I’m Scared To Embark On A Life Journey With A Sex Addict

For 15 years he has been struggling with this sex addiction. It started in college, when as a shy and immature boy he responded to an ad for a call girl that he found in the newspaper. From that point, it has continued with use of prostitutes, porn, and women in massage parlors who do more than just massage (or even more than a happy ending – these women dry hump with no clothes on and give oral sex – sometimes he reciprocated the oral sex, too).

 

Hi JoAnn,

I am very glad to have found your site. I would like to share my story as I’ve been reading through others, and I think the advice of these women would be helpful.

About 6 months ago, I decided I wanted to move to a new city for work. I re-connected with an old friend, Joe (name changed), who I know through an ex. Joe lives in the city I wanted to move to, and was very helpful with advice and getting me connected. Over those 6 months, we started spending more time together and eventually our friendship blossomed into casual dating. I was really happy.

A couple weeks after we had sex for the first time, Joe broke down to me. He was stressed about something. Apparently, he thought that he had contracted an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). I was very empathetic and sweet about it, but he was still upset. After a full day of anxiety attacks, he confessed to me that he is a sex addict. He was feeling guilt about the STI, as related to his sex addiction and putting himself and others he is intimate with at risk. For 15 years he has been struggling with this sex addiction. It started in college, when as a shy and immature boy he responded to an ad for a call girl that he found in the newspaper. From that point, it has continued with use of prostitutes, porn, and women in massage parlors who do more than just massage (or even more than a happy ending – these women dry hump with no clothes on and give oral sex – sometimes he reciprocated the oral sex, too).

I was shocked. Joe comes from a nice family, who I know (we’re from the same hometown), and never had any childhood trauma – at least that I know of – aside from the typical, strict parents who expect a lot from their child. He seems to have everything he wants, he has a good job, lots of friends, everyone likes him. He is very hard on himself, though, and is quite insecure in his decision making sometimes, and he does have some family issues relating to ‘never being good enough’, if you will. He’s never been married, but has been in lots of relationships – all of which have seemed a little odd and obviously I know why now. He never told any of them about his sex addiction. During one relationship, he successfully avoided prostitutes by going to SA meetings (although he’d lie to his gf about them), but during another relationship he fell off the SA wagon and began going to ‘massages’ while in a relationship. It is scary to me.

He has not acted out since we started seriously dating – about 3 months now – and he is actively pursuing SA and is committed to changing his life. He feels like he had a revelation the weekend of the STI and confessing to me. He is telling me he loves me and wants to have a normal life with me. I feel very strongly for him, but obviously I’m scared to continue this serious relationship with him because of these issues. I wish I could be with him, without these issues – he’d be perfect for me. Wishful thinking, I know.  But maybe he really can put this behind him. He also has a therapist who he’s been going to for 10 years (I know, right) who is supposed to be helping him with this and knows everything. That, combined with SA, could possibly help.

He also has never told anyone about the sex addiction, save for his therapist, before coming out to me. I was very understanding and reinforced that its okay, I like him for who he is – its true. That has made him feel so much comfort and confidence, the fact that someone accepts him – I can tell. It’s so true, the addiction is all about feeling wanted and accepted. But I know in the end it’s also selfish. As for our sex life, it’s great – he seems to be there in the moment and finishes, and he says our sex life is the best he’s ever had as far as feeling intimate and everything. I do like to have very… active, if you will… sex, the type that you might see in a porn movie, and it’s crossed my mind that he could be objectifying me, but he’s very loving to me. Is it really wrong to be able to objectify the person you love in the bedroom, and love them more than anything at the same time?

So, that’s where I am. Trying to figure all of this out. Scared to embark on my life journey with a 15 year sex addict – I should add that I am more than 10 years younger than him, so I’ve never come across anything like this before.  I want to be married and have a family. He is saying the same… although before he met me, he wasn’t sure. It sounds attractive but it’s also a bit off-putting for me.  I have been in a series of unsuccessful relationships in the past (I get too emotionally involved too fast), and I don’t want that to happen again… though it already has in a way.

Thanks so much for listening to my story. I’m really looking forward to hearing your perspective on this. You are all so strong for what you’ve gone through.

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Responses

  1. Dear Young Woman, Do you hear how you’re trying to talk yourself into believing that this lovely man may not be as lovely as he seems? You are not a princess in a fairy tale finally finding THE ONE. Your prince. This is a DANGEROUS MAN. Do you hear me? D A N G E R O U S. And they are so appealing, aren’t they? If only he wasn’t a sex addict, he would be perfect? Do you hear how that sounds? He’s hoodwinked you. He’s become everything you want and need him to be, but it will not last. I promise you, it will not last. He is a sex addict and he will always BE a sex addict. He has been in therapy for TEN years? Please, for the love of God, there are tons of hot, handsome, doting men who are NOT sex addicts. You have been in a series of unsuccessful relationships? I see a woman who falls for men who are NOT really available. And yes, it already has happened. You can’t save him, you cannot help him to beat this. You cannot replace every woman who isn’t you, because maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but very soon, he will long for that fix. The fix that can only be gotten in the dark, dank recesses of his sick, messed up head. If that is the life you want, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, then hang on, if you can. I don’t think that you can, and that is why you are here. You are waiting for someone to talk some sense into your sweet head. And don’t feel foolish. We have all been there and that is why WE are here! He’s a master manipulator. How do you know that he doesn’t use the same old you’re-the-first-woman-I’ve-ever-told-this-to-line on every woman before you? don’t be naive.

