dangerous. So,unless you want to join in on the fun (when he feels like including you)or you want to get sick and die, or you get some sort of sadistic pleasure out of finding little unsavory tokens of his conquests, then pack up your bags, honey and book the next plane ticket back home. Please stay safe. This is not about you at all. He is a very sick man. I’m so sorry, but this is clearly the reality of this situation. xo, Emily

    • Sososad

      I second Emily’s emotions babe. You dont try and figure it out. God has already revealed to you what you need to know. The sooner you run and put all of that energy into you, and healing from this sexual trauma (yes, that is what this is- sexual abuse!) you will begin to find true love. Get out. I am getting out. I have opened up to dating men that are healthy. One must go slow. Dont get hooked. Seek healthy!

  • Kel

    Over a year ago I found out my husband was having an affair. Shortly afterwards, the unraveling tale of his sex addiction began and i learned that the porn he watched and masturbated so frequently to (and I, being the cool accepting chick that I was)was only a small part of his acting out. He had been going to get massages with happy endings, prostitiutes, hooking up on business trips, etc. for 10 years before we ever met. He thought he had the massages and prostitute issues under control (meaning that they were okay for him to do as he had the money and it wouldn’t infringe on the emotional relationship he had with me). So, now after a year and a half of therapy, sex addicts anonymous, me going to COSA meetings, my own therapy, joint therapy, I find out that although he says he is not masturbating to “porn” he is masturbating to something he might see on tv, like a nonporn show on hbo that happens to have sex, naked woment, etc. He tells me he thinks this is not really a “slip” because it is not porn. Recently, with my COSA sponsor, I had set my boundaries (wow I’m allowed to do that!). They included not being in a relationship with a partner who watches porn. They did not yet include (as I am sturggleing with) me not being in a relationship with someone who masturbates. As of yet, masturbating at work, or more than twice a day at home has not been a problem. However, our sex life is nonexistent because he has admitted to me and our therapist that he only gets excited to have sex with someone new, he needs the chase. So now he is not acting out with other women, massages and prostitutes. So I am to be happy with this? But I feel myself struggleing with being controlling about the masturbation. It is something I want to bring up with our therapist as when I say it, he says I’m trying to control his “recovery.” Now that I know he is masturbating to tv (even if it is not porn per say), I feel that he has disregarded my boundaries. This is not about me being right and him being wrong (as he says is all I care about), but about me protecting me. Why am I still struggling with this? Do I let go and watch him possibly continue down the slippery slope? Do I kick him out? It seems harsh. Where do I draw the line?

  • kimberly

    Kel,

    Reread what you wrote and pretend that it was your best girlfriend who wrote this about her husband? Pretend that it was your own grown daughter. Do you see the problem?

    Look, you can’t win. You can’t control him. You can’t stop him. You say up, he says down. He needs to be in charge… blah, blah.. He needs someone “new.” He needs the “chase.” You can never trust him. He’s not really recovering from anything, because if he was, he would not even be watching TV! He would not be accusing you of trying to “control HIS recovery” because if he were truly “recovering” he would understand that the LAST person that can control his recovery is himself and that in order to keep you, he needs to make a paradigm shift to prove to you over and over that YOU are SAFE in his (predatory) presence.

    So, tell me… why is it so important to you, that you try and prevent him from going down his “slippery slope?” You see he’s going to go down it whether you are there or not, and as a matter of fact, has a far better chance of not going down it if you are not there. uh huh… that’s right. And why are you being so harsh with YOU? He’s made his own decisions and it seems like you are just an impediment to what he really wants. So, why are you settling for such disgusting, disrespectful, wholly unloving behavior towards you? A man doesn’t need to love a million women. He just needs to love one women in a million different ways. Those aren’t my words, but I wish that they were. profound, isn’t it? If you want to make a life with someone who needs a different woman every other week to get turned on, then so be it. This is as good as its going to get. He’s made this perfectly clear. That’s what he means when he begins accusing you of take CONTROL of HIS “recovery.” He’s not IN any kind of recovery whatsoever. Its all a sham! Take good care of you. I would take steps to leave him to his “excitement.” Wish him well with his “recovery” and please go and find your own. my best, Kim

