You Can Run But You Can’t Hide From Loving A Sex Addict–Carrie’s Story

Unlike most folks who post on this site, Scott and I have never lived together, shared a checking account, married, nor do we have children together.  But, like the other stories that I read, love, joy, pain, confusion, isolation, disappointment, shame and a sorrow that feels like it can take your breath away, are all there.

I met Scott at church, a curious stranger, new to my church.  I spotted him, tall and dark, singing in the choir, playing the guitar and trombone, and would occasionally see him singing with other choirs around the city.  We had some mutual friends and acquaintances and I when I asked the pastor about him, I was thrilled to get a thumbs up.   Having been a single woman for the previous 20 years with a focus on raising kids at home, tending kids at school as a public school teacher, busy, wondering if I would ever again be with someone but with very little daring and very little dating.  When Scott began to seek me out, I couldn’t believe it!  Me….???  Me??? are you kidding??   I was intensely flattered, giddy, naive and oh so vulnerable, which Scott most likely already knew from his super SA sensing powers.

We began dating and, with me playing the role of fifty-going-on-15, had sex early on.  I was immediately in like, in lust, in love, and in big trouble.  Scott disclosed his SA one dark and snowy night after the first two weeks we were together.  He said that he had lied to me when he said that he had not been sexually active for a year.  He had, in fact, had unprotected sex with a prostitute 6 weeks earlier and told me that we both should be tested. He was extremely remorseful;  I was beyond shocked.  I didn’t even know that such a thing existed!  I threw Scott out in the snow and I spent the night alone – crying and terrified.  A good time to run??

Yes!   But I was surprised when Scott called multiple times the next day – apologizing again and again, asking if I was OK, going straight to his therapist’s office and taking any appointments that he could get that day.  He asked if I would be willing to go with him to one of the appointments.  The horror of the night melted into curiosity, hormones, admiration of his caring and candor, and the counter-intuitive but powerful desire to be with him.  The fact that he had potentially put my life in jeopardy receded into a magical place in my brain where it danced with the fairies.

Scott and I met with his therapist and Scott also made an appointment for me to see the therapist alone so that I could learn about his recovery program and ask anything that I wanted.  He signed a mutual consent form, saying that I could call the therapist at any time and ask questions.  Good!  The therapist, whom he had been seeing for 8 years described Scott as a person who was physically attending therapy twice a week and attending a therapist-led group but who was not compliant with aspects of the program such as journaling and homework.  The therapist described Scott as making very little progress toward a truly sober recover in the past 8 years, a “dry drunk”. Not so good!  A good time to run??

Yes!  Instead we went out to dinner after the appointment.  I, a mother of daughters, a teacher of children, a planter of seeds in a cup, a maker of Rice Crispie Treats, and skilled in the application of Hello Kitty Bandaids was now completely involved with a SA.   I had taken my first steps down the rabbit hole, into an alien world which began a journey of a million steps, leading me to what I write today – to a place where I wonder if I will ever again feel OK.  To a place where my background as a well-educated teacher and mother, who embraces a network of loving family and friends, is juxtaposed with the daily, relentless, tormenting, self-questioning of my integrity, values, mental health, and my judgment

What ensued in the following two years, I will here condense.  When we were together, it was intense, loving, romantic, sexual, sensual, my own private heaven.  When we were chased apart by slips, trips, instability, and the warning words of the therapist, I was in my own private hell.  My love/lust/desire/wanting for Scott just became stronger, fueled by the seductiveness of the honeymoons that we experienced after each separation.  Each time we were back together, I saw it as a new beginning, a beaming light of hope, and was sure that it would be right this time.

After two years, I was confronted and forced to see in, in the cold, harsh light of addiction something that was so unmistakable, so horrible that it could not be swept away, neither by magic nor by reason.  I attended a concert that Scott was singing in and found that there was another female admirer in the audience, whom he had met two months earlier.  When I confronted Scott he told me that he loved me but to stay away from him, that he needed to be left alone, was sick, confused, was “bad news” to be avoided.  The words cunning and baffling became real.  Was I beloved by Scott, as he professed, or was I “supply”?  A good time to run?

Well yes……but only for a while.  We talked to each other only 3 times in the next 15 months.  But in November of the following year, I went to a concert  that my best friend was performing in.  I knew that Scott was singing in this concert as well and went anxiously, not knowing what to expect.   He was handsome in his tux singing, smiling, making eye contact during the concert and waiting for me when it was over.  Irresistible.  It was the holiday season and we became caught up in the spirit, snow, and music of the holidays and in each other.  Even when Scott told me that he was still not stable enough in his recovery work to be in a relationship, I chose to listen to the elves – who said, excitedly, but this time it will work!

