My name is Stephanie and I just found out the truth about my husband.

There were always signs something wasn’t right. He would call and have secret conversations with his ex wife. He always told me I was crazy, there was nothing going on. I over heard him tell her once to meet him at a local grocery store parking lot so he could talk to her. (they divorced due to his infidelity issues) I grew angry because I knew he was meeting her and yet he told me it was about their kids.

There was a time we were supposed to talk about these issues but instead I got a text, he had a meeting in a nearby town then he was heading to another town to visit with a friend. I found out he had met a woman on Lavalife and spend the entire day with her. He claims to this day they just had drinks.

There were several fights, anger, frustration and all the while I was losing who I was. I went from a strong independent woman to a woman who is incredibly insecure. He tells me often how unattractive it is that I am so insecure. He has shared with me in the past that he doesn’t love me like a spouse should love but rather more like a friend.

I turned into a monster. I checked up on him every day. I learned that he had contacted the women from his past that he cheated on his previous wife with. That was my breaking point. I yelled and told him I was done. I was walking out the door when he begged me to stay. He said he would get help, that he had a problem. I told him that was not enough. He went into the house and grabbed one of my rings and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

This went on for at least 30 minutes. He wore me down with his words and his promises. We married a month after that. Now, being married for 5 years I look back and think to myself…WHY? Was I that desperate that I needed to be with someone like him? What was I thinking? It doesn’t do any good to question that now. I am married to him and I just found out the depth of his problem.

I caught him texting a woman at his work. When I asked him if he had texted her his reply to me was no. He then stated he didn’t know the last time he sent her a text. I had proof this was a lie right to my saddened face.

I walked away from him and 2 days later while yelling on the phone at each other he told me that he did text her and he did it because he was not getting playful banter from me. I called the woman and we talked. She was and is not the cheating type and offered to help me in anyway she could.

He drank excessively and then wanted to talk to me, I told him no thanks maybe in the morning if there was time and he was sober. That very morning while we were both at work, I found out he got on Craigslist and invited a woman to chat with him. I didn’t need to see or read anymore. I called his office and left him a voicemail in a feud of anger what a monster he was. I was leaving him.

The rest of the day we went back and forth texting. He was calm. It was weird. I was so angry. Then came the hurt the embarrassment and the tears. He had admitted to me he was addicted to sex but never engaged in sex acts. He gets on craigslist “kink” forum and chats. He looks at porn and he masturbates frequently. He opened up to me in sharing all this.

I am so confused and lost. I do not know what to believe. I question everything. His meetings in another town, his late meetings, his phone going off late at night, multiple “guys” nights and golf trips. He cried and held me and promised me he was never physically unfaithful. These last 4 days I have felt incredibly close to him. Closer that the last 6 years of us being together.

He bought a self help book and attended a SAA meeting. He knows if he cheated I would leave. This is a form of cheating in my book and with his history I am inclined to not believe all he is saying to me. Yet I am still here.
We have a daughter together and we have 4 other children. I need help and do not know what to do.
I am afraid of another divorce and the affects it will have on all our children…….

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13 Responses

  1. Dear Stephanie,

    I am truly sorry for your pain. I hope that you are getting counseling for yourself– just for you. Are you? I am fairly new and I am finding it helpful. Also this is a safe place for us, please take comfort in that. Something to think about re: actual cheating vs. porn. My SA was acting out w/prostitutes so he really was cheating. However, the most pain has been inflicted by the lies, the deceit, the manipulation more than the actual sexual behavior. Is it anyless painful that a husband lie about a text to another woman, or that he lies about an affair? It’s the lie that hurts most. I commend you on posting here and I hope you are getting help for yourself emotionally, pyschologically. doing that will help us make clear headed rational decisions about our future. There are no easy choices in this, but there is help.

  2. Oh Stephanie,
    and you have a child together. So much for forgiving in the times before. You thought that was it and a mistake and that he loved you.
    My heart breaks for you. He cheated with his first wife. He cheats and lies to you.
    And if there is an after you, he will do the same to her. Unless he gets really deep and intensive therapy, that HE wants.
    Even then it is dicey.
    First, you are not a monster for checking up. You know now that he lies. You have to verify because he lies.
    YOU ARE NORMAL and placed in a situation that is anything but normal. He placed your family and all the children there. He must take accountability.
    If he doesn’t, especially now, he never will.
    I am sorry, but posting and looking means he is doing. That is blunt and unimaginable to you probably (how stupid can he be, right?)……but lying is how they keep their secret lives. Take heart that you are not he only one being lied too. And why look? Why even be where he goes? Invitation, he is LOOKING and pursuing.
    Be very careful with what you hear as “truth”, because they are liars.
    I pray for you, it is a long journey and it hurts and messes with your head in the worse ways. Know you are not alone, we’re all here for you.
    I hope he is that small percent that gets help for real. He has crossed the line. before you even, and he has the problems, not you.