    Look, if he’s really embracing recovery, then tell him that you’ll consider a relationship after he’s been clean and sober for three years. Ahhh, but the problem with that is that you will never know if he’s lying or telling you the truth. And that my dear, is a horrible way to live. up to you. With what I know now, I would break it off and pronto. I promise you that if he’s on the up and up he will understand and if not, then you will have saved yourself a whole lot of heartache and possibly a life threatening disease or three. Oh,and just so you know. They all have diseases.

    wishing you well,

    Kimberly

  2. The time for him to tell you he’s a sex addict was BEFORE he had sex with you. He has already manipulated you. Don’t be stupid.

    1. I agree March.

      So, let me get this straight. He has sex with you and THEN tells you that he may have infected you?

      I’m sorry, but this is criminal. ~ JoAnn

  3. The first error that all of us make is to think of ourselves as that one woman who can save the sex addict.

    The second error is we believe that the sex addict will change and we want to be the woman he is with when that happens.

    Neither of that is going to happen.

    JoAnn and this site have played a stellar role in comforting and nurturing all of us.

    I am sure though , that as a mother who loves to see her children grow their wings and fly, so would JoAnn want us to reach a day when we fly off this site.Visits now and then only for the purpose of helping someone is fine but not NEED this site for survival.

    If you embark on a journey with a SA believe me you will be a regular here for a lifetime.

    This is what none of us here would want of any woman.

    Love and peace

    Sanityregained

  4. Sweetheart, We’ve all been duped by a sex addict. We’ve been there, done that, heard every lie ever told, believed them only to be kicked in the teeth again, and again, and again. I’m 50 years old. I’ve been married to a sex addict for 26 years. I realized he was a sex addict when I found his stash of porn three years ago.

    I DESPERATELY WISH YOU COULD STEP INTO MY SHOES FOR A DAY. I wish you could see, feel, experience all of my thoughts, emotions, memories, realizations about my life. Sex addicts are self-centered 12 year olds stuck in mens bodies. You will never have a normal relationship with him. NEVER.

    Get out. Run far and fast. NEVER LOOK BACK.

    Best, Betty

  5. Hello young woman,
    Please read what you wrote.
    It’s very sad and tragic, BUT nothing you should be taking on. This man is looking for mommy and you’re it. You will not experience mutuality in this relationship at all. He doesn’t bring it to the table. He has already protected his addiction/compulsion before protecting you. You may now be infected. And he feels bad about that. How does that help you? YOu may have an infection that will make you sterile. You may have a disease you will never get rid of. He will always protect his addiction/compulsions before you or your children. And then he will cry and be very sorry. But not sorry enough to stop.

    Step away. in the name of all that is holy, step away.

  6. Hi,

    It’s me, the writer of this story. Thanks for your comments. First of all let me say that I am not infected, I am fine. I do believe that he didn’t know about it before as I saw some e-mails with his doctor. I am taking the proper precautions, as we’re still seeing each other.

    As I’ve said, he is very honest about everything and I can see that he’s made progress with this ever since he started attempting recovery and joined SAA years ago. Of course he has a lot of work to do. I don’t think I fully understand the addiction, though, and you are helping me see things a bit more clearly.

    JoAnn, I read your story about your husband’s recovery – it gives me hope that people really can recover with some hard work. Does anybody else agree with this? I understand that the risk is high to stay involved here, but has anyone went in with hope of recovery and come out successful? The good thing is: I know about everything now. I know about the history, I know all about the SAA meetings that he goes to 2x/week, and he has invited me to attend meetings with him or even attend therapy sessions with him. He seems to be less in denial and more committed to recovery than a lot of the men in the stories I’ve read on here.

    One thing scared me when I talked with him about all of this over the weekend – I caught him rationalizing. He said that in the past months before meeting me, he would only go to a couple different girls for ‘massages’ (no sex) – because there was a mutual connection and attraction, that these particular girls would do more for him than they would for the ‘usual’ client, that there was something more between them… I quickly called him out on his rationalizing, and he owned up to it. It’s simple to a normal person, but to him he didn’t see that obviously when you’re paying someone a lot of money for sex, they’re going to treat you like you’re special, so you keep coming back. THAT was a real aha moment for me, when I realized I’m dealing with someone who really can be out of touch with reality and has a lot of recovery work to do, still.

    1. Hi Young Woman,

      I guess it depends on how you define successful recovery and sobriety. As far as I know, my husband is no longer acting out with porn, but who knows, he successfully hid this from me for 23 years. They are master manipulators and master liars. I question if your significant other is really in recovery of putting on the recovery face. Even if he is no longer acting out, he is not your emotional equal. There will always be something distinctly childish and selfish about him.

      Re rationalizing: I can’t tell you how many “mouth agape moments” I’ve had in the last three years…..those times when you realize how warped his thinking is, how out of touch with reality he is, how he really sees me, etc. My “husband” has been to SA, was in private therapy for a couple of years, while in therapy and attending SA had a Sunday where he drank himself into an absolute stupor because I wouldn’t have sex with him that morning. He subsequently did a stint in rehab. He now attends 3-4 AA meetings a week. He’s an unemployed, alcoholic, sex addict. He’s not the same man I married 26 years ago. Not even close.

