Memories From JoAnn

woman at computerSometimes letters from my readers really touch my soul. I get many private e-mails through the ‘Contact’ page, which I always answer.

Sometimes one will really take me back. Here is my answer to one of those e-mails that talked about finding out those devastating facts while monitoring her husband’s computer.

Dear xxxxxx,

WOW. I have to say your e-mail really struck a cord with me. I remember oh so well when I was monitoring my husband’s computer and he did not know about it. I feel that this was one of the darkest moments in my life.

I knew–I hurt–yet I could not confront him. I tried to ‘talk’ him into telling me the truth–yet he never did. Twice I had to really blow up and tell him what I knew about all the swinging sites, hooker sites, craigslist and dating sites he had been visiting. What I couldn’t see was the phone calls that he had made after visiting these sites. It was months before I found out that he was contacting these people and hooking up with them.

When I told him that I had been monitoring his computer…he turned on me for being so devious! It was ugly. And, it was a dark time in my life.

Based on what I went through I would advise you to have a conversation with your husband. Don’t feel ‘guilty’ or embarrassed–you have no reason to. Just, in a matter of fact way, tell him that you have been monitoring his computer, and tell him that you have done this because he has betrayed your trust–he has not earned that, and that you have every right in the world to double check on him. Tell him that you feel that his online activities are in conflict with his recovery and that you expect him to stop.

Be prepared for him to blow up. He will.

Hopefully this will take you to another level in the recovery. Tell him that from now on you expect total transparency, and that all online sex sites are off limits. Tell him that you will continue to monitor his computer activity as well as his cell phone, credit cards and bank statements, etc.

You should tell him that contact with his sponsor is a part of your relationship recovery and that if he has not been honest with his sponsor that you certainly will be.

Set your boundaries. If he will not agree then you have to decide if you want to live like this.

Sex Addicts will not stop until they are ready. I went through so much pain and anguish during my relationship. My husband and I were separated for three and a half years before he finally ‘got’ it. Until then he was a total jerk!

Eventually my husband purchased a very sophisticated monitoring system, gave it to me and told me that I could install it on his computers and that I could monitor every aspect of his life. He turned all of his passwords, credit card accounts, cell phone accounts and bank account passwords over to me. For three years he gave me every receipt for every cash purchase he made so that I could match it to his ATM withdrawals.

I do hope that you can work through this with your husband. He seems to still be in denial about what recovery really is. Unfortunately it does take time. I remember that my husband actually accepted a 90 day sobriety coin from his 12 step group while he was seeing hookers several times a week. It just goes with the territory.

I see a beam of light in your situation, but you have to be strong, set your boundaries, enforce consequences and be strong enough to walk that long, hard and lonely journey to the other side. If you feel that you are not up to it (which is certainly okay–and the path that many partners take), then you have to decide to walk the other way.

If there is anything I can do for you or any questions I can answer, please, just ask.

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Responses

  1. Hi JoAnne,

    Could you recommend a porn blocker that works? My husband has found his way around them in the past. We are currently separated and he doesn’t have a computer. I am concerned about us getting back together and him using my computer.

    Thanks,
    SLK

  2. Hi Joann,
    I installed webwatcher on my bf’s computer. He doesn’t know and I beginning to see the issues with that. I really don’t want to confront him and admit to being so devious. Also, checking up on him is anxiety provoking. I have found that webwatcher doesn’t work 100% of the time – it inexplicably goes dark for a few days here and there. Sometimes when it’s working again, it shows missing day’s info, other times it doesn’t. That just ads to my stress – wondering if that’s the day he saw a hooker or something.

    My question to you is – should I tell my bf what i’ve discovered when I break it off? Aside from not wanting to look like a lowlife for snooping, I also don’t want the focus to become my “paranoia” as the problem with our relationship. Do I owe him the truth? I love him and he has been very good to me to the best of his abilities. Do I owe him this as a human being in the hopes that being honest with him about what I know and why I’m leaving him, helps him in his journey?

