I am new to your website and new to many web sites like this. My life has had incredible and devastating change to it the past several months. I’d like to share my story and find out how to get involved with your web site more,

I am a newbie, feeling perhaps I have finally found a good place after weeks of research and reading. I have recently found out that the last 10 years of my life have been a lie. I’d like to share my story.

On May 8th, I caught my partner of 10 years and my fiancé of a 7 months with another woman. He’d been physically dating her for a couple of months I later found out. I found page upon page upon page of text conversations with her in our phone bill on May 9th. If that wasn’t bad enough, within a day of finding that, I found my partner to be with yet ANOTHER woman.

Floored and confused, I continued to investigate and ask more questions. With in a few more days, I discovered that my partner had been with MANY women over the months, more than I could count, both in Wisconsin as well as Virginia. We had two homes at the time. (I was in our VA home and he had been traveling back and forth regularly from our WI home for the last two years)

He naturally was offering up NONE of this information himself about these women however, I was having to find it on my own by bringing up the history of our cell phone bill as far as AT&T would let me and also calling suspicious phone numbers or calls made “after” normal business hours and on weekends. I was speechless. My continued review of our cell phone records showed him with multiple women as far back as the records would go, and at that time was a year and 1/2 history. I found internet relationships with 8 women in the last year and 1/2’s phone records.

In April of this year, he’d been texting 3 of us at the same time one day. My head was spinning to say the least. He kept saying all of them were “just friends”…only friends….I new he was lying. He, up until a couple of weeks ago only admitted to something when I’d caught him. Fearlessly defending himself the entire time. Anyway, He was communicating with these women from 6 or 7 a.m. every morning, all day non stop until 1 or 2 a.m in the night. EVERY single day. I’d had issues with him and his cell phone all winter…he clung to it like it was an appendage to his body. It had been driving me nuts. I found out that during our trip to New York over the New Years holiday, I’d been sharing our bed the entire time, with another woman through his cell phone.

I insisted in mid May to move out. Money or not, I had no choice in my mind. I am disabled and have been on social security for 3 years and financially dependent on him for the last 9 years. He continued to plea for me not to leave. He rented me a little house about 25 miles from where our Condo was. All the while, he insisted that he’d not slept with ANY of them. He was adamant about that. I didn’t believe it. He spent the entire summer professing he was a changed man, professing that he was now being honest, professing he would be faithful, that my finding him in May with this woman in our town had given him “a nuclear awakening”…begging for me to give him just 30 days to prove his integrity with me.

I still didn’t believe what he was saying and continued to press on for “the truth”. All the while, I found myself beginning to believe his sincerity, still remaining torn between continuing forward with my life without him. But he was wearing me down. Then in late July, I found he’d posted another ad in craigslist, looking for another woman while he’d been at my home going on and on about being faithful.

Also in July, his best friend, childhood friend of near 50 years passed away. They lived in Wisconsin. I knew he and his friend’s wife had been communicating. It made sense to me and I was fine with it of course. However, I came upon reliable information that he was taking this relationship with her “Beyond’ friendship. Just 4 weeks after his friends death. That made me very upset that he’d no respect for his now “deceased” best friend.

In early August, I finally agreed to have dinner with him and as soon as I brought up her name, he did that thing he’d done since last spring….got very nervous, unsettled, squirmed in his seat and his face become all contorted. I knew he was lying. I addressed the lying directly with him. He admitted that “she appeared to be “wanting” him, that “she had been coming on to him”.

He further told me that she was planning a trip now to our condo to stay with him, here in Va Beach.” He said he’d no physical interest in her and tried to pose this whole situation as a “dilemma” for him. Innocent of anything. I was livid, not because of her directly, but because it appeared that he couldn’t stay away from ANY woman, as he’d encountered another woman earlier in the summer and was trying to convince me that it too was strictly platonic.

I stood up in the restaurant, called him a “male whore” and walked out. I contacted this gal in Wisconsin, this widow. I knew her, but he’d always kept me distanced with the handful of close friends he’d kept up there. I did so because I new he was using her and didn’t want ANY woman to go through what I had been going through with him. It took me a week to build up the courage to contact her and tell her what was really going on down here. I knew he was telling people anything but the truth with regard to our situation.

Shocked, She told me that he had been “luring” her, lusting after her, wanting her to come to our condo. Vulnerable, Embarrassed but honest she did admit that it had gone beyond friendship but that he was very good at saying all the right things. The sick part of that story is I gave him the opportunity to come clean with me before I spoke with her. Two full days actually. He knew I’d sent her an email regarding the truth, I’d told him she’d requested to speak with me over the phone. Yet he refused to change his story right up to minutes before I called her. He only came clean, once again, AFTER I got to the bottom of the issue. After I talked with her. I don’t understand that at all to be honest…I simply don’t. He knew she was going to tell me a totally different story.

Anyway, to get to the point, all hell broke loose, I wouldn’t take his ridiculous justifications and rationalizations any more. He came to me within a few days of that conversation with the widow (which has only been about 2 + weeks ago now) and told me that he’d slept with the woman I’d caught him with in May – 6 days after I’d caught them seeing each other and he’d lied to me about it all summer.

Again, always choosing the “other choice” as he’d never put me first in our relationship ever in 10 years. After I caught them in May he chose her and not me. His sleeping with her AFTER I caught them is worse for me than had it occurred before I discovered the relationship. I have since further discovered that this is NOT a womanizing problem, this is a sex addiction problem. He now admits to this. He’s addicted to masturbation and has admitted to excessive masturbation multiple times a day, and has done so since he was a teenager. He told me this 8 days ago as well.

