Share Your Story

Sharing our stories is good therapy.

Women do this well; we laugh, we cry, we talk, pace, gesture and pull our hair out. We throw things, eat, purge, binge, scream and vent with each other. Then, when the storm has passed, we hug one another and sit down together to let our minds go about the task of solving our problems and healing our souls while we bask in the aftermath of a safe and shared trust.

I have found so much comfort in sharing my story with others as well as listening to and reading about the experiences of others who are dealing with loving and living with a Sex Addict. I want all of you to have that opportunity whenever you need it. Any time, any day you can send off a comment, story, question or e-mail to get it off your chest. I know how many times I needed that–just to talk, just to say it or ask it or simply just to express my outrage and anger.

Please share your story here. There are two ways you can do this. You can post it as a comment in the box below or you can go to the contact page and your story will be sent to me as an e-mail. If you don’t wish to have your story published, sending it through the contact page is the best way. Please read my privacy statement–no information is EVER sold, given away or shared in any way. If you do not want me to use any part of your story in my book, just say so and feel safe that your sharing is just between you and me.

If you do wish to share your story with others here I will put it on the main page as a post so others can offer their advice, wisdom and support.

A story is the shortest distance between people. ~ Pat Speight

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Responses

  1. I ve been in a relationship with a sex addict for almost 3 years. he is this loving, kind , prince charming partner every partner wishes to have…
    about 9 months ago, I have started feeling he is keeping some secrets from me,,,,work trips extending to the weekends, spending days at a friend s house in belgium that I have never heard of!!!
    when I finally got so frustrated and confronted him, he told me his dark secret…it was more than I could bare….for some times I thought i m in a middle of a movie scene…even after all this time, there are moments I think this nightmare cannot be my life…
    he told me that he is a sexual masochist and he is going to sado-maso clubs since early ages….and now for the past few months he has gone so deeply into it!!!
    I knew about his childhood sexual abuse…after digesting the truth, decided to help him…I suggested to seek for help and go for therapies…
    at times he was co operating…and at other times, was saying he is thinking about it!!!!
    he was involved with GODDESS LUCREZIA, the most demon woman in the planet , a sadist who is running a BDSM sadist studio in belgium…she had been seducing him, taking advantage of him, emotionally, physically, financially….
    the man I knew, had no dignity left…. from a respectful private businessman, he turned into a monkey in the cage, slave …she was performing public show on him entertaining the other perverts…

    our relationship ended at some stage there as I had no other choice but to let him go!!!
    but he s a sex addict…he struggles between the 2 worlds…
    he pleeded for help again, he told me he has seen the dark side of it, he has seen the damages and he loves me and he wants me back and he wants himself back…
    being a father of 3 beautiful children, I accepted his apology, and together we started picking up the pieces…
    started researches on internet…
    going to different clinics to heal his physical damages and fractions on his discs ect ect
    I was by his side all the time..
    he started a therapy but it was not very intense and I was really worried…
    but he kept telling me not to , as he can see everything clearly, black and white and that he will never go back to that dirty life anymore…

    our relationship hitted up with him madly in love with me and thankful saving his life…
    he started planning for our future,…near future, holidays, long future…buying our house ect…

    I gave my last drop og my energy into this relationship, I looked after him, loved him to the last!!!

    on easter we went to visit our friends in south italy, it was a beautiful one week holiday, I came back home and he stayed back for couple of meetings in germany…the day he was supposed to come back, he said he needs to stay few more days and therefore will spend the weekend in between at friend s house in switzerland!! my world turned up side down.,I felt he was lying…but didn t say anything!!! he called after few hours confessing that he has these urges back and he is on his way to belgium!!! u begged him not to!!! i cried my eyes off…the whole night on the phone!!
    at the end, he decided not to go …he made it back to our home in middle east and I tried to talk to him…for 10 days our life was conversations..a minute he was with me, and a minute later he was not!!
    that woman kept calling him which was making it worst! she kept sending him pictures in Latex and e mails describing their dirty sex fantacies!!things he could not resist as a sex addict …he was almost convienced that this is the way he is and he should celebrate it woth no shame and there is no cure!
    I was devastated! I wanted to walk away, he was holding me back, begging to wait and think,
    I was telling him to get help and stick together, he was saying there s a big part of him wants to live!!!
    I wished to die a thousand times a day…
    I have finally through internet found the best therapist ..we made a contact with her and he was very happy!
    he could relate to her and he thought what he was telling him , all made sense!
    I was happy!!
    but it was not enough!!! goddess lucrezia was after her hunt!!! and didn t give him a chance to think!
    he bought his ticket for belgium!
    I asked him , begged him to only have one more hour talking to the therapist!
    it was through web cam.
    he agreed.
    he did the session, came out and said he s not going anywhere and from day after tomorrow will start his 90 days program!!

    i was crying of happiness..
    he said he needs to make a phone call and tell that devil he s not going!!

    he went out to make the phone call,he came back , he said he needs to pack and go!!!I didn t know what to feel!
    his mum and brother had asked me earlier to keep his passport! I was refusing to give him his passport!! he insisted!!!! I was tired!!!
    didn t have any energy anymore…
    I gave him his passport and he left!!! telling me that he loved me!!!!!! what a crap!!!
    it s been a week since then now…I don t know how I feel, am taking pills and do therapies…still in a shock!!
    in a house which still smells of him everywhere!
    he still sends me e mail that he will be back and he loves me …ect ect…which makes me even more sick and I know where he is and what he s doing!!!
    I was a woman standing by my man , and he traded me to a horr….
    I lost some of the best years of my life,
    being introduced to a dirty world which am not belong to!!!
    and feel tired….

  2. I found out about my husband’s sex addiction shortly after we were married. When I found out I was totally disgusted. I told my husband he had to get help and I took the initiative of finding him a SCA meeting. He seemed to be doing OK then. A few years ago we moved to another area of the country and ever since then everything has been a struggle and his recovery is totally inconsistent. He does everything on the internet, looks at pictures of girls, or reads pornographic stories and masturbates. He has told me that he does not have the nerve to do anything in person, that he is too much of a wuss. He actually changed his “bottom line” because he couldn’t stop masturbating. So now he can say he has two years of sobriety even though he masturbated two weeks ago.

    I am so fed up with his anger. He is mad at me because I do not trust him. How on earth am I supposed to trust a man who recklessly endangers himself and our family (we have two small boys) so he can get his jollies late at night while I’m asleep? He had told me that he could not talk to me about his addiction because I “did not have the tools” to deal with it. Personally I think that is a cop-out, and he wanted to keep me from interfering with his addiction because he wanted to keep on doing it and he was not serious about his recovery.

    Within the past month, we have finally broken through some barrier and now he does talk with me about his addiction. He says it is harmless fantasy, but I think about the girls he is looking at and I wonder how their mothers would feel about having a middle-aged man masturbating to their pictures.

    If our life was going well it sure would be a lot easier to deal with his addiction. But struggling with unemployment and the bill collectors calling, and the Past Due notices in the mail, I just want to bolt this whole thing. When I think of myself bearing up under all this stress, and he is engaging in that totally selfish behavior, it makes me ill.

    I feel like some sort of pariah, some sort of enabler. Like maybe I am just as guilty as he is for allowing him to maintain his illusion of a perfect family life. Some days I am totally in love with him and some days I wish he would drop dead. It is all so much to deal with and I feel totally alone in dealing with it. Nobody else knows what kind of man he really is. Heck even I don’t know for sure.

  3. Hello,
    I am a husband of 6 years that have been continuously cheating on my wife. I have went to individual counseling and marriage counseling with my wife about my issues. One therapist said that I have a dangerous form of sexual misbehavior, but I’m not really a sex addict. I can go days without sex, but I can’t go more than one to two days without an orgasm. I’ve been this way since I was 14. I always felt like I was normal until I began relationships as an adult and realized that women don’t really want to have sex as often as I do.

    My main issue is that my mind is always digging for new sexual thrills. When I’m at work, at home, in the shower, my mind is constantly on flashbacks of great sexual encounters or ways to have great ones in the future. I have too many ‘kinks/fetishes’ to name and only few of them my wife knows about.

    Yes, I have been caught on four different occasions. The first time she said she was leaving. I cried and sincerely decided that I need to stop. This was before the counseling. I stayed away from porn, tried to cut my sexual thoughts to a very low rate. That only worked for like 3 months. I’m in the military and I had to go to a military school unaccompanied, I ended up cheating again with more than one female and acting out fantasies that my wife expressed she would not do.

    Why would she do anything sexual for me after I cheated on her?? What am I to do with all this sexual energy inside me when she don’t want to do anything?? I asked myself and her. She told me to just be patient. I couldn’t. It’s very hard to.

    Long story short… I guess what I’m trying to poorly get at is that I don’t know what to do now. We just had our second child(first child is 5) and I love them sooooo much, but I truly want to leave. In my heart, I know that I’m not going to do her nor them any justice by staying because I honestly don’t want to stop what I’m doing. I had a very hard childhood, yes I was molested, twice as a child and I don’t know if that has anything to do with it, but sexual excitement is the only thing that validates that I have SOME kind of control over my life.

    At home, from my friends and family I’ve been ridiculed as her being the one wearing the pants, etc. My self-esteem was already at a terrible low before we even got married. Her constant snapping at my mistakes and snide remarks didn’t help. I felt like the other females I was with showed me more positive attention even if it was sometimes in a haze of lust. I craved that. I still do. I can’t expect my wife to give me that attention while taking care of two children. So I know that I must leave.

    My problem with that is I don’t know how. I am miserable because I’m putting up a front like things will be better only because I hate confrontations. I hate making her cry. We also may not be able to handle a separation/divorce financially. For the last two years, I feel like I’ve been staying mainly for my children and because of my fear of confrontation.

    I do love her, but it’s not real love because I don’t even love/respect myself enough to care for my own health. I know that what I do is not healthy even though I always use protection(it’s not 100% safe). Yet I feel like it’s a part of who I am and I’m tired of acting like the good man she want me to be. And I don’t want my children to grow up seeing her mistreated, thinking that they can do their wives the same way and she’ll stay.

    I’m not the asshole type, I’m not here to start wars, nor am I here for sympathy. I just simply wanted to share my story. Not for validation, but to help me get some clarification. Maybe someone here may say something to help me.

    Thank you in advance…

    -C. Heater

  4. C. Heater,

    I always have something to say–LOL and what I’m going to say might really surprise you.

    First of all, I think it takes a lot of courage for someone in your situation to reach out for help.

    I think you have a considerable amount of insight into yourself already and that is half of the battle. A lot of what you have written that you feel is perfectly normal. It is normal to be attracted to other people, to fantasize and to pleasure yourself and to occasionally look at porn. What is not normal is to act on it in a way that is outside the terms of your marriage or to be thinking about it to the exclusion of almost everything else. The sex and fantasy is a substitute for something else that is sorely missing. It is a false, dangerous substitute however, because as you have seen, the need you experience escalates and escalates as you find yourself needing “more” to get the same effect. Again, it seems to have taken up an unrealistic place in your mind and perhaps, you can discover some healthier ways of coping such as other activities that you enjoy that don’t involve have sex with others outside the confines of your marriage. I know that this isn’t easy, but it is something to work on with your therapist.

    I hear that you’ve had a deeply troubled childhood as many of us have and that you have a lot of conflict within your marriage.

    Continue with your counseling and if this counselor isn’t working for you, find another one who can help you and your wife.

    I can’t answer if your life will be better if you leave. Will it? You say that you can’t really love your wife, because you don’t love yourself.

    This is your key, I think. You need to first love yourself, no matter what. You have to try and heal your own wounds and maybe you and your wife need to learn some new ways of relating better to each other. But, one thing I know– You can’t expect other people to change, just because you want them too.

    Instead of using the word “confrontation”, try substituting “communication”. See, if that shift to a more positive word helps. Honest and open communication–sharing of true feelings is loving and giving. Keeping hurt and bad feelings inside until it builds into something very unpleasant is not loving. Learn to forgive. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and others for theirs. Perfection does not exist.

    Work with you therapist to discover better ways of relating and communicating with your wife and others. I recommend reading “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” and other such books. There are tons of them out there!

    Good luck and thanks for reaching out!

    xo,

    L

  5. Hi…

    First, I’m sorry, but my English is not so good and I hope everybody can understand me.
    I’m Brazilian, 27 years old and my husband is a sex addiction. He is Canadian and is 30 years old. I met him on the internet, not at dating sites, but in one community similar Facebook. I never believed in relationships between women and mans from Internet until it happen to me. We have chatted for 6 months, then he went to Brazil to meet me. We dated for two years by distance, but I came to Canada to meet his family and he went several times to Brazil. In the end I left all my life in my country to get marriage with him – family, friends, university and work. When I came here, after 3 months of marriage he started being so cold and rude to me. I didn’t know what was happened and I felt so devastated, ugly, all bad things, alone. So, I searched in his computer and found all dirty things about him. It was so disappointing, not just because his lies, but he was so cold to me, when I didn’t know no English and was so alone. I wanted leave him, but he promised to change. We went to therapy, read a lot of books, etc. Now, after one year that every thing happened, I still so depressed. I fell terrible about myself, about have trusted him and changed all my life for him. I fell me stupid. I still married. Since I found him out and after all therapy, he have changed a lot. Now he is so affectionate and thoughtful as when we were dating. And I haven’t find nothing, no betrays for one year. However, I can’t trust him anymore. I don’t now if he changed in true. Even though he worked hard and is being honesty now, I fell like It will be always a ghost in our lives. I don’t know if one day I will trust him again. Sometimes I just want to go far from him and start a new life alone, but I’m afraid. I still love him, but be with him is a big risk… I want kids… I don’t know what to do…

  6. Dear Hope–

    I’ve been thinking about you and I think that most of the women on here have such similar stories of deception. That’s what sex addicts do. They deceive their partners. And then… They go on deceiving, on and on…

    The coldness coming from your husband is not about you. In other words, it is not about anything you are doing or not doing. It is a script that he has; and if it wasn’t you, it would be some other woman who was at the receiving end of his abuse. Most likely,(despite his initial charm) he has a great disdain for women. I have a theory which I don’t know if its correct or not, but the male sex addict actually fears and loathes women and through numerous encounters, attempts to control them and make himself feel superior. I’m not saying in all cases, but I think it might be true in many of them.

    Has he changed for real? Ahhh… well… Yes, that was a collective sigh you heard… The truth is, and the reason for your fear–

    very, extremely unlikely.

    not impossible, but unlikely and based on what you have written, I think in your heart you know it but can’t yet face it.

    Its easy for me to say that you’re young; you made a mistake, move on… By the way, I am so touched by your English, and even though the syntax was not always correct, we got the meaning behind your every word, LOUD AND CLEAR! In fact, through your touching words, you conveyed even more clearly, the loneliness, isolation and devastation in a way that’s almost palpable.

    Something just doesn’t sound right here… Now, he’s being nice to you… I dunno… Damn, its so difficult not to be suspicious, but the truth is… Its very rare, no, not rare, next to impossible, for a sex addict to just turn it all around, just like that. The man that you love, may not be real. I think that’s the hardest thing to understand.

    I know that you want kids, but I’d give it some more time. You can’t undo the kids,(I’ve tried and it didn’t work) 🙂 but you could undo the marriage.

    If you decide to leave him, do not be afraid. You’re so young and there are other men out there and most of them aren’t addicts. And then there’s also you. Maybe you just need some time, to find yourself without any man.

    xo,

    L

  7. Hi Lorraine…

    I know I’m young and there are a lot of men. The problem is I think that I never will trust in a man again. Never! It’s a huge trauma in my life.

    Apart from every thing that I wrote before, I was sexual abuse when was a teenager for my grandfather. He tried have sex with me, but didn’t get it because I was physically stroger than him. Also, my father cheated on my mother a lot of times.

    When I met my husband I thought he was different, because he was so sweet, romantic, and seemed to be honest. I told to him about my life. He knew about my grandfather and my parents problems. We used to talk about my problems and he seemed to be sincere. He was so disgusted about my grandfather and my daddy. But now I know it was only hypocrisy.

    He cheated on me a lot of time, before we got marriage, after we got marriage, with prostitutes and transsexuals, porno lives webcam sites, etc. He have betrayed me since I met him in all ways. But in the same time I want to believe that the people can change and be better- him, everyone. But how I said before, I don’t know if he really wants to change. In my heart I feel he still lie to me.

    I’m happy for can share my history here.

    Thanks Lorraine for your attention. unfortunately, I know that is really rare a sexual addict to change.

    Peace, hope and love for everybody in this website.

  8. Oh Hope,

    My friend did the same to me with his “understanding” words. They are sexual predators and this is the kind of unconscionable mind games they play to get what they want. Its sick and twisted but its not personal. I know that probably doesn’t provide much solace, at this point. As I have, in retrospect, you may find that there were red flags, even early on that you either didn’t notice because of naivete, ignored or found a way to justify. After all, nobody’s perfect, but… The point is that these guys do follow an uncannily similar script. You are now much wiser, so it is unlikely that you will be swept up by one of these nefarious characters ever again. You will see the all too clear signs and run a mile, before you get in too deeply.

    Please find yourself a good counselor. Yes, you’ve been through much trauma, but it doesn’t have to put a blight on you, for the rest of your life!

    Your heart has told you what you need to know.

    I wish you much peace and strength and love,

    L

  9. Lorraine,
    Thank you for the advice. It was exactly what I didn’t want to hear which is the truth, which helped me to clarify where I stand. I honestly don’t think that I can go on being married while trying to work on my own personal issues. I feel that I am a person of weak will and ill resolve to “fix” my problem. As I’ve said sometimes I feel like I don’t really have a problem. I wonder if that is the attitude most cheaters and SA’s really have at times but don’t tell people of.

    I just feel that my wife don’t deserve to be with me while I’m still fighting my urges to cheat. I feel like I’m only making things worse by staying and not being willing to go through the long road to recovery. I want to do right by me and my boys, but I also want them to know that you can’t treat women like I’ve treated their mother and expect to stay and keep doing it.

    I think that leaving the marriage will be a very hard thing to do because I really love my children alot, but I just honestly have problems with understanding how monogamy can make me happy. It doesn’t. Maybe I have to resolve very deep personal issues before I see the light that shines on other happy couples. Right now, I see happy couples and feel like they’re just fronting and that behind closed doors someone is screwing up big time.

    Ladies, is it wrong for me to leave?? Am I considering the right move?? In my heart and mind I feel it is better. I just hate the difficult communications to come with it. Yet, I feel that if I prolong it, it will only drag her down.

    I still am actively conversating with two women that I’ve had sexual encounters with before and am considering another affair. I feel like shit, but for some reason it feels selfishly good. I have lately been ignoring my therapist’s advice. I don’t know where to end my stupidity because I feel like I’m doing what I want to do vs. what people expect me or want me to do.

    And yes, Lorraine, you were right, I do find myself wanting to climb the ladder to that higher sexual high.

    Overall, I don’t think I see the bottom yet. I always find excuses and reasons to creep around. I just want to do it without hurting her anymore. I want to do it without sneaking around. That’s why I feel that I need my own space.

  10. C.,

    Okay, please don’t woos out on me now! 🙂 You are very close to a break through here and your mind is putting up massive road blocks— I’m going to attempt to tear them down, if you don’t mind.

    You said:

    “I feel like shit, but for some reason it feels selfishly good.”

    and lately you’ve been ignoring your therapist’s advice? And what prey tell is that?

    Let me guess.

    There is something I want you to know. Sex does not equal happiness. (Of course, it can bring pleasure, but that’s only when you’ve got a handle on it, which you clearly don’t.) Happiness is sharing a joke with your wife that only the two of you know— Happiness is watching your son hit a home run at a ball game or playing his trumpet in the orchestra or graduating from high school. Are your kids normal? Thank your lucky stars.

    Are you selfish?

    Yes, very.

    Does your wife deserve better.

    Yes, she does.

    Should you leave because you cannot remain monogamous?

    Sure you could, but I don’t think that would be a wise decision for a multitude of reasons.

    You have a lot of growing up to do and also a lot of healing to do. You are a victim of abuse and that means that you also have a lot of work to do– That is, unless you WANT to get sick and die. Unfortunately, if you keep on as you have, that is not an unlikely scenario. What kind of example would that be for your two boys?

    If you truly want control of your life, then you’re gonna have to learn to deal with these primary issues— Communication and your anger, yes intense ANGER (although currently repressed) at being sexually violated as a child and God knows what else that you’ve blocked out!

    Sweetie, it is NOT about sex or “a high sex drive” or being kinky or even having fantasies which is perfectly normal. Sex is what you use to mask the horrors you can’t face. Its become a very unhealthy drug, and the effects of it increase and get riskier and crazier as time goes on.

    Please stay in therapy with and without your wife.

    As for non-monogamous unions. It can work. In some ways, it requires even BETTER communication skills than in a traditional relationship. However, its not for everyone and BOTH parties have to want it and that is rare. And from my experience, you have to be able to take it or leave it. And I don’t think that you can do that.

    In your case, I sense a man who is constantly looking to other women for validation of some kind, like my ex-lover who is very handsome, built, etc. and it is NEVER EVER enough. This is the slippery slope that I think that in your heart you realize that you’re on and don’t know how to get off and still feel well. That is what recovery is all about. Its about finding other paths for enjoyment that don’t violate yourself AND your loved ones. It doesn’t mean being miserable and it doesn’t mean that you can’t have mind blowing sex either. Look, you have to get your wife outta the house. Get a G-damned baby sitter and take HER (your wife, not the sitter, lol) to the motel!!! Share your secrets and fantasies. Why not? Trust me here… She just might surprise you with a few of her own. 😉 Hard to share all that stuff with the one you have so much invested in, isn’t it? Just try it. What do you have to lose? She already knows the worst.

    And then… when you come back home.

    Focus a bit more on those two little boys that you love so much. That is where your true joy lies. And when they’ve gone to bed, find another hobby that you like that doesn’t have anything to do with sex or women. Join a club. Do volunteer work. Be someone they can be proud of! And listen to your therapist! 🙂

    xo,

    L

  11. Hello,

    I am new at the processes of getting help or talking about this for the first time. Even though its been about a year and three months since I found out that the life I was living was a lie, I have been trying to work on it with marrige therapy and talking it out. Unfortunally it has come to a point where I don’t know whether I am coming or going and I know I need support for myself.
    Share? How do you share that specific moment in your life when you feel like the whole world around you is disapearing and all you hear is the beating of your heart in your ears. You start feeling light headed and can throw up at any moment. You want to shout, cry, disapear all at the same time. Then you turn around and see the faces of your two beautiful children and ask the question that I am sure all of us have asked..”How did I not see this coming?” Believe it or not I would love to share what happend but most of it is such a blur and it seems to run together that sometimes it feels like it happend so long ago but then the next min it feels like it just happend yesterday. Does anyone feel this way? These are the facts: I know he has had a porn addiction since he was 16. I know that his first internet affair happend in 2005. I know that his first sexual incounter was in Oct 2008. I know that he had 4 one night stands and one “relationship” – that does not include the internet affairs, phone and chat sex with women he meet on craigslist and other websites.
    I found out on my own in March 2009. In June of this year we are going on 12 years of marrige. We have two beautiful children – Our daughter is 8 and our son is 6. He was in the Marine Corp for 5 years and has sufferd from PTSD and since Feb 2010 has join the Army. At first I wanted to save the marrige but now I am just not sure. He has been trying to save the marrige as well but has not been successful with controling his addiction. Even though he has not slept with anyone else since June 2009 (that I know of) he has been battling with his porn addiction, his computer addiction(chatting with women and wanting to meet them for sex) and his addiction to lieing. Since March 2010 he has joined a SAA, gotten himself a sponser,going to personal counceling and had given me full access to accounts, money and has signed the children to me to show his true commitment. He says that he loves me so much and is sorry for all that he has put me thru. He says that he would do anything to save our marrige and that “this time” its all true.
    At this point I am asking myself “How much more of this can I take?” “Can he really get better?” “Can marriges really servive this?” “Will I ever love him like I once did?” “Will I ever trust him again?” “Will I feel whole once again?” So many question with so little answers. I started seeing a therapist for my anxiaty, depression and low self-esteem that has come from dealing with all of this. I guess no one thinks they would end up here – even some of my friends don’t talk to me anymore because they are so scared that they are next! And I don’t blame them! I was madly in love with my husband once, I was happy with my life once, I thought I was the luckiest women in the world once. Once…..so long ago. Maybe someday soon I will go to sleep with no tears and wake up with no tears. Maybe someday I will be able to look back and see the bigger picture of why I had to go thru this nightmare. But today I stand here before you asking for advice and help.

    Thank you for listening – hope I made sense
    Cindy

  12. Hi Cindy,
    It’s hard to make sense when nothing makes sense anymore. Your heart is broken. You don’t know if you are alone or not. The safety of your emotional home has been violated. You still have two young children who need you every day. And it’s not necessarily a simple thing to stop loving someone. Cindy, all of us who have walked in your shoes wish it never happened to you.

    But we are also really glad you had the courage to try and express how it is for you.

    On the “up” side, it sounds like he’s taken some steps recently to get serious about recovery. Only time will tell. In my own situation, my children are young adults and I have a job–so I may have had some options that won’t work for you. But there are choices you can make.

