Sex Addict Military Husband And Special Needs Children

I received this story today from a woman whose husband is a Sex Addict and she also has two special needs children. L. would like your support and advice on dealing with this double burden.
military manAfter 24 years of marriage and five children – including one with autism and one with Down syndrome – I discovered that my husband was frequenting prostitutes on his monthly business trips. At that time, it had been going on for nearly 10 years. (Verified by a family member who was aware of the problem, and by my husband himself.) I don’t know when he started with skin shows and porn.

It is now nearly 3 years since that horrible moment of discovery. I tried to save the marriage with couples therapy. He requested deployment to Afghanistan, hoping he would die and become a hero. While he was gone, I discovered more of his secrets, including AdultFriendFinder, Craig’s List and plentiful porn videos. At some point, I realized he wasn’t going to get the help he needed. It was so much easier to blame me.

I went through denial. I cried. I got lots of therapy. I created a support group. I accepted that without trust, I didn’t have a marriage. I walked through the stages of grief. I ran a marathon.

I looked at my past and made a thorough analysis of my relationship with my father and past boyfriends. I decided what I wanted in my future. I also looked at my husband’s past: his angry father, his mother’s death, his large family’s history of mental illness, and his sexual abuse by a priest as a college freshman. It helped me to have some empathy so that I would not hate him. I don’t want to hate the father of my children.

He is an attorney and a high ranking military officer. Three separate therapists indicated he has borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.

I was unable to file for divorce while he was deployed, but I did so immediately upon his return. Concerned with his angry and impulsive outbursts, I did not allow him back in the house. I am glad I stuck to that, because I believe if he’d gotten his foot back in the door, I never would have gotten him out.

Despite my returning my rings to him and endlessly repeating that the marriage is over, despite having therapists reiterate that trust has been destroyed, HE wants to reconcile. He won’t move forward with the divorce. Instead of doing the right thing for the kids, he is trying to ensure that I get as little support as possible. (I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for over 20 years, and now with the two special kids, I have to be available for whatever crisis at a moment’s notice.) I have to go to court to force a financial settlement and custody agreement because he won’t negotiate.

I realize my first therapist was accurate when she told me it was too much to expect that he would have no more relapses. He did attend 12-step SA meetings for about a year, in hopes that I would take him back. He was supposedly a leader of not just his local group but also the regional group! He recently fell right back into his online porn addiction, trolling for “DDF NSA” sex.

Another therapist warned me (after counseling the two of us together) that my husband would never forgive me because I abandoned him. THINK OF THE IRONY IN THIS! He destroyed our marriage through his sexual addiction, but HE won’t forgive ME! As time as gone on, I’ve seen how this therapist’s prediction has played out. Indeed, my husband does everything he can to punish me.

BUT… I am a survivor. I love my children. I have tried to remain calm and stable, and my date with the Divorce Master is approaching (finally). I hope that the courts will protect me financially. I can take care of the emotional part.

I never bought the idea that I was a co-addict or co-dependent. I am a resilient woman. I didn’t deserve any of this and I have every reason to expect a happier life without him.

If anyone has had experience with divorce involving special needs kids and/or military benefits, I would love to hear about it.

Related Articles

Responses

  1. You inspire me. I relate to you on a deep level as I too made the difficult decision to end my marriage and not take the lies and betrayal anymore. I don’t know anything about divorce yet as I have yet to file, or the military but I just want to let you know how much your story touched and resonated with me. I think you are a beautifully strong person.

    As women we should not have to put up with a marriage built on lies and betrayal’s. I refuse to believe my fate in life is standing by a man that didn’t give two thoughts to his own family before taking care of his own ‘needs’. We deserve so much more. I’ll take the risk of being on my own, raising two young children, hopefully so that they become loving, open and honest human beings, sadly, unlike their father.

    I give my love and hopes for peace to all that have to go through this.

  2. My heart goes out to you.

    I have two children, one with autism, and a husband with a sex addiction. I have been through many of the same “checkpoints” that you have – his anger, denial, blaming me; the realization that the core issues are not so much the sex but the lies, betrayals and abuse of trust. I too find the co-dependent label to be profoundly wrong, and have to listen to him tell me that my being unwilling to go on with things as they were has been a traumatic betrayal for him. It took a long time to get my husband to understand that I really needed him to move out, and although he is out, he doesn’t accept that I will never want a sexual relationship with him. I am fortunate to have family in town who can help, and a stable well-paying job (although this brings in other issues – my husband wants me to support him). My husband also seems to be committed to being a positive part of our children’s lives. Your situation sounds so much tougher.