He gave me the passwords to his email accounts 2 1/2 weeks ago and I opened up an entire other world, a whole other life… he has led a dual life with me our entire relationship. He said the “seeds” were planted long before us, he’d controlled it early on in our relationship but figures at this point he started again in 2004/2005 but is really not sure. He states he’d find places in our home to take care of his excessive masturbation even going so far as performing the act at his place of business if he found himself alone.

After I moved out in May, his addiction got worse. He brought a hooker to our home and using our beautiful condo on the beach, which contains a huge double head euro shower and a hot tub exposed in our master bedroom, offered to “host” women for photography of you know what, and making them “moan” in our hot tub as he put it in one response to a woman. He had turned out home into a “sex palace” and He’s been chasing 22, 23, 24 year old girls in addition to ones as old as me and everywhere in between. He didn’t care about age or race. He tried to meet a 23 yr old African American college student last spring one weekend. He told one 22 year old he wanted to relive his youth through her and carry out his little secret of doing so. My God, His daughter is 21!

His last posting on craigslist was August 7th. In April he had 9 ads going at the same time seeking pleasure….9 ads on Craigslist and 10 – 20 profiles on web sites like “hornymatches.com, Ashley Madison.com, adult friend finder.com, fling. com…sexsearch.com….and on and on……places I’d never seen nor heard of. His conversations with them are horrible, disgusting and dirty. He’s plastered his picture taken in our home in Wisconsin with my children’s art work in the background, all over the internet into thousands of inboxes over the years.

He’s currently active on 15 or more dating sites and trust me when I say it’s not the nice ones either. He’s finally admitted that he lied about our relationship for years in order to gain sympathy. He used the most intimate details of my life to “lure” his women, to present himself as the “white knight”. The night I caught him with the woman in our town in May, I had to get an emergency block on my cell phone after 8 hours of non stop filthy text messages from her each disclosing statements that contained the most intimate, personal details of my life (yet twisted around) over the years. She threatened me and claimed she was coming over to my house to “straighten” me out because she and him were “just pals” as she called it.

She was saying things like “if I’d given better blow jobs, my mean ole’ ex husband wouldn’t have been looking at porn”…telling me to go take my pills because I needed them….Telling me that I needed to “get me some” and needed to do so with him…..It was horrible and horrifying. Over 36 text messages from her in 8 hours until I could get the block in place. God only knows how many more would have continued to come.

My older son immediately moved home for a few weeks until we felt better that she wasn’t coming to my house. Perhaps this is why I’m more devastated that he went and had sex with her 6 days after this! Yet, they were only supposed to “be pals” according to BOTH of them. He knew what she was saying to me all night that night. She’d copied him in on several of her filthy comments. I was sitting and watching our cell phone bill all day while this was going on. It posts texts within 5 minutes of real time. From 1:00 that after noon that I let him know I knew about her, his phone was burning up with text messages from her as well as myself until midnight that night. Most of them from her, she’d text me, then him, me then him. I even at one point called him and told him to control “his bitch”…..he did nothing. He was not in our home that day. He was at work and proceeded to a hotel as I forbid him from returning to our home.

He clearly states now that by making me out to be the “bad” person, he could get others to feel sorry for him. By removing himself as a cause of my anger then he wasn’t responsible for the “bad relationship” we were experiencing. It worked.

I have been bouncing into walls for three weeks now, unable to accomplish much. All I want to do is stay in bed. As I have researched this addiction, he fits the description of a sex addict to a “T”….Lack of total commitment from the beginning of our relationship, Always tired, unable to perform in the bedroom with us, a loner, no outside interests, no male friends. My head is spinning because I never had a clue! Not ONE clue yet now as I look back, all the signs were there…I guess I just trusted him…

It explains so much to me now. All the issues I had with him over the years, sadly were all the things a sex addict does. It never made sense to me why we could never overcome those issues. He has led two lives for years. He got careless last spring and it was only because of that, I caught him.

He has hit very close to “bottom”, but admittedly still sugar coats and minimizes his choice of words to many over the matter. But he has made HUGE steps by hopefully being honest. With much continued procrastination, he’s going to SAA meetings and turning his life over to God. Coming clean, I know all to well is the hardest step. I’m still not sure there’s not more he’s not opened up about although he claims there is not. He still swears he only carried out physical sex with the one in May.

We have probably had over the last two or three weeks the most genuine conversations of our entire 10 year history. He’s begging me to come back to him. He hasn’t stopped telling me that I am the only one he’s ever loved or wanted. I simply am overwhelmed and feel like I’ve been run over by a train. This has crippled me….I honestly don’t know if I can ever get through this much less over it.

I’m afraid. I’m lost. I’ve a distinct history at remaining in unhealthy relationships. My first husband was an alcoholic, my second an abuser, and now I almost married a sex addict. He did finally give me a ring a year ago this past weekend,after 5 years of begging, but he went on line that night after to talk to his long list of women he was involved with. We had been in separate bedrooms since last February when he returned from Wisconsin. I began to catch him lying to me last summer a year ago, day in and day out about little things. He lied to me three times about the job he’d taken here in Virginia last January. I thought then, if he’d lie to me about that, what else would he lie to me about.

Only the good Lord knew what he was about to lead me to in the months that lay ahead. It irked me all last spring, why his door was always closed, He’d go into his bedroom the moment he got home and stayed there all night. He be emailing me his flight schedule for his return here and email two or three other woman with the same information telling them how much he missed them, how he couldn’t wait to see them. Now of course, I know why, he was in that bedroom….to seek out his women and self pleasure himself during or afterward …..day after day after day, night after night.

