Too Bad To Stay, Too Good To Leave–The Story Of A Sex Addict’s Wife

I’m glad I found this site, I have been reading posts all day and it has been very emotional for me.

I have been married for almost 25 years and my husband is a sex addict. Early on in our marriage he had a series of affairs and I should have known then. It seemed like all was okay for the next ten years, not so sure now. In the past four years that I know of, he has been going to swinger’s clubs, engaging in swinging behavior, frequenting adult book stores, internet dating sites, pornography, and most recently, engaging in homosexual activity.

I found all this out two years ago when he told me that he was going through a midlife crisis and wasn’t sure he loved me. I went through some of his things and found receipts for women’s jewelry. I confronted him, and after endless lies, he told me he was in love with another woman. I found out this woman lived in another state. He told me he met at her at a business event. (I found out later he met her on a porn dating site.) I kicked him out, 4 weeks later he was back and I thought everything would work out okay.

I have to admit, in all honesty, that, although I had kicked him out, I was on the phone with him all the time and still having sex with him. I couldn’t let go.

Two years later, I find secret emails and confront him. He tells me he’s gay. I know he’s not gay, he’s got tons of women that he’s in chat and phone relationships with. He says that guys are easier to have sex with because there’s no drama.

I kicked him out and the next day asked him to come back. I can’t let go.

I’m hoping that one day God will give me courage that lasts longer than a day.

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Responses

  1. Don’t be so sure he isn’t gay. My husband has be having gay activities for 40 years, 20 year before I married him not knowing this. Now,he is on facebook stating that he is looking for women. He will do what he has done to me to another unsuspecting women. You would think he was the nicest, kindest, wonderful person, I even thought he was an honerable person.

    Stay connected with this web site, the raw emotions, and long term trauma SA people cause, I hope you find your way.

  2. I just found this blog too!

    Only he can know whether he is gay or not.

    It could mean that his addiction has escalated to the point where he needs to see and experience new things in order to be sexually stimulated.

  3. Victor has a nice new blog about porn addiction that may be of interest to some of you. You can access this blog by clicking his name in the comment above or the link in ‘Blogs’ category. It is a new blog but seems to have some good information.

  4. Hi there,
    It sounds like you are in a nightmare but you never wake up. If you never wake up, you can’t change your life.

    Please find a good caring therapist who can safely lead you through your own process of self-awareness. II think a S-Anon group might be an important piece of recovery for you. From my untrained perspective–I hear some potential for codependent tendencies in your relationship. Go to their website and find the contact for your area. Call, email, and then attend the next meeting. You will find people who understand your struggle, share your nightmare, and will keep you honest and safe.

    Waking up does not mean your life is over. Instead you get a real fresh start. With support and honesty and therapeutic care, you can wake up safely and create a fresh start.

    Thank you for being so honest with us about your struggle to let go and your place in the vicious cycle of pain.

    Just one thing—when you say “I should have known then”, at the beginning of your story when early in the marriage your husband had affairs—I disagree. That “should” is misplaced. Like you, I’ve been married a long time. In the early years there was no category of “sex addict” to consider, there was no social currency for discussion or reflection, and there were no stories about similar behaviours or help for the wives that meant anything except someone’s husband was a philanderer. That was the most you and I would have had to hang our experience on. You COULDN’T have known then what you SHOULD know now.

    Put the “should” in the right place. Then take action. Your life is more precious that your can believe right now. Your inner light is still flickering.

    There a great Bible story about a terrible time in Israel’s life when they had forgotten about their relationship with God. It’s in the book called I Samuel. It says “The word of God was rare in those days, and visions were not widespread—BUT THE LAMP OF GOD HAD NOT GONE OUT”. The lamp of God has not gone out in you. You are still worth everything to the world and the one who created it. You have the light you need to move forward. And there will be love in that new life. You will be less alone that the life you have now.

    May you have courage. May you have wisdom. May you have laughter.
    J.

