questions about sex addictionsBecause the term Sex Addiction is fairly new and remains controversial among professionals there is no generally accepted answer to the question ‘Is sex addiction a real disease?’

To be clear, sex addiction is not a valid medical diagnosis. Professionals and the general public disagree as to whether is even exists. There is no doubt that the behaviors exist but whether or not sex addiction is a true addiction that can be treated with methods used for other types of addictions is not understood.

My simple definition.

Sex Addiction is an unhealthy coping mechanism characterized by a set of escalating, compulsive sexual behaviors with negative consequences. These unhealthy coping mechanisms, the inability to consider consequences, impulsive and compulsive sexual behaviors, chronic lying and a lack of an ability to form intimate relationships leads me to believe that Sex Addiction is not a disease in itself any more than a cough is a disease. I believe these behaviors are  a symptom of an underlying Personality Disorder.

But, because the term Sex Addiction has become associated with these behaviors I will continue to use the term until a better one is found.

Online searches about the meaning of the term sex addiction will give an almost endless result of opinions. Here are just a couple to ponder:

WebMD-Is Sex Addiction Real?

Psychology Today-Is Sex Addiction Real?

Here’s my opinion.

Sex Addiction is a set of escalating, compulsive sexual behaviors that have negative affects on the person engaged in the behaviors as well as everyone who is associated with that person. This includes family, friends, employers, employees, intimate partners, and just about anyone within their social circle.

Sex Addicts find it difficult or impossible to control their behavior in spite of serious consequences such as job loss, social scorn, financial ruin, loss of relationships and family, arrest or legal repercussions. I consider Sex Addiction a maladaptive behavior that may be, but is unlikely to be able to be modified.

Sex Addiction takes on many forms from all types of pornography, compulsive masturbation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, the use of prostitutes and escorts, multiple affairs, and, more seriously, pedophilia and rape.

If it is escalating, compulsive and harmful it is an addiction. If your sexual activities are harmful to you and your relationships, and if you have tried to stop the behaviors but have been unable to–you are a Sex Addict.

How do you know if you are a Sex Addict?

Most of us have periods of time in our lives when we feel out of control, frustrated or depressed. Often during these times we may act sexually in ways that are embarrassing and out of character. Does this make us Sex Addicts? Absolutely not.

There are many online tests that can help you to determine if your sexual activity is becoming problematic, but personally, I think this is much too serious of a problem to diagnose with an online test. If you feel that you have a problem with Sexual Addiction a trip to a counselor is a wise choice.

Are Sex Addicts just people with a high sex drive?

Our society is notorious for glamorizing bad sexual behavior, especially in males. Bragging rights excepted there are differences in sex drives among all of us. But, just having an appetite doesn’t make us run out and act like animals. Sexual Addiction is not just about a desire for sex; it’s about a deep-seated hunger for validation, a need for acceptance, a need to feel wanted, needed and whole. The Sex Addict tries to satisfy those unmet needs with sex. And–it never works. People with high sex drives just enjoy more sex than most of us, but they do not act in ways that are unhealthy or detrimental to themselves or others.

Is Sex Addiction a disease or just a symptom of a weak personality?

Technically Sex Addiction is not listed as medical diagnosis, thus it is not reimbursable through insurance. It is certainly a disorder that causes physical and emotional harm to a person and most counselors and professionals prefer to label Sex Addiction a compulsive disorder or a lack of impulse control. Whatever we call it, it is a problem and needs more research into ways to help addicts overcome their issues. There are hormones and brain chemicals involved as well as personality traits stemming from childhood. I have no doubt that many cannot control their actions without professional help.

What causes some people to become Sex Addicts?

Sex Addiction has such complex roots it would take volumes to try to explain all the possibilities. I am dedicating an entire section of my eBook on Personality Disorders that offers insight into the development of personality and Personality Disorders.

Are you born a Sex Addict?

It’s the old ‘nature or nurture’ question that may never be answered, but there is some very interesting new research on brain chemistry that may provide some surprising insight.

Common Traits of Sex Addicts

Sex Addicts have eerily similar personality traits and childhood experiences that leave no doubt that the two are correlated. Almost every woman I have talked with describes conversations and behaviors that sound as if she were talking about my husband, rather than hers. Here are a few of the most common personality traits of Sex Addicts.

Emotionally immature
Lack empathy
Engage in compulsive lying
Lead double lives
Lack coping skills
Unable to form intimate bonds
Use sex to medicate their emotional pain
Feel overwhelming shame and guilt
Lack trust
Socially isolated
Lack self esteem
Engage in ‘Black and White’ thinking
Live in denial
Feel out of control
Harbor anger

Here are some traits that identify someone with a Sexual Addiction:

1. Behaviors associated with sexual addiction include multiple partners, multiple affairs, and unsafe sex.

2. The term sex addiction describes the behavior of someone who has an unusually strong sex drive or sexual obsession.

3. Most sex addicts live in denial of their addiction, and the associated risks and consequences.

4. Sex addiction is defined by an addict’s compulsive use of sex to address non-sexual emotional needs. That compulsive behavior completely dominates the addict’s life.

5. Sex addicts turn to sex when they need comfort, like binge eaters turn to food.

6. Sex addicts may engage in exhibitionism, voyeurism, prostitution, compulsive masturbation, or cybersex.

7. A sex addict has an uncontrollable urge to have sex with many different partners.

8. A sex addict may withdraw or become frustrated over his inability to cut back or stop engaging in his addictive behavior.

9. Like other addicts, a sex addict becomes preoccupied with a behavior that is used to numb his or her feelings.

10. A sex addict lacks normal coping mechanisms and uses sex as a way to self-medicate every feeling.

11. Sex and thoughts of sex dominate a sex addict’s thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships.

12. Some sex addicts are known to be shameful, suicidal, and prone to other addictions, as well.

13. A sex addict, like all addicts, continues such behaviors despite decreased pleasure and the negative and serious consequences they bring.

14. People with a sex addiction often have a history of emotional and sexual abuse.

15. Most sex addicts have an intense preoccupation with sexual urges, fantasies and behaviors.

16. Sex addiction is characterized by the addict’s lying or minimizing his involvement with sexual activities.

17. Someone who is addicted to sex will use sexual activities to escape from their problems.

18. A sex addict will often waste time or neglect other responsibilities because of his sexual preoccupation.

19. The majority of people who struggle with sex addiction are men, and their sex addiction becomes the most important need in their lives.

20. Like an alcoholic unable to stop drinking, sexual addicts are unable to stop their self-destructive sexual behavior.

21. Sex addiction is almost always about a secret life. The addict displays increasingly secretive behavior and deception.

22. A sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even arrest.

23. Sexual addiction is often accompanied by other addictions, such as an addiction to work or chemicals.

If you are a partner of a sex addict and would like more information on my online support groups or coaching for partners, just click this link.  Sisterhood Of Support

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123 Responses

  1. “Out Of Reach”

    Knew the signs
    Wasn’t right
    I was stupid for a while
    Swept away by you
    And now I feel like a fool
    So confused,
    My heart’s bruised
    Was I ever loved by you?

    Out of reach, so far
    I never had your heart
    Out of reach,
    Couldn’t see
    We were never
    Meant to be

    Catch myself
    From despair
    I could drown
    If I stay here
    Keeping busy everyday
    I know I will be OK

    But I was
    So confused,
    My heart’s bruised
    Was I ever loved by you?

    Out of reach, so far
    I never had your heart
    Out of reach,
    Couldn’t see
    We were never
    Meant to be

    So much hurt,
    So much pain
    Takes a while
    To regain
    What is lost inside
    And I hope that in time,
    You’ll be out of my mind
    And I’ll be over you

    But now I’m
    So confused,
    My heart’s bruised
    Was I ever loved by you?

    Out of reach,
    So far
    I never had your heart
    Out of reach,
    Couldn’t see
    We were never
    Meant to be

    Out of reach,
    So far
    You never gave your heart
    In my reach, I can see
    There’s a life out there
    For me

  2. This really captures the pain. Thank you for this website, no other site seems to understand or explain the truth of the partner’s broken heart. Thank you so much, Joann, you are a healer.

  3. i need advice. my sa is recovering but has been back sliding regardin cash. our agreement was no cash sa had debit card but not to use it to buy other ppl stuff and take cash or he wouldnt have debit card. He got caught being chared 2.00 over n kept cash, buying drinks he never drinks, of course sa is angry. i also found out when im at work he goes through my things and found a way to by pass the parental code and call forwarding on his phone. sa drives and when he gets home i have go phone which records all transactions and he is leaving his phone and taking the go phone. (he doesnt know it yet. im contemplating several nanny cameras in room closet and in the house, has ne one had luck with them> maybe just me telling him i ve got them. think that would work? it doesnt seem he wants to change, anybody else have sa stuck in denial. maybe he needs inpatient?? plEASE HELP

  4. Hi Stephanie,

    It sounds like a cat and mouse game to me. When they are acting out there is nothing we can do to stop them. We can only control what we do for ourselves. I personally wouldnt do the cameras because I would just asume hes back doing whatever he does.

    Is he in any type of treatment? And if he violates boundries, which he is, what are the consequnces?

    Wishing you the best

  5. SA’s who hide cash, exhibit anger when caught, undermine your controls by finding ways to hack parental codes and call forwarding ARE NOT IN RECOVERY!

    Don’t bother with cameras. You already know that he is still acting out.

    I’m so sorry that you are going through all of this, but if he doesn’t want to change there is nothing you can do to make him change, not even inpatient therapy. The only thing you can do is think about your future and decide what YOU are going to do.

    It’s extremely difficult to stay with a SA who is truly committed to his recovery, but it is impossible to stay with an active Sex Addict. Please find yourself a good counselor, stay connected here and read all the stories, articles and comments and start planning for your future.

    No one deserves the humiliation and pain that you are going through. Be strong. We are here for you.

  6. Dear Stephanie,
    Your H has to take responsibility for his own behavior. It’s up to him, not you. Cameras won’t help either of you. You are only responsible for yourself and need to determine what you want your life to be, what your values are, and set boundaries with consequences to protect those values. And, most important, you have to be able to follow through on the consequences you decide upon. This should all be in writing, a copy for each of you with one on the refrigerator door, too. Your focus needs to be on your healing, not his – being a detective is not healthy for you so again, no nanny cameras. Put your own emotional and physical health first so if he objects to boundaries, which he probably will, don’t react. Avoid drama. You have every right to protect your values with boundaries. He may not like it, but he will eventually realize that you are not buying into his games, he loses control when you don’t play. If you don’t have a personal counselor, get one to help you get through this and develop and understanding of how sex addiction works. Find one who has some understanding of how sexual addiction affects the wife, the trauma, the anger, the hurt, the grief.

    Good luck, and give yourself the Gift of Patience.

    Jenny K.

    Jenny K.

  7. Lack empathy
    Engage in compulsive lying
    Lead double lives
    Feel overwhelming shame and guilt
    Live in denial

    How narcissistic does a person have to be to prefer a woman becomes suicidal to admitting it’s because he can only orgasm through porn or sex with someone he has absolutely no feelings for or hasn’t been with for a long time, hinting that his erectile dysfunction is about her worthlessness and that her not being able to recognise his ‘love’ is because she is mentally deficient herself?

    His perfect mate is airbrushed, shaven, bleached and non-human and must look like Miss World and never, EVER argue with him. As soon as she becomes real, has a voice, or he gets bored by her lack of novelty value, she will be seen to have failed him.

  8. Hmmm, Hiding the cash. My husband has been telling me all week he is broke and when I got his wallet to get his insurance card out for my daughter’s doctor appt. I found $200. hidden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WTF??

  9. Sorry, to sound so vulgar but sometimes I just need too. I did not mention this to him and I am going to watch it and see when it is spent. I don’t know why I put myself through this because it doesn’t really matter anymore. Any advice on how to get through this until I can get out of here?

  10. Good Lord, they are really dumb. When i was deep into my investigative work, i discovered that he was purchasing 2-3 dollar items at drug stores or grocery stores but then getting 20-40 cash back. I found numerous times where he did this sometimes 2-3 times a day, usually starting a week before he had a hot date. It all looked innocent on the bank statements, but when i dug through all the receipts that he was too dumb to throw away, it was very clear he was hoarding money to take out the tramps he was picking up on Ashley Madison and fetish websites. I tore through his car and found the money stash hidden in the glovebox. And he to this day refuses to admit he ever slept with anyone, yea I am so sure.

    1. Mine went through 14 grand in six moths on strip clubs. escorts and same sex buddies he was seeing

  11. Mine refuses as well. Tough (impossible) to really start recovery for them and as a couple if you never have the whole story. I thought I was the only one on here who’s SA was only revealing half the story. My gut tells me the same, found a prostitutes call card in my H’s wallet years ago. I don’t know about you guys, but for me this makes any point of reconciliation impossible. Appears they think they can keep the secret…. and all will be well if they just ingore it. Why do we need to know right? Wrong, they could not be futher from the truth. So I am preparing to move on, have waited almost a year now. What are your thoughts?

  12. I don’t know about you guys, but throughout our marriage while he was living here I had a reoccuring dream that he was cheating on me (almost right in front of me) flaunting it. When I confronted him in the dream, he basically did not hear me, ignored me. I screamed cried, nothing. Wondering how far this really is from reality.

    I was married before this for eight years. I can honestly say that these dreams, the feeling of insecurity in the relationship and being lied to, was only with the SA. Never really happened in my prior marriage.

  13. Flora,

    I totally understand. I was married for 9 years prior to marrying my SA and i thought my first was a nightmare, i had no idea what i was in store for. I was single for 3 years prior to marrying him and I walked into this relationship a happy, confident, no jealousy issues ever, and almost from the get go I started tearing myself down. I went to at least 4 different counselors the first 3-4 years of our marriage to work on what were supposably MY issues of insecurity over my hatred to HIS porn problem and his inncessant staring at women. And now that I look back, the craziest thing is.. not a one of these counselors ever told me to take a real look at the situation and confirm my instincts and to let me know that maybe HE is the one that needs the counseling, not me.

    One thing I have learned is my sixth sense is pretty sharp, and my gut has never let me down. After D day when I looked back through the years and the times even the littlest most innocent things caused red flags to go off and make my mind question if he was being faithful, i discovered I was RIGHT.

    My husband was on at least 7 hookup websites, met up with more women that I care to even try to count, met up with some of these women on multiple occasions and spent more time and energy trying to find more to hook up with than he did with the family, but to this day claims all they ever did was talk. Really??

    After I moved out he went out of control, purchased a very expensive camera and joined some sick photography club and had woman after woman over to his house to take bdsm and naked photos of them. He admitted to me they were skanks and whores, he purchased a slew of alchohol that he admitted to serving him and these women to loosen up. He had purchased a ton of candles he had out in the living room and the bedroom (one of the things he did with me when he was in the wooing stage of our relationship), he even went so far as to buy this blue tube lighting that he stapled up all around the edge under the bed. But he insists he never slept with any of them just took their pictures, and he just thought the lighting under the bed was cool for himself. Really?

    Our upstairs we purchased unfinished and it remains that way and as soon as I moved out he took some old sheets and covered up all of the windows. When we were trying to work it out I was up there one day, and found a round hook he screwed into some of the framing wood on the “ceiling”. My gut had told me when I first noticed he covered the windows was that he was going to do some real life practice with his newly learned bdsm crap on other women up there,(This was months before I even knew he was having skanks over to photograph them). So when I discovered the hook, i knew i was right. He tried to tell me he had some guy come over to show him how to use lighting properly and that the one hook was for hanging up a backdrop. Really?

    I could go on for hours with these stories. Even though he tried to come clean with a lot of things during his short stint in recovery, i KNOW there is so much more to the story and I know he’s lying, he slept with these women. He at this moment is trying to tell me he is NOT doing anything anymore. This man is not in counseling, not in SAA, not doing anything in regards to helping himself just tells me he just doesn’t want to be like that anymore, so he stopped on his own and he is tired of me accusing him of anything. Yet he just recently spent a ton of money purchasing his own professional lighting equipment and won’t EVER give me his phone when i randomly ask. It’s never ending.

    Flora and finallywaking up, I know you know this, but if your gut is telling you that he is lying and he slept with these woman I gaurantee you he did.

    The only good thing that is coming out of his never ending bullshit lies is that every day that goes by, i am just that much closer to being over it and just not caring. I haven’t had an angry day for about 3-4 days now, which for me is so huge and I haven’t even had the slightest ounce of nostalgia or hope or fear or anxiety or anything. I am just so over it. I have no idea what this year is going to bring me, but one thing i do know is I will no longer allow myself to be the insecure pathetic sole that he molded me into. I want my life back and I feel confident I am going to get it!!!!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  14. Flora and littleb,
    I really used to think I was going crazy, like I was obsessing but now I know I was right. My sixth sense was right on and I also had many tormenting dreams. I am still very angry because I can’t get him out of the house right now because of my daughter’s issues. Mine is also not in any therapy, SAA meetings or any other programs. He also says that he has just quit everything- porn, masturbating, etc -because he finally sees the damage he has done to me. lol He is playing the most submissive, pitiful, helpful man. It used to get to me but now I just want to puke!! I really wish I could win the lottery and get him out and be able to support my children…

  15. littleb and finally waking up,
    I am happy to see that others have felt the same. Not happy for our situation though. I went to therapists too, even dragged the SA with me once. The underlying prognosis with one is that I must have self confidence issues?? This was before we were even married. I always thought it was me. Mine first tried to just stop for three months, then got caught again. As a requirement he has been attending therapy and 12 step for about 6 months. But I have to say nothing has changed. I feel he is just going through the motions. Doing what is required. He has since been kicked out and we are seperated. There is only so much we can take, and then you even want to continue to lie to me about it??? Same as with your SA’s. So my situation is proof that even if they attend meetings and therapy, does not mean they are truely getting better. He still continues to lie about what he has done. So even if they go…it does not mean anything.

    finally waking up, I hope you are able to get what you need to move on. Put those toughts into the universe, who knows what may come. You will be in my thoughts. There is nothing more maddening than this.