Statistics suggest that sex addiction is the hardest to reach and stay in recovery. When I see a future with him, I see uncertainty, mistrust, relapse and struggle. Yet, after now knowing all this, I am troubled with the notion that if this had been out years ago and dealt with, would our relationship have been different? I feel at times if I don’t take him back because of this it would be like me walking out on my husband after entering treatment for an alcohol addiction. I am hurt, devastated and lost beyond all right now.

I found a therapist here that specializes in sex addiction and we’ve just begun to see him over the last couple of weeks. We’ve only had one appointment together, the initial, but I made it clear that I do not know if I want this relationship back so he’s seeing us both separate right now.

He is juggling between paying for where I’m living and maintaining our existing home. I’ve no support from anyone close to me when it comes to my thinking of trying to work this out with him. They all want me as far a way as I can be from him. And honestly I don’t know if I want to yet or not. Part of me does, part of me doesn’t. He wants me back and I can tell he’s becoming frustrated with my lack of commitment in either direction.

He claims his last masturbation was three weeks ago. He claims he is not going back there. He claims total abstinence and is going to remain so. Though it is obvious he is in major withdrawal. He’s irritable, edgy and angry. I’ve been around addiction too long and I know the signs. My research clearly states that abstinence is NOT the way to go here and most assuredly will bring on relapse.

I am struggling with allowing him to masturbate and/or have sex with me in order for that not to happen. Yet, I feel dirty about the notion of him even touching me right now. I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure I do want him back, I’m not sure I don’t.

I have this fantasy that maybe through all this things could be different, better that ever before. But I do know if I don’t provide some form of outlet for him, I’m going to get slammed into the wall again by his admission of either violent masturbation, posting on craigslist or both. The therapist involved now that we just began with couldn’t give me any advice. He told me he’d leave that decision up to me in the end, but said should I choose to do so, I would have to “bluff”….very much so “bluff” for his benefit.

Visits: 1

16 Responses

  1. Mary,

    Bluff??? Are you joking??? Please tell me that you are. Look, I’m the QUEEN of fantasy. That is how i SURVIVED my F’d up childhood.

    Your user-so-called-partner is in the latest stages of SA and is NOT one of the top 5% who might be able to recover. He’s not even in the top 25%… I’d put him in the 99th%, that’s how very sick he is. One of the very, very worst.

    Make a plan—Get your own help, from your OWN therapist… and RUN!!!!!!!!

    Run for your LIFE.

    Please, I can’t stand it… Its all so unbelievably sick.

    I’m so so so very sorry for this situation, but there is nothing more you can do. He is completely and utterly hopeless.



  2. When I read this it was like reading my own life for the past two years. My husband of 4 years (together8) has been leading a double life. I discovered it on night after noticing he too was too possessive of his cell phone n texting way too much. Sure enough inappropriate messages from some woman. I later found out they used to work together. I went through phone bills like u did n they were talking n txting non-stop all day every day. They started hooking up after I got pregnant and kept their relationship going. I have confronted him about her multiple times in the last couple years n it’s always my fault he gets mad cause I’m invading his privacy. I just last week discovered he is also on websites like Ashley madison and others like it. I always knew he liked porn but now realize he’s a sex addict. Im not sure what to do. My poor 2 year old girl needs a better dad n I need to not hate my husband.

  3. Okay, I have to put my two cents worth in here.

    Mary, you do not have to provide any sort of sexual outlet for him. That is enabling–just like giving a little cocaine to a drug addict so he won’t feel bad.

    He needs to fight his demons all by himself. He will either take the path of recovery–or act out, NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO!

    Don’t humiliate yourself by providing (bluffed–fake) sex, which you do not enjoy, to your husband as a means to stop him from looking elsewhere. Besides being destructive to both of you it will only add to your pain and he’ll do whatever he wants anyway.

    Stand up for yourself woman! Stop living in a fantasy world and take a long, hard look at reality. Stop wishing for what can never be and try to figure out what your options are.

    Three weeks of abstinence is nothing. Three years might convince me he’s serious.

    He’s frustrated with your lack of commitment? WHAT??????? Where the fuck has his commitment been all this time?

    Looks like a pretty one-sided argument to me. It’s time for you to take your power back sister.

  4. Mary, I am here in Hampton Roads too.
    Mary, he is gone and like JoAnn said to you, you can’t do anything at all to help him, he has to help himself and frankly, he has lived this life his whole life. You cannot take anything he says to be true and that will not change. He will always lie because that is what he is, and what he wants. He knew extactly what his actions mean and chose to do so anyway. He chose.
    He is what he is, and not at all what he acted to you. Many times when people say “they acted out” I feel like with many of these men, when they are doing their lying and sick things, it is what they really are….and that what they are with us was the act. In my case it was true, and nothing mattered, absolutely nothing at all, because he was never going to be anything but a liar and sex addict……nothing you do will ever work to help him, nothing you did caused it, there is nothing you can do. Look at him for what he really is. You have everything in front of you. It hurts, it will be the most catastrophic thing to ever occur in your life…..but look at who brought it. It was never you and you have been abused enough.
    JoAnn, how can we contact others who live so close to us without putting our emails on the web?

  5. I would be happy to connect people who both want to share e-mails or phone numbers with each other.

    If you e-mail me through the ‘contact’ page or at [email protected] and tell me who the wish to contact, I will send your request to them. Then they can contact you if they wish.

  6. Mary,

    I am in a daze.Are we talking of the same person?

    My SA did the exact same thing.

    Texting multiple women at the same time in the middle of the nite.Messages flying hard and fast within 40..50..60 seconds of gap.I was amazed as to how he managed to keep the conversations apart.

