A Gay Man’s Story Of His Partner’s Sex Addiction

It was a little cathartic writing this. Thank you.

We met in 1991. At first all we did was talk. I was just out of a relationship that had ended badly and I wasn’t looking for anything but friendship. Over the course of six months we talked about everything, from politics to our beliefs about relationships.

That ended and something else began when he asked me out on a date. I’m short and average looking. He’s tall and very attractive. I couldn’t believe he wanted to date me. We wound up moving in together. A few years later we moved to another state for his job. And then we moved again for his job.

I did all right, each move took me to a new level in my career, too, and I’m now an engineer for an aerospace company, a place I’d never have been without him. He also supported me completely for so many years that I got over my childhood fear of failing and I’ve developed new hobbies that I never would have dared try.

I rebuild old cars, and I build furniture. I’ve built several pieces of furniture for our house, and for many of our neighbors when they asked. And he made it clear for so many years that he thought I was the smartest, most talented, most competent person he knew that I drove myself to try to be a little bit of what he saw in me, and I became a better person.Because of him and what we had together.

We bought a house together in 2003 and made good friends with our neighbors. After a barbecue one night, I was helping my neighbor clean up while his wife put their kids to bed, and he confessed (he’d had a few beers) that he wished he and his wife were as good a couple as my husband and I.

When the California Supreme Court ruled it was legal for us to marry in 2008, I dropped to one knee and told him I would be the luckiest man in the world if he would agree to marry me and spend the rest of our lives together. When he was laid off in late 2008 and said he wanted to go back to school to become a nurse, I supported it completely, even though it would mean drastically cutting back on our lives, and I would be the sole support for a few years.

On February 4th, 2011, I came home from work to find him already waiting for me. Dinner was ready, but he wanted to talk before we ate. He told me he was HIV positive, and that I had to go in to be tested.

When I asked how, he gave me a story with holes you could drive a truck through. The next day I was tested, and I’m not infected. Over the next few days I managed to work most of the truth out of him. More than I wanted, really.

He’d been cheating on me since 1998 or 99. At first just trips to a local nude beach, but steadily progressing. All the nights he’d said he was working late, he was hooking up with random people. The days he said he was going to the library to study were for hookups. Many of the times he’d said he was going over to attend study groups were for hookups.

He was unemployed, going to school, and had no income or prospect of income. He had nowhere to go and would be homeless if I kicked him out. I moved into my office – a move that infuriated my sister until I explained that I didn’t want the master bedroom. I wasn’t even comfortable walking into it anymore.

I agreed we’d work on it and move past it, on two conditions. No more secrets, and no more lies. He started going to SAA meetings and seeing a therapist. Over the next three weeks, he told me three lies. That I uncovered, anyway. Not about cheating, they were stupid, unimportant things. That he would lie about stupid, unimportant things made the lies worse, somehow. I told him our relationship was done.

That was a little over a year ago. I had committed to seeing him through school, and I’m honoring that commitment, but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve lost my best friend, my biggest fan, my confidant and my lover. The loss is so big I don’t even know how to start getting over it.

What makes it harder is that he’s still here, still going to school, still cooking dinner and doing the laundry. I told him I was uncomfortable with him doing it, but he says it’s his contribution, since he has no money to put forward. I agreed to let him continue.

He desperately wants to patch things up, but I can’t open myself up to him. I recently agreed to go to a couples therapist, but I don’t even know if I want to work it out. For me, it’s still February 4th, 2011. It has been for over a year. I just found out and it’s still the most devastating thing that’s ever happened to me. I focus on being polite and try to keep things civil.

Looking back, many things make sense now. He started carrying a small suitcase in his trunk with a change of clothes. He said he did that because he sometimes had to run errands after work and he didn’t want to do it in his suit. Although he’s not a smoker and he’s fanatical about oral hygiene, he started carrying a bottle of mouthwash with him at all times. Over the last 5 or 6 years he started pulling back from everyone, and I had to coerce him into attending functions with friends. I thought it was work stress, then I blamed it on depression from being laid off. I would have preferred that.

I don’t blame him for being an addict. I don’t blame him for lying to me for all those years. I do blame him for not getting help before it got to this point.

