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  #51  
Old 04-15-2018, 05:42 PM
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Folks this is Why i didn't want to date a guy with a porn problem. It builds and just like drinking/drugging a lot...you don't get the same dopamine hit so you have to do it more/go more into extreme porn/go to a more live fix then before you know it...you are visiting hookers. Sorry...my husband 30 year habit with porn lead him here. I won't say all porn users end up addicts just like not all people who take drugs end up addicts...but they scientifically know porn lights up the brain on scans just like heroin and it is more addictive the younger people start using it . Trust me, I don't want to date any guys into porn. Even if I end up living alone with a pack of dogs. 🙄
I honestly think you are looking at this thru the wrong lens. The percentage of men who view porn vs the percentage of men who are "addicted to porn" is infintesimally small. It's like saying you will never be with a man who uses Robitussin to relieve a cough because some men abuse and get addicted to Robitussin. His problem was with high(er) risk anonymous, secretive sex with prostitutes. If you are lumping together every substance or activity that lights up the reward/pleasure centers of the brain, well, you're going down the rabbit hole. You should never be with a man who enjoys eating food either. Or enjoys exercise. Or any number of things.

I personally am a recovering sex addict. I blew nearly $400,000 over a period of years on prostitutes. My addiction had nothing to do/no genesis with porn. And I did and do still enjoy the occasional viewing of porn. All this is not to say that there can never be individual, particular instances where porn is the starting point for a man's sex compulsion, I'm just saying it's by no means a given or even a regular starting point. I met several other sex addicts over the years in my "adventures" in the dark, underbelly of society where the sex industry flourished. Many of these men would never describe themselves as addicts but some did. All shared the same characteristics. None revealed any sort of connection with pornography.
  #52  
Old 04-15-2018, 06:11 PM
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Oh, let me add a data point too. I had blowjobs from literally hundreds of different girls (my "thing" was pretty much exclusively bjs, no intercourse) and I never once got an STD of any sort (paradoxically, I was extremely paranoid about catching something, despite the fact that I did what I did and I got tested fairly regularly).

Last edited by Ambivalid; 04-15-2018 at 06:13 PM.
  #53  
Old 04-15-2018, 06:16 PM
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Beckdawrek, I think I do but I don't know if I know everything now. He let me believe for a year it was just porn. Then he didnt disclose everything in the full disclosure so we had to do another one a couple days later. And then he forgot to mention another inner circle violation after i moved back i. 40 days later. . I am going to ask for a polygraph and go from there. This is pretty common. with addicts.
I think you're asking the wrong questions. You're asking, 'How can I understand why this person did what he did and lied to me about it for 30 years?' It doesn't sound like you're ever going to understand whatever explanation is offered (not that there's any justification for his behavior). What you should be asking is, 'How do I move on with my life without him?' It seems to me you're not at that point yet. It takes time.
  #54  
Old 04-15-2018, 06:20 PM
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ISTM that rather than a true starting point, the porn was more of a convenient, less-damaging scapegoat than the real truth. It was never really about porn with him. He just believed porn would be a more palatable thing to accept and come to terms with.
  #55  
Old 04-15-2018, 06:25 PM
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One of the uniquely difficult aspects of overcoming sex addiction, for both the addict and any romantic partner they may have in their lives, is that the addicts drug of choice hits right at the heart of what keeps a romantic partnership alive and together; trust, intimacy and sexuality. I think if all other components are the same, an alcoholic is more likely to have their partner stick with them than a sex addict. It helps fuel the vicious cycle of self-loathing that helped create the addiction in the first place.
  #56  
Old 04-15-2018, 06:45 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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Folks this is Why i didn't want to date a guy with a porn problem. It builds and just like drinking/drugging a lot...you don't get the same dopamine hit so you have to do it more/go more into extreme porn/go to a more live fix then before you know it...you are visiting hookers. Sorry...my husband 30 year habit with porn lead him here. I won't say all porn users end up addicts just like not all people who take drugs end up addicts...but they scientifically know porn lights up the brain on scans just like heroin and it is more addictive the younger people start using it . Trust me, I don't want to date any guys into porn. Even if I end up living alone with a pack of dogs. 🙄

