I received this story about a young woman who has a Sex Addict boyfriend. Her trauma and confusion is so heartbreaking, especially with a new baby in the mix. Please share your wisdom and support for Britta. ~ JoAnn
My fiancé and I have been together for 3 years now… last April we brought a beautiful baby boy into this world and he proposed to me at the baby shower in February. It was a fairytale proposal with all the family and friends there, balloons, a beautiful handwritten note about our relationship and what I mean to him and of course him, a knee and a ring. Our whole relationship has been about love and more importantly, friendship. We are each other’s best friend, always laughing, wrestling around and being in the outdoors whether it is camping, hiking, kayaking.. you name it. We have shared lost loved ones, family feuds, his grandmother’s diagnosis of severe Alzheimers and many more trying times, but times that have brought us closer together, our bond stronger than ever. People have always told us how perfect we are for each other, “soul mates” if you believe in that kind of thing.. and for awhile (maybe still) I believed it.
It all started a year into our relationship… (we will call him Tony)… Tony and I went to a bar together with some friends
to listen to a band and play some pool. We were sitting at a table and I just so happened to look to my right and on Tony’s phone, he was taking a picture of the girl’a ass in front of us. I was sitting RIGHT NEXT TO HIM! Immediately I called him out on it and without a second’s hesitation completely denied it. Of course my response was, “show me your phone if you have nothing to hide.” He continued to deny it. I went to the restroom to take a moment to calm down and think about my next move, when I returned to our table he wanted to show me his phone. Oh how convenient. Did he think I wouldn’t know that obviously he had deleted the picture while I was absent from his presence? We called up the taxi and when we got home, he finally admitted to taking the alleged picture. I remember thinking, “where do I go from here?”.. we had just moved in together and let’s face it… I loved him. I decided to put it past us because he hadn’t cheated.. so it wasn’t that bad, right? I had no idea that was the beginning of things…
A year later I became pregnant.. (things up to this point were good.. no oops moments.. that I knew of anyways). Tony had this weird thing about passwords on his phone, computer.. pretty much any device that he could save things where I wouldn’t be able to access them. I’ve never been one to hide things from him, he knew the password to my phone and could access my computer at any time. Because he was so sneaky about his personal belongings, it made me think there was something he was hiding from me, so one night while he was sleeping, I looked into his phone. ( I saw his password over his shoulder one night). There were videos of a cute blonde checking out at the target cashier across from him. Just of her face, talking and laughing and then of course there were the pictures to go along with it of girls in spandex, skirts, pants.. pretty much anything that revealed the outline of their rear end. For the ones with skirts on, he had somehow pointed the camera up their skirt to reveal everything. I felt like I was going to vomit. I went outside and my legs gave out… I just sat there on all fours crying and trying to think, what do I do? What the “f” do I do? I have his baby in my belly and I can’t be with this man. He came outside and cried… called himself a sick piece of sh*t… he didn’t know why he does what he does and it’s the last time “he promises.” He said he loves me more than anything and he can’t lose me. I chose to believe him… because again, he hadn’t technically cheated and I loved him… so what he did wasn’t so bad, right? It gets worse…
During the pregnancy, Tony went to every single appointment, all the childbirth classes, he helped decorate the nursery and surprised me with little gadgets and toys for our soon to be son. I was never more in love with him than the day our son was born. We were a family… all things forgotten, he was my best friend, my soul mate, my lover, my world.. and now the father of my perfect child. He stayed with me for the 3 days I was in the hospital, slept on the horribly uncomfortable cot right next to our bed and even went with our son for his circumcision because he didn’t want him to be alone. For the first few days home, we were in love with each other and our beautiful miracle. On the 5th day, we had our newly married friends come over for dinner and to see the baby. That night after they had left, Tony wanted to go for a few beers with his brother who was in town staying with us. When he came home that night at 3am, he was extremely drunk and acting unusual, so again, I looked into his phone. There was a video of our friend (the newly wed one) of her behind the whole time she was washing the dishes.. (while I had been in the bedroom feeding our 5 day old son!) and then there were pictures while he had been in the bar of girls dancing.. their rear ends and chests. Had he not promised that he was done?! He had proposed to me 2 months ago! We have a 5 day old son! When I woke Tony up, he was upset that I had looked into his phone.. he said that he erases them after he takes them.. it was his system of quitting his behavior. “why did you have to look in my phone?! I am dealing with it!” he yelled at me. I remember crying and looking at my newborn in my arms thinking, “what do I do?” I have a newborn baby and now I have to leave my fiancé. I wasn’t ready to share Christmases and only see my son every other week. He offered to go to counseling, whatever it took. He thinks he might be a nymphomaniac, but he wants.. he needs to change for us. So I chose to forgive my emotional, very apologetic man, because again… I love him so much.. and he hadn’t physically cheated..so it was still ok, right?
