I have been reading many of the stories on your site, and really feel the need to share mine, and hopefully get some feedback and opinions. I was married in April of this year, and have been dating my husband approximately two years. My story began when I was with him in a restaurant and noticed, what I considered, very odd behavior on his part.

There was a couple sitting at a table across from us. He looked over at the table at least 5 times – almost like it was a compulsion he couldn’t help from doing. I asked him what was so interesting at that table, and his reply was he was curious what kind of salads they were eating. I asked him again, a month later, after I began noticing him looking obsessively at women. This time the story was he thought he knew the guy at the table. Thus began the nightmare!

Long story short. My husband admitted he had a porn addiction the last 8 years of his last marriage, and the porn involved very heavy women dealing with domination and submission. I insisted we go to a therapist. His history revealed he was addicted to work during his first and second marriage, and had no intimacy or sex with his second wife for 8 years, and blamed the porn addiction on that.

During these two years, he was in denial almost up until the time I left him 1 month ago. I made him take a lie detector shortly before we were married, and he passed it with flying colors, therefore I thought he was well on the way to recovery. I later found out he was into his addiction all along, so apparently lied on the test.

So–He went from work addiction to porn, and finally to lusting after women to get his high. He was constantly looking around, lusting, to get his high, and therefore, unable to be intimate with me.

After our marriage, his addiction worsened, and he was cycling on an every other week basis. During these past two years, I have endured constant lying, deception, and minimizing. He would take spells where he would cooperate with counseling, do what he was supposed to do, appear to be getting better, and then relapse and do nothing. He constantly found fault with me physically. (And I am not a bow-wow, and have a nice figure)

He is going to a sex addiction out-patient intensive treatment program in October, and seems motivated toward change, however is still lying to me and the counselor. I most recently checked his computer two weeks in a row, and although I didn’t find any porn on it (I am sure he is smart enough to delete it) I found he deleted quite a few sites from one week to the other, ( He always stated he was only going to sites that involved business transactions.) I found him going to sites that involved downloading movies, many risque pictures, and how to set up another E-mail.

I confronted him, and he told me he knew I could still get in the house and check his computer, so deleted many sites. I told him he is still lying to me and his counselor, and his reply was “That is probably a true statement”.

I would like some opinions on why he continues the lying when he is going to get help, and why would he spend $7,000. to do it. I told him all he had to do was be honest with me, and I would stick with him as long as he was working on his addiction, and he can’t even do that!! The guy can’t tell the truth.

I am presently living back in my condo, and have told him I don’t want to see or talk to him until we go to the addiction clinic in October. Any feedback on if this guy is worth it? I might add he was sexually molested by a neighbor between the ages of 11 and 13, and came from an emotionally distant family with a father who beat him on occasion, and a mother who supposedly watched the abuse and did nothing to stop it.

He is 66 y/o – any chance he can change, or will he continue his manipulation to get what he wants?

I might add that I am a Psych Nurse, so he hasn’t been able to pull much without my being onto him. I am wondering whether to give up. His counselor told me if she had him 30 yrs. ago, she might have been able to help him, but now he is cooperating with her in that he is reading the literature assigned and doing his homework. Again, though, still lying to her, me, and not being honest about his lying in his journaling.

He has a lot of Borderline Personality Traits and obsessive compulsiveness in addition to the addiction What is everyone’s take on this? Being a Psychiatric Nurse, I know the odds are not good, but guess I need to hear some validation.

Thanks. Sharron

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94 Responses

  1. Sharon,

    Run, and run as fast as you can! How these people operate is beyond understanding, don’t waste your time or life, it is not worth it. They will suck you dry until there is nothing left.

    My husband was also sexually abused from 10 1/2 years on and he remained active with the 4 men until their death. At one point he was a victim of terrible deceptive abuse, but after a point it became consensual and he has continued for over 40 years in homosexual activity. To me he is now the abuser.

    I knew nothing of it, he did not inform me (even stated that in a written document) and married me (fraudlently). He cheated on me the entire marriage. He is passive aggressive and blamed me for everything. They are spineless, gutless, immoral and worthless. I would not give them any more time.

    I had a home, no debt, car paid for and money in the bank and the best paying job I have had. He has stolen all those things from me. After quitting his engineering job to have more time with his buddies, in order for him to get back into the field, I had to sell my home, quit my good paying job in order to follow his career. He has doubled his income, my has decreased by 1/2.

    You see he has stolen my home (he lived in a 1 bedroom apt), my income, he violated everything I held sacred, all my core values have been trampled on and he even again under fraudulent conditions and deception, took everything I most valued (actually I spent 3 weeks packing those things) and moved them, then told me not to come, he had filed for divorce.

    Be glad you only have a short time invested, I had 19 yrs married and 1 year before. I am 58 yrs old, an income potential of around $10 hr while he will be living on $80,000 a year. I did have a $35,000 yr job but in my profession you have to spend years working up the ladder, I don’t have the time.

    He has commited the crimes and I apparently will serve the sentence for something I never would have knowingly participated in. He has never been held accountable or paid for his crimes – other people pay. He is doing what he has always done while he has shattered by life and safety apart.

    Run, as fast as you can!

  2. Hi Sharron and thank you for sharing your very painful, very disturbing story.

    As I have said on here before—When a woman asks “advice”, its usually because she already knows the answers and I believe that you do too…

    Any chance he can change? Did you ever see the movie “Dumb and Dumber” when the girl (Lauren Holly) told “Dumb” (the hilarious Jim Carey) that he had a 1 in million chance of getting a date with her? And then he looked at her with rapturous joy and proclaims, “YES, THERE’S A CHANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” πŸ™‚

    Your husband at 66 did a fantastic job of fooling not only a very smart PSYCHIATRIC nurse, but also a cold, unfeeling, uncaring, calculating MACHINE, designed to pick up the slightest hint of a person who has just made a false statement. And this very sensitive machine could not discern when he was telling the truth or not. So, how can you expect to with such a manipulating master?

    In addition to being a compulsive liar, what else is there??? Well he has borderline traits along with OCD and he’s a sex addict who can only get off fantasizing about getting beaten up and chained to the bed, gagged, whatever else the hell they do and 4 months into your marriage, his addiction has obviously escalated. Hmmmmmmmm… geeeeeeeeeeeeeeee… I wonder if there’s any connection there???????????????? Sorry for the sarcasm, but, just trying to drive home my point.

    He already knows the trick to make you stay. All he has to do is make you think that he is being honest and you will stay with him. That is what you told him. Piece of cake for him and on top of it he gets the added “fun” of being able to f**k you over—Just because that makes it all the more exciting for him.

    I loved this one… β€œThat is probably a true statement”.

    I love this guy.

    So your question as to WHY he is doing ALL of this AND then agreeing to get help to the tune of 7k. That is very good and reasonable question Sharron. Does the word “Crazy” ever come to mind?

    Yes, it is sad that he had an abusive childhood. So did I (extremely) and so did a lot of people. Yes, its sad, but so what? Its not your problem and you can’t fix him and I don’t think that anyone can at this point. He is NOT recoverable. He won’t change. He can’t. Yes, maybe there was a glimmer of hope 30 years ago, as his counselor told you, but not now. He is a pathological predator and he will make your life miserable. His brain is like a piece of crown moulding which has had years and years of gloppy (lead based) paint, painted over and over it, until it is nothing more than an amorphous glob of goo not resembling that beautiful shape it once was. The only thing you can do is to tear it down and start over.

    In closing, I am so very sorry for your pain— We understand, because we have been there too, in one form or another… and its very difficult, but really, if you want my opinion, take the 7k and do something nice for YOU with it.

    All my best,


  3. Sharron,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I have been married to my husband for 27 years, and we dated 6 years prior to marriage. I thought I knew my husband, really I did. I learned about his first affair 4 years into our marriage, we went to counseling and he promised to never “do it again”. Two years later we had a child. We bought a beautiful home, we both worked full time, we were climbing the corporate ladders and life was good.
    When our son was 3, we moved to another city to keep climbing that ladder. We were happy. Right before I turned 40, I found out my husband was having yet another affair. This time our counselor spent more time uncovering more details and we discovered that my husband had an addiction. Well as crazy as it sounds, we were both sort of relieved. We continued individual therapy, and a few years later we thought it was time to work on our marriage. We were going to 12-step meetings, attending international SA and S-anon conferences, we were attending spiritual retreats . . .
    Something still was not right and I was having horrible dreams. I then decide we should have a period of abstinence. At first my husband freaked, but after a month, he came home and told me how grateful he was that I had the courage to do this and it was the best gift!!!!!
    That period of abstinence went for 3 years. Well let me say, THREE YEARS FOR ME!!!
    When we decided it was time to become intimate again, we worked with a sex therapist for a year on our intimacy issues. It was amazing. We were really intimate for the first time! A real normal, healthy couple!
    Sex was fun and life was good.
    Sadly, only half of that story is true.
    My husband lied to every therapist, and his SA sponsors and his SA sponsees, and of course me.
    He was never sexually sober!!!!!!!!! Ever. He may of had lengths of sobriety in the program, but I am not even sure what that means. 10-15 days????? I recently looked back into a year and a half of his web history and it is sick. I honestly never knew the internet had that sick shit available. I am not a naive women either.
    They lie because they can, they always have and they have no other way of living.
    My husband is not a bad guy, he is just sick! Period end of story.
    I am soon to be 50, in the middle of May. At that time, I will be divorced and will never look back.
    These Sex Addicts are never going to be whole. It is sad for them, but the fog has lifted. I hope you can recover from the effects of his addiction and move on toward a better life.

  4. Wow, Zachette, what a powerful response for Sharron and for all of us.

    Your story holds so many familiar piece–including the many good faith attempts to support your spouse on his therapeutic journey, to explore forgiveness, to do the hard work of rebuilding the possibility of intimacy, and finally the courage to let it go, after you had fully honoured the meaning of your commitment to him. YOu are the real thing.

    I’m just a few years older, with a few years more on my marriage, and took a similar path with my husband. But now I have to step away. I see that I have mostly been a prop in his mental illness and addiction, and now in his recovery. But participating as I did was on my terms, from my mental wellness, my covenant understanding, my capacity for forgiveness and love, and yes, my faith. Now I stop, having acted faithfully to myself and to him until I could not continue unless I accepted the crazy terms of his illness, addiction and so-called recovery program.

    Each one finds their way. Thank you everyone for sharing the journey.


  5. Sharron, I am sorry to hear your story. He lies so often to keep this part of him secret that he has repathed his brain to the point where he believes what he says, which is how he passed a lie dectector test. It IS true to him.

    While it may be possible to cure the SA, it is unlikely that telling the truth would be something he is capable of learning without years of therapy. With 66 years of learning how to lie and getting away with it, would you ever know if he was telling the truth?

    Being with him or not might come down to the simple fact of whether or not you are capable of living with the knowledge that you will never be able to tell if he is lying. Some people can handle that. I could not.

  6. Hi All- Thank you so much for the replies and input. It is very helpful to hear from others who are going through the same thing. As a Psych Nurse, I am very knowledgeable about sexual addiction, compulsive behavior borderline personality disorder, and passive aggressive behavior. I know these guys are master manipulators, and have the ability to totally compartmentalize the secret dark side from the persona they show to others. When I met Steve, he was the most wonderful guy in the world, appeared to be totally honest, and was totally consumed with me intimately and sexually. Then, after he had me, everything changed. After
    he began therapy, I got hooked on the fact he was really trying. It was a total roller-coaster. One week he was into me, and the next he would be into his addiction. AND,
    the lieing has continued to this day.
    All of you are very brave and couragous to have taken the stand you have, and GET AWAY from the madness.
    Thank you again for your’e input. Although I had made my
    decision, you all re-inforced and supported my feelings.
    Good luck to you all.

  7. aaaaaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh…

    That intermittent reinforcement trips us up every time. We so very much want to believe, but then we discover that its all smoke and mirrors– (with the emphasis on the smoke)

    Godspeed Sharon! Thank you so much too, for your sharing and allowing us to share in return. That is how we make sense out of nonsense!

  8. Hi Everyone –
    I have read most of the stories from you all, and it is amazing how similar all these guys are!
    When telling my story a few days ago, I was clueless as to how women living with an SA have experienced every feeling I have felt. Amazing, how they have the capacity to make “you”
    feel like the one who is crazy. My husband tells so many different versions, and almost every time he is lieing he will make a statement that makes no sense, and look you right in the eye while doing it. CLASSIC!
    Last Thursday, I spent the first half of his therapy session with his therapist, and clued her in on the fact he is still lieing to me as well as her. She informed me she doesn’t feel he is a “borderline”, however is beginning to think she can put a diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder on him.
    I really have to question if she knows what she is doing. He does not fit any of the criteria of a schizoid, other than unable to form close relationships. He fits 6 out of 7 of the criteria of a “borderline,” and I can see these traits in all of his behavior at one time or another. (Most of these guys are).
    Anyway, after the last lie, I told him he cannot keep his boundaries, and I do not want to see or talk to him until he returns from his trip to L.A. (We are already separated) for the IOP 2 week session. His therapist told me she will go over his progress with me upon his return. She also re-iterated that 85% of the men who attend these things return and start their behavior all over again. He is probably going so he can hope for a quick fix, or to appease me and save his marriage. So the advice to you all, is the same thing I think Lorraine told me. “Run as fast as you can.” These guys can’t or won’t change. Obviously, the best is to hope they can learn to control their addiction -probably a cure is not realistic. Do any of you want to live like that – always haveing to wonder if he just learned to be a little more clever and lie a little more efficiently. I certainly don’t. If you will remember, I am a Psychiatric Nurse and he was able to suck me in for two years – even beating a lie detector test.

  9. Lorraine is oh so right.

    RUN..just run.

    They don’t change..they just get sneakier.

    Once you tell them how you caught them in a lie they will plug that and ensure that they tie up that loose end the next time.

    Its a constant battle of wits trying to catch them out so much so that you get obsessed with the investigative part.

    Thats no way to live.

    A fellow victim, on another site, had walked out on her SA psychopathic presator but was yet keeping tabs on him and wondering whether he would find another woman.

    I told her don’t for a single second think there won’t be other women after you..there will be, there always will be.Just thank your stars that it won’t be you.!!!!

    It is only when they are out of your life and you maintain a strict No Contact that the haze and the daze start clearing up.Your mind regains its razor sharpness and you start seeing things so clearly.

    Every one of us , when we read a fellow victim’s story , and her diffidence and herconfusion whether her SA is reaaly evil and who is still making excuses for him,just wonder how she cannot see the deception when its all so clear to us from the outside.

    But , at the same time, all of us here have travelled the same path of denial,hoping against hope,and the final tough question..what if he changes but i am not around and he changes for anothe woman when i want to be that woman.

    They don’t.And even if by a rare chance they do you ahve changed so much during the whole journey that you would never be abble to believe they have changed.

  10. Sanityregained could not have said it any better. No contact.
    They manipulate, as a way of life.
    Good ole hope can really hurt you because it keeps you hanging on to what you THOUGHT he was. But there is no way around that really if you are a true and loving person, it comes naturally. Eyes totally open and active monitoring will wake you up to what he truly is, and if he starts attacking you for opening up his can of worms, you need to start the no contact. When lies did not work anymore on me with my ex, he figured abuse would. It was a revelation (although it took a long time to see it through the devastation)to finally understand who he is instead of the picture he falsely portrayed to me and everyone, and the only way to be free from it and be normal and happy again was to have absolutely no contact whatsoever and to stay smart and watch and most of all to say NO MORE. Quite literally dump the rotting garbage. Now, it they have no problem with monitoring and boundaries and are remorseful, there is hope…..but if lying continues and they are frustrated (the term my ex used which meant attacking me) and taking everything out on you and putting you down….get out, it does not get better it gets worse. They really don’t care about you or anyone.