Beckdawrek, I think I do but I don't know if I know everything now. He let me believe for a year it was just porn. Then he didnt disclose everything in the full disclosure so we had to do another one a couple days later. And then he forgot to mention another inner circle violation after i moved back i. 40 days later. . I am going to ask for a polygraph and go from there. This is pretty common. with addicts.
It's funny how you still think you're in control of him, or even want to be in control of him. All you're doing is showing him what to say and do to get what he wants from the people in his life when they're paying attention. You're not getting honesty, nor will you. The only person you can control is you. Make a plan for your life that doesn't involve him, b/c he isn't even the man you thought you were married to all along. Love this new (to you) guy who you built a life w/ unconditionally or split and move on to getting what you want like he has.
  #57  
Old 04-15-2018, 07:00 PM
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I'd be curious to see statistics on the success/fail rate of polygraphs administered on addicts. Addicts are some of the best liars out there, both to others and to themselves. Personally, I'd attach zero significance to an addict passing a polygraph.
  #58  
Old 04-15-2018, 07:03 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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It's funny how you still think you're in control of him, or even want to be in control of him. All you're doing is showing him what to say and do to get what he wants from the people in his life when they're paying attention. You're not getting honesty, nor will you. The only person you can control is you. Make a plan for your life that doesn't involve him, b/c he isn't even the man you thought you were married to all along. Love this new (to you) guy who you built a life w/ unconditionally or split and move on to getting what you want like he has.
I think it's reasonable for the OP to take her time before making any decisions. If she had no kids, it may be a no brainer, but with a 5 year old and an infant, things are much more complex. Even if she decides to divorce, they'll likely get joint custody, so she'd be deciding to only see her kids around 50% of the time. I know that's a decision I wouldn't make quickly.
  #59  
Old 04-15-2018, 07:05 PM
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Love this new (to you) guy who you built a life w/ unconditionally or split and move on to getting what you want like he has.
I think if she stays with him she needs to have more than unconditional love for him. Conditional love is a necessity for a healthy relationship, IMHO. That doesn't mean you can't have both types of love present in a relationship but if the only one present is unconditional love, what does that say about the relationship and how you see your partner if there is nothing they could do to make you leave the relationship? Nothing?! A person can leave a relationship and still love the person. This is the unconditional love. But that's all that remains after that partner causes a level of pain in them that can't (and shouldn't) be worked thru.
  #60  
Old 04-15-2018, 07:41 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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I think it's reasonable for the OP to take her time before making any decisions. If she had no kids, it may be a no brainer, but with a 5 year old and an infant, things are much more complex. Even if she decides to divorce, they'll likely get joint custody, so she'd be deciding to only see her kids around 50% of the time. I know that's a decision I wouldn't make quickly.
The OP says they've decided to wait a year to make a decision and barring an unforeseen event I expect that'll happen b/c it gives her another measure of (superficial) control. For all intents and purposes that year is for him to mend his ways, keep them mended and show improvement while her eyes are on him.
But what he wants to do is get hookers. He'll play along, pretend to be addicted to porn instead of strongly preferring it to his wife b/c she's mad at him all the time now, and appear to do what he has to for things to go his way as best they can; he's already shown that w/ his actions since getting caught. If he's going to stay in the home and tolerate being the Permanent Bad Guy he's going to fib enough to make it worth it for as long as he can.
I've been the OP to a lesser extent; tried to impress on my husbands that a thing they did wasn't moral as far as I was concerned, which forced them to take it underground and lie to me about it for years; once we split they were right back to those behaviors in the open, b/c that is what manipulative assholes do to get what they want.

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  #61  
Old 04-15-2018, 08:49 PM
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The OP says they've decided to wait a year to make a decision and barring an unforeseen event I expect that'll happen b/c it gives her another measure of (superficial) control. For all intents and purposes that year is for him to mend his ways, keep them mended and show improvement while her eyes are on him.
But what he wants to do is get hookers. He'll play along, pretend to be addicted to porn instead of strongly preferring it to his wife b/c she's mad at him all the time now, and appear to do what he has to for things to go his way as best they can; he's already shown that w/ his actions since getting caught. If he's going to stay in the home and tolerate being the Permanent Bad Guy he's going to fib enough to make it worth it for as long as he can.
I've been the OP to a lesser extent; tried to impress on my husbands that a thing they did wasn't moral as far as I was concerned, which forced them to take it underground and lie to me about it for years; once we split they were right back to those behaviors in the open, b/c that is what manipulative assholes do to get what they want.
Yeah I hear you. But having kids really puts you in a serious bind, esp when they are so young. I've seen numerous friends/family divorce & in this day and age, courts (for the most part) grant 50/50 joint custody to mom & dad. That has to be weighing on her heavily. I know that when my kids were that age, I'd rather be married to OJ Simpson than have only 50% time with my kids--knowing that I could not help them during the other 50% of their lives. It's a tough situation.
  #62  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:01 PM
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Yeah I hear you. But having kids really puts you in a serious bind, esp when they are so young. I've seen numerous friends/family divorce & in this day and age, courts (for the most part) grant 50/50 joint custody to mom & dad. That has to be weighing on her heavily. I know that when my kids were that age, I'd rather be married to OJ Simpson than have only 50% time with my kids--knowing that I could not help them during the other 50% of their lives. It's a tough situation.
Would they give 50% custody to a guy like this? I find it doubtful.

Blindsided2, I wouldn't want my kids to see me put up with his shit. What does that teach them? I'd rather show them that strong people don't let others treat them like that.

