A little about me. I have been married for fifteen years and my husband is a sex addict. About seven years ago, when I was pregnant, I received an email from a woman claiming she was pregnant with my husband's baby. As it turned out she was not pregnant OR my husband paid her off. To this day, I'm not sure which is the truth.
It soon came out that my husband was involved with multiple women in a series of degrading S&M sexual affairs and one-night stands. I had just spent five years doing IUI and IVFs to get pregnant, plus I had already started out my pregnancy with twins and lost one of them - so this news was especially devastating to me. I didn't tell another human being but rushed into therapy that lasted several years.
I thought the therapy had worked but it hadn't. I have subsequently caught my husband several times sending texts trying to meet women. Nothing as bad as the first time, but still. . . .
Then this time he really did it. It started last spring when he suddenly started having problems at work. Why? Well, because he spent the entire spring and summer trying to find women, couples and MEN for bizarre, violent and humiliating S&M sex. He hit pay dirt when he found a woman as sick as him. She and her husband are "swingers" in an open marriage of some sort. I didn't know there were swingers in the year 2011. They also have a three-year-old in their house when they engage in these activities.
When I found out, I kicked my husband out of the house - and then discovered thousands and thousands of pages of sexts in one of his email accounts. Filled with details I wish I didn't know.
We have two young children. My husband was able to compartmentalize his double life to the point where no one but me suspected, and my children think he is the best dad ever. They love him unconditionally.
I am heartbroken, humiliated, filled with shame, angry, bitter, and scared. We went to see a specialist in SA and actually first blamed me for the problem. Then when the psychologist started to push him to get help, he freaked out and started yelling at the therapist. He is completely alone, isolated, trapped in a corner, and living with his girlfriend and her "family." He seems to have no connection with the real world right now.
It doesn't get worse than this. The only good news is that he's out of my house for now. The therapist agrees that he probably has a personality disorder or he might even be slightly bipolar. Who knows.
Once he left the house, I was forced to reach out to some friends and my family. They have been incredibly supportive. I don't know why this surprises me. I was alone in this world for so long, and I felt incredible shame, even though I didn't do anything wrong. I also went through my marriage SCARED, wondering every day if he was doing this again. If he was late (and he was late all the time) I would wonder if some crazy person killed him, or if he was dead or arrested.
I can't put my children in this position. Now my husband and this woman are out there on fetish websites and on Craig's List searching for strangers to hook up with. It's so dangerous and disgusting.
Anyway, this is too long. If anyone is still reading, thank you. I've read all your posts with tears in my eyes. Cupcake Girl, you are right: SA is terrible, truly terrible. My therapist doesn't even believe that my husband will ever get better because this time he doesn't even want to get better.
Cheetabump, I now believe that all these guys end up with other guys at some point. I agree that escalation plays a role. Plus, let's face it: it's easier for a man to find a man than another woman for some of the sex acts. It's true in my husband's case - he'll never leave this woman because she is his "bait." He really got lucky (or unlucky, really) when he met her.
As for anger, I had it right away, but everyone is different. I'm also still in shock and denial this time. And my husband has been out of my house for a month.
Thank you for reading.
Your story is truly heartbreaking! I am so sorry. It is a terrible thing, SA.
I feel the world has gone mad and all the new technologies make it so much easier for these people to hook up.
I am sorry you are here but I have to tell you..if it wasn't for this site...I think I would have done something stupid.
The people here are very caring,supportive and wise. The moderators run a tight ship and make it safe to be here.
Please get yourself tested, if you haven't already and see a lawyer about your rights.
I am very concerned about the 3 yr old you mentioned in your post. I would seriously report this to the child protection agency. This poor child has no one to stick up for him and God only knows what he might have been subjected to.
Please report this immediately or have someone do it for you if you can't. This child life could be at stake.
It sounds like you have to cut your losses here. He sounds very sick and in denial so the best you can do is take care of you and your children.
Keep posting and I am sure others with more under their belts will come along to give good advice and support.
I'm so, so sorry. What a horrible situation. If you haven't already, please get a full panel of STD tests ASAP, either from your GYN or a clinic. It's soo important to protect yourself. I was embarrassed and humiliated to go and explain what was happening, but I kept telling myself that it wasn't my shame to carry. Please go. Take someone with you for moral support if you can. The drs. have seen nearly everything and will be professional and supportive. Keep coming back and posting. Knowing you're not alone, and having an understanding ear to hear your pain and anger are amazingly helpful.
"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow
"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."
Cheetah, hugs. I have anger pretty much all the time. The problem is finding the positive in it, LOL. That's probably why I've gotten so much done, as far as seeing the lawyer/OB for STDs/etc. it's just channeling the mad. The problem is I have so much mad it leaks out all the time because I cannot contain it. I'm not as patient as I should be with the kids, or with other people, etc.
