I don't have an advice as I just discovered the same thing about my husband of 13 yrs. He's been going on Craigslist personals seeking out encounters for over 3 yrs! I found that out after finding out he was having a sexting affair with a good friend for over a year. He says he sees the errors of his ways. I cant get over the fact that the past 3 years of my life have been a lie and that he has been living a double life. Why does the fact that he never touched anyone not make me feel any better??!!! We are in MC and he is going to go IC for this problem but I don't know if this is what I want for the rest of my life!
Glad you found this site. I know you are in a bad place at the moment, but there are people here who have been where you are and will be able to help you.
It is quite amazing how some men seem to think that as long as they don't touch, it is ok, not cheating and that it means nothing.
Unfortunatley, todays technology means that it is very easy to upgrade from yesterdays 'dirty magazines' under the bed to a far more personal form of viewing porn.
Nobody wants to see their husband like this, it is demeaning and your respect for them just flies out of the window.
I think until he can recognize his problem and deal with it, it will be difficult for you to get past this.
i wish you luck I am sure others who have been through this and come out the other side will be along soon with very useful advice.
If you have not already, please look at the upper left corner, in the yellow box, and click on The Healing Library and start reading. Also, look in the first 1-3 pages of this forum for posts with red "targets" next to them and read their 1st page. This is all good information for you that's written by people who have unfortunately BTDT.
Cybersex is called cybersex because is it SEX. It can be two or more people, getting together for sexual purposes. It can be one person having a solitary sexual relationship with photos, videos, cruising come-on ads, etc. It is seeking sexual satisfaction outside of your marriage. And if it's done without the consent of both partners in a relationship, it's infidelity.
If it wasn't cheating, why did he hide it from you? Good question that I doubt that he can answer with any sanity. I suppose that if he had actually hooked up with one of his hookers, and as long as it was only casual, paid sex, that that would have "meant nothing" as well.
In my case, my FWHs pornographic obsession started with photos, went to videos, then to chat sites, then to pay-me-to-fondle-myself sites, then to casual hook-up sites, then to him posting his "availability", and finally to a ONS. The progression from chat sites to finding a f-buddy took less than 2 years. I caught him before he had his second session.
You can get through this. As a matter of fact, with him or without him, you WILL get through this! If he can get his head out of his ass and start thinking with the topmost head, hopefully he can figure out why he needed a hidden "nothing" for his satisfaction when he had a real, live, loving woman right next to him. (((hugs)))
D-Day, June 10, 2012
I am so sorry you find yourself here, but please know you have come to an amazing place. Please read as much as you can, and try to take care of yourself.
As to his words right now, it is very common for foggy WS to deny, minimize, compartmentalize, lie, omit,and gaslight. It is very difficult to face their own shame and be accountable, (not that it makes it OK!!!).
The actions are crazy, and the mindset that leads to the actions are even more crazy. Please don't doubt yourself.
There is also the possibility that you are not getting the full truth at this point. TT is VERY common around here.
The bottom line is that he is likely batshit crazy right now, and the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Don't believe anything he says, and only about half of what he does at this point.
I hope these words do not overwhelm you, they come from my experience. Trust YOUR values and YOUR gut...you have integrity and strength. Hang in there, hold tight, and stay close. This place can literally be a lifesaver!
And to second what Skan said, you can get through this!
I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.
Blindsided thank you for sharing. I feel your pain too. I too can't imagine feeling any worse.
Gemstone thank you for your comments. I do need him to recognise his problem before there can be any hope of reconciliation.
Skan thank you for expressing so well my EXACT same thoughts on this. There is no doubt in my mind that this is cheating. How can anyone can justify this kind of behaviour when supposedly in a committed loving relationship?
Bent thank you. I appreciate your honesty. I simply cannot trust him right now. It's all too raw and there are so many inconsistencies in what he says, I had to cut off communication with him for now.
He is seeing a counsellor, as am I. I am trying to look after myself now. The loneliness and anxiety are tough.
Sincere thanks to you all for taking the time to care and reply. I appreciate the support. I will try to support others as I get stronger. HUGS to all of you.
Unfortunately this is a growing problem, even with people that thought they had/have a loving long term marriage or relationship. I have had 4 Discovery Days, and all center around this cyber world.
