Starry’s Story: I Still Feel Shame and Embarrassment About His Activities

Hi JoAnn,
Your site is helping me so much more than I could ever put into words. You and the women on there have such a strength. This is my story.

Although I am still feeling shame and embarrassment about his activities, I needed to tell my story, because if there are other women like me, who have been betrayed in the same manner, I would hope that they do not feel so alone. Although betrayal is betrayal, there is a deep shame in feeling that you were such a lousy wife that your husband turned to same sex fantasies to get his satisfaction.

Thanks

Starry

I have been with my husband for 11 years, married for 10 years next month. We had a good life. We laughed together, spent time together, both had jobs, and our sex life was reasonably good.

About 5 years ago, we moved to the suburbs and were exhausted from commuting. Things changed. I can’t say for certain what it was. It was the way he looked, the way he spoke, he was short tempered and condescending to me, his moods were funny, he always had a hollow look in his eyes, and sex had fallen by the wayside. Knowing how exhausted I was, I simply thought he was feeling the same. He also started spending increasing time on the computer, or his laptop. Most nights after dinner, he would go online on his laptop in the sitting room. I would sit on the sofa and speak to him about this or that, but I was generally ignored. I received the occasional “sorry, what was that”, but otherwise he just focused on whatever he was looking at. I was starting to feel unhappy.

I found evidence on the PC that he was using a chat program, been viewing porn, and sending explicit email to another man. He gave me some half-baked excuses and I believed him as I could not fathom why my husband was doing this. He promised to not do these things again and I moved on with my life. I thought a little porn here and there was not the end of the world, as society gives the message that all guys look now and then.

My next find was that he was purchasing woman’s clothing online. I thought he was having an affair and buying the other woman gifts! When confronted he said they were for me, but they had not worked out and he had returned them. I didn’t really know what to think, and didn’t really believe him. Oddly I believed he wasn’t with another woman, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. I found nothing else for a long time.

Fast forward a few years. We move back to the city. Sex is non-existent at this point, the few times it’s attempted; he cannot get/maintain an erection. I find he is making more clothing purchases. When confronted he admits to cross-dressing, as a “stress reliever”. I research online and find a lot of info related to that. I tell him that if this is something he has to do, then he cannot lie about it or hide it, but at the same time, I did not want to be a party to it. I thought it was a bit of a fetish.

A while later, I find a gay site in his web history when he left his laptop unlocked to go to the bathroom. This time his excuse was that he went on to chat to some other people about cross-dressing, and why they do it. Apparently it “helped” him come to terms with it. He promised not to go on to it again. I sat there, hardly listening. I can’t recall what I said, or much of what he said. I knew I had to leave him, but that I wasn’t strong enough yet. So, the next year or so I quietly built up my savings account. I played the part of happy wife as best I could, but eventually I was so numb I shut down. I withdrew from him. Some days were not so bad. He’d be in a good mood and I’d put on a brave face and we’d have a laugh or a good time out, but most days I was a shell of a person, numbly going about my days.

My eye opening:
This year, we booked a once in a lifetime exotic holiday, with the desire being that we would spend the time to reconnect and find each other again. I was feeling a bit better. I shopped and bought nice dresses to wear. About 10 days before we were to go, he went into town to buy himself some clothing for the trip.

I had figured out how to monitor web traffic through our connection and finally had a couple hours to go check the results and see if there was anything there. I just knew he was up to something. I found it, the web address of the same site he had promised not to go to anymore. I went to it and trawled thought profiles. I found something that struck a chord with me. The face was not identifiable, but something seemed familiar. I could only see tiny versions of the photo being displayed as I wasn’t a member. I got out my credit card and signed up. I was now a fully paid member of a gay chat site.

What I saw horrified me. There, with the face blurred out, was my husband. A photo of him in a dress, in our bedroom of our suburbia house a few years ago. I went into his profile. Several photos of him in lingerie, posing seductively. The worst one was him, laid on our bed, legs spread, masturbating. I think my last shred of sanity broke then and there. Our bed, our sheets, his genitals, his body. Our marriage bed disrespected and put online for all to view. Intimate parts of him which only I or him should see, for all to view and masturbate over. I read the things he had put on his profile. After I was done, I vomited. I don’t remember much else. He came home, I asked him about it, and he lied. I handed him my wedding rings and asked him to leave. He did.

That was almost 6 months ago. Since then he has joined a 12 step fellowship and moved back into the house. Things are better. I do feel he is taking his recovery seriously. He sees a counselor weekly, as do I, and we are to have a few couple sessions soon. He has taken his counselors advice that he should not have free access to a PC at home, and is not to go online alone for any purpose whatsoever. My laptop is secure and he cannot access it, even so, at his suggestion, it is locked away if I am to be out of town.

He is not the man I knew the past few years; he is almost like the man I married. He has disclosed that it was all online, porn, chat, masturbation and phone sex with men. No physical contact whatsoever and that he is not gay. The same gender thing was an escalation, or so I am led to believe. I do feel silly when I look at it all in hindsight. The signs were there for me to see. I did not connect the dots, but I will not beat myself up over it.

These were not daily discoveries. I was not aware he was continuing the fantasies in his head. I loved my husband, and aren’t we supposed to trust each other and forgive? That’s what I did. Having said that, if I knew then what I knew now, I would have drawn my boundaries a lot earlier.

Will our marriage survive? I do not know yet.
Do I believe everything he’s told me? I’m not sure.
Will I be ok in the long run? Definitely, without him if need be.

Starry

Related Articles

Responses

  1. Hi Starry,
    thank you for sharing what happened to you. Such a hard story to live and hard to tell as well.
    In every story I read on this site, I find a few lines that just resonate really deeply with me.

    In yours, it was what you wrote near the beginning, and him being short-tempered and condescending to you. That brought up some of my own story, and how this hurt me. I’m wondering if anyone have ever seen an article or something on the passive aggressive aspect of the SA behaviours, or as abuse of spouse/partner.

    I’m wondering because we are so often told that they didn’t want to hurt us, they didn’t mean to hurt us, that it wasn’t about us BLAH BLAH BLAH. But it seems to me that treating us with condescension and moody, short-tempered freedom, is pretty targeted and deliberate. Furthermore, as I look back now, I think my SA enjoyed those moments. They were part of the acting out package–not sideshows–but part of the central thing.

    The protests of not wanting to hurt me etc, have never been believable because of this dynamic. I think my SA wanted to be emotionally abusive to me—the only one beside our two sons who ever loved him. The arrogance that he cultivated in a subtle but (I recognize now) steady critique of me, was something he enjoyed. Needless to say, I did not.

    So I’m wondering, Starry and others, what do you think about the moodiness, the condescension, the arrogance, the critique etc. that went along with your SA behaviours? Do you think he “meant it” after all? Do you think he enjoyed that part? Do you think you experienced emotional abuse? Why isn’t this discussed at length as part of the SA recovery models? Or is it?

    Starry, I’m sorry your life took this turn, and I hope that recovery will be possible for your husband, and I know it is possible for you.
    xo,
    D.

  2. Hi Diane and Starry,

    So far from the several books that I have read they do not seem to talk about these other behaviors and have not been addressed. Most books just seem to the curb the addiction and get to the bottom of the underlying problem or crack the code (meaning abuse etc). Sadly I think many of these men have personality disorders, and only the addiction gets treated. In saying that I think it is smart if you have discovered an SA in your life to research the other issues with his personality of other areas where you felt you were deceived or betrayed. Some are passive aggressive, narcissistic, depressed and so on. I don’t see how one can recover if the underlying personality disorder is not also dealt with as well.

    My SA was never outrightly abusive in anyway. He actually never complained or has brought up anything about our marriage. I beleive he is at the opposite extreme, and overly passive. Instead he has stood by the sidelines, while I run around doing everything, all the while making it look like he is supportive and loving to keep me going. The thing is the supportive and loving aspect was the smoke and mirrors. Now that has been removed I see the relationship for what it was. I almost feel like I have been scammed. His paycheck alone never amounted to anything, all the while I paid all the bills. (I spent time over the weekend tallying the statistics and money etc. so it is all clear now).

