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Husband had an online affair...Am I reacting normally?

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dragonfly14 posted 8/11/2014 14:19 PM

Four days ago I discovered my husband was having online affairs with multiple women. There were explicit messages and pictures sent back and forth over the course of five months. This combined with previous behaviors has led me to believe he had a sexual addiction.

The day I found out I was furious and devastated. I even used the word divorce. The next day we sat down and discussed where we go next. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay or not. We've ultimately decided to try and work through this and I have committed to stay as long as he is getting help.

What bothers me now is my reaction to all of this. I suffer from depression but I have yet to really cry about this. I tell myself I'm angry, but I don't really feel angry. And my sex drive and skyrocketed. It doesn't make sense but my husband and I have slept together every night for the last three nights.

The first night I told myself and him that I just needed to feel good for awhile. But now it's just something I crave non-stop. It's confusing for both of us. I've even told him that continuing to sleep with him makes me feel as if there are no consequences for him. I still feel we're broken and have a lot to work on. But I have moments where I have feelings of extreme love for him and moments where I feel he destroyed our marriage and our family.

I feel like I'm going crazy. My emotions are betraying me. Maybe I'm still in shock, am I alone in feeling this way?

Hurtingnnc posted 8/11/2014 14:38 PM

I am sorry you are dealing with this. I am too far from healed to give advise, but I can assure you the feelings are normal. I question my sanity in regards to my situation with WBF daily.

somer222 posted 8/11/2014 14:52 PM


So sorry you are here, but it is good that you found us. Do you know if he has met any of these women online and taken any of the affairs into real life?

You say you suspect a sexual addiction due to this and other behaviors in the past. That possibility does exist. I just "bumped" a topic on this forum for "prostitutes/anonymous affairs". You'll find it toward the top under the "Just Found Out" forum. You might want to read through the thread.

My ex is a Sex Addict. We call them SA's here. The first warning I had was finding emails to numerous random women from the Internet. I was very confused by his behavior and in the end, I allowed him to gaslight me into thinking it was "nothing" and he didn't have a problem. I went into denial. That was a HUGE mistake.

I'm not saying your WS is a SA, but you need to investigate this possibility further. What you are describing as wanting to be with him may be "hysterical bonding" and this can happen to a BS (betrayed spouse). You likely do not have the full truth about what he has been doing and I would strongly suggest you refrain from sexual contact with him, for numerous reasons.

It would be a good idea for both of you to get tested for STD's (full panel). It would also be a good idea to have him see a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) so that he can be evaluated for sex addiction.

Those would be the first steps I would take in the process and find out what you are dealing with in terms of what kind of problem he has.

In the meantime, continue to read on SI and it also helps to post. You will get a lot of support and great advice.


Lark posted 8/11/2014 15:05 PM

These are all very very very normal reactions.
- you are in shock. Who wouldn't be in shock over discovering they've been betrayed and their idea of "reality" isn't true.
- hyperbonding is normal. For me, I needed and wanted and craved a connection with my husband - a connection I realized in an instant had been missing for a year. and words were not enough, I knew in a moment that words wereempty, actions were real. So I craved that kind of connection with him. For others, hyperbonding sex is a symbolic way of "claiming" their spouse, or a form of communication, or a way of releasing those horrible horrible turmoil of emotions

The anger will come. The chest-crushing sadness will come. They will rotate with the emptiness. Feelings of normalcy will return... in small burts then grow longer.

But importantly, throughout all of this you need to take care of yourself. What is your husband doing to acknowledge his problems, work on identifying his issues, seeking help? What are his actions, not just his words? Is he being transparent?

You need an STI screening, a full one. Even if he says he never met anyone in person, do it anyway. Protect yourself.

There are a lot of great resources in the Healing Library. My husand I have found How to help your Spouse Heal and NOT just friends to both be good books. The first book is only like 80 pages - and it is packed full of very important insights for wayward spouses.

dragonfly14 posted 8/11/2014 16:16 PM

Thanks all for the info.

I hadn't heard the term "Hyper bonding" before but that does hit home with me.

My husband has been very open with me but it would have been hard for him to deny all the hard evidence I found. Over 40 posts to Craigs List for sex, nearly 50 emails to other women. A few I found included pictures of himself taken in our bed with statements such as "that's hard to do without waking up my wife."

I'm not questioning if he is a SA, and neither is he, we know he is. I have clearly laid out my expectations in that I am only staying if he gets helped and have given him a timeline of 6 months to go through active therapy before I reevalute my next steps.

He has contacted a few therapists and plans on attending some initial meetings.

He tells me he has never actually met anyone in person and has never slept with anyone else during our relationship. I want to believe him and feel like I do, but I'll never really know for sure.

I hadn't thought about getting tested for STDs, but that definitely makes sense.

I know I need to refrain from sex with him. That is a decision I made this morning when I really thought about the ramifications.

This how situation is just heart wrenching.

strengthandhope posted 8/11/2014 17:31 PM

My husband's acting out was quite the same. Dirty chat and pic sharing with weirdos from CL. Women AND eventually men. He claims he never met with anyone, until his addiction escalated last summer and met some whore for oral in a sleezy hotel....nice, huh?

We are five months out from the latest DD. Finally he getting help for his SA through a CSAT and SAA meetings. Things between us have been going ok. I am relieved to finally have my husband as mine and only mine. I do verify and believe he has bee sober these past five months.

I know all about the hyper bonding. It was some of the most satisfying and passionate sex we had had in a very long time. It is quite common around SI for the BS to do this, even if it defies logic. Please check out under the "I Can Relate" section...there is a heading for "Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts". These ladies have helped me immensely over the past year.

Good luck, take care and keep reading and posting.

kaylee711 posted 8/11/2014 17:41 PM

No you are not in shock-this is your natural physical defense mechanisms kicking in (remember the old saying "fight or flight"?-your emotions are trying to align with the proper physical response). You'll find that many of us are in the same situation and can relate completely. I busted my WS with his online affair (PA, too) a whole month ago, and I'm still experiencing the exactly what you are describing. You need to focus on making sure you get plenty of sleep and nutrients, even though you may not feel like doing either right now. In order to cope, take it day by day and take care of yourself and come post here as much as you feel the need to do so-it really helps. I'm so sorry you are going through this, too. You did nothing wrong.. Chin up...

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