Hi, I am Aly and here is my story.
I have been married to a sex addict for 10 years. 3 years together prior to that. He has been a SA for pretty much all of his adult life. I am his second wife, he lost the first one because of his addiction.
My husband as far as I know has not had any affairs but can’t stay away from porn. TV, computer, blackberry, or visits those places where you go in the back and watch a video. (don’t really know how it works I’ve never been there). Every time he gets caught he begs for one more chance. He begins going to therapy and buys all the books he can find. I give him another chance, he stays in recovery mood for a few months and then I catch him again. This has gone on like this for ten long years. For the past two years he has been attending SAA meetings twice a week. We have an eight year old who loves her dad very much, he is a great dad and aside from the sex addiction he is a great husband. I have read many times that a sex addict will pull away from his wife and family. That has never been the case with him. He is always very attentive to our needs and our household. He is also very sexual with me, as a matter of fact I think he is above normal ( I know that has to do with his addiction). I have read that eventually a SA will stop having sex with his/her spouse, again that has never happen with him.
Sometime this past January I caught him again. I had enough. He might be a great person other than his addiction, but what his addiction has done to me I feel I will never be able to fix. I am always sad. I have no patience with my daughter and that makes me feel worst of all. None of this is her fault and I should not yell at her for every little thing. I want to be at home all the time. Have no desire to go out or be around people I know. I have lost all desire for sex. I actually feel a little disgusted with just the thought of it. I know this is not normal, but I don’t know what to do. We are now separated. I told him he had to leave and work on his recovery on his own. I could not be a part of his struggle any more. We agreed to not see anybody else in the hopes that he would get better. Last week I found porn on his work computer. We work together, we have a family business. I now have an appointment with a lawyer and he has decided to go to an inpatient intensive SA therapy facility.
I don’t want to get divorce, I still love my husband but I don’t know what else to do. I am also very scared, as I said before we work together, I would have to find work else where. (the work market is not the best right now). We would have to sell our house and that just breaks my heart, both for us and our daughter. The hardest part is dealing with him right now, all he does is beg for another chance. I also have our families who don’t want us to split up. I feel like I am the one letting everyone down when I have done nothing wrong.
I know that no one can tell me what to do but I am open to your comments. I don’t know anyone with this problem and I need the advise of someone who has been there.
I think if I don’t get divorce he will never get better. I know I am taking a big chance but I don’t see any other way out!
Thanks for listening to my story.
Stories are bridges from one mind to another. ~ Martha Holloway
Hi Aly, thanks so much for sharing your story, and I am so sorry that you are in such pain. I can honestly say that everyone here knows exactly how you feel.
I think there is hope if your husband has agreed to inpatient SA therapy. I think he will gain a lot of insight during that time.
Do you have a counselor? I think it is vital for the spouse or partner to obtain good therapy to help them recover from the trauma of betrayal.
I think you have some time before you decide to file for a divorce, but I would see an attorney just to find out what your options are, especially financially. I would strongly advise finding, or continuing with, your own counseling and see if the inpatient therapy has a positive affect on your husband.
I know you must feel that this is the blackest moment in your life, but trust me, it does get better. You need to decide what is best for you and your daughter and you need to keep yourself and her emotionally, financially and physically safe.
Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. We are always here for you.
Hi Aly, I’m really feeling your pain–I’ve been there too.
I’m in the middle of moving right now, our family home is gone and I’m just lucky I can afford a townhouse–this is a situation created by my partner’s addiction.
I understand how this addiction is de-stabilizing everything in your life, including your work. I think it’s important for you to really see the extent of that negative influence, and its effect on your lives. Because you and your children don’t need it. There will be some de-stabilizing factors in your life, but they should be because of the choices you are making to get out from under this oppression.
YOu and your children are real people who only get one chance at life—don’t squander anymore of that time living in his “recovery/relapse” mode. Get away from it. Your head wiil clear. I know from experience that getting out of range of his activities and problems and emotional energy will actually give you more chance of creating a new relationship with him, it it’s ever going to possible. You have to stop the cycle by stepping out of it. By doing that he also has no buffer for his life and is more likely to deal with himself in a program.
When you step away—you will know what to do and people will come forward to help you along the way. The life force at work in the world is for good—grab a little for yourself.
And JoAnn is soooo right—it may feel like there is no hope for anything—but there is lots of hope for you and your children–we have hope because we know there is a way even when there seems to be no way. Let us believe for you until you can believe for yourself. I just know the women on this site will do that for you. Trust it. And then one day you will find yourself believing too.