My maid of honor once told me (she worked with me at the time) you are the most patient person I know. You can totally understand where other people are coming from, even if it's completely opposite of you. You listen and accommodate, but you also state your position so they know where you are coming from and what you are willing to work with and around. But God help anyone that finally pushes you to the limit, because then you are DONE and suddenly all that understanding and support you used to provide is GONE. You aren't vindictive about it, but it is clear that things will never be the same after the line is crossed. I hope I never cross you, lol! (For the record, she never has. We are still friends. She was speaking in context of a coworker that crossed me at the time).
I'm wondering what happened to the me back then. Clearly I'm not that girl now.
Hugs to you!Keep posting; it is good to puke out toxic stuff!
Cupcakegirl, I can't stop thinking about three generations of sex addicts. It scares me so much to think that my children could carry some sort of gene.
Interestingly, my husband's father was an out-of-control drunk for my husband's entire childhood. His mother was either bipolar or just downright crazy and domineering and narcissistic. And now that I think about it, HER father was a highly functioning alcoholic. So there is a lot of addiction in that family.
I don't know about sex addiction though.
HellHathNoFury - I've been thinking of you too. I used to be the same way about people. Patient, very loyal and loving until someone crossed the line. Also, I was known for being an incredible judge of character. I think that sexual addicts are so devious and so manipulative that they just wear you down - and you lose some of your best qualities. It certainly happened to me anyhow.
I have already seen two lawyers and I need to go and see another one. The first one said that I might be able to get full custody of my children, and my husband would get only supervised visitation. But the second lawyer laughed at this and said it was very naive.
Right now, I am trying to absorb everything that's going on, plus deal with the future. Mostly, I'm just worried about my children. So I'm going to see a third lawyer to see what she says about custody.
I haven't yet made a doctor's appointment for myself, but thank all of you who pointed out that it's important. I will do it right away.
I hope you all have peaceful weekends. And thank you again. I'll keep checking here - it's my biggest source of strength at the moment.
I think my IC meant that three generations of SAs is that addiction runs in that family and SA was the one that they chose to be slaves to. If not SA, it might have been something else, who knows. I am thinking nature vs. nurture here. With addiction running rampant in that family, my WH's dad could not have possibly parented the way he should and so my WH has mountains of underlying issues due to that-vicious cycle. Therefore my WH did not learn how to deal w/emotions or stress in a healthy way. Add to that a heaping helping of family addiction running through the veins, and you have a hot and steamy mess.
The hard thing about SA is that these nuts learn to be smooth enough and sly enough to live that double life. My WH has been writing a disclosure (as instructed from his IC) that goes back all the way before he met me and started AO; he had to spend a min. of 20 hrs on it. He also admits he was like this before he met me and worked hard to hide it.
Knowing the little that I do know about H and his sickness, how his family acts all makes sense since they had to deal w/a SA dad.
hugs to you!
Choosinghope, did either of your lawyers suggest about collecting evidence or laying groundwork to prove he's an unfit parent? I would think that you would need specific evidence that you could collect now, while you are still married but he's out of the house. Like proof of the CL ads and his activity (via a PI), the fact that he never makes any effort to visit them, no effort to contribute to funds, etc. I know a lot of this is state-specific so you have to consult the experts in your area to know the full story. The fact you got two differing legal opinions already is scary enough.
I've been mostly posting my stuff on my thread in JFO, so I can find it, LOL. But WH went on a business trip and gets back today. I'm not as triggery and messed up as I used to be, I have this sense of calm and acceptance. If he acts out, there's nothing I can do. It's done. I will find out eventually and deal with it then. But I don't think he did, he's still too deep in denial and whiteknuckling. He kept calling, asking about if he should do this or that to prove his whereabouts and whatnot, and I was meh.
Didn't keep me from buying a GPS today, tho. It's a passive one tho, it doesn't send info in real time or anything. So I will have records of where he goes but will have to work to get them or read them. That way I can't obsess about it or devote too much time to it, but I'll have proof if he starts wandering off without telling me. Like you all said, it's about safety, I don't want his crap to hit us if it hits the fan.
[This message edited by cupcakegirl at 4:24 PM, October 14th (Friday)]
My IC tells me that the FOO issues my H had made him the perfect candidate for SA.
H had abandonmnet issues, physcial abuse issues, sexual abuse, rape by older boys, trust issues and more.
I knew H had these issues but you would never know it. I thought he fought the demons and came out the other side.
His father is a narcissist(sp) and while my H has done many things not to repeat his father's ways, I do see as my H gets older..they are creeping out of him.
I have stopped all surveillances for 3 days now. I need to give myself a break.
I am not sure that is really the smart thing to do at this point but really, what else do I need to know.