    Anyway. Starry. The part that sounded familiar with me and my story is that i beleived the excuses similar to you. Who knows why, but we did. We beleived them and never thought that it was deviant in anyway. Why, because they said they loved us and second because I never knew anything like this existed. The rediculous excuses, which sounded like they made sense at the time, were fed to us in a way that we felt we had to accept or understand. (I always think of these fake lines now (“come on baby, you love me right…why would I lie to you…if only it was that cheesy it would be easier to read). Also I was in the false relationship with a false sense of safety and truth based on lies. The only one that was truthfull was me. The Sa all along was fully aware of the deception. Walking a tight rope and weaving a web of deception and lies. Must be an exhausting way to live, constantly hiding who you are to the loved ones in your life.

    Thank you for sharing Starry!
    Hugs.

  3. Thank you Starry for sharing your very painful story. I’m glad that your husband is doing better. I have to say, however, I’m not 100% buying his story. His disease may have been escalating, however, straight men just don’t put on dresses and engage in sex chat on gay web sites– that is, without ALSO engaging in straight web sites. At the very least, he’s bi-sexual. Of course, he can be bi-sexual and not act out on it, anymore than a hetero-sexual man acts out with other women.

    As for Diane’s questions… Based on my experience, and many chats with my therapist, as I’ve tried to reconcile how someone could be so very cruel to me, as my SA was to me, there is definitely a sadistic component for many SAs— not all, but many and in varying degrees, as well. THAT is part of their pleasure, excitement and fun.

    Many SAs, ironically, are in actuality, misogynists who use women to dominate and control. They actually fear and loathe ALL women and hate the power that they exert over THEM. How and Why they became this way is not always easy to figure out.

    BUT, it is not usually on a conscious level; it is part of their intrinsic pathology. This SA, still believes with all of his teeny tiny heart and soul-less, that he is SANE, NICE, A GOOD GUY, LOVING, CARING, but its all a facsimile of something he saw in a movie or read in a book. They may know that they hurt women, but don’t understand how and why or how to be THAT person that she “needs”. Her needs, her wants, her desires, in his mind are excessive and simply something he cannot manufacture.

    In their sick minds, they are simply a horny “regular Joe”. After all, there are so many hot horny women/men/its on this earth and it is their right to fuck as many of em as possible– “Everyone knows that men are genetically programmed to have as many sex partners as they can get their hands on.”

    This is just one of the many ways he justifies his heinous behavior, no matter what else is going on in his life. He’s married? no problem. You don’t need to know about it. Its not about you, its his need and right. Its also his right to have a “normal” life. He wants it all. You dare to complain? Ahhh… you get your hand slapped and worse and/or he pretends to go along with your wishes—just depends on what he NEEDS. And if you dare to actually STILL love him??? He does not understand the concept of genuine love; he cannot feel it and therefore, it doesn’t apply to him. He knows that there is such a thing, because he keeps hearing THAT word, but he’s just going along with the motions and actions and words that he has heard over and over, but he cannot FEEL it. Its as if someone tells a joke to a group and even though you don’t get the joke, since everyone else seems to and is laughing uproariously, you chime in with your own laughter, even though you don’t really feel it. Its just like that, I believe.

    Now, can therapy help someone with this kind of deeply pathological thinking? This is the basis of the cluster b personality disorders of which narcissism is one and yes, it is almost impossible for these guys to recover and why it is probably not addressed in any recovery programs. Perhaps there are some highly skilled therapists who have had success with this type of person, but from everything I have read, its next to impossible to effect any kind of real change, for the long term.

    hugs and love to all,

    Lorraine

  4. Hi ladies, I just wanted to say, I do not think the sex addiction is about sex, I think at core it is a personality disorder and manifests itself through sex. My husband is a very mean man , with a lot of anger and rage. I find it to be no coincedence that a lot of “sex addicts” are also emotionally abusive. I think what they lack at core is a basic understanding of what it is to have empathy for other human beings. I do not think they are “sex addicts” I think they are more closely associated with a psychopath.

  5. Some very interesting questions, Diane. I think my SA was emotionally abusive to me when he was acting out, but I don’t think he consciously enjoyed it. I do think it was part of how he viewed me, in retrospect, and there was a subconscious feeling of control and power over me. He had come to view me as more of an “object” if he thought about me at all, and didn’t care about my feelings because my feelings weren’t real to him, the lack of empathy that wifemichelle talks about above. On the other hand, he would have felt bad about inflicting any pain knowingly on his children, his patients, his staff, and was unbelievably kind and courteous to the women who were the objects of his infatuation. I see the emotional abuse directed at me at that time as pretty much who he was with me. As he has been in recovery over the last year and I have been working at reclaiming myself, I noticed it less and less and it is rare that we have this issue now. Prior to the beginning of his “real recovery”, I would have said he couldn’t be different, that his emotional abuse was a part of who he had become or maybe had always been a part of him and I just didn’t see it at first. I think at his core he is kind and thoughtful and considerate, but the selfishness required by his addiction took that away. I had never had anyone in my life who treated me that way before or who I allowed to treat me that way, and one of the things I am thankful for is that I know that I will never allow myself to be treated that way again. And I’ve told him that, and it feels pretty good:)

    Marie

  6. As an addendum to my note above, I don’t believe that my SA is a cluster b personality, he fits much more into the cluster c group. Perhaps SA’s who fit into the cluster b’s are more likely to enjoy inflicting emotional abuse?

  7. Thanks for your comments everyone. Wow, it amazing how this still effects me, even thought its my “everyday life” now 🙁 When I came on and relaised JoAnn had posted my story I started shaking and felt ill.

    Dianne: I do think its emotional abuse. He was very passive-aggressive, but that fairly typical isn’t it. I feel, with him, that he didn’t enjoy being short tempered and condesending though. For him, it would be giving him too much credit, for actually feeling anything other than lust while he was in active addiction. When I look at it now, I do believe is was mostly a deflection technique. I was intruding on his fantasies by asking him to talk, do things around the house, and be “present” in the marriage. At times (as I see now) he was so engrossed in browsing, or day dreaming about whatever the hell he wanted to do, that I was like a fly buzing around, annoying him and breaking his concentration. (This is all my opinion of course) I now know that I pretty much knew when he was indugling in his acting out, and thats when those behaviours surfaced. When he wasn’t indulging, he wasn’t like that. Thats what fueled the “crazy” in me. The ole Jeckle and Hyde. But yes, I was treated very very badly at times. From what I see, its part of the addiction. Almost purposely keeping me at bay with harsh tones or words, so he had time to himself, and to keep me away from him so he could have the time to do what he wanted to do.

    Just want to clarify his “acting out”. Unlike others, he did not go to prostitutes, strip clubs, or meet women for sex. A large portion of it was in his head. He was never home late from the office, never off on his own, not spending money on anything. His acting out was fantasizing for the most part, masturbation, and when he was able to have time alone at home, he would then go online for sex chat, or had phone sex. He has indicated that he spent his time in anticipation. Waiting for the next time he had some alone time in the house, so he could go online. The anticipation was part of his acting out, it would be weeks/months of thinking about what he would do when he had the chance.
    Its pretty soul destroying to know I was ignored, because he was too busy thinking about the next time he could get online to chat to another man about fucking.

