Several of you have asked about my statements concerning the negative effects of nurturing a Sex Addict. This is a huge subject and even the definition of ‘nurturing’ can be ambiguous, especially when used in reference to a relationship with a Sex Addict. But, the conclusions of the research are quite significant as to predictability of outcomes based on certain behaviors.

The paper I will try to summarize here is an article from the Journal of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. To access articles from this Journal you must be a subscriber, which is very expensive, or be an educational or medical professional with a subscription service that includes this journal–even more expensive. I am fortunate to have access to these Journals.

I would be violating copyright laws to reprint this article, so I will paraphrase as best I can. I just wanted to reassure you that this article is genuine and involved as well as referenced large, properly conducted research that cites many references.

This particular research, conducted at the University of Arizona looked at the strategies employed by partners of Sex Addicts in response to the crisis of discovery. The article states that the partner can respond in one of two ways. One, in a nurturing manner out of ignorance, denial or in the hope that their patience, understanding and willingness to please will motivate the Sex Addict to quit the behaviors. Or they can respond in a negative or punishing manner in hopes that it will produce enough discomfort in the addict to make him quit.

The nurturing usually starts early after the discovery, and frequently continues and alternates with punishing and negative behaviors. Nurturing can include all types of efforts by the partner such as providing financial support, offering alibis to friends, family or employers, wearing sexy lingerie, increasing sexual activity or attempting new activity similar to pornographic models, agreeing to sexual activity when there is  no desire just to please the addict, undergoing makeovers or plastic surgery or simply turning a blind eye to the addictive activities.

Nurturing can also occur when a partner readily accepts and believes their partners flimsy explanations, denials and promises by ignoring their own concerns or blaming themselves for the relationship problems.

The second way a partner can respond to discovery is that they can withdraw nurturing and offer punishing responses.  Often a partner will withdraw support and implement punishing behaviors by removing her rings, denying sex, moving to a separate bedroom, throwing the addict out or confronting and threatening to leave the relationship.

Studies have shown that most partners will nurture, through positive and negative reinforcement and ultimately settle into a cyclical pattern of nurturing and punishing strategies.

Now, if you know anything about conditioning and behavior modification, you know that intermittent punishment causes intermittent reinforcement. So, nurturing, and then the withdrawal of nurturing and then nurturing again is simply reinforcing the addictive behaviors.

Most studies show that a partner will act with hurt, sadness and anger over each recurring incident of betrayal, but then accept promise after promise by their partner without setting any firm boundaries or limits.’

This inconsistent nurturing and punishing is unsuccessful in getting the addict to change his ways.

The final word? The only responses from partners that even seemed to have a positive effect (and this is prefaced with caveat that there is no guarantee that it will produce a positive outcome) toward helping the Sex Addict decrease his addictive behaviors was for the partner to consistently punish negative behaviors and encourage only those behaviors that lead toward recovery, such as attending counseling, 12 steps, working with a sponsor, etc. Partners should also establish clear expectations with firm consequences.

Repeatedly falling for the same drama of sorrow and remorse, protests of innocence, words of undying love, promises that it will never happen again and begging for forgiveness or proclamations that they have ‘seen the light’ and have witnessed an epiphany will always result in a positive reinforcement for the behaviors. We are teaching them how to fool us. If we haven’t learned after two or three times that their words are simply hollow promises, then we need our heads examined.

One other very important point was mentioned. ‘Punishment responses that create a parent-child dynamic between the partner and the Sex Addict (such as controlling access to the computer, demanding that the addict report any lustful thoughts about other people and spying on the addict) are counterproductive as the partner eventually resents having to police their partner and the addicts resent being treated like children. The result is often that the addicts simply become more secretive and deceitful.(Schneider 2000)

It is vital that we understand that nothing that partners do or don’t do will guarantee that the Sex Addict will stop their destructive behaviors. We can only learn from research, and from our own mistakes. We cannot change them with kindness and love. They will only change when they want to but we are not doing them any good, and, in fact we are nurturing the very behaviors that we despise when we are much too understanding of their abuse and too quick to forgive. What that tells them is that their horrible, abusive behavior toward us has no consequences, so, why should they stop?

Get with the tough love sisters! Being their ever lovin’, all forgiving ‘mommy’ just won’t work.

Views: 3

83 Responses

  1. I needed this tonight. I guess I fall into the nurturing category. I’m getting better at enforcing boundaries and not just bouncing right back into his arms when the apology comes. When I am told or discover another transgression… I have been withdrawing as punishment/protecting myself. It usually takes a week after the intial verbal lashing for my addict to come back and apologize. This last time around we had a good talk… cleared some things up… and then he begged me to come back to the room (and the bed). I told him no. I wasn’t ready. And I wasn’t ready for another week. I didn’t extend the “punishment”, I wasn’t out to get him… I simply waited until I felt ok with returing the relationship to level 0. It’s the first time in our relationship that I think he really saw my pain. I’m learning slowly.

  2. Thank you JoAnn for this posting. I am working hard to follow boundaries and consequences, but years ago, after I discovered that he had an affair, I fell into textbook nurturing mode. I didn’t know about the SA then. I really appreciate this response. I have a lot to think about and implement. Bless you.

  3. This was so interesting. I can say that I have not been nurturing at all as it relates to SA. I am not really proud of this fact. Perhaps I have been less than understanding. I guess when there is all of this talk about boundaries, this was the line for me that could not be crossed.

    Is there something wrong with me?

    Upon finding out that he was involved with other woman, I have really turned into someone that I did not even know lived inside of me. I would describe myself as being a very forgiving, nurturing, compassionate, and non-judgmental type of person. I have been the one in our relationship that tries to lighten the atmosphere. He many times had such a short attitude and just seemed to be overall grumpy. I was not always willing to overlook his poor behavior, I would call him out on his actions. Countless times, however, I chose to help him move that black cloud that lingered over his soul. Was I a saint? NOOOOO!!!!! I just knew that if I wanted to have a decent evening or day, it would be better for me to help him be in a better mood than to have to deal with him moping around with a chip on his shoulder. Why did I do this? Because he had a very stressful job, and I was actually a disappointment to him. I never kept the house organized enough, I was really pretty goofy and childish. The dinners I served did not match what he was used to getting in his fancy restaurants while on business. I spent way to much time enjoying our children. The activities that I was involved such as secretary of the PTA, Chairman of several fund raisers for the kids school, Room mother, Soccer coach, etc, etc, etc…. were just “cute” little things that I did. Little did I know that while I was supporting him with his career, feeding his ego so his self esteem would keep building in such a competitive business environment, that he did not see me as his equal. What ever, my shoulders were broad enough to hold him up even if he did not reciprocate. I knew that I had worth, and my children were so important to me that being their mother and watching them thrive gave me all the support that I needed.

    So I continued to nurture him and I think this is where the conditioning and behavior modification came into play for us. I was reinforcing the bad behavior that he was showing with his moodiness. The thing that I did not know was that this “moodiness” had anything to do what so ever with SA. When this piece of information came to my knowledge, my nurturing came to a quick stop. I have been negative, but I do not think that I have been purposefully punishing. I do not think that I am trying to produce discomfort for him so that he will quit. I feel like I have been so sucker punched that I can’t even see straight. I feel like he has produced discomfort in my soul that has put me in such a state of sadness and confusion that I don’t even know what the heck is happening.

    He has not been there to comfort me when I have been sobbing through the night trying to make sense of everything. I have been awakened in the middle of the night by sounds of my own crying. What you need to know is that I am normally not a crier. He told me that I am crying to punish him. He is nuts!!! You can’t make that kind of sorrow up. When you feel that kind of gut wrenching pain, your not doing that for anyone’s benefit other than your body reacting to trauma. I am normally a strong person, making the best of life as hurdles come our way. I don’t know who this person is inside of me that wakes up startled in the night calling out SA’s name. I have NEVER done anything like that before. It is so odd to have these things happen. Waking up to myself crying feels like I am not even in control of the person that I am. Even as I write this, I feel like I sound like a crazy person.

    I do not understand this boundary that I am supposed to set now. I thought that boundary was set the day we said “I do!” So is there something wrong with me that I can’t seem to bring myself to re-define that boundary? How can someone like myself that is normally so understanding of people, normally so patient with people, draw such a line in the sand when it comes to this? Am I going straight to H*(( because I am not forgiving in a “Christ Like” manner? AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, I do find some peace in that I don’t believe that he is showing a sincere recovery. He did not come forward to tell me about this terrible thing that he has been up to. I found emails that he wrote to women on Craigslist. After that I got the slow drip method of some of the activities that he was up to. He told me that he figured I already knew about some of what he told me, so that is why he decided to come clean. He said that he has felt that I have held these things over his head during our marriage. WHAT?????????????????? Can he really be serious. Believe me, if I would have known about these activities, I would have brought it to his attention way back when. Why would I be so upset now, if I knew that there was a possibility that he had been doing this years before? Than he wants to tell me that the reason he had to do these things is because he had such a high sex drive and I was not providing enough quantity for him. He wants me to share in the responsibility of this problem and unless I do, he is not willing to work on the marriage. He says that he has just as much pain as I do and that he needs someone to be there for him too. When I ask him what I have done to give him pain, he looks at me blankly and cannot give me direct answers.

    No this does not feel sincere to me. So I can not be nurturing in this case. It is taking every ounce of strength I have to be strong for me. I must stand up for myself and say that this is NOT OK. I keep trying to be strong, but why, why, why, do I still struggle with a piece of me that hurts for him? I have stood firm enough to last through his moving out to a rental home. I am proud of myself for how far I have come, but it is hard to be proud of watching your marriage dissolve. It is hard to feel peace watching the one you love and the future you thought you had vanish. I do feel good about being there for myself. Something that I have not done in a long time. It sure feels like a big price to have to pay. I try hard to keep my spirits up, but the tightness in my chest, and pain in my soul really bring me down.

  4. Great article JoAnn,

    Thanks for writing that……..I am far from fact..I’m a down right bitch :-(……….I don’t stop telling my SA I don’t want the life he has to offer (as it stands)….As I was reading I thought perhaps I was more intermittent, but I’ve not seen my SA since xmas, I rarely speak with him on the phone, just text and when I do, it’s heated and I’m a broken record over what my boundaries are and what I will accept to stay in the game. I am completely away from his recovery program at this time…I stopped it all a couple months ago because I wasn’t in agreement with it’s course. I don’t know if it’s good or bad..all I know is it’s how I feel. I left the University yesterday with great things on my mind and if felt good to be thinking about something other than SEX…and pointed out to myself how there is so much more in life and to life than spending it wading through buckets loads of lies and deceit. I do not discredit one bit that he knows my financial status and he knows that come 5/31 someone has to sign that lease again for another year….so who knows which one of us is really coming out on top here… I did get up this morning to a text claiming how he’s misses me and would I have dinner with him tonight…ughhhh

    Everything being what it is, however, he knows I’m on dating sites, he knows I am going back to school and he knows I am still looking for a job…so who knows…with all the activity I’ve going on in my life, anything is possible and he shouldn’t be too confident now should he……now, which decree do I want? Associates in Applied Science Graphic Art – MultiMedia or Studio Arts? WOW…Horticulture sounds so good too…I love my plants and flowers, I love to garden….I want to throw pots, get my hands dirty in the kewl clay, blow some glass…Take pictures..I love taking never know what you’re gonna get – Just like Forest Gump…Yeah…I want a life.

