line-in-the-sandAn important part of staying in a relationship with a Sex Addict is setting boundaries. These boundaries let the Sex Addict know that they can no longer abuse you and that you value yourself and have the self confidence to stand up for what you know is right for you. These boundaries also act as the ‘line in the sand’ that makes very clear what actions you will not accept from your spouse or partner.

Before you set any boundaries you must be very clear in your own mind what the consequences will be if your boundaries are breached. If you cannot leave or break off the relationship if they cross the line, then don’t say that you will.

I have told my husband that I will never leave him, and I mean it. He has shown me, through his recovery, what a wonderful man he is. But, he is and always will be a Sex Addict. If he has a slip he knows that it will destroy my trust, which may never return. He knows that if he acts out again our relationship will never be the same. Plus, I told him that if he steps over that line I will make his life so miserable that he will wish that I had left!

A relationship with a Sex Addict cannot succeed without clear and defined boundaries. What type of boundaries have you set in your relationship?

And, once you have defined your boundaries and made sure that he understands them, how can you be sure that he has not crossed that line?

Tell us how you know if your Sex Addict spouse or partner is fully committed to recovery and is sober of if they have crossed that line and are acting out?

Simply pushing harder within the old boundaries will not do. ~ Karl Weick

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53 Responses

  1. My husband is hints at having the addiction. He knows there is problem, but he hasn’t reach the stage of owning up to it so we can work on our marriage ‘together’ like we should. I’m staying because I know it’s meant to be and as his ‘helpmeet’ it’s my promise.

  2. Same here. Learned I am of equal value to our God. He expects me to take care of myself and this body which becomes ill in response to the emotional upheavals and verbal/mental abuse.
    I do not GET him-He does not GET me-AND-that doesn’t make me sick, wrong, a Drama Queen, etc.
    A SA cannot GET a loving, self-sacrificing, giving partner.
    There “spiritual” place is filled with-in my opinion-the “idolatry” of abusing/mis-using human sexuality-We have brains with emotional wiring-unlike most animals.
    When are wiring is healthy-we assume others know the “rules” of how to treat others-Have an open mind and open heart-
    Thus, the endless thinking on my part if I could just make myself clear-say it a different way-research and understand more-Love him back to good health where he could see and feel how much better Real love and Intimacy are.
    He thinks he got it-and-I just won’t let it go-so “He just gives-up”.
    Moved out two years ago-
    Working on Master’s, taking Certification in Addicttionolgy.
    Going on 60. Worked out Family of Origin, etc. 20 years prior to meeting the Love of My Life-I was healed-ready for it all-worked through past-partner rape, etc.
    Didn’t see him coming.
    After almost seven years-learned-because he pasted a lie detector-when we knew he shouldn’t-that he is a Compulsive Liar-helped me find my Sanity-

  3. As my user name shows…I am lost and confused. Do I stay or do I go? We pretend every day until a new discovery. I know about the childhood sexual abuse but that’s all I know about that. No details what so ever besides who did it. I cannot feel sorry for him any longer and continue to allow his behavior. I catch, he listens to me cry and scream but basically says nothing, he shuts down. I’m only in my early 30 and if I am going to leave I should probably do it before I get any older. I do love him, he’s a great provider and father. What to do, what to do..

  4. Wow! i was away for a couple of days… and so many new women writing in… its both heartening and heart breaking reading every new story…

    L&C— If he’s shutting down which is not an atypical response from an addict who is does not yet see that what he is doing is not only destroying you, but also himself… there really isn’t much you can do.

    If he cannot and will not get the help he needs, or even SEE that he needs the help; if he’s not ready to get well, both mentally physically, and spiritually then the choice is whether you can live with “this”–the status quo. However, knowing that this is a progressive disease and it WILL worsen in time and also in that every time you have sex with him,(if you still are and presuming he’s engaging with other women [or men]) he is putting you at grave risk for STDs. There is no such thing as completely safe sex and my sex addict played unsafely much of the time. That’s what many of them do. Their acting out is all about fantasy and then risk.. the higher the risk, the higher the high… and its the high that they seek. Over time, the high diminishes and so the addict will seek out newer more powerful highs usually involving more risk.

    I’m so so very sorry that you are finding yourself in this place with your husband who’s the father of your child(ren) and someone that obviously has some very loving qualities, but also someone who is suffering from something that is much larger than your love.

    Please take good care of yourself. Seek out professional counseling and confide in those that you think can handle this to give you the support that you need. Read all of JoAnn’s E-books and Barbara Steffen’s and everything on here.

    You are not alone, but first you must keep yourself and your children safe.

    Read all of Diane’s posts on here. She always has very sage words of wisdom.



  5. Thanks Lorraine,
    I appreciate your wisdom. That was my first post although I’ve read much on the site over the past several months. I am not in crisis mode right now, infact I feel quite numb, I have confided in only a few after at least the third “revelation”…only to be betrayed. I have no one to talk to, no one to trust. This site offers me so much hope and support, I thank you Lorraine and every member of this site, thank you.

  6. Oh Lost… I know what you mean…and I am so sorry that you have had the betrayal of a friend to deal with on top of all of this. Waaaaaaaaaay back when I was 14, just before my mother dumped (thank God) my extremely abusive father, I confided in what I thought was a good friend and from then on, she avoided me like *I* had the plague or something, which of course, only added to the pain, the shame and the stigma I was experiencing. Back in those days,(40 years ago… whoa!) there was no school social worker or psychologist like there is now, and I was dying to just share and talk with a friend for support–to just let it all out, but of course, she couldn’t handle something so scary as what was going on in my home. Other friends dropped me when they heard that my parents were divorcing and then, thankfully, we moved far away…Today, thankfully, things are a lot different.

    The numb feelings that you are experiencing are a normal reaction and often accompany great loss and trauma such as occurs with the death of a loved one. And in many ways, what you and all of us have/are/were experiencing is also a death. Its the loss of your hopes and dreams and the realization that you may never ever have what you thought had, back with someone you love deeply.

    Do you have a professional counselor? Or even a clergy person? If you don’t know of any, try just looking in the phone book for starters. Please make sure that they are knowledgeable about sex addiction and trauma resolution, etc.

  7. No, I really have no one to talk to. I have several children and a very demanding job and well, even with insurance the cost involved in therapy is just not feasible right now. Not to mention with the numbness I’m feeling right now as well as the mental exaustion I’m just not sure I could even go through with it. I’ve known about my husbands secret life for almost 5 years now, we’ve been married almost 7. The last time I found any new information was 2 weeks ago ( he left his phone and I seen the texts and heard the voicemails, just from that day, all previous were deleted) each time I find something else I react differently, just two weeks ago I told him I will accept him as he is if only he is honest with me, I did mean it when I said it because our life is great in most other areas and I don’t want to divorce for the second time and/or start all over, well after that he put a lock on his phone so I of course, feel differently now. I’m still not sure why I felt that way or told him that. I’d also like to mention it’s only women at this point, he is a bit of a homophobic which is part of his heritage and he’s also never had to pay for it… it’s amazing how many women fall prey to him.

  8. The purpose of therapy is to help you to cope and feel better and stronger and to see things more clearly without all of the emotional stuff clouding your vision. Most insurance plans have a very low co-pay. Maybe someone else has a better idea of how you can get help and support at a low or zero cost.

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through.

  9. Boundaries. That’s what I feel I URGENTLY need to figure out. I am married to the sneakiest of sneaks. He is like a virus that adapts to each and every new roadblock thrown in his way.

    I know if I demand e-mail access he will just go and creat another one.

    I asked him to unlock his phone if he had nothing to hide. It is a non-contract, pay as you go phone, so there is no bill. Yes, he unlocked it…but he deletes everything that comes and goes other than texts to and from me. Even the call logs.

    One sure thing on my list will be the online password to view his phone activity.

    I want to ask him to install computer monitoring software on his own computer.(I have it on my own, but he is unaware of that.) This is something I KNOW he is going to have a cow over and I imagine he will refuse.

    He recently bought an external hard drive to store music and pictures and such on. I found a flash drive that had his craigslist collection on it, however, the files were all password protected. He has since removed them from that flashdrive, and I am guessing they are now stored on the external drive. I do not know how to work the external drive.

    I just cannot figure out what to classify as deal breakers. They all feel like deal breakers to me right now.

  10. Hi aleigh,

    I am so sorry that you have to go through this, we all understand and remember the pain. But you have come to the right place for support and resources as well as some hard earned advice.

    From what you have said it appears that the problem is he just does not want to get any better. He is not ready to be honest, to try to stay sober or to provide any sense of safety or security to you by giving you access to his dirty little secrets.

    This is a tough one because he has access to money that you cannot monitor.

    My take would be that the boundary is that he get serious about recovery. To do this he must agree to go to counseling, give you access to ALL of his accounts, allow monitoring of his computer, a baseline lie detector test and ongoing lie detector tests, just as they do for drug addicts, and whatever else you need to feel safe.

    If he is not willing to get serious about his recovery then you have a choice to make. You have to decide how much you are willing to be degraded and how long you are willing to live with never knowing what your future may hold.