    After listening to the Barbara Steffens interview on the home page of this website I realized how important it was for me to feel safe. And safety was about a home that he couldn’t use as a base for betraying and humiliating me. It also meant not being criticized or afraid of being criticized, which was one of the ways he tried to justify himself as deserving “more” than me.

    So, my thoughts for you are: What kind of safety do you need, Cindy? How can you get it? ARe there family members who can help you financially if you need it?

    Then, I wonder if you need legal assistance. I didn’t because I could finance myself, and my sons weren’t custody cases. As you think about this question, think of your need to secure your children’s home and well-being. They have no one else to do that.

    Do you have a therapist of your own? Do they know anything about sex addiction and its impact on the spouse? If not, get one.

    Keep logging onto this site and learn from the other women who have experience the same traumas as you have.

    It’s possible for you to rebuild your life. But it really hurts, i know. I’m sure you saw yourself growing old with your husband, looking after each other, and enjoying shared memories. I did too. Maybe we have another chance. All I know is that we only get one life, and i’lll be damned if my husband gets to waste the rest of mine. He needs to step up and earn it.

    You are precious and no one else can take your place in this world. Do whatever honours that truth. The way forward will become clearer. Not easier, but clearer. And that brings us back to where we started—wondering what makes sense, after all.

    Love yourself, Cindy. It’s not selfish. it’s what you need. Believe in the love your children have for you. If he can’t love you right now, love yourself. The rest will unfold as it should.

    We know about the kind of tears that come at night. Next time remember us and know you aren’t alone.

    love,
    D.

  13. Hi everyone! I was reading each post. This website helps me a lot. Just to know we aren’t alone at all is really helpful. Since I found every thing about my husband, I was depressed, but know I’m tired about that. I still with him, I hope in my soul that one day he can change in true, even if we get divorced. Our future is so uncertain. But now I realize my life is more important than that. I’m starting to be selfish, a good selfish, and I’m not sorry about that. I’m really tired about his lies and about to check everyday his emails, cell, account bank, etc. Every word that I could say to him I already said. Every thing I could do, I already did. Now I want take care about myself. He is not a kid and I’m not a psychologist. Now, if he wants help, he needs ask me for it. Next week I will start with my own therapist. In addition, I’m taking care about my body, my foods, every thing about myself. And I feel so good being like that. If he wants follow me it will be great. If not, it is his problem.

    Hope and love for you all!

  14. This is day 9 for me. I found out last Monday that my husband had been having an affair for six months. Asking the question “why” led us to his sex addiction. I’ve since learned of multiple chat sessions, boundary issues such as texting, secret emailing and “sex” phone calls that occurred mostly while he was out of town for a volunteer association he is president of. In addition there has been daily masturbation (twice daily) and many nights three and four hours looking at porn. He was and is extremely remorseful and very committed to a life re-focused on our two boys (3 & 6) and on me. He confessed, told his parents, and is now seeing a therapist as well as attending two to three SAA group sessions weekly. I thought he had told me everything, as because he had become so good at lying, he was very convincing. Last night I asked him again about details. There were more things that he had just lied about yesterday morning. My heart is broken and I feel very dull. I love him and he is a wonderful person, but Im struggling with the thought of living my life always wondering if he is being truthful.

    We had a discovering through all of this. The sex addiction actually made him resent us, his family. He spent very little time with our children. He stayed on the computer from the time we got home after work until all hours of the night. As vigilant as I am, he was chatting with girls, emailing and looking at porn right here in our family living room while I fed, bathed and put our boys to sleep. I felt like he deserved to have some down-time after a busy day at work. He was very good at clicking off the screens that would have revealed it all. He made has phone sex many nights right after I had fallen asleep with his mistress. He also has a scanning issue. Every female he runs into or even in public, he begins obsessing about them and particularly about there body parts. The porn and scanning were early signs, then six months ago he needed more which became the affair. Although he ended it about three week before I found out, he had already began pursuing two other women that he had hoped to have an affair with. He says he can not believe he did this and neither can I. And on and on the story goes.

    After he came clean, he said he felt an enormous sense of relief, and regret that he had done this to him family. He said he felt like every day before was ground-hog day and that he now felt clear. He knows he has missed out on time with our boys and that he can never regain this. The computers are on lock-down, cable blocked, etc. So, only 9 days and Ive committed to support him and he is terrified that I will leave him. But Im just not sure if I want to live the rest of my life like this. Im seeing a therapist and Im reaching out for help or advice on what the future may hold and what I should expect. God knows, this is the biggest surprise of my life, because I thought what we had was perfect.

  15. Dear Jude,

    First of all a warm welcome! Thank you for reaching out. Its important to do that. You are not alone. Its very very early and there are no easy or quick answers. I think one of the most difficult parts is not that our partner has strayed so much as the deceit of his actions. We feel not only incredibly betrayed, but also very vulnerable and at a loss for what to do.

    It is the lies and breech of trust and the fact that we are suddenly faced with someone that we don’t even recognize as being our husband, closest friend and lover.

    How could someone who claims to love and cherish me do all the things he did behind my back?

    Is *he* still in there some where?

    Is he truly remorseful?

    How do I know if and when he is telling me the TRUTH?

    How can I ever learn to trust him again?

    Can he recover and be faithful to one woman? (you)

    Can and will he commit to doing the intense amount of work that he is going to need to do to achieve sobriety?

    What on earth led him down such a dark path of destruction?

    These are all questions which would be impossible to answer, at this point.

    Please rest assured, however, that it has absolutely NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with you and your ability as a wife, a lover, your looks, or anything like that. It is ALL about him and his issues which are indeed, quite serious.

    You didn’t say how you found out.

    If he came to you and confessed that he has a problem, (which is very unusual, I think) then I think that is a good sign that he had hit rock bottom and realized that he needed help. If you found out in some other way and he is simply telling you what he thinks you want to hear, and doing what he thinks you want him to do, so that you do not leave him, (take his kids and bring him shame) then that is a different story.

    Its a long road, no matter what.

    There is a ton of info on this site and others as you are most likely becoming aware of.

    It is certainly alright to support your husband, but please remember that no matter what, to support yourself and your children FIRST. It sounds like you are already doing that by reaching out and finding your own therapist.

    Allow yourself to grieve and feel whatever feelings you feel. It is your right. And he has to understand that his actions have had serious consequences.

    Please let us know how you are doing and write whenever you feel like it. Again, you are not alone. Here’s wishing you much strength.

    xo,

    L

  16. Dear One and All,
    I have been with my SA husband for 35 years and married for 33 of these. For those who have been married for only a short while and have no children I would advise to not walk, but run in the opposite direction. God has given you everything you need to survive and it is in you like a special package. Look at your strengths and not your weaknesses and go for it. What has happened is not your fault. You got hijacked! All we really have is this moment and possibly today. Yesterday is gone, and the future in unknown, but God gives us everything we need if we truely seek it. A Therapist I have seen tells me, “This isn’t about him, it’s about you.” What are you going to do? We are, yes I’ll say it “co-dependents.” No amount of crying, beging, or pleading is going to get these people to give up their addictions. In most cases the sex addiction is a coping mechanisms for a childhood that went terribly wrong and the sex addict must loose everything before they will seek help for the right reasons, which do not include us being unhappy. About six months ago I finally “got it” and figured out what has been going on with my husband since he was five years old and for the full length of our marriage and his eight year first marriage. I do know one recovering sex addict, who is no longer an alcoholic and lives a true christian life. He told me that he had to loose everything before he was willing to change. This included a 22 year marriage to a women that he professed to love, and the respect of those who knew him. He said nothing else would have made him stop. So what it comes down to is that we can not make other people change. We can only change ourselves. I have many regrets that I do not want others to have. All the places I never went too, or the people I did not meet all because I was constantly trying to make him happy or looking over my shoulder trying to figure out what was going on. My children suffered, mostly my youngest because my husband had a difficult time bonding with him. I was too understanding and am now picking up the pieces. I am giving it a year. If it looks like therapy will not help the acting out and if there is no honesty it will be over. And if it is over, he will loose half of everything he owns including his retirement, as he retires at the end of next year. The respect of all members of our family, as I have decided not to be a marter and our grown sons and my step-son will know why. The house he built with his own hands will be sold. And not least, someone who loved him unconditionally, played with him, and was his friend everyday of almost half of his life. (If he really didn’t love me, all he had to do was tell me, and I would have gone and happily lived a different life. . .so much time wasted trying to make things better and not knowing the truth.) I know that some of this may sound mean spirited to some, but I think I always thought it was up to me to save his soul, until a friend who is going through something similar was told by her teenage daughter, “It’s not up to you to save Daddy’s soul mom. That’s what the Holy Spirit is supposed to do and you might be getting in his way.” Children sometimes see things that we just don’t want too. I hope for something good to come out of this. Best Wishes to all.
    Lanette

  17. Jude,
    First, you are really together and taking charge for only knowing for 9 days. Awesome. Especially because the hurt is catastrophic.
    The way you handled everything in the evenings so he could have his own time (he sure did not think the same way for you in two ways)reminded me of my marriage. I pampered and loved and thought about mine constantly too. In the end, it did not matter.
    But when you said RESENTMENT, boy, that was all I heard. My ex even told his therapist he resented me because I held him back from all he wanted to do. He actually told me I was just his “responsibility”. The therapist tried to work with him on that, until he quit going.
    He once said he realized I was not the cause of any of his unhappiness ( his therapist said I was his scapegoat), but that was very short lived. He never took responsibility for his problems and unhappiness and lied and blamed and all his problems were because of me.
    The therapist pointed out over and over to him that By being married (to anyone) he resented because then he had to lie and cheat to feed his addiction. He did it to his first wife too, and now his girlfriend, although she has no clue.
    I totally get the resentment thing, and what a terrible thing to place on you and your sons, who are so loving to him. His resentment needs to be on the addiction for what it does to his family and himself.

  18. Lorraine, I always enjoy your posts so much (your insight)and I meant to comment on your question of remorse.
    Remorse- I looked for it and looked for it and almost went nuts because I couldn’t find any….and when I went to a therapist after mine ex left, I asked her…”will he ever be remorseful?”. She told me no. She was blunt and told me how it was, no lies (what I always got), just truth about the person I had married.
    So there was never any “sorry”, never regret for what he had done, and that is when my love for him started to die….thank goodness!

  19. Lots of interesting and sobering comments to read when I woke up this morning. Thank you everyone for sharing bits of your struggle. Now I have to share mine becuase I’ve been in the pit for a few days now.

    Re: resentment
    This has been one of the most hurtful elements of my relationship with my SA husband. For years before I found out what he was doing, his passive aggressive cruelty to me was escalating and I didn’t know why. He would roll his eyes at me and walk away. He would mumble crummy comments as he turned away from me. He even held a decorative pillow up to the side of his head when we watched tv so that he couldn’t see me. Apparently the sight of me was too much for his perfect self to bear.

    I would call him on these things and he would deny doing it, or pretend it didn’t mean anything. More than the porn he violated our home and marriage with, this disdain for me continues to wound. I doubt I will ever overcome the humiliating power of his attitude to me no matter how much commitment he has to recovery. He doesn’t seem to have any commitment to letting this go. He just clearly likes to do it. He picked me up at the airport (which was a gesture of kindess), but in a bag mix-up of his own making, he did the loud mumble thing against me so that people around us heard him. I’ve been crying for two days since. It’s a trauma trigger–like the Steffens book and interview says.

    So I’ve laid out my “safety” needs this way—I need to be where I am safe, with whom I am safe, doing what it is safe. “Safe” for me means not around triggers of humiliation, emotional abuse etc. That means a lot less of him! I gave him a list of my trauma triggers before this last incident. We were coming to the end of our six month healing separation agreement and I gave it to him as part of what will build the next one. But I also told him I needed the summer off from him compeletly. I need to break the cycle of my availability that was created in the first agreement.

    Which brings to the question I keep asking myself—why the fuck am I doing this work just to try and get someone to stop treating me like shit? Isn’t this whole process of separation and negotiation turning out to be more like the codependence I never demonstrated in our years together? I never snooped, begged, tried to make him stop, changed my appearance or behaviour to compete with his porn girlfriends, or treated him like he couldn’t change his behaviour. He lost his house, his wife, his “cover” for acting out, his financial well-being, the respect of my close friends and family—and he still just can’t stop himself when he has the chance to scapegoat me. He clearly will not give up that “entitlement” as part of his recovery. He just loves doing it.

    And that brings up the step in his program which invited him to write out all the things he doesn’t like about me. Apparently the purpose of this is to make him see his cruelty and scapegoating over petty irritations or imagined ones etc. Then they burn it as a ritual letting go etc.

    I’ve been furious about his and let him know. I think it was just a program opportunity for him to criticize me while I wasn’t there to defend myself or call him out. How dare he???!!!! This just enrages me. Because it changed nothing. He still does all of it and the program gave him an opportunity to do it in print. Fuck the program.

    So here’s a few of his “irritating” habits. His jaw cracks with every bite of food he takes. He can’t hear very well so we have to repeat everything and raise our voice in public places (but his pride would preclude a hearing aid). His mind always goes to the most complicated place for understand a simple story so we all have to explain everything in excruciating detail and very slowly several times. He misunderstand every simple instruction. He gets lost all the time and cna’t remember when he’s been places before. He breaks things. He throws out the very thing we are looking for. He keeps people waiting at the dinner table because when called for dinner he goes into the bathroom. He preens endlessly. He puts hand lotion just like his mother does and it really creeps me out–he’s channeling her. He can’t read any social signals in a gathering about when things are winding up etc. He lisps when he’s talking in an official manner, and also makes his lips do some weird thing. He smells his underwear before putting it in the laundry basket. He uses up toilet paper like he’s eating it and storing it in his cheeks (no pun intended) And I’ll just stop there although there’s lots more.

    All these things our family good-humouredly lived with because we loved him, including me. We all have mannerism and habits that take some patience and acceptance. But with an SA, their inflated ego seems to believe they are perfect and their disdain for the signs of our human frailty is expressed because they honestly believe they are better than we are. It’s a strange bedfellow to their self-hatred that lies under their addiction.

    I guess the truth is, my husband isn’t a very nice person. And for some reason that must makes me cry all the more. Well, I must get going. I have a therapist to see, and my first solo vacation plan to finalize. I guess this how the rest of my life will look.

    I’m sorry to all you great women, that I just can’t get out of the pit today. thanks for letting me be the way I feel. Somewhere in my soul, I know this wave of awful will pass.
    love,
    Diane.

  20. Lanette,

    I couldn’t agree with you more about moving on. Actually I think if you have children you need to run, not walk. What is this deceit, betrayal, lies and manipulations modeling for the children. They will pick up the way SA’s deals with issues and that will become their way of dealing with things. Then, they have you, who is trying to make sense of what is happening around you and always having to look behind your back, check up, block computer access and even question that what they are telling you is the truth – what insanity are we living in, it is heartbreaking and a demeaning way to live.

    It is like the rules in an alcoholic and mental illness in a family that keeps everyone in the family bound to the sickness (see John Bradshaw’s books). When the SA entangles us in their web (sickness), for the most part it is our lives that are changed, and it is not on the positive side.

    Diane,

    I loved, loved, loved your blog, it is wonderful! It made me laugh, and I need to laugh more.

    I would like to offer to you and any other person who has dealt with a passive/aggressive personality, this web site . It describes these wonderful, gutless, cruel, ruthless – I am having a hard time calling them people, so I will let you fill it in.

    When I read it I laughed and then wept and wept harder because that was what I lived with; and I thought he was the nicest, kindest, honest, a person of integrity and I admired him. It feels like a nightmare, actually it is a nightmare. The very things that we valued, that make us what we are, has been defiled by these malicious monsters (passive/aggressives).

    Thank you, everybody for these blogs today. They help me feel sane.

  21. Hi everyone… I was reading every history here and I think: Each history seems to be the same. Looks like if all S.A are the same person. Well, How I said before, I’m trying don’t care to much about my husband and take care about myself. But recently my husband started being weird. More than usual. Now he wants to have access to my laptop!!! I wonder: Why??? His computer has safeeyes, a kind of parental control, but my laptop doesn’t have it. When I said to him, okay but I will put safeeyes in my laptop too, He just answered : “ok, no problem!” I’m wondering why does he want to have access to my own computer? This is not weird? So I asked to him again and he answered “I want have access because I don’t think it is right a married woman has secrets (what secrets!!!) We are married, I have the right to access your computer (He thinks I’m a stupid!!!)”. I said to him ” Are you kidding me?”
    Before, I didn’t have passwords in my computer, my emails,nothing! But, since I found every thing about him I bought my laptop and installed safeeyes in his computer. I didn’t give to him any reason to have my computer monitored. He has a problem, not me! And what is that about it is not right a woman married… bla bla bla. How can a person be so cynical! After every thing he has done to me! But I know, if he wants to have access to my computer it is not for some thing good. I found every thing about him one year ago, why does he wants to have access to my computer just now? It is smelling dirt. what do you guys think?

  22. Hey Jeanette,
    Thanks for loving my posting and I’m really glad it made you laugh. I had no idea it was funny when I wrote it. I was just so “gloom and doom” and crying blahblahblah. So when you said it was funny I went back and read it—and it WAS funny.

    I can’t tell you how it turned this day around to see that even in the midst of my “pit”, I have a sense of the ridiculous that survived the fall. Thanks for showing me. I think I’ve taken my sense of humour for granted.

    I’m checking out the site you sent.

    cheers all, and here’s to a good night sleep with a new day dawning.
    Diane.

  23. Yep, Diane’s made me laugh too. If we don’t somehow find humor out of the nightmare, we would go insane, because it really is soul destroying, to the core.
    I found when I laughed at my ex, he got really pissed. Try it!
    We go to court again tomorrow, and I will laugh at him again, because he still has all his problems, and I am free of all his problems. He is trying to get me charged with contempt for taking money he owed me (court ordered) from a joint account.
    He even told on himself (accident) with the first affair…..screwed up….and I started digging. I tell him I bet that was your oh shit moment. Liars for sure hate being exposed…he responded physically and verbally, that is how much he hates it. Again, not my problem anymore, and if he gets near me again, he does not have my love anymore so he will get away with nothing like he did in the past.
    It reminds me so much of that movie The Green Mile, “they use your love against you”. That is the lowest of the scum bucket.
    Another phone call tonight, I now find out that my dear ex-hubbie purchased breast implants for a stripper girlfriend….and I am still fighting to just get his court ordered portion of our son’s medical bills paid. Of course I have paid his portion as well.
    Priorities, priorities.

  24. Yes, Diane. Honesty IS funny and the way you express yourself is nothing short of hilarious–especially that part about the jaw cracking with every bite. That’s hot. haha. Oh dear, so easy to become, what is it? “Catty?” or is it just a Bitch?

    I’ll take that any day over being a pompous, preening, lisping, hand-lotioning, (that really is an eewww) self-aggrandizing womanizing prick.

    Wonder what he’s smelling in that underwear of his?

    I smell a rat.

    Good riddance!

    When you said that you were planning a trip by yourself and then bemoaning that this is what the rest of your life will look like?

    First of all, a solo vacation, Hell, ANY vacation at ALL sounds like a heaven to me. I know its not what you had in mind, but please know, that when something happens that you hadn’t planned for, it just opens up a whole new world that you never could’ve even dreamed of.

    And I guarantee that a beautiful, vivacious, charming, bright, adorable woman such as yourself won’t have the need, should you so choose, to take many “solo” vacations. nosirreee—

    xo,

    L

  25. Okay, here is something a bit upbeat….how many of us have had other people completely in shock when they find out our spouses are, well, what they are.
    Today I heard it again ….”what a fool, you are a fine looking women, he is so dumb”.
    After years and years of being told I was not a good woman, not feminine, blah blah blah, I savor every look of shock from every person when they hear what happened.
    I worked at Hooters in college, and am still the same size (take a wild guess where I met my ex-husband). And guess where the ex is now? At Hooters telling Hooter girls (he is over 50 now) that he is a multi-millionare (gawd), and at strip clubs buying boobs for strippers. Can this get anymore comedic?

  26. Diane,

    I really loved the whole thing from the beginning to the end. I could relate to everything you wrote and I think it was when you got to the part “Which brings to the question I keep asking myself” that I connected to (actually I connected to everything) but this is where I was able to laugh.

    The rage and anger that is so appropriately put to words.

    And then the part, “And that brings up the step in his program which invited him to write out all the things he doesn’t like about me.” Don’t they love to blame us for their shortcomings?

    I could go on and on about everything you wrote about, but I really think you said it best!

    Thanks so much.

  27. Hi Diane. When I read your history I thought : It is my history! I wanted to laugh and cry too. I still so in shock with their cruelty. The S.A seems like a sociopath for me. They are so manipulated, so cruelty, so selfish, etc. In my case, my husband is so discreetly cruelty. I think my life is just a game for him. I think that he enjoys see me depressed or freaking out. He lies so well and is so manipulated that sometimes I can feel me guilty for asking him, for monitoring his computer, etc. Today he said me “I’m tired about theses parental control!”, like it was my fault. It is no my fault, he needs that software in his computer. I’m not happy because that.
    well, good luck!!!

  28. Have to stand up for yourself really strong or they will walk all over you and take EVERYTHING from you. Court case today went well. His contempt charges (our divorce) he brought against me the judge dismissed because there were no grounds. His charge was just more of the same abuse, more of the same I am not worthy mess he did when we were married.
    Even though we both worked and had income, somehow my income became his….the no worth thing is what made me stand up real strong and say it wasn’t going to happen. I refuse to be devalued and ripped off anymore. I am a good woman (he told me for years I was not a good woman) and strong and he completely wants to deplete me of that….even after three years apart.
    Stand strong and true and you will come out just fine. If being strong makes them cut you down even more, then you know their true spirit.
    If they don’t care enough to consider you when you are their wife and the mother of their children…there is something very very wrong with them.

  29. Hello all, I would just like to share my story as well. Maybe it’s not as serious as some of the others I read here but it still hurt me to the core. I’ve been married a little over a year now. My husband has told me that he was looking at porn while with his ex gf and on his own. I had a very honest discussion with him about this before we got married and said I do not want this in my life and if he did, then it would be for the best to be with someone else before we got closer. He said he only wanted me and that it’s something he has no need to do any more and will not do again. I believed him and he went on with the wedding after a few months. I got pregnant with our daughter…he was still watching it throughout the pregnancy. I wish I could explain how this made me feel…it’s beyond words. Worthless, disgusting, unwanted, unloved. When I had our daughter, it stopped for a while. After a few months, he begun again. I discoved it every time and cried about it, had calm talks about it, got furious, was sensitive, tried to reason with him, I tried EVERY SINGLE THING I knew to get him to stop and understand how this made me feel. He promised each time he would stop and then after a week or two, the same thing again. When I found out about it, he got furious, lied TO MY FACE about it and tried to turn it around on me. The last straw was yesterday, when he apparently got turned on, walked right passed me when I had absolutely nothing to do, the baby was asleep and he said he is going for a shower. I don’t even exist as a woman anymore, he won’t initiate any sort of physical contact with me. My gut told me something was wrong. It was exactly 1.5 weeks yesterday since the last time he promised and swore he’d never do it again. So I caught him in the act, masturbating while watching porn on his cell phone in the shower. And what scares me the most, is that our 10 month old daughter’s room is 2 doors away and she was sleeping. He smashed his phone and hand on the wall when I opened the shower door and confronted him which resulted in our baby waking up in tears and being scared to death by the noise. He admitted yesterday, for the first time, that he has a porn addiction and said he will do anything not to lose me. I don’t know what to do. I am totally torn. He has zero respect or care for me or our daughter, how can you do that when your baby is sleeping 2 doors away? I don’t know if I am being unreasonable. He says he loves me and wants me. Honestly, I believe nothing of what he says. I don’t know what to do. My self-esteem is gone, I used to take care of myself but now I have no urge or need to do it anymore, not even for myself. I wake up every day not wanting to get out of bed. I look at him and all I think of is “You liar, deceiver, coward. Did you watch porn again today after swearing you won’t?” Yet, I do love my husband. Admittadly, not as much as I used to. And I don’t know if I can be part of his try to get rid of this addiction. Too much has happened for me to want anything to do with porn, even if it’s for a good cause. I am considering filing for a divorce. I am not strong enough to stand by him, knowing that he may relapse and watch porn again. If he does it again, I won’t be able to stand it, I’ll be devastated and crushed completely.

  30. P.S. When I confronted him in the shower yesterday, he said he wasn’t looking at porn online but he was looking for a hotel for us to go on our wedding anniversairy in September and already took days off work for that…..which of course, he then admitted was a total and made up lie….you have no idea how all this is making me feel…I can’t hold my tears while I’m writing this. Thank you.

  31. Thank God, for waterproof cell phones! Otherwise when oh when would he have the TIME to make honeymoon arrangements!?!?!?!? I’ll have to add that one to my list of lamer than lame excuses. (under: I am not a co-sex addict)

    Oh Marianne— please, please do not ever apologize or think that your situation isn’t as serious as others. Whether it is or it isn’t,(and I personally think it is, based on your story) doesn’t matter. The fact that you are understandably devastated is what’s important.