    I want to be ethical, as I know this man never intentionally hurt me, that he has no ability to understand how his behavior effects other people and he goes out of his way to protect and help me. I’m not excusing him. I’m just saying I know he loves me to the extent he can love another person. I know my leaving him will be devastating and confusing.

    I don’t want to give him the opportunity to apologize, rationalize and promise to never do it again however – he has a magical way of beating down my resistance and I do not want to entertain that for one minute.

  3. Hi Mayam,

    I applaud your decisiveness in this awful situation that you are facing and I think your decision to leave is definitely a healthy one.

    As for telling him about the computer monitoring, you should look at what the reasons would be for telling him and will telling him be good for you? Healthy boundaries allow you to make decisions based on what is best for you. My thoughts are that you want to tell him because you are an honest person and feel guilty about it. Honesty does not mean that you have to spill your guts to everyone who asks. Work through that guilt with a counselor or dear friend. If you are truly ready to leave him there is no reason to tell him about your investigation.

    And, that’s exactly what it was. A fact finding investigation. Think about how law enforcement works. They will gather all the information they need to make their case and then go forward with solid evidence. That’s exactly what you did. No need to feel guilty–you have every right to protect yourself. He’s the one who broke the conditions of a loving and trusting relationship, not you.

    Telling him will only force you to engage in some pretty nasty dialogue where you can only lose. Sex Addicts will do anything they can–manipulate, coerce, threaten or accuse to get their way. Don’t put yourself through more torture than you have already endured.

    Protect yourself with healthy boundaries (visualize them as a fence or a circle of light that keeps the bad stuff away from you.) Healthy boundaries allow you to share only what you choose to share. This will help you maintain control of the conversation and not be sucked into a nasty confrontation.

    I like to use the ‘broken record’ technique when my boundaries are threatened. Just keep repeating the main phrase, in a non aggressive manner, such as, ‘I’m sorry, but my mind is made up and this is what is best for me’, or whatever words feel comfortable for you.

    It will not be easy. He will do and promise anything to keep you. Don’t think that this is because he loves you, although he may love you in his own way; it’s because Sex Addicts cannot deal with any type of emotion, and ‘abandonment’ is usually one of their biggest fears. He will cast all sorts of guilt your way, but remember, you are not responsible for him or his future actions (he may even threaten suicide). If he does threaten to harm himself tell him that you will do the responsible thing and call the police and have him confined for whatever period of time your state allows, usually 72 hours, for his own safety.

    Just stay focused on what is good and healthy for you, wish him well, but make your conditions very clear that there will be no future contact. No phone calls, no e-mails, no stalking or showing up on your doorstep. Make the consequences clear at this time also. Tell him that if he does contact you, you will not respond. Tell him that if he tries to contact you in any face to face manner you will call the police. And, be prepared to follow those consequences. Allowing him in just ONE time will show him that your boundaries are only lip service.

    And, remember, staying connected with him as a ‘friend’, which will probably be one of his requests, is less fun than being water boarded on a daily basis.

    Good luck to you. Remember we are all here for you.

    Lots of hugs and light,

    JoAnn

  4. Thank you JoAnn.

    I do want to protect myself and won’t let him engage me in any discussion or negotiation. I guess it just troubles me to not tell him why. Otherwise, he’s no where closer to knowing that it’s his addiction – that he even has an addiction – that’s destroying his life and causing him to lose what he loves.

    I do intend on making it very clear that if he contacts me, I will call the police immediately and I will get a restraining order – no second chances. I have gone back on this threat many times, so I’m sure he won’t believe me but I do intend on following through. I am scared – he’s going to lose it. I know it’s going to put him an extreme state of panic and that he will not be able to stay away from me. He has never been violent before, so I hope he won’t be now but of course I won’t give him the opportunity to get close to me.

    The one threat that might actually keep him away is if I tell him about the snooping software and threaten to give the password to the account to his wife. Whenever I have threatened to call his wife (he’s separated), he backs down. It’s more effective than the police. That would surely keep him away but that would require I tell him that I’ve installed this on his computer.

    Thank you for your feedback – there’s so much I don’t understand about this situation and I’m desperate to get info and act.