  16. My “husband” reminds me of a robot; completely incapable of any human emotion {other than anger}. Speaking to him is like writing words in water. Living with him is maddening; he is a dead man walking about with a constant blank look on his face, aside from the occasional outbursts of anger whenever I attempt to have an adult and/or human conversation with him. He shows no remorse, no love, no affection, no ANYTHING. He’s even robotic with our 1 & 1/2 year old daughter. I cannot stand the fact that at the moment I am forced to live with this shell of a person who has inflicted so much damage unto me and could give a hoot. He goes to a 12 step program, but doesn’t feel he needs to do the steps. He has changed therapists about as often as he changed sexual partners. I keep up as best as I can, but it eats away at me night and day. I have never met a more self-centered, horrendous person in my life. And calling him a “person” is being generous. I hold onto the fact that one day, he shall be left alone somewhere, with his precious penis in his hand, and nothing else whatsoever. Because that’s pretty much all he is. A dead man with no soul and his penis in his hand. I hope they shall have a fulfilling and meaningful life together.

  17. Dear Hurtheart,

    I lived through what you are describing. I used to think he was taking drugs! The man I married disappeared and turned into this empty shell of a person.
    He is in recovery, and i have seen so many changes in him though. No more robot.
    If you are not seeing the most basic changes in him, then well, I don’t think he’s taking it seriously.

  18. Hi everyone. Wish there was a message board for this site, I really think its helpful for us all to communicate and heal.

    I spent 12 years alone after my divorce, worked on myself and genuinely enjoyed where I was at in life for the most part. Then I met and married my husband 1.5 years into our relationship. 3 months after being married my world came crashing down. We are now 9 months out from our journey to healing and I pray this is not all in vain. As Starry has said, I have seen drastic changes since my husband entered active recovery. He was in false recovery for the first 6 months and it was excruciating. I hope this is permanent and going to be his new way of life.

    I refuse to be labeled a co addict or co dependent, he was SA for 4 years before we even started dating. I also suffer from PTSD now, therapy is helping.

  19. I am relieved to see some women mentioning recovery (Starry and Taurusinpain). I am so desperate for some hope that things will improve. Can anyone else speak to their recovery process and the healing of the marriage?

  20. Wow! just reading the first page of comments I am dumbfounded, stupefied…I can’t believe how many behaviors mentioned here are true to my situation! I wanted to add to your mountain of truth..has anyone ever been chastiesed for not guessing right? My husband said I always guessed wrong..about dates, and perverse activities! never really has admitted to much other than an affair for a year and a half but ladies I can tell u he has a long list of women, porn,and lies. I can’t begin to tell u how crazy and frustrated I have felt when confronting him!!!

    Another truth is crazy work husband is in management and works ten to twelve hour days sometimes more..he has no set schedule ..I am in a trap because if i ask him about his hours i can never win he turns it on me that i am not supportive of him getting ahead..and he knows i cannot physically check up on him every night. So i ask him to call me from his desk not cell if he is working late..calls at ten says hes working till that leaves him one and a half hours to be trusted.

    He is in denial..he was all offended I had given him the number of a recommended sex therapist he felt he had no problem and that things would get better over time. It has been one year since I his affair ended. We have not been intimate for over a year and a I googled “husband unwilling to have sex with wife after affair” and he was so upset about it..angry really..the kids might see it ..yeah right (our kids are 5 and 7years old and don’t use the ipad)??? Then today I noticed he had used my iPad in the history I stumbled on “bondage yahoo video”..he of course had promised not to surf porn …period.

    You know the more I type the more I realize I am a sucker and this needs to end.

    he will never ask for help..and of course I have been to counseling!

    Well thanks for letting me vent and sort things out. This is a terrific forum! Bless all of u beautiful brave women dealing with such a private mess.

  21. I need some help. Since leaving my SA I have found myself drinking more than ever, I have been sexually promiscuous at times when I was never like this before. What is happening? I was not this person before meeting him. I am ashamed of my behavior and feel like my brain has become sick in a way- am I abusing myself now since I’m no longer with him or am I looking for that “high” that I used to have with him. I really need advice, has anyone else had this experience?

    1. Laurie,
      I know where you are coming from. I have been drinking more than normal and I am not sure why. Maybe to numb the pain? I have these feelings like I wasn’t good enough or something. Maybe the promiscuity is your attempt to validate that you are worthy. It is not you, it is HIM!

    2. You could be in trauma. Talk to someone, get the drinking under control and look after yourself. YOu don’t want to find yourself as a SA. And that is what SA is about – it is an imature way to handle stress. Try to find good friends, and a good support, and recover in a healthy way.

  22. I have been married for 15 yeas and about to file for divorce. I am about to complete a masters in clinical psychology in three months and was shocked to discover what I did… well sort the early years there was the period of phone sex, prostitution 1-888 umbers on the phone bill which he always rationalized away as stupid, impulsive, horny, just for fun…no big deal I love you blah blah. Then there were the Spectrum movies while away on business trips in a hotel…then at our 2nd home when he was there alone…then a random article of female clothing left behind in my second home…must have been the cleaning lady he says…I often felt like I was crazy..he was so reassuring and had a totally different sweet loving side. Anyway now I found the mother load, a trove of evidence that makes me want to vomit and the worst is that it is not just women but men and transexuals..this man will screw anything. I wonder seriously if he is not a closet gay. Has anyone had that experience?

    1. I’d suggest if he was sleeping with women as well as men and transexuals that he is probably bi rather than gay. I have had the same discovery about my partner (now ex!), my instant reaction was he must be gay and in the closet, but a bit of distance and perspective gained from a counsellor is that as a SA they will continually push boundaries to reach a high that gets further and further away, like a drug addict needing a higher and higher dose. He probably found he had pushed all the boundaries he could with women and the only place left to look for new sexual highs was men. Every case is different, and I think it is just all so hard to understand from our point of view where we were happy with just one man in our lives.

      1. Thank you for the insight. He actually used words very similar to describe his urges to “push the boundaries” and needing to “satisfy his carnal needs” ..creepy…What you said makes a lot of sense. At the end of the day there are 100’s of reasons I don’t want to go back but a crowning one is I don’t think our sex life would ever fully satisfy him (or me). I just get worried about my girls (9 and 1) because he used to (prior to the divorce filing) like to take showers with my 9 year old and would awkwardly insist sometimes, he also is a bit of an exhibitionist walking around nude in the house all the time after showers in front of the kids. He thinks I am a prude because his father did the same. He man handles my oldest a bit at times (grabs her butt) and in light of all this it makes me sick. He also was getting junk mail from a site called “teen tube videos” that was porn movies with underage kids…very sick pedofile stuff but I could not prove anything because he was not a member..and onceI tried to become a member to see if he was on there and it seemed to be a bogus false advertising hook for adult porn..I am trying to limit his exposure to the girls and with a nanny present on overnights but we will see. Any suggestions from any please send my way…

    2. I totally understand where you Are! I found out that my husand of 30 years was using escorts and craigslist and to find connections with females, males ad anything else he could possibly hook up with. I am totally devestated by all of it.

  23. Sisters

    I hope you will permit me to share my story. I am a gay man in a supposed committed relationship for just under 10 years now. My SA partner fully disclosed his SA before we committed. He had been in SAA for years and was sober for many, many years supposedly. Being the trusting type, I figured he had done a lot of work and had things under control. In so many ways he was and is the perfect man. It’s the Jekyll and Hyde act that has become insane. Just so you know, I had never been in a relationship with an addict of any kind. What an education.

    Two years in I discovered surfing history on his computer that indicated tons of porn use. I immediately confronted him. He went into the usual shame and guilt routine and tried to make up for it with more meetings and working with his sponsor. He has always gone to at least 4 meetings a week. I supported this.

    Since then it’s been slip and fall every two weeks. From all night pornathons to exhibition in public restrooms, cruising gyms and I’ve just learned of a live physical hit he never disclosed to me in disclosure. Everytime I confront him I get anger for bringing it up and the shut down for days. We agreed to have more communication about this subject in the future, but the omission started immediately and our communication was very superficial.

    I’ve tried everything. Sex Addiction therapists for me and us together for years. I’ve tried being a support. I’ve tried utter anger and disappointment. I’ve threatened to leave. Quite frankly, nothing works. The same acting out continues and the same omissions and lies continue. In the last year he’s taken to putting on this sunshine face all the time because I told him I could tell when he had slipped. So much for honesty and respect.

    I’ve decided that Sex Addiction is a mighty devil and even following all the SAA rules and meetings and sponsors can’t keep humpty dumpty out of the gutter.

    This disease has caused such heartache for me over the years and has left me angry, scared, sad and without joy. I truly believe that anyone who subjects themselves to this kind of life is in for a toxic dose of reality check. It can unravel and destroy the soundest of souls and reduce us to mush.

    I’ve decided there is only one way to save myself and that is to get out as soon as possible. Life is too short for this kind of self induced stress. It’s truly been hell.

    Thank you for listening and I hope I didn’t break any rules.

    1. I hear you 100%. I have two small children and leaving him will be very hard on them, but I agree I see no other way out. I am in my mid 40’s and have already invested some of my best years with him. I am saddened to hear that SAA did not work at all. But like anything else if he is not ready to stop 150% it isn’t going to work. As for my husband, I hope for the sake of the kids he does.

    2. Hi enough already,
      It appears that you have put more than enough time into your relationship to decide. What has he given you back at this point? How is this relationship enriching you? and your life? Are there any underlying personlaity disorders?

      I can see from your comments that is has put a strain on you and your life, and quite frankly it would be a drag on anyone. I chose the path to the way out, I have been seperated for five months, and it has been a year since d-day. with him out of my life I can honestly say that there have been no regrets. The seperation was the best thing I did, and led to sooo much less stress on day to day living. but my SA was not a model student and has yet to tell the whole story of what he has done. Really I think some may never be prepared to admit the wrongs and some are just not prepared to give it up. Even after all of this he may not think he has a problem. You could always take the seperation for a test drive and see how it goes.

      Unfortunately nothing will work unless he wants to stop and get help. If he sees nothing wrong with living his life this way, and it does not matter who he ruins or runs over in the process, then so be it. Unf. for you that means you must save yourself and get our of the way. Good luck to you.

    3. I really feel for you, EnoughAlready. How upsetting it is to believe your relationship is one of mutual exclusivity and to find out that it is in fact, exclusive only on your part. It’s funny because I have always known my husband enjoyed Internet porn and I never found it threatening. I just figured he was blowing off steam. If only he could be satisfied by just the porn.
      I have real trouble getting my arms around the issue of whether he loved or loves me. I mean, certainly to those of us without SA, to choose to engage in the same behaviors our partners have would obviously not be a way we would demonstrate our love for our partner. So to risk the loss of the partner, the end of the relationship, one’s health, etc. seems entirely counterintuitive for anyone who wants to be in a relationship. But, alas, they continue.
      My husband is out of my house, in jail in fact, as the result of his anger he took out on me physically over my (correct) assertion that he had lied about his whereabouts a few nights prior. I told him today that I am moving and he has no home (with me) to come home to. I suggested that this would be a good time to have ALL the sex he wanted without guilt and/or pursue one of these women he’d been seeing for the past 2 years (though he wasn’t faithful to her, either). I am done. This is the time for me to heal, rebuild my self-esteem and silly as it may sound, have a house that is neat and clean and decorated in a style of my choice, a seaside cottage theme since I live in a beach town, and I will be glad to replace his black lacquer and heavy oak furniture with white-washed furniture, blue walls and seashells and glass vases. This is not a style I could have ever had (without a fight) while living with him, and now it’s my turn to make those choices. And I am looking forward to my new life.

    4. I really appreciate your responses to my posting. Thank you for your feedback and sharing your stories.

      I’ve come to believe that the SA is so aware of their defect that they know that anyone fully aware of the territory or the full truth would never knowingly enter a functioning relationship with them. I personally think that many SA in relationships may be super partners. Overcompensating for their defect so that they are seen as the perfect partner albeit for their destructive defect which is always on with no off switch. This addiction is very different from a lot of other addictions, Sex Addiction doesn’t have to cost a cent. Sex is available 24/7 on the WWW. Further, if the SA is adept at fantasizing in their heads about images they’ve seen or merely a person walking down the street they’re immediately plugged in and in the “Zone”. With Alcohol or drugs there is the requisite purchase of the drug. You actually have to leave your home to get the stuff. With sex, you can literally have it in your pocket live all the time on a smart phone or on any computer connected to the web. Additionally, the internet is extremely compulsive. Look at anyone’s use of the internet and how your time literally disappears and you loose all sense of anything else in your life. This only compounds the problem because the internet is a vacuum and it sucks everyone in. For the sex addict, it’s a really deep dark place because they can be supposedly anonymous there and everything is available to the seeker free of charge.

      We really need to be aware of computer use by our children. It is a dangerous place, if you haven’t yet. Put limits in place and a good internet filtering device like Net Nanny.

      If you haven’t read any of Patrick Carnes books I highly recommend them to you my sisters. I learned of Dr. Carnes a few years into the game after I was already committed to my partner. Wish I had done my research before I traveled this road.

    5. Good luck and I hope you made out of the toxic relationship you were in and can now find your true soul mate.

    6. Hugs to you. Yes, there is nothing we can do to help the SA. If they don’t want help, they won’t get it. All we can do is help ourselves, that is it. I have mentioned it above (and I hope I am not breaking any rules) but I found this web site – recovery nation, that has been so helpful. Actually , it was that web site that led me to THIS site. All the best. If he doesn’t want to recover – you can’t make him. You can only control you. Life is short. I think we need to enjoy it as best as we can.

  24. hi all,

    Just found this website today after days of looking for help for partners of SAs. This is a really helpful resource, thank you JoAnn for recognising that we need help as well as the addicts.

    I have just left my partner after discovering he is a SA. We have been together for over 4 years which he has spent destroying my self confidence and making me believe I am paranoid and insane. The truth was that he was on multiple swinging websites and meeting for casual sex with men and women, often groups, sometimes in public places, and not always using protection. From the messages and blogs i could get access to the numbers could easily be in the hundreds. Finding all this out simultaneously was devastating and such a relief that I wasn’t going mad.

    We are in contact still, for all he has done that has hurt me and put my life at risk I can’t stop loving him in an instant and do hope he can get control over his addiction. He claims to be in SAA as well as other counselling programmes but as with any addict it is difficult to know what is true and what is just being said to gain back the life they want.

    I am fortunate enough to live near one of the UK top experts in the field and have been for my first session to help me process what has happened and the truth about the condition. Some home truths he has given me is that it could take weeks to months to get the whole truth about what was going on behind my back, addicts of any sort lie to themselves as much as anyone else and it takes time for them to face the reality of what they have done. And an addict is an addict for life, no matter how many meetings they attend and how good their intentions are there will always be the risk of relapse. In some ways it is more difficult to beat than an alcohol or drug addiction where you can cut the offending addiction from your life, there will still always be sex as part of a relationship which is like telling a recovered alcoholic that they have to drink a glass of wine 3 times a week. I’m not sure if I can live with that right now, for now I need to get my own life back on track without him. He is still fighting for me to go back to him but after all the lies how can I know if he loves me or just wants me back as a cover story of a normal life so he can hide this other side of him from all his friends and family? Anyway, I hope my counselling sessions and reading the experiences of others on this site, both good and bad, will help me gain a better perspective.

    1. Hi CBUK,
      You are very fortunate to have found a good therapist, for many of us they are hard to find out there. They are few and far between. But with a good one you sound already to be doing very well. You are very right in that you need to sort this out for yourself, and the last thing that you need is him dragging you into more of his mess. Its his not yours, and thankfully if you choose, you can leave the world of sex addiction. We have a choice. I think the best thing you can do for you, is take the time for yourself whatever it may be. And then decide do I really want him and this in my life. And then at that point you can make decisions. But between now and then, sort it out for you, and do what you need to do to feel safe, less stressed, and happy. Keep your eye on the big picture as well. Are there other ways that he is or was not contributing to the relationship. Good luck to you.

      1. Thanks Flora, you are right, for now I need to put me first. Only time will tell if we can be together again but we are just working on being friends as a starting point. Regarding other ways he was contributing to the relationship, we were actually very happy together and he always seemed so loving and supportive, perhaps that is why I find it so hard to let go of any hope for our future.

