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Reeling from the 'full' disclosure


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My husband has cheated. 

There has been so much going on our entire relationship, but never cheating. Cams on a couple of occasions, excessive porn, following hundreds of Instagram accounts, not cutting full contact with ppl he slept with. He lied when we got together about his past. He's actually been sleeping with prostitutes for 4 years, prior to me and whilst we were just dating, alongside 5 or 6 women at a time. We met just a couple of months after his dad died and whilst him mum was potentially going to prison for doing something stupid and totally out of character. 

We broke up for 3 months March to May 2018. 

We got back together the start of June. He said he had slept with just one person. I noticed that he had added hundreds of accounts again after deleting them all after me begging him to. 

As far as I was aware there was nothing going on since October 2018 when we had the last new disclosure. After that, we had a fair few old ones that popped up. He went to counselling. 

He got his diagnosis last January. He seemed to take it well. A little too well.  We had a couple of sessions with someone from the Laurel Centre. Things were going well. We decided to have a baby and fell pregnant in February. We also got engaged. Lockdown happened so we didn't continue sessions. We got married on October 2020, our baby boy came along November 28th. His first, my third. It was a stressful time, but life was complete. 

I noticed a couple of things on hubby's phone but didn't go into it. Then one day he needed help with an app on his phone and I went down his Internet history. He was watching porn most days. 

I left it and looked again the next night. He'd been watching it for months. Including going to the toilet while we were in hospital being induced. 

I approached him about it and it was anger, denial etc. So I left it and looked again. I wanted to see how far back this went. 

It was the entire of 2020 he was watching porn most days. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. My stomach dropped. I continued looking and the search went to 2018 where there adult work searches and hotel searches, going into 2019.

I confronted him and he couldn't tell me. He said I'd never cheat. I looked into his uber account and cross referenced his internet searches and found 5 times he's likely cheated. Affairs and prostitutes. 

I confronted him. He said I must have, but I've blocked it out. I made him search for everything and he said searching stuff brought back memories. I sent him to stay somewhere else. He was there a, week when he came back to me with some answers after searching his phone, bank accounts etc. He'd slept with 3 women whilst we were together. More when we were apart. He slept with them 5 times in total. 

He's now looking into everything to find the prostitutes/brothels/massage parlours/saunas. 

I know it's extensive. I'm absolutely heartbroken. I had to make him come home as I wasn't coping. He's not coping either as he's just finally realised he's an addict and the pain he's caused me. 

I'm broken. I have a nearly 5 month old baby, I've been married 6 months and my life is falling apart. 

He believes the break up tipped him over the edge after his dad and mum. 

 Has anyone got any advice for me? He's done the Kickstart workshop and booked onto the understanding partners one. I'm doing the partners workshop. 

Right now I've told him we're separated. I've taken my rings off. I feel sick. I can't believe it. Can anyone help? I'm on the waiting list for therapy through laurel xx

Edited by Kaykay
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Oh Kay... A virtual hug from us. You are doing all the right things but it does not take away any of the pain of this roller-coaster ride. I have heard it said that this experience is like a bereavement; except the other person has not died, so it keeps repeating the bereavement journey.

See the source image

The above might help a little bit and explain why each moment will trigger different emotions.

Take care and I hope the counselling sessions become available soon. 


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Dear Kaykay, I’m sending a massive virtual hug. I feel for you. I remember that feeling too well. The pleading for information, the lies and denial from him, and then finally disclosure. If only they’d realise that the pain of the drawn out disclosure is worse in many ways that hitting us full on with it. Get it all over with, and then there maybe an ability to move on. 
You need help in unraveling all the thoughts and feelings. But know this, it is NOT your fault. He made his poor decisions, he is an adult and not your child. However, after many months in my situation I can clearly see how mentally unwell he was now. I also accept that I wouldnt have seen it at the time as he hid it all from me. If he was distant and snappy it was blamed on stress ‘he was dealing with it’ or poor physical health and pain ‘I’m seeing the doctor’ . We wouldn’t have known what to look for, why would we look for a porn addiction?!!! There is not enough talk about this, so everyone is unaware of the pain and destruction it leads to. 
It helps me immensely to know I’m not alone in this very unusual grief. I have just joined a wonderful support group through my therapist, it is so reassuring to talk without fear of judgment. We just ‘get it’,

firefly is able to give his take from the other side, which again is invaluable. He has come through this, with his wife by his side, which shows that this journey can be made.