  5. Mayam,

    I realized that you asked JoAnn, and so I exhibited enormous restraint and sat on my hands, for once—lol… (and I was at a trade show all day which was fun)

    I am so glad JoAnn answered as she did and I agree with her, wholeheartedly. Psycho dude is an extremely dangerous man—Remember his nervous break down? I would not threaten him in any way shape or form or EVER tell him about the monitoring, because sweetie, guess what? I checked, and it is possible that in so doing, (no matter what the reason), you very well may have been breaking the law here. That’s right. If you installed computer monitoring software without his knowledge and were spying on him without his knowledge, that may be a crime and don’t think that a psycho dude like him won’t press charges when he realizes that you are serious about leaving him!!! Imagine that.

    Please protect yourself at all costs. Bring your male friend and be civil, business-like and non-inflammatory and do just as JoAnn has advised you.

    You cannot help him. He will not–he cannot understand and your telling him anything about your monitoring or making any threats will only make things worse for you— guaranteed.

    In closing, I admire your courage, immensely and your ability to quickly turn things around for yourself. You’ll see— You are going to feel like the weight of the world has been removed from you…Remember how great you felt when he was away on Saturday???

    Godspeed! and remember we are always here for you!

    xo,

    Lorraine

  6. PS: He’s a smart boy, albeit crazy. He knows what he’s done, but he doesn’t want to know that its affecting you and he won’t ever get it or get how and why this lead to your break up. I understand that you are acting from round-world-caring-thinking and that is what I would do too, however, I tried to help my predator in this manner and honey, it just backfired on me—big time!!! I know so well, it goes against everything you believe in and its counter-intuitive to not express what it was that lead to your break-up, but he will just deny and try to make out that you are mistaken… (blah, you know his drill) and he WILL wear you down and then, you may slip and admit that you do know because of the monitoring. This is why its not possible to try to help this man. He is crazy and unrecoverable. I know that this is so difficult, but the more he knows about what you know, the worse it will be for you.

    Much strength and love to you,

    L

  7. Lorraine,
    Wow – good points – yes, once he realizes it’s truly over, I wouldn’t put it past him to press charges against me or anything else he might be able to do to me to inflict pain.

    But, back to the earlier point – I guess I’m not seeing why in JoAnn’s case and other women’s cases, it’s okay to tell their addict partner that they know about the secret life where it’s so clearly not okay in my case. Is there something in particular about what I’ve described that puts my crazy bf into a dangerous category?

    He has never been violent or threatened violence. He does not accept it when I’ve tried to break up – he calls incessantly, begs, crys, rants and raves and shows up to convince me to stay with him. I know that isn’t normal and perhaps that’s why people are advising me to make a clean break without giving the real reason

    Would it be different if I was planning on staying with him or trying to stay with him for a little while to see if he was willing to get treatment? In that case is it okay to tell them you know their secret – because you’re not dumping them at the same time?

    It must be me – I was also very worried about being fair and doing the right thing when I dumped my abusive ex husband. I couldn’t get past that – even if he was an abusive jerk, I wanted to be able to say I’d handled my end of it ethically and compassionately. I guess in this case, I feel it even more so. My abusive ex was, by the time I left him, a 24/7 unrepentent a$$. My bf, when he’s not behind my back doing his sa thing, is generous, patient, thoughtful, and gentle. He’s not all bad – he’s just messed up. I don’t want to be with him but I don’t want to kick him in the teeth on the way out.

    My personality (or thick head) doesn’t get why it’s dangerous for me to tell him. I could tell him without revealing how I know – then he’d have no evidence with which to prosecute me. Plus, I’m fairly certain he had his computer wiped and reformatted last week – he does this frequently, so my webwatcher software hasn’t worked in a week now and is likely not even on his machine anymore. And even if he found it on there, he’d have no way of proving how it got there. I was alone with his laptop for one day back in June and not since.