I'm really sorry he did this to you and your children.
  #63  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:05 PM
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One thing to realize is that this is a very hard addiction to overcome. You should not think a bit of therapy will put an end to this. He will always struggle to rein in his behavior and will never truly be cured. Long-term success will be totally dependent on his ability and willingness to do the work it takes on an ongoing basis. I'm sure at this moment you both are energized and have the motivation to do the necessary work, but that zeal will fade over time. Months or years down the road it will still need a lot of dedication. Expect many relapses--if it's not actual sex, it may be sexting or phone sex.

Another thing to realize is that you can never fully trust him. He hid this from you for so long and so well and he can easily do it again. You will have to stay on top of him to know where he his at all times, check his phone, email, work email, and any other means of communication he may have. I'm sure he knows all the ways to use burner phones and secret apps used to arrange meetings. He can hide these phones anywhere so that his main phone is totally clean but he can use these other phones when he has a moment alone. You'll have to be committed to making sure he stays clean as long as you are with him.
  #64  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:14 PM
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Would they give 50% custody to a guy like this? I find it doubtful.

Blindsided2, I wouldn't want my kids to see me put up with his shit. What does that teach them? I'd rather show them that strong people don't let others treat them like that.

I'm really sorry he did this to you and your children.
My sister divorced her abusive husband 5 years ago-court recognized that he abused her, but he never abused the kids, so both physical and legal custody was shared 50/50. She had been a stay at home mom since her oldest was born (quit her job to raise their kids) and now 50% of the time, the 3 kids go with her ex & his new gf, who is very unkind to them. They hate it, she hates it, everyone feels hopeless. It's a much more difficult situation than most people realize
  #65  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:20 PM
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Would they give 50% custody to a guy like this? I find it doubtful.

Blindsided2, I wouldn't want my kids to see me put up with his shit. What does that teach them? I'd rather show them that strong people don't let others treat them like that.

I'm really sorry he did this to you and your children.
Yep. Both parents will be less miserable apart, that's obvious; and I'm no scientist but I think when people are less miserable they are better parents.
  #66  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:34 PM
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You (you personally, Blindsided2) can get over this. Whether you can get over it is therefore not an important or useful question.


What is important and useful is knowing if you want to do so.

This may be a clumsy analogy, but think of fixing up a car that has a lot of problems and won't run. You can always fix it, always. Your imaginary car decision involves two things: finding out the cost and effort it will take to fix it, and finding out how great of a car you'll end up with when the work is done. A marriage is not a car, but truly you are left with about the same kind of decision. If you do decide to repair this marriage, let that be because you believe that with proper repair it will be truly good - not just because you'd feel guilty otherwise.

A common pitfall to avoid: Putting yourself in debt to the past is never a good move for anyone. When someone says "How could you, we've been through so much?" - they really mean "Please don't think intelligently, cause I'm afraid if you do you'll realize that in the future I'm a liability".
  #67  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:42 PM
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First, I do not want to control him. In disclosure, he stated he wasn't going to carry cash anymore and if he did he'd give me the receipts- I immeditely said I don't want that responsibility. I am trying to understand how he is thinking, this world and if there is any way I can stay. Please don't misjudge me as a weak woman- I am not. When I make my mind up- I will not look back. But there are alot of moving parts here- kids, life together and the possibility that he could change. I just can't get anyone to tell me if my odds are 20,60 or 90%. They say it's all depends on him and relapses are probably. Relapses with hookers is a deal breaker with me. Masterbation isn't going to give me an STD 5 years from now when I thought he was sober.

I don't want to control him- if I didn't have kids I would be gone- Specifically if I didn't have an 8 month old I probably would have gone. Without sounding like a religious doormat/nut- I really do believe that God can heal and restore live and marriages. I do believe he sees his whole life- not just this- as needing to change so he can have a better life.
  #68  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:45 PM
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You (you personally, Blindsided2) can get over this. Whether you can get over it is therefore not an important or useful question.


What is important and useful is knowing if you want to do so.

This may be a clumsy analogy, but think of fixing up a car that has a lot of problems and won't run. You can always fix it, always. Your imaginary car decision involves two things: finding out the cost and effort it will take to fix it, and finding out how great of a car you'll end up with when the work is done. A marriage is not a car, but truly you are left with about the same kind of decision. If you do decide to repair this marriage, let that be because you believe that with proper repair it will be truly good - not just because you'd feel guilty otherwise.

