Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Sexual addict? I'm confused

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

lbuzz posted 4/19/2014 10:19 AM

So a week ago I was trying to do our taxes on my husband's computer, which is the only one that runs the tax software. A woman began repeatedly calling his computer, and it turned out that he has been having an intense affair with her for a few weeks, including lots of phone sex as she currently is out of the country. I was really thrown by this and didn't handle it well that day. I basically locked him out of the house, and he ended up sleeping in the car. The next day we talked some and he came upstairs acting as though he would end their relationship. He called her while I was there and supposedly broke things off with her, but he again began texting her later in the week with lots of messages of love, etc. It was much less intense than before because I asked to hold onto his phone most of the time as he had been blowing off me and our 9 year old son almost all of the time in order to text/call her. So, since most of the time I had the phone, the texting/calling happened on the couple of occasions that he had to drive somewhere for work-related reasons.

In any case, I'm not sure how to proceed. I found out yesterday that he had been still sneaking in texts/calls here and there. I wrote a contract last night that basically said that if we were going to stay together, then I needed to hold onto his phone and computer for the foreseeable future and just allow him to use it when I was sitting next to him. I also had some other rules as I'm not even comfortable with him leaving the house solo for a bit as I imagine him going down the street to the library computers or a friend's computer, etc. I told him I could go anywhere with him, but I'm not comfortable with solo stuff. I even said I would drive him wherever as he works a freelance job where his hours are not consistent. He might get off at 1 or 2 or 5. It's impossible to tell, and so he uses this fact by making up extra things he's doing at work so that he can secretly text/call her.

So I'm not sure if I'm crazy requiring this stuff. He's really pissed. I told him that I don't want him to do it if he's going to be pissed at me about it. As far as I'm concerned, it needs to be done with love for me and a desire to rebuild trust--not in anger. If he's going to resent it instead of seeing it as a way to rebuild things, then I would rather call everything off and move forward as there's so little left. I just hate pulling the rug out from under my son and changing our lives so much, but I don't see a way not to if he's not willing to really embrace change/rebuild trust. I guess I should also mention that he did this once before around 11 years ago, but I found out after it was over, which was devastating but much easier to deal with really, especially since we didn't have a child.

I guess one thing I'm wondering is whether part of the current thing would fall under the purview of sexual addiction as he seems literally unable to stop the constant texting/calling and acts like someone in withdrawal. Also the texting/calling included lots of sexual videos, voice texts, etc., and it was almost 24 hours. He was hardly sleeping and he was completely non-interactive with my son and me. It was like he wasn't there and was in some kind of haze that hasn't really lifted.

I also wonder if it's worth trying to save things. At the moment, it feels hopeless, and I just feel bad for my son more than anything. I think if he wasn't in the picture then I wouldn't bother. However, because of our really crappy financial situation, he would lose not just the current life with his dad and I, but everything else--activities, schooling as we couldn't afford to stay in our home and this area, friends as it would be hard to stay in touch if we moved far out of this area, etc. But with my husband's incessant anger at my efforts to move past this relationship and his anger at all my past failings, which he holds responsible for the whole thing seemingly, it just seems pointless. My parents divorced at exactly my son's age, so I know how awful it is. I was determined that no matter what, I would never do this to him, and I seem about to do this to him.

Merlin posted 4/19/2014 10:41 AM

Sex addiction is often enough self-diagnosed. And 'professionals' overuse it to the point of idiocy. If sex addiction exists at all, it is an exceedingly rare condition.

Your husband is likely only in the throes of his affair and wants to have his marriage, family and affair partner all at the same time.

You must decide what you will put up with.

He must know that his marriage and family is at risk and that you will not allow him any 'all of the above' choice.

Shock treatment (not real ECT) is to cut him off via a 180 - walk diametrically from him, dealing only with matters concerning your marriage (if he wants to save it), children, divorce and money issues.

For your sanity, for your family, do the 180 immediately.

Give him the gift of missing you. Give yourself the gift of focusing on you.

norabird posted 4/19/2014 10:42 AM


I'm so sorry. Everything you are requiring is well within your rights! Do NOT let your WH (wayward husband) make you feel that you are unreasonable.

I would not consider this sexual addiction, but it is certainly addictive behavior. We usually refer to it as 'the fog' here--the affair relationship and the fantasy it represents can become this all-consuming escape.

Because your WH is being difficult, blaming you, defending his right to carry on an A, I am afraid that I think you should see a lawyer and prepare to file for divorce. I am very truly sorry for your little boy and yes, the lifestyle change can be hard. However you have to be willing to face it.

Filing doesn't mean you have to go through if your WH's attitude does not change. But, to successfully reconcile, both partners must be fully on board, and your WH must be remorseful. As you know, he's not. It isn't fair to allow him to cake-eat and have it both ways--you deserve to be the first priority, and shouldn't accept less. Show him that you won't settle with your actions and it may wake him up and get him to see the light. If not, please try not to blame yourself--this is not your fault, and you did your best.

