A quick peek into the very sick mind of a sex addict

Journal Entry: July 13, 2014

My husband is feeling better, so we decide to go out to lunch together. As we are finishing our lunch, we are chatting, sitting across from each other and I notice my husband, distracted, looking off somewhere behind me. I ignore it.

Then, as I am talking, I see him smile at someone behind me. I assume there is someone there we casually know and he is smiling at them to acknowledge their presence. Not someone we know well, because he doesn’t stop me from talking and tell me, hey there’s so and so, or jump up to say hi.

I turn around to see who he is smiling at. There are two women in the booth behind us, sitting across from each other. The woman facing my husband is kind of looking around embarrassingly looking for the person my husband is smiling at, because she automatically assumes it is not her. She clearly does not know my husband. She looks uncomfortable.

I ask my husband who he is smiling at. He says “no one.” I am confused. I say, “yes, I saw you smile and now that poor woman behind us looks incredibly uncomfortable. Why were you smiling at her?” He says he wasn’t. I say, “then who were you smiling at?” He says “no one.” I go from confused to angry. The woman behind us is maybe sixty years old. She is kind of frumpy and looks sweet enough, kind of like your Grandma, and she looks a little shy.

We finish lunch and leave the restaurant. I ask my husband if he even realizes what he is doing. He looks confused. I asked if maybe he thought she was putting out a needy or lonely vibe and that is what he was picking up on. Did she shyly, probably accidentally, glance over at you and that was all it took for you to turn on the charm? Are you her prince charming? Are you going to rescue her from her loneliness with your hot, sexy body? WTF? He says he doesn’t know. Maybe. He seems as baffled as I am. He is completely unaware of his own behavior.

Journal Entry: July 15, 2014

I go into work with my husband. We decide to grab a quick to-go lunch at the coffee shop in our office building. My husband frequents this coffee shop/deli as he never brings his lunch and he often does not have time for an elaborate sit down lunch, and it is incredibly convenient. We both order our hot foods from the counter, Blue Eyes goes off to grab a cold coke from the case. I approach the cashier first and ask her for an iced tea. She is an average looking thirty something year old woman and she goes to get my iced tea. In the meantime, Blue Eyes approaches and she clearly knows him. He flashes her his best, hey honey, you’re looking cute today, smile. She flashes it right back. Her mood immediately improves ten fold just from seeing Blue Eyes. She says to MY HUSBAND, “hey, toots” you want sugar with that tea. Now, she does not look my way at all even though I am the one that ordered the tea. She asks my husband if he wants the sugar (and in a way that lets me know she is very well acquainted with my husband). My husband never drinks iced tea. He looks at me, and I say “no thank you.” In my, “he belongs to me” voice. She never even looks at me. She continues flirting with my husband, and he continues flirting back. Neither of them acknowledge my existence. We leave the coffee shop and my husband has no idea why I am perturbed. For some effed up reason, I have to remind him that he is a sex addict and one of his behaviors is grooming women for sex. This is what HE DOES. This is why he goes to a 12 step and therapy and I have to remind him of this. I am not an insecure person. I do not care about the bitch at the coffee shop. I do care, however, that my husband is a weak SOB, that also happens to be a sex addict. “Grooming” is part of his illness. The bitch doesn’t know he is a sex addict. He flirts with her, she flirts with him. It’s all fun and games, UNLESS ONE OF YOU IS A SEX ADDICT! I realize married people of both sexes flirt (except for me, apparently) and most times it probably leads to nothing, even with my husband, but it’s like an alcoholic just taking a little sip of someone else’s beer every once in a while. You are giving the evil beast a tiny taste of freedom and he wants to break down the fucking door and tear the town apart.

I know one of those flirty women, but she was not feeding sips of beer to an alcoholic, she was opening up the full bar and making him a gin martini, and she is now stalking me!

17 thoughts on “A quick peek into the very sick mind of a sex addict

  1. Hello, I read your blog. I was wondering if you’ve tried S-ANON (https://www.sanon.org/). Powerful stuff and people who understand. It can be a fabulous place to find support from real people who are going through the same thing. Many blessings to you.

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    • Thank you, Clare. This post was written nearly two years ago and I am currently 28 months post discovery of my husband’s behaviors and his addiction. I have come a very long way (and so has my husband) and a lot of my healing was done through intensive trauma therapy. Although I do agree that surrounding myself with people who understand what I am going through, and I could potentially weed through the co-dependent literature the S-Anon program was built on, I was steered away from S-Anon by my therapists. We are all unique in our healing. I do appreciate the advice. I know S-Anon has helped many partners understand addiction and not feel so alone.

