I received this e-mail today from Stephanie. Here is her story of the Partner Trauma and stress that she is suffering due to her boyfriend’s sex addiction. I hope that writing it and seeing it in black and white will help her find the strength she needs to heal. ~ JoAnn
I want to start off by saying how blessed I feel to have found this site! Reading your stories took away the feeling that I was alone in this, and that I was crazy feeling the way I do…
I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years. We grew up together and have known each other for years. He is 45 and I am 44. I found out about his problem less than 1 month into the relationship. Very innocently I found a penis pic on his phone that he had sent to another woman WHILE OUT WITH ME!
I immediately tried to end the relationship, but after alot of begging and pleading on his part, I stayed. Let me also say that my boyfriend is an alcoholic as well. Shortly after we got together (2010) he was arrested for his 5th dui. He was then sentenced to a year and a half in prison and six months work release.
I am a very loyal person I come from a very great family my grandparents were married 67 years my parents have been married 45 years I have been raised not to turn your back on someone that you love, so therefore, I stood by him the entire time he was in prison I took care of him I took care of his family I definitely stood by my man.
As I’ve said to him several times, I took your hand and walk through hell with you, and walked out the other side still holding your hand. When he was released from prison and sent to the work release program I would go and pick him up occasionally for AAA meetings and trips to get toiletries and things like that.
After being in prison and away from me for a year and a half when he was with me he would never touch me. He never even mentioned having sex with me or anything. I thought that was very odd, but I never questioned it.
Then when he was released and came back home, because we live together, we did have sex together but it was not very often. Let me also state that my boyfriend has an issue with erectile dysfunction. After a while I found out that he was s****** his ex and still in love with his ex of 13 years. He had purchased a penis pump and was using the penis pump to take the pictures apparently to make it made his penis look bigger. He had also gone out and buy a prepaid cell phone so that he could contact his ex and continue this behavior.
He was not only using the phone to do this with his ex, but there was were several women. One of the women was the wife of his best friend and a friend of mine. After that all came out I kicked him out we were split up for a few months and he contacted me and swore to me that it would all stop and I gave him another chance.
Just a few months after he came back he had back surgery and gave me his personal belongings while he was in surgery. Of course having the experience with him that I had I went through his personal belongings while he was in surgery.
Now let me back up a little bit before I had kicked him out he had bought an engagement ring and asked me to marry him all the while he had to the prepaid phone and was professing his undying love to his ex, as well as the s****** with the other women. And then almost a year to the day he asked me to marry him again that was this this past January February is when he had his surgery and February is when I found that he was on hookup sites trying to habitat or having inappropriate conversations with other women, sending naked pictures, it never had stopped he has done this on our entire relationship.
Of course I tried to kick him out again and he begged and pleaded and said it was stupid and it would never happen again never really had an explanation. Now it is July 2015 and I caught him in April with a prepaid phone. How I caught him with all my installed nanny cameras in my house because I knew he was doing it again and lying to me.
So I have 6 videos of this man that supposedly loves me more than anything in the world doing this stuff in my house in my bedroom while talking to me on the phone at one point. That happened back in April and in May he contacted me admitted that he had a problem said he would do anything to make it right but he didn’t want to lose me. I also have to add that although he is not his biological grandfather, I have a granddaughter that we are consider his granddaughter as well.
And one thing I can say without a doubt is I know that despite all of his issues this man is madly in love with that little girl and vice versa.
So he agreed to go to counseling in May we have been going to counseling ever since and recently it is now July I found out that he has never stopped with the online hookup sites he is still sending pictures back and forth with women and he’s even gone so far as to take out a personals ad on Craigslist, which is scary. And although at first he was completely making effort in repairing this relationship seems sincere seemed as if he really wanted to be with me loved me, which I believe that he does, but completely convinced me that he was mortified by his behavior and that it would never ever ever happen again and he wanted to get help to find out why he can’t stop.
Well as time went on the effort that he put into the really fixing the relationship has gotten less and less. We are still not living together, but moving back and what was his end goal. But since we have been not living together he is back to drinking all the time he has a suspended license and is driving drunk in a truck with illegal plates.
He continues to make a responsible decisions and has completely changed his attitude towards me he’s sarcastic and kind of the smart Alek. He has now put me in fixing this relationship as a low priority, and his addictions have seemed to take in control again.
I have begged and pleaded with this man I have sent text after text after text phone conversation after phone conversation and it is not working. Last night I had to make the very difficult decision, to block his number in an attempt to let him go.
