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How I Became A Cheater//Looking For Advice & Where to Start

RizzieDizzy posted 1/20/2020 22:06 PM

(Re posting because I wanted to uncheck the WS Response Only)I have been on this forum for a few days now. First post but have read a few stories this last weekend and today at lunch. So far my understanding of what happens to become a wayward is our past. I hope I can give everyone the best picture of my past and my side of my marriage up until this point. Please correct me if im doing this the wrong way.

I have two first memories. One was of a horned lizard in my backyard and being blown away of how cool it was. The other was my babysitter instructing me on how to give her oral sex at 3. She also had found my parents vibrators which we thought were for a back massage. She then instructed my older and younger sister on how to use them on themselves. This all happened in 1986.I only found out that my Dad knew about this the whole time 5 years ago. He told me infront of his female cousin that I had just met an hour earlier in the day. Then then on out I began to have sex with my sisters till about 16 or so. Maybe longer I don't remember exactly but I want to say around 19 is when we stopped. I didn't get therapy for that until I was like 31. Mid twenties all of us kids found out that my dad had been cheating on my mom basically their whole marriage. We found out on Christmas. And they got divorced. My whole childhood my parents fought, my dad threw and broke things. I threw and broke things when I was a kid as well. Banged my head on walls when I was mad. I always the smallest kid. I got picked on a lot and I kind of became a loner. I spent most of my time in the garage or in my room building or making things. My social skills did not develop. My parents didn't have very many friends so we didn't go to people's houses. Also my schoolwork suffered really bad. My parents never really checked my homework. I moved around in schools from third grade on. I was put in Catholic school in fourth grade because they thought they would teach me more. We also moved around a lot because my dad was constantly getting new jobs (later in life we found out some of these were because he had an affair with a co-worker, but I'm not sure about all of them.) In sixth grade we moved again to a different state but still in Catholic school. I was the outsider, the smallest, and one of the least educated kids there. From there on out I was the outcast. I was friends with another kid that was also an outcast. The school I went to taught me that masturbation was wrong, sex before marriage was wrong. That of course made me feel guilty any time I did do that as a child. I think that further developed my separation of good from sex and it became farther and farther.

I was cheated on by the first two real girlfriends I had. For the next few years, I had several girlfriends, none of them really long term, a few of them on and off relationships. I cheated on most of them. Only one I didn't cheat on. I broke up with her because my dad told me I should since she wasn't Catholic. I regretted that a lot and went into a year or so long depression after. Theres many times I thought of suicde after that. Then I conceived a child from a one night stand. I got a DUI that year as well. I lost my job right after that. The mother of my son wanted to be with me and I wasn't in love with her. I lied to another girl about the status of that relationship and started dating her before the mother of my son moved to my area. I then tried to break it off when she did move there. Of course, she came over when she was there to "get her things". That put things on bad terms for a while with the mother of my son.

This is when I started drinking more and then it transferred over to more of a sex addiction. I first got on dating sites and then I learned how to talk to girls and ask for sex online. I probably had sex with over 100 women. It got so bad that I resorted to having sex with 2 men (I am straight). I almost never used any form of protection. I got a treatable STD about 10 times. I had multiple pregnancy scares. Towards the end, I was having sex with women I wasn't at all attracted to. And that was when I started really feeling like I didn't want to do this anymore. It consumed my day. Texting, searching, planning for sex. I would go home at lunch to masturbate so I could actually work in the afternoon. I would masturbate sometimes 3 more times before I went to bed at night. After I had sex with these women, I would immediately feel disgusted, self-hate, constantly asking myself why?

It was at this point that I met my wife. When I met her, I knew she was the woman that I would want to be with. I didn't have my stuff sorted out (still down't) but I really tried, or I thought I tried, to be a lot better than what I was. I cheated on her multiple times and then broke up with her. I ended up telling her that I did not deserve to be with her and I told her my problems what I had going on. That was the first time somebody actually listened to me to help me. After I told her she said she would help me and she stayed on the phone with me from the time I got in my car until the time I got out of my car when I got to the clinic. That was the first time I told somebody that I had a sex addiction. They helped me. I broke down crying in there in front of like 5 people. They prescribed zoloft to me and I started in individual therapy. That was the beginning of my partial recovery. I wouldn't say its a full recovery.

3 and a half years later, we are married, we have a house, lots of pets, and I never stopped seeking validation from women or objectifying women. Although I never had sex with anybody, I still talked to girls, messaged them, made comments on social media. That was a slippery slope which led me to message my wife's best friend's sister while my wife was in the hospital, insinuating that the sister should come over.

