Hello JoAnn,

I found your website a couple of days ago and am so glad I found it. I just found out about my husband’s secret earlier this week. I am emotionally drained, but I am hoping that by sharing my story, I will feel at least a little better.

Well, to say that I have just found out about it is wrong. I found out about it 3 years ago, and now the Sex Addiction has reared it’s ugly head.

I have been with my husband for 5 1/2 years and we met while I was in university. He is 12 years older than me. He had moved to the USA from a different country.

About 2 years ago, I moved to his home country with him and now we are married, no kids, a house and 2 great jobs. He is extremely successful, handsome and charming. I would say that I am attractive, smart and successful myself. Together, from the outside, we must look like the perfect couple.  But we are far from it.

3 years ago, while we still lived in the US, I found out something extremely shocking.

I just happened to be on the computer in the home that he owns in the US (he was back living in his home country at this point – I was to join him in 6 months.  He left early to start his new job, the original reason to move back).  I had found HUNDREDS of emails from complete strangers on Craiglist – ALL SEXUAL in nature and that he had even been sending his picture to some women (just his picture of himself, not his genitals). I continued to look at the emails – to see how long he had been doing this and found that it went back to when we first started dating.

I confronted him right away on the phone and he was hysterical and apologized and begged me to stay. Long story short, we never sought therapy for it and I forgave him because I didn’t think he had any kind of addiction – I had never even heard of a sex addict. That was this episode done.

A year ago, I was visiting the US for 2 weeks and came back and was on the computer when I saw the history of web pages, I saw that he was on a pornography website. I confronted him again and he swore that he was just looking and he doesn’t do this regularly. I stupidly believed, as I genuinely thought that this man had the heart of a saint – warm, kind, just  a dream, really. He spoils me in every way and I love him very much.

We got married this summer. Then earlier this week I was on the computer again and his work email was up. I had to look and I’m so glad that I did. 99.9% was work, but there was 3 email exchanges that he had had with a brief girlfriend back in the states that I opened – he had just written them day before. I was sick. She had originally contacted him, asking him how he was. He started to bring up history – most shockingly, he told her that HE WAS NOT MARRIED, but he “lived with a girl”. He also brought up very inappropriate innuendos including their “old bedroom” and “how great it was”  – he questioned how she was, what her life is like, etc. The email was flirtatious and inappropriate, and I’m confident that had I never caught it, he would go right back to what he was doing with craigslist.

He came home about 15 minutes later and I flipped out. I have never been so close in my life to hitting someone with intentions to create immense bodily harm. I wanted to kill him. He was hysterical as well. I called him every name in the book. I told him that he had a problem and he denied that he has a problem because he doesn’t do it very often. A few days have gone by and I’m convinced he has a sex addiction.

I immediately told him that he is to go to treatment and I will set boundaries, and it he does not seek treatment or abide by my boundaries, I will leave an divorce him. He has since admitted that he has a problem and broke down in tears saying that he is so torn inside and feels that he has a “Bad” self and a “good” self – but doesn’t know what the problem is and has agreed very willingly to seek treatment and help right away. He has accepted every one of my boundaries. I have attached that document, if you would like to see it.

JoAnn, I am so confused. Every bone in my body is telling me to divorce and never look back. I am self-sustainable, still young (turning 27 in February).   But I love him and we are married.  He isvery kind and funny, and smart and successful, and I believe him when he says that he wants treatment and that this marriage is the most important thing in his life. The reason that I believe him is that he agreed to all of my boundaries and has even signed the document. I told him that I will keep this document in a safe place.

I have read so many stories on your site, so may so eerily similar to mind and I am haunted by the possibility that this thing will begin to unravel more. I am scared that he is not telling me the truth, so I have to assume the worst – though he claims he never physically cheated on me, I don’t believe him. I am going to get tested for all STDs next week to make sure that I’m safe.

JoAnn, please give me some advice.  You seem to give hope to so many women.  I want hope.  I want hope that I can move on either by myself (if I divorce) or with him (if I decide to stay).  I don’t know what to do…….

Sorry this is so long.  If you do read this, thank you so much for listening (or reading?), and god bless you for  being so strong and creating such a wonderful site.

Here are the boundaries that I wrote.

I do not trust or believe anything that comes out of your mouth. All I have in my head are awful scenarios of you. You have given me no choice but to not trust you. You have completely lost my trust and we have to start from scratch, basically. I do not believe that you believe that you have a problem. I hope that counseling and time will help you see that you do have a problem and you can begin the healing process. Most importantly, the number one reason that you should start treatment and healing is FOR YOURSELF. Our marriage and relationship is a bonus and also can be reasons for seeking help, but you cannot live like this forever, and that’s the reason you need help.That being said:

These are boundaries/conditions that I will put in place for the foreseeable future: These are absolute conditionals for us to start working on our marriage and for me to start trusting you again. If I do not see significant improvement in 6 months starting from today 10 November, then I will move out of the house and initiate a divorce.

You are a married man. That means that any communication you have, be that to a stranger or someone you know needs to convey that you’re a married man. You have to set boundaries with people. Anything that you do that you would not do with me knowing IS SHADY and you should not be doing it. If I even suspect that you are doing something shady, then I will move out and initiate a divorce.

If you truly believe that this marriage is the most important thing in your life, then you will think about the repercussions of all your actions to the marriage. YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO SET BOUNDARIES AND ABIDE BY THOSE BOUNDARIES.

COUNSELING: You have to accept right now that counseling may have to be a part of your life for a very long time, and by long time, I mean years. For the immediate/foreseeable future: You will go to counseling once a week for a period of 6 weeks (however, if your counselor feels that you should be going more, then you will), and I will go to counseling individually as well. We will go to one initial session together, then you will have your 6 sessions by yourself, then we will meet the counselor together again after your 6 sessions. We can assess after how many times you need to go to counseling thereafter.

If after 6 weeks, I feel the same way I do now and that I do not see ANY hope that you and I can go on in a marriage that is built on trust, respect and dignity, I will move out and initiate a divorce.

LIVING SITUATION: You can stay in the house. You will sleep in a separate room until I feel that it is right to sleep in a room together – this can be months. For the next week (or even longer if I feel it is appropriate), we will live in separate living rooms. However, if you feel the urge to feel a connection or to talk about how you are feeling, DO NOT SIT BY YOURSELF AND SULK OR KEEP IT INSIDE. Talking about your feelings will be the only way to get you out of turmoil or despair. I will talk to you and be supportive, as I want you to get better. However, I will not live in a pretend situation and talk to you to “amuse you” or “to take your mind off of things.” Things will not go back to “how they were”(if ever they do go back to that).

THERAPY AT HOME: I have ordered some books online about addictions that are sexual in nature and ways to recognize and work on those addictions. You and I will be reading these books. This is a way for us to spend time together in the evenings after work that is constructive and will help us understand what this problem is about. I want to get away from watching TV for the immediate future, as this is a far better way to be spending our free time and to face a problem rather than ignore it.

DAY-TO-DAY LIVING: I will continue to clean the house, and maintain it, and I will also make you dinners. For the immediate future, I will not eat my dinners with you.

FOOTBALL AND SATURDAYS: For the immediate future: You can continue to train on Mondays or Tuesdays, and play on Saturdays. However, you need to come home after every game immediately after showering – NO STAYING IN THE CLUB TO DRINK.

DRINKING: You can drink during this while process, but you will not get drunk at any time during this process. I do not want you to turn to another vice to numb your pain or sorrows. You will only drink on the weekends – and like I said, no getting drunk.

COMPUTER: For the immediate/ foreseeable future : ABSOLUTELY ZERO Computer use: If you need to use the computer for emergencies, then you have to let me know exactly what it’s for and I need to be present and watching everything that you do. Football and news and stuff do not count as emergencies. If you need to do anything for work, I will need to be watching over you. If I am not home and you need to do something for work, you will go to work. I will booby-trap the computer and change the password.

MOBILE PHONE: You can keep your mobile phone. I know this is a work mobile. Keep in mind that anything you do over the phone in your work mobile is company property and that you can get fired for doing anything shady. Same goes for your computer at work. You need to realize that if you are doing anything shady at work in relation to internet use, this puts your job in jeopardy. When you are at home, you will not be on the mobile checking websites.

WORK EMAIL: You received contact to and were communicating from your work email. I already have your email to your ex as proof against you and will keep that in a safe spot and if it comes down to a divorce, I will get legal authorities and your work involved to access your work email. Keep in mind that your work backs up everything you erase and all that content can be recovered. I want you to write to your ex to let you know that you have lied to her and that you are in fact, a married man and that you do not want her to contact you anymore. I want to see the email that you send, from your sent inbox, live from your Outlook – a print-out of the email will not do.

FINANCES: For the immediate foreseeable future: Bank receipts: You will give me access to your online banking (all accounts that you have) so that I can monitor everything that you buy and do. This is to make sure that you do not find some other way to feed your addiction. When you take cash out, you can only take $100/transaction, unless you let me know explicitly what you are buying that’s over $100. You will show me the receipts for your purchases when you take cash out so that I can make sure that what you’re buying matches how much you’re taking out.

Know that during this process, I will never judge you, that being said, it is your choice and responsibility to be vulnerable with me and to let me know how you feel inside OPEN YOUR HEART TO ME AND TELL ME EVERYTHING. What you’re feeling, what you’re fearing, what you hate, what you love, what you long for, everything. I do not care if you cry. Crying shows me that you’re human and you feel things. I do not expect you to be perfect and strong, but I do expect you to own up to mistakes and admit to things you never thought about yourself. This is a path of self-discovery and healing for years of torment and most of all, denial and repression. I do not think you are a bad person. I think you are a person with an addiction and a problem, and I am going to try my best to support you while you deal with this addiction.

However, I have to think about myself in this situation as well. If I feel this is not going to work and I won’t ever be able to completely trust you, I will leave and initiate a divorce. My promise to you is that during this discovery and healing phase, I will keep an open heart and mind and not close either.

When I say that I will leave and divorce you, trust me. I am completely self-sustainable and you know that when I put my mind to something, I’ll do it.

There are two potential outcomes to the end of this situation:

1. We go our separate ways. If this is the case, then I hope for your own sake that you continue therapy and seek treatment.

2. We stay together. If this is the case, then we will have a completely different relationship, with similar understandings and boundaries and a relationship which I imagine will be stronger and 100% open.

Views: 14

277 Responses

  1. Dear Sally,

    I’m so sorry you find yourself in this situation. Be thankful that you found the truth early in your marriage. My husband successfully hid his addiction from me for 23 years. I found out quite by accident that he had a porn addiction in 2009. We’ve been unhappily married since 1986. I feel like he stole the best years of my life. My honest advice to you, and this is the same advice I would give to my daughter, is LEAVE. Never look back.

    The sad fact of life is that we married self-centered 12-year olds. My husband was never the spiritual head of the home, never more than a glorified babysitter to our children, never a true husband to me, never anything other than a penis on two legs. His self-centered obsession with sex touched every part of my life in a negative way.

    This addiction is just the tip of the iceberg. It will take years of therapy for him to be anything other than a self-centered 12-year old. You need to ask yourself if you really want to invest any more time with this man-child, and you need to seriously ask yourself if you want to have children with this man-child. As I look back over my life, over the years wasted trying to make the lie work, all the while enduring his lies, belittling and gaslighting, I regret not leaving him. I wish I would have had the strength to leave him when the thought first ocurred to me, even though I had young children. I stayed even though I was desperately unhappy because I thought I was doing what was right for kids. I now believe that was a mistake.

    You don’t have children to complicate the situation. I wouldn’t knowingly bring children into this situation. And at 27, I wouldn’t sentence myself to the life of hell that awaits you. I’m nearly 50, and I want a mulligan on my life. I think you should take a year to evaluate the situation, but give yourself a deadline by which to make a decision. Don’t waste your life waiting for him to shape up. Chances are he never will.

    I bid you peace and strength beyond measure……

  2. Sally,

    I am new to this world as well. I just discovered over a month ago that my husband is a sex addict. I am emotionally drained and am thankful that I found this website a week ago. I want to post my story, but haven’t had the energy just yet. I wanted to reach out to you regarding the STD testing. Initially, my husband claimed that he had never had physical contact with anyone. As his story unfolded so did the number of affairs – sex with anonymous women somewhere in the thirties or forties now. I am 35 years old and we have been trying to start a family for the past year with no luck. I started seeing a fertility doctor a few months ago. She noticed that I had a lot of scarring around my fallopian tubes for no known reason which is what has prevented natural conception. Although both my HIV and STD tests came back negative (as did my husband’s), in light of this new development my fertility doctor suggested that I get tested to see if I had ever had chlamydia in the past. Chlamydia is the most commonly contracted STD and it can have NO SYMPTOMS. Unfortunately, this test came back positive. Chlamydia in women can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. This leads to scarring of the uterus, fallopian tubes, etc which can lead to infertility. My husband’s test came back positive as well and he is devestated that his reckless behavior could have resulted in my inability to have children. I hope this is not the case for you. Be careful…sex addicts are the best liars, manipulators and deceivers. Unfortunately, I have a hard time believing that your husband has disclosed the full truth.
    God bless you.

  3. HI Sally,
    thank you for sharing the hard story.

    It seems you’ve already spent some time trying to create a world of staying married that factors in your husband’s addiction. I would like to invite you to review that world again for yourself. Read your list of boundaries and consequences and the many creative ways you have tried to anticipate lies, betrayal, abuse etc. Then ask yourself if that’s the life you want to live. And factor in relapses and recovery for both you and your husband. Then add in a few kids and more boundaries meant to protect them (which is pretty impossible to do).

    Here’s something i never shared with anyone, every before:
    In the first two of my marriage I had a sixth sense that something was very wrong. It had to do with my husband’s relationship with his mother, our boring sex life, and the way my husband and his mother were treating me. I flew to visit my best friend in another province, and looked for a job while I was there. If I had found one, I would have stayed. I didn’t, so I had to go back. And I told myself these things would work themselves out.

    Well guess what? He was a SA even then, and I didn’t know. What I had identified as “off” was his mother’s emotional incest with my husband. Our sex life reflected what most sex lives are with SA’s. And the way he and his mother treated me had everything to do with his loyalty to her and her jealousy of me. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have moved heaven and earth to get thehell out of that mess.

    Now, I factor in my two adult sons who I love and wouldn’t trade for anything. But to you, who is at the beginning and without children and can support herself—get out now. You deserve life that’s better than the one you’ve sketched out for us.

    Like Betty, and I have a few years underneath me, and 30 years of marriage behind me. Leave him now and build a life for yourself without this hell.

    And Betty–I’m so glad you’ve arrived. I was beginning to feel like the old “gloom and doom” that nobody wanted to hear from. We can’t help having learned what we’ve learned after many years of life, of marriage, of work, of faith, of mistakes, of successes. We may cut to the chase more quickly–but that’s because we’ve already been around the bush on most things several times! And yes, we can still be wrong—and in the case of this stuff, if we’re wrong, we’re glad to be wrong. But it is what it is, and it ain’t good most of the time.

    a new year ahead, sisters, let’s live differently in wholeness and freedom.

  4. Sally,

    I too had a sixth sense that something was very wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew on my first anniversary that I’d made a mistake. I knew I had to be self-supporting if I wanted to leave. I started studying for the CPA exam and lost count of everything else. I got pregnant. My goose was cooked. I had my daughter in 1988. I had a son two years later.

    I hauled him to marriage counseling for the first time in 1995 or 1996. He went with an attitude. “I guess you have a lot of issues to work out. I’ll go to help you work out your issues.” He was incensed and indignant when the counselor tried to alter his behavior. He sneered. He stopped going. We moved.

    I again hauled him to marriage counseling in 1998 or 1999. It quickly turned into family therapy because my son was imitating the sneering that his dad had mastered. This counselor asked me at one point: “Do you think pornography could be a problem here?” I immediately dismissed the possibility, but she was right. I wish I’d investigated then. He stopped going to therapy again, because the counselor was trying to alter his behavior.

    Couple of points: My husband was a sex addict even while we were dating. He admitted that he thought the pull of porn would subside when we were married. He admitted that hardcore printmedia porn came into our first apartment before our first anniversary. He admitted, ultimately, that he’d been a heavy user of porn throughout our marriage. NOTE WELL: He hid this from me and at least one trained therapist. The second suspected the source of the marital discord. The sex addict never admitted to me or to either therapist that he was a porn addict. I don’t think you can ever trust a sex addict to tell you the truth.

    Sally, Please do not sentence yourself to this……

    Dear Diane, Thanks for the welcome. I appreciate finding this site and another seasoned and mature woman who cuts to the chase.

    To the new year ahead………and living in wholeness and freedom!

  5. Dear Sally,

    You sound like a very terrific young woman who is successful and self-supporting. I am not going to mince any words here, but please know that I am speaking to you out of love, because I cannot stand to see a woman (especially one, easily young enough to be my daughter) being decimated in this manner that your husband is doing to you.

    He actually said he wasn’t married? That’s because in his fekked up mind, he is NOT MARRIED. This is not a real marriage. He’s a sociopath; a manipulating lying, very sick, psychotic loser. Boundaries? What a f**king joke. You will eat a hole in your stomach— guaranteed with this dude.

    Honey, he can make up 50 email accounts that you will never know about, a secret blackberry, cell phone(s), bank account(s. He might even have a clandestine little love nest somewhere. Oh, how he loves deceiving the little “live-in girl friend.” That is part of his “fun.” He will tell you that he has a biz meeting, an emergency, a dentist appointment, going to the gym, 12-step meeting, THERAPY, a hangnail. Then, he has his “lunch hour.”

    Right now his flagrant arrogance is actually the thing that galls me the most. He’s not even attempting to hide anything. ick. Rest assured, however, that he will become a lot more clever. yes, indeed. He is married to his addiction. That is his wife, mistress and lover, all rolled into one. He is a sexual predator. Trust me, he treats his targets like dirt, too. I was there. I know. Why do they get married? I wish I could answer that one in a way that makes sense, but I can’t. Its sick. that’s all and no woman deserves this.

    I know this is very difficult to hear, but please know… HE HAS NEVER STOPPED. You must understand this. He has never stopped and he never will stop. He will just become more clever about it. (maybe) He cannot tell the truth. He never has and he never will.

    And he drinks too much too? Oh my… HE’S AN ADDICT. He might slow down on the sex part and replace it with drinking or over-eating, or drugs, or gambling or some other substance and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

    For him to have even a glimmer of a snow ball’s chance in hell of recovery, means a TOTAL, LIFE ALTERING IMMERSION into the recovery process… 6 or 7 days a week, for a very long time and even then, recovery is extremely doubtful.

    5% make it. 95% don’t.

    Make a run for it hun. dump him.

    I’m really sorry. It totally sucks. But you are young and beautiful and can support yourself, AND you have no children. The most important thing is YOUR recovery. Please seek out professional help for yourself. Not that you are crazy, but that all of this is crazy making and its impossible for one, in the middle of it all to see clearly. That is all. He’s a grifter, honey… and you my lovely have fallen prey to his con.

    Please do not blame yourself. We have ALL fallen prey, ourselves. That is why we are here… We will listen and support you in anyway you need; you are never alone.

    Thank you for bravely sharing your most devastating story of betrayal and loss. Unfortunately, its become as common as cornflakes. 🙁

    all my best and love,


  6. Gee, Lorraine, I wish you’d come out of your shell and learn to speak clearly and unequivocally. ;-)!

    Well Done! Atta Girl! Bravo!

    I’m so thankful I’ve found kindred spirits here….and ladies who are, by my calculations, about my same age. It really sucks to be dealing with this at midlife. I thought I was going to be traveling and preparing to welcome grandchildren at this point, not starting over.

  7. PS: Crying does not show that he’s human; it just shows that he has tear ducts and the capability of feeling sorry for himself and/or he’s a good actor. The tears are not because he feels badly for you. he does not have this capability. he has no empathy, for anyone but himself. he has no real remorse. again, very sorry.

  8. lol… believe it or not, i was once a very sweet, somewhat shy little girl who got stomped on about 100 times too many. everything happens for a reason. 🙂

  9. Dear Kelly,

    I’m really sorry to read about your STD outcome. But congratulations for being brave enough to get tested. Some women can not face one more ugly truth, and leave it aside. Your story will help many to realize they NEED to get tested. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Again, I hope that there will be other options for you in the area of fertility (including maybe someone who treats your better than your SA!) And I hope this new year will provide clarity and strength for all that lies ahead,


  10. Dear Betty and Sally

    How I envy you both. If I could be 27 or 35 w/no children and found out about SA behavior—remember the movie “The Amityville Horror”? The house screamed ‘GET OUT” but they stayed and were tormented until they fled for dear life? that will be your life. It will be the SA HOrror show for years to come. Really. Not kidding, sadly. Leaving is so much more difficult with many years and children in the home. You can wave your magic wands and say goodbye. Start over. Please start a family with a worthy human being who will not use your children as pawns or cheat on you with whores while you are pregnant and “not in the mood”. Or, get pregnant with somoeone whom you won’t be worrying about it. that WILL be your life. How’s that for love and glamour? I am right now stuck under the same roof with an ahole not in recovery. I am 41 and have been married 9 years w/young daughter. Trust me, it is not sexy or fun in the least. Get out with youth and beauty on your side for someone to really care about. It’s not just the SA it’s their underlying personality disorders as well. Acting out as they say, is the tip of iceberg. NO you will not make a difference or change them. please decide on a better life.

  11. Dear Sally,
    I would have written this to myself had I known then what I know now. In my opinion, the easier, softer, better way is to:
    1. Divorce him
    2. Have a mock funeral, bury all your relationship memorabilia.
    3. Grieve.
    4. Find out why you married this guy.
    5. Then go out and have a happy life.
    6. When you think of him, remember he’s dead to you and we don’t dig up dead things.

    Peace be with you.

  12. Welcome Sally,
    You are the same age as my oldest child, and I am so sad that you are also in this situation, but as the others have stated, you are in absolutely the best of all situations to take care of yourself. Feel fortunate you found out now.
    Does your husband, because of his success, charm, and intelligence feel entitled?
    He has lied to you, many times. Has anything ever stopped the lies? He knew he would lose you by doing what he did, but he did it anyway.
    He knows if he does it again there is a “chance” he will lose you, but did it ever matter before when he knew without any doubt that if you knew his secret life that would be it?
    You know now. Your relationship is forever changed.
    He disgraced you. He lies to you and about you. He desires the attentions of other women. He was on Craigs List for goodness sake.
    Look at him by what he does, not how he appears, your dream version, because they are excellent actors and liars.
    Ask yourself, could you have ever done any of what he has done to you? Who is the one doing the loving here?

  13. Hi Sally – Everyone on this site are very knowledgeable about addiction. We have all been there and suffered tremendously as you are now. I agree – cut your losses and run for your’e life. You are young, no children, and have your whole life ahead of you – don’t waste it on this man who has betrayed you and will continue doing so.
    I can only add one comment to what the others have said. I have drawn up three contracts with very specific boundaries during the 2 years and nine months of my life with my SA – He has broken everyone of them. Yours will too!!! Get out, and don’t look back.

  14. Dear All,

    I just wanted to say especially for those who are new, that SA is different than infidelity or simple affair, in my opinion. A once time fling, a brief affair, while it can be devastating, marriages can heal and be repaired easier. Every person that went out one night, got drunk and went home with someone else who wasn’t their partner is not an addict. they were horny carnivors. Addicts systematically act out, without conscious or repercussions for actions. They fixate, they prowl, and then they seduce or pay for their sex. It is power and control. Then they feel guilty hate themselves and take it out on their family in bizarre f’d up ways. They endager their partners on a regular basis. Most if not all have underlying personality disorders, borderline, manic, OCD, etc. As a result, even if your partner stops acting out, the core problem is still there. Living with the personality disorders aolone is almost enough to ruin any good woman. If you are hurt now, how about 5-10 yrs from now and 2 kids in tow? Do you think their manipulation won’t extend to their kids? Think again. Real hard. If I scare you. Good. You should be. Count your blessings that you know. Change your outcome. you can. time is your friend. So think about how much you “love” them. Do you love them enough to be continually hurt and betrayed? stop the presses, and turn around. For God sakes THINK about your future. please love yourself enough to dump them. love, support and hugs. Pam

  15. One last thing– marriages that have made it though infidelity, have one thing in common–both partners are on board to heal it, and the one who cheated is DONE cheating. The non cheating spouse is given time to greive and heal, then eventually rebuild trust. Perhaps even the non cheating spouse can look at why his/her spouse did it, maybe there are things the non cheating spouse can strive to do better,. NOt that it is the non cheating partners fault in any way, but maybe there are things the person cheated wasn’t getting etc. and both partners can work toward a happier goal. it is team work,

    Addicts are never done cheating- it is only managed. You live with it always. Total healing impossible because it is always a risk. No matter how long they may be on board, and few are it is ever present. Also, their cheating on us is irrespective of us, we are giving them what they want, we are not giving them what they want, it doesn’t matter. They just do it anyway to medicate their trauma. They even try to blame us for their acting out. HAAAAAAA This is different. very different. thanks


  17. Sally and Jewels,

    I am so sad to read your stories, we all know and will never forget that crushing, heartrenching and disgusted feeling we had when we all discovered what our spouses were doing behind our backs. We all were in crisis mode, wondering what to do, what to think, how to function. Do we stay, do we leave.

    When we hear the words “i have a problem and need help” we think this is a breakthrough. Our head tells us “I don’t deserve this I need to leave”, but our heart tell us “we love them” and what kind of a wife would we be if we didn’t stand by their side and help them through this. Problem is, they say they love you and would do anything for you.. but reality is, they don’t love anything but their addiction. You are not and never will be their night in shining armour rescuing them from this horrible disease. There is no boundry in the world that they won’t break unless they make 100% efforts and THEY put together their own list of boundries. And even in that instance you need to expect they will even break those.

    They will tell you ANYTHING that they think will shut you up and keep you by their side. They will tell you ANYTHING to try hide what they have done, they will lie through their teeth to keep up their destructive behavoir. You will find your life being consumed with detective work. You will make yourself crazy with the “what if’s”. What if he got another cell phone I don’t know about, what if he has another email account I don’t now about, what if he really isn’t at lunch with the guys or working late. So even in if your detective work doesn’t uncover anything, you will never feel confident that he isn’t hiding/lying about something you don’t know about yet. It’s maddening, It never ends, you will make yourself crazy wondering if he is telling you the truth or lying. They will get better and better at hiding it, they eventually (if not already) will start raging at you every time your gut tells you they are lying and you push them to try to get to the truth.

    Jewels, i don’t mean disrespect, but i had to laugh when you said –


    Really? Please think about this. My gut tells me that he is the sleeziest man there, if not the only sleezy man there. He will go to another job and he will be a sleezy man in his next job. That comment not only means NOTHING, except that he is trying to put BLAME on his coworkers instead of himself. Do you understand that? They all try to tell you that they didn’t sleep with these woman, they know if they did you would leave them and never look back. He did sleep with these women, he is talking to these women, he is harrassing neighbors that are not asking for it. He is going to eventually find himself with a lawsuit, do you want to be in the middle of that? Please look for a place of your own, and leave him.


    You are so young, you sound very smart, you have the money to take care of yourself, you have no children. You don’t see it now but you are one of the lucky ones, please count your blessings and get out of the house. If you have ANY hopes what so ever for this man to make an attempt to clean up his act, you MUST leave the house. I am guessing your thinking to yourself, if i leave who will be there to monitor him, who will be there to make sure he goes to his counseling, who will be there to make sure he reads his books. You probably also are afraid if i leave he will get worse and go out of control, chances are he probably will. But fact is, it doesn’t matter if you are there or not, if he is not willing to work on himself on his OWN accord, with you in the house or not he will continue to escalate out of control. He needs to hit rock bottom, he needs to know what he has lost, he isn’t losing you if you are still there monitoring him like a mother. Stop making his freaking dinner, or better yet, plop down a bag of dog food on his plate, thats what he is and that’s the best he deserves. You need to get yourself out of the hell, we can all promise you this, it will only get worse. We all get so fixated on what our spouses are “doing” to us. That we forget, and don’t stop to think, what abuse we are doing to ourselves. You can only control you, he is not going to going to be concerned with your well being, he never has. You MUST take care of you and let him fall on his own.

    I wish you both the best. We all have hopes that we will be one of the lucky ones, that our husband is somehow different and he will be the one to change and somehow are relationships will be all the better for the experience. Please know, it doesn’t work that way.

    Both of you please move out, get a good counselor, close the door on them and find a man that is capable of treating you with the respect that you deserve.

    Lots of love, littleb

  18. @littleb..you are right he is sleezy and no matter where he goes to work hes gonna be faced with this addiction…that was pretty stupid for me to be proud of him for saying that—but then again he knows just what to say — sad thing about it is we have 2 beautiful kids…one 11 other 9….that makes it even harder…i want so bad for him to stop and believe that him getting therapy to figure out why he does this will work—but even then the trust is gone and i dont think it will ever be back—even if he did stop— this to me is worse than death—the pain is so awful—-

  19. Jewels,

    You are not stupid for wanting to believe him, they are the best at what they do because they have had years and years of practice. We have all been duped by these men, they are master manipulators and liars. And we want nothing more for them to figure out what their problem is and to just stop. You can not ever believe anything he says, you can only go by his actions. His words mean nothing.

    I totally agree with you, this is worse than death, it is something that unless someone has gone through it, they will never understand how tramatic it is. Your world as you knew it (whether a good or bad world) is and never was what you thought it to be. If you are like me, you not only realize you have been living with a man that has betrayed your trust in the worst possible way but you also start to question how well you can even trust yourself? There are so many emotions this disease brings out and its confusing and maddening in the worst way. The only hope for you and for him is to get out and to remove yourself from his world. I know it is so much easier said than done, but the sooner you make that decision and the sooner you start working on yourself and not on him, the better off you and your children will be. He HAS to be the one to make the decision to get help for himself, you will never be able to make him.

    I too have a child with my husband, he is 4 years old and he was the only reason that I did not leave immediatly when i first discovered a year and a half ago the sick world he was living in. I could not keep my composure when i thought about breaking up the family and moving out. But the fact was, the family was already broken up even with me in the house. He was never around, and when he was he was angry at everything and would yell at me for the most insane things. It was not healthy for me and it was not healthy for our son.

    I also had the hopes he would stop, i had the hopes we could get over this. But fact was, i spent 5 months crying horribly every day, he would cry like a baby begging me not to leave and make me every promise in the world that he would stop, it seemed to me so sincere and so desperate to do something about himself that i believed him, but he never once stopped. I lost 10lbs, i was living on 3 hours of sleep a night. I was crying at work, i was in a constant state of anxiety and panic. On many occasions I found myself in my car alone and wanting to drive off the side of the road and die. I didn’t know how to fix it and the more i tried to fix it, the worse it got and the worse i felt.

    You need to focus on yourself and your children and let him focus on him. I am so sorry you are going through this pain.

  20. when this all came out 10 months ago i asked him did he think he had sexual addiction he said no way…now that ive caught him again he cried and said he really does need help and does not understand why he does this….so now i dont know if i should stay and see what therapy will do or leave….

  21. Sally, this is a terrible time and also very confussing as what to do. May I suggest you get councelling for yourself, have a non bias person help you decide what to do. I like you got married this past summer knowing of past issues. I like you love my husband very much. I have decided to stay and work with him and support him with similar boundries now in place and him knowing that if he does act out again it will cost him our life he loves so much. I am now getting my own councelling and it is helping. I am also aware that this may not work but I love him enough to try…If it doesn’t work, I know I tried. My counceller does believe that if he is true to recovery that we can make this work, some people do want help, do want to stop and do stop…with help only. Get yourself councelling, don’t make a major life decission based on what others say, not everyones life is the same and not every SA fails in recovery. This is much more personal than a alchol or drug addiction but some of these addicts also succeed in recovery. Yes you can leave and never look back but with councelling you can look back knowing that you made the right decission, either way. I hope this advice helps. Where is the spell check on this!!! Laura

  22. Jewels – I think you need to believe the your’e husband does not just have a problem with just flirting/trash talking. I remember when I first found out about my SA and his addiction, I was talking with my son, who had gone through a similar experience with his wife, and he told me I probably only knew about 25% of what was really going on. He was right! When they are caught, they just tell you what they feel they have to disclose in order to keep you. He has probably just told you the tip of the iceberg. Then he tells u wants to get out of his business to get away from all the sleezy men – That’s a good one!!
    Other than being master manipulators, they are also good at deflecting and projecting they’re problems on everyone else. He is the sleezy one! That certainly does not solve the problem, as littleb said – he will just go to another job and continue the same behavior. This is just a smoke screen-don’t buy into it!
    I know you really want to believe him, and that is the most difficult part. Just realize, that even if he is willing to go to therapy, at this point in time, it will take years before you will see a change. He is just doing it for you. They go through a very long period of denial, before they truly accept they have a problem and donot just get into therapy to appease you- you both have a long road ahead of you. I am really sorry you are going through all of this pain – there is nothing like it. You also have to think of your’e two children who are still very young. Do you really want the kids growing up having this kind of man for a role model? They probably sense, even at their young age, that things are just not right with daddy. I think you have your answer when he stated he does not think he has an addiction problem.
    Whatever you decide to do, please know we are all here to support you whenever you have the need to vent. But, please go to counseling and get some help on how to cope with all of this. We all love our husbands and want to hold onto the fact they will change, but sometimes love isn’t enough. You really have to weigh whether staying with him is going to take a toll on your physical and emotional health, and I guarantee it will.
    God Speed.

  23. Sally and others:
    OMG. So is this really true…. that you could have had chlymidia in the past and it went away on its own??
    I assumed that it would not go away on its own, and getting tested today, would reveal the disease. So my STD tests came back negative, so i thought i was safe, and disease free (and therefore PID free).