He is in denial and I seriously doubt he will tell me what has been going on and for how long.
I know about the porn. He has always had magazines here and there..then VHS tapes (remember them?!) and now DVD's. He has not resorted to computer stuff.
He knows I am computer saavy so I beleive he has stayed away because of that.
The OW and the ABS (especially, the one I call kinkys) are really new developments in my radar, all within a year..give or take.
We are cordial with each other at this point. I do not plan on having sex with him. I have an apptmt with my Dr to get tested again. This time, I have to bring HNF listing to be sure I get everything.
I also made my general checkup apptmt as well.
I may sound together but inside I am dying over and over.
I did something stupid and kissed him today!! I am mad at myself but it is a habit we have had for 24+ yrs so it just happened. (LOL...just happened!?!)
Today I am struggling with the no sex issue. I know I shouldn't care but part of me feels like if we don't..he will look elsewhere! How sick is that!?!
Not that he is looking or asking but I have to be careful of falling into that stinking thinking.
Well, thanks for being there.
Hope you all have a decent day.
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 6:07 PM, October 14th (Friday)]
Third generation addict (thanks for clarifying "addict" for me, cupcakegirl)
Falling-down drunk alcoholic father
Mother who worked all the time and was a domineering, narcissist who may have had affairs
Maternal aunt is a mean, manic-depressive who unsuccessfully tried to kill herself many times, often in front of her children (DH's cousins)
Parents fought all the time for years while DH watched and tried to stop them. Ambulance called at least once.
Latch-key kid who was always the kids that no parents showed up for - thus, he claims he was sexually molested repeatedly by his fifth grade teacher.
Now, his father has given up drinking but spent the past two decades as a subservient, apologetic mess to his domineering and abusive wife. Ugh.
I, too, believed that my husband somehow came out of this background unscathed. Boy, was I wrong.
It's interesting to see all the similarities between these men.
ScaredyKat, my tolerance is nearly depleted too. Then again, my husband is by far the worst on this board. Which says quite a lot.
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 7:05 PM, October 14th (Friday)]
My brother and his friends would repeatedly try to spy on me in the bathroom. No consequences.
I worked my way through college and never told anyone until I graduated with honors. Oh, btw, my father was a bookie, so we lived in constant fear of a police raid.
On my wedding day, my mother made fun of my dress (she had no interest in planning my wedding and didn't pay) calling my lovely simple eyelet dress "A hippy dip shit thing" " oh you 're NOT wearing THAT??!!"
Point is, he has FOO issues. He was dealt a terrible hand. And he's probably got an alphabet soup of genetics working against him. But he made CHOICES, BAD ones.
We want to look for reasons for the acting out. We can always find something. Concentrate on healing yourself and your kids. These dysfunctions won't
necessarily follow your kids.
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 7:09 PM, October 14th (Friday)]
He too hooked up with a swinger whose husband was the photographer of their S&M exploits. The husband committed suicide three years ago, feeling betrayed by the developing relationship between his wife and my ex (he phoned me about a week before killing himself, full of remorse and completely broken and not a little crazy). Now she has moved out here, and is living in the same condo complex as my ex. My kids, now teens and pre-teen, were introduced to her, because she was living in their bedroom at their dad's.
The kids didn't know why we broke up, because I tried to protect them when our marriage broke down five years ago. But they do now, and have been in counseling to deal with it. However, they don't want to deal with it really, because it is all so sordid and horrible, and their dad has been pretending that this OW is normal. She isn't. Neither is he; according to the counselor, he has the maturity of an adolescent 15 yr old male.
It almost kills me that I cannot completely protect my kids from their dad and his lifestyle, but I am doing the best I can to let them know that it is NOT normal, with the counselor's help.
It's a nasty thing we're all dealing with here. I'm a lurker since my marriage has not survived the SA, but I do want to say that being divorced is sometimes necessary and not the end of the world.
[This message edited by SorrowHeart at 11:51 PM, October 14th (Friday)]
Mom of three
DD: September 23, 2005
Divorced April 10/08
He requested my WW to send a video of us having sex.
He wanted to listen in on us via telephone having sex.
He sent her a video of him and his BW having anal sex. I laughed when I saw it, does that make me a SA?? He thought he was a porn star, but with a little dick. Sorry, I had to.
He wanted her to ask him if she could have sex with me.
I am sure there is more but this is off the top of my head.
[This message edited by ConfusedBH at 7:08 AM, October 15th (Saturday)]
Are you asking if the OM is a SA? My answer to you is that SA is not well understood, and that there are clinical criteria that one meets to be diagnosed as such. Depraved behaviors, such as those you are citing, do not necessarily make one a SA. Despite my feelings on the subject of porn and its effects, I can be objective enough to state that not every male who views porn occasionally is a SA.