don’t make any big decisions until things settle. I’m 20 months in and still in limbo.

take good care of yourself, it is his responsibility to take care of himself. He needs to want to change, you cannot change him. xxxxx

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Thank you fire fly. I do feel like that picture, all over the place. I'm having to take it hour by hour. As dramatic as that may sound, it's how it is. I'm still waiting for all the info. 

Tabs, thank you. Im still waiting for all the information, he's deeply hurting and running around trying to take care of us and find as much I go to disclose. He has undiagnosed adhd (which is a contributing factor to the addiction) so he's all over the place. 

I had a breakdown the other night. I suffer with mental health issues and was just getting over post natal depression. I was incredibly close to calling the mental health crisis team. It's still an option as I don't know where I'm at. 

I am so heartbroken and disgusted. I don't fully understand. I'm hurting, I'm confused. I could hardly bare the pain the other night. I honestly felt suicidal. If I didn't have my babies I wouldn't be writing this. 

I feel awful. Unattractive. He looks at one type of woman. Hes spent our entire relationship telling me how I'm his preference, he loves my body, its perfection, he spoke me into existsnce, he wrote down the type of woman he wanted and it was me. But they all look like them. The same. Carbon copies. I wanted to get Lip fillers (for myself) . He said no don't, your lips are perfect. But he looks at women with lip fillers etc. He looks at women that look quite fake. I can be quite glam, but I'm not fake at all. 

It all feels so intense. I have so many feelings. I'm desperate to feel better. I need to be better for my babies. But I want to run away. I'm waiting for this disclosure and it's killing me. 

I don't know what to do to stop this pain. I don't know how I feel. 

I keep looking back to that time. I spent so much time, energy, money trying to deal with what he was putting me through and help him to see something was going on with him. He was cheating the whole time. 

I think maybe he is just a cheat? Maybe he doesn't have an addiction. He put my health at risk. He's humiliated me. He's treated me like a piece of shit. I feel sick. I just want to be ok. 

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Kaykay, I do not for a second doubt that he loves you, that you are his perfect woman. 
my husband tells me that it is his biggest regret to have done what he did to me. He has had months of therapy, his online activity and the meetings with random women have nothing to do with me, it was dealing with his depression in a very unhealthy way, and not ‘real’ .  I was like you at one stage, demanding to know what he looked for, what body shape, what hair colour, size of breasts etc, but came to the opinion it actually meant nothing. To him it was not real life, which is why he hid it away, and he had to feed his addiction. They were never ‘real’ people to him! I pointed out, as did his therapist, that they were real people with real feelings, many sex workers actually being slaves. It shocked him. Porn desensitised him. Women became objects, but never anyone he knew.

I understand that feeling of helplessness and wanting to not live anymore. I sadly don’t have children, and I wonder what is my purpose. You have lovely children who depend on you. Try to take some joy with them, learn, like them , to live in the moment, and enjoy small pleasures. 

I would chase for some therapy too, it can be done via video link or phone. You need to let it all out.....you need to share and explore your feelings. 

I’ll be thinking of you...Xxx

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I find it so hard to believe. Why would he seek out one type of woman? I feel I'm not enough. 

My husband cheated with people he knew too. Texting, arranging meet ups. Slept over. This was before we lived together properly, or were married. He lived a lie so well. How did he cope with that? 