    I don’t know how old your children are, and whether their school system does a good job formulating IEPs and implementing them. I hope you have several years until they age out of the school system and you have to navigate the adult support system – which generally provides less in the way of services. This is something you may want the judge to consider in the divorce settlement – you will need to be providing support for them (in terms of being there for them, though they may qualify for social security which would help financially). Another thought: state services are often available for children with developmental disabilities who are of school age, in the form of social groups and even respite care. I know how important it is to be available, “on call” as it were, for the kids. You are clearly so strong, and have gone through so much and come out thinking clearly and sanely about it – I wonder if, once the divorce settlement has been worked out and things have settled down, if it would help you to have your own work community that is separate from all of the issues you have been through? Not so much for the money, but for making your life your own. You know your own situation best, but I wonder if it would be possible to think about a part-time job that is flexible enough to allow you to work from home when you need to be there (if such a job were to become available – difficult to find in this recession). Balancing everything might just be too much, though. I guess that one advantage of your husband’s deployment to Afghanistan is that you have worked out how to manage your family’s life in his absence…

    You are absolutely right when you say you have done nothing to deserve this. You have also been through all of the difficult, painful things associated with discovery, his denial, therapy, rejection, betrayal, and lost trust. You have acted in a clear-sighted way to protect your children, and you are moving ahead to make a better, happier life for them and yourself. I hope that the judge is intelligent and clear-sighted, that the settlement is fair, and that your ex-husband a) meets his obligations and continues to do so, and b) moves far, far away. Good luck!

    1. Heather,

      I was just rereading and absorbing. YOUR being unwilling to go on with things as they were (him acting on his sexual addiction and you tolerating it) has been a TRAUMATIC BETRAYAL for HIM? I’m laughing and crying at the same time. These pathetic men who are so self-absorbed that they are able to twist their own long-term infidelity into betrayal of THEM? This is exactly how my husband sees it. HE didn’t want a divorce – poor thing – and he let the kids know it was MOMMY’S FAULT for leaving him.

      Does the liar not realize that his children will eventually know what he did, and they will see him as he truly is: a weak, selfish, unfaithful jerk!

      I am glad your husband is trying to be a positive influence for your kids. The father of my children prefers to do whatever he can to defy me, even though I only want what’s best for the kids: stuff like remembering to apply sunscreen so they don’t get burned, or avoiding foods they’re allergic to! It’s so sad! and frustrating.

  3. Linette,

    Be sure to collect every bit of financial information you can. Document EVERYTHING from him: emails, text messages, evidence of his addiction, notes about things that have occurred. Divorcing a liar is a challenge. If you think he’s been a liar to you personally, just wait to see how he will lie in a divorce. He WILL try to make it your fault, and he WILL try to destroy you financially.

    Get the best attorney you can.

    And if he refuses to respond to settlement and custody agreements you suggest, realize that you may have to take it to a Divorce Master or to court to make the divorce happen.

    A friend told me two years ago to start tough and then lighten up. I unfortunately started by playing NICE and understanding. He twisted nice into “bitchy.” Now I have to be firm and unfriendly, and he’s furious.

    Heather,

    I have a great IEP team in a wonderful school district. They have been great. My youngest has 11 more years of school support. I’m looking into social security disability. I am also looking at part time flexible job opportunities, but I can’t BEGIN to do that until I get done with this divorce. I spend so much time documenting and covering my butt, it’s ridiculous. If the asshl would only cooperate in looking at the needs of the children, it would be so much easier. He says he doesn’t want to pay big attorney fees, and yet he behaves in a way guaranteed to result in the highest attorney fees. Nothing I can do about it. He’s a brilliant attorney and a brilliant liar.

    I try every day to be calm and patient, knowing that while he can disrupt my peace temporarily, he CANNOT destroy my life or my happiness. I control these things. My happiness belongs to me.

    1. You are so remarkably sane about everything you have been through – a beacon and example to us all. I know exactly what you mean – there is another side to the mountain that the sex addiction has put in our path, and persisting through the difficulties to get there will allow each of us to construct a much happier life.

