i got married at the age of 18 to a guy that seemed perfect. he had lots f friends, he always seemed happy and excited about life, and he was a really good guy. we only dated for 3 months. i was very innocent, from a religious family. and so was he. so it was pretty normal for us to get married young.
we had a baby just after i turned 19. a few months after we got married, i was lying down in bed waiting for him to get off the computer and join me, and when he walked in, i noticed stains on his boxers (he wore them back to front hoping he could run to the bathroom and change before i see anything)
that was the first time i realized he was watching porn behind my back. i was heartbroken. i was so so hurt. i cried all night and begged him to hug me for comfort. he didn’t say sorry, in fact he didn’t say anything.
after a few months i slowly realized he has a massive porn addiction. we both tried different therapists but he just didn’t believe he can change. 3 years later… everything is still the same. i cant leave the house because i know he will jump to the opportunity to watch porn. he doesn’t know what intimacy is because since he was 14 he became addicted and that’s all he knew.
his father would physically abuse him badly, he would grab him out of bed in the middle of his sleep and belt him while his mum would stand and watch. he also was neglected for 2 months by his mum who was in hospital for 11 weeks when he was 2. so he was very traumatized. from the age of 3 he would throw tantrums and the family would lock themselves in a room because they were so scared of him. so when he was 14 he discovered porn and that was the only way for him to get all the emotion and stress out with out being aggressive or violent to other people.
because of his past, i feel very bad for him. but seeing the images and videos he watches online hurt me so much. he prefers porn over being with me, and when he is with me, he usually thinks about porn to make it better.
i just separated from him now. but i need help and support to be on my own with my daughter. i don’t know how to stop feeling bad for him. but i cant live a life where i know my husband is risking his job because he watches porn there… and that whenever i am not looking, he will check out images of woman on the computer.
he also has depression, but he doesn’t believe anyone can help him so he isn’t bothering to see anymore therapists.
should i end this marriage? I’m worried that hes depression will get so much worst because he doesn’t share things with anyone. not even his family. he will have no one there to support him.
please share your advice with me.. i am so confused and lost… thank you
hannah, when I read your story I understood immediately. I am so sorry that you are part of our sisterhood. I wish there was no sexual addiction. I wish we had all seen and recognized the signs of a problem before we allowed our lives to become entangled in the world of sexual addiction. However, we find ourselves here and the best we can do is offer support. My advice is please acknowledge that your husband knows himself better than you know him. If he says nobody can help him, he will behave as if there is no hope for him. You must accept that he will live his life as if there is no help for him. We cannot change our reality until we accept that it is what it is. You are married to a sex addict who does not want to do the work to get healthy. That is the reality of your life. He only understands isolation, fear and high intensity sex, not intimate lovemaking.
The question is not what is he going to do. He’s already told you exactly what he is going to do. The question you must ask is how can you and your daughter live and prosper. My advice. Plan your life as if he will not be a part of it. Plan your life as if he is going to lose his job, because he surely will. Plan your life as if you want to make sure your daughter never sits down to a computer and has porn stream across the screen. Plan your life as if you don’t want your daughter around a man that spirals downward from porn to elder porn to kiddie porn to prostitution.
These guys spiral down until they hit rock bottom and neither you nor me nor any therapist is going to stop them from going to the lowest point of their life. and trust me he will have no problem taking you and your daughter down with him. Plan as if he does not exist and then execute your plan.
Best wishes to you and to your daughter and may God bless your family.
This is a really sad story, Hannah and my heart goes out to you. If your husband won’t get the help then I’m afraid that “an honest wife” is right. There is really no hope. I wouldn’t worry about him too much, though… Guys like him usually will find another woman to latch onto and hoodwink. And even more peculiar, she might even not mind his antics and abuse. There ARE women like this. She might also not want a man for intimacy and then, it could work in a fashion. Of course, its completely dysfunctional, but this is ALL that he knows (tragically) and until he decides to keep trying for wellness, no matter what, then what you have is what you have.
I think you already know the answer, but just want to seek corroboration for what your keen instincts for survival are telling you. He’s a ticking time bomb playing Russian roulette. You are wise to protect yourself and your daughter from a situation even worse than the one you currently find yourselves in.
All my best,
thank you guys this is really good advice to read and it is definitely helping me realize what the right decision is. i hope you are all doing well xx
keep up with the commenting.. this website is great.
I’m so sorry that you are going through this, especially with a young daughter to look after as well.
I’m really just going to reiterate what the others have said, because it’s so true.
I have also recently separated from my sex addicted husband and am slowly getting to the point of a divorce. Like you, I also feel bad for him and worry about his depression and lack of support. But thanks to the ladies on this site, I’ve realised that there is absolutely nothing I can do for him. If your husband doesn’t believe that anyone can help, then he is not willing to even try and nothing that you do can change that.
Stay strong and take care of yourself and your daughter. And establish your support system – family and friends. You don’t have to tell them everything, but just have them there when you need them.
i am really worried about my daughter she is so attached to her dad. if she she doesnt see him so often it could effect her really badly. how do i know i am not putting myself before her? i dont see a chance of her finding traces of porn on the computer… my husband deletes everyting very well…
Your daughter is far better off being out of that environment; do not believe for one second that he would be able to stop his addiction just because she is around. It will be far more devastating for her to be exposed to porn than reducing time spent with her father. My spouse takes my son out for a few hours on Saturday; they are both happier with this arrangement. It’s about quality time, not quantity.
You are teaching her that women are more than objects, that you and she deserve far better and that’s she’s worth it. Putting yourself before her is sometimes the best thing to do.
As addicts spiral into the depths of their addiction, they stop being anything close to a real parent. You’re kidding yourself if you think that staying in a relationship with a sex addict is going to be good for the child/children. The kids were noisy distractions to him. Any interaction that he had with them was at my insistence.
My “husband” was nothing more than a glorified babysitter…..a sperm donor who happened to live in the house. Leave. You’ll be glad you did.
i am sorry you has to go through that… i hope you and your children are well and able to move on.. even after 25 years…
Today is my 25th wedding anniversary. Imagine reaching your 25th anniversary, looking back over your life, and realizing that the entire marriage was a lie and that you wasted the best years of your life trying to make the lie work.