But as stated in one of the earlier comments, he has become my addiction. Fixing this problem and trying to make him stop doing this has become my addiction, trying to catch him doing this has become my addiction.I have blocked this number many times and then unblocked it and then blocked it again and unblocked it and ended it and then begged him not to give up it makes me sick to my stomach what this has turned me into.
This man does not care what these women look like, anything about them, whether they are wives or girlfriends of friends, family members, it doesn’t matter. If the woman is willing to participate he is all over it. I am a very loyal person, obviously almost to a fault, and I know that this is a sickness and I am struggling with turning my back on someone that I love when I know that it is a sickness.
But when it comes to the point to where I am the only one that cares about their relationship I’m the only one that makes the effort, what other choice do I have. I’m writing on this blog today and telling my story because I’m in desperate need of strength and help from others and advice from others to keep myself from allowing this to go on in my life.
It is obvious that this man has a problem not only with this sex addiction but also with alcoholism and he refuses to do anything about it. He pretends that he does, even so far as to go into counseling, but it’s all fake. I just need maybe some backup or some reassurance that I’m doing the right thing. I’m trying very hard to keep his number blocked, but I am a fixer type of woman, and this is very very hard for me. Any advice and suggestions would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you again for all of your stories and for all of you making me realize I’m not crazy and I’m not alone lots of love ladies!
Sorry about all the typos, my phone seems to have a mind of its own! There is so much more to this story, but I will just start with what I posted and go from there.
love isn’t about fixing people.
A quote to live by Diane!
Thank you for your input. I think I shouldve used the word repair instead of fix…or I am a helper, nurturer, rather than using the word fixer. I truly love this man with every fiber of my soul, but I dont know.how to help him. He asked me to stick by him, but im not sure if hes wanting me to stick by him bc he loves me or bc he.needs me as his.front to.cover up his addictions
Fix or repair, it’s all the same. We can never fix or repair anyone else–that is their job. We can only fix or repair ourselves.
What exactly do you love so much about this man? He has treated you terribly.
Have you seen a counselor?
Yes, I am seeing a counselor currently…I who this man is underneath all the darkness…his heart is beautiful…just buried so deep by his addictions that I rarely see it
The.counselor basically told me he has so many issues it would take years to help him (my ex sees the same counselor, or I should say did) I know there is nothing I can do fir him, I know he has to do it himself…I just need to know how to let go and accept the reality of all this and how to heal myself and self esteem
Honey, I wish I had a magic wand or advice that would make this easy, but, unfortunately I don’t. Nothing is easy about this stuff. The best thing is you do have a counselor. It’s up to you to decide if you want to spend your precious years trying to fix him, with almost complete assurance that it won’t work, or spend that time working on yourself.
YOU are important, you matter and you cannot be there for anyone else until you are healed and healthy enough, both physically and emotionally, to give time to someone else.
Talk with your counselor about how to heal yourself. Don’t waste counselor time on how you can fix him–he also uses counseling so that is his job and the counselors job.
It would be best if you had a separate counselor from him, one who is experienced in trauma, trauma bonding and domestic abuse (that is exactly what this is).
Do some research on trauma bonding and begin by educating yourself on how you can heal and regain your own strength.
Love yourself as much as you love him. ~ JoAnn
Sorry for my english, it is not my first language. I really feel for you Stephanie. I found out that I have been with a sex addict for a year and a half. I have been blessed to find out instead of being with him for many more years, but the pain is still sharp. I feel that it all was a lie and I am ashamed of it all. I am actually scared of meeting men now because I was completely fooled and I did not see it, and when I saw it I believed his lies that he is recovered and took him back many times till I did my research and snooped around. I am like you, believe in love and wanted to show him the support he needed and thinking if I was by his side he would never hurt me. But he did, he wanted to be with me and still calling other girls, hookers, porn etc.
I can not believe I ended up in this mess and now I know I need time to first recover from my sadness witch is kind of ruining my life now and build my self up to love my self more to walk away as soon as my gut tells me to.
You have one life to live and make sure that it is the life you want not the life that others impose on you.
Best of luck
I’m sorry to say this Stephanie, but Run!!! You aren’t married, you don’t live with him. He may actually love you but you can never trust him. He needs to seek help from one of these ladies he exchanges photos with that also have no morals or ethics. Let these women who don’t care wih they hurt be there for him because they are on his level.
Start living for yourself. Learn to put yourself first. Work on healing and letting go. Take time to just breath and relax. You aren’t truly addicted to him. You are just lost.
I’m the same age as you by the way but with young kids and I’m married to a man who turned into a sex addict. I’m not making his life easy right now and I’m putting my healing first, because I’ve been flipping traumatized.
