How do I know it isn’t real, part two

Journal Entry, Cont’d: January 15, 2015

The story of Camilla:

Winter 2005, Blue Eyes was feeling like shit. His relationship with his family was on a serious downward slide. I was incredibly busy with our kids and my volunteer work. At the time, he was managing four start-up businesses with all the stress that goes along with it. He was traveling a lot. On this particular winter day, Blue Eyes was slipping into one of his cycles. He had always masturbated to porn, obsessively, when in his cycle. He had two brief affairs a few years before. He had groomed women in the past, but at this lonely juncture, there were no women on the line. Blue Eyes wrote a Craig’s List Personal Ad, Man seeking Woman, yada yada. Clumsy nerd type, 42 years old, lonely, needing someone to hug and hold him, to nurture him. He did not mention he was married. He did not really know where this would lead, but the secrecy of it gave him a thrill. He obsessively checked the secret email he had set up to receive the Craig’s List ad responses. A few weeks went by with the only replies to the ad being gay or trans men. Then, an email from Camilla arrived. Blue Eyes and Camilla emailed back and forth a bit, and the emails quickly became sexual. Camilla wrote titillating stories, which included all of Blue Eyes’ favorite topics: clandestine sexual encounters, light bondage, lots of silky lingerie, large breasts, etc… After a few weeks of emails and Blue Eyes working up his nerve, they agreed to meet up, at her house.

Blue Eyes drove to her house on a sunny spring day in 2005. There wasn’t a lot of talking or conversation. Camilla quickly set in to providing the requisite hugging, kissing, caressing, and nurturing that Blue Eyes sought from his ad. She played out his sexual fantasy from the very first time they met up. He required a condom. She balked, but gave in that first time. She stripped him down and tied him gently with silk scarves to her antique metal headboard. She gagged and blindfolded him and then she undressed herself and climbed on top of him and rode him hard and fast. He came very quickly. He then cleaned up and although he knew he should not, he was riding the high of his sexual addiction and he made a date to meet up and do this again the following week. She wanted him to stay, but he begged off. He had meetings to attend to.

After he left, he felt remorse and guilt and shame. He swore he would never do it again, but as the date of their next encounter approached, and she sent him a provocative picture, and he sent her a picture in return, he could not keep himself away from the drug. He did not really care who she was, or what she did, or why she did it… she had a vagina, and breasts, and she was willing to play out his secret sexual fantasy. Unfortunately, in the photo Blue Eyes sent to Camilla, he forgot to take off his wedding ring. She immediately noticed it and became angry. She told him she would not get involved with a married man. He begged, she quickly gave in, but that would start a line of questioning about me, and why he was stepping out on me, what was wrong with me, and our marriage that he needed her, that would last for the next eight years.

My husband told Camilla that he loved me, but that I was not nurturing to him and that we had sex maybe once a month. This seemed to appease her for the time being, and she constantly cooed how he deserved to be treated with loving and nurturing and sex every day. After their first time, she refused to allow him to use a condom. At the time, she was 49 years old and had gone through menopause, so there was no way she could get pregnant and “she had no diseases,” so there was no need for the condom. Blue Eyes gladly gave in. After they met up a couple times at her house, his addictive cycle started to wane and he realized he did not want to be behaving this way. It was not right. He told Camilla he could never do this again. She became angry and aggressive, which further solidified Blue Eyes desire to get out of the situation he had orchestrated. It was at this time, that I saw the email on his computer when I was cleaning up our family room in preparation for a volunteer committee meeting. He told me the sob story of how he was lonely, put in the Craig’s List ad, emailed with this woman, met her for coffee, but no attraction and no sex (lies). I was clueless since I never thought my sweet, gentle, kind, loving husband would cheat on me. I believed him and we moved forward from this sordid incident…