      Addiction is a progressive disease. There are bound to be slips, relapses, untold pain in your life if you stay with him. He will use any tiff, fight, argument, disagreement as a rationalization tool for seeking sex outside of marriage. He will blame you for his “need” to seek sex elsewhere. He will sneer at you. He may even swap addictions as my husband did. He wanted a Sunday morning “treat.” His exact words. I wouldn’t have sex with him so he drank himself into a stupor that Sunday. Your SO has his best date face on now. If you stay with him, you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. For the love of God, leave.

    2. And if you decide to stay with him, please do me a favor. Print all of these messages out. Keep them in a safe place. Pull them out in 25 years and re-read them.

      Please realize that every one of us who is advising you to leave has lived in and may still be living in hell on earth. We are just trying to save you from the same hell.

      I bid you peace.

    3. Please, do not look at my story as a success! We have a decent ‘arrangement’. I am totally detached emotionally from him and I just enjoy my life to the fullest while trying to stay out of his issues and need for chaos. I try to not get involved in his issues, but when you live with someone it’s difficult.

      My husband suffers from major depression, several Personality Disorders and does not know how to communicate, share, feel or enjoy life. He says life is ‘boring’ even though our retirement is what anyone would kill for. We have a wonderful home on an island, no financial worries and he can swim, fish or do whatever he wants. But he is not happy. He does not have any zest for life.

      I care about him but I do not love him. Even though he has not acted out in almost 6 years the other personality traits that all Sex Addicts suffer from will always be there.

      Anyone who can do the things that these men do are not emotionally or mentally normal. The bad behaviors that they engage in show that they are not normal. A normal person could not lead a double life and lie the way they do.

      Why would you want to get involved with someone who is not normal? Someone who will NEVER love you normally. Someone who will continue to add chaos and pain into your life. That is 100% guaranteed. Even if he stops fucking around (no–it’s not ‘acting out’, it’s fucking around) you will still be left with a trainload of his issues to deal with.

      Think long and hard my dear. You have a choice. A choice that most of us never had.

      Love and light for your decision making journey. ~ JoAnn

  7. Dear Young Woman,

    Do you have a best friend or a sister? If they were dating a man who had a 95% chance of being unfaithful, lying, using, abusing, breaking their heart into smitherines would you say “Yes, try – hope it might work for that 5% possibility this could be it!” You’d say leave and find someone better. You’re worth more than that. You’ve come on here for advice. No one is saying “if he does this this and this stay” We’ve all read his history and what he’s told you now and we’re all saying leave. Now it’s up to you whether you really wanted the advice from people who’ve been there and have got the t-shirt or whether you just want the hope we really can’t give. And that’s from someone else who has stayed with her SA husband. He has got 18 months sobriety but this is still only the beginning of a road I would never have chosen. Take a different path. He is NOT special – if he were in the 5% who have successful recovery rate he wouldn’t still be going to massage parlours and lying to previous girlfriends after being in therapy for that many years.

  8. words like “only” and a “couple” are the words of a SA who’s not really in recovery. Oh, he may delude you and himself into believing that he is, but he is not. You are very smart. His tell did not go unnoticed. Going to meetings 2x’s a week and therapy does not mean a SA is IN recovery. It just means that he’s going to meetings and to therapy. The same goes for Church. You do not know if he’s being truthful or not unless you are inside his head and attached to him at the hip 24/7. I do hear how badly you want this to work out, and feel for you, for I have been there too. And yet, after you spent your first paragraph (in your last post) justifying how well he’s doing, you spent the last paragraph refuting what you just said. He is definitely not one of the 5%; not even close. please listen to each and every one of us. If only we knew. By the grace of God, hopefully you have been spared the agony that so many of us have faced after years and years of marriage, with children, and for some us, grandchildren. We have built our lives around these men who often hid this so well, that it left us numb and reeling as if out in some vast ocean without so much as a paddle. Your BF is not any better than any of ours. He is the same. Don’t be a fool. don’t be naive. He’s just gotten more clever in his approach by letting you in, from the get go. Please listen to us. pack your bags. leave. don’t look back. remember Sodom and Gomorrah? its a lot like that. 🙁

  9. Young woman:
    I am a 51 year old female who has been married to a sex addict for 32 years. I didn’t realize that he was an addict for about 25 years. I know, really bright, right? I thought he was oversexed, immature, and cold hearted. I was right, but that was only the beginnin g of his problems. When I fully realized that he was not going to change and that he had some very serious issues beyond what I had thought, I was scared, felt used, abused, defeated, worthless. My whole life with this person had been a lie. I had three children for him, all who have suffered emotionally and even physically at times. He broke my daughter’s back and even makes excuses for that action. He feels no remorse for anything, he justifies everything he does wrong. I have an eye condition that is incurable and have lost some of my sight already from it. I found out about my eyes just after telling him that I was going to file for divorce four years ago. I need the insurance and am now in a sort of trapped situation, Please don’t put yourself in this awful, heartbreaking situation for any man. He is not worth it. He had a choice everytime he stopped at the massage parlors or did anything he should not have. The others are right, he should have told you about his infection before he had sex with you. I pray you will listen to the advice of the women in this wonderful support group. They aer trying to save you from a life of hell. I live with regrets, hurt, disappointment everyday. If not for my faith in God, I would not be here today. Please listen to your mind after reading these messages, not your heart. You will be better off alone than with a cruel, heartless, selfish sex addict.