A few days later, my wife's best friend told her what had happened and sent her screen shots. That was the first bit of information that led to my wife finding out that I have not been faithful this entire time. That night I was drunk. I wanted to work on my own stuff. I was completely selfish.

I started going back to individual counseling, I started defining all the words that I didn't understand to try and understand and found out I struggle with empathy, associating love and sex, still have childhood issues.

Then my wife found my twitter account and all the terrible comments I made on there, which led to her wondering if theres a lot more things out there that I did and didn't tell her. She gave me the opportunity several times to tell her everything that I had done. I didn't tell her about the twitter account. Its that unrational fear of telling her and then her being even more mad and me being ashamed of myself which I think is more like coming to terms with myself which I read somewhere, like you don't want to actually look at yourself. I told her that I planned to never tell her about the twitter account. She took that to mean that if I never planned to tell her about that, there's no way I would tell her about anything worse.

Now I'm here. I want to try and figure out my childhood, how I can associate sex with love, how I can learn to not self-hate when I bring up issues about myself to my wife and change that around to helping her when I screw up.

One of my biggest fears with continuing on with my marriage is that I won't be able to do it, that I will fail, and that I've just drug her through the mud all the way through this.

My wife is worried that I've done way worse things, that I've had sex or downloaded apps or been searching for sex. She told me that she thinks I don't even want to be here. She thinks that I'm a "robot" and she tells me I don't show emotion or empathy, that I"m too logical sometimes and don't see her emotions. She is scared that I don't feel true remorse or that I might not ever be able to.

She wants to me to show more love, random acts of kindness, show more initiative, tell her that I love her at different points in the day, just anything that shows I love her.

I think my wife feels like she thought I was a different person, I think even I thought I was a different person but I'm not. Just a slightly better version I guess of me.

She was shocked, let down, confused when she found out. She wants to continue the marriage and see me put in the effort and show her that it will be worth it.

I would like to continue the marriage but I need to fix and figure out my own self first once and for all. I think that starts with 1986, when I was 3. I don't think I ever really got over that even though I've talked about it.

I'm looking for people's opinions on where to start, what I've done wrong, and mostly what to immediately fix right now to hold things together long enough to fix the rest.

Thank you for taking the time to read everything.

thewalruswaspaul posted 1/21/2020 07:51 AM

You need intensive therapy, ideally with a certified sex addiction therapist AND with a trauma specialist. You need to start going to Sex/Love Addicts Anonymous meetings. The pain and the rot that you carry inside of you is like a small black hole, gobbling up the light in your life, never being satisfied, always demanding more more more more.

The very first things for you to do is to confess everything. Go back through all your emails, your bank statements, your phone records, receipts, every social media account you have. Take screenshots. Create a comprehensive report. Leave absolutely nothing out. Whether you give it to your wife now, or whether you schedule a meeting with a CSAT and your wife to do a controlled, therapeutic disclosure in a neutral environment....I'm not a sex addiction specialist, so I don't know. Your wife WILL be angry and hurt when all of this comes out. You can't escape that. But being 100% honest is the only thing that will make any type of reconciliation and healing possible for either of you. By hiding things from her, you aren't protecting her from pain. You're protecting yourself. Time to stop with the self-preservation and do the right thing.

Regardless of what happens with your marriage, therapy is absolutely a requirement. This is not something you can work through and process on your own. If your therapist hasn't already asked you to go to SLAA, I think that should be a requirement for you as well. You need structured support and people who will hold you accountable.

Your wife is giving you a tremendous gift by agreeing to stay with you as you start your recovery. Don't take it for granted.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/21/2020 16:30 PM


I agree with everything the walruswaspaul siad. Some really good therapy will help.

In the meantime though your BS is giving you the grace of wanting to help you fix yourself and reconcile your relationship.

She wants to me to show more love, random acts of kindness, show more initiative, tell her that I love her at different points in the day, just anything that shows I love her.

These things are something you can start working on daily. She is giving you her heart wishes there. Start off small by telling her you love her. I wrote it on the bathroom mirror using a removable marker. I bought a book that was 50 reasons i love you and you fill in the blanks. Hold her hand when you walk to the car. The small things grow into bigger things and help to open up and be honest and share as you go through your therapy.

Carissima posted 1/22/2020 06:24 AM

I agree with thewalruswaspaul although I think you need to work on your childhood and how it twisted your view on sex before looking at the possible sex addiction.
I would say though be careful about placing all the blame on your upbringing. There are lots of people who have horrific childhood but have worked hard to rise above everything they've gone through. At some point your actions become a conscious choice.
Your BW is obviously still willing to walk with and support you on your journey - do not waste this opportunity.
Good luck going forward.