  5. Greetings,

    I too know what it is to love a man that lies, hurts you and betrays you on a continuous basis. I recently found S-ANON. It has changed my life. it teaches us about our own recovery and sobriety – sobriety from being addicted to the addiction of our spouses. I need to be free of constant snooping and investigating and work on healing. I even found out that we can have our own sponsors. It is amazing. I highly recommend it to you. I have a radio show and I just finished broadcasting. it was a great show. i was so upset with my husband last week I could not broadcast. people asked me what happened, I made excuses. I was too busy locked in turmoil with him. This week I nurtured myself and took care of me. You cannot control him. Our hope is finding our way and praying they find theirs but not sacrificing ourselves if they don’t. The S-ANON book and the twelve steps are so helpful. perhaps they will help you.

    Yours in Fellowship and Recovery,
    Preacher

  6. My life too has been shattered, I’m 62 and married for 33 years to, a man I believed was loving, dependable respectable, my best friend, my love. …all a huge lie, 20 + years of prostitutes!!!
    He has the nerve to tell me that it had nothing to do with me, it was seperate! Thats how he justified his whoremongering behaviour! No thought to my well-being.
    I dont know what to do, I have no family or friends to confide in sinse I followed this apoligy for a man half way across the world in the expectation we would be starting a new life. but he continued with his lies, deciet betrayal.
    I want him punished! how can a human being destroy another to the point I’d rather die than live with this knowledge another day? And his only defence was “it had nothing to do with me”?
    I’d also like to add I’m blonde, slim and have always been very attractive.
    And yes before anyone suggests…I’ve been tested, and thankfully I’m clear – what a humiliating experience that was!
    Dont know what I expect by posting, hopefully some.. hugs & sorry if I highjacted someones thread

  7. Dear Mungosmum,
    I recognize the rage. the pain. the long term betrayal. You are not crazy to have all these feelings. My marriage was a 30 lie as well–and I felt so dumb because I didn’t know–I didn’t have any idea. I was busy being a loving, supportive, attractive, interesting, funny, imaginative, loyal, affirming, faithful wife. And when necessary, I was also forgiving and patient. His dishonesty is devastating.

    In amongst all those intense feelings that keep rolling over you, I am inviting you to think about what you need to feel safe so that you can begin to recover and rebuild your life. If you need to move back where you came from–you are smart enough to figure that one out–it won’t be easy, but your energy will be directed for your well-being. Whatever it is that you need, begin the steps to get it. If you need legal help, get it. I believe in you. I think that besides wanting bad things for him, you also want good thing for you. When you have those rare clear moments—focus on that and learn what you are trying to give yourself.

    But also find a therapist. You know, I don’t even remember my first trop to the therapist. I don’t know how I got there, how long I was there, or what happened. I only know she pulled me back from the edge of a deep dark abyss and has been caring for me, encouraging me, challenging my despair where it was based on lies, listening to me and celebrating me ever since. You gotta get yourself one of those!!!

    You message sounds like your issue is not co-dependency at all—and you will need to be aware of that, because the default setting for most of the organized recovery programs is that the spouse is co-addict or co-dependent. If you aren’t that, it’s just another abusive experience—but if you are, it is a lifesaver. YOu will need to educate yourself at least online to figure out what’s right for you. But some people find a 12-step recovery program for wives and attend even when they don’t think they are “co-anything”” because it provides a place to be honest and meet others in the same boat. Check out what’s available and do what is right for you. If you haven’t listend to the two audio clips on the home page where Barbar Steffens is interviewed—go do that right now! She proposes a trauma model for spouses and their needs. I have found her stuff life-changing for me, and even provides a way to communicate with my husband.

    Is your mate doing a program now, or is he still in denial and minimizing? BTW the “it had nothing to do with you” also infuriates me. For me, it’s another minimizing tactic. If understand the notion that I didn’t do anything to cause this, I can’t control it, it’s not about sex, etc. BUT, when the addict says that, he is saying it from the self-centred world of his pain, and that world is an artificial creation. He thinks he lives there all by himself. it’s a trait of these addicts that they are always the only person in the room. Part of their illness is in the line “it had nothing to do with you”. It perpetuates the idea that what went on in the artificial world did not affect our lives. So when I hear that line, I too want to scream bloody murder. Getting addicts to admit their actions have shattered our lives, destroyed our hopes and dreams in life, broken our marriage vows, and made a lie out of our years spent together, etc. is very very hard. And as long as they and the programs say “it had nothing to do with you” instead of “you didn’t drive me to this”, I will keep nagging at this one.