If it scares you to leave, and I’m sure it does, I urge you to think about how much it should scare you to find yourself in my shoes.
Leave. Now. For your sake and the sake of your child. You’ll be better off and so will your child.
I was reading your post and wondering: What those men think? They realize their problems, they knew what they were doing and for sure they always knew that there is not one woman in this world who are gonna to accept this. So why they get married? Why they don’t stay single? Why they look for a healthy woman just to bring her into this hell? Why they don’t stay single to do whatever they want to their lives? They plan everything. In their sick minds they believe they can get married and still having a double life. However why they need get married? In the end they only want to be by themselves, alone, isolated, living in their sick world of fantasies – porno, prostitution, webcam live chats, affair, etc. They don’t care about us, about our kids, about nothing, so I still wondering, why they get married? It seems that they don’t want be unhappy and sick by themselves, they want more people to be in the hell with them.
yeah this is something that always weighs on my mind. why didn’t you warn me about this before we got married??
i think he thought he will deal with it and stop it once he has a wife and a daughter..
the truth is, that he is a good guy and i guess everyone has bad habits, and he still deserved a go at having a family.. unfortunately he is failing though. and its his own loss…
We become part of the fantasy, the need. We try to fill their black hole of self hate. But we are never enough. Nothing is ever enough to an addict out to numb away the real world. They fear to be alone. They fear to be truly with. They simply want, and want, and want, and will say anything, do anything, sell out anything or anyone, to get whatever they want. They are little greedy children with defective internal parents who enable themselves and never hold themselves accountable for their commitments and always make excuses for their failures until they are drowning in a sea of their own self hatred even while they scream at themselves for being so worthless. And when men self destruct, how many go quietly? How many times do we hear of a man going out and taking his family, his coworkers, his friends, his enemies, with him? Whereas an alocholic, or a heroin addict, or others may quietly dive into their addiction more or less alone, a sex addict almost requires a loving woman as part of the addiction, someone to keep his dirty secret from, someone who would actually give a damn if they found out, someone who would hurt if they knew, someone who can never measure up that they can blame and then hate themselves even more for the hurt and the blame and the lies. We are merely a piece of their escalating, degrading, cruel fantasy.
PS: I think they are only ‘good guys’ when they are properly drugged up and happy about it. Take away the mask, display them in all their disgusting gory, and they become bitter, angry, defensive, cruel children that they truly are. I think that an SA in recovery will never ever seem like that ‘good’ guy again, and if they do, you can bet that they are hell bent down the road to relapse if not already deep in the sh*t.
Hi AM! I Totally agree with you. My husband seems to act exactly like you described. He sometimes are so cold, selfish, in a bad mood all the time, then suddenly he becomes so nice, so happy and stay like this for while. So I realize that he got it, he successfully got what he was looking for. Last time that he was looking porno movies while I was working (if it was only porno movies as he told me), he called me in my cell phone crying saying that he doesn’t have control about it. In 6 months he told me twice when he had a relapse. I don’t know if it only happened twice, but he told me twice. In a way I was happy (If I can call it happiness) because at least he was being honest to me. But even he telling me about it when I know that I could never find out if he did not tell me, I’m always suspicious trying to realize the real reason for he has been telling me about his relapses. Is he just trying to recovery from all this shit or is he just trying to make me believe that now he is better? Well, the fact is that before the relapse happened He was in a terrible mood, he was awful. Then he relapsed, told me about it crying, asked for forgiveness, said that he realizes his problem, started being nice again and still nice until today. And I’m just waiting for the next phase of this cycle when he will start being rude and selfish again, then telling me again, being nice again, and after to be rude again, relapse again… and again… and again… and again… To be honest I don’t see too many changes about him and I can see this cycle of his addiction clearly. However now I’m seeing changes in myself. Now when he tells me about his relapses I don’t feel sad anymore, I don’t feel depressed anymore. I’m not blaming him about it anymore and I’m not blaming myself as well. When he was crying I just said “Well, good for you that you realize your problem. Go back to the therapy, it is the only good thing you can do for yourself”. That was all I could say to him, because that is the true. After that I came back to work how nothing was happened. You know, I can’t do nothing for him, nothing! Only himself can do something about it. If he gets better, it will be good for him more than for myself, because I don’t have this problem, if we get divorced I will be free of all this situation, but wherever he goes he will have this problem. The only thing I can do is to give support to him and I’m doing it already. There is nothing more I can do for him. He is responsible for himself and I’m responsible for myself. And I’m taking care about myself now. I went for therapy for almost one year. Now I got two jobs and I’m staying really busy in my jobs. I’m planing to go back to school next year and get my degree. And you know, I realize that his problems is not affect me to much anymore. If he is not getting any treatment, oh well, bad for him. If he is lying and lying, well I feel sorry for him, because about me my dear, I’m getting there, I’m getting my own happiness, my financial independence and let’s see what will happen in the future…
You are asking a very good question regarding your daughter and her relationship with her father. I gather that your daughter is only about 2 or 3 right now.
Sure, she’s very young now, but in a few short years, she will be a teen aged developing girl. And if you have found the porn, believe me, she will too… and there’s a lot more to consider here.
One in five of us walking the face of the planet have been sexually abused by a family member. That’s right. (my mother is a psychotherapist and shared this with me) If there’s also a sex addict living in the home, what do you think the odds are? 20%, 50%, 100%???
My father didn’t sexually abuse me, but he did, physically and emotionally and had no compunction about walking past my bedroom with his fly wide open on the way to the bathroom. See how it works? Eventually, my abusive father got so bad, that he threatened to murder us… But, I was 14 by that time. If ONLY she had gotten rid of him 10 years earlier!!!
And there’s even more… Some men will say that they are JUST look at porn, but after a while almost all of them, find it doesn’t give them enough of a kick and move onto sex with REAL people.
Untreated, this is an escalating disease. So, even if its “just” porn– now (and I seriously doubt that it is–even now!) look out. Is this the type of environment that you wish to raise your daughter? If so, then stay married to this man.
