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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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DevastatedDee posted 6/11/2020 08:37 AM

Nothing excuses his cheating. Mine tried to put his on addiction too. Ultimately I don't care whether he could "help it" or not. Let's just say he couldn't help it and is somehow powerless against all the steps one has to take to go have sex with numerous other people. That's not really an appealing argument for staying with him, is it? That he could just "my bad" and go off and do this at any time because he just can't help it? If he had a disease that made him punch you sometimes and he just couldn't help it, you couldn't be expected to deal with that.

You don't owe him or anyone your body, mind and soul to abuse whether they can "help it" or not. Your allegiance is to yourself first and foremost. The profound lack of empathy that goes along with addictions of any kind is not compatible with a relationship.

Someone who cheats to this extent isn't like a guy who has a one-night-stand. This person cheats as a lifestyle. It's routine. It's no more challenging for them to cheat than for them to hit a drive-thru for a burger.

He's probably going to want you to stay, because it's really convenient for a certain type of man to have a wife at home to be their soft place to land while they go do whatever they want on their own time. Dedicating themselves to you or the marriage wasn't in the game plan.

And no, I don't see how you trust a person after this kind of betrayal.

That it was men is a complicating factor for sure. It could be that he's bisexual, which means choice of partner means nothing and this is just run of the mill cheating. It could mean he's gay, which obviously has a much bigger impact on why he married you in the first place.

But most of all, I am SO SORRY you're going through this. I know this pain. I was borderline suicidal at this point, a month into it. I needed meds to function too. I wish I could give you a hug. This does get better. You're in the depths of hell right now and I wish I had something comforting other than promising you that this gets better. No one should ever have to feel the pain that you're feeling right now. All of us here have been there and we know how unimaginably awful it is. You aren't alone and we're all here to hold your hand through it no matter what.

veryhurt2018 posted 6/11/2020 09:39 AM

Hi Sharon123,

I'm so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like your husband could be a sex addict but that doesn't excuse his cheating. He still had free will and he chose to do it. I didn't experience same sex cheating but from what I understand, it's very common with sex addicts. They have to "up their addiction high" and this is just another way of doing it. It doesnít mean they are gay. I want you to know that what he did has NOTHING to do with you. He is sick and needs help, and probably became a sex addict a long long time ago. Experts say that this happens when they are children or adolescents. There are several books about it, and if you are interested in reading about it (I read a ton), I can give you some good books.

I am over 2 years out since I found out and I had NO IDEA. Please feel free to read my story on my profile page. My husband started cheating on me right after we got married and I found out 18 years later. He slept with HUNDREDS of prostitutes and had one sexual affair with a former coworker. The weird thing for me is that the hardest thing to get over has been the affair, because I have a face to a name, and I know her. Please make sure you get tested for all STD's. It's such a scary time but you really have to make sure you are safe and healthy.

I too had to go on Ativan (like Valium) to get through the first few months. I was an absolute mess and thought it was never going to get better. You are probably in deep shock right now and are grieving what you thought was your healthy marriage. It takes a while to process the grief, so make sure you are kind to yourself.

I'm one of the very few that has reconciled with my sex addict husband. He has done the hard work to become "sober" and he works his 12-step program very hard. I also go to something that is similar to Al Anon but for sex addicts. Itís called COSA. You may want to see if there is a meeting near you for you to get some help too.

Please spend some time on SI, as it will help you immensely, or at least it did for me. There are so many wise people on here. Ask questions and learn as much as you can. Your husband sounds like he needs some serious help, which you may or may not want to be a part of. I chose to be a part of it and get through it together, although at the beginning, I thought I would become strong and divorce him. I changed my mind once we were in the thick of it though.


secondtime posted 6/12/2020 07:36 AM


I'm sorry you find yourself here. Please do try to take good care of yourself. You are experiencing real trauma right now.

What kind of counselors are you all seeing? Are they specialized-a CSAT for your husband, and someone who knows how to support the partner of an SA? Was your husband diagnosed?

There's a long list of resources towards the beginning of this thread that you may find helpful.

Right now, don't worry about being able to trust your husband. A reasonable amount of trust can come back if he does his work. You aren't far enough along in the process to decide if he's doing the work or not.

Your job is to educate yourself about what it means to be married to an addict. I didn't fully grasp what it meant to find out my husband had slipped/nearly fully relapsed for 7 years until it happened. After DDay1, I wish I would have understood that my husband's emotion development arrested in his teenage years. Because I've done my work, as a 45 year old, I really don't have the patience to deal with a partner that's emotionally 14-even with 6 years of sobriety under his belt.