Notmine posted 1/22/2020 18:28 PM

This is the general advice I give the BS of sex addicts. I hope it is helpful for you.

Part 1 of 2

Sobriety from addiction is a lifelong process. It is a lifetime commitment. In order for the vast majority of addicts to find meaningful sobriety, they must hit "bottom". "Bottom" refers to a time or an event in life that causes an addict to reach the lowest possible point in their disease. It is a time when the person feels like things cannot get worse for them. This is when most of us reach out for help and take it seriously. My husband is an SA. These are the long term actions he takes to stay safe for me - implemented and maintained by HIM, not me.
1. 12 step recovery. 90 meetings in 90 days at first and then ongoing meetings EVERY WEEK.
2. He has a sponsor who he talks to WEEKLY and he works the 12 steps EVERY DAY.
3. He attends counseling EVERY WEEK with a certified sex addictions counselor.
4. He reads suggested literature and takes all suggestions from his sponsor and counselor.
5. He abstains from masturbation (unless I am there) and any porn or stimulating sexual content (my FWH believes these are triggers for him).
6. ALL electronics are open to my perusal, ANY time.
7. He helps other men in crisis, which alleviates the shame.
I am a recovering alcoholic - 21 years sober. We like to say that we get a daily reprieve from our disease. This means that we must continuously commit to a program of recovery...on the daily.
It sounds to me and I think to you that this man is nowhere near ready for a relationship. His promises are addict bullshit. His ACTIONS will tell you whether he is a safe partner for you. I am not saying that addicts do not feel bad and filled with shame in the moment, but these feelings fade as soon as they are off the hot seat and then they are back into the addictive behaviors. If he was really interested in getting sober and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then you would see the above referenced ACTIONS happening consistently in the LONG TERM. He has figured out that he can engage in his addiction, cry remorse when caught and then go back to his life again. You have told him that you would forgive him if he cheated....NOPE. This is exactly what an addict wants to hear. He MUST have consequences for his actions and you must MEAN them. This pattern will not change unless he gets to the point that is unbearable for HIM. I am sorry to say that you are not helping him get to this point if you accept his addict BS and continue to be there for him. He is showing you who he is and you need to take that seriously. You also need to stop believing him. ANY sexually based internet activity is a trigger for him and leads him into more deviant and dysfunctional behavior. This is why it is vital for him to attend meetings with other addicts...he needs to learn his triggers in order to avoid them.

My recommendation for you is S-anon. It will help you understand the addiction and what it means for you. There is also a doctor named Patrick Carnes, who has an interview on Youtube which was really helpful for me when I was trying to understand sex addiction.

I believe 12-step recovery, in addition to counseling by someone who understands SA, is the only way to deal with sex addiction. This may or may not work, depending on your husbandís level of commitment. You cannot make this decision for him. He must do it on his own. He must help himself. If he is unwilling to engage in the above referenced steps, R.U.N. All addictions progress. He has not found the bottom yet and the bottom will be really ugly. As you have discovered, life with a using addict is living in awful, unrelenting chaos. You do not need to live your life this way.

Notmine posted 1/22/2020 18:37 PM

Part 2

As I have shared before, my FWH is an SA. He has been sober for 4 years. He (and I) are also addict/alcoholics, sober 24 and 22 years respectively. I posted earlier about what he does,,,what he NEEDS to do, to stay sober and to be a safe partner for me AND to deserve the gift of a marriage to me.

You need to understand that ANY sexualized contact or content on the internet may be a trigger for you. Even the smallest peek is like giving me "just a little" alcohol. All it takes is ONE, or a sip, or a taste, to take me over the edge into the full blown addiction cycle. ALL untreated addictions progress. From what you wrote, you have started the fantasizing (emailing others to check to see of they are responsive to your overtures). The sexual acting out will come next because your addiction, your DISEASE, is not being treated. You were not going to counseling. you are not going to meetings. You will need to attend meetings for the rest of your life in order to stay sober. This is NON-NEGOTIABLE. Not for a year, not for two. FOREVER. You must make sobriety a priority, a lifestyle, which means you need to be around other recovering addicts and you need a sponsor. You also needs a counselor who specializes in sexual addiction AND sexual trauma.

As I said before, addictions always progress. Once you get hooked into the fantasy/acting out cycle, it will start out where it stopped and progress so it will get worse....so much worse.

I really feel for you. You have a ton of unresolved trauma in your past. Begin the hard work to get better. It is worth being free of the pain and shame and guilt.

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