  8. Flora and Lorraine, I had composed a lengthy reply and when submitting lost my connection, so will redo later on today 🙂

  9. Hi Everyone-
    You all have so much to share, and it is apparent we all are well versed on sexual addiction.
    Starry – I’m sorry you have been though so much trauma. A couple of things you said struck me as so typical of what we all go through. First of all, you should not feel any guilt or shame for your SA’s behavior – it has nothing to do with you being a good wife to him. His illness started years before you ever met him and has nothing to do with you! There were probably signs you didn’t pick up on – hindsight is forsight, but why would you even think anything was wrong. These guys are excellent at hiding their secret life. Do you know everything he has done – probably not. Maybe he will disclose more when he is further down the road, but right now he is feeling too much shame and guilt to do that. You certainly know enough, and sounds like you have great insight when you said if your’e marriage doesn’t make it you will be ok.
    Diane – when you talk about the emotional abuse we all experience, and do they really mean to hurt us. Some do and some don’t. If they display a lot of passive-aggressive behavior, it is because they cannot manage their anger appropriately, (and most of them have a lot of it) and it appears they are taking it out on you, but I don’t really think it is a conscious thing for them. ie: When my SA was confronted about his behavior regarding looking at a sexual picture on his computer, he would deny doing it, and turn around and look right at her while I was standing there. The passive-aggressive behavior kicked in with confrontation. He could not handle it, and the anger escalated.
    Then you have the other type – the one whose anger comes out and he is verbally/physically abusive toward you. I think that is more conscious, although they cannot control it – probably have a deep
    loathing for all women.
    Diane- Your SA was exactly like mine. Lieing, deceiving, and fully aware all the time he was doing it. Then would come the “Iam so sorry I have hurt you – It will get better.” I heard that so many times in two and a half years, I could predict when he was going to say it before he said it.I do have to say there are times when they actually believe their lies, so never do admit when they have screwed up.
    Flora- You are so right about most addictions have co-existing personality disorders. Mine could fit into Borderline, Schizoid,
    Narcisstic, passive-aggressive, etc. I told his therapist the other day, Is there one to fit all 4 or 5 that mine fits into. Ha! Actually, it doesn’t matter what label we attach to them – all of these personality disorders have usually developed from maladaptive behavior/trauma in childhood.It is my opinion you can’t change the behavior without psychotherapy delving into old traumas, however a lot of therapists hold onto the model it doesn’t matter what happened in childhood, just work on changing the behavior.
    Lorraine – Right on as usual! You tell it like it is and know what you are talking about. There is definitely a component to the control they all exhibit, and it is manifested in many different ways. My SA was always in control, because I would feed into his behavior by asking questions, getting hooked on hoping he would change, and constantly doing things to check on him and catch him. I think he enjoyed this – almost a game to him. I think it just adds more excitement to the SA just working harder not to get caught, and I think that is a high for him, as well as the addiction.
    Starry-They are masters manipulators. Deflection was what my SA would constantly do – you know, twisting the story so you think you are the one who is crazy. Didn’t take me long to figure that one out. By the way, he is still doing it in the therapist office.
    That L.A. trip really helped him on the road to recovery, didn’t it. Yup – that was a very passive-aggressive statement. Our SA’s are good teachers.
    Marie – Your’e SA sounds a lot like mine.
    Everyone has wonderful input, and so many things we can all learn from. It has helped me tremendously! Until next time – God Speed

  10. Starry,

    What strength it took to share your story. I resonated with several parts myself….the on going catching of them and then trying to figure out what to do as you stand with the room spinning around you. Honestly, I do not think I would have had the courage to endure what you endured with the cross dressing/gay behaviors. I know many women say that their man cheating with another man in some way seems easier to swallow instead of it being with other women…I don’t know, it all seems nothing short of “puke” inducing information, period.

    My SA is clearly a cluster “B” fit but he is not physically or verbally abusive. (My second abusive ex I do believe is a SA now and was then, and he was/is a “crazy” and mean…evil is better word!) but this one I have now fits borderline to a “t”, without the meanness and cud write the book on Narcissism. I also see “schitso” tendencies too. My abuse from my SA comes from the non stop neediness, manipulating, living in a complete state of non reality and wallowing in a self pity pool so deep it would rise above the Andes Mountains. For me, the fact that this guy can come up with a completely different interpretation of ordinary words drives me to the brink of insanity. And he does it to get ALL to feel sorry for him… All I ever hear out of my SA’s mouth is how lonely he is and how depressed he is…10 years of it, yet he’s in meetings 6 nights a week and has never in his 52 years of life been surrounded by so many people. I said to him the other night …you used loneliness as a reason TO act out, you used loneliness as a reason to CONTINUE to act out, and now you are using loneliness as a reason to try NOT to act out.

    I’ve known for a long time (but now see in a different light), how each of our SA’s can be substituted as our own husbands/partners. When we hear each other describe our own, the profiles are so common…other than their “choices” of acting out ie, on line, prostitutes, strip clubs, etc… As a result I’m beginning to wonder if change is even possible. Our SA’s are soooo sick…and this addiction really is nothing like a drug or alcohol addiction at all…….

    My SA is trying very hard to get better…that much I will give him, but honestly, I don’t know how, with all the shit he has going if that can/will ever be able to happen. It will be like trying to put together a ka-zillion piece puzzle….

    Last week, my youngest, my 16 yr old landed on my doorstep for the umteenth time…my sicko ex hasn’t stopped throwing this child out for doing absolutely nothing. 1200 miles distance is nothing either and I get absolutely little to no warning. But he did the same thing to me and my other son when I was married to him 20 years ago. I keep telling his now wife, a leopards spots never change!!…however, I made it clear this time my son’s staying -court battle or not. He started school here Monday and things are very volatile. Until primary placement change is on the books with the courts, I won’t breathe. I stand watching my window of opportunity for freedom from my SA slowly slip away because I can not support myself much less two kids on Social Security Disability (my 21 yr old with a severely broken wrist/hand and in a cast for 3 months unable to work)……… I am currently overwhelmed and terrified, I am very tired. My SA’s loving this because I’m being driven right back into his arms…..(((sigh))) He’s back to talking about buying the house he’s renting for me for US, one checking account and making statements like “we’ll make it…we can do this”. I am feeling very defeated but keep trying to focus on the beautiful blessings God has woven through out the last 6 months of my discovery and start of living hell. I hate my SA even more for the mess things are in. I have realized the past several days how much I have changed by all of this…both good and bad….but feel more change for the worst. I’ll never be the same, never, ever. I feel hardened off, almost numb…it worries me. Two weeks ago I was dealing with suicide, a week later I’m an active school mom again after 8 years….talk about the “crazies”

    But Starry, be careful…My SA’s primary focus was fantasy’s too for many years…that’s his biggest trigger. He’s now applying the 3 second rule to that but keeps trying to discern if his fantasies over/with me are also inappropriate…I’ve not helped him to answer that…I think he finally figured out that they were(and they are) because they’d lead to a desire to act out regardless. His fantasies did progress to actual physical sex with other woman as well as prostitutes. That’s when I caught him because he got over confident and his narcisistic thinking was through the roof. Starry, this disease progresses…and your SA may be just on line now as mine was, but at some point it will not be enough….remain guarded my dear….Do NOT assume he will stop at that. As everyone else pointed out already, they are master manipulators and liars and the addiction is what drives them, not honesty, integrity or morals…They have no morals and they have no boundaries!

    I feel your betrayal so much…but DO NOT be embarrassed. This is NOT your fault…These are SICK people…..Remain hopeful but grounded or they will suck the life right out of you…mine did me. We are all here to love and support you.

    I thank you all for being here and loving each and every one of us as you do.

    Blessings,

  11. Wow! It is amazing to read your posts. There is a lot of venting going on. Thank goodness we have a safe place for this…it is so needed. I agree with Starry that the pre-occupation with the addiction drives the other behaviors(disrespect, condescending attitudes, anger, and emotional abuse) I have seen my husband go through this process of realization and truly have the light bulb light up as he begins to feel the reality of what he has done all these years. He is learning through the therapy how to rewire his brain and thinking. It is hard work for both of us, but if you love eachother(and that is hard to say) it is ultimately worth it…

  12. yes we do alot of venting, but ask a lot of questions as well. You are lucky to see the progress that you see in your SA. For some (or many, not sure) there is not sign or light bulb going off in their heads. That is the case with mine. He continues to work against me, and there is nothing more I can do. So it still does not matter how much you love each other, if the addict continues to show no signs of really digging into the past and showing a shift towards change there is no hope.

