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I’ve had many betrayals, but none like this.

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nortonj posted 2/9/2019 20:25 PM

After 20+ years of a stressed marriage, my husband and I reconnected in romantic ways. He loved that I released my inhibitions and pursued a sexual side I never before allowed. We connected at a very close level. He enjoyed our new relationship and encouraged me to embrace his fantasies. I tried and some were fun, but I wasn’t always comfortable with his desires to bring others into our sexual life.

He chose to continue to fulfill some of those fantasies that I clearly rejected. He secretly recruited and paid women to pose for “nude photo sessions”. The following emails I found spoke of indulging each other’s fantasies. The invitation and intention was clear, and I feel violated. The first time he crossed the line was with a massage and happy ending he justified as “due diligence”, hoping to get me involved.

Now facing 30 years of marriage with a blessed interlude, I’m not sure I can make it. He still has deep desires to explore life beyond “quiet desperation”, rejecting the thought of experiencing sex “normal married people” enjoy, with a passion I can’t follow.

I’ve offered him the choice of pursuing his passion, without me, or staying in the marriage.

He claims to choose me, yet still trying to bargain how to pursue this burning desire in him to enjoy his remaining years with a passion I can’t tolerate.

I’m crushed. I want to vomit most of the time. I got a glimpse of a true love that was possible, but encountered an insatiable partner that will always be searching for something unattainable.

[This message edited by nortonj at 8:53 PM, February 9th (Saturday)]

GrayShades posted 2/9/2019 20:39 PM

I'm sorry you're here Nort. And I'm sorry that your WH (wayward husband) dresses up his immaturity and selfishness in flowery pseudo-intellectual language to excuse his cheating. He's a classic cake-eater, not some enlightened elder who's discovered the meaning of life. He has a choice -- live his life pursuing his 'passion' by paying prostitutes for happy endings or whatever or live his life with you. You've told him he can't have both. There are those who pursue ethical polyamory (though fewer who can maintain it). But you haven't agreed to that so he's violated the very essence of the ethical. He needs to grow the f*%k up. Others will be along shortly to point you to resources, but in the meantime, hang in there. You're not alone, and you've been heard.

The1stWife posted 2/9/2019 21:50 PM

If you wish to remain married to him, stop expecting monogamy.

He has made it clear he loves you but wants to have an open marriage.

nortonj posted 2/10/2019 09:50 AM

GrayShades, your comments are eye-opening for me.

True, he adds an extra layer by struggling with "quite desperation", wanting to live life to the fullest. This includes his love for the woman's body. The layer is wanting to express "art", by implementing colored lightings in photography sessions....also claiming these are "models", not "prostitutes"...

Yet the setup is quite telling where it will lead and his past behavior shows he is very comfortable crossing that line.

I understand how the "cake-eater" concept applies to infidelity, but he has many passions, and I have historically supported him in those passions (social movements, documenting family history, etc.), and some of these required sacrifices at home. Wanting to be in the role of playboy photographer is one I can't tolerate. (Although he still hopes we can work out an arrangement.)

This is my question about "cake-eaters". Is it truly hopeless?

The research and comments tend to say all "cake-eaters" cannot, and will not sustain a reconciliation for the long term. Is this 100% true?

(BTW - I intend to seek my own personal counseling on this.)

[This message edited by nortonj at 10:14 AM, February 10th (Sunday)]

GrayShades posted 2/10/2019 10:05 AM

Hmmm. My WH was also a cake eater. The difference is that, once caught, he had no defense or excuse for his behavior. He wanted more sex plus the good marriage we had (including an active and satisfying sex life). Your WH sounds pretty narcissistic, frankly, and thus may not be reconciling material. I think that's the difference.

I'm a big believer in the 180. I had yet to find this site, but I read about it somewhere else within 48 hours of Dday and it saved my sanity. Please check out the Healing Library in the menu to the left. You'll find lots of good information there on getting through this regardless of the outcome.

In the meantime, try to take care of yourself. This kind of stress can be so toxic. It's common to lose a lot of weight (or gain a lot, maybe both), to lose sleep, and to struggle with day-to-day tasks. More than one betrayed spouse (BS) has experienced significant health issues in the aftermath.

Take care, Nort. You deserve better.

