Can you believe that? After years of separation, counseling, 12 step meetings, soul searching and an ungodly amount of time spent in discussions over his addiction, my husband had the nerve to claim that he had never cheated on me.
Okay, let’s see, hundreds of hookers, three to five times a week, sometimes twice a day, days before and days after our wedding–but he was never unfaithful! Who’s the crazy one here?
This was our dilemma. His argument was that if he really was ‘unfaithful’ then he was nothing more than a cheating asshole. Duh! Somehow the label (or should we say excuse?) of Sex Addiction cleansed his actions from cheating to ‘something else’. He never could define what this something else was, but he fiercely held on to it.
I don’t think he is unique. I think both the label of Sex Addict, and the philosophy of the Sex Addiction 12 step groups allows bad behavior to be excused as an illness, or as an uncontrollable action rather than bad choices and bad behaviors, which come with their subsequent consequences.
The premise that an addict must give up control to a higher power rather than empowering themselves and taking control over their lives, choices and future smacks of enabling behavior and codependency to me.
In order to get what you want, you have to be willing to walk away from what you don’t want. ~ JoAnn
This is my first time posting anything about what I am going through. 4 months ago I found out that that my sweet husband has been sleeping with prostitutes for the past 10 years. We have been married for 3 years and together for 7. I moved from my home on the other side of the planet to be here in The Netherlands with him. I left my family, my friends and my life because I was convinced I had found a gem and he was the man I wanted to spend my life with. We had a fairy tale story and everyone thought we were a perfect couple. I knew the reality was not always so perfect but I figured that every couple has their problems from time to time. Little did I know that his gradual emotional distancing from me and lack of interest in sex (except for when I was ovulating… because he wanted a baby so badly) were really signs of a terrible lie he had been keeping from me for years.
I only found out because he was away for a couple of days and I had to scrape ice off the car windows one morning. I couldn’t find the scraper and when I looked under the passenger seat I found a condom wrapper. My life collapsed right then and there in the middle of the street holding the wrapper and looking at the semen stain on the seat in front of me. (A lovely souvenir left in my car by my husband and some streetwalker!) When my husband returned home I confronted him about it and he denied everything and gave me lame excuses. I kicked him out of the house and after a couple of days he admitted to one time. I tried to deal with this and hoped I could find a way to forgive him. After a couple days I asked to see his bank records online so I could have piece of mind that it had indeed happened only one time. He allowed me to log in but after 2 mins he started getting very nervous and telling me “ok that’s enough” I told him I wasn’t finished and he grabbed the laptop from me and tried to log out but was unsuccessful because I grabbed it back and locked myself in another room where I would have the chance to do some real investigating.
What I found was appalling. I was shocked to see that every other day my husband was taking between 50 and 80euros (what a deal) out of various banks. I looked up the postal codes for these bank branches and each one was located just a minute walk from various red light districts!!! (I hate that I live in a country where prostitution is ALLOWED!!!) (It ruins the lives of everyone involved and should be stopped!) After I could search no further back into the bank records I went and talked to my husband. I said “What do you have to tell me? and it all came pouring out.
He said it started after he had experienced some trauma back when he was a teen. He had a broken glass bottle jabbed in his face and his tooth knocked out as well. As a result he has a permanent scar on his nose… Don’t feel sorry for him though… He is still an extremely handsome man and he knows it. After a couple of months of therapy he decided to quit it so he could finish school. He said that at the time he just didn’t feel anything but when he would go to a prostitute it made him feel “something”. Whether that was guilt, shame, excitement or power it didn’t matter he just felt something for a moment.
These days he is being extremely proactive about his recovery or so it seems. He goes to SLAA meetings and sees a sex addiction therapist weekly. He has a sponsor and talks with fellows from the meetings almost every day. He even goes to church and he’s not even religious! He moved out of the house because I asked him to and he jumps through hoops for me. He gave me his bank card and has installed a GPS tracker on his phone so I can check up on him if I feel the need to. I’m still not convinced though. He says he loves me and always has and that this has nothing to do with me or that I wasn’t enough for him. How can I believe that?? I feel like he used me. He just wanted me to have his babies and it didn’t matter if I got fat or old or whatever because he would always have those stupid young girls that sell themselves to go to and get his kicks. Let me just clarify here that I’m not even old or out of shape. Everyone tells me I’m very attractive and I get plenty of attention from other men so it’s not like I had let myself go or anything. Of course these days my husband seems wildly attracted to me just because he can’t have me.
I hate this. I still love him and I would have stayed with him forever had he not done this but I feel like the choice is out of my hands. It doesn’t matter what I want anymore because he’s made it impossible for me to accept what he’s done. Perhaps if he had come to me on his own and said ” I have a terrible problem and perhaps you will leave me because of it but I just love you so much that I can’t keep lying to you” we would have a chance. I think he enjoyed every minute of his secret life and would have continued until the day he died if I hadn’t found out.
