Journal entry: Monday, January 13, 2014
Early on in the discussion of my husband’s indiscretions, I asked him if No Caller ID had been the only one. I knew the answer before he opened his mouth. I have known my husband for 30 years. I have always known that he required the attention of both men and women to uphold the rather tenuous relationship he has with his own self esteem. I know that he is an actor and a salesman and both skills help him tremendously in the business world. He has experienced great success in his career. Apparently, however, not without great cost. I have always known that my husband has questionable boundaries when it comes to his relationships with women. BUT, and I’m sure I am going to end up saying this over and over on this blog… I never, ever, thought he would cheat on me. I’m talking about sexting, quickies, and sex all night long in a hotel in Copenhagen kind of cheating. I never thought he would do THAT! We had a marriage that worked. I was happy. I knew he was a workaholic, but otherwise, I thought we had everything. I believed he loved his work and I gave him lots of space. I would never cheat on him, not so much as even look at a man that way, so I would never think he would betray and lie to me, and cheat on me. I can say all of this with complete honesty and no doubt I will say it again…. there is a big difference between a little innocent flirting, and seeking out women for extramarital sex. I know this seems obvious, and it is obvious. It was just never obvious to me that my husband was so fucked up that he would sacrifice his health and his safety and potentially sabotage EVERYTHING he has built in his 50 years, in order to spend a great deal of his time thinking about and acting on a deeply disturbed part of him that desires to manipulate and control women for sex. How and when did this happen? How did I not see it?
And then there is more to his story. I sit and listen and dare not ask too many questions. I feel like any minute, he will spontaneously combust from the pressure that must have been building inside him for the past 40 years.
He explains that he first cheated on me 15 years ago, 10 years into our marriage. He worked out of town about 20 days a month. Apparently, he spent quite a bit of time fantasizing about one particular married woman he worked with regularly. When her marriage was struggling, she came to my husband for consoling, for comfort, for sex. He had been patiently waiting. They had sex once and he immediately regretted it. I mean, I am sure the actual sex was great–he had been fantasizing about her for years! But everything else about it felt wrong and he swore never to do it again. She returned to her husband. But then she begged to see my husband again. He knew she was needy, and broken, but he used her anyway. After the sex, she cried and asked for more from their relationship. He said there could never be any more and he dismissed her, just like that. This behavior makes me sad. I cannot believe that not only is my husband a liar and a cheater, but he is also abusive. He then went for years being faithful. He was able to spend most of his time at home, except for a handful of International trips per year. Once he was back in town, unbeknownst to me, he set up an office in the city where we live. He hired a secretary solely based on his physical attraction to her and his belief that she would be a willing sex partner, a FWB secretary, an SWB if you will. They had sex in his office off and on for about three months, then she started to ask for more, like maybe they could go out to lunch, or on a date? He reminded her that he was a “happily” married man and that their sexual relationship was just that, and it was over, and that she should find herself someone that would love her and give her what she wanted. He kept her around for a couple months, then let her go. I asked him why there weren’t others in between these women since there were large gaps between the affairs. He said he was trying to manage his bad behavior and that he always had porn and masturbation, which he had been addicted to since he was a child. I knew he watched porn and masturbated when he traveled, but I did not realize he was doing those things regularly, on a daily basis. As I listened to his story, I realized that he had a real problem. He said things like, “it’s almost like I am addicted to sex.” “The shame felt like it was going to eat me alive.” “If you had known the truth about me, you never would be able to love me.”
One of the first things my husband had done after “the No Caller ID phone call,” was call his therapist. YES, my husband has had a therapist for four years, since his brother committed suicide. His extremely intelligent, successful brother with a wife and a baby, took his own life in 2010. Since that death, my husband has been trying to cope with the loss and with his family. The death of a family member does not always bring people together. Apparently, however, my husband had never confided in his therapist that he was having an affair, or had had multiple affairs. He had talked with him about his porn/masturbation tendencies and his therapist had, ironically, recommended a book on sex addiction to him, but my husband was offended and humiliated and never purchased the book. Oh how I wish he had come clean to his therapist. I truly believe that with the help of his therapist, I could have been saved some of the most heart wrenching trauma I am feeling. Not all of it, of course, as the facts are still the same. It wouldn’t have wiped away the cheating, the lies, the betrayal, but it would have allowed my husband to come clean on his terms and with the help of a professional by his side.
