So my question is this: if your husband is a SA, and he goes to prostitutes or whatever, does he suddenly decide to check their ID first? Does he make a mental distinction, "Oh, this one's not 18 yet, I'd better not"?
My SAWH also used hundreds of prostitutes, and I had the dubious advantage of records to see what types he used and such for a big portion of it. There was no real trend or type, no evidence to suggest he was into minors or girls that looked young. I specifically asked about it, because we have daughters and use teenage babysitters. His take was it was entirely possible he had sex with minors, but not deliberately. Pros and johns do not check IDs, that is an industry standard. Strippers in our FOO home state could work at 17, and lots of strippers are also pros. So to answer your question, it is not likely any SA or any man for that matter that uses prostitutes is going to know the pro's real age, not going to ask because that is the culture, and it usually takes a lot to arrange a meeting, so they don't refuse unless stuff goes really awry. Strippers and pros have the most physical appeal in their teens and early 20s, so it is more likely a man involved with either is going to be using girls of that age group. The ones that are older usually are filling a specialty niche.
Here's my take on your original thread. SAs who are not in full recovery are liars. You still do not know the whole story. It is very likely, especially given he has gone to court already, that the body count is way higher than you think, and that there are more young or underage girls than you know. If that is going to be a dealbreaker for you, you need to prepare for that possibility now.
Expanding on that point, someone capable of lying and covering up what you are currently aware of, is very much capable of lying and covering up lots of other things. There may be drug history. There may be financial infidelity you are not aware of. If he has lived in other countries, or visited them, he may have criminal history there you are not aware of. I just want you to be prepared when you have a DD like you have, it may very well and likely is the tip of the iceberg. "Cheating" may be the least of your problems.
My other concern, is the longer they have been SA, the more the extreme the acting out becomes because just conquests are not enough. Since you don't have the full story, it is very possible that he's done some really sick and illegal things, worse than taking advantage of a older teen. And if he falls off the wagon, the potential for such worse things in the future is much greater.
Lastly, when they are that far gone, the therapy required is much more intense and specialized, and he has limited options from what you have told me. Even with the best care and full cooperation of the patient, it is a lengthy process - years. And still has a highly debated success rate. Because of his limited options, and that he already avoided responsibility with the law, has extreme history, etc...the future for him does not look promising.
Believe me, I have an idea what it's like for you. I was terrified when I found out the summary of the "real" story post DD, and my and frankly ANY child's safety was a very real concern for me. I had two psych docs give me their opinion on his potential to molest children. When he later failed a general poly, since one of the questions was about children, he was evaluated by a court psychiatrist who specialized in sex offenders and deemed not a risk. But the doc did give me a list of red flags to watch for, because he knows SAs have a greater chance of becoming such a risk when they fall off the wagon. SAWH passed an isolated child safety question on a subsequent poly, as well as one about his history, so I also have that reassurance. But it doesn't sound like a lot of these are options for you.
I'm trying to be as supportive as I can, because I have an idea of what you are going through and I remember that horrific initial time after DD. But I am also trying to prepare you for what is coming, because that will make a huge difference in the decisions you will have to make now. I thought I was pretty educated on what might happen, yet was completely blindsided on how events unfolded. I would have made very different decisions had I known then what I know now.
Lastly, please go get a full STD panel and see a L to find out your options ASAP. Meaning, what a D would look like, how you can protect yourself from his potential/past criminal activities, what it means if the therapist he goes to reports him for such activities, etc. You need to know what has to happen to file to your best advantage if you need to, what has to happen if he decides he'd rather file first than have anyone find out the truth, what steps you can protect yourself from his legal fallout.
Best of luck. Keep posting. Everyone in SI has such valuable knowledge and insight.
IMHO, it is a profoundly broken person who feels they have to buy sex from anonymous people in the first place. Only second to that is one who does this when they have someone at home who loves them and trusts them with all their heart, soul and mind. I still can't wrap my head around it.
Please take Hath's advice to heart. She is one of the ones who have really done their homework and has all the very painful belt notches to prove it.
Be strong and hold on.
Anyway, my basic question is can someone be a SA only with online stuff/porn/etc? My boyfriend's infidelities (that I know about) were all online & texting. He didn't go out an have sex, but I still feel like he has a problem although I don't know if he is a SA.