A common pitfall to avoid: Putting yourself in debt to the past is never a good move for anyone. When someone says "How could you, we've been through so much?" - they really mean "Please don't think intelligently, cause I'm afraid if you do you'll realize that in the future I'm a liability".
Great analogy and very true. I hesitate to say this because I see two completely different sides to my husband now but- I do like him. I think. lol He makes me laugh and is nice to people. We'll see. I don't know if I am going to get past the self esteem hit this has caused though.
  #69  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:48 PM
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One thing to realize is that this is a very hard addiction to overcome. You should not think a bit of therapy will put an end to this. He will always struggle to rein in his behavior and will never truly be cured. Long-term success will be totally dependent on his ability and willingness to do the work it takes on an ongoing basis. I'm sure at this moment you both are energized and have the motivation to do the necessary work, but that zeal will fade over time. Months or years down the road it will still need a lot of dedication. Expect many relapses--if it's not actual sex, it may be sexting or phone sex.

Another thing to realize is that you can never fully trust him. He hid this from you for so long and so well and he can easily do it again. You will have to stay on top of him to know where he his at all times, check his phone, email, work email, and any other means of communication he may have. I'm sure he knows all the ways to use burner phones and secret apps used to arrange meetings. He can hide these phones anywhere so that his main phone is totally clean but he can use these other phones when he has a moment alone. You'll have to be committed to making sure he stays clean as long as you are with him.
Yes, something to consider...
  #70  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:57 PM
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I honestly think you are looking at this thru the wrong lens. The percentage of men who view porn vs the percentage of men who are "addicted to porn" is infintesimally small. It's like saying you will never be with a man who uses Robitussin to relieve a cough because some men abuse and get addicted to Robitussin. His problem was with high(er) risk anonymous, secretive sex with prostitutes. If you are lumping together every substance or activity that lights up the reward/pleasure centers of the brain, well, you're going down the rabbit hole. You should never be with a man who enjoys eating food either. Or enjoys exercise. Or any number of things.

I personally am a recovering sex addict. I blew nearly $400,000 over a period of years on prostitutes. My addiction had nothing to do/no genesis with porn. And I did and do still enjoy the occasional viewing of porn. All this is not to say that there can never be individual, particular instances where porn is the starting point for a man's sex compulsion, I'm just saying it's by no means a given or even a regular starting point. I met several other sex addicts over the years in my "adventures" in the dark, underbelly of society where the sex industry flourished. Many of these men would never describe themselves as addicts but some did. All shared the same characteristics. None revealed any sort of connection with pornography.
He himself says his problem started with habitual use of porn at age 12. 20 years later it escalated to this other stuff. I am in 3 different support groups, have read alot of Patrick Carnes and other books and I will say the one thing all of the addicts he and I have come in contact with have had porn in common. THey usually have trauma or neglect at a young age and porn is introduced as a coping mech. I appreicate your honesty Ambivalid but I have to ask you if you are in recovery? What type of recovery because SA and most others- require you to give up porn for recovery from a sex addiction. Maybe SAA where you come up with your own circles? No disrespected intended. Your choices are yours. I only care about his because they are impacting me.
  #71  
Old 04-15-2018, 10:07 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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First, I do not want to control him. In disclosure, he stated he wasn't going to carry cash anymore and if he did he'd give me the receipts- I immeditely said I don't want that responsibility. I am trying to understand how he is thinking, this world and if there is any way I can stay. Please don't misjudge me as a weak woman- I am not. When I make my mind up- I will not look back. But there are alot of moving parts here- kids, life together and the possibility that he could change. I just can't get anyone to tell me if my odds are 20,60 or 90%. They say it's all depends on him and relapses are probably. Relapses with hookers is a deal breaker with me. Masterbation isn't going to give me an STD 5 years from now when I thought he was sober.

I don't want to control him- if I didn't have kids I would be gone- Specifically if I didn't have an 8 month old I probably would have gone. Without sounding like a religious doormat/nut- I really do believe that God can heal and restore live and marriages. I do believe he sees his whole life- not just this- as needing to change so he can have a better life.
If God can heal marriages, why was yours allowed to be damaged in the first place? If it was part of God's plan to damage your marriage, isn't doing what you can to heal it going against His plan?
  #72  
Old 04-15-2018, 10:08 PM
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There is a 12 Step program for Porn?

What is step 5?
  #73  
Old 04-15-2018, 10:32 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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Great analogy and very true. I hesitate to say this because I see two completely different sides to my husband now but- I do like him. I think. lol He makes me laugh and is nice to people. We'll see. I don't know if I am going to get past the self esteem hit this has caused though.
I would make you laugh. I am very very nice to people, even though I enjoy arguing on the internet.

Those are good things, important things, but they are not extremely special.

Part of the reason for waiting a year: If you do not truly respect him as a human being, then there is no hope at all for the two of you.
  #74  
Old 04-15-2018, 10:46 PM
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Yeah I hear you. But having kids really puts you in a serious bind, esp when they are so young. I've seen numerous friends/family divorce & in this day and age, courts (for the most part) grant 50/50 joint custody to mom & dad. That has to be weighing on her heavily. I know that when my kids were that age, I'd rather be married to OJ Simpson than have only 50% time with my kids--knowing that I could not help them during the other 50% of their lives. It's a tough situation.
I seriously doubt that this guy could get 50/50 physical custody, a concept I don't believe in under the best of circumstances because then the kids really don't live anywhere, and from what I've seen, it's little more than a ruse for him to not have to pay designated child support, and he uses the kids as chick magnets because of his "single parent" status.

