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Support needed please

BlueBelly posted 8/2/2020 10:15 AM

I recently left my partner of 12 years. I found out that he had lied to me, saying he was going to work, when really he was going to the river with another woman. After I left him for lying, all of the memories of betrayal early in our relationship came flooding in. Additionally, friends came forward with things that they knew about him, about his being inappropriate with women. I will share more of the story, but first I will state what I could use some support around.
1. I am in an ethical dilemma because of the activities he was involved in could be illegal (details later).
2. I am not just grieving the betrayal, I am dealing with the shame and embarrassment that people in my community knew and now know more (as the discovery happened at a small gathering with my best friends). How can I ever connect with our friends knowing that I was with someone who is possible a sexual predator? What makes it worse is that I am a psychologist, nearly done with my doctorate. How will this affect my ability to have clients in the future?
3. I am concerned for my teenage girls who were witness to the discovery (my daughterís boyfriend was the one who saw my partner on the river with another woman). I left my childrenís dad because he was abusive and I found refuge in the most kind, funny, creative, adoring, and intelligent of men. But, he happens to be a sex addict, I am now finding out.
4. I am terrified for my future because I am not finished with my doctoral hours, so I have a very low income, and itís not enough to support myself and my two daughters. Additionally, ex husband stopped paying child support years ago.

So, the story begins like this. When my partner and I first me, we were head over heals in love. I didnít know it at the time, but he was addicted to online dating, where he would reach out to hundreds of women, lure them to his art site, and attempt (Iím guessing, I donít know the details) to engage in sexual fantasy with them (write each other and send photos). One month into our relationship, my partner went on a road trip for two weeks. When he showed me pictures of the trip, one of them had a woman in the background. It was his ex girlfriend! They had been broken up for two years and apparently hadnít slept together for two years. I confronted them both and both said nothing happened. Though it was extremely painful for me as Iíve always felt inferior to beautiful woman, and this woman was ridiculously beautiful.
The next time I caught him acting inappropriately was a few months later when I was feeling sad about this trip with his ex, and the lying about it. He held me and stroked my face as I cried, and he told me that he loved me. I fell asleep. The next morning, his phone was out and I checked it. His ex had invited him out to bar for her bday party at midnight. He had texted back that he was ďtoo drunk to take her clothes offĒ so he couldnít go (he hardly drinks at all and wasnít drinking that night). When I confronted him about this, he stated that he always talked to her like this, and that it meant nothing. In confronting her, she said the same thing. He then shamed me for looking at his phone saying that I had invaded his privacy. I never looked at his phone or computer again.
A few years later, I was on my computer and he accidentally left a dating page up. He had changed his name so I didnít know it was him. All I saw was a photo of a guy and a profile and many many letters to many women all over the country stating the same thing over and over again about how captivatingly beautiful she is and would she like to see his art website. Once directed there, I am guessing that he would attempt to engage her.
I experienced direct trauma, was up all night shaking and peeing every few minutes. After two weeks of being broken up and many conversations, he admitted that he had a problem and that he would stop. He had been severely abused as a child and he was adopted. I believed him.
For years and years, when I would see his phone I would shake with fear about what might be on it. But I never checked. Iíve been seeing the same therapist for 3 years, and I never told her. I couldnít look at it, despite being a therapist! I realize now that I was in deep denial.
I did also struggle with increasing sexual coercion from him over the years. We had a wonderful sex life, but he wanted it every day and all of the time. With two kids and grad school, and work, I was tired sometimes. It didnít matter to him, he would undress me in the middle of the night while I was sleeping and penetrate me with his fingers. When I awoke and pushed him away, he claimed to be sleeping. He would start fights frequently when I said no to having sex with him. To avoid fights, sometimes I would, and he would be incredibly grateful, but it didnít feel right or good to, and fo,r me.
Moving the story to what happened last week. I confronted my partner about lying to me, on the phone, and he made excuses, she was a friend, he was helping her out (she also happens to be extraordinarily beautiful and was in the porn industryÖtriggering my ďnot good enoughĒ complex). After a few days, and some investigation, it looked like nothing happened between them. I decided I would continue toward ending the relationship, because of the lies, but that I would do it diplomatically. He reacted by minimizing, gaslighting, denying, and accusing me of being flirty with other men. I still was ready to let it all go amicably. I had some EMDR with one therapist, and several sessions with my other therapist. I told a few best friends.
Yesterday, one of my best friends came over. She told me that he had solicited her daughter, as soon as she turned 18 (also a bombshell), to model nude for his modeling group. When she said no, he suggested that they meet alone. According to my friend, he continued to pester her. This man is in his 50ís, he knew this 18 year old since she was a toddler, this woman is younger than my ex partnerís daughter!
My friend then told me that she had heard that my ex partner had been caught by a few other models, taking pictures under the table of them while they were modeling nude. He had then started an Instagram site (that I didnít know about) where he posted these pictures, and some of my female friends (Iím not sure who yet) were on this site and knew about it. One of the women found out, threatened to call the cops, and he took it down.
Do I investigate further? Is my ex a sexual predator?
When confronted by me, he finally broke down and admitted that he had a problem, it wasnít as bad as it sounded, and that he would seek help. He told me that he had long ago given up the porn and dating sites, and that he thought he could contain his addiction through art. I told him to seek help for sex addiction as what he was doing is not ďartĒ, it is sexual and emotional exploitation. I left it at that in terms of communicating with him.
I have no concerns about returning to him ever. But I do have concerns about if he is hurting other women. However, the pain is so great, that I donít know if I can handle finding out any other info.
Iím experiencing many trauma symptoms: shaking hands, loss of appetite, sleep disruption, intrusive thoughts, weight loss, and self-harm/suicidal fantasies. I actually intentionally cut myself last night. I am well aware, as a psychologist that I am on tenuous grounds here. I am in contact with my therapist and with close friends. But if I find out that he has done worse, I am afraid I might fall into a psychotic episode. I do not have the means to kill myself, so I wonít.
So, what now? Let it all go? Investigate further? Is it my job to direct him toward help for his sexual addiction? What do I tell my daughters? How can I prevent them from making the same mistakes I did?

