I received this story yesterday from a woman who desperately needs support and advice. I am hoping some of you will chime in with responses. ~ JoAnn
September 2016, my life totally changed. I returned from out of town for one night and had a feeling I needed to look at my husband’s phone. There were two different numbers texted asking, “are you available?”
I knew what it was because in April 2015, I found the same thing. In April 2015, when I confronted him about the numbers, he blamed it on his cousin. Said he’d used his phone that day, and could have texted someone. These were messages that said, “are you available tonight?” “Do you remember me?” Can’t wait to see you again, wish it was tonight.”
For a year and a half he lied about those messages. I knew they were escorts because I googled the numbers and they were to local escorts.I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
When I found the ones in September, I confronted him and asked who was he asking if they were available. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about and pulled up his text screen. He’d deleted the messages, but I’d taken a picture of them. He tried to act like he didn’t text that until I pulled up the pictures. Then he said it was like a fetish. He would text escorts and ask to see them but would never meet with them. I lost my shit. We argued and I didn’t sleep one hour that night. I scheduled counseling for a couple of days after finding out and we met with the therapist.
Two days after meeting with the therapist, I got my husbands phone and dug deeper. I found emails. Hundreds. All responding to Craigslist adds. Out of the hundreds, five of them were sent during our marriage. They were responding to M4M adds. Asking to give and receive oral sex only. I was sick. I woke him up at 3am in a rage. He had no choice but to confess. I was/am devastated.
He swears he’s never met anyone during our marriage. That they were only emails and texts. The therapist and I don’t believe him. I wish he would just admit it, but that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. It’s been almost a year and I’m still struggling. I hate my husband for what he’s done. He’s never admitted to anything unless he was backed into a corner.
I don’t think I can heal because I don’t have the truth, but he insists that I do. I can’t love him like a wife should and I’m torn as to what to do. Leave or stay. We have a two and a half year old together, and three girls between us. His two and my one. They’re all older. I don’t want to be a single mom again but I don’t know if I can ever trust him. None of my family nor his know what he has done. He doesn’t want them to know. I need help and answers.
I’m so broken, so hurt, so alone and so depressed. He’s ruined me.
I have been in your shoes. (We all have.) For me, it has been seven years since I discovered the Addiction. Six years since my brain stopped spinning and I realized his lies would never end. It is 5.5 years since I filed for divorce. The divorce took over 3 years and cost me $51,000 personally. (Divorcing a narcissist is hell. He will make it hell. But don’t let that scare or deter you.) It is over two years since my divorce. I have my name back! My five kids are doing okay. It is one year since I bought my own house. And in this year, 2017, I am feeling fully alive again, even as I know the scars will remain.
I think you already know the answer: You will not be happy married to a person you cannot (and should not) trust.
You FEEL ruined, but guess what? You’re not. You’re stronger than you think. And no matter how many years it takes for you to make that journey to reclaim your life and your self esteem, it will be worth it.
We’re only victims for as long as we choose to be. The road to Recovery from the shitstorm of marriage to a narcissistic lying sex addict is steep and rocky and difficult.
But you CAN do it. You can do it for yourself and for those young women who look up to you and who will ultimately respect and appreciate your willingness to stand up for yourself.
Let go of the fear of the unknown. As far as your relationship with him, you have nothing to lose by ending it and everything to gain. Take a deep breath, and take the first step toward real recovery.
Best wishes to you. It will be a pleasure to see you on the other side of this abyss. 😉
I think until he wants to get help for what is clearly a sex addiction, she needs to find a support group and/or therapist who can work with her to help her focus on herself. That’s what I did. I learned to create healthy boundaries in my home, create a timeline for him to get help or he had to move out. She is being traumatized by his addiction and she needs to focus on managing that above all else right now. She cannot control his actions so looking at his phone will always re-traumatize her. She can however, make it clear to him that she knows what he’s doing and unless he gets some help, she will disengage from the lying.
I totally agree with L. I’ve been going through this the past 10 years of my relationship and it all came to a head beginning about six months ago. So very similar to your story. We tried to “work through it” for four months but I found more crap – he didn’t change a thing. I know for certain he’s had 3 flings/relationships in addition to hookups (cl ads), emotional affairs, etc. He will only admit to what I show proof and it’s hard to prove he actually met these people for hookups but since I know for certain he’s acted on this with at least three other women in the SAME time period and he’s always trying to “meetup” I know he’s likely been with dozens of women. I’ve decided to move on. We also have an “ours” that is much younger than our others. It’s so hard but it can’t be worse than living the lie I was.
Do not believe the story “I was only looking”. I am in the process of getting a divorce, have been with him for 11 years. The cheating and deceit has happened since day 1. I believed him dozens of times, then would catch him doing something else, then find out there was always more that I didn’t know. Don’t believe him, listen to yourself.
I went through a similar situation. I found dozens and dozens of disgusting web sites and texts hiding on my husband’s cell phone/computer. The lies, denial and blame shifting that followed after I confronted him made me furious. I caught him red handed! From what I have experienced …… they believe their own lies. Getting to the truth was not going to happen. He had his own version of the truth or he just learned how to hide it better. The whole thing made me sick to my soul. I divorced him and moved far away. I couldn’t deal with the lies and deception.