The ambush, part two

Journal Entry, Cont’d: October 30, 2014

Blue Eyes and I drive the short mile back to our house in silence. He, of course, does not say anything, at all, and I am still so much in my head I am not even able to form cohesive sentences. I need to calm myself down somehow. I need to be present in my life. We get home and I sit down on our bed. I sit there and he sits next to me, but he still doesn’t say anything. He has broken the cardinal rule. The rule that states: you must tell me the truth, the whole truth, as soon as you think of something, or remember something that is material to my life. You cannot lie by omission anymore. Just talk. Just tell me everything you remember and when you remember it.

I stopped obsessively questioning him a while ago, because I ran out of questions to ask. I have already asked him whether there were other women and he told me all about the three women. How can you forget about a whole other woman, person? Maybe it isn’t a woman. Shit, I do not know what to think anymore. When I realize he is holding my hand and I am concocting crazy scenarios in my head that could potentially be far worse than the reality of this situation, I finally break down and ask him if he is going to actually tell me anything about this fourth person. I am scared. My absolute worst nightmare is that he has a child with another woman. I am afraid every day that this secret of all secrets will eventually be revealed. The reason this thought bothers me so much, is because I could not turn my back on a child that belongs to my husband. Even if I despised the mother, I could never turn my back on an innocent child. It would be a sibling to my children. My mind is racing. My thoughts are out of control. He keeps saying he didn’t even want to tell me because he doesn’t think it is important, it’s not material to our relationship. He says he honestly did just remember it during a session this past summer. The Shrink told him he would probably need to tell me eventually, but Blue Eyes was not planning on telling me, ever. Then, as he prepared for his first step, this fourth acting out partner came up again, in therapy, and then again with his sponsor and another of his 12 step buddies. They said if he was going to share it as part of his first step, I needed to know. It was part of his history after all, and it happened while we were married. He still did not want to tell me. His therapist suggested that he disclose during our couple’s therapy since our couple’s therapist had been my therapist and I would most likely feel safe in that environment. “Safe” is a euphemism for “won’t harm herself.” Everyone is still so fucking caught up in the cutting incident. Not me, them. Do they not really understand cutting? I am not trying to kill myself. Oh, forget it. I have already explained this.

Even as he is talking about all the people that knew his “little secret,” I am flabbergasted by the fact that he never got it. That he never understood how much easier it would have been on me had he just revealed the information when he remembered it. If he had come home that day from therapy and said, during my intense dive into my sexual history, I remembered something and I wanted to tell you right away, because that is what you have asked of me, and I am a mature, adult who understands your needs and respects you and loves you enough, TO STEP OUTSIDE MY FUCKING CHILDLIKE ADDICTIVE WORLD FOR FIVE SECONDS TO ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT YOU AND YOUR NEEDS. But, NO! Instead, he keeps playing the same old fucking game he has been playing his whole life. What is easiest for him? Not telling his wife. People are now telling him he HAS to tell me. What is easiest for him? Telling me in front of other people, even though I have begged him not to do this and to tell me right away if he remembers something. Best-case scenario: if he had told me right away, last summer. Second best-case scenario: if he had told me privately once he made the decision to tell me. Third best-case scenario: if he had listened to his instincts and not told me at all. Worst case scenario: telling me in front of other people, 3 ½ months after remembering.

In the end, here is the information that was eventually disclosed to me by my husband in private later that day:

After my husband’s first affair (basically a long term grooming effort by a sick sex addict, which I am sure she would call an emotional affair, and a two-night stand), he was still living away from home on the weekdays and traveling back home to be with me, and the boys on the weekends. He had an apartment near the company that employed him most of the week. He was assigned to work with a divorced female on a project that lasted a couple weeks. They became casual “friends.” They talked, probably about personal shit because that is how my husband rolls. After the project, the woman was laid off. Nothing had happened other than some “innocent” flirting (really no such thing with a sex addict). A few weeks later, Blue Eyes was at the grocery store and he ran into this same woman. They started chatting and he suggested maybe they should go out to dinner some time. No doubt she gave off a vulnerable, desperate vibe. She said, why don’t you come to my place for dinner and he said yes, and they made the date for later that week. When my husband arrived at her home, she was already drunk (running theme here?). This was not appealing to my husband, but he stayed because there was the chance that there would be some free sex. As dinner progressed, she became more inebriated. After dinner, they moved to the sofa and started kissing. She then informed my husband that she liked her sex really, really rough. He became concerned. My husband doesn’t like anything rough. He’s a lover, not a fighter. She asked him to slap her across the face, to hit her, in the face. He told her no, he could never do that. He was afraid to go into her bedroom. His pattern was always to get off, then get out. They proceeded to masturbate themselves in front of each other, and then he promptly left, felt ashamed, and horrified, and swore he needed to stop his lying, cheating, perverted ways. Which he did, until Monica entered his life nearly two years later.

