It's possible that the SA has escalated to the point where he needs more and more stimulation and more varied scenarios, and for whatever reason, this is his "thing" right now. Or he might have been gay all along. Or he has just realized it. Who knows. I'll probably never know.
If I may be so bold to ask, have any of you left your SA's? If so, what made you finally have enough and are you happier now?
I am divorcing my STBX. I had several D-Days in my marriage; each time STBX went to ICs and MCs and CSATS and 12-Step programs. He was given a lot of chances to work on his recovery, and I know he tried and tried, but he always relapsed within a few years. Last September, I had a terrible D-Day and asked him to leave our home. It's been the worse seven months of my life.
However, I'm happier now. I would be even happier if the divorce was final and I had more financial certainty. (His business suffered bc of the SA.) I will always be heartbroken that my children will grow up without an intact family, but it's better than them discovering what their dad likes to do - and knowing that I stayed with him and let him treat me like that. This time around, I realized that he will never get better. He's too far gone; he has NO BOTTOM. (I don't feel that way about all SAs, but in my STBX's case, it is true.)
Also, now I don't live in the constant fear that he's out there doing something dangerous and scandalous that could blow up at any moment. A huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders.
Despite all my fears about my future, I am happier. Sad most days, but still happier and less anxious and traumatized. I know that I will feel happier and happier as time goes on.
Wishing peace for everyone, no matter how you get there.
And has anyone heard from NatureGirl?
I've been wondering about Nature Girl, too...
No idea on the gay / not gay thing. When his acting out involved men, was it ever "only men" or was it always "men in addition to women"?
If some of his activities involved "only men," I would think being gay was a definite possibility. If it was always mixed company, I think I'd be more apt to guess escalation.
Either way, I'm glad that you have taken yourself out of that situation. I can tell by your posts that you are a strong, intelligent, thoughtful woman...and you deserve so much more in life than to put up with a man who chooses to remain active in his addiction.
Love you Hope!
Re: men, it's only men involving women. But the complete emphasis is on the men together. The woman is present but may or may not get involved. STBX would claim that once things start escalating, he doesn't care who he's involved with. But that does not really fully explain why he and OW are searching specifically for men online.
I'm sorry if these details are upsetting anyone - this is all pretty sordid.
Who knows. What a mess. I guess it doesn't really matter in the long run.
Take good care, WS! I'll be here lurking and probably asking for advice.
***(((NG)))*** We're thinking of you and the kiddies - please post if you can.
I've been crazy and stressed all week, mostly due to DS#1's sudden insanity, which is related to his GF. Uck. Between that and working...The upside being I've joined a wellness program through my employer and they're trying to start a Weight Watcher's group. WS & I have taken a few longish walks together, it has been great to help us reconnect and deal with kid related stress.
Re: AD's I'm on Cymbalta. Initially I had odd nightmares, but they went away after a few weeks. It has helped even me out (believe it or not). I also have an as needed prescription for a faster acting anti-anxiety med. And I have a sleeping med. The meds have helped me more than I can say, particularly with restful sleeping.
As far as drinking too much, I've deliberately avoided alcohol as much as possible for the last two years. I know I could go overboard so easily, and I've been so tempted and vulnerable. But I've hung on to sobriety with my fingernails. I credit my IC with providing me with coping tools and preventing me from sliding deeper into dysfunction.
One thing that has helped me stop myself, my IC asked me what I told myself (in my head) right before I reached for a drink or overate or cut myself. She said that I needed to listen to the inner voice and change what I told myself. Like, if I said to myself, "one more handful of chocolate won't make any difference I'm already fat and overweight" (or whatever else I told myself), I'd reply "I don't want to be fat forever and every bite counts" or whatever I could think of. It has taken me a while, but it's working. I'm making better coping choices.
As far as same sex acting out partners, as far as I know WH didn't have any. But he refuses to tell me everything he did, he claims the CSAT told him I was too traumatized already. I don't know that I agree with that advice- assuming he was actually told that, which I doubt. I don't know much about same sex partners and escalation vs. gender orientation. Sorry I can't be of more help with this.
Have a good day all, I'll try and return tonight after work. Having a late lunch today with a GF & DD. Am very excited!
"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."
According to WS, lying / deception are so much second nature for an SA that he would often lie to me about really stupid stuff...what he had for lunch, whether he stopped for gas or not, what he watched on tv...just because lying was so much a habit. He said that at Keystone, they would even lie to each other...then stop when they realized what they were doing and say, "wow, sorry man. That was totally a lie." SAs literally have to learn to be truthful again.
So the way I see it Myreality, either he is purposefully hiding something from you or he is just resorting to old habits of deception. Either way, couch seems very reasonable consequence.
She said that I needed to listen to the inner voice and change what I told myself. Like, if I said to myself, "one more handful of chocolate won't make any difference I'm already fat and overweight" (or whatever else I told myself), I'd reply "I don't want to be fat forever and every bite counts" or whatever I could think of. It has taken me a while, but it's working. I'm making better coping choices.
