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Husband a sex addict but with men


Ruby
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Hi all,

Has anyone heard of the Mankind Project?  My spouse's therapist suggested that my spouse go to a retreat.  I researched it on line and it sounds weird.  There is some nudity involved but the men can choose not to take part.  I cannot believe the therapist would EVEN suggest this to my husband, as he KNOWS my husband has acted out 4 TIMES with MEN during our marriage (yes we are still together and trying to work on rebuilding--if I can EVER forgive him).  And he also has a history of being interested in men due to the sickness of porn/sex addiction and childhood trauma.  My problem is that I found out the gross details about 14 months ago, we went through disclosure, I went to betrayal trauma therapy and thought I was doing good.  I told my husband I was very upset with his therapist to suggest that group (among others) and I started to have flashbacks.  He was not supportive at all and we got into a big fight.  After the fact, he realized that his sarcasm, defensiveness and mocking did not help my triggering!  He's not going obviously, but does anyone have any feedback?  Thanks.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi EmmaJ. Not sure if you are in the UK but if you are I recommend The Laurel centre. Therapists there have helped me more than I can ever say and my husband too.  I’m almost a year in now from discovery and all I’d say is don’t make any decision about whether  you choose to leave him or stay. It’s much too soon. You’re still suffering the immediate impact of the trauma and the grief of losing the marriage and partner you thought you had. I could write pages on the emotions you may experience, the way you scrutinise and assess every single thing he says and has said and done 

Paula Hall’s books for both partners and the addict are really good. Very accessible and written to really offer help and insight into a terrible situation. There is also a really good one for your husband called  Out of  the Doghouse by Robert Weiss   He’s written a lot about cheating and addiction but this book maybe good for him as he tries to understand the impact his acting out has had in you   

My husband didn’t even begin to have any empathy or understanding for how his acting out impacted on me until at least 4 months after discovery and even the therapeutic disclosure process was an eye opener for him 

Take time to find yourself and heal yourself not him   You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it  I found these  three C’s really useful to refer back to when I’m most stressed  

It’s really important that you focus on you and what makes you strong and happy outside of your relationship with him, or at least that’s what I’ve found has helped me. Telling someone u can trust may also help you share the burden you’re carrying and again that’s a very heavy  weight to bear alone.  

 

 

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Hi EmmaJ, agree with what Ruby has mentioned above.  Also, there is a blog series running on the Laurel Centre website at the moment and the 3rd week is on therapeutic disclosure, but I would recommend reading blog week 1 and 2 first before deciding when to a have a therapeutic disclosure (different to the type of disclosure you have mentioned).  Week 1 and 2 will help to focus on your own needs at the moment which is the most important part.  If you live in London, then there is a 8 week partner support group starting this week.

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  • 2 months later...

I am a gay man and have been in a what I thought was a monogomous relationship for 13yrs. I recently discoverd that my partner had been using the app Grindr  for the p[ast 3 years and had met  8 men for BDSM acting out as a masochist.

He had been using this app from 6am all day until he went to bed. Last year he completely forgot my birthday and it turned out he was on the app all day.

This app destroys lives and is having a detrimental effect on Gay mens mental health and those who might be tempted in gay casual sex. It uses varialbe response ratio techniques which have can have the effect of making people compulsive and addicted.

 

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Hi Nigel

Its interesting but also sad to hear of the impact this horrendous app is having on your relationship. there must be hundreds if not thousands of people out there similarly affected. I am sorry you one of them. 

Could you explain a bit more about what you mean when you say...

It uses variable response ratio techniques which have can have the effect of making people compulsive and addicted.

I'd like to know more about that please?

Thank you 

 

 

    

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Hi Ruby ,  variable ratio response techniques appear to be used by many apps and attract the user to keep checking the app for responses.

Below is an extract from an interesting article by a Gay Psychiatrist called Jack Turban. who is a resident psychiatrist at Harvard medical School.

"""Grindr, intentionally or not, also leverages a psychological concept called variable ratio reinforcement, in which rewards for clicking come at unpredictable intervals. You may find a hookup immediately, or you may be on your phone for hours before you find one.

Variable ratio reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to reinforce behavior, and it makes stopping that behavior extremely difficult. Slot machines are a classic example. Because gamblers never know when the next payout will come, they can’t stop pulling the handle. They hold out hope that the next pull will give them the pleasurable sound of coins clanking against a metal bin, and they end up pulling for hours."" 

The full article is here https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/4/4/17177058/grindr-gay-men-mental-health-psychiatrist

There are many articles online about the effects Grindr is having on Gay mens well being and ability to form relationships.  Other apps such as Tinder for heterosexual people appear to be having the same effect and work in a very similar manner. I think there has been a study on Tinders effects and possibly one is underway with Grindr users. 

My partner became obsessed with it checking it from 6am to 11pm. Last year he completely forgot my birthday and it turns out he was on the app all that day. My partners activity records show that he even started using it straight after meeting a men looking for the next hook up.

