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Discovery of Cybersex addiction

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38yearstogether posted 3/21/2014 06:56 AM

Tuesday 11th March was when I discovered on the History of our computer what my husband had been up to. The shock was unbearable. I thought we were rock solid. There in front of me were images of his online profile complete with explicit photos and exactly what he wanted to do with dozens of women. The history went on for multiple pages of porn, videos, hook up sites and casual sex sites. I felt I would pass out. I told him to get out then and there. His attitude was that it was "harmless fun". He used language like "it's only words" and "its just writing...a game" and "I never touched anyone". But this is infidelity to me. He clearly engaged in sexual activity for the purpose of sexual excitement and gratification with others and he was deceitful and living a double life. I live in hope that he can do the work on his own problems with counselling and that we can both work out what went wrong. But he needs to drop the denial. I feel enraged, anxious, desperate, lonely, terrified, betrayed and deceived. This is the only man I have ever loved. The love of my life. He says he still loves me and that the cybersex "meant nothing" why do it?????

Blindsided215 posted 3/21/2014 07:11 AM

I am so sorry. ((HUGS))

I don't have an advice as I just discovered the same thing about my husband of 13 yrs. He's been going on Craigslist personals seeking out encounters for over 3 yrs! I found that out after finding out he was having a sexting affair with a good friend for over a year. He says he sees the errors of his ways. I cant get over the fact that the past 3 years of my life have been a lie and that he has been living a double life. Why does the fact that he never touched anyone not make me feel any better??!!! We are in MC and he is going to go IC for this problem but I don't know if this is what I want for the rest of my life!

Gemstone posted 3/21/2014 07:27 AM


Glad you found this site. I know you are in a bad place at the moment, but there are people here who have been where you are and will be able to help you.
It is quite amazing how some men seem to think that as long as they don't touch, it is ok, not cheating and that it means nothing.
Unfortunatley, todays technology means that it is very easy to upgrade from yesterdays 'dirty magazines' under the bed to a far more personal form of viewing porn.
Nobody wants to see their husband like this, it is demeaning and your respect for them just flies out of the window.
I think until he can recognize his problem and deal with it, it will be difficult for you to get past this.

i wish you luck I am sure others who have been through this and come out the other side will be along soon with very useful advice.


Skan posted 3/21/2014 16:00 PM

Hey there, welcome. I'm glad that you found us for support.

If you have not already, please look at the upper left corner, in the yellow box, and click on The Healing Library and start reading. Also, look in the first 1-3 pages of this forum for posts with red "targets" next to them and read their 1st page. This is all good information for you that's written by people who have unfortunately BTDT.

Cybersex is called cybersex because is it SEX. It can be two or more people, getting together for sexual purposes. It can be one person having a solitary sexual relationship with photos, videos, cruising come-on ads, etc. It is seeking sexual satisfaction outside of your marriage. And if it's done without the consent of both partners in a relationship, it's infidelity.

If it wasn't cheating, why did he hide it from you? Good question that I doubt that he can answer with any sanity. I suppose that if he had actually hooked up with one of his hookers, and as long as it was only casual, paid sex, that that would have "meant nothing" as well.

In my case, my FWHs pornographic obsession started with photos, went to videos, then to chat sites, then to pay-me-to-fondle-myself sites, then to casual hook-up sites, then to him posting his "availability", and finally to a ONS. The progression from chat sites to finding a f-buddy took less than 2 years. I caught him before he had his second session.

You can get through this. As a matter of fact, with him or without him, you WILL get through this! If he can get his head out of his ass and start thinking with the topmost head, hopefully he can figure out why he needed a hidden "nothing" for his satisfaction when he had a real, live, loving woman right next to him. (((hugs)))

bent44 posted 3/21/2014 16:39 PM

Hi and welcome 38,

I am so sorry you find yourself here, but please know you have come to an amazing place. Please read as much as you can, and try to take care of yourself.