  • crystal

    I have been married to a sex addict for 9 years been with him for 10 years. I have been through atleast 9 affairs that I know of two seperations yet I am still here. We have been back together for 3 years since our last seperation. I know he has not had any physical contact with anyone as he is home like clockwork after work, however there is still emails and phone calls and porn sites I deal with.I see this as an improvement sad to say the least. We have 3 children an what is messed up I stay for them so they have some normalcy but at the same time they make me want to run. In my recent account to blow his bridge out from underneath him, he finally has admitted to a problem however that was only last night so what he plans on doing is questionable. To all these ladies who question staying or leaving, if you don’t have some big tie or connection like children and finances run like the wind or be prepared to lose yourself, your confidence and almost all sanity. I have threatened to shoot my spouse, he even knows its a possibility as he watches me around our weapons. This will consume you everyday of your life, checking emails, phone records, mileage on the car etc. And all of who have done this for years we know when its happening its lik a split personality, when they change you start searching for your proof. And for what so you can say you know haha I caught you.

  • kimberly

    Crystal, Please allow me to take the first shot. lol. (not really funny though.)

    I feel for you and your situation since leaving is not and easy. and Not to burst your bubble, and I understand too, as we so desperately want to believe that what appears to be true is actually true, but as you already know, it seldom is with these guys. He hasn’t had physical contact since he’s home on time? I would’nt bet my next meal on that one. He takes a lunch hour, right? And what about “doctor’s appointments” “business meetings” “household emergencies” “personal days” “sick days” “vacation days” ?

    Hun, if there’s a will there’s a way and he gets added pleasure out of pulling over a fast one. How “clever” he is. I am not saying that he is definitely physical, but my money’s on that he is…based on the fact, that he’s porning, emailing and the rest…

    and yes, I believe your instincts are right and that you will leave when the time is right. Make your plan. Its not easy. It took me years, but its getting better day by day. xo, Kim

  • Liz

    Hi everyone,
    I have been reading posts on here for a couple of days now. I am relatively new to all this. Truly found out about my fiance’s sex addiction in early december 2012. I had caught him for the 4th time (in 6 months) accessing porn. I was devastated the first time I caught him…. I was 9 months pregnant at the time. I was overdue. When I found out I just cried and was numb for a few days. He promised to stop. I had no idea he was sexually addicted at that time. The second time I found out our daughter was 6 weeks old. I was upset again. He promised to stop. The third time was a couple months later and the last time was early december. On the last two times I asked him to leave for the night… Big mistake… The last time was early december 2012… I knew he was sexually addicted by that time. But i didnt know the extent. I didnt trust him at all so I went through his phone records. I found out that the day i had asked him to leave he visited a prostitute. I called the 5 or so numbers he called that day and to my horror woman answered. I confronted him and he denied for a bit before breaking down and confessing. A few days later he also confessed to having sex with a prostitute the first night I had kicked him out. I can relate to most of the posts. The betrayal, the loss of dreams, the deception… all have left scars on my heart. I am currently still with him for many reasons however I have not made my final decision about whether I will be in for the longhaul. I am a realist. I know the lifelong hold his addiction will have. I love him but this will not be a deciding factor in my decision. He is saying and doing most of things he should be doing. He will pretty much do anything I ask him too. But I am not certain this is enough yet. I am not certain whether I have the strength to emotionally endure life with a sex addict even if he is in recovery. I have had PTSD symptoms but they are subsiding. It is all very confusing at times. I have read multiple articles and pieces of work to try understand it all. I feel like I am now a sex addict expert. I too do not agree with the co addict label. Rather I see our responses to the behaviour as normal and expected given what they have done. Why am I here? Why I am writing in? I suppose I am in search of Hope. Not so much for myself but for him and for our relationship. I am a strong person. I know I will be better off without him. I know I could find someone else. But there is a strong part of me that wants to help him get through this. He is remorseful. He is lost. I suppose I do have a bit of the “rescuer” personality in me. I feel like I have started to ramble a bit. I do hope someone reads this and responds in some way. I feel safe here. Ironically I am just about to finish my last year in a doctorate of clinical psychology. I will be starting my internship in a couple of months at a place where a large proportion of the clients will have sexual addiction issues. On one hand I ask myself if I really want to be a psychologist who comes home to another patient… I mean it seems absurd. On the other hand I have a string belief that people can change if they are motivated and determined to do so and that I will be non judgemental and empathic to all my clients so I should be able to show the person I love the same compassion. I am in my late 20s and thank god I found out about this early on. I feel for the women who have experienced it for years and years. My heart and sympathy goes out to everyone on here.
    Liz

