The more I learn of my WH's affair, online chatting (sexually) with other women, and viewing porn online, the more I think he has a problem, but I don't know.
His dissatisfaction in our marriage seems to focus A LOT on sex...especially the amount of it or lack of it. When the timing isn't what he wants (like last year when I was very ill), he goes looking to play with anonymous women online.
It's been going on for 5-7 years now, and last year ended up turning into a LT-emotional affair with a woman he's never even met.
They chatted sexually online, sent emails, did phone sex, she sent him a picture of her with a sex toy in her mouth with the caption "wish it were you..." and they even went to "sexual position" websites to fantasize about the ones they wanted to try with each other.
Now, he tells me that what he truly likes about sexual interaction is the intimacy...the closeness. Yet all his escapades with the online women is really nothing more than raw sex. (except for his affair--that got very serious emotionally.)
There are other things about our marriage that he's not happy about it, but sex seems to be number one. I have asked him repeatedly if he thinks he has a problem, and he always says no.
Given your own experiences, do you think this all sounds like a problem? Or am I overreacting?
Do you have any good resources that could help me with this?
Better off I sparkle on my own ~ Anna Nalick
This might help.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 7:17 PM, April 5th (Thursday)]
They often approach the wife when they know she is not capable, willing or 'in the mood'.
I'd like some input on telling children about the SA. My kids are 16, 14 and 12 1/2.
I don't know if it's my married for life beliefs or I love him enough to try and get through this.
I think that if I made the decision to leave and did leave I would not go back to what I have had to deal with for 30 years.
I had never heard of this problem before. All those years I thought I was so jealous.
WH didn't believe it either until he started counseling.
1. WH has been a porn addict by his own admission since histeens. I never knew, the discovery of his porn stash was first D-day about 5 yrs.ago. We had been married almost 20 yrs. WH doesn't do anything to deal with the addiction--says he doesn't need to.
2. Acts-out using any type of porn;has visited adult book store video booths; masturbates to lingerie catalogs. Told me "I am very curious about other women's bodies." Likes much younger women. Had at least an EA with co-worker. I am vigilant all of the time, and it sucks, but I won't let him trick me again.
3.I believe so but I can't catch him. However, he swears he is done with porn. We'll see!
4.Yes, 2 sons, ages 24 and 19.
5.Desperation brought me here--felt like I was going crazy because of WH blaming, re-writing history and gaslighting. This site made me realize I wasn't alone!
6. WH refusal to admit that he has a problem in the first place! Told me that I was the one who needed counseling, not him, "since you're the one who's having a problem over what I did." Also the changing nature of his stories; the "don't remember, I don't knows";the half-truths;initially putting all of the blame on me, etc. etc.
7. Oh my God, YES!!! We were the ENVY of everyone who knew us. This is why it was all so devastating for me, I was totally blindsided, and the person WH was revealed to be has crushed my soul when I think back to the way it was for us before all of this was discovered.
8. Married and patiently trying to R. But there may come a day when I have had enough--I'm just not there yet. Almost 30 yrs. with WH is a lot to think about as you have your hand on the "flush" handle!
I had nothing to compare him to, I thought this was normal. It was not until he ran off with a stripper (he was a frequent flier at strip clubs but as far as I know this was the only PA) that his friends started commenting on his porn addiction.
I switched IC's a few months after dday and happened upon one who specialized in addictions. His area of experise is sexual addiction, though I didn't know until after I had been to a few sessions. At my first session he asked about our relationship and history. At the end of the session he asked if EH had a problem with drugs or alcohol. At the end of the 2nd session he asked again about the drugs and alcohol and I again told him that he didn't have a problem with either. My 3rd session I opened up a bit more about our sex life and his porn addiction. IC found the source of the addictive behavior I had been describing. He gave me a questionnaire that was intended to be filled out by the SA. It was a list of 20 yes/no questions and I answered only the ones I knew first hand to be true, there were several that I strongly suspected to be true for him. I answered 'yes' to 10 out of 20-yes to 1-3 indicated a sexual addiction.
Ahhhh.....finally so much of our life/relationship made sense. I was not over-reacting, I was not asking for too much. He is the one with the problem not me.