  13. Feeling really down this week 🙁

    This weekend will be our 10th wedding anniversary.
    I’m so angry right now, I just don’t know what to say. So many hopes, dreams .. tossed out the ****ing window cause he couldn’t keep his hands off his pecker and his mind out of the gutter.

    I unnderstand the addiction, I understand the warped view of the world, but right now I DON’T CARE. 10 years and what have i got??? Panic attacks, anxiouty, stress, nightmares.. I won’t bore you with the whole list..

    Happy Effing Anniversay

  14. OOOOH Starry!
    Don’t feel sad. (((((Hugs))))

    I wish I could hop across the pond and go out to dinner with you and chat! Maybe I need a vacation ;-). I wish.

    Anyway so he broke his plan or agreement? Once or many times? He must have told you? What was his reason for breaking it?

    Sorry you are having an effing anniversay, but I think all of us do.

  15. Thanks Flora.. don’t wanna be sad, but its just in me anyways.

    No plans or agreements broken. Truth be told things are going ok-ish. I’m just throwing myself a pity party, wallowing in the hurts he has visited upon me and pissed off that I won’t be celebrating 10 happy years together.

    Got a card from my daughter, and its lovely, but the biggest bag of sh!t I’ve ever read. All those cards, who writes that crap?? Don’t get me wrong, its so nice that she sent it, and she wrote in it that she is glad we are working things out, but the preprinted words cut like a knife…

  16. Truly, Starry, I feel your pain and your statement that you understand the addiction, etc but right now you just don’t care. You just get tired of thinking about the addiction, eh? The holidays are coming up and I find this a difficult season as do a lot of people. My SA and I were together for the winter holidays each of the past 4 years except one and talk about triggers! I just feel melancholy and sad all the time and trying to cover it up because I feel ashamed to be wanting this crazy guy when I don’t even have any legal ties to him. To add to the mix, I keep hoping he will call and hoping he will not call at the same time but mostly wanting him….and then what?? I don’t like myself very much right now. I stay busy busy, out and about, but it’s like walking around with a rock in my shoe. Take care Starry – and hoping that, with no plans or agreements broken, that your story will be brighter in the future.

  17. Starry,

    I am so sad that you’re having such a rough time…this whole mess sucks…all of it…we all know your pain too well. I have found that the more I involve myself in, the harder it is to stay in bed which I did most of September and October. Having many of the same feelings as you. Now, I still have those feelings, the anger, the sadness, the mourning of the loss of our future and destruction of the past we once knew. I’m also going through “my change” and it makes the emotions all the worse because instead of feeling things like you are today, it comes in goes like huge waves slamming me into a wall over and over again.

    Please try to take care of yourself during this time. I agree with Flora in that I wish we all could hop in our cars or a jet and go to each other during sad days like this. We all deserve a better life and you are no different.

    (((((((hugs)))))))))))))))) 🙂

    Mary

  18. HI starry,
    I know the anniversaries are the pits.

    But we celebrate you. You are amazing. Strong, Honest. Caring. Passionate. Funny. Sensitive.

    May the next 10 years be full of good surprises.

    love,
    D

  19. Dear Starry,

    So sorry you are having a bad day. I can so relate – I am there too. Holidays and anniversaries are really tough, especially this year for me as well. I am divorcing through the holidays! The Pits!! Re: your card. Too bad Hallmark doesn’t have a “happy anniversary to ex partner of sex addict” section. :). Perhaps it would read something like this. “May today erase the bad memories and your future fill them with only good–with people who can love care and be entrusted with your special beauty.” Any woman on here, whether they are staying or going, is priceless. Perhaps we can think about how far we have come. Starry, at least we are not in the dark anymore. Nothing can be loved or thrive under a bed of lies, not even our dreams of what we once thought we had. Perhaps we can look at this year as an anniversary, a first one, of new life. I am really trying to open myself to the world again. There’s been so much pain in that marriage it left room for little else. There are good people in the world, to befriend, to know and to even love. It’s hard not to live in the rear view mirror. Some Regret is unavoidable for us. But hopefully regretful days become fewer and fewer as we move forward. I am sure you don’t regret the future. How can we? We have lots to look forward too. Love can find us at any age. Perhaps re-connecting to life again will help heal the pain. I know it is helping me. I will keep you thoughts and prayers.

  20. Hi Starry,
    I like your idea of not wearing your wedding rings. Taking them of symbolizes that the old relationship is over. And I like the idea of requesting an engagment ring to then make a new informed choice and decision. The old ones are tainted.

    I have one more idea thought. I have not been wearing mine for the past few days and it feels so stark. I miss the sparkle. So I am thinking of getting a new ring (not expensive) that I like, that still sparkles. This ring means something new. It means freedom from this addiction and freedom to a new world, with the SA or not. But is a reminder that things will get better, are better, and we will all grow and have healthier happy lioves now and in the future. My life is my own, and starts new now!

    Just my thoughts!

    Hope you are feeling better today!

  21. Starry’s Story – Continued

    My Dear Flora, You are a prophet.

    Saturday was our 10th wedding anniversary. We kept it quiet. Dinner in the house, and watched a movie. It was a rough day for me.

    Several weeks ago, I requested that he do a full disclosure for me. Things had been dribbled out over time, and I wanted him, in his own words , without being asked, to tell me just what he he was up to. He was ok with this, but it took him several weeks to get around to doing it. He said Sunday was the day.
    So last night, we sat down and he pretty much told me what I already knew. He didn’t go into a lot of detail, so I asked some questions. I didn’t like some of his answers and pressed him further. At the end he admitted he “forgot” about one thing, and told me. I still had that feeling though, ya know. So I pushed and I got one more thing out of him. So of course I went phsyco, yelled “How dare you lie to me to my face”, yadda yadda yadda, we all know the words don’t we girls.
    I left it that, saying he had 24 hours to tell me anything else he had “forgotten”, or to admit any lie.
    Ate, chilled out, went to bed. I slept about 2 hours, then woke up. Just felt sick. I just knew he was holding somehting back. At around 5 am, he woke up and came to see whay I wasn’t in bed. I was raging, and I went phsyco on his ass again.
    He then came clean.
    Despite being in RECOVERY, despite having seen a counsellor for 6 months, despite everything, despite currently reading “your sexually addicted spouse” so he can see my world for a few minutes..despite having PROMISED ME TIME AND TIME AGAIN, OVER AND OVER, that he had NOT EVER been PHYSICAL OUTSIDE OF OUR MARRIAGE, he told me that this spring, when WE were on a weekend away , he slept with a prostitute.

    Needless to say, I went insane. I am hoarse from tellign him exactly how much of a peice of shit he well and truly is. That he could hold my hand, kiss my lips, give me an anniversary card full of bullshit..ALL THE WHILE LIEING TO ME.

    I am disgusted. I have no words to describe how I feel. If I wasn’t so afraid of going to jail, I’d stick a knife in his head.

    Be warned all you women. I have been on the “oh not my husband, he might do this or that, but he would NEVER sleep with a whore” train. I now join the ranks of almost every other woman who is dealing wiht this. Do not delude yourself.

    I mean, this guy has been the model husband for 6 months now… yet tomorow morning, I now get to sit in a waiting room, and await my turn for STD screening.

    Happy Fucking Anniversary Starry. Lets hope your potential gift is treatable with antibiotics.

  22. Hi Starry,
    First (((((Hugs))))), second I feel for you. Almost crying here at work and my heart feels so sad for you.

    Take it one step at a time. Breath. You did the best you could, based on the info he told you. Unfortunately he is the gate keeper of the goods. But now you know, and can move forward in your life. And there may be more, I hear of repeated disclosure (or none in my case) so I am sure my husband was next in line at the prostitute, maybe they shared (just trying to be funny on such an off topic).