    But I have been bleeding for years, which the doctor has said is a friable cervix, and had continued to have painful intercourse since that same time frame. Sounds like I need to go back to the doctor and ask for this test!!! I could have been infected with Chlymidia, have PID, that could be the source of my female problems. (funny the doctors do not suggest any of these tests if you say you are married, I remember him asking me these questions, they just assume the a-hole is faithfull).

    My third daughter (with my SA husband) was a difficult pregnancy. Strict bedrest to the end starting halfway throught the pregnancy. It was tough to keep her, but we did with the help of many meds, bedrest and progesterone shots.

    Any ideas on this topic are much appreciated.

  24. P.S. No coincidence that my female problems started a few months after I met my SA husband. This has been going on for 7+ years. The bleeding has become progressively worse.

  25. Sally,
    I must agree with what others have said. Your boundaries are great and you sound like a very strong person. I feel the same as you do, and you were very good at putting all of that information down on paper, and having him sign it. No questions as to what is right or wrong here, or ways for him to wiggle and bend the rules. But like everyone said he will try to break the rules, was very good at hiding it, they all are. They are also good liars, and lack respect for other human beings…epseically us women and wives.

    So the boundaries are great, stick to them, enforce them, once he crosses the line cut your losses. But also realize it may be a long time before you are aware that he crossed a line. That is why boundaries still kinda freak me out. Because in order for boundaries to be enforced, you must know it has been crossed, which is hard to do with an SA who lies. So typically to find that these boundaries have been crossed you have to play detective or he will have a slip up. boundaries are great for living with an addict and deciding what you want our of your marriage, but its difficult to find the evidence, when the bondary violator is a liar and good at hiding secrets.

    Pam is right about the inhouse monitoring and the feeling that you appear to want to be involved and around. Like she said you can be there, bu he will find ways to get around it. Its tough to overcome this in your mind, but you truely have no control over this, and if he so chooses will be back at again….whether you are in the house or not, wether attending meetings or not, therapist or not…you get the picture. He can do all of these things, and still act out. He can do all of these things stop acting out and you could still be alone in your relationship.

    So it is a time to really examine how this relationship is benefiting you. A good amount of us have realized that it many ways, our relationship is not enriching or benefiting us anymore. So the good must outweigh the bad. If the relationship does benefit you, and staying through the bad and working through the addiction is a postive in your life…then so be it. It is your choice, go with your gut instict. sometimes as women and living with addiction…we doubt our inner voice, especially when it has been supressed for so long. Listen for it….it is there. And when you hear it…you really gotta consider what it is saying, because it is probably right.

  26. And when I say right, that means what is right for you. What you want…not what the SA wants, the inlaws, the therapist etc. There are no right or wrong answers.


  28. Jewels,

    Okay, Don;t believe a word he says. Most important point.
    From what I know and have read….it appears most likely that he has cheated and did follow through with these women. Just because you cannot find the evidence or that he will not admit, does not mean anything. The fact that you found all of this info point to the contrary. The one affair with best friend maybe was a one time thing, but with all of this other evidence, does not appear to be. Appears chronic and habitual.

    It’s hard to beleive, when you assumed you have a so great kind a loving husband, and maddedning to believe that he would do this to you. Mine is the same, not abusive appears to be kind and loving. But the reality and the actual man behind all of this is anything but. This is the facade you see, the fake them, that they pretend to be. They present this to us, we did not make it up. Because they truely do not like themselves and try to be someone that you would like. This is not meant to bring about any feelings of pity, but is the truth.

    I have three daughters ages 3, 13 and 15. In the beginning I too felt we should stay together for the family and kids. But you know what??? My thougts have changed based on the more I read about sex addiction, and the more side effects I have seen from posts on here. My new conclusions are….The only thing harder than staying with the SA is leaving. And the only thing worse for your kids than getting a divorce is living with a sex addict.

    Keep reading and you will see the toll it can take on you, the kids, etc. Also keep in mind this disease escalates. And the top tear is a pedophile.

    I have been meaning to post on this. Because my SA came prancing home after his first session saying he is not a pedophile. And here is the reason an SA may not be a true pedohile as a true pedohile is only attracted to and turned on by children. With the case of a sex addict this is not true…as they start out with porn, move on to meeting women, voyuerism, exhibitionsism, then men, then children. As you can see it escaltes to the next high for the forbidden. When one level no longer brings that high, they move onto the next one. So in the true sense of the definition of pedophile, as in literature, they would not qualify.

    As is true with my SA is attracted to most any women. He has viewed porn in front of my daughter, where has anyof this stopped, or started. I don’t know. But boundaries have already been violated, and with a sex addict you can never too sure where it has stopped or where it can go in the future withouth being confident in your childs safetly and progression of his therapy.

    Just saw post to sharon…Do you trash talk/flirt with other people??? No and if you did what would be the intent? Mine would be to hook up. Normal people do not do this.

  29. Laura,

    You bring up a very valid point that if you don’t give it a chance you will never know. My only problem with this (and this I know is my own projecting of my own experience) is why keep yourself in the same home, without your own space to focus on your own issues? Detaching from his problems even by leaving is hard enough, but to stay, it seems it would make it almost impossible. One would have to be a very strong person to be able to function normally is that environment. I think we are all quick to say RUN as fast as you can and never look back, due to our own experiences of giving it our best to make it work and all it did was make US worse.

    I think leaving is the healthiest way to come to grips with what we need to do for ourselves as well as make them 100% responsible for their own recovery. I am in awe at how strong you are to able to detach from him in the home all the while you are able to work with him on his issues. There are very few women that would be capable of doing that as this addiction turns into such a personal attack on ourselves.

    I have scoured through this site to read as many posts and stories from others and advice from JoAnne as i can. And i too have wondered, are there any success stories other than JoAnne’s? I can’t find them. Are those of us on here, only here because we are unsuccessful trying to make this work and need the support to cope? Maybe those that do have success in a relationship with a recovering SA just don’t feel the need to reach out for this kind of support, therefore never stumble upon this website, so we don’t get the opportunity to hear all of the success stories? I have no idea.

    I can’t find online or have yet to read in a book the statistics for a SA to recover and for a marriage to stay in tact through therapy and hard work. I keep seeing only 5% of all SA’s will recover, but where does that statistic come from?

    What I do see through reading, COSA meetings, therapy and this website is that although yes every story is different, every marriage is different and every SA is different. The other side is that really every SA’s behaviors are the same, the lies they tell, the stories they make up, the manipulation, the deceipt, the gaslighting, their backgrounds are all so similar its eery. So i can only believe that the recovery for these men essentially will take the same path as all the others, which is that the odds are they will never get it, will continually “slip”, lie, deceive and deny they there is anything wrong with them. And with that what is my incentive to stay?

    With that said, If you wouldn’t mind, I would really love to hear your story from the beginning. Have you been together long, have kids. I would like to hear how you are able to cope in the house, what kind of therapy he is in and what is he doing on his own to change, how long was he addicted, how was he acting out ect.

  30. Hi Jewels and Sally,

    I wanted to share with you my situation. I found out 3 months ago my husband of 25 years is a SA. I had no idea about any of his activity prior to discovery. I have since learned he started viewing porn as a teenager and at some point progressed to massage parlors and prostitutes. He was already a SA at age 25 when I married him and I had no idea. I think Id probably croak if I knew how many prostitutes hes been with. Like other sisters on the site, I think my husband also has one of the personality disorders or may also be bipolar (who knows!). Hes basically a mess and the older he gets the worse he seems to get. Like other sisters on the site, his judgement part of his brain is impaired and often behaves irrationally. Also, if I want to talk to him about his addiction or behavior, I get to observe first hand, the “sex addict rage” which is well documented.

    After discovery 3 months ago, I told him he would have to be in a treatment program in order for me to stay married to him. He followed through like a T. Got the best addiction therapist in town, joined her SA group once a week, has a sponser. I am also in therapy 2x per week and have a great therapist (soooooo important!). I am working on myself and just focusing on regaining myself. I let him take care of himself and give him full ownership of his stuff. I have set a date in my head and if by that date I can say that he is really working his recovery, then maybe there is a chance. If hes not then its: “goodbye”. It will be hard to start my life over Im 52 years old, however I will do it because it would be much harder to stay with my SA husband-with a steady diet of: lies, manipulation, disrepect, sex with prostitues, and it will only get worse.

    Im giving him a chance. Its all up to him what he does with it. Its up to me to take care of myself and do the right thing.

    I wish you all the best and hope you will take good care of yourselves.

  31. Hi Jewels- Thanks for the reply. It doesn’t sound to me like he is ready to start on a road to recovery, but I might be wrong. My SA spent the first year and a half in therapy lieing to his therapist and myself. I am not saying they all do that, but it is pretty typical in the beginning when they are admitting they’re indiscretions because they are caught. I agree with Flora that you don’t know anywhere close to what is really going on with him. Just look at his behaviors/actions and not his words. I am sure they will be quite contradictory.
    I also agree with Flora that an addiction will escalate because they need more and more to get they’re high. Just be very careful on what you believe from him – If he has the capability of the lieing and manipulating, as he has done to you, there will be more! My opinion is he was caught with his hands in the cookie jar, and just figuring a way to get out of it. What better way than to say he is changing jobs and willing to go to therapy.
    Good luck. Just remember to keep your eyes wide open – Although they are excellent liers, I believe the fickle finger of fate always catches up with them, and you will pick up on subtle signs.

  32. If anyone is looking for another source of positive stories maybe try COSA. I tried it a few times and I believe some were/are still married. COSA is more of a life long maintenace for living with an SA, if you feel you fit in. Many members have been attending a long time and some are new. They have online meetings, and afterword you are allowed to stay and chat if you like. During the meeting sharing is only focused on your shared experience on the specific topic, no talking of the addict or your situation. Its supposed to be focused on how to deal with you bettering yourself and dealing with your addiction (supposedly to the addict), and not the addict and addiction itself.

  33. Hi NAP – sounds like you hava a good head on your shoulders and are heading in the right direction, and that your’e husband is working actively toward recovery. I wish you the best of luck, and hope he will be one of the few who makes it. Just remember, it takes years!
    My SA has made a lot of progress, in that he is triggering less, working actively by going to SA meetings, seeing his counselor once a week, and doing the lessons on Nation Recovery. But guess what – He is still lieing. He lied last week about triggering on a gal in a parking lot, and told me all he saw was her face and did not objectify her.(said he was just looking around too much). He slipped up later when recalling his therapy session, and had disclosed to his therapist he did objectify her and looked at her “very large” boobs. Sometimes, they can’t keep they’re stories straight. I just told him as long as he contiues the lieing, he just puts another nail in his coffin, and I will never consider reconciling (Moving back in) until that stops. Think I am in for a long wait!! Good luck with your’e SA.

  34. Thanks Flora, I have attended COSA meetings and although i do find that some of it has been helpful for me, some of it I just don’t get. And trying to work through my issues as a woman that has been affected by all this, yet no longer trying to work it out is hard, because like you mentioned all the women to date in these meetings have been women that are still with their partner and trying to make it work. And honestly, if these are what I need to consider as success stories, i guess I can’t be happy for the rest of my life with that kind of success. Is it possible for a relationship to flourish and get stronger from all of this? I have yet to come across anything any where that says yes it can?

  35. dear lord—-why in the world are we having to go through this—i forgot to mention that i pretty much cant mention anything about his affairs or anything about sa to him—he gets pissed off and says either you move forward or move on—not comforting to my feelings which makes it even harder—i know its not good to keep slamming someone but to calmly talk about certain things i feel like he should be nice and loving about it—i asked him lastnight did he not feel dirty now looking back 2yrs ago and he was 33 and he kissed a 19yr old—he said no he saw nothing wrong with that—thats crazy to me—and i have to say im not so sure he has not been with men–just a weird hunch—also for past couple years i have had so many female problems—i get so many bladder infections its not even funny and everytime i go to obgyn i have infection…..ive been tested for everything and all came out fine but still have these issues—not sure if it has anything to do with him being unfaithful but if it does not come back as sexual disease then i guess its just me???

  36. littleb,
    I have read many many books on this topic…sex addiction. I have read many of Patrick Carnes books, mending a shattered heart, and other authors. They talk about how this can lead to a closer more fullfilling relationship. But I do have to say that I have not read any success stories in these books. (Success stories on how they struggled with the addiction, but not success stories on marraige).
    Thus far it is just words, maybe they need to consider one, or maybe when they looked back there were no success stories to write about as they had since split with their wives. I agree how is this possible…in my case anyway. And I agree these women are trying to make it work, and honestly the only way I think you could make it work is to abide by the COSA guidelines, otherwise you would go insane. I think it is a framework for stayint with an addict, while you wait and see what happens. I don;t see how a relationship can get stronger and flourish from lies, infidelity and deception. If your best friend took all your cash robbed you blind, then set a mass deception behind your back acting like they were your BF while they slowly robbed you; after this disclosure would you take them back say its okay you have a gambling addiction? NO WAY. You would run, get a new BF and guard your home and your money and distance yourself from this person as much as possible. This example is really no different than what many SA’s have done, different scenario, actually not as devistating if you ask me.

    What I have read is many of these men do not really start turning the corner util that wife divorces him then he starts picking up the peices. Obviously this relationship did not work. But there is hope maybe for the next one??

    Yet again this addiction is soooo new, only 10-20 years old (actually not even an addiction at the moment) and the number afflicted has increased huge since the internet (all the rage starting in the 1990’s). I would say to be succesfull in a relationship with an SA 10 years post d-day and still married would be a success. But key here is..are they still married and he has a double life behind her back? God is the only one that knows. We are talking about a relationship with someone who lies; so even that data a therpist would have must be taken with a grain of salt. I would think anything shorter than 10 years is not concrete evidence of success. For many they have been married 20+/- years with no idea. So maybe as of today, these stats are just not out there yet. Maybe in 10 years.

  37. Jewels,
    The lack fo empathy for you or your feelings is the narcissicm. They all have it. Get a book on it the library is free. (love the library).

    He also appears to have no moral compass. He appears to not be able to gauge the difference between right and wrong.

    As for sickness. I know when the body is run down, your immune system is run down. Stress and lack of sleep can kill you and this is how. So your immune system becomes weak and even has difficulty fighting the bacteria in/on itself; having trouble regulating appropriate levels etc. Stress can do some pretty strange things to our bodies…hair loss, colds, infections. this can happen just from stress, not even necessarily a sexually trasmitted disease. Same with the bladder infections. Matter of fact I have had the same thing in the past. But am doing well now.
    This is what I have gathered from what I have read. The nurses may chime in, i know they are on here…sharron and JoAnn, but this is what i gather from what i have read.

  38. Trust your gut, Jewels…….I hope you’ve leveled with your ob/gyn. He/she needs to know.

    And take the time you need to heal. We cannot heal or forgive on somebody else’s schedule. Sounds like your SA has no clue what he’s done to you and your self-worth. Sounds like he’s not truly in recovery.

    We attended a marital therapy session today and we talked about foregiveness. The therapist made a good point today, one that left me feeling better: The first person we, the wives of sex addicts, need to forgive is ourselves. As I look back over my life, I’ve been asking myself what I did wrong, what I should have done differently, etc….and the only think I can come up with is that I should have left. I saw that something was terribly wrong in my marriage. I hauled him to marriage counseling for two series of sessions. I didn’t ignore or minimize the problems. I tried to deal with them head on. I spoke clear, unequivocal ENGLISH to my husband and still…..he hid the addiction from me for 23 years. If I was on the outside of that siutation looking in, I’d say “How dumb was that wife not to know?” And I’ve been beating myself up with that. We’ve been lied to and manipulated by the best. The first thing I need to do is to forgive myself for not seeing the unseeable, that which was actively hidden from me. That seems so simple, but it resonates with me. I realize I haven’t forgiven myself.

    I also ordered “Lust, Anger, Love” from the link….and “CEO OF SELF” by Herman Cain…not about sex addiction, but I hope to find personal empowerment in that book……I hope to find new understanding of how this all gets started in the SA’s childhood from “Lust, Anger, Love”.

    Can I suggest a section where we all post reviews of books/materials we’ve found helpful?

    Peace to all my sisters……..

  39. Hello ladies,

    Just a thought on why so little on success stories with SA on this site and others as well. There is no complete success, only management. Even with the most positive success story on this site, Joanne’s hubby, even she experienced a setback as well. However, Larry is still dedicated to recovering, the boundaries were quickly returned to, and Joanne trusts herself enough to “know” if he was really veering offtrack. Plus her married life is not consumed by his addiction. It is managably healthy.

    That is the best goal we can arrive at. Managably healthy expectations and relationship. Healthy “enough” to stay in the relationship. We will all have our own expectations on what is healthy enough to remain or not. A shift in attitude, responsibility taking, dedication to 12 step and therapy really showing they are doing the work. It is the best it is going to get. Ever.

    That being said, I think we find more of the negative on our site because we care enough about ourselves and our marriages to find support. Everyone else has already dumped their ahole SA’s and moved on no looking back- they are not posting – they are DONE. Or, they live in denial and don’t care. We care. We post. We vent and we seek help for ourselves and hope to save a relationship we have put a great deal in. Plus try to make one of the most important decisions of our lives — do we stick with the madness or not? Management, boundary setting, committment. That is all there is. The SA’s choose it or they don’t. We assess their behavior and stay or go. We can be supportive, yes, fixers no. Therfore, our venting is for positive, not negative. It helps us see though our healing journey, wherever that may take us

  40. Hi Sharron,

    Thank you and I wish you well too. My husband lies too and I think its a really hard thing to stop/change. Its so obvious to me now, its almost (is) funny at times. I think its how they handle the “trigger” that matters, not the trigger itself-just my opinion.

    Im not sure how my situation is going to end up. In the meantime, Im going to enjoy my life as best I can. Hope you are too!

  41. Flora,

    I think your right, I don’t think we will ever know what the long term statistics of trying to work it out with these men is until they have some. Would explain why i can’t find anything!!!


    Listening to your latest post only confirms for me he is no where near ready to work on things. Him telling you that you are not allowed to discuss his SA or his affairs is BULLSHIT. Move forward or move on?? That comment makes me want to scream! Honestly Jewels you need to have a discussion with him and the only discussion you need to have now is you telling him you are moving on. This does not mean that you can’t sit back and wait to see how counseling goes for him before you make your decision to divorce him. But if you stay with him with that attitude that he has, the hell your already living, i promise you will only get worse.

    Please for the sake of your kids and your sanity start looking for your own place. Call his bluff and don’t let him manipulate you. Get a counselor, start building your life without him and away from him. If he ever does decide to give you the f’ing respect that you deserve, whether thats a year from now or 5 years from now than and ONLY then should you decide what you want to do with your relationship with him.

  42. Jewels – If your’e husband does not see anything with kissing a 19y/o, that would not be a value system I would want to live with. Sounds to me like he has the morals of an alley cat. Getting defensive and “pissed off” is a clear indication he does not have any regard for your’e feelings. It never ceases to amaze me how they can have no respect for the one they are supposed to love!
    As I said before, my SA appears to be making some progress, but the lieing is always the deal breaker for me. Last night he told me he lies because I put him on the defenseive – in otherwords I ask him too many questions. Always blaming everyone but themselves. If you can not trust or respect your’e husband, then why in the hell would you want to stay with them. I’m not a good one to give advice, however, because I have been trying to give him that “one more chance.” Am sure it is an exercise in futility!!

  43. Dear Jewels

    I am so glad that you are posting on the site and seeking answers. Anytime you are thinking it “must just be me”– it is more than likely 99.9% of the time your gut telling your something. It is almost always right. They – the SA – are very clever at making us doubt ourselves. They put up such clever fronts it makes us feel crazy for even “questioning” them. How dare we?

    I know it is not always the answer you want to hear. so sorry for the pain you are going through. On the gay sex front. My SA acts out with trannies. Yup. Sure am proud. Now why am I telling you that? Because for years I thought he was having gay sex. Then things would return to normal and I would doubt myself and think – it was “just me”. It was not just me!! It was him having gay sex with prostitutes outside the marriage. What a winner. I can actually joke about it now but it is SOOOO no joke. But so, not funny, especially first few months of finding out. Often he would get into bed and I had the distinct notion that he had been satisfied elsewhere. Also, that it was gay. My worst fears, it was. My SA said he’s known hes an addict for many years (neglected to tell me of course – oops, just a little omission before walking downt he aisle ) and has always worn a condom because he was so afraid of giving me something. So he says. He’s had 2 cases of anal gonorreah during our marriage I found out. That can spread to any part of the body. He took care of it and I got nothing. But still….the risk is enormous. Anytime you are thinking it must just be me– it is more than likely 99.9% of the time your gut telling your something. Jewels I am so sorry, but if he is super defensive as you have mentioned, me thinks he’s hiding quite a bit. Quite possibly bisexual experiences and gay sex. You can rule nothing out. Nothing. This disease requires bravery to face the ugly truth. I know it hurts, but why is your gut telling you its gay? You have to look at that. I found out the hard way. Don’t be me.

  44. you all are great and right —he knows im having a really bad day with this and i laugh so hard right now because he just text me this “i think we should take off somewhere friday night-just drive and land somewhere before midnite””…… wth???

  45. also i forgot i think to mention that last week when he admitted to me he had called the girl and had bad thoughts intentions…he cried hard and said that for the past 5 days he wanted to drive 120mph into something and end his life–he said he even had to pull off road a couple times to prevent him from doing it—he said he knew how much pain he had caused me and our kids—-he has only shown emotion maybe 3 times in our marriage—i dont know if it was real or not though—

  46. Jewels – I agree with Flora – tell your’e husband to “Hit the Road Jack,and don’t Come Back No More-No More! You always have the option of a reconciliation should he decide to be a “Big Boy” and try to grow up.
    My SA hit bottom after the second time I moved out, and even though he is working diligently I can tell you right now he probably will not recover. Those are just the facts. I have heard many on this site say the lieing is actually worse than dealing with the addiction. I agree with that to a point – It would depend on me what the addiction entails. I, myself, could not deal with infidelity, prostitution, chat rooms, massage parlors, etc. My husband has a porn and lusting addiction – if that is not bad enough!
    Had he been truly unfaithful in any other way, he would have been out the door with his bags packed as soon as I found out. I have been somewhat lucky in that respect that he has not pushed the boundaries and escalated to more degrading types of addictions.
    NAP – You are so right about how they handle they’re triggers, but if they continue lieing about them I don’t see that as progress, do you?
    Flora – You are entirely right. When the body is out of balance, (what they call homeostasis) The immune system is out of whack and you are suseptible to illness of almost any kind. Ie: We tend to get more colds when we are tired and run down and are more suspectible to contracting the flu, etc. My OB /GYN finally found the culprit bacteria for my recurrent UTI’s hiding in the crevices of the cervix. A D&C cured it. So, there is always the possibility for other reasons causing bladder infections. There is also a disease called interstitial cystitis which causes recurrent, very painful UTI’s. If you have frequent UTI’s and a cause has not been established, you might need to have a Urologist investigate further.

  47. Dear Jewels

    My gosh how they are all alike! I got the ” I am going to end my life” speech on one of his guilt ridden post acting out escapes a couple months ago. Call him out on it. If you are really suicidal, lets go to the mental hospital so you can check in. Otherwise, smoke and mirrors babe. Pulling attention to somewhere else – feel sorry for me, I am so distraught…I will end my life! please. they are children at best. they will never ever commit suicide. Besides in my case its wishful thinking. Listen if he knew how much pain he has caused your in your life your SA wouldn’t have stopped – he would’ve hit the wall going 500 miles per hour. Plus if someone is really suicidal, they are not talking about any attempts. They simply lock themselves in the bathroom and get it overwith. There is no discussion about it! Right there is a dead give away of BS. I know it sounds horrible, It is Still all about them. Narcissists rarely commit suicide. But they will use it as a manipulative tool and enjoy any attention / from others it might give them. I told mine Go ahead and do it. I will up the life insurance policy. He never did and never will. NOr will yours. Journey on . . . .

  48. Triggers are things that set the SA off, like a hot girl, naked pics, hot women in movies, sex scenes in movies, victorias secrets ads. etc. This starts the thought in motion and they turn it into a movie, fantasy, start wondering what she would be like in bed, look like naked etc. And it escaltes and they obsess about it. Then life revolves around these things. But it can start with a trigger. A trigger can even be when the wife leaves the house, the on button on the computer, a certain time of day, open emails, opening internet exploere, craiglist, and even more. He most likley would know what they are, and he can find out in therapy as well. A good therapist should help him identify these things and it should be shared with you. Mine has not done this, nor identified triggers to me. I think this is important. But many of them like to keep these things secret. Once these triggers are identified they should be avoided, and efforts she be made as to what happens if they are triggered. Like call the sponsor, therapist etc.

    Also the “he cried hard and said that for the past 5 days he wanted to drive 120mph into something and end his life–he said he even had to pull off road a couple times to prevent him from doing it—he said he knew how much pain he had caused me and our kids” – Attempts at pity and control!!!! And also emotional abuse!!!! Red Flag!!!

    Okay threatening to end his life or telling about thoughts of ending life – emotional abuse….trying to control you. Also in books entitled emotionally abusive relationship. Much of what they do is about controlling us to continue the addiction. This can be belittling your thoughts, putting you down, displaying weapons, threatenting suicide..all of this is an attempt to control.

    See it clear as day here.

  49. I forgot to add – interstitial cystitis is though to be an auto-immune disease.
    Jewels- No, your’e husband would not even know what a trigger is. They learn to identify them in therapy. A trigger is different for every SA, and it can be about anything that starts the acting out process.My SA was supposedly sexually molested by a neighbor who was blond and heavy set with large boobs. There were also acts of domination/submission. He tends to trigger on young blonds who are large build and have big boobs. His porn addiction revolved around obese woman dominating men. So, to answer your question, a trigger can be something from childhood that sparks a thought/fantasy, and they act on it. Or, it can just be a word, piece of clothing, perfume, something visual, etc. – anything they associate with they’re addiction (porn, prostitution, etc.) and that sparks the acting out. Probably have not answered it in depth, but that kind of give you the idea. What was your’e husband’s childhood like – a lot of times that is the first clue.

  50. Jewels – I forgot to add. Your’e husband wanting to drive off the road may or may not have been an attempt to manipulate you. Although we always take an act such as that seriously, we have to remember that he probably is not sorry he has hurt you – only that he got caught. SA’s lack empathy and are unable to be emotionally present with they’re wives. He can show you how sorry he is by admitting he has a prolem and doing something about it. Like I said – Look at his behavior, not his words. My opinion is an SA will never commit suicide – they are too self-centered. Pam is entirely right – it is a ploy.
    My SA has shed tears many times – I believe the correct term for an SA is Crocodile Tears. Again, do not buy into his self serving behavior!

  51. Dear Sharron

    I think we are finally learning a thing or two. I wish you strenght and love in the coming new year in your healing and life with Steve. I admire your strength. love and hugs

  52. Thanks Pam – This learning process for me has been quite a journey. JoAnn and the rest of you have been so wonderful in setting me straight when my thinking is “wacky,” and at the same time with such love and support. Have a Happy New Year. Much Love.

  53. Hmmm… There are 55 responses on here, which might be a one day record? But, the one person who hasn’t responded is Sally and if you are reading this, I hope that you are alright. (or as alright as can be under the circumstances)



  54. Pam,

    LMAO!! When you told your SA to go ahead and kill himself and you would up the life insurance policy. I wish i had thought of that one!


    I was thinking the exact same thing earlier. Sally has not responded at all.


    I am happy to see you asking so many questions. I wish to god i knew of this website when i first found out, i would of handled my husband and the entire situation so completey different than i did.

  55. I haven’t had time to read through all the response but I did want to chime in. My advice to you? Get out NOW! I had an odd feeling about “husband” starting the day after we were married. I had found some stuff on the computer early on the in marriage but he somehow convinced me to stay with him. 5 years later…5 years of betrayal, lies & deceit…5 years of countless tears, broken hearts & cold lonely nights…5 years of spending all our money on prostitutes and porn and motel rooms…5 years of “intimate encounters” from Craig’s list, disturbing abnormal porn, and disease-riddled whores..5 years of being ignored, neglected & rejected…I sit here with a daughter who isn’t even 2 yet, who has a father that is capable of doing the most AWFUL AND DISGUSTING THINGS and is incapable of doing anything NORMAL or HEALTHY. She has to call this jackass her father for the rest of her life! And I am nothing more than a shell of who I used to be; at 38 years old I feel washed up, beaten up, and damaged.
    So again my advice to you is to get out NOW….. before you become me….

  56. Hurt Heart- Wow what a sad story for you! You still sound very angry, and justifiably so. Am just hoping you are getting some counseling to heal yourself and work through your anger. I don’t know if we can ever recover from the betrayal, but we can learn how to “let it go” and build a better life for ourselves.
    I don’t think I have seen you on this site before, but it is excellent for venting and support and a lot of love behind it. Hope to hear from you again.

  57. Thank you Sharron. I have been reading this site for months and only recently thought of posting {thought my comments would be too negative}. My first post was on the Holiday entry JoAnn wrote. I also submitted my story to JoAnn, I’m thinking it may be put up soon.
    I am still very angry and hurt. There is a lot more to the story than the quick blurb I gave. I felt compelled to let Sally know that she should get out because I wish someone had told me this 5 years ago. May not be the best advice, but in my eyes it’s the only advice.

  58. Hurtheart-I agree with you 100%. To stay with these SA’s, in most cases, is so dysfunctional and toxic to our mental health. I am still battling on whether to go or stay, and all indications say go! I have let this go on way too long, and ultimately, I know deep down in my heart this will not be a positive outcome for me. JoAnn is such a positive support for us, and everyone on here tells it like it is. This site has been a Godsend for me – hope it will be for you to. I hope to read your entire story, and we will all be here for you when you need us.

  59. @ Jewels—

    About the infections. I too got frequent bacterial infections which i have NEVER had before, (I’m 54) when I was involved with my sex addict friend, “predator.” (my fond nickname for him because every time I say it, it reminds me of exactly what and who he is).

    Over a year after our affair ended, and not having sex with anyone else. (it looks like I’m doomed to a life of celibacy now) 🙁 I had a pap smear and was tested for HPV and found out a week later, that I have several strains of the dangerous kind that can cause cervical cancer. There is no cure for HPV, nor any symptoms, but I’m wondering if the infections made me more susceptible to getting it or vice versa.

    Anyway, the infections came from having sex with him as most likely did the HPV.

    He’s a suppurating whore. Men have no symptoms unless they have the kind with warts (which ironically is annoying but not the dangerous kind)and fortunately, he didn’t pass that along to me.

    So, a reminder, which I probably do every few weeks. Along with your blood STD screenings, please ask your dr. to test for HPV when you have your paps.

    All my best for a happy and healthy new year to all–



  60. I clearly do not understand this site…Joanne is a God Send…Joanne is staying with her husband and trying to work with this problem with personal stuggles… and all of you are saying get out, go, leave! I am only hearing negative on these posts. At what point do we start to talk about advice, ideas, suggestions, tools? We all need somewhere to vent and share…but I also have good stuff to talk about. On this site I hesitate to ask for advice on what my husband shares. I am getting the impression most will come back saying…he’s lieing, don’t trust him, he will not change. Lots of people leave their husbands for many reasons and move on…why are so many women on this site that have “moved on and don’t look back” giving advice? Is this site, I was married to a sex addict or I am married to a sex addict? Where does one go when they are looking for positive, helpful and constructive support? I do understand the anger, rage and bitterness but I am looking for outlook, advice and ideas along with the ability to vent my worries and frustration. I am sorry if I have offended anyone. Laura

  61. Hi Laura,

    That is a very good question and I don’t find it in the least bit offensive. JoAnn DID kick Larry out! She kicked him out for 3.5 years and then Larry got his act together and they came back together. They are also older and JoAnn has had two other marriages, grown children and grandchildren. AND, she will be the first one to say, that it is not easy and that she doesn’t recommend this for everyone. (she has much on here about her own story) But, for a very young woman who wants to have children and is just getting started, and dealing with such a sick man, is setting herself up for lifetime of intense and unnecessary heartache and worse. My sex addict gave me a lifelong STD which is passed on whether they wear a condom or not. Sex with a sex addict is inherently very risky. This is reality.

    This is another way to look at it. If you had a diagnosis of cancer and you were told that the only possible way to save your life was to have an amputation, radiation, chemo and removing all of your bone marrow, would you say:

    “Where can I go to find some “positive, helpful and constructive support?”

    No, you would soldier on and do what the was recommended. Yes, those recommendations are by highly qualified doctors, but every woman on here is speaking from their own experience and study and research and let me tell you this.. There is nothing that would give me (and I daresay all of us) more joy than to be wrong about the prognosis for most of these guys written about on here… unfortunately, I ate from the proverbial apple and now, I am here to share the realities that live in our gardens.

    It’s just like that…The reality of this situation is very grim. We aren’t making it up and we aren’t trying to be mean or negative or bitter, although, sometimes it will come across that way and there will be anger and resentment and overwhelming, grief, sadness and depression but these are all stages of the recovery process that each of us must go through to come out on the other side. There is o doubt that every woman’s heart is breaking all over again as we read story after story of unspeakable devastation. In fact, I had to take a break for a couple of weeks, because it was affecting me so badly.

    Most of us recommend professional counseling for yourself and I know a lot of women have found help from “Recovery Nation.”

    I have to say that if your husband has a co-morbid personality disorder, that the prognosis is grim. There is much written about this.

    I hope that helped you in some way…

    All my best,


  62. Laura,

    I actually wrote you a post in this blog at 1:01pm, but it may have gotten lost in the shuffle and you missed it? I was anxious to hear your story if you would like to share?