NeverAgain2013 posted 4/19/2014 11:09 AM

This situation has nothing to do with being a sex addict, Ibuzz. That term is thrown around constantly every time a guy is caught with his pants down, and I think it does a horrible disservice to those who are actually dealing with the fallout that true sexual addiction brings to a relationship.

Your husband has checked out of the marriage. He sees you as someone whose trying to hamper his obsession with some woman, and all he feels for you right now is anger. Like you're the mom whose tracking his every move and punishing him when he misbehaves. He doesn't see you as the person he's completely devastated with his utterly selfish behavior, nor does he see the gravity in the horrendous damage he's done to your marriage and family.

As much as it may drive you crazy, you CAN'T monitor and control his every move 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That will kill you slowly, Ibuzz.

The only behavior you CAN control right now is your own. Like the others have suggested, I highly recommend you read up on the 180 and put it into practice immediately.

Just know that the purpose of the 180 is not to try to get him to suddenly pull his head out of his ass, and start acting rationally again. It's designed to give YOU the strength and focus you desperately need while you try to navigate through the horrific chaos he's dumped on your front porch.

Nature_Girl posted 4/19/2014 12:25 PM

One affair does not a sexual addict make.

However, the fact that I don't think your husband is a sex addict in no way diminishes the pain & destruction you are facing. I am so sorry you are here, but I think you have some hard truths to handle right now.

First of all, you have already lost your husband. He's gone. He's proven, repeatedly, that he is not interested in you, your son, your marriage. He's already picked the other woman. He's willing to lie & deceive you so he can continue whatever this is with her (and you don't even know its a woman, it could be a man, you don't know).

Second, you cannot control another adult. Not even your husband. You don't have the right to control him. Further, you are not his mommy nor are you his parole officer. I totally get what you're doing with all the draconian control measures, but Hon, they aren't effective (clearly they aren't, he's still doing stuff), and to make matters worse they destroy your marriage. Whether your husband continues to cheat is not up to you. It's up to him. And he's choosing to continue to cheat.

You have one option. You need to hand out an ultimatum. He gets to choose to be all in with you, right now, or he needs to GTF out of your house and you'll file for divorce at 8:00 on Monday morning (or whenever your courthouse opens). That's it. And over the weekend he needs to not be in your bed. He needs to be on the couch.

You cannot nice a person out of an affair, nor can you micromanage their adult freedom and force them out of an affair. You cannot control another adult. You only control you.

I'm sorry you're here.

tushnurse posted 4/19/2014 13:27 PM

SexAddict? No. Addicted to the thrill or ego kibbles hea getting from the A ? Absolutely.
It sucks that he did this to you before and chose to hurt you again.
There are many wonderful people here that will give you super advice. Please read the library and the topics in the Just Found Out section with bulls eyes.

All of this makes the BS (betrayed spouse) feel like they are losing their mind, that it is in some way their fault. It isn't. Do not let him blame you one second. He chose this. Nothing you did or didn't do caused this. He is broken in a fundamental way and really needs to figure out why without that he will do it again.
I get wanting to R I was all for it too. There are things tht absolutely have to happen for R.
Transparency, therapy for him, std testing, and whatever else you need.
There are a few things I tell every newbie here. One go see a lawyer so you know your rights and what his obligations are. Empower yourself with knowledge. Use this to help you think.
Two go to your dr, get the full gamut of STD tests to get the all clear so you don't have to worry about that. If you are having trouble sleeping and eating, talk to your dr about it. Sleep deprivation and malnutrition make you more emotional and less able to think clearly.
Keep reading keep posting. Weekends tend to be quieter but you will get lots of help Monday.

(((( and strength ))))

confused615 posted 4/19/2014 14:13 PM

Hi and welcome. You've received great advice so far. I just wanted to add... please don't make the mistake of thinking if you hold his phone and computer, then that will guarantee NC. He will just get a burner phone.

I'd kick his ass out. He knows you know about the affair...yet any chance he has he continues to contact her. I'd file for a divorce and tell him I was not going to share my husband with a whore.

Who is OW? Have you done your own investigation on her? Does she have a husband? Call him and tell him what his wife has been up to. That will be the single best thing you can do to end this affair.

Afwife4201 posted 4/19/2014 14:47 PM

I don't think he's a sex addict. I do think he is extremely selfish.

Placing rules like keeping the phone and the computer are something a mother would do to a child. No one likes to be treated that way and you shouldn't have to babysit him. He is your husband and he should want to work on your relationship or not.

As it stand right now, he doesn't think you are going to do anything about it. When the first affair happened, what was the agreement to keep your relationship in place? What has changed? Did he suffer any consequences for his actions the first time?