  11. It is always good to hear all of your’e experiences. To “sanity regained” and Lynn – I see so much of that in myself. For a long time I was hooked on the “What if he changes and I gave up on him, and then he finds someone else.” I am well past that stage! Again, though the promise of wanting to get better and even getting ready to attend a 2 wk. IOP workshop, and spending 7k. That sort of got me hooked, and the therapist encouraged me to not make any final decisions on a final break-up until he returns. At that time, she wants to meet with me and go over his progress. She did say, however, that 85% of all SA’s that attend these things come back and go back to the old habits.
    I guess, with his show of going to the IOP, and insisting he was being 100% honest with me, I had to check one more time.
    I got my answer he is still lieing!!!
    Another thing, for all of you that are out there and still holding on, I have to tell you BEWARE and do not get into the
    mind set that your SA’s addiction “Isn’t as bad as a lot of them”. My husband would never be unfaithful, (And by that I mean have an affair)has not done domination and submission porn on the computer for 9 months, that I am aware of, has never been in a chat room, etc. etc. etc. What he did do was switch from porn to lusting, and cycling every other week after we were married in April. What you have to be careful of is to look at the whole picture – that being, it really doesn’t matter what the addiction is the bottom line is he is not able to get into you intimately or sexually, and probably never will. This is a life-long process. Right now, I told him I don’t want to see or talk to him until after he returns from his IOP in October and I can get a report from his therapist on his prognosis. He is honoring that request, and is not contacting me.
    Thanks again for the comments. Reading a couple every night helps re-inforce my decision and stay grounded!

  12. Hi All-
    I haven’t been on this site for a few days, but tonight I really feel the need for some support
    Just to update you: Am not seeing or talking to my SA
    because one month ago, was lieing about the computer. We are separated. I Had no proof he had been to porn sites, but lied about sites we agreed he would not go to. (Told me he was only going out to financial sites) Right!!I did find some very risque stuff, but just not “the real stuff.” Anyway, as I told, you he is going to an IOP in L.A. – mid October.
    Today, had to talk to him about financial things. We talked previously, that in order for us to ever make it I would have
    to have total disclosure and no more lieing. Today, he decides to be honest. Told me he went to a domination/submission site last week. (These are 500# women) He said he was on for 2 hrs., and did “You know what”. He also stated he has triggered on 3 women since we have separated-and one incident occurred in church. Oh ya!
    Anyway, here is my frustration. I have no intention of going
    back to him as long as he still has the addiction, but a while back I did tell him that lieing would definitely be the deal-breaker. The real problem with all of this is we are in the middle of signing a post-nup, in which he has agreed to pay off my car, pay Insurance, and settle for $10,000. per year we are married. I am a 68-y/o and rely on social security to support myself. I can make it, if I have to, but it is very tight!
    My sister thinks I should go back to him, because of the things he can provide for me, and just live in a platonic
    marriage. By the way, I am considered attractive by my friends, have a good figure, and have no problem getting dates. Everyone things I am at least 10 years younger.
    Now, my question is to all of you – How many of you would be able to settle for no intimacy. He just told me that he fantasizes abou this domination/submission stuff at least once a week. So, as you all know, he obviously has difficulty forming close relationships, and probably always will. I don’t think I can do it. His therapist recently told me she is now also looking at Schizoid Personality Disorder in conjunction with the SA, passive-aggressive behavior, borderline traits, and OCD traits. Wonder what one combined diagnosis could be for all of these things. Ha!
    He, at this point in time, thinks we will slowly start seeing eachother once he returns from his Intensive out-patient as long as he tells me the truth and is actively working on recovery. Other than the addiction, he is the sweetest guy in the world. Do I hear myself saying this???
    Anyway, give me some input – please! I am like all of you.
    I do love him, but can’t live like this.
    It is so easy to give others advice, but when you are personlly involved it sure does make a big difference. I know what the answer is, but just like all of us, helps
    to hear the validation.

  13. Is there ever a happy ending? Is there ever a positive story? Is there ever advise other than “run run run”?

    I have found so much information and help on this site and I read it every day. Often I want so to reach out to someone else struggling as I am when their stories are posted.

    But as I continue to stumble and get through each day myself I don’t feel I’ve the experience to tell another to “run run run” as every one’s personal circumstances are unique to that individual. I can hardly figure out for myself what I need to do much less tell someone else what to do. Often too, I am at a loss for words for them other than sharing how my heart breaks for their pain.

    Sadly, my reality is what does keep me reeling. My reality is what keeps the fog so thick. Future life with an addict is scary and often times never changes. Sex addiction is the worst of all the addictions in my opinion. This is such a lonely struggle, a lonely journey, if not the loneliest of them all. Where I reached out to one or two of my close friends early on for support I quickly realized that their opinions are anything but objective. Those opinions aren’t the ones I need right now. I don’t talk to anyone anymore about this. I feel no one relates, no one understands and everyone is quick to judge. I’d rather keep this to myself than argue my feelings regardless of what they are, to someone who sees this so “black and white”. It isn’t “black and white”.

    Other than JoAnne and Barbara Steffens, it would appear that no one else here has experienced life with a sex addict in recovery. But the truth is there are some that DO make it to a life of integrity and honesty.

    When I leave this site I often feel worse than when I came. I am looking for encouragement and hope. I am looking for some objectivity. I am looking for information and support from those that HAVE seen that a positive future can come from a nightmare like we have. Instead I read gloom and doom over and over and over again. Almost to the point of “copy and pasting” responses to others suffering from the same deep pain and betrayal on post after post after post.

    I have many questions surrounding successful outcomes with recovery but I feel if I post things that suggest I am considering a future with him I will be rejected, I feel that I will be judged, laughed at or called a fool. Yet, I need the tools to help choose life with him as well as the tools to choose life without him because at some point that fork in my road will come and I will need to choose a direction. I think we all should have those same tools.

    Yes we all know all too well what the REALITY of the moment is. All of us are shattered and dissolutioned to some decree. We all have said at one point or another…”I am angry, I am hurt, I am betrayed, I’m devistated, I’m overwhelmed, I’m scared, I’m panicked…..I feel lied to, I feel helpless, I feel used, I feel compared, I feel exploited, I feel stupid, I feel robbed, I feel inadequate, I feel dirty. I feel like his excuse for all of this.”
    I don’t come here to be reminded of my doom and gloom….again I come here for hope. REAL hope. And to me, real hope covers all sides, all choices and all angles.

    I am not trying to condemn or be mean to anyone here in any way. I respect each and every one of you for your courageousness to get out of bed every single day and face the nightmare you are living. I am apologizing upfront if this comes across this way to anyone. It is not my intent. Personally, I am a train wreck these days and am not good at articulating my feelings the right way some times right now at all. But sadly we are all united like sisters in a way others will never be. We all feel our souls have been burned at the stake. But just because our sex addicted husband never changed doesn’t mean someone else’s won’t.

    It would be nice if research and/or story’s that shed that hope could also be found here. Story’s of those whose sex addicted husbands HAVE found recovery….story’s of those who’s marriages survived followed by what they did to make that happen. I realize that none of us can control or change our addicts. But hearing success stories can be inspirational. Hearing “run run run” is anything but.

    I haven’t stopped reading about this horrible addiction since it entered my life unannounced and unwelcomed. I’ve spoken with several professionals asking if there is any hope. They say NOT ALL Addicts STAY addicted. I’ve been told that relationships that survive are better than they ever were and that it happens EVERY day!

    I don’t know if mine will make recovery and stay there…I don’t. I wake up every morning and for a split second life appears fine, then as fast as I blink, my reality arrives and I think of my future and freeze. When I try to return to safe thoughts of my past for comfort it’s as though this huge scooping hand reaches in and sweeps away swiftly and viciously any thoughts of that old life, because that life was never real. It never existed. I feel without positive examples that things can be different my feelings of hopelessness and despair increase.

    I stand in the shower and wash, I scrub…and scrub and scrub and scrub in hopes I can wash it all away. A 1/2 bottle of soap later, I’m as dirty as I was when I entered the shower. I can’t wash it away.

    Yes, we all need to be kept in “reality”…but total reality embraces “recovery” for some.

    JoAnne, please if there is any literature or writings out there that discuss a positive future in all of this, please find a place here to post some of that. Those of us who decide to stay (and I’ve not made that decision yet) need hope…….need examples……need positive stories that give encouragement………not hopelessness.

    Love to you all

    God Bless

  14. Mary,


    I’m so sorry for your pain. No, of course, no one can really know what it is like to be you or what the future will hold. However, some situations indicate clearly that the SA is not in recovery and then the wife has to decide what she wants to do.

    A lot of women DO stay with their SA husbands even if they are not in recovery. They look the other way or they join the party or have their own affairs. Everyone has their own level of what they can or cannot live with and perhaps extenuating reasons why separation/divorce is not an option.

    As for recovered spouses. It is an ongoing thing. There is no such thing as “full recovery”; I’m not sure if you are aware of this. A SA is forever “recoverING”– and many go through years and years of struggle, before they reach a healthy level. This is just the reality of the situation.

    I think we can all relate to the feelings of loneliness and isolation that being involved with an SA gives a woman. Have you sought out professional counseling/and or support groups in your area? I think it would be very beneficial to have an objective professional to guide you through the quagmires of this devastation.

    I think what “hope” means— is not so much that things will get back to normal–the way they “were”. How can they? Its a new now, a new “normal” at best. The hope I believe, comes in a better understanding of YOUR life and YOUR needs and if you can live with this man whether he recovers or not. A lot of SAs are just really very difficult people, to begin with. Some are virulent narcissists and quite frankly, those are the ones that really have little chance at recovery. They are sociopathic and deeply damaged individuals. They don’t respond to therapy because they have deeply embedded alloplastic defenses.

    And one other thing that hasn’t really come up here–that often, (I don’t think) is that a high percentage (not sure how high) have other co-addictions, such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, gambling, over-eating, workaholism etc. Sometimes one addiction replaces another, or they are co-concurrent. So many variables.

    Have you looked at the Junkie’s Wives’ Club? One of the administrators— MPJ’s husband has been successful in his recovery for seven years now. There may be one or two others, but the reality is that it is more the exception than the rule.

    It IS a devastating thing that has happened. I’m so so sorry that you are suffering so, but you are NOT alone…Please just know that much. I know that a lot of use this site to vent our frustrations which I’m sure is depressing to read, but please– I for one, want you to hang onto your hope; what else do we have?

    Much love,


  15. Mary,

    Like you, I first came here because I had no one to tell (I actually have never told anyone everything) – I didn’t want him judged in case we worked things out, nor did I want to be seen as weak by friends and family that would spout things like “dump the cheater” without really understanding SA or the need I have to give him and our marriage a chance.

    As far as negativity or, rather, pessimism for those who decide to stay with their SA, yes this site has a fair amount of it. But I find it very helpful because too often I get inflated with a false sense of security and the feeling that everything is going to be okay, because that’s what I WANT – but for a while, its not going to be really okay. This site reminds me to keep myself in mind, to be cautious and not too trusting until he’s proven himself, and to not allow a period of calm and even happiness in my marriage to let me forget that we both have recovering to do.

    In other words, if you find something that keeps you focused on your healing and lends some optimism for the potential of a recovered SA, this site can be a good counter-balance. I have received some fantastic advice here that has kept me from doing stupid things. I have been moved by the strength of each woman that shares her story. JoAnn herself is a good example of the possibility of life and love in recovery.

    I recently discovered Recovery Nation and I think it gives me alot of positive reinforcement for my own healing, plus a very straight-up outlook on the prognosis and what I am dealing with, staying married to an SA. The forums are helpful, in that you can post a question, and they are moderated by coaches. Alot of women here have used or are using it, from what I have heard. My husband has started the recovery program on the site and its opened communication a little, talking about his recovery and boundaries and what healthy sex will look like.

    I cannot say enough how fantastic this group of women is. They wear their cynicism like the capes of superheroes, wanting to save other women from the hurt they have experienced. This place was the first inkling I had that I did not have to go through this alone.

  16. Dear Mary,
    Thank you so much for letting us know what you are struggling with and what you seek.
    Hope is certainly what has come back to me in my own life—but perhaps you would not recognize it as hope.

    My SA has achieved sobriety (according to him–but I also think he has actually done it). But we are not together now, because the original wound that birthed this SA addiction is still oozing poison into our lives. I still hope that this wound will one day be healed, but I have had to release the burden of our relationship from this hope. Instead it is a true selfless hope for him. In turn, I have grasped hope for my own life in a brand new way and am working on what I can have in this life. I am sorry if this sounds depressing to you, because it is actually the catalyst of real hope coming into my life and his.

    For me, I had to let go of the hope that was really all about my own loss and grief, and open myself to a greater hope that often comes as a different gift entirely. It required that I stop hanging on with a death grip to the shreds of a mirage marriage, and have the courage to stand in my own life and see if there is another way for my SA spouse and I to find a connection. It takes more courage to step into that place than to demand that hope meet our expectations or satisfy our insecurities. I guess what I’m trying to say is that until we let go of the need to control the hope that is trying to break into our lives, we will never really leave the rubble behind us.

    From the few stories I know of women who have gone on to live in marriages with recovering SA’s there are many many sacrifices to be made. That specific hope does not seem to be realized with the innocence of first love, or the easy grace of mutuality. JoAnn recently shared exactly what that looks and feels like (siren song posting). It is hard and relentless work. The question remains is that “hope” for you?

    As a person of faith, I would like to share something of how that fits for me in the promise of new beginnings. If you are not interested, just ignore.

    In the resurrection accounts of Jesus, we see such a strange experience of what is restored and what is different. Mary thought he was the gardner. Only when he spoke her name did she see him in his new life. And Jesus cautioned her not to embrace him. This story has always meant a great deal to me for different Easter reasons. But in the last year I have had to confront the possibility that resurrection hope for me and my husband might be like that—something of the relationship remains, although you can miss it unless you help each other along the way, and something doesn’t—like the embrace. So my hope from my faith contains that possibility. It can not just be that I should get back what I once had only better. Or I may miss it entirely.

    thank you for letting me share this little personal piece of my faith, and I do so only to point toward the freedom that hope must have in order for us to really recognize it, and receive it.
    I tear up now with the sorrow of knowing what is likely never to be for my SA spouse and I, but I am also sure that I will carry that sorrow as a treasure, one day—and that if I embrace the hope that I have allowed to come freely to me, it will fill my life with goodness and mercy until both run down the sides of my life to bless the world.

    Dear sister, please trust that hope is trying to break through for you. Please trust that you too will be filled with goodness and mercy. Please don’t make hope serve your wounds alone. Let it serve the potential of your whole life. You will receive what is truly yours, and that may well include your husband back in a recovering and healing presence. But please don’t dismiss the stories that do not end that way as being without hope. It’s just a different kind of hope, serving a different kind of purpose.

    You have everything you need to live into the hope that is coming for you. Trust it, and trust yourself. I think you are an extraordinary person–with a deep capacity for love, commitment, and the courage to be honest in such dire circumstances.

    with much affection,

  17. Mary – I am so sorry for your’e pain. The decisions we struggle with every day are “should I stay or should I go” and unfortunately no-one can make it for us.
    I feel that the answer lies in our own self-esteem. It has been shattered by our SA’s, but if we can feel comfortable with ourselves it does make that decision much easier.
    I, too, have a strong faith to hold on to, but I always go back to that verse, “God Helps those who Help Themselves.” He does not always answer prayer in the way we would like him to, however he does give us strength to handle whatever might come along. So, my advise is to work on yourself and your decision will come much easier for you.
    I was just getting ready to to update my post when I read your’e story.

  18. Dear Mary and Diane,

    Diane, what a beautiful insightful view of hope. I am glad you shared your faith, honestly, it brought tears to my eyes.