A baby definitely brings your relationship to a whole different level. There were tears of joy, anger, pain and frustration over the next couple of months. Tony and I were exhausted, fed up, but also trying to tackle this whole parenthood thing together. I had remembered Tony telling me our last argument how he takes pictures of girls off facebook, chive and other websites and sends them to his email. I had been dying to look into his email ever since. Well yesterday was my opportunity. There was all kinds of porn and pictures of girls flashing their chests, and a million different pictures of their lady parts (for lack of a better word). I knew Tony was incredibly into porn, but to save them to his email? I wasn’t going to turn my head from that. And that’s when I saw it… a craigslist ad in his email titled, “swap wife/gf pics.” I think my heart dropped into my stomach. I didn’t want to read it, but I had to. Tony emailed the original person’s ad saying, “How’s it goin man? I have a fiancé that I’m down to trade some pics of, I can’t do anything with her face, but everything else is a go.” The man’s response was, “hell yeah man, here is my email (with his personal email).. go ahead and send me a message and I’ll give ya my number.” I instantly ran into the bathroom and everything came up. My hands couldn’t stop shaking and my breathing was staggered… I went outside so that I could control my breathing. Tony came out and again started apologizing, and said “I swear, I never ended up sending anything, nor did I receive anything.. The last couple of weeks I have thought about who I want to be not only for you and our son, but who I want to be for me and I realized I could never do that to you. It was a stupid stupid thing I did when I was bored at work but I never mailed him back.” (which I believe him because there were no emails after the initial two). He continued to say, “that’s why 3 weeks ago, I said, ‘let’s do this! Let’s pick a date and get married.’ I have realized that I am in love with you and our family and I’m sick of being this asshole. I don’t like who I am anymore and I need to change.” I told him that I appreciate him not sending the pictures, but why did he do it in the first place? He thinks that because he didn’t send or receive anything that he should be off the hook a little bit and I told him that it’s just as bad that he had wanted to do it in the first place! That the email even took place! I told him that I felt incredibly violated and dirty. I was disgusted and my skin crawls just thinking about it. Yes he never physically cheated and yes I love him, but I just don’t know if it’s alright anymore. I told him I want the kind of man that wants to punch someone for wanting to look at me that way. I told him that he is supposed to be my man, the one who loves me, the one who I feel safest with, the one who protects me and instead he is trying to trade or sell me. I have a 4 month old son and I don’t know what to do anymore. I know that you all have a lot worse and heartbreaking stories than me. You may think, he never cheated on her so why is she so upset? But to me, he did cheat.. he did tear our family apart… trust is gone, promises are unheard and stories aren’t to be believed anymore. I have to now decide if what he is saying is true and he wants to and will change because he did come to the realization of what he has in his life isn’t worth losing.. or if this will just be something that will happen again and again which I will not be able to do.
First of all, I am SO SORRY that you are going through this! I’m sending hugs and comfort.
Be glad you are not married to this guy. It makes things less complicated financially, although your grief journey will be the same.
1) Document everything you found, if you haven’t already. Make screen shots or digital copies to a thumb drive. Whatever you have access to, you need copies to prove what you say is true. Chances are you have only seen the tip of the iceberg. You are going to want to protect your child from exposure to this pervert, and so all documentation is important.