But then, a few months went by and he started getting those antsy feelings again. The masturbation and porn were not doing it for him. He called Camilla and with a little sweet talk, they started the pattern that would last for the next three years, and my husband got very good at hiding all the evidence. He intended for me to never ever ever find out about his “little” secret sex life. Two or three times a year for a couple weeks, Blue Eyes would go to Camilla’s house for basically, a quickie. Sometimes she finagled a few extra minutes out of him so they could get to know each other better. One time she even talked him into to taking her to lunch at a nearby golf club, which he hurried through. They shared and he charged it to the company. From the bill, it seemed he had dined alone. He shared very little about our family life, but he talked about himself, his childhood, and his needs that were (supposedly) going unmet. She talked about herself. She grew up in the same neighborhood my parents grew up in, a working class area of town. Camilla came home one day to find her mother dead in her bed. She was fourteen. She is the youngest of three girls. She was briefly married to an alcoholic. Her father died years ago. Her oldest sister, also an alcoholic, died of cancer a few years ago and left her quite a bit of money, which she partially used to buy an apartment complex. She answers phones swing shift at the Labor & Delivery department of a local hospital. She works as many shifts as possible, especially holidays and weekends as she has no family. She also holds a real estate license and sells about one house per year. She entered puberty early and obsessively masturbated when she was young (hoppity hops and tether balls were her “props” then). She loves sex and is a self proclaimed nymphomaniac with drawers full of toys that she uses alone. She told my husband that he had ruined her for other men, oh brother.

At one point over the years, she demanded he meet her for drinks in our building. He was working late, I was off taking care of our kids’ dinner, and so he did meet her. When we moved offices, she orchestrated an after hours tour of our new offices. And once, when I was out of town, they went to a movie at the theater in our building. There was always blackmail involved… if you don’t meet me, I will call your wife.

After three years of the intermittent unpaid whorehouse quickies and a small smattering of quick social encounters downtown, she finally told my husband she had had enough of him coming to her house. She had been trying to get him to go away with her to the coast, or on a trip, for some time. She said she felt like a whore (really???). She said if he wanted a “relationship” with her, they would need to go away together, on a real trip. He told her that was not going to happen and at one point, he was at her house and there was a contractor present who had been working on a partial addition. Camilla was screaming and yelling at the man and he looked at my husband and said, “you really need to get your mother under control.” My husband was horrified by the altercation and the fact that someone believed the woman he was having sex with was his mother! Incidences like these propelled my husband out of his addiction and back into reality, but the reality never lasted very long, a few months maybe and then he was back at it.

A couple months into 2008, the cycle was back, and so was my husband’s desire for the secret sex fantasy with Camilla. At this point, my dear followers, I really believe my husband was just too lazy to find a better partner. He had a lady on the line that was willing to do what he wanted and she had the right body parts. His fantasy obsession would kick in, and I think he cared not one bit what she looked like, or who she was, or what she did for a living, or where her house was, or anything. He wanted that fucking drug, and he was going to get it. Apparently it is a lot easier to live a secret second life than I would have thought, especially when you have a loving and trusting wife at home taking care of everything for you because she thinks you are working.

He was planning a business trip to Japan for April 2008 and he invited her to go along with him. She had to pay her own way, he would not pay any of her expenses, period. She got to share a hotel room with him. He would not be seen with her, or sightsee with her. I’m not sure she knew all this when she agreed, but there were many other rules. If someone came to the door of the hotel room, she hid in the bathroom. They took separate elevators to the lobby. My husband had meetings all day including all meals and often returned to the hotel late in the evening. He got pretty creeped out by Camilla as she would follow him out and then take pictures of him as he purchased tickets for the subway, or went into a coffee shop. He had no idea she was following him until he got back to the room later that night and she showed him the photos. He asked her to stop doing that and to stop following him, but she didn’t. About half way through the trip, she became angry that she had spent so much of her own money and he was ignoring her and only wanted sex but nothing else. He told her that was the deal. She stormed out to go to a bar and sometimes didn’t return until early in the morning, or the next day. This pattern persisted throughout all their trips together. They would eventually have make up sex and then as the trip came to an end, she would realize she was just a whore on a business trip and she would become angry and aggressive and refuse to sit with him on the plane on the way back home. At the airport, she would re-engage in angry conversation with him and then she would proceed to call and text him post trip threatening to call me if he did not return her calls and texts. His calls and texts back were merely to close out the cycle by weaning off the communication with her. Inevitably she would try to call the home phone or my mobile phone, but I never (well, almost never) answer No Caller ID or Private phone calls. I always thought it was the dreaded in-laws. As I have said before, I never in my wildest nightmares thought there was someone in my life scarier than my mother in law, but there is.