    Perhaps we will see the world with new eyes. Are old eyes were blinded, with deception from our SA’s. Perhaps in the biblical sense, I think of Sodom and Gomorrah. While fleeing the burning city, they had to leave the rubble behind. All their memories, their home etc. Lot’s wife turned back, and the story has it, God made her a pillar of salt. Whether we believe literally or figuratively, I think we get the point. Let’s not turn back and ache for what we have lost, but accept that the reason it’s burning down, is that there was such unhealthy, deviance or sin, it could not thrive. embrace the painful truth as it may be about our spouses and former lives, and look toward hope, that we will travel toward a better place, whatever that may be, with courage, with faith, with hope, no turning back. πŸ™‚

  19. Mary, Every women here wants nothing more than a fantastic life filled with love, respect, and truth for you. We all feel the exact same pain, and longed with the same desires. I, for one, am here, still trying to make sense of what bombed my life, but even more to somehow be there for women that are in the shock and despair it took me so long to crawl out of. Really, I still have not been able to digest totally the magnitude this addiction had and still has on my life and family. I don’t understand why someone would choose such an empty sordid life over love and light….but quite a few do.
    All of us want/ed our best friend, our family, aka our HUSBAND to do the right thing, to make it all right, to triumph….we all long/ed for true remorse, love, truth, make it right…
    I pray it happens for you and with everything in me wish every man caught in addiction would beat it, would be the man we thought they were.
    They choose if that is the road, and there is nothing we can do to influence it, it has to come from within them….and that is where the failure is. Then we have to make the decision of how much we can live with. Mine took advantage and decided his discovery meant he does what he wanted and I had no say because he was going to be who he is. That was not my best friend, my family, aka my husband. When I said no, he chose that life instead of me and our son.
    Everything was his choice.
    I guess what I am saying is, you did not choose this. But now is time for you to choose, to have a voice in your life, place hope in yourself and stand strong. Dignity, faith in yourself, will allow you to either stand by him if he is committed, or it will allow you to hold your own if his commitments are against you.
    I hope with everything in me your husband wins this, for himself and for you. We all do. But many of us have lived the reality of the ones that do not, and we just do not want you hurting anymore than you are, to relive it over and over if it continues. I don’t think there is anything more destructive to a good soul than placing hope, heart and soul in someone who won’t change. But you have to try that first, we all get that, I think we all did that. I sure did, and that is really the only part I feel good about in all of it, is that I learned an incredible grace still loving him and standing by him after discovery, but my SA continued, and there is no grace in that and my dignity began to dissolve until I took control of what I could control…myself.

  20. HI Mary,
    I am sorry I feel a need to respond too. I am also a train wreck lately so I can relate to the overwhelming emotions and trying to express them. I struggle with the shame of keeping my husband’s issue a secret. I thought I could tell one of my friends a piece of the story and but I could tell it wasn’t going to pan out for me. So I backpeddled.

    I guess, like someone else said, I use his site to remind myself I am not alone and to keep it in perspective. Since I don’t have anyone to share with I worry that my perspective is off. The women here rarely tell you what to do unless specifically asked. which I think this poster did ask for advice.

    My husband’s issue is a little different but we all have a common thread. I am trying to decide whether to stay or go myself. It is gutwrenching. But I get good perspectives here. t is so cliche but I take what I can use and leave the rest behind.

    I wish all of us peace.

    ps. Diane- I loved that story too. Perhaps you have missed your calling! You are a wealth of support and information πŸ™‚

  21. Mary,

    I believe there is hope for everyone to be happy and healthy. I believe that marriages can survive if the SA is willing to do the hard work involved in recovery AND the partner is willing to get the help they need to heal. It requires that both partners be willing to give 100% to the recovery process, whatever that looks like for them.

    For me, the first year was nonstop counseling (individual and couples), group meetings, weepy phone calls to faraway friends, and constant indecision. The second year felt easier, and year three feels easier still. My husband has remained committed to his program and to helping me heal, and he even helped me out by writing a blog post this week. (Quick, trying-not-to-be-annoying plug: You can read it here.)

    I do wonder sometimes if we spend too much time reliving our stories, remembering the darkest moments of our partner’s betrayal. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important to get our stories on paper (or on a blog). I think it’s important to bring our pain out of the shadows and into the light. But I wonder at what point should we turn our focus to other things β€” like the tools we need to survive this devastation. (By “tools,” I mean anything that works to make you feel better… not necessarily talking about 12-step.)

    I am grateful to have a caring husband, and I am learning to live with the truth of his addiction. Although I know that it is entirely possible he will screw up someday, I am getting better at dealing with that idea. His actions may cause me more pain, but they will not shatter my life. Of that I am certain.

    Thanks to everyone on this blog for continuing to give hope.


  22. Everyone – thank you so much for sharing your beautifuly expressed insights. I am in awe of your strength and honesty.

    I’m new here, but not new to SA, as I’m here because of a “lying” relapse after discovery 4 years ago. I’m also in that stage of, “do I stay or do I go?”. We have a beautiful 9 year old son who has Aspbergers and benefits from the Jekyll personality of my SA who is a loving, supportive, sweet, fun and kind father and thankfully so far has hidden the Dr. Hyde of self-hate, depression and shame from my son.

    I share responsibility for the relapse because I left our co-counseling and told him I wanted him to go work on ‘him’. That lasted a year, and he dropped out of counseling, telling me that he was dedicated to his sobriety. Had I stayed in counseling and reinforced better boundaries for myself and decision making processes, I would probably have insisted he stay in counseling longer. You can guess the story, he stopped acting out, but the honeymoon ended about 9 months later and the other cycles of shame, secrecy, resentment, and emotional aloofness returned.

    We’ve returned to co-counseling this week, but this time I am committed to staying in counseling and focusing on my own soul, and gaining a healthy detachment from him. I want him to heal too, but charity begins at home, with me.

    This is my third marriage and I only now realized that my prior 2 were SA also. I echo the sentiment that no one else can advise you what to do, because we’re only hearing your side, from your own unique perspective, with your baggage. There has to be some equilibrium. No one is a total “shit”, we’re all just very, very broken. We all have the potential to heal, according to our own ability.

    I feel I have to choose what I can live with and THEN make it the right choice, not agonize over whether it was right or wrong.

  23. Hi All – I had a really bad day yeterday and feel the need for support.
    My SA is leaving tomorrow for out-patient treatment in L.A. As you all probably remember, I am at the point of zero tolerance with his lieing. (There have been 3 other lies I am aware of the past 3 wks.) Of course he has been telling me he has been completely honest. I had a strong feeling he was lieing to me yesterday – I think we all seem to have “radar” to sense these things.
    He promised me he would not go to a certain bank because, there was possibly a gal who works there that he has triggered on. He has committed to disclosure right now, because he knows that when he comes back from L.A. I will file for divorce if he tells one more lie. HE CAN’T SEEM TO DO IT!
    He volunteered he went to a store and didn’t have any problems with triggering. This is so typical of him to tell a successful story, (partial truth) and omit a “triggering” story. I asked him if he went to that bank. He admitted he had, and that he triggered on a young blond at the counter. He will sometimes admit a lie when I nail him with it.
    Anyway, we planned to go out for dinner last night since he is leaving tomorrow. We came back to my place and shared some intimate time of kissing and holding. (No sex since I left him on August 1st-I will not engage in sexual activity with him as long as he continues to lie.
    He has the ability to be very emotional and loving with me.
    Our song, that was played at our wedding, came on and we both cried like babies.
    It is so difficult for me, because He really wants to get better and has made some progress in regard to compliance with weekly therapy, attending SA group,reading lots of self-help books, and consistent journaling.The problem is the continual lieing.
    On an emotional level, I guess I still get somewhat hooked because he is so loving. I have never experienced some of the physical and verbal abuse that some of you have disclosed. Of course, there has been two and a half years of trauma secondary to the sexual addiction.
    My problem seems to be the most difficult when I am with him, however I woke up this morning and came back to reality.
    Intellecually, I have no problem with my decision, but emotionally I am suffering because I do love him, (Have not resolved that part) and my “soft heart” still feels sorry for him because I know he is not trying to purposefully hurt me – he truly can’t help it.
    Have any of you experienced those emotions, and how did you deal with it? Would love to hear your’e stories.
    My big mistake was agreeing to see him his last night before leaving!! Up to now, I have kept contact and telephone conversations to a minimun-mostly dealing with financial matter.

  24. Hi Sharron,

    Alright– Here are my thoughts for the day. πŸ™‚

    Re: “zero tolerance.” What is that exactly? Is that something you’re ready to follow through on? If he’s already lied 3 times in the past three weeks and probably again, yesterday, what are the ramifications of that? Do you have a plan or consequence in place? Or do you simply eat your heart out? Believe me, I know this must be really tough.

    I can imagine that all you want is for him to stop f**king LYING!!!

    Right now, he appears to be still engaged in ACTIVE ADDICTION.

    Now, I’m going to take his side, a bit. I think it may be unrealistic to expect him to be truthful about every single trigger; I think you may be setting yourself up for failure. Right now, it is extremely unlikely that he can or will tell you the complete truth. I don’t. Do you? If you see an attractive man, do you point it out to your husband? “Hey honey, I’m just drooling over that hot, built man over there.” Of course, we don’t do that, because it would be hurtful and I’m sure that he doesn’t want to hurt you either.(hopefully not) However, if he is lying about BIG stuff- The stuff he’s not supposed to be doing— The 64,000 dollar question is: Can he ever learn to tell the truth? And can he become sexually sober?

    There are ALWAYS going to be triggers that you can’t avoid. You could be out to dinner and in walks a voluptuous woman who’s falling out of her dress. It simply can’t be avoided. In our society, there are sexy triggering images bombarding us from every which way we turn.

    Look, I believe that there are a lot of men who can love ONE woman, that they live with (or at least, give the pretense of love) and still want to have this “other life.” His ONLY need is to maintain the status quo and he will do whatever he needs to do, to keep his relationship in tact—And his addiction.

    IF a man wants to have a secret life, he will figure it out and there isn’t a thing that anyone can do about it. I think if he’s truly on the road to real recovery, as JoAnn and Barbara have pointed out, you will see a phenomenal change in them–There really is no doubt at all.

    Every woman has her own threshold of what she can live with, as well. A very wise friend of mine once counseled me.

    “Lorraine, if it never gets any better than this,(and it probably won’t) Can you live with “this?” Are you willing to stay in the relationship?”

    I think this is the premise that all of us need to weigh… and its so tough when some things are so good but some things are just so unforgivable that they taint everything else.

    I don’t know if that was very supportive or even helpful—Sometimes, I have found when I’m having a problem, it is just a comfort to be heard.

    Much love and hugs and strength,


  25. So many of our children are on the autistic spectrum. I find this very curious. Even my ex SA told me that growing up he had to watch other people to figure out how to act. There are many other personality traits that are similar with my ex and autism. My ex is also super smart, but has no comon sense at all and does not know how to have relationships. Others have said my ex-SA always seemed like he was acting, playing roles, I myself would tell him that too when he was driving me crazy with silly requests for superficial things with other people…..like people and living were both just a big game. And the selfishness, never seen anything like it..

  26. Hi Lynn,

    My post above was so long, per usual.. πŸ™‚ but I actually had edited out a bit in there about my HF autistic son– because, YES, it seems to be SOOOOOOOO prevalent that SAs have kids with autism! I’m a codie though, but I’m sure my father was an addie. I also have a son with AD/HD. fun times.

    There is just so much in common, between autistic behavior and SA behavior– the involvement with SELF, inability to empathize, rigidity, fantasy— lack of social awareness, self-monitoring and not picking up on social clues and instead, learning them more or less by “rote” from other people or movies (!) on and on.. In fact, so much, that it scares me.

    Right now, my son at 15 and 3/4 is bottoming out and he needs to go to a therapeutic boarding school. He was taken away the other night in handcuffs by three big mean cops and taken to the hospital.

    That was a very bad night.

    But, getting back to the subject at hand— since autism is a genetic disorder, and the range is from very mild to severe, perhaps many sex addicts actually have a very mild autistic-like syndrome– not really PDD-NOS, but more like PDD-NOS-NOS?

    Sorry, for you lucky folks who have NO idea what I’m talking about. Please google it, if you’re interested. πŸ™‚

  27. hi Lorraine – Always glad to hear from you.
    Zero tolerance is filing for divorce when Steve returns from L.A. The reason I say that is because it won’t be a week until he is lieing again. He is aware of these boundaries,(and has been for almost 3 yr.) but it certainly does not impact him in any way. I feel it is up to him to rebuild that trust. I told him some time ago that if he would be honest and up front with me, then I would stand by him throughout his recovery, as long as he is trying. Most of the literature for an SA advocate full disclosure.
    I certainly agree with you that we all notice attractive men, and I don’t have a problem with “noticing.” What I do have a problem with is lusting and sexual stimulation on the part of the SA, and then being totally unable to be intimite with their spouse.
    A lot of men want their “cake and eat it too.” We certainly live with that every day in dealing with an SA and their double life. It has certainly occurred to me that Steve knows down deep that he can’t change, and is going through
    the motions to save the marriage. You are right – I believe if there is change, we will see it. I haven’t seen
    it yet!!!
    I really do appreciate your input – you are always helpful and very supportive. The nurse in me makes it pretty easy to give advice to others, but when you are emotionally involved, it is difficult to maintain objectivity.

  28. Oh Lorraine,
    I hate that you and your son are going through all that. I hope the school helps him and gets him on track with his medication and modifications. Medications take awhile to get right and then has to be monitored, but at least he will be in a safe place to help him control his emotions.
    What a difference prozac has had with my 13 year old. He was not depressed at all, just is very anxious and it helps to take the edge off his life and help him deal with things better. The anxiety came out as frustration and outbursts and sometimes physical when he was younger….and he hated what he had done after wards, because thank goodness he has a conscience and feels for others, he just has a terrible time with impulse control. Hey, I know someone else like that!!! PDD-NOS-NOS….good one!
    Love you Lorraine, he will be okay, hopefully better than ever, and he always has you, he knows that.
    Sharron, I wish you the best in everything, lying, to me anyway, is the worse of it all. You sound like the final line has been crossed and it needs to be right for you now, no more games. I did line after line, until finally I was just cross hatching. The lying is what I never was able to tolerate, and three years later, and divorced, the affairs are simply funny (what a dumb ass), but the lying is just plain scary. He likes to think it was the cheating that caused me to divorce him, but to me cheating is just an offshoot of the ability to lie, to everyone, even looking them in the eye, everyday. He flat out told me, he cheated because he can. He can lie, he can be dishonest, he can devalue. He imagines I don’t speak to him anymore because I still care that he cheated…….I could careless about that at this point, he is making a total fool of himself to this day, but the lying, that is what makes him so completely distasteful to me, I just don’t want to know or have anything to do with the great deceiver.
    Sometimes I wonder I should possibly separate my ex from just a man who is sexually addicted. My therapists said that my ex was a psychopath, and as a general rule, they are totally into smut….
    I may never know, but what I do know is with him out of my life, things got normal and I have been able to trust people again.
    The lying is a symptom of a very deep problem, I would always ask my ex when we were married and I was finding stuff, “How can you lie like this? How is it possible to lie every day, whoppers!” And he looked at me and calmly said I don’t know, I just can, and then looked horrified as I look horrified and said himself, “Oh my God, I am a psychopath”…….he said it first and then I heard it from many professional people.
    So with mine, he could not change, it is not in his composition, but not all SAs are like that. He is completely addicted to sex, strippers, pornography, himself, ……it is his drug of choice and his reason for living……but if he had a conscience, could feel remorse, could find lying to be pungent, then he could have found remorse and made efforts to change instead of blaming, hitting, running, tormenting….doing everything but take responsibility for himself. As my husband (I am a newly wed!) says, “That boy needs to man up”. He won’t though, ever.

  29. Lorraine – my heart goes out to you – I had no idea the demons you are dealing with. I am surprised you haven’t “flipped your’e lid by now”. You must be a very strong personality. God be with you – he has certainly gotten me through my life!
    Lynn – Gosh, everytime I read one of these disclosures, my heart goes out to you all. It is amazing we have any semblance of sanity!
    You are so right about the lieing. Literature on the SA states that sometimes it is more difficult to get over the lieing than the addiction. My SA is a compulsive lier, not a pathological one. I am not sure it makes a difference, as mine cannot seem to change the pathology of his lieing and addiction. Of course if you are dealing with a sociopath. there is abolutely no hope for recovery. I hope you are happy now with your new partner. Boy, we all have such a challenge in our lives. I am totally convinced that God puts us on this earth as a learning process. I am still learning!!
    Thank you for the input. Be happy!