Looking back, there were many flags that I ignored. He has a serious problem that has existed since childhood. Until he acknowledges that he has a problem (never going to happen) he is not capable of having any type of healthy relationship. I am grateful that this happened now and not 30 years from now. I wasted 18 years too many being lied to.
I might be losing my mind here. My FWH has been sexually sober since August. No slips. He hasn't maturbated at all. No porn. Nothing.
It's making me a little crazy and paranoid. I've done so much research and the recidivism rate is so high in SA that I'm just stunned at how well he's doing. I keep expecting a slip and nothing is happening. It's so bizarre to me to think that I'm feeling crazy because he's NOT acting out and that I would feel better and know how to cope if he were. That's just all kinds of F'd up.
In counseling he has realized that doing the porn hurts both of us. He didn't know what he was doing is wrong.
He also thought that I was just some jealous person.
The counseling has really made an impact on him.
Because of the porn and then the A I'm being treated for PTSD using EMDR. If he so much as looks at another woman I have a huge anxiety attack. I even have them if I think he's looking at a woman. Those shots of adrenaline feel like prickers in my blood and it makes me want to leave him.
I don't check up on him by looking on his computer. He has to want to stop the porn by himself. If by some chance I get that overwhelming feeling to check up on him and I find anything I will leave. I'm not spending the next 30 yrs battling this.
My H figures he's been a SA since he was between 14 and 18. I met him when we were 22, and definitely did not know. I knew he had been with a lot of women, but he said that lifestyle was behind him and I believed him...chalked it up to youthful horniness, I guess. Wish I had paid more attention to that sign.
My H and I sort of found out together about one week after D-day. After he told me about numerous A's which made him feel gross and disgusted, and which he said he kept trying to stop but couldn't, I did some research and found a test for SA. My H took it, and then confirmed the next day that he believed he had a SA problem. We've known for 5 months now.
My H attends a 12 step support group for his addiction and sees an IC. I attend a support group for spouses of SA, an IC, and we both go to MC. We are trying to R.
2. My H used to act out primarily with porn and masturbation. Typically in the spring he would become depressed and start placing ads or find another woman to act out with. He also engaged in internet sex with OW from his past
My H has installed blocker/behaviour verification software on his computer to which I created the password. I usually check up on him about once every two weeks, when I am going crazy and feel the need. So far so good. I also make sure to see official emails etc. of any meetings he needs to attend so that I know where he is and about how long he'll be gone. I do worry about him starting up other emails I don't know about, and wish I could verify that, but am not as computer savy as I would like to be. As for the other emails, he has given me the passwords, and I check about once a month. My H is good with it because he knows why I feel the need.
3. My H started recovery in December. He had one porn/masturbation slip in early Jan., and has reported being sober since. I feel proud of him, and thankful because his sobriety really helps our R!
4. We have no kids...but we are now talking about it for the distant future.
5. I found SI on the same day as I found the test for SA that my H took. I read a lot of the healing library articles which I then shared with my H. This helped me so much. I registered, but for some reason didn't get the password in my email. After 2 months of separation I moved home, re-registered and received the password right away. I was so happy to gain access to this resource. About a month after that, I found the thread for spouses of SA...I was surprised, and glad to have a thread where others could relate specifically to my situation.
6. The biggest barriers to R are:
we are both trying to adjust to his diagnoses of ADHD, Dissociative disorder, and depression, and how those disorders have contributed/still contribute to his addiction and our communication problems
the sheer volume, intensity, and duration of the A's and the inconceivable-ness of it all. This is worse than my worst nightmare...worse than any worst scenario I could have imagined. I find it so overwhelming.
my inability to understand how any affair that lasts 4 years and long distances could be just PA, no emotions, or how a person could find a stranger on the internet and have sex with them the next day, etc. What the heck? I can't wrap my mind around it enough to process it. It just doesn't make sense. Makes it hard for me to accept it as truth. I'm still looking to hear that there was more to it than that.
My tendency to blame myself...eg. I'm not sexy enough, interesting enough, etc.
Fear...that he's still lying, that the bottom line behaviours are inevitably going to happen again, etc. Plus, triggers are EVERYWHERE!