He was on sites like adultfriendfinder before I met him and met people off there for sex (although I did not know this until everything happened). He was messaging girls on there, sending naked pics on there, on other sex sites and facebooking and texting other girls and sending and receiving naked pics all while we were together and in an exclusive and committed relationship though.
He seems to now have a lot of intimacy issues too and I know he has had those issues in the past as well.
Porn is kind of mostly why I think he is a SA though. He seems like he can't go without it. He only likes "live sex" porn. He has paid for it and watches multiple sites. It was such a problem in his last relationship that he ended up without a phone, computer, or internet privileges (didn't find that out until recently. Before he said it was because she was jealous and crazy). When he was deployed the VERY 1st thing he did was try to get onto porn sites and then get a VPN so he could watch it there. He has ignored me while he was gone due to porn (or said he was taking a nap). When he came back from his deployment (and before I knew about everything) he had watched it everyday while gone so our intimacy suffered. He watched it while I slept in the other room where I could see him and didn't seem to care if he got caught (although he said he was just rubbing on himself and not doing anything, but I don't believe him). Even after all that we have been through he still watches porn even knowing that I don't want him to. He now uses private browsing so I can't find out about it.
So, in all of your opinions, is that a SA or just someone with porn and fidelity issues?
Sorry that this is long and again I am sorry if this is a somewhat redundant question. I want to read some books and I want to make sure I get the right kind of books.
[This message edited by megs56 at 4:25 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]
@mega56. SAs can be only virtual in context, at least at some point in their addictions. Patrick Carnes has a book dedicated to this In the Shadows of the Net However, SA escalates. Too many addicts deny they have a problem because they only surf, don't cheat with RL people. And you are right that SA is at its root an intimacy disorder.
So, part of our trip included a visit to a city with a famous "red light" district. There was a lot of pressure to go on the tour. Nope. I must admit, it was sort of funny, since, at 59, I was one of the YOUNGEST people on the tour. To see these old people, some with canes, others openly doddering, bundling up to go out in the rain to tour the city with the girls(?) dressed in scanty clothes posed in windows to entice customers was actually amusing. The reviews the next day were interesting. The women were "Rubenesque" which I'm sure meant overweight, and bored, texting, not posing. In the summer, I'm told, there are near naked people of all genders walking on the streets. I'm sure it's more pathetic than sexy. I wish I could have had a sense of humor about it, but I don't. Despite there living wages and state paid health benefits, prostitution is NOT a career that one can be proud of, or one that is healthy for anyone.
He also had girls on twitter and other accounts that were sexual / inappropriate for being in an exclusive relationship. It took me finally truly putting my foot down for him to delete those girls / sites. I asked and asked and he wouldn't get rid of them for weeks. Plus, he has at least 15 file folders on his laptop of other girls that were filled with naked pics, videos, etc of the girls. Girls he had been with before and girls off AFF and sites like that. He told me he had deleted anything like that, but then I found the file folders. He looked at them all the time.
He now watches porn in private browsing so I can't tell what sites or how often. He admitted that he is doing that. He says he doesn't want to fight about it. But I am upset that he is in essence hiding it when he is supposed to be 100% transparent with me now.
Sorry to ramble on. Just trying to give more context.
Whoops hit enter too quickly.
Wanted to add that my SAWH, from what I understand, started out as a preteen exposed to porn, masturbated to porn compulsively throughout young adulthood, then when the high speed residential internet hit circa 2000, downloaded porn and fantasy life really accelerated. Fast forward 10 years, he graduated to a real life AP who really does resemble a porn star (IMO). So in some SAs, there really is a progression where they have to constantly up the ante in terms of risk and variety. The porn gets more and more intense in the scenarios. I have been chastised on here before by other partners of SA for saying that for *some* it is a progression, but all of the literature I have read on this by Carnes, Schneider and other "experts" in this specialty state it as such. Notice I am not saying for ALL SAs it is that way. But because of the nature of the addiction, it is quite common for them to start taking on more and more risk, seeking out different fantasies and harder core visuals and then onto real life affair partners. My H had an affair for 2+ years...and he says that it was really just lust (and I have seen some texts that allude to this...after 2+ years they are sexting most of the time and talking dirty about masturbating while he is in the shower thinking of her, etc...so gross).
[This message edited by womaninflux at 7:08 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]
because of the nature of the addiction, it is quite common for them to start taking on more and more risk, seeking out different fantasies and harder core visuals and then onto real life affair partners.