    Addicts lie. They lie to their therapists, they lie to their partners, they lie to their friends and they lie to themselves too.

    They minimize, justify, manipulate, hide, cheat, and will do whatever they need in order to feed their addiction.

    Please seek counseling asap and keep reaching out as much as you need to and for now, please try to understand that HIS addiction has nothing whatsoever to do with you. He is not well and cannot be trusted at this point in time.

    For whatever its worth, I think that you are amazingly strong and not even a little bit unreasonable. I think it takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage to consider the ramifications of all of this and doing whatever YOU need to do that are in the best interests of yourself and baby.

    Please, at all costs, keep yourself safe.

    (((((((hugs)))))))))

    Lorraine

  32. Marianne,

    It is as serious. In someways Pornography addiction can be more devastating to the spouse than an addict who has affairs. I have worked with more than one spouse who can’t understand the attraction to porn. One woman said “if it were with a real person I could understand, maybe she has something to offer, but that’s not the case, he is choosing a Picture! A flat, lifeless. picture, over me.” So don’t ever diminish the pain you feel. It is not your job to be a part of his addiction in anyway, and this includes getting rid of it. This is his burden and his alone. Set your boundaries, stay firm to them, and if it is safe give it time. He can’t change over night. Are you seeing a counselor? You should if you aren’t

  33. Lorraine and Monica,

    Thank you very much for your replies. I don’t think I am doing strong or ok, I am devastated by this and what’s bothering me the most is that I don’t have the patience I used to with my 10 month old daughter because of all this. I am easily irritated, easily angry. I remember a time when I used to feel good about myself. I never had that much self confidence to begin with, but I was secure enough in myself. I’ve become a shadow of what I used to be. Do you believe that I have the 3 mirrors we have in the house covered? Well it’s true. I can’t bear to look at myself anymore. I don’t know what to do, I am hopeless, depressed, angry, I feel ridiculed. My husband said that he wants us or him to get help and yesterday and today, he is acting like everything is fine and ok. Like nothing happened. I’m supposed to pick up my pieces for the 10th time of his lying and treating me like dirt and move on. Like all is normal. I believed him at the time but now I think he just said something to get me off his back.

    The saddest thing is that if I didn’t go upstairs in the shower to see what’s happening, he wouldn’t have said ANYTHING. He would have kept me in the dark yet another time, just 1.5 weeks ago since he promised and swore he would never do it again. How can he do this to me? I thought about it and I really cannot be any part of his recovery (if he chooses to go). I don’t want anything to do with this anymore, good or bad. It’s so sad and depressing cause I don’t love him as much as I used to anymore. His lies, his deception, his manipulation took their toll on me and my feelings. Every time he said a lie and I found it out, every time he got mad, every time he chose masturbation or porn instead of me, every time he just walked right passed me like I didn’t exist, every time those things took a little bit of my love for him away. I am thinking of moving out for a little bit with my daughter because at the moment, I can’t stand seeing him or talking to him. Whatever comes out of his mouth sounds like a lie to cover up porn to me. It’s pointless. But I don’t want my daughter to leave the stability of our home, it’s the only reason I am being patient beyond my strength and living with him still. For her. I also told him yesterday that I am thinking about filing for divorce. He was devastated but it’s so sad to say and I’m sorry if it sounds cruel but I don’t care as much as I used to. The only thing I think about is that HE did this. HE lied, HE ridiculed me, HE chose this over me. HE destroyed my feelings and his family and for WHAT? Pixels on a screen. It sounds impossible to imagine if you think about it. He had a real life woman, his wife, that HE chose to begin with, and he chose to hurt her and lie to her to be in front of a PC.

    I don’t want to be divorced after a year of marriage. But I don’t think I have any other choice. Thank you.

  34. Yes, Marianne,

    I think we all struggle to understand how and why our partners/lovers/husbands/friends would choose a piece of paper, pixels on a screen, a skanky whore, an endless succession of mostly anonymous women— OVER, a close, intimate truly loving connection with a loving partner. In our minds, the “playing field” is even, but it is in reality, anything but.

    The but is a big but and what I want to keep stressing to you at this point in time is that it is not about YOU and your relationship with him and your home and family life together as man and wife.

    He uses porn as a DRUG, just like heroin and he’s addicted-big time. He is sick. Now, that doesn’t change the hurt and devastation that you, the partner are feeling and that is a normal consequence of his actions.

    To get into his mind just a bit. When he is acting out— even the time he walked right past you, he was in an addictive trance. I know this is going to sound a bit weird, but it looked like “him” walking past you, but it was not. It was his “addict self” in the clutches of active addiction and yes, it acts in very much the same way as a multiple personality disorder. He simply cannot stop and he did not choose to hurt you or your daughter.

    This is not excusing him in any way shape or form. He needs help and a lot of it and he needs to understand this and really own it or it won’t work. It is possible for addicts to stop, but it takes a considerable amount of work and time and the ability to have a deep introspection about the possible root causes… It is a long involved process and there is no “cure.” He will always be a “recovering sex addict”, but many do go on to lead very successful, productive, happy lives. Most, unfortunately do not.

    Is your home really stable? I understand that in your mind, two loving parents constitutes the accepted ideal of a loving, stable home situation for a child to have. However, sweetie, a man who walks around in addictive sexual trances and then smashes his phone and hand so hard into the shower door that it startled your infant into being “scared to death” is not exactly what I consider a stable situation, to put it mildly. Addiction is a progressive disease. Untreated, it only escalates and worsens with time.

    I do think that you understand this and are simply trying to come to terms with the reality and for that, you are amazingly strong. The perspective and clarity will come to you over time– when you can pull the lens back a bit, so to speak. I am so so sorry, I cannot even begin to imagine your pain at this time, although I’ve had plenty of my own.

    Please stay safe and get all the support and help that you can at this very difficult time. And if you can, even if you don’t feel like it… Please do something nice for yourself. Get a sitter and get your hair done or your nails (if you do that)– a massage– Anything to just stop the cycle of the downward spiral of depression.

    Please also seek out a counselor ASAP. This is imperative.

    ((((((hugs)))))))

    Lorraine

  35. Lorraine,

    Thank you for your support and your advice. Unfortunately, for the time being, I cannot see his “addictive trance” as you put it – I only see a man who chose to lie to his wife for pixels. And that hurts and makes me want to get away from him asap.

    You are also right about the stable home, I didn’t think of it this way. I have so much on my mind, I don’t know what to think of first, it’s a whirlwind. I will probably leave for a few days/weeks, with my daughter, just to clear my head and get away from my husband, I can’t stand the sight of him at the moment. Whatever he says, whatever he does, is a lie to me.

    I am also going to file for divorce. I cannot stand the thought of remaining in a marriage where my husband does not want me anymore – even if it from “addiction”. It has been going on too long and he lied too much. I cannot be by his side in recovery or in his life anymore. As much as I am scared of life on my own, his lies, eventually took the bigger part of my feelings for him and that is so so sad to admit. In the end, I guess he won. He can have his freedom now to watch whatever he wants and not hurt anyone while doing it.

    It’s still amazing to me how men can CHOOSE (cause it IS a choice for me) to hurt their wives, lie endlessly, destroy their families for porn.

  36. Hi Marianne,

    I think that the separation makes a lot of sense. And I also understand how difficult it is to put ourselves “inside their head”, because it is all just so foreign.

    You don’t have to go there, and believe me, its not a very pretty place, in any case. Now, this may surprise you, but after you leave, he may seek out another partner and STILL continue his addiction. That’s right. Sex addicts typically cannot fathom being alone and will use a partner as an anchor of sorts. If that one doesn’t work out, then they will seek out another…

    Of course, I can’t make a blanket prediction, but that is what typically happens. The hope is that he will seek out the help for himself whether he has you or any other woman there or not, but this is his problem to address. As for you—and your recovery from this devastation. I think that whether partners stay or go therapy is essential. It helps with processing the whole thing and gives greater clarity which will also help with the partner’s issue of bruised esteem. Even if you separate, it still takes a lot of time and support, to heal. And, you still have a child with him and therefore, need to maintain a relationship of one sort or another with him. Therapy can help you navigate these treacherous waters.

    I don’t blame you one iota for wanting to leave the marriage. As a matter of fact, I admire it a lot.

    xo,

    Lorraine

  37. Lorraine,

    Thank you yet again for your supporting words. I think it may be the weak and cowardly thing to do leaving this marriage. But hasn’t he made it clear enough that he has no respect for me? No shame? No care or love? Shouldn’t I, as a human being, put my sanity and self first for once? I stood by him throughout the duration of his lies, of his humiliation towards me. I have tried every possible way to get him to stop. He didn’t, he made the CHOICE not to. Why should I make the choice to stay, when I don’t see any hope of fixing this?

    As for therapy, I guess maybe you’re right, maybe I do need to see someone. Although honestly, right now, I only feel anger and want to smash things, not talk. Do you think that a therapist/specialist will make me understand why? Why all this? Why he chose to ruin what we had with lies?

    Finally, I cannot stop crying from the moment I realized how my feelings for him have diminished through the course of his actions. The lies have taken such a toll on me and how I felt. I used to love him with all my heart and now, all I feel is that he is the father of my child and that’s about it. Like you said, I will have to maintain a relationship of some sort but I do not feel like I want to be in this marriage any longer. It’s so sad, so so sad that his lies did this. I am speechless, I don’t know what to think or say anymore. Thank you for your answers and support. I really need it.

  38. Dear Marianne,
    I am sooooo sorry to read your posts, and I understand the mix of feelings you are sharing.

    As I read them I saw someone with the right instinct to find a safe environment for herself and her young daughter. That’s really healthy! It doesn’t have to be a bigger decision than that if you aren’t ready to make it one. In other words it doesn’t HAVE to mean it is your permanent choice—but it is the choice you need right now in order to regain your sanity and separate yourself from his crazy. And your instincts are also right about your daugher. Raising her in a porn environment is not healthy for her. She will find it the way you found it.

    Sometimes the depth and scope of our pain is so overwhelming that we feel we have to make decisions that are equally overwhelming. Can you make some smaller choices now that will “spell relief” and give you the time to get a therapist and work some of these feelings through to the bigger decisions?

    There is such terrible grief here, and I wish we could make it stop. But instead, we can tell you that you are not crazy to have these feelings. And your instincts for safety is bang on the money. Also, his acting as if nothing has happened is really a classic response. I had the police at the door one night over his masturbating in the car, and he just woke up the next morning and it was if it never happened. I suspect you will need to get out of this relationship for good, because you are young enough to not risk all those years and your daugher’s well-being on a future filled without any certainty in this area. But you don’t have to do it all at once. Once step at a time. For you. For your daughter. Do what is best FOR THE TWO OF YOU right now. Tell him that is your priority and he has to roll with it.
    don’t be swayed by his pleading or protest. Just stay on point—this is necessary for your sanity and safety. End of story.

    Lots of light going your way,
    Diane.

  39. Marianne,

    It is not in any way shape or form, cowardly. In fact, I see it as being amazingly strong. By leaving an unacceptable situation, (and it is) you are simply honoring your own boundaries and taking good care of yourself and your child.

    That IS healthy.

    A good therapist (and not all of them are) will help you gain greater clarity and perspective and also help in your healing process for as long as you need. For some people, it is short-term and for others it takes longer. Its no different than if you were in a catastrophic automobile accident and you required physical therapy in order to facilitate healing and wellness. It is just like that with psycho-therapy.(talk therapy)

    A therapist probably won’t be able to tell you WHY he became an addict. That would be for him to work out with his own therapy, if he chooses to seek out help. She might be able to give you some ideas, but usually addicts are victims of their own childhood trauma and abuse. Or sometimes their brains are just wired differently. Or they were not given appropriate boundaries in childhood. Whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with your abilities as a wife, mother, woman, lover. As you can see, its all very complex.

    The tears and sadness are normal. However, if you find yourself so overwhelmed that you are struggling greatly to take care of yourself or your daughter, relief can often be found in prescribed anti-depressants which can help take the edge off. It doesn’t have to be forever, however, you would need to seek out a psychiatrist for the evaluation and prescription. A good therapist can help you with that, as well.

    I’m seeing my psychiatrist this afternoon and my therapist later this week. For me, its pretty much ongoing, but it helps me a lot.

    I’m glad that I could offer some helpful words.

    xo,

    L

  40. Marianne,

    http://goodmenproject.com/2010/06/21/porn-on-the-brain/

    This is a new magazine (The Good Men Project Magazine) that is edited by Benoit Denizet-Lewis, who’s a recovering sex addict and has written extensively on the subject. I think it may shed a lot of light on porn addiction and how easy it is for a man with compulsive tendencies to get sucked into that realm. Again, it most likely won’t minimize your grief or feelings or any of that, but perhaps it will give some clarity to why it is so difficult for him to simply stop.

    xo,

    L

  41. Lorraine and Diane,

    Thank you for your replies and your support. I can tell you it is much needed right now. I told my husband today that I am filing for divorce and that I cannot support him during his therapy, if he chooses to get any. He was devastated. Crying, begging me to stay, saying he’ll do anything not to lose me. The only words in my mind were “You should have thought of that before you lied to me for the 10th time”. Am I too cruel? I don’t know. I know I am honest and he wasn’t.

    I have read the article about the porn you pasted Lorraine. I must say I still believe it is a choice to lie to your wife, to your family. To deceipt and cheat. Do I believe it’s an addiction? Perhaps it is and if scientists say it, then it must be. However, I think that my husband (and everyone’s partners) make the choice to sneak around knowing full well what they’re doing. My husband may not have control over his addiction, but he does have control over how he’ll deal with it. That’s what I believe. He could have been honest about it.

    How could he ruin his family like this…how could he hurt me like this. I don’t know. And over NOTHING. Literally, nothing. Anyway, I am most probably going to seek help for myself, for my daughter’s sake. Soon…thank you all for your replies.

  42. Hi Marianne,

    I know it is so difficult to understand for a non-addict how a person (an addict) CAN become so compulsively addicted to something that doesn’t even interest us. And how not only that, but that they would actually destroy their lives over it.

    There are many pieces to this puzzle here though. One of them is that an addict will often feel shame in regard to their addiction. If they did not, then sure, he would say–“hun, goin’ to the shower to jerk off”… In addition to shame and this is kind of a “man thing”, but men in general as you probably already know, are usually really good at compartmentalizing things. So, there’s you and his family which ARE very important to him and there’s work, friends and his addiction– not necessarily in that order. Women tend to combine all areas of their lives without so much separation.

    There is also a lot of denial and minimizing going on. Watch out for these phrases from an addict.

    “It was just”
    “It was just a couple” (a couple hundred???)
    “That’s nothing”
    “It doesn’t mean anything”
    “I only did it once”
    “It was only”

    So, in his mind, it really is not a big deal and it is a completely separate activity that has nothing to do with you or your daughter.

    Now, WHEN he hears the truth which is that there is no “just” and there is no “only” and he SEES and HEARS your justifiable anguish– Then, his fear of losing those things that are dear to him, comes to the forefront. Unfortunately, as has been shown over and over, it doesn’t last and eventually he will succumb to the addiction, (which it appears you have observed repeatedly). That is, unless the addict is truly willing to turn it all over to his higher power and do the WORK necessary to overcome this.

    The biggest problem I believe, for those of us who are sitting here scratching our heads, is actually NOT the addiction itself— but the lies and betrayal that accompany it– The breach of our sacred and most intimate trust. I think this is what makes us feel so very unloved and so very unwanted. This how I see it: If he really loved me, he would’ve confided in me that he was unhappy, or that he needed something or that he was out of control and needed help. That I can understand, but this????????

    Sometimes, the addict is aware of the pain he is causing, but cannot possibly SEE how he can live WITHOUT the addiction. So, he goes on, lying to himself and believing that he can get away with it, because for him, there simply is no other way. And there won’t be another way until he gets the right kind of help.

    It sounds like you’ve pretty much reached your limit and have simply laid down your parameters– your boundaries which is AWESOME. This is not only good self-care, it is a wonderful skill to have as a parent and what a lot of parents don’t have. Telling your husband who has lied to you repeatedly that you are leaving him and won’t be paying for his therapy is a rational consequence to his actions. It may be difficult for him to deal with, but I don’t see it as being cruel. Yes, it is very difficult and sad and my heart goes out to you. It is important to know, however, that if you say one thing and then do something else, as in making idle threats,(not saying that you are) then more harm than good will be done. I loved Diane’s wise words about taking things in small manageable steps.

    The counseling will help you sort everything out and will give you the support needed for moving forward with your life. Please remember that not all therapists are good and to find one who has a clear understanding of addictive personality disorders and most importantly, one that you feel immensely comfortable with.

    xo,

    Lorraine

  43. Lorraine,

    Thank you again for your wise words. Did you ever feel that the love for your partner was gone slowly, piece by piece, taken away by the lies he said? The sneaking behind your back? The empty promises of stopping, which were never kept? I think you are absolutely right. If he actually TOLD me, “hon, I’m going to jerk off in the shower”, honestly, I wouldn’t have minded as much because it would be the TRUTH. As dumb as it sounds, I would feel so comforted and good that he would have been honest and didn’t sneak around that I wouldn’t get upset and I would certainly not ask for divorce, as I already did. (Not empty threats, it’s been filed yesterday)

    I still think it’s a choice Lorraine. Maybe I believe that the actual porn watching IS an addiction. And the continuance of it may be. But the lying, the sneaking around, is CHOOSING. He is making a concious CHOICE to lie. My husband made the concious choice to do this to me and our family. And no, I will be no part of his therapy, should he choose to get one. I want nothing to do with porn anymore, good or bad.

    It’s so sad….

  44. Hi Marianne,

    My situation is entirely different and I could not tolerate for one minute a man who lies–at least once the discovery was made. My husband did have some indiscretions, and although hurtful and painful, at the time, I understood and we worked through it. We have two very and I mean very difficult children,(with neurological impairments) severe financial strains and no family around and very few close friends, near by.

    On top of it, my husband was suffering from a severe depression and I also have had depressive episodes. We both take meds to help us with that.

    I understand your feelings and your need to be free from the craziness of it all. HIS crazy.

    On top of that, you have taken swift, sure, clear, decisive action, so all I can say is God Bless You for your strength and courage in facing the beast straight in the eye and saying:

    NO MORE!!!

    Bravo!!!

    xo,

    L

  45. Lorraine,

    I am so sorry to hear about your story. It gives me courage to see how you remained so strong throughout all this. I am still struggling, even though I made my decisions.

    I spoke to him again today and all he had to say was “I get it, I make you miserable, then just go”. That’s the best he could do? The only time he said he was sorry and was willing to “make an effort” was when I threatened with divorce. He begged me, he gave it all he got. When he saw that I actually filed for it, then it immediately stopped. How LOW is that, seriously? One more proof that my decision was right.

    I used to have so much respect for that man. And he had the same respect for me. HOW did we get to this? I really don’t know. I think it over and over in my head and I really can’t figure it out. He didn’t even bother coming to talk to me if he had a problem with my appearance or with our sexual life. We could have worked it out somehow, I’m sure. A little more than a year of marriage and this…How could he destroy my feelings for him like this, our life. For NOTHING.

    I am going to try and find a therapist tomorrow to set up an appointment with. I hope it will help me..

  46. I married a man I hardly knew, but thought I really did. I found out about porn, but not much of anything else for a long time. When I was pregnant with our child (our first child, my second), I assumed he was looking at porn (I worked days, he delivered pizza at night) because the sex was uncomfortable with me being so big. Because of this, I never snooped because I thought it was healthy, but it made me jealous and I didn’t want to be mad at him all the time for something I felt was normal. Our sex life has always been steamy, not vanilla, although with his bi-polar and consistent inability to keep a job or be emotionally mature, or focus on anything of importance, we’ve had problems and dry spells, and times of your-turn-then-my-turn, which is boring for both of us.

    Last year I found out he’d had some really sexy back and forth emails with an ex. I considered it cheating, lost it, we almost split. He emailed her to tell her how wrong he was to do it, and swore it was done, that he was sorry, etc. Then I found out about phone sex with a female blogger (while he was an “at-home dad”, I was at work) and received email passwords etc as conditions of me staying – this happened 6 months before the first thing i found. I looked back on those times I had accused him of things and he told me I was irrational, lived by emotion only, was jealous, and how he scorned the few men we knew who even hinted that there might be something else out there than their wonderful wives.

    Then, I found the secret email addresses. The craigslist responses to men, group sex ads (these were from before the emails I found, before the phone sex) and although I couldn’t read the content, I could see who they were to and from, the names of these emails told me everything I needed. I pretended that I was able to read the emails (I had gotten into an account he set up during a time we were separated and was able to read his responses to some craigslist ads) and he thought I knew more than I did. He admitted to getting a blow job from another man while I was pregnant. Then first to getting happy ending massages from men in college, to finally (after some couples counseling) other interactions with men before me – always illicit, strangers, one-offs. I thought being a good wife I could play along, maybe involve another man (he was always the “top” or receiver of blow jobs). But then he started talking about wanting me to buy a strap-on, talking about wanting to see me with another man constantly and I realized it made me sort of sick.

    The scariest thing for me is that EVERYWHERE there is danger. Internet, craigslist, glory-holes, porn stores, female friends, male friends, bathrooms, libraries. There is no guideline to what he will or won’t do, no safety or moral compass. I have had access to everything of his for 9 months now. We spent several days apart (he at his mother’s) b/c of other problems and when he came back, I looked through his laptop (I’ve gotten good at that) and found a new made-up email address (that had since been deleted) and craigslist ads he’d looked at for men, which I knew he would do. He says he never actually met anyone, but I insisted we both have full STD screenings done. He says he admitted to infidelity problems and a desire for sexual activity with men – but not relationships – but said he hadn’t admitted to himself that he might have a real addiction. We talked about him attending an SA type group, but he said he was worried that that would put him in a situation where he might act out. WTF? Just hearing that made it a little too real for me, as I believed (due to my constant monitoring) that for the last year he’d been (at least technically) faithful, and now – if its that easy – I am not so sure.

    We see a counselor tomorrow, but frankly, I have sort of given up. I believe someone can want to have sex with both men AND women, but be monogamous – I just don’t believe HE can, nor do I want to participate in some of the behaviors that are asked of me, no matter how open I can be sexually. I don’t feel like I should compensate for his inability to be satisfied. Take one sexually addicted man who likes to have sex with strangers, more often men, and add in the natural impulsive and high-risk behaviors of someone with bi-polar disorder (he is still on his meds) and I just think this is too long of a journey for me to make with him. I have two children who are my whole world and a full time job and I don’t think that I can take on any more of his problems.

    I feel like I sleep next to a stranger who is capable of anything – any sexual act in any situation, any lie straight to my face.

    I feel like our entire life together (almost 6 years) has been about him – his inability to get a decent job (and resulting feelings of emasculation as I advance in a career), his bi-polar, his emotional issues, his sexual needs, his pursuit of his “dream”, his LIFE. I want me back, and eventually, someone who values me and considers how I feel and what I need, but I seriously have no idea how I will ever be able to trust anyone again.

  47. Hi Jessie,
    Another hard story. It sure doesn’t sound like you’ve had much of a partner in life. It sounds like you have toddler who creates adult trouble. I’m sure the guy has real pain somewhere underneath the acting out, but it doesn’t sound like he senses any real urgency about stopping his acting out and dealing with that deep wound.

    It’s good to know you have a job. That means you have some real options for stepping away from the craziness and getting your children out of it as well. Sometimes we live with it so long that we don’t see how it impacts negatively on the well-being of children. Can you find a therapist to help you make good decisions—both interim and permanent ones? Do you have a straight-talking friends who will cut through the veil of confusion and tell you what they see?

    Finally, I’m really sorry you are in this mess. I identified with your last paragraph and it broke my heart. I think your are right—your last six years have been all about him. What will the next six be about, Jessie? When you say “I want me back” I so get that feeling. I felt like I had lost the funny happy optimistic person that I was–and fell into a deep mourning without even knowing it.

    I pray you have the strength to see a path to take away from this crazy–for your sake and your children’s sake. If your partner ever grabs hold of sobriety and cares enough about himself to get help—well, all in good time. First things are you and your children.

    Godspeed.
    Diane.

  48. Well he has finally admitted he has a problem, and he is going to therapy. At this point, I have decided that I will not go to therapy with him, although that may change if I see progress. He is aware that right now we are going to work towards staying together, but he is going to have to do the initial hard work. I feel like I don’t know everything yet, and I need to before deciding whether I can do this or not. I feel as though I have invested too much into this marriage, and have received little in return that was good, and I will not invest any more until I have seen something real.

    We are stuck in a lease until March, so I feel like that gives us time to tie up loose ends and sock away cash so that we can part without traumatizing our finances if thats what we choose to do.

    I am either numb, or I really am done investing emotionally – I know I sound incredibly business-like and cold about the whole thing, but it has been slowing coming out over the last year, and with the admission that it is probably an addiction it was like…well, on one hand, relief. Like, its not me, I hold no blame for this. On the other hand it is overwhelming almost, like it is such a big problem no small human measures I could come up with would help, so why bother?

