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Found out recently - can there be recovery?

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Married for six years, together for twelve. I found out recently that my husband was having an affair with a woman from work. Started off with just one affair then everything grew from there. He has been seeing random people for sex for the past eight years. Going on hookup and affair websites. He has been meeting men, woman and transexuals for the purpose of fulfilling his desires. He enjoys anal sex and only meets people who will do this. We only occasionally did this together and he didnt mention it was an issue.

He was physically - not sexually - abused by his father as a child which I think might have played a part- he never had a good childhood.  He also states he watched a lot of porn and 'gradually worked up to this'.

He says he is glad that I found out, that he wants to stop this behaviour and is booking to see a sex therapist. He is going to be reading your book and we watched your TEDtalk together. We are also seeing a marriage counseller.

I have discussed this with my friend, who feels that I can stay with him but there is always a risk, he will always be an addict. I need to move forward with eyes wide open, be vigilant and accept that the dream I had for my life is over. I wanted to have children but I am now worried about that - what lengths is a person willing to go to fulfil his desire? You know what I am trying to say without putting it into words. There has been no inclination that he has done this, but how well do I know my husband?

Is there any chance of recovery? What will be life be like? I don't want to be a spy, I want to be a wife so how do I know if he has recovered?


Edited by Bellatrix

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Hello I am in a similar position to you.  I have been married for 14 years and for eight of those my husband was messing around with random women, random men, frequenting swingers clubs, dogging sites, dating sites and having sex with one of his pals.  He tried to stop but replaced hisphysical acting out with porn which led to an addiction all of its own. I suspected but never had proof, I confronted a couple of times but he always denied it.  I found proof eventually and confronted the situation after burying my head in the sand for all those years (my counsellor calls it unconscious collusion).  I was 'lucky' that when I managed to get the whole truth out of him (it took 3 months and an ultamatum) he realised what he had become and got himself a counsellor who specialised in sex addiction.  He is a changed man, he is far more open, far more calmer and where we never argued or confronted our issues we now do.  I have my own counsellor (who was trained by Paula Hall) which you may benefit from, I didn't think I needed it and I REALLY didn't want to go, but it has helped enormously with ME.  You need somewhere to vent and someone who can make sense of it all and someone who won't judge.  It is always a risk staying with an addict, it's scarey as they convinced themselves that what they were doing was OK at the time.  I do live in fear, but I cannot control his actions nor do I want to be his mother and I don't want to become co-dependant ( have you read Paula's books for partners).

We had lots of open discussions and I can see a difference in him, but they have to really face what they have done.

I do snoop on his emails and phone, but not as much as I used to, the pain does diminish.  It is difficult to trust though, I am nearly a year on and it is very very difficult.  I am not sure if they ever get off the cycle.  I am going away for a couple of days soon and I a, leaving him alone and this is when he would normally do his physical acting out and it is tearing me to pieces, so much so that my counsellor booked me in for an extra appointment just before I go.

I would recommend you get a counsellor to yourself and one that Is Paula Hall trained.

I think the sex addiction will always be there in the back of my mind (a way to protect myself according to my counsellor) and thats not a bad thing, it's just a different way of being.

Hope this helps, sorry for the ramble.



  • Upvote 1

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Hi Bellatrix

echoing the advice given before, seeking a trained counsellor in this specialist area is essential. Although as a Paula Hall associate you may expect  me to say this but I have heard too many stories where the partner has had all disclosed to themselves, without really consenting to this and it can be devastating to have so much info becoming a trigger to pain in every day life. The relationship  needs some support that understands the pitfalls of treating this as if it was an affair. it isnt. This can pervade all memories, times, places and begs questions as to what is left that is real. for trust and forgiveness to begin, a trained counsellor in this field is highly recommend

BW ian

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