  5. Phyillis (Mary),

    Hey, great tip on picking a major. Look into the job outlook and pay scale i think you can find some info from the dept of labor
    There may be other sources as well. Check up online what sectors are expected to grow, shrink, etc.
    You can also check hourly wages and salaries.

    Nothing worse than getting a major in a job no one is hiring for. Also check the classifieds or for jobs you may like in the future. Look at what they require for a degree. Horticulture would be good, there are garnders and landscapers everywhere. My mom just graduated with a degree in graphic design a couple years ago, alhtough she has not been able to find a job either. Some schools do offer job palacement services. You can even go in and ask them what is hot or not right now. Healthcare is a biggie…but i am not interested in being a nurse (no offense to the nurses). I am way to squemmish!!

  6. Dear Cindy, you share none of the blame for his addiction. None! Any attempt to blame you is typical addict behavior. My addict tried it too, but I threw it back in his face: “it’s my fault you have pictures of girls our daughters age, tied up with rope, professing to want it on you computer?”. Even throuugh the stupor of addiction he realized that bull shit wasn’t going to fly. Don’t let him shift ANY of the blame to you. None, zero, zip, nada.

    Hugs to you

  7. Hi Cindy,

    I love your post, but I am so sorry that you have the need to write it. I am reprinting a paragraph below to hi-light a point.

    “Well, I do find some peace in that I don’t believe that he is showing a sincere recovery. He did not come forward to tell me about this terrible thing that he has been up to. I found emails that he wrote to women on Craigslist. After that I got the slow drip method of some of the activities that he was up to. He told me that he figured I already knew about some of what he told me, so that is why he decided to come clean. He said that he has felt that I have held these things over his head during our marriage. WHAT?????????????????? Can he really be serious. Believe me, if I would have known about these activities, I would have brought it to his attention way back when. Why would I be so upset now, if I knew that there was a possibility that he had been doing this years before? Than he wants to tell me that the reason he had to do these things is because he had such a high sex drive and I was not providing enough quantity for him. He wants me to share in the responsibility of this problem and unless I do, he is not willing to work on the marriage. He says that he has just as much pain as I do and that he needs someone to be there for him too. When I ask him what I have done to give him pain, he looks at me blankly and cannot give me direct answers.”

    I do believe you, Cindy. All too well. I went through a dating period for about 13 months. Very early on, (for that entire time) I had an affair with a sexual predator. I heard from many married men (who I would never date) and I cannot tell you how often i heard this exact same story from so many of these sorry dudes who were attempting to seduce me. (them being married totally turned me off, thank God!)

    A sex addict lives in an artificial world. Anything goes. He needs to rationalize to himself, WHY he is ENTITLED to live this lifestyle. And then comes the blaming and minimizing. “you already knew, so why is this such a big problem?” And he has a “high sex drive.” Did he not have a high sex drive when he promised to forsake all others? Its all about HIS needs and its all crap. mindfuck. And in my opinion, you have every right to not forgive him, should you choose not to. He probably IS in a great deal of pain, but who effin cares? If he had come to you and told you that he had a problem, that would be different.

    I’m really sorry that you are being subjected to this. In some ways, he has made it clear. He has expressed HIS boundaries. And it is a boundary, even if it was made under false pretenses. Some men simply do not want to be monogamous and they do not want to tell the truth, no matter how much we might love them and want them to change.

    Please know. You are not the crazy one. He is. And what he is doing to you is crazy making. I admire you for standing strong in your convictions and to your own self-care. I think, in the end, it is the only way to truly be loving and forgiving, to yourself and to him as well.

    All my best,


  8. *

    Hello Lorraine,

    It meant so much to me for you to reply to MMMEEEE!!!!! How awesome. I have been reading your words for some time now. Your words of support to others, mixed with your sense of humor along with your “bad ass personality” (and I mean that with love), have been keeping me from sinking into beyond. I am being completely serious to say “thank you” for being there for me. This really is a strange world that we live in these days. Where someone can be such an important piece in another persons life with out even knowing it.

    Your expression of “mindfuck” could not be anymore right on. I must say it kind of got my feathers a bit ruffled when you wrote that he has expressed HIS boundaries very clearly. I don’t think I have ever thought about it this way. WTF???? Are you kiddin me? This is exactly what he is doing. He is going to inflict pain on me and than let me know if and how and when he is ready for me to do anything about it. EEEEEWWWWWWWW he is soooooooooooo self centered. How dare he? Wow!!! I so appreciate this revelation. It really has opened a whole new way of looking at my situation. SSEEEEEEEEEE, you gave me another gift. It does remind me of how things went this past Christmas. We had just had our first Thanksgiving in 26 years apart and we (or I really should say I) was trying to navigate what was going to happen at Christmas. My parents from out of town were coming and it was going to be a very challenging time for everyone to be together given the circumstances. My parents have not been with us for Christmas (because of geographical distance) for eight years. They are getting older and being worried that time can steal our moments together, I was happy they were coming. They have been supportive to me during this difficult time in my life, and were open to what ever the circumstances would be surrounding the issue of his attendance during the Holiday season. Even though he was living in his rental home, I wanted him to know that he was welcome to be here with his children during Christmas. Both kids are in college, but my daughter was very sad about him not being with us over the Thanksgiving holiday. So with this in mind, I felt it was best to set aside our differences and be a family. Regardless of where he is at or what he has done, we are still a family, no one can take that away. After I had to contact him for the second time to find out his plans and to see if he would be coming, he told me that he would let me know tomorrow. I told him that if it was so difficult a decision for him to make that it would take another day of thought, that I would make the decision for him and it would be that he is NOT coming. With that I told him that the kind of husband that I want is someone who cares about me and his family. A husband who loves me for who I am and wants to be with me. A husband who is happy with (or for) me when I am happy and sad with (or for) me when I am sad. I said “Merry Christmas to you” he said “Good bye” and that was that. What I realize now is that he was trying to decide the boundaries for that situation too. He would let me know when he felt like it and after he gave it more thought. How much freakin time do you need? Do you have that many other families to be with at Christmas that you must give it some thought as to which family would be blessed with your presence. In my mind, if he was feeling so bad about the circumstances that we were in, and wanted to make amends for the situation, he would be trying to figure out ways to BE WITH his family. And if he WANTED to be with me, and I invited him to come, he would be jumping at the chance to have another opportunity to show he was trying. I talked with him about how it would be difficult for him and my parents because they have not seen each other since everything has been discovered. I told him that they would not jump all over his case about it, but not to expect the situation to be ignored either. I told him that he is going to have to face up to my family sooner or later (my son is getting married in the spring). He just kept saying that it felt to awkward so he was not sure if he could do it. Well, I am certainly not going to f’ing beg him to come. So I made the decision for him. When he was having trouble deciding if he was going to come for Thanksgiving he said it was going to be to awkward for him than as well. It was going to be just our immediate family than, so that did not make any sense at all. I was so agitated after he told me about his awkwardness, that I wrote him this letter. I wrote the letter after I had spoke to my daughter on the telephone and she shared with me that she was so looking forward to discussing her study abroad in Italy with her Dad over Thanksgiving dinner. I had to share with her that her Dad felt to Awkward and would not be joining us. I felt pain for her and the anger came back.
    Here is my letter to him. Do you think it was horrible?

    I am sorry that you feel awkward about coming over to eat Thanksgiving meal with your family.

    I am trying to digest what you are saying.

    Is it awkward? Yes, it is awkward. Is it any more awkward than what we have been going through since last Thanksgiving?

    Perhaps you are trying to be present to your “real” feelings rather than ignore them and pretend they are not there. This is a good thing. Perhaps you are thinking only of yourself and your trying to protect yourself from facing the reality of the situation. I will not know the answer to my thoughts.

    Obviously you have decided to think about what you want to do for Thanksgiving and have chosen not to be with your family. If you would have wanted to be with us for Thanksgiving you would be making a path to see if that could happen. It seems to be that you are really trying to show me that I am not important in your life. You want to do what is comfortable and feels good to yourself.

    You think that a Thanksgiving meal would be awkward? I can tell you about awkward. This is a good word. Awkward is finding out that your husband uses woman for sex. Awkward is spending countless days and nights alone crying with heart ache. Awkward is being discounted for your sadness. Awkward is coming to the realization that you are only wanted in a relationship if you continue to offer comfort and nurturing. When you are in need of comfort and nurturing, your needs are met with resentment. Awkward is being placed in a situation that you are betrayed by the very person that you trusted more than anyone else, and your anger over the situation is used against you as the reason the relationship will not work. Awkward is putting on a brave face everyday, in the midst of extreme life changing emotional upheaval.

    Mostly awkward is realizing that you are not number one in your husbands heart and him telling you that you never will be.

    What you seem to see as anger and punishment towards you is really my determination to protect myself from further heartbreak. Perhaps someday you will be able to see that I was not crying to punish you. My anger and frustration was not about the fact that I could not be subjected to this kind of environment. My crying, anger and frustration was sadness over the realization that you were letting me go. I was hurt because I love you. I did not give up on you even though it was difficult. But when you showed me that you were not able to put me in the center of your heart, my heart was shattered. Not because I saw everything I worked for go down the drain, but because you left me fighting alone. I need to protect myself from this continued heart ache. Why? Not because I feel like you hate me, but because I am running out of reasons to fight for what I feel.

    Well, I managed to be long winded again. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

    Lorraine I am so glad that your son is doing well at the new school. I admire you for all of the challenges that you have faced. Keep up the great work.

    1. cindy 1111
      Thank you for your exposistion on “Awkward”! I can relate so much to you: being wanted only if nurturing, but having our needs and feelingss seen as threating and therefore treated badly when we have needs.

      I am there with you. I am ready to be kind to myself. Sounds like you have a good understanding of how you’ve been bamboozeled-we were bambozzled!

      Peace and Love

  9. cindy1111,
    I know your post was to lorraine, but here are my two cents.

    Are you certain that there is not anyone else? You said he was gone on nights where you cried yourself to sleep by yourself…he also is not ineterested in coming for the holidays. The awkward excuse is just and excuse. He really does not want to come. Like you said he needs to face the music for what he has done. He really does not seem to want to do that at all. And until he does, you should not make any more effort than he does. See where that gets him. I was like you I put in all the effort in our conversations even as small as how did your day go? how was your therapy session? etc. etc. After i stopped; i found I was left with nothing as he made no efforts.