  63. Bravo Lorraine, thank you putting down the things racing through my head that I spent 30 minutes to trying to figure out how to explain!! I just gave up. But Laura, I still want to hear your story. If you and your husband have mastered something please share. We all love to hear JoAnne’s success and breakthroughs. But to piggyback on Lorraine, this isn’t a walk in the park and for many of us this is the only way to get our frustrations out and validate our feelings and what we’ve been through.

  64. Laura,
    I also wanted to chime in and say that this website is the ONLY place that I can be honest and open. No one knows or would understand what I have gone through all these years and frankly I’m embarressed to admit that I have stayed with such a man for so many years. So here, with my sisters, I can be honest, cry, vent anything I need. It has helped me see the reality of what the rest of my life will be like if I stay. Oh how I want to go and was planning to this month (couldn’t wait) but now my daughter is having some serious anxiety and depression issues and I am very afraid to tear her world apart right now. I am taking her to a counsler next week. I am trying not to scream with frustration but I feel very hopeless and trapped once again!!! I know it will come eventually but patience is no longer my friend! I have put up with this asshole for 16 years and I want out but I guess I can wait a while longer (us Moms will do anything for our children) I mistakenly stayed for the past 13 years to give my children a stable childhood but I would have been so much better off to have left. Now I am older and feel so beat down so I think whats a few more years??

  65. And I truely advise anyone who can to get out and quickly! Joanne separated for 3.5 years and went back with eyes wide open. Thank you for letting us have this wonderful website to come too.

  66. Thanks littleb… I just want to add to Laura that I didn’t mean “your” husband when I said “if your husband”— I should’ve said, if one’s husband. I don’t know enough about your particular situation to say, but there are some situations that have some hope, but they are more the exception than the rule and it takes a very long time—years and again, requires a dogged determination by the SA.

    Unfortunately, my own experience is with a pathological and compulsive liar and he’s totally hoodwinked his partner, while I can see his porno ads still floating freely around Craig’s List.

  67. Hi Ladies,

    I want to share where I’ve been with this. I always thought there was something odd about my husband, like he wanted to be close to me, but he put up a wall through excessive chatter, t.v. watching, banal talk, etc. Other times we were very close and he WAS ACTUALLY caring. Then, the excessive chatter, banal talk increased and new agitation arose from his usual talkativeness. Then rage out of NOWHERE. Then leaving and not answering phone for days. He morphed into a DIFFERENT person in a matter of months. During this time, I had my own struggles with three close persons dying suddenly within 9 months, having another baby, quitting my practice, and a serious illness that went unresolved for months. My husband had also just gotten over a nearly lethal bout of a gastrointestinal disease.

    There was alot of stress.

    Anyway, when he started disappearing, I became the child I was to my mother who died from alcoholism recently. I began taking care of all the affairs around the house, even did his professional credits for his licensure. Truly codependent. I started checking up and investigating. I acquired a device and clandestinely monitored his whereabouts and phone calls.

    I busted him. But I was obsessed and between his moodswings, verbal abuse, and intimidation, I was in full-fledged PTSD.

    I had to stop the madness. I removed the tracking device and his phone so he had to get another phone in his name and I would no longer monitor his phone use. I had to let it go, because I was literally DYING from HIS ADDICTION. (he never knew I tracked him & doesn’t realize all I know)

    He’s out of the house. I had lost 26 pounds in three months. I wear children’s sizes now.

    I went back to work. I was in court all morning today dealing with other people’s screwed up lives. And it made me forget myself and think about other people. It helps me enjoy my children more when I get home. Now, I feel like I am getting MYSELF- my identity back.

    It is peaceful in the home; no more pins and needles. I miss the man he was. I really think he is gravely ill and consumed with self-centeredness that is a toxin to him and all whom get close to him.

    While I am so ANGRY still about how he has behaved, there is a part of me that has genuine concern. Yet, I know he is bad for me in his present state. What am I to do?

    I have been continuing to go to a counselor and I have a spiritual advisor of sorts. (I work my own 12 steps not related to sex addiction) I have some terrible days still, but they are farther between and fewer.

    What I learned is how many friends I had before my husband started changing and how my life got smaller and I felt like nothing. He treated me like nothing. Now, I am living more and reaching out more. The PTSD has subsided to the point where I can sleep and eat and enjoy my kids and even love myself sometimes.

    I hope he will get better. But I am with NAP; I have no interest in being a prison guard or a nanny for a drunk like I was for my mother. Doing those things are not acts of love, but acts of self-abandonment. I was abandoning myself to my husband’s addiction the way I did with my mother-afraid she would die or stop loving me. All the times I nursed her through DT’s, all the times I drove her to the liquor store to stave off DTs, all the times I took her to the ER, all the times I begged her to stop drinking were to no avail-complete exercises in futility. She died drunk and with no family or friends around. My love was not big enough to save her. When had my first child, I realized I had to abandon my mother for myself. I had to save myself to save my children.

    This is exactly the same with my husband. I never stopped loving my mother, I still love my husband. But true love would NEVER ask me to abandon my own safety and happiness. Therefore, I shall not do it. I shall stay present with me and save myself and my children. If my husband wants to grab a life preserver and climb on the ship, we will be here with open arms. But I will not dive into shark infested waters only to have my husband push me under again.

    Peace be with us and also with them.

  68. Dear Laura,

    Thanks for posting. I think Lorraine said it best. I realize today that many posts were advising to run, a bit more than usual. I think those of us with many years tucked into a marriage were highlighting the pain to spur younger wives w/no children to make a better choice in life-leave and find someone normal. That is a positive move in life. I also think as we all wrestle with this issue, that leaving can be a very positive outcome, its not really being negative. Staying with an abuser, that is truly negative for all. Many SA’s have very abusive manipulative streaks. Often women and children will benefit by being away from them. While that IS unfortanate, it can mean a new and healthy existance and 2nd shot in life. That is positive. Joanne is forutunate, her husband has remained on board recovery. Most don’t. That’s where the rest of us are at. Joanne is the %5. The other 95% posting on this site that us, we are in the failure to recover pack. So yes, I am sure we sound a bit bitter. We have active sa’s, non recovering not really recovering sa’s or have left. This site backs up the stats. 5% recover, 95% don’t . Believe me when I tell you, all of us want the outcome that Joanne and Larry have achieved. That’s we post, that’s why we care, cry and vent. Who else will listen? This is the only place I know. It has saved me in many ways.
    Would love to hear your story and any positive news you can share. we could use some encouragement. Love. Pam

  69. Fatchance, your post is so wise I want to quote chunks of it.

    “While I am so ANGRY still about how he has behaved, there is a part of me that has genuine concern. Yet, I know he is bad for me in his present state. What am I to do?

    I hope he will get better. But I am with NAP; I have no interest in being a prison guard or a nanny for a drunk like I was for my mother. Doing those things are not acts of love, but acts of self-abandonment. I was abandoning myself to my husband’s addiction the way I did with my mother-afraid she would die or stop loving me. My love was not big enough to save her. When had my first child, I realized I had to abandon my mother for myself. I had to save myself to save my children.

    This is exactly the same with my husband. I never stopped loving my mother, I still love my husband. But true love would NEVER ask me to abandon my own safety and happiness. Therefore, I shall not do it. I shall stay present with me and save myself and my children. If my husband wants to grab a life preserver and climb on the ship, we will be here with open arms. But I will not dive into shark infested waters only to have my husband push me under again.”
    I’m not the partner of a sex addict, just somewhere he went to get a fix, but I have a heart. Who wants to turn their back on someone sick? But who can face being treated in this way? The pain will only increase and be spread around a wider circle as we become sad … children, friends, family. We have to love ourselves enough to know when to let go. I have codependent tendencies (probably originating from protecting my little brothers from my dad) and once I thought I saw why he was this way I could forgive. He and I have things in common. But forgiving doesn’t mean walking towards abuse, and they abuse even though they might not always acknowledge it. It feels like a lose-lose situation, but if one half of the partnership can save themselves, surely they should do so? Why go down with a ship which appears to be sinking? It feels like cutting the infected part away, but it’s not done with hatred. It’s done as damage limitation. And so often an addict doesn’t WANT understanding, as it takes away their illusion of control. They seem to feel contempt for your empathy.

  70. Laura,
    Feel free to post your thoughts and concerns and we will give our opinion if you like. It is just our opinion. Like any support groups and therapy you can take what works for you and leave the rest. What we say is just one opinion, not the written word.

    I think you struck a cord because many of us are far into our relationships, older have a child or several children. I think the real warning you need to listen to and what they are trying to tell you when they say run is this. Your potential future is their story. Flash forward 10 years, you are now a stay at home mom with three children between the ages of 3-8. You have just uncovered the secret life of the SA husband as he left a trail of craiglist ads, emails, and several thousands of dollars are gone which went to pay for several hookers a month. You are devastated right? You kick yourself because you had known 10 years ago that this could be a problem, but thought it was taken care of. Now you are stuck, because the last thing you want is to send your baby to pre-school, end your marrinage, and you have been out of work so long you don’t think you will find a job…and how will you handle all of this on your own?? Because you have grown so dependent and enmeshed. Also what happens is you grow weak and tend to question your own thoughts and feelngs about what the past ten years was??? Sound familiar…because these are their stories. This one is made up, but similar to those out there.

    My sister is in a relationship with an alchololic. He does not think he is, nor does his family. But he comes from a family of drunks. He got picked up for drunk driving three times, and spent 2 months in jail, and has lost his license for two years. The two years is up in the spring of 2011. My sister became pregnant in this past fall, and miscarried. She was devastated that she lost the baby. But my sister so much wants the house with the picket fence and to be a mom. He has strated to belittle her, telling her she will never find anyone else, and she repeats this and beleives it. She almost settled for this life with the drunk. She now is questionning her relationship and seeing it for what he is. She was hoping that he would change, that jail would make him quit, that losing his license would make him quit. That lecturing would make him quit, pointing out the hangovers would make him quit. But you see he does not think he has a problem and has never attended AA. I hope that I can save my sister from this pain. They have been together for two years, and my therpist said that it takes two years to fall inlove.

    That is all the sisters on this site are trying to do, because we know what your story could look like. With relationships in general (not even one with an addict) you must be willing to accept what is in front of you. That that man is enough warts and all. He will never change (if he does it is a bonus, but not likley). If he was a mess when you met him, he will still be a mess in ten years. You cannot make him a better man, you cannot help him cure his addiction, and most liekly he will never change, or you should not bank on it. You have to accept this man and situation for what it is, knowing full well that this will/could happen again. As women for some reason we like a man who is a project, we feel we can change the badboy, save them, they will fall in love with us. Most romantic comedies are this story. The womanizer who then falls for you?/ how romantic and he is so hot. But this is not reality, the bad boy really never changes, and they don’t show us what this relationship looks like in ten years.

    We do have advice on how to maintain a relationship and wait for them to change or go back into the relationship after we see change.

    A major point is to remove yourself from the relationship portion of your coupleship. This does not mean moving out or seperating, this just means giving yourself space, and to not work on your “marriage” until you are strong enough yourself. Also if he still has you after this addiction revealed, he can have his cake and eat yours to. Where are the conseqences. This gives you time to get yourself together and he gets himself together. A good amount of time to wait for couples therapy is 1 year with very good progress or longer.
    There is nothing that will make the pain of this easier, and nothing will make it go faster. There is also nothing to ensure that he will get better. And just because you read posiitive outcome stories, does not mean anything about how your story will end. they are out there after alot of googling i have found some. Also try COSA. These people are typically still in the relationship. And i suggest if you want to stay in the relationship aspect of your marriage to attend some of these meetings, because i think this is key to living with a sex addict going through recovery.

    The postive stories that I have read basically go like this. And this story was written by the addict. After three years of very hard work on the part of the SA he and his wife were finally going to start couples therapy (after a slip up in year 2). He grasped how much he hurt his wife, and the pain was deep. He had a pornography addiction. he attended meetings, therapy etc. And from reading what he said he stressed that this is a very hard road, a tough addiction to cure, and he himself said if you are young and in a new relationship or if the addict is a boyfriend you should get out. So he the addict, just like many of the women on here said the same thing. Now his story was positive….but his advice to the poster was to leave. He said that he struggles with the addiction everyday. (he was answering a post by a woman who found out her BF is a sex addict).

    Sorry this is so long and for all of the typos.

  71. Thank you for all the responses and understanding of my post. I do hope to be part of that 5% and we are working with that goal in mind. I have 2 grown sons, this is my 3rd marraige, have a successfull career, can’t spell to save my life and married Michael this past June on my 50th bd, knowing about the SA, but didn’t take it serious enought until this past fall. I cannot imagine the hurt and pain to discover this addiction and actions had been going on for 10-15 even 20 plus years by your spouse and not knowing. I think because I did know some and we were not living a total lie is why I am handling this differently.

    My second marriage was 16 years of pure hell…he was mean, controlling, an insecure unhappy man. But, we had a son who is high functioning autistic and we did need each other to raise him and get all the support and help he needed. As soon as my son turned 13 and his Dad and I were no longer on the same page about him, I left. I am so happy I left so that part I do understand. I know what it is like to be in a home, life that you hate but you feel trapped. That was 7 years ago and I have known my present husband for 6 years.

    Except for the sexual addiction I have the perfect husband, life, love coming home and I am truly happy….just this elephant in the room!!! My husbands addiction has been since he was 8/10. He is a classic case, tramma as a child, introduced to porn at a young age, etc. I see him in many of the stories shared on this site. He has attempted to stop many times in the past (before me) by attending councelling, meetings, all failed but I do believe he honestly wanted to stop.

    When I met him he was still acting out but because of the internet it was mostly on line. He is a expert on computers and he admits he became such an expert to continue his behavious. I did not know about his SA until we had known each other about 6 mo and I took it very casually. A bit over a year later, and we were now living together I discovered he had been trying to reach a hooker. I confronted him and after much talking he went to councelling. I was going along in my happy existance, blind to the facts while he continued on with his behaviours…I truly believe on line only.

    Late last Nov I discovered emails on his hotmail and again talked and cryed and talked. It was right before Christmas and we decided we’d just get through the season and deal with it after. We had already set our wedding date and I did say I didn’t want to follow through with it but I also realized I did not want him out of my life. So again I went on my merry way, head in the sand and we got married…had a wonderful time, it was everything I wanted and I was so happy. This past November I had a bad feeling something was going on…again, right before Christmas! I found this site and knew I was right in my suspisions and also I learned that I was not taking this seriously. Because of a posting I ask him for all his bank statements which is when everything came out and reality hit. He was spending 1,000 per month on line and there were only short month long breaks the past 2 years.

    After long talks and honesty he admitted that he has tried many times in the past to stop on his own and every day is a struggle for him. He sees this perfect normal life that he can loose and knows he is ruining due to his addiction. Back to his counceller we went. Once she was told that he continued while working with her she felt that she was not the best help for him and she refered him to someone else and gave me some names for me to talk to. It took him a couple of weeks to set up an appt and he was very open about his hesitation but knew it had to happen. His first meeting was very good, emotional and enlightning for both of us, but mostly him. I met with one of the referals and we will both continue seeing seperate help. We are struggling with finding support groups but last night we think we have found one and he called for them to call back. I know this is the honeymoon stage for him but it is also a start.

    There is so much more to say and so much more has happened and I’m sure I don’t know all of it. I do know that this has nothing to do with me or his ex wife, this is his own personal addiction/struggle. This addiction was formed over 30 years ago and nothing I do or say will change the past so we can only go forward. This is not going to be easy but at this stage I feel positive and this time I am keeping my eyes wide open. Again, I/we are hoping and working to be that 5%.

    Side note…all the legal stuff is in place that should this not work he does not get anything, I now get all bank statements, monitor the computers and on advice we set aside 20 min per day to discuss where we are at or how we are doing or not doing. Tomorrow will be a new year and I am looking forward to it. Thank you for letting me share. Laura

  72. For anyone who is wondering about Sally, I wrote to her and told her that her story was up and that she had many, many wonderful comments. Here is her reply:

    Hello Joann. No, I have not been on the site much lately, so thank you
    for telling me. I have just read a few of the comments, cause I am in
    London at the moment. I will be back home Tuesday, so I will write a
    longer reply when I have a full keyboard in front of me. Thank you
    again for you support.

  73. Laura, thank you for sharing your story. First, i am so sorry for what you have had to endure. It is a very painful addiction for the partner to have to come to grips with in so many ways. Second, you sound like you are a very strong woman, with a head on your shoulders,your ducks in a row, eyes wide open and are very determined to do what you need to do regardless of the outcome. I can 100% honestly say I seriously very much hope to see you in that 5%. I would love nothing more than to see all of us on here in that 5%!!! To hear of success stories gives us the much needed hope that we all so desperatly crave.

    Please also know that just because I am one of the ones that no longer desires to work things out with my husband does not mean that I still do not hold hope that he will change, nor need the support of everyone on here even if its just to confirm that the craziness I was living really wasn’t due to me going crazy, but all the mind twisting games he brought into my life. I still care for him and on my good days I can feel the compasion of what he went through being abused as a child and can understand why he is the way he is. We have a child together, so I do have high hopes he will change. But I no longer can have hope for us because its the only way I have realized I can cope and really attempt to move on with my life instead of obsessing over his.

    Its also very hard for me to stand on the sidelines and not tell someone to run when
    they tell their story and its very clear that the husband is not in recovery. I can’t sit back and watch what I know is only going to get worse for them if they do not leave and get some much needed space for their own sanity. I so wish i had someone that could of knocked sense into me after I discovered his secret life.

    But also, I LOVE to hear the good as well. And I, as I believe everyone else on here will support you in everyway possible and cheer for you along the way.

    Here’s to 2011 and I am praying its a great one for all of us!!

  74. Dear Laura,
    thank you so much for staying with us through the cycle/stages of the women posting here. I worked very hard for a full year to create a possibility for reconciliation. It didn’t work out for me, but I tried just the way you are. Because I’m wired that way too. Then it took another 5 months to accept the marriage was over. I was married for 30 years to the only man I ever loved.

    May I speak less personally about this whole field of sex addiction research and treatment here?

    It is my opinion that we are approaching a significant transition in the field. This is because of the exponential increase in people seeking help as SA’s or spouse/partners of SA’s. Things are changing even as we speak. The dominant therapeutic track right now allows and encourages partners to believe what may not be reasonable or possible. It pursues sobriety as a goal and even if it does want SA’s to pursue a deeper healing of the underlying trauma—this rarely happens. It is the deeper healing that creates the real possibility of a mutuality in marriage, Otherwise most of the emotional patterns associated with the addiction remain intact, and create an untenable life situation for most women. In other words, the arrogance, the insensitivity, the emotional unavailability, the sexual deprivation, the passive aggressive or openly aggressive tactics that beat down the woman emotionally and psychologically etc, are still in play. So this therapeutic track is not successful at all. Even at the level of sexual sobriety it fails dramatically. The problem here is the inadequacy of the therapeutic approach, and for us, the additional abuse to the spouse/partner inherent in the model. It is not honest about what it is doing, why it is doing it, and the actual outcomes. But it is well-packaged in lovely treatment centres, sometimes coated with religious themes and pitched online, and has an army of professional heavily invested in it for their mortgages.

    What I’m saying here is that this website has been blowing the cover on this thing. And so the hard truths named here, sound like angry women being negative. But that’s not it. It’s women demanding more in understanding the addiction is likely symptomatic of a larger disorder, and that addicts and their spouse/partners should be told that achieving sobriety is one small step on the long healing journey that may take years and years and years and you still might not get there.

    The need to keep women and children in unhealthy relationships is also a pathology of misogyny and sexism that runs through the therapeutic world like limestone in the Canadian Shield. Women are being sold a bill of goods on this issue, and because we are committed, we are loyal, we are willing to work at forgiveness and reconciliation, we will respond when people tell us it can be done. Well, very very rarely it can be done. And we are learning that examples are often held together with a sticky religious component that affirms sacrificial postures, personal irresponsibility and the denigration of women’s experience and women’s humanity.

    Hey, you don’t have to believe me here. And I’m sure some of this is “off”. But I’ll bet I’m closer to what will become mainstream understanding within five years on this issue. There are lots of other websites who will pretend. This one won’t.

    And by the way, you may not know this, but over the course of this past year, we have discovered an astonishingly high instance of women posting who have autistic children. In addition, some of us have been researching a connection between sex addiction and possibly low level Asperger’s in the autism family of afflictions. ADD is already flagged as well as involved somehow.

    My point is by keeping the therapeutic model in a 12 step safety zone that is not adequate for our experience, fails to achieve results that are statistically significant, and restricts meaningful research to a moral/shame kind of plane, we wound the spouses and partners of SA’s with hope that is not real, and therefore keep hope that is real from them.

    There is hope, Laura. But it asks way more of us as human beings than being wardens in our marriages.
    Keep working Laura, because it is extremely important for you to be true to yourself in this mess. I did the same.
    YOu are clearly a good human being, an open heart, and great companion for all us. Please stick around.

    with every good wish for all of us,

  75. What if I just let go and surrendered to the reality of my powerlessness? What if I lived my own recovery and life and not his?

    What if the essence of his problem and mine is powerlessness and the search for control? What if I let go and let God?

    What if the paradox is the answer; that acceptance of the situation as it is presently is and dependence upon a God is really the path to independence?

    What if I tried a different way?

    All that I have done to control the situation has left me more dependent on my husband’s behaviors, his moods, and his attitude toward me. What if I let go of that dependence and clung to my inner resource which is what I believe in is the piece of God within all of us?

    What if my need to control is what is blocking me from power and serenity?

    What if I were God: what would I do as God? It does not matter, because I am not God and I will NEVER have the whole picture, not with all the investigation in the world.

    What if true bravery were walking in the path of blind faith that God would do for me and my husband what we could not do for ourselves or each other?

    What if I believed that God would care for me if I only let go of my need to control, regardless of what my husband does or doesn’t do?

    I believe that T is right, the SA does not want our empathy and it angers them. What if I were to let go and let him find his own way to God and right dependence on Him rather than the addiction? That would be true love-getting out of the way.

    What if I let God show me who I am rather than trying to make myself what my husband wants me to be?

    Sometimes the hardest thing is the right thing.

  76. JoAnn – I have a question for you. Steve’s therapist is a behavioral psychologist and
    does not believe it is important to revisit childhood trauma in order for a sexual addict to recover. I am of the belief that psychoanalyis and behavioral psychology should be used. What do you think?

  77. Littleb and Diane, thank you for your responses. I know full well what it feels like to end a long term relationship. I had all the crazyness and lies in my last marraige and once you do let go and move on the level of empowerment, confendence and lack of stress is wonderful. As odd as it is I had such a bad marraige and he was not a SA and my happy life is with a SA…the webs we weave 😉

    100% there is going to be more and more SA’s and spouses due to today’s society and the internet. Younger people have such a warped sense of love and sex, they have been raised too young and too much wrong information and ideals. I guess we are the pioneers in this field.

    It is an interesting point about the autisum, ADD and SA but I also think we are becoming aware of all these issues at the same time and don’t see a connection at this time. Aspergers has almost become a fashionable disorder…it seems all the rage. I do believe someone with ADD does hold a higher risk of addictions and this has been proven. SA is still under the carpet so the connection of ADD and SA is still not looked at as closely.

    Diane, I will guess you are a fellow Canadian? We are just outside the largest city in Canada and I can only find one SA and COSA has nothing even close to where we are. It amazes me that with this huge population there is so little support out there face to face. With my son’s aspergers I was very open and willing to teach people about it knowing the more knowledge people have the better for support. With SA it is so personal and still very much a dirty little secret we don’t have that support. We do need to speak up, bring this addiction to people but how do you do it? I know I don’t have the nerve to discuss this in public, with friends or co workers…it is some days frustrating knowing what I know and not being able to share it in general. I’m starting to ramble so I just want to end with a thank you for your support and Happy New Year to all.

  78. Hi Fatchance,

    I want to thank you for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes in two ways.
    One, for the love you had for your mother and the way you tried to help her. My tears were also for the person you have become and how well you understand yourself and the situation with your husband. I admire everyone on this website and always have the most respect because we are all human, just trying to do the best we can. Fatchance, you really seem like a neat person and I love your sense of humor.

    Your friend, NAP

  79. Hi Laura,

    Wow! Its wild about the autism thing— VERY common with people who either live with SAs or are SAs to have kids on the spectrum. Everyone knows I have a “HF” autistic son who is going to go to a therapeutic boarding school on MONDAY!!! YIPPPPEEEE… He’s nearly 16. And I have another son with ADD (20 and yeah… I worry about him and keep a mindful eye on him)… hmmm… These are not borderline fashionable cases. Its the “I want to choke you, because you are IMPOSSIBLE to live with and then choke myself for even thinking that” kind of case. Fortunately, my husband and I have always been about 99% in sync with what we think they need, or he just goes along with me. 😉 Pitbull mom. 😉

    Anyway… I’m going to say something that might surprise you.

    You say that you’re happy.

    And in my book, happiness is a really good and very special thing— a great gift. Your h has been doing this for 30 years? hmmm… And he was doing it when you met him and has been doing it all throughout your relationship?

    Think about this… IF, he could stop— and make no mistake, after 30 years… its unlikely, not because he doesn’t want to intellectually, but the compulsive, DEEPLY INGRAINED, HARD-WIRED cycle is next to impossible to short circuit and circumvent. However, lets just say for argument’s sake that somehow, he could stop, (meds, hypnosis, therapy, whatever), he could very well become someone you REALLY don’t like, because he will have changed not only his SA, but also lots of other things about himself. If you make a chocolate cake and leave out the chocolate, what do you have? Vanilla cake. You like him as a sex addict. That IS the man you fell in love with and the changed man, if its even possible, could be someone you don’t care for too much.

    What if he didn’t change? What if you learned to just ignore the elephant? You did before, so what’s the difference, now? If he’s perfect in every other way and there’s no overt abuse, then maybe this is how you can get it to work for you.

    Some women also join the party. I am not saying this is for you or any other woman on here, and am making no moral judgment one way or the other, but just exploring all of the possibilities. It can and does work for some people.

    As for recovery— you know how rigid the autistic brain is and how hard it can be to effect the changes that will make your son adapt better to our world… I think that studies will link some of these disorders, at least in part. There is no question that my autistic son presents in very much the same way that a narcissist does. Its quite fascinating.

    Best wishes for the new year to all,


  80. I think it is also interesting that high intellegence, genius, and autism, ADD are all found in the same gene pool. Often the people who have contributed most to the really profound discoveries in the world were not able to function in a classic school environment. They see things we dont see. I wish as a society, we had a way to embrace this and not be so task oriented in education.

  81. Hi Sally, I want you to know that after reading your post it inspired me to write my boundaries and share them with my husband. Unfortunately it didn’t go as well as I thought. It actually crushed me that he was so defensive. I knew his reactions meant he wasn’t in program and that has been my fear for months. He actually told me that he thought my boundaries were controlling and that I was seeking power! I told him that after all I have been through, as well as our kids, he should be standing on his head for me! He basically said that I want him to kiss my ***. I feel so hurt that he didn’t respect what I need to stay in this relationship. But I’m not surprised….his addiction is in full swing. I’ve known about his addiction for a little over a year. I was hopeful at first because he was very active in his SA program, going to meetings, doing his 12 step work, etc. That only lasted about 6 months and things have progressively slowed down with every excuse as to why he’s not going and doing the work. Later when I have the courage I will tell my story.

    Hugs to all and a happy new year

  82. Laura,

    You mentioned you had a hard time finding face to face meetings, which i understand is ideally the best route for COSA groups, but have you tried the calls? Its better than not being able to go at all. I have only so far called in to one, and there were folks on there from FL to CA to RI to Washington State up into Canada and almost everywhere in between, it was quite impressive. If you aren’t already aware of these calls (and I hope its ok for me to put this out there?)but if do a google for Cosacalls you’ll find the url and the bridge information with the dates and times.

    Like I said, i have only called in on one so far, but found it just helpful as the group meetings. I don’t get the whole ritual much, hearing the same information in the beginning over and over again.. and the 12 steps, don’t get it all. But I do like to hear everyone share their week. I always get something out of that part.

  83. Fatchance, I’m sorry to single you out again but your posts resonate so much with me.

    “What if my need to control is what is blocking me from power and serenity?
    What if I were to let go and let him find his own way to God and right dependence on Him rather than the addiction? That would be true love-getting out of the way.
    What if I let God show me who I am rather than trying to make myself what my husband wants me to be?”

    The words ‘THY will be done’ never made more sense to me than when I was going through the agony of healing. I COULDN’T control how I was treated OR how I reacted when I was in it. I slowly got a lot more control over my reactions, and his choices and behaviour are nothing to do with me now we’re not in contact but then … they never were. This feels far more loving than getting into the drama with him. Of course I might have felt very different if he loved me once, I understand that. It would have taken longer to let go, I’m sure. Letting God show you who you are, rather than trying to make yourself what a man wants you to be, is just very beautiful and makes so much more sense.

  84. Almost 35 years of shared history and family, a thirty year marriage….and this is what it all comes down to?

    Two and a half years of trickle truth, separate bedrooms, therapy, revealed childhood molestation, continued deception with alcohol abuse…….devastating pain and loss……and on and on……..and on.

    Last night, he left his phone in my room and I decided to do some verifying.
    Finding Google searches of pornographic literature for his particular obsession was bad enough….(but wait now! What exactly has he said? Free of pornography or free of visuals? I can’t remember exactly! Does it matter? Is this crazy making? YES!)

    But the real kick in the gut was a text message a female sent him. Nothing was obviously sexual. But she was thanking him for taking her to a college football game and said she really enjoyed herself. He replied…”….his pleasure” and thanked her for her comments and said “we’ll do it again” The problem is I was under the impression he went to the game by himself.

    So I sit here immobile, reading their brief words. He took a woman to a football game at our Alma mater?? No need to tell me? Really?

    In spite of all the hard earned words I’ve read and soaked up while lurking here and the terrible odds against us all, I had hope too and thought my H could be the exception. After all, he’s going to therapy! We have such a long history! He says he wants to change! He says he hates who he was! He says I’m special! He says he’s tired of lying!

    Why is it so hard to see what is staring me right in the face??
    How can it be anything other than what it apparently is?… simply more deception.
    Why do any of us keep looking for a different explanation?

    OH, and I almost forgot….It’s New Years Eve….(somehow the world does keep spinning) lol
    Happy New Years to everyone

  85. oooooops, sorry Sally.
    I think I just posted my first post in the wrong place. It should have gone in the March 15th post titled Are You Living In Denial?

    my apologies

  86. Dear Robin

    So sorry for your disappointment and latest discovery. Like you, I don’t know why I am even shocked everytime I find something of his addiction still being on. Mine is not even in recovery, why am I surprised? I think its because we still hope for them to be the men we want them to be, (good faithful husbands, strong values, won’t deviate from recovery, etc) instead of who they really are. They are addicts, sick indivuals who are experts at lying deceiving and manipulating to get their fix, (sex) and most will trample on any recovery plan to get it. That is why they are addicts. They risk all for the fix. We can never forget that.

    Just wanted to say on the “30 yrs coming down to this” — when I feel discouraged I try to think of the things that were accomplished in marriage besides his addiction. A home perhaps, children, some wealth, some success, etc. Those things still stand are real. We can’t let their failures taint everything. It gives them too much power and they are undeserving of it. Think about it, I am sure you have accomplished much. Plus, should you decide to leave, you can take your slice with you if you choose.

    After a let down, I try to return to the holy trinity of thinking– boundary setting, therapy, consequence. This calls for consequence. Does he lose his phone, or his computer? Do you move out? Something must happen. Now that he’s done this, xxx must ensue. I am still sleeping on a sofa for the 3rd month. Can’t afford to move out. Not ideal but effective. Trust me, I know my SA is thinking about what the next move I make is and how mush his addiction will cost him. He is thinking about it…i see the wheels turning. But I’m kind of past that. Boundaries and consequences are the only effective tool I know. Perhaps the “confronting a sex addict” post on this site wb helpful too. As I am sure you will be addressing it with him. Let your new year be a new beginning, for you. love and hugs.

  87. I’m so sorry to read everyone’s pain they have endured with living with a SA. On the other hand, I grateful to come across this blog to know that I’m Not Crazy! I say to everyone who or has tried to hold on “Don’t, and let go!” It never or will ever get better. I have been married to 20 years to a Psychiatrist who so happens to be a Sex Addict, which like so many of you I didn’t know until recently when I finally pin pointed and discovered him. He ran so fast out of the house that Woody Wood Pecker has nothing on speed compared to him. My soon to be ex husband so happens to be an addiction specialist! When I try to talk with this “highly educated man” he would avoid any conversation, and always said I was over reacting. These people are ruthless they have no soul nor compassion for humans. My husband at times would tell me about patients coming to his office and discussing their partners sexual “unusual habits.” He would say “they complain about the same things you do.” I told him that goes to show you I am not exagerating. I asked him what advise would he tell these woman. He said “I would just laugh at them” I couldn’t believe him, he said he would tell them “it’s not about you so don’t worry.”

    Please note that SA try to stop by doing it themselves, and when that happens and they resume their addiction it escalates to another level. PLEASE anyone going through this and trying to hold on DON’T. The pain is much more painful staying in a meaningless, lieing relationship then suffering the lose of a love one. Pam said it very straight forward this is the worst pain. SA is no joke. It’s real. Only woman who have lived through this hell know exactly what all of us are talking about. I have been seperated for 2 years now and in divorce proceedings so you can just imagine the hell I’m living. Going through the divorce is painful SA become very mean. He has tried to harm me twice, please stay away from them. They are like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde. Trust me! I’m raising my son alone since he does not see him nor does he want to be in his life. It’s a very sick sick disease. I feel sad for him, but being an Addictive Psychiatrist you would think he knows better so I can’t really feel all that bad for him. They know exactly what they are doing. They manipulate you, they are con artist, liars!

