A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing–Maria’s Story Of Sexually Addicted Husband

First, I would like to thank you for the site you have created. It has brought me much comfort during my darkest days, and helped me to recognize that I am not alone in this web of deceit that has been spun around me, although I wish that none of us had to endure this type of pain.

I met my husband in the Spring of 2005. I was living out west at the time, and he found me on an Italian/American group online. Normally, I would not speak to strangers on the internet; I have always been leery of the web. However, it seemed innocent enough to have a friendly chat with a guy who lived back on the East Coast and understood what it was like to be raised in an Italian family. The conversations were light-hearted and fun; it was nice to connect with someone who represented all I had left behind. There was never any flirtation. It was just friendly chit chat.

During the time I was speaking with him, I decided to move back East for my family. Several things had happened which made me feel that being back home was where I belonged. Once I got settled in, my future husband and I became a bit closer by speaking on the phone, etc. It was still at a friendly level. At the time, I had actually re-united with my high school boyfriend whom I had been on & off with for more than a decade. We were speaking about getting married. But eventually, that relationship started to turn sour for the same reasons it had in the past. My SA had suggested we meet in person and I was petrified, even though we had been “talking” for months. I picked a safe location, and wound up having a great time with him. We seemed to connect instantly, as if we had known each other all our lives. We were like best friends, and somehow, as the months went on, the friendship turned into something more. Before I knew what was happening, I was engaged to be married to him. It had only been 6 months since I met him face to face.

Since he and I were friends long before we were lovers, I knew about his past; he had been with many woman and was quite promiscuous. I didn’t even bat an eye when he told me these stories, for I had many male friends, and had heard it all before. Besides, who was I to judge what a man did whilst in College, or single in his 20s? He told me about the few serious relationships he was in, and how he had walked away from all of them, including the person he had been with right before me. In fact, he was engaged to be married to her and called the wedding off a mere month or so before the date. Again, I didn’t bat an eye. I was an attractive woman, and had never lacked in the men department, and although I hadn’t slept with as many people as him, I certainly was no angel, and I also had a list of broken hearts behind me, including a called-off wedding. So again, I didn’t think anything of it. I think it’s also important to note that he told me how I was the only woman he ever committed himself to before having had sex (he had asked me to be his girlfriend before we even slept together}. It made me feel special.

During our engagement he portrayed himself to be a caring, respectful, honest, funny, sensitive and trust-worthy family man. He was never overly romantic, but he had his moments. A few months before our wedding, I contracted a very serious illness and literally almost died. I spent 2 months in and out of the hospital and he was very supportive and caring. The illness was so severe that I wasn’t given permission to go ahead with the wedding ceremony until 2 weeks prior. I had some serious side effects from it {one being actual brain swelling}. The wedding day was beautiful, even though I was still on heavy medication and having memory lapses.

Overnight, and I literally mean OVERNIGHT, things completely changed.

When we woke up the next morning as a married couple, my husband seemed different. He was withdrawn and distracted. I thought I was just hallucinating these things as my brain was still feeling a bit “off”. Due to my illness, we had to cancel our honeymoon in Europe {I wasn’t allowed out of the country} and instead went somewhere close in the states. Things got even worse on our “honeymoon”. Suddenly, my husband didn’t want to touch me as much; he didn’t appear interested in sex as much; and all he did throughout the honeymoon was look at other women. I remember thinking to myself “this is our HONEYMOON”. Shouldn’t he be totally enamored by his new wife”? Other men were staring at me; why wasn’t he? When I brought it up to him he told me that the illness I had was making me confused and paranoid. I already suffered from panic attacks so this made me even more nervous that I wasn’t seeing things clearly.

The first month of our marriage seemed ok, aside from the sex problem. I did notice that he spent an awful lot of time on the computer; social networking sites, IM’ing, emails, etc. He also watched a ton of porn. Again, this is something I didn’t really think much about because what man doesn’t look at porn? All the men I knew did….

Less than 2 months into our marriage I came home from work early because one side of my body had gone numb {another side effect of the illness I had}. He was in the shower, and I went to hop on the computer to get the # to my doctor’s office. When I sat down, I was staring at an email from my husband to a woman on Craig’s list; it was regarding a massage with a “happy ending”. I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. When he came out of the shower, I spit in his face and then threw him out of the house. That night my Uncle died, and I had a relapse. Somehow, some way, my husband snuck his way back into my life during this hard time. He made it seem that everything was blown out of proportion because I wasn’t thinking clearly, and now I was also in mourning. I am a smart woman. Normally I wouldn’t have fallen for this line. But I was weak both in mind and body at the time. So life went on.

Over the next 2 years things just got worse. We were trying to start a family, but I had reproductive issues. I got pregnant twice, only to lose both. It was devastating. My husband became more and more detached. He spent HOURS on the computer, only had sex with me when I was ovulating, and never once consoled me over my pregnancy losses. He never hugged me, kissed me, nothing. He said that all of it was a waste of time, especially when we had sex. Straight intercourse was “good enough”. Something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I began to fall into a bit of a depression.

