Is My Husband A Sex Addict Or An Entitled, Narcissistic Bastard?

Dear JoAnn,

I would like to preface this by saying that I have yet to determine whether my husband is a sex addict with a compulsion to consume porn, surf escort sites, and sleep with prostitutes OR an entitled, narcissistic bastard who believes these behaviors are acceptable and deserved (by him) and is just apologizing and trying to make amends simply because he was caught.

That said…

I have always felt a distance from my husband – a certain disconnection on his part that was exacerbated by his minimal ability to empathize w others and his obsession w himself.
For example, he is the kind of man who will steer the conversation to himself, will talk at length about himself (almost like a monologue w little room for others input or a give and take), but will rarely, if ever, ask any questions of anyone else in the room. When conversation turns away from him, he is on his iPhone or will even take out his computer, completely ignoring the social situation around him. Everything is about him – his pain, his frustration, his discomfort. I have come to think of him as a chronic malcontent. This stands in stark contrast to the man he purported to be at the beginning of our relationship almost ten years ago. Bright, well traveled, adventurous, daring – I was taken in by stories of these grand adventures he’d had in the past, picturing a life w someone filled w energy and motivation. The real man is a hairs breadth from freaking out about the smallest thing. A person who seems irritated to “have” to spend time w the kids at a playground on the weekend. A person who rarely comes up with any ideas of something to do, let alone anything fun or exciting.

I had become suspicious of him years ago when he received an overly friendly text from a co worker when his phone went off while he was in the shower. He played it off as nothing – they’d had lunch a few times, gone out w others for drinks (outings to which I was never invited, about which I was never told). It was “no big deal.” I let it go. After we were married and when I was pregnant w our first child, I looked on one of his social sites and found another overly familiar message sent to an old female friend in which he talked about how great it was to chat w her until 3am the night before. How special the conversation was. When I confronted him, he again said it was innocent and didn’t seem to understand why I was upset but agreed to stop messaging people on this site. A few years later when we were moving, I found a stash of porn DVDs – close to a hundred – and asked him about it. He said to just throw them away – he had just used them while we were living apart for a year prior to marrying. It seemed like an excessive number of discs to me, but I let it go, comforted by the fact that he would agree to throw them away so readily.

Then, two weeks ago…

I had become suspicious for various reasons and looked at the cookies and cache on his computer (he always erased his browser history and would turn the computer away from me if I was nearby). I found dozens of porn sites, but more disturbing were the ten-twenty escort sites, match dot com profile, and email accounts under an alias I didn’t know he had. Obviously when I confronted him, he denied everything saying he was only looking, he never touched anyone, etc. He denied having the other email accounts. After telling him I had proof he showed me the email accounts and I found several emails to escort services requesting to set up dates. He said it was titillating to set up the dates but always cancelled them. He also had been having some sort of relationship w a woman he met in a coffee shop – a woman twenty years his junior. Of course this was also “innocent” despite the fact that he had written her at least one letter, they had gone for walks together and he had offered to pick her up from work. It goes without saying, he never mentioned her to me. He made the argument that I was to blame – that we’d grown apart since having kids, that I wasn’t interested in sex despite the fact that over the years, I had started endless numbers of conversations w him asking why we weren’t being more intimate, how we could change things, etc.

Several days later, while looking again through the cache I found two emails from yet another email account and demanded he show it to me. After hemming and hawing about not remembering the password, he finally showed me the site and after much surfing around I found two emails confirming he had been with at least two prostitutes. He still lied – saying he had to pretend to be w prostitutes to stay connected on these sites. The next day he finally admitted to having sex w five prostitutes over the last ten years – when we were dating, engaged, when I was pregnant, and a few times since we had kids.

We are in marriage counseling and currently living apart. We have two very young children. I have never felt this way before. One moment, I feel intense rage, the next moment sadness, the next moment shame, the next nausea. I watch my girls play and feel such a profound loss – of the family I thought we had, as flawed as it may have been. I am sickened by him but at the same time feel this empathy for him – I feel badly that he isn’t seeing the kids as much as before, I feel badly that he seems to be suffering. At times I feel “his feelings” almost more than my own and I wonder if I have lost myself to this person. Lost my own voice, my own values. Especially when I start feeling like I just want to go back to him and pretend none of this ever happened. How screwed up is that?

In therapy he is apologetic and is saying the right things, but, as always, it doesn’t feel authentic to me. It feels like he read some manual about what he’s supposed to say and do and that’s what he’s doing. The only time he seems to have a genuine emotion is when he is expressing feelings associated with HIS loss.

I feel rudderless. I am terrified of raising my children alone, of starting over, of how a divorce could negatively affect my kids. But I hate him. I don’t trust him. I can’t imagine ever trusting him again. I can’t believe he thought so little of me that he would put my LIFE in danger by having sex with prostitutes. And I still think there’s more. He’s now saying he’s a sex addict – that he’s been dealing w compulsive porn use for twenty years, “only rarely” surfs escort sites and “even more rarely” actually had sex w prostitutes. Doesn’t that sound like rationalizing? And in twenty years there have “only” been six (now it’s six, by the way) prostitutes. I just don’t buy it. I’ve asked for transparency for us to move forward but I don’t think I’m getting it and don’t know if I ever will OR if he is being honest, if I’d be able to tell.

I am desperate for support, for insights from those who have been through this, are going through it, are working to come out on the other side.

Thank you for listening/reading my story. Anne

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Responses

  1. Dear Anne,

    Your letter could’ve been written by any one of us. Your husband IS a sex addict. He IS also a narcissist. He IS a pathological liar. He is NOT a good father. He’s NOT a good husband. He HAS put your life in danger. He’s a pretty pathetic character, unfortunately. I can assure you that if you think he’s been with 5 women, its probably closer to 500. But does it matter? NO, you cannot trust him. And Anne, I do know how disgustingly painful this all is. It takes months, maybe even years to process it all. My recommendation, as hard as it is, is to try not to do that, because it will never make any rational sense.

    I would like to rip his eyeballs out for what he’s done to you—to your young family. Look, I am not an advocate for divorce, but if he’s been obsessively looking at porn for 20 years, and he didn’t come to you of his own accord, then, sadly, I must tell you that the chances of him being the man he pretended to be, in the beginning, is nil (sounds EXACTLY like my h.); I’m afraid that what you have is what you have. And please think about this. Think that a life with a sex addict in the house won’t affect your children negatively? It will. guaranteed. Sex addicts often prey on their children too. that’s right. He’s sick. He’s very, very sick and anything goes! Your feelings, emotions, confusion, mistrust, hatred… are all absolutely normal and part of the grieving process that we all must go through. Marriage counseling is a complete waste of time and money. You see, he will never accept responsibility and will always blame all of your “problems” on you. God forbid that you once had a headache! Read about gas lighting. (please google it). There is nothing that he’s done that has ANYTHING to do with you, your marriage, your womanhood, but he sure has single handedly managed to destroy it. And for what? There is no happy outcome with this man, I’m afraid. But you are young and there is hope for a better tomorrow–for you. Just not with him. I wish it were different, but the man you have presented here is a virulent sex addict and based on his incessant minimizing, lying, blaming and even his pathetic attempt at a 180, which feels false (because it is), I’m afraid there isn’t much hope to have the marriage you thought you had. Now, you absolutely may stay married to him. Lots of women do. But for the love of God, please don’t waste another moment trying to fix him. You need help for you. You need your own counselor who understands sex addiction/narcissistic personality disorder and what living with this character has done to your soul. She will help you sort out the fact from the fiction and help you pick up the pieces of your shattered life and begin anew.

    Anne, what I always say is to reread the story and take yourself out of it and pretend that its about a close friend or one of your daughters. What would you tell her? Stay strong. Perhaps join SOS here which is full of lots of wonderful woman who’ve also been through all of this who can support you. best wishes, Kim

      1. My husband fits these descriptions to a T and has for 77 years

    1. Thank you for this. I am a mother of 4 who has finally taken the steps to move forward and away from my narcissistic, compulsive lying, sex addict husband. I had found out little bits am disappointed pieces over the years that were shocking enough at the time. Then he was in counseling and went to weekly groups and seemed to be doing everything right… until I found out that the whole time, his acting out behaviors had continued and increased.

      He was my best friend. I read stories about sex addict husbands and how the relationships were bad or they were mean or they had stopped being intimate… we were best friends (or so I thought.) We never in our entire marriage went more than a week without being intimate. We went on date nights and had in home “date nights” of movies or our favorite shows and dinner together while snuggling on the couch nightly after kids were in bed. We texted all day while he was at work, silly inside jokes and how much we loved each other… but the whole time he was living a double, secret life.
      I’m shattered and sometimes I question myself and wonder if I’m crazy and he’s right and I should let him come back home and he’s going to be different now and we can still live happily ever after… but I KNOW that’s not true.

      I’m just so shattered.

      1. I read your post and the same happened with my bf – we were texting all day and he was having a secret life consuming naked women Facebook pages, secretly adding unknown women on Facebook and lying about it. We had a fight and did not talk for 2 weeks, and he fell for the honeytrap on Facebook I set for him. At the same time I sent him a message on Skype from my own account to talk to him but no answer, of course. First he was afraid that it was a scam, asked for more pictures to see that the person is not scamming him, and then started having dirty talk with her asking for naughty pictures. Then he agreed to go to Skype with her. After going to skype and getting the request from my fake Skype , he saw that the account had my username and figured out it was me. Then he disappeared for an hour to figure out what he would do and then wrote to me that he knew it was me all the time.

        Messages on Facebook before going to Skype:

        “Is a scam?… Send me more pictures as your profile might be fake and this might be a scam…Why did you choose me for sex?…I am a dom…. If you want sex, you will have to be my slut…..If that is all you have to say, do not bother coming to Skype. I like whores…Tell me more, dirty slut… My skype name is xxxx….”

        After seeing on the Skype account that the account had my username, he diappeared for an hour and wrote to my real accounts: you did not have to make a fake Fb profile to talk to me. I knew that it was you all the time.” He is still denying that he cheated saying that he knew it was me.

        What do you and eveyone else thinks about this. Please, feedback from someone? Is he a sex addict or what else? We were in the honeymoon period but planned to live together.

      2. I am in your shoes completely. My husband was my best friend. We were intimate, said I love you everyday, and cuddled up at night. We spent our weekends doing family outings, he was home right after work (or so I thought), and we had fun together. We made plans for our future, for our children and for ourselves. I found out recently and my whole world is shattered. He tells me it was just sex and that he has always loved me. All his hook ups were with random strangers, but it doesn’t feel like love. We had everything and he sacrificed it and our children. He didn’t tell me anything, even in counseling two years ago he could have told the truth and we could have worked towards healing, but he lied that anything had happened, I believed him, and we worked on communication. I just don’t feel he is remorseful or apologetic.

      3. Hannah,

        I just saw your comment. I don’t even remember commenting in this thread. It must have been a long night, since it says I posted it at 4:43am (and there’s quite a few typos.) It’s been 8 months and since I posted that, and I’m still very much in shock. I go about daily life and caring for my children, but I still feel lost and shattered. How are you doing? Are you separated from your husband? I have found that the more time that passes, that I find more clarity. I almost can’t believe how blind and naïve and in denial I really was. It’s very sad.

    2. My nightmare (and entry into this unfortunate “club”) began almost 4 years ago. I will never forget the date I stumbled upon the most shocking information. My whole world collapsed, I was in shock for 6 months (possibly longer?). Literally, I was a zombie and cycled between anger, sadness, denial, numbness, really all the emotions. I wish I had found this site then because I could not share with *anyone*, and felt totally isolated. It was a living hell.

      So to anyone reading this, please know a few things: 1) you are not alone, even though it feels like it
      2) do not beat yourself up about your feelings/thoughts/reactions to the most shocking of betrayals
      3) be kind to yourself because you have been abused, horribly & mind-bogglingly abused in multiple ways
      4) s/he will NOT change. The fact that they compulsively lied and led a double life behind your back shows that they have no empathy for you.
      5) everyone is in a unique situation when they make this life-altering discovery, so another person’s solution will not necessarily work for you. Please be smart, forget about fixing him/her, and start planning for YOU. You need to get away from this soul-sucking person, otherwise you will always suffer
      6) start planning a life for yourself outside of the current madness, there is life after these discoveries! You will recover some of your previous happiness, although sad to say, you will be changed forever. BUT, let go of the fantasies you had/have about your happy family, that will never be possible with this person.

      Almost 4 years on, I finally had the courage/systems in place to leave him safely. And I hope my story/comments help (even 1 person). I thought my life was over and that I would never recover, but we are stronger than we ever imagine. I moved into my own place a short while ago, and I have never been so happy to live alone, make my own decisions, and have peace. It is WONDERFUL! Only when you are back in your own calm space can you really see how messed up and dysfunctional your relationship was!!!