  4. I know, I’ve heard so many horror stories it truly does frighten me to think of what ‘could’ happen during divorce. So far we’ve been to mediation, because it’s free, but I foresee a time when I will have to lawyer up. I have consulted a lawyer though. Everything is 50/50 here, in Canada, so I’ve been discouraged from going the lawyer route because I will end up paying for it too! There is no protection for children with a father who is SA unless he does something directly to the children to harm them. Nice system hey? I actually have to wait till something bad happens to take action. I disgusts me. I’ve been thrown off my game this week by his $120 cell phone bill which he lied about and then when I asked to see the bill he’s now ignoring me. I don’t have much in the way of evidence as he deleted everything, stupid me contacted him before copying them! I just have his old dirty ipad and hopefully a cell bill that I can get ahold of since he’s obviously pretending to be in recovery right now…like I didn’t already know that.

  5. Joann,
    I have no doubt you will block this post as you do with most things posted that you disagree with. My hope is you will read it first and trust in the intent of my heart. We have known each other for a while and certainly had our differences in the past. I have to admit you have done a lot with your passion and I applaud you for turning a mess into a message and being a beacon of hope to others. The only thing is, I don’t see the hope. Is there no hope for the wives if sex addicts? You claim that only 5% of sex addicts will ever recover (when was this study done?). I doubt you fully believe that. I have seen women reach out on your website(s) only to be told in a very condescending way that they are naive and that addicts don’t change. This is so damaging to wives who choose to remain married. You have a tremendous influence and women who are hurting look to you for support. I wish you could give the ones that choose to stay a little more encouragement instead of berating and bullying them. Generalizing to this extent is reckless and manipulative. You have to decide wether you believe sexual addiction exists or if its a convenient excuse evil men of bad moral character use to justify their actions when they are caught acting out. If you believe it is an addiction I suggest you do the proper diligence to educate yourself and your readers. If you deny it then I suggest you change the name of your website. I would love to discuss this with you further in a one on one setting without being attacked by the SOS mafia. People are hurting and spouses are not benefiting by staying in a perpetual state of anger so much so that it consumes every facet of their lives. Wives need to be validated and husbands need to accept ownership, stop all acting out, support their spouse, and much more. If they do these things they can live a good life in recovery and the marriage can survive. I have trouble seeing anything but anger on your site(s) and as we both know anger is a secondary emotion. Let’s get to a place where we can teach addicts to provide the safety and security to allow wives to feel safe enough to be vulnerable. let’s talk about the hurt a deep betrayal and have both parties engage in productive conversation in order to begin healing Otherwise I fear you are only setting these women up for a lifetime of failed relationships regardless of if they choose stay or leave the marriage. Thank you for your heart.

    1. Jeff says to JoAnn
      “You have to decide wether [sic] you believe sexual addiction exists or if its a convenient excuse evil men of bad moral character use to justify their actions when they are caught acting out.”

      Actually I don’t think JoAnn has to do anything you say, Jeff. Why do you think she does?

      And she certainly doesn’t have to accept your framing of her perspective and experience within a false ultimacy of dualistic thinking that suggests it is an “either/or” world of “the way Jeff sees it”

      You are free to promote your own approach to working with sex addicts and your theories of what is best for their partners. Why do you feel it is necessary to insult JoAnn’s character because she has a different approach? Why, when someone else disagrees with you, are they insulted and labelled as SOS Mafia?

      This is all so unhelpful to traumatized women. This sounds very much like open antagonism towards women who have the audacity to hold a different viewpoint and openly disagree with you. Your concern doesn’t seem to be for traumatized women at all. Why do you need to be so right? You have your own website. Why do you need to “fix” this one so that it agrees with you?

      There is no healing, Jeff, that comes from injustice done to another. Please get help for your anger. It can’t be managed by your current tactics of trying to make people obey you. I am holding you in my prayers, and your wife as well. Perhaps you will consider stepping away from presenting yourself as a counsellor until you have resolved these emergent questions in therapy.

    2. Jeff,

      Joann has every reason to block your post because it has absolutely nothing to do with the original post. A sex addict who highjacks the post of a spouse reaching out for help so he can insult a support group for spouses of sex addicts and it’s founder? Really?

      I am wondering how you have seen SOS? Sex addicts are not allowed into our support group.

