I've been reading the posts on this site for a couple weeks now and I am really feeling compelled to share my story with you. I am the wife of an admitted sex addict. We've been married for almost 11 years and have been together for 14 years. We have two small boys together, which makes living with and dealing with our new reality even more difficult. My husband and I from the outside live the "perfect life"- he's doting, attentive, a great father, a good provider, handsome, friendly- all the right qualities the "perfect" spouse has. The only thing we ever fought about consistently, even from the beginning, was sex. Our arguments mostly were one-sided- that I did not initiate enough, that I was too "vanilla" for him, that he wanted me to participate in certain activities with him. I guess that should have been a red flag to me, looking back, but I was young when we met (22), very in love, and very eager to please. I didn't have then and I am still not sure I now have a concept of what a normal, healthy sex life is supposed to look like, especially one between a married couple. He pushed me to do things that were beyond my comfort level, but I did them anyway, hoping to keep him happy. Fast forward several years- 2 years ago, in fact. I was newly pregnant with our second child and happened to find a camera propped :p in a room downstairs. I turned it on and pushed the playback button and was horrified to see my naked, masked husband interacting with another man, in our home. I couldn't even watch the entire tape, I was so afraid and in shock of what i found. I put the camera back and didn't say a word to anyone :bout what I found, including my husband. A few weeks later I got onto his laptop :nd happened to find the :ideo again saved to the desktop. I watched it the whole way through this time and was again horrified to see that he and this person had sex. In some weird way I was hoping that maybe it was just oral sex (which is stupid, thinking about it- what difference does that make??) I still :aid nothing but felt a tiny bit of confidence in the knowledge that something wasit :as definitely not my :ault. That same :ear, six months later, on Christmas Eve, nonetheless, I took his car to the grocery store and turned on his phone laying on the seat next to me to call to ask him a question. The phone's web browser was logged on to an email account that contained emails detailing hundreds and hundreds of disgusting sexual encounters with both men and women, going back years. I was devastated at this discovery. I knew it was coming but didn't know how bad it really was until I saw that email. If you can believe it, again, I said NOTHING to him, this time to protect my children and to not ruin their Christmas experience. In hindsight, I wish I had said something immediately- if I had, I may not be still here in my position today. Either we'd be further along in recovery, or he would not be in my life. I finally confronted him about the encounters three weeks after Christmas. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, things I've ever had to do. Hard because I was afraid of his reaction and denial- easy because I knew he was 100% in the wrong. He admitted to it and told me he was afraid he was an addict. I felt comfort in the fact that he was willing to admit the problems and thought we could move on. He left town a few days later on a very lengthy trip and was really gone a total of about 12 weeks out of the next 14 weeks. At home, with an 8-year old and a newborn baby, and the knowledge of all his past indiscretions, was a very difficult time for me. : questioned EVERYTHING about my life with :im. I was vulnerable, afraid: and felt so alone. I told two close girlfriends about what I was going through and that was a huge relief. He found out I told one of them and was absolutely furious with me for doing so. He couldn't believe that I'd exposed him and his dirty secrets to a total stranger. I felt horrible at the time, so incredibly guilty, and begged his forgiveness for telling my friend, trying to explain why I did so (because I was so alone with no one to talk to). He never understood it or accepted it. Looking back now, I realize that was the first step to me taking back some power for myself and helping myself. I had to talk to someone- I was in therapy at this point but needed a woman's perspective, especially a woman who knows him and was married to a man very similar to him (they're both military). During those weeks he was away I became a person I hardly even recognized, absolutely obsessing over details of his past, going so far as to look these people up, email them telling them what I thought of them, etc. Very, very angry time. I lost a ton of weight and became unhealthy and depressed. He swore up and down that he wasn't doing anything else, but I always felt in the back of my mind he was lying. He was away again about a year ago when I managed to guess the password of the original email account I'd found and again, was horrified and sickened to discover that he'd been up to the same things behind my back, starting a mere THREE DAYS after his initial disclosure. This time I emailed him and told him not to come back home. He begged, pleaded, cried, yelled, and sobbed for me to not do this to him. If I kicked him out, he would have nothing to live for. All he wanted in this :ife was his family- we're all that mattered to him. I typed up some conditions for his return, including STD checks, mandatory counseling (alone and together as a couple), not ever doing this to me again (sex outside our marriage) and not sleeping in my bed. He came back and I caved on the sleeping separate :ondition immediately- I felt too weak to enforce it, plus I WANTED him near me. : missed him terribly. :e went to a counselor a half dozen times (I went with him twice) and the counseling sessions stopped all together. We both thought the counselor was creepy and weird and not helpful (which was true). The counselor actually told him the way to recover from sex addiction is "sheer willpower:. Rather than seek another person out, we just stopped going as a couple all together: but I continued :ith my individual :herapy. Things were better- there was less demand for sex, less requests for things that made my skin crawl, less arguing. Less, but not gone. Things were lightyears better than they had been, but they were still not good, because we avoided talking about it. We got to the point where we were having sex maybe once every two weeks, which honestly was fine with me, since I felt that sex is what basically almost ruined my marriage. I rationalized, thinking maybe he just needed some time to be "celibate" and that things were improving. Well, things WERE improving, but he fell off his commitment to never cheat again. That brings me to present day, where I received an email letter just two weeks ago talking about this issue- the letter started off saying that he wanted to admit to me that he was a bisexual, and hopefully that didn't "gross me out". The letter went on to detail what I would be like in a perfect world- a sexual person, not afraid of anything, embarrassed by nothing, horny all the time, telling him what a great (fill in the blank) he has, how hot he makes me, etc etc. Reading the letter brought back a flood of emotions I'd previously suppressed. I felt angry, disgusted, and turned off by the entire thing. I felt like we'd made zero progress in the two years since I found the video. I asked him if he'd cheated on me since we last talked about it (nearly a year ago) and he admitted that yes, he'd had slip ups, but not tod :o somehow make it better. I realized at this point after reading this letter and the casual way he mentions bisexuality and encounters with men how truly sick he is. I know he wants to stop this, I am just not sure he can. And quite frankly, I am not sure I want to stick around to find out, either. He's been out of the house for almost two weeks now, but I am very hesitantly allowing him to live back home with us starting this week. I am completely unsure if this is the right thing to do at this point. I want this marriage to work, I don't want to get a divorce, but is he truly capable of changing himself and stopping this behavior? I don't have that answer. I wish to God that I did.
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