  25. i just discovered by accident 2 weeks ago that my husband of almost 12 yrs is a sex addict. we have had a great marriage full of love and intimacy so this came as a huge shock. when confornted with a message found on his phone he confessed to me giving me his fake name and password that he had been using. i found out that he has been involved with internet porn, chatting, texting, messaging for close to 7 years. my heart is broken. he states that he never met anyone in real life but i have a hard time with that. he has admitted to asking people to meet him but states he would never have gone through with it. he seems very remorseful and is seeing a counselor and going to celebrate recovery for addicts. i have found so many perverted sites that he was involved with. he is almost 40 but pretended to be 20. lots of the girls were so young. he not only was involved with the porn but had friendships with some of these people even admitting to some that he was married and talked about our children with them. i also found accounts under his fake name that he was on eharmony,,, etc. He seemed to have an emotional attachment along with the sex addiction. this is so hard for me to undestand. he says he is completely done with it and never meant to hurt me and does not want to lose me and wants to be married to me. i have taken away all computers in the house and he has now gotten a new phone that does not have internet access. is it possible to be so involved on the internet with these women for so long and not have met any in real life. i dont know. i love my husband so much but am terrified of what i still may not know about him. i am so confused.

    1. Dear Confused, You have just described my boyfriend to the exact. He has done all of those same things, and claims he has never met anyone in real life. But how can you believe anything they say? I am a very forgiving person, and I love him, but if it’s never gonna stop, then why continue to be hurt by it? I have 2 boys by a previous marriage, and they love him to death. But the compulsive lieing and the idea of him even talking to another woman about sex is nauseating. He’s willing to get help, but we can afford counceling. We need couples counceling, and he needs sex addiction counceling, but with no money, I guess we just call it quits.

      1. Wow, that is my life story as well. But for me, on my 10th wedding anniversary, while I was away on business, my husband DID cross the line, put an ad in Craigs list, posing as a 34 year old (he was turning 40), met someone, and had sex with them that night, and a couple of days later. He swears it is the first and only person he has “been with” since our time together. Well – been with where “sex” was involved. He has met hookers, he has kissed women, and he has been looking at on line profiles since 2002, with a stop in there when I caught him – but really – it seems to be a pretty similar story. It is funny, but my SA still doesn’t think he is a SA – just “that he has problems” but we have an excellent councilor who deals ONLY in Sex addiction – it is helping. It is starting to get through to him. There is hope, but it takes a lot of strength on both your parts to get through it. but that is only if you both go through recovery.

  26. My dear confused, I’m so sorry that you are hurting so. Discovery is so traumatic. I hope you know that everyone here understands and cares about you.

    Your discovery is so fresh and so new, you are still in shock. Take your time to process it all. Find a good counselor for yourself, one who will understand and treat your trauma. Read the stories and articles here to help you understand.

    As for your question, is it possible to be so involved for so long without actually having physical contact? I guess it’s possible, but unlikely. Most Sex Addicts reveal their secrets over time, hiding those that they feel are the most hazardous to their safety–usually that means their relationship, which is their facade of normalcy. Most Sex Addicts will promise the moon to save that. Don’t mistake it for love, it’s not.

    There are so many hurtful things that you will have to process, I wish I could shield you from that pain, but I know I cannot.

    All you can do now is take care of yourself, find a way to start your healing process and wait and watch to see if your husband’s behaviors match his words.

    Good luck my dear. Stay with us and let us know how you are doing.


  27. Dear Confused: I am sorry for you pain…for I was there 18 months ago. I hope that your SAH has not physically seen another woman. If you find money missing, you will know. You should check all of your finances…bank accounts, savings, retirement funds. My SAH spent over $150K on escorts. I do wish you well. You are not alone.
    If you would like my email, I will ask Joanne to give it to you. Prayers are being sent your way.

  28. My boyfriend and I both left marriages to be with each other. We became best friends and fell in love. He never lied about his past to me. I knew that he had a problem but I also knew that he would never do anything about it until he was ready. I knew that I could not push therapy on him. He would never respond to it. He came to me last night and told me it was time to get himself help. After everything that we had gone through to be together, he had an urge and it scared him. He said he realised that he didn’t want to hurt me the same way he has hurt people in the past and that he can’t live this way anymore. He wants to be fixed so that we can move on with our lives together. Though some may say that I am naive, I really believe this is what he wants. He had already gotten the name of a local therapist and was calling to make an appointment. He took the initiative to find someone that could really help him. I love him so much and I couldn’t live with myself if I left him during his time of need. I really have faith in him that he will be able to succeed in this process. I wonder if there are any stories of success with partners going through therapy.

    1. I am right there with you. I am now separated from a 14 year marriage and have fallen in love with a wonderful man. He has been very open and honest about his past with sexual addiction. He went through therapy for 5 years and it had been under control for the last few years. He has just confided in me that due to recent great stress, he is battling it actively again. As hurt as I am and disappointed that this has surfaced (I am just now learning about it – so prior to now I didn’t understand it at all). Had I known about the disease, I would have been more proactive in watching for danger signs. He is currently going to meetings daily. I beleive this addiction can be managed and a healthy relationship can be had. I am trusting him to be open and honest with me and I am planning on learning about this addiction and support him. I am not new to addictions… My father is a recovering alcoholic of 15 years and my brother also has a sa. The father of my children has a porn addiction, but saw no problem with it… even after we had a sexless marriage for 4 years. Anyway… that’s me. I’m new… lol. If anyone has positive advice, I’d love to hear it. Thank you very much!

    2. Dear I Still Have Hope! Wow! when I read this post tonight it gave me chills. I needed to write back to you but the question for me was how to respond without sounding so judgemental. You see…. I am the other side of the coin! That’s right… My husband of 11+ years left our marriage to go be with the other woman he has been cheating on me with for years. My husband for the past 12 years of our life has been a raging sex addict, something I was unaware of for most of the marriage. He left me to go be with a woman who was also married and had a family. It seems they had become “friends” about 4 or 5 years ago… and well they couldn’t help it but they fell in love. The real story here and more than likely in your case as well… they didn’t fall in love. Sex addicts do not know what love is. Many sex addicts act out by having affairs, in fact it is quite common. Many sex addicts are also narcissistic or exhibit narcissistic traits. What you have experienced, I believe, is called the “soul mate narcissist”! Sex addicts as well as narcissist are very predatory in nature. It is not uncommon for them to identify a new feed source long before they make their move. They begin the process of “grooming” the new perfect by encircling them in their web of deceit. Typically when they are starting to feel the heat from their addictive behaviour, they start to look around for another source. Any truths this monster shares with you are only to serve a purpose. These type of men typically pick women who offer a vulnerability they can use or need. You are part of a pattern.The fact that he has admitted anything to you does not make him a good guy. You have both begun a relationship based on deceit. You have no idea what you are up against and you will not believe me until you are where I sit now. I could tell you that you will get nothing less than you deserve but even you don’t deserve what is coming your way. You think I am kidding…sadly you will have to learn the hard way. When you lay your head down at night and the demons come… do you justify what you have done and participated in because it makes you and him happy? Do you tell yourself you deserve to be happy even if it is at anothers expense? Even if you physically didn’t cheat until you both had left your spouses, you were checked out of your marriage emotionally. Addiction is just that, an addiction. What once satisfied however briefly, is no longer enough. This particular addiction is the worst because as you will read from this site, most do not recover. This man has hurt his wife and probably damaged a family all for the sake of his addiction. Only you are aware of how much deceit had to be involved to even make this happen. Take some time and read what the women and some men on this site have to say about the patterns of behavior sex addicts exhibit. This will not be any different for you. True love rarely grows in the midst of deceit. I know you have heard the old adage, “if he cheated on her…”, but in this case it’s so much worse. He has given you a few pieces of the puzzle about why his marriage had problems but I can guarantee he hasn’t given you the whole enchilada. I stuck by my husband even though he ignored me, lied to me, offered no intimacy, and a whole host of other side effect of this addiction. I could have cheated too, goodness knows I had enough reason. Yet I stuck by him only to find out that he had met someone like you, willing to cheat with a married man. Who didn’t mind helping to break up a family as long as it satisfied her needs. But I have the last laugh if there are any laughs to be had in this story. My husband was a porn addict and compulsive masturbator. Sex addiction is a progressive illness and acting out is just a step onto the roller coaster ride. Affairs are the order of the day. Many sex addicts are narcissists or possess the traits. If this man is truly a sex addict and I am sure he is then you have done all of this for someone that chances are will do the same thing to you. A true narcissist cannot emote. They can only reflect emotions of those they observe.If I were to bet, he is your everything… best friend, you have everything in common… want all the same things… he can be himself around you! Left unchecked, this illness gets worse 100% of the time. It doesn’t get better with a little therapy! The women on this site, including JoAnn will tell you that years of intensive therapy are a crap shoot. And that is just the starting point. Expect to spend every waking moment wondering what he is up to. Constantly checking the computer, his cell phone. Oh and let’s not forget my favorite…when he is late! The thing with your guy is.. you already know he is a liar and unfaithful! Do you honestly think you have Prince Charming here?? Do you think you will ride off into the sunset and make some happy great life with this clown? Let’s review what we know here… He is an admitted sex addict, you can verify this fact by the simple fact that you are his latest source… we know he’s a liar…. I’m guessing you two weren’t broadcasting your behaviour and actions to your unfortunate spouses so we can consider that verified. Not exactly a recipe for a the whole white horse thing is it?? Wake up fool!! What part about this are you not getting? Maybe this time when you stuck your hand in the cookie jar, you didn’t get a bigger or better cookie. Maybe what you have is something that looks yummy and delicious on the outside but is rotten on the inside! My husband was the love of my life. I never would have put up with all I did if I didn’t truly love him. He broke my heart and our daughter’s heart as well. You are a part of a story like that, think about that when you close your eyes tonight.

      1. Here is what I do not get about us as humans – and as women. We are giving good advice, maybe we were even given this advice when we first started out with our SA – but something clouds our eyes, we don’t trust our gut, we don’t listen to this good advice, because “we are in love” and we ruin our lives. Why is that do we think?

  29. I found out about my husbands “sex addiction” a year into our marriage(early 2007). I was very shocked. My husband is very quiet and shy around others, but not me. I found him talking to his ex girlfriend & others. I confronted them all. I was ballistic. I put a hammer through the monitor, and was dying inside. He went to SAA therapy for about a year. I got pregnant in late 2007, and worried the whole time. I had my child in 2008, and thought this was over with. I “forgave” him last year, and just found out he was not only back to his old ways, but he never stopped. He is very adamant that he has never been with another woman, and never met up with anyone, it was all online. Even if it’s true, it still is devastating. He is going to counseling again, and now I am looking to talk to someone. I don’t know if I can stay with him. I don’t trust him. I am in school right now, and unemployed. He is going to be the sole breadwinner after unemployment gets cut, and I hope to get through nursing school in the next 2 years. I know I will be in a better position then to live on my own if I need to. I really love him, and he is a great father. I just don’t understand this whole sex addition thing. I think it sounds more like an excuse. “I’m a sex addict so it’s a condition I can’t control!” I look at it like road rage, There is no such thing as road rage, just people who don’t know how to act right. I’m so torn. I want him to hurt just to see what I’m going through. I’m sick to my stomach when I think about it. I catch myself rolling my eyes behind his back. I also don’t believe a thing he says about me, such as “you’re beautiful, I love you.” Whatever. He makes my stomach turn when he says those things. I tell him to stop because it sounds like lies and I don’t compare at all to the others. I have no self esteem anymore. I have been destroyed completely. How do I come back from this? Is it even worth saving?! I just needed to vent. Thank you.

  30. I don’t even know how to describe my feelings right now. I recently found out that my husband of almost 7 years has been living a lie. I discovered thru reseting his email password that he has been posting pictures of himself on craigslist to search for partners man and women. I have been out of town all weekend for work so I have not been able to absorb this yet. I thought we were going to be ok, but I guess not. I don’t know how to explain these feelings, its like you have been violated.

    1. Take a deep breathe and get some help from a friend or family. You cannot go through this alone nor should you. I am divorcing him b/c I know I deserve better, I can never trust him again and he is very sick. He has been lying for years and I only found out a few months ago. He has deep deep secrets that I know some of them and I know more than I need to. I want to be happy and be with someone who is authentic and genuine and addicts are neither. Be strong.

  31. Shattered and Divorcing,

    I am so glad that you were able to cut through all of this crap and know that you need to leave. Many of us had been so deceived and through the passive aggressive behavior of the spouse we second guessed ourselves.

    I knew from the day he told me that I would not stay with a person who would participate in homosexual behavior. He was acticve throughout the marriage and 20 years before. Of course I did not know all that history at the time – that he rolled out the next 4 months. He told me that he had been abuse as a boy and he had these urges and wanted to change that. I told him that I would not stay married to a homosexual, but agreed to stay while he sought counseling to see what could be done.

    That was the worst thing I ever did. He never had any intention to stop (I didn’t know he was in that life) the homosexual life. He revealed a life of 40 years of his homosexuality lifestyle with no regard for my emotional state. Post traumatic stress, trauma and depression.

    In the twenty years I knew him there were times I had a sense of something wrong, but could never put my finger on what it was. There was nothing big enough and there was nothing to attach that feeling to. There was no porn or anything like that to indicate it had to do with anything sexual. These people are ruthless, cunning and masters at deception.

    I am so glad that you were able to see it and cut your losses at the discovery. You are doing the best thing for yourself, dealing with these lying, deceitful manipulators only cost you. Know that this has nothing to do with you, I think they latch onto people who have character, morals and ethical lives tying to get some of that to rub off on them. Problem is it just will not stick to these scoundrels and they can’t begin to understand honesty. After all, wasn’t it through deceit, manipulation and lies that they got you to become involved with them?

    Best wishes to you.

  32. Some of us are as troubled as they are! >pointing finger squarely at self< I've been married 26 yrs, separated several and he has been back for 15 months, a living arrangement agreed upon to alleviate financial woes.

    He had an 18 month long affair with a "friend" a few months into our marriage. I suspected, more than suspected, several months into it. I knew, he knew I knew, but he wouldn't come clean. Told me I was being insecure and immature, there was nothing going on, making me think I was crazy even when I was receiving anonymous calls at home and at work for several weeks telling me of his affair. I told her I was getting these calls and because it was at the work place I could file a report and the phones there were being tapped, never got another call again. Yet they kept it going and even after I told her husband who found denial immediately, blaming me for wanting to start trouble in his marriage. I was completely devastated.

    Not only by the affair, but still to this day can't reconcile the fact that he sat by and watched me being tortured and didn't care. I was as sure as I know my own name that he would take the truth to his grave. MUCH to my surprise, he admitted it about two years ago. It happened a long time ago, but it was as though it happened yesterday. I don't know why, but I was enraged. To actually hear him say the words, tell me how long, when where, how and why, I was enraged. Before and after the affair he'd flirt openly with other woman (whom I cannot believe responded knowing he was married and in front of me, too!), act the fool in front of a few gorgeous women we knew, had stacks of Playboy which he knew Itroubled me. He agreed to get rid of them at one point, but just began hiding them and finally gave them up after the affair.

    We went on to have two children and during those years the affair and his behavior toward me robbed me of what little self esteem I had. It's at such a deficit now I don't have enough years left to rebuild it. I finally couldn't take it anymore in spite of how much I loved him, still, and wanted a happy, healthy, whole family, and I snapped one night and kicked him (and his clothes) to the curb. We've been separated several years and 15 months ago decided on a living arrangement that would last another year or so until our youngest graduates in an effort to help alleviate financial woes.

    We'd been co-parenting our children, attend all school functions together, dinners as a family twice a week, a few short vacation, etc. None of which was easy for me since I secretly hoped he'd come to his senses and want his family back even though nothing ever changed between us. I couldn't deal with the financial strain anymore, I couldn't stand the guilt when i couldn't provide for my kids and when they wanted even small things I couldn't give them so after a few discussions he moved in.

    Although I felt it necessary to make this arrangement and it's intentions clear prior to his moving back in, strictly financial, he had other ideas which, when I discovered, appeared a bit dazed and confused and received the butt end of his passive aggressive behavior for it, as usual. Truth is though that I had again secretly hoped that since we agreed we would do whatever it took to make this arrangement work that maybe things would change between us and I'd have him and my family back again and better than before. But he shut me down and we began having problems sharing our space.

    One evening recently there was an intense conversation that lasted for the past 10 days. Trying to understand and asking him to be frank with me about why, again, he was treating me the same way he did during much of our marriage. Emotionally distant, uncaring, punishing, with passive aggressive BS, ignoring me, avoiding, etc. I wanted to know what was wrong with me, what did he see when he looked at me that allowed him to treat me that way, tired of feeling I'm just not good enough for this man I once loved and respected so deeply (and how could I be so wrong!). I kept telling him I didn't believe him when he said it was him, not me. How could I when he was always openly, shamelessly gawking at more attractive women and had sex with one of them for EIGHTEEN months when he had a young, new wife at home. I've also come to believe that he is a compulsive liar, even over small stuff (I'm assuming having to do with his childhood – alcoholic, verbally and physically abusive father).

    He says thinking about my questions the next day at work prompted a realization and he wrote me a letter which he presented when he returned home from work. "I am a sex addict" it began. Suddenly I was the most calm I'd been in a few days. It actually felt as though my body was experiencing the physical absorption of understanding regarding some things from the past (and present). We sat for hours talking as he told me about some of the things he's been doing, phone sex when he first moved out, a 10 mth and a 2 yr relationship he'd been in (just for the sex, naturally), the anonymous encounters, porn, mb. Since he's been living here he claims to have had only two anonymous encounters, no porn because someone is always home, mb is difficult for the same reason. That it's only when he gets tired of "being alone" that he desires a physical encounter and has one. And in the same breathe, tells me it's always the women who approach him for sex in those hook ups. He doesn't spend a lot of money that I know of on his "addiction" and he has been working for the same place for a long time, no problems there, he doesn't have obvious mood swings when he can't get a "fix" all of which has me a bit confused.