  • Reba

    Stumbled across your website. I am married to a sex addict. I have gone through much of what you have and did the “boundries” thing. For seven years I thought we were doing well until my husband was caught with a woman we work with. At times it seems like I can see light at the end of the tunnal only to find out it is just an approaching train. Is there really any hope?

  • kimberly

    Liz,

    This is a safe place, however, through your post I hear you TRYING desperately to talk yourself into believing something that you know is not true. He is a sex addict and there is rarely any kind of real recovery. IMO, its largely a big set up. You said so, yourself and then you ask if there’s hope for your relationship? The only hope is if you just let him be and do what he wants and turn the other cheek. He did not confess of his own accord and he still lied when caught. He saw a hooker the first time you kicked him out? really? why are you not bashing him over the head? Why do you want to “help” this unfortunate soul. Why don’t you want to help yourself, rather? What is the hope for you? Do you really need him? and why? Is this the man you would want for your daughter? Is he truly remorseful? well, he might be, but he also might not be. How can you tell the difference? the point is, that you can NOT tell the difference. You have no way of knowing. He has already proven to be untrustworthy. Forgive me. I feel for you. We are all in this disgusting boat together. However, you asked for someone to write and what I want to say is to reread what you wrote and look at all the times you said that this is something that’s going to be a part of him for the rest of his life. Is this someone that you truly want to make a life with?

    You said that you were glad that you found out when you were young. There’s a reason for this and I think you know what it is… you don’t want it– right now that is, but I wouldn’t bet on that pony. nosirreee…
    best, Kim.

    • Liz

      Thanks for your reply. I will admit I was somewhat taken back by the amount of negativity when I first read it but I understand your perspective and appreciate your response. There is truth in what you have written. I do not want this for my life. But I still stand by the belief that some people have it within themselves to change. I know this is not an easy process at all… and from the sounds of it most SA are unable and even unwilling to change. I am hoping that the father of my child is amongst the few that can change. Whether I choose to stay still remains to be seen. I am not sure whether I agree that he can only change if he is on his own. Rather I believe that having support from a loved one will increase his chances. But like I said Im not sure if I can be that person. I am trying to be matter of fact about it. That is how I have coped. I refuse to be a victim. I refuse to be a powerless spectator. I still experience strong negative feelings from time to time but I do want to let go of them… I am trying to not take anything he has done personally. I am at the stage where I want to start setting boundaries. Although we are no longer engaged and I have not decided anything permanent I am willing to start setting boundaries. I do not believe he is inherently evil or a bad person or that he gains pleasure from deceiving me. In time I think I will make my decision. I still am on here looking for guidance and hope. Once again I thank you for your post. I appreciate that all the negativity you have shown comes from very hurtful experiences and I can sense underneath it all you only want to warn. I wish we both did not have to experience this!

  • kimberly

    Liz,

    I understand your feelings oh so well and agree with many of your points, however, there is one critical component here and that is that you are supposing is that this man is operating in the same way you are. And it is anything but. I’m so sorry, I know that what you are hearing is not what you want to hear, but it is reality. YOU are the one who wants him to change. If he had wanted to change, he would’ve done it on his own, or come to you begging for your help. And he did not do that. In fact, he did the opposite. I’m just commenting on what you wrote which I also found to be quite negative. As a matter of fact, I didn’t take from it anything positive. Liz, I think that you are in a state of shock and suffering from PTSD, so I hope that you have your own counselor to guide you through all of this. And no, of course, he’s not CONSCIOUSLY conspiring or trying to hurt you, but in my observation, sex addicts are actually misogynists who seek to control and overpower their women– all women actually. Sex addiction isn’t about sex. Its about control. It is also part of the “thrill” if there’s someone in their life that actually gives a damn about them and would be devastated if they knew what he was really up to. Otherwise, why not come out and tell you the truth? He knows that its wrong and he knows that he’s hurting you, but he doesn’t want to know, so he just blocks it all out and goes about his business.

