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Worry_Wort

My sledgehammer blow

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Hello everyone,

I am very early on in to this process but I’m finding precious few people around me who I can talk to about this and who might understand my feelings.

My partner is away with work for a number of months. I discovered their infidelities when the police arrived at my door with a search warrant for electronic devices and passwords/usernames for websites – as I came to discover once the shock had worn off, they had not only been using hook up apps but had also taken pictures and posted them on porn websites allegedly without knowledge of the people in them. Although they let me know about a number of them, there is obviously potential for more to be discovered.

To say this was traumatic was a huge understatement – my entire life was blown apart that morning. There were absolutely no indicators to me that there was anything happening, especially since during lockdown we spent so much time together (although hindsight always stirs up moments of doubt). They were genuinely the person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, and I find myself thinking rather than the hurt of betrayal it would have been emotionally easier if I found out they had died.

I obviously now have limited contact with them and am unable to ask anything like details as there is an ongoing investigation into what is going on. They appear truly sorry for what has happened to me and explained it was nothing to do with our relationship – but all I could do was react with anger and despair, whilst privately hating myself for still loving this person I thought I knew.

They have said they are seeking therapy sessions for themselves, and it is a long standing pattern of behaviour. My first session with a relationship counsellor opened my eyes to the possibility of sex addiction – and so much of what I have read so far in Paula’s book rings true. But I am stuck; because of the criminality element I don’t believe it would be appropriate to approach them with this as an idea in case it isn’t true and gives them an ‘out’ for the behaviour. Therefore, this is not something we can even think about addressing together and I don’t know when/if we ever could.

I feel totally lost here – is this normal? Have people experienced worse? Not even being able to start exploring the truth is killing me. I feel awful for wishing that they had just slept with others and not taking it those steps further.  I feel guilty thinking I am a victim too - there is nothing illegal they have done to me. The friends that I have told the full story to are extremely supportive of me but hesitant in me following this line of enquiry, thinking I’m trying to find an excuse to let them off the hook. But I don’t know how to find anyway through to the other side otherwise - for myself or any semblance of a relationship there is left

Written in hope of a response x

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Hi Worry Wort and welcome to the Forum. Thank you so much for sharing your story and so very sorry to hear your pain.

Yes it would have been very traumatic. Your reactions are all normal and even continue to love the part of the partner you know. It is also normal to feel totally lost. I understand that you are reading or have read Paula's book; and in case you have not seen it I draw your attention to the Blog for Partners which you may also find helpful.

The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Self-care (thelaurelcentre.co.uk)

It is very early days but its important to look after yourself.

In relation to the criminal elements I am not sure if the images posted are over 18 or not.

I am sure you will find support here for you and encouragement from others who have been through similar experiences.

 

Firefly

 

 

 

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Thank you for the advice - it seems there are still parts of this website I've not explored yet.

As far as myself/police know, there is nothing under 18 or not consensual - it was the posting of images taken that was the complaint. But who knows what might be discovered over the coming months...

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I am so sorry Worry_Wort, I don’t know if you have read my story, but we are in a similar position. I am now 16 months into my journey and hope I can use my own personal experience to help you.

I understand your need to know what caused your husband to go down this route. I needed to understand too, to help process this massive shock. Your husband being in therapy is a great start, is it with a specialist therapist? Both my husband and myself see a StopSo therapist, they are very well informed in this area. They will help your husband explore why he got to where he did, he has uncovered a lot of issues on his childhood and into adulthood, all of which he covered up so well. He seemed calm, happy and under control. But he wasn’t. 
Through my therapist and the various on line offender partner forums I have learned there are so many people going through this journey , but it such a taboo subject that most people don’t talk about it. The therapists know a great deal about the crime side of things, which I find helpful for me. She also helps me process and acknowledge my feelings, which still continue to go all over the place. My therapist  has also trained with Paula Hall, and she deals with other types of therapy too, so we cover a little of the relationship side, in fact whatever I need to talk about. 

I have joined the StopSo and Lucy Fauthful Stop it Now forums, and they are great to talk to people in a similar position to us. I also come here as not many on there have partners that have physically acted out too. Basically I look for as much support as I can! 
We ARE victims and I am determined to work to get the authorities to recognise us. 

I have great support from friends and my family, but it’s not a comfortable subject to talk about, and I don’t think they can truly understand.


I initially went into overdrive on helping him and researching and reading, to the detriment of my mental health. I have only recently done free an online course on ’Healing Trauma from Sexual Betrayal’, I wish I’d done this many months ago, but I have only just found it. I’ve found it to be excellent.  please google it, it may help you.