    All my best to you my dear, and please stay with us. This is a safe place for you to share and we will all do our very best to help you through this crisis.



  11. I am trying to figure out how to define and enforce boundaries as well. My partner of three years also adapts to whatever system we put in place to keep him honest and just sneaks around it. I spend far too much of my precious time snooping but as he refuses to be 100% honest, it is the only way I can know what exactly it is I’m dealing with.

    How do you have boundaries with someone who doesn’t want to stop? I can feel in my gut that he’s lying to me and sometimes I have proof of it but if I’m not able to end it (and I’m not) what exactly can I do? I’m so tired of being suspicious and angry and hurt.

  12. Hi Mayam and a warm welcome to JoAnn’s blog.

    First of all, I am so glad that you found us, but so sorry that you have the need and so sorry for all the pain that you are experiencing.

    I have to tell you in all honesty, that if your partner does not see the need to tell you the truth and get help for his sex addiction and is not ready to get well— then, as my husband likes to say…(sorry for the crassness) “you are just farting in a thunderstorm”— But, the point is well-made and I’m afraid that as a partner of a sex addict in active addiction—one who is not willing to stop, your choices are limited. The first one is the most unhealthy, of course, but it is a choice.

    1) Live with it (and get plenty of Maalox) or join him in his addiction. (and ask your gynie for a bulk-rate for all the appointments you will be needing to clean up all of the infections)

    2) Tell him that unless he stops and you mean STOP, that you are leaving him

    3) Dump him and run (Most popular answer)

    Mayam, I think the question is…Why can you not end it? I know that you love him, but does he love and respect you? I was discussing this very thing with my shrink today… I was sooooooooo unbelievably attracted to my lover and that attraction is very powerful stuff and kept me involved with him waaaaaaay too long—so, I get why it is so very difficult for so many women to just pick up and leave. (for that reason and whole host of others) So, is it worth it to eat a whole in your stomach? If you are young and have no children, then what are you doing with this selfish abusive loser who cannot stop a devastating addiction even though he knows that it is destroying you? That is not love.

    You deserve to have the whole package. (no pun intended)

    I wish you much strength and love,


  13. Boundaries are what you set for yourself, not for him.

    If he violates YOUR boundaries you must have consequences in place for is actions.

    My eBook, ‘Boundaries’ shows the difference between boundaries and control and has worksheets to help you set personal and relationship boundaries and also has a relationship contract.

    It is so degrading to live with someone who does not respect you and does not care about violating your boundaries.

    All my best to you, please stay in touch.



  14. Thank you Lorraine an JoAnn for responding. It’s totally degrading. My bf doesn’t believe he has an addiction and I can’t even say we’ve had any kind of truly frank conversation about it. He doesn’t know that I know about his porn addiction because I installed a key logging type software on his laptop without his knowledge. He does know that I know about his escort contacting and that’s the behavior he’s promised to stop, though I’ve caught him twice now.

    If I didn’t have the info right in front of me, I think I’d still believe his lies about not watching porn at all and not checking out escorts on line – he’s so believable. But once I installed the software I learned he leaves my house every morning and watches porn for an hour or more – to the point where he makes himself late for work most days and he comes home from work and watches porn until he comes by my place for dinner. He still looks at escort ads weekly – so I have to wonder if he’s not contacting them.

    The problem is – I don’t want to admit I’ve sunken so low as to install a spyware on his computer – I feel gross about it! I wouldn’t blame him for hating me. Unless I admit that I have proof, though, he’s never going to own up to the porn or cruising the escorts – never. That’s his mo – never fess up to a lie unless there’s concrete evidence – even then he continues to try to lie usually.

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

  15. Sweetie,

    If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck…

    You have enough circumstantial and real evidence to know the real deal here. Like I said… this one is the real deal and in the deepest stages of addiction—Prognosis is hopeless.

    I just loved this one.

    “he said he wasn’t going to see the escorts and that he didn’t know why he’d emailed them.”

    Yeah… I love this guy and I have a bridge for sale, BTW…

    He had sex with men in COLLEGE???? Oh my…oh my… I have TWO bridges for sale… Hun… he is a SEX ADDICT and he will screw ANYTHING, ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME (he has an hour or two to spare which is ALL of the TIME) that has some sort of hole in it. He has the means and the motive and the perfect “cover” in you, sweet woman. I’m so so sorry, but this is the harsh reality. How do I know? I just do… been there…heard it ALL and seen a LOT!!!

    Yeah, a lot of them, are achingly handsome,(my addie is–sigh) white collar, clean cut, perfectly “normal”, perfectly “nice”, charming…. and on and on…

    It is nothing but an M&M-sugar coating veneer over a sea of suppuration.


    I know it all “feels” real, except that you know that something has always been “a little off” right? You betcha… He has it all down to a science and has been perfecting this his entire life. Please, PLEASE do not blame yourself for not seeing it. I didn’t see it two times, and I’m pretty smart and sensitive.

    I didn’t see it because I did not want to see it. Like you, I saw the good and chose to ignore the bad. I am helping you to see it, I hope, because this is my way of making any sense out of any of it. If I can help just one woman make a better life for herself, then all will not have been in vain.

    Now, this boy of yours is especially narcissistic, toxic and therefore, DANGEROUS. And this is no joke. I am basing this on the fact of his little break down when you tried to leave him before… An Oscar-worthy performance, if ever there was one.

    He needs you like a drowning victim needs a life raft and he is going to try to pull you under with him if you try to leave him again. So, if you decide to go and I sincerely hope that you do… you will have to be extra vigilant about BLOCKING him from every electronic medium that is within your power.

    Block/Ignore and if that doesn’t work… Call the cops. I’m serious. These guys can and do become stalkers.

    As for your monitoring him? I think its brilliant and excellent self-care and I wish I knew how to do this. Don’t give it a second thought and who gives a shit what he thinks. He’s pond scum.

    As for me and my story… Whew… yeah… been through a lot… and its all over the place here in bits and pieces… if you care to go through all of the topics, you can find out more about that, if you like.

    I really do hope that this helped you and I know that it is scary to be out there on your own again, but there is nothing but more pain and agony with this guy. He does not really care about you— He has no capability for this and he’s dangerous.

    I do not write this to everyone. There are many situations on here where I see a lot of hope, but not here.

    Again, thank you for sharing so openly. I know that this is not easy, and we will always be here for you.



    PS: You sound like a really delightful woman. I’m sure that you are and attractive too…(narcs love attractive women) It’ll be okay. You’ll see… You’ll get past this and be the better for it in some way.

  16. One more thing… I would not confront him with any of this. As you can see, he will not own up to it—He can’t, because he has also conned himself–He’s a very sick individual. It is only going to enrage him and he is very dangerous. These guys can and do turn very very nasty when cornered with the TRUTH…

    Think wicked witch getting a little water thrown on her—That M&M coating is going to dissolve—INSTANTANEOUSLY… and what’s underneath is anything but sweet and pretty.

    Hang tough and strong 🙂


  17. Mayam,

    We understand the pain you are in, I think you are in shock and cannot understand this madness. We know to well the desire to want to believe in him, everything inside you wants to hear that these things are not true. These type of people can sense what we want in a partner and they become what you want. They have no true sense of themselves and in order to exist they become masters of deception.

    When you confront him with evidence and he denies it and turns it into something else, what is happening is that you are beginning to 2nd guess yourself. They want you off balance, that way they can keep you in a confused state where you never quite put things together. It is like the sun rays that come through the window and you see all these particles floating in the air, this is all the things you suspect, have found evidence to, things you cannot get access to, all the things he has twisted to fit his story and cover up. What happened to me is that I had so many things floating around with nothing to attach it to, they just kept floating. It is like you are in a fog and you don’t think with clarity. It is very destructive to you because you beginning to doubt yourself and think you are going crazy. Like you said, you don’t want to admit you’ve sunken so low – my friend that is not you sinking low, that was a tool you used to help you understand why you are so conflicted. Your gut is telling you things are not adding up. You are not guilty of anything but trying to find the truth!!! All in the mist of lies, lies, lies. We understand, most of us have been through this.

    It doesn’t matter how much evidence you find, I wanted to have proof to back everything that happened. After a while I found that I didn’t even need the evidence, I knew what was true. Actually I found the more they deny it – you are right on target.

    The longer I have been separated from my passive/aggressive SA those particles that were floating, have been attached to behaviors and situations and they no longer sit out there floating in the air. Because I now know the truth of the relationship, they now have a home – so many things now make sense. Things that I couldn’t understand and I thought I was the problem. Not true – no, no, no, just understand they are masters of deception, turning evidence into mush, and you think your nuts.

    Try to take a step back and ask yourself if this is what you want to live with. Always wondering if it is the truth, having legitimate questions being manipulated so your not sure what you really asked, being sidetracked.

    This is not easy, be kind and gentle to yourself, you had no idea, how are you suppose to understand this kind of behavior, it is not understandable. Just know it is not your behavior that is in question.