    My main issue is not the addiction, but the underlying disease that lead up to my husband being a liar and a cheater and having total disregard for my feelings. That’s sick, but he cannot see it. The problem is curing the disease, which is a personality disorder of some sort and through your studies, I’m sure that you realize how difficult they are to treat. How can a man born blind understand the colors of the rainbow? Now, I’m sure that there’s also this other side to him (there always is) that is this really great guy. Most SAs are really nice guys, on the surface. And this is where the immense frustration comes into play. I get it. We just feel if we could love a little harder. Be a little more sexy. Be THERE for him, that he wouldn’t need this, but its a trap, I’m afraid and setup for just more heartache when we realize how futile our natural notions born out of love, are.

    I so wish the news was better. I wish I could offer the words of “hope” that you long to hear. However, the reality whether you deem reality to be negative or positive cannot be changed. It is not love and support that he needs in order to change. HE ALREADY HAD THAT! He needs to find that place inside himself that does not want to be that man anymore. He has to want this more than he wants you or anything else in this world. And even IF he wants it, he may not be able to get past it.

    What concerns me is that I do not hear what you are doing to support YOU. What are you doing to keep yourself grounded in reality? I do not think you can do that in a relationship with a sex addict, because up is down and down is sideways and you never know what you are going to get or when the other shoe is going to fall and some women actually like this for whatever the reason. What I hear from both of your posts is that you know that it is folly to stay, but you are looking for some grain of hope that he can change. Based on what you have said about what he has done. It is very unlikely–for the long term. He may change for the short term, but it is highly, highly unlikely that he can sustain this change that YOU want for him and your relationship. And he may even put on a really good show. SAs know how to hide it really well. You can set all the boundaries you like, but that doesn’t mean that he has to accept them. After all, again, they are your boundaries and the likelihood is more that he will ‘yes you’ and then just find sneakier ways to get around them.

    Liz, he’s sick, but he can’t see it and neither can anyone else, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is. The problem is and you can ask other women on here who’ve been dealing with this for a long time, but over time it will eat away at your soul. You will lose yourself and I wouldn’t be telling you all of this if you weren’t so young. You sound like a really terrific young woman; I am well old enough to be your mother and these are the words I would tell my own daughter if I had one. God blessed me with two boys and I have discussed with the older one the perils of porn. He understands, completely. He loves his father, but is happy that I have gotten away from him so that I may be free to live a full and happy life. I’m so blessed and I’m learning how to be in a relationship with myself. Learning to love me. Learning that I don’t deserve to be treated like I’m invisible and do not have feelings and that anything goes. That’s not for me, and based on what you said, I don’t think you think its for you either.

    However, you will have to find your own way and in your own time come to these realizations. It took me six whole years to really get it. I’m just trying to save you from more pain and heartache. I wish you nothing but the best and nothing would make me happier than to hear from you in 20 years telling me that I was very wrong. I so,so wish I was wrong! Godspeed! and Love, Kim

    • Liz

      Thankyou Kim. Your post showed alot of wisdom and really hit home this time. Everyday I lean more towards wanting to just end it with him. You are right everything is a mess. So many conflicting emotions and thoughts and what if scenarios run through my mind. I have tried to rationalise things as a coping mechanism. I imagine I am yet to feel the real sorrow and despair… I dont want to feel it. It is hard to know what a healthy reaction to discovering your partner is a SA is….Unfortunately I cant afford to really experience all the emotions because I have 2 children to look after and have a doctorate to finish. He is not the man I fell inlove with. I fell inlove with what he pretended to be and perhaps I am still in shock and perhaps I am yet to fully grasp the fact that he is not that man anymore. Ive been trying to keep it all together. I have told a few close friends and family members and they go on about how strong I am. But the more I think and try to reflect on this whole thing the more I feel like staying with him is the weaker decision… As you are probably well aware when you go through this your mind is all over the place…