    We can’t afford for us both to be in therapy right now AND save money, so that’s not an option for me. I have friends and family, but I can’t tell them. If we are able to overcome this, they would never understand that I would stay, they would never be able to get along with him or be civil to him. I feel like they would also see staying as weakness rather than the strength we here know it is. Soooo, yeah, you guys are it right now as far as talking about it. I read alot about it – personal stories, how to cope, how to heal myself. I do not believe in a Christian God, however I believe there is something larger than ourselves, and I have been practicing buddhist meditations and writing, which helps.

  49. Jessie,

    I am so sorry about your situation. Although mine is significantly less serious, I can still identify with those feelings you describe so well. Diane said it exactly as I, and I am sure, you, feel it :”I felt like I had lost the funny happy optimistic person that I was–and fell into a deep mourning without even knowing it.” This, I can SO much feel at the moment.

    I think you have been and you still are, extremely strong through all these years. And yes, it takes a huge amount of strength to make rational decisions at a time like this – thinking about finances, leases, etc. I’m glad you shared your story here, it’s a nice outlet and it’s the only one I have as well now.

    I understand that you cannot go to therapy with your husband, I am in this situation as well, my husband says he will seek therapy but I cannot even look at him anymore, let alone do this. He’s on his own in this, just like he was on his own at all the other “activities”.

    I do not believe in a Christian God either, but my thoughts and positive energy will go out to you. I know you’ll make it, you are strong and that is obvious by your decisions. Having a full time job is very nice, you have something to keep you distracted and maybe even happy – it’s not hard to lose your mind in your own thoughts of this. And of course, a tremendous help financially, which you need right now.

  50. Jessie,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. Just a few things for you to consider, if I may.

    First of all, you will very likely never have the whole story. In my situation, the whole story will never be divulged by my ex-friend to his partner. It is that bad. If a SA is truly IN recovery and recovering then, what he did in the past is of less importance to what he is currently doing, in my opinion. A lot of “ifs” there, though, because it is extremely difficult for most SAs to change their pattern of behavior.

    I can’t stress enough the importance of professional talk-therapy no matter what the situation, for the partner and this is separate from the SA’s therapy. If you have insurance, a certain number of appointments per year should be covered with a reasonable co-pay. (mine is 24 visits a yr. with a $25 co-pay, for example) Also, if that is not an option or the therapist doesn’t take your insurance or you don’t have that kind of insurance, then many therapists will work on a sliding scale, or perhaps you can take out a small loan to pay for it. It is that important!

    And finally, it takes two people to make a marriage and two people to work together, no matter what and if there’s any hope of reconciling all of this, then joint counseling is also necessary at some point. If the partner decides to cut bait and bail— then, of course, that’s a different story.

    It is impossible to recover yourself, recover from your traumatic experience, your pain, your numbness– everything and move into a much healthier situation (whether you decide to stay or go) without professional help. Sure, reading, writing, reaching out is also helpful, but I don’t think it’s enough. If a brain surgeon had a brain tumor, would he do his own surgery? Its just like that.

    Peace and light to all,

    Lorraine

  51. It is the middle of the night, exactly 3 weeks after everything as I thought it was, ceased to be. Tomorrow morning I go back to the doctor to get the results of my STD tests. My best friend (or he was) of 40 years, and my boyfriend for the last 10, my soulmate (or so I was convinced) was caught in a gigantic lie. I barely scratched the surface of this boil he has been wearing for 3.5 years, and volumes and volumes of puss emerged, a vile, toxic deception so thick it nearly strangled him as it made it’s way out of his mouth. The ugly truth of his double life. I was free falling in space as he spoke his truth. It was like the world was ending. I wanted to kill him. I might have killed him. After hours of my questions, and his horrifying, exhausting answers, his eyelids finally started to drop. Mine were forced open, like that horrible scene in A Clockwork Orange. I was exhausted yet fully engaged, pumped with adrenaline and the fight or flee urge it brings. In a deeply centered voice, that I did not recognize, I asked, “Do you really think you should close your eyes?” Hearing this voice, his eyes snapped open. Then I said, “I believe I might kill you.”, and in my gut, I knew that at that moment I could have done just that. So instead, I jumped up, packed up my car, including suitcases, baskets of laundry and pictures off the walls, and with no sleep, I left his house, just as the night was becoming dawn.

    We live 3 hours apart, but saw each other very often and talked on the phone and in email at least a dozen times a day. Ironically I was there with him that week to be comforted. The man I left to be with my boyfriend was the man I was married to for 25 years. And he was getting married again that same weekend. The grief I have felt these last 3 weeks is immeasurable. I met my boyfriend when we were both 14, fell in love at 16, he lost his virginity to me, then, we moved away from each other, married other people, went to each other’s weddings, went to friend’s weddings, then got back together as middle-aged adults. I left my high functioning yet alcoholic husband knowing I had finally found true love again, and would never have to leave my boyfriend or look for him again. I was thrilled to be with a sober man, one with a libido, a man who told me I was exactly like the 16 year old he so loved so many years ago. That I had set the bar for all the women that followed after me. That we were bonded for life. We were reunited after all those years and all was good. He even asked me to marry him. But 3 weeks ago, he told me that not only has he been seeing a dominatrix for sex almost every week for years, he had agreed to be her “friend” and she would give him a break on her rates if he acted as her handyman, helped her train 10 other women, worked on her place and helped make things (floggers, restraints) for her business. As he told me all this, it was as if he thought I would be proud of him for finding a way to save money. It was surreal. I could not believe how well he had hid this double life. I really questioned my own sanity, but he hid it so well. I am tech savvy, and he never slipped up. Except this one time. And after I found this one slip, it was as if a sink hole the size of a small nation opened up and swallowed me up along with 40 years of memories with it. In the last 3 weeks I can hardly function. I spend all night on the computer, finding her, finding the others, reading reviews on disgusting sites I have paid to view. Seeing all kinds of things I could never imagine one could see on the internet – finding out that she has a “partially shaved kitty”. A pierced clitoris. A love of inflicting pain. She is bisexual. She ties up men’s balls, puts on a strap-on and enters them as they are blindfolded and bound to a table. I saw and read so much, I thought I would loose my own desire for sex forever. The horrible forums with misogynistic men and their horrible comments. The pathetic sex workers who act as if they have it all together, and in whose words you can sense the disgust and despair and the total dependence they have on these creeps. Men who use them and use their wives and girlfriends too, just to keep up appearances. Proud of having an intact libido in mid-age, I questioned if I could ever feel anything again. So I forced myself to take care of my own body the other night, just to see if I could. And afterword, I sobbed and sobbed at the thought of all he has robbed from me. The loss of a man I thought I would loose only through his or my own death. I sobbed for my lost innocence and belief in lasting love, and for my loss of trust. I sobbed for my 5 year old grandson who adores his “Gramper” and will not get to see him again. I sobbed for not giving my husband the last chance he needed to fix himself before he got involved with the other woman. I sobbed knowing how badly I hurt him. I need to sleep now. So happy and relieved to have found this site. Thank you. Love ~ M

  52. Marina,

    Thank you for sharing your harrowing and heart breaking story. I so admire your ability to just pick your things up and leave— no RUN as you did from this sicko psycho. I’m so sorry that he preyed on your genuine love and trust; But, that’s what many of them do. GRRRRRRRR….. enraging, isn’t it? It totally sucks– I know. I too, feel like killing him! Your instincts, however, for self-preservation were spot on honey so feel good because you are a very strong woman and a survivor and this suppurating whore can rot in hell. (which is where he lives, anyway) Just thank your lucky stars that you didn’t actually go through with a marriage to this lunatic.

    Try not to beat yourself up for everything that has happened in the past. I know its tough but it doesn’t sound like your ex “high functioning” (?) alcoholic husband was exactly a prince either.

    Please know that everything you are feeling and experiencing is perfectly normal and part of the grief process that we must all go through. It will get better in time, and I think that healing is better facilitated through support such as this, as well as professional therapy.

    I will be thinking of you and praying that your tests are all negative. Please just know for now, that you will get past all the hurt and pain, in time and find yourself, your trust and your love– again.

    xo,

    Lorraine

  53. PS: Please try not to look at those sites. I know… I’m the same way, and I know the feeling of not being able to wrap your mind around the enormity of it all and not being able to stop looking– no matter how heinous it all is.

    That’s because its crazy and sick and you are not. However, it’ll only makes things worse for you.

    If necessary, there’s a site that I can find for you that has computer blocking software on it so that you can block those sites. Also, please take care that you don’t have a “recurring membership”. Those sites are very slippery about roping you into an agreement for that without one realizing it and then you will see the monthly charge on your bill.

    Again, I’m so sorry for everything that you are going through.

    xo,

    L

  54. Thank you to all who had kind words for me. And Lorraine, thanks for encouraging me to see a therapist. We have an HMO and their in-house “clinical psychologists” are terrible, However, any outlet will help me cope, and I really need to start thinking about myself more. I hate to generalize, but it seems like as women we really make martyrs out of ourselves. (Plus I was raised Catholic, and that desire to feel guilty never goes away…or it hasn’t yet. And I mean no offense to Catholics to whom their faith is beautiful and meaningful.)

    To Marina, that sick feeling, I understand this, although being in your same position, I can offer no real help, only that you should read the Barbara Steffans book “Your Sexually Addicted Spouse”. It was a really good first step for me, although it still wasn’t my “wake up” moment. And while having your ex to comfort you or to go back to would have been helpful in the short term, it wouldn’t have helped you deal with how this betrayal hurt you, deep down, in the long run. Its not easy to stop once you start down the spiral of investigating what has happened. I thought it made me feel better, it made me feel more in control. Really, it just made me feel helpless, unsafe, and as though there was no trustworthy person in the world. You will come to a place where you let it go – first for short stretches of time, and then for longer ones. As I said, I am in no real place to give advice, and I only hope my longer stretches of letting it go turn into permanence, and I hope that for you too.

  55. Thank you Lorraine and Jessie. I got good news today, though my health will not be in the clear 100% until tests are redone in another 6 months. (That is how long it may take HIV to establish in the body to a level where it is detectable). But at least, I can breathe a bit easier tonight knowing that chances have improved in my favor. Now I have a question. I know I will be here for awhile, as I was browsing for hours tonight. This site is so fantastic and I am so, so happy I found it. It feels as if I am finally amongst friends who really understand the emotional devastation this addiction brings to the significant other (though I have to say, my girlfriends off the internet have literally buoyed me back up by helping me to remember to breathe, drink water… to get me outside, to dance, to remind me to go on living… 2 weeks ago I OUTED my former boyfriend SA to all of our mutual family and friends in an email. NOT ONE of his family has written or called me back, in fact my SA informed me that they (his family) planned on blocking me.
    Sad, if that is true, because I wrote as the loving and informed person that they know I am.
    My intent was not to hurt or humiliate him but to let others in on his pain, to flip on the lights in the dark house of deception, hoping they would step up to the plate and get help with him and for him. I mean, they all came from the same family. The parents are dead. They ALL have issued related to the way they were raised. They are all close. It made sense for me to throw a rock into their little pretend perfect pond. So far no one has removed me from facebook or done any blocking that I know of. Maybe they are thinking about things. Most likely, they are stuffing whatever this brought up for them. Wondering if his threats of them blocking me was just him trying to manipulate me into feeling like the outsider. Of course, I am sure it was. One friend of his at least had the decency to tell me he just could not go there, just could not get involved, it was too personally painful for him. When I said goodbye to my SA boyfriend, I do realize, I also said goodbye to HIS family and HIS friends. Many were OUR friends, but time will tell. I don’t care so much. It hurts, but I have more friends, and can keep friends better anyway.

    My former man is so full of himself that he really believed I would engage in outing him and vindictive behavior forever. It is sick of him to think I want to focus my energy on ruining him, now that I will no longer be focused on loving him. What I really wish I could do is reclaim the time he was cheating on me with sex “workers”. The 3.5 years that I know of, when he became the more distant, impatient man I was still trying to please, still trying to figure out; not the thrilled, loving, open, guy he had been for the 7 years before that. Thinking back, I was so perplexed, and was feeling a serious insecurity growing in myself. I was so sad when I was with him, and I could not figure out why. It was so confusing. His thinking that I would now “stay engaged” in my outrage really speaks to the narcissism of SAs. I OUTED him in a loving and honest way… and was done with it. That is all I intended to do, besides try to mend my own heart and move on. It is up to him to fix himself …OR NOT! I know I cannot fix him, nor do I want to try. I have been down this road (trying to fix men) and I know it is a loosing proposition. DONE being used by someone who has hurt me, who has destroyed the very core of my beliefs… (and has no doubt hurt other women before me). BUT I am kind of worried about going public on the internet. Is it possible that someone could find this and know who we are, who I am? I have a unique name, and I write with lots of detail. I would like to be as honest and descriptive as I can in my posts, because I want/need this arena to release my pain, to be in a safe zone when I express my deepest secrets. And I know that by reading my words, someone else may become more brave in taking charge of their future. Just as I have become, thanks to only 5 or 6 hours total time here. Now wondering if I should use an alias? I am a very private person, but… part of me also wants to out this guy on a billboard for what he does. ;-D Believe me, I am not at all sure what to do. I miss him, the him that was my best friend. He was not so awful to me, he just grew more distant, more confusing (in person). But in email and on the phone, in 10 interactions a day, he remained the dedicated, loving boyfriend. He says he compartmentalized his two lives in order to cope. He was not coping. But because he has had 3.5 years to rationalize his behavior, he has really become pretty warped in his magical thinking. I know he misses me too, but I am fortunate in a way that a 3 hour car ride prevents me from acting act in a stupid way. From running back for the reassurance that he still loves me.

    Amazing to me that he did not call or write ANYTHING to me since this all started, except his weak “I’m sorry THIS hurt you…” He won’t take an ounce of responsibility… he CHOSE that dark secret life over OUR beautiful loving life, and to me, that speaks volumes. Sex without intimacy? I don’t get it. I would have done anything with him or for him. I am so NOT a prude. I loved sex and I enjoyed loving him sexually. How quickly his doting email has stopped. After 10 f-ing years of sweetness. Kind of drives the point home that it was all designed to keep me around, blind and manipulated… It hurts so much to admit that, but I have to heed this message and move on… the STD counselor told me today I have to “make him get checked too”. I told the counselor, I am not “making him do anything”. He is a grown-up, he knows the risks he takes by f-ing whores, or he should. He has had little regard for my life and my health, and so I release him to his dominatrix “friend” who can be in charge of his health from now on. I do not need to be anyone’s mommy, I already raised kids. xoxo!

  56. Oh Honey Honey Honey—-

    U done hooked yourself up with the devil—aka, the REAL DEAL and of course, unwittingly, because he’s a master manipulating user abuser predatory sex addict with an advanced PHD in psycho-pathology– and he’s had years of field work, perfecting his “craft.”

    This is really tough stuff, but for the purposes of understanding, lets attempt to get inside that little warped psychopathic head of his, okay? (don’t worry, I have a secure line outta there, because its not a place any sane person would want to be; we are merely visiting, in the name of science and healing.)

    Hang on tight and remember, you are safe now.

    He CANNOT love. He CANNOT be intimate. He CANNOT empathize. He CANNOT tell the truth. Not to you and certainly not to his friends or family who more than likely are at the ROOT of his extreme issues.

    Now, here’s where the “fun” begins— If you even attempt to help him— which I know that is where you are coming from, HE becomes the victim.

    That’s right.

    He becomes the victim because in his little f**ked up mind, there is NOTHING wrong with himself. So, if there’s nothing wrong with HIM, it must be YOU. And if you are attempting to contact him and HIS family, and HIS friends(even if you share them.) Even if it is more than CLEAR to any rational outside person that you are merely trying to help. Guess what? (remember, we are still inside dude’s head)

    Now, YOU are a stalker. A crazy, maniacal, outta control, speed dialing, bunny boiling S T A L K E R.

    Even if all you did was make one phone call or send one email.

    I tried to help in the same way that you did because I thought my ex-friend’s partner would like to know that her health was in grave danger and since he’s a compulsive and pathological liar, and I had read her blog which made it clear that the wool had been pulled over her entire head by him. First, I called his mom (she didn’t know who I was, just a friend of her son’s) and she hung up on me immediately without even knowing what I wanted to say. And after my email, divulging quite a bit (but not all) his partner called the cops even though I had made it quite clear that I was writing to her this one time and would never do so again. (and never have and never will) Again, they don’t want to know. And dude is going to lie lie lie to make YOU out to be the crazy evil one. Its a losing proposition.

    Please learn from my mistakes. This disease does make crazies (even if just temporarily) out of all of us because there is no other way to be when dealing with the crazy AND the extreme hurt and emotional pain. Even if there is a bit of temporary vindictiveness going on, its natural, because they have stolen our very souls to use for themselves; unfortunately, they have none of their own. The anger will dissipate the quickest, however, the pain in our hearts is slower to heal. There’s no quick fix so honey, please seek out counseling for yourself if you have not done so, already. I have found it very helpful and I have made my peace; I have forgiven him and most importantly, I have forgiven myself.

    Alright– pulling you and me outta dude’s psycho sicko head because he is hopeless as is my ex et al. Yes, its very sad— and I am outraged that these guys can and do get away with this…But do they?

    No.

    Not really. They are more miserable than you and I can even begin to imagine. And they don’t usually lead very long lives. Its a progressive disease and your dude is very sick.

    I’m so sorry that you are going through all of this and your instincts are 100% correct. Whatever he is doing– no matter who else is getting hurt is beyond your control. He will manipulate the situation to become the victim because he cannot and will not let anything get in between him and his ADDICTION. He needs this like you and I need air to breathe.

    I think that you are doing fantastically well and thank you for sharing, because many of us have and/or are going through the exact same thing and it helps to share, so that we all can heal.

    There is no shame or loss in loving another person– ever. Sweetie, you have not lost those years. The loss is his.

    xo,

    L

  57. Lorraine, you are one fabulous woman!
    You make me laugh all the way through learning the most god-awful truths about the weird world/head of the sex addict. Honestly I wish you lived on my block and we could sit on the front steps and debrief once a week. Thank you. My day is off to a laughing start.

    But on the serious side of putting our lives back together,
    Marina, the pond wasn’t perfect. It was just very still. So still it was breeding diseases.
    You just step way back from the whole thing. Could be gators in there, too. There something way better for you in life than that mess. And “Bravo” for refusing to mommy the SA into the STD clinic. You are a very quick learner once the veil of deceit is lifted.

    Did I share this joke from another great woman who goes to SANON meetings? (I’m convinced she goes for the “laughter and tears combo meal” because it gets her through). Anywhere here’s the joke:

    Q: How can you tell when a sex addict is lying?
    A: His lips are moving.

    Yes, harsh but damn it all anyways—true.

    lots of love
    D.

  58. Oh Thank you Diane. The feelings are completely mutual; I love your posts and most articulate words of wisdom: and I would so enjoy that weekly get together as well. Yes, laughter is my way of coping… I can be catatonic with depression and still, I’ll somehow find a way to make a joke out of it.

    For me, its an ongoing struggle as little by little I am moving forward into that better light-filled place. Sometimes, I can feel myself being pulled back—into that dark place that I do not want to be in. In my case, I did understand that the individual I was dealing with was not on the up and up, and pretty early on too… but he was sooooooo cute, soooooo sweet, soooooooo adorable, soooooooo seductive. Just like the snake in the Garden of Eden and what was the harm with one lil ol apple? I was vulnerable and an easy target for a predator such as him and I fell for it, hook, swine and stinker and convinced myself that I could handle *it*.

    But why would I do that? Don’t I deserve better under any circumstances? Yes, of course, we all do and intellectually, I totally get it, but internally is much more difficult as “that” felt “good” and like the sex addict, I was addicted not to the sex but to the addict himself– just seeing his name caused a massive flood of endorphins. Whatever crumbs of “pseudo-affection” he threw my way was a “relief” from the constant crap I was facing in my day to day. It was an escape from my troubles— not the cure. But, it was also the source of a lot of anxiety and ultimately a tremendous amount of pain as I could NOT handle it. Who could??? For *it* is not love or friendship or even caring. It is nothing at all. I was in love with *nothing*.

    And to this end is where I think that many of us find ourselves. We were in love with an illusion that does not exist and in the wake of that realization we are left feeling unworthy, afraid, fearful and even more lonely than we have ever felt before.

    That is why we need each other.

    Thank you to all the beautiful women who write on here to keep reminding each of us how special and deserving of all things good, we all are.

    xo,

    L

  59. It’s funny because I just learned not to mommy. I was checking his history, digging, investigating, questioning. And he fought me every step of the way. Now he is willingly giving me the things I need to feel safe. (For now…its a work in progress – HIS work.)

    Marina, although you are not staying with your SA (and good decision too, because it seems like he wants to have this secret life more than yours, which hurts SO BAD, I know) it can be hard not to want to help them. I think I said this before that as women, we are raised to nurture others, if not by our own family structure, than by the society we live in – although that is ever-changing, thankfully for my own daughters. Nurturing though, is not a bad thing. Giving of yourself to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved or doesn’t think there’s anything to be saved from is different. You are good for wanting to, and smart for knowing it is out of your hands. I know you don’t believe it now, but it feels SO GOOD to stop, to really know there is nothing you can do.

    Lorraine, as the blind partner, I called a woman who had a phone sex encounter with my husband. She’s a blogger and had had an affair with a married friend of ours also, so I sort of knew what she was about. But I decided I didn’t care, in that IT WASN’T HER FAULT. I sent her an email and asked her to call me, and she did. All I wanted was to verify what my husband had told me once he’d been caught – how many times it happened, when it happened, if anything else was involved. I was shaking when I spoke to her, but I made a decision NOT to blame the other woman, (although I did e-stalk her and obsess over her wit, her sexiness etc) and was respectful of her when I spoke to her. In return she was honest with me, answered my questions, and apologized (she was going through a divorce and my husband had said he was too). It helped me alot to deal with that situation in particular, and to hold the actual guilty party responsible. Also, since we move in some of the same circles online (we are writers as well, involved in some of the same online publications), I was able to leave that situation knowing that I had handled myself in a way she wouldn’t be able to snark about behind my back later.

    It was not easy, I will admit. But he made a commitment to me, not her, and even if she was fully aware that he was married and was deliberately attempting to “lure” my husband it wouldn’t matter. Some women are unable to do that and I can’t blame them either, but she didn’t know me and she wasn’t my friend, so I can hardly hold her to the same standard as the man who promised to be faithful.

  60. Thanks for understanding Marina.

    I think I’ve told my story in bits and pieces over the last 10 months that I’ve been writing on here. I’m actually married myself and this was my first foray into online dating as my husband and I had an understanding. (this is another long story that I have written about before and after everything that has happened now, not what I really want) Anyway, I met my ex friend one week after getting on this site two years ago and it was just beginner’s “luck”??? but I nearly fell off my chair at the sight of such a handsome and seemingly “together” “sophisticated” “worldly” “youngish” and yes, to me, very sexy man. (he lied about his age too and his pic was 9 years old) Predator’s (my new nickname for him) “story” was that he was “single”…”transient”… blah… Lies upon lies upon lies. It was several weeks before he divulged a portion of the truth to me in that he wasn’t so transient (as in not at all) and had a partner who he had “deep feelings for” (gag) but sex wasn’t very good blah, blah, blah…and if I wanted to, we could meet at HIS apartment sometimes. Yes, indeed, that’s what he said. Of course, my instincts were to RUN– in the opposite direction, but it was so easy for me to rationalize; he did not show me his true hand for a long time, and as I said before he was just sooooo adorable…Ahhh… the devil doth have such a pleasing shape… sigh… and in his inimitable predatory fashion, gradually, he subjugated me with his unique brand of mind f**k — like putting a big pot of cool water on the stove and throwing a frog in and ever so gradually turning up the heat until whoops— he’s cooked. During our affair, I went on dates with many other men. (no sex at all), but none of them “did it for me” like my Predator. So sweet.

    Predator was not actually married to his partner because as he explained it to me one day, “We don’t need a piece of paper”. And then on another day when I said that they were the same as married. He said, “but we’ve never said vows.” Don’t you just love it? Its all about him and its his way or the hi-way. These guys are abusive to ALL women, and probably even more-so to women who are not their “relationship” partners because the rest of us “broads” are completely disposable. nice, huh?

    My (lofty) hope, in the end was for everyone to heal and grow and move on in a constructive way with their lives and that is why I went to his partner as kindly as one possibly can with something that is anything but kind. I considered the ramifications and spoke at length to a lot of my online male friends. One was adamant that I go to her to “save her.” After all, she was still young enough to start over if she so chose to and she certainly needed to know about her possible exposure to STDs… as he often did not play safely. Predator had many, many other partners besides me. BTW, despite his “i’ll do whatever you need me to do 2k a day stint in rehab” last year, he is still out there— A few months after disclosure I found his partner’s blog online through a mutual friend (we both have ties to the the theater) and Partner “appeared” to want to help Predator; was going to meetings and reading the books, etc. but…….. she had absolutely NO idea what he was really up to. As you had the courage to do and I would do the same in that situation– even as painful and awful as it would be, I would want to know the real deal. I offered to meet Predator’s partner with a friend or at her therapist (if she had one), but instead of even answering me, (with a don’t ever contact me again for any reason whatsoever email) she called the police as if I was out to harm her in true bunny boiling fashion– not exactly my style. In her mind, I can only surmise that, that was the only possible scenario that she could reconcile. Its sad, but at least I tried to make amends and also help her to understand the ENTIRE and EXACT nature of his disease. (at least as far as I knew…There was more, I know, but couldn’t prove for sure)

    Oh well… I still have hope for them. This is why I pray for their recoveries. I have decided to “put them in the light”— even if they are unable to do so, themselves.

    xo,

    L

  61. Thanks you again ladies for such amazing insight into this most painful of issues. The lifelines you have thrown me are so appreciated! Oh, I just got in and am on a deadline (I also write, can you tell?) and I want to address some of what you wrote above, but will have to come back to that after I finish my work. But I just had to say this…

    While I was driving, I thought of something he said just days before the revelations. (Remembering this helps me understand why he was continuing in the charade of our relationship.) But I took it as a compliment then and I will try to do the same now.