      Even better is your lack of understanding and mischaracterization of SOS. I have yet to meet anyone on SOS who is in a “perpetual state of anger”. Rather SOS gives spouses a safe place where we can express our anger and other feelings and have them validated. Being able to do so is an essential step in the process in healing that really has nothing to do with whatever our sex-addicted spouse is up to. Consequently, SOS has a varied membership. There are a large number of women in SOS who are still married. Some of us believe in the concept of addiction; others do not. We support each other regardless of what state our marriage is in. We believe that real hope lies within each of us- our ability to survive and thrive regardless of what happens with our relationships with our sex-addicted (or sexually-compulsive or personality-disordered) spouses.

      By the way, Jeff, we of the”SOS mafia” are also very good at recognizing gaslighting…

    3. Jeff,

      The first two sentences of your post just make going any further absolutely unnecessary. I only did so because I happen to know from personal experience in having a number of my own opposing viewpoints posted by JoAnn, that your first statement was absolutely untrue.

      You begin your post with a blanket statement that JoAnn acts with full intent to discriminate, then ask her to trust the intent of your heart. In essence opening with “You are not trustworthy to give fair hearings to opposing views but let me show you mine”? Then blessing her efforts as misguided as you have stated they are.

      Try this website:
      http://www.johntreed.com/debate.html

      Just because you think JoAnn has an agenda of being a beacon of hope, and that hope that you assigned her to provide doesn’t look like the hope you believe she should be presenting means you get to redefine her mission statement? JoAnn is doing just fine. Thousands of women are living in gratitude for her vision in creating a place where they can be honest about their experience without being told they need to set aside their completely normal and healthy anger in favor of being used, yet again, only this time as a rung in the ladder to their abuser’s healing.

      Your generalizations are appalling. You present yourself as a long-time close acquaintance of JoAnn’s, then immediately state her intent as one everyone recognizes as false. You state the perpetual emotional state of women you don’t know, on a private members only site which, for a man, could only be acquired through “eavesdropping” on extremely private and painful disclosures and cries for help (which you subsequently used name calling to belittle in labeling members as the “SOS Mafia”). You presume to instruct on who and how to teach and what conversations to have with whom.

      Seems to me you are the one who needs to apply himself diligently to learning the facts. Do you not recognize the thinly veiled misogyny of belittling traumatized people with name calling like “SOS Mafia”? Generalizing to this extent is indeed reckless and manipulative. Why would anyone trust the heart of someone who presumes he knows this much about women he doesn’t even know: what they need, what they feel? That’s called arrogance, in my book. I am part of the SOS site, and your blatant presumptions about women there and what they need is astonishing to behold.

      You are completely welcome to your opinion, of course. JoAnn did us a favor in allowing it to be posted. One more example of a man who thinks he knows women inside and out, and doesn’t have a clue.

  6. Jeff, “SOS mafia”? Really? That is a very unkind way to refer to partners who are seeking support from one another. And you are a therapist? Wow… I am a member of SOS (but not a member of a Mafia). I joined almost a year ago fully intending to stay with my husband. That intention has wavered now but not because I EVER experienced anything remotely resembling “berating and bullying” but because my husband has not made much effort to save our marriage. The Sisterhood has been an unending source of comfort and support for me. The Sisters have said to me and to others that they will support us whether we choose to stay in the marriage or not. JoAnn actually posts very little in the Sisterhood, preferring to remain mostly in the background. However, all of us know and understand that she is a warm, caring, and incredibly gifted woman who is always there for us when we need her. To see your negative mischaracterization of JoAnn and of the Sisterhood in general smacks of just one more man in a long line of men demeaning the traumatic experiences we partners share with one another. The Sisterhood is our safe place to vent, to spill our guts, to say whatever we want or need to say to women who GET IT. You are entitled to your opinion but I suggest you stick to opinions on things you know and understand. The joy and comfort of the Sisterhood is clearly beyond the scope of your knowledge and understanding.

    1. Daisy,
      I’m very excited about your experience and it show me the dangers in my own generalizations. If been put to the fire before so I think I let my past experience dictate the future. Apologies and I am so happy you found the support you need.

      1. And to clarify I’m a coach not a therapist. Again I’m excited things are changing.

      2. CPC, Certified Professional Coach
        CPSAS. Certified Pastorial Sex Addiction Specialist
        My Psycology Today profile list Pastoral Counselor/ Therapist meaning and/or not both. A designation by them not me.
        I have never desired to misrepresent myself in any way.