I sat there and listened to my husband’s sordid tale of a mostly failed one-night stand nearly 15 years ago and once again realized he is one fucked up son of a bitch. This story of his fourth acting out partner, who in chronological order is actually his second acting out partner, is just another in a long tale of messed up behavior that I do not and probably never will fully understand. He doesn’t even remember her name. In the end, I told him I wished he never told me, and he said, “I know, I didn’t want to.” Duh! Once again, the whole mess was not necessarily about what he did all those years ago, because in the scheme of things this was nothing compared to his horrifying eight-year affair partner. What really hurts, is that he doesn’t seem to be making the progress necessary to be able to put my needs before his own. Being able to respect my needs and put me first will be crucial to the success of our marital relationship. Is he not able to “get it,” or does he just not want to?

21 thoughts on “The ambush, part two

  1. So I am “a huge pile of utter crap”. Hm.

    Ok well I appreciate your engagement and non-judgmental exchange with me, Kat, but I am not willing to be called names by anyone. So I will go back to lurking, and wish you the very best in finding your way back to wholeness 🙂

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    • Oh B. No. Not you! I meant the pile of utter crap you are presented with as a betrayed spouse – your life! Definitely not you! I have read your thread just now and see a lot of myself in these comments. I have always enjoyed male company more than female – will address that soon Kat – and I have had a small window into the kind of conversations you have with your man/friend/emotional partner. I absolutely was NOT referring to you, B!

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      • 🙂
        Thank you for clarifying your comment. I apologize for misunterpreting.

        What’s funny is that I have never knowingly preferred either men or women as friends. I know the cliché to end all clichés is “this just happened”, but it did. However through reading this blog I am starting to think that maybe it wasn’t as random and haphazard on the part of my friend that our relationship took the direction it did. I am absolutely not claiming victimhood! But I had never had someone with so much charisma and other attractive traits pay so much attention to me as I did when our friendship started. And whether it was calculated or not does not matter all these years later. I love a very fucked up man who is now part of who I am, for better or worse.

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        • Wow, you guys got to commenting before I did. Glad it’s all worked out now. As anyone can see, I love conversing on this forum. It helps me to understand everyone. We three represent three very different women and I think it is amazing (even though mostly anonymous) that we can have these conversations. It is important to my healing. I think respect for the human spirit is really important in this crazy world we live in. And Paula, this is so much more helpful to me than the BAN meetings!!!!

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  2. Starting a new comment “thread” because the text is getting very narrow as we continue with the original one. Thank you for the book recommendation!

    If I could ask my friend’s wife one question, it would be “how do you not know that he is devoting so much of his emotional energy to someone else?” They have been together longer than you and your husband and I am truly interested in understanding that issue. She does not work and their children are grown and emancipated (for the most part). Have you ever figured out your answer to that question?

    By the way, apropos of your next post, the therapist “shopping” is somewhat like dating. Exhausting. It really gets old starting over again, and then over again, with someone new. That post has had me thinking about my comment above, about not looking for another relationship. Especially as it relates to dating, in middle age, you know everyone has issues and “baggage” and they certainly don’t share it up front. If you are reasonably intuitive, as you have been with your various therapists, you figure it out soon enough, but when it comes to the dating type of “shopping” it can get to the “why fucking bother” stage pretty quickly! The therapist type of “shopping” is obviously more existential and necessary 🙂