      I salute all of you for surviving a journey that you never wanted to take in the first place, and for all the adversity you have faced. You will survive and thrive in time…. hugs xoxo

  2. Anne, I’m sorry, but the sooner you get out the better off you will be. It doesn’t matter how you label him, he is a lying s.o.b. and isn’t going to change. You need a lawyer now.
    Good luck,
    Sally

  3. Ann – First of all I am so sorry for what your husband has put you through. Ann pretty much said it all, and she is entirely right.
    Your h is a sex addict, but it doesn’t really matter what you call it – he is one sick puppy!
    Because your h was caught, you cannot expect to get full disclosure. You probably only know one fourth of what he has done. Once caught, an addict will do or say anything to get you back. – or just simply continue lying because they want to continue their secret life and feel in their own comfort zone doing it. Unfortunately, the majority keep lying the rest of their lives. You can also be assured if he is lying to you, he is lying to his therapist.
    Part of what an SA does is project their problems onto everyone else. You are in no way responsible for his deviant activities. Do not take responsibility for ANY of his actions.
    Now, I’m going to give you statistics on Recovery. Even if your h would be motivated to work on recovery, (I don’t think he is) it will take years of therapy to make any changes. You see, the brain is programmed and addicted to behaving in favor of his addiction. The pleasure center of the brain has been saturated for so long in lieu of of addictive behavior, it is very difficult to change the brain. Secondly, once an addict always an addict. They can be taught to replace uhealthy activities with positive ones, but the problem is the SA can only learn to manage the addiction – a cure is not in the cards. In fact, only approximately 5% of all sex addicts can get over the addiction. Then there are many things factored in to make that happen – too numerous to count. The big one is most addicts have a personality disorder and the addiction is only a symptom of a larger problem. PD’s are usually formed in early childhood, and most are difficult to master because of it being a life long problem.
    Let’s be positive and assume your h is motivated and wants to change. Because of all the above mentioned factors, you can usually count on repeated slips and relapses during their life time. If you made the decision to stay, would you want to live 1. Probably never trusting anything your h tells you (Lying is the last problem to resolve 2 Do you want to live the rest of your life waiting for the next ball to drop? 3. Because sex addiction is an intimacy disorder you will never have your needs met by this man.
    I can tell you that after spending 3 yrs. in a marriage where I had constant promises of change and constant promises my h would not hurt me anymore, the lying and acting out continued until the day I filed for divorce.
    Don’t put yourself through another day of misery. Run and never look back. Your marriage is very unhealthy and your children will suffer as a result. Kids are very perceptive. I don’t know how old yours are, but they always know more than you think they do. Children mimick adult behavior, and statistics are high for a child to develop a PD or addiction of some sort coming from a home in which one exists. Kids grow up to be what is “Normal” to them, and if they see continual chaos and/or unhealthy behavior in the home it will be normal to them as adults – and the cycle goes on. So, don’t even think about staying for the kids. You already said your h did not spend enough time with the family unit, as is.
    Okay, I know I have rambled on. Having lived the nightmare, I feel so engaged in trying to share my feelings with other spouse’s of an SA. I want them to know what they are up against so they can make e an informed decision on whether to stay in the relationship.
    I, too, wish you would come to the s.o.s. side. You will meet so many of us who have, or are still experiencing what you are going through. You will meet life long friends who will love you no matter what decision you make, and who will support you through this nightmare. We know what it’s like.
    My prayers are with you,
    Sharron

    1. I am so impressed with your response. I cannot believe it has taken me so long to find this website.

  4. Dear Dear Anne,

    I am so sorry you find yourself in this position. What I am about to share with you comes from being married to a sex addict for 23 years, not knowing what was wrong, but knowing something was terribly wrong, raising two children with this “man” and now facing my future, at 50 years old, living with this “man” for the rest of my life. Much of what I learned along the way is brutal. I wish someone would have sat me down 26 years ago and told me the facts of life. I will do that for you now. Here is what I learned along the way:

    1. The underlying disorder here is an intimacy disorder. Chances are he had some attachment disorder with one or both of his parents. Asking an intimacy anorexic for genuine intimacy and empathy is like asking a blind person to describe the color red. He can’t do it because his brain developed in such a way that his ability to emote and empathize just doesn’t exist. He is a self-centered 12 year old stuck in a man’s body, and he always will be. When you ask him to change, please realize he can’t. He may put on a different face, but the change will be short lived and is not genuine.

    2. Spending time with the kids…..I could write a novel on this. Sex addicts are but children themselves, so they cannot parent their own children. His own children will demand his attention. That will interfere with his fantasy world. The children are nothing but noisy distractions to him. I really think it is more damaging to force him to spend time with the kids. The kids will soon recognize that Dad really isn’t interested in them and could care less about spending time with them. That realization will hurt them deeply. Rest assured that he will not hesitate to use the children when they suit his purpose….in divorce proceedings…….or when he’s telling some other woman what a terrible mother and wife you are. Keep him away from the kids to the extent you can.

    3. Self-centered narcissism is the hallmark of this disease. In the fantasy world where they live, they are all knowing, all powerful, all that and then some. When reality interferes and dares to shatter that illusion, all hell will break loose. The me-sim doesn’t get better. They get better at hiding it, but then they just become more subtle in their manipulations to get their own way. The theory is this all started in childhood with the attachment disorder with one or both parents. The child learned at an early age that he could not ask directly for his needs to be met, so they manipulate. Unfortunately, this carries on into adulthood. This will manifest in the smallest ways…..that you tend to ignore……but in sum total, it’s always all about them.

    4. Blaming you for the porn addiction…..again, this is classic. Mine tried to blame me for the fact there were pictures of girls our daughter’s age, tied up with rope, begging to be fucked on his computer. Yup, that was my fault, in his sick little mind. Addicts always blame others for their problems. It’s never their fault. The blame he tries to pin on you will sound plausible in his sick little mind, but please, do not accept any part of the blame for his addiction. This started and bloomed long before you came into the picture.

    5. Fear of raising your children alone…….this is harsh, but here is the reality I lived in: I was a single parent, but I had a “husband” who stood in where a real husband should have been. If you stay with your sex addict husband (Fucktards as they are known here), you will raise your children alone. He may show up at an occasional birthday party, but in reality, you will raise your children alone. He will never be emotionally available to them or to you. The kids will learn their father doesn’t give a rats rear end about them. This certainly does not make for a healthy home life. Instead of fearing raising your children alone, you should be scared to death of the prospect of raising them with a sex addict in the house.

    6. You will never be able to depend on him. My “husband” is an unemployed, alcoholic, sex addict. His short term memory is shot. He can’t reason his way out of a paper bag. I am a lawyer, CPA and business owner. I am the sole support of the family. As his addiction progresses, rest assured that his cognitive abilities will deteriorate. My “husband” was an engineer with a promising career. He was fired unceremoniously after 20 years with the same company. I think they found he had downloaded pictures of women from the staff directory…I’m not sure…but he received no severance package. He lasted 5 years at his next company….but he was fired from that too. He’s been unemployed for the last year.

    Please do not sentence yourself to a life with a sex addict. Get out now while you still can.

    My best to you, Betty

    1. Fucktards. LOL. EVERYTHING you say is so true, it just makes me want to cry. If only I had found this website when the shit hit my fan in 2010. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    2. Dear Betty,
      Wise words from a wise woman, you sound so much like my mother. I am 28 years old with a 1 year old child, a successful business and a sex addict partner. I know in my heart that I need to get out but I don’t have the strength to follow through with that action. There is some part of me that says that everybody deserves to be loved, and that if my partners father had of loved him as a child that he might not be this way, but my love for my son is creating so much conflict that I can already see the writing on the wall. I love my partner and I love my son, and as a mother I know I have to protect my child, I just keep asking myself.. What if it was my child? With the fear of what if it becomes my child if I don’t get out. I feel like my heart is too big for my own good, but love really isn’t all there is to making a life, is it?! I know one day soon I will find the strength to leave, probably after counselling or finally coming clean to someone I can trust, probably my mother. Thank god there are people like you and her in this world to help us along. Thank you.

    3. Omg, I can’t believe I have found this site. I am going to be up for hours reading. My husband is a low life schmuck and I am not sure what else he is into other than online porn. But he has NPD too. I can’t believe I have wasted so much time. I kicked him out last month. I had enough.

    4. I love you Betty. You have pointed out everything so rationally and clearly. I’m on my 30 and met the fucktard at 20. Before nothing was wrong with me, I was able to think in a matured way but after meeting him I lost self respect, self esteem, confidence everything. Sometimes I feel like I have become childish too and stopped thinking rationally. I have already decided to leave him, just developing the strategies. I feel empathetic at a times for him but to prevent myself from falling back I’m using all his crappy chat history as an evidence so that the fire inside me keeps me moving forward. It is hard because I have developed habit of being uncomfortable on my own skin, I doubt my own decisions which gives me anxiety. One thing for sure if I will decide to remain with him then either I will be psychologically unstable and start taking medication to keep me sane or I have to commit suicide. Neither of those I want as my future because I still love my family. They don’t deserve to go through such tragedy because I’m the only child of that family. Reading these sort of articles just boosts up my energy. Thank you Betty for your valuable insight.

  5. Thank you all for your insights and hard won wisdom. I find so much of what you say resonating w me but I always hear that “BUT” in the back of my mind. But he has demonstrated love for the kids at times (usually when the kids are well behaved – he really struggles when my three yr old is oppositional); but we did have some good times, but he seems so contrite right now, agreeing to everything I ask which is totally unlike him. I’ve been unable to find proof of any ongoing activity (of course he could be using his work phone, a disposable cell, etc). I hate him for doing this to me – I feel like he’s stolen my life. I’ve never felt such a range of emotions or had such contradictory thoughts flood my head. Have any of you experienced these “buts”? I think I will join SOS. Thank you again. A

    1. Dear Anne,

      We all hear those ‘buts’ in our head, and when we are trying desperately to understand the unthinkable and get back to that safe place we thought we had before Discovery, we tend to focus on and remember all those good things in order to shield ourselves from the horrors that we just can’t face yet. This type of denial is a natural and normal coping mechanism when the pain of reality is just too much to bear. Eventually the reality will sink in and, as painful and unfair at it is, you will have to face reality and make some really hard choices about your future and the future and safety of your children.

      You should remember that no one is all good or all bad. Even Hitler loved puppies. Your task now is to determine how much good is there and just how good is it, and how much bad is there–including all of that deceit and lies, and how bad is it–really.

      Read my new article on the Sisterhood site, ‘He Is A Sex Addict! Should I Stay Or Go’. It’s on the home page and everyone can read it, but non members cannot comment. That might give you some direction in making your decision. Hugs ~ JoAnn

      1. I would like to read the article, JoAnn, but the website says I have to buy an account?
        Where can I read it without signing up just yet?
        Thank you,
        Nishy

      2. The article I was referring to is listed in your message here. It’s called “He is an addict! Should I stay or go?” where can I read it?

    2. I had all the BUTS. It took me about 7 months to discovery and “trying” to get through the BUTS to the point where I knew that as difficult as it would be with five kids – one with autism and one with Down syndrome – and no job, I had to let go of the fantasy that things could work out.

      During those 7 months, I cried randomly all the time and felt nauseated. Therapy helped. When I found the porn videos on the family computer and the Craig’s list evidence, that’s when I finally had enough. It’s funny that knowing he’d been frequenting prostitutes for a decade wasn’t enough in itself. I had to see that his lies and deceit would continue over and over again before I was able to Give Up.

      I battled my sympathetic and empathetic feelings for another 2 years. It is SO HARD to fully recognize that the father of your children is a narcissistic pervert. I had to see and hear many things to prove to myself that he was a pathological liar. Then had to endure the many friends who thought I was crazy or over-dramatizing.

      Even now, it’s hard to get over the hurt of being unable to satisfy him. I’m over it logically, but not emotionally, if that makes sense. I’m not an angry person generally. I’ve given up on every expectation of civility and amicability from him. I’m very happy to have moved on, but I sure wish he would come to an agreement so we could get this divorce finalized.

  6. Thank you for your response, JoAnn. Your article, Should I stay or go, was helpful. I want to believe he can change, but my wiser self doesn’t necessarily believe that he can. I need to seriously weigh the good against the bad. It is just so painful.

    1. Dear Anne,

      For me, intellectually, I knew the score immediately, but emotionally, it took a long time for my heart to believe what my head intuitively knew. I think this is normal….or at least consistent with my experience of the process. I think we all go through grief. The person we thought we were married to doesn’t exist anymore. The feelings of loss that you are experiencing, the wide range of emotions, are normal.

      I recall regaining a sense of balance when I came to the following realizations:

      1. You were duped by a common con artist. We all were. You married him under false pretenses. If you had had all the facts at your disposal, you never would have married him. Don’t blame yourself for bad judgment. Examine what you knew before you married him. Examine what you sensed before you married him. If you ignored that little voice in your head, I would just tell you to start trusting that little voice in your head. It’s seldom wrong.

      2. The feeling of loss/grief that I had was initially overwhelming. Those feelings are genuine and legitimate, but at some point, I realized I was mourning the loss of an illusion and I started looking at the situation from 180 degrees. I realized I never really had what I thought I had in terms of a marriage or family. The “normalcy” was an illusion. I had always known there was something terribly wrong. You could cut the tension in the house with a knife. The fucktard was always blaming me for something, always sneering at me. I knew it wasn’t warranted, so I ignored it to the extent I could. When I found his stash of porn at the 23 year mark, I instantly knew. All the pieces of the puzzle assembled themselves into a technicolor picture. I knew what the elephant in the room had been. So…….

      If you can at this point, celebrate the fact that you now know the truth. Yes, the loss of the illusion hurts, a lot, but see if you can be thankful that you learned the truth, thankful that you learned it relatively early in your life, so that you can make fact based decisions. I visualize myself stepping out of the cold, dark, shadows of illusion into the warm embrace of sunlight……which represents truth to me. I hope that helps you deal with the pain.

      My best to you, Betty

      1. Here’s the thing – he wasn’t necessarily mean to me, he didn’t directly insult me (although I often felt put down indirectly), he bought me nice gifts (not that I really care about that kind of thing) and we took some nice trips together. He was certainly intermittently irritable and generally moody and some days the slightest thing would set him off, but I didn’t feel terrorized in my home or unsafe per se. Perhaps I’m rationalizing, I don’t know, I just think his manipulation was very subtle and steady and I think I contributed by not speaking up more for what I wanted and needed. I know this must sound very jumbled and confused bc that’s how I feel.
        You are absolutely right about learning to trust that little voice again – it whispered to me on my wedding day and I ignored it. It’s been screaming for several years now and I’ve learned to tune it out. Now I’m worried I can’t trust it bc the pendulum has swung to the other side and all I see are lies. Nothing he says (aside from his own feelings of pain about what HE has lost and endured) seem genuine to me.
        The thing is there has always been something missing – even when things were borderline good between us and he was being his version of sweet and thoughtful – and I’m pretty sure that thing was his lack of empathy and inability to conjure any emotional intimacy. He says now that this secret is out in the open, nothing stands in the way of us having the close relationship we’ve always wanted. My intellectual side hears this and says yeah right – this demonstrates that he doesn’t have the first clue about how hard it will be for him to begin to understand true emotional intimacy, let alone create it w me. My emotional side though thinks hey, maybe this secret has been the roadblock and everything I’m seeing now, how agreeable he’s being, how flexible, the apologies are all signs of this new road to intimacy. BUT as I’ve written before I fear that all this is an act to get his family back and once he has what he wants, it will all go away. How can I tell the difference?
        Thoughts?