  3. stephanie,

    I hope I am wrong, but likely this is not the whole truth. I also heard my SA had never touched anyone else. If you read my story you will see how wrong I was. Lying, selfishness and dual identity – the ability to compartmentalize what he does from his love for you – are inherent in the character of an SA. Read some stories here.

    That said, even if it was just what he said, maybe thats just for now. Or even if that all it was, its bad enough. The way you have to feel. The way you have to look at everything differently.

    What he said about your insecurity being unattractive – that was a good way to blame shift and make you feel like there was something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you. It will take time and healing to remember that, but I promise you will.

  4. Stephanie,

    I’m so, so sorry— just shaking my head here.

    Divorce, itself does not hurt children, but an abusive, lying, womanizing prick most certainly can, and hugely and for LIFE! Is that the kind of man you want, raising your children? My mother should have divorced my father 10 years earlier than she did!!!

    Please don’t blame yourself though, or beat yourself up either. Yes, a good therapist can help you through this horrendous nightmare.

    You are not alone. Again, sorry for your pain.



  5. Stephanie,

    I am so sorry you are going through this.

    Betrayal takes many forms, and each is as painful as the other. Even if he is telling the truth, and he was never physical, he still broke your trust, was cruel to you, lied and betrayed the intamacy of your relationship. Being stabbed with a knife hurts just as much as being stabbed with a sword.

    When I first found out the truth, my SA ommitted a few things, and minimised others. It was only when he started treatment that those few things came out. Please look after yourself right now. I suspect everything is not yet laid on the table.

    I can identify with being strong and independant. I was too, but things wore me down. The woman who once told the CEO of a major German investment bank to not speak to me like that, and that he was an assh*le, turned into a woman who hid in the corner and questioned everything about myself. Don’t beat yourself up. You adapted to a situation you were dealing with.

    Believe that you will become a strong person again. It will happen.


  6. Stephanie, thanks for your story, I am experiencing the same with my now ex-boyfriend who has cheated on me with hookers and even a tranny mostly from Craigslist. He caught herpes from it, not sure what else, but I’m not sticking around to find out. I found out his sexathons thru his emails, texts, cameras and secret drawers and I’ve exposed him and he confessed after months of lying like a coward. His name is Eziz, I’ve hidden my name so only he would now who I am if he ever reads this. So no, u are not a monster for snooping, u are smart. I know its because u love him u are holding on to him, hoping he would change, hoping he loves u the same to change. U probably think and was told that these women don’t matter because its you that he married & has kids with, not them.
    It really is all lies…he probably does love you but only because u stick by his habits & let him control u mentally, because if he did, he would’ve stopped after marrying u.
    Be the strong woman that u used to be, for yourself & your kids and leave him. He has had sex with most of these women. I”m sure of it. Please don’t go thru life living this way, HE WILL NEVER CHANGE. Your kids will see this & will think this is ok in a relationship. If u have daughters, they might go thru what you’re going thru. If u have sons, this is how they will treat their wives. Stop the cycle, be independent the way u used to be. It will be hard but would u rather live the rest of your life living in despair? This stuff is not a phase, he won’t get over it, it’s a mental sickness that’s embedded. Don’t live in his dirty shadow. Expose him to and find yourself again.