As I heal, I’ll learn to forgive him. And I may simply say I’m done. But in the meantime, I’m making very sure he can’t hurt me. I’m a nurturer too, but I believe people make choices in their lives. My husband may be psychologically ill, but he’s been a total douche–so I won’t be wasting my time fixing him. I’m fixing me. I suggest you do the same. I promise you’ll feel peace again when you simply let go–it’s not as hard as you think.
Also, when you are ready try dating again. You need to feel beautiful and desirable. Screw your boyfriend and his erectile issues. Real men don’t have those problems. We are still young enough to love again. I hope you chose to do so, but start with yourself.
JoAnn — I want to comment on this post. I just spent a lot of time & thought sharing my story. I had just finished when I must have hit the wrong key & lost all of it. Is there a way to get my long story back? If the site does not have this capability, please consider adding that capability. Thanks, Linda
I’m sorry Linda but there is no program that will control your computer in that way. Most of the time if you lose a post in that way all you have to do is hit the ‘back’ arrow and it will be there. ~ JoAnn
I absolutely believe that this site is wonderful, supportive and greatly needed for victims of a sex addict. I recently posted my story and have received several devastating emails from women seeking advise. First Let me assure you that this addiction doesn’t affect women in specific socioeconomic status, color, religion or academic background. I am a clinician myself who tells the same story as each and everyone of you. I would love to offer comfort to victims of SA.
For those who are looking for answers as to “how to cure your partner” I don’t think anyone can lead you on that path as it is not our job to change a SA; however we can change ouselves. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you! God bless and I can provide support for those who want to share their story.
Oh Stephanie, my heart goes out to you. I hope your “a ha” moment comes soon. Mine came July 10, 2015 when my husband tried to book in intimate time for that night and I said, “Could you not be anxious for your next bonk?” And he said, “I just want you to be horny!” So, as you can imagine, I’m over it. I have joined co-dependents anonymous and find them to be very helpful as I expect sisters to be too…all the best.
Remember, he is a shell of a person who was probably not nurtured when young so he has not experienced methylation (an epigenetic change) that permits complete growth of the frontal cortex (of the brain) so he is incapable of empathy and love. He feeds the hole in his soul with sex. You cannot fix this. Invest your love in someone who can love you. He does not love like us. Move on. Onwards and upwards. Hugs
I am 49 and have been dating my bf for almost 15 months. He was straight forward with me from day one but heck, you know, he said he was going to his meetings so I didn’t ask enough questions. Mistake number 1. We started dating a month before he realized he was a sex addict so he had just started his journey. The last 11 months have been hell. He has more female than male friends that he sends texts to and one that an ex gf that he talks to twice a month. I have trust issues, low self esteem, he is a sex addict so you can imagine what path that has taken us down. and of course they are just his friends so I’m wrong for feeling that way and he says just because I feel that way doesn’t mean my feelings are right. Hmmmm, mistake number 2? We recently had a horrible incident on our first big vacation together in which he stayed out the first night until 4 a.m. come to find out sitting and talking to a woman that he met while playing poker. Now imagine the path we got on. He apologized but also made a comment that he thinks the reason he did that was because he and I don’t talk and he was enjoying talking to her. SO MUCH that he even walked her to her room which by the way the only reason I knew that was because my son and nephew were looking for him and took a picture of him walking with her. He omitted the whole part about her until he seen the picture the boys had on their phone. He swears nothing happened, said she implied hooking up but nothing happened. Spent all of that time with her but doesn’t remember her name or where she is from. His addiction has been strictly pornography, he said he has never hired a prostitute or had phone sex with anyone he wasn’t dating. We sat down after that, had a talk and I told him from here on out I want full disclosure. I have never known what type of porn that he watches and he said he would never tell me because the guys at group and his counselor say he shouldn’t. Don’t I have a right to know? So when I said full disclosure, he even agreed to that. Here we are a month later and it gets brought up. However, after finding out he had been relapsing since July (so he was in relapse mode when he was with the gal on our vacation-he spilled his 3 month relapse info to me during our big talk) I haven’t pushed him on things that I have questions about or want to know because I don’t want to have him taking 1 step forward and 3 steps back. So I told him twice that I want him to be in a better place before we talk about what he watches. Well he then proceeds to tell me that he isn’t telling me……ever. That is NOT full disclosure. And I didn’t want to know that moment but I needed to be assured that he would at some point be able to share that with me. No was the answer that I got. So I had a lot of