After the dreaded April 2008 trip, my husband did not contact Camilla again until January 2009. In May 2008, I started my personal blog. On that blog I posted lots of pictures of our family, our kids, our vacations. My first couple posts were of my older son’s first prom (the son Camilla mentioned in her dreaded dday phone call), and the story of mine, and my husband’s courtship. I started the blog so that my rather large extended family could follow our activities if they wanted and because I love to journal and write. The blog was not private. Much of my family does not live in the city we do, and they seemed to really enjoy the blog. At first I did not have a Facebook or any other easy way to share our life. One of the intriguing things about the blogger blog was keeping track of the daily stats. It was kind of fun to watch who was reading my blog and I was able to match up my family and friends with their IP addresses and keep track of whether they visited on any particular day. I was so new to blogging, the silliest little things kept me entertained. After getting my Facebook, I would link my posts and it made it even easier to follow the traffic. Pretty much from the very beginning, there was a visitor who obsessively checked my blog, and they were accessing it from the city we live in. I could not figure out who that person was. I eliminated everyone I knew, but could not figure out who would look at my blog so many times a day. There was also a follower logging on from a local hospital server. I did not know anyone that worked at that hospital. Well, as it turns out, it was Camilla. She obsessively followed my blog from just about day one. I have since stopped posting on that blog and I also made it private so that she could not go back in and feed off of pictures of my husband.

In January 2009, Blue Eyes had a business trip scheduled to Copenhagen for two days and Helsinki for five in late January. The cycle was back, and he asked her if she wanted to go, same rules as before. I’m thinking he must have promised her something else, but pretty sure he didn’t deliver. She paid a bunch of her hard earned money to visit Helsinki Finland in JANUARY. This just blows my mind. Do you know what it is like in Helsinki in January? It is a barren wasteland of snow and ice. WTF. I guess it was desperate measures for whores with no other prospects. I am not really believing that Camilla is in love with my husband or that she actually believes she has a chance at a life with him. He waited NINE MONTHS to call her back! I will say that most of 2009 and the first part of 2010 were incredibly stressful times for my husband with his family. There was so much bickering and everyone turning on each other and then all of them turning on Blue Eyes. After Helsinki, my husband then took Camilla to Chicago in September for two nights, and then two one-night trips to Silicon Valley late in the year. February 2010 was the dreaded Valentine’s Day trip to Korea and Japan and then radio silence. No contact for 15 months. In May 2010 my husband’s brother committed suicide. Even though things were certainly no better with his family, he took stock of his life during this time and decided he wanted to be a better person. He felt like his secret life was going to kill him. He thought a lot about his brother and what would cause a person to take their own life. He thought that if I ever found out about him… well, he didn’t want to think about it. He somehow managed his addiction until May 2011, and then, folks, he called her again. This time she agreed to go away for one night, but on the hook was that wonderful trip to Gothenburg Sweden. The night he was away with her in early May, he sent me the itinerary he wanted me to book for Sweden… a trip I was no longer invited on. They planned it out that night in early May. They then texted and emailed the rest of the month of May and the addiction was back in full force.

There is no managing an addiction without help. The addict cannot manage it alone, especially when someone is waiting there to hand him his drug and all he has to do is put up with her whining and bitching about why he can’t be more for her. To a certain extent, it has got to be at least a little flattering having someone who wants you so bad, and this goes both ways, a mutual fuck fest of insecurity, low self esteem and fuckedupedness. Him needing his drug and her supplying it and her believing she is giving him something he cannot get at home, and guess what? She’s right, he cannot get a secret messed up relationship with a low self esteem whore willing to lie and cheat and blackmail her way into someone else’s life, from me. You gotta give her that. She’s got me there.