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    • I get the therapy/dating comparison, however, the therapist is just there to help us on our journey if they can, whereas the partner is there to share the journey. No matter who we choose to spend our life with, it is not easy. I have had one amazing therapist who got me past the first hurdle of my journey, but she does not live in the same city we live in. I had to wean myself from her and I feel strong enough, individually, to carry on. As a couple, my husband is still very much working on himself, so I feel we need a couple’s therapist to help me be a better partner to him. I can only work on myself, after all, and I have always been an over achiever. Although I understand a lot of things about my husband, I still struggle with the fact that he is an addict. I will not be attending S-Anon, so couple’s therapy it is. The therapist needs to see my husband in action in order to really understand him and how he behaves. I can understand feeling like it isn’t worth it, but I, personally adore my life companion and even if my husband and I split, I would still search out someone to spend the rest of my life with. It hasn’t been easy, but I know how to protect myself now. He has opened my eyes to a new reality. I don’t like it, but it is what it is. I will deal.

      Regarding the question about how could I have not known? I trusted my husband. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. My husband was extremely adept at co-mingling his workaholism and his sexaholism. Regarding the eight year affair, he first went to her house for quickies during work hours with bogus meetings on the calendar, or better yet, on his way to and from legit meetings. Over a three year period, this would happen about 8x per year. Around the encounters, they would obsessively email or text. In between, he was “managing” his addiction or using porn/masturbation. He is a CEO and therefore traveled A LOT and also worked a lot and was always on his electronics. I assumed it was business because I have known my husband since we were 20… he was always obsessed with technology and I believed he was trustworthy and when he said he was working, I believed he was working. For the past five years, he pretty exclusively only saw her when he traveled for business. A total of 45 nights over 11 trips. I dropped him at the airport, as I had done for the past 15 years or so of our relationship, nothing seemed different, at all. He met her at the gate, made a perimeter check, they didn’t talk until they were seated. Then he did a check of the plane for people he knew. When they got to hotels, she never went to the desk with him. He got one key and went up to the room, then texted her the location. They were out of the room before any housecleaning staff entered the room. She as not allowed to answer the phone. They never ordered room service. If someone knocked on the door, she hid in the bathroom. He got his fix then came home exhausted, but he always had come home exhausted because he is a workaholic and because he also had his masturbation obsession (which I did not know about). I do know that when my husband travels, he has probably at least 4 meetings a day and they run early in the morning through dinner and into the evening. My husband is an amazing salesman and has limitless energy when he is traveling/selling. There were times when I felt he was insensitive to my needs (not calling or texting me back for many hours when he was traveling domestic, or not communicating while on International business trips) and I have blogged about it. He was being insensitive, but not for the reasons I believed. When he was with her, he did compartmentalize his family out. I blamed it on workaholism. Also, just in general, the longer we were together as a married couple, the more we developed separate activities, friends, etc… Along with my husband’s schedule, I managed our kids, worked full time for our company (giving me great flexibility), I volunteered, painted, and had a lot of friends. So, we could be apart for long periods of time without one or the other being concerned. Ironically, I know now that my husband resented me for not being available to him whenever he “needed” me. It was a lose/lose situation for me. I was adapting to him, and he was distancing himself from me and towards his addiction. Until a couple years ago when he really took an accounting of his life (after his brother’s suicide) and really felt he was trying to change, plus we became empty nesters, which allowed us a lot more spontaneity and me more time. I am assuming the other person in an affair feels like they are getting 100% of their AP’s time while they are together and they have rationalized not getting all of their time when they are away with their family. When you are the family, however, and are unaware of the other life, you assume they are doing what they say they are doing. We had no reason to believe otherwise. Also, the pattern was gradual. When my husband first began his indiscretions all those years ago, he was in a job he hated and sat at a desk all day. His first encounter with a woman who would listen to him with no baggage attached was by phone. It was secret, and fed him, but was not risky at all. He built on that. There would be no way I would have known what was happening. He behaved the same towards me and says he never felt any different towards me, always loved me, has always been attracted to me, he just could not manage his addiction. Once he was traveling, it was easy. I am not a jealous person, or a snoopy person. I never checked any of his emails, or his phone, or anything. I never had any reason to. This is just my story. Not sure how it would relate to anyone else’s reality. I have a hard time believing the affair partner liked how her relationship with my husband played out. I suspect she hated it and that is why she blames me and stalks me now. I guess we all live in a bit of a fantasy land part of the time.