Thanks for this Sabina. I'm going to try it, too.
1. He went to strip clubs by himself a handful of times in the first 15-20 years of our marriage.
2. He escalated to lap dances with these strippers
3. He went to massage parlors (said nothing happened there except for a massage! really????)
4. He met one of the employees from this massage parlor in a hotel (said nothing happened there, he got scared and left)
5. Returned to strip clubs because he said he thought they were legal and he couldn't get into trouble there
6. He has said since d-day he hasn't been back and is sincerely focused on R
I don't know if I believe him and I still after two years don't understand how this happened and how I didn't know who this person was. We dated for 8 years before marriage and have been married for 23 years.
I have dealt with his dysfunction for all of this time. He has a family that has had numerous affairs, divorces and emotional issues and during this whole time, I have tried to support him and have not once been a part or played into this dysfuctional situation. I have shielded my children from my husband's and his family's behavior. Besides this, my husband has dealt with his weight (he is an overeater) and his subsequent health issues with his lack of self control. He is severely asthmatic, hypertensive and has apnea. He can't do anything physical so for this entire marriage I have taken care of the children (we also own our own businessess and I gave helped there too as well as have 2 other part time jobs), the house, yard, finances etc. I am just so angry with him and although I see he is trying hard to be a better husband and father, my anger wants me to throw him out and be on my own.
I really dont' know if he has a sex addiction or if this was just a matter of his lack of self control and a short term way to deal with his emotional problems. Any help would be appreciated.
Well...unfortunately the only way to be *sure* it is SA is to visit a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). You can locate one using the following website:
Other therapists, while good-intentioned, are often unable to help as they operate under the premise that the person visiting is telling the truth...while SAs often lie and deceive (even in therapy!). CSATs are trained to see through the lies and deception - that is why they work.
As for guesses...it seems like you have a lot of red flags that could indicate SA - frequency, quantity, variety, compulsion, escalation, FOO (Family of Origin) issues, other addiction (overeating). You also seem to be describing what frequently happens to SA spouses - having to take care of everything, not getting help, working yourself to death to compensate for his non-participation in life functions.
So is it SA? Cannot say. Are there enough indications to get it checked out? Absolutely.
The other thing to do is to check out the first posting on the beginning of this thread. There are some excellent books listed there that will help you to understand the disease, and at least in my experience, I found that knowledge was very empowering.
One question SGR, what prompted your husband to share with you about his activities? Did something happen or did he just come forth on his own?
*Edited to add:
Just reread your post about the HPV. I would dare guess that what he has told you is only the tip of the iceberg. To my knowledge you cannot get HPV simply from a lap dance. I'm pretty sure it would need to be sex of some sort...
Sorry you are here, but feel free to post anytime.
[This message edited by WS is an Addict at 1:34 PM, April 27th (Friday)]
I have talked to him about SA and he has talked to a counselor but I don't think he has been totally honest with him either. I have read a couple of books on sexual addiction but with the knowledge I have (which I don't think is the truth) he really wouldn't fit the description. I just don't know what to do or where to turn but I do know that I don't feel whole anymore and that there is still some unanswsered questions. That is what my intuition is telling me.
I know my WS did not come clean for 9 years...and only then when he lost his job due to SA-related activities. I knew of the tip of the iceberg before (online stuff / sexting) and would repeatedly ask him if there was more, but he would look me straight in the eye and tell me no, I knew everything. We went to "regular" counseling for 3 years. Neither the counselor nor I had any idea the extent of his behaviors because WS was such a masterful liar. When everything came to light though, I was floored - felt like I was married to a stranger. He'd been leading a double life for our entire relationship. How do you live with someone and not know them? That's how adept SAs can be...
But you may be right. It may be depression or "regular" infidelity (is there such a thing?), not that either hurts any less!
But your intuition kicking in, the deception, the preoccupation with "professional" services...
I think it would be worth a visit to the CSAT. If nothing else, you could clear your mind of wondering whether he is SA or not...
My SAfWH justified his visits to strip clubs the same way. "They're LEGAL! They are for ADULTS! I'm not doing anything WRONG!!" But of course he was. And his PAs, physical affairs were in 2002 and 2004. I found out in 2009. And he lied to me, swore on my health when I was diagnosed with and unspecified bacterial vaginosis and had to undergo further testing, (unnecessary testing had I and my doctor known it was really an STD) swore that he had not had sex with anyone else.
SAs lie. They are masters of it. And it sounds as it your WH has many issues that could indicate SA.
WS is one of the wise women who are great listeners here. Please read, post and get yourself some support IRL. You sound burnt out. You deserve better.
He did admit to an "illegal" lap dance but that was the worst of it that he has told me. My gut is saying that is only the tip of the iceberg and today I had him meet with me and I told him that R will not be possible without an evaluation for sex addiction and he said he would go and do whatever I needed to recover. I just don't know where to start....any suggestions on websites to find a reputable doctor? I live in a rural area and we don't even have a mental health clinic where we are. Thank you again for everyone's help. It's difficult but I am glad I found a place to vent!