    I did the STD tests as well a couple weeks ago. It is a huge releif to get in there, and again when the test results came. They were clear, I hope the same for you!! I already had HPV which led to mild dispaysia years ago, I am sure my SA gave me years ago, but that one you just have to keep an eye on. Lorraine has posted info on that one.

    Starry i feel for you. Don’t know what else to tell you. I am sure more will come. Breath Again and then kick him to the curb, he is in your way of having a beautiful life now. Still anything is possible, but not right now.

  23. Thanks Flora,

    Ugh, I’m just sick. I’m not making any desicions right now, my head is too messed up.
    Just need some sleep at this stage..

    I cannot fathom the perverseness of thier very souls.

  24. Hi Starry,
    I remember what else I was thinking. I know for me I expected the worst with the SA. I have asked several times to tell me the whole story. I put myself out there, and it was his opportunity to tell, not penalty. I did not care what it was I just wanted to hear the truth. Thus far nothing has happened. Quite frankly i still fear the worst and am working towards seperation then divorce unless i see a 360.

    So I feel you may/took a similar approach, and once he sailed through that not professing anything else, you felt you had grounds to possibly trust and work together moving forward. Also keep in mind that this is waht these therapist always encourage to drag us in and work as a couple where you are at. They would have (and do say) he is having progress in his therapy and meetings, you should start working together. NO WAY. This is hard when the whole story did not come out and now you are blindsided! Like you side what the #*#* is his problem? I hope you were not subject to any of this further pain. Making this 100 times worse.

    I guess even after six months they are not trustworthy. But just think he would have kept going if you had not pressed him, and may never have found out. that is an even worse world to me. Further taking your choices from you.

  25. Hello Starry,
    crummy stuff you’ve been dealing with.

    Get some sleep. Breathe. Realize you are still alive. And start thinking about what you need, what you want, and what you deserve.
    Don’t try and look after him. He’s telling you everything you need to know about how futile that is.

    You have a life to live. Many of us have been figuring out how to do that. It’s tough at first, but then it gets better. Being away from their lies and bad energy is a great relief. You can think more clearly then.

    I’m sorry about everything. I’m sorry that it just gets worse. But I’m not sorry you came here and told your truth. We believe in you.

    Now go get your life.

    love,
    D.

  26. Hi! I can hardly deal with my husband.He has cheated on me so much.GOing on line friend finder ,love me .com looking at big boobs web sights.I have two young children.He lost our house last year and not working much at all.Its been crazy and I feel terrible way to many lies to count.

  27. Starry,

    I read your story tonight at 3 am because I have not slept in two weeks since I found my husband of ten years is a sex addict, admitted to using prostitutes, and admitted to receiving blow jobs from other men. He has been looking at p forr decades ( i had no idea he ever looked at p) and been looking at online p for the last ten years and lost control over his actions about two years ago. 2 weeks ago I found him googling ‘glory holes’ for local places and responding to male to male craigslist adds locally. He has been cold, emotionally remote, condescending, narcisstic, and a lousy spouse all together. But I love him. He once loved me, and says he still does, but he is so hollow inside, essentially soulless. I was blindsided. My life is shattered. We have young twins. I kicked him out. He is in a thirty day inpatient program for sex addicts. I have no idea if he is gay.I don ‘t know what other horrific information I will hear during the upcoming ‘spousal therapy’ component at the rehab center. I don’t know what to think. I think I will move with my children away from this urban place to a more rural area near my sister and if he wants to come with us and work on recovery, maybe. If he doesn’t ‘want to leave his high powered job, so be it. If he is not gay.

    My family, his family, with the glaring exception of his cold and distant mother, all say, don’t make decisions. Take care of yourself. But I am stuck. He is in a ten day blackout period at rehab. I will next see him/ talk to him at the spousal therapy part 2 weeks from now. I am petrified. I am petrified he is going to continue to lie THROUGH the rehab, telling me and the therapists what he thinks we want him to say, all to keep the veneer of a respectable life. He has no soul. And I don’t know if he has the equipment to build or grow one. He is just a shell of a man.

    So why do I care? I think the rest of the world is shouting, ” move on, sister”. I am not religious but I believe deeply in redemption. I believe he deserves a chance at redemption. I cannot pay a price for that however. Nor can my children, I cannot even write about them further at it is too painful.

    So Starry, wherever you are in this faceless net, I feel for you. I am crying as write this because I cannot bear that someone else out there is experiencing this soul-shrieking pain. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. It honestly has made me even sadder, but maybe we can learn how to see the trancedence that is possible from within ourselves, and walk it together.

  28. Starry, All the way into the office this morning I kept thinking to myself that I know in my gut that my husband has not told me everything…and reading your post confirmed this for me! Now all I need is him to confirm it also. I know the day last year I thought this and a couple of times I have asked him and he has said he has only been on line. We are going to meet with his therapist that he had stopped going to 18 months ago and I believe that is where I will get the truth. Odd how you know information will hurt you yet you want to know it anyway. I am in Canada and we had our Thanksgiving in Oct…I hope your Thanksgiving does go well and you get some enjoyment over this holiday.

  29. Dearest Elizabeth,
    thank you so much for offering this painful transparency about your struggle and his struggle. I hope you have been reading the “library” of stories on this site. It’s hard but it does provide an awareness of the common dynamics we have all faced with SA partners, and how they play out when you take one approach or another.

    It is our experience that the lying goes on for a long long time, even after D-day. So much of their facade was held up by lies, that they don’t know how to tell the truth anymore. They lie just in case something depends on that lie. The in-house treatments supposedly speed things up around reaching rock bottom truth for the SA, but just as many emerge without having so much as put their feet on the bottom of the pool.

    The terrible torture of the love that is still “hanging around” and the “rage that wants to kill him” will eventually lessen, but it will always be a challenge. Eventually I learned that the man I loved didn’t really exist. That was really hard. But it was true and tragic. Your SA undoubtedly has a hideous story of childhood trauma in there somewhere (did I hear you mention the cold and distant mother?) but that story has nothing to do with you, and nothing you do or decide can diminish its destructive power in his life. Only he can take that story on with intensive therapy and courage. And it will be years, not weeks or months before he can “re-wire” himself. Even then, it might not be enough.

    These are hard truths to share with you. It is important that you made decisions that are best for you and your children. Andyou need therapeutic support—but not the kind that calls you co-addict or co-dependent. Be aware of this trap. Get your financial life in order and ensure you have enough money to live on. And remind yourself over and over again, that this was not your fault, you didn’t cause this, you can’t stop this. You are not responsible for his healing. YOu are responsible for your own.And More importantly, you are responsible for the safety of your children. Your husband’s behaviours have escalated to dangerous—and you should be tested for STD’s. His escalation means he no longer has a reference point for what is safe at all, and that means porn could be left on home computers, dvd players etc that your children will find. Protect them from these traumas, please.

    And speaking of trauma, go back and listen to JoAnn’s interviews with Barb Steffens who has written about the trauma women experience in this horrible discovery. Get her Book and read it several times.

    Stay on this site and read read read. Some of it might not relate, but you will be stunned to read other women describing your husband and your life. And there is a real variety of women here, so if you don’t get my “style” you will get someone else’s. And it will help. I don’t know what I would have done without the women on this site when my world blew up.

    BTW, I was married 30 years, and D-day was Sept 2009. I have young adult children away at school. lost our family home. live on my own. worked through healing separation agreements. Finally had to let go in August. It’s been a long journey and you have to do it in a way that honours you, but also calls you to wholeness and taking responsibility for your own joy.

    Welcome, here. We believe in you. We grieve with you. We hope all good things for you.

    with much love on this wintery day where I am in another country,
    D.

  30. Laura,
    It is 100% possbible that you may never get the whole truth or you will get it in bits and peices. Most likely if he has not told you, he has not told the therapist either.

