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Surviving a marriage breakup with a Sex Addict

 
 
Reply Fri 11 May, 2007 06:18 pm
Hey there people,
Im new to this board and am looking for some advice and support with what Im going through. I recently broke up with my husband of 10 months (we had been living together for 5 years). We had been having a few problems (eg arguing alot, him going out to all hours of the night, not knowing where he was and with whom) anyway, one day he said to me that he cant see a future for us and that he doesnt want to be married. I was devastated and tried to sort things out with him. He ended up leaving me to sort his head out. While he was gone he confessed to me that he had been cheating on me with several anonymous people during that last 18 months. Yes before and after our wedding!!! I always had my suspicions that he was cheating but I guess he was a good liar. None of his friends and family knew what he had been doing. It became clear that he had a serious problem with sex addiction. (We went to see a Sex Addiction therapist who confirmed this) His problems also stemmed to looking at porn on the internet and chatting to lots of anonymous women on the net about sex and then meeting them in person, and going to strip clubs frequently. I knew that he looked at porn on the net - but I didnt know that he was addicted to it and I didnt know about the other things.
This all came as a huge shcok to me. I decided that I could never be with him again so I left. That was 3 - 4 months ago. He has tried to get me back. So far i have my own place, live alone and am getting on with my life. I have a good job and lots of great friends.
I have recently gotten involved with a man that I have known for a little while. He is lovely, caring and understanding. I feel like Im not ready to get into another relationship, but then i miss the male company and intimacy. My ex-h and i hadnt been intimate for a long time - thats part of the sex addiction problem. They can have sex with strangers but not with people they care about and they lack emotional intimacy skills.
Im just worried that Im never going to be able to trust anyone again. I really like this new man, but at the same time Im freaking out. I know I should be taking it slow, but I feel that Im having trouble controlling my emotions. When does it get easier?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 8,276 • Replies: 35
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2007 09:27 pm
Hey, Juanita. It seems like you've handled things well so far. You could take it slow with this new guy...but that wouldn't be as much fun, would it? I don't see the point in setting arbitrary limits to your relationship...I say just do what feels right at the time.
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Juanita1927
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2007 07:03 pm
Thanks for that....
It actually has been amazing how I have been able to deal with all of this and get on with my life. I guess a part of me knew that my relationship with my ex wasnt right and instincts where telling me to get out. As awful as it was it was kind of a relief to finally hear the truth and not be fed lies anymore from him.

I guess now im just trying to 'find' myself. i havent been single in such a long time. Theres a part of me that wants to be in a relationship especially with someone who is caring and trustworthy, but theres another part of me that is so not ready. I think I will take your advice and just see what happens - and enjoy it at the same time. Ive forgotten how much fun courting someone can be Very Happy
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 May, 2007 07:28 am
Juanita--

After six years of misplaced trust, you're entitled to be guy-shy.

Remember, you're also on the rebound. Rule of thumb: You shouldn't make permanent decisions until you've been Single Again for at least two years and healing is complete. Wounded women can't always make good decisions.

This Gentleman Caller is validating your desirability as a woman--and you need validation and admiration. The Gentleman Caller may not be the father of your children and your companion for old age, but he's certainly a pleasant chapter in your life.

Devote the next two years to healing, self-discovery, fun and flirtation.

Enjoy.
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Juanita1927
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 May, 2007 03:57 pm
Thanks Noddy, that advice was EXACTLY what I needed to hear Smile

You are so right, I need time to heal and I need time for self discovery..I will enjoy it!
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 May, 2007 05:15 pm
Juanita--

Thanks for the kind words.

Spring is a time for exploration. Enjoy without guilt.
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Juanita1927
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2007 02:34 am
Hey there

Thanks Smile

I wish it was that easy! Time will tell Im sure Smile
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2007 11:08 am
Although I don't know your situation too well and cannot predict how this relationship will turn out, my intuition tells me the outcome will be a net positive one :wink:
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Juanita1927
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2007 02:42 am
ohhhh Thank you!!! You are too too nice!
You guys know exactly the right thing to say to make me feel better ! Very Happy
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BubbaGumbo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 May, 2007 12:09 am
Don't blame your new fling for the flaws of your ex. That's unfair to him and will prevent any form of a productive/happy relationship.


Also, don't buy into the nonsense that you're husband is a "sex addict". He sounds merely like the average creep (I would know as I'm one myself). Being "addicted" to sex isn't even medically recognized. Declaring himself a "sex addict" is simply a manipulative way for your ex to rationalize his behavior and try to gain sympathy from you.
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bunnywind
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2007 07:57 pm
I disagree with BubbaGumbo. I have a sexually addicted partner. He too is unable to experience intimacy. I have spoken to his ex-wife and this problem had been going on for years. He has only given me small bits and pieces of his childhood but he has admitted to being molested by a man when he was a pre-teen.