    Other things in his letter, "We could never have sex during our separation or now because then you'd think I want only you and I couldn't do that to you. I'm so set in my ways, I don't think I'll ever change. I won't ever be faithful to anyone. Who would want a guy who does what I do." Considering he'd told me the day before during a conversation that what he wanted is a divorce, the day after I got the letter, it dawned on me that it's content was written for me to read between the lines to reinforce what he wants. He later said he didn't want to stop, a few times.

    A few days later he said he wanted to get help, rather matter of factly, but if I didn't think I could deal with "it" he'd need to know "right away." When I asked why, he talked circles around me, again, but I didn't need him to tell me. Translation: Perfect, if she can deal with it she won't cramp my style when I fail and I will because I really don't want to stop. A few days later he told me again he wanted to get help, more sincere this time, and that we should put off making any decisions about "us" until then. Upon asking if he was willing and could do whatever it takes came a resounding yes.

    A month or so ago I asked for the password to our cell account to monitor one of our sons who I suspect is using his phone during classes, never got it. Asked for it a few days ago and was met with stall tactics. I thought great, what didn't he tell me. I got the password and found out. For the past three weeks and all during those intense days he has been texting morning, noon and night with someone. All sexting according to him. First thing in the morning, before he leaves from work, when he gets home, before he goes to bed, before a class he teaches, at the end of the class, ALL day, EVERY day for three weeks and before each conversation while I was making sure the kids were occupied so he and I could talk and as SOON as our conversations ended. Right up until I looked at the phone records. She had texted him twice that morning while I was attempting to get the password from him. There was nothing about sex in her texts. When asked how he could continue this when he said he wanted to get help, and knew how it was affecting me, he had no real answer except to say the sexting is new to him and he can't stop himself, yet there have been no sexts for the past two days. Typical addict or a$$hole or both?

    I'm sure my story may leave those who read it wondering why I feel so much pain (and rage) over this. I'm confused about this, too, and it still has me asking, what is wrong with me? I know part of it may be that even though we we haven't been together for a good amount of time, I am suddenly faced with the fact that my entire marriage was nothing more than a sham. That all my hopes and dreams, and youth were wasted, utterly and sadly wasted, save my children. Not that it's entirely his fault, but this marriage has left me so drained that I never did anything with my life. No formal education, no real job experience, alienated myself from friends who are no longer around, let myself go physically, mentally, and emotionally, etc., and I have two kids that I don't know how I'm going to get into college, let alone feed, cloth and keep a roof over our heads. I am angry as hell that I am now expected, at 51 years old to step out into the world with literally nothing. To start a life in the same way a young person does only minus the support and time. All on top of the deep depression I've struggled with daily since before we separated, lack of self worth, and whatever issue it is that has had me clinging to the most visible to anyone else except me false hope for so long. I look like I've aged 10 years in 10 days, no kidding. I feel like a pile of wreckage left in his wake and I don't even know who he is, and apparently never did. It's a hard pill to swallow and I just don't know what to do with all of this or where to turn.

    Thanx for reading (sorry it's so long) and may you all find the peace and joy you are so deserving of.

    1. Hi Jen,

      Jen I read your story a couple of times now and I just want to reach out to you to let you know that I am sorry for your agonizing pain. We truly are all sisters here. When I feel like no one understands my pain I just read your stories and suddenly I don’t feel so alone. However, these painful journeys are ours to walk alone.

      Now listen to me my sister. I want you to tell your husband that I hate him. Tell him that I KNOW he is a loser and failure. He is an ABSOLUTE failure as is mine. His soul is rotten to the core. No matter how many women he did or will have his soul is hideous and disgusting. Tell him that there are plenty of women who know all about his kind. Does not matter how much money they make or what amazing college they went to. They are absolute failures as Husbands and FATHERS. A good father would ensure the safety and happiness of the mother raising their offspring.

      I know you put your life blood into this marriage. There is no words or amount of money that can correct the damage done to our souls by these hideous men.

      Oh Jen I so want you to meet somebody else. A true gentleman who will come to your door courting you with flowers to take you out to dinner. A man who will be true and honest and loving to come sweep you off your feet. Something a sex addict will NEVER be able to do because their souls are evil. I want a good man to come and flirt with you right in front of that a*hole.

      I know I just overstepped my bounds. It is just I feel your pain so deep and It makes me soooo angry to know wonderful women like yourself are being destroyed. I hate these men who destroy their own families. I hope they all get what they deserve and that is for wives they destroyed to find true love with a true man. Tell your husband your prince charming is still out there and it is just a matter of time before God introduces him to you.

    2. Jen,

      First, big (((((hug))))! I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. You have found out more acting out behaviors that I have and I am astounded that he actually confessed to you his addiction. It’s bittersweet to know. One the one hand, your perceptions are validated. You can go back now through your life and put that piece in all those crazy fights and realize his passive aggressive and all other distancing and defense tactics are common to SA’s. On the other hand, you have given your life to a broken man and the loss, hurt, anger and depression will take time to heal.

      Your last paragraph is one I could have written. I am right there with you, 25 year marraige, no job and lost. My children are all on their own now. I’m 55, and just found out my life was a lie and I’m unsure about my future. It takes some time to process all this and I am trying to be patient and loving to myself. My self esteem is in the toilet too but when I learned how much he hates himself and how he used my self esteem to bolster himself, I realize that I can stop letting him suck the life blood out of me. I can regain my soul. My D-day was last July, but the last five years have been very hard. Now I know why. We are bewildered, but we both have a lot of life yet to live and I’m listening to other women on this site who have been in this a long time and are coming out the other side. There is hope for happiness.

      Please don’t keep hurting yourself by asking what is wrong with you or what you could have done. We all do that at first but their problem and choices have nothing to do with us. It usually started in their childhood. There was nothing wrong with Christy Brinkley or Holly Berry. They are gorgeous women who couldn’t be enough. I realized that the harder I tried and the more of myself I gave away to him, the worse he treated me. I am not thinking about us like “we”, even though we are still married and living together. I am finding out about myself. Why did I put up with this? What do I like to do? I found a book by Eva Wood called The Gift of Betrayal. It has a very different spin than the typical, Help, I’m married to and SA book. This book talks about how this disclosure can free us. It gives a lot of self reflective questions to ask ourselves. I have read it three times and pick it up and read the questions often to keep myself centered.

      I’m sending you my love and prayers for courage and strength.
      It is always darkest before the dawn.


  33. Hi everyone,

    Just a quick drop by to share that it’s been 3 months since I separated from my SA spouse. If you recall, I am looking after my son with a life-threatening condition. I have to tell you that in spite of all the hard work I’m doing with minimal help, I feel GREAT!! The thing about this feeling is that it may go away temporarily but the foundation of where it’s coming from is permanent. In spite of setbacks, I like myself. I have no urge to go back to him.
    For his part, he seems to have hit rock bottom. He comes to see my son once a week (step father, not biological) to take him out and he looks like shite. But it’s so not my responsibility and if he ever has a chance of growing up, he’s got to deal with his own stuff.
    Wherever you are in the struggle, I know you can overcome. Hugs.

    1. Marian…you go girl, although I am very sorry that you have to deal with a a sick child on your own and I do hope you have good friends or family close by that you can lean on for emotional support. But if not than we are here for ya sister!

      I began a 3 month trial basis with my SA husband and it’s emotionally hard and it physically takes a toll on a person; my stomache has been upset ever since I found out.

      April 18th he was trying to make plans to meet a hooker, I actually found out April 21st after I checked the phone records and called her cell.

      He feels “no harm done,” because he didn’t meet up with her and that’s when he confessed that he has a problem and things will change for the better, bla…bla…bla!

      I am saving up money and preparing my exit. I know it will be the best thing for me and my health!

  34. In the days following my D-Day two and a half weeks ago I spent a lot of time searching for info online. I also spent much time looking for a forum or the like where I might be able to read stories similar to mine, the option to interact with those who, sadly, share my experience. Some place where I might not feel so utterly alone. I had all but given up when I found this site.

    What I felt reading through the site increased my sadness, anger, etc., the roller coaster of emotions I came here with. But I also felt some level of comfort, in as much as one can under the circumstances. Though that comfort seemed minimal against the extreme turmoil in my life in that first week, it was a good thing. I also felt safe enough to share my story.

    When I returned later to find not only one, but two replies to my post, a floodgate of tears opened as I began reading. I don’t have the words to describe what I was feeling except to say I was touched beyond words. I guess I was feeling more isolated and alone than I realized.

    Haley and Debora – Even though no one else can do for me what I need to do for myself, your reaching out to me on a personal level was the height of confirmation that I am not alone. The depth of understanding I knew was spread across these pages became even more real (and is not something I anticipate finding among family and few trusted friends). It’s akin to knowing something you can only see still exists, but when you can touch it, it becomes that much more real. It’s more than I hoped to find.

    Too, as crazy as it may seem, your words brought the reality of my situation that much closer to home which was hard. But in that, as much work as I have ahead in healing/dealing with this and as slow going as it is, I am brought one step closer to doing something for me. (I also read a few pages of, The Gift of Betrayal online and decided to order it.)

    To the two of you who became more to me than co-members of spouses
    of the SA sisterhood, thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring, for your prayers, dreams and hopes for my future, encouragement and support. Your generosity and compassion mean so much to me.

    I hope that you’ll both (and all those who cross these hall) will find/continue on the path to emotional healing. That all you’ve wished for me will be yours as well.

    Marian – You go girl! Keep up the good work. You’re an inspiration to us all!

    JoAnn – I so admire people who have what it takes and use it to turn adversity into something positive. Can’t thank you enough for your time and effort.

    “The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.”
    ~Ivy Baker Priest

    “We must embrace pain and use it as fuel for our journey”
    ~Kenji Miyanzawa

    With warmth and love…

  35. This past week, after finding an inappropriate IM session with a woman he just met, my fiance told me he thinks he is a SA. He was involved with multiple women when I met him and for a number of months after we started to get to know each other. Most of these were online, but he did go to meet one in person for sex. He has also admitted compulsive masturbation and use of porn to the extent that he misses other responsibilities to participation in those things.

    At first I didn’t believe he was a SA and he told me about the long standing nature of his behaviours, he hasn’t has one single relationship where he hasn’t cheated. I have done some reading and I have to admit to myself that he is a SA. The next day he began and online course for SA, and has said he will “do whatever it takes”. He gave me the passwords to all his various accounts, deleted all the women in his address book that he has ever had a sexual contact with, installed an internet filter that will email me if he tried to disable it. The course also asks spouses to take a complimentary course and I am meant to review his sessions each day, which he asked me to do. He did all this without any input from me as in I didn’t ask him to or suggest it.

    I believe he is genuinely sorry…right now, and he wants to and is committed to getting help…right now and that he really does love me….right now. But I don’t feel very hopeful of recovery from this addiction. Mostly I am filled with the fear that our life will revolve around periods of sobriety and the wreckage of when he falls off the wagon. We are meant to be married next year when we planned to start a family. Right now, I just wish I’d never met him.

    1. JustThisNow,

      Trust your gut! Now that I look back, I see many times I had a twitch or feeling. Unfortunately there was nothing I could attach that gut feeling to. I have been told that there was no way I could have put the reality that he was homosexual together – it was so far out in left field. I can tell you that I have paid dearly for his fraud.

      One thing that I have learned about life in the future is when you have a gut feeling or a felt twinge about something, take head. As I look back at all the times there was this pause, I can now understand what part it played in his intended deception. It makes me sick because something (mind body spirit) inside me realized things didn’t add up, but I could never figure out what it was.

      Actually I started to question myself as to if I was off base. The SA that I was married to was major passive aggressive, which is a form of silent bullying. It is cruel, manipulative, malicious, deceptive and self-serving for the passive aggressive. The intent is to keep you just a little off center (they don’t want you major off center because you would seek help and they don’t want other people to suggest that something is amiss), this way you are trying to work on everything but the real problem. That is because you don’t know what the real problem is – that is by design – from the passive aggressive.
      If you start feeling stressed, questioning things, realize your mind, body, spirit is telling you something very valuable. Protect yourself because a SA will not protect you, they will protect themselves at all cost. Even if you are the cost.
      From your post, you sound like a smart cookie. Best wishes to you, keep reading so you get a good sense of what you don’t want your life to be engulfed by.

      1. I agree with what this person wrote. Trust your gut. And trust other people that are with SAs – this is not like “cold feet” and most of your friends when you talk to them will give you inaccurate advise. They will say “oh you are making too much of it” “he loves you he would never be doing these things” and what happens is you are kept off base, and you will eventually start to think you are the one that is crazy, and you will stop trusting yourself. That is what happens. RIght now he is just doing first level behavioural changes. He has to do months of deep, 2nd level underlying issues “recovery” work. There is an awesome web site for partners and for SAs called Recovery Nation. It will tell you what you need to do to protect yourself, and also has a section for the SA and a couples workshop as well. Currently I am working through the partner one, and I have never felt this strong.

      2. I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone’s beliefs in this statement and I hope I don’t cause any upset. The difficulty in him engaging in the deeper level work that I believe is required to address the underlying psychological issues is the “course” he is currently undertaking. Initially, he booked into therapy with a psychologist specialising in SA as well as doing this course. However, the online course he is doing, which is christian-based, is telling him that all he needs is to pray and be more faithful and he will be completely healed. He told his mentor that he was going to see a therapist and the guys wrote back and said “I don’t think you need it. You are doing good without it” “We at (name of course) don’t believe in worldly wisdom that’s why you failed all the other times. You relied on yourself and not God”. So, in 60 days he thinks that he will be all fixed and that he now doesn’t believe he needs any additional support. The engagement is off and the relationship is on hold and unless he gets the psychological help he needs I don’t see how he will ever have a chance of changing, if that is even possible. I’m not saying that particular course doesn’t have some good points, it certainly does and if God is part of your belief system then I’m all for asking for His help. But I don’t believe the deep seated problems he has are going to be fixed with praying and 60 days of reading scriptures. Leaving was hard but facing a lifetime of lies and betrayal was just unthinkable.

      3. JustThisNow,

        Jeanette was dead on…you are one smart cookie!! Leaving now is the best thing in the world you could do! You said your boyfriend was in a Christian program now, so if you guys are Christian, sometimes it might be more difficult to leave the relationship after you are married depending on your beliefs. That was part of my struggle, and something I still struggle with, because I want to follow and honor my beliefs, but I also don’t to end up dishonoring my husband by turning a blind eye to issues he is still in denial over.

        Leaving was one of the hardest things I’m sure you’ve ever done, and you may question if you did the right thing for a while, but whenever you have those thoughts, just jump on here and spend an hour or so reading all of our heartbreak stories, about how we found out after we had been married for several years, had kids, built lives with these guys, etc., and the nightmares and heartaches we are dealing with, and then pat yourself on the back for leaving when you did, and THEN, take a vacation with all the money you saved yourself on therapy and/or attorney fees by leaving when you did!

        If he really wants to work on his addiction, maybe someday you might be willing to have a marriage with an addict in recovery, but he has alot of work to do before that would even become a consideration, if it ever would be one for you.

        You are to be commended for the fact that once you realized the situation you were about to make a lifelong promise to, you did one of the best things you could do for yourself, by not second guessing yourself into a marriage bound for heartache.

        Best of luck in your future, and I pray that if you ever consider marriage again, God will lead you to a man who honors the gift he’s been given in you!

      4. To JustThisNow, I really hope that I instill in my daughters the strength and wisdom you have shown. You really are to be admired for your decision. MyRewardIsComing says it very well. You are going to doubt yourself for awhile. Hope on this board any time. It is not a path to chose. If you have been FORCED onto it – that is different, but never chose it. That is too bad that is he getting such bad advice. There really can be hope for him, and sure praying (or meditating) has been a big thing to help my husband and I – but there is so much more. Praying is just the start, the rest is hard work that needs to be done. Take the time to heal, and then we all wish you a very happy life with a person that can be your equal in maturity and love.

  36. Just this now ….please at the very least break off the engagement and take time to carefully think this through….a week before my wedding I discovered an ad my husband to be had taken out in a local paper soliciting a woman to go to Hawaii with him for one last fling…when confronted he pleaded and begged and I bought it now 16 years later the ugly truth is he is a SA and I could have and should have bailed then … I was naive and in love …if were you I would walk now.

    1. Yes, to the girl who is engaged, walk now. I had had issues with my (now husband of 10 years – together for 14) before we were even engaged. I thought by getting mad, telling him to chose, that it was all gone and in the past. 14 years later, I wish the night he had spent talking up some girl, that I had gone to our shared apparentment, packed up his stuff, and kicked his ass to the curb. He is “in recovery” but the pain, and wondering how much of my past is truth vs lies, I don’t think it is worth it. I would go back and leave him that night if I could go back. People told me to “walk” when I posted on a board then about what was happening in my life. I was stupid. I thought ‘we are different’. We weren’t. My advice, is to walk out now, and start your new life. If the fellow can recover,and prove he has, then you could start dating and have a different life. If you go wtih this now, you will be writing the note I am writing 10 years from now. You do not want to be writing that note.