    Listen you wonderful woman you—thank you for letting us in. Stay at this thing called life. You only get one. Cherish yours. choose life. The rest will land where it needs to. And if he gets helps, more the better. The biggest thing for me is that you get help.

    If I could wrap my arms around you I would. Instead I’m beaming lots of good light your way. Stand strong in it.
    love,
    diane.

  8. To Mungosmum,

    First of all, no way did you hi-jack someone’s thread! On this site, we are all one and every voice counts. So, a warm welcome to JoAnn’s blog and thank you for writing and sharing your story!

    This is a safe place for support, healing and growth. 🙂

    Diane said it all so beautifully, that there’s nothing much to add except that I concur, wholeheartedly!

    To Preacher,

    You have blown me away! In less than two weeks, you sound like a completely different woman!– I am so glad that you have found this wonderful support for yourself!

    xo,

    L

  9. I have not dared to make an appointment with a therapist. My husband and I are well known in our town and I am so embarrassed and humiliated. In fact, I’m afraid to give out too much info on here for fear that someone who knows me will guess. My husband says that it’s not about me, has nothing to do with me. It’s a separate part of his life.

  10. Hi Doubleminded,

    Reality check for your H. He’s not ENTITLED to have a SEPARATE part of his life!!!!!!!! At least not the one he’s involved in. And it has nothing to do with you??????????? Oops it must’ve slipped his mind; he forgot that he has a WIFE that he’s vowed to honor, cherish, love…….

    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr–

    Sorry, but I just have to vent sometimes!

    I understand your embarrassment and humiliation, totally, but there is absolutely no shame in going to a therapist and they take a vow to secrecy and complete and utter confidentiality or they could lose their license. In any case, people see therapists for all sorts of reasons that don’t carry the stigma and shame along with it, that you are feeling. Again, HIS addiction is not about YOU or your ability as a wife, woman or good citizen of your town. There is no reason whatsoever for you to feel any shame or embarrassment. That’s his domain and his alone to feel. Separate is as separate does.

    You need support, counseling, sound advice and lots of it. It’s out there and available. Another thing. I am not advertising her services, however, my mom is a psycho-therapist/marriage counselor and actually has clients from all over the country that she counsels on the phone. Sight unseen. She has also written two self-help books on “controlled separation” to save your marriage and also on dealing with conflict in relationships. Perhaps there are also other highly qualified “phone counselors” as well?

    Does JoAnn or anyone else know of such a resource that is available and highly qualified?

  11. Thanks Lorraine. I probably do need to talk, most definitely. Since it’s always been he and I and we are (or were) best friends, he’s pretty much the only one I talk to. NOT GOOD!!

  12. I have been married for 16 years to a man who has been slowly coming out for 40 plus years and is a sex addict. It is very common for folks who are unsure about their sexual preference and identity to be consumptively sexually active and fall into sex addiction due to the decades of repression and internalized homophobia.

    Many men who engage in the sexual addiction pathway become aware in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s that they are actually attracted to men. Due to having been with women and assuming they were heterosexual and diving head first (no pun intended) into sex addiction as a coping strategy for many internally confused issues, they continue to “need” contact with women, including sexual contact to “soften” their homosexuality. My partner is very hetero socialized and has developed a complex neuro/sexually wiring for stimulation which includes a female with male contact.

    As the years have gone by and we continue to explore and process what is going on, it has become evident that there is a need for him to have the women around in his mind and in physical reality because he has hot wired his erotic response to and through women. But he and I both agree and understand now that in a different world of familial and social acceptance and positivity he would most likely have been a gay male.

    He calls himself bi now. And he is still very lost in sex addiction and excitement titillation and addiction to the highs of peak sexual experience. Many take this pathway. Hence you get lots of bi mis-identification which is misused as a way to cover. And you also see lots of sex indulgent consumption, constant, constant as a way to avoid dealing with yourself as a gay man. When he calls himself bi its confusing because I understand that to mean you could have fidelity with either a male or female partner. He likes to use the term to rationalize constant sexual pursuit of anything that walks and talks. I call him on it daily.