mixed emotions. I asked him why he told me a month ago that he would tell me and now he is changing the “rules”. Next thing you know-I get a TEXT telling me everything that he watches. He doesn’t give me a chance to reply-he is automatically throwing angry text messages at me telling me if I ever bring it up again he will leave me and never come back-asking me if I want to know every detail-asking me if I’m happy now because I got what I want-then sent me another text because he forgot to mention one of the things that he watches so he added to the list. After his fit, I said thank you for disclosing, however the rest of your messages were selfish, disrespectful and unnecessary. He said FU FU FU FU. Ya that F bomb exploded several times in the course of his messages to me. I mean over a text message-you tell me those things over a text and then tell me I can’t bring it up again. Why do they get to make the rules OF COURSE I HAVE QUESTIONS WHAT THE HECK IS “AGE SCENARIO PORN” I have every right to know and that is what the gals at COSA had told me. I have no idea who he texts, talks to or emails. I have not asked to get into his cell phone bill online because I am afraid of how he will freak out on me on that too. I mean I am selfish for asking because not once did I have compassion for him or think about how humiliating it is for him knowing that I know what he does. And trust me, it sickens me knowing. And there are things that I will never do with him that excites him ( I won’t go into detail because it is DISGUSTING). I am a Christian, this man attends church with me, sits besides me, sings, prays, WHO IS HE? I feel like I don’t even know anymore. Is the church guy a front, when he goes to his counselor is he being honest or always throwing me under the bus making me look like I’m cray cray? How about his sponsor? I know he didn’t know he had been relapsing for 3 months because he never tried to call him ONCE during that 3 months. And when he admitted relapsing he told me-If I wouldn’t have done it, we would have never stayed together, I sacrificed my sobriety for us. WOW, I was speechless and then I said I would have rather you dumped my butt and stuck with your sobriety. I want him to be healthy. It has only been a year in July since he admitted his addiction and has several relapses. He just did his 2nd step. I feel like most of our arguments stem from his addictive behavior-other woman and his communications with them-SECRETS-and no I am not perfect. I have forgiven and forgiven and never bailed so how am I the selfish one? How is this all about me and what I want? Jeepers, I have a son at home, I deserve to know what sexually excites my sex addict boyfriend right? I don’t even know where to go from here. I love him and he says he loves me and sometimes I really believe that. However when he shares something that huge with me then leaves and says horrible things to me, is that love? I know he was angry, humiliated, ashamed and embarrassed but a mature person would lean on their partner??? Especially after all of the forgiveness I have shown already in the past?
I am sorry for what you have gone thro. I am new to all of this so I don’t know if I have any words of wisdom except what I have learned from my experience, and that is, don’t waste your time trying to find out info and get him red handed, if you do it just wastes time and is very painful. The end result is that they learn from the last mistake and become better at hiding or lying. He is an adult and you can’t control that, understanding that gave me peace for the 1st time in three years. Put your boy and yourself 1st you guys are important. You need to know that. I can’t say I past anything but I am trying to move out of a bad cycle if he is there when I figure it out cool but I am not worrying about it, I am working on me. I hope my spelling is not to poor, know that there are a lot of women in your shoes and your not crazy, they tell you that to take the pressure off of them, you know in your gut he is feeding you crap
Discovery for me was August 24th, 2010, when I found the mountain of porn “cookies” on our laptop. This was a day after he denied ever having looked at online porn so the die was set. He has only admitted to transgressions that I can prove with physical evidence. I somehow got it right the first time. I told him that we could get him a pathetic rented room with internet access, bottles of wine, rolls of paper towels, and memberships to all his favorite sites, but that I didn’t come with that lifestyle. Like so many of the husbands and boyfriends mentioned above, he professed to choose me but somehow, and after further lies, I still feel funny. I can sense that he is still lying. I found a spa receipt with an unknown credit card number timed for EXACTLY when I was out of town. I then began to check the cash withdrawals and found that our cash spending and cash station receipts did not match. For some reason he is stealing cash from our budget. He has stopped therapy, doesn’t go to a recovery group, though he has been passing polygraph tests. He’s so good at lying that I think his deceptions are part of the high. He’s also obese. I insisted on more sex, more communication, and no staring at girls, and he’s good with all three but SOMEHOW I think that I’m just the mother figure to get around. After five years in my own twelve step program I’m still losing my sanity over thinking then NOT a thinking that I can trust him. I’m a pretty good looking 63 year old but we are so tied up financially and socially. It would be hard to separate.