Illicit sexual behavior and an infant? He'll be lucky to get a few hours of supervised visitation once a month IMNSHO.
  #75  
Old 04-15-2018, 10:48 PM
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My sister divorced her abusive husband 5 years ago-court recognized that he abused her, but he never abused the kids, so both physical and legal custody was shared 50/50. She had been a stay at home mom since her oldest was born (quit her job to raise their kids) and now 50% of the time, the 3 kids go with her ex & his new gf, who is very unkind to them. They hate it, she hates it, everyone feels hopeless. It's a much more difficult situation than most people realize
How old are the kids? Can they get this amended, or are the kids still too young to have a say in the matter?

ETA: I saw 50/50 physical custody end very disastrously in my own extended family.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 04-15-2018 at 10:51 PM.
  #76  
Old 04-15-2018, 11:16 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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I seriously doubt that this guy could get 50/50 physical custody, a concept I don't believe in under the best of circumstances because then the kids really don't live anywhere, and from what I've seen, it's little more than a ruse for him to not have to pay designated child support, and he uses the kids as chick magnets because of his "single parent" status.

Illicit sexual behavior and an infant? He'll be lucky to get a few hours of supervised visitation once a month IMNSHO.
I challenge you to go sit in family court for a while. I think you will be surprised.
  #77  
Old 04-16-2018, 12:09 AM
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I challenge you to go sit in family court for a while. I think you will be surprised.
I agree. Standard infidelity and more illicit sexual escapades will not affect custody unless the kids are an actual witness to it or something. It simply does not work that way. A very common misconception.
  #78  
Old 04-16-2018, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Blindsided2 View Post
He himself says his problem started with habitual use of porn at age 12. 20 years later it escalated to this other stuff. I am in 3 different support groups, have read alot of Patrick Carnes and other books and I will say the one thing all of the addicts he and I have come in contact with have had porn in common. THey usually have trauma or neglect at a young age and porn is introduced as a coping mech. I appreicate your honesty Ambivalid but I have to ask you if you are in recovery? What type of recovery because SA and most others- require you to give up porn for recovery from a sex addiction. Maybe SAA where you come up with your own circles? No disrespected intended. Your choices are yours. I only care about his because they are impacting me.
I personally found SAA to be utterly useless for me and I found sex-addiction based cognitive therapy to be an outright scam. I found a good cognitive behavioral therapist (general CBT, not "sex therapy") who i was able to develop a good rapport with and with an intense amount of work and committment, after more than 5 years in recovery, can say for the first time in my life that i am happy. There is no One True Way for any addict of any stripe. It's about the individual addict and their motivations, resources and support to get and stay clean that matters.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 04-16-2018 at 12:37 AM.
  #79  
Old 04-16-2018, 09:51 AM
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I'm a random dude on a random message board, so take what I say with every bit of due caution.

To my mind, once trust is destroyed at this level, there is no road back. Yeah, people can change. Yeah, people can forgive. Yeah, there are stories of redemption and recovery. But they are the rare exception, not the norm. The norm is that it all ends in anger, resentment and divorce.

No one can tell you which outcome is the right one for you. But the statistics are not with the hopeless optimists.

The good news is, if you want it, you get a chance to start again with someone new and with a whole lot of experience and knowledge about yourself and the things you want and, most importantly, the shit you'll never put up with ever again. Because you don't have to.

So take a year (or however long you need - but not too long!) to think about it. Until then, leave your options open.
Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. Its reassuring to hear "from a random dude" that this isn't the norm. It is hard not to feel that 'all guys are doing this stuff; its wishful thinking there are some that don't- they just hide it better.'

I have options and they will be there tomorrow and a year from now too. It is hard not to cut and run out of fear though. 😏
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:57 AM
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I personally found SAA to be utterly useless for me and I found sex-addiction based cognitive therapy to be an outright scam. I found a good cognitive behavioral therapist (general CBT, not "sex therapy") who i was able to develop a good rapport with and with an intense amount of work and committment, after more than 5 years in recovery, can say for the first time in my life that i am happy. There is no One True Way for any addict of any stripe. It's about the individual addict and their motivations, resources and support to get and stay clean that matters.

Good for you (recovery)..sounds like your wife stayed with you? (or new wife or doesn't know?)
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:04 AM
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One of the uniquely difficult aspects of overcoming sex addiction, for both the addict and any romantic partner they may have in their lives, is that the addicts drug of choice hits right at the heart of what keeps a romantic partnership alive and together; trust, intimacy and sexuality. I think if all other components are the same, an alcoholic is more likely to have their partner stick with them than a sex addict. It helps fuel the vicious cycle of self-loathing that helped create the addiction in the first place.
This.