Shocked123 posted 2/10/2019 10:08 AM

Every so kindly, if my H has ever even mentioned his desire to try a massage parlour in order to improve our marriage, I would have run the other way 12 years ago.
Your H has given you a gift. He is communicating his desires which he has already acted upon, His behaviour is not going to stop. Mine went on for 12 years before I even found out. Could be even longer.
You have been informed of his intentions. No amount of trying to understand his "artistic' side or whatever his excuse is going to stop him from pursuing his selfish side.
If I may, put on a good pair of running shoes and head for the hills. You do not need this in your life. You will never live up to what his fantasies are because they are unrealistic, childish and rooted in deep emotional problems.
He has signed an agreement, your space is blank and he thinks its a sealed deal.
Pure selfhishness and he does not want to see your side.
He has expressed what he wants, and you don't want it. No amount of threatening is going to change that. 160, lawyer, std testing and look to the future for a better life.
If a garantee of fantastic sex the rest of your life was that important in a marriage, it would be mentioned in the vows. There are more important things promised on your wedding day and nowhere does it say that you can bully a spouse into including a thirrd party, hobby or fantasy without the other's consent.
Go to IC as soon as you can. They will help you decipher this mess. Dont' even bother with MC. IT was a waste of time for us.
Good luck

Edie posted 2/10/2019 11:07 AM

He’s rather disingenuously using the word ‘passion’ here and unfortunately looking in the wrong place to avoid quiet desperation as his current path seems certain to make his desperation even more unquiet, as he will not be able to sustain the biochemical levels that these encounters are currently giving him and will have to up the ante.

They seem so classically mid-life his issues, ennui, fear of mortality, hormonal changes perhaps, sublimating all of those into a sexual drive that’s possibly bordering on the level of addiction. Having said that, I don’t know anything about sexual addiction but I think there’s probably a thread down below in I Can Relate. (Not like me not to opine on something I know nothing about but....😏

It seems clear that he’s using language - passion, art - somewhat disingenuously to romanticise the underlying pathology and current practices. It may not be clear to him what it is he really craves, but the sense of aliveness, or its opposite self-oblivion that he thinks he’s after is a good place to start.

ChamomileTea posted 2/10/2019 11:47 AM

Please see an attorney and protect yourself financially, OP. It sounds like you're being manipulated. The guy doesn't want married sex. He's said as much. So, it sounds like he wants to get his freak on without losing half his assets and half his retirement account. We get very caught up with the emotional aspects of betrayal, and that's just natural. It's painful. But if you don't want to live in a continual state of emotional and sexual blackmail, you'll have to protect yourself because it's unlikely that your WS is going to do it for you.

Also, do get STD testing. Cheaters lie.

nortonj posted 2/10/2019 11:51 AM


Thank you for your insight, " he will not be able to sustain the biochemical levels that these encounters are currently giving him and will have to up the ante."

All of this feedback is extremely valuable, but also saddens me. I wish we could work it out and him be able not to feel so desperate as he faces the latter years of his life.

I still hope it's possible to work things out, but it sounds like those of you more experienced say otherwise.

I've lost 5 pounds in the last week and determined to seek individual counseling so I can sort this all out. I'm still numb and crushed, confused, not sure how I will live the rest of my life, and can't even go to my husband for a comforting hug.

sisoon posted 2/10/2019 12:00 PM

I like women myself. I love sex. I realize I have a choice between women and W, and it wasn't difficult to choose one and remain satisfied.

I took a few nude photos of my W, and I hope no one ever finds them - they're pretty bad artistically.

If your H indulges in sexual activity of any kind with his hired models, I think they're prostitutes, not models. A legit model will turn off sex talk and action.

Your H's 'quiet desperation' is his problem to solve, and he can solve it easily by appreciating the things he likes about his life and by maximizing his likes and minimizing his dislikes. Life can be good even if some passions don;t get satisfied. I know there are things I'd like from my W that she won't give ... but if you give me a choice between death and continuing to live with those desires unsatisfied, I'll choose life. I don't even have to think about it.

I suspect your H would make the same choice.

I'm sorry he has to choose between erotic photography, perhaps with sex with his model, and you. I'd be happier, I think, if I could have a great M and have sex with other women. I just don't think that's possible for the vast majority of us. It's almost always one or the other.

You're entitled to set your boundaries, and I would bet a whole lot that most of us would balk at continuing in an M with a spouse who has sex with photograph model. You're entitled to do what you will if he violates your boundary. Most of us would agree that D is appropriate if he violates your boundary.

It looks, however, that he's participated in 3-somes without you. Why is his photography worse than that? (That is, of the many reasons one could have for drawing the line here, which are important to you. I'm not asking for any justification, because justification is totally unnecessary.)

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:07 PM, February 10th (Sunday)]

nortonj posted 2/10/2019 12:38 PM


I don't believe he has participated in 3-somes, or even engaged in sexual activities with models.