I think this is true, that they need more and more illicit things to get themselves aroused and satisfied. They need a bigger "high". The stuff that used to work gets to be boring, plain vanilla. At an intensive I went to, the woman running the place said it's like heroin to them. Looking into her eyes, as she told me that nothing means anything to them except to score the next hit so as to stop their pain, led me to acceptance of so much...that it wasn't to do with me, that he was very sick, and there was nothing I could do about it.
That being said, given what you've shared, It sounds like it's already escalated. And he clearly is not interested in respecting your boundaries or doing whatever it takes. I am not seeing remorse. There are ways to see internet history in private browsing, ways to filter his internet, etc but you already know what he is doing. It is time to decide what you need to do for yourself. 180 and all that. (Hugs) I am so sorry. You deserve better.
SK - Welcome back! Yes, I have lived in a city with a red light district and no one I knew really went there. We went to eat at a couple of in restaurants around there but my local friends were very protective and kept me far away from "those kind of people". Funny that it is supposed to be so accepted there but most of the people I knew thought it was a really disgusting area and something tourists did, not locals.
Marlie - So sorry that you are in this situation. You have gotten good advice. Addicts lie, sex addicts lie more than any other kind of addict. Before recovery, my SAWH was swearing he never had sex with anyone else and was just looking. His body count ended up being 25. My CSAT was pretty clear not to believe a sex addict and prepare for the worst. Hope you get some support for yourself. COSA or S-Annon and a CSAT that helps spouses.
Mega - I don't really have experience with porn but know of many SAs that have that as their primary addiction. Addictions always escalate, it may take 1 year or 30 years for that to happen. A filter sounds like a good idea.
AFM, things are going well. Really busy and tired. SAWH is out of town and kids have me running ragged! So, good night ladies. Hope everyone has a good night's sleep.
However, he told me last night that he saw the last woman he was with (in July) on Monday, and she thinks she may be pregnant. He told me, sobbing, that if it turns out that she is, he feels it would be wrong to R because I shouldn't have to deal with all of his problems and then a baby to boot.
My reaction to that was to panic and spend a sleepless night wanting to know why she has not yet confirmed something so important. I also wondered if there were ways to test for paternity before birth. We both sobbed, held each other and talked about how much neither of us wants a divorce.
This is true. My feeling since D-Day has been, not that I want a divorce, but wondering if it's what I SHOULD do under the circumstances. It's extremely difficult because notwithstanding that he has lied to me, I love this man (and both I and my therapist believe that he loves me, too). He has been my best friend and my shoulder to cry on for eight years. We have been through a lot together. I do not want to throw away a chance at happiness.
But if the woman is truly pregnant, WS feels that surely our marriage could not survive that blow on top of everything else. ARRRGH, this is awful!
I'm concerned that your H saw this woman on Monday but, waited until last night to tell you about it. There may be good reasons but, in just reading your post it looks like he had plenty of time to concoct a story. I'm going to tread lightly here because I know I'm jaded but, I think you should question every word that comes out of his mouth and then be very careful about believing any of it. It's impossible to trust anything they say because they have become very adept at deceiving and lying to you.
This person who you have trusted with all of your heart has been hiding a secret life. I see that you have had some legal issues so you may have the advantage of at least having some of his activities laid out for you. I may have missed it somewhere but, it's not clear to me how long ago that was. What were the consequences of his actions at that time? Has he been engaged in sexual encounters since that time?
I can tell you from experience that you have your work cut out for you if you want to try to R. Everyone here told me how hard it would be but, I had no way of knowing just how soul destroying it could be when things began to come out.
We are still working on R but, I have an exit plan just in case I get to the point that I can't do it anymore. It is the hardest mountain I've ever had to climb.
((((Marlie)))) I'm sorry for your pain.
[This message edited by outtanowhere at 9:35 AM, October 16th (Wednesday)]
Gently, I have to agree with Outta. You are still operating as if he is telling the truth and the whole story, which he is not. There is omission going on for sure, and this latest blow reeks of dishonesty. Any SI person will tell you OW will often use a false pregnancy to lure their AP back in. You can only hope that's the case. We all know there are very few women that would not know for sure by month 3 if they were pregnant, and would have made a decision regarding keeping the baby and determining action for CS by now. I am afraid what is more likely is that she is pregnant, and she and SAWH have known for some time, and he's playing it like this to manipulate your reaction. Or maybe something even worse is afoot and he is sending you off the scent.