We easily resumed our lives together and the sheer high of being with him once again overtook my, by now at least a little more wary, self.  One month later, in mid December I got a call from the local trauma hospital on a dark rainy night that Scott had been hit by a car while crossing a street on the way to his piano lesson.  He had given them my name as “next-of-kin” was asking for me.

In the 9 months that followed, I was by his side during tests, procedures, surgeries, nursing, loving and nurturing – doing what I do best.  I flourished in that role, as it provided me with a secure (for the moment) way to be with Scott and the empty, lonely spot that I had became filled with meeting with doctors, attorneys, bookkeeping, advocating.  I felt loved and useful and prided myself in being part of the miraculous recovery that he made.  To be and work so closely with someone who has survived a near-death-experience, to be with them from a time to total helplessness through all of the experiences that one has when reclaiming their live is a very intimate experience.  Scott was loving and grateful and for a long time did not want anyone but me.  When he started having visitors, there were many and he always proudly introduced me as his girlfriend/significant other.  I sometimes wondered if anyone that I didn’t know about might walk in the door but that did not happen.  I still worried about what the future might bring then, after about 6 months, relaxed into the role.

The dreaded call came 9 months after the accident, in August of 2010.  Scott was on his way home from a counseling appointment and my heart took a free-fall of a million stories as he told me that he had used the computer in the public library and had listed his profile on an escort service and a dating service.  He had already called to have them removed (which was confirmed).   I also discovered that, while still in the hospital, he had initiated some contact with the woman who had showed up at his concert 1 1/2 years ago.  He told her about his accident and that we were together but the very fact that he opened that door caused me to completely lose trust in him.

I told him that he was the love of my life and that I wanted to continue to be with him but, I would not move forward in the relationship without couples counseling and being involved, at least to some extend,  in his recovery work.   He agreed and made an appointment the next day with his therapist, who implied that he would talk to us and give us a referral for couples counseling.  The appointment was a nightmare.  The therapist, whom Scott has now been seeing for 11 years – now three times per week – has a very confrontational approach and had no intention of  making a referral for couples counseling.  He told me that Scott was still not being accountable in therapy, not compliant with the homework, and was in what he described as “quicksand”, a dry drunk, and that I had been a victim of Scott’s manipulation and should be seeing my own therapist.

As I walked out at the end of the appointment, I did not look back at Scott.  I did not look back at the beloved face, it’s expression still reflecting the brain injury that he had sustained.  I did not look back at the familiar body that I had so carefully tended and nourished after the accident, a body that was still reeling from the effects of trauma. I felt defeated by the struggle.  At the moment, I felt that I had nothing left to give. A good time to run?

Yes!  For two weeks I practically slept in my running shoes, I lived, breathed, dreamed and planned how fast could I get away from this liar, this cheat, the shame, the worry.  Free!

After two weeks I was still running but it occurred to me that I had deviated from running in a straight line and was running in circles – large looping circles to begin with, then becoming tighter and tighter circles.  One minute I hated him with a passion, the next minute I loved him with all my heart.  Then I couldn’t run at all.  I desperately wanted to see him, to catch up on the news, to hold his hand, to hear his voice……and now, in the harsher reality, to wonder who it was that just called.

Today I wait, question, listen, and grieve – with a struggle that is isolated from the world.  I wait for the love to go away.  I question why I don’t seem to be able to just walk away from this. I listen for his phone call which will come with a price – will I accept the charges?  I grieve for the loss of the man that I love.  At every turn, there is confusion.  I fall in step with the millions who live “one day at a time”.

Thank you for this wonderful site, JoAnn, and for all of the women who feel free and safe to tell their stories here.

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Responses

  1. Carrie,
    Your story blew me away! You presented the dynamics so compellingly. I learned so much about myself—especially when you finally through you were running away—but you were not running in a straight line. Those circles, getting tighter and tighter—-so many of us have been in that place.

    But listen—get a therapist. A good one. There’s work to be done, Carrie and only you can do it.

    And the love,—it won’t necessarily go away. I’ve discovered an SA can have my love—but not my life.

    thanks for telling us about your experiences, and for telling them so well!.
    D.

  2. Oh (((((((((((Carrie)))))))))))

    It blew me away too! My heart goes out to you–I’m so sorry that this man came into your life and used you like he did; completely gross. I know it just totally sucks that someone can be that dark and sick.