    I don’t think that I have got the whole story from my SA no matter how much I poke and prod. But I have come to terms that I may never know. He has not told me anymore that what I have found evidence of which is porn. But yet he had a prostitutes call card in his wallet, still denies. So short of the story is these men all lie. They will lie to themselves, you, their journal , the therapist, group, family on and on; so they seem to be this person they want us to beleive they are, but not who they really truely are. My gut tells me I don’t know everything as well. And Starry’s story confirms how long the lies can continue, even when attending therapy and 12 step, and pretending to be or maybe actually be in recovery.

    It is really tough to spot where they are at. But everyone must just think of their comfort level and what works for them. But it is not an even playing field with an SA and their are alot of hidden land mines.

  31. Diane,
    I did not realize that you and your SA had divorced, I assumed you were still seperated. If you don’t mind I am curious as to what made you decide to go through with it? How long you waited, what you saw in the SA, no change etc.

    Thank You.

  32. Elizabeth,

    I believed in redemption – but let me tell you what I got for believing in someone, when he said, If I could change it I would. Incidentally he also said if things didn’t work out he would just leave, he want anything. That was a lie too.

    My husband was a homosexual 20 years before I met him. He came after me, I did not pursue him at all. After seeing him for a while I thought that I had hit gold. I thought he was honorable, kind, a man of integrity, actually I admired him.

    Now here is the truth. One thing that happened early on is that once while eating dinner at a restaurant I felt he was staring at my breast. I point blanked asked him why he was staring them. He denied it and said he was just looking at my necklace and how nice I looked. Okay, so we dated for 3-4 more months and he didn’t try to maul me or sneak a feel. So here I am rethinking and interpreting what I thought. I thought here is a man who is mature and understands and values relationship above immediate sexual gratification. There is a time sex will be a part of it, but the foundation of relationship should contain other elements too. The truth of the matter, he wasn’t using restraint, he was getting dicked and sucking his network of buddies all the while I’m thinking he had discipline and values.

    Another thing, when he talked about his divorce he never spoke ill of his exwife, what he did say was, she had aborted his child and she had run off with a friend of theirs and left him, so he had to put himself through his last year of school alone. I was amazed that he was so calm and seemed to hold no animosity or ill will. I admired him and wished that I could have had that type of response, because I held so much animosity towards my ex’s. The animosity was not that they left, it was because they did not pay court ordered child support. My children and I lived an impoverished life, people on welfare lived better than I did. I was terrified that I could not provide for my children and protect them. This is the life I lived for years, although I had finally stabilized, had a very good job and was finally after years of trying to buy a home, able to do that. I paid cash for remodeling and put a 2-room efficiency apartment in the home so I could pay that house off. That is when I met this piece of shit.

    Back to his ex wife senerio – what he failed to tell me is that she knew he was homosexual and according to his written story, she was lesbian, they had married to cover their secrets. The truth about the guy she ran off with – the guy liked the wife, he wanted her, my (man of honor) allowed it as long as he could be part if it too. Not only that, but one night under the cover of darkness, when the wife went to the bathroom he went to the guy and gave him head. The guy only realized that it was him afterwards was because he swallowed and she did not. So it’s kind of after-the-fact thing. I know this is sick, bare with me. You know we all have done different types of sexual acts, that is not what I am trying to point out. It was the deceit, which we all are too familiar with. So the wife leaves with the other man, but, that is not even the end. My husband serviced that man behind her back when the man and her were on the outs. I don’t think she knew that.

    This guy is a master at sneaking behind peoples back and doing that, it was not the 1st time he did that, it went way back to his high school teacher. After going down on him in the bathroom at school, the teacher took him home to share him with his partner and do the tutoring there. My husband went back to the partner behind the teachers back and serviced him too. This is his normal mode of operation. It is not a isolated behavior.

    So here I was thinking he was Mr. wonderful person, I admired him. Every value system I believed in wanted to emulate this kind, gentle, honorable person. This is the type of person I wanted to grow old with, this is the qualities of spirit I wanted to guide my life. This is the nightmare I live with, every thing that was sacred, every thing I valued was walked on like piece of garbge. Every bit of kindness and vunerability I extended to him was taken as if it was being stolen by a thief. Nothing was left preserved, honored, respected, cared for or humanized.

    In his story he clearly states that I did knew nothing of his homosexuality, let alone that he cheated the entire marriage. I never, never, never would have gone there.

    Make him earn his redeption on his own. Do not let him take you in those dark places. It has almost destroyed me. He will give head and ass today, tomorrow, yesterday, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 20 yrs, 30 yrs ago, he hasn’t missed a night of sleep, nothing has changed for him or bothers him, he moved on. Imagine one of the women writes children’s books and the other has MS.

    My life has changed drastically, I haven’t slept a whole night through since this nightmare began in Jan 2008. I never know what is going to trigger something or that something has been triggered. How I find out is in the middle of the night out of a dead sleep (not a wrestles sleep) I wake up shaking, dry heaving, shitting, crying, angry, stunned because of a phrase, a movie, memory, grief because he has left me financially destitute and in debt, something gets triggered and I have no control over it and can’t stop it.

    By the way the $35,000 year job I quit so we could make a move out of state to follow his career. He now earns over 80,000, his lawyer thinks I need to go to work at Walmart. Look there is nothing wrong with honest work, but what about this is right? Actually I think he should go be a greeter at a gay bar, as they come in they can have either head or ass or both. I’ll be a greeter at Walmart. I don’t know how I am going to get over this? Waiting for the judge (what a joke) to decide whether he gets my home, too. Already took my belonging that I had for years before him. Things from my childhood and throughtout my life. The only thing this man invested in the marriage is sucking other men’s dicks and giving ass.

    I have a hard time believing in any values at this point, I have tried to live my life with some kind of moral code, I used restraint, went without, gave up things to do and be a decent, fair person. Where am I now, in a court system that is a vulgar representation of justice, have a thief steal everything that I worked hard for, a person who commits fraud and there is no consequence, no making amends. Life looks pretty good for them. Good values just aren’t enough these days. You are penalized if you have values.

    If you can, stand back, and look at what it is doing to you. You will never get back that sense of safety or fair play. The justice system is going to make a mockery of your efforts to stand by him. Actually I think is is called Condonation. Condonation is someone’s approval of another’s activities. For example, a wife who does not object to her husband’s adultery may be said to condone it. If the wife sues her husband for divorce, claiming he has committed adultery, the husband may argue as a defense that she condoned his behavior. This was taken from an article talking about No-Fault divorces. If you stay after you have knowledge of this behavior, it means that you have accepted it as part of the marriage. Is that not insane?? You are penalized if you would stand by someone who says they want to change. You will loose on all ends.

    Redemption is for him to claim.

    I am just having a hard time with this garbage and when I see the homosexual behavior too, it drives me insane because if I had know that component in the beginning, it would have been the end. Also that behavior is very offensive to me, especially when I have unknowingly been exposed to it.

    Keep safe, you are in a safe place here.
    Lots of Love to You and All

  33. Jeanette,
    The courts take a long time and for sure don’t look at the emotional devastation and there are a lot of tricks. The condoning thing….my ex tried that, and I flat out said never did never will and divorced him for adultry, cruelity, and abandonment (they only need to leave for one night in my state).
    Stick with it and demand everything you are entitled to, everything that is YOURS. It is slow, and you will have to fight more than your atty, but you have grounds.
    Best wishes, be glad he is gone and there really is karma…..keep your values and you are always ahead.

  34. Laura
    Let me just say, for the past few months I never dreamed he would have did what he did. He promised me he had told me the truth. He promised me that he knew he was f*cked up, and in his own brain the “Online stuff” wasn’t cheating, however he could NEVER EVER EVER HAD EVER even considered having physical sex with anyone other than me. He PROMISED ME I DID NOT NEED AN STD CHECKUP!! Over and over he promised me. He went to his 12 step meetings, he went to counselling, he came home from his meetings upset at other guys who kept slipping. If I ever spoke about another woman having ANOTHER d-day with her partner, he’d shake his head and comment how sad it was that these women were being put through so much. Only a couple night before, he was CRYING, crying because I asked him to read “Your Sexually Addicted Spouse”. He was “frightened and scared” of what he had done to me and was terrified that I may never be able to recover and he hated homself for what he had done to me.