2) It sounds like he has compromising photos of your body. If that’s the case, read up on what to do about that. My first thought was to demand all copies legally, but as I’m reading online about what others have done, the suggestions are more along the lines of deleting everything you can find and/or using some form of “blackmail.” If you delete, you have to check every phone, computer, back-up hard drive, thumb drive… even online email. For “blackmail,” get creative… possibly something written into a custody agreement that states that if he retains, forwards, shares, posts ANY photos of you ANYWHERE, he lose all custody rights. I remember my attorney saying something like that worked for an agreement her client had with an alcoholic father. When he got caught drunk driving, he lost custody because HE agreed to that clause. It was a win-win for the mom, because either the dad cleaned up his act or he lost custody.
3) Move out (after you delete everything you can find, erasing the Trash, too) as soon as you can – go HOME if you have to – but DO agree to go to counseling with him. (He would have to pay the bill.) Make him believe you are not giving up on this relationship. Get STD testing, if you didn’t already during pregnancy. You just don’t know what all this liar has been doing that you know nothing about. Act “nice” but at the same time, inform yourself of child custody laws in your state, get legal advice, learn everything you can to PROTECT YOURSELF and that precious baby. The reason you “act nice” is that if he is a Narcissist, you want to delay his view of you as The Enemy Who Must be Demolished for as long as possible.
4) Don’t minimize what has happened to you, especially not here! This isn’t “less terrible” because he hasn’t stuck his penis in another woman (that you know of, anyway). He has BETRAYED YOUR TRUST, particularly with the Craig’s List posting. Of course he denies, denies, denies. You don’t know if he has forwarded photos of you in the past. (It’s likely that he has.)
5) Reread your own story above. Count the number of times he has betrayed you or lied to you. Now, can you really continue to say this man is your “best friend?” Would you keep as a friend someone who consistently lies to you and betrays you? If not, stop calling him your “best friend.” He isn’t your “soul mate.” YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT. You don’t deserve this kind of man as a life partner. You deserve someone who is as loving, giving and forgiving as YOU ARE.
Because you are in love, and because you are a forgiving person who wants to see the best in him, it will be hard for you not to believe his apologies and his promises. You have to stop believing words. Watch his actions. IF, by some miracle, he chooses on his own to throw himself into professional therapy for sexual addiction and gives you complete access to monitoring all his accounts, you can watch for the next five years (the supposed recovery time) to see how he does. [We’re told to expect that addicts “slip up” from time to time in recovery. Can you handle that?] Whatever you do, do not live with or marry this guy unless he makes it through years of recovery and proves to you he has changed.
If you don’t want to wait five years to see if the guy can recover, don’t feel like you’re obligated to do that. It’s time for you to make choices in YOUR best interests and in the best interests of your son. Let this guy take responsibility for the ugliness and deceit inside his head.
I am sorry to say this to you. But how do you KNOW he has not cheated? I dated a man my age,46 years old who has three small children. I have two grown children. I live alone. He has visitation with his three kids on a pretty regular schedule. He has two exes. I dated this man for almost four years. He was as well constantly connected to his devices. Smart phone and computer. Always guarding them like a german shepard. HE told me consistently our whole relationship that if he didn’t have these children he would marry me, he loved me. That he adored me. 4 months ago I found a flash drive that he previously said he had destroyed from one of his ex girlfriends. He had been acting suspicious and so one day I looked at it expecting to find pictures of this ex girlfriend. I will tell you that there were all sorts of pictures of women’s body parts, women masturbating, etc. And pictures of him screwing women. And women’s profile pics off of dating websites. This man is an executive and comes from a good family. I broke up with him immediately and he admitted to meeting a few women. However, in the last two months I have found out that he has at least three profiles on dating websites, he was keeping the profile pics so he knew “just who he had screwed” he had another woman he was telling he was her steady boyfriend. He had been lying to his parents and to me all along saying he was working out of town. He was home all along screwing this other woman and the ones in the profiles. He was telling his ex wife he could not have his visitation with his daughters bc of work and I was watching his 4 year old son twice a week while he “said” he was working. All the time he was screwing these other women. I have talked to two of them and met the other one in person. This man had me convinced he was a hard working man trying to raise his children, In the 4 months since we have been broken up he has screwed another 4 women that I know about. These men DO NOT change unless they want too. They do not care that children are involved and may get hurt. Two of these women have been following him and trying to catch him.