Deeply hidden, unresolved childhood abuse-related issues that will be, but are not yet being worked on. Waiting to open that one up when the dust settles a little.
7. No, looking back, I would say in hindsight that we did not have a good relationship. I have co-dependency issues, and my H was constantly detatched from his emotions and from me. I was doing all the work to keep us together, while he was playing video games and retreating into various degrees of unhealthy fantasy. We loved eachother, but had many arguments because H was always questioning/testing whether he loved me, and I put up with waaaaay to much crap from him. There were a few times when his story wasn't adding up (because he was cheating), but in my denial, I let it go...and chose instead to believe that I was crazy for imagining things, and that I was the untrusting wife. Of course, I had help with that.
We were growing apart more and more as the years went by. I stopped trying to involve him in things that interested me because I didn't want to get rejected anymore. We were like two separate people by the time D-day hit.
Still, at the time, we were planning on getting married (we're common law) for real, and I still felt very much in love with him. We have always had so much in common...interests, goals, etc. We have been eachother's main source of support, and best friend since being together. There would be periods where we were really connecting, and then the connection would just die and I couldn't reach him.
8. Our current status is that we are trying to R. I am fearful and hopful, grieving, and very glad to at least have a chance. I'm told SA is very hard to recover from (worse than cocaine apparently), so that worries me, but I'm here, and he seems all in. I feel that he is much more loving, and much more willing and committed than before. I hope it works out, but I know I need to keep focusing on my own recovery.
I love him, but I love myself, my sanity, and my happiness more.
My FWW tells me her psychiatrist thinks I am. I have no idea what she has told him but I don't think she has embellished too much. I'll give you an idea if what my actions have been like over the past, oh... 20 years.
Like most men, I think, I like the attention of pretty women. I get a 'hi' from women that flirt with me and make me feel like I am desired. As far as I can remember, I've always liked it. But, I have never been one to really initiate things (I'm prety shy by nature). But surrounding all that, I can think of many times when, by the strict definition, I cheated on my GF/WW. What I mean is that I kissed some girls in college, took full advantage of what break-ups we did have before we got married (sex), and did the same when we were engaged. It wasn't something that happened all the time, but did happen.
When we were married I still enjoyed the attention of other woman and I guess I would lead them on. Once I knew I 'had' them that would be the end of the game.
The times when I cheated on my W started 6 years into our M. Some may know my story, but the first time was when I was away from her for a long time. 5 day EA that went PA at the end. Then I stopped.... but not my normal 'flirtatious' ways. One time I let that get away from me when a couple of friends and I went skinny dipping with a bacheleorette party. Some kissing was done but no sex. I then cheated on my W 3 times last year. First time was ONS that turned into a 2NS, then a 2 week EA. I brke that off b/c I didn't want a relationship.. OW got mad and called the house. I then had 2 more ONS's that stopped there, no EA.
I 'felt' like I had a epiphany about what I was doing last year and stopped. Then I found out about my WW's LTA.
I am trying to reign in my flirtatious ways, or rather, putting myself into situations where women will flirt with me. I am going to talk to my IC about this today, too.
So what do you guys think? Am I a SA?
Have you taken the SA online test yet? I'd suggest starting there. So why don't you do that & let us know what it says?
I guess I have just been questioning myself lately because I did cheat on my W, I did like to flirt, I do get somewhat kinky in the bedroom with fantasies- but nothing wierd, and there is this psychiatrist that has now said he thinks I am a SA on more than one ocassion.
Also, I am starting to think I am less of one now b/c I talked to my IC about it. I DO have impulse control. I have been in Many situations where I could have cheated but I didn't.
Is there anything that I am missing? Just need reassurance, I guess. So much doubt in my mind about Everything lately.
[This message edited by despondent at 3:41 PM, April 18th (Wednesday)]
Another key question to ask yourself is do you have sex as a way of coping with stress? That can be an indicator of SA.
My H is a SA, and he scored 7 on the test. He reports that sometimes, just a score of 1 is enough to be SA.
The clincher for him was that he creates fantasies in his mind that these sexual experiences are way beyond amazing, but in reality, he feels anxious and ashamed. An SA is generally someone who has tried to quit for good but couldn't.
You are doing a good thing by pursuing the truth about yourself. Good luck!