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  1. Thank you to all of you who took the time to read my post and offer support. It is very much appreciated. I try not to come on to this site so much at the moment as I find that it tends to trigger my feelings of pain, self loathing and total despair. Maybe I am burying my head in the sand a bit but, at the moment, I find it easier to get through each day if I don’t immerse myself too much in the subject of SA.. Of course, I am attending the partners course at the Laurel centre in just over a week and a half and I’ve no doubt this will force me to face my demons again and maybe start to think about how I can move forward. My husband also attended the one day course on on understanding the partner’s perspective but, I am sorry to say, I’ve found little change in his behavior towards me since,and he hasn’t really made any mention of the day or what he learned from it. I had hoped it might lead to some more honest and open discussion. I don’t think that this has anything to do with the quality of the course, just that he isn’t prepared to take responsibility for his recovery or repairing the relationship at this moment. This leads me to wonder if, after so many years of giving him my absolute trust and support, I should not just move on alone with my daughter. I think he clearly still has a way to go and I don’t seem to figure in his priorities at the moment 😢.
  2. Hi Hannah - thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciate your explanation and your empathy. I know in my heart of hearts that what you are saying about “fault” is true and I have, of course, thought this myself but I guess when your self esteem is so low you can’t help but believe that you must have done something terrible for someone to want to treat you so badly. You’re absolutely right when you describe an addict as having a split personality. No one would believe even half the story about my husband if I tried to tell them. Everyone thinks he is a warm, friendly and charismatic guy - and he is for the most part when he isn’t playing Mr Hyde. I also truly believe that he does love me and our daughter. The problem I have getting my head around is the conscious decision he made in the beginning to “throw me under a bus”. I’ve also now discovered that he was already displaying some addictive behaviour at the age of 15. This makes me feel so angry as I have given up so much to support him in his career and happiness and I just feel so used. I now have to make the decision whether to walk away and lose everything I have spent the last 23 years sacrificing my own happiness for; or stay with a man who I can never truly trust again and with whom I will find it very difficult to rebuild any kind of intimate relationship. As for my poor daughter, she didn’t ask for any of this and shouldn’t have to put up with either situation. I sincerely hope that the Partners Course will help me with my decision and I will definitely take your advice and read Paula’s book. Let’s hope that this all helps to make some sense of the appalling mess I’m in. If you don’t mind my asking - what was your ultimate decision?
  3. Hi Christine - thank you so much for taking the trouble to read my post and give me some guidance on a way forward. I have signed up for the 4 day partners intensive course at the end of October and am looking forward to getting help and support from that experience. Please could you tell me the name of the one day programme - and is it designed for both addict and partner to attend together? I am very interested as my husband is taking no interest in my needs or feelings at all. He says that by just going to meetings and working through the 12 steps he should be doing enough and showing me enough commitment to make things work. Whilst I agree with that in part, it doesn’t help to restore any of the broken trust or repair the damage to the relationship in the past. Since coming out of rehab he is almost self obsessed with his own feelings and recovery. I just want to know that I still matter☹️.
  4. My husband completed a 4 week residential programme for SA in June and is currently going through the 12 steps with a sponsor. He had a number of addictions but the most recent and problematic was using on line porn and internet dating sites. As part of his recovery and to enable me to trust him, he agreed not to bring his smart phone home from work in the evenings and at weekends. Instead he transfers the sim to a Nokia phone in case of work emergencies. This morning however, I walked in on him and he began acting very strangely. I immediately knew there was something wrong. He left the room to speak to our daughter and I discovered his smartphone hidden under the table. My old fears have immediately come back and I feel worried sick that he has been acting out and hiding it again. I confronted him after our daughter left for school and he was at first defensive but then got very upset and sheepish and said he had brought it home in his briefcase by accident and was just charging it (it was plugged in when I found it). The problem is, I checked through it and, whilst I found nothing untoward, there were messages sent to friends at 9.00 pm last night and at 1.00 o’clock this morning. So, he is lying to me about not having used it at all. I don’t know what to think or how to deal with this. I just feel so betrayed and scared. Even if he has done nothing wrong (and let’s face it, he would use private browsing).I know he is lying to me about using it so how can I trust that he is not lying about other things? What do I do about this?