I guess my other thought on your post is that why does it matter? Does it make your WW's actions more or less reprehensible in any way? The fact that my H is a SA does not change that the things he did were terrible and he is accountable for those actions.
Sounds like your WW MOM is a voyeur. I guess it's normal, but I'd be totally creeped out if I were you. Are you sure she didn't follow through? ICK. Just ick.
Re FOO issues:
This my story, my confession (?), I don't know what to call it, but I need to get this out of my head.
I'm in the third generation of a family who defines serious addiction. Alcoholism, drug use, all forms of abuse, neglect, you name it and it can be seen in any generation of my family. My mother is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and narcissism and is an active alcoholic. I've managed to skate inwto adulthood with food issues and codependency, but I've not indulged in any addictions.
For me, FOO is a background, a foundation, but not an excuse or justification for my SAWH's behavior or for mine. He too comes from a similar background, but worse if it's possible. SAWH thinks my family is 'normal' compared to his. Really. He does. He's compartmentalized much of his childhood and emotionally distances himself from his family and his parents. His adult behavior is fueled by all of this. For me though, none of this justifies his choices. His childhood broke something deep inside him, but I managed better than he did. I've always known he was 'weaker' than me, that something deep inside was fundamentally broken.
Only in the last several months have I recognized my part in all of this. Unconsciously I needed to keep SAWH in the one down position so I could be in the one up (better than) position. I feel awful about this and I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's my truth. I wanted to be his rescuer, the fixer, the healer. In order to do this, though, I had to keep him in his role. All of this is codependency. I too was deeply damaged by my FOO, but my hurts showed in a different way. Not better or worse, just different.
So now I'm learning to let go of my codependent ways- and it's difficult. It hurts. It's confusing. But I'm doing it. I'm determined to release the past and live healthily in the present. My relationship may not survive. Our mutual deficiencies were a significant glue that kept us together. Now that I'm changing, I want more out of my primary relationship- but my SAWH remains in his habitual role. I don't know if he'll be able to change enough, soon enough for me to stay.
It's incredibly painful. He used to be my best friend. I trusted him more than anyone else. The trust is gone, as is the deep friendship. Now we're essentially 'roommates with benefits'. I wanted and needed to grow, but this isn't the way I hoped it would happen. Somehow I think it was a necessary catalyst. I'm very stubborn and too pigheaded for my own good and so it took a huge explosion to force me out of my complacency and into action.
OMG I'm tired now. If you got this far, thanks for reading.
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 8:16 AM, October 15th (Saturday)]
Welcome to the club no one ever wanted to join. I strongly encourage you to browse the list of resources on the first page of the thread and learn all you can about SA and recovery. Even though your WH is not choosing recovery, you have options to work on yourself and model healthier behaviors for your children. I think your user name is terrific, too.
Then again, my husband is by far the worst on this board. Which says quite a lot.
I am not sure if you meant this statement literally or not. I think that many of us, myself included, have held back many details due to shame or even legal consequences. In interacting with others here at SI and in S-Anon I have met others whose spouses ran the gamut of serial cheating and porn, to those dealing with job loss and multiple addictions, and spouses who have been involved in criminal investigations.
The shame factor that you discussed is intense with SA. As partners, we do tend to take a lot of that shame on, too. I know that for my own reasons, I will never share all the details of my story. I think the most important thing is that we are here to support each other and we can identify with the issues we are dealing with on our roads to healing.
I was just going to write about FOO, and I think you did a fabulous job of summing up much of how I feel, too.
My H and I both came from backgrounds of abuse, and his father was a convicted pedophile who abused many children, including my H and his siblings. Of course, I did not realize this when we got married. I was pretty young and naive. When my H told me that he had used prostitutes, porn, and been with strippers, I naively chalked it up to youthful indiscretion. Ha! That should have been a huge red flag that attractive young college guys don't need to get it on with sex workers or pay for sex.
Like SK, I also grew up in an abusive environment, but went on to make something of myself. I graduated college, am a professional,and never cheated on my H, either. However, I do believe that my FOO did affect my choice in a spouse. I think that subconsciously we do gravitate towards that which is comfortable for us, and if we grew up in dysfunction, chances are it is dysfunction we find.
Recovery for SA is about breaking those addiction cycles. That is why recovery for us is so important as parents, even if our SA does not choose recovery. I realize that the idea of co-dependency causes some to bristle, but I think if we approach our healing from the standpoint of breaking the cycles, we have to address our issues as well. I am not trying to say that we had ANY role in the SA's acting out or that we have any responsibility for their behavior. Our own healing has to take front and center over that of the SA. Because even if our SA chooses recovery, there are no guarantees on life with an addict.
Oh, and to t/j, I am so happy that you are working Sabina!