Take stock of all your options. Staying. Divorcing. Legal Separation if you have it. Are you in a place where you can choose whatever path or do you have work that you need to do to get there? Do that work.

Heal yourself. You still need to find joy and happiness in your life.

marvelousdarling posted 6/14/2020 17:43 PM


[This message edited by marvelousdarling at 1:44 PM, June 15th (Monday)]

DevastatedDee posted 6/15/2020 08:50 AM

He is in the self-pity cycle right now. You can't break through that. My XWH wrecked his entire life and hurt everyone in his circle and the way addicts react to that is generally to feel really sorry for themselves. Themselves. You cannot break through that. That is 100% on him to do because he is the only one who can. He may very well choose not to and you may be the bad guy. The kids may be the bad guys. You can be the most eloquent human being on the planet and you won't break through this in his head. This is the time when you step away and take care of you and your children, period. There's literally not the first thing you can do for him.

Well no, actually, consequences like you leaving are helpful to an addict in getting them to see reality, but that is not something that you do for his sake. That is something you do to save yourselves.

You may get suicide threats and such to get you to feel sorry for him and not leave or come back if you have left. This is normal. Not to say that it isn't serious, but it is sadly normal. It is usually manipulation, but you won't know whether it's real or game-playing, so you call the authorities about those and perhaps that gets him some help.

But really, this is far beyond anything that you can fix and he isn't going to magically snap out of it.

skeetermooch posted 6/17/2020 14:32 PM

You can be the most eloquent human being on the planet and you won't break through this in his head.

Dee, I could quote you all day long!! You nail it so succinctly.

The victim piece is the one of the most entrenched and problematic aspects of their personalities. They have a nearly unshakable belief that the world is against them, that they don't deserve consequences or normal ups and downs, and that cheating is just rewards for all the unfair treatment they suffer.

Even after getting caught cheating dozens of times in myriad ways my husband was insistent getting kicking out was victimizing him?!! Insanity. They give themselves a convenient excuse to never stop the behavior.

DevastatedDee posted 6/17/2020 14:44 PM

Yes. I can assure you 1000% that if you asked my XWH why our marriage ended, a lot of the answer would be that I didn't try hard enough, that I didn't take our vows seriously, that I didn't support him, etc. and so on. That this doesn't reflect reality does not matter. I am pretty sure that I'm the bad guy in his eyes because I left.

aussiemel posted 6/19/2020 19:26 PM

I'm back. I had to create a new profile as I couldn't remember any of my old details.
It has been almost 5 years since I was last here.

My therapist thinks I may be suffering from PTSD, I'm totally numb. This time I believe I am stronger though and I'm working on an exit strategy, bettering myself so that I can get a new job if need be (Covid has really affected things here).

I'm not gonna be that person who looks in the mirror at age 65 and says to myself "why did I waste 40 years with that jerk".

18 years has been long enough. He hasn't changed. Our relationship counselor convinced me that he was different, that he wasn't going to act out again. She told me I had to try to trust him, give him space!!!

I gave him another 2 years, then I found out that he was at it again, screwing whores in hotel rooms during COVID lockdown. OMG, I was/still am horrified by that more than anything
I believe he has been doing it the entire last two years. I haven't asked though. He would only lie and besides that, I'm not interested. I don't care anymore. I'm looking after me.

I was blindsided by the fact that I have control of our finances and he hasn't been using our money. I don't know where the moneys coming from, but it's definitely time for me to leave before he starts spending what's rightly half mine.

It's going to take a couple of months, but I know now that he will continue to manipulate me if I were stupid enough to stick around.

veryhurt2018 posted 6/20/2020 09:22 AM

aussiemel, Ugh, your story sounds very similar to mine, but I'm only 2 years from D-day. I'm glad you are stronger and can move on now.

I'm just curious, how did you find out?? Did he admit what you found or is he still denying? Is he in SAA or SA 12-step programs? Maybe he needs to go.

I'm so sorry!! I hope you have a good support system to get out and stay out.


aussiemel posted 6/20/2020 16:43 PM


I found out this second time around because he was acting very weird, prompting me to look in his wallet where I found a receipt for a hotel room and a bottle of champagne. Then I searched his briefcase where I found a stash of viagra and a script for more.