      I think I am experiencing a down moment… I too feel the need to be in control. The uncertainty and not knowing is the worst for me. Perhaps I need to let go of trying to control the situation… Of trying to control him. You are right I need to see someone about this…

  • kimberly

    Liz, That was an amazing response, because you totally DO get it. He is not the man he pretended to be. As for what if scenarios. oh my, I’m sure we all have gone through that, but try not to. (I know that its tough!) What you have is what you have. Someone very wise told me, “Kim if you can live with him right now the way he is… then stay, and if not, then leave.” Well that was nearly six years ago. However, I was not ready to leave on account of two teen-aged sons and also the fact that it IS much easier to stay. But, at what cost?

    Whether you stay or go, it is not going to be an easy road, but yes, it is easier to find reasons to stay and just easier, but at what cost?, Leaving, however, will get easier and staying will get harder. I’m sure that you already know that 5% of SAs will reach a healthy level of “recovery.”(I prefer the term “management.”) There really is no recovery from this. But I do not think that your fiance is anywhere near the top 5%. I would put him somewhere in the bottom 10%. How have I come up with this inclusion? Not once, but twice (at least) when he got BUSTED, he went to go see a hooker. wtf? That’s pretty effed up if you ask me! THAT is how he deals with stress?!? That is how he deals with the fact that he just DECIMATED his beloved? I don thin so! Pay more attention to what he does, rather than what he says. But I wouldn’t even bother. Liz, you know and I know the answers that you are seeking and you know in your heart that this man is exceedingly armed and dangerous. Please do not give him the power to destroy you. He is not worth it!

    This is an escalating disease and I have read on here and elsewhere that it is more difficult to shake than heroin addiction. However, I’m not going to kid you and tell you that there’s an easy out here. You need to find a counselor who truly gets it and can help you navigate the murky waters. Then, you need to make your plan. It is more difficult because of your young children, however, please make note that sex addicts often abuse their children, (when no one is looking.) Remember, anything goes! :[

    Alright, I'll stop. You get it. :] The good news? You’re getting a wonderful PHD so you will be able to get a good job and support yourself and your children. It also sounds like you have a support network, even if small of supportive family and/or friends. That one is vital.

    As difficult as it is… put the focus on you. RESCUE YOU! Save you and your children. He’s a big boy and he got himself into this mess and it is his responsibility to get himself out of it. You are not his keeper and if anything, your meddling will make it worse. That is the tragedy, because it is a death. Its a death of everything we believed to be true and of course, its utterly devastating.

    As for the proper reaction, when finding out about all of this? I would think that throwing some crushed glass pieces on his side of the bed would work.

    Please just know that in time, it will all become crystal clear. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but one day… hugs, Kim

    ps: Joann doesn’t like us to use this as a forum, so if you need more support, there are a lot of terrific women on SOS which has a nominal fee but is worth it.

    • Dear Kimberly and Liz and everyone else who visits this site,

      More than anyone, I appreciate your stories and sharing, but, once again I must remind everyone here that this site cannot support the bandwidth required for a lot of back and forth forum type exchanges.

      That is why I started the Sisterhood of Support, so people could freely have those conversations.

      I will have to request that everyone here restrict their comments to a discussion of the story or article on the page rather than commenting on others comments.

      If I run short of bandwidth use before the end of the month I will either have to pay extra charges or allow the site to be down (inaccessible) until the first of the month.

      I hope everyone will understand. ~ JoAnn

    • Kris

      I thank you for your post. I am struggling with how to stay when the thought of even being close with my H makes me want to vomit. Where did you get information on recovery rates? I have 2 children as well, and want to stay because it’s easier for them, and myself. I haven’t worked in years, and need to get that part of my life up and running full steam before I leave. Did you ever go to a inpatient program with your spouse? If so I’d love to have the name.