      3. Your use of the word “excited” in the context of posting on a board of a support group for traumatized partners of sex addicts makes me extremely uncomfortable. In fact, unless you are married to a sex addict, I’m not sure why you are posting here at all.

    2. When I said Mafia I only wanted to use it as an analogy to describe a group that is fiercely loyal and protects one another. I hope the clarifies things.

      1. Jeff, do you really expect people to believe that?

  7. Heather,
    I am sorry that your post was highjacked because you are clearly in a bind. I have no experience with the military in these matters. I do have a special needs child and am very concerned about having the resources to care for him properly after my divorce, so my heart goes out to you because I know how scared and concerned for your children you must be.

    So from what I understand in usual divorce cases is that you have to document everything, especially expenses, and have experts to testify about your childrens’ needs. Of course, this is expensive and time-consuming, and it is very unfortunate that your husband won’t do right by his family. Just one more betrayal.

    You sound like you are doing well and staying grounded, relatively-speaking of course. Because all of what you are going through is absolute hell. Hang in there and stay strong. I am will keep you in my prayers.

    1. Heather,
      I need to apologize to you as well. I didn’t realize I steeped on your post. Joann please delete my posts so she can get the support she needs and contact me in person. Thanks.

      1. Dear Jeff
        Please could you clarify how many years sobriety you now have “under your belt” and exactly what that looks like to you and how exactly Ella knows this to be the case?
        Additionally, please could you clarify exactly the point you were making to be helpful to Heather given the points she outlined in her post which is very clearly a case of domestic abuse – removing financial support from a family, isolating them and emotionally and verbally abusing a woman?

        God does not intend marriage to look like this.

        Heather, perhaps going directly to his boss would enable you to get the advice you need? Military personnel in the uk are taught to protect their pensions with their lives, I’d imagine the same in the states. I’d also imagine they’d want to avoid the shame of this going public?

        I will pray for you and your children that you get the help you need.

  8. Jeff,
    I really don’t understand your concern. Why are you trying to undermine and change something that is obviously working and a godsend to its members. Is there nowhere we can be free to talk, vent, laugh and cry. My husband is a sex addict and I am still with him. I cannot tell you how it will end up but I would like you to know that I was dying before I had someone to talk this over with that was not my therapist or my husband. Talking to family and friends is out of the question, they just don’t understand the pain. The hurt and level of betrayal created by a SA partner is deep and the healing begins when we can open up and be heard. No need to fix something that isn’t broken. Thanks anyway.

  9. The “intent of your heart” Jeff is obviously to criticize and malign. Take the hint—ALREADY. Please, just dry up and blow away along with your opportunistic wife who was preying on traumatized women on SOS about two years ago trying to get them to sign up for your lame intensives. UNCONSCIONABLE! The mafiosas ran you sex addict grifters outta town back in September 2011. I cannot believe that you have the balls to make your presence known here again!

    THIS IS A SUPPORT SITE!!! Your posts are anything but supportive and are downright abusive and therefore, most unwelcome. Now, if you had put your “success” in a positive manner without hurling insults at the women who are already in such pain on this site, that would be a different matter, but no. You may not be acting out, but your words are still those of a personality disordered misogynistic wingnut. Just go away, already!

    A wife has certainly every right to stay with her addict, cheater, whatever-you-want-to-call it, but the reality is… she needs to do so with the knowledge that it is unlikely that he’s ever going to change and IF he does it will be because he wants this more than anything else on this good earth— even his marriage. Otherwise, she must look the other way and just accept him for who he is or leave.

    1. Kimberly,
      I had written off my post as a huge mistake and a very unprofessional one at that. To Joann I apologize, to Heather who’s original post has now been taken over, and to the spouses on here who took it as if I were down playing their pain. I don’t and will never understand the depths of it. Wives have told me it’s worse than losing a spouse or a child but I have no experiential knowledge of mine own. I also understand that many men will never commit to recovery. It’s a very difficult lifestyle change that few can undertake but many do. A world devoid of hope become sinical, cold, and mean. I have never wanted to be condsending to a partner, quite the opposite if you’ve read anything on my site. Everything you said about me is true and I admit it and own it. My heartbreak is that just like you referenced in 2011 things were not able to remain civil. You brought up something I can only assume my shared in the confidence if the group. I hope you don’t do that with all the sisters you disagree with. Regardless Kimberly I suggest you keep your attacks focused on me. She is way out of your league. And while she would never stoop so low as to defend herself I feel I must. This is a woman who advocates for partners with ever once if her being and has fought to get the term “co-addict” abolished. It’s sad that through your rage and hurt you can’t see that we are all in the same side. I do not plan to respond again and I pray we can agree to disagree and continue to help those who are hurting in our own ways. I’m also sorry that I offended you so much that you had to attack my wife. Thank you for all you do.