And, strangely enough, I blame him for not acting out in the last year. He finally confessed after 12 years of lies. He went to a therapist. He went to a few meetings. All is rosy in his world, and he has “new tools” and a “new approach” and it’s all falling into place.

So simple, so easy.

So why didn’t he do it earlier? Why didn’t he do it before he threatened my health and my life with HIV? Why didn’t he do it before he destroyed our relationship with this? I’ve asked him that, and he tells me that I’m not being fair.

You know what isn’t fair? I did nothing to deserve this, but I’m the one left trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered life.

Scott

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Responses

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your heartbreaking story Scott. I hope that we can offer you the support and hope that will help heal your hurt and ease your pain.

  2. It really was cathartic to write that – thank you again.

    Funny coincidence – right after all this came out I went to the local Barnes & Noble to find a book that my therapist recommended, and sitting right next to it was Your Sexually Addicted Spouse. It had been misfiled on the shelves and didn’t belong there. I bought it, and it just about saved my life. It definitely saved my mental health. I’d checked into COSA and they wanted me to figure out what I’d done to create this, how I had contributed to it. I was already feeling like a fool for not seeing this before, and that certainly didn’t help. I recommended it to my therapist and bought him a copy – and told him to stop telling me I’m co-addicitve and treating me like an invalid.

    When I start the cycle of berating myself, I cut it off by telling myself that I didn’t create this, he did. All I did was trust him and believe him, and you’re supposed to trust and believe your spouse. It’s not my fault he didn’t deserve that trust.

    I didn’t have the abusive relationship I’ve read about from many spouses of sex addicts. The worst I got was guilt for things like leaving my shoes in the family room instead of putting them away, or not putting my dishes in the dishwasher. I was the one who avoided sex, not him. There was no connection during sex, I was expected to perform like a machine. Instant on when he required it, and no cuddling or even touching after. It was not very satisfying, but I figured no relationship was perfect, and if our major flaw was an unfulfilling sex life, I could live with that.

    I’ve set the boundaries I need to stay sane, and they don’t include transparency or anything like that. I’ve told him not to tell me where he’s going, where he’s been, or what he’s been doing. The second I start thinking about him not being somewhere he’s told me he would be, I start going insane. I’ve told him what he does is his business, and it has nothing to do with me. If I call his cell phone and he doesn’t answer, I leave a message and hang up. When I start to obsess about him not answering his phone, I firmly tell myself that it’s not my business, what he’s doing has nothing to do with my life, and I focus my attention somewhere else. I’m afraid of starting to rely on him again. I’m afraid of opening myself up to him and finding out that he’s lying again. I’m afraid of being hurt again. I can’t go through that.

    1. I did four interviews with Barbara Steffens the author of Your Sexually Addicted Spouse. You can listen to them by clicking ‘Interviews’ on the top menu.

      1. I listened to the first one last night, and I’ll listen to the rest. That I’d found them here was why I said it was a funny coincidence. I’ve read several books aimed at the SO of a sex addict, and I think that one is hands-down the best.

  3. HI Scott,
    It really stinks—the risks they take not just with their lives but with ours, the lies they tell that poison every memory we made, the cowardice and narcissism that keeps them from getting help.

    Those of us who’ve been on this learning curve for a while would suggest that you don’t do couples counseling until he’s been sober and dealing with his shit for at least two years. Get a therapist to help you deal with your trauma, and help you make the decisions that are best for you.

    And just for the record, most of these guys are stunningly bad lovers, as you describe.

  4. Hi Scott,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry you’ve experienced this heart break and heart ache. I found out about my “husband” of now 25 years July 5, 2009. The pain of learning that your life has been a lie is unfathomable….until you’ve been there. I hope we can provide you with the support you need right now. It does get easier with time. My “husband” and I are still living in the same house, but we are roommates, nothing more. He shops, cooks, does laundry, takes the dogs out, etc….and I go to work. It’s atypical, but it is working for now. I would leave in a heartbeat, but I really don’t think I could ever trust again, ever open myself up to this kind of pain again. The emotional damage that we all suffer is something I have not figured out how to heal. I wish you well.

    My best, Betty

  5. Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    I identify with the idea of a lie-filled life. I’m sitting here in a house full of memories that I don’t want. It caused an argument when I gathered up all the photos and other stuff that commemorated our wedding and put them in a box. I didn’t want to see any of that. Even with the stuff that’s left, I just look at it and think It was going on then. There’s almost nothing in the house that wasn’t bought in the last 13 years.