So my advice to you? Protect your son! Protect yourself. He may care about you but if he LOVED you the way he says he does, he would beg forgiveness and seek counseling and not involve you or your son. You are his steady. His calm. He has to try and convince you to stay bc he thinks you will always be there and he can keep screwing up. MOVE out like L says. Make him prove to you that you and your son is what he wants. Make him prove to you he has changed. Do not try to hold onto the good times you had and how things were.
My ex boyfriend is still trying to convince me thru his friend that he will give up everyone for me and he will change. He should have never had anyone else in the first place. From everything I have read, this is a hard addiction to break. You are young and I know it is hard. But protect yourself first. Protect your son first. I wish you luck and I hope it is not discouraging! But I was a teenaged mom that beat the odds. You CAN be a single parent for now. If he cleans up then great. But if you stay with him and find out more ugliness later you may find yourself in the same boat as me. And I have no idea how many women he slept with in those four years and he did not use protection with any of the women I spoke with. I pray I do not have HIV and will have to wait another two months to get retested. PLEASE protet yourself. God bless you and your new boy.
Get help for you both but he has to want to recovery or it wont work. Research the condition for yourself and he should as well as for some sick reason they cant see what they are.(‘out of the shadows’ and ‘mending shattered hearts’ are good books)
We have been in recovery for three years but most of it is down to them, if they really want it then you will see a real difference in that person, my hubby just does not act like the same man.
It’s hard for me to even write words to you, for I am speechless. I am SO very sorry. You are suffering from PTSD, so you MUST take care of yourself asap. Yep. You are in shock. Treat yourself accordingly. Find the book “Facing Heartbreak” by Carnes. This book has been a lifesaver for me.
The worst, the very WORST part of this disease is THEY LIE. LYING is PART of it, it is a major symptom. My story is on here, too. “D”‘s story of gay betrayal.
My lover started his sex addiction when he was recovering on the couch from a major surgery due to an injury that devastated his career. I did not speak to him for ten months after my discovery, but I just did two days ago. Nothing has changed. What struck me was when your fiancee wrote “Im dealing with it!” That is JUST what he said two days ago when I asked him, “Are you seeing anyone, an in a therapist?” He got completely defensive. I said to him, “Why couldn’t you tell me you had stopped?” His answer: “If I had stopped, that would be repression, and it’s not good to repress those urges, that could have hurt me.” I railed at him “WHAT ABOUT ME?! WHAT ABOUT MY FEELINGS?” Porn was not enough for him, fantasy was not enough. No. He had to have and do this VERY specific act of luring men into cybersex via a profile on a explicit sex site. And he couldn’t stop. This disease is uniquely powerful for unlike an alcoholic who just needs to stay away from booze and bars, the sex addict has the drug in his or her body — but they don’t know how to make their sexuality healthy or respectful of their partners, friends or family because the compulsion DOMINATES them. You will learn to forgive him but…I would humbly submit to you that that DOES NOT MEAN that you must stay with him. Why? Because, as so many people told me and continue to tell me, “D, you HAVE to protect yourself, you must be safe and you must not go back.” Your fiancee is VERY sick and he needs COMPREHENSIVE treatment, I would say INPATIENT. I also know that my ex-lover’s (and it’s still very hard to say ex for I loved and adored him so much and he loved and adored me as well) sickness is GROWING. And in so, his lying and narcissism is growing. It’s very sad. He was not always like this. This disease matastasizes like cancer, especially when the victim “does it on his own”. It’s very sad. Very sad. My therapist said that when my lover did all the amazing things he did for me, the book he made for our anniversary with pictures and poems, and the way he cooked for me and laughed with me…while at the same time was hooked into this secret and specific, extensive and excessive behavior…that one does not cancel out the other. He did love me — very much — but a disease was and has been growing inside him that neither he nor I have ANY control of. I had to leave. I am still in so much pain, and I have been for the last ten months, but… I have also gotten SOOO much closer to my family, to my friends, to my Higher Power who I call God and also Christ, and I have practiced a form of Yoga called Kundalini ever since I took myself to Sedona following discovery of his behavior. Your lover is diseased. It is up to him to get honest and get real, comprehensive treatment and talk OPENLY about his addiction just as if he had cancer. It is your job now to TAKE CARE of you and your baby. We are all here for you. “D”
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELINGS! That is your spirit trying to protect you! Try to understand very specifically that NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT. Your boyfriend is an addict who will do or say whatever it takes to manipulate your common sense into believing him. Don’t think it will get better. Consider that many red flags have been sent up in your situation to alert you to take action – get out of your relationship so you can BREATHE and THINK and PRAY about the next move. Rely on friends and family if you can. Make baby #1 priority and baby’s daddy is unpredictable and sick.
