When I worked as a RN in the hospital I encountered numerous cases of obvious Domestic Violence and abuse. It took me a long time to understand why these women did not ‘just leave’ their abusive partners. Eventually I began writing articles and working with local groups to raise community awareness of the problem of Domestic Violence. I was recognized with an award for these efforts.

Now, over a decade later, I am seeing that same pattern of hopelessness in women who are involved with Sex Addicts. This week I was reviewing some of my information on the cycle of abuse and I was just blown away by the similarities between relationships scarred by Domestic Violence and relationships damaged by Sexual Addiction. Then I asked myself the question, Is Sex Addiction just Spousal Abuse in disguise?

I have always said that the Sex Addict is an abuser. They abuse others by objectifying them and denying their sense of self and being, by denying or ignoring the emotions and needs of others and, most importantly, they abuse by the extreme emotional pain they cause to their spouses and partners. This emotional abuse produces the same effect on spouses and partners of Sex Addicts that I saw over and over in victims of Domestic Violence.

Just think about it. Think about the women who comment here on this site, or others that you know who have been involved with a Sex Addict for a long period of time. They begin their relationship as whole, healthy, caring people and end up broken and depressed, unable to stand up for their rights, willing to compromise their morality, integrity and personal standards for their Sex Addict partner or spouse.

How can this happen? What kind of a person would agree to allowing their life partner to continue to humiliate them by engaging in sexual behaviors outside of the relationship. What kind of person would humiliate themselves by engaging in sexual acts with their spouse or partner that are not pleasurable and often offend their deepest convictions? What kind of person lies to cover up their spouse or partners behaviors? What kind of person willingly stays in a situation like this while swearing undying love and devotion to someone who treats them so badly?

What kind of person? Someone who has lost all sense of themselves (due to abuse).

This insidious, repetitious emotional abuse that you endure while living with a Sex Addict will break you so smoothly, there’s an excellent chance you won’t even realize that you’ve lost yourself. It may take years… but it will break you.

The cycle of abuse differs ever so slightly with Sex Addiction., but it is a very clear cycle.  Just look at the chart below that outlines the cycle of domestic abuse. By changing only a few words we can see this same pattern in most Sexual Addiction relationships.

Just look at the first cycle–the tension building. The tension and stress are like a time bomb for the Sex Addict. I think most of us living with an active Sex Addict, whether we are aware of it or not, live with this unease that we feel in the relationship, which we try to resolve by placating the addict. If we were just a little nicer, cuter, thinner, sexier, etc. things might get better. The fact is, the Sex Addict is living in their own hell and we have nothing to do with it.

Now, let’s look at the second cycle. An incident. I remember the times before I discovered my husband’s addiction when he would become angry, withdrawn or argumentative for no apparent reason. Whatever the ‘incident’ was it had nothing to do with me, but I took the brunt of it. Sometimes the incident would be an argument over his flirting with other women or because I had found out that he was in chat rooms again, but it always ended badly with him somehow making me feel as if it were all my fault.

The third cycle, the reconciliation is the time of manipulation for the addict. They want to sweep the incident away and act as if nothing had happened. They can compartmentalize and wall off their feelings, but they just can’t understand why we are unable to forget.

The fourth cycle, the ‘honeymoon’ phase I think is not always consistent with the smaller incidents, which most Sex Addicts just want to forget, but is certainly a major factor in Sex Addiction when they are ‘outed’ or discovered in a major relapse. I hear it over and over from women who have just recently discovered their spouse’s or partner’s Sex Addiction. Suddenly the addict becomes the perfect spouse. They are attentive, sexually considerate, loving, caring, thoughtful, sensitive, introspective, remorseful…and on and on ad nauseam. At this stage the addict is afraid of being abandoned, afraid of facing the consequences for their behavior and they will do anything, say anything or agree to anything just to make the tension go away. As soon as you let your guard down and start to feel comfortable…BAM! It starts all over again.

I think if counselors, treatment centers and we ourselves looked at Sexual Addiction more from the viewpoint of an abusive situation rather than a relatively new and unexplored mental disorder there might be more and better treatment options available. What do you think?

Emotional abuse is underneath all other types of abuse. The most damaging aspect of abuse is the trauma to our hearts and souls from being betrayed
by the people that we love and trust.
~ Robert Burney 

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51 Responses

  1. Thank you for these observations. Today I have been thinking about my husbands taste for porn etc, but also what I think he also has developed a taste for—being cruel to me. This is the piece that scares me most. He used his porn and other acting out as a way of punishing me when something good happened in my life, or making me pay for a privilege he wasn’t getting himself. Just like his emotionally abusive mother, he is very good at being cruel. Once he becomes “sober”, there is no guarantee that he won’t continue to be cruel. There is something in him like “entitlement” that I sense about it. And my job is to make sure there is no sense of “deserved” in me. Meanwhile, every layer of truth-telling makes it harder to imagine this marriage surviving. But then again, it never was a marriage, I guess.

  2. I don’t really need to give this idea/concept any thought because I have always thought of it as an obvious abusive situation. Also, in everything I have read re sex addiction and NPD and every comment made by every person affected, it would seem that noone can persuade me that sex addicts do not have narcissistic personality disorder or borderline NPD or that someone with NPD does not have an addiction with sex on some level, objectifying women, compartmentalising and easily betraying loved ones with no thought or regard for loved ones for the sake of a high which is used as a medication for inner turmoil. A relationship with someone with this disorder is also abusive. The cycles and behaviours involved are startlingly similar and seem to almost mirror each other. Does anyone else agree?

  3. It is abuse. My ex was said by the courts to be ND and sociopathic. He himself said he could box off different aspects of his life, that he could not understand why he could lie so well, even one time exclaimed “oh my God, I’m a psycopath” when he realized that people with conscience just cannot lie hugely everyday over and over about everything. He said nothing ever seemed wrong until I found out, but he knew it was because he hid everything and lied. he continued even after I found stuff. My number one comment to him was that he knew exactly what he was doing everytime he did it and he chose to do it over and over.
    He not only denies all his abuse (physical and mental)but claims I am clumsy and broke my own bone (he smacked me), or slipped all by myself (he shoved me hard,air borne, in front of our child). I was physically abused by him whenever I discovered or got close to discovering more affairs or porn…they get really pissed when you step in their real world. He could not give up who he really is.
    He denies and blames to this very day….and told me I was not a good woman for years. Oh, I am a bad person too, and he loves writing me emails with that comment and stating everyone will know just what a bad person I am (by the way, did not cheat on him, did not abuse him, was only good to him in everyway)…..I blocked his emails because I have determined the only way to stop his abuse on me is to not let him have a piece of me in anyway shape or form….no sight, sound, or response in anyway. He gets no more of me, game over.
    He also could tell me exactly what my thoughts were, because what I said I felt, he said I did not and would proceed to tell me exactly what my thoughts and feelings were. They discount you in everyway, give you no value at all.
    And best of all, he claims he is a nice guy and goes to great pains to try and appear as such (with everyone else)…One therapist saw the secret pictures he took of himself (I laughed when I saw them) and termed him a peacock. I always called him a rooster.
    Anyone of you ever read the letters your husbands wrote to others? I did, for years all he did was bad mouth me and lie about me, but to my face acted like I was the best thing ever….until I would confront or ask for something for myself, or demand respect.
    No voice, no truth, no caring, no consideration, no faithfulness, no safety, no worth, no value….it all means abuse. My ex just happened to hit too, but the lies, put downs, and false reality he put me and our child through is the worse abuse.

  4. CHALLENGING THOUGHT. I was in a physically abusive relationship lasting 3 years. I was 7 months pregnant when he decided to push me down a flight of stairs. That was it for me! I gave him 4 chances to get it right…and then I kicked him out, and never saw him again. No regrets. There are some similarities in my marriage of 30 years to my SA husband. Though he certainly doesn’t see things that way. He actually said to me shortly after finding out he had been seeing prostitutes…”You need to get over it”. “You act like I beat you”. At one point…I had caught him chatting with 20 year old girls. He didn’t see the problem with that. In trying to figure out where it was I went wrong, my husband convinced me that I had not given him everything he thought he needed to be “complete”. A child. My husband knew I wasn’t able to have any more children before we got married. This came after we had already been married for several years. I was in my LATE 40’s. diagnosed with HCV, working, and going to school. He said he always felt that things would be different for him had we had a child. He wanted me to investigate having a surrogate. I had to explain myself, and why I thought this was a particularly bad idea. (any one else think the same!?) Two years later,I ended up on a year and a half of ALPHA B2 Interferon treatments, thanking my lucky stars I hadn’t gone down that road with him. I already had 2 sons from a prior marriage, grown with children of their own. I think these guys are extremely abusive in their own way. A very cunning and manipulating way. You don’t really see it coming, and it takes a while before you are able to add things up. All of their excuses, the minimizing of their activities,, making you feel like it is somehow your fault for their actions, the apologies, the romancing afterwards, the promises, and then it starts all over again. My therapist tells me that I didn’t get here over night and it will take time to get ME in order, so that I am able to make the right choices for ME. As it is ALL ABOUT ME now. My therapist also asked the question… “how long would you stay if he were physically abusive”? That made me think really hard about my situation. It has taken me a while to get it straight, but I am on my way. I took out a student loan, got excepted into college, have some GREAT support, faith in myself, and am going back to school. Getting my degree in psychology (there’s a SHOCKER!!!) I am still in my home for the time being. He is trying to be supportive and is going to psychologist (as court ordered) I still hear things fall from his lips that tell me nothing much has really changed. And that’s O.K. I am getting to point where I am taking better care of ME and not so worried so much about trying to “figure him out” or try “helping” him figure him out. I am finally O.K. with any thing that may happen. I am even prepared for attempts at sabotaging my efforts in school. I am feeling very good about myself these days. He has let me know that his feelings were “hurt” by my actions. He has said that he feels I am leaving him “behind”. That I just seem to be going ahead without him, not caring about his feelings. He also has said to me that saying he would try not to do “those things” any more should account for something. He doesn’t get that this is it. After 30 years of lies and manipulation, every time he was caught, saying he wouldn’t do “those things” again, and yet here we are. He can’t get his head around why I am having a hard time trusting and believing in his sincerity. I have told him that it is my wish to stay in my home, but that I am continuing with my plans. That if he was successful with his therapy,GREAT. If not… I would be fine walking away from the whole mess. That I had to be “realistic” about my situation. My frankness, I think was a bit much for him, but that is not my problem. His “HAPPY” is not my responsibility (as he has tried many times to push on me) “I’m not happy, unless you’re happy”. Guess he was expecting that his being with prostitutes, and going to spas would make me “happy”??? He was “happy” until he was caught…BOTTOM LINE! So…Hi Ho…Hi Ho…It’s off to school I go!!! It’d be nice if things were to work out, but I don’t give it much hope. These guys have LONG histories of this type of behavior…they think they can make you believe they will suddenly now change just because they have been “court ordered” to therapy, or simply “want” to stay married all of the sudden!?? It is “abusive”. They don’t have a conscience, and don’t care about YOUR feelings, only theirs. You can’t make some one have a conscience, or care about you the way you care about them. It is a waste of energy and time and is EXHAUSTING to say the least. Tired of being tired, wasting time and energy on him trying to make him “happy”, trying to help him, help himself to get to “happy”. Finding it much more productive to spend that time helping myself. LOVE YOU ALL XXX