    And the shrink? “dry drunk”??? wtf??? just plain DRUNK, DRUNK, DRUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please know that you are not alone. We are here for you, whenever you need support or a place to vent. You might also find support in groups such as COSA and S-Anon; some women do, and some don’t. And please check out the junkies’ wives club. The link is to the right under “blogs.”

    more hugs and love,

    Lorraine

  3. Carrie,

    I read your story for breakfast….riveted to every word. I felt many times as though I was walking in your shoes, right there with you at every turn. Even though our lives are all so different, I felt myself following you to the therapists office, taking those first steps down the rabbit hole, and accepting the charges as I answer the phone. I think every emotion you expressed and felt, I’ve also felt. I think every concern you’ve described I’ve felt. My running shoes stay permanently by the front door. It seems as though too, when you thought you were going to do one thing with him, you ended up doing another…that mighty red flag flying fearlessly above as you did. I think like you, when my SA is with me, he makes me feel like there is no other and has never been any other…it often is the culprit I think for me staying in a constant fog. You’ve shared an amazing story and you have hit on every single thing that we all go through. Thank you for sharing and welcome you to this wonderful group of women. You’ll find lots of love and support here.

    Warmly
    Mary

  4. Carrie,

    Thank you for sharing. Your words made a lot of sense to me, and have given me much to think about.

    I can almost “feel” your love for this man, and I am saddened that he in unable to return it to you as you deserve.
    I think our love is amazing, and its a constant frustration that they seemed to be wired diferently and cannot feel or see lovein the same way we do.

  5. Carrie,
    Thank you for sharing. My story similar and though I hate to think of another woman suffering in the same way, it gives me some validation to know I’m not alone.

    The wondering why we do this, why we go back, ignore flags and then ignore the plain facts when we know them – it’s torture. I to, am the mother of a young woman, one I’ve raised to be strong and independent – how can I now set this horrid example?

    I’m still involved with my sa but no longer shock-able, no longer able to believe things will be different with him. I’m simply working hard to make them different with me.

  6. First I want to thank everyone SO MUCH who read and replied to my story. I cannot believe the power of this website! It is the first place I have felt such total comfort in being able to admit to this, talk about it, release the pent up energy of it. I plan a longer reply soon but today was my 60th birthday. I envisioned a life at this age of babysitting the grandkids with their grandpa, not thinking about a freakin sex addict! Mayam – your post about your daughter and setting what you feel is a horrid example was really on my mind tonight. My daughter took me out to dinner and we had a heart-to-heart talk, that it has been so hard for her and her sister to see me sad about this and worrying that, though I am not with him, worrying that I will be again. It is really hard to answer that – at this moment I don’t intend to be but it feels like going on a diet and telling someone that you will never again overeat. I apologized for causing them such worry and what a bad example I feel as a mother. She said that they just don’t want to see me sad again and again. Aren’t we supposed to be the ones telling our daughters to stay away from “bad” boys!??! Ack! Good night to everyone – bless all of you for your sharing and caring. It has helped me SO MUCH!

  7. Carrie,
    You will get your sanity back!! You might check out recovery nation’s website. I’ve been doing their partner workshop and it’s really helped me.

    I love your diet analogy 😉 I am with you. I can’t really promise myself that I won’t go back, so I’ve stopped trying to end it until I make some progress getting myself stable and less ambivalent.

    Take care!