    He said, “Marina, you know when I am with you, I feel things. Love, anger, jealosy, joy… being with you makes me FEEL things inside. And usually I don’t feel anything, until you are here, then I feel so many things, so many emotions. That is a good thing, I think.”
    It was so odd that he chose to share that with me… it was not like him to be so revealing and introspective and vulnerable. I do believe he is shutting down emotionally and more so now that he has become a secretive, closeted, “regular”. I do believe this lifestyle will kill him early. Already his health has declined so much in the last 3 years. He is on high blood pressure meds, he is too heavy, despite the fact that he surfs everyday and is only in his mid-fifties. His body should be in much, much better shape with all the exercise he gets than it is now. About a year ago his scalp started itching, then other areas… his legs swell up… he has had fungus infections… all this is new.

    When I wrote to his “dom” (yes I covered all the bases, night and day on it for 3 weeks… but thanks to your encouragement, I am stopping) I told her that for her to sham men by sucking them in to the life by her politically correct online image as a “body worker” and to not encourage her “clients” to take care of their emotional health by living honestly… that this, in my mind, is appalling. She is as much of a predator as his he is, and now, the sick, warped, toxic duo are “friends”. I congratulated her for building a successful woman owned small business, and told her how smart she was for knowing a man’s wallet is only a few inches from his dick. I don’t think either one of them is capable of real love… not her, nor him… you are so right Lorraine. And you too Diane with your pond description, wow, I totally get that now. And Jessie… you called her? WOW. I thought of doing that, but I just don’t think I have it in me. But I might love to picket her gorgeous ocean view oasis apartment, where the cash changes hands and the business gets done. Really, how can these places get away with this in a residential neighborhood?

  62. I have just ended a 9 year relationship with a sex addict. We were married for 6 and a half years and we have a six year old and a one year old baby, both girls.
    My husband is a handsome, successful, smart, athletic man. He came from a solid family and he went to a good school. His careers is going well and I believe he loves both me and our girls. He just loved his other lifestyle more.
    I have known about internet sex, phone calls, exchange of disgusting photos of himself on line but not until June 12th did I learn that he was having sex with prostitutes regularly, also with other women and he once saw the same woman for sex for over a year.
    I left, not only the house but the city we lived in. I moved a 4 hour flight away with my daughters and am busy building a life for us.
    My husband is desperate for us to reconcile but I have lost all feeling for him, all I can feel is the will to protect my children and my own damaged self.
    I am amazed to learn through your site that there are so many other women just like me and feeling the same things.
    Thanks for that, it is a huge comfort.
    Aviva

  63. OH NO, another precious young mom with so much on her plate.
    I am so sorry Aviva. I just got here too. This feels like some kind of a wonderful refugee camp to me, all of us escaping (or even if we stay) we are all trying to figure out how to cope with the devastation this brings to our innermost core. It hurts so bad, and thank goddess we found our way here to the light and the safety of this camp fire with its women’s voices that comfort us. We will take care of each other and mend our broken hearts here. I plan to stay for awhile, because I really need this help. I want to help others too. You are doing the right thing by leaving, and try not to listen to some people who may tell you that your husband is too good to leave. Nobody knows the emptiness inside better than we do. When I was a young mom, I used to be so emotionally exhausted at times. I had no guidance so I looked to animals (especially cats). They taught that it is OK to lie around with your kittens in the sun, just soaking up the warmth, not moving too much, not standing, not serving anyone… just cuddling with your kittens. It’s OK to be resting because this healing takes a lot of energy. I had a friend who told me today that I was in a grief state now, and that is why I am both so tired, and so wide awake, and why my sleep/work hours are so screwed up. When we find out things like this about the men we trusted with our hearts, it is as if we have been transplanted to a strange world, where nothing makes sense or looks the same. In your case, living in a new city, the disorientation is even bigger. You are doing the right thing, you are a good mom to flee the scene of danger and devastation with your girls… all the rest will work itself out.

    My husband did not fool around, but his true love was alcohol (and other drugs in the earlier years). I finally left him and my 25 year marriage and went directly to the man I knew and had trusted for 40 years this year. My boyfriend was 16 the first time around, and 45 when we started up again. Now we are both almost 55. He was always sober, on time, and reliable… I liked that, because after living with an alcoholic, I liked the predictibility he offered. So his predictibility was also a way he was able to maintain an illusion of monogamy. I guess when you juggle a double life, you learn to attend to the details you can control. I found he too is an addict. His drug of choice is internet porn and sex with semi-strangers. I wonder if I am not capable of recognizing a good man or if all men are going to eventually let me down (and with no soft landings…)

    This is HARD to deal with, and you are so brave for doing what you are doing. Glad you too have found your way here. I wish you, me and everyone here light and love.

  64. Thanks for your kind words Marina.
    My husband was also very reliable, he came home every night at 7.30 and never had any time unaccounted for. The thing is he was leaving work early in the afternoon and spending time in love hotels with sex workers, coming in and kissing me hello and having dinner with me like the most devoted husband and father. It is unthinkable. I can not fathom how he could have looked me in the eye.
    We lived in Tokyo and the city is full of sex workers and love hotels that rent by the hour. It is one of the best cities a sex addict could possibly choose!
    I am 45 and had our first child at 39, our second was the result of 6 rounds of IVF and 5 loses. It was amazing that we had her. I guess looking back now I realize I did it all on my own and my husband was not engaged in the process. My entire pregnancy he was leading his double life.
    When I found out I sat around for a month in shock and then gathered my strength and moved. He has been supportive and has paid our expenses and set up costs and comes every couple of weeks to see our girls. In fact as I write he is on the way for the weekend.
    There is no danger of my going back though. He knows he has used up all of his chances over the years. At first I only caught the internet stuff and that nearly destroyed me, I recovered but all the while watching him closely. The thing is they become better and better at hiding it and more defiant when questioned. I learned to stop looking for clues and he got deeper into his addiction. He started to see real people and he learned not to even flinch when I would talk about my views on fidelity and honesty. From the outside we looked like the perfect couple.
    I never knew it was a real sickness with a name until I started to see a psychologist here and I got onto this site. I see now that there are so many others who have lived as I have lived. I am so sad for all of them.

  65. Having such a hard time tonight with this… he just goes on with life, like loosing me meant nothing. How does he do that? it has been only 3 weeks and I am still so deep in adjusting to this new life without him and working so hard at not calling him, at trying to move on. But other than here and with a few very close friends, I have moved inward to grieve. Picking up the pieces of my broken heart, while he is blogging away on other interests and acting as if none of this ever happened. The last thing I asked him for was an explanation… something in writing to help get me past what I was feeling. It has been a week or so since I asked, and still there is nothing from him… yet he is spending all these hours writing on another online blog (not on any sex blogs that I know of)…but writing about surfing and sports stuff to his online buds (not his online sex contacts, that is hidden from me and everyone). Don’t I deserve more than this? Isn’t he even concerned about the results of my STD tests? I know he is assuming they are negative, but don’t you think he would want to hear it from me to be sure? How do they (SAs) do this? I know the answers… that the addiction makes them really good at hiding the truth. I thought he would miss me lots, and he must, because he is a real creature of habit, because we talked everyday and said goodnight every night, and emailed each other all the time too.. so after 10 years of constant contact that always ended with “I love you, baby” as a sign off… how does he pretend so well now that loosing me was a blip in his life? He seems so HEARTLESS!

  66. Marina, so sorry tonight is tough. Must be something in the air! I just took off my wedding rings and am thinking this might be it…

    Aviva, am wondering if leaving with 4-year-old is the only step left. It’ll be three years next week since we’ve been “on the mend,” but it’s so hard. Our communication is just subpar, and I wonder if I can ever see him as anything but the evil one who wrecked my life. Also, in being logical, if we took the sex addiction out of the equation, is this marriage fulfilling? Leaning more towards no than yes…

    Our therapist feels we shouldn’t talk about “this” anymore – I’m supposed to just trust that my husband is doing the right thing with his recovery program and I’m to do my thing, but no talking to each other about this. WTF? Now I’m supposed to be utterly considerate of his boundaries? And his feelings? To think it’s the best thing if I’m kept in the dark about his program (because I totally didn’t feel like a douchebag not knowing that my husband was screwing whores all along) makes me want to scream.

    Hoping we all find ways to take care of ourselves and our hearts… Thank you, everyone, for your posts. I, too, am happy to have found you all on this site.

  67. Thanks Yvonne… you so have a right to be angry. Before getting together with my SA boyfriend, I was in therapy with my X (who was also an addict – alcohol – which sorta makes this SA boyfriend look even more devious).

    I mean, I could TELL when the addiction was alcohol, it was CLEAR what was going on.

    Anyway, we were going to this therapist who just wanted to give my X so much consideration. It got to me… I was so focused on getting us there, getting well, wanting to fix things… he (my X) was so focused on just going through the motions, so he could get home and drink more. It was infuriating to me… all of this pandering to his needs that everyone was doing, and he really could care less. Anyway, we stopped going to him and the next therapist was way more helpful. I continued with her alone, and she helped me break free. Maybe I need to give her another call, though it has been years!

    It sounds to me like this therapist you have is not equipped. WTF is right. Stuffing this is contributing to your anger. You have every right to want to discuss this, it is your life and safety and future and family bond at stake here. I am not an expert in this field, but I believe you might need a new therapist, and you may end up having to dump 2 people for awhile!
    It might be really helpful to not talk to either one, and nothing makes that easier than being outta the same room! I know if I was there with my SA boyfriend, I probably would have destroyed more than his reputation by now.

  68. Hi Marina,

    Yep, dude is a very sick heartless hopeless sociopath; an empty shell of a man and I’m so very sorry that you got sucked into his slimy gravitational pull.

    I realize that its difficult but you can’t apply to him any normal feelings of love and attachment that most people such as yourself, easily feel; he can’t. Tough as it is to wrap your mind around and I too, am in that camp, its how it is for dude and a lot of other addicts, no matter what their poison is. I know… the empty words of “love and affection” are just that— empty meaningless words, because when the going gets tough– (meaning you didn’t want to be a part of his sicko, deviant world, you are history and he couldn’t care less how its affecting you. It really sucks, because I’m sure that you’re still scratching your head trying to figure out how the hell all of this happened. It takes a long time… and you will get past all of this, but it takes time.

    As for lame shrinks. Dump ’em and find another one. No therapist should ever make you the focus of HIS problems. never.

    xo,

    L

  69. Yvonne – you have a 4 year old? I think your first consideration is the child. For me I knew that I was not capable of hiding my anger from my kids so elected to get out of the situation and build a health home.
    I hope in time my anger will wain and I can be nicer to my husband in front of my girls, I do not want them to see anger and conflict as part of a normal relationship when it is really only a product of what y husband has done. As for not talking about it, I strongly dissagree, the only was forward is to talk it out. I do not get what your shrink is doing at all.
    Marina – I think your husband is in a state of denial, that was where mine went for the first few weeks. Please do not think it is any reflection on what he feels for you. It is all about what he is feeling about himself right now. I think in time he will reconnect if that is what you want.
    Thinking of all of you, take care of yourselves,
    Aviva

  70. I am a freelance writer, lesbian woman, and have been contemplating about writing a piece for one of my clients about this addiction or compulsion as one of my psychologist friends refers to it as. I stumbled upon this site as I am in the first three months of research,and became fascinated by the stories that you have all shared.

    I am trying to take a tactical/unbiased approach to the subject since it is so new and not recognized my the medical field as an actual disease. But, few things are if they are in the early stages of discovery.

    I have talked with several experts in the industry, psychiatrist and psychologist and there are rather interesting conflicting thoughts on levels of this disease and whether to group it into one classification. Some feel the media has exploited this to their advantage, and compromised women and men who are dealing with affairs by their partners.

    One prominent sexual therapist I talked with, was very disturbed about the Patrick Carnes facility, Pine grove. When she heard that Tiger Woods was able to spend $100,000 to renovate the bungalow he would be staying at, not have a roommate, and be permitted to not have to attend any group meetings. This was very disturbing to her and thought the facility would be void of the trappings of celebrity privilege. As she told me; there are supposed to be no exceptions when going to a facility regarding an addiction. Group therapy is paramount to recovery and rules are made so that boundaries are established in the addicts mind. Apparently, she said this is not the case with Pine Groves if you are a celebrity.

    I have just started to read the stories here and my heart goes out to all of you. In particular, Rebecca, Diane and Lynn, since I started with your stories.

    I am trying to get a full perspective for my outline before I present to the publisher and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I am also researching and interviewing a few sexual anthropologists regarding this subject.

    One interesting piece that was forwarded to me is below. Who knows what the answer is but perhaps we can help one another and get a better grasp of the condition.

    http://www.trinity.edu/rnadeau/fys/barash%20on%20monogamy.htm

  71. One of the best things I found online; this study gave me a good perspective on my former significant other, and a reason to explain the utter devastation I feel. It was not that he is acting like a primate, or that he is human. It is that he is living like an infant, and not the middle aged man he actually is. How could I expect comfort from an infant? (But I do, in my darkest hours.) Why did I give him this power? I am only seeing now how needy, self-absorbed, secretive, narcissistic he is… and I have known him 40 years, and had been his lover exclusively for the last decade. I mistook his motive …to keep me involved …while he secretly led a double life. He is not whole. Certainly not capable of
    loving. As Lorraine said so well, these SAs (mostly men) and the women (and men) that service them, for money, for attention, for whatever, do not have the capacity to truly love another. They use each other, as a means to an end: the escape that they seek over and over through sex. They never really get there. Like any other addict, but their drug is sex. Had I been ready to see the truth, I would have left a long time ago. So now, I have to learn how to trust (my own instincts) and another human being.
    I am determined (right in this minute) to become whole enough to do that. Hoping that minutes will stretch into hours and then into days. I truly hope that for all of us, for we have suffered so… love is…
    xox ~ Marina

    http://www.guidetopsychology.com/sex_love.htm

    Fantasies such as bondage, rape, and anal penetration betray the dark side of “getting what you want.” These fantasies pull us away from spiritual responsibility into a realm of anger and self-loathing, reflecting—or even compulsively re-enacting—those times when we weren’t unconditionally accepted as infants or children. The erotic element of such fantasies is directed to “getting” the feeling of defiling the other, or being defiled yourself, and it derives from the anger of having been made into an object—indeed, a piece of garbage—as a child, in which all human dignity was surrendered and defiled. Which is why these fantasies, in their trend toward the anti-spiritual, lead you right into the psychological dead-end of sado-masochism.[16]

    Pornography, in its own way, derives from the urge to defile an other. On the surface, it may seem that pornography is simply about erotic pleasure. But when the human body is made into a biological toy, it is stripped of all human dignity, and this defilement is an act of aggression. The hostility may be unconscious or it may be openly violent, but, either way, it has its basis in resentment. And to whom is the resentment directed? Well, as in all things psychological, the resentment goes back to the parents. Deep down, under all the apparent excitement, and despite the attraction to what is seen, lurks the dark urge to hurt and insult—to “get back at”—what is behind the scenes: a mother who devoured, rejected, or abandoned, rather than nurtured, or a father who failed to teach, guide, and protect. Thus, when you feel resentment for feeling deprived—deprived of recognition, guidance, acceptance, resources, or time—you are drawn to pornography, and even though it may feel that you are getting something, you are really defiling someone.

  72. We’ve been married almost 24 years. I only came to the realization that he is an addict in the last year. He has been extremely successful at hiding his double life. I feel so dumb.

    The first 5 yrs of the marriage were pretty good. I honestly cannot remember what our sex life was like back then. I don’t remember it being all that frequent or excessive; or all that thrilling like the movies portray. Funny thing about him, his parents were divorced when he was 10 (philandering father!) and he was raised by mom and 2 sisters, grandmother and great aunt. Surrounded by females. He has always watched chick flicks and musicals. He’s a pretty romantic, sweet, sensitive type guy. I knew he’d gone to strip clubs w/buddies and used playboy and penthouse. I told him that kind of stuff is not necessary in a marriage. I thought he was honoring my wishes.

    I changed my mind about children, he felt betrayed. In the beginning we’d said we didn’t particularly want any. (I have one daughter about to leave for college.) I had several miscarriages hence I was very cautious about sex. This is when it all really got rolling.

    Started up with porn, then the prostitutes, strippers, massage parlors, video parlors, casual encounters. You name it. The floodgate was opened and anything goes! Remember, I was unaware of all of this. He is a musician (hobby) and he would tell me he was going to rehearsals with his band buddies. So he would be out late.

    Due to fairly substantial inheritance he has his own money. I know very little to nothing about it balance wise. Only generally where it is, but at that it is spread around. He decided all the stuff he was up to was empty, so he started seeking a “permanent” woman in online personal ads. Well he found one. He describes her as a lonely, single, professional woman who was not interested in anything other than sex. Right.

    At the OW urging he moved out and filed for divorce (year 15 of marriage). I asked repeatedly if there was someone else. He denied it the entire time. We went to counseling. While we were apart I had found evidence of internet porn use, but was too embarrassed and afraid to bring it up in counseling. We reconciled, moved to a new home and things went well up until about 3 years ago.

    The same old arguments about sex began. He was determined to fix me. I have to give him kudos here…he at least did recognize we have serious problems and wanted to fix them. He just didn’t realize what the real problem was.

    He’s bought book after book on relationships. He was writing me letters and dangling the threat of divorce over my head if I did not whip into shape. He began visiting relationship advice forums that are extensions of said books….as a matter of fact, he was spending hours and hours and hours on those forums. He is airing our problems to strangers and bonding with God knows who, who are complaining about the same issues in their own lives. Dangerous waters for emotional affairs to sprout. It was really getting on my nerves. One night while he was out, I found his latest rough draft of a letter telling me he was leaving. I decided to get online and see if I could find the people advising him. BOOM! Took me less than 5 mins to pick him out. There he confesses to ALL kinds of things I NEVER knew about.

    The affairs. The latest one had just ended a few months before he started posting on his favorite site. I had NO CLUE any of this had gone on. (To this day he does not know HE himself is my source.) I am furious at this point and insist on counseling. He agrees but demands that it be with a sex therapist so we can “fix” me. He just has a high sex drive, he is normal I am the one with the problem. We have couple and individual counseling. She has me decide if I want the affair information to come out. I decide yes. The shock on his face was priceless. He reluctantly admits to affairs. I feel there is more but he will not admit to anything else other than porn (since he knew I already knew about that).

    Over the next several months slowly more and more has come out. It just dribbles like some sort of medieval water torture dripping little by little. It has gotten more vile and disgusting with every piece revealed. Our counselor suggested he attend SA meetings. He balked. That’s not him, he doesn’t need that. He did go for a bit, but decided after a month he was good and could control it on his own. Counselor says she does not have the expertise to help him any longer and refers him to a colleague. He refuses to go. His excuse: “he will just put me on some drug that will inhibit my sex drive.” Good god! My counselor just about fell out of her chair when I told her that one!

    I ran across some porn and sex toys purely by accident and confronted him. It was the most disturbing stuff I think I could have ever imagined. He apologized and agreed to start taking the SA meetings seriously. Tonight he is taking his 1st step and accepting his 90 day chip.

    Here’s my current issue: He is cheating on his sobriety. In the last few weeks I have found where he has viewed and posted craigslist ads for men and swinging couples and has been in contact with other men. (when I discovered the last batch of porn I asked him flat out if he was bisexual or gay, he firmly, flatly denied it!) I do not know if he has actually physically met with anyone. I have been so turned off I have not had sex with him in 2 weeks and I can barely stand to look or speak to him. He is so self centered he has not even asked me what is wrong or what is bothering me or if I want to talk. I find this very interesting. I know I am an adult and could just sit down and start talking, but I know HE knows something is up and he will NOT ask me. The only time he has come close is when he was pawing on me and I told him I was not in the mood, and he asked “why not?” I was laying in bed about to go to sleep and I refuse to get into these type conversations at bedtime.

    There is my story in a nutshell. Believe it or not I have pared it down. There are details that would curl your hair. (Oh, I have been tested and am clean BTW) I am struggling trying to figure out the written boundaries to present to him. I just am having a hard time..my mind is so convoluted and confused. And I canâ??t quite wrap my head around any other consequence other than leaving. The progressive thing is hard for me, because I canâ??t rate one offense worse than any other. I just want to run away.

  73. HI Aleigh,
    It sounds like you’ve got yourself a doozy there. Wow. I have to say you sound kind of resigned to it all, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    You have been incredibly diligent about getting counselling help, participating in it, forgiving and moving on after heinous behaviours from your husband. You trusted him. Here’s something that sticks out to me: You acknowledge you changed your mind about wanting a child and had a daugther, and tell us that he felt betrayed. Do you think that’s justification or something for this whole thing happening? I don’t think so. Does he throw that at you? After all the disgusting lies and deceit and infidelity he has dealt you—do you feel betrayed? It seems to me (and I know this is just a first pass at a small snapshot of a whole life and relationship) that you are ready to feel guilty, but he isn’t.

    Of course you feel like running. Why aren’t you, Aleigh? I can’t think of anyone who would tell you that you should put up with this. Even if you aren’t ready to end the marriage, you deserve some time to think it through without his lies and emotional abuse coming at you 24/7. Maybe you need to speak with a lawyer about your options, just in case you have anxiety about providing for yourself and your college bound daughter. There’s no shame in that. Will you consider that? I am living apart from my SA husband, and it’s the only reason there is now some hope for our future. Sometimes you just need to be apart and away from the his craziness in order to recover your sanity, your sense of yourself, your hope.

    I don’t know Aleigh, I just feel sense you are lost in this, and I hope some of the other women on this site come forward to take your hand too. We are a varied group, and even if what I’ve written doesn’t make a home in you, something someone else writes will.

    Above all else, you are a precious person and no one can take your place in the world or now, in this online community. You deserve better than what you are living in.

    And don’t be afraid to tell your husband’s sponsor he’s lying.

    thank you for sharing such a hard story of personal pain and anguish.

    D.

  74. Thank you Diane. You are so sweet. You make perfect sense to me and I have enjoyed (is that really the right word?) reading your posts. I am glad I stumbled across this forum. All the others Iâ??ve looked at were focused on infidelity and such, didnâ??t exactly apply.

    I guess I have felt guilty for years, mainly because of the comment by him you will be reading below. I donâ??t think he is capable of feeling guilty, and if he does it lasts for about 5 minutes. The only time he really threw it in my face was while I was pregnant we had some stupid petty argument (probably about sex…seems to be all we argue about) and he made a comment to the effect, â??why do we have to be having this baby anyway?â?? I was so deeply hurt by that. I did pack up and leave, but he convinced me to return. Funny, he does not ever remember that incident at all. I donâ??t know if he is trying to gaslight me, but claims absolutely NO memory of it. However, since I went to my motherâ??s house when I left, she can certainly verify that it happened, and remembers it quite well. He does love our daughter, and has been a good provider for her.

    I have been a stay at home mom for almost 20 years. That was my choice, he really didnâ??t seem to care whether I did or not. Actually, I think he would have preferred that I work. Heâ??s always felt (and stated) that he is nothing more than a â??meal ticketâ??. In hindsight, I wish I had continued to work, just thought it was more important to be home with our daughter. Now I am going back to school to finish my AAS as an executive admin. asst. That wonâ??t be finished till next year.

    Diane, you are not the first to suggest I seek the advice of a lawyer. I guess I am just now starting to face the reality that this probably is not going to work but I am not ready to give up on it quite yet. But man, I am teetering on the edge and feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do next.

    When I had the discovery of the most recent porn and we discussed about him being bi/gay or not, I suggested separation so he could get a handle on what sort of lifestyle he really wants to live. He adamantly said no. Because when he is alone and has too much time on his hands that is when he REALLY gets into trouble. I understand that, but I am beginning to feel like it is impairing my OWN healing to even start.

    Time is racing we move our daughter in 12 days. I gotta get something figured out.

  75. Aleigh,

    Back from ballet class and my oh my…

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. Every time I hear that a woman is “confused”– what has become clear is that it isn’t usually actual confusion. Its that your mind can’t quite reconcile the obvious that you know you must do and yet, in theory never imagined that you would do; and for that no one can blame you.

    I’m not afraid to tell it to you straight, but only with the most loving intentions. Every situation on here is different and sometimes I see a glimmer of hope or even more than a glimmer, but here— no. All I see is the darkest of the darkest never ending nights with this man.