    I don’t know if this is healthy or not, but for the longest time I couldn’t reconcile the idea that this man I’d loved and shared my life with for so many years had betrayed me like that. I just couldn’t. I had a random thought one day, and I’ve latched onto it. That guy – the one I cared about – died last February. This guy stepped in to take his place. He has some things in common, but certainly isn’t the same person. It’s allowing me to mourn what I lost.

    I did something stupid about six months into this whole thing. I went online and created a profile on a dating site. I don’t even know what I was thinking. I’ve got absolutely no desire to date anyone. Maybe it was validation that someone wanted me. Maybe I was thinking I could get involved with something unimportant and shallow and that would help me move on. Whatever it was, as soon as I got the first reply back I deleted the account. I’m trying very hard to maintain a little bit of self respect and that move was in the completely wrong direction.

    And in some ways, I’m very much a typical guy. I’m supposed to take care of things. I’m supposed to take what’s broken and fix it. Blender doesn’t work? No problem, I go out to the garage and break out my tools and return it in good condition. I can’t fix this. I’m not handling that very well.

    1. Scott,
      I had a love affair of 7 years , and like yourself and others found I was in love with a guy who loved me but with secrets . I am a guy who grew up in middle america. With good values and what I thought was a good common sense . lol well love seems to blind men and women at times , My guy found pleasure with other men and it blind sided me when I found out. I had to remind myself of my core values and understand sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t , I now live in L.A. Making an attempt at being a writer and it’s ok now. My story has more tragic parts but they are behind me . The one fella was right , You do seem like a good guy and of corse your love will find you . So in the mean time keep building furniture and fixing cars I love fixing cars and refinishing furniture it clears my head and gives me healthy validation , I think

  6. I don’t know if anyone is still checking up on this one – it’s fallen pretty far down – but I thought I’d post an update.

    As I posted earlier, I agreed to go to a couple’s counselor. She sat through a session with both of us and told us we aren’t even close to being able to get counseling together. Then she asked me to stay and talk with her privately for a few minutes after the session. I’ve been seeing her since then. She’s diagnosed me with PTSD. It sounds hopelessly self-indulgent, and I’m still embarrassed to even think about it, but that’s what she’s telling me. And, I guess, I do fit the criteria as she outlined them. She says it isn’t uncommon with this kind of situation.

    1. Hi again, Scott,
      It sounds like you found a good therapist. She’s right about the counselling with your partner. YOu will go insane if you do that as long as he’s not way deep in recovery. And please don’t be embarassed about the PTSD. We’ve all been there, and some of us still struggle with it. If you take it seriously and develop some good self-soothing strategies you and find your way out again. As I began to rebuild my life, however, I found my partner was constantly sending me into a re-traumatized state. It was hard to face that. But with him out of my life most of the time, I’m so much better. You can be too. Love yourself enough to believe you should be treated well.

  7. Scott, your story really touched me, and in many ways I feel your pain. I was with my boyfriend for 10 years. We’ve been separated for 2 years, and for some reason, it has only now really struck me what was happening. It was hard to recognize because I have a very liberal attitude towards sexuality, had no experience with addiction, and we were in an open relationship. I still love him deeply and want to get back together eventually. He is hopeful he can overcome his problems. I know most people would warn me against it, but I have so much invested in him, and we have so many good memories and such a history – it’s a lot to give up. But I am scared, too. In the past year and a half, I got into another relationship, which has ended, although we are still in touch. It’s almost like I’m experiencing two break-ups at once. It’s been horrible. I can hardly bear to be in my apartment, hate to be alone, and feel so lonely and sad much of the time. I am full of questions and fears, though I am trying to fight back by looking into meditation, jogging, reaching out to old friends, talking to my family more, going to Al-Anon, and educating myself by doing things like investigating this website. But I’m also drinking more than usual. I hardly know what I am doing, but I’m trying to be kind to myself. I hope you are, too. It sounds like you’re getting smarter and stronger by the day. I wish you all the best.