  8. Diane – I do have a therapist and I believe that she is a good one, though I still have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this – I am sure it has tapped into other losses in my life which we all, of course, have. My counselor does have an analogy that I like – here it goes….you live in a beautiful, comfortable house and think it is the grandest house ever (we all at least started there!) then one day it was apparent that there was a small crack in the foundation……the story winds on in time of repairing, patching, etc until (in my case) you find your house is going down in a mudslide. You desperately love this house and want it to be that beautiful house that you were so comfortable in but you can either go down the mudslide or get out. It doesn’t mean that you don’t still love the house and you will miss the house terribly….and so on. In my – and many cases, you run back into the house time and time again, hoping to repair it and in some cases, it does get shored up with extra rebar, etc and can be carefully lived in again until it gets stronger.
    Diane, I like what you say – “My SA can have my love but not my life.”
    Lorraine – yes, he is a drunk, never having been able to sustain sobriety for long. “Dry drunk” is how Scott quoted his therapist at one point a year or so ago and I used it in my story but you are right……he is a drunk….nothing dry about it at this point.
    Starry – I love your name! Yes, my love for him runs so deep, particularly after caring for him after his accident – I was bonded to him before then those bonds grew by gazillions during those 9 months of looking after him while he got his life back (and felt so good that he joined a dating service, though I digress)
    Mayam – I really felt a lot of emotional fallout today after my dinner last night with my daughter turned into a discussion of my kids’ worries about me and wanting me to move on from “Scottgate”. I thought I was doing pretty well with my public persona but they seem to pick up on it on a deeper level. I don’t seem to be able to move on this any faster than I am and I avoid bringing it up – I haven’t been with him for 3 months – but they know it weighs on me and the fact that I know I still want to see him is troubling to me and they undoubtedly have figured this out. I don’t know what to tell them – I don’t want to push them away from caring but I also need some space. (I prefer to mess up in private, if possible.) I do feel, as you expressed that you felt, like a horrid example of a mom.
    I think that your plan of not trying to end it is a good one and let it run it’s course and see what happens. Otherwise you are stuck going from zero to 100mph, down to 50, up to 100, down to zero. Why not put it on cruise control at 55 mph for a while? (But keep your seatbelt on.) I would not have ended it this time with Scott but when we met in his therapist’s office, I didn’t feel that I had a lot of choice.
    Any comments or insight on this anyone? Scott has been seeing the same therapist for 11 years (he now sees him 3 times a week) plus attends a therapist-led support group – very “in-house” and costing thousands and thousands of dollars. Scott hasn’t budged when I have suggested at least a second opinion yet he still isn’t compliant with the requirements of therapy and seems to have a parent/bad child relationship with the therapist – at least that’s how it appears to me. He goes along for a while, acts out, confesses, is bawled out, sanctioned by the group, gets let out of the Peace Chair (elementary school teacher – speak for timeout) then it repeats.
    Thank you, one and all for letting me write this tonight. It truly is a life raft. It is so good to be able to speak of this freely and as you said, Maryam, though we don’t want to see another woman go through this, it helps to know that we’re not the only one. Peace and blessings to all.

  9. Well I would say if he has been attending the same therapist for 11 years and these are the results, then maybe this therapist is not working so well. He may also not be putting forth the effort, but feels better about himself because he is “attending therapy”. But the therapy is worthless if he does not do the work. And if this therapist is not pushing him, he may be happy in this comfort zone, while not really scratching the surface. They have to find the underlying issue or “crack the code” as my therapist said to really get to the bottom of this. I belive Diane wrote about this in one of her posts. My SA was “attending therapy” when he first got caught, and he was awfull. Nothing good came of that, actually bad came of that.

    It helps to have many opinions, here is mine. Good luck to you.

  10. Carrie,
    The pattern you described that your partner or former partner has with his therapist is familiar. I do think this is a game some of these men play or a pattern they are addicted to – the bad boy, acts out, gets caught or confesses, experiences some emotional catharsis or cleansing, a brief honeymoon and then back around the loop again, over and over.

    He’s not ready. He can change therapists all day long but it won’t change him. He’s not there. It’s not a matter of anyone saying the right words in the right way so he hears the truth – he’s not going to hear anything.

    He’s doing what he wants to do. He’d be better off, of course, deciding what he wants, who he wants to be and reconciling his guilt or whatever it is with that and getting on with life but some people never do that. But he’s stuck and in some way it’s working for him – at least more than it’s not working for him.

  11. Mayam – Interesting to know that this pattern in therapy is not unique. Scott had a very emotionally abusive and controlling father and it seems to me like it rather replicates that. Now….what does this say for the therapist? Don’t the ethics of the profession at least suggest that a client should be advised by his therapist to seek a different person/approach after this long? The therapist has a total cash cow going on. When Scott was in the ER after being struck by a car, he asked me to call his sister and his therapist and let them know what had happened. When I was doing Scott’s bills later, I saw that he had billed for that call from the ER as “consult”. He came to see Scott in the hospital two or three times – and billed $500 for each visit. Scott was so injured at the time that it would have been impossible to do much of a therapy session. Scott never objects – it must be part of his deal that you just pay the price of the “fix”. I think that this thing that he has going on with his therapist is as sick as the SA and the therapist is making a living off of it.

  12. I get the impression that there are a significant number of therapists out there who see therapy as a “cash cow”. I myself, was attending one who seemed to think that I would need years of counselling? My previous counsellor however, was of the theory that therapy was about moving on and learning to deal with life in a healthy way. His approach was that if it went on and on, with no end in sight, that either the person attending was not genuinely putting in the effort, or the therapist was not effective. I only quit seeing him, because he was a generalist who admitted he had little knowledge in addictions, and I felt I needed soemone who could adress those specific issues. Initially was a good move, but more recently, it proved harmful as the sex addictions specialist I was seeing was all about “my role” in my husbands addiction and after several months with him, i was getting worse not better.