He's ruined something so special. I don't think I'll ever look at him the same or love him the same. 

I'm trying to rush feeling better. I don't know who I'm kidding. 

I envy you in some ways. Having my babies is the most important thing in the world. But it also means I'm not able to fully focus on myself and hsbe to take all their feelings into consideration with any decision I make. I suppose there are positives and negatives in both our situations

I emailed laurel and said I'm in crisis. Hopefully I'll hear back ASAP. 

I'm trying to look to the future but I see nothing, not me or him or anything. It's so strange x

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I understand. I don’t think there is a future for me and him. He has betrayed my trust, and also, as you say, damaged something that was so special. I don’t think I will ever truly trust anyone again. But I have to live my life and be true to myself. I recognise that he was in a bad place, and as such I can’t abandon him. I could not forgive myself if something even worse happened to him. I see him as a friend in crisis. That’s not to say that is the right choice for everyone. I’m learning more about me, my values and belief, and the inner strength that somehow emerges from these traumatic places.

I am fortunate to have a good network of friends supporting me. But it is a difficult subject to talk about. There is a lot of judgment, but I now know there is no right and wrong way to feel and no right or wrong decisions. I’m just glad that someone said very early on, that decisions don’t have to be made quickly. Take your time. Do what’s right for you. If the Laurel centre are not able to help, try to find another therapist trained in sex/porn addiction. What is important is for you to deal with your own trauma and find yourself again. 
what would be unhelpful is for someone to tell you what to do, and what they think. As we know there are a lot of black and white views, but I now know that there are many shades of grey. 
We deserve to honour ourselves, and we deserve gentle kind support. We are victims xxxxx

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Tabs, I feel similar to you in that I don't think I'll trust anyone again. He already made me question him but this is on another level. 

How long since your discovery / disclosure? 

Im really lucky that my family are open minded and I've told them all. But we're very much 'it's sad, but hold your head up and get on with it' 

His family are in shock. But I can't help but feel that they should have noticed his behaviour long before me. And called him out. They knew he slept with prostitutes, but noone obviously let him know just how bad it was. They did him a major disservice. 

It's good that you've got a good network around you. It's so important in times like this, as you're so right, we're victims. 

I'm not sure who else to look to in terms of a therapist, do you have anyone in mind. I need to be the selfish one now and think about me. I'm not carrying him anymore, forcing him to do shit that ultimately was a, waste of my time as the worst has happened. 

I feel sick with what's to come. He's telling me this evening, it's all written down. Need to put a plan in place so I don't plummet tomorrow. 

My life got put on hold as I was drained from helping him and it was all pointless. 

It is very grey, isn't it. There is no right or wrong. I'm not sure where I'm at but I definitely won't be in this position, ever again. Xx

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  • 1 month later...


I am feeling you so deeply that I am at a loss for words this minute but I wanted to pen down that I’m here, in crisis with you, in a country far away from you, giving you every ounce of energy I have to hold on and hang in there. I’ll write soon….but I want to hear how you’re doing now. It’s been over a month since discovery and possibly that full disclosure you were dreading.

Are you okay? How are you and the babies?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Sat here reading these messages…it’s awful that there’s so many of us going through this. I liken it to a sick reality show where I’m the leading lady. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and wouldn't wish on anyone. 

I’m 6 months post discovery…am due full disclosure this week and really don’t know what to do. I too am dreading it, but also understand that I can’t continue in this abyss for much longer. 

Anyone  got any practical advice for getting through these next few weeks? 

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Hi DeeJay, So sorry you find yourself here. As you say it’s so surreal, and not where any of us would imagine being! There are too many of us!

I think, for me, having that final full disclosure felt almost a relief. It’s better knowing the truth than imagining all sorts of things. I always felt there was more after earlier confessions, I didn’t believe him when he said there was no more, and that feeling was right! Now that feeling has gone, and I can try to understand and unpack what the reality was and how I feel about it/him. 