I am 63 yrs.old – had a beautiful relationship/marriage until my husband started pornography (at age 70!) and started seeing prostitutes regularly. i had gut feelings and found computer searches – started to follow my instincts. As of last month, we are legally separated. I have told him he will never be back in my life.
It’s never easy to start over but I hope you will find the courage and strength to do so.
You are in m thoughts. Be strong, D.
If your anything like me, even if people tell you what to do, you will ultimately do what you want to do because you are in love with the idea of what you thought you had. If you stay or leave it’s still going to hurt like hell. Staying with him is a risk, leaving him doesn’t have to be permanent. But he should regardless seek help and allow you to access his phone/email 24/7. You need to set boundaries if you stay. I’ve made it a requirement that my bf of six years seek therapy on his own and with me, and do self help practices (research on the mental illness) I’m still in my relationship I’m 26, and feel stupid, lost, and confused. I wish I knew how to help you. All you can do is trust your heart and remember to love yourself throughout this painful time. Your not alone.
I just wanted to say to you: You are not stupid. Not at all. None of us are. I have felt stupid, too. In fact, I feel stupid at times for not making it mandatory that he get real, comprehensive help. But I know in my heart I did the right thing: I ASKED HIM what HE was going to do about it. The answer he gave me was wholly unsatisfactory. He said he was going to “get a kindle” in order to read more so that his mind would not be so occupied on the covert urges. Oh, and that he was going to CALL his therapist once a week (he travels for work). THEN, right AFTER, I told him about Sexual Compulsives Anonymous Meetings, and how it works… and all he did was bristle and shrug his shoulders. So I am NOT stupid, as it turns out, for attempting to push some kind of mandate into our relationship. Why? Because he HIMSELF DID NOT SHOW ME A TRUE DESIRE TO DO WHATEVER IT TOOK TO STOP. I believe you are right — it hurts like hell whether you leave or stay, which is the cunning and powerful talent of this disease. Hang in there. Hugs, “D”
My boyfriend travels for work too. Jobs that require you to be away from home, obviously don’t help a SA! I know that I am not stupid, this can happen to anybody, and I don’t think that WE attracted this type of partner. They hide it so well, and love makes you blind to believing what you want to hear. I feel stupid because a year ago I found a site for hookers and history of a specific girl he was looking at. I lied to him and said I saw the number on your phone, and he told me yes I called her but she didn’t answer. I was so nieve. I look back at all of the signs and didn’t think he had it in him because I would never do such a thing, why would he? I am in limbo, I’m stuck I don’t know if I should leave or stay. He is seeing a therapist, and together we see a therapist in counseling. He has given up porn and masturbating. He is 30 and slept with many hookers for two years. It’s really complicated. I should really post my story for others to read. It is nice reading other peoples stories on here it has helped me confirm my feelings and thoughts are normal, and that I am not alone. I didn’t know there was such a mental disease as this. I wish there was some way that men could feel our pain the way we do. We look at sex differently than they do, we are so different. It’s not just our hearts that are broken but our spirits too. On the bright side I’m learning to love myself more. It’s no longer all about him, it’s about me! Thank you for your post. I wish you well! hugs 😉
He SAYS he has given up porn and masturbating. It is hard to know if that is true or not, and impossible to know if he will stick with recovery.
As we are told from the beginning but often have difficulty absorbing: Do not listen to what he says. WATCH WHAT HE DOES. Watch his behavior towards you. If he is willing to have accountability towards you (monitoring, psychiatric evaluation, full disclosure – not just “couple’s counseling”) then that’s a good sign. If he shows you any bitterness, hostility, secretiveness, denial, blame-shifting… those are bad signs.
Just make sure you document, document, document. Make copies of everything you discover, in case you need it later.
