I confronted him numerous times - I felt guilty doing so because we are both adults, I knew he liked it before we got married and I married him anyways. So I felt like I was 'changing horses in mid-stream' on him. That didn't feel fair. So I tried my best to not say much. Kept telling myself "I don't own him."
Long story short, last year prior to the last confrontation, I saw a link to a sex for hire site. I didn't tell him I had seen it. There are lots of pictures on there and I figured that's what he was doing on it. I confronted him about the other stuff and he acted very defensive and insulted that I thought anything was wrong with him. He had interests that I didn't share, etc.) but he would try to stop. He had stopped before (he was married to an LDS woman previously) and would stop again but he didn't feel it was "fair".
I bought "The Porn Trap" (very good book) and tried to get him to watch the "Your Brain on Porn" video. But I didn't push it. And I didn't question him about the prostitute site. I should have. But I was too wrapped up in my illusions that our marriage was perfect apart from the porn. I know he loves me very much and I didn't in a million years ever think he would hire a prostitute. He is really really good to me and a kind man and I love him intensely. Which is why I am going to try to make it through this.
Before I went away I last month I had seen the prostitute site again in his computer history and alarm bells went off. I looked at it again. It really wasn’t much good for pictures – there were far better sites on the web for porn. I started to have nagging doubts, thought maybe he was webcamming. I installed a keylogger on his computer. I really REALLY struggled with doing that. A nagging voice in my head kept saying "You might really regret what you find." I felt it was a huge invasion of privacy. It is. I felt really guilty doing it. But I did it anyway, I wanted his password and user name and wanted to see what he was up to. I laugh at this now but I didn't want to confront him by bringing up the website and saying "Log in. Now." I didn't want to embarass him. Yeah.
Turns out he has been hiring prostitutes – four different times that I know of, but we haven’t had a “disclosure” session yet. It could be more. I haven’t told him how much I know and he hasn’t asked me what I know. To say I was devastated would be putting it mildly. Never in a million years did I think that my soul-mate, my best friend, the man who I love with all my heart would have that deception in him. That he would risk the beautiful marriage we have for something so hideous.
I confronted him (in the middle of the night after 5 too many shots of gin) and asked him why he destroyed our marriage. He said he has interests that I don’t share and he couldn’t stop that interest despite trying. He said he understands these people and how they think. Etc.
I was catatonic. The next day I found him in the living room crying. He had gone online and done a test and he is a sex addict. He said, “I am an addict. I am sick. I need help. I can’t live like this anymore.” I asked him “Did you not realise before this that you were addicted??” He said no. I believe that he is an addict. I know he has to be an addict as there is no way he would risk what we have unless it were a huge sickness. Having read the Porn Trap last year helped me understand addiction – I knew he was a porn addict, I just didn’t think, knowing how much he loves me, that it could ever extend to prostitution.
I see sincerity to change in his eyes. But I am terrified that once an addict always an addict. We are both starting counselling - my first appointment is today, his is next week. Thus far and to the best of my knowledge, he has answered all of my questions honestly, as ugly as the truths were. I am careful of what I ask as well as I am more of a thinker than a feeler and I know that too much knowledge will just torment me.
He has been very contrite, says he owns this, says that he knows inside that although right now I say I love him and want to help him through this, after counselling I may decide to leave. He said that adds to his resolve to beat this. He asked me to put keyloggers on his phone, ipad, computer, work computer, whatever I needed to do to monitor and that that would help him as well to stay strong. He said call me often and I will pick up and show you where I am (on Facetime). He is glad I caught him now before it escalated further than it already has - and yes, "already" is pretty hideous. He has hired two couples and two single women thus far that I know of, starting this past February.
I love this man intensely, but I am cautious that love may make me a little too understanding and willing to stay. I know that I have to take care of myself as well. I an a beautiful intelligent woman. I am not a doormat. I have decided that I will not share this with any friends or family - I am a very private person, but also because I don’t intend to leave him and I don’t want to colour everyone’s opinion of him. He is a good kind wonderful man on every other level. I think most people would say “Kick his ass to the curb” but I do know it acting out an addiction. Then I read that that is giving him an "out" or an excuse. It doesn't of course.