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      • A couple of things:

        Apropos of the comparison of choosing therapists with dating: I only analogize them because they are potential relationships that you choose to take a chance on, start investing yourself in, and then reach some point when you have to decide how good
        the fit is, and if you can live with the parts that are not a fit. As I said, it can be exhausting.

        It is fascinating to think about the character traits that make someone a successful salesman, and how easily those same traits can be leveraged in personal relationships! They both involve exploiting (not necessarily in an “evil” way) opportunities to get what is desired from another.

        I think with this commentary you have very clearly delineated the difference between “simple”
        cheating and the compulsive behavior driven by an addicted brain to satisfy its undeniable drive for relief from its pain.

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  3. I am a single woman who is in a very long-term intimate friendship with a very long married man. We have never kissed, let alone had any physical intimacy. But you could be describing him throughout your blog as you describe your husband. He has the same mother. Same pattern of lying and manipulating and “grooming” people (me included, which I did not recognize until you so accurately and thoroughly described it). Same way of interacting with people. Same terrible self esteem and underlying fear of people rejecting him if they knew who he “really” is. He thinks everything he has done in life has been a failure, back to some particular things in childhood that no healthy person would label “failure”. I am certain he was sexually abused as a child but he has never told me. I have no real idea why he has never attempted to have a sexual relationship with me, but I suspect he has been unfaithful in the past and is afraid of getting caught in that again (I can only speculate about his reasons, we have never discussed it). There is no doubt he is being unfaithful in a way with me, and I sometimes think about what his wife would think if she knew about the things he discusses with me, especially about her, her family, and their children. But with each new post you describe him in scary detail. And I must tell you, you are opening my eyes in a way I cannot ignore, both about his massive fuckedupness and potentially his wife’s life. Although I have to say, he has described her (through the telling of many stories) to be a raging narcissist, and very much like his own mother in terms of abusive behavior. So I don’t know how she would react.
    I want to re-iterate that your blog is making me see and think about things that I cannot ignore. Thank you.

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    • Wow. Your comment gave me goosebumps. I have been trying to think how to respond. First, I am sorry.

      I am sorry that I know what a sex addict acts like, and I am sorry that you see so much of your friend in my description. But, I hope what I write can help you in some way. We each have a unique story to tell. One of the most perplexing aspects of the mind of a sex addict (as I understand it with my limited, but intimate knowledge of one sex addict), is how they can live in their own life. With all the guilt and shame and hiding and lying, how could they be happy? My husband tells so many stories from his childhood that sound so very normal to me, but not to a sex addict whose mind has been altered to believe they are bad, and shameful and no one would understand. Frankly, it IS really hard to understand.

      With your man, it also sounds like he may have repeated parts of his destructive childhood in his marriage. Who really truly knows, because sex addicts are very adept at lying. I never thought my husband was a good liar until dday of this year, then I realized the addict in him is a scary good liar. The regular old guy I married, not so much. He goes through cycles. All I saw was a workaholic (a co-addiction), and then my husband and the father of our children, who I adore. I was completely clueless to the sexaholic that lived with me. The person who made women believe he was in love with them. The man who told other women lies about me. I have seen that addict person a few times this year because without his drug, the addict spills over into our “real” life. The thing is, however, that the relationship with his wife, whether she is or is not a raging narcissist bitch, is not really the point. He is sick. He needs help. It is not your job to save him, or figure out if his life with his wife is good or bad. It is your job to figure out what is best for you. What makes you happy. What makes you feel good about yourself and your life. It is the same for all of us, and a really tough lesson I have re-learned this year. The year from hell. Once I realized I could walk away, I could live without him, that was when I realized I wanted to stay and walk beside him on his journey, as long as he is recovering.