Your leaving your husband would NOT be in any way shape or form selfish. In fact, it is just the opposite. You would be protecting, not only yourself, but your precious daughter from future harm. She is very young and she will adapt and she can be kept safe from a sexual predator.
my daughter is nearly 2. but i know a lot of woman are blind to their husband’s depth of addiction, but my husband is not interested in crazy porn. its the typical porn with men and woman. he would never chat to woman online let alone have an affair.
if its just porn, is it a good enough reason to leave? if i know my daughter will never come past it, if i know he will never hurt her.. is it worth it to end the marriage, and have her father hardly see her, just because there is no intimacy in the bedroom? and because he prefers porn over me? i think i know the answer but i guess i need other people from different backgrounds to reassure me…
i have come to hate the idea of porn and sex so much. i never enjoyed sex. i am worried i never will. it has become such a dirty thing. there’s
rarely any beauty in it.
Hannah. Please. Stop.
You have to get grounded in the reality that you are dealing with an addict. Not a really nice guy. Not a wonderfully tender person. Not a great dad. An addict. I doubt that if you consider cocaine or herion addicts, you would say anything close to “oh, they would never do XYZ as part of their addiction.” The same is true with sex addicts. That’s the truth that those of us who were/are involved with these men over 10-25 years are trying to share with you.
The disease is a progressive disease. It reorganizes the way they think. The addiction moves up in priority and YOU my dear, will move down in priority. Your daughter is also moving down. The job is moving down in priority. His parents and siblings are moving down in priority. Friends…….moving down. Everything is slowly becoming less and less important.
Please keep in mind that the only difference between your addict and a coke addict is the drug/behavior of choice. Would you ever believe that a cocaine addict that only snorts the stuff now would never move to injecting it or switch to crack cocaine? No, you wouldn’t because you’re too smart to believe that.
The danger is you don’t know how his addiction is going to progress. He may turn towards prostitutes. He may turn towards homosexual sex, affairs with your friends/neighbors. If you stay with your addict and the addiction continues unchecked, you might walk in one day and to find your hubby, a sheep, a donkey, two drag queens and a 13 year old runaway draped over the living room furniture and not a condom in sight.
If he doesn’t do the work to stop this disease, he going straight to the bottom. It’s your choice whether you want to take the ride with him.
dear honest wife…
my husband has recently moved out and he is missing us so much he went to a doctor and started taking anti depressants.
he also made an appointment with a psychiatrist who specializes in this addiction.
i wont let him move back in until i know he got better.
but don’t you think he deserves a chance?
he is working on things.. he is trying…
not once has he gone on web cam or chat for porn. he is very loyal and very respectful of women. he has being addicted to porn since he was 14 and not once did he do anything past normal porn. he is not interested. im not being oblivious. i know that porn is enough for him. he is not even into fetishes…
if you agree that i should give him another chance if he has worked hard for a good few months… when do i know if he has changed or not?
Ohhhhhh, well that’s different! If he’s working on his sobriety and getting counseling for his sex addiction, of course he deserves a chance!
But I still caution you that sex addicts that do not receive treatment only get worse over time. What they do in their 40s and 50s is a lot worse than what they do early on in their addiction.
Hannah… if you think that your husband will NEVER chat with another woman online or have an affair, I have a bridge for sale… wanna buy it? 😉
We ALL think that! But I can assure you that he is extremely capable of having an affair(s), so-called “anonymous” sex and worse!
You are very young and married very young and the fact that you don’t enjoy sex with your husband troubles me. I am not saying that this is your fault and it sounds like he’s a total dud in bed. A lot of SAs are… at least with their wives. Its the flip side of the same coin.
A lot of women have found a lot of solace and support with a private therapist who also has a good knowledge of addictions and marriage. This is not because you are crazy, but simply to provide information and support as you navigate these troubled waters.
The old axiom, that it always takes two is not always true. It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch.
These comments are out of order and I mentioned it once to JoAnn, but she couldn’t see it, so maybe its just me…
PS: They all portend to be “good guys” and many don’t see anything wrong with what they are doing and they do not have a right to be behaving so atrociously and putting their family at grave risk and possibly even putting your health at risk! I’m sure he has some good qualities. Of course he does, but he’s also an addict and you have no idea the extent of what he’s looking at and/or what he’s doing when you’re not around. no idea.
Honey, I caught several life threatening strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) from my SA and you could too, because it is extremely unlikely that he is just looking at porn and even if he is… ewwww… if its at the point where its inhibiting his normal functioning, in many areas of his life, then its a BIG problem! xo ~ L
PS: For Ve– They get married or have partners because they are terrified of being alone and/or want the “normal” life with all of the trappings or want some arm candy to show the world what a hot stud they are for being able to attract such a woman. For most, I don’t think that they are intentionally trying to hurt you. Again, many don’t understand that what they are doing is wrong or that it would have any effect on you or even has anything to do with you. They lack a conscious. I know… its totally freaky! The sicker SAs who have a sadistic streak will get off on hurting you because they secretly hate ALL women while portending to “love” them. Its all part of the sickness.
Well Lexie I totally agree with you! However if they don’t have conscious, they don’t feel blame for what they are doing too. So what they are? Psychopathic? You know are I mean? It is really freaky!
P.S. Hanna my husband is a good guy too. When I met him I could never imagine this. He was so sweet, so nice, the perfect man for me. Somehow he still a good guy. He is not a miser. He treats my family and friends really well. When is my birthday or our anniversary he makes me surprises. He gives me flowers. Nobody would imagine that he is a SA. We don’t have kids and He wants have kids so badly. He wants have a family. Our sex is really good. What can I say… He is not selfish about sex (my face is becoming red, I’m shy…lol), he cares about my pleasure too. However he still lying to me. He always was so nice to me, but he was always lying to me as well. He had or have (who knows?) a double life: a lot of fake e-mails with a lot of women. He was chatting to the same woman for years. He went out with a lot of prostitutes. He was expending a lot of money with live webcam chat. Though we have a good sex and he seems to be romantic we don’t have affection. He doesn’t have affection for me. He never gives me a hug, just when he wants sex. We don’t have intimacy. He never talks about himself or his feelings. I never know what he has in his mind. If I start a fight he just stay calm and doesn’t say any word. When I’m asking something to him he just says: I don’t know. He knows it drives me crazy, but he doesn’t care. I’m sure he is a passive–aggressive as well. Almost all SA are passive-aggressive.
