I recently received this story from a Partner of a Sex Addict. My heart just breaks every time I get another tale of betrayal, lies and deceit. Please give Jenn some support and direction. ~ JoAnn
Hello, I stumbled on your site purely by accident, while trying to get some information, I’m tired, scared, and don’t know really what to do. So confused. I have been married to the man of my dreams for about 8 years, and dated 5 years before we married so a total of 13 years. I have 4 children by a previous marriage and he has 2. This is quite embarrassing, but only 3 years into our marriage I found that he was talking with an old acquaintance that he met while on Spring Break in high school. I should mention, I am 49 and he is 47. So he has not been in high school for years.
1. Time Aug of 2009 – Feb 8, 2010
The first was “Karen” she was an old high school acquaintance that he hooked up with while on spring break from high school. She was from somewhere north of Cincinnati. While working at the Brew Ha Ha, he met a couple of high school guys, they talked and began talking via face book, which I had no idea he even had or a second secret email other than our joint one. Then Karen, who still stayed in touch with the two high school acquaintances of my husband’s saw his name on their face book, so she sent him an email, then they began to text, email, talk for months. He was caught because he had inadvertently left his personal email up on the home computer. The email I saw talked about getting a hotel room, didn’t matter where, he just wanted to hold her and kiss her. He said he never met up with her, even though it was months of communicating with each other one way or another. And he even was driving up to meet her, and said he couldn’t do it and
turned around and came back. On that particular day, based on cell phone records he was 4 hours away from home. He told me it was exiting, gave him old feelings from the days when all of his parts worked. He’s a diabetic, overweight and so his parts were not working quite right in 2009, and now that is 2014 it’s really not working at all. I know that is a huge blow for him, I try and be respectful by not questioning why we don’t make love anymore, etc. We are loving and do not argue and fight. There is only one child left in the household, and she is 16.
This was completely devastating for me. I was a mess. After months, I decided to stay because I didn’t want to be divorced again and I did love him, although it wasn’t like before….something had changed and I couldn’t get it back and I knew I never would.
I went to counseling through my firm, first by myself then with him. It helped but we didn’t continue to go after the allotted amount of times I could go for free, I decided if I was going to stay, I had to do it on my own. He was always completely apologetic, never blamed me, always said it wasn’t’ me, it was him.
2. Time February 8, 2012
This time he again left an email up on our home computer system. This was with an escort company our of Indianapolis or Fishers Indiana, Sophie Silk. He apparently contacted her, invited her and her playmates to come to the restaurant when they were in town, he went on to tell them he was “with Sophie and she can verify him, but to check him out on his website.” Apparently they came to eat, but nothing happened. I asked to see the video from the store, and apparently he wasn’t able to recall the video to view. So again, months of contacting but never any meeting or hook up?
He said his behavior was because he was sexually abused as a child. He said he would go to counseling to get help, which he did, for a couple of months and the counselor advised him to read a number of books on abused boys, etc. Soon he stopped going to counseling, when I asked him why he wasn’t going anymore, he said because he knows what “triggers” it and what he needs to do to stop it.
3. Time May 20, 2014
This time he received a text message on his phone while I was making the bed, it was on the nightstand charging. It said, “are you going to be able to meet”. I responded to the text, said sure. When, where what time. She said 7, at the Holiday Inn at I-71 exit 20 or 21 can’t remember. Said key would be in her bumper and to come to the side entrance. He has been contacting a site called 50 & Flirty, Cincinnati Back page. They are escorts too. He said nothing happened, didn’t meet anybody, just likes to put a voice to a face. He calls on the way to work, etc.
We are scheduled to go to counseling this evening…..
I really don’t know what the point is. This is not going to stop is it? I love him, I don’t want to be without him, which is sick, but I can’t let this continue. He can’t guarantee me that it will not happen again, I know that. Even though he says it won’t.
Can anyone help me??????
The only person who can help you is YOU.
I know your mind is spinning, and that’s to be expected. Seeing the truth of this is a huge shock.
You think you cannot live without him, but eventually, when you’ve uncovered enough of the betrayal, you may find that you CAN live without this kind of deceit. The “man of your dreams” – the man you thought you were married to – isn’t real. He’s a facade. Maybe he always was.