    Stay with us here, when I came here I was really hurting and so many others have helped me. You will see people who have just begun this journey, those that have been with it a while, and people who have made it through, it will encourage you to know that there is sanity at the end. You are in the right place.

    Lorainne – ditto!

  18. Thank you Lorraine and Jeannette!

    He’s going away for the weekend for a yearly fitness event he always attends – leaving today. Normally, under pains of death I’d find a way to go with him just so I don’t have to worry about what he’s up to but this time I decided to take a break from him. I gave a plausible enough reason and he’s going off supposedly with his buddy but I’m not sure I believe him. I’m struggling to talk myself out of spending this precious time alone feeling worried about what he’s up to and trying to refocus it on me.

    For some reason my spyware hasn’t been working on his laptop for the last three days – it always makes it harder when I don’t know what he’s doing at all. Installing that has been incredibly helpful (when it works – it has occasional down times where it inexplicably stop recording for a few days) – as much as I feel slimy about it – it’s given me alot of info that I otherwise wouldn’t have.

    Anyway, last night we went out to dinner and I just felt a distance from him. It was a relief. I wasn’t really fully angry or anything – just looking at him and thinking, you’re creepy. I don’t want to be with you. We went home and had sex and I felt a little grossed out. You know? For the first time, when he kissed me, I couldn’t stand it – I couldn’t wait for him to stop.

    I feel like finding this group and reading your stories and getting your feedback and has taken me forward several steps in my journey away from him. I read your stories and I see myself.

    Someone mentioned earlier in this thread about telling her SA that he could do whatever he wanted as long as he was honest and then he put a lock on his phone. Boy did that sound familiar. Normal bf’s and spouses don’t fanatically delete their call logs and text messages and put locks on their phone – mine does.

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

    Thank you all for listening. I don’t know when or if I’ll be able to follow through with this. Please continue to offer your honest feedback – it’s been a huge comfort to me.

  19. Mayam said: “– just looking at him and thinking, you’re creepy. I don’t want to be with you. We went home and had sex and I felt a little grossed out. You know?”

    Yes, I do know. After I discovered the disgusting crap he was looking at on CL I have felt this way about mine.

    Mayam said:
    “…spouses don’t fanatically delete their call logs and text messages and put locks on their phone – mine does.”

    Honey, so does mine. I picked it up recently to see if there were any unfamiliar #’s in the call log….EMPTY!!!! Only thing in that phone are texts to/from me. Seem suspicious??? damn straight!

    Mayam, I think you should enjoy your weekend of peace. And don’t even think about him at all. Go have a pedicure and get a nice bottle of wine…on him! LOL!

    He sounds kinda dangerous, you take care.

  20. Mayam,

    Nervous breakdown— Oh, how sexy… is that???


    Good God Girl— This is NOT funny now… It sounds like you have not only a predatory sex addict on your hands, but a “borderline” too. (borderline personality disorder).

    He is very sick. This much is for sure.

    Good you got grossed out during your kiss… Apparently, some of the puss seeped out—eeeeeeewwww.

    I’m assuming you’re ending things. Please, you must do so… but… you have to handle psycho-dude with kid gloves.

    Please do it in a public place and you can tell him ahead of time, that you have something important to discuss with him. Do not let him follow you home. Tell him that you have met someone else and things have started to get serious. (yes, its a lie—This is what we are reduced to, but its okay, God understands) 🙂 Do not offer any more information than this. He doesn’t need to know. And no, you cannot be friends. I think that you should do it in person, however, because this will hopefully help to give him some closure which everyone needs and psychos, even more. A phone or email break up will only make him more angry, rageful, vengeful, hysterical…

    Yes, that’s right, you have moved on and you are sorry, but you realize now that you and he aren’t right for each other and you wish him all the best. You were looking for a man who wants a committed relationship, and he has made it obvious that he cannot give this to you. (after all, its been two years that he said he wanted to live with you, but don’t remind him of this either) Very nice, very cordial–business-like—no arguing, nothing else. Tell him that you will miss him and think very highly of him (vomit) but that this is for the best.

    If he tries to follow you, argue, harass, etc— go to some place public and call the police.

    Block/ignore—ALL electronic medium, door-bells. (he better NOT come to your home!!!)

    If he harasses you in any way shape or form, go to the police.

    Go stay with a friend. Move if you have to.

    Yes, women in your situation have been murdered. i don’t mean to scare you, but this IS that serious.

    If anyone else has any sage words, please chime in!!!

    We’re here.



  21. Wait, you have tried a few times before to break up???

    He is not going to take you seriously, then, because you have always taken him back and you CANNOT DO THAT. I would go to the police first and explain to them what you’re dealing with and ask them what you should do. Perhaps he can be served with the restraining order all at once.

    Sweetie, I am wishing you Godspeed! And strength. Please take care of yourself. Love yourself more.



  22. Thank you Aleigh and Lorranie for responding.

    Yes, my bf deletes selectively from his phone and email and texts. He only started this after I snooped and found a few questionable things. He claims he has always deleted everything because he’s OCD but no, he never deleted anything. Before he knew I snooped he had things on his logs that were months old. He’s got a million excuses. He always keep the ringer to his phone off and always keeps his phone out of sight. He will either lock it in his vehicle at night while we’re sleeping or have it in his pants pocket, which he rolls up and then rolls his shirt around that and then places ontop of an armoire on his side of the bed -I’ve snooped a few times when he was sleeping soundly and found he was looking at escort ads on his phone. He’s now more careful.

    I have tried to break it off with him many times because of his lying. He lies about a lot of different things and I always have that sinking feeling that he’s up to something, which I’ve never had in any other relationship I’ve been in btw. When I catch him doing something that is deal breaking for me – I’ve ended the relationship and then he hounds me to the tune of hundreds of phone calls and showing up at my door when I have my kids here and I end up letting him in so there’s not a scene in front of the kids. I have been serious about ending it – these weren’t manipulations to get his attention.

    I just give up everytime because he wears me down. He tells me how he’s done so much for me and how can I leave him now when he needs me and when we are on the verge of being able to have a life together, etc. (he has been separated and has been dragging his heels on the divorce – that’s another story but it has been the source of a lot of our tensions). His wife wants him back even though he’s been unfaithful to her multiple times and he claims if she finds out he’s dating, she’ll keep the kids (who are older) from him. Hence his not being divorced yet.

    I end up feeling guilty, remembering how hard it was for me to get divorced (though I did it without being in a relationship) and I feel like a jerk leaving him in the middle of a huge life crisis. I know it must sound pathetic. But he has been very good to me financially and otherwise. I can’t explain how far this guy has bent over backwards to help me and my kids. I suppose it’s his way of compensating for his bad behavior -he makes it tough to leave. I guarantee if he was a more typical bf who was not providing financial support, doing my foodshopping and buying me lovely gifts every week – I would have had an easier time getting rid of him.

    My house is always full of flowers, he helps with my kids, my house, my car, my work – you name it. He cleans up. He cooks. He wines and dines me and flatters me endlessly. We have always had what I thought was great sex and romance and adventure. But yes, he lies and lies and lies and who knows what he’s done that I don’t know about.

    I know when I’m ready to end it, I will have to get a restraining order before i tell him, even if it means lying to the police a little bit. I’ll break up in punlic and with a male friend present, and at the same time inform him of the restraining order to prempt (hopefully) his stalking. I know that this is very different from a normal break up and I will have to be very resolved in my decision as the measures I have to take are extreme and I will also have to make sure I’m safe by getting an alarm system installed on my home and perhaps going out of town for a week – i really can’t go any longer as my son is in school and I’m in a joint custody scenario with my ex and it would just be a nightmare getting that negotiated on all sides. My oldest is now away at school, and my new home is almost ready for me to move in, so the logistics are better for me to do this. I expect I can move into my new place by Oct 1, so this is my proposed time frame for the break up.

    I have so many questions. I don’t know that my bf is a narc. I’ve read Sam’s sight a lot because my previous husband was a Narc and an SA but not acting out with other women – he was watching porn 24/7 right in front of me. I’d never been with a porn addict before and I hated it – he was obsessed with recreating his porn scenes with me and eventually it was just a turn off. Ontop of it, he was mean and completely disconnected from me – we had no intimacy on any level at all. I was a basket case because by the time I got out I was so emotional abused that I didn’t know who I was anymore. It took me years to get back on my feet.

    My current bf – who I met 4 yrs later, isn’t disconnected and cold and mean in that everyday way like my husband the narc. He’s warm and considerate and intuitive about my needs except when it comes to the behaviors around what I believe is his undiagnosed sex addiction – the lying in particular – that he has a total blind side. He truly doesn’t get how devastating it is to know someone’s lying to you, to spend your days consumed with the gnawing fear that they are cheating – he doesn’t get it. He also doesn’t get why contacting escorts bothered me. He says he knew i probably wouldn’t like it but puts it on the same level as looking at porn. He truly can’t seem to comprehend how contacting someone in the same town who is offering sex for a fee he can easily afford is more upsetting and worse behavior than clicking on nudie pics online!

