I'm done with any sort of romance with my husband. I wanted to wait until I was back in school and on my way before filing for divorce. He's continuing his path of addict in denial. The problem is, it's just getting plain embarrassing.
Besides the sex workers, he occasionally drunk calls or texts people who know us as a married couple. He tried to set up a FWB arrangement with a coworker who's been out with us as a family. People at work think he's had affairs with other coworkers, he denies it but he's full of it.
In particular there's a woman who tried to get between us years ago. Our children were friends, we spent time together at parks and such. He swore nothing happened then, but admitted to flirting with her through text over the past year. He says it never went beyond mild flirtation but... yeah, whatever.
He just told me today that he had to much to drink and texted her again last night.It's humiliating to think this woman who wanted to break up my marriage before, now thinks she's gotten under his skin. She doesn't know about all the massage parlors and escorts he's also been in touch with. She doesn't know I'm aware of him reaching out to her. I know it's ridiculous. She lives in another state. I didn't like her before she started trying to date my husband. I have zero respect for her as a person. It still bugs the hell out of me that she thinks he actually prefers her to me. That somehow she won (and what a prize!). I feel stupid and petty and have managed to avoid contacting her, but I'm white-knuckling it.
There's nothing to gain, right? Telling her he's an alcoholic sex addict with a prostitute problem doesn't make anything any better. It feels like I want to humiliate him the way he's humiliated me. But I'm the one who picked him to marry and have children with. Bad mouthing him reflects badly on me too.
Arrrgh, I'm so tired of acting like I'm above it all when what I really want is to tear into him tooth and claw, trash his reputation, tell his parents why we're separated. "He gave me the CLAP!" I want to pitch a fit, break his windows, egg his car, spray paint his expensive Italian motorcycle and pee in his Wheaties. I want him to stop publicly behaving like such an ass, at least until we're actually divorced.
There, I feel better now. Thanks again ladies, you always come through for me
I don't have experience with this directly. But my first question is--
Why does your daughter THINK she is a porn addict?
There is sometimes a tendency for girls to pathologize any interest in sex as deviant. Does she know that her dad is a SA? Do you think or fear he could exposed her to anything?
It is VERY GOOD and VERY HOPEFUL that she came to you with this. She may not have great coping skills right now but with a lot of therapy, if she is misusing sex or porn she can figure out why and learn to cope with it better. I truly believe this. This is stunning, hurtful, painful and I cannot imagine but you are going to help her through this. She confessed to you for a reason. There's A LOT of hope.
Keep us updated.
6 years of TT, hidden STD & false R
Separated 5 mos+; he will not commit
Someday I will be okay
Long distance hugs to you all tonight. So much pain, so many broken things. I wish blessings on us all. We deserve so much more.
Sodamnlost, derminata's advice is lovely. It's good DD has opened up. She CAN heal from this. I extend another extra hug to you with this. Are you able to get her into a good IC?
Compartmentalized, your recent post gives me a lot of hope. That's where I see my future, too. Some days it feels very far off, as I remain to get ducks in a row. But your words are close to my life vision.
[This message edited by meleanoro at 4:09 AM, July 31st (Thursday)]
I've checked his online history (I'm incognito on my computer - but he wouldn't even know how) - nothing there.
No porn on his phone.
A mass of (innocuous) texts to another young barmaid a year or two ago which stopped abruptly.
I put it to him that he was grooming her for another "she just fell in love with me A", and he admitted that subconsciously, he could have been.
I've got really sick and tired of him over the years.
Reading through SI, I begin to believe that he may have NPD (having looked it up, i can see that it can really start to manifest as subject grows older - he's 53) He is (or was) the epitome of an entitled person to whom the rules just did not apply.
Is there hope do you think - or am I just letting myself in for another load of sh*t?
In fairness, the kids, whilst the youngest still lives with us), are adults now. We are a very very close family and we still are all in very close (daily) contact.
Half of me thinks this is just the catalyst for him examining the tyrant he has become (he agrees), whilst the other half thinks that I may only have 20 active, healthy years left and do I want to spend the rest of my life with this creep?
We have been together for 30 years, but before that were good friends at school.
I thought I knew him - but i really didn't.