We initially went to Relate but an untrained relationship counselor told me and my partner that ""young gay men like to be promiscuous "", as well as telling him it was ok to have sex for money or fantasize about it. We have been in a relationship for 13 yrs so the comments seemed bizarre to us. We were both shocked at what the counselor said and my partner says he has no intention of meeting any men again or using any apps. When I initially confronted him his response was that he was glad it was over. He is however in denial that he has or had sex addiction and this has been made worse by Relate who told him its all normal. He has no emotional connection with the men and so it is not an affair but this is how he tries to portray it.

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After I found out I gained or was given my partners account logon details and email accounts. I had his old smart phone and was able to track his exact movements over a yr and a half.

I could see he even met men during his work lunchbreak and when he had given me an exscuse of going to meet a friend or relative.

I read 12 mths of messages with guys he met discussing what they had done or wanted to do. Even photos sent to each other. I found that even when I was in bed he was in the other room chatting and sending pictures. I read the messages where he was walking thru the mens front doors. Every sordid detail. For me it was initial disgust and anger but then a relief because now I knew exactly what he had done, where and when. I also knew who with. Some of it was laughable.  Some of it was shockingly odd. These men are on this app 24/7 every day looking for casual sex with whoever is available. Grindr has the dregs of the Gay World , the real sleazy types. It also has normal people. Most who use it realize this and delete the app.  Some then reload and again delete. Its as tho the users have a love hate relationship with it. Knowing its not right but unable to stay away. For some it becomes their life. I soon realized that the men my partner had met are sex addicts as well. CSB is an alternative description Compulsive Sexual Behavior and I can see this in my partner. At times he looked like a wild animal and when I found out it was because he was behaving like a Bull Elephant on heat. It was like a demon possessed. He now says he doesn't want to loose the BDSM acting out he has found and expected me to do it with him moving forward. Its not my thing and makes me cringe.

Grindr works in a different way to most date apps. It uses Geo-location to let you know how close or the exact location of other users. There is little attempt to get to know what other people are like and it it just the mechanical act of sex that 90 % of users are seeking. It is possible to find a sex partner within mins of joining and possibly located within hundreds of feet. It has been likend to the equivalent of an online Glory Hole.  This really is the sleazy end of the Gay World. The same sleaze exists in the Straight world but it is much more underground and not pushed as mainstream like it unfortunately sometimes is in the Gay world. Unfortunately for Gay people sleaze is pushed as product for business profits in gay society. There is no money in monogamy in the gay world as of yet. But things are changing and young gay people are rejecting the stereotypes and sleaze that existed in the older generation when gay sex was illegal and underground. Grindr returns  users to those dark days.

The app even has a facility to check for men along your travel route. Mt partner would check for men as he drove home from relatives or work. It was so bad that last year we went on holiday with his dad to Rome and he was using the app 24/7 trying to meet men in Rome or the Hotel. That really shocked me.

I scrutinized the app and how it works. It is not a nice thing and users can send standard automated messages while cruising for sex. Everything is completely impersonal . Trends of paraphilias abound like the latest craze and I couldn't understand how all these people were all into this same themed role play. 

Grindr makes it all too easy to just have nearly instant sex with strangers.  Imagine what that does to their minds and reason.

No Email verification is required and its completely anonymous and mostly untraceable due to the technical way it sends and stores messages. The messages are not on the apps servers but on users phones. The Grindr company has not access to the users messages.

All in all its a nasty sleazy app that corrupts ordinary peoples minds and turns them into addicts. There are many articles in the gay press on its destructive nature.

 

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Hi Nigel 

 

i had never realised or even thought about it being so insidious. It’s almost as if the app is reinforcing or helping to reinforce the addiction. I’m struggling with why the man I thought was a totally heterosexual husband chose to have hook ups and encounters with men for most of our 21 year relationship. I had absolutely no idea until discovery just over a year ago. He has used the app as I found it on his phone but now it’s deleted  so I don’t really know how much he used it or what or how he met the men on it. It makes me so bloody angry but also do unbelievably sad. I’ll read the articles you shared the links for with interest.   Thank you and I’m truly sorry you’re also enduring so much pain. 

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Hi Ruby ,

I am sorry to hear what your husband has done and for so many years. Being a gay man and also having had girlfriends when I was young I understand that sexuality can be fluid. People tend to make a choice one way or the other which sexuality to  concentrate on or follow. I think many people have sexuality that swings maybe even just a tiny bit each way. Outside influences can sway it either way. Even just an opportunity to experience it. People normally make a choice of sexual path to follow and also make a choice of who is their partner. That is usually a monogamous partner. Some couples might decide otherwise but that is their joint decision. It wouldn't be mine nor I think most people. Its sad that your husband wasn't able to tell you about aspects of his sexuality and that might be due to the stigma that being Gay has carried for years. Things are very different now but the stigma and bigotry are still well ingrained in parts of society.  This leads people to keep secret feelings they might have. Do you think your husband is bisexual or gay but married. There are also men who have sex with men. They are described as such because they do not have emotional ties with men and  do not  associate with a gay lifestyle. I am gay but I do not associate exactly with a gay lifestyle. Your husband hasn't gone off with another woman so it shows that you are what he wants and needs in that respect of his sexuality.