    And to take it further,i found that he had been texting women even as we were talking on the cell fone..either from the same cell or another one.

    And please don’t believe , even for a single second, when he says he has had sex only with the women he admits to.I bet those are the only women you have found evidence about.

    My SA did not even admit to the few until i produced hotel room receipts.Once he admitted to being physical with a woman, the next struggle was to getting him to admit how many times he had been with her.It was always only that one time when you caught him.He will admit to nothing unless you have undisputable evidence about things.

    And as with yours, mine too always had women coming on to him.Once as we were on the fone, i heard a neighbour greeting him.The lilt in her voice as she did so was not the way one greets a neighbour.
    Though i did not question him about it i guess he sensed that i would have caught it.He said she has been pursuing him since quite sometime and he has been avoiding her.Then of course i find he has been texting her and calling her all the while.

    What you have found and what he has admitted would just be one speck of sand in the sahara desert.

    And Lynn, you absolutely said what i have concluded.The way they are with us is the lie and the way they are otherwise is their true self.

    I have put to rest my belief that they are two different people and the good part can overcome the ugly side.They aren’t.The good part theyt showed us was a mirage to keep us hooked.


  7. I am curious to hear from other women what is like having sex relations with your SA.
    My husband only started having sex with me after I discovered his life long acting out 2 years ago. i lived and accepted 21 years of pushing me away sexually and emotionally.

  8. So when I found out that my husband was a sex addict, I actually became more aroused! In fact, I just recently shared that with another s-anon in my group. This, act, I recently learned, is not uncommon. Some people find pleasure in the presence of danger, violence, risk or shame. I am in the process of uncovering my own understanding of how my history “hooked me up” to this.
    Now I have to add that when I became more sexual with my husband, I had no idea why. After that wore off, I became ashamed of my behavior and began to understand that I was sick too. I started getting more involved in the 12-step program of s-anon and decided to have a period of abstinence.
    Bottom line, and no bull shit……….it does not matter what we do!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Or should I say, it did not matter what I did!
    I have told my husband that I have seen an attorney and am only interested in talking with him about moving forward in terminating our marriage. He is melting like a snowman in Phoenix. Crying, begging, telling me that he is now serious about his program, and realizes the “wreckage of his past”.
    REALLY????????? REALLY???????? He had to call his sponsor Friday night to ask if it was ok that we had some wine together with dinner!!!!! Last Friday was the night before the Jewish Holiday Yom Kippur and we fast for 24 hours.
    His sponsor has told my husband that for the next 90 days, he can have no liquor or pot. He is on day 30.
    So his sponsor tells him no. But the crazy man had already purchased it and brought it home for me???? How sweet! NOT!!
    My husband is so, so, so, so sick. I know he really wants to get better, but I am not seeing anything other than him going to meetings right now. He is still on Facebook, still on Linked-in, still has his gmail account, still has his office email account, still has a mac-book, ipad, iphone and two PC’s at work . . . oh and does not see a therapist.
    And I am no longer going to spend the time, effort and money to work on the marriage.
    I am only going to spend the time, effort and money to work on ME, ME, ME. It will take me years to recover from the effects of living with a sex addict. I know that. And I know I will never be the same! But if I had cancer, I would do what ever it took to get myself better and have my dignity while doing it.
    Ladies, I will never judge any of you, as I hope you will not judge me. It took me years to come to this decision.
    If you can get out, please do so and do it sooner than later.

  9. Oh Dear, I expected to get advise, very direct advise but I guess I didn’t expect for all to say “run Mary run”….I’d be lying if I said I felt anything short of foolish and without hope after reading everyone’s responses. Keeping myself in the reality of this situation here is what I believe is the culprit in my “bouncing into walls” because I can’t and won’t ignore what has happened. It’s that reality that makes my stomach fall out and my legs grow week when it sweeps through my mind like the 150 mph winds a hurricane brings while making landfall.

    Things are happening quickly with him right now and since I wrote this story and where it was at 2 weeks ago, he’s been filling his nights with SA meetings, addiction recovery meetings at church, seeing a therapist weekly – one week he went twice. Going to church 1 – 3 times a weekend. Installed Covenenant Eyes on his computer and I-phone, sent a registered return receipt letter to the “bitch” (sorry JoAnn) he slept with in May telling her he’s an addiction and she wasn’t the first over the years. Telling her he wanted no contact with/from her ever again and that he was planning to spend the rest of his life making up to me what he’s done, that is if I decided to let him. He’s in the process of initiating a daily log that instructs him to do/use for the next two weeks. He responds to a pre-established list of emotions he may be feeling and logs events during the day next to that emotion that may “trigger” a relapse – the idea being able to identify what makes him act out. He is then to put those results in the start of an action/recovery plan. He is seeking a sponsor/accountability partner through SA and has spoken at length with the head of the group he’s been attending.

    He doesn’t stop saying that a life of integrity is what he wants. He says it is the life he has “chosen” and will continue toward regardless of me or not. He answers any question I may have and has openly (for him) discussed his entire life. He has spent hours crying as well as hours talking of his shame. He is not justifying or blaming any of it any more.