    1. Dear Debbie,

      I have been married to a sex addict for 26 years. I learned of his addiction at the 23 year mark. We are intelligent women who have been duped by some of the best con artists on the planet. Please don’t berate yourself for not figuring it out sooner. I dragged my SA to two marriage therapists, complaining of all the symptoms I saw, and they didn’t put it together. These “men” even dupe trained therapists. Berating yourself is not time well spent…..I know, I did it for a while, until I realized he duped even the trained therapists. Be strong.

      My best, Betty

  10. Young woman,

    I am a live example.All the women here told me to leave my SA.I did.However, i could not keep away coz i also believed his tears and apologies and his declarations of love.

    Read up on a lot of stuff and following what a few friends here were doing i told myself i too would remain detached.It was very painful but i continued.Of course the physical aspect was completely finished but i did not leave.

    One day,18 months later, i found that he had communicated with a prostitute whom he had slept with earlier.She lives in another city and he communicated with her 2 weeks before he travelled to that city.he did not use his cell phone to re establish contact coz he knew i could go thru his cell phone bills.

    I left him that day.

    I only wished i had listened to all my friends here and not wasted further 18 months of my life.

    sanityregained

  11. After 28 years of marriage, I learned that my husband is a sex addict. In spite of learning about affairs over the years, it was only a few months ago that I learned the extent of his problem. The women who have already responded to you are very wise.

    I have only recently learned that extent of the issues and even events that occurred years ago are very painful. My husband has slept with people who I thought were friends, had phone sex with women I thought were friends, exposed our children to pornography (unintentionally) on a shared computer, strung along many women who believed that he loved them, lied to my face about ending affairs, and even lying about attending to 12-step meetings. For 4 months he tried to keep up the charade of going to meetings, but was really going out to movies (or who knows where else.) He even had his psychiatrist believing that he was going to the meetings, because he picked up the lingo somewhere along the way. After I discovered that he had never attended a meeting, he finally went to one. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. I am usually a very happy, upbeat person that isn’t bothered by much, but the lying has taken its toll. I’ve never had anyone leave me feeling so empty, hollow, and cold inside. Basically, I can’t trust anything he says.

    I was so blown away by what he had hidden all these years. We have had many great adventures traveling around the world together and raising two kids. I have repeatedly forgiven the bad behaviors, when he has pleaded with me and told me that he doesn’t want to lose me.

    People with this illness can rationalize almost anything. A few years back, my husband met a woman in the bar in the town where we live. She was a tourist on vacation with her family. My husband talks to her, gives her a sad story about how his wife had passed away and how he is raising our two kids on his own. She feels sorry for him, they exchange phone numbers and he has an affair, until I find out when he asks me to look for an email message in his account. I spoke to the woman, she was horrified, victimized, and completely apologetic to me.

    Fast forward to last year… He starts flirting with a co-worker, they have coffee together. She text him an inappropriate message, which flashes on the screen while his phone is on a counter. When questioned about it, he is tearful and sorry. I tell him if he is serious, he needs to end it before it starts. He calls her (in front of me) and tells her that it has to stop, he shouldn’t be doing this and it is wrong. She continues flirting at work, so he takes it to the next level. He slips up again, I find out and am furious. He again calls and “ends it”. For the kids’ sake we have been talking through the issues, trying to sort out if there is any future. Today, he had the nerve to rationalize that he started to sleep with this woman, because I had become distant after discovering his flirtations. Put it on me. He says that he ever thought about that they lying and cheating would create distance between us. Unbelievable that he could think that treating me disrespectfully would not diminish his desirability to me.

    I am beginning to understand how complicated this disease is. By sharing my story, I hope that you really think long and hard about a relationship with this man. I thought we had a great relationship and could tell each other anything. We have traveled all over the world together, have great kids, and friendship. I know that some people make it through recovery, but it seems like so many relapse. It is painful to realize how many lies that I’ve lived with, how much dishonesty. I usually don’t have regrets, but today, I wish that I hadn’t wasted so much of my life with this man. I now am questioning myself about co-dependency, because I didn’t dump him after the 1st infidelity.

    1. Dear Monique,

      Yours didn’t think lying and cheating would put distance between you. ROFLMAO. My SA said he never thought that his looking at porn would hurt me. He was shocked that I was so hurt and mad……but he felt the need to hide this behavior from me for 23 years. If he really didn’t think this would hurt me, why did he hide it?

      These “men” are unbelievable.

      Chalk up another “mouth agape moment.”

      Best, Betty

  12. Dear Young Woman,
    Run and run fast, you are delusional, and the “puppy love’stage will soon pass, and you will not know what is ahead of you. I have been married 18 years, to a lying, selfish, childish, sex addict, and yes, they are little boys, trapped in the body of a man. They have so many issues that are and can be worse than the sex addiction, personality disorders.I am in the planning stage of separating from my little child, our son is 15 and has more going for him, then this man will ever be capable of,our therapist, said years, and many years to get him even half normal.I just found out about the sex addiction, last year, imagine, how sick and evil, one person can be, to be able to live a double life for 18 years! My goodness young woman, put your joggers on, and run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  13. Young woman,

    Why would you think so little of yourself that you want to marry a man knowing that he has slept with hookers?