My partner started with porn on the computer and then moved on to the cable TV porn channels which he watched for hours on end. Then came the strippers and more recently escorts. Of course he denies that he has done anything inappropriate with the strippers and all the phone calls to escorts were done out of "curiosity". I have been ready, willing and able to please this man sexually but except for a few incidents when he was really drunk, he ignores me in bed. I struggle with the knowledge that he would rather pay a whore for sex than have it with me, who he claims to love.

I believe that he associates sex with something dirty, nasty and forbidden and this is the only thing that turns him on. He refuses to admit that he is addicted to sex, but when faced with information on the subject which fits him to a T he didn't deny it. This addiction, much like alcoholism, causes the addict much shame and humiliation. Plus there's the added fear of being caught and ostracized. But in order to make themselves feel better they go right back to the actions that caused them pain to begin with.

How do the spouses feel? I am sickened by his preferences. I want him to want me. He does, everywhere but in bed. I used to be so sure of myself and so confident but now I'm beaten down. I can't trust that a "normal" man will ever find me attractive. My partner loves me and he doesn't want me, so who else would? Intellectually I know better but that doesn't take the feelings of inadequacy away.

If some nice man were to start paying attention to me I'm sure I would fall hard and fast but for all the wrong reasons. I would hope that someone would remind me to slow down and make sure this time around.
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2007 08:49 pm
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Please allow me to give you my opinion. Anyone who makes you unsure of yourself is not worth your time. I speak from experience. I accepted a lousy "engagement" when I was very young, someone who also was always looking over shoulders to see if anything else was available. He could be a lot of fun, but he was totally untrustworthy. I cried buckets of tears over his callous behaviour, but I was young. I think back at that time, I was more embarrassed by his public humiliation and pathetically felt validated when he came back to me.

(Footnote regarding the man mentioned above, this past March he called me at home begging me to meet him at a reunion the old teen center was throwing. The first call came at 10:15, he claims he never stopped loving me, couldn't live without me ((of course he has a very young wife who apparently is the one he humiliates now)) blah, blah, blah. He placed three more calls to me, the last at 12:15. My husband had to field the last phone call......but something tells me that "Mr. Wonderful" will find a reason to call me again sometime in the future.......The lesson here is "These jerks don't ever learn and they will continue to play games until you refuse to go along)

And then of course the man who followed him, my first husband. A man who was never responsible for anything because the world wasn't fair to him. His Mommy wasn't nice, his first two wives were sluts according to him. I wanted to make everything good for him. I can remember actually thinking at one point, that I would never have a light-hearted moment ever again in my life. Now that's pathetic, but what is more pathetic is that I accepted it as something I was supposed to do (after all...I was a wife and mother). His system of wiping out my dignity was working very well until he stepped up the abuse and it became physical. I might have been a sap to put up with his crap, but I wasn't going to let my son grow up around that. The day I left that house, the weight of the world was off my shoulders and I looked forward again to a better future.

I'm not going to say I didn't run into a few more folks that were unsuitable as far as making a life......but at least I knew what I DIDN'T want. I loved being single the second time, I thought I would never marry again, didn't think it was worth the effort. But completely out of the blue, I met a wonderful man after being single about 6 years. We have been married 29 years and I still relish his company, I know he would never hurt me, he inspires me and we never run out of things to talk about.


So don't ever sell yourself short.....run when ever a boy/girl friend tries to tell you that you can't do any better.....because what they are really saying is that you are too good for them and they will make you pay for that no matter how good you are to them. Life is short, you will be dead for a long time, so cut all the invalidators out of your life. I know sometimes the invalidators are family members that you can't completely ignore......but for my sake, and more importantly yours, don't marry one of them or even move in with one.
0 Replies
 
Juanita1927
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 May, 2007 02:53 am
Thanks for all your inputs.

Sex addiction is quite a real disorder.

bunnywind - what you have explained is EXACTLY what I went through with my ex - down to the T.

The sad thing is there is not a real awareness of this disorder, however in my town there is a clinic that deals with it and they have a rehab program. They helped me to understand and also to break free from this relationship.

Recovering from this is so difficult. My confidence and self esteem was at an all time low when i was with him. At first we had a sexually fulfilling relationship and then it died. It killed me to know that I wasnt enough for him and that he couldnt be intimate with me. And whats worse he would blame it all on me saying that I was unattractive, over weight - was only over weight by 5 kg, and thats why he didnt want me. I tried everything, nothing worked. I guess finding out the truth freed me and also re-affirmed that it wasnt me but him.
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BDoug
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 09:59 am
Juanita is correct, sexual addiction is just like any addiction. It's your fallback. When life gets you down, you go to your fallback whether that be alcohol, sex, pornography, shopping or even working out. All of which can be addictions.