  30. I think it is important that any zero-tolerance policy be first respectful of the boundaries you have created for yourself, and second, attainable by a person truly in recovery. Whatever this looks like for you. It is so important that you are able to follow through with the consequences and not backtrack and question whether your boundaries are reasonable, letting him off the hook.

    My husband’s triggers are rarely ever sexual, but instead are situations that create emotions he never learned how to deal with – stress, anger, sadness, feelings of inadequacy. Also, his acting out is not only sexual, which was hard for me to grasp, but has become so important as we both face the reality of his addiction. One of his many coping mechanisms is fixation on the internet, constant intellectual or entertainment-based stimulation. Since he’s a stay at home dad that isn’t healthy for my kids. I set a time limit that I felt was reasonable (due to the fact that the position he holds requires emailing and research, and our recovery program is online). This way, there is no good reason for him to go over this time limit without discussing it with me first. The consequences are that he has to leave, which we both know will end with him acting out, probably sexually, so in essence it is the end of our marriage. I’m comfortable with enforcing those consequences if I have to, and he understands them clearly.

    Having a zero tolerance policy is so good for you – but only if you are able to follow through with the consequences. If you are not prepared to follow through – like say, if slips will not be the end of you marriage, then you need to define that for both him and yourself, and to keep doing so as you get stronger and more confident about your boundaries, or if he gets worse and you have to make the boundaries more strict to keep yourself safe.

  31. Hi Jesse- I understand what you are saying. The boundary I have set for myself of a zero tolerance for lieing is probably not attainable for my husband. He has been lieing his entire life to keep his secret life secure. I have just reached my limit! He has been lieing our entire relationship/marriage, and in fact continued doing so up until the day he left for L.A to attend an intense out patient facility for addiction recovery. My husband understands the consequences of lieing, and knows when he returns if he lies to me one more time I will file for divorce, and I intend to follow through with my decision.
    I feel he has left me no choice, due to the fact that although he has been compliant with attending therapy 1X a week and attending Celebrate Recovery, a 12 step program, he contines to lie, omit, or tell partial truths even to his therapist. I do not see this as progress.
    Yes, it will be difficult for me, as I love him very much.
    I am just not willing to continue this dysfunctional life- style and tolerate his non-compliance. The primary goal in achieving sobriety with an SA is to build trust by disclosure and building trust with your partner- apparently he is not able to do that.
    I think I mentioned earlier that my husband is 66 y/o and has been into borderline behavior/sexual addiction since highschool. The SA who is younger has a much better prognosis for recovery, and I assume most of you gals on this site are 20-40’s and are much more invested in taking the time to “stand by your’e man”
    Thanks for the advice. If I hadn’t been through hell and back with this guy, I probably would set more realistic boundaries for him to achieve.

  32. Lynn and Sharron,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Blessedly… my husband took my son to see his older brother at college.

    But, Sharron, what makes you think that I HAVEN’T flipped my lid? LOL— The other evening when we were in psychiatric care at the hospital for my son, I’m sure they came very close to admitting me– not him, just me!!! πŸ™‚ (something, I think actually sounds divine— a few days of bed rest–meals brought in–fresh linens, a buzzer at your finger tips to serve your every whim—maybe even a cute resident to check in on me every once in a while…;) heaven)

    About your boundaries though. I think they are extremely realistic—for you and him! You are merely asking him not to lie. Wow. When you think about it, its mind bending stuff. And maybe its the best he can do… but its not the best for you. That is the point, I think.

  33. Lorraine – I am so sorry for your pain. It is really amazing we have not all been admitted to a psych facility.
    Obviously, you are very strong or you would not be able to cope at all. Just keep up that strength-you can do it!
    It seems to me, right now, like life just sucks!!
    Thank you for your support and validaing that my boundaries are realisic. I know that in my heart, I have to do what I have to do, and I know I can maintain the strength to do it. Interestingly enough, I have never had a problem with ETOH in my life. In fact, never drank at all until I started going through this shit with Steve. Then, just prior to leaving, I started to have a “stiff drink” to cope wih all the deception and pain I was feeling from him. Now, when I talk to him, I find myself having a couple of drinks to get rid of the pain. Here I am a psych Nurse-I should know better. It just tells me how dysfunctional my relationship with Steve has been. I know this is situational, however I
    have to get my shit together.
    Am really down in the dumps tonight. Got a Call from “that husband of mine,” and he told me he is dedicated to being totally honest with me from this point on. Stated he had to really focus when he was in the L.A. airport – that he saw people, but looked away immediately and did not trigger on faces or bodies. Now, if I was a betting woman, would guess he is following his typical “Mo” and telling only partial truths. I have to get over this guy. My emotions want to believe him, but my intellect, and psych experience tell me it is a totally unrealistic goal.
    Lorraine, you are the only one I have talked to who really gets it!!! Thanks for your support.

  34. Lorraine – I just want to add that maybe you should check into a hotel and just pamper yourself for an entire week-end, or at the very leas a couple of days. You deserve it!

  35. Sharron,

    I definitely think your boundaries are realistic – for your own health and well being. That is what they are designed to protect. Not lying? Cripes, I think you’ve given the man a gift and if he can’t accept it then file those papers. I don’t know if I believe that anyone is beyond help or recovery, but he doesn’t seem to want it, and you deserve (at the very very least) honesty.

    You sound as though you are well on the path of your own healing. Keep it up.

  36. Thamks Jesse. I think when we all get to the point that the pain outweighs the pleasure, it is time to get out.
    As I said before, I think my husband wants to get better- I just think the damage, his age, and the years it will take to achieve recovery are beyond what I can tolerate-I just don’t have it in me to wait that long.

  37. I cannot imagine how that feels, the feeling that he wants to recover coupled with the knowledge that he just can’t. You are very strong, and will continue to need to be stronger.

    I think we are all raised with the idea that love is this big, all-encompassing salve that can make everything better, heal all wounds, connect all people. As children we may see bad marriages or divorces and we tell ourselves one of the people just didn’t love the other person enough. Faced with SA (and actually with any failing relationship as adults), we’ve all had to realize that love isn’t enough, not by itself. In our case, there has to be a desire and the ability of our SA to recover, as well as our own desire and ability to heal and forgive.

    Sometimes I wish I were still a messy-haired kid watching Sesame Street and eating sugary cereal while my parents slept in late on Saturday mornings.

  38. Hi All-
    I haven’t been on the site for a few days-had numerous virus’s on my computer and took 3 days to get them off.

    Just an update here. My husband’s therapist called me from L.A. to discuss his plan upon returning home. Boy, are we on opposite ends of the spectrum!! She and I went round and round. Our idea of SA recovery are not even close.

    First we talked about the fact she thinks he should watch TV and go to movies. It is her opinion that he should be able to pick ones that are appropriate. She also feels he should be able to “look around” when he is out in public and enforce the 3 second rule.
    I told her he needs to develop coping mechanisms and continue therapy before he is equiped to incorporate these things into his recovery, and he has proven, by past behavior, that he triggers in all these settings and is no-
    where even close to being able to look away (as she
    proposes) when he is subjected to stimuli in these areas. The woman is an idiot! His triggers involve first looking around, picking his victim and then lusting.
    She also asked me what I consider disclosure, and went on to tell me that if he has fantasies in his head and checks them, he should not have to divulge they are going on. I
    told her I expect full disclosure – and by that I mean, he needs to tell me the good with the bad. ie: If he is fanasizing and acts on those fantasies, he should disclose, and if he fanasizes and is able to check it he should also disclose. In other words, “The good with the bad.” How can we move on with trust unless he divulges his stuggles as well as his progress, and we deal with them.

    I also told her I am at zero tolerance in regard to lieing, have been through hell and back with this guy, and do not intend to put up with anymore deception. She told Steve I don’t really seem engaged in his therapy!! What was her
    first clue??
    Anyway, Steve is calling me today to read me his atonement letter. That should be good, since he certainly has not been able to show empathy to me in the past. My response to him will be that I have never blamed him for the addiction – that is trauma based- but I am not ready to forgive him for the lieing. I feel that it has been a conscious choice. He has watched me cry and seen me depressed constantly over the past two years, and yet contined to lie while he watched me
    suffer through his deception. I will add that if and when the lieing stops, I will be able to forgive him and move on to trust, which is a necessity for us to contine in this marriage.
    Just needed to vent – guess it helps me process and validate
    to myself I am being reasonable.
    Hope everyone is having a good day. Love to you all.

  39. Hi sapfantz

    Wow… I don’t mean to be bitchy about it, but must be great for him to have a counsellor like that. He gets to have dessert without eating his supper.
    I think if my SA had a counsellor like that, I’d not be able to take it. His counsellor had him off the internet immediatly, and he is never to return to it as a recreational activity again, ever. If he had said “oh yes, you can go online, just use the 3 second rule and don’t look at the ads for dating sites you see on every page” I’d have had a stroke.

    I can imagine your fit to beat the cousnellor senseless.

  40. This is Sharron, right?

    Geeezzz…Where do these idiots come from?

    It is not your job to be engaged in HIS THERAPY, in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! grrrrrrrr…

    There are triggers EVERYWHERE… Even in our toney white bread town, there’s a high end lingerie shop with what I call “kiddie porn”– pics of voluptuous, sexy (skinny, gorgeous) models, right there in the window in front of the sexy voluptuous mannequins– right next to the guitar shop and a real estate place. 200 feet from the town library. nice.

    The other day, I was looking at post impressionist art prints for clients and I came across some verrrrrrrrry sexy nudes. I wasn’t looking for nudes, just a particular artist that I liked and there they were.

    I don’t understand this 3 second bull shit. This is not a piece of food that fell to the floor, for cryin out loud! What if he looks for 4 seconds? (and does he have a stopwatch?) This is absurdly ludicrous, at best. Men have been looking and lusting at women since the beginning of time. They all do. (unless they are gay) So what? The problem is how you feel about how is treating you. And he’s a massively abusive asshole to you.

    Can the shrink fix that???

  41. Woah, not sure where this lady is coming from. First if she thinks he is doing good enough for her, that is different than good enough for you. Yet again feeling crazy making, just like the SA, you doubt yourself because she is the proffesional. This is what she thinks is acceptable, not you. Now of course he gets to smurk and say you are unreasonable…thanks for giving him the amo lady. But don’t sell you soul just because of one therapist. This is your life, you decide. You have to live with him, she sends him off with a plan, to never see him again.

    And by no means should you or can you even contemplate forgiving his actions or lies so soon. It takes years and much work on his part. (atleast this is what I imagine) I so far have no taste of it to talk about personally. But a book I just read said that trust is earned not given. He needs to make the strides and do the work for you to forgive. Just because his words say he is sorry, does not make any of it change. There are no short cuts. I think sometimes the therapist tries to minimize the impact and hurt on the wife, to lessen the pain for the addict. TOO BAD. My Sa’s therapist tried to do the same, trying to get back what the SA lost due to his actions, even though the SA had not and still has not attempted or tried to earn trust or make amends! I no longer go with him to his therapist. In hindsite if I had gone along with his suggestions that would have been enabling and SA would not have had consequences for his actions. Not cool.

  42. Don’t forget about what Joanne said on statistics for SA’s and these type of programs. I beleive the stats were poor and many go back to acting out just a short time after returning. But if these are the parameters the therapist is setting, maybe this has something to do with it.

  43. Thanks All-As usual, you all come quickly to the rescue! It is so great to have you all in my corner-sure does help me stay grounded, and to have friends who have gone through the same bullshit.
    When I talked to Steve about her ideas, he was very defensive, however last night stated he is not ready to watch TV, Movies, Look Around, etc. My Guess is he is just taking the middleground, and plans to do what he wants when he returns. That is his usual MO. I intend to draw up a Boundary sheet (Boundaries and consequences). He already knows what they are, but just to have it in writing.
    And don’t worry – I have no intention of forgiving him for his lies, and intend to tell him so when he calls tonight with his atonement letter.
    Steve’s counselor here in K.C. is in total agreement that he will be all “pumped up” upon his return, but it is her prediction the lieing and acting out will continue after he “comes down” from his 2 week session.
    Thanks again. Will keep you posted.

  44. Just an update – talked with my SA tonight and he read the atonement letter. I could tell he put a lot of thought into it, (Sorry for all the transgressions) but I did not feel any emotion from him when he read it. I was the one who broke down and cried. I had the feeling he was putting into words all the things he had learned at the workshop, but I guess I expected to see a little emotion out of him when he read it. What do you think?
    His counselor was much different in front of him – totally supportive of me, and suggested I attend a support group for myself. I told her I was very knowledgeable about what is involved with recovery, and that I was on a web site where I felt total support from those who have been in the same situation as myself. I also made it very clear that Steve and I have set boundaries together, and we will have to abide by them. She appeared supportive – much different than when I talked to her the other day.
    So, I am ready to put into force my boundariess and expectations for what is necessary for us to make it in our marriage. Bottom line is no lieing!! Apparently they’re criteria for honesty (L.A. Recovery) is if he lies, to come clean and tell the truth within 24-hrs. I am not sure I agree with that – I think he should reflect on it, immediately pause, and realize he has told a lie and come clean immediately. Am I being unreasonable?
    Anyway, would like your’e take on whether he should have a block on his computer this late in his recovery, and how will I know if he is watching TV or going to movies? And, I guess what I am saying, how am I going to know if he is lieing. He will probably just go undercover and be more proficient at covering his tracks.

    I guess I really felt, after this phone consultation, that things will be no different, and realistically he is not going to change.
    I really think being a psych nurse is a hinderance, because I know what the odds are, and really feel, at this time, I will continue with my no tolerance expectations. Maybe I just want him to lie 1 one more time so I can end this facsimile of a marriage and knowing it will take years for recovery.
    I know the lieing is not going to stop!!
    Thanks all – just needed to vent once more! Hopefully, this will be behind me, and I can coninue to be supportive to you all.

  45. Hi Everyone,

    I’m curious, how many of our SA’s still have unsupervised access to the internet?
    I have read a good few comments in relation to the SA’s being online, some of us checking the hisory etc.

    When my SA seen his counsellor a few days after d-day, he said to cease ALL recreational internet and computer use immediatly. If he absoluley has to do soemthing online, like book a flight or pay a bill, then he is to either ask someone to do it for him, or do it when an accountable person is in the room and can see the screen.
    Now, he does have access at work, but due to the nature of his employment, the company has very stringent monitoring. There are something like 5 different monitoring tools running on the computer and networks at all times. Even though is very senior in his position, he is not even allowed to download or install anything on his PC. He would be fired within 10 minutes of accessing anything of an indecent site. (now yes, I do realise he would access to web mail ect..so I’m not thiking he’s 100% safe there)
    The choice he has made, is to leave his laptop at his mothers house, and even then, the wireless internet chip (or whatever it is called) has been disabled, and requires a huge password to access it again. The only PC in the house is my laptop, which he has no access to unless I give it to him. He occasionaly asks if he can go on and check his bank, and he is more than happy to have me sit next to him while doing so. When I go away overnight, he asks me, for peace of mind, to lock the laptop up, and i take the key. Sure he could always get to it, but he’d damage the lock in the process, so I’d know.

    If he hadn’t put these restrictions in place BY HIMSELF, I don’t think we’d be where we are today. I couldn’t accept that he was allowed to go online whenever he wanted. There are so many ways around the filters, the nanny software..I work in IT, so does he..they can all be cracked if you look for the right info. It takes one thng off my mind, that he cannot slip at home, and if he slips at work, he will be fired immediatly.

  46. Hi Starry,
    I had to set the computer boundary for mine. He saw a therapist, not the current one, for three months. Did not tell him that the computer should be off limits. It is too much of a temptation to them, and they cannot make that decision for themselves. They will make an excuse as to why it may still need to be avaialable. Second therapist did not get the chance, i had already taken the privelage away. If he needs the computer he can go to the library, or when supervised at home. Otherwise the computer is password protected, which is changed often, and there is also the rule. I realize that this does not stop them. The only reason this was made a rule is too prevent the children for accidential exposure due to his carelessness and lack of responsibility. But then there is the option of DVD’s etc. that cannot be stopped, that I have no control over. It’s a boundary, hope he holds it for the short term, while I sort this all out.