  5. Yay for Bambi!!!!
    I heard that “happy” mess too, and replied with he had everything in the world, he had it all, but he never saw it and never will. His problem, not mine.
    Be good to you, sounds like you are, and you will get stronger and stronger and he will mean nothing to you. They prey on our weakness, they need us weak so they can feel powerful. The stronger you get, the more insults and abuse will occur, so beware.
    My mother and many friends had to wake me up and point out how abusive he was….I never saw it, just always felt disrespected and not worthy….exactly where he wanted me. I got myself back, by researching and watching and knowing the full truth.
    Never thought that would happen to me, and never saw it coming. Makes you lose complete sight of yourself.
    It was very telling when we first went to a counselor and he had to list what a wife and a husband are supposed to be. Apparently my roles were to keep the social calendar, remain attractive, take care of the children and home.
    That was it.
    Note to Joanne- Joanne, I have every email (including his letters with his lovers) and so much material if you need anything for your book. Everyone I know has said I need to make this public somehow (they told me to write a book) because it is so shocking and so wrong and women need to be warned. People come to me now when they fear the same thing is happening to them, and what I have discovered is there are two kinds of people. Those that want to pretend it’s not true so they don’t have to deal with the horror of it and those that want every bit of truth and the right to decide for themselves if they want to be with who their spouse. The second kind hurts, but it is a short lived hurt compared to a lifetime.

  6. Hey all…Thanks for the “ya” Lynn. Things are going well. Well, kinda. You know how it is! Kinda funny…the more I think about some of the things he’s said or done over the years, the more driven I am to get to school on time. He’ll say something, or do some little thing, and I go to my “Happy Place”. I don’t think he much cares for that place. Just makes me wanna do it even more. O.K…Maybe I am a button pusher. Hey… you guys know how it is! Frankly. I am tired of spending my time at the therapist with all of these problems, that I now have because of his actions. I am finding that I feel better when I focus on ME. I would love it if things were to work out. But realistically, I don’t see that happening. Even if they seem sincere…ya just never know whats goin on in those little heads of theirs. My husband told me he felt terrible after he’d leave the spa. That he would sit in the car and cry. I remembered the days he would come home from work unusually happy. So much so, that I knew something was up. I saw the guys leaving the spa, and they didn’t look so “sad” to me! In fact, they were all smiling & adjusting their “guy parts” looking around to make sure they didn’t get caught. I spent an evening feeling bad for myself. Had a couple of drinks & hung out in the spa parking lot one night. As the guys would come out from the spa (lookin all kinds of happy!) as they would approach their cars I would say “Hey…I think I know your wife!”. Suddenly, they didn’t look so happy. I guess I did kinda “suck” the fun out of it for them. Oh well. Think about it… it must really suck to be them. They all have loving, devoted spouses who would never treat them in such a way. My husband actually thought the prostitute option was better than having an affair. Because he just loved me so much. What an insult! That’s just F—–UP!!! They seem to have an answer for every thing. Except when you have to call them out on something. Then they can’t remember, or say they never said that, and lets not forget the classic hang the head & look sad I don’t know act. When I caught my husband in phone sex (shortly into our marriage) I insisted we go to therapy. I remember our first of three visits. My husband told the therapist and myself, that he didn’t see the problem with the phone sex and porn. That it was a way to get what he wanted without cheating on his wife. I remember the therapist saying to me that he would keep doing it, because HE didn’t think it was wrong. And here I am 20 years later. Now he suddenly wants to change after 30 + years of this type of behavior. His latest thing is telling me that some things are just to hard to talk with me,to embarrassing. I guess it’s just easier, less embarrassing with a prostitute?! Think he would do it again in a heart beat if given the opportunity. They all of the sudden are going to get, or be taught a conscience? I think that they do think they love you, but their conscience is so seared, they don’t even know what that is. OBVIOUSLY. Gotta run. It’s off to buy school stuff! Love You All XXX

  7. My husband tried to kill me to make me shut up after discovery. I thought this was common. I thought most sex addicts beat their wives. Mine only beat me when I cried or maybe took him out of his fantasty.

  8. I don’t think its that simple. I have found most partners of sex addicts or porn addicts have been sexually abused in childhood so know the drill. Its like being hand picked and groomed ready for the abuser. The calm, dissociation. I think the sex addict and partner are both in denial about their own childhood sexual abuse and re enact childhood history.

  9. I was married to a abusive sex addict and always knew it was the same pattern as abuse and after 17 years of abuse I finally left. Thank you for posting that article because it confirms what I already knew. It is a hellish ordeal and I pray for all of the women out there. I pray for their safety and their mental well being. I’m only know beginning to realize how messed up the situation was. I was not ready to look at it as it was to awful and I have been in denial for a very long time. Again, my deepest prayers to all of you who have had this experience.

  10. So here is my issue, i am in this same pattern, he already lost his first fiance and his son now here i am having no idea about his secret life and am pregnant now. got pregnat and signed marriage paperwork the day i found out about his addiction. im not sure why i stay, i have a great long list of sex abuse and my councilor finds this to be why i stay. he is risking losing everything as i CANT stay with someone like this and he seems to want to change is that just the “phase 4?” or is there any hope? cuz not a day goes by that i trust him, not a day goes by where i dont pick up an outfit with the intention of packing and leaving quietly. Am i just being unsupportive? I have watched my family members in this. just take it. hence no matter my history of abuse i just cant stay if this continues. i dont think he gets that though… i think he thinks ill stay… again and again and again…. because ive stayed twice while i should have left. i want to work this out for all parties involved and he genuinely seems to want to keep me by copeing with his addictions but thats what he says and when someone is a good liar every word out there mouth is seen as a lie to me… so idk what im doing here… especially as from my life experiance there is monogomy and infidelity. there is no addiction. there is just an excuse for sick ways of copeing with life. am i to shift my way of thinking? am i to try and accept the word “addict” even though i do not get it, understand it nor want to work with someone who has defiled me in ways feeling like beyond the rapes i have endured? I want to take it. its my warped dysfunctional natural “want” to take it all and hurt because i love him but i am incapable. does it stop? can it stop and if it does not am i cold bitch for leaving him with half his seed inside my stomach?


  11. I am just worried this behavior will rub off or worse harm my child. if it continues ill have to leave. so what can i do to make it safe to stay../ or is that entirely up to him?

  12. I just went thru a nasty breakup with my fiancee and am miserable. I know it was right to leave him but I guess I am still in denial. I am attending recovery groups including s-anon to work thru this. I am printing this chart and hanging it on my fridge for now. It is true. It is why I am such a mess. He lost his job and had nothing to do but sit at my house all day watching hours of sick porn. He was actually up front about that. He claimed because he had been alone so long he needed time to be weaned off of that. It disgusted me but was not a dealbreaker. The dealbreaker was when I checked my phone bill and found all kinds of strange calls made during the day to real estate firms, toy stores, kids clothing stores, etc. He would call businesses that were most likely to have a female answer and conduct “panty surveys” with them.. Most women would hang up but he actually hooked up with a few of these women. I confronted him and he assured me these were in the past (even though he made them months into our relationship). I broke down and installed spyware on my machine and was shocked that he never stopped contacting these 2 women in particular. He had both sent them panties to wear, document, and give back to him. Then he considered them friends and said how dare I complain. One was planning a trip to the ocean with him. It hurt like hell but he was more concerned about himself and called me every name in the book from stupid b—– to psycho. He would shove me, choked me once, talked about assaulting me or killing me without getting caught. Stupid me loved him because he was awesome in that honeymoon phase. Twice he busted in the shower and peed on me while I was in there. He would demand oral sex constantly, even waking me up. If this was someone else’s boyfriend I would tell them to drop him immediately. To this day I am still hooked and sad about not being able to fix him. It is a sickness and that chart is dead on.

  13. Gina,

    If you had stayed with him, you wouldn’t have had long to live and I am not joking in the slightest.
    I know that you are hurting. I know that you love him and wanted him and so forth–but the man you fell in love with doesn’t exist.

    Now, please, print this out, if you can and tuck it away in a drawer some place. I guarantee that in five years,(probably much less) you will look back and will think, “what the hell was I thinking?” Just know that. And thank your lucky stars that you got out before he killed you. you did the right thing. We women have tremendous survival instincts. hugs.