    Why do you see yourself as his savior? What is in it that drives you to want to save him?

    You say you get too emotionally involved and you had a few broken relationships..so I guess you never found a resonating emotional dependence in the earlier relationships.

    You think you have found it in this relationship where he has also got very dependent on you emotionally since that is what he has been telling you.You believe you have found an intense relationship where the man too can feel so strongly and deeply.For once you have found a relationship wheein you are needed where the emotional quotient is very high..where the relationship is very eventful..where there is some emotional drama happening every other day.

    You have been in a few relationships so I guess your life must have been an emotional roller coaster and this relationship fulfills that part too.Believe me our brains too get addicted to all the emotional drama which we equate to intensity.

    Been there..done that.

    It is only after I got off the emotional roller coaster that I realized how abnormal that is.

    When you are with him his world seems very normal to you , you get sucked in and the massage parlors, hookers etc seem like problems which can be solved with all this therapy and SA meetings etc.

    When you are not in his presence and away from him you realize the exact implications of what he is doing.

    Hence there always will be a dichotomy in what you speak coz your inner mind will always be pulled in two opposite directions..one when you are with him and one when you are away.

    That is why your post has two completely divergent wthiught processes.

    Believe me each and every one of us has gone through all of this.

    I too found e mails by my SA to many women where he told each and every one of them the same thing he had told me…that I was his ideal woman and someone he had been searching for all his life.

    I suggest ,if you can’t walk away completely,take a complete break from him for 3 months, no meeting no calls no mails no texts.

    Get out of his world completely..go back to the normal

    world where sex addiction is not the norm…and then see how you feel.

    You will not want to go back.

    Trust me..trust all of us here.

    Love and light,

    SanityRegained

  14. I have just left my husband of 4yrs after discovering he is a sex addict. It is so painful but after reading what everyone has been saying I am feeling stronger already. Thank you for being there and JoAnn for having this site, it came to me in a time of real need.

  15. Truth,

    First let me say Bravo for finding the courage to leave your SA.

    Let me add that i have yet to meet a woman who has stayed with her SA and is happy or one who has left her SA and has regretted the decision.

    Love and strength as you start a new life ,

    SanityRegained.

  16. i dated a man for 8 years and felt like i loved him even though he told me he had a porn problem, such as, masturbation, videos, online sites…i kept telling him that i didnt think i had enough chemistry for him, i mean romantic love but he acted like he loved me to death and wanted to get married; we have broken up but i guess im so naive that i thought it was partly my fault by not marrying him and having sex that he had this problem. If he had a hungry-for-sex wife, would this behavior stop? Now I miss him but I saw this website and it has really shocked me about how damaging this can be. I realize I really do love him. Should I go back and tell him to get help or let it go?

    1. Callie,
      No, it will not get better, eventually they will, not only not want sex with you, they nearly vomit at the thought of it, they only want sex with themselves and the pretty, well shaped pixels on the computer screen, ah, but, then, that is not enough and they start real live acting out, prostitutes, etc. Mine is so bad, he could not wait for a cab at an airport without spending his last 11.00 on a dirty magazine!This is a man 52 yrs. old, then the lying, and as is my situation now, they begin to live in a fantasy world, 24/7. Also, did you know most of these frauds, have major, difficult to treat personality disorders. Also, I assure what you know about this behavior of his is only about 10%, of there is to know. Stay away!

    2. Dear Callie,

      Just as there is no amount of heroin that is “enough” for a heroin addict, there is no amount of marital intimacy that is or will EVER BE “enough” for a sex addict.

      This guy has more problems than you can count. What you now see is the tip of the proverbial ice berg. You love a man that does not exist. The facade that he projects is NOT REAL. In the deep recesses of his mind he is sicker than sick.

      Stay away from him. Congratulate yourself on breaking free. Don’t go back to him. He will only pull you deeper into the web. Get some counseling to find out why you were attracted to this loser in the first place. We’ve all been lured and reeled in by these men. We all have issues in our past that make us crave relationship so much that we tolerate being treated like dirt. Please help yourself to get healthy then find a relationship with a real man.