    In reality, he was only scared I’d find out I guess.

    In hindsight, yet again, I can see how on the surface he was “doing” recovery, but about 2 months ago, I can now see the priority shifted. He missed the odd meeting. His counselling ended as the cousnellor thought he was doing great. He wasn’t speaking/texting his 12 step buddies. He was back watching TV and reading a couple hours a night.. the signs were all thier, but once again..i didn’t pay attention.

    Get yourself checked for STD’s RIGHT NOW. Protect yourself.

  35. Hi to all you beautiful women,
    While I would like to respond to each and every one of you, I just can’t right now.
    I am spent. I have nothing in me right now. Even the rage is subsiding, but all thats in its place is this huge gaping nothingness.
    Today my goal is to get dressed.
    Tommorrow my goal is to step out the front door for a few minutes.
    Other than my warning to Laura, I just have no words left in me.
    I am trying to think of others, those who have no money, no food for their beautiful children, those who live in poverty which is so stark that a scrap of bread is a treasure to behold, those who are not as strong as I am and believe they cannot continue with this world any longer. I will pick myself up, I will survive, it will just take some time.

    Starry

  36. Okay Starry,
    there’s nothing wrong with finding yourself completely spent. I think it’s a good sign. It means you aren’t pretending or minimizing. You have faced the addiction and seen it for what it is, and you have connected it to the man you thought you knew. Of course you can’t do anything more right now. That is a colossal piece of work. Way to go, brave soul. You are entitled to where your jammies for a a while. One SA wife who was a VP of a large accounting firm told me she wore jammies for a week and cried everyday all day when she finally realized what it all really meant.

    And it’s also really wonderful that you see, even in your own disaster, that things could be worse. Bravo. You are going to make it. What an exciting moment for all of us to share. This is the moment. And when you’ve rested, you are going to rise up with a freedom and strength and purpose that will astonish you. You will still feel the pull of the past, and the grief of the one you can not heal or ever love enough, but you will also feel the pull of the future calling you into a life recovered and renewed. And that will become your next goals. Slowly and steadily you will emerge.

    So for now, let yourself crash. After all, many wouldn’t have made it this far. Give yourself what you need to comfort and grieve what you must let go of now. And trust us when we tell you, you will not be like this forever–just for now.

    What an incredible woman you are, Starry! What a privilege to share this journey with someone like you. Let us believe for you in these few days, and when it is time, you will believe for yourself once again. I promise.

    believing in the force of life that is stronger than anything else,
    love,
    Diane.

  37. Well, I’ve managed to hit my goal of getting dressed and leaving the house, it took me a couple days longer than I had thought though.
    Life is weird. The rage is still in me, but is not as constant. I haven’t really cried over my recent findings. I think its because deep down, I knew. I knew in my gut that there was “something”, thats why I was treading carefully, moving at a snails pace in efforts to reconcile with him. I knew from reading countless stories online, that the vast majority of these guys get found out, seek recovery, but after a few months once the immediate danger is passed, they get complacent and think that they do not have to do anymore than they have already done. They think that they have a handle on things and that they can move forward. Not so..and I knew this.
    I guess I’m trying to say that I expected this in some way. I knew it was all going too smoothly. Things were too good. Sure, if it was that quick and easy to deal with, then why the h*ll was it such a problem in the first place?
    So where to go from here? I’m not sure yet. For the moment, I am going with the flow. I am staying in the relationship for a bit to see where it goes.
    As one of my counsellors said a while back, if I choose to stick with it and it works out, then great. If I choose to stick with it, and it doesn’t work out, then great, I will be able to move forward in my life, knowing I did all I could and I won’t have to suffer the “what if’s”. I will have worked through things and won’t take such a huge amount of baggage with me.
    I do want it to work, but I know there is a lot of hard work to be done first. I’ll continue looking after me, and hope he looks after him.
    I actually do think he has finally seen things as they are. He sees the devastation he has caused, and he’s feeling damned uncomfortable with it. I suspect for the first time in his life, he may be experiencing what the rest of us would call guilt or remorse. He seems to be genuinely confused over the feelings and isn’t sure what’s going. I refrained from telling that this is what normal people feel when they have done something so horribly wrong. He is like a beaten dog right now, and I know its wrong of me, but I am taking some satisfaction it it. Maybe, just maybe he feels one tiny small iota of what i have been feeling since this whole shitstorm began, but then again, he could just be feeling sorry for himself.
    I been lurking around reading a lot the past few days. I am taking some solace in the fact that he isn’t, or hasn’t acted like a lot of other SA’s. He takes responsibility, he doesn’t minimise, doesn’t demand, doesn’t rage, ect. I think thats what makes it easier to decide to stay for now. I had a thought this morning, after reading some of the posts. I wouldn’t live with most these guys even if they weren’t SA’s!!

  38. Hi Starry, Was wondering where you were. Glad to see you climbed out of bed. 🙂 Sounds like you are feeling somewhat better.

    I have to agree alot of the spouses talked about are jerks, and I for one don’t really want to live with mine even if the addiction was non-existant. I am tired of being the only that does the work in our relationship. It is exhausting and I am tired, and tired of waiting for him the come thru after all of our conversations. If I was not married, he would have been dumped a year ago, if not sooner.

    Be careful about the disclosures and this still may not all be it. I think JoAnn and Marsha had several disclosures over the course of a year. Also did he seem really remorseful before? And then moved on.

    Curious if there are any wifes or GF out there who felt they had the perfect husbands aside from the addiction? I would assume that is why so many stay and try to make it work?

    Unfortunatley mine is not one of them.

    Glad to see you on again Starry and for the update.

  39. starry,
    I just said a prayer for you that all truth will be revealed and thanking God for giving you the strength to get through…My SA goes back and forth between seeming to be beaten down and being defensive and feeling entitled. We are still seperated after almost 5 months, but he really pushes to get back in. Our counselor described it yesterday as a bungee cord, everytime we try to get closer to eachother, tension happens as we pull against the “issues” from our childhoods that got us to be attracted and involved in the relationship in the first place and we have to bounce backward with the resistance and keep pulling forward. It is so hard. My SA swears to 5 months sobriety from the addiction,but it is interesting because each time we make 2 steps forward, we take 3 back. This is a truly hard process and there are no guarantees with an addict. I think that is what I am strugging with the most is that he’s an addict and I have to either accept and live with that the rest of my life, or count my losses and move on. There is so much fear when they lie to your face time and time again, trust is so hard to regain. I think like some of you said, the signs are in the attitudes and behaviors. They become so good at minipulating, but the more we learn and get stronger to have our voice and listen to our gut, the less they will be able to get away with it because we will hold them accountable. This is something none of us signed up for. I met my husband at CHURCH!! He asked me to start a ministry to help the homeless! He has ben a SA since he started looking at porn at age 11, but was trying to heal at that point. If you look back carefully, you may have seen signs but just ignored them. I did. He got a ticket and tore it up and threw it out the window as the officer walked away, I sat in the car trying to talk him down from his outburst, that should have been a sign. There’s much more I saw, but didn’t want to see it. I feel like there may be more with mine as well, I just have a nagging feeling, but what could be more than porn for 19 years,chat lines and strip clubs for 5 years, and prostitutes for the last 2 years? STD testing was so humiliating, I was really angry that I had to go through that, luckily all was clear. Hang in there, I am trying to and just taking it one day at a time. I started yoga, it has been good for the body and spirit, I am learning how to breathe!

  40. Flora,
    Oh I am definatly aware that there could be more disclosures in the future. I can deal with them, as long as he is sober.
    As for remorse before, well … he seemed to be a bit remorseful, but I always had a nagging feeling that he wasn’t as remorseful as he could be. I think with this last disclosure, its finally hit him. He seems to be really feeling it now. It seems to have finally “clicked”. He f***ed up big time, and I do feel he sees this now.