    WE are friends and it isn’t always easy to be so. But his sexual addiction has lead him to living alone, isolated, where noone can see his computer use, monitor his endless dream like states in internet sex play, nor help him recognize the pit he has fallen into. It is a slippery slope and he is still very invested in finding philosophical rationales and groups to identify with that give him permission to be obsessive compulsive about sex. I’m very sad at the loss as I love him dearly and we have invested in so much in our life together and he has so many other qualities (which are not manifest in his life due to the addiction) – that I love.

    So I understand your loss. But see if you can love and see the beauty in your own need to be loved for yourself, to be in a relationship you can trust and depend on with someone who is familiar, and cherishes you. That is your beautiful perfect need and that is what is coming up when you feel mad at yourself that you keep wanting him. The object (him)may not be appropriate but your desire for mutually respectful, mutually reciprocal loyal partnership is wonderful. Allow your feelings to tell you more about yourself, there is no need to judge them as bad. You certainly deserve to be met in your need and that need is valid whether its met with him or not.

    No excuses here for sex addiction, but understanding the addiction process and the coming out process has been huge for us and huge for me. WE are both counselors and therapists so those skills have helped too. I also am a life long meditator and practitioner of empathy, non-violence, gratitude practice and loving kindness. My teacher Pema Chodron and NVC (non violent communication) has been very helpful in my skill building with regards of separating my needs from his and being kind in understanding (not condoning his strategies mind you), but understanding his suffering.

    many blessings to all here.

  13. Welcome Mayadevi,

    I really enjoyed your very beautiful post; it was almost poetic and at the end, as I was reading, I felt this immediate release of tension and anger that I seem to be holding onto, that I am aware of and truly want to try to eliminate from my life, altogether. But, its tough.

    I’d like to add a bit to the discussion of bi-sexuality as it may relate to a sex addict and also delve a little further into your personal situation, if I may as I find it quite interesting.

    First of all, I have often wondered and have discussed this very topic with my therapist that in the case of my sex addict friend, if there was a possibility of some latent homosexuality and that to “prove” to himself over and over that he wasn’t gay… the endless………….. stream of hetero-sexual encounters. Even though he would always INSIST that he wasn’t gay, sometimes it just felt that the “lady” doth protest too much!

    Now, about the bi thing. I do think that people can be attracted to both sexes although the attraction may or may not be equal. There is also something called “bi-curious” which means pretty much what it says and “bi-friendly” which is usually a woman who is with a swinging partner who is being coerced into having sex with other women, merely to please her male partner, but isn’t really attracted to other women. I think it is also possible that a man could be hetero-sexual, primarily and in the case of an advanced sexual addiction looking for more and more “stimuli” to achieve the same high as before might be to experiment (or their word “explore” with the same sex just to receive a more potent high. Just an idea.

    Many bi people are part of the “swinging culture” which it sounds like your husband has found himself deeply embroiled in. Euphemistically called “the lifestyle”. I think that being bi usually implies that there is no fidelity in the traditional sense, but of course, there could be. Most bi people are either in poly-amorous situations or at least are in monogamous situations where there is the possibility of other partners with or without the primary partner being involved and with or without the primary partner knowing. I think its possible, that there are people who refer to themselves as bi, but in fact are really gay, but in the context of addiction, that is a moot point. The point being, that for a bi person, fidelity to one person of either sex is extremely unlikely, however, as in the case of a friend of mine who is bi and married and has two children, he is totally fine with his wife having affairs (with other men) outside of their marriage and they TALK about their affairs to each other and sometimes play with other individuals or couples— all very open and honest and for them, it works.

    This of course, is a very alternative lifestyle that will not work or even appeal to the majority of people.

    My ex-friend (lover) considered himself to be in the lifestyle, as well, however, he lives with a beautiful woman who had no idea of this lifestyle until last fall. Obviously, a big painful mess.