  • SanityRegained

    Your fiance , the father of your child, has sex with hookers and you are trying not to take it personally?

    Liz please reread what you have wriiten.

  • Rhonda

    Really, why do we stay with these perverts? I am miserable. I hate the sex addict that I am married to abnd would long for help in leaving him. These perverts should not be on this earth.

    • Becky

      I’m in your same position, Rhonda. I just kept uncovering more lies and secrets. Supposedly my husband is a recovering sex addict, but how can I trust that when all he does is lie? He’s also a drain on our finances. I didn’t learn of his addiction until after we had a child together. I wish I could leave him. But I stay because I can’t imagine the shame of having to tell friends, family, coworkers…not to mention it’s hard as hell to be a single mother who works full time. I feel trapped.

      • sososad

        Becky, how are you doing? Did you continue to stay and take the abuse? There is a phenominal movement to help us. Google it if you care to. APSATS they are therapists trained to deal with this, and help us get out!

  • Monica

    I am sad my marriage is breaking down. I am sad I didn’t leave earlier when I found out, before we had our beautiful daughter. I am sad that I am so suspicious and untrusting. I am sad that I keep finding that my husband is trolling the Internet for men. I am sad that my daughter will probably one day find out and be traumatized. I am sad I am so traumatized that I now have panic attacks. I am sad that my husband is emotionally unavailable. I am sad he doesn’t think to do anything for my birthday or Vday. I am sad that he thinks this disease is just all about him. I am sad he doesn’t see I am suffering. I am sad that we are broken. I’m sad because I feel like a weight has been put on my heart and I can no longer breathe. I am sad looking at my daughters face realizing we will never have a normal family. I am sad that I now think of my future without him. I didn’t chose this. I want to just wake up from this nightmare and not suffer any longer.

    • Joanne

      Hi, I am in the same position just found out my husband of twenty years has been living a separate life from mine. He has been meeting women on dating sites on-line and recently found out he has also been on swinging sites for years. So devasted I am a working mum of four young children and i have also found out he has massive debts. I was unaware of this i had my suspions on a number of occassions but every time i challenged him he made me feel stupid, insane and neurotic and I believed him, until I found the proof ! I have supported him through Alcoholism 15yrs ago , depression and failed business venues and now he has done this! He is a compulsive liar, cheat and blames me for not showing him enough attention, he shows no remorse. I asked him to leave our house 12mths ago and i have had an awful year with him he says he will committ sucide on numerous occasions and says horrible negative things about our marriage and me ! but too many boundaries have been crossed and yesterday i filed for divorce unknown to him! he thinks i have high morals and can’t see why i won”t give him a second chance. The sad thing is I loved him and when he is not in addict phase he is the lovely man I married. I just hope I am doing the right thing for me and the kids, somedays I think he might change , but then I think of the bad times , addiction is so sad .

  • kimberly

    Monica,
    I am sad for you, (and all of us) however, I want you to know that the happiest years of my youth and most normal were when my mother finally dumped my abusive (womanizing, narc) father in my early teens. Sex addicts are abusive men. beginning. middle. end. You do not know what the future holds or why God took you to this low, low place, but for me, every time he did so, something amazing came out of it; something that would not have happened if I hadn’t had to swim through the river of shit first. You’ll see… it’ll all work out and for the better too. much better! Godspeed!

    • sososad

      Kimberly – well said! These men have issues that we did not cause, and we cannot cure. It took them years to get there, and it takes them years to get out. I DO NOT believe in the CO-ADDICT model. I think it is abusive. Ladies, see APSATS. Google it. I would only see those therapists. The addict -co-addict model is Carnes stuff, and Carnes is an SA himself in recovery. (And it shows) I love your strength as you explained it in this post. You go girl! I would rather eat poo than be married to a man with this brain disease. My mother says once a cheater, always a cheater. It screwed my kids up so bad trying to stick by my SA. He could not get what he had done, let alone get empathy rewiring in his brain. It is healthier in my opinion to leave than to expose innocent children to this crap, and it is CRAP! What mother wants her kids to hear dad sleeps with hookers? Break the cycle! I am glad your mother had the strength. Homeless shelters are more compassionate, and personally, I didn’t have another relapse in me. This is a life and death issue. For any ladies not taking it that serious, you are in delusion. Do you think you just may be able to do better? Heal first. Take the time to mourn the loss. Love your post. God will get you through ladies!