Understand that people with this addiction in most cases do NOT feel pain the way that we do, do not feel empathy, do not have a conscience. They have learned to lie and manipulate, even to the point where they rewrite the truth and convince themselves that their warped version is truth. You have to reprogram yourself to NOT believe he thinks the way that you do. It’s very hard to do this if you are a trusting and loving person. You may have to be “hurt” many times before you truly absorb this.
It isn’t because you’re stupid. It’s because you are a loving, trusting person. And that IS what attracted him to you. (It is also what will make you attractive to other people if you decide to leave him.)
All of us share the same fears and suspicions. We need to fill the role of super friend/sister for each other on these posts. Please take the time to read and re-read all the wisdom found here.
We are constantly asked to believe spouses/boyfriends when there is no reason to continue to believe. Lies! Lies upon lies! Base all of your actions and reactions on your gut feelings. Protect yourself. Verify everything. Believe nothing.
“Doubt is the beacon of the wise.”
Stay true to spirit and start and continue to draw on the strength within yourself and from the circle of hugs and compassion you find on this site. In this struggle, you are NOT alone.
What’s most upsetting about Sex Addiction, for me, is what happened after discovery. When his (we’ll call him Michael) Dad called me to talk about our cat (Michael gave the cat to his father as I could not keep the cat after I left Michael), I told his father, “When he comes to you with the cat, perhaps you could just say to him, ‘I’m here for you, son, for whatever issues you’re going through. I will listen to you.’ His father, who had been a Social Worker his whole life, said to me, “Thank you for saying that, D. Thank you very much. I will do that.” I found out months later that his father did ask him this, to which Michael responded “There are no issues.” Then his father said, “Is it HIV? Is that the issue? Are you HIV positive??” Michael said, “Yes.” Now, if you read my story on here (D’s story of gay betrayal), you will learn that Michael contracted HIV due to a one-night stand he had while we were apart during a short break-up. So, his father said to Michael, “Is that why you and D broke up?? HIV??” And Michael said, “Yes”. I point-blank asked Michael, just ten days ago, if he had — God forbid — actually let his father believe that I knowingly infected him with HIV and that that is what led to our breakup. Michael was silent. Then he muttered, “Well, I don’t know what my father thinks. And anyway, that does happen in couples.” I told him, “Michael, I did NOT infect you with HIV, you KNOW that. So how on Earth is it okay to even allow your father to even THINK that I infected you?” His answer: “I barely talk to my father. I don’t have the relationship with him that you have with your parents”. And now get this: I called his father, only to find out his father wants NOTHING to do with me. So… I think all of you can put the pieces together. Lies and manipulation in order to constantly do “damage control”. Enough friends told me, “Don’t send your negative HIV results to his father in order to prove there’s no way you infected him” — because, trust me — I WANTED TO. My whole feeling was: “HOW DARE HE LIE TO THE MAN WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN MY FATHER-IN-LAW, AND LIE IN A WAY THAT INCRIMINATES AND SLANDERS ME…” and then my Higher Power opened a door, and I remembered one thing my Higher Power said when he was dying. He said “Forgive them for they know not what they do”. He was talking about his killers. Michael barely knows what he is doing, because he is so sick. He has no treatment. He never expected his carefully controlled secret to ever get out. After it came out, all it’s ever been is “damage control” on his part. He has actually gotten sicker.
So grateful to find this blog. I am in personal hell.
It gets better. Learn to LOVE yourself through this process. You are a strong strong woman! Remember to LOVE YOURSELF! I hope you are doing better each day! My heart goes out to you. I pray your saddened heart blossoms into a heart felt with love and happiness.
Cat, please share your story with us. And Britta, we’d love to hear how you’re doing (Im sure I can speak for my sisters here).
Brita — It’s voyeurism. It’s predatory behavior and sexual abuse. Your story is sad and heartbreaking, worse than cheating in my opinion. He is violating other women and he violated you. It’s a deep betrayal, creepy, and very traumatic. How are you doing? Voyeurism can lead to PTSD. Please look after yourself, whatever you decide to do. It’s best to get trauma therapy from a therapist who specializes in abuse.
I totally understand where you are coming from, he might not have had sex with any of those women, but it’s the lies, the promises of stopping. When that trust is broken over and over it’s worse than a physical sex act it’s emotional and that for me is the worst.