    I hope this helps anyone reading and spares you from the pain that you’ll endure.

    Best wishes for the New Year!

  88. It’s so hard to let go of hope and rest in the present in complete acceptance. Where and whom was I before I met him? I was a complete human being (whether I realized it or not) and I am still a complete human being.

    Nothing real has changed. Only my knowledge. It as though I have eaten the forbidden fruit.

    But alas, my heart is whole. My love for him is mine and it need not be expressed to him. My love for him is a reflection of my love for me and life.

    Perversion is what contaminated the wholesomeness of intimacy. It is not my perversion. I can rest happily in my love because it belongs to me.

    Peace be with us and also with them.

  89. (((((Physician’s Wife)))))

    Thank you Pam for such useful words.

    I did confront my H tonight and although he had a plausible explanation for the text….she was a he… Laurie was a certain Laurie XYZ, a Canadian business client…. the porno lit could not be so easily explained away. So yes, the holy trinity of thinking …boundaries, therapy, and consequences oh my… still applies! And it fits in perfectly with Sally’s original post too. I’ve never had a problem with setting boundaries and not crossing them myself. But it’s a whole other story when loved ones cross my boundaries. It seems I missed the memo on consequences.

    Some healing has apparently taken place. I can more readily see and be thankful for the good that did take root during the lie of our marriage. That’s where the focus needs to be….there’s just so much rot to wade through…30 years worth…unbelievable….time to put on the big girl waders

    I appreciate the gentle reminders of:
    – acceptance
    – taking the focus off the addict and putting it where it belongs…ourselves
    – strengthening boundaries and firming up consequences

    Sounds easy, huh?

  90. I could really use some advise. I posted earlier that I wrote my boundaries and shared them with my SA and he was defensive. Basically my boundaries were this:
    1. Be in Program. Not only go to meetings but work your steps, call your sponsor, work on your program everyday even if it’s only 20 mins daily of journaling/reading
    2. Get a cell phone without the internet
    3. Disclose to me when you’ve lost your sobriety and why
    4. Put a program on the computer that alerts me when you have viewed unwanted sites
    5. Attend church with me – even every other weekend is better then nothing
    6. Self Pity is yours – not mine. If I see that your self pity is kicking in I will call it and ask you to phone someone in your program.
    7. No relationships with other women. No secret meeting places, phone calls, emails, chat rooms, no porn sites. All passwords to emails, facebook, etc should be disclosed
    8. Mood swings: It’s one thing when you’re having a bad day and need talk. That’s normal, we all have bad days and need someone to listen. But that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s the “dark black cloud” that appears out of no where and lasts for days. The type of mood that even you can’t figure out why you are feeling this way. Then you start making excuses for this mood, blaming others, wanting to talk about it excessively and we end up fighting. I do not and will not have any part of this. I have the right to personal peace and happiness. I have the right to remove myself from this situation without you getting mad or accusing me of running away. If I feel anxious and uncomfortable I have the right to find my space and lovingly detach from you. This is your mood and your personal time to reflect and a time for personal growth.

    Well my SA was pretty upset when he read my boundaries. And I clearly stated that I could not live with him if he did not respect my boundaries. He basically said I was controlling and that I have all the power. And he was defensive that I wanted a program on the computer. He told me I could put the program on – he wasn’t going to. And as far as the cell phone he said he didn’t lose his sobriety from being on the internet on his cell phone. He said he had deleted photos on his phone and was able to retrieve them when he lost his sobriety. But duh, the photos came from the internet at one point, right? And he was very upset about my boundary for his mood swings. He said I basically have the power to decide that his bad mood wasn’t worth being around. He thinks every time he gets in a bad mood I will decide to pull away and he doesn’t have the right to express himself. I tried to convince him that wasn’t my intent at all. I was talking about the really dark cloud that hangs over his head for days that I felt I should be able to remove myself and not be sucked into his dark hole. He doesn’t agree. He said I only want him around for the good times. I’m really confused. I’m beginning to think I have asked too much of him. He has a way of doing this to me…making me second guess myself and I hate it. He even told me that he was going to write his own boundaries for me. I am really upset. I can’t believe I thought he would have read my boundaries and told me that he would do everything to respect my boundaries and mainly I was hoping to hear that he was committed to his program. Instead I asked him to leave because we were going round and round and things were getting ugly. So he did. Came home 4 or 5 hours later and wanted to know if I wanted to go to dinner. I declined. He was being “very nice”. He said he doesn’t understand what happened to us. That just before xmas we were getting along so well. He said he really wants to get along with me. He wants consistency in his life. I don’t know maybe I’m holding onto this boundary crap for too long. I think I’m resentful and that certainly isn’t good for me but I kinda can’t believe he came home tonight and never brought up my boundaries. He never said he was sorry for reacting. He never said he respected them and would honor them. The only thing he did say is he can’t be in the 12 step program for me, he had to be for him. So last night I slept on the couch. He got up this morning to go to his meeting. He was very pissed off I slept on the couch. I’m feeling confused and a little worried that me sleeping on the couch will cause things to be worse when he gets home. As I’m typing this I’m thinking to myself…..this is really crazy! Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Happy New Year!

  91. Jeanne,

    I am sorry, but I want to slap the crap out of your husband right now after reading that. You will get some phenominal advice from others in regards to boundries. I knew nothing about boundries when i was still living with my husband, but I can tell you this. If he is not accepting of what you need and the boundries that you have put into place than he is not ready to make a commitment to bettering your marriage. YOU are not the one at fault for your marriage crumbling, do NOT let him make you second guess yourself. He says he doesn’t understand what happened to you guys?? Ugg, that makes me so angry. He says this because right before xmas you didn’t have rules in place as to what you will accept and what you won’t accept, with that he was free to go on about his business as he always did. He still in his mind had you wrapped around his finger, of course he wants to go back to that. He is throwing the guilt on you, because he knows that is how he can get you to back down, just as you are now, second guessing yourself. Don’t let him do it.

    As far as sleeping on the couch, in my opinion, he should be damn lucky that not only is he still allowed to sleep in the same house with you, but why isn’t his ass sleeping on the couch?

    I promise you, he is doing his best to use the manipulation on you that he knows works to get you to bow down and let him continue on with everything he wants to do. Do you have consequences for breaking the boundries? My suggestion would be if he can’t handle working with you on this, then seperate until he can. Do not let him wear you down.

  92. Jeanne,

    This has been a learning process for me as well. How did so many of us miss the lessons on defining a vision for life and protecting it by using boundaries and consequences??!
    Here’s what I’ve come to understand:

    For me, defining what I value in life and setting the boundaries to protect what I value is the easy part. And I have no problem following through with consequences when strangers cross those boundaries. But it has always been difficult when those close to me cross those lines. I think it’s because of being heavily, emotionally invested in the outcome. So that is where we have to change and let go….and it is not easy.

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent too many years trying to be the “good daughter”, the “good wife”, the “good whatever”. I see now, at the expense of myself. And guess what…none of these folks really appreciated it and they certainly haven’t been doing the same for me. What a realization! No one has been looking after me!

    This is where boundaries and consequences come in. They are not about controlling others, or controlling the outcome. You have to really let go of that. They are strictly about protecting you… your physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, etc., health. No one else is going to do it…you have to stand firm in loving yourself and protecting your health, your well being, and your vision for your unique life.

    And boundaries aren’t a temporary thing. You will always be adjusting and fine tuning your boundaries as you grow and change throughout life….but you will always need boundaries in life! It will always be your job to protect yourself, your health, your life! You must put yourself first. That’s the way it should be. We are all responsible for our own well being. If you’ve been a caretaker or nurturer all your life, it will probably be hard to do in the beginning; it may feel selfish. But this is what healthy people do.

    So, Jeanne, I’d start by reviewing your boundaries. Are they what you need to feel safe? Are they essential to protecting your health? for protecting how you envision your ideal life to be? If so, then stand firm for yourself. You must emotionally detach from your husband’s response and keep the focus on you and your health. It is not easy. You’ve been invested in your marriage and this man. But this is where it must change. You must put your own well being first….let go of the outcome…let go of how he chooses to respond. Focus on protecting you. React calmly with consequences that will keep you protected, not with the intent of punishment or control. It’s all about taking care of you.

    Yes, it is hard to do when those we love disrespect the boundaries. It’s not who we thought they were. We thought they were men who respected us, loved us, and wanted to protect our well being. It is very hard…..but we must detach from their response.

    Hopefully with time, they’ll rise up to the partnership. And grow and mature to the point where they do become more worthy men, capable of truly loving and respecting us.

    But regardless, until then and even if they do reach that level of maturity…..you will still need boundaries to protect your life as you desire it. They are a necessity.

    In this spirit, your husband certainly has the right to set his own boundaries to protect his own well being. That is the mature thing to do. Unfortunately, as we all know, SAs are anything but mature. Let him throw his baby tantrums, be defensive, get angry, be manipulative, whatever. So what. Yawn. You really must detach from his response.

    ( My H and I are in separate bedrooms now. We have not had sex for almost 2 years! I would never have imagined this, three years ago. But I am now doing what I have to do to protect my sanity, my health. That comes first……no matter his anger, my or his frustration, or our marriage. I hope one day I can adjust those consequences to let him back in…..but am aware I may have to actually strengthen those consequences and move out. The point is……I have to let go of the outcome and instead focus daily on protecting my wellbeing. That’s a life long journey for all of us )

    With love for yourself and calm confidence……protect your well being…..your unique life

    Hope this helps…..sorry it’s so long winded!

  93. Robin,

    That was AWESOME! I have researched, read, listened to counselors and have tried so hard to work on my boundries and it has been a slow going process. I have never once had it layed out the way you just did to make the whole boundry thing so easy to understand. It is hard when you’ve spent your life trying to be “perfect” for everyone and taking care of everyone else’s needs instead of your own. Although I am now clear what I need and what I can’t put up with, i still occasionally struggle due to momentary lapses of guilt for putting my needs before anyone elses. Thank you so much for posting that.

  94. Hi Jeanne,

    I totally agree with Robin and she said it all so well. I d like to share somethings that may help you. My therapist told me if I want to be “emotionally engaged” with my husband, I would really have to lower my expectations and values. I said “no thanks” to that. Im not changing my values and expectations-thats keeping a personal boundary I have for myself. My husband is self destructing in front of me and its all his-I take no ownership of it (another personal boundary).

    Take the time and energy you are putting into your husband and spent that time and energy on yourself. You will feel so much better and stronger-also your thinking will become clearer-you wont doubt yourself anymore. Try not to get “pulled into” their warped world and thinking-stay focused on you.

    Jeanne, I can tell you really love your husband and its not easy having a SA husband. I love mine too. I wish you all the best.

  95. Jeanne,

    I understand your confusion, I too was confused about the difference between boundaries and control, that’s why I wrote my eBook on Boundaries.

    You wrote,

    He basically said I was controlling and that I have all the power.

    Boundaries have nothing to do with controlling someone else. Boundaries are about what YOU will or will not accept in YOUR life. He can either accept and respect your boundaries or not. All those choices are HIS. But, YOU must have consequences for when someone disrespects your boundaries. No consequences equals enabling and allows the other person to do whatever they please–think ‘doormat’.

    Boundaries are about making your life what you want it to be. He can make all the choices he wants about HIS life, and you must make the choices that you want about YOUR life.

  96. Everyone,

    Thank you so much! You are all truly amazing and had great advice and support. I’m sticking to my boundaries and following through if my SA can’t comply. Setting my boundaries was really hard for me to do since I have never done this before! I think that’s because I came from an alcoholic home where there was a lot of chaos and no boundaries at all. We weren’t even allowed to express our feelings and boy when we did we were quickly told our feelings weren’t true. That’s what also caused me to not believe my intuition. And denial was a way of survival in such a hectic household. I own all of these and these are my character defects. I believe I have chosen partners in life that are a lot like my father – in an odd way it felt most comfortable to me. I’ve been going to a 12 step program for a year. I have made improvement on myself but I’m not close to recovery. But I am getting stronger and more confident. I do slip though and your kind words and encouragement gave me the strength to pull myself back. I plan on sharing my story. One thing I learned in my meetings is you are only as sick as your secrets. Boy do I know how to keep secrets! Again learned from an alcoholic environment.

    Hugs to all

  97. Littleb, thank you for the referral. I have registered with COSA and waiting for application acceptance. I don’t know about the 12 step thing but we take what works for each of us. I also don’t know how I feel about this co-dependency thing; maybe I just don’t understand the meaning in this area. I will certainly give the COSA thing a try.

    Lorraine, wow, what a great thought provoking email! On the autism side (19 now) his Dad is not a SA. I also have a son with ADD and he’s 26…glad I didn’t have a 3rd son, who know what I would have gotten 😉 I read your email to M and we had a good conversation about it. One thing is he has tried many times to quit, 3 times while with me, but short lived. Any change in one’s life, especially a major life change such as this could spark new personality traits for him but i believe only for the better. The fun, happy, smart loving person is who I fell in love with and I don’t think those personality trait would disappear. The stress he has, the insecurity he has is not what I fell in love with and I hope improves with therapy and not acting out. Having the boundaries, I now fully aware vs. wondering and him wanting to change can only be good. It is possible that he could go into new directions or developed other (normal) interest that I may not agree or like but you take that chance in a regular relationship anyway. Should he start to resent me or seem unhappy than we all know what he’d rather be doing and we would separate.

    As for joining the party, good point but not the case. Where I am very angry is after all the work and emotions with my sons, after leaving a unhappy life, dealing with my Dad (late second stages of Alzheimer’s and all the past struggles I have dealt with…I’m very pissed off that I now have to deal with this! I do have anger about this, resent that I have to deal with it so not a party I would join intentionally. If i started thinking he tricked me…well than I would be gone already. Obviously I am not 100% happy and I do have some anger and resentment but he also has many wonderful personality traits that are good and honest so if he can stay in recovery I know he will be even better, which will make me happier.

  98. Hi Everyone – Hope you all had a good New Year’s Eve. I have been off for a couple of days, so will have to do some catching up.
    My New Years was in the toilet – same old shit! We didn’t go out dancing, as we usually do, because of the addiction, so I rented some movies. (5 to be exact) All of them were PG13, so assumed they would be okay. Wrong. One of the movies had very risque stuff- A woman bending over with boobs hanging out, an low cut showing cleavage throughout the movie. I know this probably doesn’t sound like a lot to you, but instead of saying to me, “This movie is not appropriate,” my SA continued watching. I kept calling him on it, and he got very angry. Said, “My, I guess I shouldn’t see boobs” How passive aggressive can you get!! I told him it should have been up to him to determine it was not an appropriate thing for him to be watching. (He has admitted he has an obsession with boobs.” So, as usual, he did his projecting onto me and deflected from the subject.
    Stories were inconsistent, as usual – round and around we go. I told him he ruined my New Year’s Eve. Today, there was some stuff on TV, and he told two different stories. I guess he will never be able to tell the truth. Very depressing!! Just when I think I see progress, we are back to square one, and I can’t trust him. I really think this lieing is a way for him to sabatoge the relation ship. I think things have just been going too good. Last night, We ended up in bed having wild sex with no intimacy. I had not intended for that to happen, as I just wasn’t up for it. Anyway, that is my story.
    Just had to vent and get it out.
    Hugs to everyone. Hope you had a better week-end than I did.

  99. Hi Ladies,

    I really enjoyed all the insight on boundaries particularly what Robin wrote. This has been a life-long struggle for me.

    Jeanne talks about her experience having been raised in an alcoholic home. I wonder how many of us on here were raised in an alcoholic home or an environment in which on person was ill for some reason or the other and seemed to cause the focus on individuals’ needs in the home to be consistently off-balance? I’d bet most, if not all of us.

    As I said, boundaries have been a life long struggle for me. My first “real” job was as a school teacher. I started teaching at age 22 and I already had a 4 year old then. What a blessing motherhood and teaching were for me. I had to learn young how to enforce boundaries lovingly to guide children in the right direction.

    But see, I don’t want to raise my husband. I have four children (one all grown up and college educated) and three at home, two of whom are very small yet. I wanted a partner to help raise these children (the two we have for sure). Well, that’s not what I have now. I have a husband who is emotionally and physically abusive. (out of the house). He rarely misses an opportunity to be snarky or outright abusive and obstructive to child rearing.

    He was a nice man, however, odd, for quite a while. Then he changed. I saw him today dropping the kids at the 3rd party’s home. He’s not supposed to come near me etc. Well, he was rude of course and said I was insane. Hmmm . . . I see a man who hates himself.

    How is a man to accept love with a cacoon of self-hatred around him? How is a man to show compassion when he has none for himself? I say he has no compassion for himself because a self-respecting person does not treat others unkindly and never attempts responsibility or amends for nasty behavior. Why? Because it reflects back on our own self worth when we are cruel to others–whether we realize the cause of the discomfort or not. There is no compassion there to care for his self–respect. It a is all enveloped in self-hatred and window-dressed as justification.

    My mother was a cruel and violent drunk, but a sweet lady when sober. When she died, I read her journals. It was clear she had two personas she could not reconcile and she clearly hated herself. As I mentioned, she never let anyone love her and she died alone and drunk. My husband has the exact problem and no amount of my will or my love can penetrate the fortress he has built around his heart. He is beyond human aid. But there is One who has all power, but it is NOT I!

    How do I know this? I have done some soul-searching. I really don’t think we are all that different, except as Jeanne said, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” The worst consequence is to lie to ourselves-it’s a way of avoiding disclosing the truth;of keeping secrets.

    I never had a lot of rules as a mom or teacher. Mainly: the golden rule, remember you are a part of and so are others: take responsibility for your behavior: do the best you can today.

    Some days, I am really pleased just not to take a drink or scream at my kids and that’s the best I can do. Other days, my best is much, much, better! But I feel the worst about me when I don’t even make the effort to do the basics I know are necessary to keep myself on track. These are the days when I am cut-off from the sunlight of the spirit and am of very little use to God.

    My husband is in a very dark place. I asked him if he’d like to be divorced by our anniversary (in February). He hesitated to answer. Then he said, “What’s the rush?”
    I said, “I’m ready to move forward with my life.”
    He said,”You are in a hurry so you can make sure I don’t get any of your inheritance coming!”
    I said, “Don’t hang on for that, it’s separate property (it is in our state) and so you aren’t entitled to any of it either way.”
    He said,”You’re insane!”
    I said, “No, I am not insane, but I am a lawyer. Since you don’t seem motivated to work it out, then I wish to move forward with my life. I care for you and love you. I am willing to do ANYTHING to work it out with you if you are ALSO willing to do the same. The exceptions to “anything” are being verbally/emtionally abused and lying/secrets come under emotional abuse or have 3rd parties abuse me for you.(like his coworker did the other day) I hope you have a good day with the kids and thanks for bringing me my rx.”

    For some reason, this reasonable attitude I am usually able to show him absolutely sends him off into the outer orbits of his Planet Disturbia.

    Then I left and returned home, spoke to my friend in the program, prayed, and took a very peaceful nap.

    I think I am sad my husband is so f%#ked-up. But, I am happy because, I feel like the kids and I will be ok anyway. God will help my husband, if only my husband would let him. What am I supposed to do about that? Nothing. I am powerless.

    I love you ladies on here, though I never met you. It is good to have your support and understanding through this. And meanwhile, life goes on, doesn’t it?

    Peace be with us and also with them.

  100. Hi Everyone and HNY!

    @ Laura, what you say, makes a lot of sense. My husband too, has so much insecurity and low self-esteem and it seems to grab hold of him and just take him down, down, down. I think that most of these guys do, underneath it all and the sex is the attempt to pull themselves back up, but at what expense?

    @ Sharron. This is a really interesting post and first of all, I’m sorry your New Year’s Eve sucked. Mine did too as we went to a movie with our teen-aged son and then came straight home and did absolutely nothing, as we have done for the last 23 years and I lost it. Everything came boiling up to the surface.

    Wild sex sounds great! really great. I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever even have sex again? I miss the sex I had with my SA. It was amazing. I never experienced anything like it before. That is why it all hurts so much.

    Sharron, ya know what I keep hearing? You really love this guy… your psycho dude, Steve and I think he loves you too. I really do.

    I’m going to confess something. Are you ready? I am 100% straight, but I like looking at women’s boobs too. Who doesn’t? And a nice buxom rack turns me on. sooooo???

    I don’t see your comments as being passive aggressive, but I do see it as controlling behavior and also treating him like a child. I don’t blame him for being upset. Its impossible to stop all of his triggers, or even expect him to admit them, and if someone made me confess all of that to them, it would make me feel badly too.

    He’s going to have to learn to live with them, and figure all of that out for himself, cause they are EVERYWHERE, and you’re gonna drive both of yourselves stark raving bonkers with all of this constant monitoring and cajoling. He has made progress, it seems. Maybe focus on that, instead of what is still not perfect? It never will be. What is it that you are striving for? For him to stop being with 400 lb women? or whatever he was doing, right? You want him to be just with you, and that is your right as his wife. You can’t control what’s inside his head and why do you want to, anyway? You love him and he’s hot for you!

    I’m just jealous that you’re with a hot lusty man who WANTS you! I think that most men fantasize about other women, besides their primary partners and vice versa. Yeah, Steve has gone waaay past this, but he’s still there with YOU and he’s still going after YOU like a man, half his age and honey THAT is hot! I long for that so badly, I can’t tell you. I am married to a man who claims to love me, but never even touches me. I do not feel loved or even wanted. In fact I often feel nothing but disdain, coming from him, but then he will tell me: “its the children.” ugh.(yes, they suck, but still…) There is no intimacy AND no sex. nothing. But, I do have someone who pays the bills, does my book keeping and fixes my computer.

    And we’re friends, most of the time. If I had the money, though… I would go,though… because I so want something more.



  101. Jeanne,
    Boundaries are complicated until you understand them. As JoAnn said they are not meant to control (JoAnn’s ebook is great by the way). I think you did a great job putting them together, but for them to be true and not be controlling they need to be re-worded. Instead of telling him you will get a cell without internet…it would be i will not accept you having a phone with internet.
    Now if he is truely in recovery mode, he should go along with this as well as throw out all dvd’s, limit or no access to the computer, etc.
    The church one maybe is a request…a nice thing for him to do for you, but if it is very important then it is a boundary. Then again it will be i will not accept you attending churcg we me less than twice a month.

    Boundaries are meant for them to have a choice…do I go to church or not…if not then there is a consequence. So that is why i am thinking this is maybe a request as part of your relationship. In the case of the phone you will have made a boundary which says not internet on the cell. So if it is found that he has internet then there must be a consequence…otherwise the boundary is pointless.

    I think it is important that we note that we all have unwritten boundaries. Living with an addict you must write them down and let them be known. The addicts will stomp all over us and our boundaries and completely lack thoughts for others and their boundaries. They are boundaryless!!!! Lying to you and having affairs is a boundary violation on their part to us, they have violated our boundaries.

    So as they are written they do come across as controlling. But they just need to be re-worded. He then has a choice, do them or not. If he does not then their are consequences. So these are rules and boundaries for living with you, if he does not like it he can move on.

    Also it is very common that we feel we are the “problem” in all of this, that we are controlling, that we are the cause. But it could not be further from the truth. This is exactly what he wants you to think and they play are soft spots and now how to play us like a fiddle. Once you see where he is doing this…you will see what i mean. Sometimes it is just pity, the i love yous, etc. So agree just in yo7r post I can see the playing around here. But as said before don’t second guess yourself. Listen to yourself, not the SA.

  102. Another way to look at boundries…my husband told me this one…Trust but verify. It was a quote from one of the past US Presidents, I’m Canadian so I don’t follow them that closely. I verified yesterday, went on line and on the bank side everything is in order. I never gave any thought to the cell with internet, something I think we should discuss. For work we need the internet on our phones for emails but I’m sure there is blocking stuff on it. So much tecnology!!!

    Lorraine, I think your confession is normal and you can think that and be straight 😉

  103. Hi Everyone,

    This is such a wonderful thread (although poor Sally is going to collapse when she returns);) I wanted to add something that I think is important which just came to me. Much of it is expounding on the last thing I wrote to Sharron. As y’all know, I have a son with autism who is going to be going to a therapeutic boarding school–TOMORROW!!! Let’s think of it as “rehab,” for basically, that is what it is. All of the adolescents there, present with very high functioning autistic spectrum disorders and/or AD/HD, mild learning disabilities, mild conduct and behavioral disorders, but they are struggling mightily in other educational settings. It has occurred to me, that many principals of this wonderful program can be applied to our adult addicts. (with modifications, of course)

    The school, like a rehab facility employs a “therapeutic milieu” where EVERY aspect of their lives is part of the “therapy.” Expectations (boundaries) are clearly stated and enforced with consequences, but the consequences are for the most part non-punitive. All of the fun stuff and privileges have to be earned. They use a “token economy system.” If the child behaves and performs as expected, for that hour, they get the token and can use that to buy back their privileges such as staying up later or a trip to the kiosk or an hour at the go-cart track. If they don’t do what they are supposed to do— of course, no token is given and therefore no reward.

    It is a long-standing known fact that rewarding the good behavior gets far better results than JUST punishing the bad behavior.

    The other thing, and I have learned this for years. You can’t fix everything all at once.

    The therapy employs something called “shaping.” In other words, changes come in small incremental steps, but there is forward progress. I think this is really important to consider. Its like a diet. Let’s say we’ve been putting on 10 lbs a year for 10 years, and we decided once and for all, that we want to lose that 100 lbs of excess weight. We aren’t going to be able to lose it all in a month. It took a long time to put on and it’ll take a long time to take off.

    So, how does this apply to our grown men with a sexual addiction? Since they are not 15 but are in their 30s – 60s +, it is going to be that much more difficult to effect changes in their brains. The problem is, they are acting like 15 yr olds and younger. They never did learn appropriate boundaries, and now we are asking them to learn a completely new way of looking at the world. Its not going to happen over night.

    I think its unrealistic to give a man a list of your boundaries that run completely contrary to his MO and poof expect him to transform himself, to conform, just like that—OR ELSE. Its just not going to happen. Some things, yes, but not everything all at once. With our autistic son, when he was young, we would pick just ONE behavior (the most intolerable one) and focus on that one thing. Fixing the one thing would spill over into every other area, we found!

    We also cannot create the same kind of therapeutic milieu in a rehab or therapeutic boarding school or life is going to become really unbearable for everyone and on top of it all, I think for most men, having a wife who’s their CONSTANT, HARPING “gate-keeper”, so to speak is a real turn off, which in turn could turn him away into the arms of another woman. not exactly our goal. 🙂

    That’s one reason why affairs are so appealing. Its all of the good without any responsibility or consequences.

    And, of course, we’re not going to have a “token economy system,” but certainly we can acknowledge his attempts to change or showing appreciation for how far he’s come will boost his self-esteem and encourage him to keep on moving towards a healthier relationship with us.

    I’m not saying that this is easy and I’m just as guilty as the next of focusing on all that is STILL wrong without acknowledging what’s good and even exceptional!

    So lets go back to Sharron’s Steve not understanding that the movie was not appropriate for him to watch. First of all, I admire Sharron so much for her resolve and dedication to supporting and hanging in there with the man she loves and in no way, am I singling her out as being inappropriate or wrong or anything. I just see this situation as a good example to hi-light my point. I think that there is still so much to learn about this disorder, but I see so many parallels to my own situation which I think could be useful for an addict who’s in recovery. Also, if your addict is NOT in recovery, then all of this is a moot point. He has to be WILLING to do the work! He has to WANT this as much as you do! If not… then all bets are off.

    Steve has had 66 years of looking at images which are hardwired into his brain. I truly believe that a lot of the time, he has no conscious awareness of his triggers because it is so automatic. Its almost like being aware of every breath we take. We on the other hand, can become hyper-aware of his triggers and this is where it can become counter-productive.

    What if Sharron said to Steve. “I’m sorry, but I’m not comfortable watching this movie with you because that woman is very provocatively dressed.”

    Steve: “I hadn’t noticed.”

    Sharron is thinking. (he’s lying— bastard, but instead of accusing him outright of lying, she takes the opportunity to state HER feelings. HER boundaries)

    Sharron: “How could you NOT notice?” What were you thinking about?”

    Steve: “I was thinking about what you’re making for dinner.”

    He might’ve been telling the truth; he might’ve been lying… who knows, For now, it need not matter. There needs to be a modicum of faith and understanding. This is still early in his recovery. It is not five years from now, when Steve, with a lot of work, WILL (hopefully) become conscious.

    Sharron can just say, “Well, I surely did and I am not comfortable watching this with you, so I’m stopping the movie now.”

    Steve now has been exposed to a boundary of Sharron’s and she did so, without making him feel like a douche bag. SHE’S NOT COMFORTABLE. SHE IS REMOVING THE MOVIE. They start watching a different movie.

    Will he understand and remember this next week? Probably not. It might take 100 more times, or a 1,000 or never before he gets it. But, accusing him of lying if you don’t absolutely know for sure, is going to make him retreat and regress— That is for sure. I see it with my own husband and sons.

    Has Steve made progress? It seems that he has a bit, but he is far from being recovered from his insidious addiction. So, to further the progress, Sharron can also take the opportunities when they present themselves, to comment in a positive way when he does something that is moving towards the behavior she wants to see.

    “I really liked the way you looked at me, just now. I felt loved and wanted.” Unless he’s an out and out sadist/misogynist, he like most men takes great pleasure out of Sharron’s happiness and in turn will do things to create more of this.

    This is how I think that “shaping” and “positive reinforcement” techniques can be applied to SA partners.

    Alright, back to laundry and packing!

    I can’t believe it! I’m going to be an empty nester!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All my best to all,


  104. Dear Lorraine

    I wanted to say from your earlier post, I hope the “empty nest” sparks new romance and sex with your hubby in the new year= you deserve it! If I may (I don’t know your situation- however) I can’t help but feel your present hub’s neglect and lack of interest is obviously the main reaseon for your affair w/ predator. When our husband’s or partners don’w want to have sex with us, we feel rejected, self esteem suffers, then we attract predator types– we are the perfect needy targets for them. right? Plus if predator knows we are married, we are all the more desired- all fun, no consequences because we are “playing around” and so are they. So when we get emotionally attached because we are so neglected at home, it is a most toxic situation. We all need sex and love. It is the basis of living. What’s hubby’s deal if you don’t mind me asking? Is his sex drive just low? kids taking a toll? I mean if having an open relationship made things worse– perhaps a healed closed one wb much better? just asking because you an amazing person and woman, I would like to see happiness for you in the new year with all that you have been through. I know you mentioned you had an open marriage, but it doesn’t seem like either of you are getting any- anything healthy that is. Any hope for sex and rekindling with hub? He obviously loves you. Best wishes for son’s new school

  105. Hi Pam,

    You are so sweet to ask after me and astute too. The kids have definitely been a part of it as it is non-stop in your face shit, every single day.

    I love my husband as a very dear friend, very much, but something really has changed in his or my chemistry and he physically totally turns me off now, in addition to turning me off, emotionally. No matter what he’s eaten, he reeks of this dank garlicky odor, most of the time. It seems to seep out of every pore. His hygiene is good, so its not that and he’s been to the doctor. He has horrible weeping, scabby eczema…(but I’ve been making him this detox tea and its improved quite a bit, just recently) Then, he dresses like a vagrant if I don’t say anything. He will NOT go for a hair cut, more than twice a year. (and he’s bald on top, so long hair in the back, looks horrible). (I love it really short, but he will not ever do this.) Then there are his teeth. I could write a novel about them. But suffice it to say, that they are really really gross. Its like he’s gone out of his way to make himself as unattractive to me, as possible, so he can say… SEEEEEEE??? you don’t love me as I am. He’s my prince who turned into a frog!

    I have talked to him about all of these issues as kindly and sensitively as I possibly can,(on advice of my therapist) but he just doesn’t get it. He does have a real passive-aggressive streak, and just recently he confessed to having a one-time affair (several years ago) with one of his cyber-sex girlies which started this all off.

    Believe me, I feel horrible about all of this and feel like if only i could force myself… and then I think about how I couldn’t get enough of Predator… granted, he’s a shit, but my h can be really curmudgeonly, dour, narcoleptic and tough to be around. He’s like the walking dead most of the time. I know that he loves me, but he never says it and he never tells me that I’m beautiful or sexy or anything like that and he does do loving things for me, which I really do appreciate.

    Then, to cap it all off… He can’t support us anymore and we can’t afford to do anything or go anywhere and my biz is precarious and totally economy driven. I’m lucky to have any work at all.

    I’m not in love with him anymore. I so wish I was but I have no passion for him, whatsoever and believe me, it all makes me feel really horrible, like it must be my fault that I can’t manufacture this feeling again. He has said in recent years that he doesn’t feel like having sex with ANYONE. And I believe that too. He definitely has a pretty severe depression and I have a moderate one. We’re both taking Wellbutrin. I think it has helped him somewhat, but not as much recently. I don’t want to totally give up though… because its been 24 years and he does also have some wonderful qualities (he has the same, sick sarcastic humor that i have– you should hear us together! we really crack each other up!) and we have built a life together and basically he’s a very kind guy with a lot of integrity and he speaks the queens f**king English. lol That history means something to me and him too. Open marriage sucks balls. No man worth anything would ever involve himself with a married woman and I cannot bear the thought of getting involved with another abusive user/loser idiot.

    Thanks so much for asking and for your well wishes. I call our son’s new school, “ourlasthopeinhell”, cause that is what it is. This HAS to work and we are going to pull out all the stops to see that it does. Of course, the day to day shit is going to stop!!!