    Carrie, billing for a quick phone call from ER, in my opinion is indicative of someone who doesn’t give a rats about his client. Heck, my original counsellor would call me to check on me occasionally. Even after I stopped seeing him, I receieved a couple calls. There’s a big difference between compassion and capitolism.

  13. Carrie,
    I agree with Starry – his therapist is on the gravy train. But having said that, I’d imagine Scott is an intelligent man and knows this. Probably shelling out big bucks for therapy makes him feel like he’s working on his addiction – he assuages his guilt while not really changing.

    It’s simple – he’s not changing and it’s not because he has an unethical therapist but because he’s not ready.

  14. OK girls…I need help. I did talk to my SA on the phone this morning to catch up on news – haven’t seen or talked to him since mid-august when I broke up with him because he had had a slip. I called him. It was a friendly conversation and toward the end I asked him if he wanted to get together and talk or was that not a good idea. He said that every time we get together I just end up getting hurt so not a good idea. I said that was true that I do end up getting hurt but it doesn’t stop me from caring for him (dysfunctional but true?) So that was a good and true answer on his part but of course gave me that rejected feeling, even tho I have spent the last 4 mos trying to get over him but it is SO HARD! Help!

  15. What is the motivation for wanting to see him? Is there an underlying impulse to see him? What do you hope to accomplish when you see him? How long have the seperations been in the past?

  16. Sweetie,

    This is so tough to write this, but that is why I’m here, so that other women can benefit from all of the hideous mistakes that I made.

    I can’t tell you how well I understand the longing and the craving to just SEE him, TALK to him– any little crumb of what was? ugh. But ask yourself honestly, to what end? A male friend of mine said it so perfectly when he likened the repeated communications (I was attempting to engage in) as merely “picking at a scab”. All it does is scab back over and it really never has a chance to heal and in the end, all that is accomplished is that you are left with a really nasty permanent scar.

    There is NO NEW news, Carrie. That’s the news. He’s an ADDICT honey— an ALCOHOLIC/SEX-ADDICT, user/abuser. He has always been and will forever more always be. He is poison and abusive and a relationship with him is a masochistic exercise at best and I don’t think that is you. He does not WANT to be cared for. He does not WANT to be loved. These are foreign concepts to him. He wants to live in his addictionS. They are his lover and best friend. Not you and not anyone else, either. Its not personal, because he is incapable of sustaining a loving intimate relationship with ANYONE.

    At the very least, he did you an immense favor by telling you that you ARE going to get hurt if you SEE him. Did you notice that? It was a not so subtle WARNING to STAY AWAY!

    I know its tough and I know that you know it too, which is why you reached out for help; for your own well-being, please try to look forward, not backward. Put yourself out there, live YOUR life, discover the beautiful woman you really are, and embrace your precious life.

    much love,

    Lorraine

  17. Carrie,
    Your SA is not in recovery. You have two choices:
    1) Continue to care for him and resume a relationship on some level with him….and willing and readily accept the betrayal, pain, humiliation, and low self esteem that he brings to the table ( and you may have some tenderness, fun, and happiness, too….if you can find it occasionally )
    or
    2) Continue to care for him as an important part of your past, but not your future. No more betrayal, pain, humiliation, or low self esteem from a relationship that you would have with him. There are plenty of people out there, both men and women, who can positively affect our journey to be the best possible person that we can be…..and an SA not in recovery isn’t on that list.

    My husband is in recovery and if we don’t make it as a couple, I will continue to care for him, but not in a way that keeps me from moving on. I will always love him as a part of my past. I believe that it is a conscious choice not to love them as part of our future and that takes time and practice and reinforcement. When we separate from our SA’s, there may naturally be a period of longing and wanting them and grieving for that loss. If that goes on for a long time, I believe that what we are feeling is probably fear or anxiety or loneliness or some combination of those things, or some version of a fantasy. In a healthy adult in a real world, I don’t think unrequited partner love can be sustained indefinitely, and if it is, it’s not really love.

    Interestingly enough, I found that when I was the most anxious and unhappy before my discovery day that the women I met and were friends with were…..like me, unhappy without knowing why. And their husbands were ….like mine, distant and unavailable, for no particular reason. And spending time with them was really dragging me down as I was trying to climb out of the hole that I was in. And even before the discovery day and knowing that there were issues and what they were….I made a conscious choice to find new friends, people who liked themselves and their lives and if they were in a relationship, they were mostly happy with those relationships, otherwise they ended those relationships. It made a huge difference….it brought me back to the way I used to look at the world before I met my SA.

    Make a choice that will allow you to respect yourself and treat yourself as the most important person in your life. Don’t give him the power to make you miserable, Carrie. You deserve better.