Then one day, again OVERNIGHT, he was back to his old self. Although he still spent countless hours on the computer, he began to pay attention to me, and even wanted to have sex with me for “fun” {still without any foreplay though}. I figured that all of the things that seemed odd in the past 2 years were a part of my depression and my paranoia. We were told we would need to do IVF in order to conceive with the possibility of me carrying to term. I went through the IVF process, and became pregnant. First it was triplets, and then we lost one. So I was pregnant with twins. I was high risk from the beginning. And the moment I found out I was pregnant, my husband withdrew yet again. It was like living with a dead man; he had no emotion, no change of facial expression, no ANYTHING. He was completely robotic.

And now I found him watching porn CONSTANTLY. I mean, ALL THE TIME. I would go to get a sonogram to check on the twins; he would say he wasn’t feeling well so he wanted to stay home; and I would always come home and find him masturbating to porn. I sensed something was really really really wrong with this guy. I also caught him talking to ex’s all the time; both on the phone and on the computer. At that time, my pregnancy went wrong, and my water broke way too early. I was put in the hospital on bed rest. I was told to abort the pregnancy. I chose to continue on, and remained on bed rest the entire time. I was admitted back into the hospital and stayed there until I gave birth to my twins. I was only 27 weeks along. My son was born first, only lived for a day, and died in my arms. My daughter was put in an incubator and fought for her life for months. During this time, my husband was completely useless. Cold, mean, detached, and robotic. He wasn’t even there when I gave birth. He left me alone in bed while I cried at night. He chose to sleep on the downstairs couch. I really felt like I was married to a sociopath or a narcissist. He showed me no love, no anything. I had never felt so alone in my life.

My daughter came home from the hospital at only 4 pounds and on an apnea monitor after a 3 month struggle. I was consumed with caring for her, and dealing with the death of my son. At this time, all my husband did was sit on social networking sites, and IM’s. He also texted people constantly, and completely ignored me both mentally and physically. He was not a good dad either. He would hold the baby like a sack of potatoes, then disappear into the basement to his “private” computer. I contemplated leaving him, even though I was broke and dealing with a premature infant.

The next year was a blur. I was ignored, discarded, abandoned. Every time I tried to talk to him about this, he shut me down. He would stand there staring at me with the most blank look on his face. He never changed expression. He never responded verbally. He never did anything but stare. He didn’t want to talk, didn’t want anything to do with me. I hated him.

Finally, when my daughter was healthy and over a year old, I confronted him. I had several arguments with him, but they were all one sided. He never reacted. I wrote him emails and letters. They were all left unanswered. I brought up divorce. He totally ignored me. I found tons of porn on the computer, caught him masturbating constantly, yet we hadn’t had sex in months. I knew there was something off. I just didn’t know what. Until one day I cornered him and forced him to say something, ANYTHING. It was at that time that he admitted to being addicted to porn; he also said he couldn’t have sex with me and didn’t know why; and that he had cheated on me with a prostitute. Again, I spit in his face and threw him out the house. I was devastated, shocked, disgusted, angry, sad..so many emotions coursing through my body. I tried to hold it all together for my daughter who was only 16 months at the time and needed me. But it was close to impossible. After I threw him out he kept texting me, telling me it had only happened once back in 2007, and he had felt so guilty about it that he never did it again, and instead he turned to excessive porn. He mentioned things like “sex addiction” and “intimacy problems”. He claimed he was unable to connect with me physically or emotionally BECAUSE he loved me. How can anyone make sense of this? Because of my daughter, I decided to allow him back into the house to try and work on things. He began 12 steps and therapy, and I took control of all of the finances. I also put blocks on all the computers and phones. But while doing this, I uncovered so many more things. Tons of missing money, including my daughter’s entire savings. Strange withdrawals from ATM’s by his job for hundreds of dollars a piece. I checked the records, going back as far as 2007, and the same pattern emerged every few months. I then decided to cross-reference the large withdrawals with his itemized phone bills and found all kinds of bizarre numbers dialed on the same days that the money was taken out. Some of the numbers I called were no longer in service, but the newest 3 were. And I spoke with them. They were prostitutes. The last one was called only 3 days before he “confessed”. It coincided with missing money. I was so sick I literally vomited. When he came home from work, I asked him a barrage of questions. All he kept saying was “i don’t know what you’re talking about. I already told you everything. I didn’t do anything else. I swear on our deceased son. If there are any strange numbers I dialed it was probably just me calling and not actually going through with it. I was testing myself. I don’t know what happened to the money. Why can’t you let it go” blah blah blah. So I called one of the prostitutes right in front of him. He just sat there and stared at me. Again, no reaction. Just a cold blank stare. He continued to stare at me as I inquired about rates for my “brother” etc, etc. When I hung up he just looked at me and said “I already told you I was sorry, what more are you looking for”? Not a tear shed, not a glimmer or remorse in his eyes, just a whole lot of nothing. So I again threw him out.