    That being said your SA is very passive like my SA. Wants me to make all of his decisions. The one you spoke of is about coming to Thanksgiving. like you said not a difficult question. The aggressive may be him not aswering the question. Maybe he is passive aggressive? Mine is very passive, and I am beginning to realize maybe aggressive as well???

    I continue to do the same. Leaving all of the effort to him. So far in the past three months I have heard nothing. I have left sole responsibility of conveying his progress to me by himself. All I have been left with is nothing and empty promises of other things he did not follow thorugh with. But so has been our marriage. Its always the same show, different circumstances. I hope that some of my story helps you and anyone else.

  10. I know you said “we are a family”; but you can’t hold it together by yourself. you can’t make him want to be a part of it. He has to want to. Until he does…make your family your own. You don’t need him to make the family happy. Focus on other things. Maybe your daughter needs to go to therapy to discuss what is going on with her dad. How old is she?

  11. Cindy, Lorraine and Flora,

    WOW…some very good points to a very sad situation….trying to read all Cindy wrote and I come away with one major thing….This guy doesn’t give a shit what he did or what he does…he has an attitude problem and thinks his crap doesn’t stink. I don’t know how I would have held myself together had my SA told me he had a high sex drive and my lack of givin’ him any was the cause…first off…to my knowledge, sex addiction has nothing to do with “sex drive”???? Sex addiction to my knowledge and understanding is the pathetic use of ones disgusting shriveled up penis in order to cope with life. so…ummmmmm what’s wrong with dis picture hey????? Every time me and my SA had a fight, he’d run to his bedroom and masturbate…..and/or get on craigs list to get his ego built up by his craigslist whores….

    I would be back at him – ur SA with all the information that contradicts his lame excuse and blow his ass out of the water…PERIOD….it sounds more to me like this guy is playing the blame game and wanting you Cindy to kiss his ass….I’d show him a thing or two about addiction and what it means and unless he did a complete turn about, walk away…but the one thing I WOULDN’T do is accept ONE thing or be accused of being the cause of ANY of his cheating….Thing’s weren’t smokin in our bedroom, but my SA had worn his thing out long before I ever came into the picture. Had no interest in me after he’d spent all day or night lusting over his harem of craigslist whores….FACT Cindy…sex drive is NOT sex addiction…arm yourself with knowledge honey….read all you can about sex addiction cause this guy either is an addict whose in BIG BIG BIG denial, or he’s an asswhole whose trying to fool you with the diagnosis of Sex addiction to throw you off….and a high sex drive and you not given him any honey isn’t the right definition……..He’s using that as a poor excuse for BAD behavior….

    Hang in there….


  12. Phyillis, Cindy,
    Mine used the excuse of high sex drive as well, also had the one that if he viewed enough porn it would keep him faithful…in other words…he wants to screw everything that walks by and wants to lust and sleep with as many women as possible.

    So I have heard those excuses as well. They are just that, excuses. Rationalize and minimize is the name of the game for these guys.

  13. OMG Flora….

    View porn to stay faithful to you??? R u serious? You know, it’s a sad day when these guys think we are all so stupid to buy into these ridiculous excuses! I guess screwing anything that walks by is God’s definition of remaining faithful to your wife…wait…no! I think the Bible says clearly that any man who in as much “lusts” over another woman, has in fact committed adultery.! view porn to stay faithful What school did he go to! UGHH…pleaseeeeeee!

  14. Hi all,

    Interesting comments. It just amazes me how all these guys think alike. Like on some planet out there in the atmosphere, far, far, away. Some mad scientist is producing these SA brains then inplanting them in their heads. All their thought processes and lack of thought processes are the same. They just have different names and are married to different unsuspecting women…

    Does anyone else feel this way?

  15. HAHAHAHA! Thanks for the laugh!

    Your descriptions of the Captain remind me of a patient I once took care of in the hospital. He came from a nursing home and obviously had early dementia. He would run around the halls all night in his ‘outfit’ (in fact, he even got past hospital security and ran around the parking lot one morning). His outfit was his soiled jockey underpants (he refused to change them) and a sheet wrapped around his shoulders like a cape. That picture comes to mind every time you mention your ‘Captain’.

    After almost a decade of researching Sex Addiction I have come to the conclusion that we are not just dealing with an addiction or a compulsive behavior–these are just symptoms.

    What we are really dealing with is people who have actual, serious Personality Disorders that manifest themselves with similar symptoms. I am putting together an eBook on my findings, but, in a nutshell we are totally wasting our time with counselors and 12 step meetings hoping for that elusive ‘recovery’.

    A Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness and living with these individuals is extremely difficult for all family members. The prognosis for change is slim to none and there is no cure, just management. Psychiatry with behavioral modification is the only treatment that can help manage these cases.

    I am just totally pissed that Sexual Addiction has become the new ‘cash cow’ for therapists and in-patient facilities. These treatments are just very expensive band aides. And, all the while we sit there, hoping and waiting for some change that will never happen. I think we deserve the truth so that we can make an informed decision about whether or not we want to stay with a mentally ill person.

    Can they stop acting out? Of course. And some will. But, the underlying PD will still there, complete with all those traits that make intimacy and a real relationship almost impossible.

    1. I have decided unequivacally that there in absolutely nothing my husband could say or do to make me able to trust him again. I have decided unequivacally that I do not want him back on under any circumastances whatsoever.

      Is sex addiction merely the manifestation of a personality disorder? I don’t know. But I know this: I was raised by a mentally ill person and I am sorry for them, but I AM NOT WILLING TO LIVE IN IT ever again.

      Whewwww! I feel better getting that out.

      Lorraine said this was a ‘mindfu*k”— SO TRUE.

      Looking forward to the E-book!

  16. JoAnn, you hit it right on the nose. I have repeatedly told my SA that his “sex addiction” and “intimacy issues” is nothing more than symptoms of a more serious underlying problem which is purely psychological in nature. He refuses to admit this, even though I have gone to his own personal “specialty therapist” with him and the therapist agrees with me. Nothing will get through his thick skull. I still believe he is a narcissist and when I brought that term up to his “specialty therapist” he didn’t disagree that this could be part of the problem.

    As for the “I watched copious amounts of porn in order to stay faithful to you” line…OMG. I heard that one. MANY times. After researching his BS, I found out that not only did he need copious amounts of porn, but also needed one-nighters from Craigs List and a revolving door of hookers. And his sex drive wasn’t that high. It was only high when he was banging nasty-ass disgusting women in which he had no respect or feelings for. In his own words “because I loved you, sex with you was uncomfortable”. Right. Another crock of shit. Because 2 months later he then admitted he needed a variety of different vulva to feel like a man. And on those days when he banged a hooker on his lunch hour, and then came home to give me the worst sex I’ve ever had in my life {yet another thing I find interesting about these addicts. They’re not even good at what they are addicted to!} he said he put the idea of the hooker out of his mind and pretended it didn’t happen, though he didn’t deny that the sex with her was much more exciting than the sex with me, because I was his wife.

    Was it NAP that wrote the wonderful story about being married to a sex addict? “Once upon a time there was a man who had sex with everyone but his wife. The end”? Yup, that’s pretty much correct.

  17. Hey all,

    I am now using the name Lexie on the new site, just cause I like it better and am using it on my blog, but I am one and the same person. (I think) 😉

    JoAnn, everything you say, makes so much sense! Also, the new site is fantastic! Thank you for all of your hard work!

    To Cindy— thank you so much! I DO feel like a badass, right now. LOL We saw our son last night for the first time in 12 days, and wowwy, wow, wow is all I can say. The changes in his personality are astonishing for only 12 days. He was a gentleman, related, engaged, polite, smiling, laughing. happy. Its a miracle!!! But, he is only just 16.

    His program is ALL about behavior modification. (It is uncanny how many of his “behaviors” mimic the very same behaviors we see in adults who have addictions and other disorders.) The good behavior is rewarded through a “token economy system” and through earning privileges for extended periods of appropriate behavior. Everything has to be earned and therein comes the motivation to act in an appropriate manner. simple, in premise; difficult in practice. Thank God, our son has bought the program, however. Its all so encouraging and astonishing to witness.

    Anyway, for JoAnn or anyone who might have this knowledge, I am curious how behavior modification techniques would work with an adult SA or any adult with a personality disorder, for that matter? Obviously, we can’t send them to a therapeutic boarding school where their every move is being monitored and supervised. And of course, a SA has to be open to receiving this kind of therapy.



    1. Lexie,

      I am so happy to hear that your son is benefitting from the school! I know this makes you feel so relieved about your difficult decision.

      Peace and Love

  18. Hi all,

    JoAnn, I totally agree with you. My therapist thinks my husband may be a sociopath or at least have alot of the sociopathic behaviors. Of course, this is only her theory since hed have to be officially diagnosed. I googled ‘can a sex addict also be a sociopath’ and had some interesting reading. Its kinda of scary because even the top experts say ‘at the point you realize you have a relationship with a sociopath-LEAVE-its the only solution.

    Do you think many sex addicts are also sociopaths?

    1. I am so in your position and my marriage counselor said the same thing about my husband or soon to be ex husband.
      I see this is an old post, so I would love to hear an update. The devestation in my life feels hopeless.

  19. Well, that’s like asking if a diabetic can also have cancer. Of course they can.

    There are many Personality Disorders and traits, and oddly, most of the symptoms are similar and/or overlapping. But, I do think we all need to be cautious about making diagnosis without having a medical license (this includes not just us, but also counselors who are not licensed to make medical diagnosis) although it is pretty easy to see the symptoms and put two and two together.

    I would like to see all of the counselors who begin treatment on a Sex Addict to act in a professional manner and refer these patients to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. Then we would have a clear picture of what we are dealing with. Tempting us with that ‘carrot’ of recovery only extends our trauma and distress, wastes our precious lives and does not address the probable root cause of the Sex Addiction.

    Just my two cents.

  20. Lorraine,

    Treatment for Personality Disorders in adults involves long-term psychotherapy and behavior modification with a therapist that has experience in treating Personality Disorders.

    In adults, the older the person is the more difficult it is to achieve any changes in their basic behaviors. The process involves family members who encourage positive changes and discourage and/or punish negative behaviors. It’s exactly the same process that was described in thist post about nurturing the Sex Addict.

    Behavior modification is adults is a lengthy process with not a lot of hope for success.

    Medications are often prescribed for adults with PDs based on specific symptoms shown by the individual patient. Antidepressant drugs and mood stablizers may be helpful for depressed and/or labile mood. Antipsychotic drugs may also be used when there are distortions in thinking.

    It’s a pretty gloomy picture, but at least it’s a realistic one.

