I Feel Like I Just Happen To Be The One That Stayed.

My husband is a very impulsive person and he had no issue telling girls we worked with, friends on Facebook,my friends, even my 17 cousin that they were pretty, cute, hot, etc.. He's been doing this for almost 9 years, Our relationship spans 9 1/2 years. Girls we worked with and my cousin resulted in hundreds of texts in one months time. At first he denied that he was trying to do anything with these woman, they were "just friends", now after me constantly bringing this up he has admitted that yes he was trying to sleep with every single one of them, cos it made him feel loved.. Privacy settings on Facebook set so no one could see when he would post on someone else's wall, password not usual password and his message box always deleted. Same with his phone. Every texts he ever got was deleted as soon as he read it.

He is also was very critical of others (always use to judge a friend of his who would openly cheat on his wife as being a bad husband and how could someone do that kind of thing..etc)
Critical of guys who look at under age girls. Basically he created this public persona for himself as this man of intense integrity. And I think he has lied to everyone and himself for so long, he doesn't even know who he really is.

1st affair 7 1/2 years prior: We were newly engaged and very happy, but he started getting text messages constantly and would hide in the bathroom sending responses back. When I confronted him he got angry with me that I could accuse him of talking to another woman and said he was text messaging pictures of me to his friends so they could see what I looked like. anyway snooped in his email and found an email chain with them sending pictures back and forth commenting on how hot they thought each other were etc. Strange thing though he said to her 3 times that he loved her and this is a girl from the internet. He never met her in person.

2nd 5 years ago: This was an ex girlfriend via MYspace. Pictures and major flirting about how hot they were for each other. This one I accused him of but never had enough proof so he had denied it at the time. Recently I found out I was right all along.

3rd 1 year ago: Girl he went to school with in WA that he had a crush on. This started via Facebook. But, this one gets worse than the last two, these messages were all about what they wanted to do to each other sexually. Sent pictures of their genitals to each other. Dirty phone conversations and instant messages. He wanted to use a web cam with her to have internet sex with her, but it never happened. This lasted 5 months. He would do this activity while our kids played 10 feet away from him.. Makes me sick. This one I had no idea about until recently as I worked nights and he would do this when I went to work.

4th suspected and was confirmed via his text messages usage: This girl is the ex girlfriend of his best friend and her and I were friendly when she came to visit so being she knew me and when I first saw he was texting her when he was on vacation to WA I didn't suspect her as one of his targets(he is originally from WA as is she) His parents flew him to WA for his father's 60th BD party and I knew he was going to do something. Everytime he would talk about his friend he made sure to emphasize "me and my guy friends are going out" and only told me guys he had invited out to his party. Also, I had asked for his Facebook password and he called all panicky like why did I need it? So the night before he left for his trip I logged on and saw the end of an instant message conversation from him and ex girlfriend from high school that she was sorry she couldn't make it to his party. Me being the passive aggressive that I am decided not to say anything cos I didn't want to ruin his father's BD party with us constantly fighting on the phone etc. So, during his father's BD he and his best friends ex exchanged over 75 text messages. I knew then what was happening. When I saw this I made plans to leave him. Which is why I never confronted him, cos I was so sure I could just walk away from his selfish cheating self. He invited her over to his parents house after his Dad's party so they could hang out, cos he wanted just to hang out with her"to feel loved and cared about"..turns out he didn't do anything physical that night. (The reason for this is up to this point the texts were only flirty I think you are cute variety..and he didn't want to get shot down.) The next night things got nasty when he found out she had wanted him to make a move on her the previous night. Dirty pictures, texts, IM, etc. He invited her over to his parents house to "have some fun".. She declined saying she took too many prescription pills and couldn't drive. But, he kept asking her until midnight. Now keep in mind while he was texting her all these dirty things he was texting me about how much he loved and missed me and asked about the kids, like nothing was happening! Anyway, next morning screaming at him on the phone. He admitted to girl #2 #3 and #4. But he didn't tell me the whole truth. I had to dig through old phone bills and then much to my disgust had to ask BF ex for info, cos I know he wasn't telling me the truth. He told me they had just sent "flirty" texts to each other. Found out about the dirty pictures and dirty texts from her.

I am at a loss. And in between all these affairs, he was scouting for the next girl. Constant emails, texts, post on Facebook. Friends he had at work he would tell them how pretty they were, trying to start something up. The only reason he never got physical with anyone was lack of opportunity, not him being unable to pull the trigger. I was never good enough to stop this behavior for. I was never enough. Sometimes, the only reason I think he loves me is that I am the only one foolish enough to stay with him and not just have a fling and be done. When I ask him why everyone was more appealing to him physically and sexually he says he doesn't know. Or I suspect he doesn't want to tell me and hurt my feelings. I feel sometimes like nothing we have done in this relationship is special. He always was looking for the next best thing. How can I think our sex life is special when all the things he says to me he would say to them and more. He told one of them he loved them. He has been diagnosed with a sexual addiction and I do love him and want him to get better... But there are two parts of me constantly battling:

One side knows he has a sexual addiction and possibly ADD which apparently people with untreated ADD self medicate with addiction. And who loves him and knows he can be a good man. He has been going to therapy with me and has removed all these girls from his phone, Facebook. He has given me all his passwords to his emails and I know he is trying and that he is sorry now that I have chipped away at his denial and now he can see what his behavior meant.