Keep reading this website. Come to terms with the facts: that his addiction is probably worse than you know or imagine. That he can’t/won’t stop acting out. That your marriage has been a sham.
And when you get “there”, pick up your pieces and be fully present to the strength of YOU.
At 46, I discovered my husband’s sexual addiction. He had been acting out with prostitutes while enjoying an active sex life with me, and raising our five sons together. I’m now 50, and have been working on a divorce for over 2.5 years. As depressing as this whole process of attempting to divorce a narcissistic asshole has been, I do have the joy of having met a man who is TRULY decent, trustworthy and genuine. So, even if you feel “old,” you’re never too old to meet the right sort of man.
You do NOT have to spend the rest of your live dealing with a liar and a fraud. You can CHOOSE to demand more of life. He’s not capable of giving you anything more than what you’ve just described. Nothing in your marriage vows meant you have to put up with this.
If you’re not sure of his deceit, I suggest you do a more thorough search of the computer and the accounts. Dig in and find the dirt. Nothing like confronting it to wake you up to the harsh reality. Plus, it’s good to document it for the divorce.
I’m so so so very sorry. This is just so painful. You wrote “but I can’t let this continue”. You are right. You can’t. But the baffling and cunning nature of this disorder is that the ONLY person who can or cannot let it continue is the victim of the disorder — my ex-partner, your husband. They have GOT to be on a one day at a time, one hour at a time vigilant crusade to arrest themselves of this disorder. This is NOT healthy — this is bad, sick, wrong. YOU have the right to know what you can and cannot put up with, and I hate to say this but the fact that he stopped going to his therapist is a VERY bad tell-tale sign. Many do not recover from this compulsive disorder. The internet has opened up a DAM, letting this compulsion flourish. TAKE CARE of yourself now, go be away from him if you can, stay with family, tell him you need no contact for at least two weeks, ask your family to help you, gather your support, and arm yourself. I support you. D
Wondering how you have been doing. I’m sorry you haven’t gotten more comments, but that just means the site is probably not being visited that much right now, just a lull. Check in if you can. I made my discovery six months ago, but I still feel like a newcomer and relate very much to those who are really new. I know how much it hurts and how much it feels like your world is spinning. I wish I could say after six months my world spins less, and perhaps when I get full-time employment again (working very hard to get that), it WILL spin less, because I know that as I get busy, I get better, and I take the focus off of him and what he’s doing/not doing, and put the focus where it belongs, on what I’m doing or not doing. Hang in there, one day at a time. -D
I am in the beginning of the end with my Addict. I have heard all of the promises, Addition Therapy twice a week, Marital Therapy 1 a week, SAA Group meetings twice a week and a sponsor to help guide him. He choose to do all those things and lied to each one including me all day everyday. I have known about his addiction and we have worked on this over and over again for 3 years. Each time I wanted so desperately to believe that he was getting better. Every little thing I would justify…..oh a porn site well maybe is was just one. So I would confront him and he would say things like,”I knew it was wrong and I didn’t go any further”. So I would cut that bad part off and say, “Oh Handled”. It’s like a bad apple you don’t throw the whole thing away. You cut off the bad parts and hold on to the rest and only show the world how pretty the good parts are. I have never been to a support group I have never walked in his shoes, but I have been here. I am scared and frightened and lonely. Each day I plan one more step toward living my life. Not living our life. I don’t know who I am meant to be, but I know who I am today…I am “Holly”. I have 2 dogs, a job, a mom and brother who love me even when I don’t love myself. Tomorrow I don’t know who I will become, but I know that I will one step closer to not feeling like this is my fault. One step closer to letting go. I don’t have to let go at once and make big decisions right this minute. I do have to decided that I have to take care of me and not him any longer. So today I need take a shower, put on my make up, walk my dogs, and take one step that takes care of me. I know this is long and wordy and I am venting and wanting to help you. I’m am sorry for you loss, you are wonderful, you are strong, the world is so much bigger than what we see within our 4 walls. See your world.
I am here.