      I can tell you that with my husband’s first acting out partner, years went by before they had sex. He was very patient in his pathology. He fed off the female interaction, the fact that she “liked” him, the fact that she “got” him. She had small kids. We had small kids. She fed his ego and it was secret. Secrecy and control is what it was is all about for him. Their relationship actually dwindled after they had sex. She obviously did not know what she was dealing with either. I think she thought the sex would bring them closer together, but that is not always the case with a sex addict, or as I have read, any man actually. Also, if you have read any books about sex addiction, many of the men are not confident sexually. It is ironic because you would think a sex addict would be the best at sex, but generally they are easily intimidated and experienced at pleasuring themselves with porn and/or prostitutes who will not judge them. This is why many sex addicts are single, the reality does not live up to their own fantasies. Their own lack of self confidence and self esteem will also hinder successful intimate relationships. Don’t ask me how my husband made all this work for 30 years!

      I am sure my husband had feelings for his first acting out partner. She was beautiful, vulnerable, she fed his addiction. He let it go on a long time. We were all about 35 years old at the time they finally consummated their relationship. He “knew” her for maybe six years before they had sex. Now, it was a long distance relationship, by phone, with breaks in communication, but he escalated and she became more sexually available. He definitely honed his addiction from there. It took less and less time to nurture the relationships after that and they became pretty solely about sex, but the lying escalated with this last eight-year acting out partner. She was constantly asking for dirt on me, manipulating and blackmailing him and he lied and told her what he thought she wanted to hear… so as not to lose the relationship he had nurtured. He knew he needed help, but he just couldn’t do it, for all the reasons I have stated in this blog. It is a real sickness and the addict is hurting himself and everyone around him.

      I wish you luck on your journey. If you have any specific questions you think I might be able to help with, please don’t hesitate to email me. ❤

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      • Thank you for a thoughtful and compassionate response. I may take you up on your offer to ask questions privately, and offer the same to you. I am sorry if my comment was upsetting to you in any way.

        My friend has a drinking problem, though I don’t know if he is alcoholic because I don’t see him outside of our relationship, in his “real life”. But I do know that many addicts have co-occurring addictions so it is not outside the realm of possibility that he is both a sex and alcohol addict. He has had an incredibly successful career in sales and the drinking is very much a part of that culture. He flirts with me incessantly, turning even the most innocuous conversation into a sexually charged one (and admittedly I flirt back), but the line has always been clear. Even after we have been drinking together, we never crossed it. By the way, he is the one and only person I have ever drunk with as a recreational activity. For whatever that is worth. Also, for whatever it is worth, I am professionally successful, financially independent, travel (for pleasure) extensively, and have a pretty great life all around.

        As far as I am concerned, we will never cross that line. I would not put myself in the position of power that way–as in, having none. It has been hard enough at times to have the relationship we do with him being in complete control of when we spend time together, and for how long. Our relationship has lasted a couple of years longer than the one your husband had with his first acting out partner, and perhaps you are right that he sees this as a long-term “opportunity” (to use sales language…) and the move will come at some point. Or maybe he has been waiting all these years for me to make it. And I have thought that he lacks sexual confidence, despite all his vulgar talk, and is afraid of not being good enough even at that. I do feel pretty certain that he has had sex outside of his marriage before we met, as he has joked about it in a particular way consistently over time. My suspicion is that he could not handle the emotional demands of it. Or maybe they were drunken one night stands; he used to travel a lot for work.

        I want to be clear that he has never once complained about his wife to me (other than at times that she calls him too much), called her a narcissistic bitch (that is my impression of her from the many many stories he has told me about her relationships with their kids, and their families and friends), discussed in any way their sex life, or given me any deliberately negative picture of their life together. To the world, they have a beautiful perfect life. He HAS told me, many many many times, that I “get” him, that I “know him”, and that he loves being able to tell me everything and anything knowing I will listen and not judge. Truthfully, through reading your blog, I am starting to see all of that as manipulative/”grooming” talk. And it is creepy.

        But without getting into even more of his character here, I will tell you that you are absolutely and completely right that he is sick and needs help. Help that he will never seek, because in my opinion he is terrified of opening himself up, and significantly because he would have to recognize the abuses of his childhood. He has told me that his wife has had nothing to do with his family for years, and that significant stress in their relationship has been caused by his wife’s anger with him for not taking her side against his family in the past.