What hurt me the most is that I had been nothing but a faithful wife to him, and a good mother, and all of the things that men always desire. I was pretty, sexy, smart, witty, the whole package. I loved him, I always wanted to be with him, and this is what I got in return. I began to lose tons of weight from the knots in my stomach as I pieced together times he had been with the hookers; while I was in the hospital trying to save our children’s lives; while I was home with a concussion from a beam falling on my head; while I was out planning a surprise party for him; while I was taking our daughter to her physical therapy. I also saw that I had sent him pictures on the phone of the baby DURING the times he was with the prostitutes which means that once he was done doing his “thing”, he left the hotel, saw the picture of our child, and then called me as if NOTHING had happened. What kind of cold, calculating, horrible individual is capable of doing these things??? He depleted ALL of our savings; the money we had as married couple; the money I had from before we were married; and all of the baby’s money.

I have no idea what to do or where to turn. I feel as if I can NEVER forgive him for all that he has done. Every picture I look at is tainted. Every memory I have with him is poisoned. He single-handedly changed my entire persona, making me feel as if I were crazy, and ugly, and undesirable. He refuses to divorce, says he wants to stay in the marriage, claims he doesn’t want our daughter to grow up in a broken home. But as far as I can see, it’s better for her to grow up in a broken home with a happy mother who has a chance to find someone who loves and respects her than to stay in a hostile environment that shall always be filled with doubt, anger, and absolutely no trust. At this time, due to the state of our finances, I cannot just leave him; I have nothing left, my daughter is still receiving services for preemie issues, and I myself have a serious injury that requires surgery. Living with him on a day to day basis is gut wrenching, and most of the time I just want to bang my head against a wall because I feel as if I am talking to a brick whenever I try to discuss something. He goes to his meetings, but hasn’t actually done the “steps”. No matter, I don’t believe in it anyhow. He was going to a counselor with me, and she challenged him, so he decided to go to one who “better understands” him, and got the name from one of the guys in his group. To this day, 6 months after d-day, he has yet to show any emotion at all, aside from anger. All he does is get angry and hit the couch whenever I bring up something he did. Also, I feel as if I am a prison warden. Who wants to live like this?? My parents just gave me the money to put my son’s name on the tombstone, and I just want to scream knowing that the money we needed to do this was spent on hookers and porn sites. I also feel sorry for my daughter, who has to call this person her father, and I’m disgusted that she has his DNA. I just wanted to know if anybody else out there felt this way. To me, it seems to be a hopeless cause; a life with him will be awful; and even though the other road is scary, it at least has possibilities. I find NO possibility of happiness with my husband, for I do not believe he will ever change, nor do I believe he actually has a “problem”. I think he is nothing more than a plague that descended down upon my life and left me in ruins, and I just want to walk away from the disaster and start anew. I just don’t know how given the circumstances.

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Responses

  1. Hi Maria, I am so sorry to read your story as I am for the countless women who have suffered the same heartache. You’re in such a vulnerable situation with your young daughter and all the health issues. It really makes me angry that you’re not in a position to move on and that he derives power from this. I, too, was completely sucked in by my SA, but truth be told, he was always kind and generous with me, so you can imagine how I reeled when I found out about his cheating. It just didn’t make any sense to me. He desperately wanted children, but he couldn’t and we went through rounds of IVF. Fortunately, I dodged a bullet by not getting pregnant.

    I now see that my SA has 2 personas and I didn’t see the callous narcissist until I discovered his secret life. We know there is that loving side and for my own peace, I’ll remember him for that, but he is damaged and broken. He is doing his best to heal, but his capacity to fully do so is limited.

    You were duped as we all were, but the writing was on the wall. I totally get that you hung on to the loving side that you experienced during periods in your relationship, but he was, without a doubt, in-your-face abusive. I see that you now know it for what it is. Given your circumstances, my suggestion, if I may, is to detach emotionally for the sake of your sanity and your daughter. Is there anything you can do financially like withdrawing money and saving it in another account? When I first found out about my SA’s cheating, I demanded money every month and he gave it to me. I also saved some evidence of his cheating which he knows I have, but have never threatened to use against him. Of course, I would, but sadly, we have to out-smart them. I didn’t want him bringing up in therapy that I threatened him and I always said I wouldn’t tell his family and friends. I know he hasn’t relapsed, but he’s doing other things to control me like gaslighting, especially when I was starting to get better. I loved my partner and wanted to make it work, but sometimes I reassured him so that he wouldn’t have his guard up. I was wasn’t always successful as I had a hard time reigning in my reactivity, but it only caused resistance. I finally left and he’s agreed to alimony in spite of a cohabitation agreement. I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t show anger and to be honest, I don’t live my life with anger. I have put the 11 years of betrayal behind me and recently, I’ve let go of the CSAT counseling that in my opinion, drove me to finally leave. There is hope, it may seem impossible to imagine at this time, but you now see your husband for what he is and that’s the first step.
    Lynda