    Now does any of that mean he’s telling me 100% of the truth? NO – NO WAY, no how in my mind. Is there more I’ve not been told – I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised and fully expect and believe it’s not. I’ve told him he’s one last opportunity to tell me more, this time in front of a counselor….. if there is still more next week because if I find out later that there is then everything to do with me in this process will cease and desist. But, Does any of this mean he’s going to reach and maintain a life of recovery? NO….. I am in NO means believing ANYthing he’s saying as far as extent, involvement or no of times, etc. I am even considering asking him to take a lie detector test. I have told him I am more fearful of his lies than his cheating. He speaks openly of times recent that he’s found himself ready to lie (about anything to anyone that elicits sympathy) …even a white lie and he’s stopped himself in attempts to learn better behavior. He talks of times now where he’s recognizing his actions during the actual event and tries to change what he’s done in the past. I do not believe “she” was the only one he slept with either. I’ve told him that. I’ve told him that I am still very unsettled with things as far as that goes. What my eyes have seen would suggest he carried through with sex with more than one. I don’t buy “he chickened out” crap. Especially over the summer when things seemed to escalate after I moved out. But the one thing I do believe is that he DOES want to change. I don’t think anyone wants to have a life like that…call me a fool but I don’t think anyone chooses to become a sex addict. Whether or not he can or he will change will remain to be seen. Desire to change is not enough. We all know that. Talking change doesn’t cut it and I spent a decade with him delivering “words” and NO action for everything else in his life. He wasn’t happy when he first heard people saying 3 – 5 years to reach full potential for recovery for this addiction…but he’s accepting that fact and in addition that nothing will change over night much less over a few weeks.

    My second “d” day in August, the 23rd, where he came and told me he slept with her, had the hooker and gave me all the passwords to his email accounts – he did on his own. With the email passwords I was able to see his email and read all he’d done with these women ages 22 and up. I had NO clue other than the antics with the widow of his friend and finding his August 7th posting on Craigslist, that the rest of this had occurred or was occurring. Thats what hurt so much. It was then too that he began to tell me of the extent of his masturbating all these years. It was then I realized this was much deeper than a “womanizer” problem. He called my Mother the night before the 23rd and told her he’d hurt me very very very bad and he needed to come to me and tell me what he’d done and he’d planned on doing so the next night.

    Now, I am NOT justifying ANYthing he’s doing or done here, but I do want to clarify that he came to me willingly and on his own to give me what I feel was and has been the most devastating of all my discovery in this since May 8th. The time period after I moved out in May until August 23rd – that information and things he did after I moved out have been the most hurtful of all of this. I felt I had 2 “d” days with the last being the worst. He didn’t have to tell me any of that but he did.

    Which brings me to another very very weird event. That letter that he sent to the woman he claims he slept with in May – he did this last Tuesday. He sent me the letter ahead of time and asked for me to add or change anything I wanted. I made a suggestion or two but felt that this letter had to come from him. No one else. He hand wrote it and mailed it. Anyway, Thursday afternoon my phone rang and I crapped when I saw it was “HER” number – the “bitch” he’d slept with. I was shocked she still had my number since last May. She has only contacted me at this point, not him. Her number is blocked out on both his and my phones and he put her number in his work phone temporarily so she would come up if she called after she got his letter. He was not going to answer it.

    Here’s where I am TOTALLY baffled….This “psycho bitch” as I’ve been calling her since May starts spewing all this crap when I said “hello” that this letter must have been sent to her by “mistake” and she in no way, no fashion what so ever “slept” with him! She wouldn’t tell me her name, she refused… but I know that number like I know I’ve 10 toes. I told her I had all their emails, everything. She kept denying sleeping with him and said she’d only gone on a motorcycle ride and that was it! That her relationship with him had been strictly platonic! I couldn’t believe my ears! They supposedly haven’t had contact since late May/early June. She admitted she was the one texting me the night of the 8th because “she was pissed” but then turns around and denies the next breath she had a 10yr old son (which is mentioned in all of her emails to him and he’s told me she has a kid)…..But anyway, she was admitting to some things, denying others – her identity being one and confirming anything about her life. As if I don’t know who the fuck she is. He told her in the letter that he’d told me everything. But the letter contained NO details as to what “everything” was. At one point she told me as I kept trying to get a word in edgewise, that the details of her life I didn’t need to know and I thought how dare you bitch – you know all about MY life so why do you think you’re life’s details are so private.

    I got off the phone with her and called him immediately and he was floored at her denial. I don’t have ONE clue why he would come and openly tell me he slept with her and then actually DIDN’T! What would he possible have to gain by that. I told her that but she kept saying he was lying!!!! He has read much of Barbara Steffen’s information on the trauma this shit has caused all of us as well as viewed her slide show explaining many of our emotions right now as a result of his “2nd life”. He doesn’t stop talking about how much he’s hurt me and has read everything I’ve sent him with regard to how this is impacting me. He continues to profess that he wants to be there for me however he can but recognizes he’s the source of my pain. Unsure what to do he says he will be there as I need him, if I need him. He says he doesn’t want to bring on any more pain. I do know that someone wouldn’t go and destroy someone else by telling them something like that if it didn’t happen. He may be sick but I wouldn’t think THAT sick as to inflict more of a living hell to EITHER of us by providing that kind of information. I’d be interested in what you guys think about this psycho bitch calling me and telling me that. I sent her a text after her call giving my two cents worth to her and then put her number back on my block list for my phone so she couldn’t engage with me.

    He’s giving words now….LOTS of words. YES…. Again, I only believe that he truly does want to change. I believe that his words in the moment he’s saying them are genuine. But with addiction as we all know they are only that – just words. As far as being the “worst of the worst” that very well may be true, but I feel cheating with ONE woman much less 100 is no different. An alcoholic is an alcoholic regardless of how many drinks he has. There is no excuse in my mind for ONE woman much less multiple. If one must measure worse than he could be worse, he could be a pedophile, a stalker, a rapist…..I could have seen emails to minors …….yes, he could be much worse.