        Whew…

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        • Not upsetting, just that feeling that there are so many people out there that need help and aren’t getting it. It’s the nature of the addiction, I guess. Are you pursuing any other relationships other than this one? I guess not since it is so long term? I am assuming you love him? What do you want, or do you know? Is what you want attainable? Are you happy? It’s hard for me to imagine the kind of relationship you have with your man because I have never had one like that. I feel like it would be lonely, but I was also lonely. My husband traveled all the time, half the time with her over the past five years. He was distant right before and right after… I thought it was his workaholism. Oh, and yes, alcoholism and sexaholism go hand in hand. My husband doesn’t drink because of intestinal issues, he would dehydrate and probably die, but many of the men in his 12 step are alcoholics as well, because the addiction is in there and sometimes it needs to be fed in many different ways. Gambling is another co-addiciton. Most sex addicts never do get help until something horrible happens. My husband went for years believing he had complete control over everything even with his AP threatening and blackmailing him constantly and actually calling our phones. My husband is delusional. He ended things with her and he was already grooming other women when she finally got ahold of me six months later. Some days I wish I had never found out, but that is selfish. I am glad she called because regardless of whether my husband is with me, or not, he needed help and thankfully he is getting it. I’m going to have him guest post here soon. He is slowly turning into a different man, which is weird, because I really did love the man I thought he was. People would be shocked if they knew about what has gone on the past year with us. Even if the men are not unhappy in their marriages, they are unhappy with themselves and seeking someone that will stroke their the ego and make them feel better. I do believe my husband believed this too. Because I didn’t tell him all day how much I loved him, and thought he was wonderful, and sexy and that I wanted him, and valued him as a man and a husband and a father (which I did value all those things of course, I just didn’t say it as often as he wanted) he found someone who would tell him those things sort of “on command” and give him sex. It is a short term fix for a long term problem. I hate to see women get hurt. I have shed so many tears for my husband’s APs in therapy, it exasperates the therapists. I would be happy to converse by email too. I have so much to learn. We have years to go before he can call himself “recovered.”

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          • I am not pursuing other relationships. I don’t trust my own judgment. I have a very happy and free life, which really became clear to me once I recognized what bad judgment I have in relationships and decided (mostly passively) to give up trying.

            Yes I do love him, and I am not shy about telling him. Though it is not part of our everyday conversation. But there is no way he has doubt about it.

            Here’s the thing: I know the rules and the boundaries here, and that makes it very manageable for me. And as harsh as this sounds, and I do sincerely apologize for that but we are being honest, when he goes home I don’t have to deal with his fuckedupness and live my life around it. I do not think of myself as a compartmentalizer (though he is surely a master of that), but I suppose in this part of my life I am. I will not lie and say that I don’t feel pain at times when he is inaccessible to me, but I have learned over time that he shows up eventually, and soon enough, and I have learned to live with that.

            Feel free to write…

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            • I get it, about not pursuing another relationship. I have a really good friend and she was the first person I told about my husband’s secret life. Her response, which was weirdly unexpected, was “I think my husband cheated on me years ago.” I was like, huh? Not really the same, but this was the first few minutes of a very long conversation. She then said if they ended up divorced she would never date another man. She would live alone and hang out with girlfriends. For her, and me actually most days, women are so much easier to “get.” But that is probably because sex is not an issue. I know there are women who feel like they connect better with men. I am very opinionated on that topic and I am assuming someone will shoot me down off my high chair of judgment someday very soon, but I think they feel like they can use their sexuality towards men and that gives them an edge. I think it is more manipulation than actually “getting along better with men,” and it may not be viable long term. But again, my opinion only, and of course this is coming from my own experiences and from reading some blogs of women who make a habit of cheating with married men. I am not proud of my little obsession with this topic, and which I never even thought about pre-January ’14. And yet I get it, we are all broken in different ways. In terms of myself, I have been in a relationship with my husband since I was 20, so I do not have a lot of experience with relationships. I just know he feels so much better now that his secret is out. If only they could get a taste of that freedom, maybe more sex addicts would come clean. How long have you suspected he is a sex addict? Just recently? I am so shocked sex has not been part of the relationship. You have a unique story, for sure. No doubt, no easier, as the emotional affairs sound just as intense.

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              • I never considered he might be a sex addict until I read your blog and was floored by the similarities in your description of your husband to what I know about my friend, which of course is incomplete because I don’t live with him. But he has told me so much over these years, and I am a good and empathetic listener. Too empathetic for my own good.