You don’t need to leave him, but you don’t need to stay with him too.
Just be sure that You can’t do nothing for him, nothing! He only will change this situation and fix it if he really wants it. Unfortunately he won’t change for you and your daughter. I feel sorry for us, for them… but that is the true.
Hi Hannah…I haven’t been on this site for a really long time. I want to offer some balance to the comments here…I married at 19, got pregnant 3 months later and had a daughter by my 1st anniversary at 20. I met my husband at church and we waited to have sex until marraige. I feel like I can relate to your situation, or at least I could have 18 years ago. We are now together 21 years, have an 18 year old daughter. Early in my marraige, like you I learned that my husband had called a sex hotline(900#) They don’t need those anymore because of advancement of internet…I was devastated, he tried to deny it, but I had solid proof from the phone company because I tried to fight the charge. I was pregnant at the time and working full-time. He agreed to confess it to some guys in bible study and said it would never happen again, he cried and said he was sorry(even though initially he was defensive)He never told me at that time about the addiction and I was naive and didn’t get professional help either. Over the years,I caught him looking at porn and each time there would be a blowout fight, he would delete everything from the computer, promise to change, talk to guys at bible study, go to church every sunday and contiinue his double life. He was a master at a double life. Last year I found out more than I could bear…His double life had progressed and my whole marraige was a lie. I have had to learn why he was so dis-engaged(not because he was shy or an only child) because of what the addiction did to him, after he turned 40, he had more access to $, was able to conceal things better, and he began physically acting out with prostitutes…I NEVER would have expected this…He wouldn’t even share a bath towel he was so clean(germa-phob)
He was shy, so I never imagined he would give his body to another person and he was a “family man” conservative, church going, hard working, and NEVER went out, he didn’t even have any friends left! He always told me when I questioned his distance emotionally that he was working so hard for this family he had nothing left and he was always defensive(now I know is part of addiction) Little did I know what was happening inside his mind/brain. His addiction to porn took over, it was controlling him. He had no control and would leave work early, sleep with a prostitute real quick, then head home for dinner at the same time every night. Or, he would take a long lunch…I never suspected anything because his life patterns stayed consistent. The addiction completely consumed his mind and almost destroyed everything for him, family, job, life. One thing I didn’t mention is that my first daughter was disabled, so I was consumed with her care, which I believed to be the source of his anger, pain, and disconnect. I was so busy care-taking, I missed signs I should have been paying attention to, plus raising her took so much energy, I didn’t pay much attention to what he was doing, we eventually were just living two seperate lives and having dinner nightly and sex occasionally…oh yeah, and church every Sunday! I wanted to share my story with you Hannah,for two reasons; One, I was young like you and thought it would never go past porn(looking at beautiful women online), also I believed he could quit each time he said he would, not realizing the stronghold of an addiction and need for him to resolve his woundedness from childhood, which takes time and deep therapy. I also want to give you hope. My husband has now been in therapy for 1 year, he goes 4 times a week(once to marraige, once individual, and two groups)I also go two times a week and to one group. We are both getting healthy together. One thing to realize is that even though it is not our fault that our husbands are addicts, there is something in us that was attracted to the characteristics that they have, so we need therapy to get to the root of that, or we will just repeat the pattern in other relationships. There is something in us that tolerates the intolerable and usually it stems from having to tolerate things in our homes as a child that are not healthy behaviors, if you can get to the root of that, it will help you to identify why you will accept being disrespected. Men that are addicts objectify women in many ways. I have an early teen and 18 year old and I see the effects now on my young teen girl. There is hope that with intense therapy and getting out of denial, he can change, but he will always be an addict, which means he will always have to guard his heart and learn not to objectify women. He will also need a lo of support(other men to talk to, a therapist, and a program for sex addicts to work) My husband has a year sober from porn and everything that goes with it. He still struggles with looking at women, but we are learning together what his triggers are and he feels a sense of freedom he has never had before. His attitudes are slowly changing, that’s the hardest part once you recognize the addiction cycle is that they don’t change everything immediately and a lot of things you’ve probably been in denial about or normalized, you learn is not healthy. That’s the hardest part of recovery. The important part is not to blame, but be assertive and have boundaries with him. If you blame, it puts them right back into the cycle of shame, guilt, inadequacy, and resentment, which is why they have the addiction(to numb those feelings that overwhelm them) Being strong, having firm boundaries, and being assertive and honest is the way we can deal with them in a healthy way. Most SA have little or no empathy for others. They have to learn it, you guys are young if you do the intensive work now, he could learn still, but rest assured it will be a lot of work and commitement. If you are both committed to it, you will be a lot better off than us, I lived in denial for way too long. As you can see, my husbands did progress. Yours will too, eventually. It took my husband 16 years before it progressed to physical acting out, by the time I caught him he was sleeping with two prostitutes a month and video chatting regularly and attending strip clubs on business trips. I believe if you pray that God will reveal truth to you, be dilligent and watchful, and pray for God to guide you, he will show you the right path. For me, right now it is to stay.
CD..I am so thrilled to read the semi happy ending to your story!! I say semi, bc I know this will always be a struggle, and it will take many more years of him showing you this is not just another “try” for there to be any real peace that things are starting to change. There is a HUGE part of me that wishes I had done what you did. You had a situation that kept you too busy to become very confrontational, and I just wish I hadn’t sometimes. I bounced back and forth so many times whether ignorning things was enabling my husband, or if confronting him made things worse, and I don’t know if we will ever know what the “right” way is to respond to this situation. I feel like, even a month ago, there was hope, and I did something wrong to make him turn his back on me, drop out of therapy, and now become even nastier to me. Did I step in God’s way in dealing w/him, am I a hypocrite, or would I have been a doormat and enabler if I didn’t confront him?? I drove myself crazy all the time, because there are no “right” answers. I have prayed for God to guide me since this all came out, and every turn I make seems wrong. No matter if I tried to be kind and loving, or refused to buy the lies and stood up to him, nothing melted his heart back to the sweet, loving man I married who was wonderful to me, that I knew was buried in there somewhere, underneath hurt he had WAY before I came along.