I understand it feels like we’ve lost our husbands. I have a widow friend and we talk about how we feel, and we both agree it’s actually worse than death, as there isn’t the closure and the celebration of a life. But we have lost, suddenly, the life we were living and our future.

I truly hope you find some peace soon. Although, I must say I’m still looking. 
With time though I have got much stronger than I ever thought possible. 

Take care

X

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Sorry, I have just reread and see that the images are not underage. However the forums still may help as the fact there is a criminal investigation into sexual crimes means we have a lot in common. 
x

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Hi Tabs,

I really appreciate you taking the time to do such a thorough and thoughtful reply. Your story has already  helped me know that I'm not quite alone. At the moment, it does feel worse than death. That would at least release me to feel like the previous future I thought we had is definitely gone (and that is such a cruel thing to think). Instead I find myself asking will I ever get to the point where we have a chance again? I know it's too soon to even contemplate what that might mean and both have to heal whatever we need to ourselves as a priority.

I am seeing at ATSAC  therapist. I don't know if they are seeing a specialist therapist and I don't want to ask in case I'm leading them to a conclusion they need to find themselves. I do believe they carry trauma from what I know of their past, but whenever we talked about what had happened (quite little as I didn't want to pry), they always seemed  well adjusted and resolved about it all. My friends are pretty horrified that I am considering any kind of joint future despite what they have done - and I understand that they just want to protect me from further harm. There is so much stigma around the fact it is sex addiction - I feel like there would be much more sympathy if it was alcohol or drugs or gambling. I definitely find myself wishing it was. The intimate nature of it makes it so much more painful and personally damaging.

Am I mad for not writing it off completely already? I feel like I am in the co-dependent trap,  even an addict myself. Although I know they are hurting me beyond belief and potentially the relationships I have with those around me, I can't help but go back and interact. I'm sure the general public would think it was disgusting that I could still care for someone who could do that. But I really want to believe that, from the part of the person I knew, the behaviour has come from a place of deep deep pain. If I was angry and hateful it would make the decision so much easier.

What I do know is nothing is going to go quickly. I need to try and learn to be patient with myself. :-/

 

 

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Hi Worry Wort

Thankyou for sharing you story. I truly understand when you say that it may have been easier if they died. I am 4 months in, and my husband tried to take his own life after I found out and nearly succeeded and even now there is a part of me that wishes for everyone's sake that he had. That way only I would have known the extent of his issue ( 20 years of acting out with prostitutes). Instead all of us, family, friends  live with the consequence of his behaviour and addiction.

I wrestled at the start around the label of the partner being a victim and whether we could ever be acknowledged as such, particularly in law. I believe that for many of us who were having sexual relationships with our partners, totally unaware of their sexual contact with other women were not in a position to give consent and would more than likely NOT  have given consent had we have known.  This is what in law could be defined as "conditional consent". If consent is conditional upon sexual faithfulness  and the addict  knew that then the sexual act with us may be considered unlawful.  Its an extremely grey area and would be a test case for many women (and men) in our situation. 

There just seems to be no justice for us, whatever that means. Like you have experienced, people have said said why don't I just leave if "justice" is what I want, but I want an explanation, I want to be able to understand "how" he could do it to me - not just "what" the addiction itself is.   The truth and disclosure, if that is what you are seeking can be  an extremely painful thing and you will never be able to unsee or unhear what gets revealed. You may not even get the full truth, as in my case I put my husband through a lie detector test to reach a point where full disclosure was finally made.

Counselling for myself has helped - a little.  If it helps , tell yourself this regularly....."I didnt cause it, I cant control it and I cant cure it".

Take care of yourself x

 

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Domino69,

Thank you for taking the time to answer me. Every reply helps me know that I'm not alone and it really helps. I am sorry to hear about your situation - in particular having to deal with a suicide attempt also.  It is hard not to think of what everyone else might think in this situation - I don't know about you, but I have to remind myself that my mental and physical health needs to take precedence at the moment. Although the amount I have eaten, drunk and not exercised at all over the past month is probably testament that I'm not practicing what I preach. Your last paragraph rings so many bells for me. I think I am prepared that what will be revealed will only get worse but I still feel I need a 'why'. Although I am sure this may take some time as I'm not sure that even they know why really at the moment.

I have the cause/control/cure mantra written on post-its on my bedroom mirror so I can remind myself every morning and night. If I read it enough, I might believe it!

Take care x

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