My husband has been remorseful each time, he does see it as cheating, yet he has been unable to stop himself. This past DD, he admitted that he is SA (sex addict) and needs special help. He doesn't want to hurt me anymore, but realizes his behaviors have become out of control.
Be aware, even if things seem to go well again, many times these people will find other ways to act out. They will start finding ways to hide things, either with secret cell phones, or manipulating the computer so you can't look up the history, etc.
You are in for a long, hard road. I wish you the best and there are plenty on this website that have experience and want to share that with you to be your safe place to fall when no one else seems to understand.
I wish I had more time to fill you in more, but since "we're" in a manic stage right now, my time is very limited, not to mention I'm a slow writer. Your best place to start for info on this site is in the I Can Relate forum and look for the subforums: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts and Online/Cyber cheating. Get familiar with the term CSAT. This is the best kind of certified & educated counselor for your husband. I would also suggest for both you and him: "In the Shadows of the Net" by Patrick Carnes Ph.D. You can find a free download @ ebooks3000.com. Use the download site, depositfiles and use the download link that says "Download file in regular mode by browser" It is a cloud service not a peer to peer. I downloaded it yesterday with no problems and no malware warnings.
This stuff is nasty. The 1st one for my husband was a married woman whom he had never seen a picture of nor talked to on the phone, yet he thought he was head over heels in love & willing to leave me for her. Now if that isn't an indication that this stuff is created in the individual's imagination & fantasy world, I don't know what is. Suffice it to say, back then before it became more common, it absolutely shredded my self-esteem to think I was worth so little I could be replaced by the virtual stranger! Best of luck and hang in there.
Today 25th March (yesterday in Sydney)is/was our 36th wedding anniversary and a very sad day spent alone. He sent me a card hoping for my forgiveness one day.
This is the worst thing I have ever been through. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy (if I had one)... and I have never been on my own, so it's taking all the strength I can muster just to put one foot in front of the other to get through the day.
I am the sort of person who needs things to make sense, but perhaps they never will. I have not closed the door on a possible reconciliation one day, but he has have lots of work to do and I have lots of healing to do before I can even consider that. We have both started counselling.
I see now that cybersex is a huge problem in our society and causing untold distress for many many people. This makes me so sad and wondering what on earth is wrong with these people who would hurt the ones they love...
Perhaps I should now move over to the subforums: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts and Online/Cyber cheating?
[This message edited by 38yearstogether at 3:52 PM, March 25th (Tuesday)]
I hope he can get the help he needs and that you will find some peace and strength either with or without him
Talk to him about it. Ask him what he did, what sites, get all the passwords, get him to agree to share everything and never erase anything from the computer from now on. and tell him you are going to watch his computer/phone like a hawk. See if you can channel this unhealthy addiction into a more beneficial path.
Of course, if he is having physical affairs, or even long term emotional affairs online, that might be a deal breaker for you.
I'm only 3 months in, and we are in MC and he is in IC, but I can already clearly tell his problem is going to take much longer than either of us imagined.
Hang in there, and keep reminding yourself this is a serious infraction of your life and marriage. And hugs...
Here's the thing, I caught him out and kicked him out. So there's no way of knowing if he would have stopped by himself or not. So that is kind of a childish unhelpful comment to downplay the situation. The specifics of the how's and when's and what ifs aren't important - but the deception is key here. If he's just going to say what he thinks I want to hear, then there is no future. I need the truth. I am already hurting. I need answers. We are both still having counselling separately I have said that I have not closed the door completely on the possibility of a reconciliation, but I need time and I need to make sense of what happened to my darling husband and the marriage I thought I had. I asked him to get back to me when he has some clarity. Nothing yet.
I feel as though I am trying to find the pieces of the puzzle and he keeps handing me the ones that don't fit. All that does is perpetuate my frustration and confirm his inability/unwillingness to face the truth or give me anything that makes sense.
He spends a lot of time with our grown up kids...dinners, movies, football, etc. He is getting looked after, and I feel like I am on my own. Very sad and depressed at the moment.
I'm so happy that you are getting counseling for yourself. I, too, have always needed things to make sense. I've had to let go of that a bit, and it is very hard.