You need to do whatever it is you feel you need. Everyone reacts differently as every situation is different. Don’t feel pushed into anything you don’t want. Put yourself first. 
Practice self care. 

I cried a lot, I talked to friends a lot, I read and researched…then I eventually came to a place of peace. We all deserve that. 

Wishing you the very best. xxx

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I just wanted to reach out to you all to say there is hope. My partner is 18 months sober. He has completed 12 steps and is now a sponsor. His past is nothing short of horrific. Sleeping with over 50 people behind my back during our 15 year relationship. We have a great home, good jobs and two amazing kids it is completely unbelievable he would risk it all. 

His infidelities were friends, work colleagues, random hook ups on nights out,  girls he met online, his sisters best friend was the lowest blow😔 it had spiralled out of control. Whilst I knew of snippets the sheer scale was unfathomable.

I'm not in a everything is rosy place. But we can talk openly about our feelings, talk about the acting out and generally we are in a good place of acceptance of what has happened and why (to some extent). I now am struggling with the concept that he was powerless to addiction. To me I think really he was juts ignorant to the trauma and morality. The fact he has had no slip ups or relapses says to me I think he was in control and chose to do what he did as and when it suited him.

Its a dark place and you can be consumed with feelings that everything is tainted. What I will say is with hard work (reading, talking trying to understand each other) you can get to shore so to speak. 

Sending hugs im still here and it gets better. You truly do feel like you can tackle anything if you can get through this x

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I am a complete newbie too if that refers to the forum rather than the hurt partner!I am really relieved to have found the laurel centre resources- I feel that my same story is mixed up in reading the above, and other bits and pieces... so many parallels and similar accounts and emotions.

I feel for those of you that are hurting and send love and courage. I also feel in solidarity with this group- good knowing we all understand the situations so well and get the picture immediately, and speak the same language. 

apologies for my ramblings below and the fact that thoughts are all over the place.

My husband is 64 and has been an addict for 50 years although only diagnosed officially 4 years ago after a particular event. We have been married 43 years....childhood sweethearts and soulmates and most of that time really happy despite the fact that over the years my husband had explored all kinds of methods / platforms / avenues to feed his addiction.

He's been a confirmed sex and love addict since doing an intensive course 4 years ago in London at the Hudson clinic. This was a good turning point after which he had been sober......things i thought were going well.

Over the years i have known about his demons, and many elements and obviously the big disclosures and to a large extent I have done remarkably well to be understanding and continue to love him and not leave him even after a long affair. Naturally i was under the impression things were on track; he attends regular meetings, works through the steps ( stopped at step 8 though???) Initially he used his sponsor well  but recently disengaged with the programme and then the all too familiar situations re-occur. The slips occur along with and deception and lies and we are back to square one.

Yesterday after seeing a strange list of names on his phone, I confronted him once again and he confirmed what i had suspected..he is acting out again, connecting with so many strange woman all the time on chat lines on his phone ( now confiscated) He was completely out of control using his phone at very inappropriate times and it was never far from his side. I naturally feel an idiot for not being more demonstrative. I guess i am the consummate enabler but yet i do know the addiction IS NOT MY FAULT> 

Right now my husband is so full of shame he can hardly talk and feels beaten. I am broken again but only temporarily i hope. i have a lot that is good in my life.

We have two grown up daughters and a first grandchild  born just 4 weeks ago with another due in a few weeks time so the thing that makes me so cross is how the addiction can lead him to change/ruin things with his behaviours in a second .  I have just retired to be able to help the girls - so yesterday in reality my day went from blissfully content to that familiar stab of pain in a second- knowing "here I am again"   I should be hardened to it all as for me its been such a long journey but each time there is something new to deal with, it winds us so badly with a spiral into deep despair. I guess this is all too common after disclosure and then the hard road starts again to navigate through recovery along those well read 12 steps. 

time to end and read more of other's experiences........


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