Holly, I also “wanted so desperately to believe he was getting better.” I remember in the beginning being perplexed by stuff that was written in the SA partner books about “setting boundaries” and “don’t believe what he says, only believe what he does.”
What does that MEAN? What ARE these boundaries I need to set? How can I believe “what he does” if so much of what he does is hidden, and what he says is pretty much all I know about?
I would read that we shouldn’t “obsess” about monitoring, but how can you see what he is “doing” (in order to know what to believe) if you don’t monitor the cell phone records, the email, the internet surfing, the finances?
I was probably in some form of denial UNTIL I went whole hog into monitoring. And that happened only by chance because a family member found his online Adult Friend Finder account accidentally by Googling his unique nickname which he brazenly used as his “handle.” The AFF account is quite public and very detailed. It wasn’t that I used this to confront him. I used the monitoring FOR ME, to finally convince myself of what a huge liar he was, and to collect as evidence for the divorce. In some way, I needed to be SURE that my husband’s smooth, convincing persona was a complete facade before I could give up, file for divorce and begin to move on. Monitoring has the potential to obsess you; it can also give you some sense of power and control at a time when you feel powerless and out of control.
The main reason I’m glad I got counseling is FOR ME, because it didn’t do him a damn bit of good. I’m grateful to my multiple counselors who honestly told me they felt the chances of his “recovery” (not just from the addiction, but from the underlying personality disorder) was highly unlikely, and why. I needed to see and hear these things to finally be willing to accept who he really is, as opposed to the person I wanted and believed him to be.
In a little less than one month, it will be four years since my initial discovery which revealed nearly a decade of addiction to prostitutes. As I think back, I am amazed how willing I was to take responsibility and to try to “fix” in the beginning. Today, I take responsibility for ME, and I have given up on fixing him. I don’t worry about being “nice” because no matter what I do, I always get blamed. So now I don’t try to appease, apologize or repair. I’m very matter of fact. Reading more about dealing with narcissists has been beneficial.
I read somewhere that it would take something like four years to get through this emotionally, and I sure have gone through a lot of phases of recovery in that time! The journey is long and difficult, but in your own recovery, you have the opportunity to find strength and resiliency you didn’t know you had.
Thanks. I am only two days into finding out that the man, the executive, that I have been dating for 3 and a half years has been engaging in sex and taking pictures with ….I don’t even know, Strangers, prostitutes? Thank God I am not married to him. But I am glad Jenn and the rest that I am not alone. I just started a new job and at 45, I did not need this stress too. Thank you for sharing….thanks you for letting me see that I am not alone.
Welcome to this fellowship. A bittersweet fellowship, to be sure, but a strong fellowship. I am so sorry for your recent discovery. Sometimes I get this temptation to think, “Well, I don’t know for sure he was actually WITH other men, it was just Skype sex…” but then I remember he also had/has a profile on a sex site with pictures of his body and his personal Skype address on the profile for ANYONE who visits the site to see (like a phone number on a public bathroom wall). And the webcam sex is just as intimate, just as verbal, and it’s just insidious and it was on his computer IN OUR HOME. And he was getting more and more sucked in, and our intimacy as a couple suffered. I have been reading “Facing Heartbreak” by Carnes and I strongly recommend it. Hang in there. “D”
Welcome, Jeanine. So sorry for what you are experiencing. Try to see the positive side: you DID find out before marrying him. (This is a REAL blessing!) You are ONLY 45, with many years of potential happiness ahead of you once you get through This Ugly Mess. A book that helped me personally, and was NOT about sexual addiction, was
Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, 3rd Edition by Dr. Bruce Fisher and Dr. Robert Alberti
This book helped me heal not just from the trauma of his sexual betrayal, but from all past failed relationships. I went through the book chapter by chapter with a group of other female friends whose relationships had shattered. Having my “sisters” to share the journey of healing was quite empowering.
D – I know exactly what you’re saying. We want so badly for the truth NOT to be. It’s hard to accept until the cold hard facts are staring you in the face. Again, I’m always looking for the positive in all this. SEEING the truth was a rude awakening, but it makes me less naive. Seeing the truth helped me to make decisions for ME, rather than trying over and over to fix something that wasn’t mine to fix.
