When we think about Partners of Sex Addicts we usually think of women. But, there are many men out there who are also dealing the Discovery that their wives have been leading a secret sexual life.

A. sent me his story and has given me permission to post it. It took a lot of courage for him to put this out there and ask for help. I know you will all give him the support and wisdom that he needs. ~ JoAnn

griefFour years ago my wife of 10 years disclosed that she had been having affairs off and on but was now over all that.

I was stunned and dizzy and actually sick to my stomach. She stopped seeing our couples therapists we and started working with a priest who supposedly could help with her situation. For a time she went to SA but had difficulty with the room being filled with men.

I found a Dr. who prescribed sleep medication and two anti depressants which I am still using.

I have managed to muddle through the last four years while hearing a list of reasons she wandered including my weight, my age, my lack of enthusiasm with life and so on.

On my birthday in October she told me that she did not want to have sex with me because she had always had sex to please or keep a man and that she was afraid that having disappointing sex with me might trigger her to fool around again in order to enjoy sex. She also repeated the list of reasons she mostly lost interest in sex (my weight, my age, my being anxious and depressed).

Last week I asked if she had acted out since her disclosure four years ago. She asked if I really wanted to know. I said that I did.

She told me that the last time was 11 months ago. I asked if there were times between the 11 months ago and four years ago. She said yes.

I have been reading a great book “Your sexually addicted spouse” I am aware of the model of trauma vs. codependency and believe that I have been traumatized over the last four years.

I am anxious to take care of myself and start healing. I have an appointment with a therapist in a couple of weeks but am now wondering if I need to find someone who specializes in treating the partner of a sex addict. I don’t know about blogs. This is the first time I have ever written out the high points of my situation and I find it somehow comforting that someone might read this and get it.


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8 Responses

  1. Oh, A, we get it and welcome to the blogging world. Please know that we’re real people who’ve been through similar situations that you have. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a male or a female who’s doing the acting out. The load of crap she fed you on your birthday is classic sex addict mindfuck. (or sometimes gaslighting) We know it’s mindfuck, because she’s stringing together a bunch of words that make no sense even though she fervently wants YOU to believe that they do.

    Her: I have sex with men because I use sex to make men like me, but I can’t have sex with you because if I do, it means that it might make me want to have sex with someone else who isn’t you.

    yikers! no wonder you want to throw up! I’m completely dizzy, just from trying to comprehend her nonsensical reasoning.

    Gee… I want to go for a walk, except it’s snowing out and besides I forgot to bring my swimsuit and children are starving in Africa.

    it’s all quite mind boggling on many levels and I’m really sorry, but you do realize that she’s very (very) messed up. right?

    Your weight, age, depression are not the reasons that she doesn’t want to have sex with you. She doesn’t want to have sex with you because SHE killed that part of your relationship. She killed it in order to fulfill some warped neuroses that she’s been carrying around since her formative years. It has absolutely nothing to do with you, but she can’t fathom that it’s all her because that would make her some sort of a monster. (she is) So, she uses whatever “flaws” she can latch onto (and we all have them) to justify her disgusting betrayals. I suppose that she doesn’t have any flaws? Her shit doesn’t smell? She never has bad breath? And apparently, she doesn’t age either. :/ What a piece of work! She doesn’t have to have sex with you. She might very well lose her attraction for you, however, that does not give her the right to have sex with other people. There are a lot of healthy ways she could’ve handled all of that including talking to you (normally) and getting help. But you see… she is incapable of this. She’s incapable of telling the truth and living a life of genuine integrity.

    Sex addiction is not about sex, by the way. It’s about control. She is seeking to control these men and uses sex in order to do that.

    Bottom line. You cannot change her and it’s unlikely that she can change of her own accord, either. Can you live with her lifestyle? If so, then by all means keep on as you are, but if not, then please, yes, get the help of a therapist and then make a plan to create a healthier life for yourself away from her; I can pretty much guarantee that she is not going to stop. She can’t. Sorry, to be so blunt, but based on what you said, she’s been a serial cheater for a very long time, and a pathological liar as well. It’s very difficult for these people to ever change. As for the the therapist, I do not think that it needs to be someone who specializes in treatment for partners of sex addicts, but someone who understands PTSD and relational trauma.

    Please hang in there and hopefully, some other people will respond. Remember, you are NOT alone. And you have options, but you need help, because she’s done a real number on you and I’m so, so sorry. You don’t deserve any of this! my best, Kim

    1. Thank you for your note, Kimberly. You gave me a lot to think about and I appreciate your time. It’s even harder, I think, being a man in this situation, being in the minority and all.

  2. Aanen,

    You’re in the minority here, perhaps, but there are a lot more men in your situation than I think you realize. Men, in general are also less likely to speak out about this for a variety of reasons, however, your situation is by no means an anomaly. I think that SOS (the support site connected with this blog) is only for women, however, I may be wrong about that, so please contact JoAnn who also would have some other resources for support. But I can also recommend Chumplady. There are a lot of men on there in your situation. Godspeed! K

  3. I think male or female, somehow we initially feel like the sex-addicted partner is right… that we weren’t good enough or sexy enough or loving enough to “fix” them or “satisfy” them.