In an odd way, this is almost a relief. As crazy as that probably sounds, I know that now he will finally get the help he so desperately needs. Any advice from those of you that have lived through a spouse's sex addiction?
Sometimes life throws shit instead of flowers.
Being honest, one of the HUGE problems I had with my now-ex was his proclivity for living an 'alternate' lifestyle. He wanted to do the wife swapping, the orgies, the pool parties, the 'club' get-togethers where anything goes, etc. etc. etc. And like you, I didn't share his fetish, so he chose to go to these things without me I later found out. This didn't make him a 'sex addict,' but I think it made him a sexual deviant as this stuff isn't exactly considered the 'norm.' Not sure what your husband's 'special interests' are, but he was hell bent on having them fulfilled by professionals like mine was hell bent on going to orgies with or without me.
I don't believe most people's sexual fetishes just disappear into thin air if they go to therapy. I think most people have their sexual fetishes for life and no amount of therapy is going to magically make them go away. That's another reason I left my ex. I wasn't going to deal with a lifetime of him never feeling our physical relationship measured up to his deviant sex life, nor was I going to live in fear, constantly worrying about when he'd find a way to satisfy his 'urges' again. Screw that.
I think his fetish is something you'll probably always have to life with, regardless of whether or not he's able to reign in the porn addiction. While I don't have experience living with it because I chose to leave, I know how you feel because I experienced basically the same type of betrayal.
Good luck to you.
I do know a lot of WS claim sex addiction when caught - you'd need an actual diagnosis to confirm.
What types of interest does he have that you're not into?
I also know that even with intensive therapy most SA have multiple relapses. There are BS that have R'd but it is not an easy road.
He to was my rock. The kindest, nicest person you could ever meet. No one would ever suspect him capable of doing this. It's a dark dirty secret and it doesn't just go away no matter how they try. I do believe mine tried but not hard enough. It's ruined our family. Traumatized me. I now have to figure out what to do with all of these emotions and how to tell the kids.
This website is great for helping with understanding and gaining strength from other's experiences. 2 days ago I felt sorry for him because he had this addiction and was heartfully sorry. Today I despise him because he was caught in yet another lie after admitting his illness, setting up an appointment to see to SA, crying a river. Your emotions will change from day to day and don't be caught off guard even with all your measures in place. They can be very creative. I have no idea how mine pulled off his adventures. He was either working or with me. I hope you find comfort in here. Remember these services are on every corner and all they need is an hour. So easy to pull off
Don't lose hope. There are many of us dealing with similar situations and are working hard at R. My SAWH and I are 5 months out from D-Day. WH is in IC, we are in MC. He is attending SA meetings, which has been extremely helpful to him.
I love this man intensely, but I am cautious that love may make me a little too understanding and willing to stay. I know that I have to take care of myself as well.
I could have written the same words. What MC has made me realize is that I have some codependency issues of my own to work out. Probably most of us BS's do have issues with some type of codependency. There are no SAnon meetings closer than an hour and a half way, and only one COSA meeting, which is at a time when I can't go because of my (self employed) work with clients.
I do intend to make some meetings in June, when my schedule thins out, and meanwhile I'm revisiting some codependency books and other things to help me understand my own role in WH's addiction.
I totally understand your comment on being afraid of being too understanding. I find myself to be a very forgiving person, and knew this could be an issue in our R. One of the things that has helped me when I start to feel too comfortable is to "revisit" everything I found on WH and his antics, to remind myself to proceed with caution.
I do know a lot of WS claim sex addiction when caught - you'd need an actual diagnosis to confirm.
My opinion differs a little in that, if your H thinks he has an addiction, then he does. Admitting it is the first step. Like any addiction, most people don't realize they reached a point of addiction until a crisis forms and makes them see how they have affected those around them. I would encourage him to go to some SA meetings. When he hears others stories, he more than likely will relate to what they've been through.