  5. Lulu18

    I don't know what to do

    Hi Broken68 - first of all let me say how sorry I am that you have found yourself in this dreadful situation. I share your pain and can completely understand why you don’t want to share this with your family. I’m not entirely sure that I can give you too much advice as I am new on here myself and was kind of hoping to get some support too. I only found out about my husbands addiction 3.5 months ago and I feel exactly the same. What I can say is that I had also had clues in the past and, although we had addressed them through therapy, my husband never came clean about everything at any point and so the problems with the marriage always continued and (I assume) the addiction got worse. It is clear to me that if that your husband has been doing this for 8 years then he is in pretty deep. If you want your partner to get better you will need to confront him and get him to commit to a serious course of therapy or 12step programme; but it is he who really needs to decide and commit to that for himself. He needs to hit his own rock bottom. For now, all you can do is look after yourself as much as possible. Try to keep yourself occupied with things that you enjoy and make sure that you treat yourself well. Eat well, sleep as much as you can (it’s tough I know) and maybe see a doctor so that you can get some support for you. When you feel strong enough also try and find one person who you can trust that you can share this with, just so you have a the opportunity to let off steam. If you feel you cannot do that then please do talk to me. Who knows -maybe we can help eachother through this awful time... In the meantime you have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s your husbands actions that have caused this devastation not yours. Keep your chin up. X
  6. Hi Everyone - I’ve been reading the messages on here for a few days now, trying to get some perspective on SA and some answers to the raging storm in my head. Can anyone help please? I fear this story will be rather a long one so I apologise but the background is necessary. I found out about my husbands sex addiction just over three months ago and I feel devastated but cant help wondering if it is my fault and the guilt is overwhelming. We’ve been together for 23yrs, married for 15 of those and have one 13yr old daughter. When we met I was a confident, bubbly and outgoing person and I had a good job, lots of friends and a close family. A couple of years into our relationship my partner got a new job and expressed an interest in working abroad in Holland. I agreed, as I thought it would be an adventure for us both and he encouraged me that I would get plenty of support from his Company, but as soon as we moved I was left at home to fend for myself, with no friends, family or ability to speak the language. I tried hard to fit in but inevitably fell into a terrible depression. At first my husband seemed worried but then he just seemed to change towards me, avoiding me all the time and working later and later. Eventually though, I persevered, things picked up for me and I got better. We married and I got pregnant fairly soon after but then, 5 weeks before the birth, I was told we were moving again. Although, I went back to the UK this time, the pressure on me so soon before the birth caused me to have difficulties and the birth did not go well. Afterwards, I again experienced a short post natal depression and the reaction from my husband was exactly the same. He just seemed to resent my illness and treat me with disdain. I felt totally alone and miserable and I just couldn’t understand why the person who once seemed so kind and supportive could change so much toward me. Eventually, I got better again but just after my daughter’s second birthday my husband was posted abroad to South America and this time I just felt I couldn’t go through with it. I begged him to say no or let my daughter and I stay in the UK but he told me that if I didn’t agree he couldn’t take responsibility for what would happen to the marriage. I just felt trapped and powerless to refuse. Once again we moved, and once again I experienced a deep depression but this time I also had a young child to look after and my husband worked away from home for half the week. I was left alone in a country where I couldn’t speak the language, had no friends and no family to fall back on. My husband worked all the time and barely paid attention to me when he was home. It just seemed he couldn’t deal with my depression at all and I felt dreadfully alone. By this time, I couldn’t stand it anymore and I was also beginning to resent him too. This feeling, coupled with the effects of the anti-depressants I was given, led to a pretty poor intimate relationship and the marriage was really suffering. Nevertheless, I loved my husband and thought that we had a strong relationship worth fighting for. Fortunately, after three years we were posted back to Amsterdam where, this time, I managed quite well to find work and make friends and then, again after 3 years, we returned back to the UK. I was so relieved to be home and was determined to get back to my old self and my old life and I really wanted to show my husband that I could be strong and independent again. I was utterly devastated therefore when I found in 2013, only three months after moving into our lovely new home that my husband had cheated on me. After a business trip abroad I discovered that he had visited a brothel and when I confronted him he confessed. He pleaded with me to understand and said it was the first and only time and he felt sick to his stomach about it. My world just fell apart and all I could think was that I had given up so much for him and tried so hard to support