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As far as what motivated me to finally get help for my problems, so that I would also stop hurting others? My children. I saw them hurting as a result of my PA's, and EA. Yes, I hurt my then husband too, but I truly felt that a lot of blame rested also on him (guilty of his own PA, and very cold, unloving, unattentive behavior towards me) but the children were innocent and they love their father. So I started going to IC, and it was a VERY painful, long drawn out process. Through much of it, my "friend" was supportive of me, a shoulder to cry on. (husband made fun of me, called me "physcho") Through therapy I found that my desperate need for "love" and "approval" by everyone, in any way they would show it, was a result of the complete lack of appropriate love and care taken of me during childhood. But eventually in my therapy I realized that this EA was also making it impossible to improve my marraige, so we agreed to end it, with him actually moving to another country, it was so hard. For 5 years I continued therapy, talking to my husband about coming to counseling with me. I actually found MB at that point, and eventually lowered myself to begging him to just fill out the EN questionaire, or just come to 1 session of MC with me, or a retreat weekend or ANYTHING. He refused, only crazy people needed counseling. Finally such anger and resentment grew between us and we divorced. That's when my old "friend" and I got together. I feel as if I'm fairly "cured" at this point, except the residual low self esteem, sorrow, depression, on and on. But I don't have the urge any more to seek love and approval from everyone I run across. I know there are only certain places where it is right to receive love from, your mate, your parents (in a more healthy family) your children, and to a certain extent, friends. I'm NOT saying you should hang around and be abused in hopes of helping someone you love, just because they had a difficult childhood. BUT if they are extremely motivated to change, then I do believe it's possible!


Me - BS 34 WH - 39 Married 9/17/05 (2nd marraiges for both) Friends since childhood EA - 8/05-10/05 D-day: 10/19/05 (I moved out) Moved back in together: 12/7/05 I moved back out 2/22/06 due to emotional abuse and very mild physical abuse 7 children between ages of 6 months and 15. I moved back in on 11/25/06. We are still each in IC...
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I'm curious as to what you define as "get away with it". We have been in counseling before and close to divorce.

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How long were they married? Did they have children? Who was the offender and the offense?

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ask me...

I have been posting on various forums for a few weeks, just to get additional perspective. I don't expect people to make a decision for me, but there are people all over the world who have had similar experiences, who have an unbiased view.

Some have been helpful, but I must say yours wins the Grand Prize.

My husband has told me that these forums are worthless because the people who are here are generally female and will be against him.

Then I posted on a men's forum and he said that "normal" men don't go to web forums. Also, because they weren't supporting him.

He wouldn't be saying those things if the people in these forums supported his position instead of critisizing him.

I sent him your post, I can't wait to see what he has to say about that!

Thanks and keep it coming.

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Last night I stood before 100 men and spoke to them about my struggle with sex addiction. 3 years ago if someone had told me I would have been doing that I would not have believed them because I was in the midst of my acting out. Now I encourage others who struggle that they can overcome the addiction, but they have to want to overcome it.

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What are the "symptoms" of a sexual addiction. What things should I look for or questions should be asked?

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Sexual addiction is defined as a condition in which some form of sexual behavior is employed in a pattern that is characterized by two key features, 1) recurrent failure to control the sexual behavior, 2) continuation of the sexual behavior despite significant harmful consequences.

The reason I had suggested letting your husband read Patrick Carnes book earlier is that Patrick Carnes developed the model for sexual addiction and did a lot of the initial research on the subject. His book Out of the Shadows goes through a discussion of sexual addiction and talks about some case studies. I think by reading the book your husband might be able to see if he can relate to some of the information. But he has to be honest about how he feels as he reads the book and not hide what he is feeling.

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-he realizes that something is wrong and wants to save the marriage
-Claims that he is normal and all men cheat in some way at some time in a marriage

I pulled those two statements from the 1st post. Your husband knows he has a problem, but the problem is confusing to him because he does not understand how he could be doing it, so what does he do? He tries to justify it somehow.