    He continues to claim he hasn’t even looked at escort ads since I caught him last year – though I know otherwise from my software and he continues to assert how much he doesn’t enjoy porn, though I now know he is obsessed with it. I haven’t revealed to him that I know these things though I have compiled a file with screen shots of his internet activity, just in case it helps me end it – like if I throw all of that at him and say, look I know everything – maybe then he’ll get that it’s really over.

  23. Sweetie,

    I feel so badly for you… Psychodude done do a really big number on you sweetie— He’s a sexual predator swooped down to advantage of your sweet vulnerable state. I hate him.

    Of course he does all this shit for you—but it is not because he cares for you, or loves you, my lovely woman. He NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDS you, like a parasite needs a host. The “intuition” that he has for you, of your every whim– is all part of the act, the MANipulation, the CON—mirroring your every wish— It totally makes me wanna vomit here…

    HE IS NOT NORMAL AND HE’S USING YOU AS A COVER, a ruse for his addiction!!!

    Again, I’m so so sorry, and his poor wife… but not your problem.

    He’s a sick, sick, sick, twisted SOCIOPATH/NARCISSIST

    Look, I’m attracted to them too, or at least have a tendency to be. (I know what to look for now—Thank God!!!) My father was a crazy narc and abusive as hell… and THAT is what feels “normal” and “exciting”…and dare I say “loving?” I do know… My husband, fortunately is not like that, at all– but I went through years of therapy before and after we got married. And I’m still there, cause obviously, I hadn’t worked it all out yet. Or maybe because of my relative inexperience, with this type of individual, and other circumstances, I was just vulnerable.

    Do not blame yourself, but perhaps use the experience as I have done. The only way to reconcile all of this for me, is to go on a crusade to stop the abuse!

    It sounds like you have a good plan. Great that you are bringing a male friend and getting the paperwork done first. You don’t have to lie to the police honey. Just tell them everything—That you’ve tried to break up with him before and you have children and he’s THREATENING you. (and he HAS!!!!!!) That’ll do the trick. 😉 This isn’t anything that they haven’t already heard many times before.

    I really wouldn’t throw anything about his activities at him, however, or spying or anything like that. Who cares??? Its over. And anyway he won’t get it and this information is only going to enrage him (which he will spit back in your face—guaranteed) and that is not your goal. The goal is that you want to get in, get on and GET OUT and as quickly and as painlessly and as safely as possible.

    You cannot reason with a terrorist. He does not and cannot see that the world is round??? His world is FLAT and nothing you will ever say will convince him otherwise and his flat world is unstable as hell, so don’t do anything to provoke him sweetie.

    DO NOT ALLOW HIM TO WEAR YOU DOWN and lay that f**king guilt trip on you. GRRRRRRRRR… I don’t care if he’s given you a million dollars! That’s blood money honey! And besides, he’s already tried to rob you of a something that’s yours that has no price— Your very soul. But you can get it ALL back and you will.

    He’s a pathetic loser.

    Please make that your mantra or something else that works for you…


    We’re here… Enlist your friends and the authorities for support and stay strong.



  24. Hi Mayam
    Think about what you’ve told us, and the waste of all your wonderful gifts that the world needs, that someone could be cherishing, that you could be celebrating. Think of how the amount of your good time spent compiling evidence and trying to explain to this broken down scrap of a man why his heinous behaviour is offensive–how all of that could have spent building a new life for yourself and your children.

    Please get some counselling help to address what seems like a co-dependent relationship. (yes, I do believe they exist) Is it really about him getting that its over, or is it about you getting that its over?

    Sometimes we are just so afraid of what will happen if we don’t have this ongoing drama in our lives, that we fashion a role for ourselves in it. Then we pretend that its a real life. It’s not. And you are too precious not to live a real life. Your children are too precious for them to be learning that accepting this kind of treatment is what they should expect in their relationships too. One of my greatest regrets is that I allowed my children to see me accept the emotional abuse of my husband and his mother. Don’t fall down that hole. Walk around it. You can do it.

    Big bubbles of light

  25. Lorriane and Diane and everyone, I really appreciate your wisdom!!
    I guess one thought that keeps me – well, there are a few. One is what if all he’s doing is looking at a lot of porn and looking at escort ads? What if, icky though that is, that is as far as it goes or will ever go? I ask myself, Is that deal breaking? Am I ending it because I fear what he might do or might have done or would I be ending it because what I know for sure he’s done is not acceptable? Maybe I’m just over analyzing it at this point. It obviously makes me crazy, makes unable to trust anything that comes out of his mouth and yes, Diane, absolutely is a waste of my gifts and time.

    The other thing that gives me pause is just how much fun we’ve had together – we’ve had some amazing adventures. We travel a lot and we can be in a car together for 12 hrs and never run out of things to talk about – we enjoy the same foods and activities (well, except for constant porn and escorts 😉 So I feel like I’m more compatible with him than anyone I’ve known. Then again, as you’ve pointed out Lorraine this may be part of his con. He does seem to mirror me – I’ve always noticed how he mirrors my emotions – he’ll take them on as his own sometimes – it’s odd. He’s very clever at subtly slipping into conversations about himself my language, my ways of describing something or whatever – it sometimes feels like we’re just on the same page but frequently feels jarring – like creepy jarring.

    I guess I’d do well to stop over romantizing the positives and concentrate on what the problems are -they are huge and I don’t think fixable.

    I often wonder who’s more pathetic – him for spending what amounts to a part time job watching porn and then lying about it or me spending almost equal hours monitering him doing those things??

    I do have a therapist and I haven’t been seeing her as regularly as I once was. I’ve only seen her once since I discovered his porn addiction. She actually specializes in SLA. I was confused last time I saw her because I felt like she was telling me he wasn’t that bad, I should stay with him but she may have been saying, “obviously you’re not ready to end it so figure out how to accept him.” At any rate that kind of threw me and I haven’t been back since. I suppose it’s time to schedule again 😉

    The only reason I’d show him evidence is so that he realizes that I have hard proof and that he can’t charm, wheedle and talk his way out of this one. I feel that if he knew what I know he might just realize how hopeless it would be to try and get me to stay with him. Otherwise, I know him, he’s going to go into this “why?” frenzy – this, “I don’t get it. What happened?” And he’s going to get completely manic and when he gets like that he doesn’t care about consequences – he’ll get drunk and drive to my place even though he’d lose his job if he got a dui, not to mention might kill someone. He just doesn’t care at that point. He’s never been violent – just stalkerish in his persistance.

  26. Mayam,

    I understand completely the somersaults your mind is playing on you… but hang in there please.

    First of all…

    HE HAS BEEN WITH OTHER WOMEN AND OTHER MEN… many, many times—He is not contacting those sites to just chit chat about the weather… nosireeeee— He meets with them too and often.

    There is no question about it—

    He’s a psycho honey and just keep thinking back as you have to all of the creepy immoral things he’s done and said. As you open up your mind to the past, more and more memories will come out of the deeply recessed cracks where they have been rotting away.

    He can talk away… Oh, I know… So could my adorable Predator… I loved him so much, but it is not real. It is false just like everything else is about him.

    And you are not in anyway pathetic for protecting yourself by monitoring him… not in the slightest… Oh my… no!!! Why would you think that? He’s a lying scumbag and you are merely trying to get at the TRUTH that is your right to know!!! You are taking care of yourself and your mind is simply having trouble comprehending the excruciating truth because the truth is twisted and illogical and it does not make sense.

    Reread everything we have said. I always love the way Diane puts things. She has great insights into all of this!

    Now, I don’t know if your therapist is any good or not, but she will only respond to what you tell her and if you aren’t telling her ALL and I mean ALL, then she is not going to be able to advise you properly. If you have been divulging all, she’s an idiot and fire her and get another one!

    Your psychodude is the real thing in THE ADVANCED STAGES OF SEXUAL ADDICTION… and on top of that he is a SOCIOPATH most likely with BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER and very DANGEROUS.

    Any shrink who sits there and advises you that he isn’t “that bad” should have her license revoked. He is as bad as they come.

    You do not owe psychodude any detailed explanations… Okay??? I would make the meeting, accompanied with your friend, sweet and short. Who cares if he doesn’t get it? He never will— NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY! and he is going to give you a hard time, no matter, so do not let him!!! If you need an excuse, tell him that you have another lover or that you’re gay or that you’ve decided to join a circus, a convent…whatever, anything at all, just so that you take the onus OFF of him. This is about YOU, not him!!! This is what JoAnn said… Your boundaries… Your boundary is that this isn’t working for you because of YOU, NOT him or anything that he’s doing or not doing. He’s a “wonderful man”, but YOUR needs have changed. (forever) If you try to make it about him, he is only going to get enraged and defensive and try to manipulate you even further. He cannot manipulate something that is about YOU and your needs. (well, he might try… he’s just that crazy)

    In any case, please take back your beautiful life

    Are you beginning to understand? Sorry, if I’m overstating all of this… Don’t mean to be patronizing… but all of us, do get so blind sided, that we can’t think/see straight with all of this; its so overwhelming.