  18. Thank you soooo much for your replies – each and every one of them. And thank you for being direct but kind. It is hard to post when you feel so foolish. Thank you Lorraine for understanding that huge longing and craving. There is absolutley nothing that I don’t already about why I should not be with him but that visceral longing is still very present.

    There are a lot of triggers right now that have made me want to see him but I have been able to keep from acting on the desire to contact him. He sang in a concert last Sunday that I normally attend and I did not go for the reason of not seeing him. So I guess there are some baby steps but then two days later I caved. Our city was hit by a huge snowstorm last night and yet another trigger for me was remembering the good times that we had when it snowed.

    EVERYTHING that you say makes sense – why do I have to keep hearing and reading it again and again to get stronger? It has been 3 months – previous separations have been 3 to 6 months and I have never contacted him during the previous separations. I think that the separations are another factor in this mess – I miss him, then he comes back and the honeymoon period that follows is very seductive – intermittent reinforcement which, of course, eventually leads to pain once again.

    Yes I am lonely – I have a very healthy number of activities and friendships but it’s like I can sit at a table with people having dinner in a restaurant and the lonliness is palpable.

    What is interesting to me that he did say “no” to getting together because every time we get together I end up getting hurt. It seems surprising that an addict would show restraint like that but glad that he did although he may also think that he can use that to his advantage later – by being so charmingly honest this time.

    I have a friend who wants to introduce me to a single co-worker and I am open to that.
    Thanks so much for surrounding me. I was feeling really bad then thought…..I bet my sisters on this site would help!

  19. Carrie,

    Please, please do not ever feel foolish. ***HE*** is the FOOL, not you. I also understand the “being busy” and still feeling the longing and then for me… oh man oh man, but its the shit… the OTHER shit… and I have a lot of it in other areas of my life that triggers me too. But, that is just it… it was the WANTING TO ESCAPE my problems– my life, that lead me into the arms of this very dangerous man, in the first place. It was truly out of frying pan and into the fire… its just that the fire was warm and yummy and sweet— at first. Still, and I think this holds true for a lot of us… We may find ourselves give up who we ARE, in order to help or please our man.

    And nooooo… it should be the other way around.

    It is hard to imagine that one will ever find love again… but you will. It will be different. It will be a different man with his own unique qualities that will disarm you. Just do me a favor pleeeeeeeeease. Tread extra carefully with them musicians boys, 😉 particularly those tenors, LOL.

    Finally. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT try to analyze his mindfucking words. Everything outta his fekked up mouth is all a carefully crafted and orchestrated manipulation, that he’s been perfecting since birth— so that ultimately he can demean and confuse and make HIMSELF look “good.” Don’t even go there. Don’t get in touch. Avoid. Block. Grieve.

    It helps me to PITY my sex addict predator… and indeed, the dude, like yours is phenomenally pathetic. Feel sorry for him and imagine him when he’s an old withered dude… which he quickly is approaching with all of that alcohol embalming his every cell.

    You go girl!!! Date. Buy yourself somethin really pretty and fresh and doll yourself up and even IF you like this guy… Line up half a dozen other dates… round the block they go…

    Make yourself the center of your universe… and YOU juggle all of the handsome suitors into YOUR very busy and full life.

    If he’s even possibly the right guy, he will jump the line to get to you. 😉

    All my best,

    L

  20. Lorraine,

    I cried the whole time I read your post – I am sure that all of us on this site have felt the release that comes when others share their experiences and we feel that they’re almost writing about us – it’s that similar! I guess it is neither here nor there at this point but Scott is not an alcoholic.

    I also feel the feeling of wanting to escape into that warm fuzzy place that later proved to have been a dangerous place for us. I think that it’s that mind-fuck that is so hard to shake – that how could this person be so bad…..he is funny and….yada yada. Mine never treated me as poorly as what I have seen described on this site but I think that if I had been married to him for a number of years, those things could/would have come out. With mine I think it was more of a subtle manipulation and being a spin doctor.

    I am slowly understanding – after reading so many of the posts on this site – not to hold any stock in what he says and slowly realize the folly of analyzing his words.

    He WILL be an old and withered dude!

    It is extremely difficult for me to think that I will ever love again. Line up a half a dozen dates? But I hope so!!!!

    Thank you Lorraine – your post was very powerful for me.

  21. Hi Carrie,
    You say that the loneliness is palpable with these dinner friends. Are they loneley or are you lonely? Maybe you need new dinner friends, or maybe you could be looking at these people in the wrong light.