      2. Dear Anne,

        My husband’s secret is out now too. July 5, 2009, after 23 years of “marriage,” I found his stash of porn. He blamed me. I exploded. He went to therapy. He went to SA. He had his recovery face on. The counselor we were seeing bought it hook line and sinker. I didn’t. January 30, 2011….he drank himself into an absolute stupor one Sunday morning because I wouldn’t have sex with him. He subsequently did a stint in outpatient rehab. He goes to 4-5 AA meetings a week. There is no mention of his sexual addiction. No intimacy. No deep conversations. No emotional connection. He substituted meetings for booze and porn.

        In my experience, exposing the secret only allows you to identify the elephant that has been in the room. You can see the shape, size, color, spots and stripes now. You now know the score. It doesn’t do a damn thing to restore or provide him with the ability to engage emotionally or empathize with anyone else.

        I’m sure your husband doesn’t want to lose his family. I am equally certain that exposure has done nothing to give him the capacity to emote or empathize. He’s telling you what you want to hear. Once he has his family back, it will all go away.

        One of the ways to tell if it is genuine is to watch how often he initiates conversation, activities, etc. If you can, step back entirely. Let him drive the bus. See where he steers it. Look for actions, ignore words. In my experience, they just change masks to something they think is more suitable.

        I wish you all the best, Betty

      3. And I forgot to add……mine didn’t insult me directly either. He would insinuate and sneer. Always inferred that I was not up to snuff, not doing my part….not keeping the house clean enough or neat enough. Whenever I would cook a fabulous meal, the most he would say to me is “you can do this again.” They have a zillion and five subtle ways to put you down. Eventually it takes a toll on your mental health and your self-esteem. My hope and prayer for you is that you get out before that happens.

        One of my proudest moments was after I discovered the truth and he put me down….I said to him: “SNEER AT ME ONE MORE TIME ASSHOLE AND YOU’RE GONE. ANY QUESTIONS?”

        Don’t put up with it……please.

        My best, Betty

      4. OH MY GOD. Exact same thing. Always complaining about the house and the meals! I LOVE your response.

      5. I think you’re right that he doesn’t have a clue about how to have emotional intimacy.

        There is no magic cure (such as discovery or SA meetings). You can’t fix him. Only YEARS of therapy will help. My experience is they would RATHER go to the meetings with fellow addicts because it makes them feel better, but will avoid the hard work of therapy.

      6. I’m really in love with you Betty. I was also living illusion and to let it go really hurts.

  7. I just found this site. I am not ready to tell my story, but my google search was “I think my husband is a pedaphile and I want to die.” I need help.

    1. I’m so sorry Jeanine. I’m just so sorry. Please don’t die. I once described how I felt as “it’s like I died but I’m having to act like I didn’t”.
      Please see a lawyer to discover your real options for getting out.
      See a counsellor for some support for yourself.
      If you have children, please make sure they are safe and unharmed by your husband.

      This is not your fault. don’t look after him. Look after yourself and your children if you have any. Make sure your priorities suit the seriousness of the situation.
      I hope you wil find your way and be safe.
      Diane.

      1. My children are grown. All pictures of my children and grandchildren are hidden. I have no solid proof, only gut wrenching feelings for too many years. I tried every way to deny, to believe his lies. Never about little things, how much he spent on hobbies, no always big important things. See I started to feel grateful that he stopped calling me crazy and saying I was imagining things. My first sexual encounter was at the age of four. I was my babysitters 18 year olds son sex toy when ever babysitter mom left him alone with me. Often enough. I was a made to order victim for my husband. Right now I hate him, but the rage is gone. I am leaving. He has isolated me from nearly everyone I love, he is a master and I am old enough to know better. I am done, he will never go near another member of my family, ever. This is our second marriage. now in my recent clarity I believe he is an inscestuous child molester. I have the worst pain in my stomach after writing that. Living with him any longer wil destro me, I have no doubt. They are master manipulators. I am too old for this. I am walking, nor running, walking, if I don’t he will destroy me, I do not doubt that for a minute. He has been in therapy, but he is a master manipulator. I moved 900 miles away from my family to be with this man and I am going home. After reading and reading and reading here I know I have to leave, he is not sorry, not really. He is addicted to any type of sexual encounter. I can’t be a monitor any longer, I am so tired. He does not want to change, I know that. He is not going to get one more thing from me. 13 years is long enough.
        Now I realize my two posts sound like two different people but that really is what long term abuse does to us isn’t it?

      2. I am sorry Diane. thank you for replying. It made me happy.

      3. Jeanine, you are HERE. You have support. I believe you will get through this because despite all you have endured, I hear courage in your wanting to take control of your life. GOOD FOR YOU.

  8. Yes, Anne, I’ve had tons of “buts.” That’s when our souls attempt to “make a deal with the devil”–metaphorically speaking. Look this is exactly like a death and we all go through all of the stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Its our mind’s way of coping with this intense trauma and again that is normal. Your husband’s doing everything you ask for the first time in his life is proof enough that somethin fishy is going on. This “honeymoon” is only temporary. I promise you. He will not be able to sustain this forever. As soon as you let down your guard–look out. There is no quick fix, if there’s any fix at all! Again, you cannot fix him or expect that he will somehow, miraculously change. If he does, it takes years and years and it is more the exception than the rule.

    Somewhere on here is JoAnn’s article about the “quick fix trap.” Please look for that. She explains perfectly, what it is that’s going on. I am so sorry that you find yourself in this hideous place. best, Kim

    1. Is there a “search” mechanism so I can find that article? It sounds like it would be on point. Thank you for thought and insights.

  9. Hi Anne,

    If you google the following in quotes, you should be able to come up with it. “January 10, 2010” “married to a sex addict” “the quick fix trap” best, Kim

  10. Anne, dear. What was standing in his way before? what a little fucker! grrrr… you have him pegged 100% correctly. he does not want to lose the status quo and he will turn back into whatever he was before when the heat is turned off. you don’t need to know the difference because you already do. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE! He’s lying when he’s telling the truth and he’s lying when he’s not. There is only one truth. He is a sex addict and has narcissistic personality disorder and anything goes! He cannot feel empathy for anyone but himself and even if he says that he can, he can’t. he is not capable of this. It all comes from something he read in People Magazine or saw in a movie. not anything he feels from inside himself. really.

    To Jeanine. My heart goes out to you too. You do not sound like two different people to me. It is possible to be happy and devastated at the same time. I hear this pain that goes so deeply, that it feels like it will consume us, but it won’t. It really won’t. But its very unhealthy. that is for sure! I think as women, we have phenomenal intuitive powers. Its how the species survived! So trust yourself. We must all do this, but we get way-laid and side-tracked and downright, CONNED! The only viable solution when this has been going on for years is to get away from the craziness! But, I know… Its scary as hell.

    I just got accepted by the co-op board for my new place. hooray! My crazy sister put the fear of God into me. What if it doesn’t work out, she says? (she has her own agenda). Well, what if it DOES work out?! THIS is DEFINITELY NOT working out! I too am so very tired of waiting for the other shoe to fall and wondering what the hell he’s doing or not doing. ugh. its no fucking way to live! Sure, I’m sure to have some difficult days ahead, but I’m actually moving to the most charming little village with a babbling little river that goes for miles right next door. People. sidewalks! a new life! love to all! K

    1. K- Congrats on the new coop!!!! That sounds amazing! It also sounds like you’re doing something good for YOU which is always a good thing. Thank you for your response and support. I am so sad. So beaten down. I hate what Mt husband has done to my life and the lives of my children. It is a nightmare from which I seem unable to wake,

  11. Hi Anne, I am sorry to hear the heartbreaking situation you are going through. Sadly it seems to be very common and I also found out in Feb this year that my husband of 20 years was not the man I though he was. He also broke my heart and I thought I would never survive the pain and shock. I also thought he had a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which I didn’t even know what it meant until this year. Despite us being separated since Feb, I now believe it is not NPD, but more a Porn Addiction, which has also developed into a Sex Addiction. Whilst all of these conditions are devastating, they are unfortunately a ‘western world epedemic’, especially among men. Sadly, these addictions and behaviours are destroying lives, marriages and families. I now have hope that despite the challenges, we may be able to work through this and that he will be healed from these soul destroying addictions and our marriage restored. I would recommend the following websites to you, that have been very helpful for me; Moral Revolution Podcast (The Porn Addicted Elephant) and EveryStudent.com (Sex/Relationships), Toxic Porn/Sex. I hope they are of assistance and provide support and hope for you. Take care and stay strong, Alex

    1. Hi Nishy,

      The article above, that you just commented to IS the article. I think you may have been confused with the link to match dot com, I have since taken that out as it was an error. Match dot com in a paid dating site. The author of the story above only referred to it because her husband had a profile there.

      Sorry for the confusion. ~ JoAnn

      1. Oh! No, no. The article I was referring to is listed in your message to Ann… It’s called “He is an addict! Should I stay or go?” The title links to the sisterhood website which requires an account. Where else can I read it before signing up?

  12. Hi JoAnn,

    That article was amazing! Thank you for posting. It substantiates everything I have always believed to be true. People don’t generally change who they really are, that lies just underneath the thin veneer of the person they want the world to see. Oh, they can pretend and mask and try to be something else, to suit their agenda, but then, the real them will have to come out in private. Of course, some people ARE what you see is what you get and some are anything but. best, Kim

  13. Sociopath. These addicts are not addicts at all – addicts can get help and change. Sociopaths void of empathy, guilt and the understanding of consequences, use the manipulation tool of addiction to keep us thinking they have a “problem” and can change. False.

  14. Thank you for sharing your story. Mine has many similarities. It wasn’t until my husband agreed/offered to do a polygraph that the truth all came out. He even failed his first one but has passed all others. He offered to do one every 3 months the first year, then semi annually and now annually ongoing. This has given me some sense of comfort that I won’t be blind-sided again. But it is only one of many tools we’ve used in our recovery. God bless

    1. I do not understand, yes, a lie detector may or may not reveal any betrayals. But, what about the simpler, beautiful aspects of having a loving spouse, going out to dinner, going for a walk, ect., and he is drueling over every woman he sees, mine was so bad, if he met a car and a woman was driving, he would nearly go off the road!

  15. Dear Anne,,
    Like you, I am married to a sex addict. I think that you are stuck on the same question I have and that is, why do they want to stay with us? We no longer believe anything they say, we call bullshit, bullshit. I don’t miss a thing. I call him out on everything. There is no mask that can fool me and he knows it. So why does he want to stay? He could leave and do whatever he wants but he stays, WHY?
    Tracey

  16. Tracey, he stays because he’s an entitled narcissistic prick. The question I have is why are you staying?

  17. Dear Anne,
    My heart broke as I read your story this morning. First let me say that I believe you and each and every part of your story resonates with me because I know this story. It’s my story.
    I have been married for 30 years to a man, a Clinical Psychologist by education and licensure, a former (18 yr) Director of a Masters in Counseling Program at a small christian college, so called expert in Narcissism (his dissertation topic) and the integration of Faith into daily life and now working in a Family Practice Residential Program at a local hospital along with a private practice specializing in Christian Values. He, was experience and training is uniquely qualified to have created this life of deception and enabled him to maintain this alternative life, lifestyle in direct opposition to the values that he has established for himself and others. When caught, simply stated, “I never thought I would get caught”

    Let me go back, after 15 years of marriage, my husband told me that he didn’t love me, never loved me and that I was the reason for all his problems. He left the home and I discovered his addiction to porn. He left and I thrived. I finished college, got a job, and started my life with a renewed hope and joy.
    It was at this point that my husband wanted to come home and I felt that I could handle it because after all I had learned a lot, could forgive and would be able to track and confirm change. We reconciled because he wanted to and he promised that he had and would continue therapy to overcome the addiction. I believed him when he said that, the addiction was over and that while he “sometimes” has inkings never, and I mean “never” sought porn or acted out in any way.

    Move forward to December 29, 2012, while cleaning up Christmas, shredding bills, I saw an open computer with lights on, went to close it and briefly saw an open email from a man that I did not know. Then I realized that this email from directed to a woman, and speaking/owning of my family by name and giving her a very real phone number and indicating that they could hook up later. I realized that this man was indeed my husband. From there I found emails both to and from men, woman, transexuals, bisexuals. I found numerous alternative names and log ons. I could not deny what I saw and read. I woke my husband up and we talked. From there I learned that my husband, traveling business both the university, the general church and likely for the hospital engaged in unsafe sexual behavioral to feed his ever growing need for sex and unhealthily sexual relationships. in fact, had an affair with a transgendered man while traveling to evaluate couples looking to go into the ministry at new start pastors Sought emergency medical treatment for unsafe exposure to disease, continued medical treatment upon return home, while continuing sex with me and never told me. While nervous seemed excited to share with me, he seemed to relish in the ability to finally be able to talk about it, never apologized and never shed a tear. Looking back, I believe that he felt a closeness to me that to this day makes me sick. I kept my calm because my son was upstairs and I needed to be smart, think, seek wise counsel and find a way to calm my growing fear that I am married to a sociopath.

    Let me say that his ability to rationalize is so well developed that he even stated,”felt justified because I spent money that he did not approve of our first year of marriage and that I apparently threw a Chicken Salad Sandwich 10 years ago.” Now I realize that this is absurd, even humorous but most importantly terrifying because all I wanted to do was run and get out of the house and therefore the relationship. I could see sitting on that couch that day that I had become the mask, the cover to his great lie and if I continued in the marriage I would simply become part of the “Secret life of PB” and therefore bear responsibility for harm imposed on others including my children, students, professional partners and clients.

    I have sought legal counsel, I have filed for divorce and I am getting help to understand what the hell happened both in and to my life. I have made a decision, as my son as said, “to be intentional ignorant” with regard to the things my husband has been able to do and has in fact done. I see the costs that living this kind of life bears for having unknowingly and now knowingly lived it in all kinds of way. I have mustered every ounce of courage within me, and grown more where required, and expect more beyond that. I have demanded truth for myself and the price for all of us may be great. I have lost friends, a very dear one in fact because she just would prefer not to know, or simply prefer the lie. While I am not out there “telling everyone”, I don’t feel a need to hide the truth and have told people, shown evidence where required where “Image Control” has just overwhelmed me and felt truth must be told. I will tell you that people do believe me and while surprised and saddened that such a bright man would jeopardize his family, his career, his seemingly well crafted life most have seen it before in successful men. All have offered to help if required.