    Your husband is the real deal honey. He’s as narcissistic as they come and a pathological liar and he makes me sick. Your instinct to RUN AWAY is your soul speaking to you honey… It is jumping right in there to save you, so please listen to it and try not to judge yourself so harshly.

    I think what you are looking for is permission to leave. I know that sometimes we feel like we are “bad” or “weak” for not standing by our commitment to love and cherish… blah, blah, blah… Where is his commitment to you? According to HIM, everything that is wrong is ALL your fault which is total crap, and that comment about your baby put me right over the edge. The reason his therapist referred him to someone else is because he is hopelessly beyond help… Yep, that’s a narc.

    LLLLLLLLLLoser————

    So, permission granted honey and in spades.

    Dump him. Dump him like yesterday’s trash.

    He has money? Excellent. Get the slimiest, greediest most aggressive lawyer you can find and sue his sorry ass for everything he has. You deserve it. Start over. Get your degree. Move. All this man is ever going to do is continue to drag you down further and further into the abyss until you find that he has destroyed your very soul.

    It is not too late for you to heal and move on to a MUCH better life.

    I wish you much strength and light and love as you make these important decisions.

    (((((Hugs)))))

    Lorraine

  76. Gosh Lorrain! Now tell me what you really think! 😉 just kiddin’.

    I know it is tough love. My therapy group has pretty much told me the same thing. That I am just waiting and looking for the next and least little slip-up from him so I can feel justified. They think I’m already justified, BTW.

    No, he is not wealthy. He got an inheritance about 10 yrs ago. It allowed us to put a down pmt on our house and I THOUGHT we agreed that the balance would be invested and grown to pay for D’s college. Anyway, when he filed for divorce (which was before we moved to this house) I found out that because the inheritance was left to him alone, I had no claim on any of it. Which was OK, it isn’t large enough to warrant spending what I would get in lawyer fees, ya know? But it certainly griped my ass because I alone (not him, not his sisters) had busted my hump helping his mother clean out the benefactor’s house!!!

    However, I think probably since he used it toward this house and my name is also on the mortgage, that he would have no claim to that portion of the inheritance any longer. I may be wrong; I am just guessing. It would think it would be like taking back a gift.

    I appreciate everything you have said. Don’t worry about offending me, I don’t think I can be anymore….and I do need the 2×4’s across the head, too!

    thanks! and (((hugs))) back at cha!
    ~a

  77. LOL Aleigh… I’m glad that you understood and still have a sense of humor and I know that I’m a tough-love-turkey-talking gurl and I know that some aren’t ready to hear the plain truth, but I had a strong feeling that you were. But, hit over the head with a 2×4? Never. And I’m so glad that you have a support group and that they are saying pretty much the same thing. If it looks like a duck…

    Inheritance shmeritance– Doesn’t matter. You own a home together and HALF of it is YOURS.:D Half of EVERYTHING is yours and on top of it, you can sue him for ALIMONY and child support since you still have a child under 21 who’s going to college. Also, you can get more help with college tuition possibly, however, I’m not an expert, but the point is that I don’t think that things are as bleak as you may think, but of course, you need legal and financial counsel.

    You have grounds to sue him for everything he’s worth and then some.

    I’m just sick and tired of women being trampled on and then kicked in the gut, on top of it.

    xo,

    L

  78. Aleigh, I am with Lorraine 100% on this. Divorce is hard, mark my words, I know from experience. I had two long marriages that included having children. Then, after my marriages, I had a very long relationship with my x-boyfriend, a man I have known and loved and trusted for 40 years. I am a serial monogamist, who loves having a man in my life, but has not, at age 54, learned to recognize what a healthy man looks like. Both of my husbands are alcoholics, and my former boyfriend is a sex addict. All 3 of these men were not who they appeared to be on the outside. They are all 3 high achieving men, who are adept at keeping up a good facade. But the contradiction of who they really are destroyed the relationships I had with them and will continue to destroy any other relationships they start. I will continue to walk in truth, I will not be quiet about what they did, what they do and who they really are, and I will protect myself from now on. Because I want to live, I deserve a good life and I had plans for my life, and I am determined to out-survive them.

    I am not the woman you would expect to have lived through so much drama and destruction, but I have. And I have learned in the last 40 years of these relationships that sick, addicted men will not do anything to change until they hit bottom, and even if they finally do start recovery, you will never feel 100% that they are “fixed”. They never are 100%, fixed and more power to the ones that are making it in a daily struggle and also to the spouses that are trying to hang in. Only after losing me did either of my former husbands eventually try recovery. I am still not sure if they are sober, because I have been successful at moving to the outside of their circle. I am no longer privy, and I no longer want to be.

    In your case? Sounds to me like your guy is not even close to hitting bottom. In my mind, you are so emotionally beat down by years of his bad behavior that you have no energy left for the task at hand. It is OK, girlfriend. If it is out of your therapist’s league, it is also out of your league. Pack just a bag, use a credit card, and just drive somewhere for a few days of crying, purging and sleep. I am still missing my man (it has been only 4 weeks) BUT I do not have to look at him, and be manipulated that his illness is somehow my fault. These men have manipulation down to a science. They do not have empathy for others, and they have learned that people are to be used. They are desensitized to any human emotion… because that is what this addiction (and all addiction) does. It makes one seek the drug of choice, and no matter who they hurt to get it, they will justify their actions in their mind…

    The more days that I am without contact with my former boyfriend, the stronger I feel. I am still drawn to stalk his activity online; I still have bouts of real sadness, and I get especially weak late at night or early in the morning. Sometimes I cannot even get up or get dressed. BUT for me, I am allowing a little of that, because total mourning looks like this. If you can understand this one thing… spouses who encourage us to stay (yet have already left us by choosing their addiction first) put us into a very awful place… if they just suddenly died while being who we thought they were, it might be easier. To have our faith and trust shattered by the person we love most is one of the most difficult things a person could ever experience. So understand that being around this is killing you slowly, one minute at a time. Get out, while you still can move your legs. My kids used to say, “Acknowledge and move on…” and that is good advice… I wish you strength and love… and want you to know that living with abusers is harder than being alone. I know that, as does every woman here who has done what you too can do. big hugs, we are all here for you and for each other… ~ M

  79. HI Aleigh,
    And I’m with Lorraine and Marina on this one.

    The question from my first response to you remains—why aren’t you running?

    Saying you are waiting for another slip-up so you can feel justified sounds like you may be a little out of touch with your feelings. I can relate. Emotionally I’m always behind (well I used to be worse). The crap happens and I just go into “cope” mode, and by the time I’ve managed the latest catastrophe, my feelings have been pushed down so far it’s take the dogged determination of my therapist to help me start bringing them out. And now I have to try and figure out what emotion goes with what part of my life story. Not always easy.

    When you read your own story—where did you put the appropriate and healthy emotions that go with those events? And why, when your husband writes the next chapter of horrible, do you think you will feel “justified”–something you apparently aren’t feeling now about every horrible thing he is done. If you are waiting to feel justified I’m not sure you ever will. You’ve trained your feelings away. A survival technique.

    I guess you might want to look at the question of surviving your life, or living your life as if it was yours, and you are responsible for it.

    Marina points out a very important truth and promise. The more days she is away from her SA partner, the stronger she feels. That’s exactly how it has been for me too. It’s like they have a big “Pink Pearl” eraser, and every day they are erasing a little corner of you, until you are just the imprint of the writing impressed on the page.

    Put your big girl panties on, Aleigh, and show your daughter how to really be a grown-up. Because she’s learning how from you already. And if that doesn’t a light a fire under you, I don’t know what will.

    D.

  80. Marina and Diane and Lorraine:

    Doormat. Yes. I am guilty. I have spent the last 8 years since our reconcilation walking on eggshells and being worried about pissing him off so much he will leave. I am totally financially dependent on him. And you know, the kid excuse….

    They are not necessarily good reasons, but they are my reasons anyway.

    I just feel like I have to give him the opportunity at recovery. I really want to give it the ol’ college try before completely throwing in the towel. Remember, the realization and admission of this being an addiction is only a few months old. Yes, my counselor and I knew it before he did. But he does FINALLY acknowledge it.

    Believe me there have been many times I have wanted to bolt out of here, but I have realized that he could accuse me of abandonment if he wanted to get nasty. As a general rule we really get along very well, our only big bone of contention is the sex stuff. That’s why this is all soooo weird. He is exploring his many years of his secrets and trying to purge. He did his 1st step last night and came home feeling really good about himself. He talked about how a huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders. He hasn’t acted that happy in a long time. I just can’t bring myself to knock him off that little bubble right away.

    As for what I’ve done all these years with my own emotions? I have stuffed them deep down inside. Occasionally they bubble up to the surface and I have a big PMS outburst/tantrum, or a secret, locked in the bathroom major weeping. My therapist has worked on this with me some. And I know I’m not there yet, about being open and expressing to everyone that it is OK for me to HAVE emotions…but I will one day.

    I have written him a letter of boundaries, and I’m sure he is not going to appreciate it very much LOL! However, it is going to let me know just how committed he is and let him know this is how it is and is my FINAL breaking point. I’ve verbalized that if I caught him cheating on me again that was it over, but I never really threw anything written down in specific “if A then B then C” type language. It is empowering to do that.

    Don’t worry ladies. I hear and truly appreciate everything you ALL are saying and I keep it all in my heart. I will (and do) come back and re-read it all. I really AM strong….despite my doormat status (which is really more of a “avoid confrontation at all costs” stance). Confrontation will happen and we will see how it all lands.

    (((Hugs to you all)))
    aleigh

  81. Okay aleigh,
    we’ve said our piece and we do understand that nothing, absolutely nothing, with this situation is ever easy. And I totally get wanting to support his start at recovery without the rug being pulled out from underneath him at the same time. We all have to do these things in ways that make the most sense in our hearts, souls and minds. Just know we are all underneath you, and if you fall, we’ll be here and there won’t be any “I told you so”.

    BUT, given that you have personal financial limitations, please start your own bank account and slip a twenty in every week, more if you can squeeze the budget at bit. Even if you reduce your personal spending to do it, it will matter. If things work out it will just be there, if things don’t, you will have something instead of nothing to start with. YOu don’t need to tell him. Just do it. I’m not talking about stealing large sums here–this is emergency money in and relationship full of emergencies. And congratulations about going after the AAS thing. That’s really an important piece as well.

    You can do “it”—what that turns out to be.
    big hug,
    D.

  82. Oh gosh, where do I start�

    Weâ??ve been married 25 years next month. I have loved this man so much, but now I am thinking about leaving him next summer. The main reason I want to stay until then is because our youngest will graduate in June.
    I am married to a sex addict. I have known this for 12 years. He has gotten â??helpâ?? from time to time. Mostly to stop attending meetings for this reason or that, or he wouldnâ??t follow through with the 12 step program because he didnâ??t like his sponsor.
    My sex addicted husband was recently fired because he was surfing porn at work. He signed a contract last year that stated doing this was against company policy and could result in termination. Well, it did. He now cannot receive unemployment benefits because the Employment Dept. in our state, will not give benefits to a person if they were fired for misconduct. So, at this point we have no income from him. I work as a private tutor which doesnâ??t bring in anything close to the income he did.
    He is going to meetings again. He says he really likes going and misses when he doesnâ??t go. I have asked him to find a SA sponsor. He says he is looking into it.
    He is a very nice guy, although he does show some passive aggressive tendencies. He is good to me and our daughters, but has always struggled in the relationships he has with his sons. At one point my teenage son asked me why I married himâ?Œgo figure. I believe he has intimacy issues. He knows the Bible, but he doesnâ??t express anything about his spiritual walk. He has whit, which people love, but has no close friends at all. He wonâ??t get close to me sexually, unless I bring it on. He doesnâ??t express his needs or desires.
    I want a close intimate relationship with him. I wish he would allow me in to be closer to him emotionally, spiritually and sexually. I donâ??t think this is ever going to happen.
    He has mismanaged our money. Our home is in foreclosure and we have had continuous late bills, even when we had enough money to pay for them. About a month ago he was out of town and I had to look through paperwork for something our realtor needed when I found some medical bills that had my name on them and also, final notice. He had not been paying them either, and yet we had money then.
    Tomorrow I am going to our churchâ??s food pantry to seek out food for my family. If I had set money aside and was able to, I would have left him already.
    It hurts too much to continue to have hope.

  83. One month today.
    This weekend, he began to send me trivial emails with no personal message. I was so unnerved seeing his name in my inbox. I know he misses me, and I know it was his way to connect and draw me back. It got me riled, and scared, and it also made me miss him and long to engage. So after 3 or 4 emails from him, I succumbed to writing back, and told him off in my usual long-winded style: both berating him and offering insight into sex addiction. Writing to him was a total waste of time, and it kept me up all night again, in anxiety and sadness.

    He has not hit bottom. He is not ready to admit how HUGE this addiction is, or even that it is an addiction, so instead he picked a fight over my “being late” for our last date. When I ignored that, he sent me this “apology”. Below that is my answer. I do not know my reasons for posting this, but I am asking for your feedback and some support. It is so hard to close the door myself with so much unresolved… it is so hard.
    I loved this man more than I had loved any man. We had so many good memories, as first lovers as teenagers, then we parted and married others, stayed friends, ran in the same circles while we had separate lives, and again reunited as lovers and best friends for the last 10 years. We are born a day apart, we thought the same, we had the same visceral reactions to people and to things. EXCEPT to HIS people and to his secret life. He has admitted to groping and being hand-released by over a dozen women, and had intercourse while traveling out of the country with at least one that he admitted to. He has had EXTREMELY KINKY sex, multiple partners, sado-masochism & intercourse with at least 3 that I know of that operate “a business” near him. He has befriended them, and spends lots of time doing things in exchange for sex. Even though I also had a long marriage in between teenage years and mid-age to someone else, and was never married to this SA boyfriend, I had grown up with this man, and did so much with him, even double dating with my husband and his other partners over the decades. When we reunited as lovers and as single adults, it was wonderful for a very long time. He knew me even better than my closest girlfriends. But he led a double life and I cannot continue to be his friend much less his girlfriend. He hurt me more than I have ever been hurt.

    I am suffering beyond belief, but determined to survive this.
    Please tell me I can do this. Sending this with love and much gratitude.
    ~ LaLunaMar (my new name here, from now on, thanks)
    I am giving him the name he used for online sex contact: Mandango
    (btw, he is very anglo and does not fit the name at all, so do not picture anyone but a short, balding, paunchy, middle-age white man)

    Begin forwarded message from Mandango:

    sorry about the last reply. I got mad on all your conjectures.
    I never did anything to hurt you on purpose. I did it because I was horny. Lame but true.
    Love, mandango

    Begin forwarded message from LaLunaMar:

    Mandando, you did it because you were horny? Please, spare me the minimizing. Your actions (and these are only the ones I know about, no conjecture) are WAY over the top. You kept a secret life because you are a sex addict and you enjoy getting off with freaks and hanging out in their dark, skanky world. You had a hankering for anal (most men do) an intense curiosity for bondage, and she (they) are smart enough to build a business by offering the very things that most homophobic men are too afraid to ask their wives and girlfriends for.
    To be dominated and to be penetrated…

    Offering the last taboo to straight men, the “gay experience of penetration” the VERBOTEN without shame or ridicule is as good as gold. I knew how to penetrate a man slowly and gently (like she offers on her site) and would have done it for you, had you asked or even hinted to me that you wanted that. But I think you must be really uncomfortable with intimacy, because you went to glorified whores to get the “dirty sex” and left me in the dust. I have seen you sabotage intimacy in nearly every relationship you have had over the last 40 years. I have no explanation as to why and how you could lead a double life for years without cracking.

    This intimacy issue goes way deeper than just being horny. You were there taking pictures for her (I saw a glimpse of you on her hideous opening video), you were paying big bucks, doing trade… this even replaced sports as your obsession! You told me you hardly even masterbate anymore… you had became so routine in how you “made love” to me. You expected so much validation from me for the smallest of gestures. You got really twisted in your expectations of who I was and the part I played in your life. You played the part of an extremely impatient, nervous, rude, joyless, domineering, controlling, insensitive creep for way too much of the precious time we had together. You even did it today by trying to make me feel bad about getting to our date late – on a friday, on a day I worked and drove 4.5 hours through rush hour traffic to get there. You are incapable of loving anymore; as soon as you started your secret life, you lost your fire in the belly when it came to us. You even let me go to Hawaii without you… knowing I could have ended up falling in love and staying forever with my old, newly single friend who lived there… how many times did you have sex with those women while I was gone?

    So cut the bullsh*t and FU**KING OWN THIS ALREADY! This is not just a simple case of being lame and horny.
    You lost me over this, asshole, YOU CHOSE THIS OVER US, so fu*king OWN IT, it’s all out now and it’s all yours to enjoy. No more hiding!
    Goodbye Mandango, goodbye.

  84. Monique, I am sorry I posted right below you without even reading your story.
    As you can see we have come to the right place. I left my husband of 25 years too, and thought he wasn’t a SA he was another kind of addict (alcoholic). I went directly from him to the relationship with my SA boyfriend that I am leaving now. I understand how difficult it is. You have already hit bottom, and there is no place left but up. Your kids are raised (as are mine) and you will have to turn your back on him, the house, and just do this. The ways will come, the support will come. I will be here doing the same, and we will read some wise words and encouragement from the wonderful and smart women on this site. Hang in and keep reading. I have only been here only a few weeks and have gotten so much comfort here.
    xoxox ~ LaLunaMar

  85. LaLunaMar, (formerly Marina I believe),

    He’s short, balding, and paunchy? Forgive me, please… but I couldn’t help but think… So, what’s the problem? Sorry–I prefer the built somatic narcissists—LOL!!! (gotta laugh!)

    Look, I know that you love(d) him and are really trying hard here and I applaud you so much for that; This is great!

    I think for so many of us who are trying to reconcile all of this and trying to reach a place of peace–and I don’t think there’s an easy way to do this, but I think there are some things that I’ve learned that can make it worse and perhaps I can spare you some of that additional pain.

    You wrote:

    “It is so hard to close the door myself with so much unresolved… it is so hard.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more… as this is where I have found myself as well… We so want to hear it from them. The admission that they have been a creepy immoral Godforsaken SLUT/MAN WHORE/SEX ADDICT and they HATE themselves for hurting us as they have and are so, so, so VERY SORRY! Look, if he could do this, you’d probably go back to him…(ugh) and sometimes, if they’re really really sick like your dude and psycho dude, they might even tell you what they think you want to hear,(and then of course, just ignore it and go on with whatever they were doing). However, if they’ve tired of you a bit—OR have already moved on to their next victim, this is where things could get really ugly for you as they did for me, because now they don’t need you and if they don’t need you, then you are as important to them as a used piece of kleenex.

    I know… you WANT him to hurt, just as you have been hurt, but honey, you cannot hurt him. You cannot really hurt a flat cardboard cut out of a man, so don’t even try. It is impossible. You can make him indifferent or angry, but hurt—no.

    So, with that in mind, what if you never do get that closure— that resolution that you so desire? (and certainly deserve) I didn’t and I think that’s partly what made it hurt so badly. I don’t think your dude is capable of this either.

    What if you just let it all go…knowing that he will never understand, no matter what you say? I do not blame you for sending such emails. Ha! You shoulda seen the over-the-top shit I sent to predator when I discovered the unbelievable crap he was doing behind my back. (I can’t even say.. it was THAT bad!) But, in the end, sending all that shit only made things worse for me. They cannot comprehend this stuff. They see this as unwanted and unwarranted drama created by YOU(and YES!!! WE know that it IS warranted) however, they will not be able to apply any of it to themselves… They will make it out that you are the crazy delusional one, which of course, is like being shot in the heart, all over again. You can’t bargain with a terrorist— please, for your own well-being, it is better not to try.

    As with what I told Mayam, make it about YOU and your needs… He isn’t meeting YOUR needs and you have found someone else who is,(or whatever you wish to say that is about YOU) so thank you, its been great, take care now. Good bye.

    He will stand there, scratching his head not being able to comprehend what has just happened. (for days…)

    Of course, write those angry hateful letters, emails, whatever and save them… but DON’T make the mistake that I did and send them to HIM— Send them to a friend or to us, but not him.

    Then, one day, print out the letters… and BURN THEM— or use them to line your kitty’s litter box.

    🙂

  86. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyees, grateful that I found this site. My husband was diagnosed as a sex addict (porn) about a year and a half ago and I started reading a few books to help me get info and understand what I’m up against. His diagnosis came around the time I’d given birth to our little girl and was so wrapped up in caring for a newborn and then an infant and now a toddler that I put off “dealing” with his addiction. He continued with therapy and rehab was recommended. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford it and our insurance won’t cover it. He was given kits to work on and they would sit in a bag in a room untouched until for weeks until I started asking how things were going and inquiring as to why he wasn’t working on them. He doesn’t want to join a SA group because he’s “embarrassed” bringing out in the open and going public with his addiction. I’m at my wit’s end. Our sex life is non-existent, I’ve started considering leaving him, I’ve come close to leaving before. I’m working but don’t have insurance and our current provider won’t cover therapy for me. I don’t even know why I”m posting anything other than to say that this is the first time I’m going public with this and it feels good to know I’m not alone and there are other women out there who have felt or feel the same way I do. My closest friends don’t even know he’s an addict and I don’t understand why I feel so protective of that secret. I feel like in order to be the best mom to my super cute and amazing daughter I need to really start taking care of myself. I need to start focusing on my needs and how to cope and get treatment for co-dependency, etc. It is just difficult to do when one doesn’t have money or health insurance to cover therapy appointments. I’m in Chicago so if anyone knows of any local resources I’d appreciate ANY feedback. THanks again for this site. I’ve found myself coming back repeatedly over the last few days since I’ve discovered it.

  87. Hi, I thought it was time to share some of my story, but the only way I can get it on the site is to post it as a comment. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.
    Anyhow—it’s a tad long.

    Dianeâ??s Story–Drowning in the Shallow End of Recoveryâ??(okay itâ??s just a chapter)

    It was less than two months since D-day. My spouse had begun to attend SA meetings. He was quite light-hearted these days, feeling proud of his first step toward sobriety. I was also proud of him, and very affirming whenever possible.
    But strange things were happening—new strange things. My husband, who for the last thirty years consumed a glass of wine or a beer about once a week, was going through bottles of gin like water—kicking back doubles several times a night like heâ??d been doing it all his life.

    At the beginning of our marriage I had told him about the alcoholism in my family, and that I could not be around people who were drunk or getting drunk. So, now, I reminded him of that and told him this new taste for hard liquor was really upsetting me, and made me feel even less safe in my own homeâ??the same place he pursued his porn addiction. I reminded him that he had told me that many of the SAâ??s he met had multiple addictions, and asked if his new taste for double gin drinks was a smart idea. Wasnâ??t he just trading one medication for another?

    Well—he stood up with extreme effort and exasperation all over his face. What was my problem now? He had gone to SA and I had no right to question his behaviour. He was an adult and could drink anything he wanted. How dare I interfere? His program was none of my business and I wasnâ??t to question him. He didnâ??t â??appreciateâ?? the inquisition in his own house, and made a point of taking a big drink while he said all this. I yelled back and pounded the counter with my fist, demanding that he consider my feelings.

    In the weeks following, as he continued with therapy and SA meetings, the drinking stopped. But no apology.

    Once we were invited to close friends birthday party held at a city restaurant. No one yet knew we were in crisis. My husband assumed we would go. I told him I couldnâ??t go and pretend I wasnâ??t devastated and traumatized, and I couldnâ??t watch him pretend that everything was just great, though I acknowledge that he was just better at deception than I was. He was incredulous. What was wrong with me? Was this going to affect every part of our life? Again, he was completely insensitive to my feelings and the stress I was under. He strutted about the house like a peacock deprived of its god-given right to open its tail. Occasionally he opened his hands out with some exasperation to tell me â??Iâ??m sober. Iâ??m sober. What more do you want?â?? I want you to think of how I am feeling. No chance. There are only one personâ??s feelings in this recovery story.

    When he finally started to deal with his mother, who his therapist and sponsor had identified very early on as his emotional wife and object of worship, he told her we were now living apart. He shared their conversation with me, and how she began to jump in with criticizing me and blaming me (she figured it was now open season). I waited for him to tell me how this time he stopped her. But he didnâ??t. I set this before him as another example of their combined emotional abuse of me. Why was he telling me this? What was new in it for me? Nothing! He got angry. I was just never satisfied. What did I want him to do? I told him I wanted him to defend me, protect me, and shut her up. Well, he shook his head and turned away. He was just really tired of being wrong all the time. And I was a bitch. (he didnâ??t say I was, but Iâ??m pretty sure it was in the air). He told me how hard he was trying. Really hard. He didnâ??t â??appreciateâ?? being questioned about this conversation when he was (supposedly) really laying down the law with her. Again, he was completely blind to my feelings and I felt that my expectations were somehow right over the moon.