He went back to texting her because he is infatuated with her. He doesn't seem to care what it's doing to you or your son. I would make him leave for a while. Let him really know that you are considering a divorce. In fact, start the proceedings for a divorce, you can always back out later. Let him know this is not ok.

lbuzz posted 4/20/2014 10:05 AM

Thanks for all of the replies. I really appreciate everyone's comments and thoughts. The first time he had an affair, more than 10 years ago was a little different as the affair was over when I found out and had been for a while, so it was awful, but a bit different as the fog had already ended. Since yesterday, he has agreed to me having control or viewing his use at all times of his phone, computer, etc., and he has agreed never to use them without me there, whether that's a good idea or not. I have just been carting them around like an idiot, and I drive him everywhere for the moment. On the computer and phone, he gets frequent FaceTime and texts from the OW, and I have blocked her and changed the FaceTime account so that hopefully these messages stop showing up. I know that he can get a different phone, change info, etc., so this is not a long-term solution of course. I know also that she keeps creating new email accounts to stay in touch with him, but I guess I'd like a few days or weeks where contact is stopped so that he and I can both think for a second.

As several people have said, I agree that he does want to have us both, and he is completely unable to control himself and me as mommy/cop is untenable. However, I guess I sort of wanted to try it anyway briefly for several reasons of varying validity. Part of is is that my son's school year ends at the end of May, and he's freaking out already because of this. I'd rather do all the massive changes in the summer when we could go stay with friends/family for an extended length of time. For financial reasons, we or my husband would have a hard time immediately getting another place. He had to spend the night in the car when I kicked him out and was looking at housesitting possibilities, but my son was really bothered by his dad spending the night in a car. By the way, my husband has stopped being pissy to me about being controlled/transparent in his actions and has actually agreed to the whole thing of my holding his phone, only using the computer where I can see, etc., seemingly happily. He also seems a bit less in the fog as he has started to reconnect with our son, who he had been blowing off and snapping at during the affair.

At the moment, the OW is out of the country for another five days or so. She's been gone for the last two weeks too. She's not a citizen here and doesn't have a green card, etc., so she can't stay in the country for extended periods legally. In any case, they can currently only have contact by phone/text. I have a full record of all of their previous text conversations, so I'm not in the dark about all of their collusion to fool me, etc.

We have family coming to visit in a few weeks, which just feels like a nightmare now, but they've already bought plane tickets and we are supposed to meet them for a family vacation before hosting them at our home. I guess I want to decide by the time of their visit whether to allow my husband to be in our home or to join us on this trip. I wouldn't want him there now, and yet the idea of him moving out to be with her makes me sick too. I guess I need time to process the whole thing. I think completely contradictory things throughout the day.

Part of me thinks that after this trip, I would move out and visit with friends in another state for a few weeks before going to stay with my brother for a few weeks, also in another state. I've been a stay-at-home mom, so I also need to figure out job prospects as no matter how much child support he might pay, it would be impossible for us to continue living where we are and having the same life. I want some breathing space to figure that out.

So I just read the 180 thing. I have started to do much of that in the last two days, although the control of computer/phone I guess wouldn't be part of that. I also already did some of the desperate stuff in the first couple days, but I have stopped that and kind of let him go in my mind I suppose. I have told him that it's great if he wants to be with the OW, but that he can't string me along about it. He needed to decide as of last night whether he wants to try to salvage our relationship or move on with her. He says he wants to salvage ours, and right now, I feel like I need to be have full transparency with the phone/computer/car, etc. to believe that he means that. Is that a bad idea? I just feel like I have so little trust in him that I don't know how to move forward without being able to truly know that he isn't contacting her. How do you re-establish trust when someone has proved so untrustworthy without having full access to his communications?

Also, in case of divorce, I have also told him that I am already excited about reconnecting with people who I had good friendships with and who are possible dating prospects, such as a friend from college who recently divorced. I also talked to him about spending time with some other divorced friends who it's harder to hang out with as a couple and who can advise me about life after divorce and help me start over. I've also become a bit distant and disconnected from him, and that seems to inspire him to try to reconnect and make concessions. I am not sure that I want to connect with him though. It's all very confusing as I had a completely different idea of what my life would be in the future, and I'm having to re-envision it either with him ( a person who I might never trust) or separate from him. It's hard to imagine either existence at this point, but the life without him is more appealing right now, although it also has lots of challenges that I'm mentally and emotionally not feeling ready for yet. I wish I could pause the world for a minute and just have some time to be without having to make any decisions.

lbuzz posted 4/20/2014 12:33 PM

One of the other things that is driving me crazy right now is how hard I'm finding it to be present with my son. I keep crying, and he keeps asking me why. Also I just want to talk to my husband at times, and it's so hard to arrange with childcare. We've been sticking my son in front of movies and at the computer, which he is now sick of. We don't have anyone to help with this. Also, I homeschool my don in part because he's a really difficult kid to find a school fit for, and so we don't have time away even on school days.

lbuzz posted 4/20/2014 12:42 PM

So Nature_girl wrote the below:
>You have one option. You need to hand out an ultimatum. He >gets to choose to be all in with you, right now, or he needs to >GTF out of your house and you'll file for divorce at 8:00 on >Monday morning (or whenever your courthouse opens). >That's it. And over the weekend he needs to not be in your >bed. He needs to be on the couch.