    Hang tough and write back as much as you need to… Even if you keep writing the same thing over and over again…lol… its okay…



  27. I am beginning to understand. It’s amazing – reading everyone’s story here and seeing chunks of my own story. I am clearly in the right place – there’s not doubt about it. The similarities are endless.

    I had a really good day today. On top of all the wonderful support I’ve gotten here, I went to my gym and I also went to yoga. I went shopping for new make up and I had dinner with a dear girl friend. It’s been quiet and peaceful and pleasant. I feel more clear that I want out of this situation, more clear that his behavior is madness. I mean when were at the height of being madly in love and talking moving in together and blending our families and even picked out a home he was going to buy for us, he was emailing escorts! That would be the one time, I’d think even a sex addict wouldn’t need a fix so badly – we were passionate about each other, consumed with lust and romance and laughter and he’s thinking, “Who else can I f***K when I say I’m going to get a haircut”?

    Then when I catch him he doesn’t even have the decency to offer me any kind of plausible excuse. He just says, “I don’t know why.” Promises to never do it again and then does it again and again and again. Insists for three years that porn bores him, does nothing for him, just doens’t like it. I like a little porn once in awhile (and I do mean once in a while like every 6 mths) so I have no judgement either way. And he’s truly watching it for hours a day! Why pretend you hate it?

    One thing I don’t get is the double life – there are women who would accept bisexuality or an open relationship or porn – so why lie? I’m thinking he doesn’t want an integrated, honest life. He wants a double life – one a conventional, monogamous hetero relationship and the other a free for all. He wants both. And he doesn’t want one intersecting the other, so no matter how accepting I am of porn or if I was even accepting of him seeing escorts – he would lie about it. That’s the way he wants it.

    I am sooo glad he’s gone – soooo glad to have two full nights of freedom!!

  28. I have been married to a SA for 27 years.In the past 7 years I have left him many times.Only to return when he made promises and efforts to change,ie: counseling, church,workbooks.I no sooner got unpacked that the work stopped.I realized I let the abuse carry on, I set the pace for the abuse and addiction to continue.I did not have clear bounderies and once I set them,if he broke them, I stayed anyway.What I thought was hope was just insanity.If they are not willing to do the work, it is nothing else but the fact they do not want to change.When I realized my value and worth it became easier to open my eyes to who he really is.Last week he disappeared for 24 hours.He lied about where he was,insisted he did nothing wrong.Ya know,even if he did not do nothing wrong{I am sure he did}I do not deserve that type of treatment.A person can only do to you what you allow.

  29. @ Kat: “I do not deserve that type of treatment.A person can only do to you what you allow.”

    AMEN SISTAH!!!!!

    I have just finished reading (after my morning snoop) where mine is starting to feel OK with his bisexuality. He has admitted it to those in his “private” forum that he visits, has yet to admit it to HIS OWN WIFE!!! I cannot tell you all how much this burns me up. I have outright asked him if he is bi- and he has denied it!!!! ugh!!!!

    He has complained to me for a year now that he wants ME to open up and share with HIM. WTF???? Why would I if he will not share things with me, and yes I have told him that. I have complained that he will share his deepest secrets with strangers online rather than his wife, but he expects me to open up with him….funny thing is I really don’t have anything to share because I am NUMB and have been for years. And apparently he mentioned something to his sponsor about me snooping or seeing his journal, and the sponsor pretty much said, “so, mark it as private and she looks at her own peril” (I think this was after I had asked him if he was going to share his 1st step with me and he thinks I am PISSED OFF that he said no!–I want to tell him I could care less about your f’ing 1st step or any of the others!)

    I think I am pretty much at the end of the rope here and about to drop it.

    Thanks for letting me vent ladies.
    Kat, take care.

  30. P.S. did I mention that the sponsor is gay and left his marriage of many years and grown kids after coming out of the closet? What kind of influence do you think that has?

  31. First to Kat,

    Thank you for bravely sharing this devastation in a nutshell and no one deserves to be treated like this. Its disgusting.

    For Mayam,

    I am so heartened by your reply. You are a great woman who unfortunately got sucked into the slimy gravitational pull of this predator.

    Your question about “WHY” Is such a lucid, logical,reasonable question that is asked by many of us, including myself. I even asked predator one time much earlier on in our refuckenship, why he did not seek out a woman who was also a swinger (preferably bi which is what he tried to make me). And he said that “he had talked to partner about it, but she would be jealous if he was with another woman…and I love her very much.”

    yep, that’s what he said. Precious, isn’t he?

    Now, I have in my possession my predator’s partner (placeholder’s) blog where we can see her side and also this very same question– and I am going to repeat it here–as it was a public blog, for you to see.

    “Awareness doesn’t stop the questions that are left pervading, lingering, and INvading my every thought. Am I wrong to want monogamy? I’ve always felt it goes somewhat against nature and have discussed such things with my partner, but concluded long ago that I am ultimately more satisfied and fulfilled in an intimate one-on-one relationship. I did not think I was alone in this, so then why did he stay? He could have been living the lifestyle he wanted and needed so why keep me in the picture and dupe me and string me along into some kind of fantasy of life and love everlasting? I would dare say that these are also normal and healthy feelings for me to have, even though there is currently no therapist in my presence to validate *me*.”

    [what intimacy???]

    (As another aside, we can see a very clear example of co-dependent behavior where the partner will move heaven and earth to get help for the (hopeless, in this case) sex addict, but where she is concerned, does not seek out help for herself.)

    But back to us… The glib Lorraine-like answer would be:

    But what fun would that be??? (for the addict) Part of his fun is the titillation, the naughtiness, the dirty, the forbidden—the fuck-you-i-can-do-whatever-i-want-and-there’s-nothing-you-can-do-to-stop-me—All, which only adds to the intensity that he seeks and needs to increase more and more and MORE over time. Sex addicts cannot get better on their own. NEVER!!!!!!! Can someone please make a needlepoint cushion with that embroidered on it?

    But even with all of this, we are applying “round world thinking” to an individual who is nothing more than a cardboard cut out.

    He does not know that he’s a sex addict and he does not even know that he’s looking at porn 8 hours a day! In any case, he does not understand what this has to do with you, because he cannot even begin to put himself in your place. To him, his relationship with you has absolutely nothing to do with his relationship with all the rest of the crap and furthermore, its none of you friggin business!

    He’s a narcissist and appearances are very important to him. A part of him does very much want to have this “normal” life,(because that’s what he thinks he is) but the sick part has taken over the healthy parts—Yes, very much as a cancer does, but this is a parasitic cancer and in order to thrive, he needs a host—and you my dear are IT!!!

    This is why he can’t let go of you. After all, he’s invested ALL of these weeks, months and now years—cultivating you and grooming you into the submissive state that you now find yourself (or did) and that takes a lot of WORK AND ENERGY!!!(on his part) The thought of having to start that all over again is agonizing to him, so he will do everything in his power to keep you.

    I have spent hours upon hours reading about these phenomenons and also many, many discussion with my wonderful therapist. While there are differences among SAs, many do fill certain profile characteristics.

    Psychodude is very sick and he is so far gone, that there is no hope. Don’t even attempt it. His cancer is inoperable and has metastasized to all of his vital organs. He is as dangerous as a Cat 5 hurricane and the only thing you can do is get outta its way!!!

    Okay—it is a beautiful, bright sunny day where I live and my husband is taking me to the beach! Wow! Talk about progress! That Wellbutrin really works and things are much better! Thank God! I would like to take this opportunity to put everyone who reads this into the warm, healing, comforting light of love. And I’d like to include all of our sex addicts, no matter how they sick they are too…Everyone is in the light. 🙂 Its not for us to change them; we can only change ourselves and state our needs, but perhaps through the grace of God, there will come a time, when they will seek out this help for themselves. We can only pray.



  32. Thank you Kat, Aleigh and Lorraine for sharing.
    Lorraine – I hope you enjoy the beach today!
    Kat, I hope you continue to recognize that you don’t deserve this treatment and build a beautiful life for yourself without an abusive addict.

    Aleigh, I look forward to the day when neither one of us engages in a morning snoop! I hope you too find some solace and healing. These guys aren’t on a journey with us – they are on their own trip and we are just the suitcase they drag along. They’re missions are to find themselves through the ends of their penises or something. Sometimes it involves us and sometimes it doesn’t I guess.

    Your husband sounds like he’s way more interested in being real behind your back then with you. I don’t think mine is real anywhere. He’s just self-medicating with one porn site and possibly escort after another, never stopping for one moment to think about what he’s doing, who he is, what he wants, let alone what he’s doing to me. He has no idea who he is and isn’t even trying to sort it out – he’s just blowing through life (literally and figuratively I’m sure) without stopping.

    My bf keeps sending me lovey dovey text messages from his “trip” – yuck. I hate him. I actually don’t even think he went out of town yesterday – when I snooped in the afternoon, I saw he’d paid a bill on line at a time when he should have been half way into driving to his destination, in the middle of the desert, in a car, no where near a computer! He claims his phone doesn’t have internet. Of course he also claims his house doesn’t and via my snooping software, I know he does have internet and uses it constantly! So, I’m assuming he stayed in town yesterday and used his private time for who knows what, then left very early this morning for his destination.