    1. The prognosis for personality disorders, especially narcissitic and anti-social is dismal. If one looks at these personality disorders, you can go down the checklist and see that SA is is just one piece of it. I think misogyny is also a large part of SA; exploiting, degrading, and manipulating women. SA in men is really contempt for women. The man I was involved with had no real comittment to changing himself, othe then talking about it, and attending his SA meeting once a week. Fortunately, I saw through it after 9 months. BTW, my sister is a sociopath.

  21. Hello Everyone,

    Captain Underpants, TTTTTOOOOOOOO FUNNY!!!!

    I just find it so interesting that there is such similar stories and feelings here. I am wondering if when you talk with your friends and family members for support, that you feel like I do. I love my dear friends and family members and I know that they love me to. They are hurting for me and hope that peace will fill my heart. Somehow I just feel like they don’t really understand the things that I am saying to them. So than I find myself trying to teach them about SA and all of the multi-faceted levels connected with it. Like JoAnn is indicating, I am not sure if we are looking at the actual problem if we focus entirely on the SA. What came first, the chicken or the egg? And then when you think about all of the dynamics involved with the various personality disorders and what parts contributed to the SA, well it is mind boggling. I find that I am so exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally that it is hard to keep up with educating myself about it all. Than when you are in need for a shoulder and comforting words, I am often met with someone who is angry over the infidelity rather than what the actual problem is. And that is frustrating because I don’t feel “heard” in relation to the magnitude of the problem.

    For me, the sex that he had with other woman is a layer of hurt that is below the overpowering sadness of his emotional unavailability. Am I happy that he has been with other woman? NO WAY, but I just can’t get over the fact that now that I do know this, he can’t seem to make himself available to my grief. His “Toxic Shame” prevents him from being able to hold himself accountable to my broken heart. This is the piece that just grips at my chest. I know that throughout the marriage he would say that I am to needy. That I expect to much. That he always felt judged by his lack of ability to communicate and express love. So am I? He said that he is sorry so what else can I expect. The fact that he admits to the SA and that he went to counseling for it is what he says shows his level of commitment to the marriage. At first I was not supportive of the SA counseling, but that was because I did not understand everything. I was just trying to get over the shock of what was being revealed to me. Perhaps if he could have been more comforting to me and able to show empathy to my pain, I could have been more supportive to the demons he was facing. Now that I understand more about SA and how it is a disease laden with emotional immaturity, I get that I was looking for something that he could not offer to me. But isn’t that what growth is all about? We search for answers, we look for help, we educate ourselves, we try to understand our circumstances. If I have spent the past 20 months working hard at looking at myself and learning about SA, than why hasn’t he? He has since stopped his counseling and we are no longer going to marriage therapy. Why? Because he does not have the ability to look at what has happened through my eyes. Again, it is the empathy thing. He continues to say that it is my rage and anger that is preventing him from moving forward. I have taken an honest evaluation of my rage and anger. Have I been? Youbetcha!!!! Have I been overly aggressive and out of line? NOT AT ALL! I do believe that the reality of the situation is that for years I made the mistake of trying to keep the peace. He is just not used to me standing up for myself to the degree that I have with this. So what would look to others as simply being annoyed with the situation, he sees me as an out of control banchee. He wants me to meet him half way and to admit my faults in the marriage. I have admitted that this is where I lacked in responsibility. Not holding him accountable to his moodiness. Perhaps I did not teach him that when you are mean to someone, normally you get “mean” back. I am not inferring that I have been a freakin push over my whole life. I do have a backbone, and I am actually a very strong person. When it comes to him, I did allow for more moodiness than I would have others. Here is the thing though. I like who I am! I felt like he had a very stress full job. He did not have the communication skills that I do. He could be very socially awkward. So WHAT? I felt like he loved me and would never hurt me. I felt like he was there for me. If I had to reach a little further on the emotional scale to help live in harmony, I could do that for sure. Is there something wrong with me that I don’t think that I would change that about me? Is loving your husband, being proud of him, working at making your mate happy a bad thing? So this is co-dependent? In looking back, I believe that one should not try to make another person happy at the expense of yourself. Was I 100% happy? NO, I wasn’t, but who is? Who has everything in a mate that is perfect? I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect. So you give and take.

    Here is the big difference. If your making a decision about your relationship with huge pieces omitted, your answer will change with the new information. So, here I am trying to gather all of the information.

    Phyliss, I agree with what you wrote and it is very important to gain as much information as we can. This is why talking with you ladies is so helpful.

    Flora, passive aggressiveness is something that seems to be in my relationship as well.

    So what am I really dealing with? Am I suppose to see his “toxic shame” and be the one who reaches towards him to pull him out of his own captivity. Am I supposed to be the one that has the knowledge to see beyond what he can’t see for himself. He needs me to make it safe for him to be able to come around and show how sorry he is that he hurt me. If I can’t show him that I will accept and forgive his weakness, than he will not have the strength to show me how sorry he is. Is this it? No, I can’t do that right now. I need him to show strength and reach beyond his own weakness in this case and make himself vulnerable to me. I need him to take the risk to show me how important that I am to him and make amends. I need him to risk the fact that he would ask me to stay married to him and I might actually say NO! How am I supposed to deal with someone who already is assuming that I don’t want to be married because of the things that have been revealed. So because of that, he is going to be the one who isn’t willing to reach out. His pride and fear of rejection over powers his ability to provide nurture to me. But once again, this is part of the disease. So if I know that, what is my responsibility?

    My responsibility lies in being strong for myself. Trusting that inner piece of me that has learned what a person in a sincere recovery looks like. Expecting to be treated with compassion and empathy is what all of us want. I must believe in myself and my heart that I am worth that.

    So how long do you wait? How long do you hurt? How long do you wonder if he will commit to finding inner peace within his soul? I have had people say to me that he may be finding this inner peace. He may have overcame his demons. He might actually being living in a sincere recovery for himself. He may have done the inner work that we all must do to make the changes in our life to become the best of who we are. The problem is me. For what ever reason, he has moved forward, he has made the changes. He is a better person. He is making new friends and being the person he strives to be. He just can’t be that person WITH me! I represent everything that he is ashamed of. He knows that I did not deserve the things that he did to me. The pain that I have in my heart is just to big for him to make amends to. He sees my tears and it hurts him so bad, that he resorts to that old familiar wall of protection. When it comes to me, he just can’t make himself tear down that wall. Is this the way it is? Or am I delusional. Do I just wish this is the way it is. Is this some kind of protection that I am putting up for myself? Am I trying to think this because it is to painful for me to believe that he just really does not have those feelings for me that I thought he did. Is it me that really is the narcissist? Is it me that just can’t believe that he does not LOVE me? I mean after all, we are talking about me here, right? What is there not to love? So I’m childish, so my thighs are to big for my body, so my hair is not full and flowing, so my mouth is to small for my face, so I sometimes get so nervous about some things that my head will drip with sweat, so I like dogs, so I etc. etc.. etc…. How can ya not love this?????????? LOL : )

    Now that I have managed to completely go off track, and if any of you are still with me here, I want to get back to what I was originally asking. And that is: Do you feel like your friends or family members don’t totally get what you are talking about when you share what is happening. I feel like they are looking at it from the standpoint that he had an affair. I don’t think that they totally understand that this is not just an affair. This is not just something that he accidentally fell into and feels so bad about what he did. This is not just about the fact that he thinks that his shit doesn’t stink and he can do what ever he wants to. This is deeper than that. It is so hard to help others to understand what this is all about. Especially when they don’t believe in SA and they can back it up with the fact that SA is not recognized as a mental illness. So many friends and family members are just saying he is an ASS and I should just leave him. Many of these people have been privy to his self centered moodiness. Many of them have benefited from knowing him because of different things he has done for them or given to them. He is a very giving man when it comes to his time and generosity. Most will find out however, that there is a price to pay for his generosity. They will have to put up with his unending bragging of his accomplishments or be subjected to his superior aloofness. But than I have to say that he is very intelligent, and he has been successful, and he has had many wonderful accomplishments. So it is not like what he is talking about aren’t true. And I do think that sometimes one can get jealous in the face of someone who has so much going for them. So the minute someone who you have been jealous of takes a fall, one can be quick to jump in to add to the speed. Do you know what I am trying to say? I just can’t get a firm grip if what they are saying is really looking out for my best interest or if they are sick of his haughty attitude, and happy to not have to put up with it. I knew that he could brag, but I felt like deep down the reason he was bragging was because he really was insecure. I knew that underneath that bravado was someone who really needed support. Others thought that he was so strong, but I knew that he was actually very needy. I could see beyond the facade and actually loved that little person underneath what others saw. This is what makes me so sad. I had a relationship with that little person who I believe is the real soul behind his skin. I helped nurture and look after the real person that was inside of him. But now that I am seeing that part of his facade included SA, I am needing the real person inside of him to nurture me. I really did not now that he would resort back into his facade and use that thick skin against me. I just can not believe my eyes as I watch him use his cold exterior to protect himself from the pain that he inflicted on me. I know that real person is in there, so how long do I wait for his protective shell to diminish. Or have I completely lost my mind, and I am in some sort of traumatic based reaction to my reality?

    Thank you for letting me just put into words what is floating around in my head. Please don’t send the guys in white coats out to get me. I promise I am not as crazy as I sound. I really thought that I was pretty normal before all of this has been dumped on my lap.

  22. cindy1111,
    you have so much to say!! I got a little lost in it all.

    But the only thing that comes to mind after reading it all is this. Yes the family will not understand exactly what you are going through, unless they have lived through it themselves. But are they really that wrong. Which stance are the taking the one where he is just having a fling get over it …or he had an affair dump him. The first one is not correct and is dysfunctional. The second one…well you may want to think about. Yes there is addiction, but is he getting better? Addiction or not he is what he is. He will not change just because the addiction goes away. Curbing the behavior has very little to do in the whole scheme of things. Addiction or not is this what you can live with?

    From your post I would say no. This is too much, and it is for most of us. We take the break. But after 20+ months of this there should be signs of something greater or better going on here. Instead of quiting marriage therapy, now is when you could contemplate going. He def. should not quit his therapy. He will be in therapy and 12 step for life most likely.

    I guess what i see here is alot of pain on your part. The source of the pain is the SA. He is just as you say no empathy, and no intimacy. This is a disease of intimacy. You will never get what you want from him, as he is incapable of giving it to you. I also don;t think that he is really any better at giving intimacy to anyone else either. He eather can or he can’t. I highly doubt that it is just to you, he is just being an Ass. And no you do not have a part in this. No you don’t have to admit to your wrong doings. Because nothing you did made him a sex addict. He was an addict before you, during and will still be after you.

    Spend less time worrying about him, more time about you and your family and your life. Instead of trying to figure out how to make everyone understand and how to try and make the SA have compassion and who you would like him to be…Hang it up. Let it all go, and be what it be. Then plan some stuff for yourself. Its hard…but take a deep breath and just work on starting to let it go.

