In desperate need of experienced advice!

8 posts in this topic

Posted

It was 2.5 weeks ago when I discovered my partner was a sex addict, by accident. The discovery unveiled in the staggered disclosure pattern a few days and what I know so far is that my husband who is 35, has been having erotic massages since 21 and also has been involved in prostitution. He has done this through all of his relationships including ours. We have been together for 4yrs and married for 1 of those. I am currently 4 months pregnant. Leading up to the discovery I knew something wasn't right, for some reason I couldn't trust him and it resulted in fights over the past year. One fight in Nov I asked him to leave the house over his lack of support of me being newly pregnant. He returned after a few days, telling me wanted out of our relationship. I was shocked, he could want to leave so easily. I later discovered that he had been on a binge of acting out after that fight. I believe he may have otherwise been abstinent the whole year. It took him 3 weeks to appear less depressed settle down and re-commit to investing in our relationship. Following that over Xmas and NY things were going well. He was excited about our 1st child on the way and came to my ultrasound appointments and was telling his friends about the pregnancy. This all came to a hault at discovery time. Initially he was remorseful. He said he still loved me and he didn't want me to give up the baby. He admitted to being a sex addict and even turned up to a sex addict anonymous appointment. A few days later we were supposed to go and tell his parents about his addiction so they could help us through while I was pregnant and we were trying to go through professional help and he did a complete 180 and flipped and walked out on me. On that night, it was like he was taken over by another human I had never met before. Two days later he phoned me to say he wanted a divorce, that our marriage is irreconcilable, that he didn't love me anymore and that he didn't care what I did with our baby, whether I kept it or not but he wanted nothing to do with it. He was so angry at me and blames all of our problems on me, he also denied on that phonecall being a sex addict.

I haven't heard from him since, I assume he went out on another bender. I reached out to him to apologise for my reaction to his discovery and still nothing. It is like he has just run out of my life with no remorse. One of his friends who has been in touch with me tells me he is still very angry at me and still blaming everything on me. I know he really did want children and he is a very proud person who cares immensely what others think of him. I know he hasn't faced yet the judgement of what people will think of him walking out on his pregnant wife. My question is, will this anger and blame that is directed towards me by him resolve or will he carry this forever? I keep receiving advice to take care of myself for now and even to think myself lucky that he has walked out on me, but that does not help. I wanted the chance to try to work through this. I still love him immensely and believe people deserve second chances. I don't know whether to reach out to him and continue to tell him I love him and am there for him or whether to just give him some space in the hope that in time he will cool down. Has anyone else seen sex addicts react like this immediately post discovery and do things from there every change?
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Posted

I gave my partner a second chance. He blew it and I’m glad it’s all over and I can move on. Yes it hurts, like hell at times. But I had to remove myself from more harms way. X

 

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Posted

Hi Prue

What a sense of sadness I pick up.  What hopes are being dashed, especially with a baby on the way.

Your question is very specific, I hope someone answers it.

As someone who had this addiction (probably still have but not actively) I can give some reflections that might be helpful.  My first reflection is that addicts are v. selfish.  They are very focused on getting their 'needs' met and will, if they are far they are down the addiction road, go to any length to get their fix.   Much of the literature describes it as a feeling that they will die without it.  I don't remember that conscious thought but as I look back, one of the most helpful phrases was 'you won't die if you don't get it'.  There is often a sense of desperation about it.

The other reflection is that addicts are often very conflicted.  There are almost two sides.  There is the original goodish side, and then there is the imposter addict side.  The original side often has moral values, they can genuine love, they can be loyal, devoted, selfless.  The imposter addict side is selfish, uncaring, etc. etc.

Usually, when one is far down the road, one has to hit rock bottom for the original side to really overcome the addict side.  

So the answer to your question is 'depends'.  It is too early to say.  I would say:

  • that I agree with your friends who tell you to look after yourself.  You need to keep shoring up your dignity, self-esteem etc and find ways to soothe the pain.  Maybe get some counselling yourself?  Paula's outfit has counsellors specifically trained for partners.
  • fix some boundaries 
  • don't beg him to come back.  Sure reach out to him, but he needs to know there are consequences.

I too believe in second chances.  Maybe third chances.  But at some point you need to draw a line.

Personally I would tell him you love him, offer him a second chance but ensure there are some consequences (my wife withdrew any sex for 90 days) and lay down some firm boundaries (him going to SAA, computer filters etc).