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  2. Every time i read one of your stories, I get the feeling being married to your husband is like waiting for a time-bomb to go off. You must live on edge 24/7! How do you ever relax? Let some of that stress go? I feel stressed for you! SWxo

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    • Thankfully he has made a lot progress since summer. He has learned how to be more aware and control his behaviors. He always had these behaviors, but I just wasn’t aware of how destructive they could be (i.e., leading to affairs). He’s a big flirt and a very high energy executive, lawyer, CEO, etc… He was able to balance everything when he had his addiction. He is now having to learn how to manage his life without it and if you know any addicts, it’s not that easy. It would be a lot easier to walk away and not have to go through this with him, but he is my best friend and I have 30 years with him and I want to at least try to remain his partner. Truth is, I AM stressed. I need to start exercising again. I can be nervous with some OCD tendencies. I don’t worry about what he is doing when he is not around me because I believe he now knows the consequences associated with his addictive behavior, but he does stress me out when we are together. He’s trying. The blog helps me get things out of my head. It is difficult when I write them, but then I can let it go. When the OW was stalking me, I was incredibly stressed out and paranoid. Hopefully, those days are over.

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        • I love that everyone is giving me the same advice… I need to be reminded. I have always taken care of everyone else. I wish I had the energy to do all the things I used to. I know that day is coming. I’m getting stronger. Trauma is such a downer.

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          • You monitor your husband like he’s a young child who doesn’t know what he’s doing. You and I both know how exhausting that can be. It’s taxing on your energy levels and your sanity. Do something, anything, that is purely for YOU. SWxo

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            • Hmmm, SW. Maybe I should go back and read my posts to see what message I am really sending out. I don’t actually monitor him. Am I with him more, yes, because he is home most of the time dealing with his “new” life (thank goodness we have competent employees to run our business). Will that all balance out over time? I sure hope so. I work from home, and also the volume of disclosures that I had to deal with the first six months (30 years of lying, 15 years of cheating) not to mention the trauma, kept me pretty immobilized. My blog is not so much a day to day accounting of how much I monitor my husband (I have heard about people who check their spouse’s emails and mobile phones, and put key trackers on everything… I have never done anything like that–I actually did not even discover the affair, I received a lovely phone call), but more a chronology of what it is like to be married to a newly diagnosed sex addict. And he has done more taking care of me in the past 10 months because some days the PTSD knocks me flat on my ass, but thankfully I am getting better. I do need to do more, just for me, you are correct. Even present day that is true, so I do thank you for your sound advice. I think, however, the need is coming less from my spending time monitoring my husband, than it is coming from the PTSD. My husband is my husband and he is around and he does crazy shit. Hopefully as he moves forward, he will do less crazy shit.

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      • hello first time reading your blog (found you on SW’s blog site- thank you SW) and first time responding. I too have been married 30+ years and recently discovered the infidelity. I suspect there is an addiction but how do I know? are there any obvious signals/symptoms? I have not physically caught him and there have been no admissions. accusations on my part due to suspect behavior. with some sleuthing I have been able to find out a lot but have not confronted due to volatile emotions and i believe he will leave so am waiting till i have all my ducks in a row. also am waiting to feel emotionally stronger to be able to handle this as best as possible-which is probably nearly impossible but i can’t go on indefinitely like this. wondering if every time he goes out the door with some excuse that he is looking for a hookup.

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        • Welcome, Willow. Wow, suspecting but not knowing must be incredibly difficult. I was completely clueless and then blown away when I got a call this past January from a woman telling me she had had a relationship with my husband for the past 10 years (she implied it was still going on even though it have been over for months, and it was actually 8 years, but close enough, I guess she was just rounding up!). My husband then, over a period of months, disclosed what I think is pretty much everything. There ended up being four women over 15 years. The first three were short term and one was a semi failed one night stand. But there are many different scenarios with sex addicts. My husband has been in a 12 step group for a few months, plus we have read books and spoken with others and some men (there are women, but a lot are men) hire prostitutes, some have one night stands, some affair partners, some are porn addicts. My husband starting with porn and for the first 10 years of our marriage (apparently) porn was his mistress. From what I have read, they never disclose everything… whether due to blocking it out, truly forgetting, or just wanting to continue protecting their secrets, who knows. Even though this has been a horrible journey, it has been made easier considering my husband didn’t want to live in that horrible deceitful way anymore. He was doing little things to try and manage it, stop it, but it is impossible to recover from sex addiction without the proper support system. My husband did NOT come clean on his own. I’m not sure if addicts ever do. He had been protecting his addiction (which he had no idea what it was or that others suffer from the same, apparently A LOT of others). He figured if the truth came out, he would lose everything, and his whole life was built around his sex addiction. I honestly believe it is the main element of his personality that allowed him to become so professionally successful. He is a sexaholic and a workaholic. Sex addiction pretty much, in my opinion, needs to be diagnosed by a trained therapist. Mostly it includes the addict lying and hiding behavior they are ashamed of. The shame is a huge element. This is not a case of, oh hey, I am tired of my wife, I think I will go shop around for a new one before I divorce the old one. Addiction is shame and low self worth based. The addiction almost always stems from unresolved childhood wounds. With my husband, his addiction is driven by anger, resentment, separation anxiety, and more, stemming from neglect and abuse from his parents. I have an earlier blog post regarding me trying to understand sex addiction. It’s not that easy. I am not an expert (on anything) on confronting a cheating husband since I did not experience that (although a lot of other bloggers have). But I do not see how you could continue living healthily with these secrets swirling around. I hate to give advice since I am far from an expert. Maybe if you could see a professional first, soon, and ask for their advice. Someone who specializes in betrayal (and maybe sex addiction?). If your husband is a sex addict, it could be driven by inner anger and turmoil, so confrontation without preparation could be disastrous. Good luck and big hugs to you, Willow, because “we” do understand.