He has always had a high sex drive - which I enjoyed
Any advice from your wealth of experiences would be really appreciated, although I feel that I have learned so much from your stories so far.
Love to you all.
[This message edited by MadOldBat at 6:28 PM, August 5th (Tuesday)]
My question is this. Don't all men look at porn? Why is looking at porn considered acting out?
I never thought anything of it when my husband looked at porn only because I've been told by many guy friends and assumed that all men look at porn.
If someone could elaborate on this, I'd appreciate it.
I've already set down some ground rules with my H, but that was pre realization that he is probably a SA. So none of them are related to porn EXCEPT the one rule that he cannot go on web cam sites (they're already all blocked anyway).
Thanks in advance.
How about you?
PS. I think online porn is becoming more and more the norm as it becomes easier an easier to look at.
I'm wondering if anyone with more knowledge could help us here?
Thanks so much.
And even if he didn't?
He was totally and utterly supportive (for about 4 months solid) for BF and BF's W - but didn't have sex?
So he thought it unacceptable to betray BF - but OK to betray me with prostitutes?
oMG - no,.
I have a really awful feeling tho,, that this is exctly what happened.
I can even remember H saying that his BF was so screwed up mentally that he had accused him of having an affair with his BF's wife -imagine that?
I'm going to ask him as obliquely as i can and then focus in.
I think I can persuade him to tell me the truth - or can I?
Can I take any more?
He does stay up (not anymore) after me at night looking at porn. The only difference was that he was looking at free and also paying for it... web cam girls.
This ended up being a huge point of contention in our relationship until I gave up mostly and his visiting those sites died down (per our credit card reports that I examined).
I was just curious because I was under the impression that porn was just a normal thing. My friend informed me that the cam thing is totally not normal though.
Left him wrung out and snoring upstairs. I've never seen him cry like he did tonight.
I'm not a mean person & I felt like he needed some healing tonight.
I'm posting from spare room & feeling magnanimous & superior.
Tell me I'm not enabling again - please?
[This message edited by MadOldBat at 6:32 PM, August 5th (Tuesday)]
I read here a lot of stories of women turning themselves inside out trying to make it so that their reality isn't all that bad. Trying to convince themselves that "all men look at porn", so what their husband is doing is not that bad. The truth is, not all men look at porn. A lot do, but not all men. Further, not all men who look at porn choose to masturbate to porn over having sex with the flesh & blood wife who is right there in the house.
It is okay for you to have a boundary in your marriage that states "NO PORN". It doesn't make you a prude, but even if it did, if that is what YOU need to have a safe marriage, it is okay. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE A SAFE MARRIAGE. You have the right to let your husband know what you need and/or want in order to have a happy, loving marriage. He has the right not to abide by your choice, but you certainly have the right to state your preference. You have the right to be happy. His right to jack off to porn does not negate your right to be happy.
It is okay to be happy. You should expect that your husband will want to do things which make you happy. It should not be a major life burden to reject porn for the sake of your wife.
But for an addict it will be. And for an addict's wife, you'll find a way to explain each & every situation away, you'll find a way to live with what you don't want to live with, you'll find a way to give up yet one more piece of you in order to stay married. You'll find a way to exist at yet another lower level of existence. You'll tell yourself that not everyone gets to be happy. Happiness is for others. You'll find a way to deaden your hopes & dreams even more so you can tolerate the disrespect.
It doesn't have to be that way.
You don't have to keep your addict's secrets. In fact, the very act of doing so, of living a life that is a lie, should tell you that there is something wrong with you now. Normal people don't live such enormous lies. Of course there are things in everyone's life that aren't shiny & wonderful, but a person who is honest & authentic doesn't have a completely different life, a different marriage, than the one the rest of the world sees. Except an addict's wife. She leads a double life.
It doesn't have to be that way.
There is a tremendous freedom in deciding that you simply will not lie anymore. Your addict husband may choose to keep lying, but you don't have to. You don't have to hide the truth of your life from your family, from his family, from your friends. You don't have to live your life in isolation. You don't have to disappear into the shadow of his addiction.
You have the right to live your life openly & honestly. You really do have the right to be happy and have a husband who cares for you and treats you right.
It took me 17 years of marriage before I finally found the courage to say ENOUGH & file for divorce. All those years of misery wasted. All the damage done to my kids by living in a home with two broken parents for role models.