Again, I’m very sad to feel your heartache–even through the internet. but I’m going to get out of bed now, pack more stuff and take another load down to my little downsized home. Because my life is worth the effort—so is yours.
lots of light holding you in its circle,
Thank you so much JoAnn and Jane for your kind words and sound advice. I will try to keep all of you girls and everything I have read here in my mind as I face my uncertain future. I know I won’t feel this way for ever. Jane I am so sorry to hear you are in the process of leaving your house. But you sound confident and strong and that gives me hope. I wish you all the luck in the world. How did you come to the decision to leave your home? Are you also getting divorce?
I am very curious about one thing. Why is it so difficult to break this addiction when it is in your head? It does not cause physical pain like a drug or alcohol would, even cigarettes. I know my husband loves me, why is he willing to loose everything in his life (for the second time, he was previously married and has two children) over images on a screen?
I have never been addicted to anything so maybe I am just clueless.
JoAnn I don’t have a counselor, I don’t want to spend any money right now. Hopefully I can begin feeling better once all is settle with my husband, but if not I will definitely get one then. I have to get in a healthy frame of mind for my daughter. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself any longer than I have to.
I too think that the in-patient facility will be good for my husband, I just don’t think it will cure him. That is the way he puts it. “This time he will really be able to stick with it” When an addict begins his recovery it’s normal to relapse. I always understood that. But everytime my husband gets cought he begins a new form of recovery, and in his mind this entitles him to relapse over and over, because he’s trying something different than the last time. The way he looks at it, he is trying. I am the bad one for giving up on him and our beautifull family.
Jane I agree with you completely on the de-stabilizing factors in our life. As a matter of fact that is one of the biggest reasons why I have come to my decision. I am a strong beliver in not counting on others to make you happy or bring you peace. We tell physically abused women to leave their husbands. Why do we insist on staying with sex addicts that mentally abuse us over and over again. I have giving all I can to this relationship. More really than I should have. Things that I regret doing just to see if that would help him not act out. Things that I am embarrassed about. I can’t be happy living with his addiction, so I have to walk away. If I am not happy two years from now it will be because of me, not because of someone else.
We are getting together this weekend to try to split our assets. We have an appointment in three weeks with an attorney for a divorce through mediation. If we can come to an agreememt this divorce could be very fast. I think the hardest part will be the sale of our beautiful house. I live in a city where there are lots of homes for sale and no one is buying. Like you Jane, I plan to get a town house for my daughter and I. It’s a funny thing, I bought a town house when I was 23. It was my first big purchase. I was so proud of it then. Now at 41 it’s a big step backwards financially, but hopefully it will make me a stronger person and someone my daughter can be proud of.
Again thanks for your help.
Grrrrrrr! Every time I hear someone say that relapses are a normal part of recovery I just want to scream. I will do a post on that topic soon, but believe me, the only ones saying that are the addicts.
Relapses can happen, but they don’t have to. And I can guarantee that when the addict finally experiences that paradigm shift and commits totally to recovery, there are no more relapses.
For some reason even the 12 step programs promote this falsehood (along with many others), which only enable the addict to accept relapses as a part of recovery. They are not!
I must commend you on your strength and clarity. You have a very healthy attitude and know what you must do to keep you and your daughter safe even if it means experiencing hardship.
To help you understand how Sex Addiction works and why it is such a compelling addiction check out these posts:
Addiction Brain Chemistry Research
The Triple Whammy High Of Sex Addiction
Intensity is the Sex Addict’s High.
Sex Addiction, especially addiction to internet porn is extremely difficult to overcome and does produce withdrawal symptoms similar to discontinuing drugs. Because it is a psychological as well as an actual physical (due to the brain chemistry) addiction, it is just as difficult to overcome as any drug addiction.
Stay strong, keep in touch and know that we are always here for you.
A few things… You aren’t clueless at all about addiction. Sex for the SA IS very much “a drug”. It affects the brain in much the same way and more. I know that JoAnn has some other posts regarding this. Please don’t ever call yourself “bad” for leaving. From everything I have heard and read so far, in most situations, it IS the best thing to do, for everyone concerned. And I mean everyone–including the children! In some cases, leaving might be temporary or permanent, but the SA needs to learn how to cope without the “crutch” of a spouse. The partner of the sex addict, unwittingly becomes the “enabler” and also a ruse of sorts for what often appears to be a completely normal life that is anything but. This is the case of my ex-friend who quite sadly is hopeless(at least right now) and unfortunately, his partner, for whatever her reasons, does not have the strength to understand his limitations and leave and make a better, healthier life for herself and possibly enable him to do the same.
Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a wonderful writer and recovering SA and is listed on the right. A few months ago he had a link to a blog posting from a young man who is a porn addict. He explains in very clear terms what it feels like to be a porn addict and what sometimes triggers it. He has no control, once he begins a binge. A warning. He uses some very colorful language and imagery and if you are sensitive to that, please don’t read it.
I am curious how he’s doing now.
As for you. I know that you don’t want to spend the money for a therapist. It doesn’t mean that you are crazy at all. But, you are going through some heavy stuff and the support of a good counselor is immensely helpful. It is money well-spent and if you don’t have insurance, many therapists will work something out with you. (My mom’s a shrink and she does that all the time!)
I understand about doing things that you wouldn’t normally do, to try and make things “work.” Please don’t beat yourself up about it. I did that too with my lover. Its easy to rationalize all of it when you’re in the middle of it. Later comes the remorse, shame and sadness, when the reality sinks in that all you have been doing, all along, is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
I guess its the knowledge that hits us finally–when we’ve reached our inevitable limit, that we are indeed powerless to effect any meaningful change on our own.
Better days are in store for you, I am sure. You have a winning attitude and that’s what counts!
Hey, we live in a townhouse… It was supposed to be our “starter home”, but 19 years later, we’re still here!(loooooong story) Its great! No yard work! 😉
So much to talk about….
First, let me say that I love my new little house and am past that hideous moment of losing my family home. I love it because it will not have the crazy, selfcentred, cruel, depressed energy of my partner in it. And it won’t have the manic love experience that happens when I catch a glimpse of who he is without the addiction running everything. I get to live in a place without keeping one eye open for his mood swings, his acting out, his remorse, his crapppppppp!
I don’t have to be around his recovery dramas. I can live my life and catch my breath, while he works on becoming honest and whole.
I found one and then had to cancel because her rates were nearly twice what I could afford. When I told her that, with some embarassment because I have a real job and everything, she took me on with a reduced fee that my benefits would cover. Sometimes she also let me stay longer than the hour and didn’t charge me extra. There are people like that who have discretion wiht their fees and will help you. I didn’t know this and thank goodness she wouldn’t let me fire her. She just said come for an hour and I’ll charge you what you can afford while you search for a therapist. Then she just kept me. I don’t know what I would have done without her. And I am pretty strong. But this experience nearly killed me. I was humiliated by everything—what I had believed about him, how unattractive I felt, how stupid I was, how I couldnt afford anything, etc etc. Normally I don’t need an audience for my feelings, but the depth of grief was so bad i was going completely numb. She made me feel and name, and gave me a safe place to recover the person she kept saying I was. She believed in me, like I said we would believe in you. And she doesn’t hate my partner, either–she’s not “my girlfriend”. That helps because he is doing well in recovery and we have some hope now.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t need my own place. I do. I can’t wait around for him to be ready—that’s a power imbalance. When and if he’s every ready—he will have to work for a place in my life, and he will have to fit in.
Well, more to do. much love to all of you,
This woman’s husband knows he is a sex addict and has been in SA almost all his adult life. REad the story–don’t make up one that is more convenient for your purposes. She tells us he knew he was a sex addict before she married him. It’s not her assessment–it is his own assessment. Your characterization of his use of porn is not what she describes. This guy can’t stay away from it. It’s all-consuming. That is compusive behaviour, not recreational.
The need to minimize and dismiss his addiction to porn, coupled with the need to blame her is really kind of obvious. Do some research of porn addiction–you will find the effects on the viewer’s brain are well-documented, and the consequences to relationships profoundly negative. Sometimes isn’t just about your penis being happy, after all.
Dear A Man,
Jane is correct. This isn’t about rubbing one out, (to a magazine or video) a few times a week for 20-30 minutes. If that’s all it was, YES, you would be correct, that is perfectly normal, for a lot of people who have a high sex drive and/or if they do not have a sex partner to engage in sex with. If they miss a day or two, its not a big deal. There is nothing wrong with occasional even once a day, masturbation, to someone who is NOT sexually addicted. (this topic is too complex to address fully here) Women often do this too, btw, and guess what? We are visual too! Why do you think we spend so much time making ourselves look nice??? (and our homes, etc.)