    This is the bs I deal with every day – a man who will lie about leaving for a trip to steal a few private hours to engage in his addiction! Of course, he still wants to call and text me incessantly for fear that I’m up to the same thing he is I guess or just to check in to make sure I’m not on to him. What’s the effing point?? Can’t he just say he needs time to himself? Can’t he just say he’s not ready to be monogamous – I’ve had many men tell me they aren’t ready for a relationship – you take it or leave it – end of story – no lying necessary!

  33. I’m so irritated right now – I shouldn’t be perhaps. My bf is off doing his fitness thing – and he keeps calling me to tell me what’s going on and get moral support and give me updates on his progress. He says he went on this trip with a male friend but I have reason to believe he’s lying – of course, him opening his mouth is reason enough to believe he’s lying. For instance, this morning he calls and says, I just got to the track – I, I, I – no we, just got there, which would be the case as they only have one car. And he got there really late in the morning, which also makes no sense at all – why would he leave yesterday if he wasn’t going to even go over to the track until 10am?

    Grrrr why to I care? I have to just turn off the compulsion to analyze and worry about his stories – it doens’t matter anymore – it’s over. I’m breaking off with him just as soon as all of my ducks are in a row! I guess it really is just a bad habit at this point.

    Thanks for reading my vent!

  34. I moved out two years ago because he hit me.
    He hit me again. He hit me with the palm of his hand to my forehead-left no marks-knocked me out-He showed remorse and sorrow for the first time.
    I had already set a boundary of going no where with him in a vehicle because he has only acted out his anger when he cannot be heard-like the basement of our house or in a vehicle.
    He has a history of violence and abuse I did not know about.
    He went back to our Faith based 12-step. He is working with other support people. He said he takes full responsibility-says he cannot trust himself.
    After attending a Couples Retreat, for SA’s, he past a Polygraph-He shouldn’t have passed.
    It would have been painful if he had failed! I was hoping it would shake him out of his “denial”-we’ve been in couple’s therapy for six years.
    He re-invented our entire history and past.
    We have contact by phone-
    I am ill. I have been dependent on him since May.
    He truly believed he was in “recovery”.
    Anger, compulsive lying, sex addiction-he even Yo-Yo diets until I fear he will have a heart attack.
    Nothing has ever been done about his anger and abuse except a couple of Anger Management classes and fines.
    This would have been his 3rd Domestic Violence charge-I suspect more.
    He is best friends with our county sheriff-went to him immediately.
    He did take me to the ER. He said police said nothing will come of it.
    Talked to Safe House worker. Victim Coordinator for procecuting attorney. Says they will review incident-decide on charges, etc.
    Part of me is relieved he has to not be alone with me.
    In-Patient Treatment for his addictions would be a God-send.
    If he would receive treatment for “Addictions”-and want to change for a better life-he is a ggod person-relationship worth saving.
    I am continuing in 12-Step to be sure I am doing all I can to correct the damage of being in the relationship-afraid of choosing another addict-looking back on life-he is not my first sex, anger, compulsive liar addict.
    Worked all this stuff out many years ago. Did it again. I cannot trust myself.
    Counselor suggested I apply for disability.
    I have worked so hard to have an education-in Master’s program now. Was making $52,000 a year.
    My life is in shambles-borrowed rent money from my mother’s funeral fund this month.
    Grieving for loss of health-due to workplace bullying, discrimination, etc.-I do not have the strenght to file EEOC papers.
    Have several invisable disabilities-have never asked for accomodations-haven’t been able to get employer to fire me or have a constructive discharge because I am a permanent employee-who has never been disaplined-found and was told-being drummed out of my job-stress landed me in hospital-went on FMLA, then asked for time via ADA-never knew employment rights or American with disability rights before May.
    He didn’t want me to fix up place i am renting-waste of money. I wanted to move back home in desperation when this happened-He said No. He almost kicked me to the curb-need his health insurance for now.
    Been together almost 7 years. Lived apart over 2 years.
    Sold my house. I am 56-lived by myself with children, most of adult life.
    Thought education and skills would keep me from the “Bag Lady Syndrome”.
    Not so. I have church resources I will have to use this month.
    I feel I lost everything at once.
    I told him we are not even Friends With Benefits.
    We sit by each other in church. Are cordial about bills and money. Other men in church influenced him not to just abandon me at this time.
    WE were still using my income to imrove our main house. My name not on house. I am good with money due to past experience and employment-Credit Counselor, Fed. Contracting, etc.
    He has been humble and apologised.
    He so beleived he would NEVER hit me again.
    He so beleived he would never act out his SA.
    I don’t even know if he is so in denial-and seperated from himslef-that he hasn’t had a douple life. He works 13-15 days a month, 12 hour shifts. Plenty of time to do what ever.
    He shops alot. Always falling in love with a truck, motorcycle, tools-Stuff-seems to always be looking for something.
    I do not spend enough time with him to know how much of SA is managed. Couldn’t handle the public problems-women coming up and putting their arms around his, etc. His running me around pushing a shopping cart at Walmart so he can go past or make eye contact with a woman. Felt in my guts-thought I was losing my mind-SA diagnosed 2 years into therapy.
    He insists Anger his only problem.
    Don’t know if he has been physically unfaithful. Some SA’s act out on trips ouit of town, etc.
    I am much older now-I am so tired-do not want to start over-reinvent myself yet again.
    Health needs to stabilize, first. Hard with a concussion. I may be depressed.
    Severe time and memory problems right now.
    So disappointed in myself-that I am here-I have always had Plan B, C, and D.
    I am afraid of losing a place to live-loan on car to pay medical deductible.
    Do not want to file claims against employer-Have to.
    It is going to be huge-and they will attempt to bury me-
    I am usually strong yet gentle as i go through life-way of being in the world.
    Not suicidal. Just wish God would call me home.

  35. Soulinthesun…

    I am so upset right now… Tears are just streaming down my face. I want to rip that fucker’s head off for what he is doing to you… You have no idea.

    You are such a sweet, lovely woman and he has sucked the very soul out of you… but it is not gone forever, however you’re coming awfully close honey. Please choose life!!! It is so precious and wondrous and it does NOT HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS!!!

    Please RALLY AROUND YOU ever social service, battered woman’s shelter, church, friend, family— and seek THEIR HELP. There are services to help women who’ve been so traumatized and battered and beaten down that they can’t even figure out how to make breakfast.

    You cannot do this alone.

    You must leave him.

    Do you hear me?

    You have rights and you will be needing an excellent lawyer and TOGETHER, you can sue his pathological ass for every little truck, motorcycle and tool he has—and then hopefully have him put away—where he belongs.

    Then sue your fucked up employer as well.

    Sue the police.(for not pressing criminal charges against a FELON) Sue the town. Sue the county. Sue the state.


    Do you hear me?

    Get the slimiest, greediest, nastiest, scummiest, lawyer you can find and just SUE.

    Get angry girl.

    Get really angry.

    I’m angry enough for the both of us.

    I was a battered child which began at the age of three.

    Your husband is a pathological, psychotic, H O P E L E S S, DEVIANT.

    YES, you are DEPRESSED… and for very good reasons.

    Please see a psychiatrist for some meds. This will help you as you are recuperating.

    And you don’t have to reinvent yourself either. Don’t pressure yourself. Don’t make any demands of yourself at this time, only to get in, get on, and GET OUT of this very sick life sucking situation. But reach out for support. It is there, waiting for you.

    YOU ARE NOT OLD. My mom will be 88 next month and was just starting her private therapy practice when she was your age. She has written two books, the first at 77 and the second was published when she was 85!!! Her husband died 10 years ago and she has lived independently and ALONE for all of those years.

    Your husband is crazy and might as well be dead.


    We are here… too. I’m sure the others will have words for you as well…

    God bless and just sue that fucker… and have him locked away!!!

    He is armed and dangerous and very very hopeless.



  36. Thank you. It matters that you can say and express what I cannot get into touch with inside me. You helped me swat some tears.
    This site helped what common sense told me! I am not a coaddict or codependent.
    I was traumatized by him and his choices, his words, his rejection, his comparisons, unsolicitied comments about my body-I didn’t even think of comparing two “real” people this way. He ignored and minimized what it did (has done) to me.
    I see a doctor and a counselor today.
    I am going to follow through if the sheriff covers for him.
    Maybe this is his bottom!
    I had been working with a couple Faith Based 12-Step programs and plan to facilitate a group for women who have experienced abortion. Working the 12-Steps helps me do life better-no addictions, came from addictions.
    Secrets and the judgemental messages sent by others keep women in shame and self-loathing. For so many-they were often in shock, taken by parents-choice is irrelivant to suffering.
    I will find my voice and power-I am so greatful for this site.
    This happened Since I had dowloaded the Boundaries e-book.
    Never had a chance to show it to him.
    I know changes in my health and income-and-I began making a home where I was-helped push him over the edge. HE WAS SO SURE HE WOULD NEVER DO IT AGAIN!
    Cross-addictions-Only a matter of time before it would/will be SA acting out somehow. He is so SURE about that one also.
    Same alcoholic step-father, extreme child abuse-Overcame all the CoDependency issues, healthy boundaries with family and friends-lived alone most of adult life-except always had my child-and someone else’s children.
    This marriage-this man-was the first time I had to be responsible for Me. He was my gift to me! Didn’t see him coming.
    Changed on Wedding Day!! I hear this over and over again.
    I appreciate Your support and having the energy to rage for Me! D.