Think about it. If he had come to you yesterday and said, I slept with this woman many times, last in July. I found out more than a month ago she is pregnant. She is keeping the baby and will file for CS. I am just now telling you the truth. Would you have had the same reaction as you did the way he presented it to you yesterday? What if this was not the first time he's done this, but paid for an abortion or paid her off some other way? What there is more than one pregnant OW out there? Or, God forbid, there is something else he's done, and he's distracting you from that, so even if you find out, it will seem less awful? Or trying to get you to D him so you will not find out the extent of all the things you've done?
The truth is you don't know what is going on. You can count on two things though. 1) You can't trust what he says. And 2) that there is more coming down the pipe you don't know about.
As for if you *should* file, I would go see a L and see what the options are. There may be statutes of limitations, a mandatory waiting period, etc that would factor in that. You don't have kids together, so that makes it less complicated. Just because you file does not mean you have to go through with it, but you may *have* to file by a certain date to ensure your advantage if you want to later on. Or in your case, you may be better off legally to be divorced from him even if you stay with him, KWIM?
My take? So far he's been a serial cheater for years, has taken advantage of minors, and has possibly gotten at least one woman pregnant, so that also means he has been exposed to high-risk sexual behavior for years as well. IMHO he needs serious therapy, an inpatient program would be best. IDK if that is an option, but I'd insist he enroll in a program as a condition of considering R. Regardless if I was staying with him or not. And YOU need trauma therapy ASAP. That should take priority.
Again, I am so sorry. It is horrific to deal with this, to see the love of your life exposed like this in a slow and painful manner. Please don't forget in all of this, YOU are the one being dealt the most trauma and needs the most support. Either he will face the music and get better, or he won't. YOU on the other hand need the help and support ASAP no matter what he decides to do.
I have just sent you a pm that is more detailed than I would wish to be on a public forum. I know that right now you are in a fog and it is hard to think clearly. On my last d-day, I was posting on another site, and was overwhelmed by the responses that I got there. People have good intentions, and these things are shocking! With distance and clarity, down the road you will see that they did not mean to attack you. I know for myself, living with a SA for years, that line in the sand kept getting moved as for what was a dealbreaker. It was like being a frog put into a pot of water that slowly comes to a boil. I did not realize how absurd my story was to people who had not been in my situation. That is the place you are in. It is important to share your story only where you feel safe. For me, even 4 years out, I am cautious. Not because I am trying to protect anyone or keep secrets, but because it is prudent. As partners of SA and living in dysfunction, learning when to share or not share information is important. We have experienced the shame of hiding things and keeping secrets (most of us since childhood) and don't have safe boundaries. These are things we develop in recovery.
Speaking of recovery, the focus of recovery needs to be on YOU. As many have already advised you, this is probably only the tip of the iceberg and there will be many more things to come out, and many more lies and secrets, such as this new revelation about the pregnancy. Take the focus off of him. He may or may not hit rock bottom and enter recovery. You are important and worth it. You have the right to feel devastated and to get the help you need. 12 step support IRL from those who have BTDT is invaluable right now, and a CSAT for you will help you to process all these feelings. Protect yourself in every way. I understand the temptation is to focus on him, but you need to detach yourself from that and put the focus on you. Save yourself right now.
I just wanted to say that I am glad you had a nice trip to Europe. I don't think I could EVER visit Amsterdam. My H acted out with prostitutes there, and I think it would be too much of a trigger for me. I am sure that it is a lovely city, but all I would think about would be business trips past, where he had layovers there. Ugh.
Marlie, you are not alone. I don't post here often because I'm D'ing my SAWH.
To t/j a bit, this is not meant to be a support group only for people in R with a SA. This is meant to be a space for ALL of us to discuss the way that living with a SA has impacted our lives and to discuss the recovery process. We ALL need recovery, whether we R with a SA or not. I would dare say that most of us have been victims of abuse or prior dysfunction before even meeting our SA. We all need to learn what healthy intimacy and taking care of ourselves is about. We all need to take the focus off the SA.
Even 4+ years out, I am STILL working on recovery from my own abusive FOO and my own coping skills. I am still trying to learn to take care of myself. It is a neverending process in that I do good, fall off the wagon, and get back on. My children have noticed a big difference in the way that I handle day to day stressors, and I credit my choice to continue working on recovery for that.