Anyway, back to the story. The Gothenburg May trip ended much the same way as the others although somewhere in there she talked him into a day of sightseeing together. Every trip they took together, she started asking for a little more. February 2010 in Japan, she got a quick, cheap, dysfunctional Valentine’s dinner. February 2012 in Japan, she got another half day of sightseeing. Months and months go by between trips with no contact. Each trip is the same with Blue Eyes working and sleeping 95% of the trip. Finally, 2012 rolls around and Blue Eyes is back to trying to manage his addiction. We are empty nesters. Blue Eyes decides that as long as I go on trips with him, or he goes with sales guys, he will not be tempted to invite her. He doesn’t want to invite her. He doesn’t want to ever see her again. But then, in late August 2012, we drop our younger son at college and I go off from there to spend some time with a friend in NYC. My husband is distraught over our son leaving for college. He doesn’t want me to go to NYC. He wants me to return home with him. I say no. I want the time with my friend. Blue Eyes returns home by himself and then proceeds to call Camilla and tell her he is on his own and can they get together. He can spend more time with her, and so she drops “everything” and agrees. He goes to her house and they proceed to rip each other’s clothes off and have their ritualistic sex. Then Blue Eyes wants to leave. She gets mad and doesn’t want him to go. She knows he has no place to be, after all that is how he coerced her into letting him back in her house in the first place. He comes up with the brilliant idea of bringing her to our house. She does not want to do it. He talks her into it. He says they can watch a movie together. She finally agrees. When they drive into our neighborhood, he makes her duck down so no one can see, then he drives into our garage and shuts the door. He gives her a tour of our house, but won’t let her into our bedroom. She hates everything about our house. She says she hates our family photo. She hates my decorating. She does not want to be there. Blue Eyes sets up a movie to watch. She asks if he has watched the movie with me. He says yes. She gets upset and asks to leave. Blue Eyes knew this would happen, it was all an elaborate scheme to get away from her. He takes her home and doesn’t even get out of the car. She storms into her house. They do not talk again until the following March as he is planning the seminar to NYC and he asks her to go with him, and she agrees. The short two-night trip to New York would be their last. In my post regarding the phone records, it is obvious that she is really furious after the NYC trip. It was most likely the least amount of time she has ever been able to spend with him, and he knew that was how it would go. He got his fix. It took him two weeks to talk her down once they returned home. On July 30, 2013 they had their last sexual encounter. She agreed to a quickie at her house. God only knows why. Blue Eyes decided then and there he had to end it and on August 14, 2013 he did.

She obsessively called my phone for months. I thought it was my mother-in-law. I did not answer it until January 11, 2014, discovery day. The day life as I knew it ended. I tried to be as objective as possible in telling this story with the information I have. I am not making excuses. My husband is more culpable than Camilla. He started the whole thing and he restarted the whole thing, every time. I believe I know why he did it, and I’m pretty sure I know why she did it. I still question my husband, all the time. We just discussed this very topic last night as a matter of fact. In order for me to feel safe, and to feel like I am not wasting my time on a lost cause, the next 30 years of my life even, I still need him to dig deep down in there to that place that drove him to sex with this woman, because the other big question floating out there is… if he could keep up this charade, this addiction, this burning desire to have control over a secret sex life for our entire marriage (and even before), how could he possibly be able to stop and control himself and his behavior now. We all know how difficult it really is to change our habits, especially when those habits include addiction, so how will he be able to do it?