  37. This site has been a haven. He continues to work through his program and has asked me to wait for him to finish. He traded his phone for one that has no internet and his only internet access is through a computer he has installed a filter on. Today he strengthened the filter to block social networking sites etc and blocked forums which he reads to do with his other interests which aren’t sexually related. He feels the internet itself is a source of temptation. He is working with a mentor who gets mails when he screws around with his internet filter blah blah blah. My one thought long will this last before he falls in a ditch gain? I don’t even believe “if” its just a matter of when.
    Apparently, his program suggests that he confess to God, to me if I want and to other people. So I asked…I wish I hadn’t. Six weeks after we got engaged he was massaging a woman in his room on an army weekend. No he can’t tell me who, the course says….He relented based on the fact I told him I would ask as many people as it took to find out. I’m not proud of myself but I sent her some very strongly worded e-mails and I rained down some anger on him too. His story is that he stopped himself before they kissed. Yeah right, I’m not sure he is even capable of recognising the truth, let alone telling it.
    I think this SA is more to do with being a psychopath and being emotionally broken in a way that I’m not confident can ever be fixed. A description of a psychopath reads like it was written about him.

  38. Hi JustThisNow

    Your story sounds so much like mine (and I noticed that you first posted on 1 May – the day of my first wedding anniversary). I also found out about my husband’s sex addiction before we were married (and found out that 1 week after our engagement, he was having sexually explicit conversations with an ex-girlfriend). I believed him when he said he would stop, married him, and now, 1 year later am planning my divorce. The difference with you is that you seem to have really good insight into his condition – you don’t take any of his bullshit and you know what to expect. I admire your strength and don’t think I’m in any position to give any advice, but I would like to re-iterate what Looking forward said “break off the engagement and take time to carefully think this through”. Trust yourself, trust your instincts and try to see past the manipulation – if he’s a psychopath, he will be really good at this. I’ve read a few articles by Sam Vaknin who writes about his own narcissist and antisocial personality disorders – I know it’s not exactly the same as a psychopath, but there are some overlaps – and it’s really helped me to deal with my husband’s narcissistic traits.

    Good luck, stay grounded and stay strong.

    Much love,

  39. I got married at 19. I’m only 21. I’m young and sexy and EVERY guy looks at me, but he doesn’t even notice because he’s too busy looking at other girls.

    I married him because of how good he was. I was the first girl he had ever dated. He was romantic and he always told me he loved me. He wanted to spend time with me. He was romantic. He was perfect. A perfect lie.

    I started to randomly have nightmares for about six months now. I would see in my dreams him picking other girls over me. In other dreams someone would come into my house that I knew and loved. I would invite them to chat with me. Once they got close enough, they turned into a stranger and would try to hurt me. I guess my subconscious mind knew.

    Three months ago he accidentally left porn up on his computer. This was the FIRST time I knew he even LOOKED at porn. Every time I even joked about guys looking at porn he would get angry and swear not every guy was like that. I cried and he promised it didn’t happen often and he was very sorry. Of course, it was the first time. I’m not going to label every guy who looks at porn a sex addict.

    But it got me to look back on his behavior. We used to be intimate every day. But he had started telling me I was sleepy and tucking me in ever so sweetly…earlier and earlier. And he didn’t want to be intimate anymore. The more I thought about it, the more I started to watch him and the more I began to realize I had every guys attention BUT his.

    I was working from home, making money for us…my back turned to the television. When I turned towards the TV he was watching something inappropriate. I watched out of the corner of my eye to see if he would change it and he didn’t. I turned towards him and he instantly changed it pretending to be switching channels. My heart sunk. I wrote him a letter telling him how I felt.

    Thats when he admitted to me he was addicted to pornography. He was addicted SO much that he would choose it over me. He had been choosing it over me. He had been saying he was “too tired”…he was even too tired for even cuddling! and because HE was too tried I needed to go to sleep. I know some people wonder if porn is really a “sex addiction”, but I know without a doubt it is. I know without a doubt he was unfaithful to me by choosing to spend time with them instead of me. He told me it started in 5th grade and escalated from there. He wrote a list about how far it went. How it took up almost his entire hard drive space. He said he would change.

    Of course, I wanted to know where I went wrong. I found out what type he likes to look at. It was me! Girls who look almost exactly like me. I am VERY young looking for my age, which put his viewing habits at illegal. But why NOT me??? I AM legal! It just makes no sense at all! But it forced me to accept it wasn’t me. I HATE accepting that it’s not me because if it was me I feel like I could do something about it, but I can’t.

    He was getting help by emailing someone he knew who struggled with the same thing. He also had me put a program on his computer that would block that sort of stuff. He promised that whatever happened, he wouldn’t lie to me. Finally, I told him I wanted him to see a counselor. He set up on appointment. After that appointment, he didn’t set up another one. He thought he was done. A week later (last week), he realized he still had internet without protection on his ipod. I didn’t know this, but my nightmares came back. I’ve learned to trust them, so I thought about it and it hit me: the ipod! I asked him…he said he had NEVER looked at porn on his ipod before. I remember once seeing an application on it that had girls on it. They weren’t nude, but I thought it was weird. I googled the application name, and found out if i had shook the ipod with the application open, it would be porn. He lied. I asked him days later because the nightmares weren’t going away. I asked him three times in a row this time, each time he lied. Finally asked him one more time…thinking I had gone crazy (yeah I knew, but the excuses just come to your head). He told the truth. I asked him why he lied, and after saying he didn’t know a couple of times, he finally told me it was because he was STILL using it and wasn’t ready for me to ‘check’…I’ve never checked his computer EVER or anything of his so I don’t know what he was talking about. He had me put a program to block the internet on that to.

    He wants everything to be better. But how can it be when he lied? How do I know he won’t lie again? He finally set up continuous appointments with the counselor. It hasn’t been that much time, so he’s only been to one. But how do I know he won’t just lie to the counselor? I don’t know!

    It’s only been a couple of months. He swears he told me EVERYTHING, but I know from reading what other people have written, I don’t know the full extent yet. I only know about the porn, the times he tried to blame me (which supposedly made him puke..but yet he continued)…and some other things. But not everything…I don’t know how much farther he went or how much more I will have to “be surprised with”. I need a support group of some sort.

    There is no COSA meetings or anything of that sort where I am currently living. ( I don’t believe in COSA either way because he was a good enough liar that i honestly had no clue) I know no one who is going through this. I tried talking to my sister, but she knows what a nice guy my husband can be,so she keeps telling me to give him another chance. How many more chances am I supposed to give him???


    1. I am in the early stages of this too. And if everyone’s story and my own experience is anything to go by, its just the tip of the iceberg. All his confessions sontinue to trickle in: the porn, the self-gratification and the incident where he was massaging a woman from his army unit in his room….but don’t worry nothing happened, yeah right! He now confesses that he didn’t get a check for STI’s like I asked, which he lied and said the result were in and he was clear. That’s all in 10 days and I already know there is another confession coming.

      He is diligently doing his course, talks to his mentor each day and booked himself into therapy and is saying all the right things. But hey, a psychopath will do what a psychopath must. Only time will tell if he actually goes. His initial response…”It’s going to be hard to get to. It’s over an hour away”. To add insult to injury, apparently I’m so upset because I insisted contacting the women and telling them to get out of my life. So, “if I want to dig for crap to throw in his face, expect to get dirty” were his exact words. If I had let him “protect me” from the details I would be finding his persistent betrayal easier to cope with. It gets to a point where its so ridiculous that you have to laugh. I couldn’t make up something so insane.

      I’m in therapy myself now and I take great offence about the companion course to his that I agreed to take, which seems to sneakily suggest that if I brushed my hair, put on a little lipstick and took care of things at home a little better my marriage would be in better shape. Do yourself, a favour if you stumble upon that particular one, don’t keep going. That is complete rubbish. I refuse to take any responsibility for his behaviour.

      Just brace yourself and gather around you lots of love and support.

  40. I was hoping you fellow warriors could help shed some light. Have any of you experienced sex addiction in your husbands and Pedofilia tendencies? My husband is being investigated by the department of child and family services and the police for allegations that he sexually abused my 3 year old daughter. We are in the midst of a divorce and 3 months in this hit. Someone who is a mandated reporter was with my daughter when she began talking about how daddy like to touch her private parts. It is just horrible. My poor girls. My 9 year old says she doesn’t remember him touching her. I wont go into the hell I am experiencing, you think having a sex addict husband is bad try that plus child molester. He says i am making this all up of course for custody. I sadly think he did it. Is there in info on whether that is a common thing or rare? He would say that his interest in women then couples then men then transvestites was just about pushing the boundaries and I thought what is left kids and animals? I could be right. Please help.

    1. Hi Looking Forward,
      The investigation etc. are the consequences to his addiction. I am glad you are divorcing and very glad you are getting those kids away from him.

      From my research on pedophelia and sex addiction is that the addict always looks for the new “high” to deliver the biggest rush. Sex addiction is a progressive disease in that engaging in the forbidden is part of that high as well as the secret life it brings. I don;t think all addicts go that route…..HOWEVER I also beleive that many would NOT admit it. If you are living/have an addict in your life and they are seeking therapy, the therapist as part of an oath have promised to disclose any abuse of children etc. where child services/or DCF should be notified. On one hand they protect the client in regards to us and other adults, but when it comes to children they must disclose.

      In saying that…it is a scarry thought….i think there are many more pedophiles than are found out. These guys are smart, they know what to say and not to say, and know that if they admit such an act then it becomes a federal offense if porn is found and illegal and jail time and they could lose their children etc. So i think that many of these guys will not/or will never admit to pedophilia. That being said I think there are many more pedophiles out there, than we know of. The fact your soon to be ex sah has been somewhat found out is a good thing. But i do not think he will ever admit it. It will have to be found out by the investigation. The sad thing is people put too much faith in the law, but are only as good as the evidence they can find. However that does not mean nothing has happened.

      And you are right with the progression. That is a typical progression. Not all of them take it, however I also do not think many of them admit to what they have done or the progression.

      Good Luck to you,
      Love Flora

  41. Ladies I wanted to share something with all of you I am going through…if you have children and have discovered that your husband is a sex addict/ and potentially fear that he is molesting or might have abused your kids…think twice before divorcing. It would be best to call DCFS (department of child and family services) FIRST and report any and all allegation while married, do not mention the word divorce. Because once you are divorced or in the process, your husband could be raping your kids and they will doubt you. Unless your children are old enough to testify in court, it is a painful and humiliating process, where they fault YOU for having permitted the toxic atmosphere/behavior in the home (nudity, showers etc that perhaps start off innocent) and threaten to take the kids away from you while he looks like dad of the year because he says you are just a vindictive wife who is fabricating all this to get the kids and punish him. Beware we girls are the forsaken.

    1. LookingForward,

      I SO HATE you are having to go through this kind of living hell! What a nightmare!! I can relate just a tiny bit. My husband had started to become physically abusive w/me, and when he took a direct hit at me that was no “accident”, I immediately called the police. When the protective order over this was about to expire, I tried to have it extended, and when he fought it, I was advised by my lawyer to accept a lesser agreement that would still keep me safe, bc he “didn’t fit the profile” of an abuser. Even though I had documented other evidence, bc I hadn’t gone to the police, none of that was real evidence.

      I see that he is taking steps to get better, so we are in small communication, but should that go south, I’m sure he’ll be able to use that to show how hard he tried. Even though the legal system has gotten better, I’m learning I’ll spend more $$ arguing w/lawyers than certain issues are worth.

      That’s why my heart aches for you, bc my stuff is minor. You are dealing w/the safety of your kids, and the fact that your situation can get flipped the way it has, is unbelievable! My prayers are with you!!

  42. Thanks to all of you…for writing your life stories…..I am engaged with a SA for over 6 years …still in prison …good christian and he try to do the best for his recovery but I cant go over what he has done (…child molestation and incest of his own daughter under age)…he is sorry and I really wanted to help him with his recovery….but I thank the Lord finding your web site because I am over and I will just give up on him with my first letter Thank you dear friends for helping us to understand how our life can be with a SA….YES, A HELL !! God bless you all and please keep the faith and dont stop writing.

  43. I find myself in a very different position than so many others I see posting about their problems with sex addicted partners and feel very confused. My husband disclosed his problems with sex addiction and efforts at recovery through SAA when we first met and began to date. Over 10 years he has had many slips and more recently flat out relapses. I don’t suffer from the shock of disclosure or of finding myself married to a different man than I thought I had known. I find myself married with 2 young children to a kind, quiet, awkward man with bipolar disorder and OCD, treated, managed, but difficult going, who is in obvious pain. He has been attending SAA meetings for 20 years. He is a terrible liar and it is always clear when things are getting out of control. Our sex life is nonexistent since the birth of our 3 year old. I am unable to find my way back to intimacy with him, despite a relatively peaceful relationship, loving coparenting, and shared household. Something he is doing isn’t working. Because of the increased relapses I made an ultimatum of rehab or separation. He is currently in rehab thanks to the help of his parents since insurance did not help. I have been referred to COSA and will seek help there – it is difficult – I realize my codependence has consisted largely of being fearful that if I send him packing (besides the obvious financial difficulties of a 5 year stay at home mom living on child support from a public sector employee), he will escalate to the point of complete fall apart, jail, job loss, and no longer be a father to his children, who love him dearly. I understand that this is an unreasonable responsibility for me to have. But it does put me in a place of two hard choices. I don’t know if anyone has experience with partners attending rehabilitation programs and might be willing to share. It’s interesting – I never thought I could take the addiction away, that it would go away, that there would never be relapses, or that my sexuality or attractiveness had anything to do with it – I always felt confident it was HIS problem. But even with that emotional protection, it has become a family problem, and a codependent problem for me. The children make it a different ballgame when it comes to just walking out, much less the economy not being the best for my employment – I have taken steps to try to prepare for a possibility of life separate with child support and life separate without (I have a part time job – pay is low but job is wonderful). It is hard for me to go to meetings – I resent the little time I have used for meetings – it has been difficult for me to see my part of this dance. I know I can only work on my own behavior. But I am very concerned about “what happens next” – is now the time to pack up stuff and find an apartment for him or me and the kids? Is a controlled separation a bad idea? I know I will get some input from my own counselor and from the staff at the rehab facility. But I hope for some input here. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story – I know it is different than the horror many of you feel when you have a bomb dropped in your relationship. Thanks again.

  44. I need help I’ve ben married for 4 years and after the first year I discovered he tried to have sex with 2 of my closest friends….they all said nothing happened but it was close to happening! I didn’t know who or what to believe so I asked him to take a lie detector test I don’t know how but he passed!!!!! But only a couple days later I found out that he was going to strip clubs and seeing escorts and so forth! I left him but 2 yrs later we got back together everything was perfect again until I started finding porn sites on his cell and different dating sites… I told him it was the last straw and that I wanted a divorce so he starts telling me he has a problem he tries to stop but can’t and that hell seek help he also confesses some very disturbing childhood memories of him being molested by an uncles wife at the age of 7 and being introduced to porn at that age. He also confessed to molesting some family members at the age of 9-12 with them being younger than him at the time. Is this considered molestation if he was just a child who knew no better? he swears that he has never as an adult touched a child but I’m worried as a mother should I believe him? Will he change? He says that his problem has become less physicall and more cyber and he believes this is progress… Is it? Please someone help

  45. Dear Cconffussedd,

    LOVE your screen name! Well, of course you are!!! But you are here now… on this good earth, taking a reprieve from Hell and I hope that I can help you become a bit less Cconffussedd.

    Since you asked for help, I’m not going to mince words here, (and its nothing compared to what what you’ve been through, anyway) so please hang on… Everything I say is coming out of a place of genuine love and concern for another woman and the truth. You are going to be alright, however you need to know, right now that you are married to a sociopath. He has no conscience. He lacks empathy for others and especially those he claims to “love.” He has no idea what real love is, or what it looks like or feels like. He is so brain damaged that he can actually lie his way through a lie detector test and pass with flying colors. That is one very sick man.

    He’s a pathological liar and a man who lies in this manner can NEVER be trusted. Please make that your mantra.

    “a man who lies can never be trusted.”

    YES!!! OMG!!! YES!!!!!!!!! A 9-12 year old who molests another person (a family member? yeeech!!!) IS a MOLESTOR and a PEDOPHILE you’re darned tootin’ he should know better!!! Where the hell was he raised, in a cave, by chimpanzees??? Is he still doing it? I’m not a bettin’ woman, but if I were… my money would be on yes indeedy… and God only knows what other antics he’s up to. I love the abuse excuse. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. Lots of us, myself included were abused as children. Get over it. Get help. Stop the cycle. Stop abusing other people!!!

    As a mother, you should be EXTREMELY, and I mean EXTREMELY WORRIED. One out of every FIVE of us humans walking the planet is a victim of incestuous sexual abuse. For the love of God, your children are not safe in his presence. I cannot stress this enough.

    Can he change? Will he?

    no. sadly, very, very, very unlikely. Even if he claims to WANT to. I have seen this time and time again. The neural pathways are so ingrained and so very damaged that it is maybe a one in a million chance that someone this impaired could ever become healthy.

    He Is not progressing. He is a liar. He cannot be believed. You gave him a chance, didn’t you and looked at what happened. Up to you, but that puppy cannot be trained. Yes, its very, very sad, however, here is nothing you can do for him. The only person you can save is yourself.

    Love and hugs,


  46. I’ve read through the posts and I see the roller coaster of emotions printed in these posts that rage through me day in and day out.

    We just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary and a couple weeks ago I discovered my husband has had MANY extramarital trysts with people he met on hoardes of adult dating sites…he has been doing this since about 1999…yes I know…ouch

    My husband is ill. Why else would he hurt me so deeply by living a double life when all he had to do was divorce me and be free to do as he pleased?