Gay men have historically had to live and make contact in secret spaces. Only recently is it more open and normalised. I luckily never had to experience these secret spaces and was lucky to have long term partners who I just happend to meet. Unfortunately these secret spaces can be seedy and draw people into a world of easy sex. The same is true in the str8 world but far from mainstream. It sounds as tho your husband has  been affected by one of these secret spaces, or an opportunity of gay sex experience arose which he mistakenly took. I say mistakenly because he was married to you. You haven't said if you know if  he had gay sexual contact before you were married or met. I suspect that he had but didn't disclose it to you as he thought is was just a past phase of fluidity and that now he was following a heterosexual sexuality. Even people who are bisexual still have a monogamous relationship with one sex or the other. Its no license to have both. But some relationships might be like that and both partners enjoy it within the confines of the relationship in three sums. But thats both to choose.

I hope I am giving you a better idea of sexuality and an understanding from my gay perspective. I hope it helps you in some way. Cheating on you is horrible but have you explored with him his other sexuality. When he was young etc. There are many many straight men on Grindr and all the other platforms for gay people. Its not unusual and people would be very surprised if they knew the extent. What isn't right is people who are in relationships cheating on their partners , gay straight bi or whatever.

In respect of Compulsive Sexual Behaviour AKA sex addiction, (compulsive gives a better vision of it ) triggers can cause people to loose their senses and do mad things disregarding others feelings. Just sex on its own can do that without an addiction. Do you know what triggered your husband to act out while being married to you ? It seems as tho once a person acts out without discovery it makes them think they can do it again to get the same quick fix.  As with all addicts they then crave more and more of the dopamine effects in the brain. This combined with apps like Grindr or the hetrosexual / bisexual Tinder is a recipe for disaster whether they are in a relationship or not. They leave people unable to have what we think of as a normal relationship. Thats not saying, not normal relationships are not ok as well. But only if all party's agree.  Grindr is 10 years old and its effects are shocking on gay society and mens mental health. Its all very short term hits. Look up Ghosting , that says what has happened to relationships and has only come about since online dating .

Having sex with people any way you like is fine. As long as you are not in a marriage or monogomous relationship. Just remember tho he hasn't gone off with other women.

XX

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If the app has only been deleted then the profile will still be active. All messages tho will have been deleted as they are stored in the phone app. It takes 3 mins to load and start the app. many users load it, use it and meet, then delete it but keeping the profile alive. It is that quick and easy.  I managed to hack Grindr on my partners old phone without a password. It had all his messages for nearly a year. Graphic detail and photos. It made me psychically sick but it was also a relief to know what he had done.

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  • 3 months later...

Hiya...I’m devastated, 18 months ago found out my husband had been dogging for years, he said he just watched men....6 months ago I I caught him out again even though he said he had stopped, I didn’t let it go as easily this time, I wanted to know exactly what he was up to, he says he went dogging but it was only men and that he did join in, he says they just brought each other off and nothing else, he also admitted that he has been addicted to porn since way before he met me....he started reading support strategies online and he now says that he’s not done anything since 6 months ago however, he still cannot have sex with me as he loses his erection I know this is due to the death grip/ porn stuff and I cannot satisfy him.  My intuition tells me he’s still up to stuff and I’ve been to hell and back, I thought he was my lovely, gorgeous soulmate.....I am 60 now and can not afford to take the risk of wasting another few years so Im splitting up with him, the annoying hurtful thing is that I am in a mess but he doesn’t seem to care that much, he hasn’t said I love you for years .  A few years ago a condom dropped out of his back pocket so I don’t believe the dogging was just wanking (sorry to use this word) and I find I don’t believe a word that he says...he will go on, meet another person and will move on and live a happy slate wiped clean life.....my head is absolutely screwed up, feel I will never trust again, I was abused as a child and married to an abusive man before I met my husband 

he knew all this and yet he has just made the past 18 years a lie.....I don’t know how I’m going to get through this....like you I do not understand any of this x

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Dear Denise,  Thank you for sharing which is a very painful situation.   It is  deeply traumatic and something that is very difficult to talk about with friends or family.     There are resources out there for partners to help them through the devastation that they find themselves in.   I would recommend getting Paula's partner book (Sex Addiction : the Partners Perspective) which has a lot of useful material in it.   We also write blogs aimed for the partner.   We did a little mini series a few months ago, here is the link to the first one:  https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/mind-body-and-soul-betrayal-part-1.  The first part of your recovery journey is to learn to surf.   The acrostic SURF comes from the saying by mindfulness guru, Jon Kabat-Zinn "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf".  SURF means:

S - Survive the trauma

U  - Understand the cycle of reaction

R - Repair self-identity and self-esteem

F - Face the future

The Laurel Centre also offer individual therapy or workshops for partners.   You are not alone in this journey.  Be kind and gentle to yourself.  This is not your fault.

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  • 2 years later...

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