In my marriage I did not understand my problem. I knew there was a problem so I blamed my wife for not having the same sexual desires I had. What I didn't understand is that two people can have problems and one person can have a very serious problem. And mine was the serious problem. It didn't mean my wife didn't have problem. We both came from dysfunctional families and that is what makes our life complicated.

Our counselor asked my wife why she decided to marry a sex addict, which of course offended her. But he said, you obviously picked him, do you know why? Then she had to think about it. So here is a summary of why from both of us.

My mother was divorced twice by the time I was 5. She supported me and my half brother. My mother depended upon me for her emotional support. In essence I became her surrogate husband taking care of the house, taking care of the yard, taking care of the cars, taking care of my brother, taking care of her emotional needs. I bought her gifts for her birthday, mother's day, christmas and some other special occasions and I made sure I had cards that were signed with I love you mom. Everything was done to keep her happy and make her feel special.

My wife grew up in a very unloving home. Her grandmother rejected her and basically treated the other grandchildren special while ignoring her. Her parents were always fighting, debating over divorce, never once saying I love you, holding hands or kissing goodbye or hugging. It was a cold unaffectionate home.

Along came me who was use to feeding my mom with all the special attention and I didn't mind doing the same for my new girl friend. My new girl friend didn't mind receiving the attention because she was starved for it so she gave me the appreciation I was seeking. Eventually we married. Dysfunction married dysfunction.

It's hard for my wife to admit at times that she has her own set of problems to deal with. There are things she needs to work on in our marriage that can help me. But independent of that I have to work alone and take my own responsibility to correct my own problems. My problems are mine to deal with and her problems are hers to deal with.

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Ask Me

Thanks for sharing. I have found this site to be the most balanced. Every other that I post on says "DIVORCE HIM REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING" It's amazing that people lack perspective.

I truly appreciate you sharing your story. It says alot. However, I think your steps to admit and work on your problem is quite rare and commendable.

I'm concerned that my husband's ego is way too large for him to attain your level of humility.

He describes his behavior merely as "poor choices" and doesn't yet see that it was a reflection of his morals and values and his willingness to repeatedly bring pain and discontent to our marriage. He valued himself and his relationships more than he did me, our marriage and our children. Despite his constant attempts to get me to believe that he is FINALLY willing to work on change (only because I went to see a lawyer), I truly don't think he has the ability to be monogomous.

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iluvmy2 it sometimes takes a while for humility to come about. In my case it took the prayers of a wife. Sometimes I wonder if I have the ability to remain monogomous, but then I look at my progress and there have been such great changes. I wouldn't give up all hope.

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Melody

How would you define Recovery? Is is just the fact that I found out about his friendship(s), we argued about it and saw a counselor once or twice and eventually "made up" with his promise to do better but no real change in our relationship or is it Dr. Harley's definition of taking a close look at what caused the affair, the role that we both played and an honest attempt to repair what we each percieved as broken.

We didn't take the latter route and that is one of the main things that causes me to sit on the fence.

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I'm curious about what their "motivation" was. Him repeatedly hurting me and causing problems in our marriage has not been enough motivation for him in the past.

Finding out that I went to see a divorce lawyer seemed to set a fire in his pants.

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Mrs. Stowawy,

I guess he would fall into the category of working on himself hard. He keeps himself in shape physically and maintains his personal appearance. He also works on the inside, to some degree.

That may be part of the problem. Because of the conditions he grew up in, he is constantly trying to prove himself and do better and better. He also has a very large ego which constantly needs to be fed. He requires regular validation despite his shell of being self confidence. The fact that he is attractive and is in a profession where he runs into a lot of women helps to feed his ego and provides easy sources of "opportunity".

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Welcome, though sorry you are here.

Two comments on your situation:

1. Don't forget, in a M, YOU can set the standard as to what is acceptable to you. You don't need to prove to your husband that his behavior is unacceptable by finding evidence in websites and other peoples comments. It is enough for YOU not to find his behavoir acceptable. End of story. Also, no amount of external evidence is going to convince him, he has to discover that on his own.