But occasional pornography use is NOT what Aly and others on here are talking about. Sex/Porn/Love Addiction is a compulsive, all-encompassing, devastating, progressive ILLNESS that runs a person’s ENTIRE life. It can cause huge financial losses, bankruptcy, illness and catastrophic pain and trauma to loved ones. Sex Addiction can also lead to death if left untreated. It is a very serious condition and must be treated as such.
Perpetuating myths that this is all just “men being men” is not only very uninformed, but just plain wrong!
I am re-posting this link written by a young man who went into rehab last March for pornography use.(again, its pretty graphic and might be disturbing to some readers here)
The other thing, is that we are here on this blog to provide support to loved ones of sex addicts. Telling a devastated, traumatized wife that she is a “fool” to divorce him and that “SHE is the ONE with the problem” is out of line and inappropriate. You cannot even begin to understand the trauma and immense devastation to relationships that this disease causes. It is next to impossible to treat or recover from. Partners of SAs need compassion, and understanding and a tremendous amount of support; not ridicule.
Please learn more about Sex Addiction which can ALSO include addiction to pornography. To make a parallel with alcoholism– It is akin to a person who can stop drinking after a drink or two, and then another person who cannot stop drinking until they are unconscious. That person is an alcoholic. And so it is, with a sex addict. Sex (which is like a drug for them)and controls their lives.
I hope that gives you a clearer understanding of what Sex Addiction is. There is much more here, that JoAnn has outlined very clearly, which explains it all, even better.
Dear A Man,
I have stayed married for the past few years because I felt the same way you do. He is a good father, a good provider, he is attentive and as far as I know he has never physically cheated on me. But even knowing this I can not stop the hurt and the pain every time I walk in on him and his porn just one hour after being intimate with me for 2 hours straight. Why aren’t I enough to satisfy him? Or the times on vacation when before bed, again just after being together, he leaves the hotel room for a smoke and is gone one to two hours?
Now you might think, “Obviously you are not doing enough to satisfy your husband in bed”. Here is a little bit of news for you. The partner of a sex addict goes to great lengths to do anything he/she desires in the hopes that this will keep him/her from acting out. But it never works. The reason it never works it’s because we are not the ones with the problem, it is them. My husband got sex from me at least once a day. And not that it matters but I look better than most of the girls I have seen in his movies. Unless you live with a sex addict you can’t understand the way we feel.
People like you are the reason so many women go through life never talking to anyone about their problems. They are afraid of being judge and being blame for the problems in their relationship.
I guess you are a regular guy. Tell me this, do you stay at work late so you can find porn sites on your work computer after everyone has gone home? Or do you drive home from work with porn playing on your lap top on the passenger side in your car? Do you consider this kind of behavior normal??
I don’t have a problem with masturbation or porn, I have a problem with a disease my husband has and the fact that he wont stick to a recovery plan long enough.
I also have a small child to think about. Do I want her walking in on her father and his porn the way I have many times? No I don’t want that for her. I want her to respect and love her father, even if I can’t.
Nothing in this life is certain, you might be right, I might never find anyone better then my SA husband. I alone know what I can live with and what I can not. But right now I have to think about me and my daughter. I trust GOD will help me find the right path.
I thank you for taking the time to read my post but I must agree with Jane and Lorraine, you don’t know enough about this disease to judge me or anyone else going through it.
Aly, I know your posts were back in May so you may not read this.
I also don’t have any proof my bf has been physically with another woman (although I have some hints and suspicion unlike you). He is also attentive and present and helpful and very sexual with me. But I am also extemely effected by his porn obsession. Like your spouse, mine also will go and watch porn for an hour or 90 minutes after we’ve had two hours of intimacy. I also make the effort to have sex with him a minimum of once per day and often twice per day in an effort to satisfy his needs and so that he won’t act out and yet he still watches porn on a daily basis – typically two times per day and cruises escort ads.
I struggle with thinking he just has a very high sex drive and thinking it’s an addiction. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to be in my sixties and on and on and worrying about pleasing my insatiable partner for fear of what he’s going to do to take care of it himself.
I also look better than a lot of the women in his porn except perhaps the “barely legal” models but that’s another story. It’s not about me being enough – I know I am enough and we’ve had an incredibly active, varied sex life.