    I hope I’m not trying your patience! I do so appreciate your and JoAnn’s and Diane’s and everyone else’s feedback and support. This is new to me – I’m still wrapping my head and heart around the fact that this man who I felt I loved more than anyone I’ve ever loved, who has, in many ways, been better to me than anyone I’ve ever loved, is a sex addicted, pathological liar.

    I know now that he is a sa and I know that it’s deal breaking for me – but I still haven’t quite fully absorbed it – I guess I’m in shock. How can he love me and sleep with me every night, buy me a new refrigerator and tires for my car, help my son and daughter with things, go to my important work events to support me, pick up groceries a few times a week, wash the dishes, help with the dog, make the bed, wash my hair in the shower and plan a future with me and then go behind my back and lie and lie and lie – how, why??

  8. When I said I wouldn’t put it past him to press charges or do anything else to cause me pain – I meant within the range of non-violent – like say horrible things, etc. He does own a gun – I’m so flipping confused at this point. I don’t know if I shoud really be scared or if I should trust that if he hasn’t been violent before he won’t be now.

    I’ve got to make a plan that protects my safety – I’m planning on an alarm system in my home for sure and I have a very loud barker of a dog. I don’t know that staying elsewhere is an option – I just don’t have the money or the freedom to take off for more than a few days.

  9. My dear Mayam,

    In answer to your question about why some of us tell our spouses or partners about the monitoring and why I have advised you not to is that your situation is completely different. You are not married to him, you are not living with him and you have chosen to leave him forever. His behavior clearly lacks any respect for you and he does not show any indication that he recognizes his problem or is willing to stop or even discuss his bad behavior.

    So, there is no point in engaging in what WILL turn into a bad discussion. By taking yourself out of an undesirable relationship you are not kicking him in the teeth, you are simply doing what is best for you. Read the excerpts from your previous posts that I have listed below. Take a long hard look. There is no real relationship here. He has not made any commitment to any type of permanent relationship with you. You are simply a convenience. That’s the awful truth that all of us have to face when we are involved with a Sex Addict.

    His lying, lack of commitment, withdrawing from you sexually and lack of openness, accountability and empathy over the things you did find out about is enough for any woman to end a relationship. Thinking that bringing it out into the open will help him is just fantasy. It will never happen. All he will do is deny it, like every other Sex Addict does. Even with black and white proof they will deny, distort and minimize. You will not help him in any way, and it is not your job to even try. He can only help himself, and he will only do that when he is ready. Any efforts you make now toward that goal will only be enabling him to continue.

    If you were in a solid relationship and both of you were willing to try to work through the Sexual Addiction issues with your partner, a part of the recovery process and rebuilding of trust would be absolute transparency, which would include computer monitoring, and access to all financial records. This is done with the knowledge and consent of both partners.

    From everything you have written I cannot help but feel that telling him that you have monitored his computer or that you somehow know about his porn addiction, or accuse him of being an addict, yet being vague about how you know would be absolutely futile at best and downright dangerous at worst. Please, see your counselor before making any decisions about how to confront him.

    Below are your words to ponder. Please be careful, we are all here for you.

    JoAnn

    I also make the effort to have sex with him a minimum of once per day and often twice per day in an effort to satisfy his needs and so that he won’t act out and yet he still watches porn on a daily basis – typically two times per day and cruises escort ads.

    I also looked into his eyes last night and I could see how dangerous he’s going to be when I try to end this. I’ve tried a few times before and he has a nervous breakdown of grand proportions and he has shown up at my house and climbed fences into my yard, etc to get to me when I block his calls. I don’t doubt that I will have to get a restraining order.

    I’m old enough to know better. My children are not with him and it’s only a three year relationship so there’s not a lot at stake – just my fears of being alone. He does help me financially so that’s a concern for sure – but I think I could get back on my feet eventually with some effort.

    Well here i am three years into this thing – we still don’t live together despite his promise that we would for the last two years.

    I mean when were at the height of being madly in love and talking moving in together and blending our families and even picked out a home he was going to buy for us, he was emailing escorts!

    He’s recently disclosed to me, and I have no idea why, that he had a few sexual encounters with men when he was in college supposedly.

    Recently he’s been pulling away from me sexually.