  8. Reading your original story and comments from others (not all) make me feel like this situation is all too common.

    I met my partner in 1996, after he lost his partner to AIDS. They were together 10 years. I thought this was such a good connection- he was introduced to me through mutual friends. I was out of any type of relationship for a few years by that time, and even though he wasn’t my “normal” type, I felt this could be THE one…someone who already had a long term relationship, you know, the serious marrying kind!

    Within that first year we managed to buy large ticket items together…a sports car and a vacation home. I worked at an office away from home, he worked at home. He always enjoyed the home life, and did chores and cooked since he had more freedom with his work.

    During the same time I found poppers in his gym bag, and when I questioned it he said those were left over from his past relationship…..something he never told me about or never introduced to our sex life.

    As time went on, he became less sexual, and said he just isn’t as sexual as I am, so having sex two times a week was too much. I definitely was frustrated because even the times we had sex he couldn’t keep it up….

    This went on for some time and eventually I noticed a few things…….extremely sexual books in his gym bag. I wondered why someone would like to get that worked up if he didn’t have sex……also upon some snooping, found serious amounts of Viagra and a stash of poppers- in his car and hidden in the house. There was major confrontation about this, especially after also finding he had posted his naked picture and want ad on a local sex site. This episode led to major talks, but never any confessions. All of this “stuff” he said was used for masterbating. He never met anyone……….and then of course I found a number in his cell phone, called it and found out differently.

    I knew that he had problems for sure now, but we were so entangled with belongings and homes, etc., that it seemed difficult to just let it all go……and he was going for therapy and trying to make it up to me, knowing he really shattered not only our relationship, but shattered what we had built over the then 8+ years.

    I need to fast forward since it’s now been almost 15 years and nothing has changed……..the more I stop looking closely at things the less I know. The minute I don’t find him answering his phone I know something is going on. Not a good way to live, especially since every time I get close to this discovery, he tells me I’m crazy……and can take actual found facts and try to talk around them…….rather LIE. He does lie quite a bit.

    I’ve broken up with him probably 6 times……we go to separate rooms. He eventually gets back to my bedroom or bathroom and if sex happens, he thinks it’s all OK again. I have a busy job and not much time to even meet anyone else……..and don’t want to right now, but I am constantly wanting to run away…….not go home……….and sometimes wishing all of this could be over (and no, I’m not suicidal!)

    I wish there was a live group to go to and talk about this. I have built up the confidence many times but the finances are what’s keeping us together now– and it really shouldn’t. All the drama of a break up……I will try to live as friends if possible, but we’ll need to start liquidating some property I guess.

    I’m just curious to know how many of you think that people don’t change…..I really believe it’s true. I believe they will lie to the last day and we’re left for the humiliation.

  9. Angelo,

    By change, I believe that you mean change in ways that YOU would like to see him change? People only change if THEY want to and usually if they really want to, you’ll see it very clearly. The saddest part of this is that all we want is for them to change back into what we thought they WERE to begin with! That is the person we fell in love with. What happened to him? Was he ever there to begin with? Was it all a sham? A ruse? A deception? Well, unfortunately, yes. But I do believe that it is not anything any of them consciously ever concocted to torture us. Everything he does that results in his lies to you, is simply his method of making himself feel something that he needs to feel that can only be accomplished by doing the thing that is destroying your very soul. Its not that he doesn’t care. Its that he CAN’T care. not really. Why does he need to do that? Well, that is the 64k question, now isn’t it? Its not normal, that’s all I know and it has absolutely nothing to do with you or your desirability or anything like that. It has no more to do with you, than if he came down with a cancer. I do believe that the healthier parts of them do love us. But that love as we know it is extremely limited. Does it change the devastation we feel deep inside ourselves? Intellectually we get it, however, on an emotional and spiritual level–no. It feels like the deepest most hideous afront and anything but loving. No one should ever have to suffer through this kind of pain.

    I too, have felt that feeling of wanting to run away. Running isn’t the answer. Running is not running from him, but running from ourselves. Does that make sense? Deal with the fear; the fear of whatever it is that’s keeping you stuck. Is it really real? Do you have a good talk therapist? A therapist can help you separate out what is real from what is part of your own stuff. Because for me, part of being in a bad situation for too long, were the many fears that have plagued me. Yes, part of it is the money, but I think for all of us, its probably a lot more than that.