    Men like your husband and mine, live in the shadows on life. With the support of a “real” therapist and other counseling support including pastoral, I see that my husband likely suffers from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder with strong Sociopathic and Anti-Social Features. No cure, no fixing, just a new set of stories and lies to explain his reasons for the divorce. I have a new set of fears, justified or not. These kind of people are scary, and great in numbers. Check out Adult finders, Man Tracker, Sex Personals and you can see that our society has an undercurrent to vast that we should all be afraid. Online dating is perfectly acceptable today and often safe but these other sites developed to hide the defiant sexual predators and their behaviors is simply terrifying to me. I have security where I have never thought required and I am training myself to know how to behave when confronted with danger. I am learning to take care of myself, my children and my life.

    Clearly you are a well spoken, bright women. Ask yourself, where do you want to be in 15 years and then ask yourself if you can get there with this kind of person? Then ask yourself what is the impact to your daughters. I would encourage you to watch, “Not my daughter”. Then ask yourself if the harm done to your daughters is worth trying to save a marriage doomed to fail. He does not love you, has diminished you because it’s the only way to support the need to compartmentalize his actions and therefore rationalize his behavior. You are no longer his wife but a piece of property and simply an emotional hostage and your daughters if not already have become that as well. I have sons and it breaks my heart that their exposure to porn (story in and of itself) was initiated by my husband. You have daughters, seek help in every way possible, be careful!

    1. My story too, sisters. My story too. Successful attorney husband. 24 years of marriage, five kids at time of discovery. Lies and deceit every which way. And when I filed for divorce, he refuses to cooperate. Three years of torture. I so want to be divorced before the 27th wedding anniversary and my 50th birthday!

      Y’all have expressed my feelings so well.

      Hugs, sisters.

  18. Anne,
    When I spoke of “Intentional Ignorance”, I should have edited better. I will not be “Intentionally Ignorant” now that I have seen what I know to be true. After we married, I learned of some of my husband’s family secrets but most did not come to light until well after my father and mother in law died. I excused the Porn addiction after learning about his family of origin, signals from my husband that it had been overcome and oversimplified research. Alas, the master puppeteer has created a new way to go underground My husband has become the biggest monster of them all.

    Please know, that ” I AM NOT THE KEEPER OF DARK FAMILY SECRETS AND I WILL NOT BE INTENTIONALLY IGNORANT” as a way to survive this mess. I am responsible for what I know and will continue to learn about but in no way am I responsible for my husbands actions and behaviors. I have done nothing to deserve what he has felt compelled to do and while he is the father of my children will not keep secrets from myself, my children or even him ever again. I believe in truth in the inner most parts and I believe my reward will come from being free of him, seeking those things in me that allowed this to go unnoticed and in time forgiving myself for not knowing. I do not intend on being a untrusting bitter person in this process and I intend on helping others once I am closer to understanding the whys, what if’s and what the hells!

    If you are a woman of faith and I am, I say God bless you, me and the rest of us struggling with this, cause we are going to need it!

  19. Thank you all so much for shedding light to this for me. I have a very similar situation. 7 children and I love my husband so much. The hard part for me is knowing that he is hurting inside and so wounded and that is why he is like this. I just want to help him and I don’t know how. 🙁

  20. This sounds exactly like my father. I am almost 50 years old now but I remember even as a small child his obsession with sex and women (except for my mother). With my mother he told me, before the age of ten, that she should be happy he even stayed with her because she got fat! Apparently, when they got married he said he would leave if she gained weight and since he stayed, he thought he was a martyr (his word to desribe himself). Meanwhile, he actually stayed because my mother was a very successful engineer and he lived off of her….he bought boats, went on trips to mexico and was caught numerous times with women, some were prostitutes.

    My mother hashad a terrible lke. And as for me, like my mother, I am successful as a district court judge. However, the emotionalside of me still feels like I am past my ‘expiration date’ of 25 as a desireable women and I have never gotten over the pain. In fact, it has steeped into every relationship in my life because truly feel like I am not worthwhile. Fortunately, I did not perpetuate my mother by marrying a total douche.

    My message to you is this….GET OUT!!! if not for you, do it for your kids. Whether they are male of female you will regret having his values perpetuated. He may seem like a loving father but it gets srange once your kids are preteen. It could damage them permenantly.
    My heart goes out for you. Be strong and take care of yourself….you can make it on your own and then, i you choose, you can be with a man who loves you and respects you for you you are through good times and bad times, fat times and skinny times, in illness and in health.
    My father is 80 years old now. He still surfs porn constantly, goes t strip clubs and hires escorts….and my mother never left him. IT is not a good situation and it does not get better
    It really does not matter whether he is a sex addict,narcissst or both. Call it anything you want….but whatever it is, you deserve better than this. All of us do.
    You can do this

  21. Only 3 and a half years after leaving my relationship, do I realize what happened – and it sounds exactly like your husband. It’s a sick sad thing to realize and you might not even see it clearly until years later. I was never more “in love” with a man than I was with him. It literally almost broke me to leave, but it got to the point where his maddening behavior almost made me want to commit suicide. And he’d be standing there asking “what did I do?” and there was nothing specific that I could point to. Well BEFORE that point, from a woman who has been there and back, you should be saving yourself. And leaving. Now I can see very clearly how much he manipulated me and how much he knew exactly what he was doing. Your husband may seem innocent, but trust me he’s not. I felt someone responsible that my husband was seeing prostitutes or would literally spend hours watching porn every night. He assured me it was “normal” and that I was the one that was a prude. I somehow believed him for years. He seemed faithful. I still have no proof that he ever cheated and I was with him almost 24/7 for several years, so I believe him, but now I sometimes question when he had poker nights with the boys if that’s really where he ended up all the time. I don’t know. He also never let me touch his computer, so I’m guessing there were emails, profiles, chats that I never knew about. The most horrible thing though, is that when it ended I still felt that it was somehow my fault. I felt like a terrible, unwanted person that was just discarded without a tear. I had really terrible self esteem issues that I’m just recovering from now. He never came back and begged forgiveness like I imagined. I think he tried to say he was sorry in other ways. It was all very sad in a way. I think he knows he has an addiction, but doesn’t really want to admit it to himself or have anyone else discover his secret and would rather leave relationships, than have that happen.

    Anyways, I’m hoping the story above helps some women. Just realize it’s REALLY not your fault, but that you really need to save yourself. It’s imperative. Think about yourself for once. Direct that love you feel for him towards yourself.

  22. First, I want to express my sincere appreciation for each and every comment Sisters have left to “My Story.” I have been off this site for several months now, I’m not sure why, honestly, as I received such an outpouring of support and kindness here. Unfortunately my story hasn’t changed much except that over the past six months (my children and I are still living in another state), we have continued to go to counseling weekly. The vast majority of our communication, in my mind, is all about his suffering and how horrible this experience has been for him. He cannot go more than a week or so without focusing the spotlight on his distress and often seeming to guilt me into returning to our home. Very recently, he has been doubling down on being nice to me, helping more w the kids, asking me how I’m doing. He also now fully denies that he had any sort of addiction and asserts that he stopped cold turkey on the day I found out. No more porn, no more prostitutes. I have not found any evidence to the contrary. He says he accepts responsibility for the choices he made but that our “dynamic” is what led him down this road and that I have to take responsibility for my part. I get that on some level, but also feel somehow blamed. My therapist, who I trust implicitly, met my husband and does not believe he is a sociopath, but does not rule out that he is a narcissistic, selfish prick. I’m so frustrated that I’m not further along in my thought process about this. I fear my few close friends in whom I’ve confided, who have been wonderful, are getting frustrated w me. The facts on the ground – his behavior over the past several months in terms of not acting like someone who really understands the pain he has caused – suggest that this person is not going to change. Bt anytime he does one nice thing for me, I am flooded with hope because I desperately do not want to lose my family or at least the idea of a family. And who is to say that I will be happier without him. Maybe I will be miserable alone, a single parent to two lovely and sweet yet very spirited children under the age of four. I will have to find somewhere to live, a job, put the kids in daycare, etc. things that seem so overwhelms to me, even now, after so much time. I’m also still so angry and disgusted. I try to spend time with him but it literally turns my stomach. I can’t imagine kissing him let alone having sex with him again. But what do you sacrifice to give your kids that intact family? Anyway, I know this has been really rambling, but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Hugs, Anne

    1. I remember at six months after my discovery being in your situation. I still HOPED that my husband was sober and sorry. He was reluctantly getting a little therapy and attending a few meetings. The tip off should have been that he stated I had to take responsibility for my part. He said I was “controlling.”

      In the beginning, he didn’t admit to prostitutes; it was just “lap dances.” Then he admitted to a few prostitutes in recent years. Later – after his brother informed me that HE had caught him hiring prostitutes 8 years earlier – my husband admitted it had been going on for a very long time.

      At each new discovery, I was nauseated all over again. I woke up every day feeling sick. I had to take sleeping pills to sleep at night. I could not envision life without him. I couldn’t envision life with him. Every thought was circular with no comfortable resolution.

      I begged him to disclose everything to spare me further discoveries. He clamed he had, but we never did a formal disclosure. Well, 8 months in, I found a computer full of porn videos and evidence of Craig’s list personal ads. Nearly three years later (and 18 months after filing for divorce), I’ve discovered the AdultFriendFinders accounts. I’m sure there’s more. I don’t care whether I find it or not. I got the picture. Literally.

      I believe now that the way to tell if your husband is truly committed to ending his addiction and making the marriage work is if he willingly does the following:

      He (and you) attend a sex addiction clinic of some sort, and he does a full disclosure and a lie detector test. (The addictions specialists will address his desire to blame you!)
      He follows up with individual therapy with a licensed counselor weekly – with accountability to YOU.
      He attends couples therapy with you a couple of times a month.
      He attends a 12 Step Program such as SA at least weekly.
      He allows maximum internet control software on all home computers as well as his smart phone. Forever.
      He accepts that there will have to be ongoing accountability to you because you will NEVER trust him again without verification.

      If he balks at any of this, he isn’t willing to let go of his addiction, even if he is sober at this moment. He WILL fall back into the addiction if he doesn’t get intense therapy and if there is no accountability.

      I want to address your fears: I have lived in them. It was very hard to let go of my “family.” The truth I discovered was that without him being fully committed to recovery, I could not alone be responsible for holding the “family” together. It’s not MY fault or my issue. I forgave the man for his past failures, but he needed to stop blaming me and he had to stop the behaviors. He never stopped blaming me, and he eventually fell right back into the behaviors. I know I did the right thing in filing for divorce. I applaud the men who commit themselves to recovery and accept responsibility for their behaviors. I wish my husband was one of them.

      I don’t want anyone to think that the process of divorce has been easy. He is making it emotional and financial hell, and my children are all suffering from it. However, I believe the kids would be suffering if he was still in the house lying to all of us and acting out, pretending to be a nice guy when he’s really a perverted narcissist. The kids struggle now, but I believe they will be okay eventually.

      As for me, I’m better already. I sleep at night and I wake up generally happy. I have leaned on trustworthy male and female friends, and they have been a terrific support. My therapist has been outstanding!

      THERE IS HOPE. Keep telling yourself that, because it’s true.

  23. Thank you for your thoughts and insights, HL. I’m glad to hear you are on “the other side” and are happy and surviving and at peace with your decision. My husband refuses to believe that he has a sex addiction and frankly I don’t know either. I don’t think every man who goes to prostitues has an addiction. He did spend a lot of time on porn though. On the other hand, he appears to have been able to stop cold turkey. I appreciate he may be pullin the wool over my eyes however. It’s just so hard to know what’s true. I don’t have any evidence that he ha participated in this behavior since I found out about it. I guess I’m just wondering if its fair to require that he participate in addiction treatment when I’m not sure he has an addiction…
    And I know that sounds like denial on my end. Anyway, I appreciate your insights as I have a hard time delineating what I want from him, exactly. And your list does make sense to me, if he does in fact have an addiction…
    Thank you for giving me hope for some happiness if I decide to leave him. I can’t explain how much that means to me right now.
    Hugs,
    A

    1. He spent a lot of time on porn. He had secret accounts. He lied to you about his infidelities more than once. And you believe him when he SAYS he doesn’t have a sex addiction? OH! Maybe he’s NOT a sexaholic, but is JUST a narcissistic bastard? (Just!?!)

      Well, maybe he has a LYING addiction! You keep indicating that your gut tells you he’s lying in counseling. You also indicate you don’t want to be sexual with him. Why aren’t you listening to your gut? None of your feelings are unreasonable or unfounded.

      He manipulates your empathy by telling you how much HE is SUFFERING. Give me a break!

      YES, it sounds like you’re denial. (I’m not meaning to judge! But this is what I honestly think!) You should be concerned he’s trying to deflect blame on you for HIS infidelity.

      You don’t need MORE evidence. You have plenty. Trust your GUT. He’s probably gotten better at hiding since you left.

      If he really loves you and wants to repair the damage he has done to the marriage, he will be happy to do a full disclosure and a lie detector test in order to restore trust. If he refuses to “humor you” with the disclosure and test, then you already have your answer. He’s hiding something.

      The honest man will jump through whatever hoops to prove his honesty. The liar will try to convince you with words that he’s not a liar. As they say in the books, never trust what the addict SAYS. Look at his behavior. Any sort of shifting blame to you, any sort of refusal to take responsibility, this is evidence that his lies continue.

      The father of my children acted sorry. He said the right things, but he didn’t work nearly hard enough at recovery. I could see he just wanted me to forgive him without dealing with his underlying problems. He shifted blame. He lied in therapy. And eventually his addiction returned with a vengeance.

      Believe me, the thought of leaving was terrifying. Married over 25 years, approaching 50, with five kids! I’m no spring chicken. My therapist said, “If you leave this marriage, you already know what will happen.” I said, “Yes. I have explored my past. I know the mistakes I’ve made. I’m ready to find a person who will treat me with the honesty and respect I deserve.”

      And I have. 🙂

  24. HL,

    It sounds like you weren’t controlling ENOUGH. That was a totally facetious remark, BTW.

    Look, where ARE these so-called recovering men? I’ve never seen one. Not for the long term and not one who wasn’t STILL doing the sneaky sneaky. Think just because you have his passwords and phone bills, smart phone, nanny net, lie detector tests, you are safe? NO YOU ARE NOT. Why? Because he could have 20 smart phones. He could have a private mail box. He could have credit cards you know nothing about. He has a lunch hour, right? He has poker games, doctor’s appointments, oil needs changing, he needs to buy some new underwear… In other words… if he has an hour or two here or there… he CANNOT BE TRUSTED. And I don’t know about you, but I cannot live like that. Who needs to live under that kind of horrific soul crushing stress that your beloved is out fucking skanky hoes.