I didn’t know that SAs eventually stop having sex with their partner but maybe that makes sense in my situation. Recently he’s been pulling away from me sexually. It’s the first time in three years. He has been too tired for sex (and then sneaks off to watch porn for five hours), has a cold (when previously he’d have out patient surgery, come home and insist on sex), and had erectile dysfunction (which only happened one other time in the past three years when he had too much to drink one evening) – all of this in the past three months. He has a million and one excuses but it’s all so incredibly out of character – this man is like a walking hard-on twenty-four seven and now he’s suddenly acting more like a normal person in regards to frequency and ability. Makes no sense whatsoever – nothing has changed in our lives.
I suppose when he first became too tired it was when we were on a vacation and I was very bothered by the extent to which he was oogling other women. It was so incredibly painful. I’m sitting there all dolled up like he supposedly likes and he can’t stop openly rubber necking other women around us. A friend of mine who was with us even noticed it. She said, everytime I was engaged in conversation and looking away from him, he was staring at other women. Humiliating. I mentioned it to him and perhaps this is why he pulled away from me and then passive aggressively was “too tired” for sex the rest of the weekend. When we got home and he was holed up in his house away from me, he watched porn all day long for the entire weekend, then would come over my place in the evening, claiming he had a cold and didn’t feel sexual – even though no cold ever stopped his relentless pursuit of sex before.
I want to be free of this. I want to stop feeling insecure and like I have to make choices around my appearance and behavior in order to control his behavior.
I can’t give you much advice. I am sorry. I can tell you that i found out my boyfriend was a porn addict after he moved in with me. We went to therapy together and he vowed he would stay in recovery. He was watching hours and hours of porn a day, cheated on me, while he was at work with a clerk that worked next door, he didn’t admit to cheating on me until after we were married with a baby girl. he too is a great dad and husband… but is he really when the love of porn is greater. he admits there is a part of him that doesn’t want to stop (that is the addict) the man who responded earlier has no idea what he is talking about and adddict meanns no control out of control no fear of consequences and risking everything. the more the risk the greater the high… i am sad, on edge always.. will he cheat and give me an illness like HPV that causes cancer, is he lying again .. he lies by ommission always.. i ask a question and the first 10 times it is no then the face changes and it is yes. i feel i love him but i hate his addiction. if i leave him i will miss him but not his addiction. i know am starting to think — like the “man” above that ALL men cheat lie run … so what is the point of leaving … but you know what it is not true… put you and your daughter first love her and treat her well always and yourself too. My daughther is the only blessing i have right now. i fear she will fall in love with someone who is just like her daddy — that is the worst fear i have that people are unconsciously attracted to what is “normal” to them. i live day to day not really knowing if i am going to stay married to him… i tell him this. i will support his recovery but not his addiction. EVER.. he is on chance three his recovery must come first. You are not leaving your husband you are leaving the addict that controls him. he can’t have both. it is his choice not yours.. life is beautiful embrace it live it laugh … that is what i try to do but i know then the shadow comes back… reminding you that you are involved in something not healthy or peaceful. i almost envy you that you are on the path of never having to wake up and say i wonder if he is acting out today. Run Run Run i probably will do the same thing if he chooses to live a tortured life.
To “A Man” with comments like yours, you must also be a sex addict!!! You sound very defensive like you understand the situation. In addition to having a sexual addiction, a man might be a “great father”, but a sex addict is incapable of having a fulfilling and satisfying relationship that can emotionally fulfill a woman. After all, it is the woman and not the child that you are married to, right! Because of their sex addiction, they are narsassistic and selfish with their emotional feelings when it comes to a relationship. It has nothing to do with being a good father. I suggest that you read up on the topic of “sex addiction” to understand the full disasterous implications that it has on a marriage. Statistics show that many marriages are destroyed because of sex addicts and has nothing to do with whether they are a good father or bad father! Read up before you make judgmental comments about someone’s experience.
I’m so sorry that comment slipped past me. We do not allow any comments here from men or Sex Addicts. Somehow I missed that one and I do apologize. He was just a TOTAL ASS!
I am so thrilled I found this website. I know I’m not alone with this — and I know it’s my decision, but I don’t know what to do.