As far as the relationship with the new guy, don't put specific time limits to healing. First order of business is to get to a place where you are comfortable and secure. Then just do what feels right. You have all the time in the world to learn things about this new guy, take it at your own pace. If he's a smart guy and worth you're time he'll respect you for it and probably be more attracted to someone who obviously has her stuff together. If not and he bolts cause you wont put out, then hes def not worth the bother.
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Juanita1927
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2007 08:19 pm
Thanks for your comment.

This new guy is playing games with me and i guess given my emotional state right now, i probably shouldnt even consider being with anyone.

He seemed ready to be together at first, and totally swept me off my feet, but I guess something scared him away. I can understand that I have a bit of baggage and thats not attractive.

I guess its just so hard to be alone again after bring in a relationship for so long.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jun, 2007 12:35 pm
Juanita--

Men are like streetcars. If you miss one there will be another one along in a few minutes.

You haven't failed at a second committed relationship. You weren't responsible for your husband's kinky fun&games. You're certainly not responsible for the decisions of a relative stranger.

The fit wasn't right. So? You're not evil. He's not evil--although he may be a confirmed flirt, preferring to avoid commitment. You aren't secure enough right now to appreciate Mr. Butterfly--but this doesn't make you a Total and Complete Failure Who Will Never Manage a Secure and Loving Relationship.

The fit wasn't right. The time and place weren't right. What are your plans for next weekend? If you don't have some, make some.
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mushypancakes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jun, 2007 12:55 pm
Juanita,

I don't have any great wisdom here. I just hope you can be easy on yourself.

Noddy's right.

One of the great things about being single is that you get to set all the rules and make plans without consulting someone else all the time.
You can do whatever you want!

Maybe grant yourself a few secret wishes. Do something nice for yourself. Just enjoy it.

You deserve some cheering up and pampering. There is something so healing about doing things that are just for you.

The Men will be there. Don't worry. They never go away! Smile
0 Replies
 
Juanita1927
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jun, 2007 02:16 am
Thanks for your comments, they mean alot!

I guess Im being too hard on myself, Ive always been that way.

I am enjoying single life, Ive been going out alot and catching up with lots of friends. I have plans for the next 3 weekends!! Im just trying to keep myself busy and get on with my life.

Its reassuring to know that the men will always be there. Im a bit scared that I will never find someone to love me. I have to know that I dont need someone right now and that I can be alone and get through this. Its just such a huge adjustment. A little over 1 year ago I got married and had all my hopes and dreams set out before me and then it all just crumbled into one big heap. Im still not sure what to feel and how to get through this.

My ex-husband keeps hoping that Ill go back to him, which i know I definately wont, there is no love left there.

Thanks again guys for your kind and helpful words Smile
0 Replies
 
Hanginginthere62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 06:47 pm
@Juanita1927,
Hi, I didn't realize they had these sites so people could vent their experiences. I was married for 22 years (with the man that I loved for 28 yrs.). I have two beautiful children with him. He has this terrible addiction. The sex was always great between us, but it wasn't as intimate as it used to be and I knew things were just not right. He would say he was going on business trips and then I found out later that a lot of those trips were not really business. He would get messages on his cell phone at all times of the night and would keep his phone close by when he slept at night so I could not go through it (he even took it into the shower with him toward the end of our relationship). He went through tons of our money and had secret charge cards going to different addresses. He was a big manupilator and a pathological liar (he still does not know a lie from the truth) that is how much he lies. Anyway, it was a tumultous divorce and even though he has been gone for 15 months, I still feel like I need to heel from all of the emotional abuse I experienced. He has a girlfriend that he has been with since he left who is clueless, but I know in time she will find out the truth about him. The sad thing about this is that he tried to screw myself and our kids over and I had to fight him with everything I had while being emotionally distraught over finding out what he had been doing. I have been told there is no hope for people like this. He has changed his personality drastically and became very selfish (life is all about him now). He has lost the respect of not only me and my kids, but his entire family that he grew up with as well. I just hope that I can find someone to have a normal relationship with and the trust issue I know is going to be very difficult.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 08:39 pm
@Hanginginthere62,
Juanita, first of all, I hope you start your own individual thread here on a2k.

On you having a normal relationship - I suggest it would be with yourself, not "someone". Get a grip, girl. I don't mean that as a cold view, just a straightforward one.
 

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