    Oh, and forgive me, but I don’t care what we fucking call it! Does it matter? A man who fornicates with hookers and watches endless hours of porn is a cheating lying scumbag and isn’t that bad enough?

    The only possibility for any kind of recovery is if HE WANTS IT! Not you. And not him just to hang onto you, but he wants this more than anything else on the face of this earth. He does not want to be THAT man anymore. It takes a tremendous paradigm shift and for this to happen is exceedingly rare.

    And Anne, as someone who took years to finally leave… I fervently believe that the ONLY road to happiness is if one leaves. That’s what I realized. He was never going to change. He didn’t want to. He wasn’t one of THEM. No, he wasn’t a child molester and he didn’t go to strip clubs. Does that make someone drinking a fifth of vodka every day, not an alcoholic just because he doesn’t like scotch?

    It just really bothers me when I see women going through all of these machinations only to come out the other end (and a lot poorer) to realize that it was all folly. The only person you can change is you. And its not you that needs to change. You can be distant, controlling, a total harping, whining, hysterical cow. I don’t care. There is absolutely no justification on this earth to make a man do that to a woman. If you are so horrible then he must ask you for a divorce. But you are not so horrible. You are of use to him— that is until you call him on his crap. Then, of course, you are dismissed because he doesn’t need the hassle. its as simple as that. Its not personal. Our husbands are not capable of true, mature, committed, intimate love and the sooner we realize this, the happier we will be as we move forward with our lives. We deserve a whole helluva lot better than this shit sandwich we were given!

    1. kimberly, I am SO with you. (I’m commenting under a couple of different handles because I didn’t understand what I was doing on this site initially.)

      I finally felt some relief from my nausea and fear when I decided I needed to file for divorce! It felt good to finally STOP empathizing with someone who deserved no empathy. To stop trying to fix the unfixable.

      The reality is that the choice to dump the “shit sandwich” often has economic repercussions. And our husbands tend to be such excellent liars that everyone else in the world believes the line that they did no wrong and the unreasonable bitch dumped them. In the end, it’s better (as far as I’m concerned) to pursue true happiness. Whether that is alone or with an honest, mature person who is capable of commitment and love, better not to stay with a liar who will break your heart again and again.

  25. Lots of new comments from surviving sisters in the recovery hood! I wish that I could say that I am in a good place, 4 months into my divorce and I feel like I am getting no where fast and mowed over by the great bully of porn and sexual addiction. My husbands years of manipulation and predatory behavior are honed perfectly for divorce proceedings. If he is in recovery, I see no signs of it although he is telling friends that he is happier than he has ever been. As I sit in my own 12-step program for co-dependency I have learned a lot about myself but deeply saddened by his lack of remorse or humility. Projection of blame seems to be a great tool for this time of addiction and very a hard pill to swallow. Last week while in group, I was listening to my cohorts discuss struggling with resentment, anger, frustration and wanting to lash out at their partners because of the deep feelings of betrayal. In the end, for all the difficulties each were feeling and expressing, I came to terms with my own resentment, anger, and terror. I wish my husband would have fought for me, fought for our children, fought for himself and a truthful life. I now know that I truly loved this man for 30 years, that I wanted (want) him to recover, to reach back into our lives and find that our love and the help of God would be enough to sustain us. My heart, my gut tell me that this is no longer my fight, that he has given in to this for so long, that it is so deep he will never give it up. While I am not a psychologist, he is and his narcissism is without limit. His manipulations are outrageous and to numerous to count. His father was addicted to pornography until this death (the first family secret), my husband brought his addiction to our marriage and for the most part kept it a secret until December 29 of this year where I found out about his numerous affairs and infidelities with women, men, bisexual couples, groups, bi-curious, transgender friends on his group posts and I will likely never (pray I will never) know the far reaches that these excursions outside our marriage have taken him. I have been horrified to know these truths that in fact the addiction, like all addictions, escalated to where he has put my life at risk many many times. I feel myself breaking down day by day and wanting to scream from the rooftops who he is and what he has done but I don’t. I am afraid it will get worse.

  26. Please ladies, as I have posted before, this is NOT a forum for back and forth conversations. Comments are to refer to the story. The cost of bandwidth for all these comments is simply too much for me to continue to run this as a free site and I will be forced to close comments or my hosting company will just shut the site down when my quota is reached.

    If you need advice on your own situation or want to continue a back and forth conversation please consider joining the Sisterhood of Support. Thanks ~ JoAnn

  27. POLYGRAPH!!!!!!!! If you plan to stay in this relationship or if he will have visitation with your daughters on his own, then polygraphs every six months at least. A man this deceptive, with such an unbelievable sense of arrogant entitlement is dangerous!!! There is more to his acting out have no doubt. Has he done a polygraph? His behaviors are dangerous to your health his health on all levels, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. One thing that people don’t realise at first is that there are also these subtle underlying issues and patterns that drive these behaviours. They can include things like a need to violate others through voyeurism, misogynistic arrogance, erotisized rage, passive aggressive rejection and projection, having no boundaries with your family, friends or worse with your daughters or friends of your children. What ever his underlying patterns and issues are they matters. I have found this to be important to understanding and in having clear insight into what drives these behaviours so you know exactly what your dealing with. It is often much creepier,sick and arrogantly deluded then just the horror of what is on the surface. If you are considering staying in this marriage or not, because you do have daughters together I would insist that he be tested for attachment disorder and personality disorders. Personality disorders are very serious. People with no empathy or very low empathy often take advantage of people with real empathy. When has he ever had genuine empathy for you, your daughters, for the fact that he knows he was doing things that you would of never agreed to as a part of your life??? He was knowingly creating a situation where he knew fully well that you would never agree to live the lie of a marriage he created and worse he had always known it was a lie. He knows you would of never agreed to have the degradation and the dangers that his indulging in prostitution brings, like STDs and other dark creepy stuff. If you look closely you will know if he is worthy of your empathy. My bet is he is not and that he does not even understand what real empathy is. Pearls to swine. Dangerous with a capital D.

  28. My Best Friend Of 6 Yrs And My Husband Had An Affair. I Shared My Pain With Her Through The Years Of How Hard It Was Being Married To A Porn Addict. Its Been A Very Hard 6 Months. Not Sure If I Am Leaving Or Staying But For Now We Are In Therapy And Are LIving In Separate Rooms.

    1. Your “friend” is no friend. Your “husband” is no husband. She slept with him KNOWING he’s a sex addict? Oh, she’s one smart cookie.

  29. Thank you so much for all these comments. This already feels like home!
    One thing that I see different in my case that I am still looking for familiarity and opinions on, is that my husband had a brief period of emotional abuse towards me (after the discovery of his first affair four years ago). After that “storm” was over he has never been mean to me or the kids in verbally or physically. I know his actions are mean, but hopefully you understand what I am saying. I have been married for 11 years and the first affair happened at 6 years in. So for the majority of our marriage he has been patient, kind, sweet, helpful around the house and a freaking amazing father. So I do disagree that sex addicts can’t be good fathers. His addiction and childness does come in to play in such areas as being late to children’s events. But when he is present – he is super present.

    So I am looking for familiarity and other women that truly do have a genuinely kind non obviously abusive spouse.

    As far as the activities of my life….I found out about the first long term affair at the end of year 6. I have never found a stash of porn. My husband always watched his porn on his phone or on his work computer. Over the last four years I grew tired of parenting him and was lazy on checking emails, texts, following him in the car. That is just not what a spouse’s definition was to me, so over time I stopped. About three months ago, someone in my life alerted me to some rumors in town. That got me on high alert again. My husband denied and denied. Then I noticed he would get texts from women “patients” late at night. When was the last time you texted your doctor at 10:00 p.m….
    Well since disclosure I have found out that my husband has been with 5 (this number obviously increases each week…since the day of discovery it was one). He also had multiple sexting relationships, sexual encounters at hotels (supposedly no actual prostitutes, but other women on these hook up sites), sending naked mms’s to people, group get togethers and internet porn.
    He has started going to a small group celebrate recovery, but not the actual program. He has not wanted me to join in any groups with him. He has left the house and says he wants our relationship back, but after reading these comments, I am made aware of the truth that my husband has shown no interest whatsoever in actually getting help. He is going to one, one hour small group weekly…that’s it.

    Thank you again for enlightening to the LACK of remorse or recovery on his behalf. Oh and supposedly if I would have just had more sex with him….perhaps this would not have happened.

    1. How can a man be a “good” parent when he is living a life of lies and duplicity?

      How can a man be “genuinely kind” when he is a fake and a cheat?

      I think you’re deceiving yourself … as I did! Of course you want to see the good in him. I used to “manufacture” the good in my husband to convince myself it was worth staying. The way I see it now is he had a good facade, but the kids sensed all along it wasn’t real. What lessons do they learn from a man who is ill but refuses to admit it or to get real treatment?

      He isn’t going to change. You have to decide ultimately if you can accept that and all of the lessons his behavior and your reactions to it teach your children.

      It’s no picnic if you choose to leave. I thought my husband was kind… Until I told him I wanted to separate. That unleashed the narcissistic bastard he’d been doing such a good job of hiding. I thought he was a good dad. Now I know he has no regard for any suffering they may endure.

  30. Hi Debby,

    Thank you for your comment. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since I wrote that post. Things have progressed. I was brave enough to file for divorce and although he is fighting for 50/50 custody (even though he was NEVER around before DDay and now is around all the time bc he’s quit his six figure income job and seems to be playing some sort of role) – I am in the slow process of getting myself, my self respect and my independence back. It is hard. It is exhausting. But the alternative would have been much much worse. Do the hard thing. You will survive. You can do this. Sending love to such an amazing community of women.

  31. It is wonderful to read stories of other women in this situation. I have been married for 15 years to a sex addict and have experienced many of the same things. On October 20th I discovered my husband soliciting prostitutes on his cell phone. Eight years earlier, he had several affairs with co-workers. After some therapy and a psych eval, he was diagnosed as a sex addict with narcissistic personality disorder. In addition to that he has anxiety, depression, and avoidant attachment style. How can one person be so screwed up? I am done. He is out of our house and I am filing for divorce. I have two young children who don’t understand why he is gone, but I try my best to reassure them that it will all be ok. I am frightened of what this man is capable of. I know the addiction is progressive, but does anyone know how the narcissism looks long term? Does it progress as well?

  32. Gretchen, read up on Divorcing a Narcissist. There are websites and books devoted to this topic. My experience and that of many others is that he will make divorce and custody hell for you. He will twist everything to be your fault, and he will attempt to pay the least amount of alimony and support legally required.

    I do not see narcissism as progressive, but what I have experienced is that when the narcissist is uncovered, while he may initially try to play get your sympathy, once he realizes you are serious about leaving him, he will become increasingly difficult and antagonistic, even if he was not before. He may find ways “punish” you for leaving him. He may wage a smear campaign to make you look bad. He may level crazy and unfounded accusations against you. (Usually they accuse you of the things that they themselves are guilty of.)

    A good resource on divorcing a narcissist is One Mom’s Battle.

    Get the best attorney you can afford. Understand that if he has financial means, he may well try to ruin you financially as well. If you are a stay at home mom, it will be worse for you.

    Collect your evidence. Having a medical diagnosis is very helpful. Be glad you have it! Make sure you keep the evidence from his cell phone and anything else you can find on the internet.

    A mistake I made was in letting my husband know that there was ZERO hope of reconciliation. I wish I had FIRST gotten a legal agreement that would have protected me. Something that said that he agreed to do certain things, and if he didn’t, then we would get a divorce and the terms would be already determined so that we wouldn’t have argued about it for three years. (For example, support for my special needs kids and continuing support for kids in college.)

    You can pretty much predict that the sex addict will not be able to keep promises of ending his addiction, so it would be to your advantage to get an agreement that indicates if you find proof of his continuing addiction, he will have to abide by certain financial terms in a divorce.

    The BEST decision I made was not to press custody issues. Over several years, mine just stopped seeing the kids because I never made an issue of it.

    Whatever you want, the narcissist will do the opposite. (If you try to limit his time with children, he will push for more. If you encourage time with the kids, he will accuse you of using him as a babysitter.) This is true of almost everything. Use that knowledge to your advantage.

    1. I feel somewhat comforted in the presence of other women who have experienced similar/related experiences. When I met my now husband of 20 years, I thought he was perfect: attentive, driven, sexually passionate about me/us. Then, after a few years of living together, when we were not having sex 3/4 times a day anymore, he started to question things, to ask why we were no longer having so much sex and all. Then he talked about a neighbor in our apartment building who walked around naked, I said “oh well, exhibitionist, no big deal”. Then he seems attracted to porn sites. I asked and he would say “just looking at this and that”. Then, when I would clean our computer, it always had those sites, and when I asked he apologized profusely. Then, finally, our daughter was almost 4 years old. It was the evening before Mother’s Day. I came home from work and found some websites about teenage porn: 10, 11 year old girls. I said: this is it: I want a divorce. He did not want that. I “tried” again. Then, 2 years later, I miraculously got pregnant (I was 45!). That kept me from asking for a divorce. Now our son is 8, our daughter 14, but I feel trapped, unhappy, with my needs always ignored because we are busy trying to figure out his addiction. I dreamed of some nice marriage, but am ow over that illusion. I don’t think at the tender age of 54, as good as I “think” I look, that I can attract any worthy man= they like 20 year olds. But maybe I owe it to myself to just stand alone and be happy? Any advice is welcome. I want to end this co-dependent cycle and show my children that I have self respect.

      1. Yolande, don’t worry about the issue of finding another man. Think about what you want for the rest of your life.

        Divorcing an asshole is hard, but continuing to live with him is worse.

        Work on yourself. When you have your self respect, you will be attractive to decent men, and hopefully you will learn to be more picky.

        P.S. I am 51, my divorce from my narcissistic sexually-addicted attorney husband of nearly 29 years is still not final after 3+ years, I’m battle-scarred, but I have a stable relationship with a really nice man. Get past the exterior looks, and concentrate on the interior.

        BEST WISHES TO YOU!