This is why acknowledging that sexual addiction is a real addiction is the only way a sex addict can heal. They need to abandon their denial, their compartmentalization, and their rationalizations and excuses and they need resources. They need a 12-step group that works for them. They need a proper therapist. They need the support of family and friends and they need to embrace their own reality with honesty. The success rate overall is not high, but there are a lot of factors playing in. Can an alcoholic stay dry? Can a drug addict stay clean? Can a sex addict manage their behavior? Can a man who has betrayed his wife remain faithful if he is able to acknowledge and manage the demons inside? I believe the answer is yes, but not by themselves. My husband’s story is a sick one, but if I am going to stay with him, at some point I need to start really believing in him. For now, I believe Blue Eyes did not have any healthy feelings for the woman I call Camilla. Being detoxed out of your addiction kicking and screaming and then having your drug thrown in your face, is a horrifying experience.

If Blue Eyes ever did have “real” feelings for that woman, he sure the fuck doesn’t anymore because after months of her calling and stalking, he has now seen her face to face when he is not in his addiction and she is one scary ass bitch.

And that is something on which we both totally agree.

18 thoughts on “How do I know it isn’t real, part two

  1. “the other big question floating out there is… if he could keep up this charade, this addiction, this burning desire to have control over a secret sex life for our entire marriage (and even before), how could he possibly be able to stop and control himself and his behavior now.”……………..

    For me, I think the answer is bringing it into the light. By admitting my addiction, by owning my past, it starts to lose power over me. When triggered now, I can acknowledge that is how my brain is wired due to the addiction, that my addiction is craving to be fed. By acknowledging it, and then surrendering it, I strip it of it’s power.

    With or without my dear wife, I will stay sober…one day at a time. I pray it will be with her. I truly believe recovery is harder for the spouse than the addict. My heart breaks when I hear what you and other spouses have gone through because of husbands like me. My heart breaks for my wife.

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    • Yes, bringing it into the light. Realizing you are worthy of living that good, honest, true life you were always meant to live and not rationalizing with excuses. Replacing the old bad stimuli with good new positive ones. It was so difficult for me to grasp at first because it was all so hurtful and traumatizing. Since most betrayed spouses wouldn’t think of doing what an addict does, it is so hard to comprehend. It takes time. Keep your path. I hope while you are healing, your wife is also healing. It does require hard work from both sides because we, as faithful wives, must regain our strength and self worth back. The trauma strips us, for me temporarily, of a lot of that strength we had prior to d-day. Stay in the light and keep praying, but most of all, do the hard work.

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  2. Hi Kat. Did they have nicknames/pet names for each other? My friend and I do. It started out a couple of months into our relationship as a silly thing, but now all these years later we never call each other by our real names. I can say that he established that and I just followed. And I have sometimes thought it is a feature of the compartmentalizing/secret life he has with me. He can almost literally be someone else. Even when he leaves phone messages he identifies himself with his nickname–every time!–which is kind of ridiculous.

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    • As a matter of fact, my husband never called her by her real name. He always used a nickname he created for her. From the beginning, I called her by her real name when speaking about her and he asked me not to. He asked me to call her “the acting out partner.” She refused nicknames (even though he asked her to use one) and called him by his real name even his full real name, which is the same way I address him although I also use his childhood nickname. He has a very common name that has a natural nickname that many people address him by, but neither she or I do. Anyway, he said he gave her the nickname from the beginning because he didn’t like using her real name (which is actually a classic old fashioned female name and quite lovely but doesn’t really fit her, in my opinion). The nickname my husband gave her was not one that anyone else used and he said she never really took to it, but he used it anyway. Sometimes it annoyed her. I asked him from almost day one whether he had a nickname for her as he likes nicknames. I asked whether he called her honey, or sweetie, or baby, or any of those types of names and he said no, that they were all too intimate, but I think eventually he did cop to calling her a few of those names during sex. He doesn’t call me any of those names. He has also called all three of his affair partners MY NAME by mistake. It never went over well, but it seems like a natural mistake to me. When he met “her,” her hair was dyed red (although at that point it was already completely gray, but he had no idea, he has this way of seeing what he wants to see). In the one picture there is of her on the Internet, her hair is dyed a red color, but her completely gray roots are showing, probably about 2 inches of them, it is a bizarre photo considering she knew it was going to be taken for sales/promotional use. I mean, when someone says hey, we are taking photos for the website today, who shows up with two inches of gray roots? She’s not exactly “presentable.” He just saw red hair, which intrigued him and he called her “red” from then on, and her hair was red the entire time he “knew” her. He admits he thought she was a real redhead. I know from a high school photo of her (she went to the same high school I went to, and she was in class with my uncle–so strange) that she was actually a brunette. Ironically, I have seen her twice now in the past six months (once from a distance, and once not by my choice) and her hair is now dyed a very light blond, although in the airport lighting it shows pretty brassy. I don’t think she cares. Her hair is heavily damaged, and looks completely crazy. Please don’t comment on how obsessed I am with this… I know it’s not healthy 🙂 . Anyway, I know my husband was someone else when he was around her, because I can definitely not make sense of it any other way.