As to his words right now, it is very common for foggy WS to deny, minimize, compartmentalize, lie, omit,and gaslight. It is very difficult to face their own shame and be accountable, (not that it makes it OK!!!).

The actions are crazy, and the mindset that leads to the actions are even more crazy. Please don't doubt yourself.

There is also the possibility that you are not getting the full truth at this point. TT is VERY common around here.

The bottom line is that he is likely batshit crazy right now, and the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Don't believe anything he says, and only about half of what he does at this point.

I hope these words do not overwhelm you, they come from my experience. Trust YOUR values and YOUR have integrity and strength. Hang in there, hold tight, and stay close. This place can literally be a lifesaver!

And to second what Skan said, you can get through this!

38yearstogether posted 3/22/2014 05:26 AM

Thank you so much for all your hugs and support. I am so glad I stumbled onto this site. I know that some people don't view cybersex as infidelity - they say that because there is no physical contact it is somehow "harmless fun". My trauma anxiety and depression would indicate otherwise.

Blindsided thank you for sharing. I feel your pain too. I too can't imagine feeling any worse.

Gemstone thank you for your comments. I do need him to recognise his problem before there can be any hope of reconciliation.

Skan thank you for expressing so well my EXACT same thoughts on this. There is no doubt in my mind that this is cheating. How can anyone can justify this kind of behaviour when supposedly in a committed loving relationship?

Bent thank you. I appreciate your honesty. I simply cannot trust him right now. It's all too raw and there are so many inconsistencies in what he says, I had to cut off communication with him for now.

He is seeing a counsellor, as am I. I am trying to look after myself now. The loneliness and anxiety are tough.

Sincere thanks to you all for taking the time to care and reply. I appreciate the support. I will try to support others as I get stronger. HUGS to all of you.

Skan posted 3/22/2014 17:13 PM

Honey, the one and ONLY responsibility that you have right now, is to yourself. You take care of you. Be kind to yourself and nurture yourself. That's the best way that you can give back right now. (((hugs)))

strengthandhope posted 3/22/2014 17:31 PM


Unfortunately this is a growing problem, even with people that thought they had/have a loving long term marriage or relationship. I have had 4 Discovery Days, and all center around this cyber world.

My husband has been remorseful each time, he does see it as cheating, yet he has been unable to stop himself. This past DD, he admitted that he is SA (sex addict) and needs special help. He doesn't want to hurt me anymore, but realizes his behaviors have become out of control.

Be aware, even if things seem to go well again, many times these people will find other ways to act out. They will start finding ways to hide things, either with secret cell phones, or manipulating the computer so you can't look up the history, etc.

You are in for a long, hard road. I wish you the best and there are plenty on this website that have experience and want to share that with you to be your safe place to fall when no one else seems to understand.

oldtimer97 posted 3/24/2014 11:16 AM

With the advent of the internet, this is rampant, rampant problem now. My husband & myself were one of the 1st couples to prototype it..what a distinction before the general public really knew about it and we appeared in a documentary on the Discovery Channel back in the day. You can read some of the details in my ever-changing/growing and incomplete profile. The long story made short in our case, is that my husband is actually bipolar, such that when he goes manic, he goes hypersexual & women over the internet is how he expresses it, save a couple of actual physical meetups. If your husband is a true addict, all of the steps will continue to escalate.

I wish I had more time to fill you in more, but since "we're" in a manic stage right now, my time is very limited, not to mention I'm a slow writer. Your best place to start for info on this site is in the I Can Relate forum and look for the subforums: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts and Online/Cyber cheating. Get familiar with the term CSAT. This is the best kind of certified & educated counselor for your husband. I would also suggest for both you and him: "In the Shadows of the Net" by Patrick Carnes Ph.D. You can find a free download @ Use the download site, depositfiles and use the download link that says "Download file in regular mode by browser" It is a cloud service not a peer to peer. I downloaded it yesterday with no problems and no malware warnings.