    Normally, under pains of death I’d find a way to go with him just so I don’t have to worry about what he’s up to.

    Normal bf’s and spouses don’t fanatically delete their call logs and text messages and put locks on their phone – mine does.

    I have wondered if this isn’t the tip of the iceberg. I used to think, when I first met him, before I’d caught him at anything, that he had some huge secret -that nothing would surprise me – and I never really knew why I thought that. Just a gut feeling.

    The only reason I’d show him evidence is so that he realizes that I have hard proof and that he can’t charm, wheedle and talk his way out of this one. I feel that if he knew what I know he might just realize how hopeless it would be to try and get me to stay with him.

    Otherwise, I know him, he’s going to go into this “why?” frenzy – this, “I don’t get it. What happened?” And he’s going to get completely manic and when he gets like that he doesn’t care about consequences – he’ll get drunk and drive to my place even though he’d lose his job if he got a dui, not to mention might kill someone. He just doesn’t care at that point. He’s never been violent – just stalkerish in his persistance.

  10. Thank you JoAnn. I really do appreciate your spelling it out for me. I suppose I’m in some kind of shock still. While I’ve known about various instances over the years, it wasn’t until I started monitering his computer that I realized the porn addiction (that just started – I think a month or two ago. And he only disclosed the men thing to me about two weeks ago and finally, it really wasn’t until I found this site a week ago that I truly got that he’s a sex addict – up until then, I was really believing that he was only looking at escort ads and I don’t know, looking at porn because he’s stressed at work or mad at me or something and then I thought the men were youthful experimentation – I didn’t see it all as a part of larger problem.

    And I know nothing about sex addiction – this past week, I’ve learned that he has an addiction and the addiction is likely not going to go away – even if he wanted it to and he doesn’t, so it’s certainly not going away. It’s a lot to digest.

    I’m sad and angry and in disbelief. Part of me, a big part of me wants to yell at him for an hour – I’m so effing mad that he could do this to me. I want him to know that I know – that he didn’t fool me and so he can’t walk away telling himself the relationship failed because of my issues. I know i shouldn’t care but I’m not indifferent yet. I haven’t had enough time to become indifferent.

    I was ambivalent before but now I know without a doubt I have to get out and I know he’s not going to let me out. I’m going to have to go to great extremes to get myself out of this one and I will be looking over my shoulder for a long time to come.

    He doesn’t live with me officially but he sleeps and eats here everyday. He supports my household to a significant degree, he helps my son get ready for bed and do his chores – he’s a huge part of my life. He has a life insurance policy on himself with me as beneficiary. He’s got one foot in and one foot out I guess but to his mind, he’s given me the world and he’s going to be pissed that I’m walking out on him.

    I really wonder how I’m going to be able to go through with this. I’m going to call my therapist in the morning and get an appt and start planning.

    Thank you again. Thank you very much.

  11. Well, I hope you all won’t disown me but I went exactly counter to your advice last night. It was not intentional and I feel kind of embarrassed about it, but unlike some people I know – my bf, aka psycho dude 😉 – I’m compulsively honest. So here goes:

    My bf returned from his trip on sunday evening. I successfully deflected a sleepover that night as he was gettting in rather late. He definitely had his suspicions raised because normally after a separation I’d be all over seeing him asap. So, last night, monday, I could not put him off any longer. He came over for dinner as usual and I was not my usual affectionate, bubbly self. I didn’t want to break up before I’d seen my therapist but I’m not very good at faking it and he’s hyper tuned into my moods.

    Anyway, he kept poking and prodding and then having the audacity to be mad at me for dumb stuff and I finally just lost my self control. I told him I’ve been monitering his computer that I knew about the porn and the escort sites – all of it. I told him I suspected he was engaging physically with other people – likely men and women and that I thought he had a problem and that I couldn’t be involved with him because of it.