  33. Anyone else start to feel like they’re going crazy? My husband and I have been together for 7 years, he has helped to raise my 2 children and we’ve definitely worked through our share of issues. He is, however, a sex addict. A year or 2 into our relationship I found mountains of porn and discovered that he was often looking at the escort ads on craigslist. Fast forward a few years and many baby step ‘disclosures’, I learn that he has profiles on dating sites, hookup sites and, yes, more porn. Always more porn. After several years of this and more heartache than I could withstand, I gave him an ultimatum. Get into treatment, attend sa and get one on one therapy. I set my boundaries (no touching, no terms of endearment, no R rated movies and monitoring software, which is not monitored by me) and got myself into therapy. He’s slept on the couch for 6 months and has done everything I’ve asked. Until a month ago. The biting sarcasm, the distance, lack of communication, it all came flooding back. I decided that I’d check his computer since it had been months and came across his sa group therapy homework. Yes, I did violate his privacy by reading his ‘confession’. No, I don’t feel remorse. He outlined his biggest addictions (?), which were masterbating to escort sites, calling escorts and cruising for prostitutes. I confronted him and he says he called only to see if they’d answer. I might look naive, but I’m not stupid. The cruising for prostitutes he says was a long time ago but the conversation gets hazy; I was livid and shaking. Prior to him entering therapy, he claimed to have revealed all to me. I am tired. I want more, better than he can give. I know I will be ok, however this all plays out. I’m just done living on a fault line.

    1. YES! I feel like I am crazy! Going crazy gone crazy and been crazy all along. How did I miss it. How could I have not known. Why Why why……isn’t that the question we all want to know…..I have been married for 22 months and just found out my husband has been using porn, sex sites, emailing couples – always couples – the entire time. It was a whirlwind marriage after I had not dated for 16 years after my husband ran off with his secretary. We met on a street corner while I was walking the dogs and it was love at first site. He is younger than me but we connected on every level. The sweetest most loving man I could ever have hoped for – the type who looks deep into your eyes at night and tells you that you are the best thing to every happen to him and holds your hand all night in his sleep – the type that wakes up in the morning checking his email for people who may have replied to his own emails to meet up……

      One night at 3 am I woke up and without any previous wondering – looked at his phone. There was an email from a couple he had met on a sex site – he had gone and met them for lunch and perhaps an afternoon of sex as was planned. He still denies it and says he came home instead but I will never believe that. I found his page on Adult Friend Finder – they have a very neat page of every post ever made and it was all there for me to read – every post. The day we met, the day he asked me to marry him – we were away and I was on a business meeting and left him at the hotel – there he was on this page looking for a couple to have sex with while i was gone. I was paying the hotel room but he was advertising “businessman in town staying at Hilton”…… 32 to he precise – 32 posts looking for strange couples who wanted a black man in screw their wife. I felt degraded for him – back to slavery days where he was just a piece of meat……. he denied it. Denied everything. We had only been married 3 months at that point – he cried and begged and i said I would work it out. Two days later I found the entire stash of emails and it was so much worse than I had thought. We cried – openly and honestly for weeks. He said he had been doing it for years and didn’t know to stop. I had never handled anything like this before and chose to forgive. I was confused because the entire time he was so loving, sex was so passionate, the intimacy between us was so real. a year and a half has passed and I found a scanner on the internet to find lost photos – we had upgraded our phones and lost our photos. I plugged his ipad into my computer and there it was. Everything had been very carefully deleted but the more i looked the more I found. Pulling up the SENT basket on his emails i typed in the letter A – and it showed a heap of emails that had been sent. I entered the letter B – [email protected] came up along with other classics like hotgirl, hornycouple etc etc…… all the emails had been deleted but this was a new ipod only a few months old and here were a whole new set of problems with it. He almost died when I confronted him. He lied – he had NEVER been on craigslist, NEVER on a sex site since last time. I showed him the fake profile i had set up on craigslist that he had replied too. Eventually he admitted it and blurted out I HAVE A PROBLEM. A really serious problem. He convinced me that he has an addiction, that we didn’t go for help last time and he couldn’t stop. So off we went to therapy and after hundreds of dollar to just join – we are looking at months, years of therapy to find out why he does it……………I can’t help but look at him and just want to kick the crap out of him. I want him to go and leave me alone. I know this wont be the last time – everything I read it is never the last time. I don’t want to go thru my life wondering “is he doing it again” wanting to pick up his phone and check each time he puts it down…. I love him but I don’t think I can do this whole supportive wife thing to this. I feel like my entire marriage was a fraud and can’t even look at a wedding photo of us. I am done living on the fault line too!!!

      1. Hi Kim,
        I have been married for 25 years. I have 4 awesome kids and I found out last April my husband is an addict or just a really bad person inside.
        Even though it is a year later I am not able to believe it. I am separated and have filed for divorce but I am struggling to make the last step. I am afraid to be alone. I am afraid I am making a mistake.
        I am confused because part of me just wants to hide from all of this and hope for a miracle.
        I have been to a couple of online COSA meeting and I agree it is BS to make spouses feel like it is our shortcomings that we need to work on. That just feeds into the blame my husband will place on me for making him do what he did. his strategy is always to say he has done wrong but it because of the “situation ” he was in because of struggles in our marriage. BTW-the kids want me to leave ,

  34. Cossi:

    So sorry for all you are going through. My story is similar… 24 years and 9 days after our wedding day, I discovered of my husband’s “illness.” Six months of “therapy”… he sought and got deployed… more discoveries… and 3 1/2 years and $50,000 (for just my own legal fees) to get a divorce. We have five kids together, two with special needs. I have been a stay at home mom for over 20 years.

    I felt sorry for my husband at first. (Like the rest of these guys, he wanted to shift the blame to me.) Eventually, I realized he was just a pathological liar who actually believes his own lies. Of course, divorce is scary after so many years together. Be assured: You are not making a mistake. That will become clearer to you with time. You will get over feeling alone.

    You can expect he WILL make divorce painful. He will try to harm you emotionally and financially, and maybe even physically. He will try to blame you, and try to turn your kids against you. Some people will believe him. Some of your children may even go to the “dark side.” In the end, if you do what you know is right, you will be satisfied, even if you are left with a bitter taste in your mouth. The courts do little to protect us from pathological liars. The good news is, if you can manage to get support and therapy and a good lawyer, you will eventually be able to free yourself of the asshole. With shared kids, you will always have to deal with him, but at least you can get him out of your home and move on to better things.

    As terrible as all of this has been, knowing the truth and getting out of a marriage built of lies has been good for me. I have a real life and real love now. I am still angry that the legal system allows one person to take advantage of another as he took advantage of me. (I can’t blame him because as far as I am concerned, one aspect of his illness is the complete inability to accept any responsibility for his behavior. He feels no guilt or shame, so there is no sense in my expecting him to.) I used to believe in fairness and karma. I no longer do.

    I don’t want to be a women who NEEDS a man to rescue her, but I can say that I have found love. There are good men out there. There is a life for you on the other side of this. It won’t be easy to get to the other side, but with determination, you can do it.

    Do not be afraid to collect every piece of dirt on him that you can find. In divorce, he may do everything in his power to harm you. Don’t be afraid to do what you need to do to defend yourself.

  35. Wow! You just wrote my story. i feel compelled to reply because I coukd have written every word myself.
    Be careful with therapy. My soon to be ex sociopathic narcissist turned everything on me and basically convinced the psychologist that I’m unstable. These people are masters of deception, projection, blame, denial and abuse. Mine was highly abusive and my daughter and I both had PTSD from his abuse. It’s covert abuse, it’s hard to see and it gets worse over time. It’s the frog in the pot. We are the frog. Were the frog.
    I got out but it can be very hard to do.
    I also think you are an empath, like me. If you are not familiar with the term please look it up. You have to learn to not feel too much empathy for him. Protect yourself and your children.
    My marriage lasted almost 6 years. We had sex 3 times. I found porn, match.com, pof.com, cybersex, and he’s a serial cheater.. Of course.
    He lied and denied everything. That’s what they do.
    Please go to individual therapy and save yourself!

  36. Cossi – you are not making a mistake. I forgave my husband the first time – 3 months after we were married. I agreed to work with him 2 years into the marriage when I found he hadn’t stopped the first time. Now I just found out that all the things that I THOUGHT happened and he lied about for a year – lied lied lied – DID happen. It has been constant. Never stopped. I looked at photos today of me before I met him and realized how happy I was then. I am going back to that and will be back to a strong independant capable woman. This crap will eat you inside out every day – walk away my friend – walk away!!!

  37. My hands are shaking as I gather to share my part of the story. it is not different from the rest of you but I am not able to get myself to write the details of my painful experience of 12 years here. I want my daughters to believe in me if i left their dad and why i had to leave him. They are too young to understand any of this. I will come back with my part for sure when my tears have stopped rolling down. I need help and wish there was a support group in the country where I live. My prayers for all of you and for us to emerge safe and strong.

    1. It’s good news that you are seeking help and support. Know that you are loved and valued beyond your wildest imaginings, and that hope (i call it God) is a real and mighty. It perseveres and and pursues you with a Real Love. Keep showing up in support groups. Seek help from communities available to you. You. Are.Beautiful.

  38. I have my things packed today. I am the ex-girlfriend who lives with my ex for four years. I was down on my luck due to lack of employment. I am estranged from a very dysfunctional family. I am in my mid-forties. In my early twenties, I endured depression, low self-esteem and was suicidal but after counseling I overcame some of those issues. I learn how to cope with disappointments, how to have a voice for myself and how to take control of my life and most importantly have a deeper connection with my spirituality and God. After losing my job and my home, I reconnected with an ex who was very financially stabled. We dated 10 years ago. He proposed to me and I declined. He was emotionally abusive and physical and controlling. He was trying to break down the very things I had fought so hard to protect. 10 years now past I thought as older adults when he apologized and was so attentive to my getting back on my feet. I thought we both had matured enough to talk and handle differences calmly since I am now just his roommate (no sex) Instead I have been living with satan. He travels abroad for sex with prostitutes. We agreed that his social life would not be any of my concern. But He has shown me that he does not care if I hear some to the horrible details he shares with his friends. He is very cocky and narcisstic. He goes out of his way to put on a performance for his family and friends to show how caring and affectionate he is with me. I put up with it because I miss having a family connection. I now know that most of his family knows, a few have approached him but he is way in too deep to stop and doesn’t what people think. He has done so many hurtful things to me these past 4 years. I know its emotional abuse. I wanted to believe that there is some good in there. I have enjoyed my time when his family is around. My friends and a few of his relatives have stated to me how dysfunctional and sick he is. I know that it’s time to go but it still hurts. Right now, he’s walking around smiling and laughing seeing all my things out ready to leave. When he leaves to go on his sick bins, he trusts me to watch his house. I cook and clean mostly it has been my contribution instead paying bills. I’ve been off and on contract work for 4 years. When he leaves, he doesn’t say anything to me. He is gone for 2 to 3 weeks. Then he just shows up. He wants to act like everything is normal. He wants me to hug him or snug up on the couch. I cringe because I don’t want him to even breathe on me but I’ve put up with it until I pray I find permanent employment. When his niece, he suddenly became and acted normal we had dinner together, watch tv, household chores together like a family. He also shared sharing with me his whereabouts. Maybe I got caught up in the fantasy he created. His niece just moved into her own apartment last week. He left 2 weeks ago to Hong Kong. He told me and his nieces. Away he called to talk and text me several times. I thought it was weird. He had never communicated with him this much before on previous ventures. It seemed that he was really missing me and maybe wasn’t having such a good time. There was a volcano eruption out there. I even called to ask if he was alright and what I heard on the news. He did seem alarmed or worried. This Tuesday, he returned home unannounced as usual. He was excited about the gifts he brought from his trip. The items had elephants displayed on it. I stated the elephants are not usually associated w/ Hong Kong. He said he was in Thailand. I was upset that he lied. I asked why bother to tell me anything. Your mother has dealt with 2 alcoholics and now a sex addict. If anything happens to you on these trips I don’t want to relay that info to his mother. He sickens me, He’s games sicken me. Even as just a friend, he cannot be on the level. Once I stated the truth, he told me that I must leave that night. I told him no and that I am going to bed. He called the police. They advised him that he could not put me out in that matter but to go through the courts…..I might sound strange but I will not feel bullied or intimidated by him. I did not cry, scream or yell. I am trying to stay in peace as my lord would want me as I pack my things. I have a few friends I can stay with. But the power of a sex addicted w/NPD is strong. I learned so much. Reading these stories for all these diff women have inspired me and strengthened me more today. The scary part is that maybe a little part of me was starting to fall back in love with him but I know that he would abuse it even more than he did in the past.. Even though we are both older, he has become the worse animal ever. I getting out to save my soul. It’s hard but know I must.

  39. Reading these posts, I feel my story is being told. I soooo related with Katie B. Almost 18 years ago my husband was arrested for public lewdness. Turned out he was having oral sex with a man in a public restroom. My daughters were 15, 13, and 10. They adored him. When I filed for divorce they blamed me for destroying our family. I couldn’t tell them. I decided to stay. He and I were intimate maybe 5 times after that and for the past 15 years just roommates. I have grandchildren now and have lived in denial and wasted my life. Our children found out on their own. Two of them found pictures of his pens and others and letters from men. Last week the idiot texted a man describing their encounter. He is a very respected, successful, and liked doctor.I have decided to refile for divorce. I am almost 60 years old, married for 39 years and scared to death of how I am going to make it financially. We live in a million+ home and just found out that after 20 years we still owe most of it. He has taken loans from equity. I’m numb. I know I have to get rid of this dark cloud over me. My biggest concern is my children, especially the youngest, and how their dad’s perversion is affecting them. They want to help him so desperately but he refuses to go therapy, take medication, or stop drinking so much. Thanks for letting me share my story and finally I’d like to ask for your prayers.

  40. Carmen, you’re not alone. I’m 59 and I just found out two weeks ago that my husband has been seeing prostitutes for several month, or so he says. When I kicked him out he blamed me for his actions and for about two days I went around and believed it was my fault. Then I started analyzing all that went on and realized it has nothing to do with me, it’s all him. It’s little comfort when your world has just collapsed. i will never trust the man I married again. I don’t believe anything he has to say to me. I now question everything I knew about him and over analyze everything. I’ve thought about couples counseling but I’ve read the statistics and the success rate is very low for men who have a sexual addiction. i am worried about my future but i decided I’d rather be on my own than living with a liar and a cheat who I could never trust.You have a lot of life yet to live and love.
    Your girls are now adults, but still don’t say negative things about their father, after all he’s still their father and they love him, faults and all. He will owe you alimony, but here’s the problem…. will he pay? I’d get a good attorney and start researching your financials. Don’t be nice. He won’t.