  37. My heart aches for all the broken and hurting people who have posted here.
    My husband was a SA for over 25 yrs. We were married for 12 yrs before he came to me and told me he was addicted. He asked for my help and while active recovery took about a year for him to get serious about, he has since worked very hard on recovery.
    The OP asked this: Tell us how you know if your Sex Addict spouse or partner is fully committed to recovery and is sober of if they have crossed that line and are acting out?

    My DH tells me when he feels he is under attack and is feeling weak so I can know better how to pray for him. He calls and meets with his accountability partners weekly and attends twice monthly meetings. He has asked me to put filters on the computer so the temptation of internet erotica is gone (it has been a problem in the past and he told me the same day he slipped up). He also called and canceled internet access on his cell phone so that could no longer be a problem for him.
    My DH is quite far into recovery and is at a point where he simply cannot live with himself if he slips up and looks at porn or reads erotica. If he slips up, it eats at him and will fully disclose within 24hrs of the slip.
    I do not waste my time and energy with preoccupation – constantly wondering what he is up to. It took about 2 1/2 yrs to reach that point, and this is a much healthier place for me.
    I hope this post can encourage some of you who are in the middle of dealing with husbands who are SA. There can be hope, and things can get better. It takes team work and a constant effort to keep the lines of communication open so both spouses feel safe to bring up concerns and questions.

  38. So, here is my problem. I know all about boundaries, I just have no idea how to set them. Bottom line!
    After my sex addicted husbands last relapse, I began to look at how I played a part in this fucked up illness.
    I am in no way taking any blame, but truth be told, I never set boundaries.
    So after a ton of work, I finally put together a list. Seems like I do lists now.
    So though I would share what I have done.
    HEALTHY BOUNDARY REQUEST: For the next 30 days or until I make an addition.

    1. In order to keep a healthy distance, please take all of your showers in the other bathroom. And please get dressed in that room as well. ( he is sleeping in the other bedroom)

    2. I need for you to please keep your dirty clothing in the other room. There is a laundry basket you can use. It is in the spare bedroom in the closet. If you want the housekeeper to do your laundry, I need you to place it in the laundry room on Wednesday.

    3. I need for you to take care of your own dry cleaning. .

    4. For this period of time, for my healthy individuation I cannot go out for dinner, movies, or any other activities as a couple.

    5. I need for you to take initiative in doing necessary daily household chores. Examples of this would be walking the dogs, emptying the garbage, doing the dishes etc. I need for you not to wait for my directive to ask or tell you what to do.

    6. I will let you know either by email or text when I am going to be away from the house for dinners with friends or family if I am going to be away for several hours. I need you to do the same. If you are going to be traveling for business, please let me know that as well.

    7. I need to know within 24 hours if you have had sex with another human as well as if you have had sex with yourself. And I need to know you have shared that with your sponsor as well.

    8. I need to know within 24 hours if you have had email contact or any contact with any past sex partners. And I need to know you have shared that with your sponsor as well.

    9. Please let me know within 24 hours if you have looked at porn anywhere. And I need to know you have shared that with your sponsor as well.

    10. I need for you to keep me updated with doctor visits, medical results or any other recovery assistance over and above your 12-step program.

    11. Please let me know within 24 hours if you have had any alcholic beverage or smoked pot. And I need to know you have shared that with your sponsor as well.

  39. Oh, forgot to add this part, I then asked him to tell me in writing (thanks JoAnn) why this time is different, and his definition of sobriety. He did get that to me and I had lots of questions regarding the bullshit he sent back. I would be happy to share that as well. And in case any of you do not already know this, THIS IS HARD WORK.
    I could have my PHD by now.

  40. I just got married to my husband legally about a year ago. I discovered what i thought to be “slip ups” is apparently a sex addiction.
    We had a church wedding about 2 months ago. I had found different girls he was talking to online the night before our wedding and i cried through my wedding because i didn’t know who i was marrying, but i couldn’t call it off because my parents had paid for it and helped plan it, i just couldn’t do that to them. its pretty pathedic that i am with my husband because i don’t want to disappoint my parents huh?
    Since the wedding things just keep getting worse and worse. He keeps saying he is going to find a counciler and get help but always has an excuse (like he called but they didn’t call back). Everyday he lies to me about his secret life. and I honestly don’t know who he is. i loved him so much but i am so hurt and have absolutely NO self confidence. sometimes i question if i still do live him.
    recently, along with the same old sexting, i found pictures he had taken at work of his penis that he had sent different women. this was another new knife in my back because now he is exposing himself AND at work! but really i was broken down before finding that. i haven’t been able to bounce back since our wedding.
    When i found out about his addiction i started having exstreme insomnia problems. I’ve started taking 3 different sleeping pills and still can’t sleep. In the past two weeks I may have slept 3 full nights and i feel horrible menatlly and physically. We have a 21 month old daughter who is my entire world and i don’t have the energy to be the kind of proactive mother i want to be. my husband is a wonderful person outside of this. He loves his daughter and takes care of me. But i don’t like to be in the same room as him anymore and i can’t keep living like this.
    i seriously feel like i am distroying my body because of the stress. i don’t know if i need to leave him or stay or if there is even an answer to that. and my biggest concern is if he is physically cheating on me or only emotionally. i have not caught him physically cheating but i know he would if the opportunity came up.
    Sorry i wrote so much, i have so many things to vent. This website has been comforting. just to know that other women have been going through almost identical things as me. i feel very alone and hurt. and i’m so tired my body is shaking but i can’t close my eyes. if something i have written doesn’t make sence its because i’m sleep deprieved onece again. Sorry!
    i told him today that he has until thanksgiving to show me he is getting help from a counsiler and a support group, if not I’m leaving. Its the worst feeling in the world to love someone and not want to leave him but feeling like you have no choice but leave. how much longer will this go on for? i can’t take it much longer, i’m on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown.

    1. Hello Katie.
      I am in exactly same situation. I hope you are better now, but do you have any advice for me. I feel like I am going crazy.
      If you get this message, can you please answer??

      I would appreciate that a lot!

  41. Dear Katie,
    It’s just awful what you are dealing with! It stinks. What should have been a beautiful beginning became a nightmare.
    It sounds like he is nowhere near coming to terms with his addiction, or doing anything to give it up. As hard as that sounds, Katie, you have to hear that. Because you can’t do anything to change him. Nothing.

    I also had sleep troubles and sleeping didn’t work, but my therapist made me a self-hypnosis audio file that I played before sleeping and it worked way better than the pills.

    emotional/physical cheating—hey not sure what difference it makes except in the area of STD’s. I think many of the women here find the emotional betrayal the hardest to get over.

    Katie, you need to get some support. Do you have a friend or family member you can tell? A faith community leader? a counsellor? You can ‘t do this on your own and you have this beautiful child to care for. You need to get a little plan together for the two of you as top priorities. Remember the only things you can change are what you do, and how you choose to live.

    do you have any money to set aside or your own job? Can you ask him to leave? Can you support yourself?

    I am just sick at heart to hear your story and hear the fresh pain and grief in your words. Please believe me when I tell you that you can find a way forward in life, that you don’t have to live like this, and that you can be the mother your daughter deserves. I’m sorry the one you chose to love is an SA. We share that here on this site. But you, katie, don’t have to suffer from it, and neither does your daughter.

    Big Breath. Straighten your spine. there’s steel there, you know.


  42. Hi Katie,
    Just a thought can you visit family for a week or two and get your thoughts together, and at the same time get some rest? Especially with Thanksgiving coming up, you can use it as an excuse (especially if you are home and he has to work and cannot take vacation – Don’t feel guilty). I know I have a three year old, and i was phyisically exhausted before this came up Feb. 2010, and after. I was getting little sleep and it is hard to find time for yourself.

    I think a break would be good. If not find another way to get some rest. Like Diane said out the support network together, find someone for you to talk to. This site will help as well, but I find that hour to pour it all out with the therapist is really hellful. Be wary of the ones who want to throw it back at you call you co-dependent etc. Those ones kick to the curb and find another. You need one to here you, rather than label you.

    Hang in there, take care of yourself and your daughter.

  43. Also get tested for STD’s. You never know. As I find the addict will not tell you more than they think you know. So yes the version you hear is typiclly the watered down version to protect himself. He will lie lie lie to protect his way of life. Yes he does not want to lose you and loves you an your daughter the best he can, but the addiction will always come first, until he is truely in recovery and can see the nature of his wrongs.