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  3. Wow. Thank you for sharing. *hugs*
    I’m sure the disclosure must have been incredibly difficult for you, as well as re-telling the story here. Thank you for your courage and your honesty.
    I heard in a meeting the other day: sharing the things that bother us takes away their power. I think that’s why having safe places to share our story is incredibly important, and healing.
    Re: Forgiving. There’s an Al-Anon saying I really like. “Forgiving isn’t forgetting, it’s letting go of the pain.”
    I really wish I could reach through the computer and hug you right now. ❤

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      • Heh, the first one, sharing takes away power, was actually at an SLAA meeting.
        I’d recommend S-Anon, or maybe the similar group COSA. I’ve found a lot of help there, even if I’ve backed pretty heavily off S-Anon since deciding to get a divorce, and more importantly realizing that I’m not just on the Anon side with respect to sex. I have unhealthy beliefs and patterns of behavior WRT sex and love, and since separating with STBXH it’s taken precedent over the Anon work.
        *hugs* If nothing else, I’d highly recommend Al-Anon’s “Opening our hearts, transforming our losses.” ❤

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  4. So sorry to hear that you had trauma whilst in Japan. It must have been full of triggers. We all do what we do when in pain and it can get scary. I feel sorry for your arms but I know where you are coming from.
    C is one seriously sick puppy. Not only that but she is nasty and she is jealous. Just think what is going thru her warped mind when she realises she is just nothing but an unpaid whore. Can u imagine someone thinking she is his mother? Your mil must be a piece of work as well.
    With every shit bad time we have there is always the the recovery and life gets a bit more in perspective and positive. As long as those bad times don’t stay there or get worse we can take comfort that it won’t always be as bad as it has been. I live in bloody hope! Stay strong and keep up your beautiful writing. X

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    • As I get caught up here on our trauma/recovery journey and have days where I don’t have a lot to write about, I plan to go back and fill in a little about our marriage… my mother in law is one of my favorite venting topics because she is narcissistic bitch who never should have reproduced. Wow, time to get some of that anger off my chest for a change. I am enjoying reading your blog now that I am home.

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  5. These last two posts leave me with many different feelings and impressions, and I can only imagine the confusion you must be facing trying to sort through it all.

    The overall impression I’m left with is the sheer amount of lying your husband has done to you over the course of your entire marriage. While no doubt a marriage as long as yours is based of love, respect, and mutual admiration, one cannot ignore the fact that it is also based on an incredible history of deep lies from your other half.

    My second thought is: how the hell would a man ever atone for such a frightening level of wrong-doing? I can’t think of how he could ever be sorry enough. Would even his total transparency be enough to give you comfort? What will happen if you must face serious health problems as you get older, and aren’t up to being his only legitimate access to his “drug of choice?”

    Mostly I’m sorry your life road has taken such an unexpected and shocking turn. No wonder you’re challenged with finding your footing again! I hope with every part of my being that you’re able to find YOU again, with or without him. I also must applaud you for being able to look back and see your life with eyes wide open…such a thing takes an uncommon amount of courage and bravery. ❤

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    • Thanks for your comment, Violet. Regarding your “atone for the wrong doing” observation, he cannot. There is no way. I have to forgive him. All I ever want him to be is honest. He came to me broken but because of the nature of his illness, I did not know. It is a long and painful journey, for sure. He cannot be sorry enough, I don’t want him to be. He harbors deep shame and I want him to release it, let it go. Dig into the good inside and grow from there. I am not a spiteful person, and I do not wish him any pain. Trying to atone for what he is and what he is done is too overwhelming and too painful. His total transparency is enough to comfort me. We are still working on it, that is what is difficult. You can’t just abandon 50 years of habit.