    I know the anger..I know the bitterness…I even know the hate that is felt from time to time BUT I also know I made a vow to stand by him and love him through sickness and health. I would not more forsake him if he had cancer. Sex addiction is an’s not about sex.

    Those of you feeling it is his problem to work through… All I can say to that is he’s your husband and it’s your problem too.

    The best thing I can do right now is research this disease and try to be as supportive as I possibly can while he seeks help. Am I fearful? Hell yes, have I been stung by lies and find it hard to trust…double hell yes…have I been crushed to the very core of my soul…a million times hell yes

    I have a ton of unknowns in my life right now BUT the one thing I do husband is not a monster and only a monster could intentionally crush me this way.

    Time will tell where his road to recovery will lead…all I can do is love him and help him get to the other side. I came to this site looking for encouragement yet found mostly negativity and finger pointing and a lot of unqualified psychoanalysis. I get it..I feel it too sometimes. Right now I’d rather be in bed sobbing myself into numb oblivion than sitting here writing this. I don’t want this problem…I don’t want this life but it’s mine nonetheless.

    I will seek therapy for myself, my husband and someone to see us as a couple. He will be starting a twelve step program soon and all we can do is work hard and try to love each other the best we can and get ourselves through this in one emotional piece.

    I need the strength of strong women to strengthen my commitment. I will do all I can to be that for you.

    Let’s all pray for each other…especially our husbands.

    1. Hi Struggling,
      Wow you have been through alot and your h has been too.
      I understand where you are coming from and everyone has different opinions and are at different stages in their recovery as well as their partners recovery. and also the dates of posting…run over a long period of time.
      But what you will also find out in this big world is different approaches for therapy, different opinions of therapists, different cases of addicts and different cases of the spouse. There are women who have gone to therapy, with a story just like yours, and were told they needed to have more sex with their h and dress sexier. No lie.
      So on this site we hash it out and support each other where needed and we speak the truth the best we know it.
      So even though you may seek help and your h may seek help; it may end up not being the right help or the best help. this addiction is fairly new, a baby so to speak. So really i think there is alot of research going on as to the why and how.
      I see your point that this is an addition and your h is sick. but everyday our h’s have a choice to live it a new day and a new way. Everyday they chose their addiction over their marriage they are one step into a darker and darker place. As with any addiction and in a relationship with an addict, the addiction will always come first in the relationship…and sadly we are number 2.
      In the end its your choice as to how you go about it. But I think this disease (or compulsion) is one of the most frightenting out there as it runs so deep and in darkness. And currently this sickness of hypersexuality is not deemed and addiction, but a compulsion which cannot be controlled. So even as of today, the medical community is confused as to what it truely is.
      good luck to you. Love, Flora

  47. Struggling,

    I am so very sorry for your pain and suffering. The reason that you hear so much bad news on here, is because the reality is…

    The news is usually bad, unfortunately.

    The prognosis is extremely grim in 95% of the cases. These are facts.

    I have a son with autism and when he was three, it was a soul destroying diagnosis, but the reality is that this was not going to be easy and there were no guarantees, but I will always be grateful for our neuropsychologist telling it to us straight, because with the right information we were able to make the best possible outcome, but he was four, by then, not a grown man. With sex addiction, the studies have proven that this is almost always impossible to treat successfully.

    Please be wary of 12-step groups. Some can do more harm than good. I have heard of many a sponsor who is still deep in the throws of pathological addiction as well as criminal activity.

    Your husband started this 12 years ago. (possibly before that, right?) Let me ask you this:

    What if he had gotten cancer 12 years ago… and he knew it and yet he kept it from you all of these years and he also did nothing about it and now it had advanced so far that he only had a 95% of survival for more than 1 year. How would you feel?
    Would you feel betrayed, hopeless, helpless, despondent and like he had no right to keep this very important information from you?

    Now what IF because he had this cancer, he was also exposing you to life-threatening illnesses each and every time you had sex?

    As painful as this must be to hear, this is exactly what your husband has done to you and yet, you seem to equate this illness to cancer? Please, I am the last person to stygmatize mental illness as I also have another neurologically impaired son, but this illness does involve choice. It is NOT the same as cancer, even if someone smoked and got lung cancer! I got several strains of life-threatening HPV (humanpapillomavirus) from my sex addict and so has every other women who’s had sex with him, including his partner of 12 years who believes that he’s all cured now. NOT. So, sure, stand by him. And do all of the work for him, lining up all of his therapies support groups. I can tell you right now, that if he is not willing to move heaven and earth to get the help HIMSELF and do the work HIMSELF, because he WANTS this with every fiber of his being, that you are wasting your time and money. Sure, you can be supportive from the sidelines, like you would if he had a new job, but anything else is YOU controlling HIM and that will not work. The only person you can control and help and take care of is YOU. Obviously, he is not capable of this. I admire your integrity and determination to stick to your vows very, very much. But, where is his integrity and determination to do the same? Not only has he thrown those sacred vows into the garbage, and you, under the bus in order to keep his only true love, wife and mistress… His addiction.

    As to why he would continue for so long with this “lifestyle” and not divorce you… Ahhh… I can tell you, that after hearing from thousands (yes, thousands of men) and further research that THIS is part of the fun and excitement. They get off on the danger and truly believe that they will never get caught. They also begin to believe their own lies. Some of them, are so impaired, that they do not even realize that they are lying. How can a person who doesn’t understand that they are doing something wrong, stop doing that wrong thing? They compartmentalize and believe that this has absolutely nothing to do with you and that they are entitled to behave in this manner. JoAnn calls it “stinkin’ thinkin’.” An apt term, if ever there was one. They also want the “normal life”… house, kids, wife, home-cooked meals, friends, cook-outs, blah… it goes on and on. And sure, they can be helluva nice guys and kind and generous… when they want to be.

    Again, this is not pop psychology. These are hard facts and I know this is very difficult to hear, but my concern here is for you.

    What I am hearing, however, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that you seem to value your husband’s life more than your own. Yes, I realize that he’s terribly ill and in crisis, but that is YOUR opinion. Does he realize that he’s ill or is he just giving you lip service to shut you up??? Sorry, but this response from an addict is more common than cornflakes and then becomes the source of further trauma and pain for the partner. The commitment for wellness needs to be for your own self on this site. We are here for partners that are struggling, deeply in the throws of a traumatic response and can’t even figure out what day of the week it is… if we see a woman being abused we’re gonna call it out. Otherwise, we will stand by you and hold your hand every step of the way even if you decide to stay and tough it out. Absolutely. No one is chastising you for doing that, but we are not here to tip toe politely around the subject and sugar coat the realities. Every woman’s threshold for what she can and cannot tolerate is different and that is a very personal decision. You seem like a very gentle, loving, giving woman and I hope that you know that.

    Blessings, love and light to you always,


  48. I use to wonder if i was the only one who was with a sex addict who molested their step daughter. I spent years going to sa partner’s meetings, etc…and not once did i ever hear a word mentioned of that. i truly felt completely alone. although i obviously believe that he bares 100% of the responsibility, i am still angered at the therapist i was seeing who worked in a clinic that specialized in sexual addition. Basically, once i learned of sexual addiction almost 10 years, i immediately found this sexual addiction clinic and began seeing a therapist. Shortly after, my husband came in for an evaluation, was “diagnosed” as a sex addict and began seeing a therapist at the same clinic. When i entered therapy i was a complete “mess”. I could not work, make decisions for myself, see beyond his lies, i gained 20 lbs, severly depressed, etc. I truly relied on my therapist to validate and help guide. i was a lost soul. I mentioned to my therapist that there were a few things that I found “odd” between my husband and eldest daughter..1) he only gave me flowers when he took her with him to pick them out 2) she felt uncomfortable because she thought that he tried to lift her bathrobe once 3) one time he got up during the night to use the bathroom but instead of using the bathroom in our room, he used the bathroom on the other side of the house. i got up and found him lying on top of the covers in his underwear next to my daughter who was under the covers. My therapist called CPS. They interviewed both my girls and stating that they did not find anything except a “boundary violation”. My therapist did not expect me to come back. I wanted more than anything to get better. In looking back and talking with my daughter about when the molestation began, it seems that it had not started at that point. At that point in my life my thinking was extremely distorted and i also had never been exposed to sexual abuse and knew absolutely nothing about it. So, i feel deeply angry that my therapist never even attempted to educate me about grooming and sexual abuse. She never referred me to read any materials. I believe that this would have SAVED my daughter from experiencing the hell that she did. The therapist simply complied with the law but did not arm me with the tools to prevent this. I feel that this was negligent to some extent. I thought that they were suppose to help. If sexual abuse is suspected and the are the “experts” in sexual addiction, didn’t she have a responsibility to provide me with the resources to understand, so i could have prevented it or gotten out? They understood situational child molestation…i had NO CLUE. I replay that that therapy session of informing my therapist almost 10 years ago in my mind over and over….it would have taken so little to have save one little girl from so much agony. I am so devastated that this happened and more so because it could have been prevented!
    Thanks for listening.

  49. Shocked to the Core,
    So sorry to hear about all that has happened to you and your daughter.
    This has always been a worry of mine. And I know not all sex addicts are the same, but its better to be safe than sorry. I am maybe over protective of my daughter, but as far as I am concerned when you are a parent there is not such thing. I worry that my h may have or some day could take this next step…you will never know. The only way we can prevent is to educate ourselves. So I did the proactive route and did research. I did ask my therapist and of course she was taking the whoa hold on here approach, similar to yours, saying there is not reason to beleive he is a pedophile. But here is what i think, no one does anything until its too late. The therapist always seem to take the approach innocent until proven guilty, in other words until i have solid evidence. But with sex addicts i think it is smarter to take the guilty until proven innocent approach. With our kids there never should be this grey or “he is doing great in recovery” approach. because truely you will never know.

    Its so sad. That kids are who end up probably getting hurt the wosrt out of this addiction. I have said this before I think when addictions are found, they should pull the family apart, so no further abuse can happen. And when the addict is “recovered” he can come back if the wife so chooses. It would save alot of continued abuse in the home from happening. Alot of which we have no idea is going on. Its really so sad, and i really feel for you. This si not your fault, you did the best you could.

    Everyday even a year later, i cannot beleive that my h was such a cold hearted liar. Still shocks me to this day, as he is the last person who would appear to be that way. But its true. there are people out there who should not be trusted. They may come across as “normal” and “kind” but this personna could not be further from the truth. There is evil out there, and the best we can do is to get away from it.

    I thinkt he moral of the story for everyone is to never assume that your h would not touch your children etc. Becasue your h would never admit to this nor would they ever admit to child porn. It is illegal and a federal offense. So don;t think just beacuse your h denies these type of questions, that it never happened.

    Is your h serving time now? What is your living situation now?

  50. Dear Shocked to The CORE —

    Can you elaborate on what you learned about the connection between sexual addiction and grooming/molestation…I desperately need some objective research to be armed with for a court hearing I have in 7 days against my husband who currently I have a restraining order against and monitored visits with my girls. My 3 year old reported molestation to my nanny and DCFS was involved but then closed the case because my 3 year old would not talk. My husband slept with my 9 year old naked on several occassions and SHE had to tell him to put on his underwear before he spooned her…there definately seems to be grooming behavior going on. My husband too is a sex addict and I am in the midst of divorce.

    Please help.

  51. It has been some time since I have posted and much of the life I though I knew is torn apart. i discovered that my husband had multiple relationships with women online that included chatting and texting and even some actual phone converstaions. Since the discovery of this we have attended counseling as individuals and as a couple. He has also attended a recovery program (although not weekly due to work). He states that his online perversions were more of a “game” pretending to be someone different and now states he realizes it was not just a game. Our marriage could still be lost over this. He states that he has no desire to do this ever again and that he chooses our marriage and our family over the activities he had participated in. This was such a shock to me because my husband was the kindest, most honest (my thoughts have changed now), and most loving person I have ever known. We have been together 12 years and he lied about his online activities for at least 6-7 of those years. He did talk to a 17 ytear old girl online but states once he found out she was 17 the sexual talk stopped yet they still chatted and would say things like in a year from now joking aobut her getting older. Things seem to be going well. He has no computer access at home and no phone with internet and all calls are monitored by me. I don’t think he has done anything more since the discovery, but I was fooled for a long time before. He appears to be remorseful and wanting to be a better husband and father. After reading all of the talk about child molestation, I must say it is very scary. I have never and do not suspect any thing at all like that in our house. My only concern is the contact he had with younger women(many 18 to early 20’s) when he is nearly 40. I am so scared that maybe I am blinded by my love for my husband. I do want to make our marriage work but I do not want to be stupid either. Is it possible for these people to truly change. I have read so many books and chats and everything is so negative. Are there any happy stories out there? I am still so confused. We have had a very loving marriage for 12 years which has made it even harder to just walk away. I am trying very hard to understand (alhtough I may never truly) this addiciton. My pain may never truly go away. I am still mourning the loss of the husband I thought I had.

    1. I must say I am pretty sad that I got no comment on my last post. I don’t have extreme drama that seems to be consuming the board but it is plenty of drama for me. I was hoping to hear some kind of glimmer of hope. Maybe there is none. I have always been a positive person and am still trying to be. I guess I just was hoping for a little support. Maybe this board is not for me. I keep reading all the stories and get so upset. No positive outcomes. I wish all of you the best of luck in your struggles.

      1. Hi confused,
        Not many of us post on this site so much anymore. There is a good group of us who have kinda “moved” to the s.o.s site and that is where you will get good solid support and easily beable to ask questions and get answers. This site is more basic and hard to follow, and difficult to know when someone posted. The only reason I saw this post is because i get emails sent to me when someone posts. Otherwise i have not idea what is going on on this site. The new site is easy, you can post a new topic when you have questions, comment on other peoples posts. Etc. I think you can do a free trial period. It really is great. So anyway we used to post alot on here, and many of us have made the switch. Lexie appears to still be keeping up with both, almost a fulltime job. She is great.

        But anyway as far as your post. There are some women on the sos site, and many of them, who are staying with there h’s. Its not easy, quit frankly it is tough either way. It is hard work, and your heart will get crushed again. There will be slip ups, and i have heard stories where the h’s just get better at covering it up, and low and behold the h never stopped and continued for 9+ years unitl the wife found out again. I think when we first discover this addiction we want to be beable to cling to some kind of statistic something so we know that all of our effort and hard work, and staying with the h; will pay off and we will not go down with a sinking ship. But unf. there are no garauntees. Even for recovery its not just a one size fits all approach. Many h’s do therapy weekly as well as attend as many SA meeting as possible; those are the ones that really want to try and are how I would say cooperative. Then there are the ones who are forced to go as a contigency of marriage remaining together. But either way it is a must. An h who does not want to do these things is not worth stayig with. There will be a tough road ahead in regards to regaining trust and any sort of intimate relationship with your h. After all he has committed the ultimate betrayal of your marriage your heart and your soul. No matter what the outcome, together or divorced, none of this will be easy. As far as the statistics i have heard as little 5% are able to recover. this addiction is comparable to crack/cocaine and is one of the toughest to beat according to my research and what i have read.

        Sorry we did not get to you. But the sos site is far easier to work and may be what you are looking for there. ITs alot more personal orientated and is catered more to the individual and questions and alot easier to follow. Good luck in your journeys. Love Flora

    2. When I first discovered my former fiancee was a SA, it was one of the most disorienting things that has ever happened to me. It was impossible to reconcile the man who was warm and cuddly, delighted in making my morning coffee, insisted on opening the car door for me, and cried tears of joy at the idea of our wedding with the guy who had regular online sex with numerous women, who 6 weeks after asking me to marry him was sexting with another woman, invited her to his room and proceeded to seduce her, and scans every woman in the room for his fantasy life amongst many other compulsive behaviours and wrong thinking.
      Like you, I came here and read the real experiences of the other women, searching for a glimmer of hope that my SA was different, that I was different and our relationship was different and that I could have hope that things would be different. I spend a full two weeks reading stories, research articles, looking at treatment options all the while trying not to drown in my own heartache. I didn’t sleep much, I couldn’t eat and I cried all the time.
      Eventually I realised that addiction doesn’t make sense and I stopped trying to figure it through because you just can’t. I think of coming here is a little like going to the Dr, they just give you the bad news upfront, not to scare you or make you feel worse but because being forewarned is being forearmed. This is only my opinion, but at best SA is a lifelong problem that is a series of ups (sobriety) and downs (falling off the wagon) which is fought by the SA on a day to day basis and at worst progresses to some of the dark perversions that you will read about here.
      I have found the Recovery Nation site very helpful in my own path to healing. Maybe there is something there that you would find helpful too.

    3. Confused:

      Please understand, this is JUST MY .50C WORTH.

      IF that was truly the extent of his activities. IF his personal issues, such as deep seated insecurity, emotional incest as a child, compulsive lying, passive/aggressive/avoidance behavior, are minimal. IF he isn’t prone to addict/narcissist BS, minimization (which it sounds like he did and may be going this), gaslighting, sleight of hand, hypocritcal talk about how bad other people behave. IF he doesn’t have other addictions which point to a larger addictive personality, no smoking, no over eating, no gambling, no compulsive spending. IF he doesn’t pull that ugly, defensive, childish crap when you call him on behavior, or stand up for yourself, or demand he be accountable to you so you can feel safe. IF he is actively working on his issues beyond lip service. IF he is being completely open and honest with you now. IF he is allowing you to voice all your anger and not blaming you even in subtle ways for his choices. If he apologizes often and deeply and is trying to share his true self with you.