                But I have been fairly sure for many years that he was molested as a child, pretty much since the first few months after we met. And he definitely has a disordered way of expressing himself sexually, evidenced by his incessant and predictable (really, ritualized) flirting with me, without ever making a single move. There has been plenty of opportunity over the years. I am not educated enough to name the dysfunction, but it is abundantly evident there is a serious one.

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                • Wow. so really recent. Every sex addict has his own patterns and rituals, but I would definitely trust your instincts on this one. Not that it would change anything in your relationship. It must be difficult for you with the obsessive flirting. How strange. Again, it could be any number of reasons, but I do believe sex addicts have a lot of hang ups around sexual behavior, especially if childhood molestation is involved. They are generally very insecure, but become good pretenders. It sounds like a game, the sex part, not the emotional affair part. I know I recommend this book a lot, and it’s pretty old, but Patrick Carnes “Don’t Call it Love… ” is a good book. There is some outdated stuff in there, but generally it is really eye opening regarding how sex addicts think, and behave. That’s the book that convinced me my husband really is a sex addict and there were most likely patterns he was unable to control without a lot of help. It sounds like you don’t want to lose your relationship with your man and I understand that. It also sounds like he would react badly if you brought any of it up. A dilemma. I am definitely the honest and open person in my relationship with my husband, so it has been difficult that he kept a secret life from me. He and I are very different. I am just glad that he wants to change himself, because I could not imagine him going on with all that negative energy inside him. Anyway, I feel for you. 😦

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              • Just to pipe in here. I also have zero desire to date again. This has just been too painful, and I am pretty damaged. But I am one who has always got on better with men than women. And it has never been anything sexual. Quite the opposite. I was told by our second couples’ therapist that I exhibit a lot of male thinking (although I disagree to an extent, I have totally reacted to a cheating partner in a particularly female way, and need love and to feel safe to enjoy what was once an extremely mutually exciting and satisfying sex life.) I get guys. I get their usually straight up approach. I am shit at “game playing” – I don’t get that coquettish stuff. I have only had one sexual partner – ever – and I never wanted sex or sexual attention from my guy friends. In fact there is one that I grew up with, who is in a larger group of male friends, who creeps me out. He likes to touch. And that is not welcome! I mean I hug these guys when we catch up. Maybe even cheek kiss. But he likes to put his arm around me. I always move away. There is definitely no sexual element for me. When I grew up enough to realise that most of the other females around this group had a sexualised ekement, I felt quite odd. Alone. A weirdo. Like something was “off” with me. I am (or rather was) a particularly sexual being but these were FRIENDS not potential sexual conquests!

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                • Paula. I am speaking, I guess, to a particular type of woman and I try not to associate with that kind and I do not welcome them as friends because I know from experience I want to shake them and tell them to stop objectifying themselves, stop using their sexuality as a tool, so reading a whole lot about that type on the mistress blogs was nerve-wracking. After being around a lot of men, brothers, friends of brothers, sons, friends of sons, I am not sure men are as straight up as we might like to think, but I adore them when there is no sexual element involved. Our house has been filled with boys since my kids were in elementary school… and they are now all men. Of course, I think of them as my kids, but I do appreciate the breed, ha. I have mentioned a few times how I adore my boys and all their friends. Not sure what I would have done with girls, but I guess I would have adapted. I get what you are saying, men are fun to hang with.

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        • It’s who I am, and I don’t know how to change it. That’s what really sucks about my husband stealing my happiness away. I just cannot believe I married someone so selfish and messed up. 😦 . I’m not sure if people believe me when I say there was not one single day of my life before dday when I would have said I felt depressed, not one. I love people and life and although I would never do the things other people do, I get it. My sister has helped me with that. But seriously, how can there be a woman who lives 15 minutes away from my house that hates me, thinks my husband deserves better, and wants to see harm done to me. She stole a few hours with MY husband, and somehow blames me. I gave my entire adult life to that man just to be treated like shit on his shoe. Healing from this is a bitch, but I certainly don’t relate the commenter above to the stalker in my life, and I don’t want to let this take me down. I have always been a happy person, and I intend to get that happiness back… I’m working on it. As always, thanks so much for your kind comments. I wish you lived across the street, not across the world!

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