    Think …i cannot change him. I cannot change the others. I cannot change this situation. but what I can do is change my course or path…so what is that gonna be?? I can do things for myself. I can do things with my kids…etc.

    This is just what came to mind after reading your post. Its a mess to wade through (the SA not your post), just trying to help you sort it out.

  23. Totally unrelated topic here.
    I was chatting with mary/phyllis about careers. Suggested the labor and statistics website, which is great; just query a job and links will come up and you can check out the outlook, description, salary and job outlook/growth. Spent a while doing that myself yesterday as I am also thinking of making a career change.

    Anyway today decided…trying to google personalty tests to see what job I was suited for. So my personality type is an ENFJ. (Obama and Oprah are as well (yey)).

    I could not beleive what I read and makes total sense. The traits that anyone may see as codependent…are just me. They are my personality. I am a teacher and a nurturer.
    Not only that a description of my pesonality type goes on to say that i appreciate people, am apt to neglect myself and my own needs for the needs of others; I have a thinner psychological boundary than most and I am at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people; and that i often take on more of the burdens of others than I can bear.

    Sound familiar?????
    Where is this test when we go into the therapists office?? WTF?

  24. JoAnn, is this what you mean by inability to learn from experience? or is this just someone showing their ass?

    Today’s my birthday. I’m for the most part a low maintenance girl and for years his grocery store flowers were ok. But not now. Gee. I think it was last Mother’s Day or maybe it was my last birthday, I don’t really remember. But I do remember whenever it was, he came home from the store and put away the groceries he bought. Minutes later, I realized he was gone. Hmmmm, I thought. He’s run back to the grocery store to get the flowers he forgot about getting when he was there the first time. Makes a girl feel special, right? When he walked in the door with his stupid ass cheap flowers, I took them, threw them on the floor and stomped the sh&*t out of em. Not one of my finer moments.

    Deja vu today. He went to church by himself. Comes home and an hour later, he disappears. Guess where? Yep, the grocery story for some cheap ass, takes no thought or effort, flowers that he forgot to pick up on the way home from church. Haven’t we been here before?? This time, no stomping on my part, but I tell him this makes me feel like I’m worthless and all it does is show me how little space I take up in his head. We end up having a conversation…bla,bla, bla, bla…..

    Hours later, he’s been cleaning up his study, he pops in my room and says he’s tired of leftovers and is thinking about picking up some grilled chicken for dinner Asks if I want any. I tell him no, we had grilled chicken yesterday and it doesn’t sound good to me today. He asks, mexican food? I say nope, don’t want anything that filling. How about salmon, I ask, from so-and-so place that’s just down the street? He pauses and then says he can get that for me and then look around and try to find something else for him. Thanks but no thanks. you self centered man. It’s MY birthday. Why is EVERYTHING about you? I didn’t even bother saying anything to him. Go get your chicken. I’ll scrounge.

    I see it so clearly today. This is how I went from being somebody to feeling like I’m nobody. 30 years of this kind of stuff on top of all the more not so obvious behaviors that I never had any idea of what was really behind them.

    Cindy, If the white coats come for you, they better save room in the van for me, because I could have written much of what you wrote. I gave. I supported. I accommodated. I compromised. I thought that was what two people did in a marriage. Like the frog in the boiling pot, I didn’t see how lopsided it had become. What really bothers me is how along the way, I cluelessly began to hang everything on his words and not his actions….or I should say lack of actions.

    p.s. He just popped back from the store getting whatever it is he wanted and said “I just wanted to let you know I didn’t go drink anything or get anything to drink later” This is his fourth day without alcohol and I guess I’m supposed to be happy. I guess this is supposed to make my day.
    Deja vu here too.

  25. Happy Birthday Robin, I am a Capricorn too (Jan. 7)

    Your example is just one of a million of the life lessons that Sex Addicts ignore.

    They don’t learn how to treat people nicely. They don’t learn that acting out is dangerous and hurtful to us, they don’t learn that acting like an ass will get them nowhere. The don’t learn from their mistakes–they only use them as proof that they are forever being misunderstood, misjudged or persecuted. They don’t learn that their bad behaviors will destroy their marriage, they don’t learn that no matter how hard they try to deceive us that we will always see through their lies. They don’t learn that THEY were wrong and should make changes within THEMSELVES to make things better, they just continue to blame everyone else.

    It is a symptom of mental illness when someone does not have the insight to learn from their mistakes. Think about it–that’s what life is, a series of mistakes that serve as lessons for us. They don’t have that capacity, so maybe we should all quit beating our heads against the wall trying to make them understand.

    They are not capable.

    1. Sometimes, reality is not what I want (like the fact the SA is incapable of learning to treat others with the respect they demand). But, while little trips into fantasy can be nice, I much prefer reality.

      My husband prefers fantasy. That being the case, I am going to leave him to”lalaland”

      Thanks for maintaining this website-thank you from the bottom of my heart.

      Peace and Love and Reality

  26. Hi Cindy1111,

    I wanted to share my thoughts about your friends and family understanding. I think unless someone has been in your shoes they wont understand. They may be able to empathize but they wont really get it. That is why this website and our sisterhood is so great because we all have been in each others shoes. Therefore, we have genuine compassion, caring, and understanding. Mother Teresas viewpoint of suffering was this: suffering is just suffering if we do nothing with it; its a gift if we use it to help others. True compassion comes from true suffering. When I lost my home a year ago to a fire, do you think my friends and family came to help me dig out what little was left? No. You know who showed up…complete strangers from my town and other towns.. what did they all have in common? They all lost their home to a fire.

  27. Cindy, so much of what you wrote in both of your long posts were filled with dejavu for me. Our husbands are siamese twins. I have suffered so much trying to help him and help myself. The shock of each new discovery, and believe me it is discovery and not disclosure, there is a more shattering aftershock. i do have a counselor I rely on. I have held this knowsledge in my heart for 7 years. We live apart and when he brought his trash into my home I threw him out. When at christmas he wanted to be here with his family and grandchildren i told him to see if he could stay with his sister. i didn’t want him with me. Well that was all a story in itself, but two days ago I called his sister and spoke with her husband and while they knew some of the issue not all of it. On this occasion I held nothing back. when his brother-in-law tried to minimize the problem and say well this is a marital problem why are you telling me I said I didn’t invite this problem into my marriage and I can’t bear the burden of it myself any longer. He wanted to protect his wife and my SA sister from the filthy facts but the next day she called me. to make a short story of it, I told her things I didn’t want to report about her dear brother and i knew her ears burned. I had to warn her he is a liar, I feel that she is going to be a support for me and him top, because believe me he needs several. I give him a large dose of truth and they wash it down. At the present he is still minimizing, belligerent and bullying with me and as I told his sister I believe there is serious mental illness issues. he is an academic and i have a flashdrive from christmas that is evidence of all of it, in his words. he is sick! No question even with out the MD assessment I am literate and i have the facts. Love all you ladies. Wanted to share my most recent family experience!

  28. Happy Belated Birthday to you, JoAnn, and any other fellow Goats here.

    What a sobering post (“They are not capable”) but one this lady is finally getting close to accepting. And believe it or not (I can hear the snickering from here and maybe I am a fool) I do think he’s trying. There is just a complete disconnect somewhere. It’s heartbreaking and frightening and frustrating and how was I so blind for so long???

    ……….and about nurturing a sex addict. I guess this is related. Charlie Sheen is tied for 5th favorite American television star. WTF. I just read this in today’s paper. Apparently there is an annual Harris poll and after all his sordid scandals, he ranks #5. Unbelievable.

    Goodnight All. This stuff is exhausting.
    Better days ahead for all of us

  29. Hi Flora,

    I think you have a great personality. Your posts are always so insightful and helpful. I also admire the way you take such good care of yourself, kids, and your space. Youre one of my role models! : ) Thanks sister!

  30. Hello All,

    Your words of support are such strength for me and I thank you so much.

    My posts have been soooooooo long, and I apologize for that.

    That “damn cow” (I love that thing) got me typing and my fingers just started pouring out my feelings.
    That is an example of how I have been reading your words for so long, wanting to participate, being a little shy, and than just opening up the flood gates.
    Hope you understand. LOL

  31. Good morning,

    WOW…gone for the morning and afternoon and evening yesterday and I’ve an hour of reading to just catch up! Busy busy place these days…it’s sad when there are so many of us on here…its like OMG…what is this crap we are all going through – an epidemic? more sadness sets in with me- because I believe we are. Everywhere we look there is something out there that includes sex of some sort. What hurts and angers me is our society helped to create these monsters we have in our lives, yet, it turns it’s back and leaves us to deal with the horrors of the problem alone.

    Cindy – I want to say one thing…SCREW your SA, bullying you into thinking 1/2 his problem is yours! Bullying you into negotiations with his HIS addiction – WTF~~!!! meet him half way MY ass….I agree with Flora that he was an addict before during and after he met you. I’d tell him to take his comments and stick em where the sun don’t shine….and until such time he can come to you and admit his addiction is HIS and ALL his, I’d wash my hands of him…period. You can’ not be held responsible for something you new nothing about…and again, sex drive is NOT sex addiction….Sounds like this guy will do anything he can to hold ANYone but himself responsible for his deplorable self…Get tough gf! Put it back in HIS face…stick to your guns, dig your feet in…and after he’s covered in his own shit, step back and see how he reacts then!!!!!!!!!~~~~My SA tried that as well and he doesn’t ANY more…FACT – I was NOT perfect in our relationship but FACT – Atleast I was living HONEST in our relationship and what he saw was what he got! but FACT – My reactions and many of my behaviors came/resulted from HIS actions and behaviors that were DIRECTLY related to HIS secret OTHER life!! Sooooo Mr. Sex Addict, you can try to make me hold myself responsible for my part in a life that was otherwise a FARCE! and FAKE! A LIE!!! Oh yeah….let me run and sign up for the trip to pergatory…………NOT



    Phyllis (Mary)

    Oh, and belated happy bday wishes to all the gals on here…
    and speaking of which…Robin, when your SA stuck his head in your door, you should have stood up, found a hot outfit, some high heeled shoes and when he asked to feed you chicken with ole’ grocery store flowers on the same table, you should walked right past him saying, “naw, I’ve other plans”….and walked out the door………………………….