    I can’t quite believe it.

    This is the proof. There really is a God. 🙂

    All my best,


  106. HI Lorraine – Steve just went home ,after spending the week-end with me, so am just now able to answer your response to me.
    I will admit I am super sensitive about Steve’s lieing – he just can’t seem to get that under control. He says that it is based on shame and guilt he feels after he does trigger. But, I told him until he can be honest with himself, he is stifling his recovery. He needs to own it and disclose to me when he has a trigger. The lieing bothers me more than the addiction, because he is really making progress in the actual triggering.He has not done the 600# fat lady domination/submission porn since last August, and that was only one slip in a long time. (I have spyware on his computer, so know that for sure.) I felt he should have been the one to turn off the movie, because he knows that is an issue for him. If I turned it off, then I feel I would have been controlling the situation, and nothing is accomplished. It goes hand in hand with the lieing – if he were to have made that decision himself, I would have seen it as progress in gaining insight into his behavior. Since we did end up in a huge fight over it, I am sure I could have handled it a little more diplomaticly, but it is pretty damn hard to do when I never know when he is lieing or telling the truth. I think I do agitate him, because when I am frustrated with him, it brings out his passive-aggressive remarks to the max!
    I will say his triggers are now few and far between, and today was wonderful, in that we ended up in bed with true intimacy and great sex. I have seen that “paridgm” shift with him in staying consistent with the intimacy. Right after we were married last April, he would never initiate sex or even show any interest in me, and the addiction was in full force. Now, he is working the 12-steps, attending an SAA meeting 1X week, and seeing his
    counselor 1X week. Now, he has a “tiger in his tank,” is the one to initiate sex, and the intimacy is so intense I feel that true connection when we have sex – except for New Years Eve when we were both like a couple of animals and had only great sex-Ha. Screw the intimacy that night.
    My issue now is it is really difficult to tell when he is lieing or telling the truth, and when I do catch him in a lie my trust goes back to zero. Maybe you are right- I will work on the positives I see and try not to be so sensitive. I do reward the good behavior, but when it is bad I lose total objectivity. One thing that is really helping me is reading everyone’s sad stories, and I need to realize Steve has made so much progress and when he slips I need to be more supportive and not psych out. I know he relly does love me, and I do love him.
    I am really sorry you have no sex or intimacy in your’e marriage. Having been there just 6 mo. ago I know exactly how you feel. I don’t know how you deal with it – I couldn’t and had to move out. Is it because your’e SA is still actively pursuing his addiction, ( I have forgotten) or is he just not interested in sex? If I had to live without sex, I could force myself to live with it, But, If I didn’t have the intimacy I would not be able to tolerate it.
    I am glad your’e autistic child is going to a boarding school. I know that has to be a heavy weight of your shoulders, and hopefully you will see them make some progress with him. I can’t remember if he is mild or severe. That should help you out with the tremendous stress you must live with daily.
    Thanks for the advice you give. You always seem to give so much of yourself to others on this site, and I am sure they all appreciate it. I sure do.

  107. Joann,

    Thank you. Your post meant a lot and it struck me with an “aha” moment. I woke up this morning and the first thing that came to my mind is I understand the word enabler now! At first when I was told I was an enabler I couldn’t understand but your post gave me great insight. I have been with my husband for 17 years. During the early part of our marriage porn was “popping up” on our computer. I knew he was visiting these sites and I confronted him. I told him I would have no part of this and I asked him to not view these sites especially with young children at home. Of course he denied everything and I told him if I caught him again I was going to leave. Basically more sites would pop up, kids would go on the computer to do their homework and naked girls were popping up everywhere. I went ballistic. I threatened and yelled but I didn’t follow through with the consequence…I didn’t leave. He just got better at hiding the porn sites. I went into denial even though deep in my soul I knew he was still doing it. He just got better at hiding it from me. I was the enabler. And I feel partly at fault for being in the situation I am today because I didn’t follow through with leaving. I’m not saying that if I would have left he wouldn’t be a sex addict today. But I could of saved myself, my kids. I would have been making better and healthier choices. But I chose to stay and he has never had any consequences for his actions. Someday soon when you read my story you’ll be shocked at how little consequence he has had for his actions.

    Thank you. I thought about what you said and yes I probably could have worded my boundaries better. But I did talk to my SA today and I told him that I certainly am not perfect at writing and I didn’t mean to sound controlling but the things I asked for is what I need to make me feel safe. I told him he could accept it or not but if he couldn’t then we shouldn’t be living together.

    So I got up this morning and told my SA I was going to church. He said he had the brakes to do on the truck. He also said if he didn’t go to church he didn’t want that taken against him.(That I would use this against him later). I calmly said that if he didn’t want to go to church that was his choice. I can’t make him go. But I also reminded him that we had agreed on attending church together. That HE even said it was important for both of us. My husband is obviously in the 12 step program for SA. I go to the 12 step for SANON. Part of our program is spiritual. I believe that my husband is not a bad person but a sick person. I also believe he is spiritually ill. We had both agreed that going to church was important. He had made a commitment to go with me, for our marriage.

    I also wanted to ask something. When we set boundaries for ourselves how long are we supposed to wait until the person follows through? I had asked my SA to put a program on the computer and he hasn’t done that yet. I asked him to remove the internet from his phone. It hasn’t happened yet. (I told him this morning that he was free to have a cell phone but it was the internet on the phone that threatened me and made me feel scared). Am I supposed to wait a week or so and see if he follows through?

    P.S. To a post I read earlier: Wild sex is great but wild sex with intimacy is even better!!

  108. Lorraine – I just read your last post, so now understand why no sex in your’e marriage. I guess you have to decide if the good outweighs the bad. Are you sure you couldn’t find a wonderful man to sweep you off your’e feet, knock your socks off with great sex and intimacy, and even surpass the good qualities you have with your’e husband. I hate to see you waste the rest of your life in a loveless marriage. Now I will tell you what I think – You deserve s-o-o-o-o much better!!! You are a very warm, loving, and giving woman, and I hate to see you unhappy.
    Much love.

  109. Hi Sharon,

    Sorry about your New Year’s. I understand your reaction to the “boobs” in the movie. I have the same reaction whenever I see my husband using the internet on his cell phone. His cell phone got him in a lot of trouble and it’s a trigger for me. That’s why I asked him to remove the internet from his phone so I can feel safe. You have the same right when you watch movies together. If an inappropriate scene shows up then you have the right to tell your husband this makes you uncomfortable and to please change the channel until the scene is over, fast forward, whatever. I don’t think most SA’s have the maturity yet to figure this out on their own. I understand that you wish he would have the common sense to do this himself but they just don’t. I have had similar situations with watching tv with my SA. I tell him to fast forward because I’m not comfortable watching that with him. For me it really sucks that I even have to worry about this crap. For instance my husband and I have never been on a vacation together alone. Last year we were actually going to another state by ourselves. While on vacation we were walking around down town and happened to walk by a Hooter’s restaurant. He actually told me he was having a really hard time not looking at the girls working at that restaurant. I couldn’t believe it, just going by a restaurant with young girls as waitresses wearing short shorts, etc was hard for him not to look at? So on the way back I decided to cross the street. In other words I wasn’t going to walk by that restaurant with him again!


  110. Hi again Jeanne,

    You asked, ‘When we set boundaries for ourselves how long are we supposed to wait until the person follows through?’

    Those things you mentioned are not boundaries, they are requests. Remember, boundaries are your fences, your rules, your safety bubble. What you will or will not accept. There is no ‘time’ that is allowed for someone to violate our boundaries. They either honor and respect them or they don’t. It’s a simple as that. And, if they violate your boundaries there must be swift consequences. These consequences can also be escalating, such as xx for the first offense, xxxx for the second offense and yyyyyy for the third. Do not set consequences that you cannot or will not follow through on.

    As for a request, you can put a time limit on the request, but, even I am a little confused about the computer program. Why would you ask HIM to put a program on his computer? Then all he has to do is sign in, change the settings, do his thing, then change the settings back later. If you don’t know how to install the program yourself most key logger or spyware programs have live help either via the internet or by phone. If that doesn’t work, take the computer to a computer store and have them install it. AND, keep the password in a safe place and don’t make it anything that he could guess.

    You can also tell him that is it unacceptable, considering what has happened, that he have internet access on his phone. Tell him you need it removed NOW and sit and watch as he calls the provider and cancels or go with him if it has to be done elsewhere. No ifs, ands or buts. No excuses. Your boundary is that you refuse to live with the stress of him having access to the internet on his phone–PERIOD. If he won’t remove it tell him he won’t have a phone at all. That’s not a threat, it’s a consequence. The CHOICE is his.

    Just remember, many SA’s have several cell phones. You have to decide just how much you are willing to believe and how much stress you can handle. All SA’s lie. All SA’s will only tell you what you have positive, black and white proof of.

  111. Jeanne – I was just getting ready to write a response to your post, and then I received yours.
    I just want to emphasize that what JoAnn says is so right about only telling you what you have absolute proof of. My SA only admits an acting out episode when he knows that I am 100% sure he has triggered. My story is a long one, but it seems the lieing is the last to go. My SA claims he lies because of the guilt and shame he feels when doing so,
    and even when he knows lieing is the deal breaker for me, he still continues to do it.
    From what I have read of your post, it doesn’t sound like your’e husband is even close to wanting to work on a positive path toward recovery. I have been through hell and back the past 3 yrs. with my husband. Luckily, he is finally starting to have insight into his addiction and is actively working towards recovery. Although he still has issues with the lieing, I am still seeing many positives. I feel if you are not seeing any effort of your’e husband to admit he has a problem and take active steps to cooperate with you, you don’t really have anything to work with.
    It was necessary for me to put a time limit on my boundaries. My husband did not live up to any of them, so I moved out. I think this really gave him a wake-up call.
    Maybe if he thinks he might lose you, he might wake up, if not, don’t waste time on him.

  112. Jeanne – I forgot to tell you I have gone through so much of the same thing you are mentioning. It is so demeaning to go out in public with our SA and constantly worrying on whether they are going to act out or not.
    I am to the point now where I am able to say, “If you continue to lie and act out, you are just putting another nail in your’e coffin.” By that, I mean if he wants to waste his life wallering in his addiction let him knock himself out. It will ruin our marriage and the love I have for him. My problem now, because he is further down the road to recovery, is I lose total objectivity and, if I am lied to once, I carry the anger and do not let it go.
    I feel constant betrayel with each lie. I am trying to really work on that, because he is doing better.
    Thanks for your input – I really appreciate it!

  113. JoAnn – I see you are on here tonight. I asked you a question a few days ago, but it was included with another post, and maybe you didn’t see it.
    Steve’s therapist is a behavioralist and does not believe in psychotherapy. I feel both approaches need to be integrated into therapy in order for recovery to take place. I feel it is important to understand what happened with childhood, as well as to incorporate behavior modification into therapy.
    What is your take on this?

  114. Lorraine,

    Thanks so much for sharing part of your life with us. You made me LMAO– in your candid depictions of hub. Hilarious. Honestly, I would love to hear a conversation btw you two, it must be such a crack up! Chelsea Lately x2. 🙂 I am glad you have that together. I know men can get really depressed and tweaked when not working, much more so than women. Perhaps if hub can find some work, or something he likes to do, that makes him feel important/good–dunno if he is looking, it might perk his spirits. He might feel more “worthy” and open to the idea= plus shower and shave. That is always helpful. I hope this year will bring change for that–don’t give up hope. I am excited about your son’s new school and what that will bring to your marriage and your health. Much love. Don’t give up

  115. Pam and Sharron,

    I’m always glad to make people laugh, but this time, I didn’t even realize it at all! I remember Diane doing the same thing several months ago, and I was on the floor and she too, didn’t realize it, until she went back and read it again.

    Sharron, I’ve got myself into a bit of a jam. Its 24 years now that I’ve been with my husband. I’ve built my life around this man and our two children. We have no other family around here. I have very few friends and only one very close friend. Finances are really tough.

    Pam, thank you… he does shower and keep clean, (if he didn’t I wouldn’t be able to stand that for one second!)and he does have a job; one he actually likes, for the last 3 years, but the pay is shit. Janitors in our school district, make more than him! He’s supposed to be getting a promotion this month. We can’t afford to live together, much less apart. Its isolated here… and the sweeping me off my feet… well, how many women on here, have been swept off of their feet only to discover a deep dark secret down the road?

    Sure, I deserve better. Don’t we all? I did online dating for about 16 months. In that time, thousands of men approached me. I’m not joking. I communicated with 100s of them briefly and maybe about 200 a bit more extensively and went on about 20 other dates aside from predator.(but not for hookups) I didn’t want to go on ANY of those other dates; I only did it because I was afraid of getting too hung up on predator. Ha! IT IS UNAVOIDABLE. That oxytocin hormone shit, was coursing through every molecule of my body. Nature, girls. That is how its supposed to work, right? You are supposed to MATE with your partners— survival of the species, but one problemo, humans and reptiles have different DNA. I’m attracted to handsome shitheads.

    I’ve discussed leaving with my therapist many times, but each time, we both conclude that it would be impossible. My responsibility is to my children, first and I’ve lived without intimacy for a very long time. At least he is my very good friend and he cleaned my car the other day without my even asking him. Am I rationalizing? yes— I could leave and we could still be very good friends, but I would be free for something more complete. Its a matter of money, in the end.

    This may sound strange, but I’m not sure what y’all are talking about when you are talking about sex with intimacy vs sex without intimacy. What’s the difference? The sex I had with predator was plenty intimate and he’s a reptilian sociopath with no soul. But that fucker would hold my hand and it absolutely made me melt. I really hate him for that. For me, it was all sensory; it was divine.:( That’s the thing I miss. it transcends anything else I’ve ever known. At least I have the memory of it. No one can ever take that away from me. The parts that were good. Its a gift. maybe not for him, but it was for me.

    but now… I live in total fear. no matter what i do. I do feel that we are also responsible for our own happiness and I have to admit that a lot of my misery is brought on by myself. If we are waiting and expecting a man to bring us our joy, I’m afraid, that is a set up for a lot of disappointment.

    well… BIG day tomorrow!

    xo, to all

  116. Hi Sharron,

    Sorry I didn’t respond, I’ve been at my son’s in Illinois enjoying my beautiful grandchildren for the holidays. During this time the web site has been so busy I have only had a chance to skim the comments.

    You asked: JoAnn – I see you are on here tonight. I asked you a question a few days ago, but it was included with another post, and maybe you didn’t see it.
    Steve’s therapist is a behavioralist and does not believe in psychotherapy. I feel both approaches need to be integrated into therapy in order for recovery to take place. I feel it is important to understand what happened with childhood, as well as to incorporate behavior modification into therapy.
    What is your take on this?

    Behaviorism is the theory that we are all conditioned, by our life experiences, to act in certain ways. Watson, Skinner and Pavlov are all important to this theory. So, Steve’s therapist is probably of the mind that a person can learn new behaviors. Unfortunately this type of therapy completely dismisses the value of introspection and self awareness.

    BUT, considering the personality disorders that allow Sexual Addiction to develop, such as the lack of empathy, avoidance, narcissism, borderline and such, Steve’s therapist may feel that Steve is incapable of benefiting from the lengthy psycho therapeutic process. It has been well documented that people with personality disorders do not do well in psychotherapy.

    So, he may be using the best tool for Steve.

    I know that you feel that reliving and facing his childhood trauma will be beneficial, but my opinion is it just might turn out to be decades of time wasted.

    Because you are a psych nurse your involvement with Steve’s therapy is understandable, but, in my opinion, your, what appears to me, overwhelming involvement, is not healthy for either of you. Remember, he has to do this himself, in his own way and in his own time.

    So, I have a request for you Sharron.

    For this New Year, why not spend some time reviewing all the hard work you have done to manage and survive your pain of betrayal and deceit–and share your journey with us? Remember why we are on this site? To help each other work through our grief and come out whole again. You are such a magnificent resource for us with all of your knowledge and experience in your career. I’m sure everyone here could use your advice on how to cope with being married to a Sex Addict.

    Sometimes we get caught up in over analyzing our partner and focusing all of our energy on the them while forgetting about our own challenges. Why not balance all of that great energy you have by directing some of your knowledge toward our sisters here?

    As always, all words are written with much love,


  117. Lorraine – I can certainly relate to the being swept of your feet thing. I was single for 10 years before I met Steve. I dated a lot! Went to the dating sites, and met men through friends, but they were all total losers. Then I met Steve who seemed like the perfect man, and look what I got. You just never know what you are getting, but I remember a psychologist colleague of mine told me you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you will find your prince. But who knows! I, too, have always been attracted to the handsome men with the glimmer and the glammer.
    No, you can’t rely on a man to bring you happiness, but it would sure be nice to find one that would. I also can relate to the financial issues – I would have to live on a very limited lncome without Steve, but would rather do that than be unhappy with him. My kids played a big part in my staying with my first husband for 28 yrs., so also can relate to that! I commend you for putting your’e kids first – a lot of moms wouldn’t do that. I have known a lot who didn’t. My ex daughter-in-law married a very rich doctor and travels with him extensively leaving my grandson without a mom for months out of the year. Luckily, he has my son, is now 16, and left his mom’s house to live with him. He still harbors a lot of resentment for his mother, so it comes back to bite those moms who do not put they’re kids first.
    Intimacy, to me, is lieing with Steve, kissing and holding for quite a bit of time before getting down to the sex act, and feeling so deep with him that it does totally transend
    any feeling we can experience – a melding of souls – almost spiritual. Steve was not able to do that in the past. It was only sex – a release for him.
    I still feel bad for you, because it sounds like you have experienced that feeling at one time or another, and once you have it, is a longing we always have to experience it again.
    At least you have the friendship – a lot of women don’t even have that.
    Well, we all have to do what we have to do to get through life, and sometimes it does require a lot of sacrifice. You are a inspiration to others in the support you give us all on this site. Just keep doing what you are doing!
    Love and hugs.

  118. Thanks JOAnn. Sounds like you had a great holiday.
    Thank you for the advice. You have so much more experience with Sexual Addiction than I do, so I am not always knowledgeable regarding what works and what doesn’t work for them.
    I know I get too involved in his care, and I am working very hard to step aside. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for Steve, I have been more instrumental in his progress than his therapist, and I feel his experience in L.A. in the IOP treatment program probably gave him more insight than his therapist has in the past year.
    He is doing everything he is supposed to be doing to work towards recovery, and I see so much progress from a year ago. I am going to work very hard to keep my nose out of his
    recovery. It is difficult, though, when an SA makes a really stupid comment and shows no insight, to keep my mouth shut when I know the answer. ie: Giving him advice on how to break the cycle of lieing and how to focus on telling the truth.
    I do know you are TOTALLY right, however, so am working on it.
    Thanks again. I appreciate so much what you hae done for everyone, including myself, and
    I will continue on this site. Everyone else also give great insights, and I always pick up something I can use for myself in wading through life with a sex addict. I do think I am making progres, but need to work even harder to remain objective, trust when he is telling the truth, and not go off the deep end when he has a slip.
    Love To You

  119. Hi Lorraine,
    Glad to see you are back and that you may be getting things together with your son. I cannot comprehend what it is like to raise a child who needs so much, but I think three children might demand about as much of my time. But in very different ways.

    I just wanted to comment that you sound very different in your posts, so much so that I was wondering if their was another Lorraine and someone hijacked your name!!! Anyway just wanted to note that you sound better and more calm, really analyzing things. Appears that you are doing well.
    Glad to have you back. Happy Holidays.

    P.S. Side note. Do you feel that your step dad had anything to do with the pain you are now seeing in your marriages and life choices. Because I know that you had listed some examples of things he had done, walking around with his boxer shorts open, and your mother left him eventually, although 10 years too late. I am just wondering if these things, comparable to what a sex addict in a household with children might do, had an affect on you. For all of us with children, you may be able to share some first hand knowledge. Anyone else can comment as well, or anyone else who may have firsthand knowledge. We talk about what the effects are or can be, just posing this question to Lorraine as well as anyone else. Thank you all.

  120. This question is going to sound stupid-Im going to ask it anyway. My husband has been in a weekly SA group once per week since discovery 3 months ago. He is still “acting out” however probably not as much and to the degree he was before. Is this normal/typical? or should he not be acting out at all?

    Appreciate your responses.

  121. From what I have read here it is very common that they still act out in group, as many others do as well within the group.

    If he is to abide by your boundaries and truely be trying to recover, I would think he should not act out at all. I would think to get over this you have to stop, not trickle thru of continueing to act out. If he still is then what has he stopped? He is still doing it. And how is he to learn to do without, if he is still doing it. In 12-step they are supposed to stop and make a plan, it is not following the 12 steps to keep it going. I beleive that it is appropriate to scale back slowly. For instance if he was on porn, 10 hours a day, he may scale back to 9 one week, 8 the next and so on. But to still be acting out three months later, does not feel appropriate. He is supposed to be learning to manage life without the addiction, just not cut it back.

    I don’t think it is a stupid question. Curious to see what others answer. For me I would just expect it to stop…. End of story. What does his therapist say?

  122. HI NAP – No question is stupid when we are all learning this process of life with a sex addict.
    If your’e husband is only 3 months into recovery it is very normal/typical he will still be actig out. The first year of recovery is crucial, in that, the SA is in the infancy of learning about his behavior, triggers, etc. The fact he is acting out less than before is a good sign. Stay with it – it takes a long time (many years) on this road to recovery.

  123. HI NAP,

    No stupid questions! This whole mess is questions!

    You say your SA goes to weekly SA mtgs—my SA went at least 5 times a week. It may be that your SA needs to up his attendance. They are coming out of a “fog” about their behaviours in the group process. It is like they are waking up and becoming conscious of their actions. One meeting is likely not enough. And don’t accept “it’s the only meeting” — I’ll bet if he asks there will be enough guys willing to meet at least one other time. Our city has meetings every night of the week in different places in the city. So if you are in an urban centre, there is likely another meeting somewhere else. He just needs to go, and he probably doesn’t want to yet. He’s not ready to give his addiction up.

    Sharron, I’m excited about learning who you are, and what you offer the world. I’m kind of tired of Steve, myself—but still interested and waiting for Sharron to appear. You already know any progress Steve makes because of you is not progress. He doesn’t own it. He has to make it because of Steve. It’s his recovery. Your help is not helpful. I understand how much you see that he can’t see yet, and how stupid the therapist can be about stuff that is obvious to you. But you CAN NOT be his therapist. And the most important reason is that it is not helpful FOR YOU! We are going to lose Sharron completely. I still don’t really know who you are—I only know about Steve. I keep waiting for you to “put him down” and share you. But mostly you post a kind of frantic rationalizing and justification of why you won’t stop trying to manage his therapy and recovery and insert yourself into it. This is not healthy and it won’t save your relationship anyway.

    It is obvious that you are an extraordinary woman of great ability, experience, and love. I’m thinking about what JoAnn asked of you, and wondering if I can ask it another way. Could you just put Steve down for a while, and tell us who you are. Nothing to do with SA’s and programs etc. Just tell us a song you like, your favorite place, what kind of food you like, a hobby, something you like to look at every day in your home—do you understand what I’m getting at here? We care about Sharron the case manager, but we care more about Sharron the woman–who you are, and how we can help you treasure yourself. But now Steve is in front of you and only you can step out from behind him.

    One last thing about being involved in Steve’s recovery to the extent you are—-sometimes we are so starved for intimacy we will take it anyway we can get it. Recovery and therapy is a place of intimacy, and it’s hard for many of us to know our SA goes there with someone else in therapy, and also hard not to take that journey with them inappropriately, because we just miss them so much.

    So Sharron—how about letting us love you—just you. I know the women on this site will do that. I know we will cherish each little part of you that you share with us. I just think you’ve pushed yourself so far down the hole, you don’t think anybody cares you’re are in there. We do. And I’m pretty sure nothing is going to “click” for you until you let her out and receive the love you need. It was like that for me Sharron, too. The hard things of recovery—we can deal with that eventually. But first, breathe. Slow, steady. deep. Just breathe and be present to yourself. And tell us who’s there.

    We promise we will love you. We already do.

  124. In regards to meetings.
    there are a couple groups SA and SLAA, i think RCA for couples as well. In addition i beleive there are on-line meetings and for those without computer are telephone meetings. So there is no excuse.

    My SA goes to one meeting a week, not much progress in a year. Talks about how hard it is even to make it to that one. Maybe more meetings is key? Any thoughts from anyone else??

  125. With my SA all of this has been a constant battle. Boundaries were required for meetings and therapy. All done with hopes that his relationship will not end on his part. He has never said, hey I am gonna go to a meeting and 2 online meetings this week and I found a new therapist!! Nope never happened. He has never taken intiative in this, of course he never takes iniative in anything, but sex. For other readers this is 9 months into supposed recovery; a 11 months from d-day. Nothing has changed.

  126. Thanks all,

    I appreciate your responses. Im just getting the feeling that hes not able to stop. I really dont observe much so I dont really know for sure. I dont think I can wait years to see if this works or not. Honestly, I just dont think its fair. In some ways he seems worse. For me, I dont its humanly possible for me to live like this anymore. Its too painful and really I dont know what the hell hes doing. Hope Im not too negative but its the way I feel.

    Does anyone else feel this way?

  127. Diane – a very good post from you to me. I am in total agreement with you that I have been much too involved in Steve’s therapy and have lost a part of myself in the process. I also agree with you that whatever progress Steve is making, at this point in time, is up to him, and he is motivated and working toward that goal.Even though I lost a part of myself in the process, I do believe my involvement with Steve’s therapy in the past was positive for him. By his own admission, if I hadn’t been so involved (kicked his ass when he needed it) and called his attention to the fact he really had an addiction he would still be carrying on in oblivion like he did for the past 45 years.
    Now that Steve is working on recovery for himself and not for me, I know I need to step aside and let him do it. I think I have a good handle on that, and am working hard to obtain that goal. Like I told JoAnn, I think it is more difficult to do since I do have the knowledge to jump in when I don’t need to. I would be interested in hearing how JoAnn was able to do that with Larry, when she also had expertise in psych.
    I really do appreciate you “coming down on me,” and also the love behind it. I have re-gained much of myself. My approach now is, if he blows it it is his loss! Although I still keep my eyes open when we are out in public, I no longer question him. If he does trigger,
    and is unable to admit to himself, or me, he has acted out, then he is not recovering to the degree he should be. If the lieing continues, I am trying not to get in an altercation with him about it – am just feeling “it is another nail in his coffin,” and I will never be able to move back in with him. So, right now, am just concentrating on the good times we are having together, the intimacy he is learning to share, and not focus on the bad times – with the full awareness it is going to take some time for him to get there.
    I am now very involved in my church – In the process of becoming a “Stephens Minister.” Not sure you are aware of it, but most churches have this program, and we minister to those members of our church who are having difficulties in dealing with life’s challenges. The role we assume is to be supportive, not give advice, and just listen and acknowledge they are in crisis. That should be a switch for me. Ha! Maybe some of that will rub off on my ability to stay out of Steve’s recovery.
    I have rambled on long enough, but just wanted to let you know I really have made great progress in taking care of #1. I am no longer depressed, do not dwell on the relationship,as I did in the past, quit smoking, and no longer need a couple of “Crown Royal’s” to cope when Steve acts out. I used to get so angry, I would have to self medicate to calm down from the anger I had when I was lied to, deceived, and he would lash out at me with his passive-aggressive behavior.
    So, you can see, I am making progress, but have a long way to go. Thanks for all of your support, and I really do appreciate you “telling it like it is.” I think all of us need a good swift kick in the pants once in a while.
    Love to you for caring.

  128. NAP,
    I do. Here is why I feel this way and how things could be different, but they just are not.

    The reality is my husband, if you can call him that, has not jumped into recovery willingly and did not decide to do this for himself. And even after this amount of time is still not jumping in for himself (some seem to after a point and then recovery becomes a goal for them). I think some keep along for the ride, hope we will forgive them, and all they want is for things to go back the way they were… after we let our guard down. Some i think stop acting out, and the other issues we have with the relationship such as the intimacy…will never get better and we will never have what we need.

    What I don’t have is a sense of security. I don;t have a situation where everything is perfect less the addiction. In fact its a mess. (Financially in the hole, his lack commitment to work, lack of effort around the house). I have managed to get the house back in order, and have a good schedule for the kids and myself to maintain daily routines and work. And have started and well underway of putting together a life for my kids and myself.

    With my SA we are not working together on his recovery towards a goal, he keeps me out. I have no confidence or trust in him based on his track record. And despite my requests for bank statements, list of unaccounted for time, pay stubs etc… I have not received this in two months…since I kicked him out ( also did not when we were under the same roof). He was also supposed to still do outside chores, leaf clean up and snow removal. Guess what that did not get done either (even with the bad snow storm last monday, never showed up or called). If you ask him… he is still attending group and meetings. But what has changed for me? and from what I can physically see?….emotionally feel (my gut, my intuition).. nothing. he says he is trying and that I can not guage his recovery and his view towards me based on these things, but the blabber that comes out of his mouth. I say no way loser. What do we all know – words mean nothing with an addict, but actions do.

    I think the spouses who do receive these things and the feeling that they have someone to trust again; have a whole lot more to work with. I could be on board with that…if I received it. But I have not. For me I am building my life without him (with hope that he may come around), and when decision day comes, i will have to make up my mind.

  129. Hi Flora,

    Thanks for sharing and your response. I can relate to many of your statements and therefore feel the same way. I too am working hard on myself and I think thats all we can really do. At times though, my greif takes over and what looks like fairly straightforward decisions to me if I were him, must look like Mt. Everest to him. I quess Im mourning the things I love about him, but the addiction really ruins everything. I think when my date comes, Ill be leaving. It makes me very sad.

  130. For me the addiction is the straw that broke the camels back. I can only do so much, i can;t add this to the pile that comes with the rest of the pile of other crap which is part of being in a relationship with him.

    I too used to be filled with grief. But things are changing and have been changing. I too was sad, but I now see the relationship for what it was. I now see that the relataionship had ceased to enrich me for many years, and was not enriching myself or my life. What i thought was me and my issues, was that my husband abanodened me along time ago, then lied to me about it, made me feel crazy. The fact that i felt alone, although married, was because he lacks the ability to be intimate. The feeling of insecutiry that I have with him, is because his eye does always wonder and he probably has had sex with other women during our relationship. Our relationship had the capability to be great, but was borken by the unforseen lack of drive, passion, and empathy in the SA, on the day I sad yes . To be in a relationship for the kids…I just cannot do with a sex addict. I can provide a safer healthier environment on my own. Sorry. To provide a strong healthy mother is far more important. To attempt to be a good role model and model what they should expect out of life is more important. They should not start out life… settling.
    I realize everyone does not have this choice, but this is mine.

  131. Computer Info:
    FYI. Computer tech places can check your computer for porn etc.; they can also wipe out the harddrive to remove all of it, or delete the porn. Our home computer is there now. If you have any worry about porn on the computer, they can find it. If it is illegal (child porn) they will report it to the authorities. I will let you know how it goes. Took my computer to one today based recomendation by the attorney.

  132. Flora,

    It sounds like you see the reality of your situation. I always get alot of helpful information from your comments and appreciate you so much! Our stories are similar in some ways. I too felt very alone in my marriage-its like a starvation of some sort-really hard to describe-just know it was painful. I think you are further along in the journey than I am – I can tell, this isnt going to have the outcome I had hoped for. Its up to me to make it a good outcome for me and my kids. Thank you for your honesty and support.

    Your friend, NAP

  133. Dearest Sharron,
    Thank you so much for listening with your heart.

    I do know about the Stephen ministries program, and have been involved with it at various churches across the country. It sounds like a really good fit for you and your training, passion, and faith. You deserve a chance to offer yourself and your gifts in a setting with clear boundaries, accountability, and within a supportive and open community. Let your Light shine, Sharron, let it shine let it shine let it shine!!!

    Last night I had a “well up” of my own grief and struggle to let go. I still miss that sense of being a part of something—our family—where all four us were committed. But again, I have to remind myself that four of us weren’t committed. Three of us were. My SA had his thing going for all thirty years of it. Tomorrow we are having a family meeting to tell our adult sons (20 and 23–both in university) about my SA’s addiction, his recovery program, my PTSD and recovery, and that I have decided I no longer want to be married to my SA and his mother. So I’ll let everyone know how that goes.

    When I stepped back from my SA’s crisis/12 step/counselling etc., I began to notice myself, Sharron. It wasn’t easy at first at all. I saw what I had become, and I didn’t like it. But I’ve worked really hard at learning to stay “IN MYSELF”. For me, that gave the One I call God, a chance to come in and meet me on my own turf. I am also in a non-profit caring profession. Sometimes all that “working hard” at other people’s lives is just a cover for being scared to be with myself. But I found out that “me, myself, and I” were good company and deserved some love. Still figuring out how that works, but wouldn’t go back for anything. And I’m much better in my job now that I know how to be present to myself.

    Thank you Sharron, so very much, for being open to the Life Force that often comes into our lives from unexpected places.

    with every blessing for your journey,

  134. Dear All:

    With the new year beginning, I have been thinking about Diane’s last post to Sharron and Joanne’s reminder to us. So often we are focused (obsessed) with the SA’s progress or not. Perhaps a good new year resolution is for us to put them down for awhile and focus on ourselves. This is our healing journey, not theirs. That being said, I hope to share some goals and concerns I have for me this year and would love to hear back from our wonderful community.
    1. I am going to quit smoking. All together. What started as a stress relief became a regular habit. I want to be healthy. Plus, for vanity reasons, it is making me look older than I am. It’s going.
    2. I am going to find a career / job that I like. While my present position is not a terrible one, it does not use my education/ license qualifications (that I worked my behind off for). I took current position as a matter of financial survival for the past year.
    3. I want to do more than just survive. I want to live and feel fulfilled.