This stuff is nasty. The 1st one for my husband was a married woman whom he had never seen a picture of nor talked to on the phone, yet he thought he was head over heels in love & willing to leave me for her. Now if that isn't an indication that this stuff is created in the individual's imagination & fantasy world, I don't know what is. Suffice it to say, back then before it became more common, it absolutely shredded my self-esteem to think I was worth so little I could be replaced by the virtual stranger! Best of luck and hang in there.

38yearstogether posted 3/25/2014 15:48 PM

Thank you guys. I appreciate all your comments and insight.

Today 25th March (yesterday in Sydney)is/was our 36th wedding anniversary and a very sad day spent alone. He sent me a card hoping for my forgiveness one day.

This is the worst thing I have ever been through. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy (if I had one)... and I have never been on my own, so it's taking all the strength I can muster just to put one foot in front of the other to get through the day.

I am the sort of person who needs things to make sense, but perhaps they never will. I have not closed the door on a possible reconciliation one day, but he has have lots of work to do and I have lots of healing to do before I can even consider that. We have both started counselling.

I see now that cybersex is a huge problem in our society and causing untold distress for many many people. This makes me so sad and wondering what on earth is wrong with these people who would hurt the ones they love...

Perhaps I should now move over to the subforums: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts and Online/Cyber cheating?

[This message edited by 38yearstogether at 3:52 PM, March 25th (Tuesday)]

Gemstone posted 3/27/2014 04:18 AM

There are many many people out there who have an addictive personality and many different things to become addicted to.
The one constant is that once on that path, without help, it will get worse and the need for the 'fix' will increase
Porn addicts will like all others, not see it as a problem, and will convince themselves that they are doing no harm to anyone. The availability of easy porn via the computer makes it so much easier for them to accelerate the addiction and keep upping the fix.
In their minds they are getting all the excitement they want and not hurting their partners cos it's 'not real'. Then I think it becomes not enough and they need to have actual physical contact and by this time, they have spent so long telling themselves it means nothing they can make that step without any guilt.
Of course the partners pain is not in a Cyber space it is real, all consuming, heart breaking and devastating .

I hope he can get the help he needs and that you will find some peace and strength either with or without him

spanz posted 3/27/2014 06:25 AM

let me take a slightly contrarian point of view. In such a lengthy marriage, it is common for the man to have some sort of erectile disfunction. Porn can be helpful for some in that situation. The question is: did he watch porn to get himself hornier for sex with you, did he watch it to the detriment of your sex relationship, and worse of all did he do it to hook up with other people.

Talk to him about it. Ask him what he did, what sites, get all the passwords, get him to agree to share everything and never erase anything from the computer from now on. and tell him you are going to watch his computer/phone like a hawk. See if you can channel this unhealthy addiction into a more beneficial path.

Of course, if he is having physical affairs, or even long term emotional affairs online, that might be a deal breaker for you.

Mhiimg65 posted 3/30/2014 18:32 PM

Dear 38,
Many of us are in your same boat. My WH went from porn sites to Craigslist which resulted in a 10 month PA in a city he travels in. Then when she broke it off ( for some other WS, I'm sure) he went back to live porn sites and even two prostitutes. Please don't let yourself undermine what is going on.

I'm only 3 months in, and we are in MC and he is in IC, but I can already clearly tell his problem is going to take much longer than either of us imagined.

Hang in there, and keep reminding yourself this is a serious infraction of your life and marriage. And hugs...

38yearstogether posted 4/5/2014 00:35 AM

He has been out of the house since DD. 11th March, when my gut told me to kick him out. We met up last weekend for a coffee and it was very emotional and there were lots of tears. But I asked him a question that he avoided and it played on my mind the next day. He told me he "would have" stopped, because he "got scared when she used the word love". But his behaviour indicates the opposite. He was actually escalating. He posted photos of his genitals and continued his explicit sex talk to the very same woman who supposedly scared him. That's when I had my full on tantrum (in the privacy of my own home) - complete with screaming phone call to him and smashing of breakable objects. I have never been so enraged.