Hugs to all my sisters who bear this heartbreak. There is hope and happiness on the other side of discovery and truth. I am now on that side, but I had to file for divorce and subject myself to the agony of legal battles with a disordered addict who happens to be an attorney. It’s no picnic. On the other hand, freedom from him and his oppressive addiction is worth whatever I have to go through.
D and L,
Thank you for responding. I guess the hardest part is feeling so duped, so stupid. I saw signs here and there but whenever I pushed he had an excuse. I even was watching his 4 year old son twice a week because he took a new job 1 hr and a half away. What a fool I was. But I try to have hope that I will survive and he will not, His esteem is already low, hence the addiction. But knowing that you wasted 3 and half years with a man who never really loved you but pretended to is so hard. I want to dive into every detail to try and keep proving that my instincts were right all along but I know I must not because it isn’t going to change anything. I told him I would never talk to him again. And I won’t. I have strong resolve that way. The knowing that he didn’t love me enough to not hurt me is making me have panic attacks. Seeing the pictures over and over again in my mind is devastating. I am lucky to have a family that calls everyday to check on me. I am lucky to have found this site so I know I am not alone. But what I want to know is will I ever be able to trust another man again? Will I stop looking at women that look like the ones in the pictures and stop having thoughts of I wonder if that’s her?
I gave 24 years of marriage (before discovery) and FIVE CHILDREN to a man who duped me. I gave up a career to be a stay-at-home baby machine for a guy who pretended to be a faithful Catholic. Talk about stupid!
My comfort is in knowing I HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING. I’ve learned about myself. About how I was attracted to men who NEEDED me (rather than men who had the capacity to give). About how much I am willing to tolerate and to forgive. About how hard it is for me to set boundaries. So… I’ve learned to set boundaries, even though it’s uncomfortable to do so. I’ve learned the value of female friendships and OLD, TRUSTED friends. I’ve learned that I’m stronger than steel. I’ve learned that I’m resilient. I know that I am BEAUTIFUL. I am WORTH LOVING.
You have done well to cut off all communication with him. Good for you!
Yes, you WILL get past the initial shock, but it may take months or even years. Be willing to go where the journey takes you. Grieve. Be angry. As around to find a good therapist who has dealt with partners of sex addicts. Be wary of any therapist who suggests you need a 12-step program. Look for one who treats you as a trauma victim. Have the therapist help you through the panic attacks and the pictures: that sounds a lot like PTSD.
Will you be able to trust again? My guess is YES.
What I prayed for was the ability to identify a truly trustworthy man, and then begin to build a relationship of trust with him. I did find a trustworthy man. I do trust him, but I will admit that it has been a journey for BOTH of us to get past the residual damage from our spouses (both of us had cheating spouses whose infidelity ended our 24+ years of marriage).
Jeanine, You make such excellent points. First, you write that you want to dive into every detail to prove that your instincts are right. YES, I get that, so much. And sometimes I DID. It was not fun to see. So I stopped. Sometimes I look at my computer, so eager to do more digging (I know all his passwords) but I keep breathing and tell myself “No”. And then the craving passes. What good will it do me when I have already made my decision? My decision was to leave him and nothing changes that, EXCEPT him coming to me to tell me he’s in a regular SCA program, he is working with a therapist who specializes in sex compulsion, and he has opened up to friends about this and has a support group — period. He ain’t doin’ that any day soon, I can tell you. So diving in to see more details does me no good, and the details I DID see, subsequent to initial discovery, didn’t make me happy. In fact, it tortured me for a little while. I saw the intimate messages he was sending strangers. It was so painful. I saw that his Skype contact address list had grown in leaps and bounds because as you so astutely put it, his esteem was falling thus his sex compulsion was growing. Exactly. And what you wrote about knowing he didn’t love you enough to not hurt you, and the panic attacks that come as a result, oh I so understand that. He knew I struggled with PTSD due to molestation at 15 and my sister’s murder in 2010 (when he and I were falling in love). I was very open with him about that, and how I did EMDR to manage it, etc. And sure enough, after discovery, when I left him, he called neighbors to come check on me to see if I was okay. He was so panicked that my PTSD was triggered as a result of what I discovered, and boy was he spot-on. It was. So then, yeah, why — why — why didn’t he one day just say “I can’t do this. If D finds out, he’ll be wrecked. I have to stop. Now.” Because compulsion became KING. That is why. Stay with your support as much as you can. I know how difficult this is, the pictures in your mind and the wondering if you can trust another. I get it. D