  32. Oh…and Cindy…There is a great book titled “Why is it Always About You?”..It’s a book on Narcissism – a GREAT book…I bought it, told my SA about it and unbelievable – he read it! more unbelievable, he agreed with it! and if that’s wasn’t miracle enough, he said it really opened his eyes about who he really is…

    Now, all that being said, I can’t help but feel of late that he’s mastering agreeing with me about everything….more mind games…he admits to everything all the time…made more of a “lateral” move in recovery work I think. I see little change by way of actions…much change by way of words…this is one area, now he agrees with ALL of this but it’s taken him 9 months to start on his 1st step…I told him yesterday at that rate it will take him 10 years to get all 12 steps done. I’m not devoting my life to his initial recovery work. Staying with someone who has gone through the program and who is then working on staying there is one thing, but I’m not throwing away more of my life waiting for him to get through a program that others do in a few short months……….I know all too well that recovery is a life long process – but to spend a decade for his sorry butt to do the initial work? well, idk, you tell me, maybe I’m the crazy one…..I was willing to wait and see how things went after – AFTER he got through a program but he’s procrastinating at every turn, taking his sweet time = sees a shrink once a month and goes to 3 meetings a week (2 SA and 1 “group” through the counselor)….I see two parts to recovery – 1st is the initial program, the second is holding on to sobriety (if they can reach that part) which will be the rest of his life…I can’t fathom wasting 5 or 10 years for him to get through the first part so I can see if there will be any paradigm shift……..IDK…not thinking I’m explaining this here right but I”m trying to compare this to the work someone would be doing in a 30 day intensive and he’s taken 9 months to do the first two or three days work someone in an intensive would do….Because after he gets through that, then he needs to be exploring his childhood and personality disorders more…His rate of getting things done (which is no different than anything else in his life…he procrastinates EVERYTHING) but he wants to move back in with me in the end of May when the lease is up on the house he’s rented for me this past year!!!!!!!! I’ve a problem with that…ALL of it…almost a year later and he’s just NOW completing the first step and seen a shrink 8 times, but I should be ready willing and able to let his butt crawl back into my life, my house and my bed! Am I making any sense here? ughhhh

  33. Phyllis , you are like a needed jolt of caffeine in the morning!
    I totally mean that in a good way. Your energy and attitude is contagious! I don’t think I’ve been a doormat, although there is a good chance Mr. SA has perceived me that way.

    My focus and energy and efforts have definitely been on him and that is what I’m trying to change now. Everyone here on this website has been an inspiration. Women sharing their struggles while facing hard truths, protecting their children, going back to school, starting new jobs, picking up the pieces, and on and on and on.

    Reading here is eye opening to say the least. There is so much to absorb. One thing I’m observing – coming out of isolation seems to be a big step forward in everyone’s healing. I’m learning I have got to get my ass out of this house and back in to the real world.

  34. Oh and I wanted to add …..

    ….It seems those of you further along in the healing process have made the shift from nurturing the addict to nurturing yourselves.

  35. i met my husband online on 1998. it was my first time to chat and i met him, he was wonderful. we got engaged after 3months. He went to my country several times for 4 years before we decided to get married in 2002. And so i came to US in 2005 and i was already 6 months pregnant. i thought at first the reason he wouldnt make love to me is because i was pregnant. but even after i gave birth, it was just occasional sex, roughly less than 10 times a year. we have 2 kids now age 5 and 3. i got used to the occasional sex, i tried to understand that “he is not into it”. he always says that making love is for special occasions but i felt he was just indulging me when it is my birthday or anniversary.
    Fast forward to year 2010, his behavior becomes worse, sex is down to only 3 for the whole year. he was always in the garage all the time, before work, after work, he was always there. i knew something is going on but i was just too scared to find out. one day, i just got tired of it and went in there only to find out about emails and videos to Thai girls. tons of porn pics. His emails are always expressing his LOVE and desire to these girls. we had a big fight and i threaten to leave him. He said he had an addiction to sex chat and he cant help himself BUT very willing to change. He even disconnected the PC and tried to destroy his phone. the phone survived and when i calmed down and thought about the kids, i forgave him and gave his phone back. it was great, we are having sex like 2 times a week. i thought everything will be okay.
    However, 15 days after that first fight, he is sneaking again on his cellphone and i got suspicious again. While he was sleeping, i took the phone and checked it. He was again sending emails to these Thai girls. i was devastated. We fought and today he totally disconnected his phone number.
    i wanted to get counseling for him to save this marriage but we don’t have money for that. both of us are having problems with our work.
    i am so hurt and confused right now.
    i still love him but seriously, is there hope for sex addicts?

  36. Dear Erika,

    Once an addict, always an addict. I think sexual addiction is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This is a symptom of much more profound personality disorder(s).

    At this juncture, I have little hope……perhaps I’m not the best one to ask at this point.

    My best to you, Betty

  37. I am married to a sex addict, pathological liar who lies about completely random and inconsequential things and a domestic abuser. He is in jail because this last time he shoved me I suffered a concussion. I have a restraining order and plan to move, but tonight he called from the jail. It’s been about 25 days since I’ve seen or heard from him. He begged me to take him back, swore he’d never be violent and said he was done with all other women. He said he would give me his phone, all email passwords and access to all his banking when he gets out.
    I told him that while I wished the best for him, he cannot move back home and my daughter (his step daughter) and I are moving very soon. He actually begged and cried on the phone but I simply told him that I needed time to find myself and I couldn’t do that when I wondered where he was, who he was with, when he’d be home and if he’d get physical with me when I addressed the issue. In the time since he’s been in jail, several affairs I was unaware of have come to light. These women seemed to have very little in common except that they were all about 8-10 years older than I am. He is in his mid 50s, I am 44.
    I simply feel I cannot trust him, there have been, by my estimate, a minimum of 22+ affairs during the course of our 7 year marriage. I never cheated on him once. The abuse was always triggered by my accusations, that were correct, about his cheating. I told him he should use this time to work on himself, get involved in the court-mandated anger and domestic violence classes and see a therapist about his SA and pathological lying. He says he is afraid he will lose me. I told him that if his love for me is that strong, he will do everything he needs to do to get all of this out of his system or resolved and in a few years, we’ll see where that leaves us. There have just been too many lies, too many women and far too much anger when I have confronted him about his activities.

  38. My husband admitted his addiction to me. I was blind-sighted. Had NO CLUE at all. He is getting help. He is extra nice to me. He makes NO excuses and never gets angry with me. He lets me be angry at him. His addiction DID escalate to verbal/emotional abuse towards me…I never got angry back. I just cried for days. He couldn’t believe what he was doing to me, took a look at himself, and confessed to me what was going on. He told me how much he hated himself and how he wanted help. He told me he wanted to tell me before we got married, but was afraid if he did i would leave him. This was three months ago. He backslid three times since then with porn. Each time, I believe him less and less. If a guy is constantly showing you you aren’t the one he wants, all the flowers and dinners in the world mean nothing. I WISH he was physically abusive and cruel sometimes so I would feel “justified”. But he’s doing everything RIGHT (minus the backslides followed by lies about the backslides). But EVENTUALLY he tells the truth…when i ask him the same question over and over he starts to realize i KNOW and then tells the truth. It’s only happened three times since the “confession”….that i know of. I can’t stay mad at him though because he holds me close when I am and tells me to let it all out. He takes it all, and then i have no anger left. Maybe i am nurturing him without realizing it. I don’t know! I like to think he actually cares…I like to think he’s serious. He cries a lot. He says he’s scared of loosing me. He says he wants to be a better person. But what if it’s all a lie to keep me? I mean stories I’ve read…it starts like this, but it’s really a trap in the end. Did any of your husbands start out this way? How do I know he is serious? He keeps backsliding!!! What does that mean? Am i being stupid trusting him???

  39. Oh, you ladies are such life savers! I think the last week I have spent exploring your site has done more to help me than the last four years of therapy! So why couldn’t I have found this site even a year ago when there was still a glimmer of hope?!

    Because I was too busy listening to therapist after therapist try to convince me how sorry my SA was for the actions I had proof of, and tell me I had trust issues bc of the stuff I couldn’t find absolute proof over, but didn’t make any sense. For someone who claims not to be an SA, it’s awfully strange he has almost every single one of the qualities described when talking about an SA.

    The therapists that look at us like we are complete idiots for how we reacted in our realtionship w/our SA, that we “allowed” them to treat us this way bc we were either control freaks if we did go into police mode, or we were codependant if we believed them when they offered their so sincere sounding apologies.

    I’m sorry, how stupid of me to have ignored my husband when he shared with me on our first date that he was a sex addict who would turn my world upside down, and I would never know when he was being honest and when he wasy lying. Why didn’t I remember to check the manual, complete with flowcharts, that I was given right after our wedding that instructed me, “OK, here’s your correct response when he does this, and here’s how to know when he’s lying, and here’s how to tell when he’s using manulapitation, oh, and if you do this you’re crossing the line into a parent/child relationship, and here is EXACTLY how to, despite everything he does, still be a loving, supporting caring wife. Oh my goodness, you’re right, this IS EXACTLY half my fault for not having done all of those things!!

    Therapists are just now starting to realize there is such a thing as sex addiction, they bounce back and forth all the time as to the new “findings”, and we wives are supposed to just KNOW the right way and the wrong way to handle eveything? And thanks Flora for your comment on personality types!! It’s so true!!

    I think it would be so much easier if therapits would just print a handout that said, “You’re in a marriage w/an SA, here IS the best thing you can do if you want to make it, and even that’s no promise this will work”, and then work ALONE w/him on all the crud that got him to this place way NEFORE we ever came along. I think it would save us years of pain.

    I’m also seeing from these articles to stop beating myself up. Back at the start of our last ditch effort at therapy, hubby said he knew he took me for granted, and put me last, but now he ssys he’s leaving bc he saw it all was going to be about me. It just now hit me…he needs it to be all about him! The only difference was, the first way he was all sweet and nice when he admitted it!!

    What I have to work through now, is that no one else will understand bc they didn’t live it. Couple that with having to deal with the fact that I married a facade, and have no clue if ANY of the love he expressed was real, and it’s no wonder I don’t even want to crawl out of bed anymore.

    1. Hi My Reward is Coming,

      I LOVE your post. I love the manual analogy and how somehow we were supposed to know all of these things…and that we are 50% to blame. I have said this time and time again. I also like how you said when you go into therapy they should call it like it is. Say this is what your options are, xyz, and even then you are still married to a sex addict. Because no matter the amount of therapy they are never cured, they are ALWAYS a sex addict. They just move into the label of recovering sex addict for the rest of their lives. You are so right and it is all such a warped world.

  40. LOL! Thanks Flora! I’m amazed my family never got a phone from from the therapists office, informing them they were sorry to report, but my head had exploded, could they please come get my body?! I heard and read the phrase so many times, “You’re codependant bc you’re letting his actions affect you”, and I couldn’t understand….how could you NOT let actions like that affect you??? How does that make me codependant??

    I’ve thought of it like this…It’s like I bought a house that I knew had a few little things wrong, but they weren’t huge problems. I do the final walk through, I sign all the paperwork, and they hand me the keys. I pull up to my house, and from the outside, it looks exactly the same, but as I turn the key to my home, all excited to start a new phase of my life, I walk inside and my heart sinks. The inside looks like a bomb has exploded! Everything is in complete ruin! I can’t understand what’s going on, and what’s happened. I go back to my realtor, and they act like I knew the house was like this all along, it’s my problem to deal with now, there’s nothing they can do.