    Sometimes we just have to let someone we love go… We have to let go of the hope and the promise that is just not possible. Sometimes letting them go is the most loving thing that we can do, for them and ourselves, too. Letting go frees us up to find ourselves again. You will get there. If I may suggest, read Lao Tze (the Tao Te Ching), if you haven’t. Its easy reading. The poems have simple very easy to understand universal themes and frighteningly easy answers. We often make life a lot more difficult for ourselves than we need to. That goes for all of us. Loosen that grip you have on your life. Loosen it and see what happens…

    This man is dragging you down into the depths of your own personal hell my friend. Deep down, I believe that you understand this but just can’t quite believe that its true. Believe it for this is the truth. Is this hell where you want to be? If so, then stay. I guarantee that he will not disappoint and will continue to take you down, down, but if that is not what you want then dump him. Choose you. Embrace you. Embrace the love you have in your heart that is yearning to be allowed to roam freely. That is where you will find your greatest sense of peace. It takes time, but you will get there. Kim

  10. Scott,
    I am trying to work through the reality of my partner of 11 years cheating on me…apparently several times. Please know that reading your posts is helping me to understand my own feelings right now. Thank you. I am still waiting to wake up and realize that my “knight in shining armor” has fallen on his own sword and has taken me down with him. It is so hard for me right now to understand how I could have tried so hard for so long only to be pushed away. I feel ugly, inadequate and unwanted by him. In time these feelings will go away, or at least lessen, but right now my days spring between tears, anger, insecurity and love…yep..love for him. It’s hard to understand how I could feel love for someone who has done this to me…to us. It is all so unreal. Reading your posts is helping me to deal with things on a more rational level. I am so sorry for what you have been, and are still going through but I believe people who are dealing with this will find themselves stronger and better. Keep believing in who you are and don’t ever let anyone take that away….it has become my new motto. People keep saying I am a victim…I prefer to think I am a SURVIVOR!!!

  11. Hi Scott

    Your story helped me to realise that I’m not alone in how I feel.

    I have been with my partner for almost 9 years and recently found out that he was cheating on me – initially through an iphone app that he had for the last year and half. As I peeled the layers away to reveal the extent of his cheating, it came to light that he had sexual encounters with four of my ‘friends’ that date back to 2008. I’ve also since discovered that he was in contact with three other people that I knew. Most of these people have spent lots of time in my home, at family functions etc etc.

    The pain of knowing that the guy I thought was the most trustworthy person in the world, was betraying me with others in my life that I also trusted, has been too much to bear at times. It’s been five and a half months since this info first came to light and I’m still uncovering truths slowly. I feel as though I’m being drip-fed and it’s becoming more and more unbearable knowing that my whole relationship has been a lie.

    The irony is that we were both previously married to women – he left when he discovered his ex-wife was cheating on him with people he knew. I left my home in Scotland and moved to England to be with him, which caused its own problems. Thankfully I have the most amazing ex-wife who has been supportive to us both through all of this.

    I’ve been seeing a therapist for 8 weeks now but the thoughts still race through my head every second of the day. He too thinks I’m suffering from PTSD. I start hypnotherapy in a few weeks and I’m hoping that it will clear my head enough to help me see a future for myself.

    I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.

    Thanks again for posting your article – it really has helped.

  12. Scott,

    I cannot imagine the pain you went through.

    As I read your story, I identified more with your partner than with you. In fact, I found this page tonight because I googled gay sexual addiction. Now, I’m 24, practice safe sex, am single, etc., but I have noticed a trend that has been worsening over the past years. It involves greater detachment from my friends and family, hours and hours of cruising on online chats and physical locales when I should be studying, a relentless craving just ten minutes after I ejaculate, insecurity despite my good looks. Last yeaer I met a handsome guy my age. There wasn’t a dead second in our conversation, right from the first day. I felt so comfortable and happy with him. One of those moments in life when you feel like the luckiest person alive because the person you like likes you back. Yet, we lasted less than six months after he, smart guy that he is, detected some lies and foul play.

    I’m not sure I buy into therapy unless it’s physical. I’d like to believe that I have time to mellow out, that my mistakes so far are but the indiscretions of youth. I’ve had waves, three month stretches of good behavior, and then..