I’m married to a sex addict. We have been together for 10 years, married for 3 — I’ve known about his addiction for years, and every time I ‘catch’ him he cries says he’ll be stronger, he loves me, he’ll work harder…blahblahblah. I’ve forgiven him more times than I can count. I’ve threatened to divorce him, or leave him but I never have. He has a sponsor, he even goes to meetings weekly — and then 72 hours ago, I found out (through Facebook — yeah, Facebook!!!!!) he still is looking at pornographic dating websites.
I kicked him out of the house (this is a first for me) and I’m devastated (again.) I feel as if he doesn’t love me, or ever did. I feel ugly and worthless. He looked so pathetic when he came over to talk to me today, he cried, he doesn’t want to loose me, loves me, needs me (etc) — pretty much the same stuff that he has always said in the past. I told him he’s a liar and he doesn’t take the addiction seriously, he agrees and says he’ll do anything for me to believe in him again. I don’t know if I have it in me. He’s betrayed me for years — why should this time be any different?? deep down he’s a wonderful man, but how can I trust him again, since he’s ruined that trust every single time?
How can you continue to be married to a sex addict?
If you stay is that enabling? Any comments would help — I’m torn, I want to see him get better. I want this marriage to work — but I’m scared to death.
Just so I’m clear, why are men not allowed to post on here?
I have read your stories and watched Youtube clips on healing and recovery from Sex Addiction. What are the chances of life being bearable, if I give my husband a chance to recover….it is very hard to see what the odds are. Our marriage has always been fraught with sexual tension and after 13 years I have only now come to understand what is behind this – an addiction. He is addicted to chat rooms and has met women for sex. Am I some kind of latter day saint or sad mug, if I cock my head on one side and get all understanding about it? It is so hard to have perspective – we have 2 beautiful children, an average home and not much money. We are both in our 40’s. I am so so tired of coping with him and his anxieties, demands and criticisms. But I now know there is a reason for it. It is a total torment. He has moved out to his Mums and I cannot decide whether to get strong and say “this is it” or whether to be strong and say “lets try and work through this”. Aaaaaaggggggggggh. What do you think, ladies?
What if you didn’t make any decisions/plans for now? Just leave him where he is and see what he offers up. Wait for HIM to come to YOU and tell you what he’s doing/willing to do to win back his family and your trust? His brilliant ideas should include therapy for himself, 12-step meetings, and the commitment to support you in your healing. Let him do all the work while he lives somewhere that is not his own home–the home he lost his privileges in. Just my suggestion.
Really glad to find you all…
I’m really devastated right now. I knew my husband had been masturbating to an inappropriate degree (ex. at work) before we met and his way of presenting information left things rather vague about when he stopped. We were not together very long before we married. We are both in a religious community and waiting until marriage for sex is one of the tenets of our Faith. Though I had been sexually active years before, I took this commitment seriously. Immediately upon marrying his charming, affectionate, loving, supportive ways crumbled and he became disdainful, contemptuous and just plain mean at times — starting days after our wedding (some honeymoon…). He hated physical and verbal affection. This would be juxtaposed with times when he would break down in tears about his struggles in life while talked him through it and comforted him. He would be grateful and then quickly go back to the old ways. He also worked from home and rather than do his work he would spend approximately 8-14 hours a day on the computer, playing video games and watching movies and tv. When I suggested that perhaps this was in the territory of an addiction I was met with such seething contempt that I dropped it. I strongly suspected that he had traded the addiction to masturbation for the addiction to distraction on the computer. Turns out I was kind of right.
He was avoiding the masturbation at that time. He would lie about other things or deliberately hide the truth (even jeopardizing my work at one point by deliberately withholding a message he was asked to share with me). He would tell stories to friends that I noticed embellishments in and eventually spoke with him about. He confessed and cried (this is a pattern) and really did make efforts to fix this.
We made some changes to our work and individual lives that helped. About a year and a half in, our relationship began getting sweeter and more comfortable. I began telling friends that we were really improving. It was lovely, really. I felt like I was seeing the man I met — and that he was actually better, more authentic, more my friend. Sure, we had sex maybe once or twice a month (at my initiation) but that seemed so unimportant considering the improvements in just living with each other.
As he continued his individual journey of self-discovery through therapy, etc. he began getting more honest with me. Finally coming out with the fact that around the time our relationship seemed to be improving he had begun masturbating again. He was using pornography and fantasy. Nearly a year and a half he had been hiding this. By accident, I found out that he was also using photos of my friends, his friends and even my family on Facebook to imagine he was having sex with them for his masturbation. I asked him more questions and found out that when we had sex he would imagine begin with someone else — apparently my friends. I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have moments of compassion for him, and sometimes even real excitement for him that he is finally facing truth in his life. I know that he had traumas in childhood and adolescence that contributed to this. Still, I go up and down (which seems normal). We are still living together, in separate rooms. We are still cordial, and usually friendly. Humor has been a good friend to me lately. I’m praying, journaling, going to therapy, etc.