      Regarding serious health problems and his “drug of choice,” an addict must give up his drug in order to recover. I am not his drug. Sex in and of itself is not his drug. I am not an acting out partner. He knows sex is optional and he is working on living that concept. We do both use sex for pleasure and to sooth and connect, but as long as he is in a loving and committed relationship, the sex is not a drug (although some therapists advocate for a celibacy period so the SA can detox and figure out the difference). My husband can very much tell the difference between the kind of sex he had when he was in his cycle. It was ritualistic and monotonous. He would masturbate to porn (the same porn over and over) maybe 4 or 5 times a night, especially when he was traveling alone. He would lose sleep because of it. The sex with the acting out partners was ritualistic and cyclical. We never stopped having sex that was loving and nurturing, so it wasn’t like he traded one for the other (which some sex addicts do), but he did both. He was a master at compartmentalizing. This is what makes sex addiction more like food addiction. Eating and having sex can be healthy body functions, or they can be very unhealthy. Separating the eating and the sex that is based on mental instability from the food and sex that nourish our body and minds, is key. With drugs and alcohol, you eliminate the drug completely. With food and sex, you work towards managing them so that they are part of a healthy lifestyle. Wow, I really went on a rant there. Sorry, these are all relatively new concepts to me as well.

      Thanks again for your words of support. On my darkest days, courage and bravery elude me completely. Thankfully those days are less frequent than they were a year ago.

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      • These are interesting concepts about sex addiction. I was never a counselor for sex addiction, but I was a counselor for substance abusers for over a decade. One thing I find almost all addicts minimize is the pleasure they derive from the act of engaging in their addiction.

        You make a very good point about forgiveness vs atonement…well said.

        I guess my only other question for you to think about (you don’t need to answer it here), is who do you have compassion for in this situation? Him? You? Both? From what you write it seems you give most of the compassion to your husband, though that may not be the truth of the situation in real life. I just wonder why you’re hurting yourself over your husband’s sins (unless you’ve been diagnosed with something like Borderline Personality Disorder, which would be a different situation.)

        Please let me know if you would prefer me not to engage you or question you like this…if you find it upsetting or too intense, just say the word and I will back off immediately. I’d hate to think I’d make your journey even more difficult than it is now.

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        • In terms of your pleasure comment, I totally agree. All the drugs are self medicating. They are doing something that makes them feel good in order to block out what makes them feel bad. For my husband, this started in childhood and he nurtured and honed his addiction into adulthood. It escalated as he got older. Many times porn and masturbation weren’t enough to satisfy it, thus the acting out partners. In that respect, with my limited knowledge, I think all addictions are the same. There is no question my husband enjoyed his orgasms. Unfortunately, what comes right after is the difficult part.