  47. Starry-I am interested to know how long your’e husband has been working at recovery. I agree whole heartedly that these restrictions have to be put into place early on, but I also feel that because there are triggers everywhere in our environment that the boundaries have to be set for them, (And stick to them) and if they break them in any way there have to be consequences -whatever you decide they should be. You will know whether he is lieing by gut feelings,learning to tell signs when he lieing, catching him, (and we all have gotten very good at that these) or most importantly the big sign is that he will not be able to get into you emotionally and intimately. I am still of the opinion that we put a lot of these restrictions into place to make “us” feel better.He has to be accountable and tell you if he is struggling, and whether or not he was able to check it. I guess the question is did he do it for you because as you say you couldn’t stand the idea of him having open access to the computer whenever he wants- Or is he really doing it for himself. The motivation has to come from him, and not if someone wants him to do it. If he is early in the recovery process, then his therapist is right to impose the restriction on him-He has to develop coping skills to deal with his acting out, and that takes quite a bit of time to develop them.
    My SA is a Data Base Administrator, so knows all the ends and outs of being on the computer and getting rid of the evidence. As you know, they can hide files and erase history so there is absolutely no way you can find out. Since we are separated, I have no way to know what he is doing on the computer, but my boundary is if he goes to porn and lies about it I am done! I will know because when they are still in the addiction cycle, they absolutely
    cannot be into you.
    Flora-I think you put restrictions on the computer for a a very good reason, and that is to protect your’e children, and you are very smart to realize all the other stimulation he has out there for acting out and you have no control over any of it. Therefore, it goes back to motivation and how committed they are to change. But as you said, it is short term and gives you a chance to sort everything out.

  48. Hi everyone-I am in the process of making out my boundary/consequence sheet to present to my SA upon his return from L.A. tomorrow.
    As you know, my boundary is absolutely no lieing, or I am done! His therapist in L.A. feels I should give him 24 hours to come clean when he is lieing. I am going “I don’t think so.” To me, he has already told the lie and has 24hs to think about it. I am going to make my boundary that the minute he starts to lie, he needs to stop, think about he is ready to tell a lie, and then check it, (A conscious decision). And at that time, he needs to disclose the situation. This is how we build trust.
    Also, my SA feels that disclosing is the same as what he calls “reporting.” (That also comes from the therapist in L.A.) My boundary will be that when he is engaged in fantasy or acting out, he needs to be honest, own it, and we will deal with it. His reply is “How can I possibly remember all the triggers I have in a day?” Boy – he must trigger a lot!! I reminded him he is supposed to be journaling all this stuff, so will have that information at his fingertips for recall. I do not expect him to disclose daily, but feel we need to set aside a time on a weekly basis for disclosure and discussion. Again, a way to build trust. He does not agree, but these are my boundaries and I am sticking too them!! His lieing has gone on too long, and as I said before, I am at zero tolerance.
    Any input?

  49. Hi Sharron,

    I don’t think its possible, what you are asking from him, in my opinion. He’s a man– He really CAN’T remember all of his triggers, sex addict or not! lol

    What is it that YOU want?

    He IS going to slip…maybe not today or tomorrow, but he will.

    Then what? ugh, I have read everything you have written—and I’m confused as to what it is that you are expecting to change? I know that you love him dearly, but at 66, he’s not going to change all that much and he doesn’t need to; he has the means and the motive to pull the wool right over your hopeful eyes.

    How do weekly disclosures build trust? What if he doesn’t disclose what you think he needs to disclose? I think its a set-up, that you are self-imposing.

    I just see what appears to be, a lot of micro-managing on your part and no real wanting to change for HIMSELF, as you so astutely pointed out. And of course, that is your business if that’s how you want to live your life. But that is not real recovery, if that is what your goal is. Can you live with an addict who cannot recover unless you are helicoptering his every move–AND THOUGHT?

    The point is… can you live with *THIS* as it now stands?

    Sorry, if this sounds judgmental; I don’t mean it that way at all.

    Much love,


    Please read my previous post.

  50. Sharron,

    I have to agree whole heartedly with Lorraine. It sounds to me like a major power struggle as well as trying to control. What I haven’t read was what you are doing to work on yourself as he prepares to return home. You can control you, but you can not control him and you will drive yourself crazy trying.

    I too think you are expecting too much as well as micro managing. I realize you are stressed and with good reason but you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment.

    Have you read Co-Dependent No More by Melody Beattie? Please, with love, try to take care of you right now…and no one else.



  51. You are absolutely right – it is a set up. His therapist told me two weeks ago to get out, however, previously, I promised him I would stand by him if there are no more lies. I know it is an unrealistic expectation and he cannot possibly keep that boundary – then I will end the marriage.

    I am definitely not trying to micro-manage, and I know he can’t change-I’m not an idiot. But, at least I have given the opportunity for him to tell the truth and I will feel better about myself for doing it. His counselor is also aware of how I am handling it.

    Perhaps my boundary needs to address the lieing only and not get into weekly disclosures- that is probably overkill. I was just thinking in terms of total disclosure in regards to the lieing, and I doubt he will go a month without being able to tell the truth.

    Probably a chicken shit approach, but don’t know how else to handle it and feel good about myself. He is aware if he lies the marriage is over, and I am at zero tolerence.

    I know you are just looking after me, but trust me when I say I know what I am doing.
    Love ya.

  52. Thank you Mary. Please read my last comment. There are also other reasons for dragging this out, which I don’t want to disclose on-line. Am afraid he will figure out which site I am on and read it. I do believe, however, I disclosed my reason in an earlier posting-hopefully it is buried way back in my earlier writings.
    Trust me when I tell you I am not co-dependent. I will explain to you all when this is all over.
    Thanks for the advice. Love ya too.

  53. Sapfantz,
    D-day was May 2, we separated on that day as well. The day after that I told him to get soem help for himself, but NOT to do it for me, because we were separated and there was no point in doing it for me, because I was not going to be around. That week he arranged cousnelling for himself, and 2 weeks later he was attending a 12 step fellowship.
    ” I guess the question is did he do it for you because as you say you couldn’t stand the idea of him having open access to the computer whenever he wants- Or is he really doing it for himself. ”
    I meant that in the way of “thank god he’s doing this because I couldn’t stand it if he was”
    I at no time did I ever impose any restrictions on on him, or say to him ” i can’t stand you being online”. At the time, we were separated, but still speaking, and he was the one who came to me and said that he could not have unsupervised access, and that “browsing the web” is an activy which he will not be able to engage in freely and unfettered, ever again. Now that we are back living in the same house, I have never said to him he can or can’t go online. He is the one who has set that boundary for himself. He does not go online without me, as HE decided to leave his laptop at his mothers, where he can’t access it, and my laptop is the only one in the house, which is locked down by me. If he needs to go online, he asks me if he can, while I sit with him. Again, this is his request. I will not “baby sit” him, and one of the things which encourages me, is that he acepts that he has to police himself, and he seems to be succeeding for the time being. (not deluding myself, I know this could change at any time)

    I am also a database administrator, so know most of the ins and outs as well. I would know pretty quickly if he broke into my laptop and accessed anything. I know how to monitor the networks, the IP conection and so forth.

    The point I was trying to make, is that for HIS own recovery, HE has decided he cannot have access. Of his own free will, he has no access, and I was wondering how many others have imposed these restrictions for themselves?

    Regarding my boundries, they are currently under construction and evolving. As my journey continues, some of my original ones are no longer valid or of no importance. They were a reaction to the initial discovery. As time goes on, some things take on more meaning for me, I gain more knowledge and I add to my boundries.

    For an example, your idea of weekly chats about disclosure is for me, not soemthing I would do, however, others may feel they need to take this approach. We have weekly chats yes, but they are “relationship building”. Anything and everything is discussed, and yes, there is a lot of chat about the addiction, him, and the impact on me, but its not a interrogation. Its a time to sit together and make the extra effort to really listen to what the other is saying, and go over things which may be bothering us.
    I’m taking a different approach. If I have to ask him weekly to tell me about all the things he has done wrong, then I feel he is lieing and with-holding, which in all liklihood means he is “not in recovery”, which means that I may have to decide to end the relationship. I’m not going to wait around for the next 2 years to see if he’s making an honest go at it. If he isn’t, I will know (through his words and actions), and when I have that knowledge, I will then leave.

  54. All,

    I am having a grumpy day, but here goes.

    I know that we debate over these decisions especially the one with computer usage in the household. I say keep it simple. I know that we have boundaries and we want to give them a “chance” (a second, third, fourth chance in all reality), but lets face it…they are not capable. When it comes to the home computer (and this is YOUR HOME… YOUR SAFE PLACE) I feel it should be taken away if they have proven unstrustworthy in the past. If they have used it for porn, looking for sex, cybersex etc… this is the consequence to their past actions. So what if it was not a written “boundary” before, you know in your heart that a line (or a boundary)was crossed, so what if it was not written in plain english. These decisions are hard because they have taken an every day tool and used it for evil (haha).

    Quite frankly you (me, whoever) are not preventing acting out anyway, there is not much control. What I am/we are controlling is our home and how I/we wish to live. If they feel it is over the top and not fair, which they may, they can get out, or go to the library, work etc for computer use. You are not refusing the use of the computer, it just does not have to be under your roof. Parental controls, net nanny etc. does not work and is not 100%. Beleive me, they can get through the hoops if they really try.

    If their choice was strippers, prostitutes, flings etc. You would not allow them to “hang out” with the strippers, got to a bar where they used to pick up women, hang out with a femail co-worker from work he was sleeping with…. with the intent that they can look but just not touch. Same with the computer… there it sits, but you cannot touch?!?! Too much of a temptation. You can surf but no porn. I have read that even booting up the computer can be a trigger for some of them. Its a mental mess, something that I will be never comprehend.

    I may be completely wrong, but these are my thoughts on this topic for today.

  55. Hiya Flora,

    I agree. I think thats why I was prompted to ask the original question. I was confused as to why an SA in recovery has access to a computer at all, nevermind unsupervised.

    According to my husbands counsellor, the sound of a computer booting up can be a trigger for some guys. Its part of the ritual associated with the acting out.

    An alcoholic in early recovery is counselled to not go near a bar. Surely a SA which has used a PC to facilitate his addicion should be told not to go on the PC?

    As you said, the controls don’t work. These guys will find a way around them. I use no controls on my laptop, however, he has no access, and should he gain access somehow, I have the knowledge to dig deep and find deleted files etc. Should it ever come to it, I have access to indivuduals with Forensic Computer knowledge and software. The only way he could erase everything would be to completly destroy the hard drive. Not all of us have this knowledge though!

    I for one am glad my SA looks after this side of his recovery. Don’t think that I wouldn’t lay my own boundries though πŸ™‚ If he decided tomorrow he could have a password for my laptop, he’d be sadly mistaken and would be told so !

  56. Hi,

    I’m grumpy too….so please do not take what I’m going to say the wrong way…

    But here’s the facts — You can NOT trust them regardless. So stop trying to create situations in which you think you’ve got it under control.

    Doesn’t matter what you do with your computer, their computer or elsewise. If they want it, they’ll find it. So don’t waste your precious energy and time trying to out beat them.

    What you do with your machine in your home IS a boundary that you/we are all entitled to. It is a way of life we are choosing by not having that filth in our presence, but it is NOT a way to control them.

    My SA has to use a computer for his work, so NO you can not stop/take away all machines from SA’s because it might trigger them. And can NOT simply be assumed as an automatic restriction in the early part of recovery. This disease/disorder is NOT like alcoholism in that total abstinence is the norm. The triggers for them are not all the same either, even though the end result mostly is. That’s what makes it so hard to overcome because they have to try to learn healthy sex, healthy intimacy etc., if they can. It is NOT about total abstinence.

    They are grown MEN, and must be treated as such…not like children, and manipulation will almost always backfire. To me, it’s all about choices…They’ve two, period…The right choice and the wrong choice. It’s my humble opinion that all of them know all too well what is right or wrong too!

    I’ve Covenant Eyes on his personal laptop which can NOT be broken down or into. I’ve the passwords on the machine and can view it any time from my own personal computer. It is also on his phone which I again have the passwords to and select what features he can even access on his phone. But it is all for NAUGHT because he can go to the library, computers in his office, his work email that I don’t have access to because it’s driven through the company website as well as a work cell phone. He can go ANYwhere… I’m sure if I press the issue about his work email, I could gain access to that if I wanted. I don’t even bother really looking anymore because computer or not, software or not, they are NOT stupid and can access any thing, any time any where…So what’s the point in locking the home computer anyway other then to protect his screw ups and disgusting behaviors from being before the eyes of our children, as they, the SA, have no morals or scruples.

    My goal with my SA is for him to learn to come to me openly, willingly and withOUT my always having to drag shit out of him, with his feelings, emotions or thoughts. For him to come to me when he’s feeling weak, when he’s slipped or made a mistake, when he’s having a good day or bad day. I want him to learn to come to me and share what he’s learned from a book, or a meeting, or something in his recovery. I do not want to be a warden…it gets neither of us anywhere. I do not want a day to day accounting of his actions or behaviors either.

    But I feel by his even risking coming to me and sharing good or bad, that will top ANY locks on computers, or warden type behaviors. His doing that, I feel will help build trust, emotional intimacy and also will tell me that he’s not just going through the motions of recovery, but learning and applying himself to it. He still cries over how bad he hurt me in all of this. He does that without provocation from me. But bottom line, that’s how I will know that there is hope. Afterall, that is the bottom line goal, isn’t it? It is for me….it sets the stage for a new behavior pattern for us as a couple, in the end, at least for now, in these early months of recovery, I’d rather have that than anything other because all else to me is just games….It also places some responsibility on HIM to create his own boundaries and guidelines toward recovery.

    I told my SA that slip ups, I can try to handle, Lying, I can not or will not tolerate. My last big “d” day was 8/23. I told him just yesterday that there are certain behaviors that by now do NOT fall into that “slip up” category anymore. Those being contact with ANY of the women he had been contacting prior to my discovery as one of them. I do not expect him to be perfect, but I DO expect him to be honest. The lying is a DEAL BREAKER for me and I have a NO tolerance boundary. For me, his sobriety will be gaged on his openess, willingness to share unsolicited, honesty and finding ways to show me “he gets” it be it educating me on what he’s learning about himself and the disease/disorder. Anything beyond that, to me, is a crap shoot…..For them, the SA’s, the ability to share and be open is HUGE since most of their lives have been isolated and alone due to the lying……I don’t agree about keeping them from the computers as a means of control, but rather as a means to preserve the dignity for ourselves and our children and our rights as their partners to live clean and decent lives.

    I don’t know, again, I’m grumpy too. This life..life with an SA SUCKS, period……….Every day I see mine, I realize all the more how messed up he is and how truly sick he is….The causes, so deep, so rooted, I’m not sure will ever be able to be overcome. And if so, it won’t happen over night..that’s for sure. Thanks for listening……

    Love to all,


  57. Hi Mary,
    I think we are all trying and doing the same thing, we are just all at different stages. For the the first 3 months after I found out about my SA he had free reign on the home computer and I installed monitoring software to catch him. And i did. He did not know about the monitoring software and if he did he is smart enough to not engage in porn activities on the computer while it was in use. It was then that he lost the privelage. I did not have an official written boundary, but none was needed. If they know there is monitoring software on the computer its about the same as if the computer is off limits for their paticular use. They are not stupid. They will engage in activity elsewhere if desperate. A true test is the install and not tell them, and see if the come clean when they slip up. that was my goal. We had an agreement that if he had a slip up he was supposed to tell me in 24 hours. Mine did not. If you are gonna catch a liar, you have to know the truth, because it’s not gonna come from the liar. Mine has been sneaky and is not in all reality sincere about recovery. I know that some out there think that this may be sneaky and unfair, but was necesary for gathering data. And its about the only thing I have in my pocket.
    We all have our different ways of going about it. I don;t think there is any one right or wrong way and my ideas and answers change everyday as things change.
    I agree it sucks as well and more and more everyday.