I feel for you, Quiet. I know where you are right now, and so do many others. There is hope out there for both of you. It's just a lot of work for both of you. If you can stand up to the challenge, take care of yourself and any of your own issues, change will come within you. Then you will have the strength and understanding to decide whether to work on your marriage or not. Your H is responsible for his own healing too. When you are both in a better place, hope gets stronger.
I want to comment on the fetish vs addiction discussion. I don't know too much about fetishism. I do, unfortunately, know a lot about sex addiction. It usually starts in early childhood with masturbation, as a way for kids to cope with stress. It becomes obsessive. Sometimes there is sex abuse involved. Images that cause arousal need to be more and more extreme as the ones before no longer "work." As the addict becomes sexually active with a partner or partners, "normal" sex becomes less likely to invoke a response or a climax and the addict seeks more and more risky sex. Some straight people even seek sex with same sex partners.
Sex addiction is, at it's root, an intimacy disorder, so sex with a committed, loved and loving partner becomes less and less desirable as the "big pay off" The addict must have the forbidden and risky sex to achieve climax. Many have an inability to have sex with the partner, some form of ED occurs. So, I guess I'm saying that his fetishes could be just the result of the escalating sex addiction.
During early recovery, without a good IC, sexual anorexia is common.
Yes, slips are common. Relapses happen. The goal for the addict is to know what causes their own acting out and have a network of accountability partners from whom to draw strength. YOU CANNOT BE YOUR SAs ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER. It's crazy making. He needs to have tools to prevent a relapse.
Your job is to heal yourself. FAR easier said than done. There are support groups, similar to alanon for wives of sex addicts. I can tell you that my attendence there saved my sanity. Not only was I able to talk to people IRL who were experiencing the same things, but I got names of counselors who were good and bad, info about insurance, and believe it or not, I laughed with these women, about the absurdedy of the whole situation. Look up SANON or COSA online. You will probably have to make a phone call and wait for a call back till you find a meeting. The locations arent posted online for security sake.
You need to take a deep breathe and practice self care. This is shit sandwich we have been handed. Take one day at a time, maybe one minute at a time.
I'm holding you in the *********LIGHT********
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 12:26 PM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
I second the STD testing, and I would go a step further, and say NO SEX with spouse until you have been tested, and you see the results with your own eyes.
As far as self care goes, this includes some basic stuff. Make sure you are eating, if you can't eat, then get some ensure or protein shakes. Try to minimize weight loss to no more than a pound a day, so 7 pounds in a week.
Make sure you are sleeping - That you are getting a good nights sleep every 3-4 days. If not then talk to you dr about it.
Make sure you are doing one nice thing for you, and you alone every single day. Anything from a pedi, to a warm bath, to a jog. Something for you that you enjoy.
See an Attorney NOW> You want to R, he has indicated that as well. However if your spouse was addicted to gambling, and losing every cent you had you would protect yourself from losing your home, and making sure you could still put food on the table correct? The same goes here. Prepare for the worst. (I tell every new person this). Knowledge is power. Know what your rights are, what his responsibilities are, and how this would play out if he can't help himself.
Addiction is a tough thing, no matter what you are addicted to. Until the addict is willing to seek treatment, and work to become sober, no amount of work you do will matter.
He is like this because he is broken. This is NO reflection on you, and what you are willing or not willing to do. He has to heal himself. YOU CANNOT do it for him.
Keep reading, keep posting.
Hugs. Right now you need to focus on what you need, and not on whether he has an addiction and what he needs. Once you have done steps for self-preservation and taken charge of your healing, THEN you can consider whether the M can continue and how WH factors in that. Very very tempting to let him pull you down with his professions of remorse and neediness due to the addiction. NOw is the time for full 180 and addressing what YOU NEED. The rest will sort itself out and he will either man up, or not, totally regardless of what you do.