  14. I finally found a place where others understand my pain. None of our stories are the same yet they are all the same. There are similarities in each post that I’ve read and although it’s painful to read, it’s also a relief to realize that it’s not my fault. Being an imperfect being, like the rest of the world, I’m sure I played a role in husband’s craziness, but he led me to believe that it was I who was crazy and he wore me down. Not only did he wear me down, he has inappropriately developed a friendship with our teen daughter where the two collude and teen treats me the way he does. She is leaving for college in 2 weeks and he will be back to having no friends. Allegedly he has not acted out in two years (he pulls numbers out of his ass, depending on the conversation,” but his behavior for 18 years is beyond acceptable to me. In retrospect, I should not have married him, then fast forward, I should have kicked him out after he left porn on the computer and our daughter who was 5 at the time, might have seen it. It only got worse over the years. The common theme is hearing, “I’m sorry, I’ll stop,” “GET OVER IT, it was YEARS ago, what is wrong with you?” “you F-ing cunt,” “You need some serious help, I can stop this stuff whenever I want, just like I stopped smoking pot and using chew.” The list of disgusting comments is long so I’ll spare you. His most recent is now that he has allegedly stopped using porn and craigslist (he was sending pictures of me to strangers who wanted a 3-some) and I am a master’s level clinician. Can I tell you what that did to me? Working in a small county, with 3 jobs, all of them I work with kids and families and he was sending my picture telling them that WE wanted a threesome so that he could watch and masturbate. It was worse than that years ago and I could kill myself for marrying him 20 years ago….he asked me to call my friends and see if I could get someone to sleep with me, a stranger would be okay, so that he could LISTEN on the phone while I had sex with someone. I was in graduate school at the time, he lived in WA and I lived in CA and I asked him if he cared about my well-being, if I’d ever be enough for him, and he always knew the right things to say…how much he loves me and “THE ONLY REASON HE IS BEING THIS WAY IS BECAUSE OF THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US.” Well I moved here when I got my degree and it never stopped, it escalated and increased. For years I was beside myself. No one understood sex addiction, I hid it from most friends, I even hid it from my family until I couldn’t take it anymore. Here I am, almost 60, teen is going to college soon and I’m ready to leave him. It NEVER occurred to me that I needed help; I always thought it was him and his crap. He convinced me that I was crazy. I thought it was depression from moving from a tropical climate to the pacific northwest, I thought I had anxiety because his mother was a heinous B&*%&, I thought we just had marital problems. But he never wanted to talk unless I’d participate in some uncomfortable thing. If I was quiet or unhappy during something that I didn’t want to do, he’d get mad at me. He got ugly and retreated and wouldn’t talk about it. 20 years of this and he still does not communicate with anything other than finding fault with not keeping the house clean, I don’t contribute enough money to the household and how I’ve given up on him (the victim!!!!) Lies, lies and more lies and he wants me to have FAITH, yes, he wants me to trust him. I fantasize about hurting him, knowing I never would. But I often think that if there is a god, he or she would do something bad to him. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “I’m a victim,” or I’ve allowed myself to become a victim, but man, he is a powerful guy!!!!!

    I eventually was diagnosed with cancer and during my cancer treatments, he didn’t come home a few nights, he didn’t answer his cell phone and never told me where he was. EVerything was a lie so it didn’t matter what came out of his mouth. Cancer knocked me off my feet and I had to have an organ removed that regulates most of your daily functions (body temp, weight, heart, skin, and lost more), so even though I’m considered “clean” for 5 years, I’ve not felt well. During the worst days, the house fell behind, since I soley did all of the cleaning, caring for child since he was rarely home and also felt that the house was my job. For years I cleaned up his messes, figuratively and literally….I cleaned off his hard drive many times and deleted his crap since he shared a laptop with daughter. That in itself gave me HUGE creeps.

    I’ve relied heavily on his income and health insurance to get me through this. I also became a drinker for several years to numb myself from the heinous marriage I was in. I blacked out several times and amazingly, he was nice to me at those times and told me how it hurt our daughter. As I look at that now, I believe that since HE WAS OFF THE HOT SEAT, that was when he could be nice. Well, I’ve been sober for 2 years and 4 months…and in those 2 years, I’ve thought basically about nothing but how much I resent and hate him, hate myself for marrying him and I got myself IMMEDIATELY into two trainings to become a CASA and to get into Mediation. A month after quitting booze, I had two certificates to add to my resume so that I could leave him, yet, here I am, I’m still here. I hate him more each day. I’m past feeling sorry for him, I’m past loving him ,I’m past liking him. I lost respect for him long ago, I stopped trusting him long ago and like some of your partners, he is a great friggin liar in public; you’d think he is father of the year. HE HAS NO FRIENDS….that is one big red flag. But there were many red flags and I still married him and I’m still with him.

    He was violent twice, once he broke my bedroom door down (he sleeps downstairs, I upstairs) It was funny (in retrospect) that he broke down a door that didn’t have a lock. He just couldn’t open it because his hands were wet and soapy. Not a day goes by when I don’t look at that door (new one) which never quite fit right and is difficult to close. He told me to get it fixed after he punched his fist through it. I did as told, called a guy to install a new door.

    We’ve gone through a lot of therapists because he is able to fool therapists. I even told therapists this before seeing them. None of them were strong enough to stand up to him. NOT ONE. The only counselor that helped was the one that insisted that he be diagnosed by an sex therapist. And yes, he was diagnosed. about 16 years ago. I remember the amount of years because I was pregnant with our daughter. He went to 2 sex anonymous meetings and I remember buying him a card and kissing him for how brave he is to tackle this issue. After the second meeting he said, “this isn’t for me, there are felons in there and I just don’t belong, I’ve never been arrested.” My heart fell into my stomach. And he has simply found new ways of sneaking around, acting like the proud father of a new baby, considers himself a family man and last but not least; he recently told me that I seem to have a stick up my ass and went on to tell me how the house is falling apart, I’ve given up on our daughter, I’ve given up on him and then said, “what do you do?” (I have 3 contracted jobs in the child welfare field, one is as a volunteer) and as I have for the last 17 years, I work around my daughter’s schedule.” Please do remember, I also have chronic health issues. After he was done with telling how gross I am, I asked, “why do you want to stay with me, why don’t you just file for divorce????????????????? How can you live with such an awful woman??????????”

    His comment was, “When I married you, I made a comittment that meant forever.” I asked, “does making the marital committment mean looking for couples for your wife to screw so you can get off while watching?” His response, “GET OVER IT.”

    So that’s my story. He has since told me that the only way that we will be apart is if I file for divorce. And I plan to do it. During his addiction years, he has accrued over $100,000. in debt and my state is a no-fault state so I’ll have half of his debt. It’s a mess, financially, also going to help daughter pay tuition and I’m not even sure that I’m capable of working much longer.

    I’ve often thought of killing myself. I don’t think that my daughter would notice. My son who is an adult and recently had a baby, would be sad. I think about dying more as a fantasy than actually having a plan. I recently started seeing a sex “specialist” who totally creeped me out and after two sessions, I told him that I prefer to work with a woman. After reading these groups and finding pages about spouses of addicts, I left emails for several therapists in my area. I just have to find one that is covered on the mental health insurance that husband has. I know that I need help getting myself back. I lost me, completely. I don’t know how I function in the work world. I do have a lot of friends who know about this, one has ofered her home to me, others have offered ears and shoulders, my one sister has offered her home in another state but said I have to file for divorce, and be here for hearings, etc. BTW, last time I cleaned off his computer, I backed everything up onto a flash drive and CDs adn printed out all of the ads that he responded to on Craigslist. Which is evidence of dates he did it, despite him pulling fake dates out of his butt.

    I need help to move on. I feel sick, stuck, brainwashed and absolutely abused; sexually, emotionally, mentally and in some ways, physically (my body during his sexual desires) while I cried silently. He NOT ONCE cared if I had an orgasm. He had difficulty maintaining an erection early on and turning on porn became the norm. He wanted me to talk about the porn with him and sometimes during those early days I drank a lot of booze to have sex with him. It wasn’t until after cancer that I started to drink daily to purposely be numb.

    I was hoping that writing this all out would help me feel better but I don’t. Teen just came in here in her usual grumpy morning mood and started talking about guys and how she doesn’t trust any guys except for “dad and my brother.” I almost started crying. If she knew about her father!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has told her best friend (who’s mother told me) that Kylie blames me for her parents not getting along. She feels sorry for her dad because he only has her as a friend (is that not sick enough for her to realize he’s a sick man?) She has him on a pedestal and I’ve bitten my tongue all of these years. Yes, I’ve made snide comments about how he doesn’t clean up after himself, makes noise in the morning while she and I are sleeping and how he abuses the credit card, but I’ve never said a word about his addiction.

    Husband knows that I have copies of everything; I told him in September when I cleaned off the pics of shared computer with my daughter. I’ve wanted to leave him for two decades and after she was born I used the excuse of our duaghter. Then cancer. I have no more excuses. But I’m broken. Daughter will blame me for divorce. He asked me if I’m going to tell her and I said it all depends on how ugly you get. I will not hesitate using it if you continue to bully me.

    I could write for hours, days and weeks. It seems like it’s doing no good talking about it. Maybe some of you will feel more normal after reading this, I hope? I hate all men, when I see a porn shop I want to vomit, when I hear guys talking about sex, I want to vomit, I truly hate that he took away my sex drive, self esteem and the strong woman who I used to be. I hate it all.

    Sorry for the length of this. I wonder if it’s going to tell me that it’s too long to post. Virtual hugs to all of you who have endured this subtle disease, silent disease, hidden and secretive disease due to falling in love with a liar. I still can’t get over how he keeps telling me, “you have to have faith and until you get over it, you’re never going to trust me.” WELL DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, how stupid am I to ever trust him again. He does not. get. it. Period. Yes, I’m done. I’m ready to do what it takes to get out of this marriage. In this state, if we cannot come up with a family agreement, we will be forced to go to mediation. I’m worried that the mediators will fall for his bullshit and bulliness….I’ve been throughout the mediation training and was warned about those bullies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bless any of you who read this all.

  15. My husband said the EXACT SAME THING TO ME, after going to a handful of meetings and then stopping cold. He said that *I* diagnosed him.(all I did was send him an article!) That’s a sex addict… always, minimizing, deflecting, denying, and just plain old lying. After all, who wants to admit that they’re a monster who decimates the lives of their so-called loved ones? And yet, that is EXACTLY what they do. They are sick–damaged goods.

    I will pray for you to find a competent therapist. You are suffering from PTSD– years and years of deeply traumatizing experiences at the hands of sociopath.

    Tell your daughter. Not as a punishment or threat but to GET IT OUT ALL OUT IN THE OPEN. This disease thrives in secrecy. It is important for the children to know the truth. There is no shame in the truth. Why is this such a difficult concept to understand? Its the lies and deceit that destroy lives.