  44. My husband epitomizes a classic “flight from intimacy” with his own special brand of sex addiction. Early on in our marriage he would secret a paper towel into his sweatpants pocket before getting into our bed. I was always last in bed but he would pretend to be “asleep” so as not to have sex with me, only to wake me up “secretly” masturbating himself nearly every night, hence the need for the paper towel. I was so devastated that I never called him on this horrible behavior for 30 years. I just pretended he was perfect and our marriage was perfect so I could be perfect, until last August when I found 3 years worth of porn viewing on our laptop.
    He would also use me as his “beard” when we went out, appearing like the “normal” married guy he would select a beautiful girl out of the crowd to stare at (in a erotic haze) as if he was desperately in love with her. I would go into a near death spiral, but still, I never confronted him, only to bury the memory in what I now call “the vault.” In many ways both of us were afraid of intimacy, choosing to love a fantasy rather than a real person. Since I have only just figured all of this out, with the knowledge that he is a hopeless sex addict, my life is now without guidance or purpose for sadly, our “fake” marriage was the basis for so much of my exterior confidence. It is time for me to rebuild a new me, and in some ways, most of the heavy lifting has been done in the last 8 months since I confronted him about the porn, his masturbation addiction, our non-existent sex life, and the tragic staring of young women and girls. For those of you who have read Carl’s book on sex addiction, he is at level 2, for he uses REAL women for his high… women who never consent to be stared at and lusted at to bolster his low self-esteem. I really feel so very, very sorry for him, but also for myself. Today he actually made an appointment to see a certified sex addiction therapist but honestly, I can’t hope… I can ONLY work on my new self. I’m 59 years old but it’s never too late come out with another model. Hopefully this time I’ll get it right, set boundaries for my new life and if he is healthy enough to join me again in a brand new marriage, I’ll be delighted, but as I have said before, I can’t hope… I won’t hope… except in me.

    1. Hi, I’m new here and I can honestly say that after reading most of your posts and experiences that I am definately in the right place. I never really felt that my bf of over 5 years now has had a serious sex addiction problem and I’ve always just swept everything under the rug so to speak but now everything is starting to make sense. I can see myself in alot of your similar situations and I am just curious now seeing that some of these posts are over a couple of months, even years old, where most of you are in your relationships with your partners? I would love to continue to chat with such wonderful women who share this same experience with me.

    2. hello, I don’t know if you still have the same web site. I am 56 and feel like a true ding a ling– seem a bit old to be deciding about my marriage of 35 years– not like I haven’t wondered about it before. no affairs, just sporadic but constant porn and periods of stripper clubs. he has been in SA but still so much struggle. anyway, was wondering about the book you mentioned- Carl’s book . can you tell me what book that is.? I hope things are better for you . anne

      1. I am 53 and have been married to a sex addict for nearly 31 years. It has been a constant struggle. Only now have I decided to get help for myself. I believe the book may be Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes. I read it many years ago when trying to understand my husband’s problem. Hopefully there’s a brighter future for us.

  45. Hi ladies, I just came across this website and have been reading your comments. I found out that I was married to a sex addict in 2011. While dealing with that I got quite sick and had major surgery. My H was not in active recovery even though he did see a therapist he lied and had no accountability people in place. Anyway I caught him cheating again in March and he moved out in an indignant huff. So we have not lived together since then. He did start seeing a therapist in June,and while he is involved in some meetings he still has no accountability team around him, and he is not actively working on his recovery. Boundries is a tough one for me. The other day we were talking about something and I said something about what he is doing in recovery. Like it is hard for me to believe that no one has said to you that you should change your phone number that you gave out to tons of women or your email that you also did the same thing. I have come to know he has convenient selective hearing. He said well they said any that we’re private like ones I set up. I said every email account is private, that makes no sence at all. When I caught him the first time he was still cheating on me for 6 months even though he was in therapy. He has never had much empathy for me or the trauma he has caused. So I have not felt emotionally or physically safe with him. So we have not had sex for years. Because if he is not working a program or his attitude is I have caused this. I do not feel safe to put my self at risk like that. So after 10 months of catching him a second time. He finally did a disclosure about 3 weeks ago. I have litter lay been a lover the emotional map. I still have received little empathy for the trauma of finding out he had been cheating on me for another year. Instead he calls me controlling, judgmental, and that I have no grace or forgiveness. That others set a 90 day or so time frame on having sex again. While I do know that some women choose that roughy. I am having a hard time even thinking of having sex with my H who I do not trust one bit. Instead the more he blames me the more I emotionally protect myself and feel like this is a wise choice for me. I now know that he has had sex with almost 30 women. I think it really is a big part for me that he continues to have a really bad attitude and treats me in mean ways that makes me feel like why would I have sex with you when you seem to care little about what you behavior has done to me. I am in therapy( trauma based) and I am glad for it. I am financially dependent on him as after my illness am not able to even get a part time job. Since the disclosure 3 weeks ago things have gotten worse as I now have new information I am reeling for. He has manipulated the fact that I did not know everything to emotionally get closer to me and I feel he has kept the details from me saying his therapist said he was not suppose to talk about it until the disclosure. I asked for a poly that he flipped out about. He said his first wife who he cheated on for 3 years had asked for one and he has bad trauma memories. Excuses for everything. Thank you for letting me vent. Part of me feels addicts should read some of our comments to see that we are all saying the same stuff about their addict behavior.

  46. When it comes to boundaries I think it is ever so important to stay in the land of “I.” for example I always try to make statements like “If you choose to do that, then I am going to do this, and this is the consequence of your choice.”

  47. Boundaries: I set them by making lists of what I need to feel safe in this marriage. The list gets written, edited as needed and emailed to my husband and his counselor, a Christian sex addiction counselor who is a recovering sex addict himself. My needs are what are my boundaries: carry no cash, debit card only and all receipts to me, flip phone with no data plan, no access to our family computer unless I am sitting next to him, no secret emails, phones, dating sites, personals, no porn, no on line, phone or in person affairs, 5-minute rule when I call him and get no answer, he has to call me in five minutes, 24 hour disclosure of slips (but I just caught him in a four month long lie where he had one night of a secret email & phone affair with a coworker at another location-he lost his job two days ago because of that), no deleted history, no use of work computers for porn…the list is long and I know when he is acting out by his defensiveness. He will be defensive when I question him about something that does not seem right. He will revert to the blame game, anger, deflecting, minimizing, and more covert manipulation tactics (now that I know what these are, I point it out when he uses them to shake me off his trail). I have access to all of his passwords and bank and credit cards. If I notice anything strange on email I ask him what its about. I try not to monitor him too much but FULL disclosure about his on-line affairs was just a year ago and I still don’t trust him, especially with the last slip. We now have no income. It is hard to believe that a man would jeopardize his job for a half an hour on the phone and computer, but he did. His co worker told me and I emailed his boss. He dragged his feet about asking not to have closing shifts where he’d have no access to computer or internet or phone alone, so now no job with a woman recovering from PTSD and a five year old. When he starts pushing on my boundaries (watch movie on the laptop after I fall asleep, for example) there is usually a reason. The reason is he is trying to act out whether he is conscious of this or not. There is hope, though. My new boundary is his name comes off the apartment lease so I can have him removed by the police if he won’t go on his own accord. The rules are getting pretty serious if you ask me, but its entirely necessary. I do not feel like I have to worry about deception. I still do but there is no argument, just facts now. Detachment is really important, to see what is in your best interest, even if its a short part of your day. If you can step back and have a plan or consequence then you and SA are clear on what to expect. I feel empowered by having consequences for his acting out. Hang in there and keep reaching out to people for healthy support. If your health is slipping, separate, see a doctor. It is very very damaging to our health to deal with this year after year. That is my boundary for this marriage: if my health, spiritual, emotional and physical health is suffering rather than getting better because of his addiction, then I will have no choice but to end the relationship. I cannot heal among chaos.

    1. Snoop72, I am so sorry for your pain and trauma. What you call boundaries are really controls–that will never work. Boundaries are about YOU. What YOU will or will not accept, and any violation of your boundaries have consequences. An example would be, ‘I will not allow deception in my relationship with you. If I find out that you have lied to me then our relationship is over and we will separate.’ You can make that anything you like but the boundary is what you will or will not accept. The rest is up to him. If he violates your boundary then the consequence kicks in. Just be sure you make a consequence that you can follow through with, otherwise it’s all a useless game where he wins. Hugs. ~ JoAnn

      1. I really need some help with boundaries, one problem I realise is, I have none, I have forgiven each act, and they got worse, I have given more and more and he took more and more, as he knows there are no comebacks apart from me crying and trying to appeal to his better nature, which he doesn’t appear to have.
        I have a fear of being alone, I know that, and cannot set the I will divorce you boundary, I know other policing boundaries will not work, as husband becomes very agressve verbally about being “controlled” or “not trusted”
        not sleeping with him in same bed, or not having sex, will have no effect, as he often did like to sleep downstairs(now I know why) and he can go forever without sex -I have tried that too.

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