To all of you above, from a wife who did find out by shocking discovery, rather than being told the truth, do please consider telling your wife and asking for her support in your recovery. To not be told the truth and to be constantly betrayed and deceived was the worst part of my husband's addiction, even more than the behaviours themselves. And even then, once I discovered it, I supported him. It was his lack of commitment to recovery and his arrogant declaration that he was 'cured' after just 12 months which did not bear out in his behaviour or respect towards me that ended things for me. I congratulate you for having the courage to challenge your addiction, but I agree with Paula - if you don't recover, you probably won't stay married. A marriage based on betrayal is no marriage at all. i wish you all the strength you need.
To all you lovely people on this thread, I share your stories - and pain too. I am in my fifties now and have realised that my 20 year relationship was a puppet show cover for his addiction. He had no intentions of giving it all up. Has made no proper commitment to recovery, continues to blame me for the entire breakdown of our marriage. Where I can say that, yes, I became hurt and angry in the last few years and therefore lacked respect for him by the end it was because I knew something was badly wrong and I was by instinct reflecting back to him what he was showing toward me. I had tried everything. Being understanding, giving everything of myself, both emotionally, financially, you name it. But it wasn't enough to heal the damage in his soul. He would but pay lip service to my support and appeals to try to mend our failing relationship, but it changed nothing. If you get no TOTAL commitment and FULL honesty from them, I think the risk that they will revert to former habits is extremely likely. And ask yourself if you really want to stay on that rollercoaster ride for years to come, always wondering, always questioning. If there isn't honesty, integrity, truth and trust, and a genuine intention for recovery, no holds barred, then there is nothing to work with. Sad to say, but it's time to get out and look after yourself. Sending you love my fellow wronged partners.
Hi In Despair I'm so sorry for you. It's a devastating place to be. I've been where you have....for two years now. My conclusion? Don't look back. I was asked by my counsellor to give it a year before making a decision to leave my 20-year relationship. I realised that I wasn't prepared to ride that tumultuous roller coaster of more gaslighting, more lies and deceptions, more financial controlling and emotionally abusive behaviour from him, even if he had committed to stay in recovery. I have children to consider and I felt it was best to end the marriage because he didn't stay in therapy. He declared himself fixed after a year. A man who has been an addict since early teenage years. I know that a year doesn't cut it. But he's not interested in mending his issues, and is still busy blaming the breakup on me. It's very isolating. Without telling anyone the truth, he has been telling our mutual friends that I am to blame. There is no moral code within him. No hope. My experience says look forward and keep going. Look after yourself and your family now.
MY advice as a partner of 20 years and having only discovered porn and sex addiction in my husband of two years ago is get out now. If there is no proper acknowledgement that they have an addiction, a tendency to revert back to blaming you, any anger that you're still not 'over it', a sense that they think you're making too big a deal of it because it's 'normal'....no. Just leave. I tried for a year to support my husband with all the empathy and kindness and understanding I could muster from my broken soul but still he lives in denial and is telling friends I'm to blame for the marriage breakdown. Meanwhile our children are caught up and devastated in this family explosion. It has become clear to me that this man will never sufficiently change or challenge his addiction. Get out and run. That's my advice. And don't look back. You deserve better.