    Of course I try to everything I can think of to make someone be held accountable for this, but no one will listen to me. I try to sue, and not only do I lose, but I have to pay my realtor’s court fees! Everytime I turn around trying to get help, it falls on deaf ears. Logic and common sense seem to have flown out the window.

    Not only has my dream home turned out to be a nightmare, I’m being told it was my fault for buying the thing!!

    How would any normal human being react in that situation??!

    But how many times have we heard that we were codependant bc we were letting our husband’s actions upset us, and change how we used to be? And just like no one was holding the realtor 100% responsible for what happened, no one would look at our husbands and say “Your wife has nothing to do with this, you were this way long before she came along”.

    My prayer is, that as more research is done, they will realize not every wife knows what she’s getting herself into, and see they need to SHARE the knowledge they have, not look down on us bc we don’t have it.

    I don’t have a psyc. degree, but it seems to me it would help us so much MORE if once they did confirm there was an SA, they would tell our husbands, “Here’s you’re best chance at recovery, and here’s what you need to do to help yourself. Quit blaming your wife, bc she has nothing to do with your problem. You also need to be in individual therapy, so we can work through how you got to this point.” Then look at us and let us know we need therapy to process our pain, and learn what to look for as signs of recovery, and signs of nonrecovery, what we should and shouldn’t do, so we can then make INFORMED decisions.

    I guess I must be crazy to think that type of situation would be MUCH more helpful than the current treatment of therapists having the information, but what the’re doing is making us guess at the correct response through trial and error, and then we discuss what was done correctly, and what was done incorrectly.

    I am sorry, I DO know it’s not their doing, it’s my husband that’s chosen denial and divorce, but it’s hard not to be upset at feeling so let down by the people that ARE trained to help us.

  41. Hello everyone, I’m new to this site and I just found out about 2 months ago my boyfriend is addicted to sex/porn. I’m still feeling devastated and heart broken. I cry a lot feels like everyday when I wake up all I can feel is doom! I’m getting ready to look for a therapist and have been doing tons of reading. I am all alone with this, I still haven’t told any one or have anyone to talk to about it. I hope I can get the encouragement I so am in need off from this site. Thank you so much for reading my comment. It means everything.

  42. Hello,
    Just found this site. When I found out my partner was a SA, amongst other things, I was devastated. I had never heard of such! However, I come from a family of addictions as I have been learning from therapy and recovery and my choice in partners was not that surprising. I choose him because not only is he a SA, but he comes from a family of addictions. Our marriage is falling apart. We have been together for over 23 years. We have a child. Coming to the realization that I have accepted unacceptable behavior for years is hard enough. I loved and still love him so much. But, the lies, deception and fact he is not in any recovery or therapy is a deal breaker. I, too, fell into the punishment and positive cycle with him. I became “Momma”. Not intentionally, but because of my codependence. I thought I was helping him. But as was written, only the SA can want it for her/himself. He has not wanted it. Even now that he has lost a job, stolen from neighbors, and lost his family, I do not believe he is in a program or getting help of any nature. I feel good (and sad) that at least I have removed myself from the cycle. I really do still love and care for him deeply. I want nothing more than for him to get well. However, I need to get well too. I can not accept this behavior any longer and have needed to listen to my intuition for a looooonnnnggg time. I have pushed it away because of my fear. I know dysfunction. I know chaos. I don’t know serenity and feeling alone. My HP is taking care of myself, my daughter and my husband. I am not his HP. It is hard and sad to watch him self-destruct. But, the only way I can help him is to get out of his way. I am really struggling to let him go, but have a support of people and a therapist who are helping me to let him go and do so with compassion for myself and him.

  43. 10 years down the road…I saw the flags, but ignored them. When I met my husband, he was everything I dreamed in a man. I am from a dysfunctional family, and left other men because of their addictions. Little did I know I married a SA. The signs I saw were always wanting new things, I laughed & said one day you’ll want to replace me. Well he’s addicted to me, I took over where his mom left off. I laugh about the level of nurturing and say I’m a martyr in our marriage…and it has finally rung true. When we said our vows, his left out fidelity. I thought I was a good wife, a friend allowing porn. Thinking, he’s home not out with someone etc. Well, this has hit the fan and I now realize it is just like drug addiction. Porn is the gateway to hell. Over the years I thought some issues I have, may have caused stress on him and I somewhat “deserved” the things he did. However, I never cheated. I work so hard at “keeping” our marriage, that I am now concentrating on me. I have a friend that when I was younger his mother died of AIDS from her boyfriend cheating. I am clean & want to stay that way. I fear my life because of this. Especially because I don’t know what places he is going to and these women offer everything…It started with porn, then massages, then more. He tries to claim the massages keep it under control. I believed it at one point. Now I realize, it all needs to stop. I am a recovered alcoholic & know what needs to be done. I block his money, check his internet history, check his phone records, and am now tired of “not pushing him into more”. I try to keep my sources safe, because it just gets harder each time to find out. I hate the feeling inside when I find out confront him, and have to punish myself to punish him. I am trying to make myself stronger, so if I choose to leave I will not be stranded. I changed my life, made the choice not to bring kids into this life, and hopefully I do not regret that later in life. I just don’t want to make a child suffer the way I feel. This is my last time confronting him. After doing all this research…there will be a Bottom line, he decides, if he wants to change his life…I just need to know, so I can live mine. I never thought I would accept this life/marriage after the first time. I guess love is unconditional, one day at a time. Thank you for reading this far I needed to vent this. I am dealing with this all alone, no one knows, but me.

    I am so glad I found this site…ALL of your posts have touched upon the life…I guess we live. Finally, I can really absorb the idea that it is real, and there’s nothing I can do to make him see that I love him and want this to work. That I am not the one giving up, but instead would be walking away because of his choices.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!!

  44. @Michelle


    no, no, no! That’s 100000% sex addict bull shit! and love is NOT unconditional. You are not his mother!
    Please don’t keep it all inside. I have found it very valuable to not only let it ALL out, but to discuss it
    as well with a qualified therapist. You do not have to suffer like this forever. best, Kim

  45. I completely agree with Kimberly. Unconditional love is a fantasy and has no place in a real relationship. Unconditional love means you have no boundaries, that you will accept anything. That is unrealistic and unhealthy.

    And massages are just another way of acting out. It will always escalate as they require more and different and new to obtain the same result. ~ JoAnn

  46. I third that, Michelle.

    Healthy people dont ask for unconditional love because they can measure upto any conditions placed in a healthy relationship.

    And what are the conditions?, truth, respect, fidelity.

    Only a person who doesnt want to give this floats the idea of unconditional loves.

    Its a canard propogated by these SAs.

    I am sure all of us here who have been on the receiving end of Sas have had this seed planted in us by the SAs.

    After i found out multiple affairs, hookers, massages etc etc and wanted to walk away the SA tells me” it just shows you never loved me because love is supposed to be unconditional.”

    Go figure.

  47. WOW! I’m so glad I found this blog! I feel so alone in trying to grapple with the issues I recently uncovered.
    I had no idea that my partner of 11 years was a sex addict. I thought I was the luckiest woman on the planet with the best husband, and then I accidentally discover that he has a secret e-mail address, and upon reading through it I was so deeply disturbed and devastated that I just couldn’t stop shaking. He had never let on how kinky he was or any particularly dirty fantasies, and then I find out that he has been chatting/ phoning, and expressing a tremendous amount of interest in orally pleasing men, probably actually engaging in these activities, and seeking to pay for sexual favors. This was all news to me, because he never even dropped a hint that he had bisexual tendencies. I was also completely shocked to learn that he had tried to set up meetings to engage in bestiality!!! And had explicit tendencies towards pedophilia and incest, including a possible experience with an infant!! The most devastating part is that I’m 32 and we were planning to start a family soon. I’m still so confused, because despite the horrid emails, I do still love the kind and wonderful man I have known and I realize that by leaving him I will give up any shot at having children. But having become aware of his deviant desires I think it would be criminal to stay with him and actually have kids. I have confronted him about the secret email address and that I know he chats/ phones for sex, but he has no idea yet that I also know all details of his sexual deviant behavior. He has just started going to counseling. I have struggled with either leaving or staying, but reading these posts it’s pretty clear that he will continue his behavior, and even if he doesn’t I cannot possibly trust him ever again. I have decided to file for divorce, even if it is a painful solution.

    As you can tell, all these feeling are still so raw and I’m sorry for venting.

    1. At 32, you will still have children. If you have any concerns, freeze your eggs. DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN WITH THIS MAN! He is a pedophile and would abuse your children. Regular SA is tough enough but pedophilia is not something to mess around with. If you stayed you shouldn’t have children. If you leave, there is that to look forward to with another man.

  48. Completely Blindsided,

    Wow, we really admire you at having taken such a painful decision so quickly.

    Please be assured its the right decision.

    No woman can possibly even think of having a child with him when you suspect him of being a pedophile .

    Please know that you are better off without him.

    Kudos once again.

  49. Blindsided,
    You have absolutely made the right decision and you have at least 10 more child bearing years. (just not with him!) So, please do not give up on that dream! It takes a while, but you will recover from this! best, Kim

  50. I am sick to my stomach!! I have been in a relationship with a sex addict for 3 years! I have been in recovery too for SA for 9 years! So, I do understand the disease and the sickness of needing someone else to validate my worth or in the past, manipulate to make myself feel better, powerful, wanted and really picking a man that is not available!
    I am so sick of it!!!
    I even hired the stupid sick-o!!!
    And today, when I found things on his office PC…he blamed me for how mean and hurtful I have been!
    When he was making $8.00 /hour when I met him and I believed in him as a professional,let him sleep on my couch when he was afraid to be alone, or I loaned him money for himself and his kids, and also let him use my car for 12 months every day because he gave his to his son!!!
    It’s amazing how his emails come-on to other women and then he will not kiss me or say “I love you!” but it’s all my fault that I have HURT him! I am pissed!!!!

  51. I have just recently discovered huge amounts of money missing as far as I can go back in the bank records, 7years. He has been taking money out and also has 200 dollar pharmacy bills every week or so. Is anyone aware of what he could be up to with the pharmacy? I confronted him and he admits to the SL addiction of some sort he says. I have an attorney and I filed for divorce. He is the best liar. I cannot tell you how smooth, I have been married 26 years and with him for 30 years. I can use support. I feel incredibly betrayed. I am looking forward to breaking free from this insanity.