So I am thrilled when I read stories like yours that DO have a GOOD ending, and that show what it looks like when you see their hearts are finally in the right place, and they want to heal all of their old hurts, and focus on themselves in a healthy, nondestructive way, and also give their marriage the time and attention it deserves. My prayer for continued blessings and healing as you move forward in your new lives together.
Hi My Reward is Coming,
Like you said it’s semi-happy…rebuilding trust, learning boundaries, and good,honest, and vulnerable communication isn’t easy. Each day is work and we are both still learning. He moved out for 6 months, which helped. I wish looking back we would have prolonged that time period because he felt the urgency more during that period and healing moved more rapidly. After he moved back, old attitudes started emerging, which was inevitible,I guess. I really do see God working and little things that happen are daily reminders…Just yesterday I was feeling insecure because my husband and I hadn’t been “connected” emotionally in a couple days due to busy schedules. I was walking to the trash and praying for God to help me with my anxiety and a white dove fluttered down and sat on a low branch looking right at me. I know it sounds cooky, but it really happened. I called my husband out and he got the camera, we took pictures and got reconnected. I hope the same peace for all of you…
PS Obviously it’s not perfect, I still get suspicious and here I am awake in the night thinking about everything, so I still have a long way to healing.
CD..I like what you said about honest, open communication between the two of you. There where times my ex would open up to me in ways he said he never had w/anyone else before, and from what I’m hearing now, there where times he was very unhappy, and never said anything. I have a hard time, bc I don’t know what was honest from him, and what was defection to make me feel responsible. Regardless, I wish when he was unhappy he had told me. I’m not a mindreader. I couldn’t fix what I didn’t know about, and sometimes I do need to hear something several times for it to sink in, But rather than coming to me, and telling me how he felt every time something came up, he held everything inside for years. I can’t fix it now that he’s insisting on a divorce, and blaming me. If we only he had honest, open communication w/me like a normal married couple, instead of this facade. I hope your husband learns how to communicate w/you on all levels w/honesty about how he feels, and considers your feelings as well, like a healthy couple, rather than holding everything in, and then blaming you for things he never gives you an opportunity to talk about.
i just saw on his web history that he was checking out an attractive girl on facebook. looking through her photos.
im starting to realize that this is the warning. that sex addicts always look for more.
even if he never acts on it, he will always want it. which means i will never be enough. i think i am going to get a divorce. i am a little shocked right now.
he wasnt even apologetic.
he was telling me off for looking at his history and said he was curious and that he is changing his passwords.would it be so so hard to say sorry? i didnt mean to hurt you? why cant he be sympathetic? is it possible to be that selfish??
I’m sorry to hear he was looking at women again…I think with the addiction, they minimize so much in their minds unconciously, they don’t really realize they are hurting us or really that it is even wrong in any way. It is difficult for them to even be able to understand how their actions affect another person. It is a disconnect and the addiction causes an imbalance neurologically, which take a lot of work to overcome. Even as I write this, thinking about it scares me too because I have chosen to stay with a man I have begun to understand these things about. I however am not staying because of fear, low-self worth, or being decieved about the truth. I have decided it is the best choice for my preteen daughter for her to see healthy patterns in her parents as we work to heal together because she has already seen the bad patterns for so long, even though we didn’t recognize them at the time. Your situation is very different with such a young child, she still has at least 4 years of brain development before her personality is formed. My daughter is a lot like my husband, she struggles with entitlement mentality and is introverted and has mirrored a lot of his attitudes. This often happens as the SA is perceived to be the stronger parent to the children because they dominate the other partner emotionally. My husband is at least beginning to take responsibility and apologizing to my daughter and admitting that he has been wrong in the way he has behaved and treated me. She doesn’t know he is a SA, which is for her best a her age. I don’t know what my decision would be if I was younger and had younger kids or if there were no kids in the picture, or he wasn’t working the program. It sounds like your husband is in defensive mode, until they get out of that mindset, they can’t see your side and if they start to feel it, the guilt causes them to look for a “fix” to numb the pain(porn, etc.)It is called the craziness cycle(Carnes) I wish you the best for you and your child…One question I have for those who have left…What happens to those guys? Do they become rapists, worse? If they have no hope, does it get worse?
i think what happens to the ones that have no hope, rapists or not rapists.. they become depressed and suicidal.
my husband has suicidal thoughts often, which is why i haven’t left him yet. its very scary to think if i leave him, i will have to worry about him staying alive. i have no idea how i am going to deal with that, especially because he has no one who takes care of him in this world besides me.
If you read through this interview you will recognize the stinkin’ thinkin’ of addicts. He is not a nice guy, he is not a good husband and even thought he wants to excuse his behavior because his wife did not want to talk about or engage in certain behaviors, there is no excuse for their compulsive sexual behaviors no matter how they cut it.
Just another example of the ‘same old, same old’ that each and every one of us hears every day from our partners that have not yet faced their demons and embraced recovery.
My Reward… Your ex told you that he had opened up to you in ways he had never had with anyone else before??? (gag— please, an emesis basin quickly!) And then, practically in the same breath, he also held all of the “pain and misery” inside. What a fucking joke!!! If he was so damned unhappy, and he never said anything and THEN he blames you for EVERYTHING, how fucked up is that??? And who says his so-called “unhappiness” is even based on anything healthy and real??? If he’s a SA, I can tell you that his “happiness” or lack their of is nothing but complete and utter fantasy. It is not real! He’s totally messin’ with your head honey and if you had stayed with him, I guarantee that he would go on to make your life a living hell– guaranteed. Why would he do this, a man who portends to “love” you??? Well, we’ll leave all of that nasty stuff for the shrinks to figure out, but he does it because he CAN and he gets off on causing you pain. Oh, he might throw you a crumb of affection once in a while… yeah… just to prove to himself what a “good guy” he really is. Don’t try to make any rational sense out of any of it, because there is none.