    I admire so much, the philosophical and positive tone of your post, in the face of something which for most of us is not only devastating, but something that rocks us to our very core. But, you have found a certain grace in dealing with your husband’s addiction that is very refreshing and devoid of the usual lashing out.(not that lashing out is inappropriate and I’ve certainly done my share.) It is a good lesson for all of us and it speaks to the true nature of loving kindness which is simply to accept others for who they are even if we don’t agree with what they do or even how they treat us. Accepting others does not necessary imply accepting their actions or even accepting them into our lives, however and it is clear that you have set your boundaries and have found a way to make it work for yourself.

    In your case, you and your husband have chosen to live separately which is a luxury that many of us can’t afford. (right now, we are struggling financially to live together!)

    It is a bit ambiguous if you are still married or are simply living apart, but I am curious if you still have intimate relations with your husband and/or do you have other relationships outside of your primary union to satisfy any needs that you might have for closeness? And I’m also curious why you have chosen to remain married (if in fact you still are) to this man and if that commitment is something in question, at this point?

    I realize these are very personal questions, but since this blog is completely anonymous, I am curious as I suspect others are too, on how all of this works for you. I’m not asking in terms of a judgment, of any kind, because I have an extremely open mind to the possibility of all sorts of arrangements, but because there are so many situations that people have and I find it interesting to hear about how people in unusual circumstances can make it work for themselves.

    In any case, thanks for posting and best wishes.

    Lorraine

  14. Dear Doubleminded,

    If you have not done so already (I am new to this blog), you should consider seeking help in another town or somewhere where you feel safe and private.

    I cannot tell you how wonderful it was for me to get counseling from someone who specializes in this topic. One of the most important things I learned is that a typical trait of a sex addict is that he truly believes it has nothing to do with you. Most likely, when he’s with you, he’s not faking it. This other life is truly a very separate and compartmentalized thing. So…he’s not lying about that. That doesn’t mean that his actions aren’t affecting you, however. This is what most men don’t understand. And many of them would even rather risk their marriages than end their private lives.

    The most important thing for you to remember is that you didn’t sign up for this. If you had known about this before you got married, you probably wouldn’t have married him. It is unfair for him to have the expectation of continuing and for your marriage to still be intact.

    KRW

  15. Hi Mayadevi,
    Like Lorraine, I was captivated by the spell of positive energy your posting offered us all. I also was curious about the decisions you made about how to move forward, but I realize that maybe too much to expect.

    My curiousity is based in my own journey of understanding the story of my husband’s pain. I have made an effort to do so, without demanding what I know he currently has no capacity to offer. Yet, I find that there is a trap in “understanding”. Perhaps you know this one? It’s the “become the therapist trap”. Since we do not receive intimacy as a spouse, we search for another way to find it. Intimacy is intimacy, after all, and we are starving.

    So, after many days inside my husband’s story and pain, I slowly realize that nothing I have learned or experienced actually helps me with the decisions I have in front of me. I understand more of how his soul was bent, and my compassion is real and I have been with him in tears and brokenness, but the unbending is still not mine to do, and when it is done, if it ever is done, will it make any difference to us? Or will it just make a difference for him?

    I guess I would echo your words about knowing what it is that we need. Because until we love our own need enough to let it be met, we just might think being his therapist is “almost as good as”.

    Hot days where I am. Stay cool.

    with hope today,
    diane.

  16. Diane,

    I want to thank you for your clarity on the aspect of understanding the SA and their pain. I understand that the sexual abuse (not brutal, but seductively done) my soon-to-be-EX went through. It does nothing for me when he not only defiled everything that was sacred to me and walked over the values that I held dear, but now is trying to leave me financially devastated, when I was the one who had a home and no debt, with money in the bank when he married me.

    You so eloquently put it when you said “will it make any difference to us? Or will it just make a difference for him? “ That echoes my sentiments exactly and I find that I resent that I understand it and he doesn’t. I feel the pain and grief, he doesn’t feel anything.

    The least he could have done was leave me feeling safe, it is heartbreaking.

  17. Its funny because when I found out about my husband’s infidelity, first it was women (internet and phone sex) then it was physical infidelity with men that had happened before these other incidents. I was enraged by the women, but the men – I was sort of like, well if that’s part of your sexuality, lets figure out if there are ways we can explore it together. Overcompensating? Absolutely.