    The secrecy of the â??programâ?? was waved in my face regularly. My spouse loved his secret life of sexual acting out, and now he loved his secret life of meetings, anonymous friends, confidentiality etc. He would tell me that there were â??famous peopleâ?? there, and people we knew from work—-but noooooo. I wasnâ??t allowed to know who they were—a point I was reminded of, even thought I never once asked who they were. Secrecy isnâ??t my drug of choice. But Secrecy IS a sexual drug for some SAâ??s, so the early stages of recovery give them a little something they like. Like an addict on meth. My guyâ??s pride and ego just couldnâ??t resist rubbing my face in it. And to think all this came from the recovery program itself. It was too good to be true for him. And it was all he had from his acting out that was still allowed. I named this for him once. He literally looked down his nose at me and told me not to criticize his program. I wasnâ??t his therapist. He didnâ??t â??appreciateâ?? it.

    Later, when my husband and I decided to give his car to our boys, and buy a new used vehicle for him, I agreed to provide half the value of my six year old van toward the price of a vehicle. We agreed that something gas efficient would be good since we shared use of the van for any moving we had to do (which with kids in school is several times a year). When he used the van I used the car. So he decides to by a sexy six speed standard transmission sport coupe with sun roof and spoiler etc, that I canâ??t drive. I point that out. He ignores me and tells me he had it doing 75 and still had a gear left, and comes home with a mid-life crisis car. I freak. I happen to know (after the fact) that before the internet, he was cruising public lots and waiting areas looking for his turn-on template women and masturbating in the car while looking at them. This looks a lot like a trolling vehicle to me, and one that I canâ??t drive. He insists he didnâ??t know I told him I couldnâ??t drive it. And waves off my concerns about why heâ??s bought this more expensive and sexy care. Heâ??s dismissive and doesnâ??t â??appreciateâ?? me suggesting itâ??s a clichÊ car. Iâ??m shut out now. Heâ??s exasperated again with my over-reacting. My feelings donâ??t matter. He doesnâ??t even offer to teach me how to drive it. I climb into my beast of burden van. Sigh.

    This stuff and lots more like it went on in what I now call the â??shallow end of recoveryâ??. They have their toes in and think they are swimming. Their awareness of their addiction is still so limited. They havenâ??t touched the hard part yet, but they are thrilled with themselves, expect constant praise, and gift us with tearful expressions of remorse that do not herald any new or better treatment of us. Itâ??s just all about them. We donâ??t have a story, and when we suggest that we do, we are just bitches who wonâ??t co-operate with their â??recoveryâ?? agenda. In the shallow end, they havenâ??t learned to put their head under yet—so their crazy self-centred and un-self-aware thinking process is undisturbed. That means they are still acting outâ??just at levels they arenâ??t seeing. They are not fully conscious to their addictions.

    Thatâ??s how SAâ??s end up launching â??personal recovery sitesâ?? on the internetâ??probably the universal place for SAâ??s to act out—and never notice the problem with that. Thatâ??s how they â??donâ??t seeâ?? whatâ??s their own sites and act so hurt when you ask about ads for sex books and exotic women sites, and why they write down details of sexual experiences and dismiss our concern about that. How dare we?!!! They are in recovery!!!! And itâ??s really hard !!! We have no idea!!! Blahblahblah.

    But they are in the shallow end of it. And they may never go deeper.

    All the same, itâ??s important for all of us to remember that you can drown in two inches of water. We and they can drown in the shallow end of recovery. So if thatâ??s where you are, you can do a few things to protect yourself. Get a personal flotation device and wear it all the time. Take life-saving certification so that you know how to deal with a drowning addict who has you in a death grip and will down you both. Or, get out of the shallow end.

    For me, it meant getting out of the shallow end and watching recovery from poolside. It also meant going deeper with my own story and finding the challenges and healing of it. I could still cheer and support. But I didnâ??t have to pretend that he was swimming, just because his ego wanted me to.

    It has gotten better with my husbandâ??s program. He has apologized for several things, the car included. He is aware of how slowly awareness comes to the SA.
    Heâ??s dog paddling now, at least. And I am proud of him still. But I donâ??t know what will become of us. Iâ??m just glad not to be drowning in the shallow end of recovery, and I hope none of you will.

  88. Hi Bree,
    I’m fairly new here and fairly new to the discovery that my boyfriend of three years is a sex addict. My heart goes out to you.

    I know not everyone here likes the philosophy and angle of COSA (codependents of sex addicts) but it’s a free 12 step group for partners. I’m going to my first meeting tomorrow night. I don’t like the notion that I’m co-dependent and somehow a part of his problem – I honestly do not believe that I am but I do believe I stay, buy his excuses and tolerate his broken promises because of my issues and fears – some of which may be related to the trauma his behavior has inflicted on me.

    I think any kind of support is going to help me move forward. I’d bet in Chicago, there are many COSA meetings – there’s only one in my town.

    I understand your embarrassment. I feel very embarrassed. I come from a very liberal, sexually open community. I used to think the whole concept of labeling someone a sex addict was questionable and likely coming from conservative religious beliefs -until I got involved with a man who watches 2 hrs of porn a day (more on weekends and holidays 😉 and at least looks at local escort ads (though I’m not so naive as to think he hasn’t done more). I have friends who are or were exotic dancers and even two friends who have worked in adult films. I’m afraid to tell them he’s a sex addict for fear that I’ll look like – I don’t know what I’ll look like – dumb? or prudish? I don’t know.

    The whole thing is humiliating. My bf once contacted a woman in my town who is an escort – her name had come up because a friend of mine knows her -he was well aware of this, so what did he do? He emailed her for an appt – of course never revealing he was a friend of a friend. I found this out snooping in his email and I emailed the escort in question and identified myself and asked her if she would share with me her coorespondences with him. She was very helpful and did. He had emailed her several times over the previous 8 mths or so asking to book a session. They never got together because of logistics – she was sick or out of town – various things like that. It was so horrible to have to ask a stranger if she’d had sex with my bf and if she could tell me, his gf, what he had emailed her.

    I think our secrets will destroy us. We certainly don’t have to sing it from the rooftops but finding a supportive friend or two or a group is really important.

  89. Hi Bree and Mayam,
    I’m sorry my long post didn’t really connect to Bree’s first post on the site, and I’m glad Mayam for picking up her thread again, and responding.

    Bree–you instinct to start taking care of yourself is a good one. That has been really new for me, but also has been key to learning to think clearly and feel appropriately. It’s about honesty in our own sense of who we are and how we interact with others.

    Many many people on this site have been to SANON or COSA meetings, and most will confirm that the fellowship and friendship was a gift, even if they couldn’t swallow the viewpoint on codependence. If you go, just follow your gut about what they are saying about who you are. Get what you need and leave the rest. Not every spouse or partner is codependent, although most marriage or serious BF relationships will exhibit some codependent traits. The idea we are to “become one” in marriage, for example, kind of lends itself to codependent traits.

    I don’t think your bf is serious about recovery yet, although that may change. He may be counting on your secrecy to avoid it. Going to a meeting yourself might de-stabilize his comfort level in a good way. SA denial is a fierce force and you alone will not defeat it by begging and pleading and crying and shaming. They have to start losing things they value.
    Some have to lose everything—wife, family, job, house, friends, respect etc.

    Bree, I think you know what you need and what to do. Please move forward in life at the pace that suits you. Move toward truth and honesty, health and wholeness, love and forgiveness, respect and courage. You will get there.

    Mayam, you brought us back to the beginning with fresh perspectives. Thank you for helping me see more.

    enough light for all of us,
    D.

  90. Hi again,
    I went to my first COSA meeting. It was interesting and I was surprised at the different walks peoples lives have taken. After I shared, the common thread seemed to be that my husband and I need counseling (not that they could directly say that). My husband said he is up for it, and I guess I am too. The problem is that we have no insurance or unemployment benefits because he was fired for misconduct at work. How are we supposed to get counseling w/o income? I don’t even know how we are going to survive the next 6 months. I am still so mad at him about this, but I don’t show it. I am nice around him, maybe a little depressed but I use my manners and try to be polite. He is still attending meetings. I think he is going for 90 in 90 days, although he has missed two in the last 3 weeks. He told me this time he is serious and that he’ll do whatever it takes. I am not sure he can do it. Does recovery really work? At the end of the COSA meeting they sang a little song saying that recovery works.
    How will I know that it is working for him? He hides his acting out so well, I have no clue.
    Part of me wants to connect with an old friend from hs. Last year, we sent a few emails back and forth, but my husband was pretty jealous so I stopped. I guess I need to ask myself why I would want to re-connect with him. He is unavailable really as he is married and has two daughters. I guess I just want to know there is a decent, respectable guy out there somewhere. Right now, every man I see is a SA and probably a psychopath. Maybe I just want some guy attention, maybe I want to get back at my husband. Either way, I have stopped myself from trying to contact him a couple of times.
    thanks for letting me vent,
    Monique

  91. So I would like to share my story. I cry as I type realizing just what’s ahead for me and my marriage.
    At the beginning of June, my husband had accidentally left his email up. I’m not a snooper, but something told me to look at his email. I looked and just happened to click on an email of a reply from where he wrote dirty things to a hooker from craigslist. At first I was really confused because he signed a different name at the end of the email. So I went to his sent box to try and find the first message sent. As I was searching for it I found ANOTHER email to someone else from craigslist. I sat there in shock. I confronted him but he was on his way out the door (he works evenings). At first he acted like he didn’t know what it was and then he finally confessed to contacting these girls for the thrill but that he had never met up with them. He said he had an addiction to porn and chatting and he apologized over and over. I made it clear that I didn’t trust him. Over 2 months time, we began to try and rebuild our marriage. I was always double checking. 2 weeks ago he was going out with his brother and some guy friends to a movie. I checked what time the movie would be over bc I wanted to kind of mend things so I put on a little outfit for him. I waited. And waited. The movie got over at 12:05 and we lived about 10 minutes away. I texted and asked him if he was on his way about 12:45 and he said yes. He arrived at 1:30. I had already changed and gone to bed. Nothing felt right about the situation. I asked him where he had been and he made excuses. 2 days later I checked the phone records and sure enough there were calls he had deleted. So I called each one and every one of them was a girl (one being the girl he dated before me). So at 1 in the morning I woke him up and demanded to know what was going on. Through prodding and begging and pulling the truth out of him, he confessed to multiple affairs while we were dating. Some of the girls I knew and some were hookers from craigslist. He even confessed to chatting with men and getting oral from men hookers from craigslist. He swore up and down that it hadn’t happened since we had been married (we have been married a little over a year and dated for 2.5 years). He admitted that he believed he was a sex addict and needed help. We both started doing research and trying to find a counselor in our area that dealt with this issue. I found this site and found my lifeline to some sort of sanity. I emailed JoAnn (God please, please, please bless her soul) and she was so encouraging and understanding. She had said there was probably more he wasn’t telling me. Sure enough last week he confessed to a blow job from a woman hooker and a hand job from a male hooker both from craigslist. He says he didn’t tell me because he didn’t want to hurt me anymore and just wanted help because he thought he could do it on his own and now realizes that he can’t. We finally found a psychiatrist in our city (I believe he is also bipolar) that deals with this and since I am switching jobs (starting tomorrow!) I have new insurance and this dr. doesn’t accept it. So I told my husband finding a new doctor NEEDS to be a priority. Since he has come clean with everything I feel like I have seen the side of my husband that I have missed since we first started dating. He actively persues me. He does all the things that I have asked of him through out our marriage. I made it clear to him that he can’t love me like this for now while the wounds are fresh and then let things fade. I told him with the roses, and the housework, and the genuinely trying to make me happy (not just as little as possible so I wont be mad)…that I expect that for the rest of my life. He agreed that he didn’t deserve me or my love and he planned to live the rest of his life trying to prove that statement false. He actively sought one of his closest friends and revealed everything (except that some of the cheating was with men) and asked him to hold him accountable. I told him I can’t make any decisions while emotions are still raw but I do believe God gave me the circumstances I am in right now for a reason. We have a 3 month old daughter. And I just took a 10K paycut to do what I love (working at an elementary so I get more time with my precious girl). I dont feel in danger so I am staying for now. I have found so much comfort in this site knowing that I am not alone. The 2 friends I have entrusted my pain with are no where near a point in their lives where they can relate or understand. I called you ladies (JoAnn, Diane, Lorraine) my friends the other day and had to laugh at myself for having never met you…but you know my deepest secrets. I guess the real reason I have hope (other than the fact that its one of my weakest qualities) is something that happened today. I have told him we can’t have sex unless its the “romantic sex” I have been asking for since we got married. This morning, as we were laying next to each other things got a little intense and sex started out of nowhere. And then he stopped. He said he wasn’t going to let me settle for whatever made him happy. I wanted romantic sex and that’s what he wanted to give me more than anything. I found so much hope in that. It’s definitely a 180 turn around on his part. I guess its just a wait and see thing now…but I worry I am being too hopeful. I know that it will most likely get worse before it gets better. I just want what is best for our daughter. I WILL NOT let him treat me the way he has in the past because I WILL NEVER let my daughter think its ok for a man to treat her this way.

  92. Elise, I just read your story. It’s so hard to think of what might be in the future. I wish I knew or had some clue as to how all of this was going to play out for any of us. I suppose the statistics are out there – it’s bleak is the upshot of what I’ve read.

    My bf went to therapy last week. He’s on a very enthiastic high, confident that he can overcome this, relieved that it’s out in the open. He’s saying all of the right things – not just the obvious right things, but sentiments that to me show a real desire to change. Whether he can change, I don’t know. He feels as if a light bulb has gone off and he suddenly gets why he’s been doing what he’s been doing and now that he understands it, it’s no problem, even easy, to stop. I’m dubious.

    I suppose this is a part of the developmental process – they get some insight, which fuels their hope and motivation to change but I would imagine before long, they run into the same life challenges, emotions, desires, whatever it is, that triggered the behavior in the first place and then they’re put to the test.

    I see my bf as someone with very little self control in general. He’s been hugely successfully in his career and athletically, both of which require hard work, discipline, focus but at the same time, he’s very unfocused and undisciplined – his job has always allowed him a great measure of autonomy, so that he could do what he felt like doing, when he felt like doing it, so long as he came around to getting the job done at some point. He’s had a charmed life in many ways.

    We went away this weekend and we were able to talk a lot about what he learned in therapy and about my feelings. He listened a lot and seemed to understand the pain he’s inflicted. We had a good weekend – we swam and cooked meals together, talked and walked and slept and made love. I of course still feel a distance. Intrusive memories of the trauma of the discovery would show up now and again. I can’t shake the fear that it wil happen again and I’m terrified of that. I don’t think I can go through it again. I guess the only way to guarantee that, is to leave him.

    I don’t know why I don’t end it. I could – we aren’t married, no kids together and we don’t even share a home. My life would go on in much the same way in terms of my day to day operations – same house, same stuff. I would have to grieve and rebuild socially – he’s consumed most of my free time, so that void would need to be remedied. I would be okay without a man I suppose but it does scare me at my age (nearly 50) to be alone. I don’t have much in the way of family or even extremely close friends nearby to provide any sort of safety net. My youngest child is disabled – I do feel vulnerable. I have liked having him here in terms of the protection, comfort and support he can reliably provide.

    I feel so stupid even saying he’s provided anything positive. Isn’t it all mitigated, if not erased, by the horrible ways he’s hurt me? I suppose it hasn’t been. He’s still a helping hand, still a loving figure in my son’s life. I feel like I should be stronger.

  93. Mayam…I dont think its stupid to say that. I feel like we aren’t idiots, just too trusting. There are obvious reasons you chose him to entrust your heart to. At least he is a loving influence to your son. A lot of the stories I have read, these women talk about how their husbands/boyfriends could pretty much care less about their children. Your son isn’t even his and he obviously shows him love and care.
    I don’t know. I think sometimes my biggest downfall is my hope. It gets crushed quite often. I have a lot of family. He has a lot of family. But I feel like I can’t tell any of them. My family would most likely never get over it (even if I did) because they are pretty religious (I do love Jesus, I just have a lot more grace than them) and they can’t really handle anything out of the norm. His side of the family is a whole different story. His dad had an affair and chose to abandon the family when my husband was about 15 (about 11 years ago). He just recently has tried to mend that relationship. His mom is just now starting to go on dates. His sister has not seen their father since and refuses to reply to his emails or calls. My husband could never tell them in fear that it would destroy his close relationship with his mom and sister. So I sit and listen to my grandma gush over my husband. She adores him (he really is a great guy). And up until I knew all of this I would just beam. I had held out for nothing less than the best and I had found it. Or so I thought. Now when she speaks of him (“Oh, bless his heart”) I feel ill inside.
    My question is…how do I know if he is getting better? I had no freaking idea all this was happening so now how do I really really know? His word? Because his word is shit. And what is getting better? Not doing it so much? Continually getting help? I just don’t understand. Im not sure I ever will. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life second guessing. I shouldn’t have to. Right?

  94. Bree,

    I actually wrote this reply on the 15th but did not post it. It is interesting that I have seen a couple of other postings that eluded to ‘keeping the secret’. That only isolates us, they are free to continue on.

    One of the things that drove me crazy is that I was being bound by his secret. That’s the problem, if it hadn’t been a secret in the 1st place, the sexual abuse wouldn’t have continued (at least we hope). As long as he can keep it a secret he can continue to do what he has always done, involve innocent people and slowly dismantle their lives with lies, manipulations, betrayal and deceit.

    At first I wanted to give him privacy on this matter so he could be uninhibited in his recovery by people who (sit in judgment) have no idea what they were talking about. I also felt it was difficult for him to admit all the truth with the potential of many people putting their 2 cents in. So, yes I kept the secret. I will say I did want to include one of his family members but did not do it then because I felt it would be too hard for him to disclose that information to them at that time. My hope was to eventually include a few family members because that is where the abuse began and where it can come full circle. As it turned out, evidently his mother buried it, so the reality is they failed him then and they fail him now.

    Well in the end that “secret” cost me, not him. I was isolated, (until I found this site) in pain and the few people that knew, although well intended, wanted me to ‘get-over-it’ or get-around-it. The pain from this is so overwhelming that it is something that I want to work and get-through-it, not ‘around’ or ‘over’ it.

    I hate secrets – they bind you, keep you imprisoned and you can never be free of it, until the truth is told.

  95. Elise,
    I think you’re right – we aren’t stupid. We aren’t even too trusting probably. If we have a great guy, who’s good to the kids, to our grandmas, who helps everyway they can – of course we trust them. My bf – if he sees I’m having a stressful week, slips out of work to get me a gift certificate to a spa. If we’re going on a trip, runs to the mall and shows up at my house with a new outfit and special lotions or shoes or whatever. If my son is on my last nerve and not cooperating with bath or bedtime, patiently and gently steps in while I relax. When my ex wouldn’t help by my son an assistive device for school, who not only paid for it but located one and picked it up – my bf! He’s done these things consistently for three years – not when he’s in trouble or whatever. Now, in hindsight maybe it’s his guilt that’s the motivation but how would I know that – I don’t have any experience with a chronic liar/sex addict. I think maybe he is a good guy with a really messed up problem that I may or may not want to sign up for on the long term.

    How do we know they’re getting better. Here’s what I think – we know in our guts. I had a lot of hinky feelings and information that I tried to ignore or rationalize over the last three years. I made excuses for him – for why he was always late or not exactly where he said he was or caught in lies that seemed to have no purpose. I was worried, anxious, suspicious a lot of the time. If I feel like that again, then I know we aren’t better yet – he’s not better yet. The other thing is, I think when I get stronger, when I get myself back – and I’m sure more of me was lost than I even know yet – then I suspect I won’t be able to ignore the little inconsistencies. And I won’t be able to talk myself into living in constant worry again.

    Someone on this site mentioned the site Recovery Nation. I just joined a few days ago. They have a partners healing workshop and they explain that they teach three things – one of those three things is some like how to observe healthy recovery or something like that – so it sounds like they eventually teach the partner how to watch for signs that the addict is not in recovery or having real recovery -so maybe that’s a resource. I just started the workshop, and I haven’t gotten to that part yet. Did the first lesson. I hope that it helps me get back on my feet.

    How can we have clarity when we’ve been traumatized by these disclosures and also living with the addicts sickness and lies for years? Of course, we aren’t in the best place to assess anything. I do like that recovery nation asserts that we have to make our passion, not policing the addict or learning everything we can about his addiction or sa in general, but to getting ourselves stronger.

  96. Hi Ladies. I am so tired tonight, so I read the above rather quickly. But about the holding it in, keeping up appearances, pretending nothing has happened… for me, it was too damn hard… When I found out what my guy was doing, it hurt SO MUCH. I just could not talk to anyone without crying. At first, I felt shame and did not want to reveal why I was so not myself. But then, I decided something… he agreed to be tied up for sex. (He got into bondage). I DID NOT agree to be bound… I took no oath to protect him from his ugly truth. I was NOT a consenting adult in his games. He had unsafe sex, he put me at risk, he lied to me, betrayed my trust, made me feel bad, he projected, manipulated… stole my love… stole years and years of my love… had I known about the 14 or so other people he had sex with, I would not have stayed.

    So I OUTED him. To everyone. I decided that it would be THEIR burden, not mine. I said, I am not taking care of this mess – he is YOUR BROTHER, he is YOUR FRIEND, he is a sex addict, he put my life at risk, he spent thousands of dollars, here are the websites where you will hear his voice, here is the name he used on the forums… step up to to the plate for him, because I cannot. I am too wounded.

    Most of them ignored me and that hurt. Lately, I have found that some of his men friends knew. Only one has had the decency to tell me he challenged him on what he was doing. That was really good to know. Lorraine who writes here will tell you some very honest truths. That these men will make you out to be the bunny boiling crazy. I am sure he tried that, and he may have succeeded with a few of our mutual friends. He was very angry… “for telling half-truths to my family” he said. He said “my family will ban you from their emails”… (like I cared! What on earth could we possibly talk about after this?) In his narcissistic way, he believed I would invest more and more of my life in continuing a smear campaign. That if I was not going to be there to love him, that I should stay anyway. The best thing I have done is move on and stay busy. I didn’t want any part of his “let’s all pretend we are normal” … the denial games. Just know, like you, I am still hurting, and still weepy and very sad. BUT telling the truth to people, telling them why I am hurt and why I needed their understanding, was the very best thing I could have done. I am a very independent woman, and not used to leaning on others. But you know, I found out that people who love you will come through when they understand what is going on.

    My guy stole my ability to function, and to trust. For weeks, I could barely function. I had friends who really rose up to help me… because they knew I needed them. They called even to remind me to drink water. (When you cry, you need to replenish water!!!) I think most of us pride ourselves on being strong. We have been in relationships that were not right, or changed, and we learned to overcompensate for what was lacking. You do not have to keep protecting your man. This is HIS mess. Let HIM own it. I am forever changed by this BUT I am choosing to walk in truth, and bit by bit, I think it is restoring the self-esteem he took from me. love ~ LaLunaMar

  97. Ladies,

    This website has brought me more solace than any of my friends well-intentioned advice. Like the rest of you, I have made the honest mistake of falling in love with a man addicted to sex. Each and every story differs, each and every addicted partner “acts out” (as you all say) in very different ways. But the end result for each of us is unanimous: deep, crippling hurt and devastation. Betrayal. Suspicion. Rage. Insecurity.

    So… Was it us? Did we not fuck him the right way? Are we boring? Are we not pretty? These are the most torturous questions that our cheating spouses and boyfriends force us to ask ourselves. I know you all, just like me, have cried to your girlfriends, mothers, sisters, and now even complete strangers on the internet about this man and the way he makes you feel. The way he makes you hurt, doubt yourself, and question your future and the future of your child(ren).

    All I am realizing right now is that I am not co-dependent in my relationship with this sex addict… I am becoming a sadomasochist myself. A person who, in some sick way, endures the visceral pain of heartbreak over and over because I love what I get in the end…. A man who begs for me to come back. Says he will change for me. Says he loves me and wants me forever. But is this not a high, like every other drug? Are there not lows, like every other drug? I ask myself tonight, while I sit here in tears… How much more of this am I going to take before I QUIT!!!!!!!!! What is going to take?

    I have given so much love to a person who not only does not, but CANNOT return my love while he is so sick in the head. I absolutely love and adore the gorgeous person I see beneath his sickness. I have given up so much of my dignity in order to understand and help my best friend through “sickness and through health.” But perhaps those vows are as antiquated as the institution they are made under. Maybe not every sickness is tolerable. Must we stand by these men, at the expense of our sanity and our chance at true happiness?

    He has been addicted to online dating sites since the day I met him and ten years before that. I first found out after he left his email on my computer. I found out the second time by reading his phone. I found out the third time… and the fourth time…. and, as of last week, the FIFTH time. Each time I have confronted him, he has broken down into a pathetic, tearful shadow of a man. He has cried, begged, chased me down the street in his underwear professing his love to me in order for me to stay. I have cried more tears than I can bear to admit…. I have yelled at him, hit him, outed him to his friends, and destroyed his phone. I put parental controls on his computer. I have listened to him for hours and forgiven him for telling other women that he loves them. I have forgiven him for masturbating to some desperate slut’s naked pictures while I was on a seven-hour trip to come and see him. I have forgiven him for making me doubt myself and think I am unworthy of true love.