    Are they truely lonely and sad? are you truely lonely and sad? You are sad that you do not have the SA and the excitement that he brought, and he is a bad boy! Bad boys are not relationship material. Yes he is fun and thrilling, but what has that brought you? He is lacking in everything else you need to sustain a relationship. You need to find fun in everyday life without the SA and maybe not in a relationship for a while. Learn to embrace life and the calm and happiness that arrives without the craziness of the SA. He’s got you, but time for you to let go.

  22. Flora,

    I used the dinner with friends example by way of explaining that I stay busy and accept social invitations. The problem of loneliness is not with my friends – it’s with me. I was just trying to describe how I can be busy with good stuff and still feel that hole.

    You are right that the SA is not relationship material. I think I have all that down pat in my brain but the remaining feeling that I struggle with is loss….the loss of who I thought he was and what I thought our life would be together and facing the place that I must give up that last crumb of hope.

    I have made a big gain in just recently knowing and accepting that he is not relationship material and that was a huge step for me. The second gain that I have made is knowing that anything and everything he says is suspect. Not just the things he says related to the addiction but anything he says…..

    Lorraine – I know that we cannot put a time frame on these things but about how long did it take to really be rid of this and to be able to look back and say “Ugh!”. I have been at this for 3 mos. Even though I grieved when we were separated, I always had the delusion that he would come back and be in solid recovery and away we would go! Not.

    I will never be happier than when that day comes for me.

    Thanks ever so much!

  23. Hi Carrie,
    I would look at it this way. If you want a relationship and know he is not relationship material the answers are easy. There is no need to obsess over the lies, as they do not matter. There is no need to hope for their being a future with this guy because their is not a positive enriching relationship for you to be had here. There is no need to keep a flame burning for this guy, when you know in your heart it just does not matter what you feel, try for or do; this will not be an enriching rewarding relationship for you.

    The dream is what we all had at one time or another and it is not healthy. The dream is not reality, and the reality is that you cannot survive on a dream alone. A dream is only hopes and wishes which will not come true…. Not barking up this tree. There is a pattern here, and it always ends the same way. The dream is just that, a dream. You have given him plenty of chances, and no it will not be different this time.

    Oh… and HAPPY THANKGIVING to you and to EVERYONE. It’s a holiday! Four whole days off in a row!

  24. I was reading the posts here and something Lorraine said is so true for us all to realize. The right one will do anything for you, anything to be with you.
    I guess we all forget that as we go through life, men, relationships, but it is so true. We need to get back to the way we thought when we were very very young and full of hope, knowing and expecting that we are someone’s ideal, who they want. We have to stop settling, lowering our self worth.
    Look at it this way, would we keep a friend who lies to us and disrespects us? Is that a friend? If we had a girlfriend who treated us as bad as the SA’s in terms of mutual respect and honor, would we keep her as a friend? Nope.

  25. Hi Carrie,

    I’m probably not the best one to ask about that because my situation was very different than most on here and I truly AM a bit of a codie. (which I’m always working on not being) I am married, but not to my ex SA friend. (If you don’t know, my husband knew that I was dating– long story) Predator, my ex lover, as I now fondly refer to him as, has typical SA black and white thinking and did not see that what we had together as a “real” relationship– But we chatted on IM nearly every day for a year, sometimes for hours. (and he initiated 9 out of 10 convos). At the very least, I thought we were very good friends (that’s what he kept telling me) and occasional lovers. Then, little by little, I started discovering horrible things he was doing behind my back that were anything but friendly. It “seemed” that we were so CLOSE… but it was ALL a sham… none of it made any sense. Then, I got the “word salad” or “mindfuck” as I call it— when he had had enough and decided to move onto his next victim. Anyone who’s got one of these dudes on your hands, just know— He’s hopeless. This brand of madness takes absolutely YEARS to perfect. Here’s a perfect example:

    “I realize that when we first got together it was as a one on one thing and I do enjoy that when time permits and we can do without a hotel etc. However, we are both in relationships and you are in Westchester and I am here in the city and really cannot do anymore at my place. To say that you think I feel, “oh you don’t want to do the couple thing Lorraine go ‘Fuck off'” is not fair at all.”

    Don’t ya just love it? A bit hard to wrap one’s mind around all of that, now isn’t it? Classic mindfuck. Where are we supposed to get together exactly? In the back of my little Audi A4 in a back alley somewhere? LOL I am writing all about it in my blog… preachingtotheperv . blogspot . com (no spaces of course) The title is “Domestic Blissters”, if you want to know more. Its quite a story.

    There never was any satisfactory closure.