The email he sent to her said, “...I have no idea what you may or may not find arousing. Maybe you like being tied up. I’m happy to help you indulge your fantasies as well since you’re indulging mine.”

This is very telling that he is open to crossing the line. That with what he shared with me about the massage story tells me he would gladly welcome the arrangement with that model. I think I caught this early on.

He has promised not to communicate with her, but she has texted him asking about the "next shoot". Since you pointed out that a legit model would turn off the sex talk, and she still pursues more "photo shoots" tells us the eventual outcome had I not found this.

I admire your ability to choose your M over your desires for other women, and appreciate you showing yourself as an example of success with R.

Shocked123 posted 2/10/2019 12:39 PM

We are not telling you it's not possibe to work things out. Anything is possible when both parites communicate, understand and respect each other. It is also essential that both have a good IC. If your H isn't even consulting one, he simply does not think that there is a problem with his hobby, fantasies or unfultilled passions.
You cannot convince him otherwise. He may pretend to understand and refrain from such activity for a while but unless he truly gets that it is inappropriate and not accpetable to you he will feel controlled and resentful. That anger will fuel his desire to act out.
Sometimes it is difficult to see things clearly, especially when we have just found out. There is no rush for your to decide anything right now. He will do what he wants anyway. There is a rush, however, for you to start thinking about yourself; what you want from this marriage, your boundaries, your future.
Practice a little "selfishness" and work on yourself for a change. I'm trying to do the same and although I'm not very good at it, I am certainly learning very fast! That makes me feel stronger and more in control. Kick him out of the driver's seat and take the steering wheel.

Cooley2here posted 2/10/2019 12:48 PM

I think you should read about Personality Disorders, particularly Narcissistic and Sociopathic. I have no idea if he is either of those but he is way, way, way outside of normal.
If you can, get out, and stay out. This is never going to get better.

Edie posted 2/10/2019 12:53 PM

Thank you for your insight, " he will not be able to sustain the biochemical levels that these encounters are currently giving him and will have to up the ante."

I probably need to qualify the word ‘will’ to ‘may’ or ‘is likely to’ have to up the ante.

Sounds like he’s feels he’s in last chance saloon (life) at the moment and determined to sow all unsown wild oats.

He wants both his stable - and wonderfully vanilla - marriage (it is the most popular ice cream flavour after all and vanilla an exotic expensive root) and license to hire prostitutes. Leaving aside the misogynist and exploitative side of this, which would also be what would send me running for the hills, as well as the deceit and betrayal behind the cake-eating .

At this point, you have to channel Marie Antoinette and declare ‘let them eat cake then’ but he ain’t having no bread and butter as well.

That means you doing a good 180 (read up in the Healing Library and read all the posts with target signs in the margins here in Just Found Out), and figuring out some boundaries for yourself.

STD testing is a must and a visit to your lawyer. Explore all your options. We’re here for you as you work them out.


nekonamida posted 2/10/2019 12:57 PM

This is my question about "cake-eaters". Is it truly hopeless?

The research and comments tend to say all "cake-eaters" cannot, and will not sustain a reconciliation for the long term. Is this 100% true?

Yes and yes. You can't R with a WS who is still cheating or wanting to cheat. It's impossible. If you can't stand sharing your WH then there isn't anything to R with. That's the unfortunate reality.

whoami62 posted 2/10/2019 13:22 PM

I'm not an expert on sexual addiction, but my WH is a sex addict. I think you might be married to one too.

Long before I learned of my H addiction, he seemed to never be satisfied and although he never went this far with me in terms of our sex life, he DID attempt things I had no interest in and felt very uncomfortable with...and I am no prude.

I had no idea that he was constantly viewing interactive porn ,which I feel was beginning to impact our sex life.

Maybe this should be discussed with your IC ?

nortonj posted 3/22/2019 15:00 PM

It is also essential that both have a good IC. If your H isn't even consulting one, he simply does not think that there is a problem with his hobby, fantasies or unfultilled passions.
You cannot convince him otherwise. He may pretend to understand and refrain from such activity for a while but unless he truly gets that it is inappropriate and not accpetable to you he will feel controlled and resentful. That anger will fuel his desire to act out.

Thanks Shocked123. I wasn't ready to hear that advice when you wrote it, but now that time has passed I am living with this situation.

He is incredibly angry at me right now.

He decided he didn't need IC, but we've had 3 MC sessions. The most recent one he minimized his actions - that a "happy ending" was not much different than masturbation. (That was said at the end of the session, so we really didn't have an opportunity to respond to that.)

I went on his computer and found a folder where he was gathering data and information to use against me, clearly for the sole purpose of hurting me. I'm no prude here, and my explorations of my sexuality went online, and he loved it and encouraged it. Now I'm being shamed for it, and he's gathering the data to hurt me.