          I think the thing that makes me who I am (and ironically so different from my husband) is my honesty. I am honest to a fault. Regarding talking here about the difficult aspects of my husband’s betrayal and my trauma, I find my blog to be two-fold. I can get my feelings out in the form of journaling, and also I can connect with people in that they help me understand myself better, and vice versa. I am not proud of my self harm, but I have no problem talking about it. It is a direct result of my trauma. I had never experienced depression or any kind of self harm before discovery day and the phone call from the other woman, and then all the subsequent disclosures by my husband. My sister has borderline personalty disorder with numerous trauma events, and has been harming herself for many years. Now I understand. Cutting is a trauma driven behavior. For me, when I am in a very painful place, my heart and head hurt so bad, and self harm was a very natural, albeit mostly subconscious, way to release the overwhelming pain. When I cut or self harm, I usually feel overwhelming fear. Fear is the driver. My life was turned completely upside down in a matter of minutes. MINUTES! When I am suffering the worst of my trauma, I either dissociate, or my head feels like it will explode and I feel like if I do not do something quick, I will have a heart attack. Scratching or cutting myself releases the other pains and I am left with the manageable physical pain of the scratch or cut, but the other pains, pains I feel like I will die from, are gone. Cutting, at least mine, is not an attempt to take my own life or to make my husband feel sorry for me or punish him, or even bring attention to myself. Quite the contrary, It is not about any of that, it is a release of pressure and pain. I have been diagnosed with C-PTSD and “Sex Addiction Induced (SAI) Trauma, which is the specific type of trauma and traumatic symptom clusters that result from the direct impact of the sex addiction and the associated chronic patterns of sexual acting out, relational perpetration, emotional abuse, deception, betrayal, psychological manipulation and compartmentalization. The clinical complexities and the degree and extent of psychological destabilization, ego fragmentation, relational and social ruptures and post-traumatic symptoms seen among partners are profound.” This language is taken directly from my diagnosis materials. Also, I do not believe addiction and its varying iterations are a sin, or even the abuse perpetrated on my husband that elicited the addiction are sins. Sins imply a religious implication. I consider my husband’s addiction an illness.

          You are not making my journey more difficult at all. I welcome comments, questions, observations, opinions. everything. As a matter of fact, I was dumbfounded by my own response when I first harmed myself. I then spent months in trauma therapy and also reading books and working things through. My self harm incidents are few and far between, but they still do happen. My goal in 2015 is to not let myself get to that point. Self harm always comes after a disclosure by my husband that hurts me to the core of my being and brings back my trauma from dday. I am always the one asking the question. HIs responses still hurt, not usually about things from the past, but how he is responding in the present. Our healing paths are sometimes on different trajectories. Also, he deflects while I confront. It is the nature of who we are as people. I had to actually look up the definition of compassion to answer your question because I have always defined compassion as literally sympathy for the suffering of others. Do I understand my own pain, yes. Do I have compassion for my husband, yes. Do I have trauma and trauma causes a whole number of responses I don’t always have control over, yes. Am I on a path to healing? Yes. Is my life completely different than it was a little over a year ago, uh huh. Am I still trying to figure it out? You betcha. 🙂 .

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          • Sorry for the religious references of the word sin and atonement…I used to be a devout catholic (now an atheist), but am still finding it hard to drop the lingo. I myself no longer apply religious meaning to any words but forget other people still have the connotations. Just don’t let the self harm become your new addiction, as it can easily become so at any age, and it will drive you deeper into a psychological stew of maladaptive coping (as any addiction does). You sure don’t need that on top of everything else.

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            • No worries on the religious references, I get it. I do not have an addictive type personality. I am not even addicted to coffee like most people I know. My self harm is trauma driven. I do not have a related mental or personality disorder. Actually, I have no doubt in my mind that if I left my husband, there would be no more self harm and far less trauma. I am confident in myself and my independence and self care. I cannot say how long the trauma and symptoms will last because I think everyone is different and it is somewhat dependent on my husband’s behavior as it relates to me. I have learned coping skills, but they do not always work. As I said, I do not have control of the trauma response, but I am learning, and my husband is learning how his actions trigger me… we are works in progress.

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              • “I am confident in myself and my independence and self care.” That right there is the most priceless thing in life. It’s something that has been taken from me forever. I’m glad you’ve been given that gift.

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                • I am so sorry for your physical pain, Violet. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be and now, with your son growing bigger and needing so much care. I think about you a lot. When I first read your post of how you had to wrestle a three year old to the ground, I thought, wow, that must be some strong three year old (of course I have never had to deal with the determination of a three year old with autism, so it is so hard for me to fathom). But then, after reading about your illness all I could think was, how will she do it when he is five, or eight… My younger son could over power me if he had wanted to by the age of eight. Hopefully your resources will allow for some help, soon…

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