    As for perfect husband..if it wasn’t for the SA, he would be. He used to be 🙁
    The past couple years his personality changed so much, so no, as an active addict, he is definatley not a good husband. But when not acting out, he is, and that is what gives me some hope. He isn’t defensive, mean, or angry. He makes a good living and takes care of me well. I can’t imagine even attempting a relationship with some of the behaviours which some of us have described.

    I’ve been out of bed for a few days, but just slinking around my house like a wounded animal. Feeling stronger now though. Guess maybe I’ve processed it now and want to “get on with life” in what way I can.

  41. Hi CD,
    Thank you 🙂
    I was separated from mine for several months. I will give him some credit though, he never once pushed me to get back together. Oh, ok, he said he wanted to, but only when I was ready. I am thankful that he is not the type to feel he is entitled and doesn’t push me for commitments. He has not ever pulled the “i’m in treatment so things are ok now” attitude on me.

    The thing with me is, there were no signs for the first 5 years. He wasn’t acting out during that time, and things were wonderful. Once he went back to acting out (he stopped when we met, as he thought he didn’t “need that” anymore) thats when things went downhill very very fast. I can’t even say “in hindsight he…” because there was nothing.
    Now 5 years ago, when he started acting funny and changin, yes, I seen the signs. Dang thing is, I didn’t know what I was seeing!! Is this problem so widespread now that it should be taught to all teenage girls?? Hmm, Signs of Addiction courses for newlyweds?? I jest of course, but sadly, its not funny and maybe not such a dumb idea.

    I’m still waiting for STD testing results. Should hear this week I think.

    Sorry to hear things are such a struggle. I can not imagine what its like to not only have an SA, but have one who is pushing you and not being terribly nice about things. My husband is taking his medicine so to speak. He knows he has no rights to push me for things. Despite all this co-dependance labeling that goes on, I am not a woman to be pushed around. I can grieve, and maybe forgive, and move past things, but I tell ya for me personally, the day he pushed me for anything is the day the door would hit his *ss on the way out.

    As its said “actions not words”, and I hope your guy starts showing you how he’s doing, not telling you what you should be doing.

  42. As a former GF of a SA I would say that I did feel that he was the perfect partner for me but as I slowly learned and allowed myself to realize the ramifications of his addiction, I had to let go of that. (still working on that…as I sit here typing and crying). I don’t know if our relationship had continued I would have seen another side of him but, as it was, he seemed very loving and we enjoyed many things in common and I felt that he was the love of my life. Now that I read all these posts, I think who was he, really? But I did strongly feel that if it wasn’t for the addiction, we were really good together. Now I realize what a big “IF” that was.

  43. Hi Carrie,
    Well, to be honest, if I wasn’t married to him I would have run for the hills! But, 10 years of marriage, I have to work “through” it. Meaning I’ll work with him and see what happens. I don’t want to spend the next 5 years torturing myself with “ifs”. I’d rather see it through to whatever end it will be and if I do walk away, then I can do so knowing I tried my best and be at peace with it.

    I hear ya though, if it wasn’t for my husbands addiction, he’d be great and we’d have an ideal life together. Should have known it was too good to be true really. My life is one mess after the other, when we got married I though maybe it was my turn to have something good for once. Guess I was wrong. Fate was saving the worst for last..

    1. Hi Starry, reading your story brought me chills. Other than the cross-dressing/gay theme, my husband too is addicted to porn, sexting and I’m still investigating the what elses. I’m 50 and we’ve been married 25 years with 4 kids, the youngest being 7. I’m paralyzed by fear. I would very much like to know what you used to monitor his web traffic. I really am chagrined at hearing all these stories. There are too many. I’m thinking of becoming a consultant and speak to groups, schools, ANYWHERE about the damages to families/marriages/relationships the internet causes. There is no accountability. Our husbands should be held accountable, we should be able to hold porn sites, servers, providers accountable for the content they allow into homes. Something needs to be done. Men are like babies and need to be monitored and need to be told what’s right, what’s wrong all the time, Wives need a partner to help bring up their kids, tend to “adult” situations and responsibilities, we don’t have time to baby and monitor our husbands. I hope someday a group will stand up against these things and we can legally do something to stop it.

  44. My husband was charged with indecent exposure 10 months into our marriage. He exposed himself to a woman in the parking lot of the public library. I was already suffering from untreated clinical depression and this just compounded everything. I had/have low self esteem. I was in my early 20s when we met/married after 9 months of dating (!). When he was charged I was so scared, shocked, alone, confused. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone, so I didn’t. I had just started a new position (a promotion) at work a few months before and I had moved in with him to a city where I knew no one but him. We had no kids at the time but for some reason I felt numb and powerless to deal with what happened. So I stayed with him. Fast forward 3 years, we have 1 child, I find a pair of ladies short length exercise/casual shorts in the console of his vehicle. So I ask him about them and he tells me they are his and he wears them out in public sometimes when he’s alone (to the car wash, tanning bed, gas station, etc). I’m blindsided again. So back to therapy he goes. Deeper into untreated depression I go. I tell him the only reason I’m still there is because of our son. I finally confided to a close friend who initially offers support but a short time later stopped speaking to me or answering my calls. Ouch again. I become even more paranoid of his every action. Hypervigilant I now understand. Still didn’t leave:( I’m 28 by this point and I know I want more kids and my thought process is I want them to have the same dad and so we have kid #2 at age 30. Sex life is so messed up (for me anyway). I feel numb and almost completely passive at this time. I have turned inside and hold most all my important thoughts and feelings inside. All the while I’m struggling with trust, attraction, normalcy, disgust (for him and myself), depression, worry, anxiety, confusion. Yet I stay. He’s been to 2 rounds of counseling (after getting caught). I go to a couple of counseling sessions. Fast forward 3 years we have (unplanned) kid #3. I’m thankful for a healthy baby (girl this time:) but also devastated in that now I feel all hope is gone for “escape”. How can I do it alone with 3 small kids? I’d have to move back to my hometown with my parents. I’d feel like even more of a failure than I already do. So I stay. Always on guard, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for a phone call about some weird thing my husband has been seen doing, etc. I know it’s just a matter of time. I start to realize to some degree the effect this is having on me. I’m not the same person. I’m becoming resentful, bitter, sad, worn down, so unhappy. But it’s like I don’t know how to express that or what to do about it. I finally do tell him I hate it when he wears thongs and that he shaves his genital area. He agrees to stop, but it’s a hollow victory because he’s only stopping at my request, not because HE wants to. I have over the years gone weeks at a time without sex secretly hoping he would cheat on me and give me an excuse to leave (silly I know). Something I could understand and be able to say to family/friends “hey here’s what happened and I had no choice but to leave”. But (as far as I know!) he was faithful, at least physically. Now I’m 39 with a 10, 8, &6 year old. I finally sought treatment with medication about a year ago for my long standing battle with depression and I’m seeing a more clear vision of my reality. How all this has affected me, my marriage, my mental health, my kids, my choices. I feel like I woke up from my numbness and I’m finally letting myself acknowledge my feelings that I ignored, buried, pushed down. And I’m PISSED! At him, at myself, at my stupidity, my inaction. I’m mad that he put me in this impossible situation. I’m mad that I brought children into it. I’ve agreed to therapy, separately and jointly. I’ve asked him for full disclosure. After waiting for a couple of months and some prodding he offered me “some” disclosure verbal and then a letter. But he says there’s more to come. It’s “hard to remember everything”. So I wait some more. To find out what the hell has gone on in my marriage. I’m waiting. I’ve told him I can’t even think about the next step until I have full disclosure. We haven’t had sex in about 5 months which he is very upset about. But as I told him I just can’t right now. With allowing all this TRUTH into my consciousness, I just can’t bear to be intimate with him. It feels like a stranger violating me. And we’ve been married for 13 years! But I’ve decided to finally deal with it and I don’t pretend to know the outcome. I just know I’m taking it one day at a time and learning to stand up for myself, take care of myself, and live my TRUTH. Please pray for me and my babies.