    I did some research on sexuality and Joe Kort has a great website that breaks down all of the possible sexual associations (there are more than 10, FYI). I started to realize that sexuality was fluid, and that it was possible for him to desire sex with men without him being gay.

    Through all of this, I have been very kind and open about understanding whatever his sexual identification may be. I feel like he should not feel bad about wanting to have sex with men. That said, he SHOULD feel bad about having had sexual interactions with men before we were married and not telling me. He SHOULD feel bad about infidelity and deceit, neither of which being bisexual or gay require.

  18. Pleasure,
    I get the distinct impression that you haven’t the foggiest notion how inappropriate your post is in light of what other people have written.
    I am sorry your addiction was (is) hard to deal with but if you are in recovery, you need to make these kind of statements to your support person, not to those of us trying to get around the hurt similar behaviour towards us has caused. Do you see how selfish your behaviour (in words anyway) comes across as? You need to get over yourself.
    Not trying to be mean just a firm reality check.

  19. Hi Marian,
    good call on “pleasure” NOW:

    DON’T DO WHAT I’M GOING TO DESCRIBE BECAUSE I’M PRETTY SURE HE/SHE GETS PAID BY THE NUMBER OF TIMES PEOPLE CLICK ON IT.

    “Pleasure” is a link to a sex “information” site that is probably not where anyone here wants to go. Don’t click on the “Pleasure” word/name because that’s where you go, and that’s how web marketing works at a very basic level. The post itself may or may not be a genuine attempt to participate. Either way it doesn’t quite fit here.

    You can tell what “posters” are also “links” by whether they are “ghosted” or not. Regular posters aren’t. That being said, sometimes “ghosted” posters also have websites that are compatible with the goals of this site. For example “Eva” is ghosted, but takes you to a sex addiction counselling service site. I know JoAnn tries to get rid of the ones that aren’t appropriate, but it’s an all day sucker kind of thing.

    I think that’s how works, anyway. Happy to have this brought to greater clarity or corrected, if needed.
    D.

  20. Good call Diane!

    That one slipped right by me. My website gets literally hundreds of these spammers a day. I used to have to delete them by hand every morning–YUK! Now I have a filter that catches most of the fake comments that are linked to websites. Most are deleted by the filter, but occasionally a few slip through, as this one did.

    I’ve put it in the trash where it belongs.

    Thanks for watching my back. Love ya.

    JoAnn

  21. Hello. I am the wife of a recovering sex addict. I am looking for an online support group. Is this a support group, or can someone please reccommend one?

  22. This is a site that offers support and resources for wives and partners of Sex Addicts. I am not a licensed counselor but I do have resources that I recommend on this site if you need a counselor.

    We are simply a group of women sharing our experiences and offering comfort and support to each other.

    Read through the stories, articles and comments. I hope you will find what you need.

    Good luck and all my best,

    JoAnn

  23. So I’ve been married 40 years this month. I am trying to get the courage to leave. He has had affairs most I can’t prove. I Finally got computer savvy enough a few short years ago to learn he was heavy into pornography. He admitted to it after I presented him the evidence. I live in a crazy world. He has the mindset that if I cannot physically prove the accusation, it did not happen. He does not openly flirt anymore, and I don’t think he is having an affair as in the past. I’m wondering if he might be into prostitution. In the last couple of years, I have caught him with wads of cash totally out of character. I found a history of addresses o his gps of places he would not likely go. I passed him on my way to work one morning when he was supposed to be at our health club, no way he could have been in both places. He denied that I saw him. I know for sure it was him. He got out of bed the other morning when he assumed I had already left for the health club. It was. 5:30 in the morning. He never gets up that early. When he realized I had not left home yet, he went back to bed. What’s that about? When queried, he claimed he ws checking the stock market. At 5:30 a.m. Markets dont open until 7:00. I know for a fact he hides thousands of dollars from me. When I tell him I want to leave, he is so rational and begs me to stay. We moved to this current area 12 years ago after our children left home. It is the area where I grew up. We have lots of friends and family here. They all think he is great, a dotting husband and father. I feel like I am living with the devil in disguise. I wish I could provide physical evidence to him that I know he acting out. Any ideas about computer software, etc ?