  • pula

    Hiall, i just stumbled upon this site and am amazed I am not alone. I just found out my husband and partner of 11 years has had a sex addiction and was chat rouletting girls for the last 1 to 3 years. I was pregnant 5 months ago plus 9 months pregnancy and only found out he was doing all this for that time plus a year or two. it started off with porn many years ago. He really pushed me into having a baby cos we were two years married so it was time. now i know that he was masturbating at home while I was very sick in hospital plus other times that I was out/at work. I was devistated! At least it all came out when I caught him and he kept lying about it all. (I’m a teacher so I kept at him and found out the truth… saying ‘you know I will get the truth so just tell me etc…)Anyways I got the truth. He is now seeing a therapist because he wanted to, and is like a new man. He is like the person I first fell in love with. I wrote a list of things he must do to keep me happy(as part of a list of things he had to do to keep me and my son.) he does some of them, mostly just listening to me when I had something to say,Anyways,things are much better because he is trying. Although I still feel betrayed and hurt, communication is the key. Finding out about sex addiction and co-sex addicts really helped me! I am still healing but at least we as a couple are on the mend. It is about him wanting to change. If he doesnt want to change he wont, so leave girls! We are all worth so much more than this so if it is ongoing HE IS SO NOT WORTH IT as he doesn’t respect you or any children. I hope my husband can keep his word or else he will be gone. My mother always said that couples can get passed cheating if the offender is willing to admit their faults but if a cheater cheats a second time it is time to get rid of them no matter what. A wise women she is! good look girls and dump them if they are not willing to change for you. they are not worth it if they do not think you are worth the change…

  • Amy

    As I am sitting here in an internet cafe waiting for my husband of 2 years (together for 4) to complete his 3rd meeting at AA, I am thinking about what the hell am I going to do?

    He told me he had slept with about 20 prostitutes for the past 4 years we’ve been together. He said 3 at first, and now that I don’t believe him, I asked and asked and asked how many ? He finally admitted to 20 and I was upset, and angry and felt betrayed- the worst feeling of my life. I took off my wedding ring, left the house for 3 days, I returned and decided to talk to a therapist by phone right away. He did as well. He’s been sober for 6 days off drugs, sex and alcohol. I can’t trust him now.

    But what should I do with myself? I want to go see my friends, but I’m worried he will slip if I’m not here. I was to go do things on my own and don’t want to sit here and wait for him but the meeting place is so close to the prostitution place he had gone and it’s the only meeting location available. He gives me his keys, his cash, his credit cards, he has no money.

    At one point, I have to do my thing but now I can’t and it drives me nuts. I know it’s too soon and this is normal but I need to work on myself as well. Please tell me what to do.

    • sososad

      I have a lot that I would love to share with you. If you are open to it, please message me, and we can contact one another. I am sorry you are going through this. Also, check out APSATS on line. I would ONLY see one of these counselors. VERY IMPORTANT.

  • Kathy

    Hi Ladies, I’ve been reading your site for hours and im in awe of your strength & resiliency. My story is 20 some years long & very similar to yours. I am currently at the crossroads of staying or leaving. I hzve no fear of being on my own but not sure I want to leave due to family, history, time invested, etc…wondering, for those who stay & live their own lives, do you still sleep in the same bed? Is your relationship more platonic is there some affectionate holding hands, kissing, etc? Im just trying to picture how iddo this if I stay.right at the moment I dont even have anything to say to him. Caught him with porn 10 years ago (after he stopped having sex with me…. but didnt tell me he made that decision til 9 months later. I had no idea what was happening or why he didnt want sex.) Decided to stay then. We’ve been in & out of counseling since & us having sex never improved. Last week i caught porn on his tablet (I wasnt looking for it. He was next to me looking for something else & as he opened videos there it was).
    he was shaking, raised his voice that he doesnt download that crap (and the man never raises his voice) & just flat out lied about how it got there. We no longer have kids at home & hes the only one who uses the tablet. I have meeting with my counselor tonight to help me figure out a direction. Any input you can give would be appreciated.