sisoon posted 8/2/2020 10:47 AM

I'm sorry for your loss. The end of a relationship is painful; the end of illusions is even more painful.

What sort of support are you getting for yourself IRL? Still in therapy?

Have you talked with your therapist about your not investigating earlier when your suspicions had come awake?

You left yourself open to pain in the relationship by not investigating. Now, you say you're out of the relationship, but you're considering investigating. That doesn't compute for me.

I don't know if he's a predator. He's certainly close. I'm not sure what you can do about it except talk to police so they're aware. Even that is iffy, because the police are likely to see you as a vengeful woman scorned.

What does your therapist say?


You missed signs, which is par for the course - many (most? almost all?) of us missed signs. You picked a cheater and possible predator. You were blinded by something. All that is pretty common and no crime.

Your XBF cheated. You didn't.

You're studying pyschology - that doesn't make you anything like omniscient. That doesn't give you the ability to read people's minds.

I expect you could have handled your relationship better, but who couldn;t say that truthfully?

So what do you have to be ashamed of with your friends?

If you learn from this, if you change yourself, it will make you a better therapist.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:57 AM, August 2nd (Sunday)]

The1stWife posted 8/2/2020 15:54 PM

Pestering an 18 year old girl repeatedly for sex makes him a sexual predator. Plus all of his other activity with pictures etc of other women is horrific.

And IMO he has violated and sexually abused you. Iím Not going to say be raped you b/c Iím not an expert on the legal definition but heís a disgusting pig who is not only a sex addict but a sexual predator.

Do something about it. Start by asking your children and friends with daughters if anything ever happened. Do not let him off the hook.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 3:55 PM, August 2nd (Sunday)]

BlueBelly posted 8/2/2020 17:53 PM

Thanks to the support offered so far. To clarify, my ex did not solicit sex from an 18 year old. He is a professional artist who facilitates a professional modeling group for artists. He solicited this young woman, repeatedly, to model nude for him (alone). I still think that his behavior was inappropriate and lewd.

I don't know if I did the right thing, but I contacted said ex and stated that if he doesn't get help for sex addiction and apologized directly to the women that he has harmed, that I will contact these woman and we will out him to our community (we live in a small town).

I did this a few hours ago. I haven't heard back from him.

Again, I am wondering if I should just let it go, as each interaction with him is painful for me.

But I feel responsible in protecting other women!

Newlifeisgreat posted 8/2/2020 18:25 PM

You are a mandated reporter, even as a doctoral candidate. If you believe that he has done something that is illegal, you MUST REPORT IT!!!!