      My best, Betty

  17. Dear sweet young girl. I married the man of my dreams 10 years ago. I met him after being in a verbally abusive relationship with another man for 6 years. He was the complete opposite. The definition of a real man. He was respected by his employers, he was respected by his friends, and he was respected by his family. Everyone turned to him because he was a pillar of a well rounded adjusted man. Fast forward to our 3rd year of marriage when my baby girl was 9 months old and my son was 3. I had just quit my job when I had my daughter and so I was a SAHM. My husband who is in the computer industry was working late like he always does (typical for this type of work) he came home smelling like perfume. I called him out on it and at 3:00AM he came over to my side of the bed and confessed that he had been having numerous affairs behind my back with other women and their husbands that he met on the internet. Supposedly most of the affairs were out of town and this time was the first time in town. He confessed to 5 women in all that he had slept with. He said life had taken a toll on him and that is why he did it. I was so devastated and embarrassed that we went to therapy 3 times and then I brushed it under the rug because he promised to never do it again….fast forward to 4 years later when I actually had an affair on him. Since I never dealt with it, it manifested itself out of me in a way that I was not proud of. My husband found out and was so devastated that he went out and slept with another woman. At that time I was going to divorce him and we both went into intensive therapy. Everyone told him he had an addiction but he denied it. He said his actions were because he could get away with it. Basically he said he was just being a “man”. I have no idea how we made it out of that hell hole of a time, but we did for our 2 children. I eventually fell more in love with him and we were doing great. He started a new job where he is excelling and I started staying home again with the kids. I truly thought those dark days were behind us. That we had seen the darkest depths of our marriage and made it through….fast forward to last Sunday when my husband told me that he thinks he has chlymidia(sp?) I asked how he got chlymidia and he said when he went to Portland he met a woman at the hotel bar and they went back to her room and she had a condom and it broke. He said he didn’t finish because he was so distraught but the damage was done. It took a few days for me to process and I eventually got out of him the truth which is that he has been having affairs on me for 8 of our 10 years of marriage. That he never stopped even when he said he had. That instead of 6 women it’s closer to 15 women. Add at least 2 sexually transmitted diseases he has now passed on to me (I’m waiting for the results of the most recent test). He finally has admitted to having a addiction. He is crying and saying he wants help which I do not doubt. I do not doubt he loves me in his mind. I have no doubt that he has an addiction. This is a man who has it all. The perfect job, the perfect house, a loving and forgiving wife, 2 beautiful loving kids. The dream about as good as it gets and we are still not enough to stop him from his addiction. Whether I stay or go I will support him in his quest to find help as he is the father of my children and I will do it for them. I have made the decision to leave him when I am done grieving my loss and this is heartbreaking to say the least, but I need to tell myself that this divorce is not my choice. From what I read the chances of him making it through and not relapsing is slim to none. I feel like someone has taken my life and done what they wanted with no regard to my health or happiness. Had I known this before I married him I WOULD HAVE NEVER MARRIED HIM. You never ever marry a fixer upper. Ever. If you want to be standing in your kitchen one day making breakfast for your beautiful children and have your husband come up behind you with a bat and whack you in the back of the legs and then when you fall to the floor whack you again on the back of your head then do marry the guy because that is exactly what it feels like when you find out the truth of your hubby’s dark passenger.
    Hugs to all the women out there suffering.

  18. Dear All,

    I have finally found the courage to write. I’m in love with an SA (Internet porn), and my heart is broken. We were together or 4 years, the lack of initimacy (and a host of other things) led me to walk out on him last dec.
    3 weeks ago he wrote to me, telling me he wanted me back, that he had made considerable progress in dealing with his porn addiction and ready to give me and him the life we wanted (marriage, kids) I took him back because I love him dearly and believed that he was working on himself.
    Tonight he admitted that whilst he’s working towards being over his addiction, he may never over come it and that’s something I should be fully aware of.

    I’m so upset and confused. And terrified to get back involved with a man that has this addiction. Does anyone ever fully recover from this terrible affliction?

    I’d really appreciate your thoughts- I’ve found the previous ones so, strangely, comforting.

    Thank you

    Lesley

  19. I’m new to this Website, new to looking for help about my husband and my problem. I love my husband, very much. And I would like to never leave him. I’m sure that every woman who posted on this would tell me I’m delusional, but I want to write for the woman who started this post.

    What if it is possible? What if this man we love (have loved) could very well become whole and happy and alive and AWAKE? I try very hard to look at the core of what would cause my husband to do (and continue to do for years) what he has done. On the surface, every act that he has carried out he has done to me. And it has hurt beyond belief. But in reality, in truth, he is doing none of it to hurt me. His acts are merely the symptom of his larger psychological problem. It is my goal to help him very much treat that problem. It scares me to my core to know that this could (and probably will be) a life-long effort. I weep when I think of how easy it could’ve been with someone else. But I love him very much. I always have, and that is not a lie, not a delusion. And I know that he loves me.

    I firmly believe that we would all be reacting very differently if our partners were alcoholics, or morbidly obese because they ate their psychological troubles away, or addicted to marijuana, or any number of other addictions. Because they chose sex as their addiction, it’s harder to forgive, harder to confide in even our closest family and friends about. I wish so badly I could tell my sister that my husband is addicted to video games or drinks compulsively and dangerously.

    Young Woman posted that she could actually see the delusion happening in the man she wants badly to love. I have seen that too in my husband, for years. And as the years went by I became more intelligent, more confident to try and confront him on when he would “go to sleep” mentally. At this point he has told me everything, and even if there was more to tell, it wouldn’t make a dent anymore. I’m not leaving him, he knows this. He has completely retold his childhood to me because he’s forced himself to go back through repressed memories and the queer sexual exploration he did before he had even hit puberty. We are very very happy when he stays awake. But still, even though he has nothing to fear, no reason to do it, he compulsively will still “go to sleep”.

    I have no idea if we can make it. I have no clue if my heart will just be ravaged by what I’m doing right now. But there is more of a human there than the actions he has done compulsively and that are due to much larger demons that are haunting him. I would be diminishing him down to just his repulsive and hurtful actions if I were to leave him for them. And he is much more than that. He very much so is everything that I have loved and that has loved me so deeply as well.