I confronted him - he straight away said "do you think after all we've been through....", before he could finish I put my hand up and said "stop. I know where you were, I'm 150% sure".
And surprisingly he admitted, oh well it was an admission of sorts "I've been trying" was all he said. I felt like saying "trying what, to catch an STD, to catch covid, or to hide it" but I said nothing.
He phoned and made an IC appointment. He stopped going to IC two years ago, the same time we stopped going for relationship counseling.
He convinced all the therapists that he had recovered, obviously he must have watered down the facts of what he had been up to.

Although having said that, I should point out that it's almost impossible to find a therapist in our town that specializes in SA. We live in Australia and no-one near where we live is qualified in that area. And there are no groups nearby.

I don't really have a good support system at all, it's just me and my own IC and sometimes I question her abilities.

skeetermooch posted 6/28/2020 21:13 PM


So sorry you're back and with such a heartbreaking discovery. He sounds so utterly broken and sociopathetic to do this again - to have never stopped no less.

DevastatedDee posted 6/29/2020 09:01 AM

He phoned and made an IC appointment. He stopped going to IC two years ago, the same time we stopped going for relationship counseling.
He convinced all the therapists that he had recovered, obviously he must have watered down the facts of what he had been up to.

Yeah, sounds like he knows the game. "Oops, I got busted. Well, let's call a therapist and play that shit again or she's going to leave me.".

I'm not gonna be that person who looks in the mirror at age 65 and says to myself "why did I waste 40 years with that jerk".

Right on. This is who he is. You're choosing to accept that reality. This is a person who would risk your life with both STDs and COVID so that he could get the pleasure of cheating on you. I don't see what there is to work with here.

aussiemel posted 6/29/2020 19:41 PM

Yes Devastated Dee, you are right.

There is nothing to work with here. I'm currently working on my exit strategy and doing 180.

He is walking around the house whistling to himself acting as if nothing is wrong. As usual doing what he likes.

I might blow up if he suggests MC, but he will only suggest that if his IC mentions it to him.

Two days ago, he walked into the room I was in and said "I'm sorry for all this shit I'm putting you through". I gave him silence, didn't say a word and he left.

That's his idea of an apology seriously, ha and I just realised that was the day before his birthday. Perhaps he thought I was going to get him a present! Wrong, no present, no card, no nothing from me.

DevastatedDee posted 6/30/2020 08:04 AM

I was always amazed at how my XWH could just lay down and go to sleep at night after DDay. How he could act like I hadn't just discovered that he was an absolute piece of garbage. How he tried to make it about how broken his pitiful self was.

Yeah, you're absolutely right. That's not an apology.

Shockt posted 7/1/2020 13:53 PM

"A casualty in his war against himself" What a great and descriptive phrase. My husband and I have been married for 20 years (and together for 30) As we were separating about 6 weeks ago after I discovered his two year stint with cybersex and dispersal of $60,000, I told him that it seemed to me that the whole marriage had always been about him and his f-ed up psyche. And that I was now done with being his therapist - going forward it would be about me. (Easier said than done of course to change that direction)

Shockt posted 7/1/2020 15:29 PM

"A casualty in his war against himself" What a great and descriptive phrase. My husband and I have been married for 20 years (and together for 30) As we were separating about 6 weeks ago after I discovered his two year stint with cybersex and dispersal of $60,000, I told him that it seemed to me that the whole marriage had always been about him and his f-ed up psyche. And that I was now done with being his therapist - going forward it would be about me. (Easier said than done of course to change that direction)

aussiemel posted 7/1/2020 23:04 PM

I can really relate to what you said shockt, about your whole marriage being about him.

I'm in the same boat, we've been together 18 years and after 2 d-days, I know that he has carried on a secret double-life the entire time.

Everything has been about him, even now he tried to tell me that "all men do it" referring to using prostitutes. No remorse at all, he goes between feeling sorry for himself to whistling as if nothing is wrong.

I only wish I was in the position to move out immediately, but I need to save up a few $$$ before I can get out. Hopefully it won't take long.

Neither you nor I will need to provide free therapy to F****D up fools in the future :)

HeHadADoubleLife posted 7/11/2020 05:11 AM

Hey everyone!

How's everybody holding up?

I've been having some triggers lately with respect to XH's sex addiction... mostly surrounding the language some people use to describe sex in relationships, and how those types of attitudes seem to correlate with what I experienced as the spouse of a sex addict.

Any implication of ownership, duty, owing, "wifely duties," "choreplay," sex being transactional, prior sex life being "false advertisement," and just the general ignorance that sex drives can in fact wax and wane according to circumstance etc. They come up a lot in threads here, and while I know we can't discuss threads outside of their original location, I just felt it important to bring them up as the source of the trigger so people know where I'm coming from.