2. May I be so bold as to guess why your WH is doing this? An A is a means of escape, like a drug. Attention from women feeds his own personal insecurities. Also, when someone doesn't know you well, which is the case with these women, it is easy to be Perfect in their eyes....he is seeking to overcome his feelings of personal inadequacy through the attraction of women. Is this accurate? If so, does he recognize his motive for the As--and his personal insecurities. This realization (the cause for his behavior and what he gets out of it) is ESSENTIAL to his own personal recovery, which must occur before any M recovery can begin (in my VHO, that is.)

Have you considering working with Steve Harley?


Ahuman FWW (35)
BH-a really great human! (39)
Married 1995
As 1998, 2001
D-day 4/2004

In recovery....
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Ahuman

You hit the nail on the head.

He has not yet reached the point where he has either recognized or is willing to admit that this behavior is connected to his personal insecurities. He currently states that the A's happened because he wasn't completely happy in the M and wasn't getting what he needed from me and that A's are just something that many men do, so he is "normal".

I am looking to see if through his IC he recognizes his significant need for attention and constant validation. This is what his therapist and I feel comes from the childhood issues, that he didn't get enough attention as a child and a teen and he is trying to make up for it. I don't think that we will be able to rebuild if he fails to recognize this issue.

I sent him quote that said "Nothing is enough for a man where enough is too little".

So I've asked him to make a list of what he "needs" in order to be happy and I have to decide if I am willing and able to meet those needs. I will make the same list and he will have to decide if he is willing and able.

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Ahuman

One other thing. How do you "work with Steve Harley". I've seen sections on this site where people sent him letters, but couldn't find a place to send one.

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houston we have a problem.

big one.

as the xw of a repeat offender, I can say my views on things. my xh was married once briefly before me. he is also in sales although now head of an investment firm...

his hunting ground has been females he comes into contact with via financial business...or in the case of his present affair wife, probably met her at a strip club.

you have mentioned you've already let many deal breakers thru. he has no boundaries.

and I may make a few here angry when I say this...but this is truthful.

His pattern is what it is.
*he has to want to complete therapy..want to participate...want and take ACTIVE steps to stop his behavior
*he has not faced any real consequences for his actions. he knows he will get his wrist slapped by you for the little "oral" incident...hey, even our xprez said "it isn't sex"..

My problems I see with men and women like this is that they make choices. real choices. and we FIND LABELS AND SICKNESSES TO ENABLE THEIR BAD BEHAVIORS. THEY HAVE DONE BAD THINGS AND WE WANT TO GIVE EVERYBODY AN ILLNESS OR SYNDROME TO COVER UP SIMPLY WHAT MAY BE JUST STUPIDITY, SELFISHNESS, NARCISSISM, OR BECAUSE THEY JUST WANT TO DO IT.

my xh is not mentally ill. h e has made serious horrible choices. well he may also have narcissism...but that is not something that MAKES you do anything. unless you're completely schizoid and hear the voices and see the hallucinations, you're not gonna go out and do crazy crazy things ok?

I was treated badly by my mom growing up. bordered on abuse. I do not abuse my ds. Or any child. and many people said that I could have done that...nah. not in me. I was married to a man who at the end of my marriage treated me horrendously. suffered mental abuse from him and a few incidents (isolated) of physical abuse. did it make me run out and do horrid things to others? nah. why?

I refuse TO LET MY PAST DICTATE MY PRESENT OR MY FUTURE...IT IS MINE. MY LIFE...AND I CHOOSE WHAT TO DO OR WHAT NOT TO DO...THE ACTIONS ARE MY OWN. STUPID, IMMORAL, GOOD, OR WISE..THEY ARE MY ACTIONS.

I see alot of bs' here who explain away their ws actions. why? I simply feel it is easier to assign a label like "mentally ill" or "he's out of it" or "he has something wrong with him" rather than simply say...the man/woman has had a breach with morality and is doing horrible things because IT IS THEIR CONSCIOUS CHOICE AND THEY WANT TO DO WHAT MAKES THEM FEEL GOOD AND COULD GIVE A RATS' BUTT ABOUT THE BS AND FAMILY AT HOME.

it's not as politically correct to say this...

it's not to make you feel ok about the situation.

it is not to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

and my words are not intended for giving false hopes either.

some people change.