It sounds like your ex has a pretty massive personality disorder. Please know that it doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do, or say or didn’t say, so please, please, stop beating your self up!!! okay? He would have you jumping through fire hoops and it would still never be enough. nope. I would consider his asking you for a divorce, a blessing of the highest magnitude. Chances are, he already has or will soon find another patsy to play his sick mind games on… and maybe this time, he’ll find one who will sell her soul in order to keep him happy(ier)– maybe, maybe not; not your problem anymore, thank God!
Please know that there was nothing you could’ve done differently. You were simply protecting your heart and soul and rightly so. He couldn’t handle that because a real heart and a real soul are foreign concepts to him. Good riddance!
All my best,
I don’t want to fall into his trap of saying I never did anything wrong, or never hurt him. I think any NORMAL married couple knows they are never going to be perfect. But if coping w/things means you bottle everything up, and never give me a chance for us to work through them, you run away, or hide everything, how is that fair to me? How is that my fault? After 17 years, NOW it’s all my fault he felt like he couldn’t be himself?? Sorry, for a long time, I saw someone that was very happy, and loved the life he had. That’s what hurts so much right now. In therapy I was telling him I knew things needed to be different (although I don’t even know what in the world would have worked for both of us) and tried to correct how to approach things, and it still wasn’t enough for him. I wasn’t just doing it to go through the motions, or to placate him, but it’s like he didn’t even care. But the people who did the most crap to him just had to say “Sorry”, and everything was all better w/them. Let’s see if he walked up to them, and hit them, and see how they would react afterward. That’s where I do begin to wonder what in the world happened to his concience. He went from being someone who would apologize for things that had nothing to do w/him, to not caring how in the hell he ruins the life of someone who wanted nothing more than for him to have so much of the happiness he was denied as a child, but wanted it to happen in healthy ways.
It’s hard not to think there must be something wrong w/me, if this man that used to tell me I was the best thing that ever happened to him, and made him the happiest man on earth, is now treating me this way. Again, my head can step back, and know it wouldn’t matter who he was with, it’s my heart that is too broken to get the message right now. I’m hoping in time it will catch up. That’s why I owe this wonderful site more than anyone could ever imagine!!!
I am also married to a sex addict. If you gag parents go home. Go home and go to school. Be ready to support yourself and your baby. He dosn care about you because he can’t. I had my son at 17. My son is now 16. The best thing I ever did was graduate college. You will meet someone else I swear it. Be selfish and smart. Your life has just begun. The problem is you won’t believe us. You will probably need to be further destroyed before you will know the advice here was right on. But who knows how long it will take for the disaster to show itself. For me it took ten years. They are master liars and deceivers. Good luck and I wish the best.
Yes, Hannah, It IS possible to be that selfish and unfeeling. He is so wrapped up in the fact that you were spying on him that all he can do is lash out like a little boy having a tantrum over having a toy taken away from him.
However, and this is a big HOWEVER, he has given you no reason to trust him, but he cannot see this, because the notion of “trust” is a foreign abstract concept to him, except when it comes to himself. So, he can only see that you have broken his trust and invaded HIS privacy, but cannot see the extremely justifiable reasons why.
Words from Lexie:
“Hey Jack…newsflash: she’s your wife and there IS no privacy; not when it comes to matters computer. Any dude (who calls himself husband) who can stand there and watch his lovely wife in all her glory, shitting out one of YOUR babies has no right to any kind of privacy when it comes to matters such as this. period.And in case you forgot, you took a vow in front of God and your entire friggin family to love, cherish and honor this woman– foresaking ALL Others, until death do you part and that includes lusting over women on FAKEBOOK!”
The only correct answer would’ve been complete and utter contrition for traumatizing you and then making an appointment for help ASAP. And even then, the statistics are very grim and even that might be a sham.
Stay strong, Hannah. I believe with all of my heart, that you are doing the right thing for yourself and your daughter.
Hannah, are you his mother or his wife? If he’s suicidal, he needs psychiatric care and pronto…
Who’s taking care of you?
his paretns are useless. they are both depressed and have no clue what is going on around them. he has no one else! i have my whole family taking care of me! he wont let a therapist help him. he is so depressed he doesnt even want to get better.
I think you’ll probably be surprised. My husband was hitting his head on the sidewalk and I thought he was suicidal too, he said things that really scared me in the beginning. It came from his fear and feelings of hoplessness. I felt like I had to rescue him too, it’s part of the cycle. They are smart enough to know we will rescue, it’s the pattern. The best thing for him is for him to see your strength, boundaries, and confidence in your values and expectations. He has not humbled himself or truly been broken about how he hurt you based on his reaction to change the passwords, rather than apologize for hurting you. Only you know the truth, but please be watchful for motives, attitudes, and behaviors. You have to feel safe emotionally and not minipulated and taken advantage of. The hardest thing for the spouse of any addict is to learn how to take care of themselves. He hasn’t taken care of you and even though you have more support, he made his bed partially too by cutting himself off and focusing on porn rather than relationships. As an adult, he has to start taking responsibility for his part in the choices. Love and hugs to you for clear thoughts and decision making!
Hanna, I don’t think he is going to commit suicide. I think he is just doing so emotional blackmail. If he is being honest about suicide, then he needs a psychiatric more than he needs you. Look, he is not your responsibility. He is responsible for himself. If he wants to have control about his behavior and to get better, he is the only one who can really do that for himself. It is his choice. He did not choose to have this problem of course, but it is his choice to get better and to look for a professional help or stay in this situation. If you want stay with him that is ok, it is your choice too, but don’t stay with him believing that it is your responsibility to make him better. Or that if he commit suicide it would be your fault. If he has this problem it is not your fault. If he commit suicide one day, it won’t be your fault too. If he never gets better it won’t be your fault as well. And if he doesn’t want get better, doesn’t matter if you stay with him or not, he wont get better. And when he realizes that he needs to look for help, doesn’t matter with he will be with you or not, he will do it.