    My personal struggle with the above, is this. The past year has been so bad and so traumatic, I am almost afraid to reach for happiness and a healthier existance. I have become conditioned to traumatic living / dysfunctional work environment / turbulent home life. I realize it, at least. Any appearance of happiness and normalcy, I am almost afraid to embrace. As it will highlight how unhappy I have been living, and how ignored my own needs became. Do any of you ever feel this same fear? Like we can’t be allowed some happiness? I plan to push fwd anyway, even if I am fearful. Perhaps reaching for happiness and our own needs being fulfilled requires some bravery and commitmment to it on our part. I don’t know how I got conditioned to ignoring them in the first place, but I did. (past tense) Thanks all.

  135. Yes, Pam, I feel the same way.

    I am going to lose 60 pounds, get off the blood pressure meds and the diabetes meds.

    My life has been such a mess, that even though I am a licensed CPA and Attorney, I find it difficult to value myself and my time. We deserve to live happy, fulfilled lives. There’s almost a weird fear of success on my part. Weird. This requires some thought.

  136. Diane – Thank you for sharing. I have always had a very strong faith in God – actually from age 13 when I used to sit and pray in the back of my church following choir practice. My childhood was very chaotic, to say the least, and that faith sustained me throughout my entire life. I have found God always answers prayer – maybe we don’t get the answer we want at the time, but the answer is always laid out for us if we open ourselves to listening. I had been driving by this particular church of my faith ( I’m Methodist) for over a year, and just felt drawn to attend and see what it was like.I really feel comfortable there, and feel I was sent there or a reason. I think Stephen Ministries is a challenge I will really enjoy.
    I don’t sense that “working hard at other people’s lives” is just a cover to be with yourself. Obviously, you feel a calling, if you will, at helping others, and you are very good at it. When I read your posts to me, the caring, sensitive person you are comes through loud and clear, so I truly believe that in helping others, we help ourselves.
    I hope everything goes smoothly for you and your’e children tomorrow in the family meeting. Will your’e SA be present? If so, I am sure he will really feel in the “hot seat.” Good for him to feel a little hurt and pain for a change!
    God Bless you and the wonderful person you are.

  137. Thanks for sharing Betty. I really like what Diane said -thank you Diane- “I began to notice myself, Sharron. It wasn’t easy at first at all. I saw what I had become, and I didn’t like it.” I DO feel that way. I feel like that, I am meeting myself for the first time in many years, and I can’t believe what I let happen to me. In some ways, I give myself a passing grade. I left the workforce to come home with my child. I have no regrets there. But boy oh boy, did I pay for that decision as far as control, abuse from SA husband. He held all the cards- epecially the money cards. And he knew it. While I placed myself in a vulnerable position for a very good reason, I can see many instances that absolutely intolerable behavior was going on. Well before my D Day this past year. Why didn’t I leave many times prior? No excuses- and I would have started over younger. It is even harder now in an age respect. I am that much more vested in the marriage. That much older. Perhaps I am just having a hard day on how to rebuild, and where I go from here.

    I am 41, and while feel I have had some success and achievement for sure, I have lost a lot of zest this past year. Honestly, it almost killed me. I feel like I am older than I am- and ready to retire. Seriously, the past year has taken so much out of me I am ready to call it quits, go home and watch the grass grow. That is honestly what I feel like doing. but that is not an option. I have at least 20 more years in the workforce, I need to make a really good move for myself. Please, pray for strength for me to move into a better place. sorry if I am whiny today, but I am having a hard time finding the energy to start anything new. While the same old same old may be broke, at least it is familiar and I know what to expect. changing the outcome for ourselves can be scary. any thoughts or advice?

  138. Hi Pam,

    I really like your goals for the new year! I too often feel scared. I think its the fear of the unknown. At least we know what we have right now even if its not good. I think we will have to feel the fear and do it anyway. I just cant imagine being on my own could be any worse than what Im living with right now. Ive been out of the workforce for 4 years to stay home with a severely ill child. As a result of my daughters illness my husband had a nervous breakdown and has never really been the same since. A year ago, our family home of 18 years, where we raised our family, burned down and we lost mostly everything. Then, 3 months ago, I find out my husband is a sex addict. Im tired of trauma but Im still here. I just want to make the most of my life and be happy and appreciated again.

  139. Pam – I think living under dysfunctional conditions sometimes makes the “abnormal” seem normal to us – in otherwords, we are conditioned that way. Sometimes it is playing old tapes from childhood. I don’t know what your’e childhood was like, but I can recognize that in myself.
    Sounds like you are setting some realistic goals for yourself. It does take time to mend the hurt and deception we have suffered, but I am confident you will overcome, as you have insight to achieve that goal. I am sure you are suffering from the letdown and are still depressed and angry. I felt that way after wasting 28 years in a loveless marriage. We just can’t beat ourselves up for not making the right decision at the time, but we have to take it as a learning process and not repeat our mistakes again. (Do as I say, not as I did).
    It will take some time for you to recover, so don’t feel “whiny.” The scars we receive will probably always be there, but it is what we do with the our life in the future that counts.
    You can do it!!! It is scary starting all over again – I was terrified but, interestingly enough, you will look back on this time in your’e life and it will be a remote memory to you. I know that sounds strange, but I felt that way a few years down the road, after re-building a new life for myself, and I was all the stronger for it.
    Then, what happened? Steve came into my life and I started the cycle again, but I now have the confidence that whatever happens in this relationship will not “bring me down.” No-one is worth that, but I AM!.
    My prayers are with you.

  140. Dear Sharron and NAP

    NAP – wow. What a year for you. I cannot imagine the strength it must take to care for your child and have to deal with husband’s breakdown and SA. And a fire besides? Good God in heaven. I impressed with your ability to be so together. Perhaps you don’t feel together at all, but you are coherent and able to post on the webiste which makes you remarkable. Indeed I hope that you finding the help and resources you need to get well and into a better place.

    It’s kind of amazing. I just had the realization the other day that your 28 year marriage was not with Steve! It just dawned on me that he is your hubby #2. After 28 years, wow, it must have been terrifying. Although not too encouraging that another hubby wb much better! 🙂 Honestly, I still may remain in the home for some time come. I just cannot get myself to make the “shared custody” move. If it weren’t for daughter, I would be done for sure. but she is so young. Staying in the home at this point mb to my daughter’s benefit and mine. It is difficult to correct past concerns and see clearly while living in it-hence black cloud, no wait, black hole around my head. but I am doing my best from sep bedroom and seeing therapist. stopped checking worrying about his “recovery” or not. I am not involved in it. He says he is starting SA meetings and plans to get on board to “heal our marriage from what he has done.” Funny Sharron, last time he said that he got on a plane to Brazil 2 weeks later. How can I ever take this guy seriously. ever. It is still too fresh, if you know what I mean. This guy is petrified to live his life without his addiction. He did say he has seen “rock bottom” and wants his daughter not to have an active addict Dad. I hope that is true. But I am not focusing on that as a condition for my life plan. I just need a healther me. As I am sure you can relate. In the meantime I am trying to make what is best — living conditions still on the table. We’ll see. thanks for support

  141. I am done. I can’t do this anymore. I cannot be blamed anymore or watch my four-year old wail in desperation every night because she knows her father is pulling away from her. His only relationship is with the addiction.

    I have to let him go. I cannot do this anymore, I just cannot.

    Good-bye dream of a happy family with a mother and father who love each other and their children. Goodbye dream of a spouse who loves me and lives that love. Goodbye dream or emotional security with a trustworthy partner. It was all a marvelous elaborate play. I was just an actress.

    I cannot do this anymore. I pray God take this hellish grief from me. My family has suffered long-enough for a man who has no feelings.

    Let me wake up and this nightmare be over. God help me through this to the otherside. It has been a long, black night.

  142. My dear,

    Stop, listen and feel my arms around you–I am with you. It will get better, I promise you. We are all here for you. Please know that you are not alone and that we all love you. Each and every one of us here can honestly say, ‘I know how you feel.’



  143. Fatchance-I am really concerned about you. It sounds like you are at the depth of depression, and you scared me with your comment, ” God Help Me Through This to the Other Side.” Are you suicidal? I just have to ask, and not take a chance that you are. Please answer immediately, and please let me know that you are not.

  144. JoAnn – I am really worried about fatchance. I just had an eery feeling about her post. You probably have conversed with her and know her better than I – Do you think she is alright?

  145. Dear Fatchance

    It’s ok. Please, take deep breath’s, go for a walk, anything calming and soothing to you. It’s ok to give up on your spouse/ marriage/ addict. Turn your back on it and focus on you for awhile. We are here with you. I know it is all crazy making. Absurd even. We can only control what is in our control. Not them. Please make decisions from a calm and rational place. Let your spirits rest and find some calm and peace. So not worth it!! So not. You however, are priceless.

  146. Thanks for the support. I am not suicidal. I thought about drinking to escape today. Instead, I went to a meeting, prayed and took my four-year old to the play therapist. I had some legal work to do and it took me three hours to do what should have been less than 30 minutes. After that, I couldn’t make myself do more. Then I felt bad about myself. But I am doing the best I can today.

    I just feel trapped. Who put this fu&*ing albatross around my family’s neck?

    My dad (85 yrs old) is 3,000 miles away and he had bad fall. Somehow, I was able to get some neighbors to take him to the nursing home and rehab. He’s pissed. I wanted to go be with him, but because of finances and the fact that my children cannot stay overnight with their dad, I can’t go be with my dad right now.

    I hurt when I see my kids hurt and I have my own hurt. I just want out and I feel trapped because we need health insurance and I am not making enough money yet.

    Things could be worse. And I am sober. The kids are safe. My husband is acting like a selfish prick. Nothing new there.

    I am going to the doctor again tomorrow because I have alot of abdominal and chest pain. I think I could have cholingits again. If so, I would love to a have a husband to take care of the kids and visit me in the hospital, but he cannot deal with other people’s needs.

    Anyway, I am just feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want him here now anyway the way he’s been. At least it’s peaceful and I am not getting blamed and shamed for stuff that is not my doing.

    Thanks guys, I am just having a sh*%ty attitude night.

    This will pass. And it will come around again. Life goes on.

  147. Thank God Fatchance-you scared the hell out of me. I am so glad I over reacted, but better safe than sorry.
    I feel so bad you have so much on your plate. Sometimes things are so overwhelming, and it seems there is never an end to it. Just know we are all here for you whenever you need us.
    I am glad you went to a meeting and did some praying, and don’t feel bad about feeling sorry for yourself- it all mounts up and you have to let it out.
    Much Love

  148. Fatchance- Im so glad you were able to stay strong and I hope you are still feeling better. Thinking about you.

    Pam-Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I dont know how I survived it all but I did-I think we are stronger than we realize. Have you made your mind up about your marriage and does your husband know how you feel?

  149. My take on fatchances post is that she has reached the end of what she can tolerate and live with in this situation and in her life. This is not for everyone and is not for myslef as well. Living with a man who makes you crazy with an addiction is maddening sometimes. I personally cannot do it as well. So fatchance I do not see it as a weak or angry day…I see it as you and your body is saying …I can’t do this anymore. Then you need to figure out what you can do, how much you need to pull back to make it manageable.

    For me it is seperation, possible leading to divorce. Maybe its divorce, not such a bad option in this mess. We did not go into this with all the information when we married. Goodluck and hugs. You need to do what is best for you, your kids and your family. ((((hugs)))

  150. I’ve been married (2nd marriage) to an SA for 10 years and finally moved out in November. I too had been lost/hiding for all these years, covering the shame for him and maybe for me too, because I would be too humiliated if anyone knew. I finally realized he was never going to change and that I was going to have to be the one to change. Accepting this life was not an option, so I made my plans and I left. I am in the process of discovering ME again. I knew that I was still in there somewhere, and that God does have better plans for me – we were not created to live like this. It was very hard (scary) to finally do what I’ve known for years I NEEDED to do – but it’s like jumping off the high dive….you just have to do it. Sure, I still have financial concerns and health insurance concerns, but I know that God will take care of me. I will no longer sell my soul for worldly things. After so many years of insomnia, which I now see was caused by the stress of it all, I CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT! Despite the unknown, I am mostly at peace and free. Divorce papers have been filed, and my life starts now. I wish you all peace in the new year.

  151. fatchance – you just seem so unhappy and despondent. Is the fact you will not have insurance the only thing that is keeping you from leaving? I have forgotten – is your’e husband working? You say you feel trapped, but there are always other options. I also worry about your’e daughter living in such a dysfunctional environment. Why don’t you just finally make that decision to leave? Why would you want to continue leading a life that brings so much unhappiness to yourself and you’e daughter??
    Intothelight wrote a very good post. Sometimes, we just have to venture out and do it! There are always government plans to provide insurance for you and your’e daughter. And, your’e husband has to provide support for your’e daughter, and maybe maintenence for yourself. Get out of this toxic environment. Nobody ever said life is easy, but at least you will find peace and be able to move on with your life.
    Are the finances the only thing holding you back, or are you stuck in feeling your’e SA can change?? Move out! If your’e husband does move forward toward changing, you can always change your mind and reconcile, but right now you are letting your’e husband control and put your life on hold. Don’t do it!!

  152. Dear into the light,

    Way to go! Believing in ourselves to take the first step is just the beginning. I’ve been doing a “recover Diane” project now since June. I’m beginning to recognize myself now. It’s been hard to realize how much of me drained away over years of “trying trying trying” and never knowing what was going on. But it’s like the Crisco oil—it all comes back except one tablespoon. (that’s a commercial that clearly dates me!!

    And every step I took into the “unknown”, I found someone there to take my hand. It’s just an amazing thing. But you have to take the first step. I also took a major lifestyle hit—and I haven’t missed any of it.

    As I’ve said before—It’s your life sisters—go get it.


  153. Diane and Into the light,

    You both sound like youre in a really good place. It takes alot of courage to do it Im sure. I hope Ill be able to do it too because I sure know I need to. Wish you all the best in life!

  154. Into the light,
    me too second marriage, hate to see go through yet another…maybe i will get it right someday. No need to suffer for the rest of your life for one bad choice. (or one bad choice, that led to a series of other bad choices I guess to be more correct).

    My way to deal with it was a seperation to split everything out. This has been a godsend. And there is always the option for reconciliation, but I have to say that I really don;t think i want that anymore. But this worked so well, because then everything is really his choice…out of site (out of household) out of mind. It is 100% up to him what he does now, and how he approaches things with regard to me and the family. I have changed and am growing for the better. I have also put myself on project status, attending excercise classes two times a week now through the town so they are affordable, but not too time consuming. Yoga and Zumba…both are great!! Love them.

    in 12 step there is the saying one day at a time. Take it one day at a time. But yesterday may be the day that you said i cannot do this anymore. and for yourself i think you should try to see what you can do for yourself. As sharon said figure out your options. Where I live there is health insurance for all kids if needed at a very affordable price, no matter the income level. Also for adults, not as affordable, but cheaper than most health plans. Sometimes these health plans are not advertised (also insurance free insuarnace if you make below a certain amount of money – not readily advertsied by my state as well). That is my one catch as well, insurance for myself will make the budget off balance, as he now gets my insurance through his work. So that is in part why i have not made the official divorce leap yet, i have to get my finances more in order. So take care of what you can now, make a plan, and don;t stress about what you cannot change or do today. There is time and it will all work out. Just thinking to yourself…things need to change…will start the shift. As Diane said above, this will open doors and it really is amazing.

  155. I don;t know if anyone else has noticed this or not.
    But in my life I have found that when I am following my course or path (who knows what that is for sure)…things become easy, they tend to flow and life is not so hard. When I am not on my correct course or path…things are difficult and life becomes exceptionally hard. Everything is work and requires so much effort just to make it go. Its like pounding a square peg into a round hole. You just can’t force things.

    With the SA…it has always been hard work, just to make it go. But love and life should not be that way. I understand you have to work, but sometimes things are harder than they need to be…or it is just not the right fit.

    Now that i have made a turn…things are starting to fall into place again. Good things are happening again. Just something I have noticed.

  156. Flora,

    Really like what you said about our lives flowing and being easy when we live healthy.

    “How can you follow the course of your life if you do not let it flow?”
    by Lao-Tzu

  157. Hi all,

    Have a question. Is there anyone who has separated from or divorced their SA husband that has regrets and wished they wouldnt have?

    Appreciate your responses.

  158. Without exception, every woman that I know or have had correspondence with who either separated from or divorced a Sex Addict, have said just one thing.

    ‘I wish I would have done it sooner.’

  159. NAP-I have separated from my husband X2 and I have no regrets. The first time for a six month period, and most recently August 1st. Both times, I separated for my own physical and mental well-being. I should not have moved back in with him the first time, as he was still in denial and into his addiction full force. I didn’t know that, at the time, as he was the typical master manipulator and lier. When I found this out the second time around, I spoke to his therapist. He was still lieing to her, as well. I suggested in-patient treatment for him, but there was none available in our area, and out of state was cost prohibitive. He finally agreed to go to L.A. for IOP treatment, and it really helped him to gain insight and begin his journey on the road to recovery. We are still living separately, and I have no intention of reconciling until I can trust him again. That may be a year or two, because he still cannot break the habit. His triggers have decreased drastically, however, but when he does do it he lies about it.
    I would, at the very least, recommend a trial separation for those who are/were suffering the depression and trauma I experienced. Living the way fatchance is living, and any others who are going through the same is no way to live. When the physical and mental well-being of our psyche are suffering, it can bring on many secondary illnesses, not to mention PTSD. Sometimes, it takes leaving for our SA to get his shit together, and if he doesn’t we are the better for it. We can’t put ourselves in the position of continued deveastation. We need to move forward with our own lives and gain stability within ourselves.
    That is just my opinion. Others may differ.

  160. No regrets.

    Also side note we can’t live on what if’s. What if he gets his act together, what if he gets a good job, what if he gets into recovery, what if….. keep this in mind.

    To boot we are the one giving the what if reason. Not them. We are the one giving the excuse.

  161. So right Flora- We can’t stick around and wait for the “what if’s”. Even if they are showing motivation and working actively on recovery, we all know what the stats are. It’s a crap shoot!

  162. Thanks JoAnn and Sharron,

    I can see what you are saying. Im really having a hard time living with mine. His lies are so obvious now and hes not very good at it. Sometimes (depending on my state of mind) I find him comical and have a good laugh to myself, and other times he breaks my heart or makes me upset. Im kinda in a pickle right now with no job and with the loss of our home and belongings. Like Diane says, they are just material things…I dont even really miss them. A change of perspective. I think what I need to do is start a plan.

    Any suggestions?

  163. Thanks Flora,

    How long after discovery did you file for separation and he left? Was that a hard decision and did it take a while too make. I always appreciate your helpful posts.

  164. Lets see.
    D-day was in Feb. 2010 i found out (after he was lying about things for 6 years); followed by three months of more lies, seeing a therapist..but no 12step. Refused said he could do this himself. April 2010 second d-day, through monitoring software on the computer. He then starts attending 12 step once a week at my demand, and then goes to a new therapist which was recommended by my therapist. He attends therapy once a week and one meeting a week. He says because of work he cannot do more.

    Flash forward to October 2010, i recalled finding a prostitutes call card in his wallet ( a few years ealier found when my daughter dumped out his wallett). He had some rediculous excuse that it was a college prank. Alhtough he had now been out of college for 15 years, very long time to be carrying around a piece of paper. I recalled this find when a friend of mine stressed that with these guys it is hardly ever just porn, there is usually more.

    That was it for me. He maintains his story still, says no relations with any other people, just porn. But who carries a peice of paper like this around? Especially in the hands of a sex addict, you must assume the worst. (I was looking for the last piece to just say “that’s it your out”. I don;t know why; but I think for some reason we look for this, so we don’t have to feel guilty.) This mixed with his resistence with his therapy and group, i have to really think the worst.

    I kicked him out that day i remembered. Told him it is up to him to prove his innocence and it is up to him to earn his way back into the relationship. At this point he already knows what he needs to do, and if not so be it. I have not been silent about what I want and need. This is not a puzzle.

    So 9 months since d-day 1; 7 months since d-day 2. The awful thing between the two d-days is how we had these heartflet conversations, appeared to be intimacy, all the while he was lieing. I put my heart and soul out in hopes he had me and our family at his heart. He did not. After the second d-day I distanced myself. Kept conversations to finances, household, and kids. No more.

    NAP – Truth is I have always had the feeling in the pit of my stomach that this was over, all I wanted to do was leave. I tried to stay, but it was just not possible. He hurt me too much, and this cannot be undone. I will never be able to trust the same with him, the relationship betrayal is too great. Will this change…i don’t know. But for me right now the seperation is working and continues to work. I could never go back to living in the same house with him right now, and he has been out for two months.

    The qualifier is that when I feel safe, and can feel that trust, he can come back. But as I said before… right now, not sure if that will ever happen. When someone betrays you that bad…not sure how you can continue in a relationship with them, without losing a piece of yourself. i would think a part of you dies. Your husband is supposed to be the one you trust and rely on the most, you love this person, you have a life together 24/7. They are your spouse, there for you like no other. When this turns out to be a sham, and there is not trust, but lies…I don;t know what that leaves you. A partnership with a-moral business partner?

    Short of the story is. My decision has taken a long time, in my head. But my gut said leave. Whats that line – your first thought (answer) is usually correct when taking tests? Yes my story is not the worst (as far as I know), but it just does not matter. If you don;t have what you need in your relationship, then you can try to fix it. If there are no changes despite the help and the effort, time to go with your gut. Mine said take a step back, try this out, whats the worst that can happen. A divorce ( a divorce from a sex addict and this mess). Not that bad of an option if you ask me.

    My gut still says he is lying. I have a houshold of kids between the ages of 3 to 15, and they don;t need this either. Everyone is safer with kicking him out and earning his way back, rather than sitting around waiting for the next screw up (boundary violation technical term) or damaging thing that i found out, because i tripped on it.

    NAP hope something I wrote helps. Hugs.

  165. P.S. The hooker call card sped up the process by about a month. I was already moving towards kicking him out for other reasons, such as boundary violations and his lack of cooperation with my requests for cell phone records, bank statement, pay stubs, list of unaccounted for time, etc to build trust. He felt that this was not important enough for him to complete for me, and never did it.

  166. Hi Sharron and Everyone:

    I filed for divorce in October along with a restraining order. He was arrested and for domestic assault-placing me in fear.

    My husband has no overnights with the kids. I am taking my daughter to play therapy. I need health insurance for my middle son whose dad is AWOl. Also, thanks to my husband, I have prolonged PTSD (feeling much better) and I also have a chronic condition, so it would be a very bad thing to go without health insurance. Even with insurance, I have alot of healthcare bills.

    If only I had any real clue to the cess-pool into which I have jumped.

    Today, I feel utter and total contempt for him. What he’s done dawns on me a little more at a time. Like God knows what and when I can handle it. I am so THANKFUL my std screen came up negative for everything.


    That is how my husband used us.

    He doesn’t deserve the title of father or husband (my not so humble at the moment opinion). I bet he is lost in shame and I really think, “SO WHAT?”

    I am going to let God love him today, because I can’t. Tomorrow, I’m off to work a 4th step on this before I emplode.

    Glad ya’ll are here-hate that you can relate.lol

  167. Dear NAP

    I cannot agree with Sharron more on the health front – if you can go, OMG do yourself a favor and go. I know you asked me about my present status. I am still under the same roof – seperate bedrooms. Have consulted several attorneys about divorce, legal seperation etc.

    I have held back delivering the final blow due to 3 things. 1. money. cannot afford two households right now, should be able to afford apt later this year. 2. Holidays – didn’t have guts to file during Thanksgiving , Christmas etc. Agreed to hold off til 1/2011 which is now. 3. Got ACUTE anxiety over custody when ready to pull divorce trigger (my daughter being in his custody a few nights per week). So I gave myself a little more time. D Day was June 2010. Serious consideration of Divorce 11/2010. It was very topsy turvey turbulent 8 mos

    NAP, I cannot tell you how much this situation has been adversley affecting my health. Sharron mentioned it in an earlier post, she is a pysch nurse, she would know. I mean PTSD, depression anxiety. Putting up with crazed behavior had made me so so so not myself. I am getting “gutsier” about custody thing too. Presently, I don’t worry about her when I am at work. He runs a home based business and she is with him after Kindergarten M -F now 230 to 730pm everyday until I get home. That is now. If I leave and get my own place, the nights she is with hime will be an additional few hours- 7-10pm 3 nights per week ( she goes to bed at 10 pm so I am not missing much). I think I need to get over it. This guy is so toxic, NAP its just awful. It’s not just SA. It is Borderline personality, childish fits of rage and control. Horrible to live with, it is really effecting my health. I know if I stay I will not be well later in life. I can FEEL it. He is literally killing me. If I could be in my own place right now, I would. But I refuse to live in a dump. 🙂 I want something nice. Plus my support system and family is 3000 miles away. wretched situation it is.

    I hope you are finding help, support and clear headed decision making. It not easy but I believe in the end it will all be worth it. We end up with “larry- joanne’s husband type” because they are on board. OR we just start fresh. Much love and hope to you. Please keep me posted on what you decide. It’s awful. Plain n simple. But we can do it NAP, we need to believe we CAN. We’ve come this far.

  168. Dear Sharron

    You brought up a very good point earlier. I was hoping you could share some of your nursing / health knowledge with us. For instance what are the long term effects of PTSD and anxiety depression on the mind and body? There must be physical ailments that manifest after long periods time of poor mental health. What has been your experience with patients? did they develop physical problems as well? thankyou

  169. Pam – you say your’e husband is borderline-fits of rage and control. Are you going for total custody? I hope so! It doesn’t sound like he is someone you should be leaving your’e daughter with for even one hour after you leave. If you know anything about BPD, you know how manipulative and attention seeking they are – this cannot be a healthy environment for your’e daughter. You don’t want a “little borderline” on your hands. Find someone else to care for her while you are at work. A caring neighbor would be a better influence than her father.
    I know you don’t want to live in a dump – I can certainly understand that, but does it have to be The Hilton? Even if you have to live below your standards for a while, you will have peace of mind. When I left Steve, I left a $400,000. house and a very lucrative style of living. I am now living in my one bedroom condo on $1650./mo.I try not to ask Steve for any more than $100./mo. so I can remain totally independent. I could make it on the $1650.
    I would just have to skimp a little more. So, it can be done and GUESS WHAT? I have very little stress or anxiety – only on a rare occasion when I feed into Steve’s behavior and go ballistic. There is so much peace of mind now – just knowing I don’t ever have to go back if he doesn’t recover. Did I just say that?? He probably won’t.
    I wish that for you, too, as you have no idea what distancing yourself from the craziness of your’e husband’s “winning” personality will do for you. Love to you.

  170. Hi Sharron

    Thanks so much. No, I am not going for total custody. Meetings with attorneys have not been hopeful on this. I mean my SA told me that one therapist long before I met him told he was probably borderline. I would have to “prove” it in court for any custody battle. It takes money money and more money and proof and years to win that type of thing. I just don’t have it.

    Funny thing is, overall he is a good father. A little strict and controlling at times, yes, but NOT enough for me to feel “icked’ out about. I also see he truly loves her and they have a very good relationship. Plus, she is such a healthy and well adjusted little girl. Sharron , you should see this girl. Plays piano (he teachers her) at age 5, ballet, soccor, friends. She is loving, not shy about her feelings and is not a “bottled up type”. So far so good. She got an outstanding student award at school for all of Kinder. She’s dynamite!

    While I may have to share custody to start off, I was told some other wise woman ont his site, (forget who) he can always lose it. I would have to keep a careful eye. Honstly Sharron, even more than SA, the control and borderline issues are so difficult on me, I agree a reasonable apt wb good. Not looking for HIlton believe me, but I need to be close to daughter’s school and I expect to pay about 1800. That is doable. However, my job, the company just got sold and I want to be secure I will be working. don’t want to move then be unemployed. His trip to Brazil financially strapped us to the bone. It is now catering slow season. He spent the entire excess of $7000 on himself. We have nothing for back up. He is actually selling an old collector mercedes benz to make up the short fall. I can’t wait to be financially seperate from him. Run my money like an adult. He is a giant child. He makes more than me and completely spends thru all of it. horrendous. thanks for caring Sharron. So glad you have your distance and it is encouraging to hear that it all feels good.

  171. Pam -It is my opinion that many spouses of SA’s are suffering from Acute Stress Disorder. If symptoms persist longer than a few weeks, then we are looking at PTSD. It is my feeling that once we are removed from the traumatic situation of living with an SA, most of us will
    spontaneously recover. After a traumatic experience, the mind and body are in shock. But, as you make sense of what happened and process your emotions, you can come out of it. With PTSD, you remain in psychological shock. In order to move on, it is important to face and feel your’e memories and emotions. If you are having trouble getting back to your life and re-connecting to others, and feel stuck on painful memories that don’t fade, you may have PTSD.
    PTSD will have lasting consequences of thoughts and memories of the ordeal. The patient will continue to experience an emotional numbness, especially with people closest to them, sleep problems, easily startled, bad dreams, tense and on edge, outbursts of anger, problems with eating, and concentration, guilt, shame, phobias, and aches and pains with no cause.
    Treatment for PTSD involves experiencing the thoughts and feelings about the trauma, work through the guilt, shame and mistrust, learn how to cope with intrusive memories and what the trauma has done to our life and relationships.
    Hope I have been of some help in explaining. PTSD can even involve a change in 3 parts of the brain. Patient will need cognitive therapy and meds to stabilize.
    JoAnn – I have attempted to cover a lot of material quickly, so if I have missed anything, or not explained it adequately, please hop in. Thanks.

  172. Pam-Thanks for writing back. I am so glad your’e daughter seems to be thriving in the midst of it all. It is always amazing to me how one child can grow up in chaos and be very well adjusted, and another can manifest just the opposite. Sounds like she is a very strong personality, and you can take credit for that! I am glad your’e husband is a good father to her – a daughter really needs that, especially in the teen years.
    Ya, your’e right. It would take a lot of time, money, and effort to go for primary custody, but the courts are usually still on the mother’s side, and at the very least you should be awarded custodial custody so she can remain with you the majority of the time.
    My thoughts are with you – hang in there! Oh, I might add, if your’e husband is seeing a therapist, you can supoena records and she can testify to the mental stability of your’e husband. Doesn’t it just piss you off – all the money he has wasted on himself. I would be livid!! I am sure you are.

  173. Sisters,
    Today I pulled trigger! Calm down- not the real one;) I just could not stand it anymore. I told him to leave asap. I guess I will be broke but hopefully I can find some peace. I am going to admit something I still feel jealousy, after all his crap, why do I still feel jealous?? Will this go away? It is an emotion I did no expect to feel why do I care that he will move on? Like most SA’s the world sees them as wonderful and only we know the truth. I am having a lot of physical symptoms- insomina, fatigue, fluttery heart, zoned out a lot. I hope this goes away too. I do feel comfort in what Joanne said earlier today that partners of SAs never regret seperating…

  174. Good for You finllywaking up!!!
    What you are feelng regarding the jealousy is perfectly normal. Look at this way, your’e SA may move on, but he will continue his “secret Life” and find another woman to victimize, and the cycle will repeat itself. Be glad it’s not you anymore!
    It is also normal you are experiencing physical symptoms – you have just made a major decision and big change in your’e life. That, too, will pass when you settle into “normalcy”. Sometimes it is hard to be strong, but the payoff is great!
    Just feel comfort in that you made the right decision. We are all here for you in love, and to support and care for you.

  175. Finally waking up,
    Glad you did what felt right to you. I think you will be amazed at the changes that will come. After he was kicked out i no longer needed sleeping pills, slept well on my own. First time in months.

    Glad you are taking the space you need for your self. Oh yes that strange jealous feeling. I have it as well. The thought that he will move on and find somone in a week, let them have him. Build your life again and fill it up. He will also have the freedom which we don’t as the mother, with most of the work at home and with the kids. But now with the visitiation, it gives me time to go to exercise class…some time for me. So i have taken this idle time and turned it into something positive. So i think sharon is right, its normal, as i had/have it as well (less now). but you just gotta let it go and quit frankly really who cares antmore. You have done your work and he will get what he deserves in the end. It to will pass. And don’t forget you are free to do the same, you are also allowed to move on. I have not yet, not ready. But the thought of freedom of this is great, and who knows there may be someone else out there for me, but maybe not as well. I am fine with that.

    Sharon, i think you are right on with the spontanous recovery. Once i kicked him out my stress level dropped, and in a matter of two months i feel so much better. Right on with that.

  176. Hi Pam, Flora, Sharron and Nap et al:

    Yes, PTSD sucks! I lost 25-35 pounds in less than three months and I had already lost 20 in the 9 months before I REALLY got what the hell was going on. I couldn’t work. I could barely care for myself, let alone the kids. I have been very PHYSICALLY ill. If the SA is in the house, he’s GOTTA GO if you have PTSD. That was my experience. SA has triggers? Well SA is MY trigger. Just seeing his stupid name on my cell phone as a text message affects me. Really.

    And jealousy: Read my Christmas tree comment. I am repulsed more than jealous. True, I haven’t had the best self-esteem, but, “BY Golly, I’m Stewart Smiley and lots of people really do like me.” I used to be a model and have many intellectual talents as well AS I AM SURE ALL OF US DO ON HERE! These guys are whacked.

    You know, my husband told me all this stuff that was wrong with me in fits of rage over nothing and in the most repulsive language in front of the children. I told him and I mean it too:’The only thing that you can’t like about me is that I am not a thousand different women-just me.”