    I mentioned the three weeks abstinence from masturbation not for the suggestion of a measured time in “recovery” but from the stand point that three weeks was what I would consider a long time of no sexual encounters for one who’s done this every day, one with an addiction. Heck most men complain (normal men) if they don’t get it once a week and for many that’s still not enough. I was referring to the 3 weeks to point out what I thought were “withdrawal” symptoms. Those three weeks I felt were probably feeling like 3 years for him as far as being “active”. He has never said he was frustrated – it was only what I was feeling was going on by his actions. He wouldn’t deny or confirm my suspicions either way. On the contrary he’s told me to draw the line and tell him when he’s getting out of line with me. What I have expressed here are my feelings….and not feelings based upon anything he’s said or not said. I agree with you JoAnn that 3 weeks abstinence is NO track record for recovery/years of this horrible practice. I do not want to be an enabler and I’ve taken many actions to try to prevent that from happening. I have read where many couples after this still engage in sex during this time. I’ve read many that don’t. I don’t know what I should be doing with those concerns other than what I feel is right for me. Sex addiction is so different that any other addiction because abstinence is NOT the final result of recovery. So I was seeking advise on how to handle this time during initial attempts at recovery. And again, I’m not so sure I’m explaining right what it is I’m trying to say here. Three years is more correct as far as abstinence and the disorder and believing he was serious. I was in no way using those three weeks as a suggestion of ample “recovery” time. Even after 3 years, 5 years or 15 years in recovery he could return to this. There is no guarantee – not now not ever. As I told him last night, for most right now walking in my shoes – they are trying to decide whether or not to STAY in their marriage – whether or not to get a divorce. For me, as I said to him, I’m already “out” – now he’s asking me to return to a life with him. He’s asking me to “step back in”. I don’t know if I can irregardless of what I want to think this relationship could be. This is a life altering event….I’ll never be the same regardless of the outcome…never.

    What I do know is that I am going to have to be involved with him to some decree right now because he’s supporting me and he is on a years lease for the house I’m living in. This would all be so much easier if he didn’t want me back. There would be only the struggle of me trying to process and pick up the pieces of my life otherwise. His wanting me/us back makes this a horrible place to be in. I’m scared and confused and no if I return I’m going to face relapse at one point or another. Right now He has to pay for my house and me for a year. There’s a lease. I was already in the process of starting a new business last winter when I found all this out. I was doing good in June and July, emotionally and otherwise. I have to get on my feet by the end of this lease. I bought JoAnn’s book on boundaries and am in the process of drawing that up. I will not commit to him AT all right now and he knows that but I feel I need boundaries regardless.

    Further, I need to figure out what to do with all these emotions raging through me, I have to figure out a way to exist with him at least through next June. I keep telling myself it is okay to feel what I feel and for as long as I need to feel it. But there are so many to deal with and so many hitting me at the same time. As long as he is willing and actively working a program of recovery (and I don’t mean 1 day a week crap either – I told him all of his waking moments need to be filled with SOME form of recovery period)I will remain open to a possible future with him. My past relationships never made recovery and if they did it was very brief. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced someone breaking down this far and willing to to whatever it takes to be a better person. I’ve nothing more to loose right now. But I also know that the few that make and stay in recovery are just that – a FEW. It’s all in his court – ALL of it. If he so much as staggers one eye-ota from a heavy plan of daily – DAILY actions toward recovery, it’s over. PERIOD. And he knows that. I need therapy regardless of whether or not he’s in the picture. I need a therapist that’s not like this idiot I’ve been seeing as well.

    Time is the only factor here….I just don’t know how to keep myself “free” of this relationship while at the same time journeying with him during to see if recovery is a place he can reach. Does that make sense? I can’t find the right words to explain it here. My reality is that chances are slim to none that he’ll make it but I’ve never witnessed a person who has reached these depths of desires to change.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word “fantasy” for myself as far as wishing for a better future. I chose that word because “my” reality as it has been in the past with the others wasn’t recovery. There are people out there that do make it. I’ve read that those that do usually have a better stronger relationship on top as a result. Without Hope what would we have? I can’t go anywhere until I can get on my feet which if I can ever get beyond this deep depression, I intend on continuing to do. But without “Hope” during my journey, how else can I get there?

    Thank you guys for being so honest here.

  10. Mary,
    I was struck by a couple of things you said in your posts about your situation. First, I see you as wavering between taking care of yourself and wanting to believe him. You will always have yourself no matter what happens. His behaviour to date, apart from the past couple of weeks, gives you no reason to put any stock in him at all. I think you see that but at the same time, you are struggling with how much you value yourself.

    You moved out. Excellent. Yes, I know he’s still paying for this but that doesn’t obligate you in any way. He created the problem, he can deal with the consequences. If he can cold-heartedly treat you as he has for the past 10 years, you know he’s capable of doing it again. For now, he has sublimated the ‘Jekyll’ side of him because of his fear. Fear of losing everything is not the same as truly wanting to connect.

    You talk about deep depression. Completely appropriate and understandable but do NOT make any decisions whilst you are in this state of mind. re: letting him back in. You are in a vulnerable spot right now and he’s taking advantage of that. You said you want to find a better therapist. Do it, girl! Keep the focus on YOU and what you want. Not on him.

    Hope this helps and wasn’t too brutal.