This has all just been so hard. I gave up everything for this man. I was missing my family and friends back at home, I never really fit into this new life, I was involved with all kinds of fertility treatments for 2 years and he’s off screwing prostitutes!! When was he going to give up something for me?! Because I was doing the fertility treatments, I was tracking when we had sex and guess what? He was going to the prostitutes in the morning AND afternoon (even during work hours sometimes) and then he would come home and sleep with me!!! eww.. it’s just so disgusting.
It’s so confusing because unfortunately you’re heart doesn’t just turn off the feelings when something like this happens. I’ve always been the kind of person who said I would never accept something like this (even once) but here I am almost making excuses for him and wishing there was still a way to be together. I feel so betrayed by all the lies. I don’t even know who he is. I’ve always tried to be a good wife and partner to him. I come from a wealthy family back home and I chose to be with him even though it was a step backwards financially. I lived on a strict budget because he always said we had to be careful about money but somehow he found 700-1000euro a month to spend on prostitutes! I’m so mad I didn’t look into his finances sooner. On occasion I would see/feel/smell things and think “hmm that’s not right” but there was never any hard evidence. He always told me I was “seeing ghosts” and not to worry because he would never hurt me. If you have the feeling something is going on, find out! Where there is smoke there is fire!
If anyone has any advice I could really use it. I’m on my own here and I don’t have the support I would have back at home.
I wish strength and wisdom to you all.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to post under “I wasn’t unfaithful” although it does seem like there are a lot of similarities in our stories.
My husband who is originally from South Africa always has said that it was so wonderful that prostitution was legal in the Netherlands because the girls get “well taken care of” by the government and its “safer” for “those men who need it.” Yes, that’s what he said.
Alright, you asked for advice, and whenever someone asks for advice, it usually means that they know what to do, but they are just having trouble actually going through with it.
Honey, I don’t think you sound at all confused. You answered your own question repeatedly.
“I’ve always been the kind of person who said I would never accept anything like this, not even once.”
“I feel so betrayed by all the lies.”
“I chose to be with him even though it was a step back, financially.”
“I never really fit into this new life.”
“When was he going to give up something for me?”
“He was going to prostitutes in the morning and then again in the afternoon…”
“he told me not to worry; he would never hurt me.”
“I don’t even know who he is.”
“I feel like he used me.”
“He just wanted me to have his babies and it didn’t matter if I got fat or old or whatever because he would always have those stupid young girls that sell themselves to go to and get his kicks.”
Well… Maria…There it is.
He goes to church and he’s not even religious? I wouldn’t be on the pony honey. I smell a big fat stinkin’ rat here. I would absolutely love to be wrong, but I don’ thin’ so… nope… his “recovery” is just a little bit too good to be true and you’re an heiress and he wants THAT inheritance. yeah… he’s fighting for you tooth and nail isn’t he? And YES!!! it’s ALL disgusting. He felt “something”?????? Oh my, oh my… What a miracle!!! Hallelujah, praise the Lord. He actually felt something for the first time in his sorry life. He IS a very sick man, a sociopath, a liar, a sexual predator and he’s put your health and life in danger– over and over again and furthermore, he put the health and life of your possible new-born baby in danger. Is this the kind of man that you wish to spend the rest of your life with? If so, then stay.
Now, for the 64k question that is what is keeping you stuck.
Is he recoverable??? What if he IS sincerely trying?
I know… What if he DOES get better?
Well, what if he’s just jerking your chain and honey, I really think that this one is.
Only 5% “recover”. 95% don’t. Which group do you feel in your heart, that he falls under?
This is a man who felt something for the first time, ever, with a prostitute. That’s really fucked up and I’m afraid someone that effed up is probably not recoverable.
Honey, if I were a woman your age without any children (with this man) AND an heiress (lucky you!)… I wouldn’t think twice. I would dump that loser and jump on the first plane back home to be near the ones who truly do love me and begin anew. You have more than enough reason to leave.
But, I am only saying this because that is what I’m hearing that you truly want in your heart. Its okay… Its not your fault. It’ll be okay… I promise. Yes, its very painful. Yes, your heart is broken, but it will heal… it will.
All my best,
To the original poster…
Right… he wasn’t unfaithful. Sure… whatever he says. He can say whatever he wants.
Sex addicts lie.
Sex addicts cheat.
Sex addicts present risks to their partner’s lives.
Sex addicts decimate their partner’s souls, hearts and everything they believed to be true and real.
But, he was “faithful.”
He is NOT in recovery. He’s “faithful”– absolutely and he’s ALSO still very much an addict.
Only an addict would claim to be “faithful” while doing all that to the one person he claimed to love more than any other person on the entire face of the earth.
Recovered addicts feel remorse and pain and are disgusted at themselves for hurting the woman they so dearly love. They do not want to be that “other” person. They long to be healthy and whole loving, giving, nurturing, protective men.
They put your needs above their own.
Thanks for your response. Some things are hard to hear but I suppose they are true. I need to hear the hard facts and see it from a different perspective. I really feel that the saying “love is blind” is true.
I miss my husband so much. He was my best friend and we did everything together. We’ve traveled the world and we have so many wonderful memories and plans for the future too. I find it hard to let all that go. I still want things! I’m scared I will throw away all the good things because of ONE big, fat, monstrous problem. And yes I know that that one problem affects every part of my life. I’m really hoping he’s being sincere in his recovery. Some days I buy it hook line and sinker because of course I WANT to believe that he’s not all bad, but other days I just think “No one forced him to do this. He’s a grown man and he CHOSE to do this to our relationship.”