(BTW - I deleted the hurtful data, emptied the recycle bin, found his iCloud photo stream and deleted any photos from there as well. I hope it deleted the stuff from his iPhone as well.)

Right now I feel I'm in a crisis mode.

He discovered the surveillance camera that I run at night on my computer, and it shows his comings and goings into the office. He thinks I am spying on him. He also thinks my intent is to see what porn he watches. There is no way to see what is on his computer as the camera is too far away. But yes, I did view that footage with closer scrutiny - I don't really know why, as there wasn't any revelation or new discoveries, just him surfing the net as far as I could tell.

In these last few weeks, we've made love - like normal married people - and started to enjoy each other. He clearly wanted me, and hoped for us to get to a "new normal". Now it seems that will be gone forever. His anger towards me seems out of whack.

He thinks I stole his backup drive as he can't find it. So clearly his intention is to restore what I deleted. I don't know what happened to his backup drive. If I had it, I would tell him and refuse to return it.

I wish I could understand why he wants to hurt me. He claims he's gathering the data to "protect himself", but it doesn't make sense to me how hurting me will protect him.

Our next MC is scheduled for Monday, and my IC is scheduled for Tuesday. It's going to be a long weekend.

I'm 63 and he's 69. Almost 30 years together. We love each other, and like each other, so I thought we could work through this. But as you said @Shocked123, "He may pretend to understand and refrain from such activity for a while but unless he truly gets that it is inappropriate and not acceptable to you he will feel controlled and resentful". Well, he now feels controlled and resentful. And I am heartbroken.

Tripletrouble posted 3/22/2019 20:22 PM

NortonJ you are getting some very good advice here. It's what makes SI great.

My XH was treated for sex addiction by his own IC, but didn't really believe he in fact was a SA, so it was pointless. My own IC explained to me that sex addiction is the number one most difficult of all addictions to overcome, including heroin, nicotine, alcohol, etc. It has a virtually 100% recidivism rate. It takes intense therapy. Unfortunately as it has already been mentioned here, the odds of success in saving a monogamous marriage here are very very low. I am not an expert on SA, but your husband certainly appears to fit the description.

It is not uncommon for the WS to rage at their BS. After all, we are interfering with their fantasy. My XH was also a cake eater, and one of the most shocking things he ever said to me was that he did not think he would lose me over signing up for Adult Friend Finder. This is the level of denial they are in. They want the comfort and security of marriage and the excitement of NSA fantasy on the side. As others have pointed out, he wants to spread some mustard on the shit sandwich he's serving you and expect you to embrace it. This pursuit of his is not art, it's sex and betrayal.

It is also not uncommon for bizarre and irrational behavior to appear. There have been many threads about this that I've seen over the years. My own XH would cross boundaries we agreed on in MC, then insist he was doing these things to "protect himself". It defied logic. He would admit to something one day and deny it the next. I began to doubt my sanity.

Thirty years is a long time to be with someone in an intimate relationship and suddenly have him turn into a stranger. I was with my XH for twenty years, and suddenly I did not know him. I coped with this shocking change by thinking of it as a kind of death. You may benefit from viewing this situation through such a lens. We want to apply logic here, but it simply does not apply.

You may benefit from continuing to read here in the R and S/D forums, to see what those options look like. Please take care of yourself and keep reaching out.

Hurtbeyondtime posted 3/22/2019 21:27 PM

I’m sorry you are here dealing with all this shit. He’s disrespecting you by trying to use you in his fantasies to have sex with others. Somehow in his head he thinks if you’re involved then it’s not infidelity.
He’s got something off like others said personality disorder Sexual Addiction etc.
I’m sorry but you probably need to 180 him and be prepared to ask him to leave.
And demand him to give you the hard drive as he’s no right to keep compromising information about you.
Meanwhile look for it and destroy it or give it to the lawyer for now. Oh go to a lawyer ASAP.

pureheartkit posted 3/22/2019 23:06 PM

This bothers me about the hard drive and holding something over on you. Whatever is going on with him now will probably escalate. The excitement will have to increase as the old stuff no longer holds interest. I do t think he will return to your happy times. He wants more and he wants his way or else. That's not love. That a selfish user who isn't thankful for the partner they have.

He will be an old man paying broken women to act out any scenarios so he can make a library of it.

It's not art. I don't care what words he comes up with. This nasty attitude toward you is so ugly. When you won't go along he tries to bully.

He's lucky you don't burn every image, sell every camera, lens, tripod and light tomorrow and file with the money.

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