  20. To Lesley,

    The answer is “no.” No one every fully recovers. It is exactly the same as any other “recovering addict.” Recovery does not mean cure. It means management and the statistics point out that only 5% reach a state of management. And those are people who want this more than anything else on the face of the earth. Its too soon to know with him. 8 months is nothing in recovery and internet porn is almost NEVER just internet porn. Eventually, they all want to act out in person. I know that this is very difficult reading, but I am just reporting what the experts have written about.

    New To This, you are not delusional in the slightest, however, what concerns me, is your focus primarily on him at the expense of yourself. You cannot help him. As a matter of fact, you are an unwitting accomplice. You are his anchor and safe haven. Of course he loves you. But his love is not what you think of as love. When you say that he “falls asleep,” I feel for you and him, too. But, he will not change unless he’s willing to do the very, very hard work and even though the recovery rate is extremely tiny.

    For both of you and anyone else who reads this. This is a very difficult disease and we must stop making excuses for piggy behavior. We have to accept OUR reality which is that our spouses are unlikely to change and then we have to decide if we can live with our husbands as they are NOW. Can we live with the uncertainty and the extremely high likelihood that no matter what therapies he embarks on, that he will not be able to sustain sobriety? And even if he does, for a time, most sex addicts will find another addiction to latch onto and 95% WILL slip back into the original addiction. No, it does not mean that they are bad people. No one is ALL bad. But they do exceedingly bad and hurtful things. Yes, its sad. But what’s even sadder to me, is the woman who stays by her man,with the hope that her love will be enough to heal them both, only to find out one day that she has cervical cancer or something even worse.

    Is it really worth it and having your heart continuously decimated over and over? We all go through this. We all have our limits. And some of us come to the crushing realization sooner than others. I’m so incredibly sorry that this has happened to you. It truly sucks, doesn’t it? K

  21. I have been married to a sex addict for 8 years now and i am at a breaking point. He never communicates with me but has had sex with my good friends, co workers, babysitters etc. Why do i still love him? He treats them like gold and me like shit.

  22. I found out six months ago that my husband is a sex addict. He has a graduate degree and a well paying job. He also is out of touch with reality, has no personal boundaries, and does not respect other people’s personal space. He lies to himself and me constantly and is not even aware his perceptions are warped. I feel like he must despise me a(nd other women) to humilate me to the public this way, to shatter every piece of my belief system, to shake my belief inGod. He is going to counseling and insists he is in recovery. What a joke. He simply going to counseling and a twelve step program. I know he will never change although he says he will be one of the 5% that recovers. I refuse to buy into this delusion and he is angry that I won’t play along. I am only still here due to a serious health problem. I live on the other side of the house. He is my roommate. I hae to have friends, both female and male that I can spend time with so I can be around normal people. I can only stand his twisted mouth diarrhea for so long, then I have to excuse myself so I can screw my head back on straight. If his lips are moving, he is lying. I don’t sleep with him. He was molesting me while I was sleeping. He admitted to it. No wonder I developed a serious sleep disorder. And I have constant nightmares. I deeply rdgreg evef meeting thus guy. I WOULD NEVER HAVE MARRIED HIM. He is a pathological liar with a personality disorder. If you can, run far away, and fast. I am working on my exit strategy. On some days, I just want to get in my car and drive forver, far, far, away.

  23. Dear Young Woman, I so, so agree with Kimberly, I want to add one more issue for you to strongly consider, it will not be long and he will not want to, or be able to have sex with you, as you cannot compete with the images he has branded in his brain.I urge you, before yuget in too deep, get AWAY from him…….. I have just left my marriage of 18 years, just consider this, how sick, mean and evil is it to marry someone, and lie and manipulate them for 18 years, yes, all that time , and I just found out last Spring. My biggest problem is accepting it, I am trying to grieve, the man, the marriage, that I thought I had, but really it never was real, he is a fraud!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Hi everyone,

    I have been following your comments over the past couple months and really appreciate the support. It has been helping me put things in perspective.

    About 2 months ago, I told Joe I needed to take a step back from our relationship. He was taking the right steps in getting better – going to SAA meetings twice a week, keeping a journal, treating himself well and not acting out. He was treating me well, too; and had been completely honest with me. Probably too honest, I know everything about his past.

    It has been really hard for me. I found I wasn’t as concerned about him acting out – actually, I was constantly obsessing about the past and thinking about the disgusting things (in my mind) he had done. I loved him, but I was also disgusted with him at the same time. I started to look at the ‘redbook’ prostitute websites because I was curious, and I read about sex addiction all the time. It was taking up too much of my precious time.

    I knew he was really committed to getting better. He had one slip up where he looked at the ‘redbook’ prostitute website. He said he wanted to see if the people he had visited in the past were still on there. He told me about it a couple days after he did it, because I could tell something was wrong and asked him. Apparently he just looked at the site, and maintains that he has not acted out. After that incident, he decided he was going to commit to removing any type of online porn from his life (I had told him I was fine with him looking at it, because I look at it too sometimes). He was only looking at porn a couple times a week, according to him. But he decided he doesn’t want any of it in his life anymore. He had a friend from SAA install blocking software on his computers at home and keep the password, so all porn/prostitution related sites are blocked now.

    These were great steps but it wasn’t enough for me. I knew he needed to focus on himself more if he was really going to recover. So, hard as it was for me to detach, I broke up with him, and I am so happy I did. Not because I’m done with him and he is a piece of shit. Because he is now 150% committed to recovery.