      1. “I am sorry that I offended you so much that you had to attack my wife.” And again you throw out the fake thanks after the dig, just to buff your dirty fingernails after the dig. Who do you think you are fooling?

        You, Jeff, did not do your homework. The website of debate tactics of ethical integrity clearly states that it is unethical to use an apology as a way to do a backhanded cut. We are not kindergartners here, remember? We are all adults. If you’re going to insult, just be a man about it. Do not attempt to hide behind your credentials and verbal slight of hand.

        This “I hope you don’t do that with all the sisters you disagree with.” You are just the king of character assassination. That’s another integrity no-no. I know Kimberly, followed her as a friend on the site and she was the model of support and compassion and plain speaking honesty. You could learn a few things from her.

        “You brought up something I can only assume my (?) shared in the confidence of the group.” You spoke as if you were very well versed about the contents of that confidential group you have your own special nickname for, despite the fact that you as a man were clearly not a member. But now you want to claim confidentiality is scared there? Which way do you want it? Both, apparently, depending on your intent.

        That sir, is how we know you are not our side. Play it one way or the other. You have played both teams now, and you clearly want to retain that privilege. Take it. Just don’t kid yourself any of us believe a sugar coated word you say. All that gallantry, taking up your wife’s cause and pretending you are her ultimate champion now, please! Do you think she’s not capable? You know of course that’s misogynistic and belittling? This is an open site and Kimberly can address anyone’s behavior she pleases. You are not the moderator here, are you? No.

        What you got right was “I’ll never understand the depths of it.” Bingo. So let the people who do understand do their work. I didn’t miss that ‘if you read my site’ promo. Nobody is interested. If they are, they’ll look you up. After this display of inept condescending patronizing self promotional grandstanding, I wouldn’t think your counts from this venue will be very high.

      2. Well, I guess it WAS a huge mistake. And unprofessional. No doubt you are sorry, and, no, you will never understand the depth of our pain. But you will certainly continue to spew your SA crap out of both sides of your mouth, with your sloppy confessions and fake apologies and sad heroics. Your wife doesn’t need you to defend her, by the way. She is your equal, not your charge. If she didn’t want what she shared on the support site to be repeated, she shouldn’t have made YOU privy to our forum, which is private and for partners only. If she gave you access to the posts there, she was not honouring the safety of our space. Even so, I’d suggest that your wife is also way out of your league, as you seem rather ignorant, pathetically misguided, and practically illiterate. Did you finish high school?

        Glad you won’t be posting any more, and save your prayers for yourself. You need them more than we do.

      3. Thank you, Jeff, for hijacking MY post. The replies and deconstruction have been quite enlightening. Ladies, I am now well-educated on gaslighting, thanks to you.

        Jeff, my husband is SO like you. He pretends that he is in recovery. I have the internet trail to prove otherwise. He can continue his facade and a lot of people buy it, but I know the truth. Which is why I made the wise and healthy choice to file for divorce.

  10. Wow. I don’t visit for a while, and come back to find that a troll (who also appears to be a sex addict and poses as a “coach” for sex addicts) has hijacked the thread, and has also confused me with L; although we share the characteristics of being married to sex addicts and having children with special needs, it is she, not I, who has the anatagonistic childish, aggressive, military sex addict husband and whose story headlines this thread.

    One issue the troll raises that I think is worth addressing is anger. Yes, there is a lot of anger expressed on this site. Why? Because we have been betrayed, lied to, hurt, violated, cheated on, objectified, belittled – and most of us have been blamed either for our partner’s sex addiction, the consequences of that addiction, or both. What’s not to be angry about? Add to this the fact that the addiction itself, and the denial that goes with it, prevents our partners from acknowledging and validating our justifiable anger. Venting anger here, in what is usually a safe place to do so, is both useful and productive, as we can remind each other that we have good reasons to be angry and that the behavior that angered us would make any rational, normal person angry.

