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.