    If the sex addict doesn’t like it. Say to him coyly. “GET OVER IT.”

    I will pray that he has a heart attack or jumps off a bridge. Oh honey, I am only half joking. I often feel like the kindest thing my husband could do would be to do his fucked up self in. Then, at least, we could have the insurance money as he’s robbed us of nearly a million dollars that he blew out of his dick. We sorely need this money, as we needed our retirement money to LIVE ON! he depended on ME to support the family while he was cavorting around Craig’s List–what a prince! I thought he was. I thought he was the most devine, kind, considerate, loving… blehhhhh, but he’s not. He’s pond scum.

    You are not alone and you will be fine… in time. I am also not too far from 60. Anti-depressants do help some with this. Its okay. just do what you need to do, to get through it. you are not alone.

  16. My husband tried to say that he is a sex addict because I tell him he is. Never mind all of the affairs over 30 years that I just learned about, never mind the porn, the going out to swingers club to watch sex and be watched while having sex, or the hooking up with men for himself and his current mistress. Never mind the test he took showing the depth of the problem or the two therapists that specialize in sex addiction that say the same thing. When asked about the test results, his response was that he decided to fake the test. Really? Why would someone do that? Sounds like addiction to me.

    Bottom line, I learned that my sex addict husband’s brain scan would look a lot like a crack addict’s brain scan. I am learning that you should trust a sex addict about as much as you should trust a crack addict. Bottom line, if they are not serious about recovery, you can’t trust either one of them at all.

  17. Hi Shelly,

    I saw your post and wanted to share my own experience with my recovery. I know exactly how you are feeling and it is really difficult and painful to face that the most trusted person in our lives is untrustworthy. For the sake of my own peace and serenity, I regularly attend 12 step meetings. I am grateful to Sanon and Cosa for the comfort and support that I found in the meetings and through the friendships that I have made almost instantaneously. The amount of support has made all the difference for me and my recovery. These programs remind me to focus on myself, keep my side of the street clean, and stop obsessing about my husband’s choice to continue his active sex addiction. I cannot control his recovery, only my own. These programs are teaching me that there are trustworthy, wonderful people out there, and that I am not alone. I am also learning to take care of myself, set my boundaries, and believe that there is a higher power at work in our lives (whether or not you believe in God). I am learning to breathe and just let go enough for things to work out more naturally rather than feeling like I need to try to control everything. Wishing you peace and serenity in face of what you too have been through.

  18. I dont know whether this is comic or tragic.

    My partner(he of zillion lies ,chatroom pickups,porn,400 contacts on his IM list all with prnographic IDs ,compulsive masturbation,casual sex,listing on adult friend finder and other sites, hookers etc etc) told me I was the sex addict since i was spending time on reading up on the subject.

    According to him ,since it was I who spent time on learning about the addiction it made ME the sex addict.

    Of course, i walked away from the relationship.

  19. Yes! Thank you for posting this note. I have spent the past NINE months first stunned by my lhusband of 16 years slowly disclosing that he had been engaging in a little masturbation and then deacribing that his cyber-masturbationb led to a “few sexual encounters” to 150- 200 sexual encounters in the past 12 years. Now, after day-by-buy disclosing, the enorional and psychological battering is horrific, each day escalating — until finally I had to demand that he leave. If he did not leave, I knew I would suicide or crash in some emotional crisis beyond my ability to pull myself out. But, mind you, he had sex with those hundreds of people while my disarms daughter was often missing or in deep psychiatric collapse and I believed that my husband was truly my support and my partner. At first, I could even accept addiction, childhood abuse – he wept for months as he “struggled ” with his infantile abandonment l, all the while sending me texts and crying – literally – abou t how he was so abanodoned and alone he needed to “hold ( fuck) me” —

    What did Il expect at his apologetic disclosure of infidelity? That when I said I needed safety, security, distance, and time to heal and destabilize,AND a demonstration in time that he could be trustworthy, I guess I thought he would jump at the chance to provide and protect and prove that i could be that self. But I am not a sex addict – what did I kinks?
    Instead, he has only increasingly emotionally battered me. Over and over – raging – lying – deceiving – on and on –

    I realize now that over all those years he would be angry that I had not net his needs – I did not compete and fill his enormous emptiness and neediness creates by some childhood trauna – I did not always adore and submit to him for his fantasizes sexual pleasures – or I threatened him because I was smart – or whatever he was feeling threatened about – and his punishment l for me – while I was desperately trying to save my daughter or recovering from physical injury or attending my sin’s basketball game – he covertly raged and “punished’ me by betraying me by having sex with many other people. He was kind and balanced and supportive – though all false – all to deeply damage my being, my identity, my body, my self –
    And he thrived on it.
    Mwithiyr his cover, he only rages and batters – he often seems to desperately crave blowing up and raging at me in a timed event in front of children, family, neighbors – as if he deeply and frantically wants to humiliate me – and/ or to deflect his rage on me – he smartly crafts events to appear to be the victim – he seems incapable, quite honestly, of comprehending integrity, honesty, and simple sharing of self and experience. He must win – and winning is damaging and weakening the “lived” one –
    I now completely believe that his 12+ years of infidelity was not an Addiction he could not stop as if a crack addict – I truly believe he was desperately trying to size wage trauna – deep and destructive and life-minimizing damage – at ant cost. Noisome, when I buckle or flinch, he is thrilled, vindicated, and extremeky empowered – most of all to damage me .

  20. Yes! Thank you for posting this note. I have spent the past NINE months first stunned by my lhusband of 16 years slowly disclosing that he had been engaging in a little masturbation and then deacribing that his cyber-masturbationb led to a “few sexual encounters” to 150- 200 sexual encounters in the past 12 years. Now, after day-by-buy disclosing, the enorional and psychological battering is horrific, each day escalating — until finally I had to demand that he leave. If he did not leave, I knew I would suicide or crash in some emotional crisis beyond my ability to pull myself out. But, mind you, he had sex with those hundreds of people while my disarms daughter was often missing or in deep psychiatric collapse and I believed that my husband was truly my support and my partner

    At first, when he revealed what he had been doing, I could even accept addiction, childhood abuse – he wept for months as he “struggled ” with his infantile abandonmentnt but all the while sending me texts and crying – literally – abou t how he was so abanodoned and alone he needed to “hold ( fuck) me” —

    What did Il expect at his apologetic disclosure of infidelity? That when I said I needed safety, security, distance, and time to heal and reatavikize — AND a demonstration in time that he could be trustworthy, I guess I thought he would jump at the chance to provide and protect and prove that i could be that self. But I am not a sex addict – what did I kinks?
    Instead, he has only increasingly emotionally battered me. Over and over – raging – lying – deceiving – on and on –

    I realize now that over all those years he would be angry that I had not net his needs – I did not compete and fill his enormous emptiness and neediness creates by some childhood trauna – I did not always adore and submit to him for his fantasizes sexual pleasures – or I threatened him because I was smart – or whatever he was feeling threatened about – and his punishment l for me – while I was desperately trying to save my daughter or recovering from physical injury or attending my sin’s basketball game – he covertly raged and “punished’ me by betraying me by having sex with many other people. He was kind and balanced and supportive – though all false – all to deeply damage my being, my identity, my body, my self –
    And he thrived on it.
    Meanwhile, his cover, he only rages and batters – he often seems to desperately crave blowing up and raging at me in a timed event in front of children, family, neighbors – as if he deeply and frantically wants to humiliate me – and/ or to deflect his rage on me – he smartly crafts events to appear to be the victim – he seems incapable, quite honestly, of comprehending integrity, honesty, and simple sharing of self and experience. He must win – and winning is damaging and weakening the “lived” one –
    I now completely believe that his 12+ years of infidelity was not an Addiction he could not stop as if a crack addict – I truly believe he was desperately trying to size wage trauna – deep and destructive and life-minimizing damage – at ant cost. Noisome, when I buckle or flinch, he is thrilled, vindicated, and extremeky empowered – most of all to damage me .

  21. Thank you for your article, it shed light on my dark experience.

    I recently realised, I am in a psychologically abusive marriage and have been throughout the years. My husband has managed to side track me, lie and manipulate the situation for his own end. So much so as I look back I cant believe I was that blind and stupid. I see how he has mistreated me in other ways, withholding money, never seeing to my needs. Giving me lesser gifts than the children. Never wanting to support me in my dreams. Only happy to have something new for the house if I was paying. When I worked I so foolishly put all earnings into our life together. I guess I was blindsided or it was too painful to admit – blind neverthesss. Amazingly, I PUT HIM ON THE PEDISTAL AND SHONE THE SPOT LIGHT ON HIM ALLOWING HIM TO BASK IN HIS “WONDERFULNESS”.

    He blamed his sexual disfunction on his previous relationshp. I tried to be understanding and even prayed that God would take away my sexual desire so I can remain faithful to my vows. Know thank God for giving me the wisdom even to pray that prayer. Perhaps that answer to prayer will be my saving grace.

    I have left twice because of porn, affairs, lies and manipulation. I however returned, somehow I think even from a distance he managed to control me. In the past he has managed to crush me and I have suffered without love and affection and emotional security. I will never truly know the length he has gone to feed this addiction nor the depth he has sunk. The more he grew in power the more I dimished in spirit.

    What I know now:
    I am no longer a victim for two reasons (1) I am not in denial because of this (2) he can no longer manipulate me
    I am stronger today than I was yesterday.
    I am a few steps closer to my recovery today than I was yesterday.
    I love my life more
    I am going to be healthy
    I am going to be happy
    Most of all I am going to be FREE.

    I will be starting my programme with a Psychiatrist next month. Another step closer to my NEW LIFE.

    So in a sense I AM FREE.

    “What you feed grows, what you starve dies”

  22. Leah, what you put up with, you end up with.

    You have already made a decision not to put up with his insanity.