  52. I became romantically involved with SA after a year of platonic friendship. I believed I could “trust” him based on our friendship. I don’t think I have ever met a more screwed up, and evil person. This guy is truly a sociopath, and I believe many SA have a serious personality disorder. After being accused of pushing this guy in to a relationship after a year of deliberately avoiding one, and being told I was a “burden” (a little projection there), I ended the relationship right on the spot. The light went on, and I realized this man was very sick,toxic, and dangerous. This man did such a good job conning me into believing he wanted to change, feeling sorry for him, and looking like the perfect dad. My advice…if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck—run!

    Oh yes, he could be so charming, attentive, kind, and funny. This guy is real snake.

  53. Human trafficking is a very real and serious problem. Many sex addicts are going to be involved and/or promoting human trafficking as patrons of porn, strip clubs, massage parlors, and soliciting prostitutes. Law enforcement, non profit and social service agencies are trying to crack down on this ever growing slave trade. Start educating yourselves on this serious epidemic, and how the SA you are involved with might be part of it.

  54. Hello everyone

    Two weeks ago I caught my partner with a prostitute, this was a big shock to me as after 4 years I realised that this man used me and manipulated me into believing he was a good man. When I confronted him, first he lied and said it was a woman He met in a bar but then I called the number and the answering machine gave me reason to doubt, so I confronted him again and he admitted that he has had this problem for years, way before he met me. In the beginning I became very emotional and wanted to help, but the minute he was alone and instead of showing remorse, he went online and created 8 profiles on different online dating sites like, e harmony, singles around me etc, this made me so angry as I have been going through hell and he did not give a damn about me. Please I need some advice, how do I stay strong and move on, I am very lucky in a way as he lives in London and I am living in another country, this is due to his new job which started 9 months ago, we have no kids together and nothing binds us, but it hurts so much to find out that this man never loved me and all he does is use women for his addiction. Please help

  55. Hi Malena,

    Sucks, doesn’t it? Look, we’re all in the same unfortunate boat. Thank heaven you’re not married and don’t have kids with this idiot. I know that’s no comfort as your heart is broken and you are still in a deep state of shock. Please know that its not personal. You were merely at hand and filled the vacant spot of “place holder.” He NEEDS to believe that he’s a “good guy,” not this horrible fucked up monster who could devastate a woman so deeply. And “good guys” have girlfriends and wives. But… he is not good. He’s not nice. He’s not capable of loving— ANYONE. Its all a CON that he’s been perfecting since childhood. He IS a sociopath.

    It helps for a lot of us to work with a qualified therapist who understands these highly disordered people and how they manipulate and entice us into their web of dysfunction. It takes time to heal, but you will be fine— in time. I’m so sorry that he did this to you. Best, K

    1. Hi Kimberly

      Thank you so much for your words and help. I am trying to get better slowly slowly and spend time with my friends. It is still such a big shock to me as I have given this man so much love and importance. I am a single mother of 2 grown up boys who struggles every month to make ends meet but paid for my flights to go see him every month as he never offered, but money for prostitutes and massage parlours he had. I have so much anger towards him as I allowed him to hurt me so much, this past year I felt that something was not right as he was so distant with no emotions, I felt I was alone in the relationship and since he moved to London with no friends and family, the addiction took over him completely. He has become very selfish and nasty towards me, while I baked pies for him and cleaned his house during visits to London. Now I am alone, still sad of all the damage but in time I will find happiness and peace as I will never allow him to come anywhere near me. I am a very strong woman and I will get out of this hole he has dragged me into.

      Love and peace to all

  56. I stumbled over your page on a google search and am so thankful. I want to say that while reading it I would swear that you were talking about my behavior!
    I have been married 15 years to a SA who has just recently been exposed again. For the past 5 years it has been a constant struggle with numerous woman (mostly escort services). Just last weekend I found out that the behavior had never really stopped as I came across some sites that were on my computer.
    He says he will get help and that he needs it – but how realistic should I be about it actually working? He has very sociopathic tendencies in other areas of his life also. It is almost scary. I would like to believe that someone can change, but also want to be realistic also.

  57. No, April, he doesn’t need help; he doesn’t need help because he’s beyond help. Its a waste of time and money. He’s a sociopath. And sociopaths cannot change. I repeat. Sociopaths cannot change. A part of their brain is MISSING. Its the part that controls empathy and helps a person to decipher right from wrong. A socio, neither knows nor cares because he doesn’t understand TO know or care. You can’t put back something that was never there to begin with!

    His talents lie in manipulation, fabrication,gaslighting and mindf*cking, (saying things like I’m sorry you are hurting. Not, I’m sorry ***I*** hurt you.)He has been perfecting his sociopathic skills since childhood. He is saying that he needs help NOW– sure. now that he’s busted, because he doesn’t want to lose you. You are his place holder and front for what appears to the world as a normal life, but it is anything but normal. He will try to CONvince you that he’s getting help and getting better, until the smoke clears. ugh. This is the sort of thing they learn in most 12-step groups.

    But doesn’t he love me? He does not understand the concept of love as you and I know it. He is not capable of loving another human being. Anyone. It sure felt like love, you say? Yes, he’s a wonderful actor, but its not real.

    Please know that most socios are not murderers. Your husband is like Scott Peterson, without the bodies. He presents a very believable front. Nice guy. good job. good “family man.”


    I’m so sorry, but this is your reality. God Bless…

  58. Ladies, I love you all for being able to talk on here openly. I am engaged to an sa and it is without a doubt, the single most painful experience a person can through. I will not say leave your husbands or partners because we are not codependent women, rather, we are trauma survivors. I have severe mental issues such as: nightmares on a fairly regular basis, intrusive thoughts of discovery, anger and depression for no reason whatsoever other than the intrusive thought came to mind and I obsess over it. I have now become incredibly jumpy. Literally I will jump when a leaf lands on me. Everything I thought my life was is a lie, I m paranoid and hyper-vigilant.Anyone know what all of that amounts to? PTSD. That’s right, the man I trusted more than anyone is the cause of all my symptoms. But I digress. This is all very difficult because I am a psychology student and I know far too much about sex addicts. Of course I can understand it from an objective viewpoint if it is someone else’s spouse or partner. Here is the rub, it doesn’t matter what they do. Yes it is painful and time and time again we expect our world to be shattered and half assed attempts to piece it back together. But we are not the addict. They are and it is not our responsibility to help them until they ask for help. We partners spend far too much time reading everything we can find on their issue. Hell, I already know what triggered my fiance and caused this. He doesn’t even know the trauma he had in his life. It is our jobs to take care of ourselves whether or not we stay with them.
    I also wanted to say a word about the type of pornography many of us have caught them looking at. Yes, it is disturbing and we can not make sense out of it. Child pornography is an issue and it is also important to know that most addicts do not start off looking at that stuff. Since sex addiction is a process disease there is a huge risk of illegal activities if they are left untreated. It doesn’t make them pedophiles. Pedophiles are far more aggressive and angry. Sex addicts are like any other drug uses in that the dosage keeps becoming extreme so they can get the desired effect. I am not advocating for pedophilia here. And one of the ladies said her husband was acting out with men. This is common among sex addicts and again they aren’t bisexual, they are an addict chasing a high.

    Anyway. You are all in my thoughts and I hope each of you finds a way to take care of yourself regardless of what your partner is doing.

    1. Brandi..I was looking up information online add reading your experience…its a horrible thing and very traumatizing to a woman’s mind especially when you love and trust somebody.. I was Mary for 10 years in my husband started getting into that one he got a computer and when you touch me for 4 years wouldn’t give me children and I found all types of things online and photos that haunted me online…I ended up leaving him and we were separated for about 2 1/2 years trying to go on with my life but we are we still had a connection and since last February we’ve been back together he actually moved in with me for months ago has been hiding so much with his phone locking up your computer I recently this week grabs his phone while I was asleep just to take a peek and the horror started all over again that I thought I had and didn’t he still has a huge issue…found tons of naked photos of themselves naked photos of multiple women photos of him having sex acts with these women and I’ve been a mess all week and I confronted him and he’s been nothing but in denial and nasty to meet me saying I’m a sneaky bitch for going in this phone…I feel so overwhelmed with sadness no matter how mumuch I love him I need to let him go…he lies about everthing..denyed the photos were even him…if he was willing to get professional help which I tried in our marriage then I would give it a shot but its never going to happen it’s unsafe for me is a woman being with him and its going out and having unprotected sex…I feel soo dumb when he cried last year to me hes changed…

  59. Hi everyone and thank you. I have been involved with a man for the past 7 years who is disabled which led me to feel sorry for him. I just recently discovered that he is a porn addict/cheat. I am also a woman who was sexually abused as a child and am in a wonderful support group for this. This addiction has affected me as all of you and with the added past as well. But the light went on and I believe he is sociopathic for sure. No empathy really just fake and this caused me to get into the PTSD. I had discovered enough to say go fuck yourself to him and move on. I am going to have to visit these sites continue with therapy and a couple of special groups. I really just wanted to thank you because sites like this validate and keep me clear. Love and peace to all of you and to myself. I dont think I ever felt this much pain except when I was sexually abused as a child.

    1. I met my boyfriend 4 years ago. Initially it was fun and we both thought it could be a fling even though I had never had a fling before. He had a girlfriend when we met who he left immediatly. We quickly fell in love but then sadly were thrown into a long distance relationship by our careers. We talked for hours a day skyped and watched movies on skype and slept next to each other. We visited all the time too. A year in I found a sex conversation on his Facebook with some girl he never met. I confronted him immediatly and he apologized profusely and flew across the country to apologize more saying it was a flirtation that got out of control but my suspicions were heightened. He then confessed to one one night stand at the beginning of our relationship. We took some time apart but eventually I forgave him and learned to trust again. 2 years later I noticed that his weird explosive anger spells became more frequent, he would ignore me randomly but then tell me he loved me. There would be periods of total bliss and commitment then inexplicable confusing anger and distance. We even got pregnant but unfortunately I miscarrued. Eventually a girl contacted me saying that he had slept with her and then never called her again. He denied it blatantly and accused her of stalking got lawyers involved etc. I did not stop searching and eventually the truth came out: 100 plus affairs…. Men, women 3 somes advertising himself online for casual sex.., taking viagra to have sex 3 times a day with different women. It was horrifying devastating and I was in shock. I screamed the worst things at him but he tied and cried and begged and told me how he was raped as a child and while my head knew to get the fuck out of there my heart wanted to believe that he was fixable and that he did love me and that everything about my life was not a lie. I set boundaries… Therapy was mandatory, no privacy with regards to emails and phone, no drinking… He was an angel for 2 months trying everything but one day I needed more support when I found out about 2 men he had been with but he started withdrawing. He started getting anxious and sad and suicidal . I did everything to support and console him then he said we had to break up… I went crazy thinking he would hurt himseff but he went crazier and started blaming me for his infidelities and behavior and faulting me for everything. Refused to speak to me. Threatened to break my neck if I came near him again… Called me horrible names and told me to get out of his life

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!