  24. Hi Susie,

    I’m operating on very little sleep, but I just had to comment– (in, until the end)

    I live in a crazy world. He has the mindset that if I cannot physically prove the accusation, it did not happen.

    (yes, crazy is right)

    He does not openly flirt anymore,

    (that’s what facebook is for) 🙁

    and I don’t think he is having an affair as in the past.
    I’m wondering if he might be into prostitution. In the last couple of years, I have caught him with wads of cash totally out of character. I found a history of addresses o his gps of places he would not likely go. I passed him on my way to work one morning when he was supposed to be at our health club, no way he could have been in both places.

    (*well, you know… if itquacks like a dick, walks like a dick, lies like a dick, its a…)

    He denied that I saw him.

    (nice) 🙁

    I know for sure it was him. He got out of bed the other morning when he assumed I had already left for the health club. It was. 5:30 in the morning. He never gets up that early. When he realized I had not left home yet, he went back to bed. What’s that about?

    (see above*)

    When queried, he claimed he ws checking the stock market. At 5:30 a.m. Markets dont open until 7:00. I know for a fact he hides thousands of dollars from me.

    (wtf???)

    When I tell him I want to leave, he is so rational and begs me to stay.

    (gaslighting, is the more common term for this heinous phenomenon, or as I like to call it— mindfuck)

    We moved to this current area 12 years ago after our children left home. It is the area where I grew up. We have lots of friends and family here. They all think he is great, a dotting husband and father.

    (classic)

    I feel like I am living with the devil in disguise.

    (also, classic)

    I wish I could provide physical evidence to him that I know he acting out. Any ideas about computer software, etc ?

    ***

    Honey, I actually don’t recommend doing that. Oh, you COULD do that. But, what are you going to do with the information, once you find it? And what are you going to do, with the crazy that is going to live inside your head? You don’t want to go there. you really, really don’t… its not a pretty place; at best, its an excruciating exercise is masochistic self-torture. And what IS he going to do, after you provide him with the evidence of what he knows that he’s already doing, that he doesn’t want you to know that he’s doing? More of the same abusive crap. You already know everything you need to know and believe me, what you know, is only the tip of the… uhhhh… well, let’s not go there. Please take it from someone who loves to torture herself with that shet. Its only going to destroy your lovely soul, even more. You have all of the proof that you need. He’s a porn addict. He has affairs. He sees prostitutes. He lies. He hides money (and spends it like crazy, on this shit.) He lies some more. He’s manipulating, sneaky, devious, deceptive, where you’re concerned,(unless he gets caught and then he is “ashamed”) but a heckuva nice guy to EVERYONE else!

    He’s a very sick man—

    A sex addict. a sociopath. I just came back from a retreat with 8 other women, that I met on HERE!!! Awesome and fantastic! Our stories all mirror yours.

    save yourself, honey.

    you sound like a terrific, lovely woman. you have friends, family. Find a good therapist to guide you through all of this. Make your plan.

    File for divorce and claim your life back! Don’t confront. Don’t try to change him. (its impossible, anyway). just save yourself!

    That’s my plan, anyway!

    All my best and if you want and need more support, please try out the sister sight, http://sisterhoodofsupport.com/