You know, I can understand the attraction, I just can’t understand that a person is so wrapped up in their selfish ways that they don’t care that it is wrong. I don’t think anyone has ever taught him the difference between right and wrong. I was the only person in his life that ever tried to guide him in the right direction. His parents never talked to him about anything and never gave him any rules to follow. Whenever there was a problem they just said “Oh he’ll learn from his mistakes and do the right thing on his own” well sorry, but that approach definitely did not work. I think their lack of parenting just enabled this kind of bad behavior to develop. I’m not trying to blame anyone here, He did this all on his own but I see that he was left to make decisions on his own at a young age and he could have used a stronger hand when it came to parenting.
Anyway, I’m trying to distance myself from the situation. I want to give him time to figure himself out and I also want to see how long he will try to convince me he’s changing. I assume if this is just a temporary thing he will eventually give it up and return to his old ways. If in a year or so he is still going to meeting with SLAA and the therapist etc. and he still let’s me have his card and keeps the GPS on, and keeps going to church perhaps he will convince me that he’s really trying. I can accept that people make mistakes in their lives but I just don’t know if i can accept what he’s done and put it in the past.
I’ve thought about moving back home but it’s not so easy since I LOVE my job here. I’m slowly getting around to the idea that perhaps I’ll have to leave it to preserve my sanity in my personal life but right now I just don’t want to lose another thing that I love.
I know that this is all very difficult to hear. Its like hearing that you have a diagnosis of cancer or that your legs need to be amputated or you will die. Life is never going to be the same and this is a reality that is probably the most difficult to face. The point is that you cannot count on him changing. He might, a little bit, but the chances are overwhelmingly against him in terms of his being able to be the man you thought he was, but clearly is not.
As for the good parts. Yes, there are always good parts. As sick as my “predator” (ex SA boyfriend) was/is, I still miss him too. He made me feel like a goddess, except when he didn’t. And when he didn’t, I felt like a piece of dog poop. Fear is a motivating factor that keeps a lot of us stuck with something that we thought we would never tolerate.
I agree that parents who don’t set clear boundaries and use consistent behavioral techniques can create a man who has a personality disorder and/or a sex addict, however, from what I know, in a lot of cases, the person is simply born with this defect and the bad parenting, is like pouring gasoline on an already raging fire. Most likely, the parents had no idea how to handle their little boy and to “shut him up”, acquiesced to his every whim. He was probably a massive handful. A lot of sex addicts have diagnosed or undiagnosed ADD.
Some of these guys are masters at deception. My predator is. He’s convinced his partner that he’s “all well” now, but I can still find him on Craig’s List in all his nekked glory. I have also read some blogs from men who are supposedly in “recovery.” A lot of them are “devoutly” religious and go to church frequently. A lot of sex addicts love to hide out in Church. It means nothing, I’m afraid, in terms of the larger picture of real recovery.
Men who are sociopaths (anti-social personality disorder) actually have a part of their brain that does not function. They are brain damaged. But, of course, they look and act perfectly normal. When your husband felt “something” with a prostitute. This is akin to a paraplegic being able to walk again. He found a way to walk. But, alas… it was a very, dysfunctional, hurtful way. He does not mean to hurt you. In his mind, it is ALL completely separate from you. You are his wife and his whores are his whores. He cannot understand that what he does IS hurtful. He really cannot do this, until he sees you distraught and sobbing and even then, he doesn’t really understand. not really. THAT is why he could do it in the first place, if you can wrap your mind around that. He doesn’t mean to hurt you any more than a mosquito means to hurt when he sucks your blood. I realize that this is very, very difficult to comprehend, but socios are mentally ill and are also masters at deception. They are actors worthy of an academy award, but inside, they are anything but the man they wish to present to the world.
He could be doing EVERYTHING that you deem will make you FEEL safe and STILL be acting out. Ahhh… that is part of the “fun.” The riskier, the crazier, the more exciting, erotic… “feeling”… It is the ONLY way he can truly feel, for he is handicapped in this manner. This is the part that he will never be able to heal because it is not there, to begin with. He can only find a way to adapt. And some can do this, but most cannot.
If you have any doubts whatsoever, he is most likely putting on a good show and that is all.
I truly feel for you, cause you love this dude. But honey, you love a man who hid parts of his REAL self from you. Now that you know, ALL that he is… Do you still truly love him–ALL that he is? What would you tell a close girlfriend in your position? Do you want to build your life around him? As difficult as it is now, its 100 times more difficult after decades have past and there are children involved. i have heard from so many women who were told this when they were young and then 10, 15, 20 years go by, and guess what? They’re still with him and he’s still a sex addict, only now, it is even more difficult to extricate themselves from the mess and so wished that they had had the courage to leave while they were still young.
You can find another job that you love. You have your family who loves you and they are well-off. They will help you get back on your feet.
I wish you strength and courage as you face these very difficult decisions.