    But from a theoretical/treatment point of view. Barring all of our thoughts from our perspective. If an alchoholic is to remove all liquor from the house why should a porn addict have easy access at one click in the home?

    I am not condoning any way…just food for thought.

    Hang in there everyone!

  58. Hi friends,
    I think the learning curve on sex addiction (in general), and your own SA (in particular) is really really big. We bite off little pieces and just when we think we can manage it, we discover that the rug is pulled out from underneath us somewhere else.

    I am more and more convinced that until the SA attends to the gaping wound that is underneath the sexual acting out, there is little hope for the SA being sober and an emotional adult. It is the gaping wound that is demanding to be medicated. Those demands will not cease until the wound is cleaned, dressed, and healing. That means an awful hard work for an SA, and some just play the “sober-up” game–which has a shelf life.

    Hard lessons. And I hope for better treatments, therapeutic approaches for both SA’s and wives of SA’s.

    love to all,

  59. Diane, you are absolutely right!

    Until the SA is counseled and treated for the childhood issues that caused their addiction in the first place all of their efforts toward recovery will be futile.

    No matter how much they want to change, no matter how much ‘white knuckling’ they endure and no matter how much they profess to love you or their children, they can never overcome the emotional damage that has been done until they face their childhood demons.

    Larry did not even begin to recover, even though he was two years into it, until he found a family counselor (in addition to his SA counselor) who made him face those horrible memories and used professional methods to put his anger and pain to rest.

  60. Flora made a good point, we are all at different stages. Our SA’s are all at different stages.

    The way my SA’s cousellor has approached it, is that in the first stages, they need to “purge” themselves so they can give them selves the best possible change. And while yes, the SA needs to be able to use a computer throughout his life without acting out, he needs to initially stay away from it for a bit. Once they start learning to deal with things and can start proactively looking after themselves, then yes, they may need to reintroduce it. In my opinion, its like an alcoholic trying to kick it, with a big bottle of whiskey sitting on the mantlepiece. AFter a while, yes, he can maybe have a bottle of alcohol in the house to offer to guests ect, but in the initiall stages, he just can’t have it around. My SA appears to take it seriously, and has kept his “no useless browsing” rule for himself. He only goes on for a specific reason and when done what he needs to, leaves it immediatly. He said he knows that sitting on it, looking up useless info and random things (AKA “browsing”), wasting time will potentially trigger him, and he would rather admit that its something he doesn’t want to do in the first place, than have to tempt himself and whiteknuckle it through the rest of the evening. His approach has been to learn the things he cannot do,”the danger areas” and approach them cautiously, rather than “think” he can handle it at this stage. In a couple years time, maybe he will review, maybe not. I for one am happy that instead of wasting time online, potentially putting himself in a position where he will trigger, he chooses to instead spend that time doing hobbies and spending time with me. We play board games, go for walks, chat .. its letting us build our relationship. Maybe its all a fairy tale in my head, but when I see him activley pursuing healthy activities and choosing to spend time with me, it gives me hope, because it is so different from the man he was 6 months ago. The man who had no activities, was withdrawn, would ignore me for hours on end.. I am not stupid, I know at any stage it could all come crashing back to earth and start again, and that is what keeps me vigalent.

    Mary, I’m with you, I don’t want to be a warden! Did it for a while, and its draining. If he lies to me, its also a dealbreaker.
    Every day, I used to think to myself “the worst of it all is that …” and each day would be soemthing different. He lied, he manuipulated, he broke my trust, he stole years from me…
    I’m not engaging in that anymore, because in truth, every single thing he did was the worst of it all… its one big stinking package.

  61. Joanne and Diane,
    Yes they have the deal with their demons. I used the same term in a letter I wrote my SA the other day. And this is why I am choosing to step away from my SA for now. He is going to live with his parents and we will see how de does. Most likley it will get worse, they have no boundaries or accountability. This is where the addiction started in the frist place. but he makes min. wage and I pay the rest. Not fair and not a life for me. If he can’t afford to live away from home, and does not want to earn more money to do so, then so be it.

    We can beg plead, check, discuss…he can go to meetings, thearpy, journal…but if the underlying issue is not found, it will never stop. Or if they take that leap it may lead them to a productive place where it may be safe for us to consider entring into a relationship again with the SA. I think in the beginning this is magical thinking for us, we all have the hope that they will pull through. The odds are not in our favor.

  62. My SA would spend hours looking up the most rediculous crap, hours online gaming, offline gaming, all revolved around the computer (forget about real life).. all while he was not working and later was watching our daughter during the day. He would be on this thing all day long. He did not ever use the computer for anything productive! It was just a huge time waster for him.

  63. My SA is suicidal….I’ve a potentially very serious issue here. I’m struggling with how to handle this, what to do. My SA’s acting out has come from years of feeling not worthy and as a result has always had this insatiable need for attention and feelings of worthlessness. After discovery I saw it all the more through emails to his other women how he used the most intimate details of my life to win over his women. To make them think he was such a “white knight” as he referred to himself in one email as.

    Yesterday we each had a session with our therapists in the same office. It is a new set of drs and his Dr. initially had wanted to meet with me yesterday to get my side of the story. A week and 1/2 ago I sent a letter instead with details, as my SA had been minimizing and I told his Dr. I wasn’t going to do any jt counseling until my SA stopped minimizing and remained honest. When they scheduled my appointment for this week, it had cooincidentally gotten scheduled 15 min later than the appointment my SA had scheduled with his Dr. My therapist and I discussed it last meeting and I left it with my therapist that if his Dr. insisted on seeing me yesterday, that I would comply and left it up to her and his Dr. to decide.

    When I got to my meeting with mine – his was scheduled 15 earlier with his so he was already in with his Dr. My therapist took me into that meeting so a meeting with all 4 of us was what seemed to be the agenda. I had walked into his Dr. pressing him to go to inpatient therapy immediately! It appeared that I walked into what was becoming an intervention. My letter to his Dr had pointed out his suicidal idealization uncovering his minimizing to the new Dr. My SA was at my house Saturday and Sunday and was made to sleep in the guest bedroom both nights. I worked hard at not bringing up issues as the last couple weeks with him have been a struggle. Until Monday morning, most of our time together was in silence. I so wanted him to open up on his own and I worked hard at keeping my big mouth shut. He did finally and did so on Monday morning.

    He went to my church with me Sunday night and suicide was brought up during the sermon. He left Church commenting that he did not know that all he needed was a pipe to his car and not a garage. Two weeks ago my Covenant Eyes report showed me that he had spent most of one day and night perusing Suicide web sites on the web. I addressed it with him then and he assured me it was nothing. I of course can not take him serious. Monday morning when he finally opened up it was a non stop pity party and constant repeating of his not being able to forgive himself for what he did and what he did to me. He had gotten up early and written an email to a pastor talking about his thoughts of killing himself. He showed it to me and i told him to go ahead and send it. That email was an extension of Sunday’s sermon telling all that were contemplating suicide to contact someone in God’ house.

    My SA is the best and quite proficient at gaining self pity. He’s stopped at nothing all these years to get it either…doesn’t matter who from either or at what cost.

    He was angry yesterday in the meeting as all the sudden I found three of us pushing him into getting help. This new Dr. had put him on welbutrin a week and 1/2 ago and told him to stop that immediately. That only occurred after my SA announced that his Dr. said he wasnt’ depressed and my reaction was “well that means you did this to me just to be a prick then and that changes everything”…that statement drove him to contact the Dr. while texting me to get antidepressants and I told him that was bullshit that all the sudden because of my reaction he ran to get on drugs.

    Be it all that, He is ready to snap…I see that plain and clear…but I do not work and am on Social Security Disability. He’s supporting me completely right now and is only 10 months into a new job that he works straight commission on. He due to his own procrastination and neglect does not have proper insurance so any treatment center that includes Sex addiction treatment won’t be covered.(wouldn’t be anyway) The new Dr. wants him to go to Keystone but at this point wanted to check him into the local phych hospital yesterday as anything is better than nothing. His insurance will cover a straight psyh hospital, I just don’t know how much yet…it’s usually only 50%

    My SA fought angrily yesterday against it. He’s in a meeting 6 nights a week either in recovery or church…surrounded by people for the first time in his life as his life before discovery only included the lazy boy and his laptop, a life we all know too well. Yet all he talks about is being lonely and isolated and ashamed.

    I left the meeting yesterday without talking to him as he stopped to use the restroom. I left because I can’t deal with him right now verbally. He’s an excuse for everything as it pertains to getting inpatient help but won’t stop talking about killing himself. I get too frustrated…..This morning he’s texting me that he is worse than yesterday but was trying to figure out how to afford going in the hospital…but those words are not followed up with anything other than more of his manipulative comments like “i have to sell the truck and the motorcycles”…I pointed out that his crisis insurance will pay for treatment at a straight psych hospital and to stop it.

    His Dr. wants to keep close tabs on him right now but he refused to see him again over the next days due to his busy work schedule and screaming that he works on commission and has too many people to take care of (Which is his clinging to the past, and lying because it’s only me, him and five dogs now, all our children are young adults)…His Dr. did make him agree to accept a phone call from him at noon today. So hopefully he will do that.

    So I don’t know where this is going guys, I am concerned but then toggle back and forth that this is also a ploy for attention. He’s blamed depression for his behaviors and blamed depression on most everything in his life for years, but it is worse than ever now. I am not sure how to be handling him because you don’t take threats of suicide lightly ANY time. Part of me wants to get angry and part of me feels hopeless and I give up because he wont’ stop talking about it but won’t sacrifice the time..ANY time be it a week, two weeks or a month to get serious help…which I know he needs regardless of whether or not he’s serious.

    Yes, he stands to loose his job if he checks in, yes, it will be a huge financial burden if he checks in, but as I told the therapist yesterday, I’ve had 10 years of being poor since I got sick and lost all I had trying to get away from my second abusive husband. My SA has never, never had to experience no money in his pocket as I have. Even though we’ve been together 10 years, his pockets were always full of cash where I was selling anything I could find around the house just to get pocket change.

    It would be hard his not working for a month, but to me, feel in the end it would not be a big deal, that we can survive and be okay….my oldest son just moved home with me a two weeks ago, broke his hand/arm days later and is now in a full arm cast for three months and lost his job for now as a result so we’ve ultimately his bills too if he can’t find work with only his left hand. He’s just 21. It is all bad financially, yes but I feel can be overcome, but again I am used to having nothing in the first place. My SA has always been one to never not have a safety net of money. He’s old fashioned and burrys it under the mattress. He’s got a big issue over saving for “rainy days”. I know this is a way of life for him and can not easily be changed. It was how he was raised.

    Please, Keep me in your prayers the next days because I don’t know what the outcome will be. I need to figure out how to talk to him right now, the manner in which I should be talking to him that is. I don’t think being angry at his refusal or beating him up to go is the right answer, yet I don’t want to be feeding his need for attention either………How can you deal with someone who refuses to be rationed with? I told him this morning that what should he expect? If he’s not going to stop talking about killing himself then people are going to pay attention. His Dr and my therapist gave me a phone number to call if I feel at any time this is really spiraling and that number is to the psych hospital I guess but will send people to him to evaluate him and take him in if necessary..I think…they just told me to call that number and people will go to him. I will say, I do believe He does really want to get better. But this situation is getting worse here not better.

    Thanks for listening,


  64. Mary,


    Suicide threats are NEVER to be taken frivolously. It is not a ploy for sympathy. It is A CRY FOR HELP!!!

    Call that number and talk to them.

    There is a woman on the Junkys’ Wive’s Club whose husband killed himself on 9.1.

    She had just left him two days earlier.

    If I’m scaring you, its intentional. This is very serious.

    Godspeed! Prayers and Hugs,


  65. Please— you won’t SEE a spiraling down. My neighbor’s husband killed himself 18 months ago.

    Suicide victims usually present as being “happy and together” before they kill themselves. That is because they are finally at peace with their decision and feel ironically for the first time EVER “in control”

    I’m so sorry honey… please, just make the call.



  66. Lorraine,

    Yes, I know this…but he is REFUSING…..saying he doesn’t really mean it, etc…then goes right back to it. We tried to get him to check in Yesterday! but instead he got angry and pissed off and said we were attacking him…that he was too smart to go through with it.

    He said to me this morning that we were the ones who’s made him feel worse today. That now he trusts no one and stated “I was in no place to be put there” “and he knew it”…referring to his Dr.

    I told him earlier this morning that he should come over and we sit and go through the bills, income, etc and to get me the information on an insurance policy he can have through his work. That we can figure a way to make this happen…

    He had to go into a meeting at work…..

    I don’t know what to do….I just don’t.

  67. Mary,
    You will sooooo be in my prayers. I have typically not been a prayer, but its time to start and more. I agree, just call and see what they say. Its a pattern and he appears to be not only comtemplating but looking into ways of how. Let them decide if he is doing it to get attention etc. Better safe than sorry. If they find that he does not need to be there, they will send him home and he would not need a month stay etc.

    Like you said you will figure out how to pick up the pieces and make ends meet. In my state if there is not a wage earner or if the income is below a certain point – State aid is then available and you can also potentially be put on state insurance. But I am not sure about others. With the loss of his job, it may be that some things will be available that were not before.

    Hugs, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  68. Appears to be giving you the run around and he just does not want to go. But i would guess that they usually don’t. But he can’t keep doing this to you. Call his therapist or yours to discuss maybe they have some advice. Maybe they can send someone to come and get him if necessary. Also appears to be making excuses. And with statements like that where he is directly blaming you, are not fair.

    Are you on his insurance? If you are you can just call them to get the benefit info. they usually have a seperate behavioral health number. Sometimes they also have a nurse on staff or help line numbers. The phone numbers would be on your card and you would share the same policy.

  69. The next time he threatens suicide, I would call 911.

    The cops will come, an ambulance will come. He won’t have a choice.(barricade yourself up somewhere safe, if you need to) People who are threatening to take their own lives do not have a choice. They have lost all reason.

    Of course it has NOTHING to do with you. He is very sick and making everything ALL your fault is just psycho manipulation. Don’t fall for it.

    I’m so sorry, that you are being put through the ringer like this. It totally sucks, but suicide sucks even more.

    I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers.



  70. Thank you guys,

    I am so drained on his need for constant attention. This was what I meant by my comment yesterday that every day I see how very sick he is. This topic is SOOOO serious and it angers me if this is just more of his attempts at getting people to feel sorry for himself. It is a topic that one CAN and MUST not take lightly.

    My emotions are so crazy because I have anger and empathy/concern all within the same sentence. I am afraid I’ll lash out at his ignorance and then that would push him over the edge. Then he turns around and refuses help but continues to seek pity and concern, continues to say things that get “rises” out of me. I feel trapped and damned if I do or damned if I don’t.

    I’m on SS. Hes paying the rent for my house right now as well as all the bills to keep it going..lights, food, etc. If I see it no big deal to stretch for a month for him to get the help he needs, I feel he shouldn’t either…but this guy also thought being a Martyr was a great trait up until 5 months ago when I pointed out it wasn’t. He likes to “toot” his horn and feel like he sacrifies so much for soooooo many.

    His Dr. was to call him at noon today….I hope he took the call.

    Thanks again for all your love and support…I held off sharing for a couple weeks now, but just couldn’t any more today.

    I feel drained of empathy for this guy but would feel terrible, horrible if he went through with this and I didn’t do things differently. Then again, I’m tired of the sick way he can take normal daily events and find a way to make himself a victim out it…all day long, and always……..it never stops….never.



  71. I am tempted to call his Dr. and explain the severe extent of my SA’s seeking out for pity and just how drained I am on this mess. I tried to do so yesterday but not sure they fully understand. I am really beginning to feel that I should just back out of this situation entirely and turn it over to them because my intuition is one of getting mad at him and calling his bluff which would be BAD BAD BAD if it’s not. But he’ll get pissed if I don’t talk to him either…I feel screwed either way.