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          • Thank you! your journey sounds so similar to mine. What you have described is exactly what I am dealing with. Plenty of lying, shame, anger, all of it. Plus I have noticed what I believe is compulsive behavior. For example, we were at a small mom and pop store picking out a gift and I noticed my H staring at the store attendants rear, after a long minute he jumps up and strikes up a friendly, animated conversation with her. All innocent on the outside but it felt weird! There were several other instances too. Nothing I can call him out on but just weird as in something is not quite right here. I have seen a counselor but now it is clear I need to see an addiction specialist. What a journey! Nothing but potholes and obstacles to navigate. Plus the stress…

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            • Yeah, don’t ignore all that stuff and suffer in “silence.” When I wrote this post I thought, are people going to look at this and just think I am paranoid or jealous? I’m actually not, paranoid or jealous. Frustrated, sad and hurt, that is what I am. It just drives me crazy how his whole life is about flirting and grooming and he doesn’t even see it. People that don’t know about all his betrayal and lies and his illness just think he is a charismatic guy who loves women and flirts a lot. He is also so used to turning things around on me. Just like with the first story on this post. He knew he had smiled at the woman, but he just didn’t want to admit it because he was so out of control. He has made a TON of progress, but it takes hard work and the will to want to change. Three of my husband’s four acting out partners were groomed with flirting, and what you read a lot of in OW blogs… being nice to needy women. Oh, my husband knew they were needy and there was the potential there for him to have a clandestine sexual relationship with them. For the two women who took the bait and went for it, there were probably 100 others that for some reason, didn’t go all the way, but under the right circumstances, they would have. Until they recognize what they are doing and admit they cannot control it, they cannot get well. I hope you are able to talk with a specialist and make progress. I feel for you! Lots of hugs to you.

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    • Interesting you would ask about the time apart, as our new couple’s therapist asked the very same question of us on Monday. We have spent limited time apart. He was at a 9-day intensive out patient retreat at the end of June (10 days apart), and I went away to a seminar last month for three days. So, probably not nearly enough time apart. Also, this was not “his” revelation, I received a phone call from the OW mid-January and that is when it all came out. Well, that is when a bunch of details came out, then I got more and more details over the next six months. He did his first step about a month ago. No in-patient treatment, although I wish, in hindsight, he had gone in right away like his therapist wanted.

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      • I ask because in reading your posts, I see how focused you are on him. It cant be helped and believe me, I know that hurt and anger so well. I just hope you’re able to take time for yourself to focus on you. It’s so much to have to handle, having to spend day in, day out with the person you love who has also hurt you so much. Is there any way you can take a “time out” for yourself?

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        • Yes. Thank you for the advice and the reminder. The house was always my domain. I raised our kids here, we have pets (that I adore), and I work mostly from home. Unfortunately, with my husband’s diagnosis and recovery, he has been spending a lot more time at home, mainly because his sex addiction was completely intertwined with his work addiction and he is messed up. In addition, our youngest college age son moved back in before dday. Having them around has hindered my alone time, and probably my healing. When I was away at the seminar last month, I felt so free. I definitely need to carve out more time for myself. Also, my posts are from mostly older journal entries. I am at mid July and my husband was not working much back then. He is back to work more now. My life when he is not around is pretty boring (and normal) :). With him around, pretty much chaos.

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          • Just read this blog. I am early on in this (2 months 8 days). Went to an event with my husband this past wknd and he did his eye thing with a willing woman. I almost lost it. He admitted it happened, of course, after I spelled it out for him. So frustrating…. Can he ever b forthcoming!!!!????? I thought the same that he has such a sick and poisoned mind from years of neglect and gluttony. The rest of the evening was taxing and he literally had to keep
            His head down or directly look at me in order to resist looking at everyone else in the room. I know this is unkind but there are so many people who are disrespectful and act out in this way to their significant others. It boggles my mind. I told my husband that ” you all recognize each other as if there is a red blinking light above your head. Not everyone allows themselves to be objects.” I realize shaming him probably is not effective but when in the middle of
            This it isn’t always first instinct to act with compassion. I wonder if with practice he can retrain his brain. I have read studies that it is indeed possible but after 8 years of a weekly- biweekly trysts and probably 10 years of porn prior, I am skeptical that this will be accomplished in our lifetime!!! I know he is trying and counselor said I would know if he is indeed working to change… Guess I have to learn patience and wait to see the outcome. It is so hard not to lose yourself in all of their bizarre behavioris.

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