  7. All,

    For me I never realized I was being played or manipulated. He wore me down over time with the i love yous, compliments, caring and affectionate nature. All the while his actions did not match. I’m the fool for not getting that sooner. But the subtleness of the maniuplation is amazing. I stopped speaking with my SA about these issues because everytime we spoke i felt crazy, got frustrated, and by the time we were done talking…I don’t know what happened. So this week I resorted to writing letters. There is not doubt as to what is said in a letter, and you can take it with you. I wrote the SA on the topic of a boundary violation in regards to owning half of the relationship (being a partner) and in regards to his blatnet dis-regard for my requests (bills, bank statements, pay stubs, bank account statements fore re-building trust). And in general, that he screwed up, now what are you going to do about it to make amends and get your act together. He is the master of excuses, but excuses no more. Here is where the manipulation came in. His response was all about how tired he was, how hard he is working, how ashamed he is, how sorry, how much we all mean to him….three pages of this. You know what was not there, any solution by him as to what he was going to do or how he will make amends. It was a sob story. And my initial reaction was what he wanted. I thought to my self, maybe I am being to demanding… he is working hard…you get the picture we all know the lines we feed ourselves in our head. Yesterday, I realized what had happened. He played me. Did not answer the question, and instead made me feel bad about my requests. I have the letter, it’s in writing, and I now see how subtle it can be. My SA is very passive and is not verbally or physically abusive. In fact he has never confronted me about anything in our marriage or about the kids. (Thats a red flag as well). So the manipulation can be so very very subtle. Beware.

    Just thought I would share my situation, as it may help someone else our there.

  8. Flora, you are really walking the walk on this one,

    Well done for being that disciplined about changing the conversation strategically so that you could see more clearly how the dynamics work. Even still, I know from my own experience, that there is fresh sadness that usually visits alongside the clarity you gain.

    When I read posts from women who speak how since discovery and (usually) their husband’s tearful, remorseful activity, they “have never felt closer to their husband”. Heart to heart conversations lead us right back into our false hope that this is going to change. But that intimacy has a shelf life, because it is a strategic intimacy that the addict cannot sustain. It serves a purpose—to hook us again, because “we’ve never felt closer and the cuddling and caring is wonderful”— and sometimes even the make up sex actually involves you.

    I believe that what they say is truly what they want—but they are in no position to be able to offer that fidelity or intimacy. They are still full blown addicts who need extensive work in recovery programs and with therapists before what they say about what they want to happen between you has any real chance of happening. This is where we get sucked in.

    Your illustration demonstrates a second wave of this. No promises this time. Just a lot of “noise” about nothing. As long as it looks like emotional content, we set it alongside earlier promises and think it’s a reinforcing of that. It isn’t. It reveals the distance that has already been achieved between the “discovery promise moment” and the journey back into the addiction.

    It takes a long time for an SA to be able to make commitments about sobriety and the things a women has a right to have in a marriage relationship. A long time. A long time filled to the brim with working the programs, doing the therapy, practising being an emotional adult.

    thank you for sharing your smart approach, and I’m sorry because I know it still hurt a little to be proven right. It’s the one thing we’d all love to be wrong about.


  9. It sounds so much like Predator’s tactics. I am now calling it “le mind fuck”– for that is what it is…First the “kindness”, “doting”, etc. and then the plausible excuses and “the you are imagining things” (which makes you begin to think, am I???) combined with a refusal to REVEAL things like bank statements, etc. But, thankfully, you’ve caught on– ITS BULLSHIT!

    Now, I have a question. Let’s just say for argument’s sake that computer monitors/useage is being “enforced.” What is to stop a SA from using some other PDA like a blackberry or cell phone that you have no awareness of? He could have a private bank acct. that you have no awareness of or pay some other way, that’s untraceable. Hell, he could even have some woman pay the bill and you wouldn’t know a thing.

    I’m not trying to be adversarial, (although what I’m about to say, may come off as such) but the truth is… If a man wants to carry on with his addiction, he can and WILL, no matter what you do or say or want. You would literally need to be AWAKE with him every single second of the day and night to know for sure.

    As much as we might love someone and want them in our lives, I just think, its better to assume the worst and ask yourselves if *this* is something you can live with? A man who’s a sex addict is ALWAYS going to be a SEX ADDICT. Even if he is not currently acting out. He is always going to be susceptible to slips and if he can’t be thoroughly open and honest, about a bank statement, for God’s sake, then its pretty obvious what is going on. Now, if a woman can accept this (she loves him warts and all) 😉 and live with it, then fine. A lot of women do. After all if he says he wants you, he does. He wants you, but he also wants his addiction. Does he love you? In his world, in his limited way, yes, I think he does, but its probably not your definition of love.