    I was married to a sex addict. Over time (and with a good therapist), the scales fell from my eyes and I realized that I wasn’t the problem. I wasn’t the addict. And I CHOSE (active, not passive!) to get out of that no-win situation.

    I now have a wonderful boyfriend whose wife cheated on him and displayed many of the same gaslighting and blaming techniques common to persons with personality disorders that I endured from my husband.

    What both my boyfriend and I have learned: in a relationship with a partner who is authentic and honest, there is NO MINDFUCK. (Kim, I always appreciate it when you put that so bluntly.)

    Aanen, you do not have to put up with mindfuck. You don’t have to tolerate continued trauma. You can choose to get out of the relationship and find someone who is capable of genuine love.

    I want to specifically address what I saw with my boyfriend – a man who survived mindfuck, and moved on.

    When I first met him, his wife had for years made him feel undesirable. No matter what he did, he couldn’t please her. Consequently, he had almost shut down. He didn’t think of himself as attractive or virile.

    I remember early in our friendship saying something to him like, “What the HELL did that woman do to you?” The longer I’ve known him, the more of his story has been revealed to me: years of her demands and her displeasure. The way I see it now, he shut down gradually, over two decades.

    He is now thrilled to have a girlfriend (lucky me!!) who sees his compassionate heart, and appreciates his authenticity, masculinity, wit, and generosity. He is surprised every time when I compliment him, thank him, or just respond to him physically or emotionally. As for me, I’m delighted to have a relationship with a man who understands perfectly the trauma I have endured, and who treats me like a queen. By the way, we are both over fifty and have kids from our prior marriages.

    My therapist says to me, “You and your boyfriend are bruised by the trauma you’ve endured, but you’re not broken.” She’s right. I suspect most sex addicts are broken beyond repair. But just because you’ve been married to one doesn’t mean you are broken.

    Aanen, I hope you will get appropriate therapy to recover from your trauma so you can reclaim your life and the happiness you deserve, whether as a single person or one in partnership. You will feel so much better when you release yourself from the weight of a spouse who does nothing but bring you down.

  4. Well, Ive been there with my husband nearly three years ago, maybe we were fortunate with 12 steps and therapy but we have come out the other side ( yes it sometimes does happen) hes a different man, even though Im a differnt women. Our life has been turned around and life is better. I would say fight first and if theres no chance then consider option B, but I truly feel it can happen.

  5. Aanen, I completely understand what your feeling an Kim is right its a mental sickness that isn’t going to go away its a disease that can be arrested but only by her working her severely selfish ass off as far as the “reasons ” its all bullshit my husband told me (when I first found out) that he started because he was scared I was going to die and he had no one to confide in then after I got out of the hospital we got married and the reason changed to he had to be strong for me because I was so sick hell just yesterday I busted him starting to act out again and now the reason is because I wont sick his dick but the truth is I unwittingly married a true blue addict an the one truth for any and all addicts is they are self center cowards they don’t like the way they feel so they do what they want to change how they feel this is straight from their handbook they want what they want when they want it and no one else matters. I’m sorry you were introduced to this hell but from the sound of it your “wife” doesn’t want to change an why should she your still there you need to understand you matter you count and you have the true right to be happy an confident with your partner a marriage can only be saved if both people are fighting for it you have fought alone along time now its time to fight for your sanity and yes I know I’m just another kettle but maybe i can help save a dented pot good luck

  6. There is one exceptionally rare account by a woman of a very supportive husband excluding his sex addiction. It would be one of the rare cases where the person is not one with a severe narcisstic personality, rather a faulty adjustment of long standing. Sure a fail as a husband, but a massive pass as a loyal friend. At her late middle age, past breast cancer, financial needs, her son supported by him in college etc., would be stupidity to give up in despite shattered illusions.

    In your case, like most others , partners want to believe SA is a disease rather than face that their partner has a personality disorder who has no conscience, no capacity to care, lies, is never at fault, high sense of entitlement etc.,where the SA is just one manifestation of their disorder. Hence uncurable as no cure exists for personality disorders, nor treatments that may modify symptoms are generally all that long lasting due to the former aspect.

    Hence there is nothing more to ponder about that partner, that alien being, but to get away ASAP with the best divorce deal that protects your interests and any children from them.
    It is a good idea to check out through counselling or well rescourced reading of you had any vulnerable traits that made you a target for such a person so you never end up with such again.
    If you pretend there is any chance of continuing you need to be stupid or a masochist.

    Desperate financial dependance is feasable for remaining of one has the fortitude and skills to detatch completely, develop ones own life alongside the philanderer plus protect children exposed to them. Take heed its only a few who can manage this.

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