Did you try plugging in your zip code to the website I listed earlier?
Even though it would be a hassle to drive 2-3 hours, I think it's worth it to find the right kind of therapist - at least for the evaluation part.
First of all, I am truly sorry you are a member of this forum. It's a very sad place.
I’ve been dealing with an SA/cheating husband for about 2 years now. I first found out about infidelities because of health/gyneacological problems.
I was diagnosed with HPV November 2010 (the second time it happened, but the first time was long ago, I wasn’t told and had no idea it is an STD, a long story,
I’m not even going there now).
HPV can only be transmitted skin to skin, condoms don’t even protect you. It takes about 3 years for it to develop into abnormal cervical cells, even longer to become cancer.
So, if you are in a monogamous relationship there is no way to get it.
I am not a CSAT or an IC but I am almost sure that what you know is a very tip of the iceberg. You don’t go to massage parlors to get a massage only, you do get it, but with either
a hand or blowjob, your choice. The “massage therapists” often allow clients “extras”. And will also do “extras”outside of the venue e.g.. in a hotel room.
There is very little chance that your husband went to meet her in a hotel room, got scared and left. He made a decision already, she was there, he was there, the temptation was just to big. What my SAWH was telling me was that even if he wasn’t happy with a way a hooker looked (he sometimes booked them from ads in newspapers, so didn’t know what they looked like), he would never leave, he had to have sex once he was there.
Maybe he did go back to strip clubs, girls there also offer “extras”.
My SAWH was posting on the Wayward forum (disgracetoh.race). I was one of the lucky ones that got most of the story from him. That happened April last year. In September I found new stuff, by accident, and in February this year even more. WHY DOES HE ALWAYS HAVE TO TELL LIES IS BEYOND ME!!!!!
It looks like that he stopped the double life since the first D-day. Is it true? Probably. Will he and when will he go back to that way of life? He says never, I just don’t know.
I hope I am not to harsh. I would just like you to protect yourself. My SAWH is also diagnosed with another HPV – genital warts, never showed symptoms so his body might overcome it or they might show at the later stage (you cannot cure this). He also has Herpes1, never any symptoms. The rest of the STD test is clean. I contracted “only” the HPV that causes cancer, didn’t get to that stage, had a laser surgery of the cervix.
Take care of yourself and take everything he tells you with a pinch of salt. They are liars. I am with my husband since 1986, married in 1989 and always was sure he was such an honest, honest man. And he was in all other areas of his life and with everybody else except me. I trusted him completely, always. There was no reason not to. That is one of the reasons I thought a was going crazy after I found out, it just was not possible, you couldn’t put the two people together, and yet, that’s what it is, there are two people in him.
I wish you lots of strength, you will need it.
What hurts the most is that we have known each other since we were six years old, dated for eight years before we were married and have been married for over 23 years. It has been a long road dealing with the baggage (that I didn't understand or see when I was young) and problems that he has brought into the marriage. I dealt with all that and his emotional abuse and neglect but I endured because I made those vows (for better for worse, etc. etc. etc.) but this is something I just can't work out on my own.
How will I ever know if he is being truthful? He seems remorseful and has never been more respectful to me in his life. He has made a committment to be involved with the kids and we are taking time together as a couple but can I really trust him about the past or the future? And I am angry at myself for allowing this to happen and not seeing how depressed and angry and sick he really was. I used every bit of my energy for the last 20 years keeping this family together and emotionally supporting my children (of which I am extremely proud of) but what did I do wrong? I switch between anger and hurt multiple times during the day even after two years from dday.
As in the case of lost family, my husband was an honest business owner and very successful working 60-80 hours a week. Now I think he worked and wanted to be so successful financially because he lacked true inner self esteem. We argued constantly about his lack of emotional involved in our marriage and in the children's lives. Another reason why I feel he can lie, he is so emotionally disconnected that he can't even see me. He's selfish in my opinion and at times, I don't know if I really want to expend any more energy on such a dysfunctional person. Maybe in therapy, we both can come to understand what he has done and why but I would NEVER do anything like this to him EVER. I have only been with one man and that was him and I was committed to that and felt very good about that decision.
Again, to those with any advise and comments, thank you again. Your help is genuinely appreciated.
It seems to me that when someone is active in an addiction, any addiction, it's like they're divided into parts. 33% monster (addiction), 33% fake person covering up for the monster, 33% real person. Then as the addiction progresses, the "monster" and "fake person" parts grow...squeezing out the real person like a cancer. Sometimes it seems like it squeezes out the real person entirely.
Be gentle with yourself, SGR. The "real person" you married is in there somewhere. Will he be strong enough to battle the monster and subsequent facade into remission? Only time will tell (with the right help/support).
You're right about the monster though: Sick, selfish, immature, insecure, detached, emotionless. It sounds like you've been battling the monster for a long time. You are understandably exhausted. Be gentle with yourself. You have a lot of emotions to process, but it sounds like you did what you needed to do up to this point to take care of your babies. Now it is time to take care of you.
So sorry you are going through this.