    I ask myself again… When am I going to QUIT!!!!!!!???? There are over a hundred comments in this “share your story” section….. where is ONE with a happy ending? Where is ONE story where a woman says “He cheated on me. He betrayed me. He got help. Everything is fine now!”

    Tonight, I call him to ask him where he is. He is a bartender, and he is cleaning up his bar. He says he will go to be with friends…. since it has been less than a week since I caught him cheating on me for the fifth time, I got very suspicious. His response? “You’re being retarded. Go fuck yourself.”

    Really? Where is the remorseful, apologetic man from five days ago who sank to his knees, sobbing, and begging me not to go?

    I realize now, that like every addict, he lies to himself to live with himself.

    I need your help to stop. How have you ladies removed yourself from the person you were addicted to?

    THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE. You are not alone in this, and I will be your friend through it. We all need each other for support. I wish for you all, and me, to begin to heal and move on from people who shake us to our core and make us hate ourselves and our lives. This too, shall pass. But some help would be nice 🙁

    tired of heartbreak,
    Claudia

  98. Dearest Claudia,
    Thank you for bring your experience to us, and the things you’ve learned, and the questions you have. If you’re my age you’ll remember the commercial “there’s always room for jello”.

    re:”he is so sick in the head”
    I’ve moved to a deeper understanding of this truth—and only just this weekend! My husband’s addiction has either made him, or reveals a pre-existing mental illness. So you aren’t crazy Claudia, and neither am I—they really are.

    I’ve been living apart now for 8 months, and before that i the same house separately for 4. He could not be working any harder on the program than he his. Some changes have happened, but the root of our relationship is poisoned by mental illness from his hideous childhood abuse, and he always come back to to it, whether he’s sober or not. Let me tell you—realizing that truth was sobering in itself. I’ve had to step back from the healing journey. It is no longer safe. He has to keep going without me. And I have to live my life without knowing what the future holds.

    And that brings me to another insightful remark about your search to find some couple who could get through this thing and get to where everything is fine. I think everything depends on the trauma behind the addiction, Claudia. If’s a world class doozy, I think it’s time to dial back any expectations of “fine”, and “normal”.

    Some of the more evangelically religious SA recovery sites lead you on to think things are wonderful—but it’s usually the male SA in recovery talking about himself that way (sound familiar?), and throwing in some “God” words to jack it up. If the wives ever do post–it’s so much religious jargon spread on her life like peanut butter that who really knows? Since I’m a person of faith, I’ve been really disappointed to find it all sounds the same no matter what you believe. I also would love a success story that rings true. But the problem is the ‘success’ word. Clearly if we stay with a recovering SA, we have to redefine it.

    I do feel my decision to put more distance between me and my husband’s healing journey is the right step for him and for me. I don’t believe he will ever get to ground zero in therapy if I am around in a way that he can exercise his old patterns. He trianglulated me with his mothers for over 30 years, and now he’s started it with his new mother–his therapist. So I have no choice but to break out. He even sees it. But he won’t stop it. And his therapist is a 12 step rigid practioner and my role can only be co-dependent family member. So I don’t see much point in hanging around. I’m never going to be able to say the SANON first step “My life is unmanageable”. It isn’t. It’s really difficult sometimes, but I have been managing my life really well since the ground opened up underneath me. So hurtful and unfair to have that truth ignored as if it can be sacrificed to his and his therapists’ program without any real cost to me! Its actually why I’m still breathing!

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing, and I hope you find your path of strength and truth, and also freedom.
    D.

  99. Claudia,
    I read your post –
    This part: “All I am realizing right now is that I am not co-dependent in my relationship with this sex addict… I am becoming a sadomasochist myself. A person who, in some sick way, endures the visceral pain of heartbreak over and over because I love what I get in the end…. A man who begs for me to come back. Says he will change for me. Says he loves me and wants me forever. But is this not a high, like every other drug? Are there not lows, like every other drug? I ask myself tonight, while I sit here in tears… How much more of this am I going to take before I QUIT!!!!!!!!! What is going to take?”

    I know of what you write – boy do I know! My ex-husband was emotionally abusive and I remember feeling exactly like I’d become (or maybe I already was) a masochist. It was as if I was watching him destroying me and I was absorbed by the sight of it – I think part of me thought he’d see his handy-work and stop but he never did. I did get to a place where I left him and while I never let him back in my house, I went back and forth with him for a year – engaging and rengaging. There was so little left of me. I only stopped because the divorce went through and I knew he had a new gf – I think it just became so degrading that I had to stop. Then I spent another few years slowly rebuilding my soul, my personality – I was hollow – more so than I knew but I could not stop for so long with him.

    My sa boyfriend, it’s on another level because while he’s not overtly abusive, certainly repeatedly discovering his trangressions is abuse. Only now, there is a bigger payoff – like you described – this man comes to me on his knees sobbing and begging and telling me he can’t live without my love. It’s so reinforcing to hear that -to see how much he needs and wants me – I never saw that with my husband. He was an utterly unrepentent a$$.

    He is a beautiful, sweet soul in so many ways like your husband is to you – he’s worth saving, supporting, seeing this through with but then – I don’t know how many more discoveries I have in me. I can’t face it again. I don’t want to know anymore. I don’t want to be hopeful only to have my hopes flung on the rocks again.

    I guess JoAnn has a happy ending. Her husband is sober and they’ve reunited.

    You’ll quit when you’re ready and not before. No matter how much you want to quit, it happens when it happens. I wish I had an answer – I wish I’d quit my husband sooner because the recovery was so long and so painful and I know a lot of that was a product of time. The less time in, the less time to get out emotionally. I’m three years in with my bf. I’m aware that with each passing week, month, etc, I’m incurring more damage perhaps, more hours needed for healing but I’m not quite ready yet either.

  100. Thanks Mayam for your reflections.

    I was thinking about the momentous decisions each step along the way and how they happened and why and what it meant. The image of a stretched rubber band came to mind. It stretched and stretched, hoping to have enough elasticity in it to hold out a little longer before breaking. And then, in one moment, one whiff of more of the same old same old, it just snapped back….and the decision was made. I’m done with this. I can’t sleep in the same room. I done with this. You have to leave. I’m done with this, we sell the house. I’m done with this. Leave me alone now.

    Each time the elastic was bringing stretched again…to its limit, and then I had the good sense to say “that’s it” before it broke altogether. And it’s my elastic, so I don’t want it broken!

    Decisions. Decisions. Now there’s a good topic!

    D.

  101. Yes DIane – I like the rubber band analogy. Unfortunately, my band seems to have lost elasticity and just doesn’t snap back to anything like normal – my tolerance for crazy has expanded over time.

    I do think my history has been to stop of short of breaking the band though. I just can’t believe I’m not there yet. I suppose if I were younger, I’d handle this differently- I think when I was younger life seemed to be constantly throwing possibilities and people my way, so I knew that there was always another path, another relationship, another way to be happy. Life just slows a lot with middle age, though maybe it doesn;t have to.

    Certainly my inclination is to settle with those around me, to work on things closer to home. I’m not out in the mix of life to a great degree and I don’t want to be – but all of that makes staying with the one I’m with more appealing, easier.

  102. I have been reading and lurking on this site for a couple of days now, just trying to get a “feel” on this addiction, but also to feel I am not so alone. Right now I am numb, I was angry, hurt, disgusted, etc.. but now I have no feelings. I have been married to my husband for 4 years. I always just assumed it was the “normal” man thing to do, porn that is. I didn’t like it and when I became engaged to my husband I told him to get it all out.. there was so much of it, all different kinds. I just thought it was curiosity. He’s cheated on me twice (that I know about). Which, I guess, considering some of the stories isn’t that bad, but it still hurts the same. I found more porn in my house last week, well actually my 2 y/o found it and that’s when I said enough.. I packed our stuff and I left.. I came back 2 days later, to hear more lies, I guess. We stayed up for 8 hours talking about our marriage and our life I thought we were getting somewhere, but after he went to bed I couldn’t sleep so I turned the TV on.. and there it was. again, more porn. I was so hurt, I could feel my heart breaking. How could he?? The day I left him and this is how he reacts. He admitted it was a problem he has had since he was 13 and he knew he needed help. He has come to realize, he is a porn addict and a masturbating addict.. I’m glad he can admit to it it but I feel like, it will never change and there will always be lies. Since he went to his first therapy appointment, he has claimed to have been doing great. No “relapses”.. I want to believe him, really I do. But should I? I mean, one appointment and you feel so much better. I don’t understand, and I am at a loss. I know this is something he will be battling for the rest of his life, and I’m not sure I can be there.. I’m 22 and I don’t know if I can handle this trial, forever.. As they say once an addict always an addict.

  103. Felisha,
    Sorry you have come to this site (for the reason anyway), as many of us are. But this site is full of knowledge and stories that are very helpfull.
    My SA was also a porn and masturbation addict. He did not disclose this to me, i found out. He maintained that it would be easy and he would just stop. He was seeing a therapist but would not attend 12 step meetings. This was about 6 months ago. Flash forward three months later, he was back to acting out again. I found out through computer monitoring software. Yet again he did not come clean. So the point of my story is that they will tell you whatever necessary to get the relationship back to what they want. They want to bury it and move on, never addressing what has happened. And when you turn your back or let your guard down they will be back at it. They just learn to hide it better.

    My sa still maintains that this will be easy and no problem. Which is B.S. He does now attend 12 step meetings once a week in addition to therapy once a week. But we have to be very careful in beleiveing what they say versus their actions. Whatever they say is smoke and mirrors to bate you off the real issue, that he may never give up the addiction and may never want to change. There is much to be learned on this site. But a major one is that HE must want to change. You can provide all the tools, but if he has no intention of changing he never will. So don’t waste your time. He has to do the work. It is his problem not yours.

    There is much knowledge here, the best I have found. Good luck to you.

    On a side note another post, which I cannot find, asked the question- if you knew what you did today…would you leave your spouse? I cannot find the post if someone knows where it is please let me know.

  104. Thanks for your reply.. I’m home alone right now, because my spouse was ordered to stay at the barracks on post, due to having pornography on his government issued computer.I checked his personal email account and found tons of different things on there Some from VS some from Fredricks of Hollywood. Okay I know, that’s not really considered pornography, but with all the firewalls at work that’s about as close as he can get. You would not believe what he told me?? He said he was looking at it for me, because I “like” lingerie.. Can you believe that?? For me, thank you husband but I can look for my own. It hasn’t even been a week and he’s at it again.. Oh to top it off he said he was just looking and has not masturbated since the last time I “caught” him.. UGH.. I am so frustrated, Not to mention I fell for it, I feel dirty,nasty and used.. We got intimate and this is what he does the next day.. I’m sorry for the rant, and I’m sure this is all over the place.. I just don’t know what to do.. I am so close to throwing in the towel.. I told him I understand and I will be there for him through it all relapses and all, I just want him to be honest.. is that really that much to ask.. Honesty..without it I can’t do this. He even failed to disclose this to his therapist.. I don’t think he is honestly trying, I just feel like he is getting better at lying and manipulating the situation.. “I’m sick, I’m trying” I call BS.. try again.

  105. WOW, I just reread Claudia’s excellent post above. Back home now, I slept in my car for 2 weeks. Packed up my work to do it from the road, and drove 2500 miles looking for perspective. Then, at 2 am, on the final stretch I ended up back at his door. Sobbing and sobbing on his shoulders, sleeping with him, letting him touch me, stroke my head, letting him apologize. It was so different than the day I last saw him (2 months previous) when the horrible revelations made me unable to speak, to walk or to even swallow water without considerable effort, for days. This man who I have loved since we were teenagers, this man who I returned to decade after decade, in between, before and after 2 marriages to other men, this man who I called my soulmate, who still says he is lost without me, STILL had not told me everything.

    So the next thing I did was write to his DOM and she called me and told me EVERYTHING. Including about the handjobs he was getting from an HIV+ gay man masseuse he met on craigslist who introduced my SA boyfriend to her (the dom). She told me that he never used a condom with her EVER. More and more lies… more and more to uncover… so I called my X SA BF, and he admitted that all of the new revelations from his DOM were true.

    And then he told me that even since the day I left (just days later) he had slept with another woman, a married friend who also has a sad story… and they were supposed to be friends, only friends, and she was a friend of mine too. So it was the dom, then me, then the married woman, in a space of 3 or 4 days. He is not only a sex addict, but now he has proven himself to be a compulsive liar too, because even when caught, he does not tell it all, even as he swears it is everything… and I have to continue to release, release, release him.

    It is so hard because he DID know me, he knew everything about me, for 40 years. He knew what I needed and he fed it to me, and he called me his best friend, and his sweetheart, and the only REAL love of his life… and he talked to me all the time, unlike any man I knew and certainly unlike the men I had married. He even put my name in a tattoed band around his arm. I bought it all because deep down, I still think he means it, in the same way that a child continues to pretend to believe in Santa Claus just to keep getting the gifts.

    But he kept the hugest part of himself a total secret. I want him back, but I want something that I see now does not really exist anymore. I want a man (ideally HIM) who is honest and whole (is that possible in my lifetime?). The part of my boyfriend that I knew was a small sliver of the whole toxic pie that became his life. His life, now made of poisonous berries… and when I look at him or smell him or taste him, he is like the sweet innocent pie I’ve known since I was only 14. He is made of the same molecules, and he is more familiar to me than even my grown children are now. Although we are both much older, our bodies are hard-wired with the familiarity and ease of physical response that comes from 40 years of loving each other. But if I keep taking bites, thinking I can still handle it, this sweet, familiar tasting pie will kill me.

  106. I am new to this site and I would like to share my story and I desperatly need support becuase I feel like I am going nuts. I am 24 and I have been married for 5 years. We have one girl 3 1/2 and very possibly another one on the way. Early on after we got married I knew there was a problem. He was online talking to girls all the time, watching porn, taking nude pics of himself, calling girls, texting girls, and ended up leaving me twice for one girl. We have been back and forth 4 times now, or maybe I’ve lost count. This last time I nearly didn’t take him back. He became a great husband and great father and I hadn’t seen this much before because he was ussually gone. We have been back together since august and just the other night he left his iPhone unlocked and upstairs while he was outside. I looked and found he was signed up for a site where you chat and share pictures with singles. I was furious that he fooled me again and told him to leave, after all it’s still just my name on the lease. Needless to say he didn’t leave. I told him I thought he was a sex addict and began reading to him what the definition was and he started gagging and threw up. I told him there is help. Yesterday I gave him some numbers to call. None of them were for sex addicts. The places he can get help are states away and cost out the butt. I am torn because he really seems sorry but he keeps doing it. He’s not going out cheating that I know of and it’s not costly but it’s tearing us apart. Our sex lives are down to almost nothing because for years it became a dirty chore to me. I was trying so many different things that he wanted me to that it no longer was intimate to me. I feel like I have to compete with the 50+ women he said he has slept with before me to “keep his attention”. Now I realize that nothing I can do will help. I have some questions for you JoAnn. Someone asked one before but I didn’t see your reply. Are you and your husband able to be intimate now? What do I do if we can’t find him help? This guy is my bestfriend since we were 12. I was also reading that most addicts have been molested or objected to porn to early in life. Well my husbands uncle let him watch porn and look at his magazines at age 4. My husband is not mean like I hear some guys are when they are confronted. I like to think that besides this problem he is a decent guy which I am saying this when I really feel like maybe I don’t feel like I know him that well anymore. What has happened over the years makes me question a lot and it’s over whelming. This story is kind of vague because I can’t possible detail every account but there has been a lot of this over the years. I think maybe he has slowed down but it hasn’t completly stopped. :(    

  107. HI BD,
    I’m so sorry your life journey has brought you to this point, but I’m also glad you have reached out.

    As far as your husband—if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck—
    well, it’s a duck.

    YOur husband is an SA and he seems to know he is in trouble here. But don’t just look at big treatment centres. He can connect to SA programs that do not cost “out the butt” as you say. (never heard that one before, BD, and you made me laugh!). Check out recovery nation website, Sexaholics Anonymous for contacts in your area. And you both need counselling support–preferably not the same person.

    If you already know you want out, get legal advice and start putting a plan together for you and your children. It is not safe to raise children in a home with an SA who is acting out. YOUR HUSBAND IS PROOF OF THAT. Start your own bank account. See if family can help you, or a faith community or women’s help agency/program.

    I understand your ties to this man go back to when you were 12. Extricating yourself emotionally from this mess will be tough–but remember you can not solve his problem, you can’t control him, you didn’t cause this. YOu can only do the right thing for yourself and your children. Call out MAMA BEAR and get at it.

    Also, read the stuff on this site and you will learn you are not crazy, you are worthwhile, and you can do whatever you need to do. None of us started out knowing what we doing—we all arrived like something to scrape off the floor. Then we helped each other up, and shared how to put a life back together. It’s different for everyone, but somehow it’s all the same too.

    love, and courage for you,
    Diane.

  108. I barely make enough to pay my bills by myself. Most of our stuff is seperate due to all the split ups before. He was living with his mom when we split and I got my own place. I think he knows I want him to leave but since I always had a fear of him leaving again he swears he will work on it and not let us down. But he is the king of the “quick fix”, he thinks he can just stop but he is SAYING he is willing to get help. I can’t afford a lawyer by any means right now. I did take pics of his profile for the singles site though to have some proof. He doesn’t have any options where to go. He just started a new job after a year of being unemployed and his mother lives an hour from that job. Maybe I’m making excuses for him though. I really don’t know. I’m just not sure I can stick around. I have always weighed around 98 pounds. Last time he left I got down to 84. 🙁

  109. Dear BD,

    I am curious as to why you say help is many states away. There is all sorts of help no matter where you live. There are free online programs through Recovery Nation http://www.recoverynation.com/ and many, many books and online help for Sex Addicts. Almost every town has counselors, which you both need, and if you are affiliated with any religious organization they will have someone you can talk with.

    Have you gone online to look for Sex Addict 12 step meetings? These are free, and even if he has to drive for an hour or more, at least that will be a start. Here is a link that may help you get started:

    http://www.sexualrecovery.com/resources/12step.php

    There is no doubt in my mind from the little you have told me that your husband definitely has a problem with Sex Addiction. In reference to your private e-mail to me, calling him ‘just a womanizer’ is simply using a different word for the same thing. Anyone who risks their family and marriage for repeated affairs, internet porn, intrigue or serial affairs has a serious problem. If you read the stories here you will see the similar characteristics. These men are not monsters, they appear perfectly normal and have many good qualities. But, they have a problem with intimacy and sexual compulsion. A few are able to overcome the problem with years of counseling and hard work, most will not be able to.

    This has lots of resources, stories, comments, links and eBooks to help YOU with coping and understanding Sex Addiction. That would be a good start for you.

    As to your question, yes my husband and I are intimate now. We were separated for 3 1/2 years and he moved back in with me 1 1/2 years ago. We went to couples counseling together and he still goes to his counselor. It has been difficult, but he is learning healthy ways of expressing his sexuality with me and he has learned to be a caring lover.

    Regaining intimacy is the very final step in repairing a relationship with a Sex Addict. It should not even be considered until the Sex Addict has been through counseling, understands why he became a Sex Addict, has worked through all his childhood issues and has achieved at least a year of sobriety. And you have to have worked on healing from your trauma and pain with a counselor and make a conscious decision, based on facts not emotion, as to whether you want to try to salvage the relationship.

    Then, and only then, you and he can move toward building a relationship. Anything done before that will not only fail, it will interfere with both your and his healing.

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. You will be in my thoughts.

  110. Hi BD,
    Sorry that you have come to this site on these terms, but this is how most of us got here. Its not by choice, but these horrible circumstances. I will try not to repeat anything that Diane said. She is great listen to her and her reat advice.

    Like Diane said sounds like he is an SA and there are many treatment options that are free. In addition to sexaholics anonymous there is also sex and love addicts anonymous. Although these meetings are not as common as AA they are starting to spread out. In addition SAA and SLAA have telemeeting options and online meeting options. I have tried online meetings myself and I would say they are very conveniant and easy to attend. He must also find a therapist. He may have benefits available if you have health insurance.

    My SA did the same thing. Has a history of making minimal money, and now we are in financial mess or I should more say he is a financial mess. I make enough money to support me and the kids, but not him as well. We may just have to scale back to survive, so be it.

    You have time, don’t take him back if you don;t want to. We support that and would not tell you otherwise. By no means take him back because you feel guilty and he feeds you a sob story. He will lie lie lie lie to get whatever he wants. And play you and the pity card to get it. He will tell you loves you and the kids and do whaterver it takes. Don’t mean to scare you but mine did as well, and three months later he was back at it. So what they say at this point means nothing, you must look to his actions. Only when YOU feel safe and secure should you make the move. And that can take years.

    Many people have an hour commute to work, while its not ideal, it is not unreasonable.

    Also you don;t need a lawyer right now. But if you do see if you can find one which will offer a free consultation. And see if there is free legal aid in your area. Also the womens shelter may have some advice as they typically deal with people in need and may have some advice on this matter.

    Read as much as you can here. You are lucky you found this site so soon, it will save you months of agony.

    Don’t forget to eat. Your daughter needs you. You will make the right decisions for the two of you. Don’t foget this is not your fault, you did not cause this and in no way deserve this. This is your SA’s addiction or impusle that he is unable to control. He has made your lives unmanagable and it is his duty to make ammends. All you can do is take care of you and your daughter, what he does is up to him. And you can carry on and have a life without him free of this mess if you choose.

    Hugs to you in this hard time.

  111. I forgot about legal aide, thanks.

    He hasn’t left yet. Since the other night when I found out he refused to leave and I still haven’t made him yet until I figure out what to do. As far as eating I’ve had one burrito tonight. I took a nap after work because I was just so exhausted from not sleeping last night. I was just too exhausted to eat. Even though I’ve assumed the worst for years I didn’t want to believe it and still can’t imagine ever doing what he has done to me. I’m trying to prepare myself for the months to come of my little girl crying for her daddy and he financial hardships. That reminds me, he has ussually made good money and worked hard. I know he has problems but I figured I should atleast give him credit for that.

  112. Hi again, BD,
    We know how hard it is to deal with the loss of so much, and also try and make decision that will help you build a future.

    All I can say is that with each step you take, no matter how small it is, you will become stronger. I was terrified. I have non-profit job, and two kids in university. I couldn’t see how I could make it work. But I do. Lots of changes. Lots of losses. But also, the craziness of the SA is out of my daily life and I am a much happier person. Still have hard days, but I recognize myself now.

    There is no easy road out. It’s hard, but your life is worth it BD, and so are your chlldren.
    I understand the panic when you try to imagine how you will get out in one piece with enough money to live. But what if you can do it, and you don’t try? Contact the places JoAnn mentioned for help. Don’t be too proud to ask for it. It’s surprising how many people will help if you start asking.

    I’m really sorry BD. YOu don’t have to do everything at once. Just do one thing tomorrow. Make one call. And see how it goes.

    We’re cheering for you and believing in you.
    D.

  113. Hi BD ,

    All of us here are sad that we have to meet under these circumstances but all the same glad that you found us.

    Believe me , all the women here are great.The advice and support they give are unmatched.

    As about extricating yourself from the situation , just look at it this way..all the negative energy utilised in trying to figure out what your SA is upto and constantly thinking about him and the situation , could be better utilised in taking care of yourself which in turn would mean being able to take better care of your children.

    Once you are away from him you would feel very light as if a huge burden has been lifted off your shoulders.

    Please take one baby step at a time.You would stop feeling helpless and you would gradually regain control of your life.

    Hugs

  114. I have a question for you girls. What does it mean if he seems really optimistic about recovery. Is he just doing that to keep me or is this a good sign?

  115. Hi BD,

    It means that he “seems” really optimistic about recovery. But it doesn’t mean that he’s serious or not serious or that he will or won’t recover. As you will soon find out. There is no quick fix here. This is the harsh reality that we all begin to discover. I’m reposting JoAnn’s comment (below) to Pam, because she says it all so perfectly.

    “Hi Pam,

    There is no way that you can tell right now what is true and what is not. Tell your husband that you cannot make any decisions right now (he wants you to make a commitment to ease his discomfort). There is no way you can have any trust in what he says. And, there is no medication that he can take to cure this (he’s looking for a quick fix).

    So, all you need to decide right now is how much of your life do you want him to occupy for the next few years while he determines if he can get himself sober or not. That is the only decision you can possibly make right now.

    There is no basis for trusting him right now, there is no basis for believing him or wanting to be intimate with him. His words are empty promises. He has done nothing to earn your trust. All you can do now is work on your own anger and bitterness with a counselor and tell your husband that he has to fix himself before you will even consider anything more.

    Sex Addicts always push for that commitment when things go bad and we tend to think it is because they have seen the light and have realized how much we mean to them. It’s not that at all. It’s their way of trying to settle all that uneasiness that they feel about future, and they just can’t cope with that unease.

    Take care of yourself, give yourself time and see what he does over the next year or so. Believe his actions not his words. Then you can decide if there is any future for the two of you.”

  116. Thank you so much for reposting JoAnn’s comment with this explanation. My husband too, seems very optimistic about his recovery and is constantly seeking out my appreciation for all that he is working on. He also pushes me to commit to how the future will work out. The more I read about SA recovery, the more I realize that is it going to take a huge amount of time for him to change.