Please have respect and love for yourself and leave him. It’s hard at first, but as time passes and you start to get your life back, you’ll be so thankful you did! I’m in the process of getting divorced from my husband of 17 years. It’s hard and I don’t want to be alone, but I was lonely in the relationship. He was never there for me. Very selfish! Take care of yourself. Go slow. See your counselor. Read some books on the subject. Cry into your pillow and let go. Blessings to you.
I don’t really know if I’m relieved or disappointed to have found this site. Relieved to know I’m not alone yet disappointed to see what a serious issue this actually is. I don’t live in a bubble by any means but I really had no idea that I was facing an addiction so widespread. I live in a fairly small southern coastal town and have mainly dated guys that treat me well and are very sweet, spoil me really, yet married (and have since divorced) two that were sweet and charming then turned out to be bipolar jerks. I have three awesome boys from my previous marriages.
I swore I’d never ever get married again and then I met him. Tall, charming as hell with a clever and sexy whit that no one could compare to. Opens the door for me always and beautiful blue eyes that make a girl melt. Not the most attractive face but he made up for that the second he spoke. He swept me off my unsweepable feet in a matter of weeks and the walls I’d spent so much time building up came down with him so very easily. It scared me how much I fell in love with him.
We were married one month short of a year later in an exotic setting. Our friends were envious of the story book love that they saw develop between us and even heaven heard one say, “I’m just waiting to find what the two of you have.”
I don’t know what made me look at his computer history one day, he gave me no reason to suspect anything but I just had a feeling I needed to look. It was completely riddled with porn sites and escort sites…an insane amount, I was beside myself. When I asked him about it he said he was only looking and that it was nothing that he wasn’t jerking off to it or meeting anyone from them that it was just a way to unwind and asked, “are we going to be ok after this?” He and I had no issues with our sex life what so ever, we’d watch porn together sometimes and it didn’t bother me, we explored each other’s sexuality and were very open and comfortable with each other in that way. I began finding sexual texts to a female “friend” of his saying he wanted to be alone with her and hadn’t thought of her as much as he had as of late since he was 16. That bs was stopped but the escort sites didn’t stop, he only switched to a private browser and got better and hiding his tracks. I’m a pretty computer savvy and was able to track his private browsing. I found adultfriendfinder.com, friendfinderx.com, eccie, MeetMe, Eros, Ashley Maddison, backpage, frogs list personals and even busted him one morning picking up a hooker while I was home in bed. He said nothing happened and that she was gross and he just took her home. I believed him, he can be so very convincing. While he was out of town on a work trip I found his profile on swinglifestyle.com…he’d posted pictures of me on there as if we were looking for a third. That was it. I was done and told him so. He berated me in texts, saying such horrible venomous things…as charming with words as he can be he’s equally evil with them when he wants to be. He switched gears and started telling me he’s so sorry and can’t believe the things he’s said and done to me and how he loves me, blah blah blah and tells me he has to stop in Birmingham for a new tire because he’s having a problem with one. Turns out he stopped in Birmingham for a hooker I later found out…one week ago I found this out…one week ago I found out he’s has sex five times since we’ve been married (at this time we’d been married less than a year). He says it will never happen again and all of the other bs he’s so good at pulling off. I don’t know what to do. He wants to work it out and says he’s not a sex addict and can stop. I don’t know what to believe. I’m a freelance videographer but now I work with him at his business and he sold my camera because we were having money problems. My kids love him and he’s their father figure. I don’t want a third divorce and I don’t want to shake up the lives of my kids but I don’t know if he really can stop and I feel so absolutely betrayed because he’s so easily lied to me. He said after the escorts he would sit in the car yelling at himself for what he’d done. I don’t know if he really will stop or only appear to or only for a short period. I’m so absolutely torn up about all of this. I teally can’t believe I let my walls fall down for someone that turned out like this. I just want to know if anyone has actually had their husband stop and had things work out.
I am in an awful relationship with a sex addict and have no idea what to do.
I am desperately trying to find answers to my husbands sex addiction. We have been married for 23 years. I first found there was a big problem in 2003. He begged me on his hands and knees saying his 10 one night stands were due to stress and my unavailability due to caring for my dying mother. We renewed our vows in 2004. Things were good for about six months. It has been 14 years since we have had sex. He was caught again when I found a box of condums in his suitcase. He travels for work. He is in SA counseling. We are in marriage counseling and seeing individual counselors. Will this ever be over or am I just kidding myself. He was a wonderful boyfriend but as soon as we married it all turned to crap. I’m lost. He has a real problem with open, meeting women and sexually flirting with all of the women he works with. I’m so tired of constantly babysitting his computer and phone. HELP!!!