My question is, how do we go about weeding out people who think like this? I can't stand the thought of being in a relationship with someone and finding out they think this way again.

I felt very duped by my XH. Verbally, he was adamantly opposed to hiring sex workers and forms of sexual exploitation. He had seen it a lot in his world travels, and on several occasions talked about how wrong it is and how bad he felt for these women. Cut to a month after DDay, weeding through our phone bills and finding multiple calls to escort services going back as far as 6 months (I didn't bother to look further, that was enough, but due to some context clues and a few puzzle pieces falling into place, I can safely assume it was happening throughout our relationship).

He was also very body positive. Constantly told me how sexy I was to him, how beautiful my body was. But also talked a lot about how he considers himself "sapiosexual," and how he finds my soul and my mind even more beautiful than my body (I know, barf). Then in between my 2 DDays, before I knew that the AP wasn't just his long lost daughter, he said he wanted a divorce, and said things like, "I thought you were going to be more active," and "You stopped dressing up for me." Very shallow opinions that I didn't believe he held until his mask slipped.

Oh, and he made a point early on to tell me how his Dad had taught him that rape is the worst thing you can do to a woman, and he would never, ever do anything like that! He was kind and loving. Very attentive in bed, very much focused on my comfort. I felt cared for and considered, not used. But then years into the relationship I find out he felt that I owed him sex, that because we were having less sex, we were "getting to be like brother and sister" (um, EXCUSE ME, I do NOT kiss my brothers like I kiss you, you asshole). And towards the end, consistently would not keep his hands off of me, even rubbing all over me when I was sleeping, to the point where I would hiss at him through clenched teeth to keep his hands to himself, like a cornered animal.

In the beginning he would talk all the time about how hard I worked and how much he admired that. How he had never met anyone who worked as hard as him until he met me, and how great that was. Then towards the end I started getting a lot of "You're never home," "You're always tired," and "I work so hard and you don't even appreciate it!" Like him having a job and paying his half of the bills is some feat of accomplishment that deserved blowjobs on demand. Meanwhile I was also working my ass off, working more hours than him by a considerable margin, and still managing to do a ton for him and the girls, and paying my half of everything. So I was understandably tired and maybe not really in the mood when I would come home after my 12 hour shift to find that he had done a whole lot of nothing and was basically like a dog begging for his bone the second I walked through the door, only this dog wasn't cuddly and cute, he had a cock ring on and a raging erection.

My point is, he said all of the right things, and for years successfully hid that he actually believed the entirely opposite things. Even in the throes of his masturbation/porn habit at its worst, I could see it for what it was, a really terrible habit of self-harm, and I truly did not view him as malicious. His real attitudes about sex/bodily autonomy in relationships did not become clear until much later, and by then I was stuck for various reasons.

So in a way I feel responsible for not knowing. Because, unintentionally, I fueled his entitlement to sex. Yes, in the beginning he was doing a ton of nice things for me, having great conversation etc. And it just so happened that every time I slept over there, we had sex. But then that was only 2-3 times a week, and of course the other days we weren't having sex because I wasn't there. And on those days I felt great. I just went about my day, still talked to him, still felt seen and heard in our relationship, no complaints from me about not having sex those days at all. But he felt, well, I don't know what he felt! So horny he couldn't stand it? Going off of what I know now, probably masturbated multiple times each day just to get himself through until the next time we saw each other? While I saw those days in between as just normal life, he viewed them as some form of deprivation. Very much like a heroin addict jonesing for their next fix. So in some weird roundabout way I almost feel like I got him addicted to me (well, sex with me). He learned "Every time she sleeps over we have sex!" like the rat in the cage pressing the lever for another hit. In bed together = sex, boom! So when we moved in together, and therefore were sleeping in the same bed every night, he thought "We'll have sex every night!" and was then sorely disappointed that this was not the case. He couldn't figure out why the lever wasn't working anymore!

I am out now, thank the universe, but I'm so afraid that I'm going to be sucked in by one of these people again. I do NOT want to end up yet again with someone who thinks that if they put enough "nice" coins in my slot they are entitled to "insert sex act here" from my sexual vending machine. Problem is, in the beginning of relationships, you usually are having a lot of sex because of NRE and all of the excitement that comes with that. But as time goes on and you're no longer down to have multiple nights in a row of no sleep because you realize that is unsustainable, then what? Am I just doomed to repeat this cycle because I've basically trained the rat this way?

