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Primal Instincts?

ruby2019 posted 7/18/2019 00:51 AM

Hi ..This is my first post and english is not my first language.please excuse my grammar.
My husband of 18 years has admitted to cheating on me with prostitutes for 13 years. I have also caught him few times watching porn and mastrubating .He is an introvert so every time I ask him about it he would just say he was just stressed and thats what guys do . I have a 11 year old son and another baby due next month.I am not financially independent .we have decided to reconcile I am seeing an IC . He went to individual counselor who reasoned his behavior as primal instinct in the first session itself . Is this normal with counselors ? and also the counselor is encouraging couples therapy instead of digging deep my husband issues which was going on for 13 years. I am shocked . Can anyone share their views please. Also my husband has shared before that he was sexually abused by a neighbor kid couple of times but doesn't think it as big deal. I was thinking he must be an SA for all the acting out. I have found out from internet history there was sexting, his ad on craiglists as someone married and looking for fun, admitted to EA with co worker ,seeing prostitutes and massage parlors. Should he continue with a same individual counselor or should he go for SA therapist ? thanks for reading.

betrayalbrokeme posted 7/18/2019 08:12 AM

ruby2019 I'm so sorry for what you're going through. If that really is what his therapist is telling him, I'd say he needs to find a new therapist immediately!

While I'm a big fan of Couples therapy, it wont get you anywhere if he won't also work on himself.

And primal instinct? i say bullshit to that.

sending you strength

Okokok posted 7/18/2019 09:24 AM

It's *so* hard to really believe this, but you have to find it inside yourself to recognize that couples therapy (and really *any* therapy) is not magic, not a magic pill, not a guaranteed fix, not the solution for dealing with affairs. Similarly, therapists themselves are just people; they aren't gods, they aren't magic, they aren't always right, and frankly some of them are just awful at their jobs. Most are truly unskilled in dealing with infidelity.

It's pretty common for BS to want to jump into MC as a "fix" for an A, but that's truly the wrong move. It's always either 1) a waste of time or 2) damaging to BS and the process.

I'm sure this MC is a fine person, but the "primal instinct" thing is a useless truism. Completely valueless perspective and advice.

Sex is a "primal instinct"? You don't say!

We all know that's true; people in healthy, committed relationships act on that instinct all the time. Here's what isn't a "primal instinct": carrying out a pattern of lies and deceit over a long period of time, likely against one's own professed value system, in order to maintain a double life and use people however they see fit. That's different.

Spend enough time here and dealing with your situation, and you'll realize that the most damage done in any A has nothing to do with sex and has *everything* to do with dishonesty, deceit, and inauthenticity.

ChamomileTea posted 7/18/2019 09:56 AM

He went to individual counselor who reasoned his behavior as primal instinct in the first session itself . Is this normal with counselors ?

No. That's not normal. Even if there's some kind of misunderstanding about the terminology "primal instinct", a good therapist isn't going to be handing down any kind of diagnosis or "reason" on the first session. No one has a "primal instinct" to cheat with prostitutes or lie to their mate. These are character deficits, not innate human behavior.

As far as "couples therapy" goes... marriages don't cheat. People do. Your marriage doesn't have a character deficit. Your husband does. Typically, an MC (marriage counselor) is going to help with communications issues and daily problem solving, which sounds good on paper. But in practice, the MC is usually looking for middle ground and compromise... and there should be NO COMPROMISE when it comes to adultery. The last thing you need right now is some quack building a case in your WH's head for how he should be excused from doing the hard recovery work ahead because you said 'no' to sex one night when you were tired or left the dishes in the sink.

I do think that getting into counseling yourself could be a beneficial thing though. You might do well with some IRL emotional support and help to strengthen your resolve. You might also get with a financial planner and see what you can do to achieve financial independence. Your options are currently limited by dependency.

earlydetour posted 7/18/2019 10:09 AM

Did he tell the current therapist about the sexual abuse? I think he should get a new therapist and address the sexual abuse. Look for threads with CSA. They discuss low self-esteem and self-soothing/acting out in regards to sex. There's also a thread in the "I Can Relate" forum for BSs dealing with partners with Sex Addicts where you might be able to get specific advise.

humantrampoline posted 7/18/2019 10:18 AM


I am sorry for what you are going through.

Are you certain the individual counselor told him his behavior was primal instinct? Could you husband be lying to you about what the individual counselor said?

It doesn't sound like something a therapist would say, and it sounds like the phrase below that your husband used reworded slightly.

thats what guys do

I don't have any experience with SA, but it does sound like SA and couples therapy won't help with that.


I came back to edit this because I'm worried about you. Your husband doesn't seem to understand how dangerous his behavior is for his health and yours. He doesn't seem to even want to stop.

If you're going to stay, can you stop having any type of sexual contact with your husband? Your children need a healthy mother.

Can you find a path to financial independence in the future?

[This message edited by humantrampoline at 10:36 AM, July 18th (Thursday)]

ruby2019 posted 7/18/2019 18:10 PM

Thanks for all your replies. I have asked him to change the therapist but he is angry that he feels I want him to label him as SA. Which is not true .I was shocked the counselor came into conclusion without digging deep and just labeled as primal instincts. Now he is reasoning with me thats what men do. Men have temptations but he agrees he was wrong for acting it out. DD was May 14th. I am seeing an IC for a month now . she has experience with alcohol addiction but she feels my husband is a sex addict after talking to her in details about every episodes we went through all these married years. My husband thinks he was not an addict but just breached the marriage contract. he thinks that he just need to commit to monogamy after 18 years of marriage and he think he doesn't have any problem otherwise.

@humantrampoline thanks for your reply. We haven't been intimate for past 2 months.I asked him to do STD testing and also I did went through the testing which all came negative. I feel disgusted I don't feel like having sex with him even though with my pregnancy hormones my libido is high.

humantrampoline posted 7/18/2019 21:12 PM

ok. I was worried that I misunderstood, and that your husband might have been saying that masturbation is normal. I believe that masturbation for men and women is normal, and I think many others do too.

Much of your husband's other behavior is not normal or healthy. His response to you and therapy indicates that he is either minimizing his behavior or somehow normalizing it. Craigslist ads, prostitutes, sexual massage parlors, sexting, EAs are not healthy and normal behavior for men, married or not. I hope you can read from men on here who confirm that.

I still am not sure that I would believe that your husband's individual counselor told him what he said. I wonder if your husband even told the individual counselor the extent of his behavior.

The SA issue wouldn't be my concern at this point. It's just a label. Does your husband think his behavior is harmful and want to change it? whether it is labeled SA or not?

I'm glad you are caring for your health. Best wishes to you. Thanks for reading my response. English is my first language, and I felt you were communicating much better than I was.

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