      THEN maybe he is serious.

      I truly think that the later in life the damage began which led them to use sex as a feel good drug of choice the better chance they have of changing. Those who were damaged early and often have become wooden puppet people and don’t have much chance of change because they don’t even come close to having the skill set to change.

      Please understand, I loved my husband, too. I thought he was basically honest, loving, dependable, good guy. Everyone thought so. I was married for 12 years also. I was completely, utterly wrong. I think my SA has none of the skills to change, even if part of him wants to, the majority of him has no desire to put in that much work when he already thinks it ‘wasn’t as bad as you make it out to be’, and besides, he hates himself so much he would find a way to sabotage the best relationship he’d ever found.

      Can you live with the things that he did, that he might do them again? I cannot live with what mine was capable of. And in subtle ways he makes it known that he isn’t going to try that hard. I want to be treated well, to be valued, to settle for nothing less than what I am willing to give and to learn to give even more so that I demand even more. He can decide what is good enough for him. I decide what is good enough for me. If he isn’t living up to my standards, what I expect to see, then it is my fault if I stay and put up with less.

      Ok, maybe that was a dollar. (TRIGGER!)

  52. Hi Everyone,

    I need help….I am fairly new here, have been reading for a while, got up the courage to post. Thank God for you all. I met my S.A. about 2 years ago, I thought we were “dating” each other only…not……..turns out in the fall of last year I found out he was seeing other women, by him leaving his email open and myself having that “feeling that something wasn’t right” I looked and he had erased all the messages in the inbox, but FORGOT that when he replies they are still in the Sent box….I confronted him and he explained this away as the fact that we were “not committed” and I thought we were….I went to leave but he begged me back and told me “all of that was over ” and we would be exclusive….From Oct to Jan, while we were supposedly exclusive…and I still did not know he was an active S.A. yet…and then I discovered shockingly that he had been sleeping with his 65 year old neighbor and leading this woman on as if they were in a relationship, he coldly told me ” it was conveinent” (sp)…HE also has AIDS and slept with her unprotected…I found out about her the day his sister committed suicide….In the craziness of that day…He ran home to get clothes so I could take him to the airport and he left the computer open and I saw naked pictures of his penis that he has said ” will you kiss it for me mommy” gross and shocking I know….This led me to do a reverse email look up on her and find her, I did not blame her, I just asked her what was happening…She was as SHOCKED as me…I treated her compassionately…I did not tell him yet as I was so confused and wanted him to have the chance to bury his sister first….She took it upon herself to tell him…It was ugly….He got VERY nasty with her..and proceeded to berate me! LOL! Anyway…I think at this point, I was in such shock I was so traumatized I was frozen….I wasn’t actually feeling what was going on…I just “sat there” and stayed “stuck” for a while ,…..and then BAM it alllllll came out…I went ballistic! Completely and utterly angry beyond belief and I let him have it 🙂 This took about 6 weeks to come out and I am not sure why….After this, I had the WORST emotional hang overs and feeling of guilt I still don’t understand….During the time of discovery of the neighbor, he aslo was sexting other women and admitted to hookers and some other things…it is ALWAYS after the fact..I feel like I can’t catch up…I sound like an idiot and I am an idiot I think, but I love him and he entered SAA and PROMISED me he would stop all of this and get better…I am still feeling paralyzed…I am kind of in an “evaluation mode”….Things calmed down and I just felt like I was healing, starting to heal….not knowing what the future holds..and BAM…He went off on me last thursday to the point he was screaming at me ” I HATE YOU…” and calling me names without justification….It was so bad, I just
    lay” there the whole next day and have not been much better today….He called and apologized profusely and told me he has gone to an SAA meeting and that he had done that so he could ” cause a problem and act out…and I am deeply sorry for hurting you..”….I am still in stunned mode…I think the WHOLE thing is one big traumatic car crash I am in and the car is still rolling….I really don’t know what to do….He has disappeared again today….I have no idea what is going on….He cut of I can’t ask ” hey can you check in where are you?”….And one minute he says I love you and then he wants “space” which, he later tells me was because he was thinking about acting out…I am totally ill with this and I don’t know my HIV status, I am afraid to get tested…And I think I have F’ed up my whole life here….I was also sober in AA and I DRANK over this shit as I wanted to “numb out” so bad and just be asleep most of the time….I am back in recovery myself and in self care, but Damn….what do I do? Where do I go from here? And WHY do I love this person and feel like I can’t live without him? I am in alanon heavily too….What I have i think is not so much codependency as it is some kind of traumatic bonding…Anyway, i can’t believe he has sex unprotected with the neighbor and God knows who else with AIDS..I think the only thing that will save me is that I always used protection…and I tested negative before…We have not been together sexually for a few weeks now, so….I will get tested…and then I think if I put myself back there, I must be insane…Any thoughts on why we feel the love we do and “live” for those kind moments and calm times…When this should be the norm, not the exception to the norm…..I could write for days about what I have been through…..days…thank you all xx

  53. PS I forgot to add you guys that I am 39 and he is 51 and I am not sure what is happening here. He then told me he has been in SAA for 18 years and “knows how to be a success” and I said to him the other night when he was going off on me abusively ..” Yeah, this is a success! “….Meaning the mess we were in…..I do love him and he is a good guy…Did I just say that? 😀 Jesus…Anyway….I am lost, lost, lost, lost….I “get it” what is going on at the same time I do not….In recovery, as I have been part of other 12 steps programs for years….I know if we are not in a relationship, we stay out of it for one year…If we are, then we do not make a decision for 6 months to one year…..So, not making a decision, is making a decision in my mind..However, with what is at stake here I am not sure if these rules even apply…..meaning my life and sanity…I live in a constant state of his “Creating” instability, coming and going, passive aggressiveness…not knowing one day to the next what is going on or is about to go on….How do I save myself? And why am I giving him chances and feeling SO RELIEVED…when he apologizes and comes clean about the desire to “act out”…I mean Jesus, I NEVER would of put up with even the HINT of cheating in other relationships..what has happened to me..why have I lost myself? OR have I? What work , program, should I start to do to figure this out? I think you guys as a support group are a great start right? hugs, e. PS I also feel that he doesn’t appreciate the depth of what is going on here with me, like he lacks empathy…is he a sociopath? Or is it this addiction ? Or what? I don’t know anymore..confusion is not even the word 🙂

  54. Elizabeth–

    honey, honey, honey… First of all, you are not an idiot, just got taken in by a master grifter and a thoroughly depraved irredeemable character. He is NOT a “good guy.” This is a horrendous situation and this might be difficult to hear, so hang on.

    YES. He’s a sociopath.

    NO. He is not recoverable.

    YES. He’s going to die soon

    YES. He lies and he lies and then he lies some more. he lies to everyone including himself. Nothing he says can be believed. and I mean– NOTHING!

    NO. He can’t stop. I don’t care what promises he makes. HE CANNOT STOP! He’s been in SA “recovery” for EIGHTEEN YEARS!!! and he is STILL acting out??? But again, moot point, because he is not going to be alive much longer and if you choose to stay with him, you probably won’t be either. This IS a matter of life and death. For the love of God, please save yourself!

    Would you date a man who held a gun to your neighbor’s head? Because, effectively, that’s what he has done by having unprotected sex with her, knowing that he has AIDS, not to mention that he’s a cheating lying asshole!

    YES. He should be in prison and I hope to heaven that your poor 65 yr old neighbor is pressing charges because he knowingly put her life in danger. The punishment for such a crime should be full castration and the rest of his sorry life in prison.

    Honey, I totally understand about loving a sociopath and I’m sure he has many delightful “qualities”, but I will repeat, he is NOT a “good guy.”

    He is a monster.

    I’m sorry that you love him, but the man he is pretending to be is not real.

    We are here to support women in their quest for wholeness,and good health in body mind and spirit and one size certainly does not fit all, but for me the line is drawn when I am presented with a homicidal maniac.

    Honey, please find yourself the best therapist you can find. You are not crazy… crazy in love, with a sicko– yes, but you can find a healthier sicko out there? I was too… but this kind of love is lethal. That is the only possibility here.

    All my best,


  55. Elizabeth,


    “And why am I giving him chances and feeling SO RELIEVED…when he apologizes and comes clean about the desire to “act out”…I mean Jesus, I NEVER would of put up with even the HINT of cheating in other relationships..what has happened to me..why have I lost myself?”

    I so relate to these feelings and have also found myself lost to not one, but two consecutive socio men… and I mean… OBSESSED. For me, it was an escape… it was a means so that I didn’t have to face myself. I placed my soul into the care of someone who would hurt me. Now, why would I do that?

    Looking back on BOTH men, I could see much later, that they each gave CLEAR SIGNS THAT THEY WOULD HURT ME.

    right from the BEGINNING.

    So, with that… I instantly fell madly, and hopelessly in love…


    So, I get it honey. I really do…I get the huge RELIEF when we had a blow up because he did something smarmy and unconscionable behind my back and the sigh of relief that it was not over…wtf??? And we are not alone, either. I don’t know about you, but I was an abused child, and I suppose abuse and love were synonymous. Lots of therapy, helped me through it for quite a while, but with the stresses of a difficult life, a cheating husband and two extremely difficult children to raise… I got caught unawares a few years ago… and fell back into the old familiar patterns.

    You will be alright. I promise. You must first free yourself of him, and its not going to be easy. He wants his nursemaid. Isn’t it obvious? Sorry, but he’s dying??? okay??? And he’s gonna use every psycho trick in the book to keep you hooked into his HIV laced clutches of desperation. He does not love you. This is not love. Its abuse and there will be no end to it, but again, he’s going to be dead soon.

    It take time to recover from all of this… but I promise that you will and you will also look back and go, “what the hell was I thinking???”, but please try and find a good therapist that you feel comfortable with…

    I am so sorry that he did this to you, but this is what sociopaths do. Its not personal. You were just at hand and a willing but unwitting accomplice to his pathology.



  56. Elizabeth… You are the benefit of my having too much delicious iced coffee today!

    I’m sorry, but nothing going on in this relationship is “love”. Its obsession and its anything but loving.

    He is very, very sick and now, he’s threatening you? Nothing you are doing or saying is wrong or unjustified. It is normal human reaction to abusive situations and relational trauma. He is the one who is effed up, and yes, yes, my predator did the same to me… but he’s going to bring you down with him.

    Is that what you want? Some women do. They are masochists and if you are one, then that is fine, however, I am worried for your safety.

    How can we help you?



  57. Hi Lexie and anyone else who wishes to respond ….,

    How can I be helped? I don’t know…The writing is on the wall, isn’t it? I deal with two people, one who is shockingly inappropriate if that is even the right word and someone who “acts” normal….I put “acts” in quotes as I don’t know what is real and not real anymore and even the times things seemed right, I am wondering if it was / is just an act…. It the ongoing discovery…that throws you into a place of confusion and before you can figure that one out process it, something else is going on……and the cycle of being on edge and unsure of what is true is continuing….I am experiencing something that is keeping me stuck..maybe it is trauma of some kind…..I do argue with him at times, but I will say, having a well developed conscience myself….that there is nothing “horrible” I have done to warrant all of the inappropriate responses that go on sometimes out of the blue…..It is hard to describe, but they do and say things that are so aggregious, so bad that I hesitate to repeat it as I think no one would believe it as it sounds so outlandish, although true, or it is so hurtful I couldn’t possibly share it and shock the other person….and then they act “normal” and it throws you off..There is no real two way conversations, and when I get upset he actually gets nasty and angry….Instead of the appropriate ” oh my God I hurt you by cheating …I feel horrible I am sorry..” It’s like they get ANGRY at you LOL! I think this latest episode is because he wants to act out as well…It comes out of left field and it always starts with “something is wrong with you” type of deal and then it escalates until you can start to get your bearings and realize this is starting again…..I have struggled to come to terms with the fact that some people do not have a conscience or a very very impaired one….The very thing that regulates our thoughts and behaviors, the thing that is like second nature to us….is “off” there….For one example, he said one time that he was “addicted to prostitutes..” and my first reaction was ” OMG what about the drug addicted women you are hurting..Do you ever think about them?”…As we are both in the recovery community, long term the point he is out lecturing about “living a better life” to others…Yes, I can hear you laughing from here..shocking isn’t it…I was taken aback by the fact he would even do that…Here he is off talking about the “principles / moral standards ” we live by….God, he is almost like one of those Preachers condenming people who gets caught in the enquirer with his pants down LOL! * just had that thought cross my mind* SO, a big part of my world is our recovery community, I just went to a hospital tonight to help a girl who is 5152 …and he and I know a lot of the same people….So…Myself coming out with this abuse will be ..well it will be something else …so I have stayed silent for a very long time….prob. why I am messed up….I do love him….and I don’t even know why at this point…He tells me that ” I act like this because of my S.A. addiction…” and he says ” when I am not in it, I act differently, better…”….Now I think he acts out, hides the acting out and when “acting normal” it is an act and GOD KNOWS anymore who or what I am dealing with…I think my head is so screwed up with this, I don’t know what reality is at times…ANd for some reason I think he knows that and gets off on it in some weird way, it is ultimate control I guess…although, I know he is not even capable of truly knowing what he is doing to me or others as he has no empathy or it would not be happening in the first place right? …ya…this is true…thanks for listening, I am so lost…e.

    1. I’m sooooo sorry for the confounding mess you are in. You need to boil it down to one crucial component right now to figure out how to move ahead. You said he has no empathy for you and what this has done to you. That is it. You cannot make him well and until he truly feels for you to his core, he is dangerous and you need to get far away from there.. It is as simple and heartwrenchingly difficult as that. Staying in it without his total empathy and commitment to caring for you and your heart, you are enabling him to be less than he must be to get better. Love, Lylo

  58. E– honey… what you are describing (and very well!) is phenomenon that I and some others that I found out later, unbeknownst to me, refer to as– “mindfuck”. For that is what he is doing to you.

    YES!!! He is fake and phony and the crumbs he throws to you are known in psychology as “intermittent reinforcement”. Its like a rat in a cage. It is fed every day for a week and week two comes along and there is not food suddenly one day, and the rat is perplexed… maybe he got mixed up? But he is hungry and when he complains there is still no food. Then on day two, there is food again, day three, not enough food, day 4 plenty of food, day 5 and 6 no food, day seven and eight, just crumbs… and so forth…
    So, you are cute little rat and he is the food. Only you never know where it is coming from, or if there will be enough. After weeks of this the rat is confused and crazy.

    I love it that the “addiction counselor” is a virulent narcissist and addict, which btw, is not uncommon. I have heard of this phenomenon, gross as it is… numerous times, which is why one needs to be extremely careful. Why are very own founder of AA, Bill Wilson, might have given up alcohol, but he replaced it with copious numbers of women. (the so-named 13th step).

    So, there you have it. He will try to shift blame and turn it all around… “you are so much better when YOU (talking to you) are not in your “addictive phase”.


    I feel like slapping his sorry yap from here to kingdom come.

    But… and this is a big but… It wouldn’t do any good and yes, you are right. He is incapable of understanding as he lacks empathy for others completely. He has perfect empathy for himself and that is all… unless he can get something out of it, and then he knows how to put on a good show. He has been perfecting this act since childhood and is extremely good at it… but when he has his prey (you, your neighbor, a client…) good and hooked, that is when he can relax and let the REAL HIM come through.

    Honey, I wouldn’t waste my breath talking to him. He won’t change. He can’t and the only thing that will happen is that he will continue to abuse you. There are only two choices. Stay with the sickness and lose your soul. Or leave and regain your beautiful self. Your choice.

    There is no in between, compromise, understanding, nothing. What is, is and its not going to change for the better.

    As for “outing him.” You don’t have to do that, but if you do leave him, it would behoove you to put yourself in a different situation where you don’t come into any contact with him, if that is at all possible.

    Again, please find yourself a very competent therapist that you feel comfortable with that can help you further understand how this dude has totally messed with your head and understand that the feelings that you have are based on someone who doesn’t really exist. The ugly, abusive, sick parts are who he really is. Then, the therapist can work with you to help you find YOU, and help with your own recovery.

    I hope that helps! I’m off to ballet class!!!



  59. My dear E,

    How did he contract HIV?

    Is he still engaging in homosexual encounters or using IV drugs?

    How do you know for sure?

    Is he HIV positive or does he also have AIDS?

    How is he paying for his HIV medication?

    The average lifespan of HIV positive people is 2/3 of the normal life span. If he is 51 then he is on borrowed time.

    So, he literally doesn’t care what happens any more and he has absolutely nothing to lose.

    This makes him a very dangerous man.

    You have only known him for two years. I am assuming you are not married. If you are living together can you support yourself? If yes, then get out! If no, then get out!

    It’s time for you to get out before he literally destroys you.

    You will not survive this relationship emotionally or physically.

    This is serious and it is life threatening. Please, find help–BUT FIRST, GET AWAY FROM THIS MAN!.

