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Is there hope?

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Hi Paula and fellow forum members, I'm nervous to start but absolutely had to share somewhere as I'm completely exhausted and my head is about to explode.

Long story short here as its 4.30am and I need to try to sleep, though it's still pretty wordy! Sorry. 

I'm trying to find a specialist, affordable option for therapy for him/us after discovering sex addiction a few months back, he started seeing a therapist but she isn't specific, also I  suspect he's been manipulating her reactions and playing a martyr as what he's come back saying indicates and I'm pretty convinced he's been in denial and 'white knuckling' this addiction mainly. He's very good at charming (aren't they all) and bringing out motherly instinct in women so I'm feeling like he's just been skirting around it and not actually facing things.

Anyway, lately he has fallen into huge depression/anger/anxiety blaming work and saying he doesn't actually think he has a sexual compulsion issue, hugest red flag when he suddenly lost sexual interest in me (our sex life has always been volcanic) ignored my flirtations (!) and started becoming hugely distant and detached.

 I suspected it was this sex addiction 'cycle' but desperately wanted to think the best... lo and behold he 'relapsed' I discovered he's started using private browser settings and by utter chance I saw a page relating to prostitutes, he claims he just gets off looking, I'm probably the biggest fool if I believe that. I've no idea if we will remain together or what the truth is but he wants us to go to a therapist together. 

I keep pressing the need for it to be an experienced specialist in this field if we go, or even just for him if we split and he's ever going to tackle this! I think anything else is wasting time/money and is avoidance IMO.

He mentioned relate but I think that is still too 'general' pls help with any advice/encouragement or just plain reason as I'm half crazy with sadness, feeling helpless and constantly on the edge of a panic attack. Sorry for the verbal diarrhoea and Thankyou for any advice in advance. warmest thoughts to others here going through this, it's a special kind of hell 

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Hello Rosie,

That sounds really horrible and I'm sorry you're having to deal with your husband not facing up to his problems fully. It sounds like a real rollercoaster where you feel hope at times with him getting help but then he slides back to destructive behaviours, anger, blame etc. It's very sad to hear about all that hurt.

I did attend Relate with my wife after finishing Paula's recovery course (which isn't cheap, I grant you). I found it really useful to get us to talk about problems in our relationship and her affair but in my mind it was somewhat separate from my recovery, which is something I needed to do regardless really. I think even now, often the best thing I can do for my relationship has been to get better myself and be well. Because then I'm in a much better place to actually deal with things clearly and be engaged without being withdrawn and angry that comes with acting out.

It sounds like you worry hugely about him and want him to be well. But ultimately he has to do the work to make that happen. Perhaps in a space by himself more? I don't know. Paula's course and all the help out there in the world only gives the understanding and tools needed. That's really important but it's up to the person recovering to put them into practice and change. That is the real hard work.

For me, it was hitting rock bottom when I found out my wife was having an affair and that ultimately she was very unhappy in our marriage and wanted out because of the person I'd become. That was very difficult to accept and hugely upsetting but it gave me the motivation to realise that I needed to make real change or I'd lose the woman I love. This has to come from him to want that though and accept at an important level the hurt he has caused you.

I can appreciate some of the feelings about being overwhelmed and very upset or emotional. I think you're dealing with a huge heart-wrenching problem and those kinds of feelings are unfortunately part of it.

Most of all, I hope that you can find the support you need either through your friends and support groups to take very good care of yourself at such a difficult time. He needs to worry about his recovery and stopping his behaviour as his number one priority and similarly I hope you can take good care to feel better in yourself, healing and making you a stronger person while he does that.






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Thankyou so much for your response and understanding, your right in saying I worry about him but also I do worry about us and need to see something concrete to reassure me enough to try, rather than having to walk away, which is very very imminent if he isn't willing to throw himself at being honest and fronting up to this stuff.

The fact that I now realise he must have been sidetracking in his therapy sessions is just beyond infuriating, I think his ego won't allow him to be that 'flawed' damn our silly fragile egos, Personally I'll happily flaunt my faults for the pleasure of having a genuine connection with someone.

  We aren't married and don't live together, when I first discovered his deceptions he was literally begging me not to leave him and saying he would do anything/everything to make things work, he started a 12 step but found it too religious then slowly I saw him backslide on his promises to read about stuff and listen to podcasts, also after promising we'd go to counselling together once he 'got comfortable with her' he seemed to be squirming out of me talking to the same therapist as him, my suspicion being he was basically lying to her as well as me and if she worked with 'us' she'd learn the truth!  Seems I was right there.

You are exactly right in saying it is only him that can effect a change if he truly commits to it.  It's hard to see the 'illusion' of the person you dearly love being with fall away, I just know in my gut that unless he is pointed in the right direction he will fail to make any progress but it can't be me 'steering'

That being said if anyone knows of affordable sex addiction therapy in the london area, I would be grateful of the info to pass on. I start counselling in the next couple of weeks for myself. I'm grateful for the support and being able to see others stories

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Dear Rosie, my husband refused to see a therapist for a long time because he did not think they could help. (ego issues) He did work through the reams and reams of material on Recovery Nation which he found helpful. It is free. Google it. FYI, we went to Relate and they said he had to be treated before they could do couple work. 

I wish you all the best.

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Thank you for your responses, it turns out the relapse had been worse than I thought. He is now getting specialist therapy but I am very disillusioned feeling that his remorse and resolve to 'fix himself' is more about getting exposed and part of the 'cycle' that will soon revert to denial deception and arrogance. I'm numb after finding out my worst fears were right. This addiction is savage

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