    1. hey Kathy
      I too am in my 50’s and found out
      1. my husband had been going to strip clubs and getting dances in the bar with his mates standing either side watching him knowing full well he had ejaculated ……..finding the evidence placed in my laundry basket with mine and our daughters clothes was horrifying. The worst bit being he had been sexually entertained by me 3 times in the same week he went. That was in 2014 and apparently all my fault.
      2. I discovered on saturday he has been watching porn and searching for porn with ”teen” in the title and watching some depicting violence from an older man to a younger girl.

      I am sick to my stomach as I had said I would try again to make it work 20 years is a long time my biggest worry is he is away this week with our teen age daughter
      i did not have chance to speak to him before he left
      I have no idea where to go from here

  41. I read all of these and it breaks my heart. It’s funny we probably all feel like we are alone, yet here we all are obviously not alone. We are alone in our marriages, in our fantasy that we had a healthy marriage based on trust and respect. My husband is a sex addict, a drug addict, a trauma survivor and a rage addict. His main tools are acting out in some way, blame and anger. He is supposedly in ‘recovery’ but he’s never been all in. He is very angry and blames me for most things. We are now on the verge of separating, as I cannot survive much longer. I recently found out he’d relapsed on wax, pot, etc. his drug of choice, and has been lying to me about it for 7 or 8 months. He acts like this is no big deal at all, and why on earth would I think it is ‘lying’ when he just didn’t tell me. My story is much too long to post here, but 2 years ago I had an intervention because things were so desperate that I didn’t know if I would survive his rage attacks or if he would survive his own depression. He was acting out like crazy, he was using all the hard drugs, he is an entitled, narcissistic, abusive, asshole. yes, he is and he constantly tells me how unfair our relationship is, that it’s all about him doing recovery to make me feel better. And what am I doing? Truth be told, I’ve been in my own ‘recovery’ for years, far longer than he remembers, or cares for that matter. My husband lied to me for 3 + years about who he was really, what happened to him when he was young and how it effected him. Partly because he was in denial, and partly because he was unaware of just how messed up he is. But, still he hid himself from me. It was after we were married that I found out he was molested, and exploited sexually when he was younger and the pieces of the puzzle started to come together. But, this also began his downward spiral of self hatred and shame. He thought that since I found out, I would hate him and leave. So he decided he would hurt me first. And he did. And my son. And he has never been that person that I knew those first years again. Now we are 8 years in and I do not see any way through. I set my boundaries which I personally think any woman or person would want in a relationship – 1. a healthy and sober lifestyle 2. no abuse – emotional, verbal, physical etc. (from rage or otherwise). That was pretty much it. Yet he seems insistent on telling me how one sided this all is. How it’s all about what I want. The trust is completely gone. I don’t think he thinks this is important. For he trusts no one, including me. So the fact that he has destroyed my trust of him over and over and then again a month ago seems to be no big deal. Just that one piece alone seems to be a deal breaker. No trust. No honesty. He constantly tries to compare me with himself. Like wanting me to tell him my whereabouts. Because he does – sometimes because he never did, he would leave work and go to the strip club and then eventually come home, but I didn’t know. So now he tells me when he’s leaving work, which doesn’t mean jack squat really because he can text me from any strip club if he wants. But now he says ‘how many times have you texted me to tell me when you are leaving work’? Things like this, that tell me that for him, it’s all about me. How I’m not nor will I ever be doing enough. When he truth is I have done everything. I keep it all going. I am home at the same time every day, I buy all the food, do all the cooking, take care of my son and now his son who he brought here from Germany last summer – who is 17. I said I did not want him coming here, that it was not a good idea but he did it anyhow. Then he just leaves me with them all the time to make sure there’s someone there with them. So they have food and are fed etc. It sucks. And of course, there is just the fact that he is a raging sex addict. Every woman he sees, on tv, on the street, at work, in the store, in his mind from porn or strip clubs or bikini baristas or past flings or whatever he’s undressing them and having sex with them. Every single day all the time. It is this that I also must live with. Knowing this and somehow being ‘ok’ with it. It seems absolutely stupid when I write it out, like if someone came to me and told me this I would help her pack his stuff and change the locks. But for me, I’ve invested a lot of my time and energy into this fucked up relationship. And it’s nearly over. And he was my best friend, the love of my life. Truly he was. We were inseparable. But, it was a folly, and I don’t know what if any of it was ‘real’. For now all he does is play on the xbox and watch tv and complain about how the world is out to get him. he complains about everything. He is a miserable person, he hates life and he hates himself. And sometimes it seems as if he hates me. For him, the four horsemen have arrived long ago – from Gottman’s book. And I don’t know if they will ever leave. I don’t know if I can ever trust him again. It may be too far gone. It makes me desperately sad, but then I don’t want to live the rest of my life in an abusive, dysfunctional, hostile and toxic environment. And that’s how it feels. I think I may have learned all there was to learn here. I’m not even sure what that was. How to pick another complete loser for a husband and watch years of your life pass by while you live in misery? I am thankful for you letting me post here. I have so much to say and no time to say it, but I am happy to have found this now. I wish I had found it years ago. You are all strong women! you are all in my thoughts.

    1. Love the word TOXIC!! I have referred to my husband as TOXIC for years now. Im trying to figure out what my next step is. I have to find a job, save some money and get out. I have lost and sold everything because of him. Im angry, frustrated, disappointed and still feel like a failure. IM TIRED!!

  42. It’s been almost a year since my ex and I broke up. Still feeling very broken hearted. The porn – the temper-
    The “I’m not a sex addict” the gaslighting..my heart heart goes out to everyone on this site. We are worthy…we are loved and never stop paying attention to your wise inner voice! With all the lies they tell- the heartache- the projection the blaming GET OUT and don’t look back. Soul crushing – in time we will heal. Love&Peace, T

    1. I completely agree with you I am really struggling it’s been 7 months since he left and I’m thinking how can he replace me after 17 years that quickly but it won’t last he’s on the rebound filling the void for the sex I miss him every day and I still love him I am still in therapy right now I’m working on the goodbye letter that is the hardest thing I’m going to have to do in my whole life but it needs to be done so I can move on with my life and have closure. We do not deserve to be treated that way.

  43. Im currently going through the same thing. After thinking the start of our own family will be the best thing that has happened to us, turned out he wasnt as happy as I was. Long story short, as much as i went over his phone because of my 7th sence( you know, the one us women have when we feel our husband are up to no good) i finally found his hidden facebook and linked to it was many accounts in which he met other females. After confronting him i noticed he also lies to my face. I am currently trying to figure out what will be the best decision to make being that we have a child. Ive met women who have dealt with worse cases with their husbands and stuck by them all the way. I guess theres a time where men realize how valuable is what they have at home, just that in my case i dont know if I would have the patience to deal with him or how long will it take me to trust him again or if i can be able to trust again.

  44. I’m so glad I came across this . Olé ft or he said he let me go to be happy to friends and family lol ! I’m broke and have sold almost everything my horses my clothes ect. But I’m better off . He has me so confused and suicidal in love and then he come back and hurt me do it again . His porn was getting bad and the sex was good but it started getting real ugly .i have PTSD and low self esteem I been told I’m the bad one 15 years. I started to think I was it’s weird how I only seen some of the abuse then after leaving it all came more clear . I been living in a hell that made me anxious depressed and then put down for those illnesses . I’m fine as long as I don’t see or hear from him he has purposely wrecked my credit and called jobs ect . I’m getting a restraining order . I need him gone ifbi acted like I loved him he run tho ! It’s sick ! Ppl thought we were the perfect pair also poor Geoff is all I heard ‘. Then I noticed he had extra cell phones and then o found more 8 !!! He was texting andbskypibg with women . All over . The place . Women in our town . He will never tell the truth even if it’s right there in black and white and will just call me crazy and said me looking for his lies made him leave me lol ! He is such a pathetic human to me! I just wish ivdidntvwastev17 yrs of my life . But hey I’ll be better and hopefully he stays away .

  45. I am so sorry for what you are going through T. I do not know of any support groups anywhere that do not add to your trauma by expecting YOU to give everything you have to participate in his fake recovery. That’s why I started Sisterhood Of Support. If you would like to learn more just click here. Good luck and hugs to you. ~ JoAnn

  46. Great response by Kimberly! I couldn’t agree more. These type of men have 0 to null accountability! They will lie, cheat, steal, exploit. con, coerce, and blame shift. My good friend’s ex husband was exactly like this. He wasn’t happy unless he was having sex outside of their marriage. He loved and got off wooing younger women and preying off them being naïve. He spent money behind her back, he ran up credit card debt on his multiple businesses. He screwed over business partners. At first it was him just using my good friend then the real true colors of this so-called man came out. He would use and abuse and exploit anyone or anything in his pathetic little path. Why? Because he felt self-entitled to do whatever to whomever and whenever. Narcissists DO NOT CARE! Read again…Narcissists DO NOT CARE! It’s always about THEM THEM THEM! He blamed the economy, society, his parents, his own kids, his business partners, my friend, the other women, the clients, the general stupidity of everyone around him. Yet, amazingly enough there were sh*t storms everywhere he went and problems and confusion, chaos, instability, lack of accountability for everything everywhere, but never his fault. Everyone else was seen as useless, stupid, worthless, not up to his standards as human beings. What a joke! What a complete and utter joke! They only people these type of men love is themselves and it isn’t even normal love it’s a sick toxic me me me type of love. No thanks, I’m glad she divorced him and now has since found a decent, sane, loving, empathic, giving, nurturing, normal man. Oh and the porn crap, he was on the computer at least 3 to 4x’s a day looking at it. How do some men expect women to compete with porn? Give it up guys and get into reality.

  47. Couldn’t agree more! Lies, more lies and more! Pills hidden in the car for erectile issues, porn sites on separate computer tablets, calls to escort agencies, long calls out, trios to the grocery store that seem ridiculously long for a few items ( and near prostitute zones )…and so the list goes on. I could write a book! I think counselling won’t work because he thinks it is OK! He blames me for not wanting sex, however, it is a catch 22. When you think your partner is playing around….the though of getting a STD is overwhelming! I am 63 year old and the thought of going it alone is perplexing! If you cant trust your partner, then what have you got left!

  48. Anne, having read your post again I am so compelled to say to you to TRUST your instincts. They are spot on. I think you do know this but it is the grief of losing what you thought you had that is confusing the issue. You have done absolutely the right thing for your daughters as I truly wish my children had never had to hear – or SEE – what that father of theirs was up to or be on the receiving end of his rages. That has done far more damage than if I had managed to get us all away from him as you have very bravely managed to do. I hope you find strength and most of all peace in your life.

  49. All these stories seem to involve narcissistic partners. I’ve been involved with one for 5 years and started doubting my sanity due to his lying, gaslighting and total lack of any empathy. I recently found information online about narcissism and suddenly it all makes sense. He ticks all the boxes for narcissistic personality disorder and now I know there was nothing wrong with me…….. It was all him. I’m leaving him and feel so much better about everything. Please, if you’re with a partner who is lying, manipulating you, abusing you, insincere and uncaring about hurting you then google narcissists and especially a blog by Zari Ballard and read all you can. You will see so clearly how these people are not normal and can never change. You just have to get away from them and, if possible, have NO CONTACT. I’m even considering starting an online support group for people like me. It’s horrible to feel used and discarded and worthless but it helps to realise that you’re not alone.

    1. Hi, I feel your pain on here. I am 2 years free after 25 years of marriage where I nearly lost my mind trying to work it out. I would welcome joining a support group. Carol

    2. Thank you Sarah , i dont know if reading your comment did it or the fact its like the 2oth time I’ve seen it. But reading what you said about you need to leave them bc they will NEVER CHANGE NO MATTER WHAT finally clicked for me . Im crying , I ve always known what I have to do , its just that I never have been strong enough to.. He has always had this spell or mind control over me. He knows exactly what to say to get me to stay and when I tryed to leave he put me through so much pain and heart ach I gave in and got put in even worse for leaving ..like he cheated purposely to prove a point and he knew he had me.. I hate him bc I love him so much ..I need help..see im like a teeder tooder up and down about this…how do i leave when I have no where to go, no money, no job ,i sord of feel stuck ..please help i need advice …he is a narcissist, sociopath that has an sex addiction…he has cheated in the past never came clean until even when i have all the proof, he never wants to have sex with me any more and said its bc his meds and ive put on weight and i need to lose 30 pounds and get a tan then maybe he could be in to me, and tells me he no horney like he use to be ..bull bc he is always i mean always masterbating . I looked at his history the one time he forgot to clear it bc he always doses it had escorts sites and so much porn on it and confronted him and he said he was just looking and he would never..i have even tryed to do stuff with him for him sexually and it never is enough ..i need him to change bc i love him and want him to be mine and only mine forever …this marriage has been through everything why cant we beat this ..been married 12 years been through our child passed away, him going to prison for 2 years, and a addiction and were sobor goin on 3 years..im lost ..plz help

      1. All variations of the same theme…his needs, his lies, his manipulations, and our buying it…
        I got 35 years of lies I bought, before I kicked him out. He had nowhere to go but a psychiatric hospital….
        And then signed himself in to a residential facility where Anthony Weiner went for 30 days….
        Anthony Weiner was a boy scout compared to my man who spent 47 days there and still “can’t remember” who he had sex with….
        But he is a professional so I can’t tell…..and my son is getting married and wants nothing to happen until after the wedding….
        Can someone please help me!!!!!

    3. Sarah, you are spot on! Narcissistic sexual addiction is also very informative. But it all goes hand in hand. I am heading for divorce after 3 year relationship 7mo into marraige. It’s sad, but I won’t live this way. He said he refuses to be accountable to me nor will go to treatment. Said if I don’t like it to get out! So I am getting out now that I after years of being debt free have tobe take on much debg going into my retirment years. BTW, if he doesn’t want to be accountable to me…why marry me???