Here's the thing, I caught him out and kicked him out. So there's no way of knowing if he would have stopped by himself or not. So that is kind of a childish unhelpful comment to downplay the situation. The specifics of the how's and when's and what ifs aren't important - but the deception is key here. If he's just going to say what he thinks I want to hear, then there is no future. I need the truth. I am already hurting. I need answers. We are both still having counselling separately I have said that I have not closed the door completely on the possibility of a reconciliation, but I need time and I need to make sense of what happened to my darling husband and the marriage I thought I had. I asked him to get back to me when he has some clarity. Nothing yet.

I feel as though I am trying to find the pieces of the puzzle and he keeps handing me the ones that don't fit. All that does is perpetuate my frustration and confirm his inability/unwillingness to face the truth or give me anything that makes sense.

He spends a lot of time with our grown up kids...dinners, movies, football, etc. He is getting looked after, and I feel like I am on my own. Very sad and depressed at the moment.

Gotmegood posted 4/5/2014 09:10 AM

I am so sorry you are here and experiencing this shock, unimaginable pain and trauma. are doing a lot of things right.
The spousal 'fog' on SI most often refers to cases of betrayal in which a married person commits adultery with another 'real' person with whom they have at least some emotional attachment. As you now know, and many of us including me can attest, there is a 'fog' with those adulterers who haven't fallen in 'love' too. There is intense denial and minimizing going on, they have used this to tell themselves that what they are doing is 'okay'. It was not, and never will be okay with me. My WH went from years of secret internet porn usage to acting out with a prostitute. His first words to me upon discovery were "aren't you glad it was only a prostitute?" Huh?
So, know that you cannot believe him. Know that he will desperately try to minimize the unacceptableness of his behavior. Know that your values and morals are right for YOU, and they should have been valued and upheld by your spouse.

I'm so happy that you are getting counseling for yourself. I, too, have always needed things to make sense. I've had to let go of that a bit, and it is very hard.
You haven't "closed the door completely" on trying to R, but neither should you hold it wide open. He has lots of work to do before you can get to that doorway. And in the end, it will be your decision. Try to take care of yourself in all the healthy ways advised here (hydration, sleep, exercise). Understand that you have no control over his behavior or thoughts. That you immediately separated I think will be helpful. It will either shock him out of his addictive and sick behavior by being faced with real life consequences, or it will help you to begin to detach from the life he is offering you now.
I'm so sorry it happened to you. I will look for more if your posts to check up on how you're doing.

absolut posted 4/5/2014 09:24 AM


You did the right thing. Do not believe that he was getting ready to stop coincidental with you catching him. Trust your own instincts.

Take good care of yourself. If you have a close friend or a sister to talk to maybe do that if you feel you can truly trust someone to confide in. Have you considered seeing a therapist? It can help.

He will say whatever he wants but you know the truth, this is NOT "just words" etc.

38yearstogether posted 4/5/2014 17:58 PM

Talking to him last night on the phone. He says this whole thing was an attempt to improve his own erectile dysfunctions and lack of self-esteem. He says it was all for me. Hmmmm, why do I have trouble accepting that? On one hand its great that he is beginning to think about what led up to it. I can accept that may have been a part of the original reason to look at porn...but come on, really? This went on for some time. I think to set up a profile on an x rated dating site with explicit photos and to engage in posting cybersex chat for over a year is going way beyond the original intent of stimulation to help his performances with me. Unless/until he gets really real, we stay apart.

Gotmegood posted 4/5/2014 20:40 PM

I am in agreement with you, in so far as: he is attempting to dig, and look into what his motivations were to explore porn-sexting-etc, and what he got out of it. It's a start. And I think pretty common for the 'cornered rat' to panic and spew out whatever will spare its own ass.
He absolutely did not engage in sexually explicit cyber chatting for you. Nothing that he did that he was hiding, was being deceitful about, knew you would find objectionable, was for you. You know that, and on some level, so does he. Stay strong. Keep your focus on you. Best luck.