    They, the Dr.s being new to both of us, don’t know how he wallows in self pity and manipulates people into feeling sorry for him..his masterful lies and half truths about us all these years to get his women to lust for him like he was some big flippin hero. It’s like the boy who cried wolf for so long, then when in real trouble no one believes him….I’m so at that point and I resent him for doing this to me – choosing suicide as his next chess pawn if in fact this is all just crap…………..

  72. Mary,
    You are doing the right things. There isn’t anything you can do without his cooperation, he doesn’t meet the criteria for an involuntary commitment. He has health care professionals who deal with psychiatric issues and suicide threats on a regular basis involved. And it sounds as though they are reacting very appropriately given the situation. If you have concerns about his imminent safety, call the doctors and let them take care of it from there. I wouldn’t let your SA know, it keeps the attention/sympathy factor out of the equation. Step back from the drama, and do what partners do….not what he needs to do or try to do the therapists job. Lorraine is right, all threats are taken seriously, it doesn’t mean all threats lead to attempts….and that is the doctors job to assess, you don’t have the training for it. Take a deep breath, and just for today, live your life as well as you can:)

  73. Mary,
    If he has threatened suicide out right call 911 he can be held for I believe 72 hours even if he says no for observation. This is not his choice nor yours the threat alone is grounds for this. Its quite possible that his Dr’s. can arrange this too. Maybe with forced observation the question of yes he is in need of treatment,or again this is just his need for attention, can come to the surface. best to you I will be thinking of you

  74. I just placed a call to my Therapist….My SA told me he didn’t talk to his Dr. at noon, but he’d called him at 11:00 instead asking for an appointment…guess he’s getting one tomorrow at 3….anyway I told him I resented being blamed for making him feel worse by yesterday’s meeting and he came back with “that’s the way it is”….I told him I wasn’t handling this well and I was angry and I was going away….The manipulating started in with him texting “fine…then “giving up on me?” followed by “damnit”…then tried calling while I was in the shower…now is texting me how bad it will be for me to bail on him now…how it couldn’t be worse………

    I feel SOOOOO manipulated and trapped…..I just left long message in my therapists voice mail for what to do right now….in the meantime,

    I’m going for a manicure and pedicure – at 2:00!


  75. Mary,
    I believe threatening suicide is domestic abuse and an attempt at control. I think I read it on a list of abusive behaviors. The womens shelter may also have some advice, as this is a form of abuse.
    Have fun at your pedicure, sit back and relax!

  76. Mary -Sounds like he is putting you through hell and back. Soundslike a “borderline” to me-all the manipulation is so textbook classical. Lorraine is 100% right-He does not have a choice. One more threat from him and you need to call 911. They will take him to the nearest psych facility for an assessment. When he gets there, he will probably deny any suicidal ideation or plans – obviously he does not want help – just wants to drive you crazy.
    The facility will probably want to get an affidavit from to provide verification of his threats of suicide. Once you give that, they can put him on a protective hold for 96-hrs., or time your state mandates.
    Knowing this guy, the way you have described him, if he did make an attempt, it would be a feeble one to “get even” That is how borderlines operate. And, as you probably know, suicide is an act of hostility toward those close to them. But, Lorraine is entirely right – you can’t take the chance!
    He really has you dancing to his tune – I feel so sorry for you having to go through all of this. This guy is really sick! Duh!! So, if necessary, provide that affidavit and put his happy little ass in protective custody – the best thing for both of you.
    My prayers are with you.

  77. I know it has to be taken seriously, any talk of suicide does..but his words/actions point to someone trying to play the pity card.
    “you made me feel bad and now i want to kill myself”. That is unimaginable cruelty.. I can’t imagine how horrible that must feel for you.

    At what stage does he start taking responsibility for his life??

    Try and relax at your manicure.

  78. He doesn’t want to go to a facility or a hospital because he doesn’t want their attention—he wants yours, and he wants his therapists’ worried and not pursuing the minimizing issue.

    I agree with the call 911. You have to take the threat seriously. But you also have to get out of the story. This pressure is too much for you to bear. He wants you to take responsibility for whether he lives or dies. Don’t take it. And I really don’t like the therapist suggesting you should take it too. I would make a plan with the therapist to get you out of this part of his treatment story, because I’m afraid you WILL find it too much to bear, and then you are at risk, as well.

    may you find clarity and courage,

  79. Mary, I am so sorry that you are being manipulated like this. He knows he can do it and he will continue until he gets what he wants, or thinks he wants.

    Most states have an involuntary commitment law for anyone who is a threat to themselves or others. If you look up the law in your state online it will tell you how long they are allowed to hold someone–without their consent–usually 72 hours. During that time they will be evaluated and placed in an inpatient facility if necessary. At the very least he will be evaluated and offered medication.

    If he says the word suicide call 911. They will come and take him away. He does not have to agree. As a nurse I have had to do this several times with home patients who were despondent and threatening suicide.

    I agree with Diane that you need to distance yourself from his treatment and you need to find your own therapist–just for you.

    My thoughts are with you my dear. Please, be safe.


  80. Hi all -Just just an update on my situation. I am just now up and running on my new computer – the other one finally bit the dust.
    I think I gave you all the wrong impression in regards to my boundaries set for my SA. I have no intention of policing him. My intentions, however are full disclosure from him, but I do not ask any questions of him – it is on his shoulders.
    After his return from L.A., he is doing just that. It appears he gained a lot of insight while there, and at this point in time, is working very hard to achieve the goals set for him.
    We have talked quite openly, and he did not feel a divorce should be the consequence for him if he should slip and tell a lie. He intends to focus on it and correct by telling the truth (immediately) should he start to tell a “whopper”. So, I modified my boundary somewhat, in that should I catch him in a lie and he has not corrected it and tells the truth, I will completely step out of the marriage and wait until such time as his therapist tells me he has progressed enough in his therapy to stop the lieing , and his triggers have diminished. I feel this is the only way I can determine disclosure from him, and that is if we see eachother once in a while. Since we are separated, don’t know any other way to determine this.
    I do not intend for this to be, by any means, a long term thing. If I have not seen any improvment in the next 6 months I will file for divorce. These are mutually agreed upon boundaries for us both. This way, I am giving him a chance, and if he blows it, will be on his shoulders. His therapist is going to see me in 2 weeks to discuss his progress in L.A., and if she finds this a reasonable boundary – or I should say, if he has shown the motivation to stay consistent with progress and stop the lieing, we will proceed from there.
    I am not, by any means, getting my hopes up, because after reality sets in from his IOP, and he is back to ground zero you all know what the stats are for staying in the addiction. But this way, I can live with myself and will know I have given him that “last chance”. Without any high expectations, I am in a place where this will not traumatize me or devastate me anymore. At my age, I really don’t feel like 6 mo. is going to make or break me. Right now, I am totally happy by myself, and spending time with my SA is minimal.
    You know I appreciate all your replies, even if you “bash” me on occasion. Ha! Just trust tht I am a very strong personality, and even though there are ups and downs, I take care of #1.

  81. Hi Sharron,,

    I think your plan is reasonable, only you can decide how much time is too much time for you.

    Hope you don’t think I was “bashing”, I was just looking to explore the whole internet access thing and get people’s perspectives πŸ™‚

  82. HI Sharron,
    I think there are many of us who understand the personal need to be satisfied that you made every attempt to work through a recovery plan with your SA. I certainly needed to give him and us an opportunity to find a place of honesty in our human weakness where we could meet challenges together.

    It didn’t work for me, but that doesn’t mean I regret trying. I don’t. Because that’s who I am as a person. But I would also urge you to do what I did, as well. Continue to make plans and develop options for yourself should recovery not hold. This is not something that affects your attempt to work things through. It does create a safety level, however, that was crucial for me to have when things really hit the fan. We are entitled to a level of safety that they are not providing. Not feeling safe is what triggers all the trauma symptoms in us. So, working on your safety allows you to “present” a more balanced version of yourself while you are trying to work things through.

    I hope you are able to move with courage and strength with all the hard challenges with your SA, and that you also are able to recover yourself and honour your own life.

  83. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions, support and prayers. I don’t know why it always happens but on my way home from my manicure I had my cell phone on my lap as it was around the time I’d told my therapist I’d be available to call me and she did but my darn phone didn’t ring. Her call shot right into my voice mail….go figure. Only happens when it’s a very important call your waiting for….damn phones….

    Anyway I had told her in my voice mail earlier yesterday that without any suggestions from them, I felt I needed to remove myself from this nightmare and let them handle him. I’ve been subjected to this pattern from him for 10 years. Her message to me was of more concern over the distress in my voice yesterday and told me to give considerable thought to dissapearing for several days. So we are on the same page at least. However, my SA is too needy, clinging and manipulative and that is not as easy as it’s seems. They will get to realize this as they work more with us. Around 10:30 last night I got emails from him sharing his day, loosing his cell phone at one point too, and I guess he finally told his boss the extent of what was going on with him, but also telling me how he was feeling so sorry for himself the last weeks and took that pity to the extreme. He apologized for being so angry in the meeting the other day and said he hadn’t taken the wellbutrin for a day and 1/2 and was feeling better…..this is the standard….put everyone through hell and back screaming suicide for weeks now peaking with this week….I am drained.

    He’s saying how he wants this to all be over and over as soon as possible…again, typical of him. He’s spent a life time capitalizing on others accomplishments as much as he can if it means he won’t have to do the work himself to learn something new. I have been his Mother for 10 years. He’s so good at manipulating. Asking me last night if I still wanted him to be accountable to me….which is, as always a way to manipulate my telling him where we stand after me telling him yesterday via text message that I was angry and I was going away. His last request in his email last night was telling me he wanted to go with me to my special church service Friday night and would I invite him.

    The problem is, if I don’t he screams rejection and heads right back into the self pity mentality which leads to the killing himself talk. Hell, I can’t even invite him over to my house and try to keep it at a “visit” instead of an overnight without him getting pissed. This is where I begin to feel really trapped. A few weeks ago he kept pushing me to come over and I finally agreed with a text message that said “You can come over, for a little while..it’s my Grey’s anatomy/Private Practice night. He arrived with a bit of an attitude, stayed two hours, I ended up feeding him because it was around my dinner time anyway…he ate, got up abruptly and left. I heard about it later how he was mad becauze he’d wanted to spend the night.

    So with regard to tomorrow night and church, I again, walking on egg shells told him I saw no reason for him not to be able to join me and my son and suggested he “meet us” there because I’m going out of town Saturday morning and have a lot to get done Friday night in order to leave early Sat. I’ll hear about that at some point…as he’s not responded yet. I’ll bet anything the sulking which is soo good will kick in and come back with either “forget it”, or he’ll be pissy that he’s not getting an overnight invitation or come over to my house and we’ll all go together invite either. I also think if I’m totally honest here, I give in because I’m afraid if I don’t he won’t give me any money. He’s controlled me for years with the money and let me get down to having things taken away before he “coughs” any of it up. 8 years ago he let my car get repo’d and then gave me 2 grand the next day to go buy another one….sick I tell you, sick. So I have to be careful how far I go for fear of not getting any money. I find often I don’t do the boundary I want to do with him because of that very fear.

    The therapist’s don’t know how bad this can get yet. I’m damned if I do and damned it I don’t. I’ve addressed with him in the past that I need to have the freedom to make and enforce my own boundaries with regard to his coming here and for how long. Just as I’ve told him to stop grabbing me for a year now and it goes in one ear and out the other. He’s no respect for my boundaries, and when enforced starts the poor me, I’m no good, I’m going to kill myself, I should just let you go mode…..It sucks…totally.

    I was ready to snap yesterday afternoon while at the salon. I’ve a prescrip for Lorazpam which I rarely take during the day because it knocks me out….I took one at 5:00, came home and slept. I had a big back moler extracted Monday so my mouth is full of stiches and had a partial bridge…it all fell out last night as well and I’m off to the dentist again today….uggggggg.

    Because of my frame of mind, I made my email very short last night and told him that I was refraining from sharing any of my feelings/concerns right now and he needed to respect that. Again, I’m sure he’s sulking about that.

    He’s so dependent on me for his identity and it can’t continue. It will be interesting to see what he does over loosing his Iphone. He indicated he was charging his old one, but he has no clue how to activate it, or what he will have to go through to get it turned on. Since we got our phones in 2007, hes’ refused to learn Itunes so he can sinc his phone…he can’t even read the damn phone bill right. I’ve always been the one to take his phone and make it work for him….this auta be interesting the next couple days because he’s on his own and I’m going to have a good laugh.

    I will check my states laws on involuntary checking in. This can’t continue and maybe I really should just call that number the next time and let them haul his little ass in. He won’t like being locked up in the looney bin as Dianne is right, its not their attention he’s looking for.

    JoAnn, not sure you read all my story as I do have my own therapist. We are under a sex addiction treatment clinic and I have my own super gal who follows the trauma model and he’s under the MD therapist, head cheese doctor, which is good because this Dr. can write scripts. The way this is supposed to be working is I’m seeing my gal and he’s seeing his guy and if at some point I/we feel we can get back together, we can come together with our respective therapists and go right into joint counseling. His Dr. wanted to meet with me one time to get my side of the story because he knows how very different it will be…My SA’s screaming suicide has gotten in the way right now of everything………..

    I’m not so sure this suicide thing is over, but I am trying to stay away from him. Those close to me comment on how much calmer I am when I’ve been away from him. He just won’t let it and my being financially dependent on him for everything doesn’t help either. He’s seeing his Dr. at 3:00 today, time will tell.

    Sharron, good luck with the return of your SA…I hope things continue to progress favorably with you. It’s hard I know and the walking on egg shells routine is daunting at best.

    I’m so glad I have you all. Thanks again….it is so true that unless you experience this yourself, one can not relate to someone who has not walked in the same/similar shoes…they just can’t. I have several I’ve mentioned this crap to and they laugh, call him “Tiger” and haven’t a clue how painful this whole situation is.

    God Bless,


  84. Sharron,
    It seems like you have set some good boundaries and parameters based on what you want. I would be a little warry of leaning on his therapist too much in your life decisions, unless you feel 100% confident in them. But they do act as a gauge and you can take it and decide from there.

    I am seperating from my SA as well. I still hold a glimmer of hope, but not to terribly optomistic either. The seperation will allow me to start building my life without the SA, and get my life back to some sort of organization. Then I will be truely free to make the best decision for myslef, as I will not be dependent upon someone else, and in this case someone who is toxic to the marriage. And if you do agree to come back together it will be on different terms and a fresh start. I felt living under one roof to be maddening and stressfull for the most part. Looking forward to some time alone (although not truely alone three kids).

  85. An interesting thing occured last night. As usuall, I am in a state of slight confusion as to what is real or not.

    My SA came home from his counselling session. It was his last one for the time being. His counsellor is pleased with his progress, and thinks it is time for him to “steer his own ship”. He is to continue with his work, his fellowship etc, as it appears to be working for him. However, if needs be, he is to make an appointment immediatly if things start to fall apart. I am encouraged by this. I am also a bit frightened as I wonder if he will stay on the path without his counsellor. Now, it seems that my SA does not have a horrible history, no horrifying abuse ect. He simply developed warped coping/intamacy skills due to the nature of his upbringing. (very strict, very religious). So he is not in need of years of therapy to deal with the ghosts of his past.
    When he got home and he was telling me, we dicussed a few things, and I got upset. Nothing in particular, I don’t really know why. I had to leave at that time because I had a coffee date with another girl here in town who is in the same position as we all are. Upon my return, we spoke. He said that when I left he cried, because he was upset that he had come home in a good mood, feeling so uplifted and pround of himself and all the hard work he was doing. The counsellor has said some very nice and encouraging things to him, and he was feeling good about things. He was upset that despite all that, I was still upset. He then said that he realised that it wasn’t always about him, and that he sees I need to talk about these things, and that he can see that he cannot take it personally, that I do not bring these things up to persecute him, I do it because I need to work through them, same as he has had to do. I can’t recall the quote he said, but it was about “the greater good” , and he could see that for the greater good of my healing it was his responsibility to listen, and let me talk, not worry about his own pain at hearing my words, because my pain was just as great and I am not responsible for his pain, he is. Where as he is responsible for my pain and it is only right that I am allowed to express it and be heard.