Pick your mentor/adviser into the loop as to what is going on in your life and ask their opinion as to what you should do about his potentially illegal activities. When they are done giving their opinion, write an email TO YOURSELF as to what they said to you. This will be your proof that you brought the issue to your superiors, thus meeting the requirement of mandated reporter. You donít want to end your career just as you are about to start it

Also, see if it is possible to increase your hours so you can complete the hourly requirement as quick as possible

As to your ďfriendsĒ that knew about what he was doing but didnít tell you..... they are NOT your friends!!!! You donít have to worry running into them and being embarrassed, THEY are the ones to be embarrassed for their actions and inactions!!!
When you discovered what was going on, you took action to remove yourself and your children away froM the poison. When the discovered what was going on, they did NOTHING!!

And since they arenít your friends, you arenít Friends with them!!! If you see them in a store in the future, smile, say hello, and keep walking!!!!

Good luck and stay strong!!

Cooley2here posted 8/3/2020 19:36 PM

Your husband has promised at least twice to change and he has done nothing. Please accept that he is very sick. He is a danger to females. What he has done to you is assault. I am not sure where he fits in legally but you need to talk to a lawyer and then sit down with your husband to sort out how you are going to proceed. This is an egregious form of behavior. You are playing with words when you say he did not proposition the 18-year-old. She felt it so she knew he meant more than he was asking. Predators of very good at grooming their victims. What you know is just the tip of the iceberg. Your husband is a seriously sick sex addict. Itís not just one behavior itís many. Heís taking pictures of women without their permission, heís assaulting you in the night, heís propositioning young women. You only know the very tip of it. Make sure the lawyer knows everything you know. Heís bound by confidentiality as you know. He/she might know what the law is and what it is not.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 9:37 PM, August 8th (Saturday)]

The1stWife posted 8/4/2020 07:38 AM

You are playing with words when you say he did not proposition the 18-year-old. She felt it so she knew he meant more than he was asking.

Pressuring a young woman to model for him ó and then he suggested they meet alone. This very smart young woman KNEW what he wanted. I wholeheartedly agree with the above. Very well stated I might add.

I donít know why you would make excuses for him b/c you know what he is capable of doing. Heís manipulative. Heís a predator. Heís not to he trusted.

What do you tell your daughters? The truth. Not all the graphic details but the truth. If he has violated you itís possible heís violated others.

You need to report his behavior. To the police. To law enforcement. To a trained professional counselor who can help you deal with this. The fact his phone made you shake uncontrollably is a big red flag. Deep down you knew something was off.

Iím sorry you are facing this.

Seneca posted 8/6/2020 10:37 AM

As a psychologist you will recognize the truth of what I am about to remind you of.

All of these events have placed you in your primitive brain. Your rational functions are subdued when you are in this state and your primitive functions are amplified. Fight, flight....continuing cycles of thoughts you are unlikely to control well after the trauma you have experienced (and are still).

Remind yourself OFTEN that your emotions and thoughts are not reliable and trustworthy. Don't make big decisions in this state. Don't try to think your way through it. Rather, sooth yourself, do what you must to move yourself back to more rational and trustworthy brain function.

For me, it took much time. Meditation, over time really played a huge part in my eventually moving to a healthier/more rational place that could be trusted. You are asking questions about what to do and about the future that REQUIRE you to be in a calm, rational place. THIS is important.

I'm sorry you are in this terrible place. Better days lie in front of you. Hold on and consider what I have reminded you of.


tushnurse posted 8/6/2020 14:41 PM

OK Old timer here that is just going to put some shit out and you can choose to read and agree, or not.

1. See an attorney. Your Ex is a predator in every sense of the term, and while you were in denial you are no longer, and what he did w/ that young lady was predatory, and what he did w/ his "Art" (porn/fetish) is not ok, but you now know about it, and as a therapist you are a mandated reporter. You need an attorney's advice to know where you stand.

2. This MF'r is an abusive manipulator, and after that Attorney advises you on what you need to do, you need to make sure every single woman in your town knows that he is a predator. There are many women that will think OOOH an Artist... and they will be drawn in, and they too will be raped. What he did to you was without your consent. We know that fits the definition of rape. The fact that it happened more than once is NOT OK.

3. Stand tall and be proud that you walked away when you did. No regrets that it wasn't sooner, but sister learn from this, and never ever allow another man to do this to you. His issues are his and have nothing to do w/ the type of person you are.

4. Your kids. You have to have that conversation w/ them. You have to ask. You have to know if he ever propositioned them. You have to know because if he did, and he very well may have, they need help.

This man belongs in prison as far as I am concerned. What he has done under the guise of "Art" is disgusting. Addiction or not, he is unhealthy and just like all addictions it will escalate.

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