    Some people on this site can seem aggressively destructive of illusions that others aeem to be trying to hold on to. I found this a bit off-putting at first, but these voices are important too, because they make us look more carefully at what is going on in our own lives and measure it against what may seem like cynicism to some, but realism to others. These voices can seem angry, but that’s not how I see them now – impatient with expectations that might be overly naive, maybe, but not angry.

    Holding onto anger indefinitely would not be productive. But venting it here and in therapy sessions has allowed me to get past it, and now I can almost always shake my head ruefully about the inappropriate idiocy of my husband’s behavior to me.

    So, long live anger and the responses that acknowledge and validate it! The behaviors that trigger the anger are profoundly wrong, and no amount of denial, self-justification, or rationalizing on the part of the sex addicts can make them anything other than deserving of anger.

    1. yep. you have that all completely correct, Heather. And BTW, I also have a special needs son, who’s 18 now and therefore an adult. There are a lot of us with special needs children. Mine has autism.

    1. Thank you, Diane. Your post does help make it clearer, both the impact of such behavior, and the lessons it teaches.

  11. Linette,

    I am sorry to hear how difficult this has been for you and your family. My husband is now medically retired from the military and we also have a special needs son who has autism. Having to deal with my husbands non stop back and forth lies and deception and then suddenly he will get better and do what he needs to, over and over …along with caring for a special needs child is exhausting! It has been such a difficult thing for me personally to deal with, when I have to worry to heavily about finances and not being able to work because we have so many therapies for my son, pretty much all day. I totally get where your coming from. As far as divorce, the military (US) is strangely in their military personnel’s personal lives more than I eve thought acceptable, but this could be used to your advantage. The wife is often able to call the commanding officer and tell them what problems you are having, that he does not want to settle and take care of you and kids, and usually they will put tremendous pressure on them. If that does not work, from my understanding, kids are always taken care of from militaries perspective. They always make sure a decent portion goes to the children. I was worried about my husband because he gets retirement and VA benefits, but they actually will attach those wages too.

    The high jacking incident is actually a good lesson to all of us women here, regarding how they can get when their ego is hurt. It is kinda like the example of the husband not forgiving the wife for leaving after she left him due to a sexual addiction that includes lies and deceit (which btw my husband did too). It is good that we see how they can be and what they’re true intentions are. I have had to deal with my husbands behaviors and his back and forth from being a wonderful sweet husband to the sexual behaviors that are always coupled with disrespect and almost an entire personality change. Having this site to come to (I just found it) and seeing the anger is necessary, otherwise we could fall back into their promises and return to an unhealthy situation. I think that even though anger is a secondary emotion, it has its place and it is to protect us. That anger is there as a way to warn us of danger. This is our intuition as women and holding on to that as long as we need to, is totally necessary! I wish I had found this site over a year ago when we first separated. Had I held on to the anger and read this site, I would not have been fooled into believing he had changed during our almost 1 year separation and let him move back in. Now he is back to the same old same old and I am having to deal with trying to get him out of the house again, which is never pleasant because suddenly he will change this time. Thankfully I am so over it and can not wait til this nightmare is finally over.

  12. I wanted everyone to know that nearly five years after discovery, nearly 3.5 years trying to get a divorce and $50,000+ in my legal fees alone, I am finally divorced. During the divorce, he was able to use every tactic he could to delay Divorce Master proceedings, to delay signing the settlement, and to delay the paperwork for the QDRO – my portion of his pension. He was forcibly retired from the military due to his addiction.

    I have found a great deal of support from discussion groups for partners of narcissists. Once you get past the specifics of the trauma of discovering the sexual addiction, the great challenge is trying to divorce them. They are impossible to negotiate with and will do ANYTHING to punish and prolong the torture. I have to continue to deal with him because we share the special needs children (who he sees about one weekend every two months), but I have been helped by reading information on No Contact and Gray Rock, hoping he will someday lose interest in punishing me. I also found One Mom’s Battle helpful in dealing with the custody issues. (We don’t have a custody agreement because he really doesn’t want to agree to anything that would obligate him to any responsibilities for the kids.

    Happily, I have a wonderful, trustworthy boyfriend who has helped my heart to heal. There is a life after this Awful Mess.