A Military Wife’s Story: I Am So Ashamed And Humiliated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Responses

  1. Dear Military Wife,
    What a nightmare!! I don’t know how you are putting two coherent sentences together. You deserve so much more, as your daughter does. And God help those poor sons of his from another relationship. Is the mother alive and able to care for them?

    A nightmare.

    I think you know the best way out of a nightmare is to wake up. And it took an awful lot of courage to tell us the cold hard facts of your story, and how you kept falling back down the hole. Does telling your story mean you are ready to wake up and discover what safety and wholeness are going to mean? You say you want out—and I think we can all understand why. But you need a plan.

    Can you seek help from military resources? legal help? counselling help? If so, you go girl—get what you can while he’s still in the military–before he leaves or gets turfed out. You may find some of the pressing practical questions about how you will live can be answered for you. Are there spiritual resources on the base that would be helpful? Start your own bank account if you don’t already have one. Start saving. It may also be time to let a family member in on the story, if you have one you think might be trustworthy and caring. I just really think you need some counselling support.

    Listen, you’ve been through the mill with this guy. You have got to look after yourself. I know you don’t see it now, but you have many years yet to live with safety, happiness and meaning. You will be surprised how different your life will appear even six months from now. But you have to start in the new direction. You have to take steps.

    And congratulations. You shared your story here. That was a first step. You already took it. And now we are here with you. You aren’t alone anymore. Take the next step–get some counselling support. Make the call. Your life is worth everything. And your daughter needs you to be whole and healthy, so she can learn how to be whole and healthy in this life—which comes with so many challenges and surprises.

    I am truly sorry you are in this place. Let’s find a way out.

    love,
    D.

  2. Military Wife,

    I am so sorry. I too forgave my SA husband when I found a phone bill nine months after being married that had all kinds of sex numbers. I was 22 than. Today I am 33 and after finding out he took out 12 credit cards in my name to charge our life so he could have cash for prostitutes I knew I had to leave. I also never worked. I saved money all summer for an apartment. I have a 16 year old from a previous relationship with another whacko man from high school so I get a small amount of child support. I am not ashamed to say that I have asked society for help by recieving food stamps. Even though my husband made six figures the debt is barely covered with his income from his prostitute addiction. At night I am afraid but I sleep much better since I left his house. Sometimes in life we just have to have FAITH. But you will go when you are ready. It took me five months to be ready. Pray for me that I find a job and I will pray for you that you recieve strength and courage to carry out your plans going forward in your marriage. If you ever need to talk let me know. Put yourself first. You will NEVER change him…NEVER. Just take care of you. Save money every week, little by little. Look for a job and make a plan.

    If you need inspiration listen to the song “I wont back down” by Tom Petty. Johnny Cash does a fine version that I listen to for hours if I need strength. Don’t let this man back you in a corner. You are worthy of so much more and you can have it if you belive you can. At least thats what I tell myself. Oh and one more thing, take it one minute at a time. God Bless You and your children.

    Your Friend,
    B.

  3. Dear Military Wife:

    I am so sorry for all of your shock and pain. You don’t deserve to hurt so much. just a comment on “The humiliation that you feel”, well that is his crappy shameful not yours. I felt very ashamed at first, but much less now. It’s not our fault. They are seperate from us and responsible for their own behavior. We did not force choose or “knowlingly” assist them in their sexual endeavors. We believed, trusted and loved and were deceived and trampled on. If you can embrace that it is very liberating. Are you seeing a therapist just for you? It really helped me. I am 6 mos in after D day. And in a pretty good place overall. But the first 4 mos. , i have never been so traumatized in my whole life.

    Please take care of yourself first. Make good decisions about your future– you do have one. Something that helped me in the past few mos–was anlalyze/ listen to his behavior not words. It does not matter one iota what they say (oh they still love us, show me don’t tell me), it only matters what they do. Once I saw what he was doing, it became clear to me what my decisions would be. Please get legal counsel, and therapist for you. You don’t need to rush, you can make a plan from a calm, sane rational place. But you do need a plan, unless more of the same is acceptable to you. Which btw, it obviously is not. you have been couragous with your post–don’t give up on you. there is hope

  4. I am seeking counseling just for me. The resources on the base is limited so I sought help on the outside. This has been very difficult for me and the kids. I try not to involve them in this but they see me crying a lot lately. The sad part is that I feel damaged and unclean. I take 2-3 showers a day to wash away the pain. I have disclosed all the details believe or not to one of the women that he was messing with who didn’t have a clue that he was even married. When I got into his email account I contacted everyone and told them the truth about him. When I contacted her she reached out to me. Men don’t realize that women will unite when they have been betrayed in such a brutal way. Lying is so much of who he is that I cannot be with him anymore because I don’t know the real him. All the emails he sent out to women he met online disclosed how much he loved them and wanted a life with them. All of this he said to me. I am planning life without him. On his facebook page he listed his staus as single with baby mamma. I told him yesterday this is now true because I am just your baby mamm and no longer your wife.