    I was ****ing shocked. He has changed so much in the past 6 months, but hearing this was like nothing I had ever heard from him before. But then the old thoughts creep in. Does he have an alterior motive, can I believe him? * sigh *

    We talked for a long time. I said a few things which plague my mind. One is a selfish thing, but I had to tell him that I think it sometimes. I said “I lay in bed, and I think “oh poor you”. Boo hoo. Just because you had a rough childhood, what right does that give you to do the things you did? I am a person who carried heavy burdens and I turned out to be kind, compassioate and a moral person. I had parents who negelected me emotionally, a mother that sexually abused me, a bi-polar (i think) father who told me I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t work hard enough or do good enough. He joked about how fat I was, and my nickname for years was “pork chop”. At age 12 i got into drugs (mild) and alcohol. I was also raped halloween night that year. AGe 14 I left home, at age 15 was pregant and married an controlling man 6 years older than me. i have lived in poverty all my life and always had to do without. I am weary, weary of fate putting these burdens onto my shoulders, but yet I am a survivor and I will carry on. It is not fair that YOU have given me ye another burden. You who grew up in a nice house, had all the things you wanted, and simply had to live with rigid rules of behaviour, and repressed views on sexuality. Poor you. Society would say if I was messed up, I have all cause to be so, yet I am of the opinion while yes, it is unfortunate that my life has carried so many burdens, I wouldn’t change it because it makes ME who I am today. A good, honest, decent person. ”

    Obviously I’ve left out a lot of cursing there, but you get the idea. I was amazed that he sat there held my hand and did not defend himself in any ways. He stood up and ran his hands over my hair and said that I was the most amazing person he had ever met and it wasnt fair at all and he wants to give me as much goodness as he can.

    I want so badly to believe.. I do believe .. am I being weak and falling for more bullsh!t ??? I think a lot of women would be jumping over the moon, and I am..but I have learned that trusting causes me pain. I wonder if I am setting myself up for more??

  86. Starry,
    While 6 months have gone by for him and he has made great progress, 6 months is not very long for you. He has just started making sense to you and hearing you, versus the past 6 months where it would seem were different (I am guessing because you were saying he was a completely different person last night). But I would guess there is more time needed for you to heal. Its alot to take in in one night and it will take time for it to sink in if true, if not you will know. No need to make super quick decisions!

    My SA was similar he had everything handed to him, and has learned to take no responsibility for anything. It drives me nuts!!! The same as you. Where my life was harder, deprived of clothes, attention, no college etc. all of which he got handed to him and he is the messed up one!?!? So I identify with you there. It ticks me off that someone can be so irresponsible (poor baby).

    Also there is no need to trust him quickly. These are words thus far, as they say don;t listen to the words, but wathc the actions. And trust is earned not given and it takes time to re-build trust. Take all of the time you need, and don;t feel guilty about it.

    I don’t know if 6 months is ample time, but hopefully someone else does. I would be a little wary. I don’t mean to worry you but, My husbands first therapist entire goal was to get the client to Group. He then told them they did not need him anymore. This was his mo as there are others in the group who had the same therapist, with the same treatment plan.

    Hugs Starry
    I wish I knew the answers.

  87. Hi All – Well I was right!! Surprise! Surprise! After returning from L.A., it has been down hill all the way for my SA. The thing that is really throwing me for a loop, is he is being totally honest with me – at least from what I have been able to determine the short time we have been seeing eachother.
    What has happened, much quicker than I expected, are big-time triggers. We went yesterday to execute our will and sign our post-nump. There were four women in the room for witnessing and notarizing. He was very anxious from the get-go. Stated he was very stressed executing a post-nump when We are at the point in our relationship when I am at zero tolerance.
    While in the process, he appeared to dissociate – just checked out.I know stress can trigger an addiction. It Was obvious to me, but no-one else. As he described it, “I zoned out.” Anyway, there were 4 women in the room, and one of them was young and not at all attractive. All of a sudden, he totally locked in on her with a blank stare for a minute or two. He denies having any recollection of the event. Later, he did it again. I was pissed and gave him a dirty look. He immediately looked away, and did not look at her again for the duration.
    It gets better . Today, he disclosed he was on the computer – feeling very sexual, and started fantasizing about the “domination/submission gal on one of his sites. (650 lb. woman). Of course the subject matter involved fantasizing about the stomping and crushing. Stated he was able to re-focus – get away from the computer, and went downstairs and exercised. When he came back upstairs, he had no further “sexual feelings or fantasies.” I was expecting this to happen, just didn’t think he would get back into his addiction quite so quickly. I guess the good news is he was able to utilize a positive action and succeeded in not going to the porn site, but the bad news is the severity of the relapse. I have not witnessed dissociation with him , that I have picked up on, for over a yr. Also good he volunteered.
    My frustration comes from the fact I didn’t expect him to stop the lieing, but I didn’t count on a severe relapse so quickly. He is still really sick.
    I have a question, if any of you have knowledge of dissociation. It was confusing to me that he didn’t have recall of triggering the first time on the young gal during our meeting, nor did he have recall of the 2nd trigger a few minutes later. I have been out of psych for a while and forget if they have recall after a dissociative episode. With my suspicious mind, It occurred to me he might just be covering his tracks, and knew exactly what he was doing. Any input? If he truly dissociated, how was he able to be cognizant of the fact I gave him a dirty look, and immediately check the 2nd trigger immediately.
    I am so sorry I haven’t been able to take the time to comment to any of your’e postings lately – I am totally consumed with my issues right now. I thought for sure the lieing would be the issue, and my zero tolerance bouldary would be enforced.
    Thanks for listening.

  88. Hi Sharron,
    My SA had no memory of dissociative episodes, or had only a sliver of something. He would end up places and not know where he was or how he got there. That was actually early on in our marriage and he went to psychiatrist for 7 years, without any whisper of sexadddiction (it was 25-30 years ago). Those episodes stopped. (as far as I know—but since I did know about them I was watching for them).

    It sounds like your guy is way too far down the SA road. On the post-nup thing—I’m pretty sure if there is any notion of divorce, the agreement doesn’t hold. And if the SA stuff would come out anyway in a divorce, he can use it andyour warnings about the marriage, to break the post-nup. At least that’s how it is where I live–but you should check it out.

    I think the question is how much more of this are you interested in? Is this the life you want? If it isn’t, stop writing new chapters of his story, get out and write your own. Sharron it just breaks my heart when a woman wastes her time on someone who is not able to love her, and nothing she does will change anything. There’s lots of good charitable causes where you CAN make a difference. On this, you can do nothing, except give away the rest of your life. Get yourself some help on this one. Your life is precious.

    courage women, compassion for yourself as well as the SA

  89. Hi Diane-Thank you so much for writing back. I remember the same thing about dissociation, but thought it funny when I gave him a dirty look, after the second trigger, he was able to check the trigger and look away – wasn’t sure he would be able to do that. Thought it unlikely he would dissociate on the first trigger and snap out of it maybe 10 minutes later, and then do it again and be present enough to look away when I reacted.
    You may be right about the post nump, but I married him on false pretenses after he passed the lie detector test. Thought he was well on the road to recovery, and he later admitted he had been lieing all along. I am sure, if necessary, I could get testimony from his therapist stating such. I really don’t think he would challenge it anyway. He is a very good person, in that respect-always told me he would take care of me should we divorce.
    Thanks for the advice, but I am okay. I am way past thinking in terms he will ever get better, or putting myself in the position of staying in the situation. My only dilemna is when to get out. I promised I would work on the marriage if he would start telling the truth, and he is doing that since coming back from L.A. I didn’t expect that twist. As I said, I don’t think it will be long until he falls back into that deception. Then he will have done it to himself, since that is my final boundary. I made it very clear that is the deal breaker. If he has gone full blown into the addiction one week after returning, don’t think it will take long before he falls off the wagon with the lieing. I have put a limit on the marriage for no longer than 3 months. Emotionally, I am in great shape funny how feelings go right out the window with each deception.
    I appreciate your concern- it is wonderful to be able to just vent and know there is a friend out there who will listen.

  90. Hello (again!)
    I found this site yesterday, and have spent hours reading the many, many comments. So much so, that I was supposed to go to work today, but have decided to leave going back until next week lol!

    Back to Lorraine in October(I think it was Lorraine!) re Autism. Can you / anyone else in the know expand on this a bit?! My daughter has autism. This is very strange. I have a son from a previous relationship who is now an adult, and he does not. My daughter (from the SA – 10 yrs together now, no more).

    I have been reading up on NPD since our separation (2 yrs) to try and make sense of all of the years we were together. I did that as the woman who ran the Pattern Changing Course I attended, due to the emotional abuse that turned physical, said that my then husband sounded as if he had NPD. I had never heard of this prior to then, so researched, and it appears as if she was right. I have NEVER heard of the link with autism, so this is enlightening. Please expand if you can or direct me to where I can learn a bit more?

    A little about my story. I kind of come at this in reverse having read other’s stories:

    I was a mess in the beginning of our separation, even though I didn’t want the marriage over, having spent so many years trying to hold it together. I told him to leave as his mental and emotional abuse had escalated, along with physical abuse to the point I told him to go, which he freely did. This, I said, was to get help on his anger issues. The song ‘Warwick Avenue’ by Duffy has the most amazing line which sums up how I felt back then: ‘All the days spent together, I wished for better, but I didn’t want the train to come’.

    He entered straight away into a relationship with a work colleague.

    The divorce itself nearly finished me… I kind of got used to the constant shouting, bullying, criticism. But during the divorce, there were never any apologies forthcoming. I got used to the apologies, they were everso ‘meaningful’ and kept me there, upon reflection. Very unhealthy, as was the sexual ‘starvation’. He NEVER, ever wanted sex. Sure, he was intimate, would hold hands when we were out, rubbed my feet depending on if he was Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde! He would physically push me off him if I ever tried to initiate sex, but yet every morning without fail, he would say ‘look at the size of this!’ referring to his ‘manhood’. We had sex 6 times a year, if that.

    Early in our relationship, I found some pornographic videos that had transsexuals in them (I think thats the term, men who have breasts and look like women). He laughed and blamed a friend. He would talk about this ‘friend’, telling me of what he would get up to behind his wifes’ back… He masturbated every morning in the shower. Still, wouldn’t come near me. I tried to raise the issue time and again, in the end I sounded like a broken record. He started smoking cannabis about 4 months in to our relationship, and never stopped. This, he said, he liked to smoke as sex was better for him under the influence. The smoking continued, as latterly did the cocaine addiction. The sex did not.

    In the beginning it wasn’t like that. However, shortly before we married (18 months later), he would say that ‘we have the rest of our lives, just tonight I’m tired’ etc. I have since lost all sexual desire, which is not good, having once been healthily sexual before my involvement with him. After our 1st real row about him not wanting sex with me, we made love. I said afterwards that it wasnt healthy to bring our problems to bed, he agreed. From that night onwards, he would always try and start an argument. My life resulted in walking on eggshells, as did my sons, whom I have since learned was bullied terribly by him when I wasn’t at home.

    Not that it makes a shred of difference given his behavior throughout, but I am mid 30’s, slim, attractive, educated and have a well-respected career. Strangely, at work, I was viewed by colleagues as energetic, happy and strong. Not so at home…

    I have been having counselling and hypnotherapy since, for self-worth issues, and it has helped me very much. The biggest hurt was that he went off with the OW and from outside appearances, they have a brilliant life, unlike ours became. However, different from all posts here, I only discovered the SA side since separation.

    The week he left, my friend showed me how to look at the history link on our PC. She was there, physically showing me what my then husband had been doing on the computer, DAILY! Her jaw hit the floor, as she found for me a secret file where he had downloaded hard core porn involving two lady-boys and a male, and literally hundreds of photographs of men with men, men with transsexual, men with women having intercourse. Then a transsexual site with his photograph on (just showing his eyes and forehead, covering the lower part of his face – of course I knew it was him, as did she!) looking for transsexuals in our home town!

    Two weeks later, he took our daughter for the weekend. When she returned, she told me that she had gotten in to bed with daddy and ‘Karen’ (not her real name!). ‘Karen’ works locally, and I have met ‘Karen’ before a couple of times, in passing, introduced by my then husband. I was furious. He of course denied this as nonsense, but having a child with autism, they don’t have the creative capacity to make such stories up, it just isn’t natural to them. Strangely, he was passionate about lying about this, as I spoke to the work colleague (whom he had moved in with I later discovered), and that was NOT ‘Karen’!

    A year later, and him stringing out the divorce, I went searching for financial documents he refused to give to me that were in joint names. I had his password to his email. However, he had (again) changed his email address. 13 months after we had separated (a year he was now living with his new partner) he sent an inappropriate email to my son. I used the same password, and there it all was. Emails to people on sex dating sites, advertising himself looking for ‘quick hook-ups’ with men / women / transsexuals on countless different sites, stating he was ‘divorced’ (we weren’t at that time!) and that he did have a girlfriend, but he wanted fun ‘out of hours’. Then there were more intimate emails direct to people he’d discovered on sites, mainly men. All of this looking for these people in a town that has a little over 200,000 people.

    It all fell in to place. I went over things that made no sense during our marriage, which although put certain ghosts to rest, hindered my recovery.

    His ‘friend’ I refer to above was, I now believe, actually him. Projection. Of course, I will never KNOW, no room for closure, I was simply discarded for want of a better word.

    So I told him what I had discovered. His answer? ‘I only joined those sites to get access to free porn’. Even in the face of evidence, he lied. Pretty convincingly, too, had I not held the evidence in my hand I would have believed him!!! Even when I said there were no pictures on his emails, and that some sites (single parent genuine dating sites with no sexual references) had no porn in them! The HURT that he messed about on me while we were together (evident due to his now long-term partner – the phone records backed that up)and the daily verbal and mental abuse that he RAGED constantly toward me, that me and the kids lost our home, he left me with excessive unpaid bills, credit card debts, the kids lost their school, my sickness at that time cost me my promotion, the list is endless, to be with another woman whom now HE IS MESSING ABOUT ON – throughout their whole relationship it appears.

    And there we have it. It that moment, I saw him for his true colors. A year wasted believing that it was all my fault, that I just wasn’t attractive enough, I was boring, I deserved the bad behavior. And ten years wasted on holding together something that was never really there. The only good thing to come out of all of this is our beautiful daughter.

    He and his girlfriend are marrying soon. I still have to stop myself hurting for the dreams I believed we would have had, had it not been for his nastiness. Now I see it went a lot deeper than that. I absolutely believe if I had tried to stick it out (he didn’t want that in the end, which is why he bolted) and if he hadn’t found a woman who doted on him without the history we had, Im not sure where I would be now. One thing is for sure, it wouldn’t be a healthy place. Its not the act of the sex itself that would have hurt if I had discovered all of this while together, but the deceit & lies and his treatment toward me while he was acting out, which I would SWEAR resulted in his abusiveness toward me and the kids. When someone has an affair, lying to their spouse / significant other, they look at their primary partner in one of two ways: That they are naive, or stupid. Either way, it changes the dynamics of a relationship, never for the better.

    Finally, I agree with what many people have posted. When they get found out, they continue but put up better structures that they hope will ensure not being found out again. That’s for sure. I still have to deal with my ex-husband over our daughters access arrangements, which he continues to bully me(or at least try!)

    Your site has really helped me to see the wood for the trees. I wish the very best of luck to all of you. Sorry if I have just hijacked someone’s thread, but I just started typing and didnt stop. Sorry.

  91. Stating that if a man got cancer would u blame him and further wouldn’t u stay by his side is a further truckload of BS shoveled onto partners of SAs.Let’s not make absurd comparisons .I have yet to hear of a person diagnosed with cancer denying thAt he hAs cancer till the disease takes control of his life and destroys everyone around him..have yet to meet a person who has cancer who can also infect his children with the same disease(in most cases have seen children of SAs being exposed to porn at a v young age and landing into issues themselves)

    The partners of SAs are traumatized enough..they don’t need to made to feel guilty for not wanting to be with the SAs.

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