    As you march ahead, just remember one thing..THE PAIN IS FINITE.

    love and light

  23. Shelly (from August 2012 post):
    I can understand your pain, as well as everyone else’s, because I have been married to an insane “man” for oer 30 years. I didn’t understand sex addiction, just stupidly thought that he was oversexed. He would be so cruel to my children if I didn’t have sex with him when he wanted, which was all the time. I have never had any support or help with our three children, two of them are teems now and one is married. I knew about a few affairs during the first few years of our marriage but not nearly all of them. He told me about two of his affairs four years ago on the way to my second eye surgery, what a time to tell me, right? He always belittles me and has gotten worse over the past year. He minimized my diagnosis of MANY eye issures, including losing my sight in both eyes, some of which I have already lost. I need his insurance and he knows that and uses it to his advantage. He beat my daughter’s door down three years ago to get her phone from her and physically wrestled with a 14 year old over it and now she has a broken back. He threw her into the hallway and she hit the wall. We could not prove it thought. The dr. said it could be a stree fracture. Both sides are broken. She hates him and me for keeping her in this situation and I don’t know why I did. I am such an idiot! I didn’t realized until about 6 yrs. ago what sexual addiction was. But, I don’t really buy that term. The person had to keep themselves turned on somehow over a long period of time to develop those habits, which then became as normal as breathing to them. That is my opinion. He has no sympathy, when my dad died four yrs. ago, he told me that my dad was gone and I may as well get over it. When my world fell apart again with my eye diagnoses, he said I was making a mountain out of a molehill. I can’t leave him financially and have no place to go. My mother could not live with two tennagesr, her nerves and health are too bad for that. So, I can sympathize with all of you who want fo kill yourself. I have left my house twice to do it. Changed my mind the first time and my car got stuck the second, maybe God intervening?!! I don’t know. He tells me to get out so he can bring a “woman” to live with him. I won’t have sex with him anymore, haven’t in several years. He has unprotected sex with the trach of the earth and then thinks he can have sex with me. well, he did for over 20 something years, many of which I didn’t know about, so couldn’t make him get tested for that. And, as you all know, besides AIDS and gen. herpes,etc. they can get tested for these, but they can’t test for HPV in men, to see if they are carriers of this cancer causing or wart causng disease. Bottom line, I didn’t want to be exposed to anything else. He already had several affairs that I didn’t know about and I worry that I could have dormant HPV already. He doesn’t care and gets mad if I say he could have anything. He is abusive everyway, not pysically anymore, but he uased to be. Anyway, my heart goes out to all of you who are still with or has every been with a pitiful excuse of a man like mine, which includes ALL sex addicts. I am trying to be strong for my children but they view me as seak for being here still and keeping them in this hell. He acts so normal around everyone and tells them I am the problem in our marriage. Anyway, I’ll close with thanks for letting me vent and hopes that all of you reading this will heal and be happy one day soon. God bless!!!

  24. what can i say. im broken. this guy was once my best friend and now after 16 years it just escalates. he always liked porn, my thought what guy doesnt. then he wanted to take pics and videos of us. i said no but i caught his anyway. i gave in but said that was his porn and no other. i still find it kills the mood. i have Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromayalsia. there are times that i just cant and i have resorted to having sex on a heating pad. he lost his job for looking at pics of another woman at the store he worked for for over 10 years. And now, he tried to have a 3some with my best friend and me. he said that if i said it wasnt of he wouldnt had made me do it but i was humilitated! my bestie took me to her house for a few days and im going home tommorrow. he has an appt with a therapist next week. i feel so alone! if not for my kids and friends and family i dont know what id do. at least now i see im not alone.

  25. Thank you for this post and the description of the abuse cycle. It has been almost 10 years since I managed to get free from an abusive relationship with a sex addict. But he was my college sweetheart, and we had been married for 25 years. Through faith and friends and educating myself, I have begun to rebuild my self-esteem and my sense of security. I am trying to find and rely on my own “voice.” My 4 grown children, who all thought they had grown up in a happy, healthy home, are struggling to find their way to truth. Their dad has been abusive to them since he didn’t have me any more to blame. It is a painful process toward healing, but not nearly as devastating as it was to be in the relationship, and confused, and blaming myself. I had physical sicknesses and mental breakdowns and didn’t know they were caused by subtle but ever-increasing abusive words and behavior.

    Now that I feel safe and normalized, I am dealing with some painful incidents that I hadn’t faced and processed before. I try to share some of my healing process with my children and their spouses, as they are also dealing with abuse from their father. This openness is bringing my children and I closer, but my ex is finding himself on the outside.

    This Cycle of Abuse Chart is a powerful tool for understanding, and I plan to share it with my children as well.

  26. 20 years of abuse. I knew it felt wrong but didn’t know why. I was totally brainwashed. The abuse started a month after I met him. I should of seen the warning signs but thought he loved me and was going to take care of me. Back when we were young he would shove me, as my mother was emotionally abusive, I didn’t know any better. He threw me when I was pregnant. Left me on my own when I was pregnant, but I kept going back because I had nowhere else to go. He was always angry, I was thrown up against that many walls lost count. His father was a bad abusive alcoholic hence his poor behaviour with a narcissistic mother. Sex was always about control, he would tell me I was to controlling and then I look back he was into fisting, which I didn’t like. But I was so brainwashed, and so tired by the abuse, I guess I just went with the flow thinking everything was normal. Sex used to be very painful, and I thought is this love, and he had a very low opinion of women. Everything came out and I prayed to god for me to reveal the life I was living. He had a strip joint on his laptop as well as a brothel address on his phone. He denied this profusely and then had the ordasity to say that I put it there. I started to piece his profile together after councilling and investigation. He was into a site called kink.com, which made me absolutely sick when I saw the sight. He was into masochistic porn, and along with his violence. Made sense why he viewed me as an object. I remember having sex one night and he said to me, I was pounding you and pounding you. We no longer have sex at all and this is definitely a divorce. I feel like 20 years has been taken from me living with this monster. I didn’t realise he was bad up until councilling. I got the blame for him looking up the strip joint and he said the brothel address was put on there through some adult site. I have been in excruciating pain, not just for myself but also for the kids. Im glad I am a Christian which makes life a lot easier. And I know I will have a bright future ahead. The key is you have to face your reality. reading these posts are both empowering and sad. total mindcontrol

  27. For some time now I have been toying with the idea that my husband’s sex addiction, discovered four years ago, was MORE than just a sad obsession with sex coupled with a fear of intimacy, but that his true intentions were to either hurt, humiliate, or objectify women, and that a core misogyny was at the base of his psychological profile. His father abandoned him when he was an infant and his mother was large, imposing, and violent so it is no wonder that he would stare at innocent, small-framed teenagers in public places…enough to make them feel uncomfortable and targeted. No wonder that he has stared and flirted with women of all ages in front of me for 35 years then masturbated in our bed or his own bed in the middle of the night to “finish up” the fantasy. He has had very little actual sex with real women except for me, his wife…there were only three one-night-stands (two before he met me and one infidelity)…which describes another underpinning to our relationship…he has routinely withheld sex, attention, and affection to such a degree that I felt more married to a rejecting statue than to the man he pretended to be during the first two months of our courtship. My story, though it differs in the details, follows almost identically to everyone who has posted before me. In the beginning, these guys are perfect, but very soon they reveal themselves to have absolutely no empathy or control over their primary urge to be cruel to women. My then boyfriend threw a mud ball into the air, knowing that my trusting dog would jump to catch it in her mouth. After he cheated on me, I didn’t see him for over a month, then he returned out of the blue, expecting sex. He always wanted sex in the early years but he never took me out to show me off. He was always taking off, sometimes with other women, on trips or outings. He moved back home to be in close proximity to his younger sisters’ girlfriends. When he finally moved in with me he did everything to get me to break up with him, and in anger (my problem), I got pregnant without him realizing that I went off birth control. He was the perfect expectant father, but after our son was born he picked up where he has last left his addiction. I was and still am an attractive woman, but when I was around him I felt like I was the size and look of Quasimodo. If I would happen to see myself in a mirror I thought I was looking at someone else. We eventually slept on different floors in different bedrooms. I became educated, employed, and successfully ran for office. My outside life was very rewarding, but when I returned home every evening, he would not trouble himself to look up from his ever-present laptop, book, or TV. When I finally did the checking, he was at all times either reading pornographic material or looking at it, but it was the kind of pornography that I found so disturbing. He had been looking at the most abusive porn for over ten years…usually featuring innocent-looking young girls “getting it” from older men or groups of men, with cruelty being the central theme. I looked at his porn record (revealed through “cookies”) for only two hours and I am still affected by it. I consider it a blessing that we had a son and not a daughter. When I finally had the guts to check his laptop I was appalled. I insisted on counseling…I destroyed the laptop after analyzing login times, clicking habits, etc…backing up much of the records. In my opinion it was just a matter of time before he would have broken out of his fearful shell and contacted a women for sex. What prompted my investigation was a horrible evening when he threw me out of his room because I finally wanted some intimacy after six months. I asked him if he was looking at porn and he vehemently denied such a suggestion, but AFTER I had all the evidence he momentarily turned into a statue of dread…I have never seen him look like that again…because he knew that his little world had been breached. I don’t for a minute believe that he has any intention of going into an actual recovery though he does walk the walk most of the time. HERE IS MY FEAR…we have gone through this abusive cycle before…THREE OTHER TIMES but…and hear comes the part none of us want to confront…we tolerate these men. The cycle of abuse does not happen without two people…the abuser and the victim. The only way we can protect ourselves is to either leave or not participate in it. I refuse to cater to his needs again…to always appear happy and chipper…to keep a perfect weight…to worry day and night when the abuse will happen again…to scream and cry when it does. All, and more, of those behaviors I am working to NOT do anymore. If he does act out and I catch him…I will calmly demand that he leave the house and go to a motel for two days. Afterwards…he will have to have a STD test and a lie detector test if he wishes to return to our home and my life. Another slip will equal four days away and more tests…each slip increases the time away. I will no longer tolerate a lying, abusive, sex addict in my life. I have very high standards now…I will protect myself. My father abused my mother, which is why, sadly, it is so familiar and which is why I tolerated it. My father is also a sex addict. My husband has also refused to go to an SA meeting because he feels that he has licked his addiction. Right now his only support is one counseling session every two weeks. Thanks, JoAnn for this list. Only you are tackling some of these very real concerns. Sex addiction IS ABUSE…plain and simple. Ask any spouse of a sex addict and they will agree to that statement. Hopefully, eventually, this will be seen as such by the PROFESSIONALS, which you most definitely qualify.