    He goes to SAA meetings almost every day and when he can’t, he calls in to them. He has a sponsor who he meets with regularly and is working through the steps. He has FINALLY confided in important people in his life about his addiction – his sister, his friends – more than just his shrink and people in SAA. He was scared to do that before, although I told him he should. I am already seeing noticeable improvements in him in the two months since I broke up with him, more than in the six months while we were dating and he was half assing the recovery.

    We still talk and I do miss and love him. I’m very busy with my job and very independent. I’m going on dates with other people but I’m not finding anyone else attractive, really. EVERYONE has their issues, it’s just a fact of life. Some are worse than others, obviously. I can’t say that I won’t get back with him – if he continues to improve and works through the steps, I may just feel a lot better about this whole thing and may be able to deal with dating a recovering sex addict. I think it just takes time. One woman on this site mentioned that she’s worked with her husband for 5 years in recovery and they are finally at a decent place. I have to continue to evaluate whether or not I can really trust him.

    I will continue to update you, and of course, any advice is appreciated. Thank you so much for this outlet for me – it is more helpful than I think we realize!

    xo
    Young Woman

  25. Sheesh another SA who has managed to pull a fast one.Another naive woman.

    Will this never end?

    Why are we women always trying to be such Madonnas?

    Is all this the result of centuries of indoctrination that we women are saviors?

    Why do we think so little of ourselves?

    Why dont we raise the bar?

    If you are married, have kids, are financially dependent ,or want a lifestyle the SA can provide one can understand.These are not good reasons but at least theses are reasons.

    But this in the name of love?

    Why ?

    Just remember one thing..what we put up with , we end up with.

    Sanity

  26. Young Woman,

    EVERYONE has issues? Oh my. Sure, everyone does, but what we are talking about is not an “issue.” Its a sickness and not everyone is sick. Can you EVER trust him?

    no. you cannot.

    Sex addicts are sly, sneaky, crafty creatures. Are you with him 24-7? No, you are not. Are you WITH him at his meetings? No. you are not. (if he’s actually even going!) Are you listening in on his convos with his “sponsor?” no, you are not and furthermore, I have heard countless stories of so-called sponsors who were not any closer to sobriety than were their sponsees. Going to meetings and talking a good talk, does not make a sex addict healed. It just makes for a SA who can put on a good show. He seems to be better than he was? Just wait until the heat is off. Oh, about the so-called recovered SA after five years. It means nothing. It may or may not be true and usually it is not true. I know that you are hanging onto any small shred of hope that you have, but why bet on such insurmountable odds against his really being forthright? Why would you do that?

    So, how does one know if their SA is on the up and up? ONE NEVER KNOWS, and this dear young woman is a reality that cannot be refuted. Is that how you want to live, always waiting for the other shoe to drop? A man who lies is never to be trusted. Do you hear me? I do not mean to be nasty, but apparently, this is all going over your sweet young head. You hear what you want to hear and see what you want to see, but is a dangerous exercise at best.

    I would keep on dating and also trying to figure out why you are not attracted to a man who is decent and honest and why you only find yourself attracted to a deceitful pig. You asked for advice for a reason. Hun, if you went to a store and bought some meat and then got food poisoning, would you ever go back to that store? Even though its an a attractive place and has lots of other foods that you enjoy, too? No, you would not. You would never shop there again. Let this guy go. Do not follow his “progress.” Do not contact him or chat, text, email or anything. He is poison. Do you understand? He is pulling the wool over your entire head. This is fun for him. Please, please, for your own sake. I’m not saying this out of bitterness, but only because I too, felt as you did, and had to learn the hard way. We’re trying to save you from making the same hideous mistakes many of us have made. There are plenty of good, handsome, sexy fish in the sea– that are not sick. Please, just let this one go. you did the right thing by breaking up with him. Stay strong! I have faith in you! best, Kim

  27. PS, in the paragraph where he said that he was JUST “looking to see if anyone he knew was still on there?”

    HE’S LYING, LYING, LYING, LYING!!!

    He was on there looking for sex and if you believe otherwise, then you are a fool. sorry, to sound so mean. I have been a fool too. Too many times!

    Oh, this makes me so angry! Please, for the love of God–get AWAY FROM HIM! I am worried about you! K

  28. I really so totally agree with Kimberly’s new post. I was married for 18 years, and to add to my previous posts, I did leave my marriage, 4 months ago.I am working with a therapist that studied with Patrick Carnes, I am told by her, there is no such thing as a 5% recovery rate, there is NEVER a full recovery!!!!
    Management is the best you could ever hope for, well, he can manage his own sickness, he has NO capaciy for remorse, he never ever was sorry, and as my therapists warned me, he would not miss us, and they were right.
    It is a sad, sad, situation, that these sick, immature, narcistic, men put us in. They devestate us, and then to boot, the majority of us are left to raise fatherless children! My gosh ladies, I cannot say it loud enough, get out, anyone who can lie, manipulate, sneak, to this degree, imagine what else they are capable of. It is a dangerous situation to be the thing in between them and their addiction.
    Nuff said!

  29. The recovery rate or rate to get it to a manageable level is 5% because most are a**holes that don’t want self-improvement. Recovery is not an event. It’s a lifestyle and an overhaul of all aspects of life. There is no excuse for living a double life which devastates partners and children. SAs lack basic human decency.