Best wishes for you and your daughter!
Hannah… please, one minute you sound logical and lucid and then you suddenly switch your thinking and are making bargain after bargain with the devil. Minimizing, justifying, making excuses for horrendous pathological behavior by your husband and flimsy, unfounded reasons to stay.
There is no “just” in addiction.
You cannot save him or help him or keep him safe. HE is the only person who can do that. He is an adult and if he hasn’t already figured out how to do this, its too late. Do you understand? Yes, there’s help, but if he won’t get it, then it IS hopeless.
In fact, what you ARE doing by “standing by him” and allowing him to walk all over you, and behave like a two yr old having a tantrum is enabling him to continue. So, you are actually making him worse. You can’t make him better, but you CAN make him worse.(same goes for our children) And furthermore, you are putting your young daughter at risk for abuse.
My father only beat me up when my mother was out of the house. (until one day when everyone was home and was beating the crap outta me and Mom intervened and he punched her lights out and my siblings and I spent the rest of the day in the ER waiting to have her broken nose reset.) She too, thought she was doing the right thing by keeping the family intact. He almost friggin killed me.
The ship is a goin’ down… your choice… Get in the next life boat, or go down with the ship with your daughter in it. Save yourself– and your precious daughter, Hannah.
It is your job to protect her.
Threatening suicide is traumatizing to the recipient. It is emotional blackmail and that, is ABUSE. He’s a drowning victim and clutching at anything he can grab onto.
Please go back and read everyone’s posts. Everyone is looking out for your best interests and is telling you the unvarnished TRUTH.
hugs and love,
You did the “right” thing in separating from him. Divorce is horribly painful, but he has already divorced you by his behavior. You “cannot” help him; he must get help “himself”, and be “completely truthful” in long term therapy, “without” you there. He “must” take “personal” responsibility for his own actions. AGAIN, YOU “CANNOT” HELP HIM.”
“After 42 years of marriage”, I was asked by the therapist to question our adult children as to “if” their dad molested them; this was “gut” wrenching. While “in” therapy I found him “completely uncontrollably” looking at “younger girls”. Staying WILL NOT help him. I had “no” inhibitions sexually with him; he left me starving for real love and affection, and sex as well. You can end up losing everything materially as well when he gets caught in “who know what”. Do NOT waste 42 years, nor lose your life, and who knows the consequences on your children.
AM, I loved what you wrote so much that I reprinted it in a post of mine on the sister site. Thank you for expressing all of this so eloquently! xo ~ Lexie
its official. we are getting divorced. i hope he doesn’t kill himself. i hope i will deal with it. i hope i wont come back to him.
Hannah… I think that you are extremely brave and wise and making the best decision for all concerned. You cannot control what he does and yes, he might kill himself and of course, that would be extremely tragic, but again, it’s all part of the same illness… I’m wishing you much strength and healing…Please know that we are here for you. (((hugs))) ~ Lexie
Thank “God”…give YOURSELF 2 years OUT of his life & problems…so he deals with his issues himself with a therapists & group for SEX ADDICTS…He can do it and he must do it and tell the WHOLE TRUTH to someone else before you to get this crap OUT of him…REMEMBER You CANNOT help him…he must get help for himself & there are really good counselors out there…You are NOT responsible for his problem, nor for his healing. I am a “Ministers Wife” and I am a good person and I care..but I had to set clear FIRM BOUNDARIES on my husband to PROTECT MYSELF & my OWN SANITY…Please listen to me…you MUST PROTECT your OWN MIND & your child…this stuff DOES NOT go away without LONG TERM treatment…a woman just told me today of how her Dad molested her & her sisters & how her mother was in mental institutions because of it…GET AWAY FROM him & FORGET about helping him…allow him to GROW UP & take responsibility for his behavior…do not be caught in the “middle” as he will just always use you & blame you. I have heard stories that would make your “hair stand up”…GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!
Get out while your young. I mean run for your life . I am 54 years old and found out my husband was a SA at 30 YEAR OLD. I stayed going through counseling with him and he has never stopped looking at porn, and probably exposing him self. He use to go in ladies bath rooms and wait for a woman to walk in and there he would be with his penis exposed. If I leave now I have nothing but being homeless my husband made sure I can not get enough money to leave . He was self employed and only paid ss on him self so if I got to get disability I have to draw ssi and it takes about a year to get in the housing project. I have thought about buying and living out of a tent, but I am diabetic. I can only see the pain gone from my life when the good Lord calls me home and that is what I am waiting for . You are young and have a whole life a head of you please help your self and your daughter. A very few ever stops and that takes a long time.
There will be difficult days, but please know in your heart of hearts that you are saving yourself so much heartache and pain that any problems you experience now will pale by comparison. This is one of those times where you’ll never know the pain you avoided, but I feel certain that it is significant! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
My best, Betty
Who the hell is Tim Lieder? Or you are a male sex addict trying to convince yourself that we are mental and you are normal, or you are female sex addict having a relationship with another sex addict and trying to show him that everybody is sick, less your guys… of course! (I’m being sarcastic. Just to clarify). Or you are somebody who makes money with porno so you need to keep your business safe from “mental” people like us. This are the only possible explanation for this your reaction. There is no woman who accept that their husband are looking porno like it is normal. Maybe they pretend to accept but they don’t. Are you serious? Do you really think that all men need to see porno? You know, the same way that all human being needs oxygen to live the men need porno to live as well? Who said that? You never tried to realize why the men need to see porno like that and what is behind this? Because the same way the men like sex we women like it too. I love sex and I love crazy sex. And I like hot sex… And I need sex to live. I like sex than that a man, but I have control over it. I wont spend money with porno. I wont let my job unfinished to be looking porno. I wont let my husband unsatisfied because porno and masturbation. I wont put my health in risk because porno, I wont abuse a daughter or son because sex… That is the difference… I love sex, but I’m not a addict.
Please, let’s not engage this guy. I have removed his comments and blocked him. We cannot do anything about men like him, but the worst thing we can do is engage in any type of dialogue. Just ignore him.
