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  1. Claire

    Just discovered my husbands secrets

    I just wanted to add a positive note to fellow sufferers - those of us who have had to grapple with the lies, the deceit, the horror of living with a sex addict. I gave it three harrowing years trying to fix things for my two boys. An absolute horror story. I managed to separate last year and as Angel recommends in her contribution, I haven't looked back. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders. My husband proved obnoxious to the end giving me no choice but to leave and I now realise that this was a blessing in disguise. I am so much better on my own, I'm getting my life back on track, and am stronger with every day. There is light at the end of the tunnel. If there isn't any sign of remorse or a real commitment to giving up then my advice is to leave now and move on.
  2. Claire

    Sex addiction and lack of empathy

    I'm hoping your counselling is still going well, Chris, and that you and your husband are making progress. Your message was a source of comfort to me in that it's such a sad and lonely place to be - the wife of a sex addict - because there's just so little known about sex addiction and so few people to talk to about it. One of the problems that I find with sex addiction is that it can be so easily hidden and is very difficult to prove. My husband has become a very nasty and cruel person as a result of his addiction. He tells lies to friends and family about me to explain why we're separating but omits to tell them of his own problem! When I confronted him about this he replied that "they know all they need to know"! I just can't talk to him any more as nothing makes sense and I feel completely powerless. But my sons need a stable environment and I just can't seem to give them this as I'm up against an all powerful sickness that has completely taken over their father. What do I do? I don't want to tell them the truth yet and I don't defend myself against anything my husband says about me as I really don't see the point. I have been living away from home in friends' houses and abroad on holiday all summer as I can't live under the same roof as him. My boys were with me for some of the time but now they're at home with their father. I have begged and pleaded for a 50/50 arrangement so that the boys can stay in their home and we take equal turns at living there but there has been no cooperation from my husband. It's an insane situation - I've done nothing and yet I'm the one living out of the house. I'm all alone at the moment and want so much to go home but I can't - how crazy is that! You're lucky to have met good counsellors who seem equipped to deal with the problem. Our counsellors were mostly out of their depth. We had a year with a marriage counsellor, a nice woman but who dealt with us as an ordinary couple without coming to grips with the reality that is sex addiction in a marriage. I wish you the best and thank you for taking the time to get in touch. It means a lot.
  3. Claire

    Sex addiction and lack of empathy

    Hi Miriam, Your message means a lot to me. It is so comforting to know that I'm not alone . I have only told my two sisters the truth about what's going on - I know it would help to talk to others but my sons haven't been told and I want to protect them from the truth, at least until they're older. Besides it's not an easy topic to discuss. I do realize however that this secrecy is bad for the soul and only compounds the loneliness and isolation. I hope you find help and comfort here on this site. I realize that my posts are bleak and lacking in hope but that's only been my experience. Many here have sought help and are in recovery so there is hope. I would recommend Paula's book for partners as it helped understand some of what was going on. I really wish you the very best. Keep heart and keep strong. Claire
  4. Claire

    Sex addiction and lack of empathy

    Hi, I really appreciate those of you who got back to me with such kind and helpful advice. I found your message, Rob, to be particularly helpful as it gave me an insight into my husband's way of thinking as an addict. My husband is very much still in the "bubble" you refer to but being unfamiliar with this term, I have always called it a shell which unfortunately is impenetrable. I have accepted this. I gave up trying to reason with him a year ago. I had revisited our marriage counselor in the hope of making one last effort to save our marriage and he seemed on board - for a few hours. Next day we were back to normal. All my efforts were met with resistance - his words said he wanted a loving relationship his actions said otherwise. I have wasted so much time in trying to make sense of this but have come at last to the understanding that one cannot reason with an addict. Their actions do not make sense. The addict did not want to make it work but that would mean having to commit to a life of sobriety. We've been on this merry go round for over three and a half years and I'm exhausted. I realize now that there has been little or no sign of him being in recovery all this time. His last counselor who was treating him for trauma in childhood terminated the counselling on the basis that she said he wasn't in recovery and needed residential addiction counselling. I met her for one session and she spoke of his resistance, his obsession with my behavior and his unwillingness to own what he's done - all of this I witness on a daily basis. His response, as always, was to refute what she said. I have finally accepted defeat. I desperately need to separate from him - but what about my two beautiful sons - it breaks my heart to see them embroiled in this sordid mess. I have proposed a separation whereby they stay in the family home and we divide the time we spend with them between us. I even moved out for 2 and 3 days a week during the winter to let him see that it would be the best way forward. But there has been no cooperation from him. We are still living in the same house. I feel powerless against this disease. Can anyone help?
  5. Claire