>You cannot nice a person out of an affair, nor can you >micromanage their adult freedom and force them out of an >affair. You cannot control another adult. You only control you.

My only confusion is how do you then trust that he isn't continuing the affair? How do upu create transparency, especially when phone contact is so easy to have and hide?

tushnurse posted 4/20/2014 15:21 PM

You can't be sure and you can't control it. You can't stop it. He has to choose to do so.
Listen he has made some changes and lost his anger, so the fog may be lifting and clearing.
You have the power here. You get to lay down the rules here so now is the time you demand a NC letter/note/text.
Now is the time you tell him of he F's up he's out.
Be prepared to follow through.
Tell your son that you are having trouble but not the details and reinforce to him that you both love him very very much and always will no matter what happens between you two.
Demand that your H get his butt in IC and call by 9:30 on Monday to set it up. Make him call to get tested for any an all STDs and do not have sex with him until he does.
You will be amazed at the strength you feel when you do take control.
It's time to play hardball. See a lawye1000 north 14th Street stlouis 63106 r Monday. He doesn't need to know you are doing this but do it.

Nature_Girl posted 4/20/2014 15:43 PM

If I were you, I wouldn't trust him at this point in time. That's a consequence of cheating. No trust. It is up to HIM to be trustworthy & prove it to you. You must not just blindly trust him. You must not use blind trust to prove anything to him. He has to prove to you.

You can't know if he's still cheating. He has to prove to you that he's not. There are steps he should take to do this. He has to do this on his own, of his own volition. If you mommy him into doing things, if you make it easy for him, then it's not genuine on his part. He'll just be doing what he thinks he has to do to shut you up.

Let HIM do the work, Hon. Meanwhile, you need to still meet with a lawyer & find out what your options are if you end up in a separation or divorce. You need this information. You need it for your own peace of mind.

If your WH is unable to think of a single thing on his own to do that would prove to you that he's all in, then that should tell you something about him and his commitment to you. If it doesn't occur to him to get his ass into counseling (IC) immediately and figure out what's wrong with him, if it doesn't occur to him to end his relationship with the OW and show you that he's doing it, if it doesn't occur to him to block her from all contact, then you will be learning a lot about how much your marriage means to him.

Do NOT turn into his parole officer. Do NOT lead the way for him. Do NOT enable him. Do NOT start dancing the "Pick Me" dance. Do not lower yourself, don't lose your dignity, don't sacrifice your self-worth.

lbuzz posted 4/20/2014 16:29 PM

So I guess another thing I'm wondering is how to do the 180 thing and smile through the pain. How do others manage this? I don't know if I can do this consistently, especially with my trust level so low. I have phases where I'm fine and others where tears overwhelm me. Basically, it's hard to turn my mind from it, and I don't think I can handle him having his phone for the next few weeks at least as me keeping the phone reduces my stress and ups my ability to cope. When he has his phone, I feel incredible stress that I don't know how to let go of. He seems fine with me keeping the phone now.

To some extent, I don't care whether we stay together or end up apart. I just want to know which is going to happen so I can move forward, and my lack of trust makes it hard to feel good with him. I don't know. Feel overwhelmed and confused.

lbuzz posted 4/20/2014 16:29 PM

Also, where do people find support groups for this? I would love a support group.

Nature_Girl posted 4/20/2014 16:50 PM

I got myself into IC within days of DDay. I knew this was more than I could handle alone, so I didn't. I went 2x weekly. This forum was my support group. I didn't bother being fake anymore. No more smiling through my tears pretending nothing was wrong. DDay was finally the day when I started being real.

tushnurse posted 4/20/2014 19:41 PM

Honey listen to NG. Listen to the advice so far.
You seem unsure if you even want R. If you don't that's fine. We will support that and a second A would be a deal breaker for many of us.
Figure out what you think you want. Move forward from there. See a lawyer. Protect yourself and your son.

((( and strength))).

norabird posted 4/20/2014 20:05 PM

Some churches run divorce care support groups if you go that route. And there are coda support groups for codependency that would probably welcome you. SI is probably your best bet for infidelity support, as I don't know of in person groups, but if you want extra help, pick a book up on the subject - there are a few recommended in the healing library.

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.