When you live your life on the premise that ‘what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her,’ or ‘if I don’t get caught, I never did the crime, right,’ you are bound to hit a brick wall eventually. Unfortunately, my husband was trained by his parents to lie and cheat. He was rewarded for lying about his behavior and he cheated and got away with it. Today my husband was preliminarily diagnosed as a sex addict, diagnosed with a process disorder most likely stemming from deep childhood wounds that he never acknowledged or dealt with. Wounds that made him feel like he was alone and unloved. Although I appreciate having a diagnosis, I am utterly dismayed by the realization that by the time I met my husband, he was already broken and there was absolutely nothing I could do for him. Is there anything I can do for him now?
2 thoughts on “What about the others, and a diagnosis”
Hi CrazyKat, i am an almost 29 year old female with no kids who just found out her husband was having an affair with a woman (who looks like a man literally, she was engaged to a woman previously) anyways that is besides the point. I am like you…. faithful, never looked at another man the same, i had always given him freedom to do what he wanted to do. Some of my girfriends argued with me and stated that i give him to much freedom, but i guess i trusted him. Boy was i wrong, the lies started, he left me home alone on so many occassions and i didnt know where he was or who he was with, its embarrasing. And now he wants me back because he realised the grass is not always greener on the other side and my gut it telling me no. Basically he told me he had emotional feelings for this woman and sexual feelings for her too but he is no longer with her….i think your case is little different to mine your husband has not portrayed feelings towards these women…and i think your brave for saving your marriage because it sounds like your husband ginuenly loves you….i know i am making the right decision…because i am terrified that in a few years he will do it again and leave me……what i think is brave if a man admits what he has done and seeks help.
Wow, I am so sorry you are dealing with this kind of betrayal and all the pain and confusion that goes along with it. It’s true, my husband is not a sex and love addict (SLAA). He is an SA who used the sexting, emailing, sexual phone calls, and sexual encounters to feed his addiction. When he didn’t have that, he used porn. Sex and love addicts seek out partners for the same reasons, to fill a void, but they also live for the emotional connection, the ego stroking. Some SLAAs even convince themselves that prostitutes are in love with them. My husband did not want his last sex partner to become obsessed with him. He begged her to find another man, but she didn’t (honestly, I don’t think she could find another man). The first two, when he said he couldn’t do it anymore, basically when he dumped them, they let it go… one went back to her husband, the other found herself a husband on line (on work time, of course. She was my husband’s secretary). Crazy enough, she had the nerve to ask my husband (her former secret sex partner) to help her new fiancé with job references (my guess is she didn’t tell her fiancé that she had been having sex in that very office with her boss). All the while I am at home being normal and raising our children. Crazy.
You know this is not about you, right? It is all about him and since you don’t have kids and if he doesn’t want to get to the real reason he is behaving in such a destructive and disrespectful manner, I think you are smart to move on. I lived in ignorant bliss for 30 years. I love my husband immensely, but if he was not willing to do everything he possibly could to recover, if he was not 100% remorseful and wanting to be a better person, this would not work. He knows I am not to blame for anything, not even a little bit. He knows he needs to take responsibility for everything. He cannot even blame the abuse from his parents for his horrible behavior. The past 18 months have been mostly hell. Living with a recovering addict is a bitch.
If you feel like you can and want to move on, I would suggest you do. Only you know where your heart is at and if your husband is capable of really changing himself. My husband was so ready to be done with his secret sex life. I think the stress of it would have eventually killed him. He didn’t want these other women for anything other than a secret fix, and he didn’t even really want that. He cannot even explain the feelings that came over him. The last partner was/is absolutely horrifying. A monster really, so I can understand how confusing it is when we realize what they have chosen to betray us with. It doesn’t make sense. This woman would not let go and blackmailed him and of course, that kept the whole thing going for eight years… when he finally got the nerve to end it, she called me.
Thank you for your kind words of support for me and my marriage. My husband has worked very hard to achieve his sobriety and his recovery so far. They say it takes up to five years to heal from all this if both partners are in it and want it. I know he does, and so do I. I wish you much strength on this difficult journey. You are young and I hope you make good and kind choices for yourself. ❤