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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:30 pm
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It is just over a year now since I discovered that my husband has a problem with sex addiction. We have been married for fifteen years, have a great relationship, have supported each other through some pretty significant challenges and have a very calm relationship, in general. We don’t often engage in conflict, issues when they arise are talked out. Sometimes, he stays away from home for work. Honestly, it did occur to me when that pattern became more frequent that he had the opportunity to engage in an affair, but if ever those kind of questions arose there was never evidence for suspicion. On the nights he was away, he would be on the phone to me for significant chunks of time so I never had any real concern. About two years ago, I found a phone in his overnight bag – of course it needed a code, so I asked him straight away what was going on and he laughed, saying that somebody had left the phone in his workplace and he had taken it up expecting that somebody to come back for it, but they didn’t. It had been in his bag for weeks he said and he had forgotten to hand it in to the security guard. Another time I found condoms – not ours. When I asked about them, he said they were ours – he had bought them years ago but we hadn’t used them and they were now out of date. I found the information leaflet for Viagra, and questioned this. More lies – he was having trouble getting an erection and had felt embarrassed about it. He had never taken the Viagra, just enquired about it. These episodes happened over a long period of time. My questions would have been whether an affair was a possibility, but as I said above when he was away he could be in touch with me for a lot of the evening and also our relationship felt sound. When he was away from work on holidays, he never did anything that made me wonder was he in contact with someone else. He protective of his phone and always I was coming back to our relationship – how good it was – so things just didn’t stack up for an affair, but yes, I had questions.
In April 18, he purchased a new tablet and while preparing the old tablet for one of the kids, I came across some messages that had been stored on the device. They identified him as the sender, and were messages to two different women looking to meet up. One message was written in Spanish, the other setting up another meeting with somebody he had met a year before but she was in a new city, and he was going to travel there for work. He referred to her having a different name the last time he met her, so it occurred to me that this was a business name. I rang him and asked him to come home from work as we needed to talk. He insisted that I give him some idea what it was about, so I said something I found on your old tablet. An hour later, he walked in the door and admitted straight away that he had used escorts. For years he had viewed and masturbated to porn (since childhood) and in more recent years this had escalated to visiting sex workers for erotic massage – he had done this four times, to two women, twice each. I was horrified – this had never occurred to me as even the remotest possibility. I found it hard to believe that I had just happened to uncover his entire history of visits to prostitutes by accident on the tablet, but no matter how many questions I asked he insisted that there had been four visits over the previous two years – massage with “happy endings” by hand, no more than that. I should also add that on that same night he spoke of something I had been aware of previously – he was abused sexually by a professional he came into contact with as a child. That man is in prison now for abuses against a number of victims. When the story emerged that this man had allegations against him, my husband revealed that he had felt uncomfortable at the time he encountered this man, at the age of about ten or eleven. Some time later, as details of the allegations from other young men emerged he revealed that his experience had been similar. Later again, he said to me that he felt there may have been more than one encounter but he didn’t “want to go there”. On this night in April, he described the second encounter, which amounted to rape with an object. These events, he feels, started an unhealthy relationship with sex, led to porn addiction and eventually on to prostitutes. We were both in great distress. He said he needed me to understand that this wasn’t about me or any deficiency in our relationship – it was him and addiction and avoidance of pain. He said he loved me deeply, but could disconnect totally from himself when engaging in stuff like this. He asked me to give him a chance to address things, to hold off any decision about our future for a while. He would seek professional help and try to recover. He couldn’t promise it would be successful, but he would try. We tried to resume some sort of normality and tie began to tick by. Every time I asked how he was doing, he said it was a struggle but he was doing well. When I asked about finding a counsellor, there was always an excuse. I was afraid to push it, as he needed to go himself – by himself and for himself. Then at Christmas, I found the phone again – still charged, but still password protected. I asked him what was going on and told him if he didn’t tell me the truth this marriage was over. Initially he denied it, sticking to the original story about the phone but before long he admitted that he was gone off track again. In the days after he admitted to a longer and more substantial history of using prostitutes along with hours and hours wasted with PMO. He felt empty, worthless, ashamed and now afraid that he would lose everything he loved because of it. He sought help immediately for us both, although it was March before we could start in counselling due to long waiting lists. He shares his live location with me all the time since then, he has given me access to his bank account login to check cash withdrawals, I have access to his phone and email account. Despite extensive searching, I have no evidence to suggest an alternative email address. We are in counselling now for nearly four months, sometimes singly sometimes together. I find that very supportive and comforting. He is engaging well with it, probably better than I am so far, to be honest.
I still cannot believe that this has happened in my life. I feel decimated at times, hopeful at other times, always ashamed. I find it hard to see where the trust is going to come out of, really. I have times of enormous doubt, where I wonder if I am just being fooled again. Apart from the counselor, I have spoken to nobody about this. This is the first time I have shared my story beyond my husband and counselor. I have found this website consoling and scary at the same time.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 178
Mrs P, welcome to Recovery Nation, although I appreciate its not a place you ever wanted to find yourself.

It’s very a very painful and devastating experience to learn your husband has a sexual addiction. To discover your husband has been using escorts and visiting massage parlours must have been a total shock. Most partners never have a clue that their spouse had the slightest inclination and are completely blindsided. Your life probably feels like it has been turned upside down and you are probably reconsidering which parts of your history were real and which parts were lived in blissful ignorance. It’s usually the case that a partner believes she has a strong and loving marriage with no real doubts about her husband’s fidelity.

You will feel better eventually although I have to warn you that the first year is the worst, and by that I mean the 12-18 months following the final disclosure/discovery. Most of us go through the trickle truth process and it’s impossible to heal when you have to go through the painful cycle of yet another betrayal coming to light just when you start to believe there’s nothing more to come.

I don’t know whether I know my husband’s true history of acting out and I don’t believe I ever will. Like your husband, my husband was sexually abused around puberty, in his case an older male relative who groomed him by showing him porno magazines. I suspect he has always had a secret pornography habit throughput our relationship and after d day I discovered that he had frequented strip bars too, as if it were a compulsion. We clashed over his internet porn habit very early on but all he did was get better at hiding it. I have my suspicions about infidelities although I don’t think he was seeking out physical sex compulsively. I do believe that it was opportunity-induced sex. I asked him outright before d day because I had a strong feeling of something not feeling right, and he employed what I later found out was every classic lying strategy. So I approach my situation with a very strong intuition that there have been multiple sexual infidelities. I just don’t know the details. With disclosure and trickle truth etc, there comes a time where I had to draw a line under what I knew for sure and what I may never know.

I know you must be in turmoil over this. Please work through the lessons. They are very helpful and this is probably the only website that offers such a program for free. It’s not the busiest forum but many commenters here are considerate and mature women, and it’s a safe place where you can express yourself without judgement.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:30 pm
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Thank you, Blue. It’s painful and frightening being here, but consoling to know I am not alone. In the early days disclosure was all important, but now I often feel infidelity is infidelity - twenty times or fifty times, it’s the same. There could be some he doesn’t even remember. My big fear is that he will recover, stay on track but that I won’t regain the trust needed for a strong and healthy marriage, but for now I need to do the work and see where things go.


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