That is at the heart of the situation. The rest is acting out. That feeling of self-loathing is reinforced not only by the act itself but also that he betrayed you, for only a very bad person would do these things to someone that loved him.

You should not be the Sex Police. It's not your job to monitor his behavior. You either trust him or you don't. If you can't trust him then you shouldn't have him on the scene. That sounds very hard and hard hearted, I know, but why should you spend the rest of your life constantly checking up on him? That's just insane. That's not a good marriage, that's hell on earth.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:35 PM
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Good for you (recovery)..sounds like your wife stayed with you? (or new wife or doesn't know?)
I guess I was an outlier as my ordeal played out when I was a single man. My current gf knows all about everything in my past, however. I've never been married, no kids (I'm 38).
  #83  
Old 04-16-2018, 12:54 PM
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So, what, is it Hooker Month here on the SDMB?
Beats infrastructure week.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:23 PM
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He himself says his problem started with habitual use of porn at age 12. 20 years later it escalated to this other stuff. I am in 3 different support groups, have read alot of Patrick Carnes and other books and I will say the one thing all of the addicts he and I have come in contact with have had porn in common.
The truth is, he doesn't know how the problem started. This all is making up plausible-sounding stories after the fact.

Many sex addicts may have porn in common, but that doesn't prove that porn started it. They also have in common: eating breakfast most mornings, weird messed-up families, and mothers with brown hair. That's just because lots of people have those things in common.

When two things look related, it's easy to assume that the first one caused the second one. It's not a good assumption.

AND addicts are just as likely to grab on to that assumption as anyone else is. That still doesn't make it true. People make up stories after the fact, to make their own lives make sense to them. They don't care if the assumptions are true, they just desperately want the events of their life to make sense and not look like random noise. Also, when you ask an addict questions about the addiction, they will desperately make up logical answers for things just to please you and to make the questions go away. Again in that case, all that matters is to sound logical and to give the appearance of making sense. The truth may remain unknown.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:15 PM
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You aren't going to be able to monitor your husband's phone and social media use, complete with surprise polygraph tests. If that's what you require to stay married to this person, you might as well ask for a cambric shirt with no seams or needlework while you're at it.

You really want to spend the rest of your life acting as your husband's parole officer? Your choices are either to decide you're OK with his occasional whoring as long as he does a better job covering his tracks, or you should leave him.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:44 PM
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I'm not addicted to anything as far as I can tell, but I do have other problems that I've spent a lot of time discussing in internet forums. One of the things that keeps coming up in those discussions:

"OK, you want things to change, that's understood. We all hope, for your sake, that they do. But will you be satisfied to continue living with this person when the same basic condition continues? (Even though many details will change for the better.) If not, then it would be better for everyone including you if you just end the relationship now."

People change things. I mean, people change things. People do not change selves.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:44 PM
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Only she, the OP, can decide what she can/will put up with. I know where my cut-off would be. It wouldn't help anyone to know my boundaries. Knowing his how/what/when/where won't do anything to move things along. It will serve to make her second guess every decision she's made. I wouldn't turn that rock over, for my peace of mind. But that, again, is my opinion.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:23 PM
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One of the biggest issues with addicts and their loved ones is that the loved ones need to rebuild trust. But addicts lie. Therefore it can be one step forward, two steps back in terms of trust until the addiction is broken - if it ever is.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:31 PM
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One of the biggest issues with addicts and their loved ones is that the loved ones need to rebuild trust. But addicts lie. Therefore it can be one step forward, two steps back in terms of trust until the addiction is broken - if it ever is.
Addicts can change themselves for the better. It is very disheartening to hear the oft-repeated claim that people can never change. It's just not true. But they have to really, really have one helluva determination to become the person they believe they can be. It's not easy, maybe not even common but certainly possible. But I agree, rebuilding trust is the hardest thing with addiction. It's not just the trust that needs rebuilding, it's the entire relationship. That's a daunting prospect that many people simply cannot and will not live with/thru (both the addict and their partner).
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:34 PM
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People change things. I mean, people change things. People do not change selves.
This strikes me as semantics. People don't change themselves but they do change things about themselves? Isn't what makes a person who they are simply a collection of "things"?
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:24 PM
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Addicts can change themselves for the better. It is very disheartening to hear the oft-repeated claim that people can never change. It's just not true. But they have to really, really have one helluva determination to become the person they believe they can be. It's not easy, maybe not even common but certainly possible. But I agree, rebuilding trust is the hardest thing with addiction. It's not just the trust that needs rebuilding, it's the entire relationship. That's a daunting prospect that many people simply cannot and will not live with/thru (both the addict and their partner).
I didn't say that they don't. I have a sister who has been sober for a decade. But the chances of breaking an addiction on the first try aren't good - and they certainly aren't good if the first try is because you got caught and are being "made" to stop rather than coming to the realization yourself that you have a problem that needs to be solved. (My sister took three trips through rehab).