You haven't "closed the door completely" on trying to R, but neither should you hold it wide open. He has lots of work to do before you can get to that doorway. And in the end, it will be your decision. Try to take care of yourself in all the healthy ways advised here (hydration, sleep, exercise). Understand that you have no control over his behavior or thoughts. That you immediately separated I think will be helpful. It will either shock him out of his addictive and sick behavior by being faced with real life consequences, or it will help you to begin to detach from the life he is offering you now.
I'm so sorry it happened to you. I will look for more if your posts to check up on how you're doing.
You did the right thing. Do not believe that he was getting ready to stop coincidental with you catching him. Trust your own instincts.
Take good care of yourself. If you have a close friend or a sister to talk to maybe do that if you feel you can truly trust someone to confide in. Have you considered seeing a therapist? It can help.
He will say whatever he wants but you know the truth, this is NOT "just words" etc.
Also, as a guy, i have looked at porn, i think most of us have, my wife knew, i never like threw it in her face or anything but it was still wrong, i may not have meant it to hurt her but it did, so i have stopped.
[This message edited by Adeahan at 9:29 PM, April 5th (Saturday)]
IF your WH is a sex addict, then you WILL get lots of help down in the previously mentioned thread in the "I Can Relate" forum. But, of course, you can still post here. Or in General. Or in Reconciliation. You can post just about anywhere as long as you follow the instructions for each forum.
My SLAWH has been an addict since his preteen or early teen years. Of course, no one knew and no one would've called it that then, but that's what it was. Addictive behavior is not just a bad habit. It's not something that can be stopped cold turkey. And if it is, then it's not an addiction OR else it transfers to another activity.
For years and years and years, my WH contented himself with masturbation and fantasies and photos (harder to get 25-30 years ago) and make-out sessions with girls. A week after we married, I found a phone bill for $600--all calls to phone sex lines. Naive me, I thought all guys must do that and that he just couldn't wait to have "legal" sex with me. Never thought about it again because he never had phone sex again. Months later (really? when he had a beautiful, willing wife in the next room?), I found him masturbating to a fuzzy porn channel on our apartment TV. Again, I felt horrible, but I thought it was normal.
It wasn't until 8 1/2 years ago that he was diagnosed as an addict: sex, rage, food, caffeine, spending. When he worked on controlling one (by white knuckling), he'd spin out of control in another area. His drug of choice, though, was porn/fantasy. As many problems as that caused us, intimacy-wise, it seemed under control for the most part. But, like another poster said, addictions escalate. He, in the guise of 12-step "asking for forgiveness," would contact old girlfriends and several of those blossomed into emotional affairs. Then there came the time, almost 2 years ago, when the next step seemed logical to him, and he had an A. When that "love of his life" (remember, he's a sex and love addict) dropped him, he upped it another step and acted out with a prostitute and two escorts (separate encounters).
I share that with you because your WH may say that he would have stopped, but if it's truly an addiction, that's highly unlikely. And, if it's an addiction, you may have found only the tip of the iceberg. That's not to say he's actually had sex with any woman, but it's possible that this cybersex activity is a step up from plain ol' porn sites which were a step up from phone sex which was a step up from girlie magazines . . .
And, if it gives you any hope or strength at all, your WH may truly love you. The addiction is NOT about YOU; it's about HIM. You haven't failed in ANY way; he is simply broken. My WH is starting the long road back to sobriety and recovery--very slowly. It's painful. Although I don't think he's acting out in his sex addiction, he's definitely acting out. But it's easier to handle his constant computer game playing (FIFA and CivRev), than his paying for sex or cheating. Imagine that!
And I'm working on myself, too. I've been going to IC for 3 years; I've started reading anything and everything I can get my hands on regarding SA for the past 18 months; I just received my 6-month chip at S-Anon last week; and I found SI about 9 months ago.
I still feel hopeless at times, but I definitely feel loved. And as long as we're moving in the right direction, I have two teen sons still at home who need a daddy. For all of us, trying to reconcile is definitely worth it.
Good luck! Keep posting and check out other threads as new information becomes available to you. There is SO much wisdom here on SI. I'm continually amazed at how much support and comfort I get just by reading. Hugs!
[This message edited by RippedSoul at 10:07 PM, April 5th (Saturday)]