And these "nice guys" don't tend to rear their ugly little heads until after they've been rejected. So what, do I just refuse to sleep with someone for several months at first and see how they respond to the rejection? I guess the struggle is with determining what version of nice is genuine, and what is just "trying to get into your pants." To be honest I'm concerned that some men would just view me as a challenge, and then they would turn on that niceness and charm even more. I spoke to my therapist about this at length a few sessions ago, that I truly believe that my XH viewed me as a challenge, as someone he could wear down over time.

I have always been very opinionated on the topic of sex, consent, gender equality etc., and have never been afraid to speak on those views, even when others might believe the opposite. I don't need to be argumentative and bring it up all the time, but if the topic is broached, and I feel someone is saying something that is wrong, I don't back down. In other words, I do not suffer fools. Something he repeated ad nauseam was something that he loved about me. Then he was SHOCKED when I didn't just bend over and take it when he started spewing nonsense - he LOVED that I am an opinionated badass, until my opinion contradicted his world view that he can have whatever he wants whenever he wants it as long as he screams and stomps his feet long enough.

Anyway, I know we usually discuss dating over in new beginnings, but I felt like the struggle with this particular issue is so specific when it comes to being the spouse of an SA. It's just such a mind fuck to think that on days when I was feeling satisfied, safe and fulfilled by just existing in our relationship, he was feeling deprived. Especially when he was saying the exact opposite. How can I ever take anyone at their word again?

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 6:03 AM, July 11th (Saturday)]

DevastatedDee posted 7/11/2020 09:52 AM

What comforts me is reminding myself that my XWH is a special kind of fucked up that isn't common and normal. Your XWH is also a special kind of fucked up. These people are out there, no doubt about it, but even those who have transactional views on sex don't come close to the level of fucked up you and I found ourselves dealing with. It seems that we had a similar flavor of XWH with some slight differences, where I was the one who was like "so wait, why isn't he wanting to have sex with me all the time anymore?". Doesn't matter, same kind of dude at the core. Mine also had very strong opinions about cheating and how awful it is as he was sleeping with prostitutes behind my back.

Once you've encountered this kind of liar, it is really hard to trust anything in anyone. These men are very good at being fake and it is hard if not impossible to see through them before the mask falls. Hard, but not impossible. I see only in hindsight red flags, and they would only be red flags because I ultimately came to know who I was with.

I am not going to try to play games with withholding or giving sex whenever I date again. What I am going to do is scrutinize the crap out of every action and casual word for signs of any empathy deficiencies. All of this comes down to empathy. No one with sufficient empathy could do what these men did to us. I have practiced this on everyone I know and have met since. I look for how they handle the aftermath of doing something wrong, making a mistake or hurting someone's feelings. I watch how they handle everyday challenges. I watch actions 90% harder than words. I have learned a lot about people I already knew and have found myself better able to predict how they will react to a number of things just by watching how they handle casual interactions.

I'm talking small things. Little things like say someone gives a cashier a $10 instead of a $20. When it is pointed out, they can react with frustration towards themselves. Sighing, shaking their head while they get the right bill out. Signifies to me self-centeredness and insecurity. If they react with "oh, I'm sorry" with maybe a smile and get the right bill out, that's pretty safe. If they react with an over the top charming reaction as if to win the cashier over while they correct their mistake, that's a sign to me to watch out as well.

I'm practicing watching for this sort of stuff before I get out there and try to meet new people. There are no guarantees that we'll not find some new flavor of fucked up that we didn't encounter. I am banking on empathy and emotional maturity as being what to watch for moreso than anything else, though.

crazyblindsided posted 7/11/2020 11:57 AM

HeHadADoubleLife I felt like I was reading about myself with your post. You put into words exactly how I felt. I feel so broken sexually now. I don't even want it at all. I haven't had it in over a year and I definitely don't miss it.

All I have ever wanted was to share a deep intimacy that didn't revolve around sex. My STBX knew that I was molested as a child and still acted so eww icky like the sitting there with a cock ring and full erection. Mine would do similar and would expect me to just throw myself at him by the sight of it omg

I remember one vacation we were on with my family and we were in this extra large van rental. Well one day we were on our way to some sightseeing and my STBX was alone in the back and he taps me on the shoulder and I look and he's got it out and hard like WTF

We also had lots of sex in the beginning. I believe my STBX also thought he would get sex on demand every night. When the sex started to wane (we were at this time having it 3x a week) he starting letting me know how many days each month we weren't having sex. I really started to dread sex after that. Of course he blamed having the A's because of this.

My worst fear would be to find someone like this again.

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