  28. Hi girls im 23 went out with a porn addict for year and half. He always said i did nothing for the relationship and i was no support to him. He never took me out anywhere or ever went on dates or paid for anything. I was just sex and he couldnt even he would come after a second and not perform again. He made me feel like a piece of worthless crap. He always belittled my believes and values. Called me childish, ignorant. All guys watch porn and any guy i go with will do it behind my back. He hides behind his shy nice guy act in public and calls himself a christian. I think hes seen it all too, watched child pornography,rape,gay sex and he told me hes been with prostitues and massage parlours, gay sex in his teen years. He said porns always been his life hes how 25. He took advantage of me knowing i had low self esteem and was a virgin still and had stayed away from relationships. He told me that was what the real worlds like and i needed to grow up. I feel hes broken everything about me. Ive tried to kill myself twice, i just hate that i let him control me and he made me the bad person. I dont know how to get my old self back. My family arent supportive of me anymore. I keep going back to him and saying sorry, i still feel so attached because he made me so isolated. I loved him but he never cared or loved me back i was apart of his porn fantasy world. I spent so much money,time,sex. Had him constantly telling me i need to change and not get upset and just trust him and i was making his life terrible. It would be great to have some advice on how to heal. I have depression and constantly have aniexty attacks when im alone. He said he would think about taking me back if i was quite and didnt txt him,he would just come around for sex, then he said he didnt love me and would call the police if he sees me again. Hes warped my whole perception on the world,i cant even watch tv anymore with see everything as sexual. Know one believes me about who he really is a sick twisted manipulator, who is sexually perverted , they all think im a liar and twisted from being dumped.

  29. I am really having a very hard time here lately. My estranged husband (we have lived seperatedly for 5 years) has said he wants a healthy marriage but is ever so grudgingly agreeing to couples counseling. He has been a sex (porn, mostly gay porn) addict for the last 14 of our 27 year marriage. He finally got into counseling with someone trained in sex addiction one year ago. His behavior towards me has been worse than ever. He never has said I’m sorry, nor has he made any amends for his treatment of me. He forced me (coerced me) into staying at a job after I was severely hurt and now I have debilitating and lifelong severe pain. He broke my heart, exposed our son at a very early age and for years after to gay porn. He never would ask me out, even for coffee. He refused to talk even for 10 minutes at night cause as he said “10 could into 20 or 30!So now tonight he writes me an email saying he wants to get an apartment, which we can’t afford. He has just been renting a room. He screams at me as if it is an accusation of me, “I’ve been out of the house for FIVE years” My reply ‘It is not my fault you went four years before even starting counseling.” Now he has maybe 3-4 months of not acting out sexually or so his counselor believes, but he is demanding for me to lose the home he promised me and our three kids he’d never lose, so that he can have an apartment. He is doing this demandingness while not even agreeing to finally get marriage counseling (with someone trained in sex addiction and power/control, passive/aggressive issues).Sounds like someone who never had any intention of being married, just getting the perks of it, while I gave it my all. We were both in a religious order and he was a clergy when we met and married. I had no idea he had sex addiction issues, was aroused by men’s bodies, had sex as a young boy with neighborhood kids or with an adult male when he was in his early 20’s. His counselor doesn’t think he’s gay but then he is a Christian counselor. The sad and crazy thing is I still want him to change. After all the betrayal and pain and abuse and neglect and abandonment, I can’t sleep tonight at the threat that he wants to get an apartment.Since he and I both know that means we lose the house and he knows I will be done if he loses the house, I see this as him not having the balls or decency to admit he never wanted to work on the marriage. I can’t believe how entitled he acts. I try to tell his counselor that what I see is the epitomy of denial, regardless of a few dry months, that he is acting like a dry drunk, meaner and angrier and more entitled and turning away from me and his family than I ever thought possible. He is into power and control in a big way and I see the way his dad exerted misery on everyone if they didn’t do what he wanted. I have never seen my husband so much like that angry and controlling man. I think I must attract people to me who are incapable of love and intimacy. Then I interpret their rather constant emotional rejection even while married as something wrong with me. Instead I should be asking why am I attracted to people who just don’t want to give or love but only, it turns out, wanted to take all of me and not only give nothing good in return but eventually ‘reward’ me with punishment and abuse, not to mention physical disability. I was a clergy wife who stayed home to raise our three children and homeschooled them. He got all the education, got to be a clergy, got 30 years of job history. I got a broken body that can’t even work very part time. I feel so hopeless. I just don’t know what to do, how I got myself so far into this dark hole. I wish I were dead or better yet had never been born. My anxiety is so high I can’t begin to sleep. I wish I could believe I will make it. Oh God help me.

    1. Dear Anne,
      Your story sounds like almost an exact copy of mine. That gives me a chance to say something very important — there is HOPE. It is not an easy road, doesn’t happen overnight, and requires some difficult choices, but you can do it. You can find freedom and peace.

      I was married to a pastor/missionary for 25 years, had 4 children, and thought we had the perfect life. But that’s because I was ignoring and excusing the ways he was undermining me, verbally abusing me, and slowly destroying me. It got worse and worse toward the end, and I, too, was physically and mentally disabled.

      But one day I “woke up” and said to myself “I am not the person he says I am! I am a strong woman of faith and courage. I am going to take God’s hand and walk out of this mental prison he’s got me in.” And I did.

      Now I live alone, and I am peaceful and grateful to be free. I did hang on to my house (and he tried very hard to make me lose it), I am almost completely out of debt, I have loving friends, and my children have grown up to become solid, mature Christian people.

      I hope this helps a bit. I wish for you to get on the path to freedom. Stand on your own worth. Stand on your own truth. Don’t be afraid. Get help from people who understand sexual addiction. You can do it.

  30. Please consider joining the Sisterhood of Support for resources, support and the wisdom of women who have been through the very same thing.

    Unfortunately this site is not private, as the Sisterhood is, and it does not have the resources or bandwidth to support ongoing forum type conversations.

    Sending you strength. ~ JoAnn


  31. Thank God someone finally ‘gets it’!!!! I discovered my former husband was a sex addict in summer of 2013 after 16 yrs. of marriage and two children later. I was 36 yrs. old and traumatized. In my marriage sex addiction = abuse. This is the first time in over 10 yrs. that I feel validated…

  32. One year ago discovered the Craig list letter to a m/m site. He wanted to give a blow job and said he had given hand jobs to men. Took months for him to admit to nine affairs 5 with men. Voyeurism exhibitionism. Daily porn and masturbation. 40 years married. Went to counseling and sa and church. Swears he will be the best husband ever and won’t ever touch the addiction again. He’s
    Mortified by his past behavior and disgusted with himself. Has intimacy disorder and can hardly have a conversation with his own family. Why do we stay. All I s when I look at him is a gay pathetic child like man who has gotten away with terrible behavior his whole life. He says he loooovvves me and always did. Last week he told me he had some animosity towards ME! I’m So angry

    1. Additionally, it has been a year, I note a falling off of his previous good behaviors he was able to muster this year. He was doing laundry, dishes, picking up somewhat around the house. He now has slowed down on his chores, he doesn’t listen to Christian music like he had been doing. He is a mess! His room, laundry, garage, bathroom are all in a sad state of disarray and chaos. He seems to be falling back into poor communication, he had been making an effort. It is so frustrating that these guys read like a book. They all promise to stop, be the best husband ever, quit their addiction, never view porn again and mend their broken relationships.

  33. In reading this site, I see so many similarities between my life of hell that I lived for 38 years. A successful businesswoman three months from retirement, and then I catch him texting on a cell phone he does not own. I through him out before I even knew who he was texting. It was if there had been a divine revelation. My husband admitted to my son he was a “sex addict” and I went on a mission to find out everything. I must have spoken to 50 people in our lives and some I never heard of before all of this. It was like everyday God would hit me with a brick with one more affair, one more disgusting email. God was not trying to destroy me I have decided, but trying to save me. My life will never be the same. Reduced to now being on 8 months on disability for PTSD, I am at least grateful I had the insurance to be able to seek the counseling and the medical help I need in order to attempt at surviving this nightmare. Mine is a story of not just being married to a sex addict but to a man who has been a physical, emotional and verbal abuser our whole marriage. I will now spend a lifetime trying to figure out why I stayed in this marriage. My therapist says I have been caught in a cycle of abuse and could not have left if I wanted to.

    My story, well, I will tell my story in the last email I sent to my husband desperately trying to get through to him, but I am now learning I am trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense, to reason with a man who cannot be reasoned with. I changed the names on this final letter. It was my appeal to him so he could understand what he had done to me and to our family. I am now in the midst of a divorce. I do not want a divorce, I have to get a divorce. Maybe your story has similarities

    This letter is not about me, it is about our fictitious 38 marriage and about you. It is about how I was in this marriage, but you never were. I loved a man who I knew had deep insecurities, but I have no idea who you are. You are a stranger to me. This is about a death. A death of being married to a man that never existed and the death of a 38 year marriage that was a lie. Try very hard not to turn the tables and place blame on me or anyone else, but read what I have to say. I have tried many times over the past several months to get through to you and tell you how you have destroyed me as a human being, that I will never recover, and how you have humiliated me to the world, but I felt I was speaking to a stranger, who has no feelings towards me whatsoever. There is little in this letter that I have not said to you before, but you simply only hear what you want to hear, and I am at an end.

    I asked you to, but you could never put into words what you have done to me. To say I am sorry is nothing. You had an opportunity to possibly salvage your marriage, get back the respect of your family and possibly save yourself, but you chose not to. You refused a psychiatric evaluation and to go to the facility for sex addiction for 30 days. You must be hiding so very much. I firmly believe as much horror as I have found out, I probably only know 20% about you. You say you just want to come home and we can go to marriage counseling. You say all we have is today and there is no point to finding out the things you have done and all we have is the future. You cannot build a future on lies. You are a very long way from recovery, and will probably never recover. After reading all I have to say, if you wish to speak to me, call me today, and tell me how you have hurt me and how it makes you feel. If you loved me, you would, but you do not love me. You do not know what the meaning of the word is.