Unfortunately this is a public website and people like him can access it. In order to have this site open for you and other women to share and exchange ideas we run the risk of criticism.
Hannah,I am so sorry that his venom has hurt you. He is a cruel and disturbed man. Ignore him.
I just found out my husband is addicted to porn I’m just distraught. The disconnectedness all these years- have an answer now- I would always say where is the intimacy in our marriage??? Yes you are nice, you provide financially but my dad and mom did that too. I married for intimacy; a best friend; someone to love & someone to love me in a deep way. I feel so robbed and angry 19 years. Just typing this comment is out of character for me usually I have a best friend to talk to about everything but she just died of cancer in June. I miss her terribly. I’m so angry, confused and hurt that I can barely think straight half the time lately. We have three boys same age its hard to just walk away from it all but WHAT kind of marriage do I have??? What do I have to lose? Oh God help me to think sanely and with wisdom. My prayer nightly is to help me be strong do the right thing. I live in a small town so going to get help is hard he is very prominent and well known. I just want to run away and hide under a rock, but I know that is useless. Your comments help validate my feeling it’s like you all know exactly what I’m going through complete strangers that’s so weird. Thank you for have this discussion site. God Help us all! WHY did I pick him? How the **#** could I have been so blind all these years???
Hi Triplet Mom,
Glad you found us and Yes, we do understand and this site has been and continues to me an invaluable life-line and savior and source of infinite support. It has also, slowly, over time, given me the courage, through the most amazing women on here and on SOS (the sister site) to kick my lame-ass SAH to the curb. As in get the f**k outta here, before I f**kin’ kill you.
Now… I don’t know your entire story, but a few important things, I’d like to share, if I may. The first one is a doozy, so hang on. I’m sure you’ve considered this, but he’s probably not “just” a porn addict, because long term PA’s usually want to have live acting out partners, sooner or later. Not all, but I believe that most of them do. My husband belongs in that camp. I thought that it was “just” porn, and “just” cyber sex/phone sex…
Please do not beat yourself up. My husband told me I could date a few years ago, which is when I got messed up with a hideous SA which is how I found myself HERE. I was so far gone, and in D E N I A L, and insisted that my husband had, had a few “indiscretions,” and then read about SA’s, personality disorders, and I STILL didn’t get it, until my younger son (with autism) started at boarding school 11 months ago. It was at the end of the year, that things started to very slowly unravel. First it was a big SNAG. I asked him point blank on the 31st, how many women other than me, he had f**ked since we’ve been married and he said that it was “one” woman… then mid-April, I harangued him in the car… I was an absolute mad-dog, foaming at the mouth rabid bitch… while I had him as a captive audience.
He denied everything.
Then, I tried again, a month later and insisted that he get rid of all of his SEVEN external hard drives and unlock EVERYTHING!!!
And then on August 2, I was scanning a drawing for a client when I noticed that his email preview was open, and that is when the snag began to unravel at a delirious speed. Of course it wasn’t just one woman, one time, it was at least two and maybe a third, and many, many on web cam, phone sex and cyber sex. In addition, he had a former fuck buddy from 35 years ago, who lives in Israel, that he would confide in about all of his exploits— layers of betrayal and on top of it, he’s a really lousy provider and relied on me, to make the lions share of the income. My prince turned into a FROG!!!
Now, that’s my situation and yours could be entirely different, but if if your H is a prominent, successful, charismatic man, that’s like cat nap for some women… 🙁
The other thing is this… Please do not let his position or the fact that your town is small and nosy, stop you from getting help. First of all, therapists do not ever divulge ANYTHING that they might learn as it is a violation of their ethics laws and they could lose their license, if they did. And the other thing is… no one will know the reason that you are there, if they even know that you are going. I mean, its not like you’ll be wearing a sign, right? lol You could be there, because of the kids, or for your own depression/anxiety/aging parents/health issues… tons of reasons. And there is absolutely nothing for you to be ashamed of.
My two boys are 21 and 16, so maybe in the general age range of yours or a bit older, but I will tell you this; one of the PRIMARY reasons that I am leaving this marriage is BECAUSE of my boys. Not only am I defending my need and right to be loved, cherished, respected and to not be cheated on– by the one person who has VOWED to do all of these things, but— I very much need to show my two young men exactly what WILL happen when they lack the integrity to be honest with their wife. I thought my husband had enough integrity for 10 men. He is the last person on this good earth that anyone would suspect. Everyone I have told is absolutely shocked. While of course, in hindsight, we see clues, it is impossible to know, because it is done in secret. There is no telltale breath of an alcoholic, or glazed eyes and manic behavior, or whatever of a drug addict. A SA, can be acting out, have an orgasm, and 3 minutes later come out of the bathroom and take out the trash and rake the leaves. Unless you are attached at the hip and with him every waking moment, how are you to know?
its the violation of the sacred trust that’s at issue and it sucks, doesn’t it?
My husband hasn’t touched me in years. I finally made him leave which he did yesterday. My anger has felt like it will consume me at times. As a matter of fact, it has only worsened over time. He does not fully admit that he has a problem. He will not accept all of the blame.
He does regret what he did. (he says) but like most things in life, he has not fought for me or our marriage and so, I realized that he will never change, because the first requisite is the DESIRE to change, and the realization that he needs to, for his own well-being. He doesn’t really see this, unfortunately. He says that he has stopped acting out, however, he still can’t tell me that he loves me, wants me and wants to fight for US.
He says that he gave up hope, long ago. And in that case, there is nothing left for me to do, but end this marriage, if i wish to attain any kind of real happiness. I am not relying on him for my happiness, but I also didn’t expect him to bring me such misery…
I am choosing life!
all food for thought…
You are doing the right thing by leaving. I’ve been married to a sex addict for 5 years now. Like you it was all porn till last year when he started getting his “fix” through physical interactions. He was with 4 other woman in 2011. By the 4th he stopped using a condom. Porn is just a gateway, it will only get worse especially if he doesn’t want to try to get help. Start a new life with your child and find happiness. I wish you all the best!