  50. Oh my god. Unbelievable to read all this. It is like reading my own story. The worst part of it all is that you start to doubt your own sanity, that men like these are masters in manipulation and have you completely in their power. I am a strond, indepandant woman with an University degree and a good job and I became a shadow of myself. Once you realize that, that is a good point to start getting better and getting away. After several periods of promises to stop the addiction (and I begin to think that sex addiction and narcissism are linked in a way), or minimalize and rationalize the addiction, be the nice sweet guy for a while, etc etc, I recently found out my husband ‘s deceit, cheating, lying, manipulation, goes beyond any level I could have ever imagined. I have hacked an email adress of his (unbelievable I could do this) and I found proof and evidence that shocked me to death. Luckily, we do not have children so it’s easier for me to get away. I knew he was going to try to manipulate me again after confronting him with my proof, I was scared of myself after being brainwashed for so long he would even succeed in this.
    I don’t know what happened to me but I wrote an email to his job and all his colleagues, telling who this man really is. He got fired immediately. I also send proof to his family members. The sex movies he made with other woman (the one taped on my 40th birthday was the best), the chat sessions online even begging a man to suck him, the dates in hotels, etc…He got punished. He lost his job. He lost me. And he lost the mask he put on towards his family (He made them believe I was crazy). I do not believe in revenge, I am rather a spiritual person, but this time, it felt right. I think he never expected me to do such things. He hates me now. And obviously he plays the victim that I have hurt him so much. I think the thing he hates the most is that he has absolutely no control over me anymore (narcissist are little insecure boys deep down and somehow it gave him a thrill to control me, it gave him a sense of power). I still have a long way to go. Even now, I sometimes feel sorry for him. Amazing how men like these can screw up your mind. The process of healing has to start for me now. In a way I feel relieved because deep down we all know/knew something serious was going on. I lived in denial too for a long time, I even blame myself for that. But the most important thing is, he is out of my life now.

  51. Dear people. I am so relieved that I found this website. I have just left the relationship with a man after 6 months. I do not know what kind of disorderhe has, but he certainly has one. He is a compulsive lier, denies everything even when caught, is a sex addict, sought attention from me all the time- I had to sexttext him and send him kisses many times during the day, wanted sex a few times in a row, always aroused. He cheated on me in the honeymoon period of our relationship. I do not understand why this happened since he seemed so in love with me, e.g. his voice was shuddering when he thought that I would leave him, he was so emotional with me. He showed me his vulnerabilities. He was jealous of my sex with my exes but never of my emotions for them. He was always afraid that he was ugly or not good enough-he was adopted. I am shocked. I do not know what to think. I know that we were not speaking for 2 weeks when before that cheating happened, but I would never expect him to betray me like that. We always made up after every fight or not speaking and missed each other incredibly much.

    1. Stay gone! Take care of you. Trust me when I say it will only get worse. Find a man tbat adores you…not himself. Not worth it!!!! Get out stay out in the early stages. I knew after being together 6mo that it was going to be hell if I stayed. I chose instead to ignore and married him. He cheats, has a sexual addiction which prevents the relationship from being intimate. He only wants porn sex…no thank you self bastard!!! Good luck, make good choices.

  52. I’m in amazement at the strength of the women in these professions. I’m currently in counseling trying to figure out “who I am”. The first years of marriage were a whirlwind. He was hard working, dedicated and seemed to want what was best for our little family. He didn’t want much or need much. Everything was content. Then it just changed. Just out of the blue, he started wanting more sex… we were alway pretty active, never more than three days without sex. Then he admitted he had an affair. I left but immediately came back bc it somehow was my fault… I wasn’t attentive enough, I wasn’t “this or that” basically I just wasn’t enough. I had two teenage daughter and two toddlers, I was exhausted. I was overweight and I looked back at my life and realized I had been doing EVERYTHING for him. I had absolutely no idea who I was, what I liked. If someone asked me my hobbies I would stammer. I had none. No sense of self… yet I stayed
    Things only became more intense. After the “make-up period” of almost a year he started asking me if I would ever consider having sex with someone else. He thought it would be erotic and something he thought about a lot but kept to himself. He started watching porn more. Wanting me to talk dirty to him or sext more or send erotic pictures. I tried to keep up, I tried to be all those things even though I hated it. I even mentioned it made me uncomfortable but he couldn’t possibly understand why. I was safe with him. The act of a threesome steadily became more bedroom talk. Then one night he brought a friend home and they basically just jumped in a bed with me… I said no… a lot. There was pleading “just this once and I’ll never ask again” “do it for me, I would help you with any fantasy you had”. I gave in and then I cried. He said he was sorry and it would never happen again.
    That was a lie
    He had another affair, the need for constant sexual fantasy and talk and role play continued and even intensified. For years. We finally separated last year for about 5 months. I never realized that I should have made a no contact arrangement with him. He was at the house every day begging and promising to change. Meanwhile, he was also seeing other women. I did eventually take him back, we live together and I have caught him texting inappropriately with other women. He keeps his phone with him. I have a plan on our cell phones so that I can see every all his phone records. but I know very well he can use Facebook and Snapchat, etc… he swears he hasn’t slept with another woman. The talk of threesomes has never stopped. I hate it.
    I admire the women who get out and stay firm. This is why I am in counseling. I have had so many years of feeling like I am not enough that I’ve lost all sense of self. I have no idea how to survive with out him. I have to ask myself every day if this is the life I want to live. Checking phone records, constantly in doubt, always questioning and then arguing over the questioning. In constant dread of sex and the talk that goes with it. Bc some how it is my fault.
    He says he can not live with out me and then it turns to sex. He can’t have great sex…. I’ve basically just stopped having sex with him until he begs or becomes angry. I keep most of my feelings to myself at home and cater to his needs. I’m basically finding the missing puzzle pieces of my self and trying to fit them together until I have enough self worth to confront him or leave.

  53. I thought I was the only one that’s been through a similar situation. I even gave my ex-husband plenty of sexual attention, but it was never enough. I was always to blame. Thank you for telling your story!

  54. In which light do they actually perceive their spouses or what actually goes on rheir mnds when they are doing all this as patterenned behaviour. Do they have the capacity to understand their own motivations? Where is conscience in this whole gameplaying, is it existent or. manipulated or killed ?

  55. WOW! So validating to read this story and the posts. When I tell people this stuff about my husband, even therapists, they assume I’m exagerating when, in fact, if anything, I’m holding some of the worst things back! But here you all are writing about MY EXACT HUSBAND! Married 25 years; he’s 65, and just when I think we’ve hit bottom, that this marriage can’t be any more hellish, either he does some other even more horrid thing than before, or I FIND OUT about something even more dispicable that he’s been doing. So awful; hedonistic, manipulative, sadistic, greedy, nasty, lying old pervert!

  56. This is my story too! I have been with my husband since 17 years old, I will be 40 in September, we have been married for 15 years. We have 2 teenage children boy/girl. Last year my husband was upset accusing me of cheating, it resulted in our first physical altercation, I went to therapy to discuss and the therapist suggested that he was accusing me of cheating because of his own insecurities. I went home to check his history and noticed that he was on Ashley Madison, to make matters worse, he enrolled on the website when I was in NY handling the sudden passing of my brother. He was very apologetic and remorseful, we participated in 6 months of couples counseling. He agreed/committed to communicate if or when he “gets that low again”. Things were great in my eyes, we agreed to having intercourse 3x week, we were going on date nights, traveling and communicating more. Just 6 weeks ago, while he was sleeping in the bed, I picked up his phone to see that he had a secret cell phone app, earlier that day he was texting multiple women looking to pay for sex! One women even sent her “pic” quoted him $200 and set up a location. I was devastated, my heart was racing, I lost control, I was hitting, yelling, crying and trying to kill him! I trusted him again only to be lied too! He has since moved out, he continues to maintain he did not meet this woman because $200 was too much money. He stated that the was only looking for sex because we were not having sex 3x a week but 2x a week. He blames me for “looking in his cell phone while he was sleeping.” He continues to “want to make this work”. He is in counseling, I am in counseling, the kids are in counseling. I have since looked through 10 years of emails to discover, he has been on sex websites, secret dating groups and looking to pay for sex since 2008. I have been able to see the patterns that he has been caught lying about this, apologizing and continuing to accuse me of cheating while denying his behaviors. Earlier this week I told his that I cheated once in 2009 ( this is not TRUE) but I wanted him to hurt and feel what I have been feeling for years. Now he is blaming me for “not feeling wanted.”, not having sex with him as often as he wants to. He is questioning my honestly and commitment to the marriage and questioning if “he can forgive me?”. He minimizes all his years of lying and looking on sex websites to me “being focused on the past and “being negative”. I really think he may suffer from sexual narcissistic personality disorder. I don’t really know if we can make this work. I don’t think he can control his impulsiveness/addiction. I am trying to be nice while keeping my distance, which he is having a hard time accepting.

    1. These stories are so simular to mine that I can feel your psin!!!I thought my ex- husband was the king of sex addition! He was erected more than not. He was into everything with anyone who would plus he forced me constantly. our second child died because he gave me STIs. He was constantly masterbating, while driving, under tables in public, at work im hospital rooms, showed porn to nurses at the nurses station, seemed like he wanted the kids to catch him on porn, watched a little neighboor girl from our kitchen window and my 9 year old daughter caught him masturbating to her jumping on the trampoline in her bikini in our backyard etc. He put things in his booty that you wouldn’t believe. He wanted to role play that I was a child being sexual molested by him and him devirginizing me while “my parents” weren’t home, he raped me, etc. fired for sexual harrasment on several ocations
      nobody ever pressed charges because he is so adored. He got a full year of paid investigational leave from the hospital because of his union. They had to have 2 wittnesses per incident to use it against him so his termination letter said that their were 11, 7 were extremely serious! He told his boss that he would shoot her them himself had he bought his gun. The police came to the house and had me show them where his gun was and they took it (his mom got it back from pd signing that she would not let him near it but she brought it straight over) He acted insane mumbling over and over that he needed to kill himself before his wife (me) found out. He rocked, laughed maniacally, paced, and acted like the cops, myself, nor our children were present). He ended up a 51/50. There is so much more but I would have to write a book. The craziest thing was that I knew about his leave and believed his crazy side of tbe story. He was fired 11 different times from 11 different jobs but still got off the hook legally. He was the assistant minister/worship leader/Sunday school superintendent, etc in our crazy strict church and even when he had sex with a 17 year old member of our congregation they swept it under the rug. Anyways, after the mental hospital stay he never set foot in the church again. He didn’t get any custody of the kids as a result of psych evals on all of us and what our oldest revealed was considered sexual abuse from things he said and exposed her to. He was granted supervised visitation at a professional agency only and thats a whole other story . anyway, he was diagnosed with Antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic behavior. My ex sister in law turned him in for abusing his current girlfriends autistic son but CPS dropped their investigation and the boys mom claims my sister in law made it up. my daughter is now 21 and when his newest girlfriends autistic 14 year old went missing, my daughter called the police to warn them that he was into kids and typed in youtube searches such as “young boys dancing sexy” and that my ex husband and his twin confessed to my daughter that they experimented with oral and anal sex together. when she saw it posted that he was a runaway (at 14, 4 years under his “care”) our hearts just sank. My 24 year old cousin just has come out stating how my ex got him hooked on porn at 12 and I told her to also mention it, however, nothing ever came of any of the kid , which they fiund amd gave back and its been 5 months now. He gets away with so much!!! He can make you feel so sorry for him, charm anyone pants off, but at the same time is a perverted abuse vile “man”.!

  57. Reading through this feels like my life. I caught my husband 3 weeks ago. A hidden email address, fake name, Ashley Madison acct, and several kik messenger names. Hundreds of emails he sent searching for sex with transsexuals, men, and women. We have been married 7 years, he’s been cheating for 5, and I’m having our second child in 3 days. The day I left to go stay with my family, he picked up a woman in my car, had sex in our bed, and didn’t use protection. After he dropped her off at home, he messaged me about how sorry he was for cheating on me and that he would do anything to get me back. A few days later I found out about her. He lied about it and she just messaged him to let him know he did not get her pregnant. I had to be tested for STDs and found out most all the cheating has happened in the last few months. I am currently living under the same roof as him with a list of rules to make my life tolerable. He breaks them all the time. I read that you should give recovery a year before making a rash decision and decided to offer that to him as we are having a child and I want to make sure he is better if we were to later get in a. Justify. Style. He told me he didn’t know if he could tolerate a year of this environment. Here are some other bold, outrageous, cocky, arrogant, sociopathic, things he has said to me.

    -I didn’t know addiction was a real thing
    -I didn’t know postpartum depression was a thing
    -I know myself and if I’m determined I can do it. I won’t relapse
    -I don’t know if I can give it a year, we will see after the baby gets here
    – I don’t know if I will need to see her grow up
    -I’ll be healed in 6 months
    -I don’t know if I’ll be able to tolerate the hostility for a year
    -I don’t want to see your family
    – I’m not going to any family functions
    -aren’t you glad you found out now instead of ten years from now? Then your life would have been a lie for 17 years
    -I would never sleep with someone at work, I would never jeopardize my career that way.
    -I didn’t think it was a crime if I didn’t get caught.
    -I just did it for the thrill at first, j didn’t know it was a problem
    -I felt bad after it happened. If I just washed it from my mind
    -I didn’t cheat on you the past 4 out of town trips. I tried but it didn’t happen so I thought it was better it didn’t.

    Everytime we speak, I feel like I get more angry. He doesn’t seem apologetic and he is so focused on how he can change overnight, he expects me to be over it. I haven’t started therapy yet and could not get in until after the baby gets here. I was so excited about our life, our second child, and our future. We spent ever weekend together, we rarely made plans outside of each other, we loved doing the same things. We were happy. I loved our lives. Now. I mourn the life we had and the future we planned for bc he makes me think I could never forgive him. He is too apathetic and it feels like he goes out of his way to lash out as if I’m not hurting enough already. I don’t know what to do! My other daughter is almost 3 and if we were to split I would want to move to my hometown where I have support, but the idea of him having our kids overnight and bringing strangers into our home scares me! He could put them at risk and idk how to handle anything right now. One minute I’m angry, the next I’m sad, and I feel so isolated. I only told one of my friends that lives near me and I don’t want to tell anyone else, but I feel like a zombie. I’m avoiding everyone I know bc I can’t control my emotions. I want to leave, but I want my kids to be safe