  • Kathy

    I want to add a PS: my story is way more complicated than just discovering porn 2 times. I just didnt want to go on & on with all the details. :) thx again for listening, being here & any feedback.

  • If you have questions or need support and input on your situation please consider joining the Sisterhood of Support for resources, support and the wisdom of women who have been through the very same thing.

    Unfortunately this site is not private, as the Sisterhood is, and it does not have the resources or bandwidth to support ongoing forum type conversations.

    Sending you strength. ~ JoAnn

  • Kathy Behlke

    Thanks Joann, I will check it out.

    • Sososad

      Hi Kathy. I am so sorry for the trauma you are living through. And it is just that. I would love to discuss this with you, if you want the opinion of someone that has been at this a long long time, feel free to contact me through this site. This is a seriously progressive illness. It is mental abuse and CRAZYMAKING. Try not to let him manipulate you. Addicts need clear boundaries. Consequences gone unfollowed through with, lead to years of more abuse. These are mental children in mens bodies, and they are dangerous when not running from this scared to death of its progression. I hope you are not sleeping together. If you have been it would be a good idea to be tested. I am glad you are looking for support. We are here for you. First and foremost we try to build one another up and comfort one another. There is so much to share, but by phone is easier. I am here for you and will do all I can to share some tools, that will help you recover and give him his best shot at starting to recover. for you, i would check out APSATS on line, and would only see an APSATS counselor if possible, trained in this particular trauma. they can be a life saver! Read some of their documents on line. In the meantime, self care if possible for now. We are your friends. We span across the globe. This is a living hell on earth. Not many understand this. It pays to speak to people that have gone through it……more than once is even better. This is no way to live. it is very toxic and unhealthy, and it is a known fact SA spouses die earlier than most. its just a nightmare. I am a huge proponent on polygraphs. it is the norm now a days. until you get ine, you know mothing of the fear hou should truly have and what you are working with. Hope to hear from you. I will pray for you all. XO

  • Amala

    Hi all, I just found this forum and have been reading for hours. I am too tired right now to write long, but I will later. I just wanted to tell you that I have been with a SA man for over ten years. When I met him he was an alcoholic. I took him to AA and supported him through his rehab. He succeeded and has not had a drink in nearly 8 years. I have always known he likes to fool around. I have caught him several times. The traces of evidence are too obivious. I have always treated it as a once in a while thing, but now I realize I have been in denial. An addict is always an addict. I thought that quitting the drinking would have healed all his addictions, but I was wrong. I know he sees prostitutes, he is signed up in all the dating sites possible, and he actually meets some of these women more than once. I am always afraid that he will be more attracted to one of them and leave me. I love him, I am afraid to be alone, I want to stay with him. But it is driving me insane. I have confronted him about it and of course he denies it all and turns it around on me. He tries to make me thing that it is all about my insecurities, my extreme jealousy, and obsessive behavior when it comes to trusting him. I KNOW for a fact that it is not my imagination, insecurities or obsessions. I HAVE caught him, but he still denies it. I am afraid that if I confront him too directly he will leave. I know that he should go t rehab, but he is not ready or willing. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to help him without forcing him to go to rehab? Which he probably won’t, by the way. He did it once with the alcohol, but his main motivation was to be sober for his kids. His SA can be kept secret and his kids don’t ever have to know about it, so he does not have a lot of motivation to stop and get help. Is there anything less radical that I can do at the moment to help him out of SA? I probably need help myself too. Boy, after writing this i feel like a doormat.

  • Mary

    I have been up all night can’t sleep I just stumbled and confirmed my husband is a sa. Everyday on AFF and craigslist I have not nor know how to confront him

    I have the proof but not sure if I can confront him.
    I love him but now he broke 1 of my rules. Apparently he has been doing this since I met him
    We have a wonderful life but I need to have. Respect for me if he is not

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>