    Lexie

  25. Hi not sure what i am doing? I have been married for 12 going on 13 years. I have an 8yr old girl. My husband started out with talking to females on the phone and finding them online. Then on to the porn online and then he started looking into swinging. He once posted my picture and i found it and made him take it off! I found out some cheating went on earlier in the marriage and before we were married! I found out after i married him. He has lost his job about 3 times and for some reason i stayed to make it work! Ugh??? why? I was brought up that way. I now feel so stupid! I now know he has been ongoing swinging since 2006!!! He blames me! I have caught some things from him and spoke to him and of course he denied everything! He lies and cheats and well I feel i am stuck here! I have an associates degree and at this time no job and have stayed at home to be a mom. Yes I got pregnant and still stayed! I hate myself for all of this!!! I want so bad to leave but I know he will still have visitation/custody of my daughter and I am afraid if i am not around here she will walk in on him masturbating or something worse if i am not around!!! The law here says unless she has been shown something or something worse happens (and that has to be proven!) then he gets to see her and have her 1/2 time! He is not a very good protector of her. There have been times that he has had her with him and not even fed her or changed her when she was younger! My word against his. I really feel i can only protect her if i am still married to him and feel i can not provide for her as well without him. ( he does work) I don’t know if he would continue to pay for activities or school if we were divorced. he holds this all over my head and denies all he is doing! he hates me and that i will not have sex with him anymore due to catching things! and knowing he is with so many other people! He gets very mean anytime i try to have a decent conversation with him about anything. Has threatened to take her/fight for custody if i file for divorce. He also says he will divorce me when she is 17. He is verbally and emotionally abusive to me. He does spend play time with his daughter and of course she loves him. It breaks my heart and of course i love my daughter and do not want to do anything to change her life. I am very unhappy but will sacrifice that for her to stay innocent and safe. I often wonder if there is another way ? but i know he will not take care of her the way she needs and i have seen how his family is toward a ex and with children around! I feel so stuck and sometimes wish he would disappear! I just can not bear having my daughter away from me with him knowing the situation. i also know this is not a good situation but have and still continue to weigh the pros and cons in the situation and feel she is better off with me here than without me here. I feel stupid for staying but I love my daughter so much and I know she is taken care of when i am here and not around the wrong kind of people that she could be around if i was not here! Ugh Very unhappy and frustrated! We have no relationship at all and he treats me so awful at times. And i know its not good for her to see that. but again it could be a whole lot worse if i were not here and she still had to be. sigh! I am so heart broken and feel very alone!!! If I did not have her i would have left a long time ago!!!

  26. Joanna,

    What would you tell your daughter in 30 years, if she were in your position? Would you tell her to stay?

    There is no way that we can ever keep our children 100% safe from anything or anyone, and no one is with their children 100% of the time, even if we are under the same roof. You do go out sometimes, right? 🙂 My sick father, would beat me up, but only when everyone was out of the house. Also, in a few years… whoa! hang on, honey… she’ll be a teenager! And she’s going to look like an adult.

    If it was me, I would want to set an example that I would wish for her to emulate. That kind of abuse, is not acceptable to me. My boys are a lot older, but they really understand that and respect me for my decision.

    Please, if you can, find some professional help in terms of a skilled therapist to run these things past as well as a lawyer. I think that you may be operating under some erroneous misconceptions, where the law is concerned. You DO have rights and are protected under those rights to receive your due share from your husband, should you separate or divorce. There’s also a wealth of information, available online.

    all my best ~ Lexie

  27. Hi Joanna,

    I’m so sorry for all the anguish!…I want to second Lexie’s advice…I know you think you are doing the better thing for your daughter by staying vs leaving, but I’m not so sure…I can relate to a large degree with your dilemma. I just left my SAH and we also have children – 2 daughters, a 3.5 and 1 year old…

    Legally, while your daughter is a minor he HAS to give you child support so you would have some financial income from him…and with God/the Universe on your side (and your strength which you will find!), it is highly likely you would find at least some part-time work to supplement that income. AND it is nearly impossible for him to win custody of her. At best (worst?), he’d have joint legal custody (most likely with you having primary custody…the law favors that for the mother).

    I know you fear he would not take care of her properly during the days she would be with him…but maybe he would be a much better father to her as a part-time one? Especially since most SAHs are so image-conscious he would want to make it part of his “marketing campaign” what a good dad he is? Maybe she and you have such a communicative relationship that she’d absolutely tell you if she witnessed anything inappropriate (to which you could maybe take legal action if you needed to or at least with Child Services for supervised visitation)? I’m just saying there are other hypothetical scenarios…and they may be better than what you think…OR, not that I’m saying this is a good thing for her…but maybe if you left he’d see her less and less over the years so there would be less alone time between them than you would need to worry about…

    Ultimately, it’s in YOUR best interest to leave him and that will ultimately serve your daughter WELL! My therapist made the analogy to me using breastfeeding. We cannot nourish our children unless we provide nourishment to ourselves first.

    I hope you find the strength, courage and support you need to make the most peaceful and fulfilling decisions for yourself and your daughter.

    All my best to you!
    Xo