  5. Dear Army Wife,

    Hi. I don’t know anything about being an army wife, but I know what it’s like to be married to an SA.

    First I’m very sorry for all the pain and awful feelings that come with this situation. It’s hard not to cry all the time at first, but it does eventually ease up. I still have a big cry every now and then, but I’m not a total wreck any longer. Hang in there.

    The whole taking showers thing is a bit of a freak out for me. Are you needing to be test for STD’s? Maybe that will help. But also, try to think positively about your body. It didn’t betray you, so you’ve got to stop blaming it. YOu do need outside counselling support to help you talk through these destructive feelings. HIs addiction is not your fault, and it’s not about you at all.

    It sounds like he was pretty deep into acting out, with all these things you discovered. So you’re idea of planning life without him sounds good—but it really does take planning, especially when you have children.

    Talk to your counsellor and get started. then let us know. That first step is hard, but you have to take it. And again, we’re really sorry it hurts so much.

    lots of love,
    D.

  6. Army Wife,

    I also spoke to one of the prostitutes and she helped me see what a liar my husband was. He also had relationships with these women. It is so hard I know. There are no words for the pain. I am going through the same thing. Please know you are not alone. I feel like your story is mine in many, many ways. There is no easy way out. I think we just have to suffer the intense agony and mourning until our body says enough. I often feel sad wondering if he misses me at all or if he ever even loved me at all. To know the whole marriage was a lie and illusion is the most painful experience I think I will ever feel. I am so sorry that this happened to you.

  7. Thank you for all the support. My therapist is really helping as she specializes in SA issues. I am planning to move on. But I have to get through the holidays. We have 3 children and I don’t want to disrupt their lives anymore than I need to. I no longer believe a word he says. I really don’t think these people are capable of true love and intimacy. I have stayed for so long and endured so much that there is some relief in knowing that maybe the worst is over and I have this new life ahead of me. He refuses to take responsibility and blames me and the women for being so easy in the first place that they believed his lies. He did have a difficult childhood in that his dad abused him physically and emotionally(severe spankings and words of you’ll never amount to anything). However, a lot of people have had difficult childhoods and are not sex addicts. I started going to church again and that also helps.

  8. It almost 2yeas ago since you posted, so I just wish you still can reply for me…
    I am also Army wife and just found out that he is sexual addiction. Me and my husband met in Japan which is my country. After we married, he did pcs to Frolida and he took all care about my VISA and stuff. that made me happy that I felt loved from him. I have one child from other marrige. I had been single mom for almost 10years and me and my son both thought I finaly met right person. so I thought my situation is just like yours. I trusted him so much but felt little deferent after we moved to Florida. We spent most of time with fighting, so I tought if he trying to get another woman that is my fault because I made him mad all the time.
    But, couple days ago, I saw my husband e-mail while he is deploying at Afgan. it was on ipot which he used to used. he forgot to deliete his account so I could see it without password. I found that on accident. at the time, we fight everyday on the chat. so I couldn’t stop to watching it.
    what I found was that he pays for women who are on porno website ads. he trying to contact with them after he comes back and he did while we are staying together and before. he does have a sex with everywhere he goes. all the places he stationed and deployed even in his hometown. he pays for “SheMale” also…
    that made me mentally shoked.
    Now, what I want to ask is how militaly help us? I took some picture of this e-mail for evidance because he will deleate those if he found out that I saw it. he calls me that I am crazy gerous person and told his family also, that way they all blaim on me. (Yes, his also had strange father who is control fleak and his mother won’t say against him at all. that made his personality wiered I believe)
    so I need to have those to prove that I am not liying. I just talk to chaplin on his conpund today. but not sure what they can do for us. hopefully I can get enough money to go back to Japan and start life with my son…

    Thank you.