I encourage anyone reading this to stop focusing on your addict spouse and instead turn the spotlight onto yourself. You have no control over your spouse. You only control yourself. What are you doing to make yourself better? What are you doing to make your life better? What are you doing to make your kids' lives better?
Here's my 2 cents, which may not be worth much given I have no experience with a child SA (yet, anyway).
When I was in therapy for my recovery, my CSAT said their center were getting unprecedented numbers of teens and even preteens with porn and sex addiction, they weren't set up to handle the volume. So please know you are not alone in a vacuum. IDK how their therapy is different, if at all, from treating adults and how the 12 step, if at all, works. Apparently unfiltered internet access allows kids to see hard core porn at the average age of 10. :(
If it were me, I would like to think I'd treat it like a substance addiction. And that I would treat my minor child differently than I would treat my adult spouse or adult child. I would leave no stone unturned looking for the right therapist. I would consider inpatient therapy. I would go extreme, and at the risk of sounding co-dep, go nuclear on all electronics. Take away all internet for 90 days, etc. just like I'd dump all the booze in the house if they were an alcoholic.
However I am a little more diligent about this now given what has transpired in my own life. My kids have highly filtered internet at home. No internet access on the iPad or the Nook. No smartphones of their own yet. We don't have cable TV, so it's difficult (but not impossible) for them to see inappropriate TV. So employing even stricter measures than this would not be hard for me to implement.
It will be hard. She's 13, and can go off and find ways to still see porn without your knowledge. At my school district, it is very common for 13YOs to have smartphones with unfiltered internet, and most have an iPad or a computer at home which probably does not have filters. And prepaid smartphones are cheap, she could babysit and buy one easily. You need some professional help for her to guide you, and some professional help for YOU to help you deal with this once again because the trauma to you is significant.
Hugs. I want so badly to help you. This is an issue that all of us could face.
A few more thoughts for the new people here on the "isn't it just porn" or "all men watch it" ideas:
-even if he's not masturbating himself raw and watching 8 hours a day, if it's use is greater than your sex life, it's a problem.
-if you've expressed how it makes you feel, and he belittles, minimizes or discounts your feelings, it's a problem
-if his need for thrill, stimulus and variety is more important to him than your feelings, it's a problem
-secrets, hiding, closedoffness in a marriage are a problem
why should it be you, if you are uncomfortable or hurt by the porn, who should change (e.g. "Accept" this in your life) Why aren't your feelings and concerns ENOUGH for your husband to stop? He essentially is saying, porn is more important to me than how you feel.
Why is that ok?
Our history is marked by times of society acting deplorably as a collective. Does it make the actions ok?
Not so long ago a significant amount of Americans kept slaves. Another significant amount felt others had the right to do this, and that people of color were not subject to the same human rights as whites.
Since "so many" felt this way, did it make it ok?
A lot of men may watch porn. But even here, on this forum, you will find men who will say "if it hurts my wife, it's a problem in my marriage, and I will stop because it's not worth hurting the marriage."
and they do stop. Because they respect their wives.
You are entitled to your truth. If your truth is that porn is a problem for you, this doesn't make YOU the problem.
Why should you tolerate your husband's poor impulse control? Why should it be you who bends?
Where's the commitment, investment, empathy and respect on HIS part?
Love to you all newly sorting through this. May you find your way.
[This message edited by meleanoro at 10:37 PM, July 31st (Thursday)]
STBXWH saw a CSAT in January a few times but that wasn't us working so he switched. I then saw her for awhile and so did my girls. She fit DD 13 in today. She talked through quite a bit to see if this is normal curiosity or an actual issue. It's an issue, which I pretty much knew from my DD talking to me.
We have figured out ways to block any access - she mostly read fan fiction stuff that was sexual, very detailed ;( I had a filter but it didn't cover Instagram which is where she followed links to the stories. She is to avoid anything romantic or sexual in nature. She can only use my laptop, in my presence.
It was hard taking to her. It was hard knowing what she faces. It was hard knowing she seems more determined that WH to get better. It was hard telling him. Ok, at first I unleashed on him. I know, bad. But he broke my entire family.