    You’re nicer than I imagine myself being in the same situation. I don’t think I could stay with someone that treated me with such disregard. Painful as it may be, I think it’s healthier to cut it off and move on. Because you sound like a great guy. I hope it’s gotten better.

    1. Jay. I was you. Your sexual addiction is serious. It will not get better or change by itself or due to good behavior. It’s no different than a chemical or alcohol addition. You counseling or analysis…or to be part of a group dealing honestly with the addiction itself. Trust me. It took me 3 years to get past it and now I find I am in a relationship with a man who is a sexual addict (porn…crusing…sex with other men at least 3 plus times a week during his work day). Get help Jay…it will ruin any intimate relationship you try to have. It’s a lonely place.

      Bill

  13. Hi Scott,
    I just read your article and could so relate, except this wasn’t a relationship on the same level as yours, but the lies and betrayal levels are so similar. I have a friend, well, I considered my best friend, who happens to be a gay male, who I trusted with everything I had, including my heart, for almost 2 years, until, he got caught sneaking one of his hookups from craigs list, into our apartment at 2:30 am, 2 weeks ago. Even that morning, within 10 min, max, he lied 3 times. Then, after that, over a years worth of lies came out. Also, the fact that he could lie to me, straight faced, and sleep, eat, go through each day as if he was doing nothing wrong, just added to the pain that I felt. It has been 2 weeks since this all came out and I still have doubts and at times, I feel as if I am going crazy because I will think there is someone walking around in the living room or that I have heard the door, etc. I have had several breakdowns, to the point of considering life or death as an option. I am a straight female, and as I told him, it’s not that he had a male over, but how he went about it and that it was someone from craigslist and I didn’t know who it was. We had an agreement, or so I thought about bringing people over, and definitely stressed, no craigslist people.
    So, I, although am not married or dating him, have had the trust I placed in him, totally broken.
    He is seeking help and has agreed that we can go together if needed. He is staying with some friends for a few days so I can get some sleep, as I have not been able to do so lately, very well. And he is being very open now…or I want to think/hope so.
    I would like to move on from this, very much so, but do you feel that this will be able to happen after all this? He has admitted that he is still seeing someone that he met from craigslist though and that he said that he is still looking at porn at least once a day, skipping a day every now and then. I just was wondering what your thought process was on this situation.
    By the way, I am a straight female, 46 and he is 34. I am a Christian and have mainly Christian friends. He believes in God, but doesn’t walk that way, and none of his friends are either. Just thought that might make a difference, but again, just want your opinion.
    Thank you so much, Penny

  14. Hi Scott,

    First and foremost, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m currently dealing with a big strain in my relationship with my boyfriend. He been together for a year and a half. About 6 months ago, I caught him using the gay hook up app Grindr, but he swore that he was just using it to chat and to feel a sense of validation. I let that go, but I recently found out he’s been using the app again. This time around, I found out some of the exchanges he’s had with guys on Grindr and it literally tore me apart. He swears he never cheated on me, although he says he has been very tempted to. I was shocked to hear him say that. Everything between us seemed fine. We rarely have fights, our sex life has gotten better, but apparently it’s not enough. He feels that he has a problem and thinks he might be a sex addict as well. My biggest fear is trying to stand by him, only to get hurt more. We have scheduled an appointment for couples counseling for next week and have decided to try to give one another some space to come to the realization of what has happen to our relationship. Thankfully we don’t live together right now, but I was always at his house. I can’t sleep if I’m not laying next to him but right now, I can’t imagine resting next to him with everything that has happen. My biggest fear is that the man who I envisioned marrying, spending the rest of my life with, will just continue to hurt me. I thank you for sharing your story because while I know it’s really his struggle, I can’t help but feel I could do something different, something to help. I’m going to look into the book you mentioned in your comment, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse and check that out. I hope and pray that this works, and I’m glad that he seems so serious about wanting help because he says he doesn’t want to lose me, but I can’t lie and say I’m not scared to death right now. Thank you for being so brave and sharing, because I can only imagine how many people you have helped by telling your story.

  15. I had this terrible revelation about a year and half ago. We were in the middle of building project, I was busy every day and expected it to end at some point so we could go on a long-waited holiday. He worked in town and not always came home which was understandable since he worked late evenings and it’s an hours drive or so. There is a room attached to his studio.