I would encourage you to read Paula's book on addiction and her one written specifically for partners. 

Hope that helps.

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Posted

Hi Prue,

I am so sorry to read about the extremely tough time you have been having recently. There is an awful lot of stress and pressure on YOU at this point in time, especially being in an emotionally vulnerable state already with your pregnancy. I would just like first of all to say the best advice I was given is to look after YOURSELF first before you worry about anything else.

I discovered my husband's sex addiction 4 months ago, it was the most awful time and even thinking back to that time reduces me to tears. The discovery of my husband's sex addiction was very similar to yours, quite staggered over a week or so. The shock was incredible, I remember sitting there physically shaking, hearing all these things, unveiling all these things......I couldn't quite believe he was the same person I married, the man I had known and loved for 6 years. His behaviour changed instantly, he was very erratic, very defensive and very very selfish. I now realise this is extremely common for someone with an addiction and quite often they aren't ready to be found out so act this way once they have been caught out. 
For me, this time did pass but we did have space from each other for a couple of weeks. I understand this isn't always possible but it did me the world of good having some breathing space and time to absorb what just happened to me. 

I have done a lot of reading, research, talking to others. I'm so glad you have found this forum and a place to talk about it. It gave me so much reassurance that this is real, that other people go through this, and that some people even get through this. Everything Paula Hall offers is incredible, I bought her book (the partner's one) and read that, I now regularly go to a counsellor who is trained by Paula Hall. My husband is seeking a lot of help too, he read the book (the addict's one) and also regularly sees a counsellor (separate to mine). There are lots of groups out there as well for you both to get help, a lot of videos on youtube. There is help out there for you both, no matter what path you decide to go down. Just please please please first and foremost look after YOURSELF! Please feel free to message me anytime. xxx

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Posted

Thanks for your advice PJ and Anon, I really appreciate it. I have definitely witnessed the selfish side that you speak of. It is definitely as though the addict in him has now taken him over.

Since I made this original post I discovered he blocked my calls and messages. I tried to reach out to call and email him to say I loved him and wanted to talk and a day later receive an email from a lawyer stating that I was not to contact him ever again and basically attempting to contact him was harrassment. It is devastating,he makes me feel like I am the worst person in the world. It is as though our whole relationship and the fact that I am the mother to his unborn daughter meant nothing to him. I can only describe his retaliation as evil as though he carries now an intense rage against me.

I am not sure whether this rage is an attempt at damage control, to try to eradicate me from his life to protect his squeaky clean reputation. I would have thought staying even if he wasn't serious about recovery would have looked better for him in the long run than to face judgement from all his well-to-do friends and family on walking out on his pregnant wife. Not to mention involving lawyers from this early on to avoid any form of communication is going to cost us a complete fortune. His behaviour doesn't even seem remotely rational.

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Posted

Prue I am so sorry you are going through this, unfortunately when thy are in addictive stage they are very selfish.  I assume its to do with fear of not being able to cope without their fix, shame that its come out and eventually denial.  All addicts are different some get help, some think they can cure themselves, some are too proud to get help.  It is devastating for partners and I am sure for the addicts themselves but  we are only guessing as it very rare to have an ex addict to answer questions.  Oh if that was only possible I thanks PJ for his honesty and so wish more would come forward but they dont, again the shame I think.

They do blame the partner as its easier to deflect and not take responsibility but do they ever regret, I dont know especially when they leave the relationship, again ex addicts would be helpful in providing this information.  I do know you must take care of yourself first and its hard as you are dealing with the shock, grief, feelings of abandonment, not good enough etc and the loss of the future you thought you had.   There is a secret facebook page XXXposed Hearts which supports partners and helps with issues you may be feeling - its certainly very useful and will give you a forum to discuss with other partners. Pm me if you need to chat

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Posted

Prue, I have joined the Facebook page recommended by Hanna (☺️) and it is such a wonderful support network. It has put me in touch with some wonderful ladies and we share and support each other. It’s been invaluable to me. xxx

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Posted

Thank you for all your replies. I really appreciate the advice, yet it is so hard accepting this is completely out of my hands. With him out the door there is nothing I can say or do. I have no idea what he is doing or what he is thinking. Does anyone know much about using a professional intervention to get people into seeking help? I believe my husband is at the point where he has pretty much thrown in everything that was important to him in his life with exception of his job for this addiction, that really he is at the point of needing inpatient treatment. If this isn’t close to rock bottom for him then I don’t know what is?

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