I have a family meeting planned tomorrow where I am going internet nazi on their phones. They all have iPhones and have covenant eyes installed (ironically WH works there and built that app himself) but due to iOS restrictions, it doesn't filter apps that use the internet. So, I will have some angry boys when I delete a bunch of apps. We will be switching to android phones as soon as I can since the filter we use is stricter on androids. Nightmares but in real life and awake.
For years (after D day and when we were in false R)
-masturbated in the shower while I was sleeping
-masturbated at work when he was supposed to be using the bathroom
-masturbated at work in an empty room with a utility sink (ewwwwwwwwwww)
-used men's magazines and all other kinds of non-explicit titillating material as masturbatory material
-tried to masturbate in a stall at IKEA but aborted the mission because the smells and sounds of other people grossed him out
-used every opportunity he could to look for porn, including going through people's phones when he arrested them
-routinely rubbed his penis (clothed, he says) as he was driving to work early, looking at streetwalkers
-bought porn that he hid in his trunk til he was scared i would find it and threw it away
-looked at Craigslist ads of prostitutes, reddit threads, Backpage and other things on his work computer because they had no filtering or monitoring on use
-occasionally bought porn from coworkers (yeah, cops are great!)
-mentally bookmarked women walking down the street to masturbate to later
-imagined almost every woman he came into contact with naked and performing sexual acts
In total, he was masturbating at least 2-3x per day for 6 years and I had. no. idea. until he decided to tell me when I was pregnant with my DS. If you are not an addict, it's hard for you to understand the mind of an addict. So stressed at work that you have no time for lunch? Go 'rub one out' in the bathroom before your big meeting. Had an argument with your wife? Go masturbate in the shower. Just had sex with your wife and feeling insecure about your body because you orgasmed in 2 minutes flat? Masturbate after she goes to bed because when you are fondling yourself you are in complete control of your orgasm and that makes you feel good.
Most of these guys can orgasm in a minute or less. If he's in the bathroom and is a long term compulsive mastubator, he could masturbate to completion in about the amount of time you would think it normally takes him to use the restroom. Their minds have been optimized for orgasmic release.
You are comparing compulsion to normal sexual desire and it's not. When my SAWH gets stressed, angry, hungry, scared, irritated, angry, etc., his immediate thought is, "This situation isn't bothering me. I'm just so horny." The arousal is a way to hide from the real feelings. I've shared in other threads about how my husband was fantasizing about my delivery nurse when my son was being born. It's such a huge betrayal and I pegged it to his reaction to the 'hotness' of my nurse. But it was more complicated than that. My labor was getting increasingly complicated for me and my baby. He was panicked and that's how he deals with panic: to fantasize. I almost needed a c-section but avoided that. Then when my son was delivered, I still needed the placenta manually removed and that was something neither of us were expecting.
My husband was asked if he wanted to stay with our newborn or go with me. I was starting to bleed heavily and was being transported as soon as I stopped pushing. He stood frozen in the room as the doctor waited. I truly have not seen him so panicked looking before. The doctor said, "We have to go." I yelled at him, "You always stay with our son. He's your priority now. Kiss him and tell him I love him." I didn't even get to see my son for an entire day.
What happened was that he began to really deal with the fact that I was in trouble by going into a fantasy space. Is this despicable? Yes. But I hope you can see the difference between a sex addict and even a normal man with a high sex drive--sex addicts use sex to cope with life and feelings, ESPECIALLY at the most inappropriate times.
So you really cannot know how often your H is masturbating or not. Before DDay mine masturbated in bed next to me for two years without my ever noticing. I was flabbergasted when he told me. He admitted that he had lots of practice doing it quickly, silently and with little motion because he'd done it for years with his ex gf.
So you can't know what you don't know. I know that's painful but everything about this disorder is baffling.
[This message edited by determinata at 11:52 PM, July 31st (Thursday)]
I would not personally try to diagnose him as SA just from anecdotes but you and he might want to look at a SA diagnostic quiz to see what criteria he meets. Certainly, an affair he blames on the barmaid's atraction to him, secret masturbation, porn on his phone, calling chat lines, seeing 6 prostitutes in 4 days if I understand your post, all suggest sex addiction to me.
[This message edited by determinata at 12:10 AM, August 1st (Friday)]