    The boys have unconditional love for you, and I have said very little to them, and never shared any disgusting details about you.

    I want you to know that this has been the most traumatic time of my life since February 26. I knew something was terribly wrong, as you had become more and more distant. I begged you to go to the doctor with me in regards to my GYN problems, and you would do nothing but refuse, say I did not love you and that we were nothing more than roommates. You had become more and more verbally and emotionally abusive and there were just so many signs that you were lying to me daily. Your physical abuse also escalated over the past few years.

    You would pick me up at the airport so drunk and loaded you could hardly drive, yet my house seemed all so neat and clean and sheets were changed. My house was not right, though, and you were not right. There was always something moved or rearranged. You would then tell me I was crazy and insane to be suspicious since you only had that one short affair years ago. You do not even seem to recall that this one cheating, this one time, almost ended our marriage. I have tried to reveal to you that I have many, many emails and tons of documentation and admissions from people, and that I have much more than I shared with you. You just do not seem to understand the severity of what you have done.

    It is reading through stacks of emails and text messages, and speaking to so many people that I see no love for me whatsoever. I was simply “she”, the person that you used as an object called “your wife”. I was only a puzzle piece in a fictitious world, where you also created an image of a person, you “the husband and father”, that I think deep down you really wanted to be and live in a normal world. You were not that person, though, but a tortured man. In your emails you expressed love for another woman in a way you never expressed to me. The hurt began to run so very deep when I saw you took her places you never took me, treated her in ways you never treated me and you said she was your “soul mate” in your emails. You then wrote I was your “soul mate” on my birthday card this year.

    Possibly you were in search of true love, I have no clue. When I asked you recently if you ever hit any of your girlfriends, you said of course not. I then asked if you ever yelled at your girlfriends and you again said, of course not. You did not even realize what you were saying to me. I was the object of all your abuse. I was the one you took out all of your hate on, verbally, emotionally and physically. You could have asked for a divorce or told me you were a sex addict in year 5, or 10 or 20 of our marriage, but no, I have to find out after 38 years. Now what is left of my life to find any happiness. Virtually none.

    I also did a deep reflection over the past 38 years. Today is actually our wedding anniversary. When I would have successes to share with you, you would never be happy for me. When I was sick, you were unconcerned and when I was so very sad, you were distant and not the loving husband a wife would need. You were so very selfish and everything had to always be about you. I spent so much time and care buying you gifts and trying to make events special for our family, and yet you let your girlfriend pick out my 60th birthday gift, and had the audacity to say right in front of our sons and their wives, I know you think another woman helped me pick out your gift, but I picked it out all by myself. What a bizarre thing to have said, and it left me stunned. You speak at our son’s wedding a year ago on the three phases of marriage and how Joan and I are moving to the third phase of respect and deep love of understanding.

    I still tried to believe in my heart you loved me, and if we loved each other we could get over the ups and downs in life. I had forgotten what it would be like to be married to a loving husband who adored and loved his wife. I never had that from you. I even asked you if you were a passionate lover with your girlfriends and you said you were. Never were you a passionate lover to me after we were married. I was nothing but a whore to you during sex. I thought you were just a terrible lover, but that was not the begin and end all of a marriage.

    I never knew about you Bob. You must believe me. I never knew the horrible truth. What I did know was if your switch was turned on, you immediately became physically and verbally abusive. You became out of your mind, and out of control. You were the one you possessed the uncontrollable rage, and yet convinced yourself it was me, and not you. I was the one defending myself. I take blame for not leaving you a long time ago, and trying to find true happiness in my life. I had to deal with such sadness and depression on and off during our marriage because I wanted to believe you would change and that you loved me. When we had two sons, I wanted the marriage to work, no matter what. This was a terrible mistake on my part.

    Deep in my heart, I also knew you were also a habitual liar and a manipulator, but I thought you had issues from your childhood and you always felt inferior to others, and never gave yourself enough credit for all the wonderful traits you possessed. You were funny and charming when you wanted to be, and so very talented. I would compartmentalize all the pain as if none of it ever happened.

    You see I loved you. I loved you with all my heart. I wanted to change you. I wanted to help you, but there was always something wrong and I could never put my finger on it.

    I had no idea who you really were.

    If it was just about the sex, maybe we could find some way to work through this, but it is was everything else you did that is so difficult to comprehend. You often would say to me that I would tell everyone what a bad person you were, and I was so bewildered. Never did I tell anyone anything negative about you, but would always build you up and say positive things. I had not a clue what you were saying behind my back. Not too long ago when you threw me across the room, and I said I wish someone would look at you now, you said to me, “No one would believe you. You see, you are the bitch, and I am the nice guy”. You were saying horrible things about your wife to friends and to my family. I assume you did the same with your family. I spoke to my sister for hours and my heart was ripped apart when she shared you had been doing this since the beginning of our marriage. You would speak to each person in my family and tell them how horrible I was to you, tell them I was bipolar, but you were a good guy and would stand by me. My sister told me that she never heard me say anything negative about you, but that you were so believable, that everyone felt sorry for poor Bob. What you said to Jenny and Phil in St. Louis less than 10 years ago was astounding. They were very clear when they told me that when they asked why did Joan not come with you on the trip to hear you speak, you seemed very sad and said she just did not want to be here. You were lying to get sympathy. You lied and manipulated to protect yourself and have control over me. You then went on to say to them, “Joan is the worst mother in the world and the things she has done to our sons is unspeakable”. This came from both Jenny and Phil. Why did you do this Bob? I was so overwhelmed.

    Reading the books about the type of person you are, though, explains you had to destroy me to build yourself up, in order to hide from everyone who you really were. I bet you did not even care to read the books I sent about what you have done to me. Even after you say you are sick, a sex addict, it is still no excuse. There is no excuse for all the lies you have said to me and about your wife throughout our marriage. There is no excuse for then trying to aggravate me and humiliate me in public to push my buttons to make me angry. You then would shrug your shoulders to others to confirm what a horrible wife you had. You became the master of manipulation. I have heard from so many people they could see how you would always try to make me angry and push my buttons. You did not love the one woman who loved you, with all your faults.

    Someday, I will find out what you have said to our sons through the years, but not today. Please take this for what it is. Listen to the truth, and do not send me any more of your attacks. You are a complete sociopath and narcissist. You are a habitual liar. You say you are a sex addict, but that is just part of your problem, not the problem in itself. You are verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to me and you have been this way throughout our marriage. I will tell you again. You stole my life. You stole my love. You stole my existence, and then laughed about it with others. Those words mean nothing to you. You are a total narcissist and sociopath.

    I have spoken to many people, and the story is the same, whether it was out of hate from Carol, pain over this from Kay, fear from your phone sex partner Dawn, or concern from Rick and Jerry. Women have told me you were the biggest flirt they had ever seen, and others said you went so far that they thought you were just creepy. I am then slapped across the face by Ellen, who you had not just an affair with, that you bragged about to others when we were in Austin, but it then goes on for over 25 years, and all she has to say is, “We all thought you knew Joan and you just didn’t care”. How long have the sex parties been going on? I was told by a complete stranger named Fran, that you have been having naked swim parties for years at my home, and I would have had to have known about them. You gave me diseases Bob, over and over. STD’s break down your immune system. You could have given me HIV, and just did not care. I have an email where you tell me you never bothered to use protection.

    You spoke about your wife to complete strangers that I was this horrible person to you, and treated you so very badly. As Carol said, “You keep Bob like a bird in a cage and never let him out to have any fun”. You spoke about your affairs with pride as if others would consider you so great and wonderful that you did nothing but cheat on your wife and were always able to get away with it. You had one-night stands, affairs on the road and spoke with great accomplishment that you had fucked all my friends except Ellen. She was off limits for sacred reasons, as Carol said to me with hate. You then take what you consider your best friend’s wife and have her be part of your three way with Kathy? Who does such a thing?

    You then just recently tell me you could have easily fucked Joanne and Ellen, as if all women would eventually give way to your charm. You tell me you are recovered, a changed man. I never knew Bob. I never had a clue that I was married to the worst person in the room. What is the worse thing you did? It is hard to determine, but the mental and emotional abuse of telling women to become my good friend so you could see more of them and it would be normal for them to always be in my home, is near the top of the list.

    I do not know all that happened in your childhood, though you briefly told me about your mother, your grandmother and your dad right after we separated this year. I did know you felt inferior as a child and that you were picked on and bullied. Things like this happen to many people, but they do not grow up to be completely dysfunctional, but I guess some do. I do not even know if this is part of your genetics. You may have needed counseling and never got it. You told me how your mom could have cared less if you even showed up to school and was not nurturing, and basically absent. I do not know if your dad was abusive to her, but I do remember hearing their arguments about his flirting behavior with other women. I know how he behaved as an old man and we thought it was cute and funny that he thought all the women loved him, but was he that way his whole life? I do not know. I do know your brother treated women with no regard and they were only objects to be used. I do know that in the one conversation I had with your sister after you told our son you were a sex addict, that your sister somehow was not shocked nor surprised. She only said to me, if he gets help would there be even the slightest chance you would take him back. I have not spoken to her since.

    I wanted you to be that 1%. I wanted to believe somehow you could be that 1% that could get help, recover, and be a functional human being and the loving husband to me and decent father to your sons. You cheated not just on me but you cheated on your sons. What you simply cannot understand is you are not recovered in six months. You have not even identified what your problems really are. You then send me a threatening text the night before I am leaving on a sabbatical with a friend to get my head together, to think long and hard to have you pick me up at the airport and come home when I returned from my trip, or it was over. You simply say you will come home and we will go to marriage counseling. The insanity to even say this to me is overwhelming.

    The last thing I wanted to do, even with all I know about you, was to get a divorce. I have desperately been trying to get you the help you need, but you say you are doing just fine. You are not doing just fine. You are still cheating Bob, and still lying to me, and you are still lying to your sons. Unless you get the help you need, you will never change, and you will never be happy.