He has now confessed that he’s not sure he wants to be married and that he was untruthful when he said he wanted children. I’m in my mid-30s and he knew that I would likely face fertility challenges. I can’t believe someone could be so selfish. Sometimes I feel like I hate him. I thank God for the relief that comes from just trying to remember that he is also fellow human being and that I have to separate as much as I can from the things he has done. I feel strongly that I need to just keep breathing and focussing on my development, staying positive, being honest with myself, and being as patient as I can with just not knowing where things will go.
I’m just so glad to be able to say these things. Thank you so much for being there. I’m so sorry that any of you are experiencing similar struggles. It doesn’t feel fair. It hurts so much. If it helps at all, know that I am thinking of you and so, so grateful to have someone to ‘talk’ to who has experienced this too.
I started counseling yesterday because my husband wants a separation. While there, I told her what he said was my problem, and I told her what I thought was the problem: Husband has been addicted to porn since he’s been 14. He brought it into our marriage 23+ years ago. At first I had the normal reaction as probably most women, but I forgave. I would find magazines here and there, until we got the internet in the mid-90s. Ever since it’s been a struggle. Early 2000s was hard. I asked if he wanted a divorce, he said no. Seemed to get better some, but just constant struggles here and there. Every single time though, I forgave. Then he got a BlackBerry. With the data package, of course. And now it’s at the tip of his fingers. Rarely is anything on the computer anymore. Late 2000s, I discovered him texting various phone numbers, late into the night (if I was visiting my parents), or all the way home from work. I did text one of the numbers and told her to stop texting. It stopped. He was mad. He broke his phone. Decided to get a Pantech phone that looked like a BlackBerry but didn’t have data. But then the problem on the computer started again. So he got another BlackBerry, and it’s still continuing now. He is still texting women, and I have read some of what he has said. If I have been that sorry and such a loser, why didn’t he divorce me years ago? He knows I have checked phone records, so he got smart… changed all his passwords on Facebook and his email so I can’t check anything, and has basically quit texting anyone. He now says that the passion and desire for me is gone. He says he doesn’t love me like he used too. I am the mother of his 7 children!! I am not fat. But his excuse is because “I am this, or this way, or I do this, or do that.” And he refuses to admit he has a porn problem… which by the way, I did check his phone a few months back, and literally hundreds of naked women and porn videos stored. So. I told this to the counselor. And she said he is a sex addict. So I am looking up “sex addict” on the computer, and ran across this site, and yes, what people are saying on here is how he is. I am devastated. I haven’t worked for 23 years except raising our children and taking care of them, and him. I feel I am worthless, and a failure, even though our oldest son reassures me that I am not, and that I was the one who got to where he is today. He is a returned missionary (we are Mormon), and recently just married in the Temple. Our youngest child is 5. Hasn’t even started school yet. I am going to my parents for the whole summer, starting next week. Husband was going to get an apartment but since I am going to be gone, he’ll just stay here. So that is nice to know… that I really am *that* bad. Will this ever get better? Will I ever feel like a normal person again? As I was talking to the counselor, I just couldn’t believe that I had put up with all this for so many years… And yes, husband has now distant himself from the kids (and me, of course). Younger 6 kids don’t know yet, but will next week. At least I am telling the bare minimum to the older 3. It’s going to devastate them (husband doesn’t think it will). When he isn’t like this, he is a good father and husband. He really is. I can’t complain about that. I really am sad.
Its not you. Its not you at all. He is sick. Repeat after me. “My husband is sick.” What I love is that he is “Mormon.” What the hell does it all mean? Hypocrites make me sick. Your husband makes me sick. He’s lost passion for you? awwwww… News flash, dude. Stop the fantasizing, and looking at everyone who isn’t your wife and lusting after THEM, and figure out a way to lust after your wife. But THAT is too much work, now isn’t it. He’s a loser. sorry, hun, but he is.