    There never can be sweetie, but I’ve made my peace with that part of it. Quite frankly, it still hurts. Maybe it always will… but that is just me. I truly cared about him and loved the parts of him that he pretended to be. But it can never be reciprocated.

    I’m so very sorry that this happened to you and to the massive numbers of other women who’ve found themselves sucked deeply into the unyielding vortex of an addictive man.

    Warm love and hugs and a joyous Thanksgiving Holiday to all; we have a lot to be grateful for, even in the face of great adversity.

    Lorraine

  26. HI Lynn,
    I think you make a really brilliant point when you ask if we would accept lying, disrespect, deceit etc etc from a friend. Of course we wouldn’t. Someone like that would not be our friend or even in our lives. Yet, we let the SA in and put up with it.

    quite a lesson there. THanks for the clarity.
    D.

  27. I think so too… I think that the problem though, for so many of us is that in the beginning, they DID start out being that “perfect” friend–TOO good to be true even, in some cases. And THEN, when they know they HAVE us, they do that little bait and switch thingy, alternating that with the intermittent reinforcement thingy of the “good guy”— and it leads to a lot of false hope and madness.

    Of course, at some point, we have to concede that THIS, right now, is the real deal and unacceptable. But, its not easy.

    xo

  28. Sell us the Golden Gate? We were conned, that is all. Our REAL emotions, the currency, slurped up and enjoyed. When folks ask me what happened to my husband, he seemed like he loved me so much (he was even nicknamed Pepe Le Pew), what I did not get then was that I was just one of many he acted that way with. A con. A shock.
    I tell folks that it was not love, he just “enjoyed me”, as well as many many others, he had a MO and he acted it out with me and everyone else the same way at the same time. Did he care about us all and love us all, or did he not care about any and used every one? No caring, just using. A con.

    What joy an SA must get from women who love them so much, till the lady figures out what is the truth and is not so much fun when she is crying and demanding it stop. We broke their toys…..us… and threatened to break all their other toys with our need for Real love, and questioning them with all the “why”s and the “how could you”s.

    Carrie, it stops hurting when you really see them for who they are, and that is what the struggle is. It took about a year plus for me to stop crying, look at all the evidence, digest all I had found…and what stopped the bad feelings and longing? A simple mental image that being with him would mean I would never have any value and never be cared for. I would cry like I had that whole year for the rest of my life because it would always be me discovering lies and affairs. That I would be one of many and our money and his attentions would be given to other women always. That I could never depend in anyway on him for me or our family’s well being, that when I washed his clothes they were clothes he had worn with someone else, when I would kiss his mouth, his mouth had been all over someone else.
    Their mouths are not so pretty after that.
    I just felt he was demeaning enough to me, that I needed to not demean myself. I just did not feel it was worth it, or better said, I am worth so much more.
    He told me over and over that he resented me because being married he could not do what he wanted….. but he did it ALL anyway, (ahem…affairs)…..so that made no sense.
    Everything gets so twisted, carefully unwrap and untangle every strand. Recognize, analyze, come to a solid conclusion. Pretending has to go, we are seeking truth, right?
    Well ex hubby, I am sure I helped you out just like a good wife should and divorced your ass so you no longer have any resentment and can no longer have any problems because I am no where to be found for you to blame!
    Ha!

  29. reading these is such an “AHA” moment. i have been dating a sex addict for 7 months. he told me about his addiction, fairly early on. however, what he failed to tell me was the depth of it. i have since learned what the true addiction is..very specific acts with prostitutes. he has tried to engage me in these sex acts and when he does he can not follow through with making love to me because i am now the “prostitute”. it has caused such anger, resentment, lack of self worth…on and on. i have ended the relationship and pray that i am strong enough to stay true to myself. i know this is his work to do. he attends sa meetings and has worked the 12 steps but i feel until he digs deep and uncovers the root of his addiction it will never be over for him. i don’t believe in maintenance. i believe in full recovery. he was the predator against his younger sister for years and i know this lack of forgiveness is what perpetuates the self hating acts he continues to desire.

    thank you all for your courage,
    s

  30. It has been about a year since I visited this website, which was my solace in a very dark time – for that I will always be grateful. I was terribly tormented by being in love with a SA for almost 6 years. As I talk about in my story, he was hit by a car. About a year after I wrote this story, he became a paraplegic from lingering physical trauma from the accident. I would not wish paraplegia on anyone but having him “off the street”, knowing that I not only would not, but could not continue cycling through taking him back/being discarded was freeing. The attraction that I had for him was so fatal, so deep, so malignant that it was only after he became paralyzed that I could heal from this – that’s what it took to stop me from my enmeshment with him. It gives me the shivers when I look back on it.