    I am a human being and I have worth. I may not have many years left, but this will eventually kill me if I do not try to save myself, and stop trying to save you. I need to stop trying to save a man that never loved me and does not care if I live or die. You told me recently you “owe me nothing”. You told me “ You never made me continue to work”. You do owe me for destroying my life, lying and deceiving me throughout our marriage, being physically and emotionally abusive, stealing our money for your sexual pleasures and girlfriends, but what really hurts was your forcing me to work the past four years to secure money for our retirement. You asked “everybody” I have spoken to, to have them encourage Joan to keep working. You kept saying it was the only way we would not end up broke. I have so many emails Bob, where you speak of making “she” work more and more, just to have me out of the house.

    You kept saying to me you just have to keep working Joan. I cannot find a job at my age Joan. I support you in your work Joan, and just work a little longer Joan. All the while, you were having an affair with Kathy, 3 ways that included Carol, and who knows who else, traveling with Kathy and speaking of marriage to her. You also had other girlfriends, while all of this was going on. You let Kathy, a truly evil person, take over my home when I traveled, and let her play house as if my home was her home. You let her take over our other home. You had sex with her at our son’s home. You look at me in the face and say you were going to work out or play golf and meet this woman at a Motel 6? You chose this pig with the brain of a flea, someone who was so critical of other people and such a snob, over me. You chose any woman over me.

    I did not know Bob. I simply did not know. I wanted to retire so badly, and you knew the doctor said in order to get my health in order, I should retire if I could afford it. You then continued to make comments to me about my impending death and that I would be dead soon because I did not take care of my diabetes and my health. You once said to me if we lose our insurance you would not pay for my diabetes medicine, and I could either get well or die.

    Bottom line, you can blame all of this on an “illness” of sex addiction, but you are a very bad person, and the worst husband in the room at the Anon group I attend. You will not admit to the severity of what is wrong with you, you are still cheating, yet you want to manipulate me and lie to me just one last time, and let you come home. You have so little respect for me that it is still about winning the game, and destroying Joan just one more time. I have felt suicidal, homicidal and totally and completely worthless, yet you want to hurt me just one more time. You cannot feel remorse if you have no feelings. I will never, ever get over what you have done to me. I go from one day to the next knowing my life with you was a lie. My whole marriage was just a lie, and you do not even take blame.

    Think about what I am saying to you, but then you will still try to find some way to say, “but you made me do it Joan”.

    1. I read your comment and I feel so sorry for what happened to you. I’m proud that you walked out of this abusive relationship. I can relate to almost everything you have said but my husband is not that addictive to sex but he does deny and lie about many things and made himself a nice guy in front of all of his friends. Even my sister. He still wants to make people believe he’s a “good man”. From others’ perspective, he treats me really well. But it’s all just a front. At home he’s cold distant abusive manipulative and always in denial in anything I say about him. I don’t even raise my voice anymore even though I feel I’m right. But I worked out a solution – to be myself again without him. The earlier I can learn this the earlier I can get out of this marriage. I’m rebuilding my self esteem by going back to school. And it feels great after a long period of feeling worthless being with him. I resent him but I still have love for him, just not passion. I tried so hard to understand him but he wouldn’t let me and I don’t think I know him at all. I never knew who he was even though I tried so hard to do that.

  34. My ex narc hole sex addict piece of human garbage decided to tell me he couldn’t help himself. Men get “bored.” They marry someone and then 20+30+ years later they are tired working, building the same old same old life together. Men get tired of their wives letting themselves go, or women getting gray hair, or their wives are too tired from working, cooking, cleaning, raising kids, running errands to pay attention to their needs! Taking care of sick or aging parents and not placing their husbands first. He tried to explain to me that most men in general want a hot piece of sexual a** next to them at night. They love having “maids” or so-called “hard working” wives, but still need more. They want to feel “young” again be “free” to explore themselves sexually. I went off and told him he was a piece of garbage! If he wanted that he should have stayed single and not wasted umpteen years of my life. He was nothing short of an evil, selfish, womanizing, money grubbing, immature man. All he does and will continue to do for the rest of his pathetic little life is destroy other peoples lives because he is incapable of true emotion, intimacy, respect, mature, adult sexual relations with ONE person. I will not give him any excuses to justify acting like a P I G. He wanted every excuse to womanize and cheat. He didn’t care if he went after and pursued married, single, widowed, young, naive, desperate, it didn’t matter to him as long as his sexual release and needs were met. He never took into consideration my feelings, these other women’s feelings, or anyone else except NUMERO UNO. It makes my blood point to this day. Twenty years from now he will still be a mooch, womanizer, manipulator, thief of hearts, a real piece of work. It will only get worse as he ages. Hopefully, the light bulb will go off one day and he will be alone in a 1 bedroom efficient apartment with no one that will tolerate his abuse anymore. He will have to stand on his own two feet, with no one else to exploit, coerce, or manipulate. ALONE with his thoughts, ALONE with all his emotional needs, ALONE with his sexual needs, ALONE with his financial needs, to have done to him as to what he has done to countless others, be left in the dark ALONE with pain, agony, and just an overall uneasy feeling of LACK. I have no empathy, sympathy, or 1 oz of any feeling anymore for men that continually cheat for their own gain. Sorry if that makes me an old grumpy gal, but this is one gal that is fed up. Goodnight.

  35. Sorry for my poor grammar, It makes my blood “boil” is what I was trying to state. My point exactly some of these men get me so aggravated I can’t even think straight. Hope some of them are proud of themselves for being such losers in life and love.

  36. Well… I caught on pretty early. A keen intuition I suppose. We have been living together for a year now and I just feel angry all of the time. He is in complete denial and in fact has threatened to throw me out of the house if I even mention that he is a sex addict (which he is). He is a sexual anorexic in fact – the creepiest kind. He literally stares at the most degrading pornography constantly and has this disturbing toy – a rubber butt and vagina. He actually had the nerve to show me video/pictures of some of his sexual conquests in which it’s always women taking it in their rears. I am absolutely leaving him when I get on my feet and reading these articles is my saving grace in the meantime. I admire all of you ladies for your strength and courage. Him and I have not had physical sex in nearly four months or so. He was okay and then literally one day said, “I’m falling in love with you,” and that was the end of it. I also (not judging) do not like anal sex and told him no. Not to judge any woman that likes it, I just do not find that pleasurable personally and I believe sex should be engaging for both people.

    See for him, sex is dominance, power and control. He is filling a void and as soon as it becomes intimate, he pushes his partners’ away. I don’t believe a little porn here and there is anything to be upset about but this guy literally can only look at, be with, or treat non-sex workers like sex workers. One-night drunken stands I think he is okay with too. I feel a little peace as he finally admitted at least some of his attempts to cheat. That’s almost even worse, lol, I am with a man that tries to cheat and is continually rejected by women! I guess the jokes on me as I was attracted to him when we first got together but I had no idea of the demons lurking. I am puzzled at just how far our society has fallen and if people think that porn is harmless, it’s not. For some, it is a drug and they are addicts just like any other substance abuse problem.

    1. BTW, thank you for the self-respecting women that denied him knowing that he was in a relationship (obviously assuming what he has told me is true which I think it is). I have been fortunate and I feel there is hope that the classy will always thrive.

  37. I agree with your observations that sex addiction is spousal abuse. I agree that we need to treat it as thus and offer the same recovery programs for spouses of sex addicts. When I read your article, I realized that I have been in abusive intimate relationships throughout my life, including my last relationship, where my spouse was a sex addict. I can see very little difference between what happened with my sex-addicted ex-husband and other abusive relationships I have had. You are on to something incredibly important. I hope that the relationship world takes your observations seriously. For when they do, victims will find healing.

  38. Your article describes my relationship with a fiance if 10 years. I believe I was targeted by his association with a neighbor – I have a severe physical disability – and through his church. They continue to farm him out to ‘help’ women move, etc. He is with a woman now who was in a previously abusive relationship – they share the same church. He helped me with a ride from surgery a year ago and when she called after he saw me home and comfortable, he joked with her that we were “having passionate sex…” and that, he would “be home soon.” She kept calling and he kept on. I immediately reacted, saying, “That’s abusive!” louad enough for her to hear. Trouble is he is a con – very smooth and knows just how to manipulate but not engage his full heart. He did more with me than anyone but I have paid a cost. I am older now – he may have had the last best years of my physical beauty- (prior to menopause) – but I am so much happier now.

    May I say thanks for your education – this kind of abuse is insidious. The woman who is disabled and compromised financially… Did I tell you how many jobs he interfered with such that I discontinued working after years of trying to use my skills. I am still afraid to work – because of long standing fear he will show up or do something odd to scare people or because on the bad days I am more vulnerable to the co-worker who yells, “I hate you!” especially if you ask for reasonable accommodations as the progressive beast worsens (emotional stress worsens it more than any other influence except for the flu.

    Thanks again.

  39. Very correct article. My husband and I have been together almost 7 yrs. I have ms so my sex drive has been vanishing further and further as time goes by.
    We had a good sexual relationship in the beginning, as time went by he has taken so much of “me” away.
    2013 we decided to have a child,the medications I was taking for the ms make conceiving harder. So he would bug the hell out of me, criticize me for for not conceiving already and giving him enough. He even kept mentioning how it took for me to be raped once and end up pregnant.
    So to this day my sex drive has almost gone. So he will bug me with texts daily about what he thinks I should be doing to get myself ready for his needs when he gets home, then if I go to bed to sleep he will stand over me complaing and putting me down in the hope to get his way. If it does not happen he will cuss and swear stomping around the house. Has no worries over his teenage kids hearing him.
    Just to add to it he then tells me the other day he wants to see me with another man!! “It would be interesting and might get you in the mood more often”.
    This I deal with on a daily basis even if I have given into him the night before. I try explaining to him he has a problem but before I can say much more to him “it’s all my fault, it’s me that has changed and he needs to figure out what to do with me”.
    So the circle does keep going around and around, you really have it figured out.

  40. 23 years of marriage, so trapped in husbands cycle of addiction. Isolation, self hatred, suicidsl thoughts, and feeling ignored and demoralized because of his porn. I always feel like he hates me and I’m doing something wrong. I refuse to have sex now and things are worse. Can’t do that to myself anymore.
    Just went back to college for myself. Need self worth and a job to care for myself and my children.
    Even today he was jealous over a CD I was listening to and threw it in the car.
    Sad and humiliated

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