Thank you. Thank you for your response. I made it through the work week. No one the wiser about my tear strained eyes. I have many friends that have told me similar stories of deceit that happened to them . I for one have told all my family and my friends. I want everyone to know about this “creepiness” that is out there! This blatent disregard for women’s feelings or well being. I told his parents. They always said I was “like a daughter to them” Come to find out his mother knew but played stupid. One of her neighbors caught him in a car with a woman in the parking lot of the condos where both he and his parents live. The neighbor chewed him out….I’m assuming he was receiving oral sex while his children were upstairs by themselves sleeping. I just can’t believe no one respected me enough to tell me…..not the neighbor, not his mom. So I lost a whole family in this situation. Him, his son that I adored, and his parents who were always nice to me. I live 2000 miles away from my family and my grown children. Moving away is not an option right now. I try to be strong. Today was the best day until I had to drive home and I could feel the anger consuming me. I haven’t had anger like this in a long time. And realizing how much I loved him and of course how much regular fun we had is really hard. I try to console myself with my faith, talking with my family and knowing that he is suffering. I know my anger may last a long time. And I pray I do not see him in public. But if I do I will stick my nose in the air and walk away. I will let God pick up the pieces . I will let God deal with his sins.
I know about the anger. In April, I dreamt something I’ve never dreamt before. I am 48, and I have never dreamt of murdering someone. But I did, this last April. It woke me up at 3 a.m. The next day I went to an Al Anon meeting and shared about it, wept. It was so vivid. I was choking him, saying “WHY?” and as I choked him he smiled and said “The high was so good”. I kept choking him, he died, I woke up. Literally sat up in bed. Your anger is NORMAL. You sound like you are surrounding yourself with support. I also want to add here that I have NO intention of killing my ex. I realize reading my comment here that — well, it sounds like I’m homicidal. I am not. It was a DREAM, and the dream showed me my core, my soul, and that it had anger, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. And yes — you wrote “knowing he is suffering”. He is. So is mine. D
D, you are so intuitive.
I think well-placed anger is healthy and a positive step in healing. I did anger therapy in which I wrote a long letter, read it out loud, and then beat the tar out of a cushion with a nerf bat. Afterward, I destroyed the letter … and went to church! It felt good!
I have another friend who bought cheap china at auction and then broke it piece by piece.
L and D,
First of all, I know D it was just a dream. I know you are not “homicidal”. A young male friend of mine told me “men are stupid, we never realize until it is too late” He assured me he thought I was a beautiful person inside and out. I asked him his opinion on why my now ex-boyfriend just didn’t tell me he wanted this type of life and leave me out of it. He told me something that made sense. He said “because YOU WERE his comfort! He felt safe with you! He just couldn’t get the addiction out of his mind. Then he made me laugh and I realized it could have been worse when he asked me if any of the pictures were of men! There wasn’t but it means nothing! However, it did make me laugh.
L, I know about the letter writing as therapy. I need to do it. But I am just not ready yet. But I will take your advise. The china is a good idea too.
Thank you ladies for continued support and comments. It is now one week. One week today. I am trying to be strong. The being alone is so very hard. But at least I am not one of those sluts who feels so bad about themselves that they must show vile pictures of themselves to attract men. I have pride in the woman I am. I will not lower myself to that filth just so a man is attracted to me.
Jeanine, Thank you for what you wrote, and you too “L”! Yes, SO true…SO true: I was his comfort, and he felt very safe with me (in fact he told me those very words once). But he could not get the addiction out of his head, and on top of that, the addiction was thriving, from porn, to chat rooms, to private webcamming, to him actually putting his own profile on a sex site, to trying to set up in-person meetings. This is the way it thrives and advances. “Facing Heartbreak” by Carnes is REALLY helping me LOOK at this disease and understand it and how it works. WOW.