And that creates issues with trust. Addicts lie, its part of being an addict. They manipulate - that is also part of the disease. Rebuilding trust is a long process which gets set back with each lie or relapse. It is something that anyone caught in a dependency cycle with the addict should expect.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:43 PM
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I didn't say that they don't. I have a sister who has been sober for a decade. But the chances of breaking an addiction on the first try aren't good - and they certainly aren't good if the first try is because you got caught and are being "made" to stop rather than coming to the realization yourself that you have a problem that needs to be solved. (My sister took three trips through rehab).

And that creates issues with trust. Addicts lie, its part of being an addict. They manipulate - that is also part of the disease. Rebuilding trust is a long process which gets set back with each lie or relapse. It is something that anyone caught in a dependency cycle with the addict should expect.
Yes, I'm sorry, I was conflating what you said with the poster above you. I actually agree with everything you said. Addicts CAN change, but often don't. And they are excellent manipulators and liars, including lying to themselves. This is an important aspect I think often gets overlooked. It's an inseparable component to the vicious cycle.

The bolded part is so, so true. Jesus Krist it's true.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 04-16-2018 at 08:45 PM.
  #93  
Old 04-17-2018, 12:16 AM
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Right and even if in the unlikely event that he caught HIV from someone the chances of passing it on to his children through normal casual contact is pretty much nil. Unless you’re suggesting that he engaged in high-risk behavior with his children. Is there even one case of the child of an HIV patient catching the disease just by living with them? Of course his wife would have more to be worried about but other STDs would be more of a concern. A simple solution would be to have him get tested and share the written report. That would put to rest even irrational fears of the children catching HIV.

You do make a good argument for the need for more education.



They are suggesting that he may have passed it on to her before or during her pregnancies. Mother to child transmission is fairly high.
  #94  
Old 04-17-2018, 02:43 AM
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I don't know much about escorts, sex addiction, and all that, but I do know something about polygraph. It's voodoo. There's no scientific basis for it. You can't tell whether someone is lying by measuring blood pressure, pulse, respiration and skin conductivity. These things may change due to stress reactions, but a stress reaction doesn't necessarily indicate deception, nor does the lack of a stress reaction necessarily indicate truthfulness. Not only that, but interpreting polygraph results is subjective; that is, two examiners may interpret results differently.

If I were you, Blindsided2, I would forget about using polygraph tests. It won't tell you what you want to know reliably. You'd be better off using other ways to tell whether your husband is lying, such as looking for consistency and reasonableness in what he tells you.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:14 AM
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I don't know if I am going to get past the self esteem hit this has caused though.
This is probably the worst and saddest part of this whole (pardon the expression) affair. In an earlier post you mentioned wanting to see what his assignations looked like. I suspect it's so you can look at them and ask, "What have they got that I ain't got?" There is an old expression you should consider: You don't pay a prostitute to have sex; you pay her to go away afterward.

Why this happened has nothing to do with you, how you look, or how you act. It wasn't because you weren't pretty enough, or had a big enough rack, or were supple enough in bed. Instead, it's all on him. At the very least he should have come to you to say that he needed more than you could give him sexually and ask permission to seek intimacy outside the marriage. If he was reluctant to do so because he thought you would not give him leave -- with whatever limits you negotiate -- tough shit. The take away you need to consider is, you didn't cheat; he did. You didn't put your marriage at risk he did. If anyone's self esteem should suffer, it's his.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:43 AM
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I'm no expert, but I am again surprised at how quickly people are considered an addict (just like in the other thread). Those numbers over more than 16 years...
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Originally Posted by Blindsided2 View Post
Polar Bear, he was sexual with over 50 women since 2009 and was traveling for work-
I too doesn't see why this qualify as an addiction. Ambivalid mentioned spending *hundreds of thousands* of dollars on hookers. This I can see how it qualifies.

But the OP's husband would have seen a prostitute about every two months (about 50/9=6 times/year) while he was travelling. That's not an addiction, that's an occasional activity. I wouldn't be considered addicted to gambling because I visit a casino once in a while, or an alcoholic because I drink once in a while, so I don't see why it would be different wrt sex. It seems to me that "sex addiction" is vastly overdiagnosed (and I've seen that a number of therapists think the same), presumably in part because any sexual activity outside the bonds of a monogamous relationship is perceived as "bad" in itself, and partly because it provide an excuse for the "offender" ("sure, I cheated on you, but that's because I'm an addict"), which results in even a moderate amount of extra-marital sex being qualified as "addiction".