    He just hung his head. He was relieved. He wasn’t angry. He sobbed like a baby. I have never really seen him cry. He just sobbed and sobbed. Yes, I felt compassion for him. I also felt like I didn’t think it meant a thing in terms of him getting better. I also knew I didn’t want to stick around for his recovery attempts. He swore up and down and sideways that he hasn’t been with anyone else. Oddly, it doesn’t matter to me if he has – what he’s done is bad enough for me. He offered to bring his laptop over so I could install whatever monitoring software on it that I wanted and to give me access to every account, financial, email, phone. He said he would do whatever it took to regain my trust.

    I don’t want to go down his recovery road – my own is enough of a journey right now. I agreed to give it a month or two. We are going to talk about boundaries today. I’m not comfortable monitoring him. Anything I can do to monitor, he can find a work around to anyway – if I watch his laptop, he can go buy another one that I don’t know about, same with the phone, same with email accts. Yes, he’s here every night but he works, has three kids, etc., so I don’t always know where he is and and I don’t want to only trust him because I’m on top of all his actions.

    I’m going to give him boundaries tonight (downloading JoAnn’s book) and I’m going to trust my gut – if it feels like he’s being dishonest, I’m going to believe he is. I’m going to go to meetings and therapy and yoga and put my health and taking care of me and my kids first. I have to get my sanity back. I don’t have much hope for me and him. I don’t even want to have hope.

    I feel better that it’s out in the open. It was a long night. We talked until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. He barely slept and woke me up tossing and turning several times. Maybe I’m setting myself up for needless additional rollercoaster dips but it feels better to do it this way. I know he must sound like a cad from what I’ve described but he’s got a very dear and giving and gentle side to him – it’s the bigger part of him.

    I’ve read Sam’s site top to bottom – my ex husband was a somatic narc and Sam’s site was a lifesaver. I’ve reread it more recently in regards to my bf but I don’t see it as clearly. I think bf has borderline traits – he’s not neatly one thing or another from what I can see. He’s got an addictive personality, loves his secrets but in other ways is very sweet and compassionate. He’s a mess!

    What I can see coming out of all of this – is that I’m getting stronger, clearer. I used to feel panicked and heartbroken at the thought of losing him or him sleeping with someone else or whatever the worst case scenarios could be. Now, I feel like the worse case scenario is me feeling like that for another second! I’m focusing my energy on my own recovery, self-love, and personal goals. I told him last night – I’m putting all of my efforts into being healthy and he can either come along for the ride or stay where he’s been. It’s his choice. I’m not going to be his therapist or his cheerleader or promise a relationship at the end of this. He’s going to do whatever he needs or wants and I’m going to do the same.

  12. Mayam,

    We would never ever disown you no matter what and there is no need to feel embarrassed. Not only would i have done the same; I DID do the same, but my predator was using me in a different way and had already moved on to his next victim, so he did not need me. That was his MO.

    I have always thought that your BF had borderline traits as opposed to purely narc traits. Predator did as well… There’s some over-lap but the borderlines have the ability to appear to be caring and nurturing.

    There are a few comments that I’d like to make, in light of these new developments. One, is–that as all of this sinks in, his sweet nature may make a dramatic shift to something really nasty—OR, he will be sickening sweet and on his very very best “Sunday School” manners. eccchhh…

    Please read JoAnn’s post about this “quick fix trap”. He may very well go along with your boundaries (and we already know that he’s a great actor!)and even get into a program/therapy– only to continue to deceive you and not really change a thing regarding his outside activities. That’s what happened with predator. He went to rehab, went to therapy—blah, blah… and is still out there.

    I guess my fear for you, if he agrees to get “help” that he’s just doing it because YOU want him too, but still acting out, thereby, getting your hopes up, only to have that scab torn off anew. Also, when discovered, SAs will just find sneakier better ways so that you will not be able to discover it. Yes, you are right. Monitoring him is impossible and frankly, I think its impossible for everyone! He could have 10 blackberries/cell phones—100s of hidden and private email accounts. It goes on and on…

    Sorry to be so pessimistic, but he is mentally ill which is adding just another layer to the difficulty that he would have being a “recovering sex addict”–or one who is able to remain, sexually sober. Remember that only about 5% make it to that state of recovery and the rest do not.