his career and this is how he had repaid me. I just felt like such a mug. However, he begged for forgiveness and agreed to counselling and so I relented and we began with RELATE. The problem was that my husband always got so angry and defensive that It became unbearable for me to go as it seemed to make things worse. As a result, the sessions just tailed off and we went back to how things were. I tried very hard to understand and to take responsibility for my own failings in the marriage and eventually I was able to forgive and forget. Unfortunately, three years later, I then discovered he was using internet dating sites and this time I came to the end of my tether. I threatened divorce and he agreed to go to counselling but this time he asked to go alone as he felt that it was his problem. He told me that he loved me dearly and couldn’t understand why he felt the need to look elsewhere. For my own part, I should have realised by then he had a problem but I guess I just loved him and wanted everything to work. This time, he went for about a year. Things did get better and we seemed a lot happier on the whole so, again, life moved on. And so, here we are, now up to May this year and my D Day finally came. After again finding some unprofessional e mails to work colleagues I confronted my husband and I could not have been more heartbroken by what he then confessed. That, in 2013, when he told me of his one and only visit to a prostitute it was actually one in a long line of many. He had also regularly used pornography, strip clubs and massage parlours, visited dating sites and used sex phone lines. My world just fell apart, and while I was still only just comprehending the enormity of it all, he disappeared a few days later to a clinic to begin a residential rehab programme. Whilst I admire his enthusiasm and commitment to get better I was again left alone to deal with my own feelings and those of my now teenage daughter who is devastated by her fathers behaviour. Not only that, but since he has come home he appears to have a whole new lease of life, a new set of friends, a great support network and a sponsor to fall back on. I almost feel that he has moved from one secret life to another, I, on the other hand just feel like my world has ended. Once again, he barely seems to recognise the impact his actions have had and he says I need to take responsibility for my own recovery from this! I simply can’t share any of this with my friends; and family just don’t seem to understand the enormity of it all and the shock I am experiencing. Guilt, embarrassment, shame, anger, betrayal, rejection, shock - everything is consuming me and I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks and have been put back on antidepressants- which I resent and hate. Worst of all, from the very little my husband has shared with me of his recovery, I am now beginning to feel that he would not have become a sex addict were it not for my depression. That I was not there for him when he needed my support and love and so, he took to looking for it elsewhere. He tells me all he ever wanted to do was make me happy and the stress of not being able to do so was just too much. I feel so much guilt and shame for this I don’t know what to do . Please can anybody tell me how I should respond to this?
  7. Lulu18

    What the hell do I do......?!

    Hi Midnight Worries I am very new to this site and this is my first post but sadly I recognise so much of your anxiety and pain. How are you getting on now? It must be awful to have cancelled your wedding, which of course only draws more attention to your plight and more unwanted questions from friends and family. I’m sorry that you have found yourself in this situation at what should have been such a happy time in your life. I have really struggled with the shame of simply being married to someone who would do this and I find it very difficult to share my feelings with anyone. Do you have someone else close that you can talk to (other than your counsellor)? I see a counsellor once a week too but have no friends or family that seem able to grasp the devastation that this kind of discovery causes and I’ve just given up trying to communicate my plight. I too only discovered the true extent of my partners problem a few months ago, although there had been a couple of hiccups in the marriage before then, which I thought we had dealt with through counselling. What I recognise in your post is the confusion that you are experiencing. My husband has admitted to using prostitutes in the past, going to massage parlours and strip clubs, using sex phone lines and dating websites. The websites were what I actually discovered more recently; but he said to me that he only browses the profiles to get relief and that he hasn’t had sexual contact with any of the women. He has been totally disinterested in sex with me for many years and I just can’t believe that he isn’t lying to me. And I guess that is the worst thing. Even if our partners go into therapy and work on their addiction we will never know, for the rest of our time together, whether they are acting out or not. After all, it’s not like we have any physical evidence each time. Is that something you want to take on in the future? I think you did the right thing in calling off the wedding and I hope that you stick to your decision. I’m fifty years old now and bitterly regret believing my husband all those years ago when he told me that a visit to a brothel that I discovered was a one off drunken mistake. Had I listened to my gut feeling then (which was that he was lying) I would not still be in the same position 7 years down the line and could have happily been building myself a new life while I was still young enough to do it.