In answer to some of the questions posed yesterday, yes, we are getting tested for STD’s.
Yes I am open to the possibility that there may be some co-dependency issues that I need to look at.
The “interests” that we don’t share include banging someone else’s wife, cuckold and gangbang situations. Between the two of us I am very open sexually - no holds barred: but I don’t have any desire to share him or be shared myself sexually with outsiders.
I have written what I learned yesterday in therapy in my journal - can someone who has been here a while read it and tell me if it is okay to post in ICR? I don't want to trigger anyone and my language may be off? It's not a rant but it's pretty direct. Please advise either by PM or here. Thank-you.
First, I am soooooo very sorry for what you have discovered and are going through. My exH was/is SA, so I know the kick in the gut that you felt when you discovered what he has been doing. It is HORRIFYING to discover that your spouse essentially threw away your wedding vows to have sex with a stranger.
With that said, please read my profile. My exH had been leading a double life for at least half of our marriage. I never did get the whole truth; he only admitted to what I had managed to discover and put together. As we progressed to D, he finally did make a blanket admission that I should just assume that he had been with prostitutes ANY time he had been out of town. In retrospect, he "admitted" that he had been cheating for the last 4 years of our marriage, but I believe (and with good reason) that it went on for much longer than that.
Brace yourself, because I think you've only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. SA's don't just happen overnight. My guess is that he has been leading a very well guarded double-life for quite some time, unfortunately.
In my M, I decided to D immediately. We had been together for nearly 16 years, so I knew the CHARACTER of my exH. I knew in my heart of hearts that he would NEVER do the hard work required to ever get in recovery. I knew I would spend the rest of my life checking, wondering, and playing detective. I simply wasn't willing to do that.
Be careful in accepting that he didn't have many opportunities to be with prostitutes. I thought the same thing. I finally learned that my exH was also meeting prostitutes during LUNCH at his deceased Mother's house before it was sold. That's the thing about SA's - IF they want to feed their addiction, they WILL find a way.
My heart just breaks for you because I have been where you are. While my exH didn't have the fetish aspect, what I did learn about him was just too much for me to ever forgive and trust again. I'm glad you are in IC, because you will definitely need the support to get through this.
Hugs to you...
[This message edited by Too_Trusting at 8:23 AM, May 15th (Thursday)]
He says I didn't "ask him the tough questions which is why he got away with so much for so long". No. THAT my husband is called TRUST. THAT is a wife who loves and trusts her husband enough and believes in his love for her enough and believes to her core when he says that our marriage is the most important thing in his life that he means it and that he would never stoop to the level of filthy pig. Those accusations that any of this is somehow my fault or that I am his mummy and should have somehow stopped him are lies.
What means the most to him is himself. What matters most to him is his own needs and fulfilling them regardless of his wife's feelings and regardless of the perils of losing her. So his professions of love really don't mean that much at all do they?
HE matters to himself. HIs addiction, his needs, his wants matter. I don't and our marriage doesn't mean squat to him. He is a narcissist. He is a selfish selfish man. And he doesn't deserve a wife like me.
I have been approaching this from the angle of healing this marriage and helping him to heal, from an illusion of the man I thought I was married to. But I didn't really know him did I? I have been basing my willingness to help on helping a good man. But he is NOT a good man. He is a very BAD man right now. Who he will become in the future is up to him. Who he faces in the mirror i up to him - not my questions, not my key logging, not me being his mother or his morality police. He needs to find his own bloody compass. He needs to choose who he wants to be. And then I decide if I like him and if I stay or not.
Damn I feel good. And empowered.
Quiet while you are feeling strong and empowered take this time to see an attorney. Do it for you. Let him know that you aren't messing around and that you are not going to tolerate anything less than 100% effort on his part.
Start taking actions to protect yourself financially and physically.
The more you do the stronger you will feel.
The ex wasn't a sex addict. He was a sexual deviant - there's a huge difference between the two.
I do wish you good luck as you navigate this chaos you've found yourself in.