Typically, something is considered an addiction when it significantly impairs you life and makes you suffer. In this case, the only damage done seems to be to this man's marriage, which to me only proves that some people are unfit for the monogamous lifestyle which is our norm. Basically, I don't believe that this man is in any way ill. He enjoys chasing women, he enjoys having sex with new partners, and he indulges in it. The problem isn't this activity in itself, but the expectations of his partner, since he's supposed to be in an exclusive relationship.

As a result, I also don't believe for an instant that he will "reform" himself. I mean he can force himself to not have extra-marital sex anymore, I guess, but since I don't believe that his behavior is compulsive, and something that in itself makes him suffer (rather, his problem is that his wife found out), I don't see how it could be "treated" successfully with methods normally used for people who are in great distress about a compulsive behavior.
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Last edited by clairobscur; 04-17-2018 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:15 AM
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An addiction isn't necessarily the quantity. Part of the definition is when it affects the rest of your life negatively, you know you shouldn't, and you can't help yourself, and even though you promise to stop, you do it again. Someone who drinks a lot who says "I should stop" and then does probably isn't going to get classed as an addict. This is a guy who is married with kids, knows he shouldn't have sex with other women, and seems to have felt powerless to help himself. Significantly impacting your marriage and the lives of your kids is a significant negative impact to your life. Putting yourself and your partner at risk for STDs is a significant negative impact on your life.

Now, it could be that he actually isn't an addict, he's just an asshole and using the "can't help myself" excuse. We aren't really in a position to diagnose from the internet.

As for treatment, treatment for any addiction is pretty hit or miss.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:37 PM
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I'm a random dude on a random message board, so take what I say with every bit of due caution.

To my mind, once trust is destroyed at this level, there is no road back. Yeah, people can change. Yeah, people can forgive. Yeah, there are stories of redemption and recovery. But they are the rare exception, not the norm. The norm is that it all ends in anger, resentment and divorce.

No one can tell you which outcome is the right one for you. But the statistics are not with the hopeless optimists.

The good news is, if you want it, you get a chance to start again with someone new and with a whole lot of experience and knowledge about yourself and the things you want and, most importantly, the shit you'll never put up with ever again. Because you don't have to.

So take a year (or however long you need - but not too long!) to think about it. Until then, leave your options open.
I'm with QuickSilver. I can forgive cheating on our taxes, smoking at work after promising you quit, having a car accident and not telling me, and so forth, but a spouse usually stands up in front of lots of people and swears that he/she will be faithful. That's a pretty solemn occasion and a fundamental obligation to undertake.

Some people can blow it off. Bystanders will say, "Oh, that's a personal issue between the two people in the marriage." Or someone observes, "It was simply physical infidelity, not emotional infidelity." BS. How can I trust a friend or business associate who can't be trusted by his/her spouse?

That's my $0.02, but lots of marriages apparently do recover. It's just that I (personally) can't see it. I've been married three times. Infidelity has never been an issue in any of them. If it were, I'd have been out of there like a rocket.
  #99  
Old 04-17-2018, 01:17 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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I'm with QuickSilver. I can forgive cheating on our taxes, smoking at work after promising you quit, having a car accident and not telling me, and so forth, but a spouse usually stands up in front of lots of people and swears that he/she will be faithful. That's a pretty solemn occasion and a fundamental obligation to undertake.

Some people can blow it off. Bystanders will say, "Oh, that's a personal issue between the two people in the marriage." Or someone observes, "It was simply physical infidelity, not emotional infidelity." BS. How can I trust a friend or business associate who can't be trusted by his/her spouse?

That's my $0.02, but lots of marriages apparently do recover. It's just that I (personally) can't see it. I've been married three times. Infidelity has never been an issue in any of them. If it were, I'd have been out of there like a rocket.
If I was cheated on from practically day one there's no level of forgiveness that could ever be achieved. That marriage wouldn't be one built on reality, what could we go back to when nothing was as it seemed?
  #100  
Old 04-17-2018, 02:04 PM
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I agree this is about basic trust, not 'addiction'.

Even the complete de-moralizing of things like substance abuse is somewhat questionable IMO. There's unfortunately weak evidence 'treatment' really helps, yeah people often know addicts who've been through it three times etc....because it doesn't necessarily work.

Even so, drug addiction is ingesting chemicals which themselves might alter your brain chemistry till you become a different person and there's no way back, realistically with all happy talk aside, pending discovery of a real medical solution. When 'addiction' is expanded to things you shouldn't do but enjoy doing, especially just once in a while doing things you should never do, based on what your 'natural' brain is telling and doing to itself, I call if not outright BS *severe* skepticism about expanding 'addiction' to cover that. And with even less real evidence the psych industry can actually do anything about the newer 'addictions'.

I don't see a problem, as the person in a relationship, 'judging' that the other has been a liar on a basic level and kicking them to the curb. How much it's anyone else's business to feel put out by it is really a separate issue. But there's also nothing wrong with opining on how dubious the 'addiction' concept is becoming, IMO. That kind of societal self-delusion can have broader consequences.
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