Sorry, but HE IS NOT A GOOD HUSBAND OR FATHER!!! A good husband doesn’t screw over his wife, torment her and desecrate his marriage vows not just once but over and over for years and years… A good father would not treat THEIR mother in this way! He is a horrible father. Actually, I think that he’s one of the worst. Abuse comes in many forms and he is an abusive, dangerous man. That is who he is. He is setting a disgusting example of how an upstanding, God-fearing man behaves. Please, for the love of God, see him for who he really IS!!!
This other being. That is who he really is. The rest is just a shallow veneer covering a sick, dark soul. If he wants out of the marriage, you know what? Good riddance! Count your blessings. Mark my words. He will make you miserable the rest of your days. He has so far… That is what they do. The ones who do not wish to seek help and recover. You sound like a vivacious attractive woman (most of us are) Figure out how you can support yourself (and your older kids can get jobs too!) and then get a very aggressive lawyer who gets his jollies out of rendering him penniless.
If he wants out. He’s doing you a huge favor. Oh, and just know this. The next woman he ensnares will get the same treatment. He will cheat on her too and use the same lame excuses. guaranteed. so pity him. pity her. It can be no other way. The ONLY way it might possibly change is if he gets help, but he doesn’t want to be helped. He’s an ADDICT.
Please know that it is not you. Stay with your therapist. Its not us. Its NEVER us, so feel good about you. much love, Emily
I am not married but I have been with the same guy for 10 yrs and have 3 children together. I am not sure if he is a sex addict but I have always caught him watching porn which made me feel horrible about myself and he would tell me I am crazy and that every guy does it. Now I have caught him on sex chats and live sex cams and even craigslist adds…but everytime i confront him he gives me every excuse in the book and I want to believe him but cannot. I have found a text on his phone and def think he is cheating but he always tells me I’m the best thing for him and he loves me so much. We have 3 young children and possibly one on the way. I am 29 yrs old and am so sick of feeling depressed and not wanting to leave the house. I cry all the time and don’t even know what to do. I want to work things out but I’m afraid he will never change. Any advice???
I am devastated! My husband of over 40 years is a sex addict. He is, also, a Viet Nam Vet with PTSD, I just can’t take this any more. I have forgiven and forgiven and forgiven. I want him to leave …but, in my heart I still love him. I am ashamed of what he is doing and tired of having no intimacy with him. I take care of him. I have worked for 13 years since he lost his job because of PTSD. He was staying home late and looking at porn. So he got fired. I know he is sick. So I took him back. He had another relapse about 2 years ago and I was going to ask him to leave and he knew it. He attempted suicide and almost killed himself. He ended up in the VA hospital for a week under lock down. I took him back. I tired to help him. We had couples counseling for PTSD ….it really didn’t help. I am so lonely. This has been the saddest part of my life. When my children were home I had their support and love and it made it bearable. But, now they all live far away and I don’t have anyone for support. I am going to call a counselor again…I just hope I can get some real help. I feel trapped. If I make him leave, he will commit suidie. What can I do? Where do I turn for help? My kids don’t want to deal with the “drama” anymore. I am losing their closeness and because of his behavior. I don’t think I can stand to lose my kids. I love them dearly and have grandchildren now. They don’t know to what extent he has gone to with sexual addiction. I didn’t know either until last week. I caught him again and he is masturabing in public . He could easily get caught and put in jail aa a sex offender. I need some advice and help. Please give me some opinions and answers. I love him. I know that is crazy, but I love him. But, I am starting to think I should try to live on my own. I need some peace and joy in my life. I am close to retirement and I will have a little pension. I don’t know if I will be able to make it finanacially. Oh, God, help me with this!! Thank you for any comments! /cath
Cath, you answered your own question. Godspeed.
I’m in a totally loveless, sexless marriage and have been for 8 years. I no longer desire him and just the thought of even a kiss disgusts me! He seems perfectly content but I long for a relationship. I’m staying because of property/finances but I know the remainder of my life will be unhappy. Get out now, they don’t change.
I am married to a sex addict for 18 years tired lonely broke wish I had strength
Aly, thank you for sharing. I know this was posted a long time ago, but I wish I knew how things turned out. What you describe is very much like my marriage and husband. Many of the things I read about sex addicts just don’t seem to fit my husband. This is one reason why I keep holding out hope that he will change…..it’s been 13 years though, and we are still in the same vicious cycle. I’m not sure how much longer I can stay in this, but I also think about what’s best for our three children. I’m so worn down though, I feel like only a shell of the woman I could be.