The other side only feels the humiliation, the hurt, the constant insults that he would try this with my friends, family, mutual co-workers. And this side of me thinks I was never worth anything to him. I have (as do most woman) self esteem issues, but now sometimes I can't even look at myself and not compare myself to them. And all I can think is how ugly and undesirable I am.

What am I suppose to do? Which side is going to win?
rebephil rebephil
4 Responses May 15, 2012

OMG... I get you and I am sorry that I do. I too may have been the one who just stuck, met him 5 months after moving to a new town and I was just 17! Two years later I am wondering if he is cheating.. denies. This happens over the years, my suspicions, he would deny! So I marry him (Why, cause I love and believe him) at 25... I am now 36 and he has had at least four affairs while we have been married.. that I know of.
Heres what I have learned... this addiction could not be more selfish. It has taken away from our three year old son and it literally made me CRAZY. After I caught him cheating while I was PREGNANT (my son was three months old when I broke into his e-mail and FINALLY had PROOF) I lost my mind. Lost my mind because I was co-dependent, could not handle the reality at that moment... went straight into denial and stayed there till September 2012 when I KNEW in my heart he was cheating AGAIN (as it turns out he was cheating the whole three years)! My brain left me for three years to protect me from a information that was to big for me to handle? I allowed someone to do that to me? Yes, yes I did.
I was diagnosed ADHD Dec2011.. soo all these years I thought I just misunderstood, didnt trust my gut and believed the thousands of lies I must have been told. I stopped asking him about my suspicions because I knew he would have a good story, I wouldnt have proof and he would call me crazy. This is a co-dependency problem. I was dependent on him for money, had a new baby and I felt STUCK. I too would not call him out on a suspicion if it meant ruining a family function... this is not being "polite" like you think... I used to think it was politeness... its co-dependency. Most people would be LONG gone out of this marriage... I stayed.. because I am co-dependent.
I came out of denial (with the help of my therapist, a book called "co-dependent no more" and telling MY STORY to my mom, dad, sister, brother, best friend... all the people who had NO idea what I have been secretly harboring/living with). Started a six month plan w my therapist back in September to do the following: Come out of denial & stay there.. took 3 months, "detached".. brake my addiction to him... this took two months (working at it everyday), get a job.. one fell in my lap three weeks ago, save money and be myself (my authentic self) every day. I have a life (I forgot) .. but my life had become being a monitor for his life... I forgot I had a choice. really, I did. I now KNOW I have a choice... and my old behavior made me miserable, it did not change him (it changed me) and helped support his behavior in the end. Sick cycle of addiction and dependency.
I am going to leave this marriage.. after 20 years, there is more bad and ugly than there is good an healthy. Everyone is different, but for me, there has got to be a person who wants to be honest, loving and sincere (without motivation) and share life experiences with me.
Good luck to you... hope you find your answers and a peace of mind I am certain you have earned and definitely deserve!

I read your response and I apologize I haven't been able to get back to you, but I definitely want to keep in touch with someone who is going through the same thing I am. Can I ask you this, did your husband have feelings of guilt at all during these affairs? Did he ever tell himself he had to stop? How do you even begin to trust them again? I love my husband and part of me can see that it was an addiction, but I know in my heart that I am his security blanket, I don't know if that is love... Maybe, all he has the capacity for? I've asked him all these questions, but the problem is he is also a compulsive liar and a chronic avoider, so sometimes our talks are productive, sometimes I feel worse than before. Sometimes, I wonder if he knows what real love is. Anyway, I will have to check out those books. Thanks so much! Keep in touch.

I am reading your story and I hear my own. My husband is a sex and love addict and this is what I would consider your husband to be. My husband has been attending SAA for almost 5 years and just recently started attending SLAA meetings. We are in the recovery of his 3rd affair......I too am wondering what to do next. We have two beautiful boys and to be honest my marriage has had more "for better" than for worse. It is just that the worst is really bad :( I would suggest that he check out the book "Don't call it love" by Patrick Carnes. For you, "Your sexually addicted spouse" by Barbara Steffens. Best of luck to us both as we begin to heal ourselves and decide what to do with the next step in our marriages.

i am just a 25yearold but i would say there is no win or loss combo. Dont get offended by this: you are letting him behave that way, he is ignorant ***** who will "milk" your kindness as far as you let him. Try shock terapy, move to parents house for a few days or something.... just act in way he wont expect from you. Also it depens how old are you, maybe start over with some other guy... Maybe make some "fake" flirts so he sees his wife is flirting around. Its tough stuff, thease situations, but hey then we wouldnt call it life.<br />
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p.s. i would marry you in a sec u seem like a great wife

very true, I use to accuse him all the time, cos I knew he was up to something, but when he would deny and deny it (and if I had no concrete proof) he would go about his life like nothing was happening. I should have left then. Had more confident in my intuition. For the last 9 years he has been a true narcissistic piece of ****. Honestly, he is either going to change and make this decision to better himself or he isn't, I'm not going to keep asking him to..he's a grown man and I shouldn't have to lead him by the hand. If he doesn't do something soon like join a 12 step group for sex addiction like our therapist advised. I'll be gone. I'm 33 and I tell you this is the last relationship for me for a long time. :) No offense, but can't take the f**** BS anymore that comes with relationships all it does is make me feel worse and worse about myself.

I hope it turns out well :)