they have to WANT TO CHANGE.

they have to do more than TALK ABOUT IT...THEY HAVE TO BE 100 PERCENT COMMITTED TO DOING IT.

unless they are, they will fail.

that's it.

and YOU ARE UNABLE TO CHANGE ANY OTHER PERSON IN THIS WORLD...nobody has that kind of power. You can show a light, a beacon to them...but the other person has to want to follow the beacon of light.

get it?


me:37 BS; s:7; xh:38; OW:26;eloped w/OW 1 wk after D: 12/29/03. OC born 3/17/04. Happy! Blessed to be the mother of a wonderful son..great profession..Life's good!
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Oh...and everybody reaches a crossroad. a point whether you make a right or left turn.

in my xh's choice it was to cheat or not. and he took the wrong path.

I remember being at my crossroad also. it was during the divorce trials. I felt like breaking down. I went to work, struggled financially although having a good job, and had no support circle here in the flesh here in this state...no family. just a few friends.

I almost gave in. My counselor I was seeing showed me her beacon. she had been there where I was. during that time she sought her phd. she decided she could give in...eat bonbons all day, live on welfare (buying bon bons with the money), dig a hole into the ground and fling herself inside as she didn't know if she could make it or not. she said "I choose NOT to do that."


and she went out and got phd.

and then a few years later she met me and shined some light on me...

and i said "I choose NOT to do that."

two months later I was elected president elect of my state medical society.

Just like your ws has choices to make...so do you. what do you choose now?

what you choose is what you allow to enter your life. If you choose to better yourself, and choose success, and choose your family does that include a ws? an unrepentant ws? Or do you choose to let that person in if they do what is needed and take the actions needed to first change their life?

your wh is at the crossroad. He's been barrelling down the wrong road for sometime. He is working with a therapist and not really working at all. does he want to "work the program?" or does he want to say he tried and that it just can't help him?

he chooses to do what he wants and feels that he wants to do. so do you though.


me:37 BS; s:7; xh:38; OW:26;eloped w/OW 1 wk after D: 12/29/03. OC born 3/17/04. Happy! Blessed to be the mother of a wonderful son..great profession..Life's good!
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Just Peachy

Thanks for taking the time to give me your perspective. I really appreciate it.

===========================================================
"*he has to want to complete therapy..want to participate...want and take ACTIVE steps to stop his behavior
============================================================

He went to therapy "voluntarily" and has been to about 5 IC sessions and one MC session. He "says that he will go as long as he needs to.

============================================================
he has not faced any real consequences for his actions. he knows he will get his wrist slapped by you for the little "oral" incident...hey, even our xprez said "it isn't sex".."
===========================================================

The past consequences was extreme damage to our relationship and some "temporary" counseling. He claims to be more committed this time because he claims that he is tired of lying and living that lifestyle and doesn't want to loose his wife and family. I went to see a divorce lawyer and was prepared to file.
Since you have had a similar experience, I'm curious as to whether your xh went to therapy at any point. Also, you mentioned that this was he second marriage and he is on to his 3rd. Did the 1st end because of infidelity?

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He is working with a therapist and not really working at all. does he want to "work the program?" or does he want to say he tried and that it just can't help him?
===========================================================

I'm a little confused by this comment. He's been going to the therapist every other week since this incident occured. He says that it is helping him, but I think it will take a few more months before we know for sure. That will show if he sticks with it and If I see, hear and feel a change.

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Mrs. Stowawy,

I guess he would fall into the category of working on himself hard. He keeps himself in shape physically and maintains his personal appearance. He also works on the inside, to some degree.

That may be part of the problem. Because of the conditions he grew up in, he is constantly trying to prove himself and do better and better. He also has a very large ego which constantly needs to be fed. He requires regular validation despite his shell of being self confidence. The fact that he is attractive and is in a profession where he runs into a lot of women helps to feed his ego and provides easy sources of "opportunity".

Ah, another man in need of spiritual brokenness before God. Humility. Developing a heart for serving, instead of self... sounds familiar.


BW 43 me
FWH 39
M 1992; DD 18. 13
OC 8-05 - no contact
In recovery 8 years
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