    What the hell? Does my husband think he’s Forrest Gump and all the women are the box of chocolates he gets to take a bite from?

    I am so disgusted that he treated his family like OBJECTS for his amusement. Oh, that’s what we were. Just window-dressing and no more.

    I am getting to do a moral inventory. And who knows what I’ll learn, but I as mad as a hornet now!

    I am so ready to push the ‘red’ button as they called it during the cold war-that is, file for Default on the divorce and ask for the freakin’ MOON and the rings around Saturn just for giggles.

    But I have to do my inventory first-check my motives.I have a feeling my motives are looking for retribution. I have to watch out for the kids, finances, etc. So, I am keeping my finger off the ‘red button’ for now.

    My little girl is going to some more play therapy first-lot’s of information is coming out. (Not about touching per se, but exposure to sexual stuff and of course his RAGE.)

    I am pretty sure that’s what’s got my ire all kicked-up. Folks messing with my kids aren’t going to like dealing with mamma bear.

    He has made me the enemy and we, the family, were backed into a corner in defense-for what??? We didn’t do anything! Now that he’s out of the house and my PTSD is subsiding and I can feel sad, happy, angry, compassion, etc., it’s all I can do not to come out swinging. I was in the FREEZE mode of PTSD. Now, I’m thawing.

    I need to stick close to my program and friends. One of my girlfriends came over for supper and babysat me so I wouldn’t be alone in my head. She’s seen this whole marriage come apart and has been nuetral to my husband’s face-but she sees what he has done to our family. So few can really understand for one thing, who talks about this? Just us! LOL!

  177. Hi fatchance – I love it! “SA is my trigger.” Isn’t that the truth! These guys are whacked. My SA and I were talking tonight about how he used to put me down, demean me, and make me feel like every girl in the world was better looking, had a better body, etc. He looks back now, with the insight he has gained, and feels he was probably doing it to sabatoge the relationship – well he did a good job of it.It did lower my self-esteem for a while, and I quickly realized it was his issue not mine. I am not a bow-wow either, and also used to
    Actually, I am glad to see you showing some anger now rather than depression. Depression is anger turned inward, so at least you are feeling it and getting it out. You have every right to feel anger and having the feeling of wanting to get even! But, don’t let that take over. Keep your hand off that “red button,” as you don’t want to come down on his level.
    I feel so sorry about your’e daughter. I definitely would have been plotting to have him eliminated! Mess with me, but don’t mess with my children!!
    I am glad you have a friend who can be of support to you. You really need that right now- a circle of friends and a good support system. We are here for you, as always.
    Much Love

  178. Hi all,

    Flora and Pam thanks for sharing your situations with me. It really helps me. You are all so helpful and Im soooooo glad we have this sisterhood. I want to write more right now but I cant because Captain Underpants is in the room….

  179. Dear Fatchance

    I truly believe a bit of ranting and getting some of the anger (Lord knows we have more than we need) out is more than healthy. Depression is far more dangerous and long term. A good listener and girl freind can be just the life preserver we need. Hang on tight! The anger is awful. Sometimes I am driving home from work and just the thought of being put in this position in life makes me so angry. While in some weird sense, I can almost appreciate D Day, for now I have a choice, I miss my trusting innocence and belief in someone. He was not worthy, granted, and no man will ever be “worship material” 100% trustworthy all the time all ways, I don’t even think I am. But basic trust, human decency and moral compass to know right from wrong wb nice. Marriage is hard, ANYWAY, this stuff makes it almost ridiculous. I don’t want to be half a person in a horrid relationship, that is even potentially dangerous to my health. I want to be full on me, —have something real. Not perfect, just real. As opposed to just really sucky and unhealthy. glad you are feeling a bit better. Keep rational. You are the only one who is–your kids need that more than anything. Don’t stoop to vengeful methods. The outcome is never really good.

  180. Me too! I was a model! Even though I am close to 50, people still stop me and ask if I model……….but it is so sad much of my self worth, that I used to have a nice healthy balance of, is kinda gone. How is it, after loving so intensely, giving everything, and being thrown away, I now, for the first time in my long life, don’t realize my value until someone tells me I am beautiful, smart….etc. So strange, they kind of turned us in to them, made us lose our own value in our own eyes and only feel approval when given from others…..isn’t that what they are really all about?
    One day my ex-SA will tire of me, trying to contact (I do no contact), trying to hurt and disable anyway possible……..I just do not understand it and just do without for my son and I while strippers and floozy women and self absorbed activities and lies lies lies, and lawyers, and court….it never stops… get my son’s maintenance, health care, college, everything….and I pick up all the pieces financially so my son does not do without. Which in essence means I do with out. I need dental work, clothes, a good haircut…..but my son needs braces and therapy and medication (autistic)…..so the same story continues…I take care of what needs to be taken care of except myself, while my ex-SA takes care of strippers and himself.
    Shit, why did I ever have to even meet my ex. I need a time machine!
    They do put down, behind your back and to your face.
    FC, you are the closest to me I have found on this site. There is hope, there is a future, but even I keep coming back here to try and figure out how to keep my ex out of my life and to somehow gain an understanding to get rid of the residue of being with my “soul mate”….yep, he was everything to me, how to somehow overcome the damage of the con, the continued abuse and refusal to follow court orders, the never ending fight to protect my child..
    Now, I am married to the most beautiful, wonderful, kindest, and patient man…….and I still cannot seem to get me totally back to how I was before my SA/abuser. I think that is because he uses every angle and every person to continue to provoke havac in my life, to hurt me……..which is strange because he has exactly what he wanted….all the women ever and I am no where to be found. But he keeps trying to disable me.
    I think if he(SA) would do right by our son, follow the court orders, quit intruding in evry aspect of me and my husbands life, quit trying to hurt me….maybe then I could pretend he never existed and stop being in fear and doubt.
    Thank goodness for my wonderful husband now who tries every day, with patience and love, to help me walk out and protects me from my ex-abuser. At least when he is around I feel safe, and so does my son.
    What a terrible world they brito their family’s life….and they just don’t care.

  181. Diane,
    I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you as you go or have gone through your family conference and talk to your sons, and hoping that your inner strength and attitude will set the tone:)

    We are with you.

  182. Marie, You are right. Hope all is well for you Diane. Keep us posted, when you have time.

    Sharron, NAP and fatchance,
    Totally get the triggers. The Sa every time I see him, everytime i saw him in front of the computer it was a trigger, racy movies are a trigger, any conversations or comments on tv about porn or sex trade are a trigger, any time I feel he is lying it is a trigger. I am sure the list is much longer. But right on with the SA is a trigger. He truely is. Part of why I had to make the split, had to limit my exposure of re-traumatizing myself every five minutes. He is the source of the pain. No doubt or question about it.

  183. thank you, Marie and Flora,
    I am deeply moved that you have been thinking about me.
    I will post more when I’m not so overwhelmed by it all right now.
    thank you all for your support. I don’t know where I would be right now without the great women who have been on this journey with me.
    lots of light to all,

  184. I’ve been married to a SA for 24 years now and new from the start he had a problem, but I had no idea what SA was and what it might mean. I just wanted to be married. I had been divorced for 4 years and then met my furture husband. We lived together for 1 year and then married. He displayed behavior that was odd, he would not have sex with me and did not want me to touch him. I found him behind our bedroom door one time pulling his pants up. I was stunned I knew something was wrong, so I confronted him and we went to counseling $75.00 per hour at the time and we could only go once each. he saw the counselor and came home and told me he was ok and that the counselor helped him to see he had no real issues and everything would be fine. I also went, by myself and the counselor said I had to deal with some trust issues. The counselor gave me a hug and took my $75.00. I then married my husband. When you do not know what addiction is especially sex addiction you have no idea what you are getting into.

    We did not have any children together (thank God) but I do have 3 children from my previous marraige. We have since gone to counseling together I went to Mended Hearts and he went to a class for 12 months called Every Man’s Battle. He told me he was making progress, but I neglected to look at his actions instead of his words.

    He would not have sex with me unless I initiated it. I had my own problems I was very angry and acted out. I would come unglued when he would not come to me and I would discover his porn. I had every right to be angry and betrayed but how we react to an issue is very important. I would bad mouth him and call him every name under the book (he deserved it all) but it never solved anything. He just got better at covering it all up.

    I put spy software on the computer, set up controls on the computer. What I saw no one should ever have to see. I was not an innocent when I met him but I have to say I was in someways and it was terrible the things I saw. he even had a voyer (sp) site he watched. When confonted he said the “dirtier the better.” that was what turned him on.

    I thought If I’m better if I loved him more he would stop. That never happned. I waited for 16 years for him to change for us to have a normal life and then it happended he had an affair. It tour my life apart. I have Herpes from that fiasco and continue to have major female issues.

    I went through hell for 6 years trying to get over the hurt the rejection. One lady here said that an affair can be healed and we can recover with love and proper counseling, but it never heals when you are married to a SA it just continues on and on. You are never allowed to heal. It’s like a scab you pick over and over and it never really heals and if it does you have a ugly looking scar. My scars are deep. I do not trust him any longer. Someone also said they are not our friends because would a friend lie to us and steal from us, no we would run from them.

    Our marriage has gone from bad to worse. He has not touched me in months and I have talked to him openly and honestly. I poured out my heart to him and he says he understands but I think he is a sociopath (sp) he does not have the capacity to understand or care deeply for anything or anyone. He does feel but it is limited. I know that the SA has robbed him of his life and mine too.

    My journey with him has been hell for 25 years we have had some good moments but not many. I have been in a prison of my own making. I would not go out for fear of what he might be doing, I became a master manipulator also. I tried to control everything he did and everyone he saw. But it was a loosing job from the start and almost drove me insane. I watched everything he did and could not leave for fear he may cheat or buy a magazine or get a movie. I could not even go to bed at night and leave him in the living room because I knew he would take the opportunity to watch a dirty movie, and guess what I have caught him doing just that. He also would get up out of bed and sneak into the living room or his computer room to watch porn when he was sure I was deep in sleep.

    But having said all the above I chose to seek help and now my scars are healing and I see it in my life. I have started to help other women in the same situation, it at first was slow but I noticed how good I felt to help someone who was in trouble. I then graduated to counseling out at a local prison through our church. I am now very excited about helping anywhere I can. I am getting out more, I do scrapbooking with my daughter and my daughter in law. I found while out with my girls the other day I never once thought of my husband and what he might be doing. Cool huh.

    It’s been a long and arduous journey but I’m putting one foot in front of the other. Some days are harder than the others but it get’s easier. He has his life to live. Do I think he may cheat on me? I used to obsess over that one but now it’s I figure he has his choices to make I have mine. I do love him as a humanbeing. He is a soul with skin on. He will face God just like me and I pray he can explain why he did what he did. I do hope he will change I know all things are possible for God. I have decided to put my trust in God. He is the best medicine I have ever taken. This getting out and living is so wonderful.

    I am not in anyway saying my SA husband is ok, I’m not but I do not think for me divorce is the answer. At least not yet. I think my journey is leading me another way. I am not there yet but I am well on my way.

    I know your pain each and everyone of you. My heart aches for you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.


    P.S. this of course is just a short summary there is not enought space for all the details:) and forgive my spelling….

  185. Hi Lamb and Everyone,

    With my mind scattered, I have a hardtime following the threads and going back to see who said what!

    Anyway, thanks for your honesty. Lamb shared about how her ‘detectiving’ changed her, how she had become obsessed and a master manipulator. That is what began to happen with me. One day, I just had had enough. OMG, his addiction rules my life. There is a resentment there.

    I also like how Lamb said God is the best medicine. He really is. I have been spiritually bankrupted as well.

    There is no way I can do this journey alone and I absolutely need God-what ever HE is. No way were ANY of us-even them put on this planet to OBSESS over anything. It’s a pain that is excruciating. Only in fleeting glimpses like this do I hold empathy for him.

    My twisted-up mind over my husband is a mirror to his twisted-up sex obsession. While I did not make him a sex addict and did NOT knowingly participate, I have become the flip side of the sex-addiction coin, not much different than the prostitutes and porn stars. Bodies and souls “used” the way a drug is snorted or a drink taken-used. A thousand uses is never enough-one is too many. I was a “drug” and didn’t even know.

    I am going to try to (read) listen to everyone and everything better-to observe. I have needed to observe without judgement. I need God’s help.

    I pray God will help me to see me as He sees me and to see my husband as God sees him and that my husband shall begin to see himself as God sees him.

    We are beyond strictly human aid. I sure am. But I am glad you all are here-you really help me so much. Isolation with this situation is unbearable.

    I want God to be my master, not my husband or his addiction or whether or not I think my husband loves me.

  186. Dear Fatchance.

    Glad your spirits are up. I agree with you, the pain of this addiction is indeed an invitation to let God into our lives in a greater way. I am Christian, and while not the most faithful church goer etc., I know He is faithful. Always. I can trust in Him. Without fear or judgment. He is yet to let me down. I find solace and peace many times. Even the worst of times.

    I believe my SA needs a spirtual awakening as well. I know 12 step has a Higher Power at the core of it’s system. But, that is for the SA to find out. For now, I walk alone in my faith. On my healing journey. Hope you have a great day

  187. Hi lamb,

    Thank you for sharing your story and having the courage to. I know (also our fellow sisters) the pain you have felt and are feeling. I think its great you are starting to enjoy your life again and not focusing on your husband all the time. I could feel your excitement in your words as you discover your life again. Try to do that each and every day. They can steal our life away if we let them. I refuse to let that happen. Make the most of everyday doing what you want and enjoy. Wish you all the best!

    Your friend, NAP

  188. Sisters,
    Today is a better day. He is going to look at a place this weekend. I am actually am feeling a little twinge of excitement. It is hard stepping into the unknown, that’s for sure. Diane, I am thinking of you.

  189. I don’t know if this is the appropriate place to post this, but I’m new here and need some help / hope. Is there anyone who’s made it through this and stayed married / stengthened their marriage *without* separating for a period of time? I’ve known for a number of years that my husband had a problem (initially phone sex, then internet porn, adult personals, etc.), and suspected that he might have been physically cheating on me, but never knew for sure. Well, he admitted to me on Tuesday night that he has physically cheated on me on a number of occasions. Long story short (okay, not so short), he started seeing a therapist several months ago to deal with his sex issues (at the time, I thought he was just talking about his addiction to the internet stuff). I’ve seen lots of positive changes in him throughout this time. A couple of weeks ago, completely by accident, I came across some internet posts he’d made a couple of years ago on a massage parlor review site. I confronted him, and, at the time, he denied ever having gone to any of these places and said that he was just making up stories on the site. He didn’t get angry with me for doubting him, whereas, in the past, he would get angry when I confronted him with this type of thing. (I now know that he wanted to come clean at that time, but lied so we could get through the holidays and our kids could have a good Christmas and New Year’s.) Anyway, we had a lot of discussions over the past few weeks about his various issues and he opened up a lot and told me that he never got help before because he didn’t think there was really such a thing as sex addiction and couldn’t accept or admit that he wasn’t in control of his thoughts and actions. Seeing the therapist helped him to see that maybe it was an addiction. He asked me to get info about SAA meetings for him. He attended his first SAA meeting on Sunday. He was an absolute wreck when he left the meeting, but said he thought it was going to be good and wanted to continue going to meetings. Like I said, on Tuesday, he admitted physically cheating. He admitted that he had emotionally abused me and that none of this was ever my fault. He said he loved me and didn’t want me to leave him, but would understand if I didn’t love him anymore, or if I wanted him to move out, etc. He said he had wanted to tell me since October, but we were so busy between his work and the kids activities, that there was never a good time (basically, he wanted to wait until our life was a little less hectic). When I found those posts, he knew that he would have to tell me as soon as the holidays were over. He couldn’t bear to drag it out any longer. He has told me that it has been over a year since he has had physical contact with anyone else, and I believe him. (First, there is very little opportunity where we currently live- his thing is massage parlors and the closest one is almost 100 miles away, second, his actions over the past year tell me that I can believe this. I have found two instances of him looking at adult sites over the past year, and, both times, he admitted to going to the sites, apologized, and didn’t get angry with me or blame me. In the past, he would always blame me for his actions (we weren’t having sex enough. I wasn’t willing to wear sexy outfits anymore. Lack of variety in our sex life. etc…)) He also told me that he had a full battery of tests for HIV / STD’s about two months ago and everything came back clean.
    So, here I am. I’m hurting for me, but I’m also hurting for him. I seee so many posts on this site about what assholes these guys are. But my husband sought out help on his own, and I know he’s been working hard at trying to get better. I didn’t push him into recovery. He told me that he’s doing this for me, for us, for the kids and for himself. I still love him, and I know from his actions that he loves me. Maybe I’m able to have more sympathy for him than some other spouses have for their SA’s. I’ve suffered from depression in the past, and I know what it’s like to not be able to control your thoughts and actions. I know what it’s like to unintentionally hurt the people you love the most. Please don’t bash me for still loving my husband, or for being sympathetic.
    How do you get through this and not picture your husband with someone else everytime you’re together? How do you forgive?

  190. Hi Laura 2,
    Forgivenenss takes time and it is up to him to earn it. There is a book titled how can i forgive you. I have skimmed it, and am ordering a copy for myself to read and keep.
    It would appear based on your story that he has come clean, that he is being honest and that he is seeking reovery for himself. The one thing I don;t like is that he asked you to find an SAA meeting for him (don;t know why he could not do that himself). It will be a rough road, there will be ups and down, slip ups, more disclosues at later dates most likley.
    When you are going through this it is important for you to think of what you and the kids need. Everyone is different and everyone needs different things. I do see how Cosa helps with this if you entertain to stay in the relationship through all the craziness, rather than get out through the craziness. Cosa is great on keeping it more to yourself, but i do not beleive in completely ignoring what is going on with the addict. So you must pay attentions to his actions and your gut. Right now your gut and his actions point to that he is doing the right things.

    No one is angry or will bash you for still loving your husband. Quite frankly we all do or did at some point. Even if we leave that does not mean we do not love them, all it means is that we have chosen to remove ourselves from a situation that is harmfull to ourselves.

    Picturing your husband with someonelse….don’t have the answer to that. But so is life with a sex addict. That would be the trauma of it all. Hope someone else will comment to that.

    Sorry you are here under these circumstances, but we are all here for the same reason. Hugs.

  191. Laura 2,

    It all takes time. You need time to heal and work on your own emotions. Its OK to support him, but let him run his own recovery.

    As for picturing him with someone else.. I wish I had the answer to that 🙁
    I was sexually active with my H about 2 weeks ago, for the first time in about 11 months.
    It went well, but this week every time I think I might want to be with him again, i have the image of him f*cking a prostitute in my head. driving me insane. when i look at him I want to kick him very hard in the crotch.

  192. Lamb,
    So the addict is the second husband? or were they both sex addicts. Or was there really one husband the same one the whole time. I had trouble following your story a little.

    What ended your first marriage?

    How is your relationship with your husband now and where do you feel he is at in his recovery? What was /is your basis for staying? What are you gaining from the relationship?

    It seems from your post that this has brought about a new awakening and you have made changes for yourself and helping others. Good for you, and more people like you are needed in the world.

    You don’t have to answer my questions…just curious. I think that there are many contemplating the stay or go question, and was curious how the staying is working for you. Thank you for your post.

  193. Thanks for the response, Flora. Let me clarify something. When he asked me to find a meeting for him, he was at work and couldn’t look the info up for himself on his work computer. He had done some searching at home prior to that, but was looking at SA, not SAA, and didn’t realize they were two different organizations. The closest SA meeting was three hours away and met at times that he couldn’t possibly make that drive. That day, he had called me from work and we were discussing things and he was frustrated because he couldn’t find a meeting close enough. I had recently done some research on my own and knew that there were two different organizations, so I asked him which one he was looking at. He said SA. I asked him if he had tried SAA and he didn’t realize they were two different things, so he asked me to get the info and email it to him. He then called the contact on his own, got directions to the meeting, etc. The meeting is an hour and a half away, which initially made me nervous, but I know the address of the meeting and my husband has GPS on his phone and has agreed to leave it on and just turn it to silent when he goes to the meetings, so I can track him if I want to. In any case, I’ve read some negative stories about SAA, but I think my husband has found a good group. And he’s not secretive about it. Not so far, anyway. And he has said he needs my help with this. He said doesn’t want me to do the work for him, but he wants me involved.

  194. Okay, understand.
    There is also SLAA, maybe a chapter closer. Don’t know if any are better or worse than others. There are also online and telephone meetings for some of these groups, if the drive is a hardship. and RCA for couples.

  195. Hi Laura 2,

    Your husband does sound committed to his recovery right now. I think its important to let him take total ownership of it. Then you can be doing good things for yourself in the meantime. Just remember, actions speak louder than words…wishing you the best.

  196. Thanks again for the responses. As far as letting my husband take ownership of his recovery, I think he does want to take ownership of it, but wants to share certain aspects of it with me and wants me to check up on him periodically, if that makes any sense. As far as me doing good things for me, my husband is trying to set up a marriage counseling appointment for us. (He’s military and it can be a pain in the ass to get marriage counseling appointments on base.) After we get started with that, I plan to find a therapist for myself.

  197. Sorry to post so many times, but I’m having trouble focusing on anything but this right now, since it’s only been a day and a half since he came clean.
    Right now, I’m at a place where every good memory I have with my husband is tarnished by his infidelity. Does this ever get better? Can you ever look back at the good times (and believe it or not, there have been a lot of them) and see joy in them again?

  198. Laura 2,
    I think its more important that you find couseling for you first. This is not a “marriage” issue. You also have to be prepared for the label that may be put on your forehead in addiction or marriage therapy, that many are happy to give you in saying you are a co-dependent. That you are part of the problem and you must also accept part of the resposibility. That you are addicted to the addict. Sex addiction typically starts at a very young age (8-11+/-). This addiction was there before you and during you. It is typically not recommenced to start marriage couseling until he is well into recovery, typically a year or so. The first 6 months to a year are easy for them in recovery, and then at the 6 months to 1 year point it gets harder, many fall of the wagon, and it never gets easier. Many times the spouse is brought into their recovery, for use as a prop, but never is the therapy for you. As Diane alwasy says there is only one star in their recovery and that is the SA.

    The therapist for you is more important, as well as he have one for himself. Supposed marriage counseling should be saved for when the couple has progressed to that point, and have taken care of themselves. You can do both, but make sure you have one for yourself…far more important. This is just my advice and just my opinion.

  199. Flora, you are dead right.

    Even my counsellor, who was an idiot, said that marriage counselling should not be started till at least 6-10 months into the addicts recovery.

    We are 8 months in and haven’t started any yet, but hopefully will be in the next month or so.

    My H’s counsellor, despite meeting me once and not actually really talking to me, has put me on the co-dependant box, because I have stayed with my H. He actually had the balls to comment to my H, 2 weeks after the prostitute disclosure, “she’s still upset then?”
    wtf?? I swear, some of the counsellors are just as deluded as the addicts are.

  200. Thanks. Maybe I will try to start counseling by myself for awhile before we start marriage counseling. In my mind, though, although he didn’t attend his first SAA meeting until Sunday, he’s been in recovery for several months now. (He started seeing a therapist over the summer.) I guess I’m just overly anxious to move forward and try to get through this. I’m sorry. I’m still quite fuzzy/dazed and fluctuating between hope and despair, so I know I’m not thinking too clearly yet. Wish I could find a local group for spouses other than COSA. I’ve looked at their website, and, while I think I may have *some* co-dependent tendencies, I definitely would not consider myself to be fully co-dependent and I don’t think the 12 steps would really apply very well to me. The only blame I feel I have in any of this is that I allowed myself to believe my husband’s lies because I wasn’t ready to face the possibility that he had actually cheated, and I couldn’t imagine, based on his behavior and treatment of me in every other aspect of our relationship, that he would be able to cheat on me.

  201. Dear Laura2:

    Sorry for what you are going through. I know many of our posts talk about being seperated or how heartless we feel the SA’s are. But no one would ever bash or criticize you for wanting to work it out. D Day is most painful and I think your emotions being all over the place is more than expected. You love ’em you hate ’em, etc. It does sound like he is taking some positive steps toward recovery and that you are communicating about it.

    Getting someone to talk to about it right now, good help for yourself, I think is crucial. Your emotions have been shocked, in a major way. Caring just for you right now – is really important. YOu want to cry? cry. You want to vent? vent. You need to tell spouse just how much he has hurt you? Tell him. I think its warranted.

    Looking back I regret not seeing my therapist more. I regret not taking time off work just to digest it all. But I think in time the shock of it goes away and you start to see things more clearly. The 1 million dollar question arises– what do I want for me? It this ok for me and kids? It’s different for everyone. I wish you well on your healing journey. Please post often

  202. Did any of you ever have any really weak moments at the beginning where you just wanted your husband to hold you (no sex, just cuddling- I’ve already told him that I have no idea when I’ll be ready to have sex again, but I know that it won’t be for a very long time) and longed for everything to go back to normal? (Okay, maybe I am co-dependent.) I think I’m having a really hard time because of the fact that I know my husband had already been working on his recovery for several months before he disclosed to me that he had actually physically cheated. Maybe I’m feeling too much sympathy for him because of that.

  203. Hi finallywakingup,

    You sound like you are in a good place right now. It must feel freeing in some ways too. Hope you are doing well-thinking of you.

    Your friend, NAP

  204. Laura 2 I really hope things go well. He sounds like he still has a soul. Of course you want to be held! OMG, what a terrible thing to go through and then the person you would turn to is the one who caused the pain.

    I wish you and your husband all the very best! I really hope things go well and you continue on here to tell us what worked for you and share your experience, strength and hope.

  205. Laura 2

    Hugs, and a couple of ideas. #1… it’s ok to still love your husband. It doesn’t make you crazy. For all you knew up until a few days ago he was the fun loving husband you thought the world of. It will take a while for you to adjust to this new reality… but even that can include love. You’ve married jeykll and hyde and for the next long while you will be getting used to being married to two totally different men at once. #2… that said, things are changing. COSA isn’t for everyone especially at the beginning when the bomb drops. You’re ok.. it’s the addict that has a screwed up life. Let him work through things for a while. As long as you’re seeing a. humility and b. progress then your part is just to be there as a friend. You however do need to be gentle with yourself. Work on the mantra “it’s not about me”. Repeat. Do something good for yourself. Take a solo vacation. Take a class. Girls weekend out. Anything, but get away for a little while. Marriage counseling would be a good step after he’s been sober for a while. It’s then that you’ll need to rebuild your marriage and trust. #3. You could both probably use a hug right now. If your boundaries include no sex then enforce that, but a good morning kiss, or a nice after work hug isn’t going to kill anybody. #3… your husband can be a carrier of an std and come up negative. If it were me I’d still get myself tested.

  206. Oh… and as I just discovered for myself this week… don’t hide your pain from him. I never thought that would be part of enabling… but it is. Let him see and feel your pain as you deal with it too. That is part of the consequences he has to face too. I thought I was being strong and loving him. Hiding my true feelings from him hasn’t done either of us any good. That is my new year’s resolution this year.

  207. Thanks for the insight, Ann, and hugs to you, too. I’m not hiding my pain from him. He knows exactly what I’m feeling. I’ve made a point of making that quite clear to him.
    Thank you to everyone who has responded to me. It’s helping me to be able to express myself to someone other than my husband.

  208. Thanks NAP- it is freeing! But I do go back and forth while waiting for him to leave. Hopefully once he’s gone I can calm my mind down. I am really exhausted.

  209. Laura 2,
    Its ok to want to be held. YOur only human. I had that too. I hated him so much, but yet I just wanted him to hold me, to comfort me, to tell me things would be ok. It doesn’t make you co-dependant to have feelings for the man you thought he was.

    Don’t rush the marriage counselling. Do it when your ready.

    As for sex, well, take as much time as you need. I needed almost 8 months to be in a position where I I felt i was ready to be that vulnerable with him. Our first time since Feb 2010 was just before xmas, and in hindsight, it may have been too early. Even though it went ok, for the past couple weeks I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. I have to admit, some of me wanting to was purely physical on my side. 8 months..I have needs too, and to be brutally honest, since all this sh*t began, the thought of masturbation makes me want to puke.
    There is nothing in my life that this depravity has not touched..even my sexuality has been taken from me.

    Be gentle, give yourself all the time you need.

  210. Thanks, Starry. I was so unprepared for all the emotions I would go through. I’m also having such a hard time understanding some of the things he says and some of the answers to my questions and I’m getting frustrated, because I want all the answers now. I asked him what triggers him and he said he hasn’t figured that out yet. WTF? I just don’t get how you can’t know what caused you to go to massage parlors on a regular basis. He said there were times that he was driving to one of these places and said to himself, “I shouldn’t be doing this,” but he just couldn’t seem to stop himself. He also says he doesn’t even think it was about the physical sensation of having sex- it was almost as though he was being drawn to these places. I don’t know. He’s given me too much information, but not enough, if that makes any sense. He talked about how he thinks it all started and the escalation of it. He told me that he lost so much of himself in all of this. Sigh…
    I’m sorry about the feelings you’ve had since you had sex with your husband again. I hope it gets better for you.
    I’m having a hard time deciding how long to wait before having sex with my husband again. I’m saddened by the loss of that part of our lives. Although his drive is much higher than mine, as far as I can tell, sex with me was totally separate from his addiction, if that makes any sense. Sure, more often than not, we had quickies, but there were also many times when it was very loving and intimate, or so it seemed to me… I’ve read so much over the past few days that says SA’s are incapable of true love and intimacy, but I find that so hard to believe about my husband. The real him (meaning, not the sex addict) is such a wonderful, loving and caring husband and father and I’m having such a hard time understanding how he was keeping these two parts of himself separate.
    I’m hopeful that we can work through this and remain together and I do think he is truly committed to recovery and is doing it for the right reasons, primarily because I did not push him into recovery, nor was he forced into disclosure or recovery because I found undeniable evidence of physical cheating. He sought out counseling on his own and tells me that it’s because he hit rock bottom with his thoughts and was scared and knew he couldn’t be that person anymore.
    Sorry this got so long. Until I find a counselor, I really have no one else to talk to.

  211. Laura 2,
    The acting out, depending on how much sex and porn he was doing, leads to a higher sex drive. They tend to stablize after a while. It may be out of balance now because, you are so drained and on low, and he is on high. It takes a few months for the levels to stabilize from what i understand. So it may not be that you are mismatched and that he has a higher sex drive. This is a common excuse of an SA for acting out.

    Don’t forget to get yourself tested for STD’s ASAP.

  212. Dear Laura2:

    Really sorry for your pain. And I think if you need your husband to hold you, he needs to and should. Perhaps he needs to understand your tears more. Empathy is not their strongest suit.

    Laura I hope you will take this with some humor, but I can’t help but notice a theme – these guys make it sound like their acting out is like having a epilectic seizure. – “it just happens to them.” No, seizures happen to epilectics, they cannot help it. Driving to a whore house or massage parlor for a happy ending is not some involuntary thing that happens to their body and minds, it is a choice. I just can’t help myself – doesn’t fly. They chose the behavior at some point, for whatever their pain, and psychological issues are- . They chose to betray the marriage. Fail it, in fact. Accountability is a foreign language to them, they must reconnect the dots on their behavior, boundaries, healthy sex, with much hard work. Not easy.

    I do think the fact that he disclosed on his own is promising sign, plus the fact that he is pursuing recovery on his own, all the more promising. I was told in the beginning it is so important to watch what they do, not what they say. This rang true for me. Behavior speaks volumes here.

    I think perhaps you are probably feeling frustrated because he is not really coming clean on the things you want addressed. He substitutes it with “other” information, which may be revealing, but not what you asked for. They want to avoid being accountable. Answering questions simply, truthfully, means they have to admit to what they’ve done. He’s dodging the ball. Patiently persistantly keep asking until you don’t feel frustrated and it’s clear. If he gets defensive, he’s not ready to disclose what you need to answered and is hiding. Perhaps, write down the questions you need answered, ask the specifics. That way it cannot be construed as “oh, I thought you were asking this….” Just a thought

    I hope you are finding help and comfort.

  213. Flora & Pam, thanks to both of you for your responses.
    Flora- My husband has had a high sex drive the entire time I’ve known him. Then again, he had the addiction before I knew him… He admitted to me (voluntarily) that he frequented these places long before he ever met me.
    Pam- My husband is willing to hold me, even though it is difficult for him right now because of how ashamed he is. I think he does understand my tears and is being very patient with me and my reactions. I just wondered if there was something wrong with me for wanting him to hold me. And yeah, I don’t get the whole “I couldn’t stop” bit. And oh, how I wish he had just gone for happy endings (not that that would be okay either, but it wouldn’t have been as horrifying to me as what actually went on.) The thing that frustrates me the most is that he *says* he doesn’t know what triggers him. With just about everything else, he seems to be willing to answer my questions, except where he would have to go into too much detail (I asked him not to give me any gory details yet, as I don’t want graphic images floating through my head if/when we start having sex again.) He’s not getting defensive, but I believe he is still holding some things back.
    From reading the posts on this site, it sounds as though you are all incredibly strong women. I hope I can remain strong throughout all of this, and I hope my husband can be a stronger person. I think one of the hardest things for him in all this is admitting to me how weak he’s been. I don’t think he ever wanted me to see him that way.

  214. Hi Laura 2,

    I think anything of sexual nature can start the addiction cycle for a sex addict. Please anyone chime in because I dont know this too well…they start having sexual thoughts which progress to a trance like state where they are likely fantacizing and then they act out. Its in the thought stage that they can stop the cycle by using the skills they learn. Once they hit the trance stage, they progress to acting out. The brain chemicals get flowing and then its…you know what with you know who (YUK and PUKE!!!!)

    Any thoughts?