Adeahan posted 4/5/2014 21:27 PM

I am coming from a sim situation here, my wife was talking to guys she met through Plenty of Fish, having to go through all the messages and pictures guys were sending her and the stuff she was saying to the one guy she was talking almost killed is stuff i well never ever forget regardless of if we R or not, i hope you are able to heal yourself and keep going, it will get better and we are here when you need to vent or anything.

Also, as a guy, i have looked at porn, i think most of us have, my wife knew, i never like threw it in her face or anything but it was still wrong, i may not have meant it to hurt her but it did, so i have stopped.

[This message edited by Adeahan at 9:29 PM, April 5th (Saturday)]

RippedSoul posted 4/5/2014 22:06 PM

38yearstogether, hugs! This isn't a journey I'd wish on anyone, but I can say that you have the best traveling companions ever!!!

IF your WH is a sex addict, then you WILL get lots of help down in the previously mentioned thread in the "I Can Relate" forum. But, of course, you can still post here. Or in General. Or in Reconciliation. You can post just about anywhere as long as you follow the instructions for each forum.

My SLAWH has been an addict since his preteen or early teen years. Of course, no one knew and no one would've called it that then, but that's what it was. Addictive behavior is not just a bad habit. It's not something that can be stopped cold turkey. And if it is, then it's not an addiction OR else it transfers to another activity.

For years and years and years, my WH contented himself with masturbation and fantasies and photos (harder to get 25-30 years ago) and make-out sessions with girls. A week after we married, I found a phone bill for $600--all calls to phone sex lines. Naive me, I thought all guys must do that and that he just couldn't wait to have "legal" sex with me. Never thought about it again because he never had phone sex again. Months later (really? when he had a beautiful, willing wife in the next room?), I found him masturbating to a fuzzy porn channel on our apartment TV. Again, I felt horrible, but I thought it was normal.

It wasn't until 8 1/2 years ago that he was diagnosed as an addict: sex, rage, food, caffeine, spending. When he worked on controlling one (by white knuckling), he'd spin out of control in another area. His drug of choice, though, was porn/fantasy. As many problems as that caused us, intimacy-wise, it seemed under control for the most part. But, like another poster said, addictions escalate. He, in the guise of 12-step "asking for forgiveness," would contact old girlfriends and several of those blossomed into emotional affairs. Then there came the time, almost 2 years ago, when the next step seemed logical to him, and he had an A. When that "love of his life" (remember, he's a sex and love addict) dropped him, he upped it another step and acted out with a prostitute and two escorts (separate encounters).

I share that with you because your WH may say that he would have stopped, but if it's truly an addiction, that's highly unlikely. And, if it's an addiction, you may have found only the tip of the iceberg. That's not to say he's actually had sex with any woman, but it's possible that this cybersex activity is a step up from plain ol' porn sites which were a step up from phone sex which was a step up from girlie magazines . . .

And, if it gives you any hope or strength at all, your WH may truly love you. The addiction is NOT about YOU; it's about HIM. You haven't failed in ANY way; he is simply broken. My WH is starting the long road back to sobriety and recovery--very slowly. It's painful. Although I don't think he's acting out in his sex addiction, he's definitely acting out. But it's easier to handle his constant computer game playing (FIFA and CivRev), than his paying for sex or cheating. Imagine that!

And I'm working on myself, too. I've been going to IC for 3 years; I've started reading anything and everything I can get my hands on regarding SA for the past 18 months; I just received my 6-month chip at S-Anon last week; and I found SI about 9 months ago.

I still feel hopeless at times, but I definitely feel loved. And as long as we're moving in the right direction, I have two teen sons still at home who need a daddy. For all of us, trying to reconcile is definitely worth it.

Good luck! Keep posting and check out other threads as new information becomes available to you. There is SO much wisdom here on SI. I'm continually amazed at how much support and comfort I get just by reading. Hugs!

[This message edited by RippedSoul at 10:07 PM, April 5th (Saturday)]

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