    Please try to get in to see your therapist as soon as you can.

    The rest sounds excellent, and I admire your attitude for wellness–that is just great! However, I’m still concerned about the one foot you’ve left in the door—I just don’t want it to get crushed, unnecessarily.

    Please keep us posted!

    xoxo,

    Lorraine.

  13. My dear Mayam,

    Whatever you do is the right thing for you at the time you do it. And that goes for each and every one of us. We are not control freaks here (we have had enough of that in our lives), so our advice is merely given for you to consider, never as a command and we will support you in whatever you decide to do.

    I am just so relieved that you are okay. And, just as Lorraine says, he could change in a minute. You are doing all the right things by setting very firm boundaries and not believing his flimsy lies.

    Recovery takes years and years of effort for both the addict and the partner to heal themselves. Fixing a relationship that has been damaged by Sexual Addiction is a lifetime effort and will never be ideal. The obstacles that caused the addiction can be addressed by counselors, but will always remain as scars.

    We are all here offering our arms to hug you and our shoulders for you to cry on. Most importantly, please stay safe and keep in touch. No question is too small or silly and no action will ever be criticized. We are compassionate women who love you.

    Hugs,

    JoAnn

  14. Thank you again Lorraine and JoAnn. Well, you were right about him changing from sweet and contrite in a minute. By 24 laters, he was in belligerant – get-over-it-already mode. Last night we had an ugly fight. And fights with him are almost unending – he gets so agitated he won’t go to sleep he wants to ruminate and rant over the same point over and over and over.

    Essentially, he needed a night off from my anger or feeling guilty or whatever and I apparently said something that triggered him so he would not let it go for hours. I started to have an axiety attack because I’d barely slept the night before because of this nonsense and here it was 11pm last night and he was in full tilt rant and rave mode again. I could not face another sleepless night or another minute of his badgering me incoherently. He can’t rest if we aren’t completely honky dory when we go to sleep but I’m sorry, I need more than a day to absorb all of this and move on. I also upset that we aren’t having sex but I can’t. I just can’t go there.

    He insists he doesn’t have an addiction – that it’s just a coping mechanism, very recent, etc. I know for a fact that he’s been emailing and cruising escorts online for at least four years now on and off – so there’s nothing recent about that. I pointed out that if it’s not an addiction how does he explain being willing to risk losing his relationship over the behavior. He said he doesn’t know. This is all the self awareness this man has – this is now time #3 that he’s promising me no more escort cruising, emailing, whatever and he doesn’t get why I don’t believe him. He really doesn’t undestand how after lying to me twice about this, I’m not just instantly accepting that he’ll never do it again, ripping my clothes off and making passionate love to him.

    I know I have to end this – It was actually an easier prospect before I let him know what I know (you told me so).

  15. Dearest Mayam,

    How about setting some boundaries for your discussions? Such as, one hour of discussion only, no yelling, if he raises his voice the discussion is over. And, no sleepovers when you are tired.

    As for the arguments, which I’m not sure why you are engaging in them at this time, but, if you must, why not try the Native American method of using a ‘talking stick’. It could be any object at all, such as a stuffed animal, a book, a scarf, whatever. But, each person gets a turn and whoever is holding the object gets to talk with absolutely no interruption from the other.

    When the ‘talker’ is done, they pass the object to the other person, who is now allowed to speak without interruption.

    Of course he will insist he doesn’t have an addiction, did you really expect him to submit and come clean? Yes, we all had that fantasy at one time.

    If he can’t rest until everything is honky dory, he is in for a long, sleepless siege. He cannot understand, in his immature thinking, that serious problems are not fixed overnight. Stop enabling his foolish notion that a few discussions, and your eventual ‘agreement’ with his protestations (as he wears you down with his abusive anger), will finally fix everything.This is classic Addict behavior. Their lack of ability to handle emotions (good or bad) makes them seek quick fixes for everything.

    I think you need a break. You have every right to say that you need some alone time. Ask for any amount you need. A month? A week? What do you need to gather the strength, see a counselor and make a final decision about what you want to do?

    Try to figure out what is holding you back.