    Sex addiction and lack of empathy

    Hi Polesden, I really appreciate you checking in but unfortunately things are not good. He let me know with a shrug the other night that he had read Paula's book about partners a while ago. I had hoped that reading it might make some difference to his attitude. No difference whatsoever. The book he read in his mind was "Sex Addiction: The Addict's Perspective". I just don't understand what's going on in his head. How could anyone read that book and not have some sympathy or empathy for the partner? More counselling would just be a waste of time..... Claire
  6. Claire

    Sex addiction and lack of empathy

    Thanks Paula for that. I hadn't realised that it was possible to get therapy via skype. I will say it to my husband although I'm reluctant at this stage to try anything new as I'm worn out having been through absolute hell for the last two and a half years. I'm afraid of getting my hopes up at all as I've been working on acceptance of the situation lately and your book has been a great help to me. Hope can obscure reality and my reality for so long has been that I'm in an extremely miserable relationship with a man who refuses to accept what he has done and has blamed me from day 1. The only reports that I have ever got from him regarding his sessions in therapy is what the therapist thinks I should do ....one apparently "loves the sinner (me) but not the sin (mine!)!! Confused? Me too! He insisted one time on accompanying me to my therapist so that he could tell her " how I have damaged him". I'm seriously at the end of my tether and feel there's no hope. I will mention your therapy to him however in case he wants to avail of it.. It is extremely difficult to find a therapist here with the proper training in this field. He has been to 5 though and they haven't had any breakthrough. Thanks so much for your reply.
  7. Claire

    Sex addiction and lack of empathy

    Hi Polesden, Thanks so much for that. It's a great help to me to hear from someone with similar experience to me. No, my husband hasn't done the course as we're not based in the UK. I wonder would it make a difference at this stage as we've had nearly three years of therapy and he's still playing the blame game with me. He'd never agree with you that it's his stuff that's causing the problem. During our last marriage counselling session he spent a considerable amount of time talking about a row we had in 1988 that was all my fault! Having read Paula's book and other literature based on this whole ghastly nightmare I'm beginning to think that I'm flogging a dead horse. Paula's 5 pillars that we are asked to read every day deal with not being able to change your partner and I think maybe it's time I accepted that and try to move on. It's great that you both managed to turn things around but I seriously doubt at this stage that it's a possibility for us. Claire
  8. Hi, I've just finished reading Paula's book for partners and have found it very helpful. My husband began using porn 10 years ago and I had absolutely no idea even though the signs were there. He confessed 2 and a half years ago because he says he couldn't live with the shame any more and thought telling me would make him stop. He has admitted that he didn't come clean because of any feeling of guilt or concern for me - I was never an issue all through the years. I won't go into my shock etc as it's been well documented how partners suffer on discovering sex addiction in their relationship. My question concerns recovery in the addict and the absence of empathy. We have been to 6 therapists over the 2 and 1/2 years. One of the therapists was a marriage counsellor and the others were all individual therapists - one for me and the others for him. I have been determined from the start to stay with him for the sake of our two teenage boys. They come first for me - of that there is absolutely no doubt. But it's becoming impossible to continue living with him as he shows no empathy whatsoever. From the outset he has insisted on talking about my "issues". He says he's sorry for what he's done but that I have problems too that need to be addressed. The marriage counselling was particularly hard to sit through as he would bring up petty incidents from the past to try and shame me and would minimise what's being going on for the last 10 years. Therapists have pointed out his lack of empathy and used lots of examples to try and make him realise that he's not showing genuine remorse but he simply doesn't agree with them. I never really knew what the word "defensive" meant before but I could write a book on it now! We're together 34 years and had a fantastic relationship up to about the time this started. I've given up on the marriage therapy now as it just wasn't working for us. She would tell him to try certain things to help with his empathy and he would seem enthusiastic but by the next day all would be forgotten. He has admitted to feeling great anger and resentment towards me and I feel it in everything he does. I don't understand it. I sometimes panic because I think he's still manipulating me and I sometimes feel so helpless as if my brain is in a fog and if I don't get away I'll end up in a padded cell! Has anyone out there experienced anything similar to this? I am desperate as I feel I can't take any more but I worry so much about my sons. Claire