  60. Hi Joann,

    Thank you for responding.. Yes he definitely has AIDS, not HIV…. He contracted it through using drugs (I.V.) and acting out sexually about 20 years ago. He takes his AIDS meds everyday, there is no doubt here. Knowing that we deal with this disease put more pressure on me to realize that we should not be squandering our days with the S.A, BS, so you can imagine the shock of it when it all came to light and how much WORSE it makes everything, especially having so many other “people” involved….I remember asking him when he came home from his sisters “how many more are there..” Meaning, I already had one crying woman on the phone….that I JUST MET…(neighbor) ..I just asked ” how many more are there?”….stunned…I never fully got that answer….By the way, she tested negative at 30 days, I am not sure what her 3 months is and I told her to get tested for Hep C as he also has that…..But she would of let me know as she has my number and email…..It was a terrible nightmare to navigate….all around….anyway, it was a long, long road to get close to him….and the lines got “blurred” somewhere and then here I am….and all the true badness of the S.A. nastiness and abuse came out..See, he was doing it before and going missing, but hiding it from me, now that it is all out in the open….It is another animal completely I am dealing with…On Monday he says he will have 60 days in S.A. again….Which only makes me think..What was going on before then and is that even true….You can only imagine….e.

  61. PS He has health insurance to pay for his care, that he got after being a cop and retiring out of that.

  62. I feel really low, he called twice today…but then I looked up what goes on in massage parlors…Who the hell wants to be milked like a cow by some poor immigrant whose getting screwed in life…Jesus…anyway, I do not know how I am going to recover here at all. I don’t.

    1. Be kind to yourself and get yourself a new phone number and make it hard for him to reach you. You have to start a new life and he will suck every last ounce of blood from your veins if you let him. My husband is the sam w, despite sexual molestation charges against him, he still manages to make ME FEEL BAD FOR HIM.

  63. E– I truly feel for you and understand that low feeling. It really sucks, but you can get past this. I don’t want to minimize your grief– your loss over what was perceived as a real loving relationship. But what was “lost” never existed in the first place. I’m not going to repeat everything I’ve already said, but there has been no information in ANY of your posts that gives me even a glimmer of a one in a million hope in hell that this guy is anything but extremely dangerous.

    Tomorrow is a new day.

    1) wake up
    2) have breakfast
    3) try to find a counselor for yourself and make an appointment to meet with them ASAP

    reach out to any family or friends who you feel could provide some support.

    That is all that you need to do right now unless he makes any threats whatsoever and if he does, you are to go straight to the police and report this.

    You WILL recover. You can get past this. It will take some time and I know that there is a lot to process, but quite frankly, you can try to make sense out of the nonsense, but when common reason goes out of the window, all that happens is that we keep spinning our wheels, but we never get anywhere.



    PS: if you can possibly not speak with him, it will hasten your recovery. He’s a drowning victim and he’s gonna use every trick in the book to keep you hooked. Don’t fall for it.

    1. Elizabethm,
      Thank God for Lexie; she says it all. I really think you need to reach beyond 12 step programs asap!! Please find a therapist, preferably one who specializes in addiction and/or trauma. It seems like on an intellectual level, you understand what this guy is about, but you are stuck. So many of us have been there, so we get it. It can seem overwhelming to look for a therapist, but put it on the top of your “to do” list today. I’m no expert, but I just feel like that needs to be your first priority to help you get unstuck. This guy is dangerous, and you need to get out. And, please, if there are any threats, call the police–don’t feel silly about doing that.
      Please keep us posted! Hugs to you, Zumbagirl

  64. Hi Ladies, (and guys as there are one or two I saw on here ) 🙂

    Thank you for all of your responses. You guys keep saying he is “dangerous”…Do you really think so? Sincerely asking. I awoke feeling that I needed to “do what feels respectful to myself”, whether that be go for a swim, take my vitamins…..take it easy and stay in today….Baby steps…By the afternoon I am feeling the emotional pain pretty hardcore and his words are in my head and I am having “intrusive” thoughts about the cheating, acting out and the abusive things he has done and said….I also “miss” my partner badly and want to be comforted, held by him…..I am in so much pain right now I feel it in my heart, my ears, my head..everywhere….I think I am in love with and hurting for… the good person and am consumed by the pain of the bad one ….Anyway, on a positive note, I saw a VERY hot Federal Marshall today who held the door open for me and I guess I looked lost as he said to me ” are you lost can I help you..” 😀 LITTLE DOES HE KNOW HOW LOST I AM LOL! j/k….I guess I am “still in there here” as I thought ” hmmmm he’s cute and no wedding band and smiling at me…” 🙂 BUT THAT…seems a millions miles away….It’s a passing thought … least it’s there, and then I FEEL GUILTY as, my head switched too…” But HE needs you and you love him and I miss him…” Yeah..I know…..*deep sigh*….I am just in today….We won’t see each other today though…I wonder why they don’t let us heal and just …keep causing trauma until the point self preservation kicks in and we have to DO something…When there is such a great life out there….even in the simple things. As far as therapy, I am going to look for a good Psychiatrist, I had one before that helped me a lot and then he retired in April, we were just getting into this….Any other advice helps alot, you guys responding has made me stronger, thank you, love e.

    1. Hi Elizabethm,
      Was reading your post. I am not familiar with the whole story, but scanned a bit.
      One statement in your post was “he needs me”. and one of the things we may fall victim to is careing and doing more for others than ourselves. The big picture is your h has hiv and continued to have unprotected sex with others. If they in fact contract hiv and worse aids, i am pretty sure he could be brought up on charges, becaue he knowingly had uprotected sex, even though he is HIV positive (of course this maybe just TV who knows). Regardless just on a character note. If i had hiv the last thing i would be doing is sleeping around. Really this is bad. The guy could be spreading hiv, aids, and apparantly does not give a crap. It does not matter if protected or not, condums break, things happen!! He really appears to be lacking in any kind of morals, and it would appear to be in many categories. This is scarry. No morals here.

      If he has been attending SAA for 18 years, obviously soemthing is not working. One of the addicts tools is pity and getting you to feel sorry for them. Everything is about them. They will even somehow manage to make you feel bad because he is dating other women and has hiv. You may love this guy, he may be your soul mate. But HIV is serious stuff, and he is not serious about you or any of his dates. I think the safest thing for you is to split, for you and your health. I know its scarry, but you need to value yourself, above him. Because if you take care of him and die, there will be no you. You will have given your life for him, and it will be a lost cause.
      I am so sorry for this mess you are in. Please keep posting and talking. Find a therapist ASAP, don’t be afraid to try a few. Not all of them are good. If you cannot afford a therpist please read up, join cosa or some other kind of support group.
      Love, Flora

  65. I have an appointment with a Psych. specializing in Sex Addiction, will see her Friday, she had a long talk with me, told me not to see him till I see her. I will stick to it, but it seems hard although insane to say it is hard, but it is. Thanks you guys, I took your advice, please feel free to advise me, I really appreciate any thoughts or comments about ANYTHING 🙂 Will report back and I am sure I will be here again this week, I apologize if I am “taking up the board”, you all have your own struggles, I hope as a newcomer I help and I can help you guys at some point…But THANK YOU! …God, I still feel weak yet strong at the same time 🙂 xx hugs, e.

  66. PLEASE keep talking to me, you guys are helping me soooo much, I get ZERO empathy…and I “hide” all of just getting responses is helping me so much, I promise you guys, I will give give back and help anyone that asks me, once I navigate this nightmare..Thank you, thank you all, and if you are reading and want to say something and are worried about anything, don’t be, just tell me, God is within each of us and connecting is so powerful…Today, I was stronger as someone(s) reached out to me on here, I REALLY was…its baby steps, but I need your voices, thank you , thank you xx e.

  67. Oh well… Thank you for letting us know, JoAnn… I imagine that she’s struggling mightily with all of this and that is perfectly understandable. I truly wish her nothing but the best as she seems like such a dear, caring, loving soul. And if she reappears, one day, I would certainly welcome her with open and accepting arms, no matter what. xo ~ L

  68. Looking Forward,

    I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. In response to your question, I think the big learning lesson was that my intuition was more powerful than someone else’s words. I just “felt” something was “wrong” but did not know what. I almost felt like he was treating her like a “girlfriend” of sorts. in terms of grooming, to this day, I cannot even pinpoint the exact things that were done or said. It was more a feeling coupled with “hints”. I think the grooming was more of making himself out to be the good guy and pitting my daughter against me in different situations. As if he was the one she could count on to have her back and take care of her. Or whispering funny secrets/jokes and when I would remind of our family “rule” of no secrets, i was the “party pooper” once again making a big deal out of nothing. In some ways, I think it was stategically positioning me as the outsider. Once I learned of the sex addiction, I NEVER once left either or my girls alone with him at home. Not even this was safe enough! Not even my physical presence in the house was enough. (Once I learned of the molestation, he was kicked out of the house.) I was beyond shocked when I discovered years later how and when the molestation began. My daughter came in to bed to sleep with us one night because she was not feeling well. To this day, I still suffer from disbelief and replay every minute that I can remember of that night and morning over and over. How could i have not known? I truly did NOT. This was NOT denial. It began next to me while I was sleeping! I cannot even imagine the horror and confusion that she must have gone thru. Apparently, he would get up sometimes during the night without me even knowing he had gotten up. It still seems so unreal but is so very horrifically REAL! The extent of their sickness and madness is almost incomprensible. At least for those of you who are here, you can gain knowledge and information to make better decisions for yourselves and families! The power of these SA’s manipulative “charm” is frightening. Others who knows him think he just such a wonderful and great guy! I was the one who just didn’t know how to have “fun”! I hope that things turned out in court favoring your safety and the safety of your children.

    1. shockedtothecore,

      I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your comments. This is what the homosexual worthless thing did to my girls. They think he is wonderful and he is the one who has stood by them. They don’t know that he critizes them behind their back to others, just like he did to me all 20 years. It doesn’t matter to them that he lied to me from day one, that he has stollen the things that I worked my entire adult life to provide for myself – they think he is their family.

      Interestingly my girls have nothing to do with my family, who are moral, kind, generous good people. They have embraced his family who live in the alcoholic, mental problems and the “family rules” around those issues. Outsiders are just collateral damage as long as they look good – theft, lying, manipulation, betrayal means nothing to them as long as they look good.

      You put into words what I have experienced and have had such a hard time explaining. Thanks for your insight.

      1. Jeanette,

        Oh my goodness! Your comments SO hit home for me, so much so, it’s spooky! My husband also grew up in an alcoholic family dynamic and what you described is identical! I had a different value system than they did, and while they were nice to me, I always felt like an outsider around them. It’s like you could feel this invisible barrier between us, and they hated that my husband wasn’t fitting into their dynamic nearly as much as he had before I came along. They stopped wanting to spend time w/him, calling him, etc. and made him almost feel as much of an outsider as they made me feel if he was with me. They only called him if they wanted something, except for holidays, and it was sickening to watch the way they used him.

        It was so strange, if we were around them, my husband treated me almost rudely, which I could never figure out, but that was how he was used to seeing women be treated in his family. If a guy wanted to oggle other women in front of his wife, that was just a guy being a guy, and if I felt uncomfortable, that made me a prude.

        I could tell toward the end of our marriage, when my husband started to spend much more time around all of them again, he became unreasonable, demanding that no one was going to tell him what to do, etc. One night we got into a disagreement over his family, he told me THEY where his family, not me, so I knew once he left and went to stay w/them, there was little hope. He was going to be getting nothing but positve reforement that I had been wrong for him all along, when he was just a guy being a guy, as long as their was no physical contact w/another woman, married guys should be able to look at all the porn, chat, and oggle other women as much as they wanted.

        It’s difficult to explain, but it’s almost like they looked down on me for trying to have values. I can SO understand EXACTLY what you said!

  69. Flora,
    Thank you for your response.

    I agree, there is NO such thing as being “overprotective”!!!! I did sadly learn the difference between a pedophile and a situational molester. My exh never looked at child porn (I know for a fact because I had forensic computer diagnostics done on our computer which showed everything – all history, deleted files, erased files, etc.) and he did not have access to internet at work. Apart from my daughter there were not any signs or hints that he had any interest in young women. He was just so emotionally stunted, deranged and damaged from his child that could “relate” better to being in a “relationship” with another that was about the same age that he was emotionally! In his mind at the time (before he began therapy), he could not even see how what he was doing was harmful! What?! How is that possible? After years of therapy, this shifted to various suicide attempts. He preferred to take his life than voluntarily “disclose” to me what what happened. I did not learn of what had transpired until almost 6 years AFTER therapy had started and she turned 18. She finally told me. We were in another country when I learned of what happened. Despite my insistance, she refused to contact the authorities. So, the focus has been on helping her heal…whatever that takes and respecting her opinion, even if I don’t agree!

    No one can fathom the pain, destitution, destruction, confusion, etc…that comes with being involved with a sex addict.

    For those of you who are “lucky” enough to be aware of this before you get too involved….RUN AWAY FAST! Do not allow their manipulative “charm” to seduce you into thinking that things are wonderful, or “not that bad”. Give yourself a chance to find a healthy partner and have a life that is not tainted by this dark and horrific addiction.

  70. About 2 yrs into our marriage he was arrested for indecent exposure to 2 12 y/o girls.I was pregnant at the time. He convinced me it was not him just the cops and girls made a mistake in id’ him. I stood by him and truly believed his innocence. It cost us about $20,000 in legal fees he went to jail.Then a playmates mom told me he was asking her on a playdate without me.She also mentioned he touched her breasts in passing in our home.I confronted him he denied it – she told me she no longer wants a friendship w me and my child. Then a neighbor told me her husband sold a car to my husband and his girlfriend. They were kissing in his office.He told me it was not true. Then after my second child was born, I found romantic email to a 22y/o in another state. I threw him out. After I spoke w/ her. We went to counseling and I was told it was an emotional affair and that I did not give him Wifely attention and affection because of children.Then I had another child from all the wifely attention given to him.Shortly after the birth he was arrested for exposing himself to a 19 y/o. He denied everything and promised me everything would be better. I went to an attorney and he told me I would be stupid to divorce bc marriage wasnt long enough. I had no hot water, no money, no diaper money, no phone, nothing.I took him back home. He said we need to start new life, fresh start.We moved away.He behaved for awhile, eventually very graphic porn was on home pc. He was arrested for pot possession.He kept arrest from me. I eventually found out through mail. Now my parent is dying and i have been going 2 take care her on weekends. I just found his posts on CraigList for sex he wants to perform on men or women. I also found email setups w his phone #.He denies all and says i have no proof bc he did not meetup w anyone and he was just playing bc i dont give him sex enough. I am disgusted and hurt.I have no one to talk to Please advise.

  71. Littlemama,

    Oh my… oh my… I’m so sorry about all of this… okay… here goes…

    You are married to a sociopath and a sexual predator. Document EVERYTHING. He already has police records and a jail sentence and a whole lot more.

    Then hire the slimiest blood thirstiest, nastiest lawyer you can find and DIVORCE him. He cannot be trusted around your young children, or anyone for that matter. He is armed and dangerous. Do you understand? Eventually, he is going to destroy them– one way or the other and you too.

    I am only telling you this because when a woman asks for “help”, its because she’s ready to face the very difficult truth. Try to find as much support for yourself as you can.

    And Godspeed!

    Love and hugs,


  72. littlemama,

    You have a little girl, aren’t you concerned that one day he may look at her that way? He does not seem to have any boundaries, so why would you think that she is off limits.

    You need find a therapist, do a great deal of reading, start with this site, and become very educated about this. This is what your future looks like if you do not take action on behalf of your daughter and yourself! If you think it hurts now, you won’t like it any better 10 years from now.

  73. littlemama,

    With his arrest history, a good lawyer should be able to keep your daughter safe from him.

  74. I am sorry, I really hate to do this, but I’m afraid I will have to close the comments for this topic.

    As you can see by reading the comments it has turned into a forum where people ask questions and answer each other. This simply uses up too much bandwidth for this website, which leaves me with only two options. First, if I exceed the amount of bandwidth that I now pay for each month, the site will not be accessible for the remaining portion of the month, or second, I will have to upgrade to a dedicated server which costs several hundred dollars per month.

    If you would like to share your story and have our visitors comment you can send it to me at [email protected]

    Please consider using the Sisterhood Of Support website if you wish to have forum discussions.

    But I will make a reply here to starting_over as her question is very serious. Your husbands subtle suggestions sound like manipulation to me–all Sex Addicts do that.

    However, if he even mentions the word ‘suicide’ or in any way indicates to you that he may be planning this you need to call 911 immediately and tell them that your husband is threatening to commit suicide. Most states have ‘involuntary commitment’ programs in place where anyone who is a potential harm to themselves or to others can be placed in an inpatient facility (without their consent) for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours–depending on your state laws. During that time they will be evaluated by a psychiatrist who will give recommendations for their care.

    This will serve the purpose of either protecting him if he is serious or exposing him if he is simply manipulating you. Either way he needs help and this will force him to get it.

    Do not allow him to control you with this type of threat.

  75. I have recently found that my husband of 32 years has had another relapse.. but he will never admit to anything, only what I found on his computer. I have now had enough of the hell I have lived in for years, the lies, the manipulation, the hurts and the pain of it all!
    I have been a stay at home mom most of the marriage and have worked odd jobs here and there throughout the years. I need to know how to do this on my own. about 8 years ago, we split up for about 3 months, but he would not leave me alone and kept making excuses to see me and the kids.
    when i confront him about how his addiction has affected me and the kids, he becomes suicidal(or at least he gives me the impression, i am not sure which). He has just left because I told him he couldn’t stay..He is giving me the impression that he is not needing to take anything with him and that he will never be back to get his stuff. In other words, he is telling me he is suicidal!! Do men like this actually commit suicide? or is it just a game to get me to feel sorry for him? please advise! I am concerned about his mental state.

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