    Finances? Order my Finances eBook and make a budget, decide what you can cut and make a plan.

    Lack of self esteem? Work on that with your counselor.

    Fear of being alone? You could not be more alone than you are when loving a Sex Addict.

    Fear of an unknown future? We all face the unknown–my crystal ball stopped working a long time ago. Unfortunately we can be quite certain what our future will be with a Sex Addict who refuses to stop acting out.

    Stay with us Mayam. You can do this.

  16. Mayam,

    I am the last person to ever say “I told you so” and I’m just so sorry that Psycho Dude lived up to my nickname. I totally get why you did what you did, because there was nothing wrong with what you did, if you were dealing with a normal, rational person, but as you can plainly see, he is mentally ill, and very unstable and therefore, very dangerous. Unfortunately, when dealing with him, it requires stooping down to his low level; the normal rules do not apply.

    He will never see himself the way he really is, however.(unless by some random act of God, he is struck by lightening—extremely unlikely, in his case) His unbelievably fragile ego will not allow it (for dozens of pathological reasons, which we we’ve already touched on) and therefore, pointing it out to him, is like telling him that its 95 and sunny at the south pole, today. He will deny, minimize, justify, twist, contort, lie, make you out to be the crazy, psycho one and on and on…I know, because I lived this with predator. You cannot win.

    Please choose life, Diane. Your life. I just got back from the funeral of my elderly neighbor. Life is short and precious.

    We are so lucky to have JoAnn because she has a way of disseminating all of this horrible stuff so that it makes perfect sense.

    Warm ((((((hugs))))))

    L

  17. Thank you both again!

    I do need some time to myself. What clarity and fortitude I possessed when he was out of town!

    Finances – yes, an issue – I have some things that I expect to have resolved in the next 4-6 wks. Once accomplished, I’ll be in a position of financial independence or very close to it.

    Lack of self-esteem – bingo! Therapy and re-committing and connecting with my passions and goals are where I’m putting my energy. When I’m in the process of finishes a project and enjoying the gratification and learning and rewards both internal and external – it’s hard to upset my equilibrium,

    Fear of being alone and an unknown future – definitely, but I agree with you JoAnn, I’m truly more terrified of another traumatic discovery than I am of a life alone. Honestly, that is more frightening to me because it’s violently destabilizing. It’s like a car crash every time. At least being alone – it’s stable – maybe depressing if I choose to look at it that way but it will be an even-keeled state of affairs – no harrowing lows.

    I just download the boundaries book. I’m going to work on that – one boundary will have to do with arguments – which really is a very generous description of him ranting and raving for hours over some perceived offensive statement from me. I don’t spend a whole lot of energy arguing my case back or yelling about his behavior – it’s useless. It’s to the point that really I don’t know what’s going to trigger him – I suppose anything short of welcoming him with wide, open arms and a negligee is problematic at this point.

    He can’t deal with emotions, uncertainty, sexual rejection so he’s poised to flip out at the slightest provocation. He feels like he’s suffered enough – in one day – and he’s ready for some love and acceptance. And certainly I’m still quite angry and shell-shocked, so no matter how hard I try, my underlying mistrust is apparent and I’m unable to be extremely affectionate. He’s very much like a child, like a very young toddler having a tantrum – unreasonable, out of control and over-wrought. He needs someone to put him in a football hold until he calms down!

  18. went away for the weekend with my bf. we’d had a trip to the beach planned for sometime. A day before the trip he saw his therapist and came clean about the whole mess, he returned with all of these insights and this committment to changing if still insistant that he didn’t have an addiction – just destructive coping techniques.

    I gave him my boundaries – no escort sites, ads, cruising in any manner, no lying about anything, no staring at other women when he’s with me. He seems earnestly dedicated to change. I’m not optimistic – I know it’s got to be harder than he thinks it’s going to be and I wonder how he’s going to get through the challenges given his poor coping skills. I’m trying hard to not have hope, to continue to proceed with my own agenda: getting my finances and self-esteem together, adjusting my attitude towards a life without him, rebuilding my world.