    PS. I think it’s time I wrote my story. You have inspired me to do so. 🙂

  11. Marian,

    I tend to have to agree with you whole heartedly. That is assuming you mean by taking care of me, being I choose the path of giving him what he wants verses taking the path that I keep telling myself right now is the safest. I battle between moving on without him or taking risk – BIG risk, that should he work the program, truly work the WHOLE program and nothing short of the whole program, that we may have a chance at a better and healthy life ahead. I’m 50 years old, disabled, on social security and broke. To seek out new relationships be it when ever, if ever, I will always have issues now with trust. Hopefully with time and good therapy and hard work on my part that will diminish. I tend to refer back to the great couple’s therapist’s we went to in Canada a year and a half ago whereby he pointed out that each of us is “what we have to work with”. He is what he is and I am what I am. I am torn between trying to work with what I already know more about what I have and/or starting all over not knowing what I really have at all. Of course none of this is worth a “tinker’s damn” if he doesn’t work the program with all he has. Only time will show any of that.

    I am vulnerable….VERY vulnerable. And yes, he does know that. That scares me more than much of the other stuff right now. That is why I feel I need to set boundaries and adhere to them. Sometimes I feel pressured and rushed. And I shouldn’t. He’s not said anything vocally to make me feel that way but his actions toward me do…like always wanting to hug me or kiss me which at times, most of the time, make me uncomfortable.

    At the risk of speaking for others here, I like many of us here that are very early in to recovery are all over the place with emotions. I don’t know if I’m coming or going half the time and I may be in a completely different place emotionally than I was a half hour earlier. It sucks. (I am also right smack dab in the middle of menopause too!!) I am more aware than ever that I can not and should not make any decisions right now as messed up as I am….that includes making decisions in either direction – away from him or back with him. Given that, I am simply trying to find a way to exist in the here and now safely without choosing a direction. Perhaps that’s not even doable, but Perhaps that statement too, right there is what I’ve been trying to say all along. How do I find “neutral” in the gear shifts. And you are right with your choice of words here….what he did was cold hearted. But I also think that to be the case for all of us here trying to struggle through all this, cope and heal.

    I have and did find new therapists today and glad I did. I spoke at length with the office manager over the therapists approach to counseling be it 12 step or trauma. This local clinic has 2 people who specialize in Sex Addiction – a MD (Addiction Medicine – Substance Abuse, Chemical Dependency & Sex Addiction as well) and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor/Adult & Couples Counseling – Co-Dependency, Women’s Issues & Sex Addiction. The clinic has other therapists but sex addiction is their main forte’. The MD is a man and the second is a woman. I’m going to see her and he’s going to see him. We each will have our own therapists that specialize in sex addiction and if at such time we feel we want to try to put things back together, will have both therapists in the same office that will then bring us together into couples counseling. I think this will be a better approach than what we’ve been doing and I am a tad optimistic yet again as a result.

    I am also exploring coaching with Dr. Barbara Steffens. She called me today and is more than available for doing something like that with me. Another great option and one I am going to discuss with him because since it’s coaching it is not covered by insurance and he will have to pay for it.

    Again, I am a big believer that knowledge is power and as such I need to learn all I can before I make any decisions. My main concern is stabilizing myself while I do that.

    As far as him wanting to connect vs hanging on out of fear I believe it is finally about connecting. He’s been terrified of commitment since I’ve known him. It’s been a major issue for us from the beginning. I am not married to him and he has had to support me for 9 of the last 10 years. To keep me around at best is going to cost him. Our current arrangement is only until next June for financial support from him. Be it all that I do and continue to challenge him as to why he would want me back after all this. Other than paying my bills for a year, he is free…plain and simple. I did feel like a boat anchor for the last decade and I’m not about to go back there to be drug around behind someone else’s butt again. I won’t go back to being a burden. Period. I was a completely independent woman until I got sick a decade ago. Neither of my husbands ever supported me. This has been a first with him and not one I’ve ever taken kindly too.

    Marian, I look forward to hearing your story.

    Zachette, if he were doing the same thing your husband is doing I’d be doing the same thing you are doing. He had deleted the contents of his most used email accounts out of shame and panic a few weeks ago after I read them and wigged out at him. He is waiting for the emails to return and is going in and terminating all his profiles. We r talking of him simply contacting the server and just closing the entire email account period instead. Irregardless, 1 time a week meetings is not enough for me right now. Unless his every waking moment outside of his job is not focused somehow on some form of recovery, he will be hard pressed at convincing me otherwise that he is truly committed here. This problem, at least for me/us is bigger than either of us can wrap our hands around and I feel the amount of time and commitment to dealing with it must be of equal proportion if not greater. I don’t know if I got more aroused by my discovery of his addiction…I wouldn’t exactly call it that for me. I did though however wonder what our sex life would have been like had he been as aggressive with me (and I’m not talking physical here )as he was with them. Impotency was an issue from the start 10 years ago. I do believe that had he not had this addiction there would have been more left for me when we were engaging. With me inside and outside the bedroom was/has always been a gentleman. That’s another reason for such huge shock for me finding all this out.

    JMB, I am also trying to find out what it’s like after discovery why it wasn’t. From what I’ve read it’s all without intimacy and all about fantasy. That is until intimacy is learned and that can be an experience that takes a life time. Mine told me that he would have to learn how to make love with me all over again………

    God Bless

  12. You asked what sex is like after initially finding out about his secrets. Since we haven’t had relations since 3 weeks into pregnancy (my son is 22 now)..and to cut to the chase he certainly learned many new tricks since then. I refused to compare myself to his lovers and remained self assured. I guess I wanted to compete with them They are the fantasy and I am the reality. However, my antenna is up when it comes to the intimacy. He doesn’t kiss
    me. I mean a real soulful kiss. And in restrospect he never did.
    He was an excellent con man when it came to me, and WAS is the operative word here. And I see kissing as a doorway to sexual intimacy . But besides this, he is very attentive to me sexually in every other area. Go figure.