    I believe that this is at the bottom of all of this. And I think there are also some men who are kind and loving to their wives and children. They are just so damaged from their own childhood abuse that they received and their struggle is so difficult that they keep on lying, not to hurt you, but in their minds, to keep FROM hurting you. I have been reading a blog of a 35 yr old man, a teacher/football coach who’s married with 6 kids, and his struggles with SA, and its given me a much different perspective. He’s been a SA since he was FOUR! He’s gone to rehab (60 days!) and he’s tried meds– which made his so depressed that he tried to kill himself, 3 times… but other than that, he sounds like a really terrific, normal, nice, cool young man who grew up in an EXTREMELY dysfunctional family. He HATES himself and then it occurred to me, that he is not the the only SA in this situation. In most cases, I believe, the addiction is not a part of some vicious scheme to hurt you, but to help himself. Its how he copes. The lying is done in his mind, to “protect” you from the hideous truth of his life; he cannot see that the lies themselves, are the most hurtful part of all. When you try to tear down his ruse, the thin veneer, he is presenting, he becomes sullen and pulls away, because you are threatening to unravel the very essence of his being.

    Its a horrible disease.

    Much love and strength to all,


  10. My name is Pam and I just found out the truth about my husband also.
    I have caught him masterbating,masterbating outside, lusting goes to the bathroom several times when we go out to eat, Wal-mart etc. He likes to be necked all the time. He got herpes two years after we were married and said it had to be from someone before we got married. He had warts before we were married.
    He said he has never slept with anyone since we got married. He lies, manipulates and blames me for everything. He told me he does not see himself doing the things I say he does. Now he tells me he has a sex problem and does not know why he is so hard on women and that he wants help from a real doctor and does not want a divorce. He has been seeking counseling and going to Celebrate Recovery once a week. Obviously they hit a nerve because he has not went back to either one and got more angry with me and left(currently seperate this week after he picked a fight again). Now is begging to come back home. I don’t know what to do or what to believe or if anyone can help a SA or recover from this problem.

    I have so many questions unswered by him. What causes this problem?



  11. Pam I am so sorry. There is so much good information and support on this site I think you may find a lot here. I don’t know what causes this it is probably different for each of them. But there seems to be a common thread in that they are all self-centered and narcissistic.
    It’s good you are separate for now so that you can at least gather your thoughts. It is hard to make these decisions when they are in your home. You need some peace and time to process this mess. It is a hardtime and get some support…you need and deserve it.

    Peace to you. 🙂

  12. M..came home Sunday after being gone for four days and us being in separate bedrooms for a few weeks. He said he wanted to talk and spilled his heart out. He told me he used me for sex like he has the other women in his life and he control me and how angry he would get with me..etc.. He said he never had sex with another woman since we have been married. He said he is the visual type and masturbates. He’s been involved with sex since he was 10 years old,never malested by anyone. I do know that he came down with an illness at 10 years old. He wants to go see a Dr. that can help him with this and put him on medication. He does love me and wants to be with me. He is willing to do whatever it takes and once he is healed he would like for us to renew our voles. He did talk to his parents yesterday and told them this is not my fault that he is the blame since we’ve been married for our problems and he is going to get help. He is going to continue seeking counseling and going to celebrate recovery, reading books and now go to a Phycologist or whoever he needs to see that can really help him. I don’t know what kind of help he needs a lot I do know that!

    Now JoAnn with this being said…I’m not sure what is true and what isn’t. I want to believe everything he has said. I want to believe that this is it that he is tired now like he said. I’m scared I don’t know what to do. I do love him but right now after all he has put me through for seven years and told me that he loved the selfish part of him and not me it really makes me so angery and bitter at him. I have never been treated this bad before. It’s awful. I’m not one that’s easy to give up. I’m 47 years old we have been married for seven years now and have a wonderful family his and mine together and grand babies.

    I have been through this so many times where he has picked a fight then left then come back and it’s all about me. Same this time but seems to be really wanting to change. He has lied to me for seven years and pretty much all of his life he has been a liar. How do I know that he is sincere this time. If I open the doors and let him back into my bedroom like I have all the other zillions of time then what well I’m through but call me a fool!

    It’s like he had a fling and got dumped this weekend and now coming back home to me to reunite??? I don’t get it…his personality is unreal I’ve always said he is Doctor Jeykle and Mr. Hyde. It’s a wonder I’m not in a mental hospital..

    Please help….any advise or suggestion? I’m losing it!

    Thanks again, Pam

  13. Hi Pam,

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

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

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

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

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

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