  215. NAP-

    I actually mentioned the whole trance idea to my husband this morning after seeing your post, to see if he could identify with that at all. It seemed to strike a chord with him. He did say that, while he hasn’t really been able to put it into words, that is a fairly accurate description of what he’s gone through. He also said there were some times he would have a thought and be able to distract himself or dismiss it, and there were others that he couldn’t get out of his head no matter what he did, and those were the times he wound up acting out. But I think he’s still having trouble pinning down exact triggers and what makes the difference between thoughts he can dismiss and thoughts he can’t, which is frustrating to both of us.

    I’ve had a reasonably good morning and am *cautiously* optimistic today. I had a very long, relatively calm talk with my husband and was able to ask him alot of questions, most of which he was able to answer fairly quickly. There were a few things he couldn’t answer, but mostly about things from a long time ago that I think he honestly couldn’t remember (he has a lousy memory, not just about this stuff, but about simple everyday things as well- even his co-workers are always picking on him for his memory.) In any case, in the days following his initial disclosure, my mind went crazy trying to figure out how many times, the extent of the physical content, etc. After talking to him today, I have lots of answers about when and why things escalated, and, while his behavior was still not acceptable by any means, what really went on was nowhere near what I had imagined (or, at least, the worst of it started much later than I had imagined and happened far less frequently than I had imagined.) Again, not acceptable, but slightly less devastating. Anyway, I could go on at length about our discussion this morning, but, ultimately, the impression I got from talking things out with him and how open he was with me is that he’s further along in the recovery process than I realized. He’s only been seeing a therapist since this summer (and also went to confession this summer, which FLOORED me, because he’s never been one to do that on his own) and just started meetings last weekend, but, from the progress I’ve seen so far, I think he was committed to starting some kind of recovery almost a year ago.

    Again, I’m *cautiously* optimistic, because I know it’s still very early in the process (at least for me, maybe not for him.) I know things can change at any moment, so I’m keeping my eyes and ears open. ANd my husband knows that. And I think he *wants* me to keep my guard up to some extent- not to babysit him or monitor him 24/7, but to check up on him periodically, if that makes any sense.

    Hugs to all. Again, sorry for so many posts, but, until I get a therapist (which should be soon- hubby is military and requested a referral for me to be allowed to see someone off base- he’s not picking the doc, I am, he just started the process for me to make it easier on me), I really don’t have any other outlet.

  216. Thank you Sally. Your boundaries list is very thorough and so very similar to my own. It’s so sad we have to spell it out to our emotionally immature husbands. I wish you the best.

  217. Hi Laura2 and All:

    My husband told his attorney he did not want a divorce. Then, he told our 4 yr old daughter he wanted to come home-but not yet.

    So, nothing came from his atty on a propsal for tx and reconcilliation, though I had sent one to my atty.

    I got up early in the morning to drive to his apartment to talk to him. (we had hugged last week and he said he’d never stop loving me). Well, he came to the door and said we can’t talk and he has his attorney working on a counter-complaint and he wants 1/2 custody. He shut the door in my face.

    He texted later to say he could not get the kids today because he works late. But he did not go to work. He went on a day trip with a woman.

    He gaslighted me for the last time. I do not think I will come on this site anymore. I asked my atty to file a default and show cause asap.

    I grieved all day. I really had a hard time being present with the kids.

    My health cannot take anymore of these head-games.

    I may be very poor for a while. I may not have health insurance. Today, was the final blow of degradation. I made myself vulnerable to him and he’s been the cruel one, but I got the door shut in my face. I want my dignity and integrity back.

    I am done with this. I’ve been treated badly for a long time.

    Time wounds all heels. I mean it like I wrote it.

    Peace out.

  218. Fatchance – I am so sorry. I guess your SA’s true colors came out. Look at it as a good thing, because now you have your’e belly full for sure! He does not deserve you!! Go after him and get him good!!!
    Much love

  219. Fatchance-I understand your position very well, since I’ve passed that similar road. My heart goes out to you for only when one goes down that dark blizzard road does one truly understand the PAIN and humiliation and them some! I can only say which is SO so hard to do “Be Strong!” It’s not easy, but you’ll see you will get this undivine force within you. This is only the beginning-some roads are shorter and some seem like their is no end. I am still in the divorce proceedings (2 yrs), and the SA will make you go through hell. They have all these tactics for stalling, lieing filing unnecessary bogus motions to drain you physically and emotionally and the worst Financially, but don’t give up! for this is what they want to accomplish. I have been a stay at home Mom for 16 years raising our only child, and he’s a very successful physician we were or still are married for 20 yrs. If I were to tell you all my story, yours wouldn’t look as bad. I’m still going through the process for the sake of my son. Remember you are the voice of your children, if you don’t stand for them, some other WHORE is going to get what pertains to your children, a rightfully what should be yours as well for all the time invested in what we all thought was “Marriage.”. Don’t play the kids with the SA. It’s much better for you to have them then forcing him to take them on “his week.” They don’t care about the children, trust me. My husband fought me custody since I wanted sole custody. I filed for sole because I didn’t want him making decisions with his warp thinking. My atty said it doesn’t really matter because a “Mother ALWAYS has the finial decision.” It was all a “Power Struggle” with him. He hired an atty for my son which cause my son even more pain and hatred towards his father. His goal was to get my son into treatment! Yes! you read it correctly, but the Psychiatrist who so happens to be a full blown SA refuses to go into treatment! Therefor I was told I was a “Deranged MF!” Oh poor Dr. Coo-Coo!

    Please don’t give up on reading these post. I understand your disgust, and at times its hurtful when you see couples who are trying to work it out. As we all know everyone at times has some faults. It’s hurtful, but you must remember SA are selfish, narcissustic, manipulators that have NO empathy or souls. The best thing that has worked for me is distancing myself from him. For they will only blame you in some deranged way. They will ALWAYS project onto you. Just hold you kids and tell them you love them very much, and you will see you have the better hand because the Love of A Mother is much greater than a father. Let them in their own little way bring light into you up side down world, and remember you’re only up side down for a while. I understand what you are going through for I have past that so to speak 1st stage and still cruzin’.

    My thoughts are with you and yours.

    With Love,
    A Friend 😉

  220. Hi fatchance,

    Im so sorry about what happened with your husband. I hope today you are doing okay. My husband would do the same, be warm then cold, and Id get hooked in when he was showing me anything warm. Its just crumbs though-its not what its suppose to be. Love is consistant…its not love if its turned on and off like what our SA do. What they are doing is plain and simple emotional abuse. We dont have to accept it anymore. They want to play tug-of-war and quess what…we wont even pick up the rope. They can play by themself or with some other woman that happens to come along. They will do the same things to them that they have done to us.

    Fatchance, keep going forward on your journey, enjoying your life everyday with your children, job, friends, if he wants to jump on board then great. If not, its his loss not yours. Keep your life flowing…..

    Your friend, NAP

  221. Dear Fatchance,
    I’m so sorry to hear whats happend.

    Its just insanity. The one thing I am greatful for is that my H is acually a decent guy underneath all this other sh*t. Other than lieing to me for a bit about his activities, since this whole thing began, he has been nothing but understanding and supportive. He has paid the bills (even when he was not living in our home for months), he helps out more around the place, when I’m upset he listens and doesn’t get defensive, he accepts (with grace) the horrile abusive words i have thrown at him several times, and really is even better than he was when we first met. Yes, maybe its all an act, but I believe he has made that shift.
    It sounds like some of these guys are just plain assholes anyway, and if they didn’t have SA, they’d still be assholes??

  222. Dear Fatchance – Hope you are doing okay. I know you are going through a lot right now. Keep us updated, as we are all interested in how you are doing.
    Starry – My SA is making progress as well. I am still seeing some passive-aggressive behavior, and some minimizing, but for the most part I am also seeing a shift. Steve is being very intimate and loving, and he is actually intererested and initiating sex for the first time in 21/2 yrs. I just think it is a long process, so try to remain positive. They tend to relapse more in the 1st year of recovery.
    I am glad your’e H is doing well. I guess it is always on my mind whether mine is just getting a little wiser and a little more clever at covering up. Regaining trust is the most difficult for me to deal with. The last lie was only three weeks ago, that I know of, so who knows??

  223. Sharron
    Ah yes, the doubt.
    Are they just getting better at hiding it?
    One of my struggles is that I am still a bit cold to him, like, I don’t reach out much, or keep myself detached in a way. There’s a little voice in my head that says if I am nice to him he will think he is off the hook, or that I am not hurting anymore and he can go back to his old ways, like my guard is down or something..

    On another pressing issue, I’ve just consumed an entire tube of gourmet jelly beans, 9 coffee flavoured ones.. how wrong is that??

  224. Starry – I pull back a bit also. Yes, after being separated from him for the second time, I think he knows I will never go back unless he gets his act together, so that gives me some leverage. After I went back to him the first time, he started right back in with the addiction/lieing and deceiving. So, there is some of that thinking that they can go back to they’re old ways. My SA was still in denial at that time, so it is difficult to tell for sure, but I do believe the turning point came when he thought he had lost me for good. That is why I stay in my own little Condo – my safe place so to speak. That way, I am in control. If he chooses to continue living the life he chose in the past, I sm here – nothing ventured/nothing gained. A nice way of staying protected and not letting his life control mine.

  225. Starry and Sharron-
    Although I’m still very new at this, I wonder if I will ever be able to live without those doubts as well. I also worry that, if I am nice to my husband or appear to be too happy, he will think he is off the hook and stop his recovery. I even said that to him today. His response was (can’t remember the exact words) “Even if you said all was forgiven and I was off the hook, even if you offered yourself up to me right now and let me have whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it, I can’t stop my recovery because I can’t be this way anymore.” I know, they’re just words. However, so far his actions are backing up those words, so I’m hopeful.

  226. Laura2-I hope your’e husband is sincere about his recovery. My husband has made the same comment to me on many occasions regarding statements like “it doesn’t matter whether we make it or not, I will continue to recover with or without you.” I think they can truly mean it when they say it, and I think my husband truly wants to change, but the big question for all of us is can they? There are fewer success stories than we would all like to believe.
    Most of my husband’s actions are now backing up what he says. The things that bother me the most are his passive-aggressive behavior, and a tendency to lie, omit, or minimize when confronted with the behavior, or any kind of conflict. It is getting better.
    Just keep your’e eyes open. We certainly have to learn to trust at some point in time, but I am not there yet. I tend to not believe a word he says, and I have to find some middle ground. I think after we have been lied to on so many occasions, it is really hard to get that trust back. If and When he is able to earn it, I think it will resolve itself. Problem is, I am sure that will be a long time down the road. A life-time of lieing does not easily go away.

  227. Laura,

    You remind me of myself in the beggining 🙂
    I don’t want to rain on your parade, but please, just sit still for a moment and take a deep breath.
    I’m not saying your husband isn’t being truthful, but right now is not the time to judge his words. Just let them be words. Don’t take them to heart right now. You will go back and forth so many times in the next stage of your life. One day you’ll be full of hope, another day the enorimty of the betrayal might be so bad you think it will never ever be fixed.
    Do not worry about hurting him right now. Obviously don’t be purposefuly cruel if you can help it, but there will be many things said over the next stage of your relationship which may sound mean and cruel and hurtful, but you know what? They need to be said, becauase they are thoughts you have. YOu have every right to question his sincerity. You’d be a fool not too. It seems your husband has a head start on you. He’s been thinking about/ working on recovery for many months before you found out. How can you possibly be in the same playing field. If he is genuinely recovering, he will understand that you are in early days and will need time, so much time, to comprehend where you are in your life together. If he had been honest and upfront with you when he started the recovery, then you’d have had the time to work on your own feelings, but he wasn’t. Kudos to him for seeking help. Most men don’t. However, how can one be truley seeking recovery when still lieing to his wife?
    Be aware that he may be the perfect husband in many ways. He can tell you he loves you and only ever loved you, and yes, he will likely mean it. However, if the addiction grabs hold again, if he just has to check it out “one more time”, then the words mean nothing and he will indulge his addiction anyways. It doesn’t matter how much he loves you, he will recover because he wants to be a healthy person, not because he doesn’t want to hurt you. In the addicts mind “what she don’t know won’t hurt her” is a big mantra (in my opinion).
    I do believe my husband loves me very much, but thats not going to stop him form doing anything. He loved me before he started acting out, he loved me during, and he loves me now that he’s stopped. So, he’s loved me no matter what. For me, that means he will do what he does, no matter what.
    Just an example of how I accepted his loving words without question:
    We are married, but i refused to wear my original wedding rings as they mean nothing to me now, so I said I would accept and engagement ring from him, and maybe someday, we’ll get me a wedding band. This serves as a reminder for the both of us that things are not as they were, and if he wants me to wear a wedding band to signify that I am his wife, then he has to work for it. So, several months after the truth came out, he got on bended knee and tearfully put a gorgeous Tiffany diamond ring on my finger. The words were so kind and sweet, and i fell for it, hook line and sinker. ABout 6 weeks later, 1 day after out 10 year anniversary, I found out he had been lieing and ommitting facts about his activities. Despite months of talking the talk, and being the most perfect husband in every way, yup, he had sex with a prostitute before d-day. He had sworn over and over that he had not been pysically unfaithful. Oh, how many times I heard the “no matter what I did, i couldn’t do that to you” or “it was never about the sex, it was about fantasy”, or “I would never risk your life by exposing you to STD’s, I care too much about you”.

    So you see .. things are not always as they appear , and you need time to evaluate your position.

    Do the Recovery Nation work and let some of it sink into you. This thing is all so confusing. I know at first I was very resistant to anyone who said my husband might not be sincere. I though “not my husband, he IS a good man, now that this is out in the open, he’s doing what he has to”. How I had to eat my words when the sh*t landed on my face and I realised that yes, he was doing the minimum of what he had to, but not enough to keep him clean in the long term. This is not something that can be fixed in 3 months. This is the rest of your life. This is what I struggle with. Can I spend the rest of my life knowing that there is a good chance he will go back to the adiction at some stage?
    I’m 8 months in, and for every good day, there are 2 bad ones. I hope the trend goes the other way soon…

    Be well

    1. Addicts don’t even know what true love is! They can’t even feel or have empathy for us! There’s is a selfish, fake, false love! I’m in the beginning stages of finding out my husbands a lust-sex addict! I’m a Christian and he has went to our church leader and confessed everything. That was huge for him, hiding all that trash since childhood! I’m lucky, my husband has a true desire to change. To not only make it up to me, but to God!
      Through him starting the 12 step, and reading the Bible early in the morning and listening to spiritual videos, he arms himself for the day! He’s treating me more like a daughter of God and less like a sex object! I know without me bringing all these lies of his entire life to a surface, by the Holy Spirit. I hold him accountable, and at times I’m devestated and angry, when info is found by me. Through the years I knew something was terribly wrong, but had know idea it was an addiction! He had a come to Jesus moment! He wanted to confess everything and be clean. To start fresh. So here we are. I know without me he would have never cleaned his life up. I was the one in his life that figured things out and held him accountable. This gives me great strength and love for him! My self worth had been beatin down for years. I was never good enough for him. But now I know it wasn’t me it was him and his addiction. I know I’m good enough for me and for my Heavenly Father.
      We are into 3 weeks and at the end of the day I ask him, where you tempted today to lust after, (that dopamine high), any women today. So far he tells his interaction with them and how he never looked a second time to lust after them. I know there will be days that he will relapse, if I didn’t think that I would be kidding myself! So I mentally prepare for that day. To be calm with him, thank him for being honest! Ask him what he could have done different that day! We haven’t cross that moment yet!
      This is a little advice I told my husband. When you have that desire to lust, remember the words of your wife! When you lust, you are telling me IM NOT GOOD ENOUGH, ILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH, because of your addiction! Remember your your children’s faces, and your mothers tears! Satan is trying to when the war on destroying families. The most important thing is families, and there being ripped apart! Everyone suffers!
      I’m doing my homework on setting some boundaries! To help me feel safe! Sex addiction is a form of abuse towards the spouse! We have to protect ourselves, if we are going to ride this roller coaster. We have to surround ourselves with safe and loving people.
      If ever a time comes and my husband has know desire to change. A marriage can’t be one sided. At that moment I will leave! I won’t spend the rest of my life, being abused. Trying to win a losing battle! Losing who I am!
      I hope all you spouses out there realize we are 100% not responsible for there actions! No matter what they tell us! It’s there circus, and there monkey! Don’t lose who you are! Let this trial build who you are within. Let it bless you to help others. To comfort those who are in deep dispere and who are morning! This for some will be the most painful thing they will endure on this earth!
      I wish all of you strength, confidence, endurance, patience, find joy in the little things, and most of all, love who you are!??

  228. Thanks so much, Starry. I do know that they’re just words. And he knows that I’m going to have a hard time believing him for a LONG time, and doesn’t get angry when I question his sincerity, but I know it hurts him when I question him. That’s what I was having a hard time with. I know (and he knows) that I have to be honest with him about how I feel though. And I’m not that caught up in the whole “not my husband” bit. I know now that anything’s possible, not just from what I’m reading on this site, but also from some of the things my husband and I had talked about. I realize there will probably be more disclosures to come, but I don’t think any of them could be much more painful than what I already know. My husband told me a lot of things he didn’t *have* to tell me. He’s already admitted that things escalated to full blown sex in the massage parlors, even though I didn’t have concrete evidence of that, and he’s admitted that it happened several times, even though he knew I only suspected one time. I don’t know. I guess all I’m getting at is that he doesn’t seem to be taking the easy way out or doing the bare minimum, and he came clean to me (even if he has not come *completely* clean) for the right reasons. I know he might not be completely sincere at this point, but I know he’s trying. Does that make sense? Thanks for sharing your experience though. It helps to know what might lie ahead. 😉

    1. I relate very much to all you went through in 2011 and beyond. I am in the phase you were in then and just hoping your SA is one of the ones who actually got better! I want hope but need truth. Where are you and your marriage now? My H is diligently working his 12 steps and does not want to lose me or his children. He desperately wants to be a better man and peers to be trying. It is so hard to trust him again. I am 55 years old and have been married to him for 28 years with two grown children. I never saw this coming. He is in individual therapy as am I. He is in SA meetings weekly with a wonderful sponsor. We are in marriage counseling. I’m exhausted but I am hopeful. I discovered he is acting out with two separate coworkers back in December. Found out about porn addiction prior to that. It has rocked my world and my soul to the core. But I love this man deeply, want to be held by him and stay with him if at all possible. He is a good man, a professional, and very loving. He tells me he is not a monster but he did a bad thing. Had a pretty rotten childhood with very little attachment to either parent… Alcoholic father and narcissistic unloving mother. Always made to feel like he was a burden. I do feel sorry for him in many ways. But I mostly feel sorry for myself at this very moment for being in this marriage which I now know was based on lies, cheating, and betrayal. Do any of us ever get A success story?

      1. Cheryl, how did your story turn out? The hard reality for most is that even the ones that say they want to make a change do so only for a while. But when things are settled, they start up again. It will be found out tho, and you just have to pray for the strength to get through. My wonderful loving husband, who sounds exactly like yours, went to meetings, therapy, marriage counseling, individual, groups – all with certified sa therapists. And after about 4 years started up again, only worse than before. Craigslist random hookups with anybody for sex. I stumbled across a secret email to a secret ad soliciting sex complete with photos back and forth, meeting times, etc. You say he is a good man, loving, etc. Good loving husbands do not have sex with 2 coworkers. Mine had a tough upbringing also, so what? Now it’s his turn to be rotten to his family? They know what they are doing because they keep it a secret. It is not a hopeful situation. They have to change on their own of their own choice and not because they are caught. But it does not turn out that way I am so sorry to say.

  229. Too weary to type much but here are some thoughts:

    don’t bother tryin’ figure if he’s tellin’ the truth or not. his lies have made him a liar. mental anguish and std’s kill and can be passed to unborn babies, nursing babies,and kids for that matter as well.it happens. tell him to write out a full disclosure of everything & then have him follow that up with a polygraph. follow up polygraphs will need to be done until you feel safe. he needs to give you a baseline to trust him.

    full immersion in sa recovery will be his life or he is not really serious. you’ll see the fruits if it’s real. no guessin. if your guessing it’s bs.

    boundaries are not rules for him but steps you take to protect yourself. coonsequences aren’t to punish him but protect you. a book on boundaries is a good idea.

    being truly remorseful means he will do what you need to feel safe. most men will not. be prepared for that.

    it is sad. i am still sad at two yrs seperated but safe, and my home is not a danger zone. i am healing. faithful to pray hard for him though.

    God bless

  230. Hi Faith – Just wanted you to know that polygraphs are not always accurate. My SA beat the test, and admitted later he had acted out during the period covered by the lie detector test.
    He was in denial, at that time, and I think he truly believed his lies. Although the person administering the test assured me the brain cannot be fooled, even if the SA believes what they are saying, MINE DID.

  231. I agree that a polygraph is not foolproof, it needs in my opinion to be part of the healing process and is useless without a repentant/willing heart going into it. That heart will be evident not something one will have to look for.

  232. Faith – I agree. Before I will consider moving back in with my husband, I will have him take another polygraph. Now that he is motivated and actively working through recovery, I would imagine the results will be more accurate. He is now facing the fact he has, and is still sometimes lieing, I doubt it would show deception unless he is truly lieing.

  233. Wow! It took several evenings to completely read this thread! (poor Sally!) I am new here but honestly feel like each and every one of you are my sisters! It is a bittersweet kinship, though. I need to get my story out here and then I need your input, advice, and support! And I need it stat! I want to go through proper channels to tell my story so someone please advise. Do I email JoAnn? Thanks in advance and I have laughed and cried through each and every one of your posts. Unfortunately, I think I will fit in just fine…..

  234. Hi silver lining – You can go to s.o.s. sisterhood of support and post your’e story. There is a fee for joining. We will be glad to listen, support, and yes, we all tend to advise from previous experience.

  235. Dear Sally – I completely am in agreement with Betty. LEAVE NOW.
    My husband hid his addiction for 14 years before I found out. FFWD: 3 years later – we have been in full recovery mode (therapy, church, 12-step, books, boundaries, etc) and it has been pure Hell. The pain and trauma, panic attacks, low self esteem, depression and confusion are NOT WORTH IT. He truly seemed a changed man – gone was the selfish, angry, hostile liar. Replaced by the dream-husband – honest, humble, kind, loving, attentive… and this took time to START to believe. Then out of nowhere came the Old Husband, reared his ugly head and it shocked the hell out of me. I dont have evidence that he is acting out – but I know enough to recognize the cycle when I see it. I dont need evidence – tracking it down was pure hell last time and I refuse to do that to myself again. I recently came to the conclusion that I will forever be on my guard with this man, looking for clues and triggers that he has stepped back in to the addiction. That is no life. Don’t you want a man that will give you – honesty, unconditional love and acceptance, trust, joy, safety – intimacy? Your SA husband is NOT that man….I am quietly making my plans to divorce, I will not do this to myself any more. It is taking everything I have in me to play the oblivious, happy, trusting wife that is not about to kick him to the curb.

  236. Hi Sally – MJ couldn’t have told the story any better than the rest of us who have gone through the same thing.
    I am glad you are thinking about filing for divorce. These guys do not change. There are philosophies out there about sex addiction being a biological or genetic disorder. Also, those that believe it is caused from a trauma based bacground, and those that believe it is simply a compulsive intimacy disorder. Many believe that the label addiction is simply an excuse for SA’s to feel powerless over their issues. Whatever anyone calls it, the hard true facts are these guys do not change.
    I was in a relationship/marriage for 3 yrs. My h went to an Intensive workshop in LA, has had counseling from two different therapist’s, and has read everything he can on the subject of sex addiction. In the 3 yrs. I have known him, he has lied, manipulated, and always held onto a part of his addiction. Although he continually gave promises of wanting to change and he would never hurt me again, he has never been able to fulfill those promises. He lied up until the time I separated from him for the 3rd time. I filed for divorce for the second time in July and intend to follow through this time.
    RUN LIKE HELL and don’t look back . So many of us have gotten hooked in these promises for change, and sometimes even see cosmetic changes in them, but the cold hard facts are the addiction is always there and most surely will rear it’s ugly head for a lifetime of pain, drama, and sadness for you. It is definitely not worth it! I have had physical issues and ptsd as a result of what my h has done to me. If I had it to do over, I would not have wasted the time invested in loving a man who cannot love me back.
    Good luck to you,

  237. A month ago I had my D ( Discovery day) and it is awful to discover that for the last 15 years you have been lied to!
    I am 33 he is 36 we meet when i was 18/22. We have one kid 6 years old. Been trying for another child and during the fertility investigations I was told to have chlamydia + blocked fallopian tubes. This is when the reality hit me & he had to tell me EVERYTHING or else I was going to throw him out! History:
    He told me he felt neglected by his parents and spent most of his teenage time in his room excessively masturbating…add some self-confidence issues and you got yourself a Sex ADDICT!
    He had a high Sex Drive but when we meet some 15 years ago he was a young man, we were young – I had no idea what was ‘normal’. I knew he watched porn, wanted excessive amounts of sex but I turned blind eye. I was busy with my life, didn’t really think much of it except that he was rather excessive.
    Now I read all the literature one can find to read on this topic. ANYONE masturbating more than 3 times a week should be marked as a RED FLAG!! Make a note of that. Another one to watch for is Sex addiction comes in combos so there is possibility he is showing other Obsessive compulsive behaviours which would have always been there.

    His addiction story goes something like this:
    He would have sex with me, get extremely excited then seek opportunities to escalate it further.
    Internet porn alone was just the START of his acting out. He would see an advert, use it to work himself up & then chase her to meet him! He would miss school plays, social engagements just to be HOME alone to spend the time with his so much loved Internet. Then he work LATE.
    He would then come home feeling bad and being really nice as he would feel guilty. He would promise to himself not to ever do it again….and then well….at some point when he had a bad day at work or too sexually excited he will go into his lonely world and seek for some other escort companion.
    I am humiliated and hurt. But I feel genuinely sorry for him.
    He is sick. I had no idea how smart, intelligent people could be so stupid at the same time. I am attractive, slim and our sex life was always good.
    So for the last month I have been reading and trying to help the poor thing. This SEX Addiction is a horrible thing. It is a pure devil at work. There are solution but He alone has to control it and overcome it. ADD drugs can help and Prozac as well. Exercising and learning self-control. It is the kind of things you would teach your kids and expect the adults to have it…reality is that a lot of adults don’t have internal locus but it can be learned if one is willing.
    As for our marriage, I do not know what will happen but I do know he needs help. As a spouse, I am also responsible to help him to at least try. I am also prepared to leave if all fails.
    For now, I leave the TIME to decide…

  238. So sorry for what you are going through.

    I am 4.5 years since discovery, and going to court TOMORROW after trying for the past 3 years to get a divorce from a man I have been married to for over 28 years.

    May I suggest, for your mental well-being: STOP feeling sorry for him. Stop seeing him as a “poor thing.” It isn’t your job to rescue him. His recovery is NOT your responsibility. As you will probably discover, he isn’t going to want your help. The ONLY way he will get better is if he CHOOSES to get better.

    I made the mistake of resuming sex with my addict after discovery. Talk about a smart person being dumb! Be careful. Take care of yourself and protect your child. HUGS…

  239. I am posting here for the first time. I hope this is still an active group.

    Ive finally realized that I can no longer stay with my partner, for my own sanity and future. I’ve finally discovered his covert activities and confronted him. The descriptions here fit him to a tee…He has been using Internet porn and sex hook up sites to meet others for years….mostly women, but also with couples, and other men. I found one of his online posts describing his extensive experience with smbd and gang bangs,…EEK! Of course he told me these were mostly fantasy. I love that word- “mostly”. Classic way to minimize.

    He told me he is truly sorry and will seek help (has sought it before but did not follow all the steps, thought he could do it on his own, etc). He told me he has Jeckl and Hydei moments. He is correct. There is truly an evil, narcissistic side to his core, though he is also charming, smart and funny. He also convinced me he loved me, but I now believe he is incapable of real love, and I am grieving. He is a psychopath.

    The really interesting thing I find here is how similar these men are and I would love to read any clinical studies that have been done. I think there is definitely a deviant brain functionality. I wonder if it is nature or nurture or a combination of both. I found out there are other men in his family that are also SA. Does anyone know of any studies, articles or books?

    1. Hi Marie,

      The lack of real scientific data is frustrating. Compulsive sex, lack of empathy, impulsive behaviors, etc are all traits of personality disorders, which I believe most of these men have. I have written several eBooks for partners. You will find links to them fro the menu at the top of the page or by clicking here: https://sisterhoodofsupport.org/ebooks/

      Sending you good energy for your journey. ~ JoAnn

    2. Also what isn’t being said is if sexual abuse was present as a child. My husband was molested, had the worst parents so it ballooned. He can’t communicate with me!

      1. Dear W, childhood sexual abuse is often present. Your addict can choose to get therapy, or he can use it to get your sympathy.

        When you accept his excuses and sympathize with his damage, you may be enabling him to continue with his addiction. Hold him accountable. His abuse is not an excuse for his behavior now.

  240. Dear Supporters, I have a question, recently I’ve dated a very nice guy who himself declared that he has SA, but he want a serious relationship with me because he thinks I am worthy enough to be a cause to his switch. He said he is aware of its consequences, therefore in this situation I am really confused if he would be wholeheartedly stick to what he desires as he explained to me that this habit of sleeping out with other girls made him more empty inside. Since there is not much love at this first stage of dating, should I completely ignore him and forget about entering into a serious relationship, or I should try my chance as he himself with out me recognizing it confess his SA.

    1. Run like the wind from any guy who even remotely talks about having an SA!!! I’ve been married to an SA for 16 years and it is a psychological nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

  241. I came here for guidance. I have to say I was hopless when I got here but now after scrolling for 5 minutes of stories to get to type mine I dont think there is any light at the end of the tunnel… My husband has been through therapy and counseling and 12 step. He appears to be changed but I can never really know or trust. There are far too many ways to hide this addiction. Hes never been faithful out of 20 years of marriage. He went through therapy in 2013. I said I would never take him back but here I am.like a fool. I havent caught him doing anything the last 3 years but have no way of knowing either. And i do not want to spend a lifetime of snooping on him. What kind of relationship is that anyway…. another issue is I have zero desire to have sex with him. The thought of it sickens me but I have put out the last 3 years. Usually drunk. Idk what to do. I have lost faith in God. I put on 30 lbs from depression and I and struggling not to lean on drinking. I need pills to sleep every night.

    1. Barb, you need to take care of you first. I went through what you are going through. I started selling and doing adult home parties to feel better. I was in PI mode and I am again. He didn’t cheat until a midlife crisis. I am finally figuring out why he does it, his parents live with us, so it constantly brings up all the hurt from his childhood. You need to do what is best for you! I have been married for 26yrs and have 2 grown daughter’s. I am not giving up on him yet, but it doesn’t mean I won’t in the future. I am not responsible for his behavior or what consequences he gets. I have made myself totally clear. Mobile phones are the worst thing ever. I work in special ed so I can really read behaviors.I can see the switch flip now. I am starting counseling for myself. It is expensive, but I need to do it for me.

    2. I’m so sorry, that you are going through all that. As you said- I was also blind to the idea of sex addiction… married 12 years and there were signs and red flags, but I wasn’t able to see it as a whole thing… more like separated incidents…. now I know- my 12 years of marriage were a joke…. cruel joke of my husband…. all the trips and events we attended, our 3 kids, and everything in between – was a big lie;
      What I know now is that his behavior started before we even met and continue to the end ( I had enough and told him that we either enter therapy or I’m leaving him)
      In the meantime, he was able to completely crushed my self esteem, my healthy sex approach, basically transformed happy, independent sex loving, adventures woman into cynical, snoopy, failing daily life version of myself.
      I’m picking my shattered life piece by piece… but I doubt that I will ever be the same.
      I realized that while talking about love for me and our kids, He WAS LITERALLY putting our life on the line ( since we had unprotected sex, sex during pregnancy, sex while I was breastfeeding) by having sex with escorts, prostitutes and other women.
      I still can’t wrap my head around that part.., I’m very protective of my kids: no sugar, organic food, etc. and during their life, they still didn’t mean enough for my husband, to stop.
      Even writing that makes me so ?…,
      I know one thing: I’m taking care of myself and my children; no over eating, no drinking or pills- just exercise, healthy food, meditation; it’s tough- because most of the time I just want to curl into a messy ball, under my blanket and just cry…. but I know that at some point decisions have to be made…. and I want to have a clear mind….
      Again- you have no kids, you are young…. I would leave; after few years it just robbes you of so many good qualities…. I’m sorry to say that

    3. I recently found out that my fiancé had cheated on his ex wife while he was married and after the birth of their child. He had a physical affair on and off with one of his coworker for more then 10 years and an emotional affair with an ex girlfriend who was also married at that time on and off for about 6 years. While he was banging others behind his wife, he was also in touch with three other “friends” and some of them were his ex girlfriends. He stop the affair but maintained his contact with them on the average of twice per year soon after we started dating back in late 2014.

      Since this new discovery, I contacted those two women. I send them the pictures that were taken at that time. To my surprise, they lied and pretended that they had not know he was married or denied that it happens ( because they were still married). I reminded them that they broke a family and had lost his children as a result.

      In the mean time, I have a written contract with very similar stipulations as mentioned by JoAnn. However, I made sure he will never do this to me by holding ALL his accounts and titles. Remember- we are not married. What I learned from counseling other couples that money matters, especially for my fiancé. Men needs to be reminded that there are consequences to their actions. just like children. I am not here to change him. I know he will have temptations and he will most likely stray. If he does, I will be the one who will most benefit from his mistakes. Not the other women.

      I hope you all well and walk away without fears so you can focus on your on future. Karma will do the rest.

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