  13. Hi Mary,

    i am sorry for your situation…none of these situations are close to ideal. I have slowly come to realize after my husband’s acting out (after an 11 year sober period-i think) that this is a lifelong issue for the addict. They will deal with this everyday for the rest of their lives. The question for me now and perhaps you is….do I want to stay on this ride knowing it will ALWAYS be a work in progress for them…NEVER a cure.

    I was in denial about that for years. I thought it might fade into the past. lol I don’t want this third entity in our marriage. I love him too and we have young children but had I known this was going to be a lifelong struggle with his sex addiction I may not have taken this path with him.

    He jumped two feet in recovery too and is also working with our pastor and seems sincere. but I haven’t decided if I am in for the long haul anymore knowing he has to struggle everyday to make the right choice. I am too tired for that constant black cloud …my 20 years is too long. But now my commitment isn’t just to him…if I stay it is also a commitment to be a part of this daily struggle that is now our life.

    He is sweet, loving and a wonderful father and is trying hard but i know it can never be normal….i am thinking you deserve a chance at normal.

    I wish for peace for you and all of us. Best of luck to you. 🙂

  14. HI Mary,
    It’s great to know you have to pursuing your own support needs with professional help. I know that you will begin to sort out the feelings once you have a safe place to be, and a safe person to be with. It is such an overwhelming time at the beginning of discovery. I cried every night, lots in the day. And maybe like I think you are doing—-I kept trying to think it through—if I could just the pieces straight in my mind—they would eventually land somewhere that would be manageable. When I read that long post of yours (2 ago?) I just shook my head at the kind of stuff you have rambling around inside your head. I’m a bit of a compulsive thinker so maybe I’m sensitive to it. But that email was the madness–and you will never be able to make sense of the non-sense of his behaviours.

    The good news is that you CAN make sense of YOU. That’s the job you have now. Nothing you do will change anything about him—but you CAN shape your own life. It starts now, Mary. Don’t waste another moment looking back. There’s nothing back there for you. Even if your spouse gets full into recovery and make the changes in own life, gets the therapy he needs—it’s all about what ahead for both of you. Let your therapists work with the past safely. You need to stand in your own light woman!!!! It’s there. We know it’s there. Look what you have survived! Appreciate everything you have done to survive and protect your precious psyche. You have the light. Stand in it. Own it. It goes with you everywhere. Imagine that golden circle around your feet, moving with you each step.

    It’s not easy to recover yourself. It’s hard work. But it’s holy work. And we are the only ones who can do it. Some of the grief that hits you like a rogue wave, is grief for the person you knew you were once. Go get her, Mary. She’ll be you best company in life.

    love to you in all things,

  15. Annie,

    Thanks for your support. One of the main staples of my emotional mess is I know this will be a life long struggle…I know this is now an addiction and addictions just don’t ‘go’ away. And honestly, I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my life with an addict….of any kind. My experience with addicts and addiction are in my personal family as well as the 2 men I did marry. None – NONE of them every reached or maintained any significant level of sobriety. Perhaps what I’m going through now is a process…the process of burying him and the life of lies and deceit that has been uncovered with him. I don’t honestly know. Even if he were to reach and maintain recovery, every day will be still “a day in recovery”….it will always be a work in progress. And I suspect where it may not be as intense as it is now, I will always wake up each day and wonder……That is a life I fear….BIG TIME. I guess that’s what makes this so hard because of the truck load of emotions that follow this disorder for the partner/spouse involved once the secret is out. This is but one of the many feelings swarming through my mind like a hive full of bees.

    Dianne, You said some really strong and powerful words that resonated with me. “Thinking it through”….You’ve definitely hit on something there. I never thought about myself as being a compulsive thinker….but I most certainly could be. I am very much a detail person…..as a former very very successful interior designer of 15 years, one of the main reasons for that success was my keen attention to detail. I by nature am a very organized individual and like things in order. I like to learn and understand well my topics….and that is what I am doing here, with him…trying to make sense of it all, trying to understand it all…put it all together in a nice convenient little outline. And you’re right…you can’t make sense of this madness….you can’t. That’s perhaps a real part of my craziness right now. And you’re right again, it’s madness! his non sense behaviors. MADNESS

    It’s interesting how a couple of the ladies here described their husbands two sided personalities as “which one is he REALLY – the one/person he is when he is in the “other” life or the person he is with them. Ironically I told mine that very statement a week or so ago…That I had to figure out who he REALLY was…the person he claims to be with me or the person he is with them. I at that time pointed out that since the numbers of them far outweighed me, I suspected with them – the person he is with them, IS who he really is.

    Madness it is…….

    God Bless

  16. Mary, that is what my therapist pointed out to me several years ago, that I had to stop seeing my husband then as how I saw him (oh, how I loved him) because it was not real.
    He was not real as he pretended to be with me and the respectable people in the world.
    The secret life was all consuming and took priority, and he wanted it enough to deceive to keep being himself. He actually told me as he left my son and I that he was going to finally be himself and do what he wanted.
    He has made a mess of his life, but is still doing what he wants and being himself. And, the big kicker, he still successfully fools so many people!
    So it is never ending. He went full force into the dark side (he even told me he was in a dark place when he left)and still tries to belong to the respectable world, but still has to lie to everyone because he is not respectable at all. So the lying never stopped, he just dumped his wife and son when he was discovered…can’t continue being respectable with a wife who is on to you. Before he finally abandoned us, he tried every abuse there was to plow me down into submission. So, his dirty little world is what means the most to him. With mine, it is who he is and always has been, and most of all wants to be.

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