    Then one day I had an accident with motorbike. Hospital etc. Broke my leg and was unable to go around staying in bed mostly. He showed up one evening telling me he wanted to finish. I couldn’t understand what he was talking about. He told me he had someone and it had been going on for awhile. Then he just left to work in the morning like nothing.

    I couldn’t sleep for many days. All that I was thinking went in circles. Did I do something wrong? I hate him! I love him! I want to die! Finally due to exhaustion I was able to sleep, sort of. Took some sleeping pills and woke up with cold sweats every now and then.

    It came to light that there had been more than one guy. Perhaps a dozen or so. I still don’t have a clue how many or where. The worst part was that he took it like he was ending a rental or whatever. Like I meant nothing to him. Like whatever I would do didn’t matter. The hurt was so bad that I thought I was going crazy. I read later form somewhere that of different stressful events only the death of a spouse is worse. i wish it would have been that. At least I could have kept my illusion.

    As afterthought, I started thinking about it and it made sense when you looked at it in a different light and knowledge. He started going to gym and seemed obsessed with his looks. Six pack and all that. I jokingly said that perhaps he was a bit too old for that and he replied that it was to keep fit and good care of his health. Yep.

    We are still together but I am quite sure that when financial things are settled in 4 years time, I will be gone. Something is lacking. We talked and sort of came to understanding but the trust is not there anymore. And that gone, what hope remains? He talks that he loves me and it was all a stupid mistake. I just can’t forgive unconditionally. Maybe I am wrong but I have principles. In a close relationship one should talk honestly about everything. Especially about problems. it is not like I don’t fancy this taste anymore or that car is old and I’ll change it.

    I never truly understood before when people talked about getting hurt when their relationship broke down or they were cheated. Now I know better. It is something so terrible that I actually hope that you are one of those people who never has to go through with that experience.

  16. Hello, I have recently started a search for advise on my relationship. I am not sure what the issue is, but at first I really thought it was me. I met this guy about 1.5 years ago, all was awesome at the beginning. About 8 months ago, he started hinting of involving others in a sex group, I have never done it but went with it. We have no sex unless it is with others. Any type of intimacy is only done when others are involved in sex. I did not know how to feel about this but now in a situation where I don’t know what to do. He asked to go with him to a bath house, we have, but he chases men with an insatiable appetite I have never seen before. He says I am jealous, but I repeat that I don’t receive the intimacy he gives other men, here at home. This bothers me big time, but he does not want to discuss this at all.
    I am 53 and have never dealt with this type of relationship.

    1. Hi I’m on a relationship for about an year and my boyfriend started talking about exactly the same and I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid to had the same experience as you or say no, and letting him open another door and do it anyway. In my case I’m 40 and never had a relationship like this and I don’t know what to do. He’s a nice guy but I’m started to be scared about my future.

      1. Psychology Today, a prominent source on human behavior states ” open relationships destroy peoples self esteem and moral compass ” a intimate relationship is between two people not 3,4,5, etc. I know people who have tried open relationships and they soon dissolve , don’t sell yourself cheap get someone who has his head on straight and a solid moral standard , if the relationship is all about sex then it is not a relationship anyway

  17. These articles have I think saved my life and restored my sanity just got out of 15 year realatinship 6 months ago have to be honest the love of my life but some times knowing the whole truth is the killer as they say happiness is knowing only half the story but as much as I love him hell would need to freeze over twice I experienced all the same betrayals man I sure was blind but addiction is an illness but I’m not an addict and don’t want hid life .
    And guys it’s got Notting to do with you it’s their shit I’m 6 foot 4 all my friends tell me I stop traffic but this relationship nearly destroyed me completely where I thought of taking my life but all you guys sound strong brave & men who like you though where looking after our family only to discover The whole story life is too short for bull many thanks guys God bless you all

  18. Scott, I just discovered this thread, years on from when you first posted. Its value and the shared insights still hold tight. thank you everyone. I was going to post this link – http://m.wikihow.com/Spot-a-Sociopath My own experience tells me there are behaviours similar to those described that stem from sociopathy. It helped me to revalidate myself as well as to understand the types of personality that can come into our lives all too easily. Best wishes to all of you. T