Please help me I don't know what to do anymore

I have been married for two years. My husband returned from iraq and we had a beautiful little boy. I thought everything was perfect until 7 months ago I found porn sites my husband had been looking at. I blew it off because I know how guys are, but when he started getting emails and text messages from random numbers I started a little digging. Long story short he was talking to girls he met in chat rooms on porn sites and sending pictures back and forth . when I got his phone I talked to a girl that he had been talking to and she said he denied being married or having any kids. This broke my heart , I did nt care he denied me, but my son?! After confronting him he got on his knees and told me it would stop. We even went to therapy. After the aessions I believed our marriage was strong. He was medically discharged from the army and we moved back to our home town. It wasnt till one week ago I seen on his yahoo account that he had been answering craigslist ads for "casual" encounters. The dates for the emails were exactly two months after the first incidence. He says that he has never physically cheated on me and that he is just addicted to stuff like that which I believe him i dont know what to do... I feel like im not good enough and he has to find pleasure by lookong at other things.. I want this marriage to work out so bad it males me sickcan someone help me or give me guidance on what I should do to help him! Thank you

me being a person on the other side of this situation in my own marriagey, can say the best thing is to be firm. It wasnt until my husband made real moves to leave me that i began thinking about stopping. Also you may want to consider the idea that he was planning to cheat physically, if he has not already, there is only one use for the casual encounters section in craigslist, if he wants virtual/online/chat sex thats a whole different category. We with this problem are not completely honest with our mates. Not because we dont love them but because we want to protect the one we love from the ugliness of our addiction, oddly in a distorted way that is an expression of our love while in the darkness of our addiction. Im not a proffessional but this is just speaking from my own experience. As an addict I cant trust myself so the idea and concept of me being trusted by my spouse is not applicable, that may be also something to consider. so i guess what you can do to help him is not let him get away with anything, there may be uncomfortable moments in your house and he may get angry with you at some points (like drug addicts do when they cant get their drug of choice) , but standing your ground will only force him to make a decision, of getting help for this addiction. Good luck

Thank You so much that helps a lot!

No problem :o)

As was said, be firm, but stay as calm as you can. The natural inclination would be, for many people at least, to chew out, lecture, and accuse. These would be perfectly justified. Totally. The problem is, there is sometimes a difference between being right and doing the right thing. You know him better than I do, but I would suggest that you handle the whole thing calmly. Make beating this a team effort. If he is feeling guilty and powerless because of an addiction, then poking at him could divide the two of you easily. Team, team, team. You become a source of strength for him. If he believes he will be lectured, he will hide. If he believes he will be helped, he will work. Your relationship has the potential to grow even stronger because you stuck together. No anger. No hostility. It may sound strange, but ask him what he wants you to do. It will show that you value him personally, and that you value his opinion. It puts him in control. He knows where his weak points are, and if you handle things right, he can show you right where they are. Asking him what to do will also help when/if he slips up because it lessens feelings of resentment, or feeling like a little kid. You're not the school principle, setting rules about things you don't understand. You asked him what to do. Your pain is real, and it needs to be expressed, but that must be done very carefully. He has to change, and that looks like it hasn't been easy for him. As much as so much of our nature would say to threaten, lecture, scream, etc..., that will only drive a wedge. He will do better with you helping him.
Good luck.

I have the exact same problem KGlover. I am not married thought, but the man that I was planning on getting married to as soon as this past week, I found out was creating relationships with sooo many different woman and recieving very dirty pictures as well as videos. He had their phone numbers and had befriended them on facebook. He denies physically having sex with them which I believe but the intent was there. He denied that he had me, who has supported him when he has been unemployeed most of our relationship and taken care of his child better than he does. I don't know what to do in the situation. I much rather not have to look over my shoulders every day and I don't want him to resent me for checking up on him always, but I don't trust him. It has been a week now and although he has been blocked from my computer he hasn't made the effort to close out his facebook or even delete the emails of all the pictures. He thinks going to church is going to help solve the problem. I think its bullshit! I need advice too on how to handle this situation.

I also recently (as in 4 days ago) found out that my boyfriend of 2 years--who I live with, has been texting, sending pics, receiving pics, posting on Craigslist casual encounters looking for men, women and couples--and basically being sexual with anyone and everyone. I had no clue. Well, I suppose I did have some red flags come up, but I brushed them off as me being paranoid. He's been absolutely wonderful in every other area, except for this (not to say that trust, respect, etc. isn't huge, because it is.) I think he has been like this all his adult life (he's 43), and part of me wants to walk away and part of me still wants to stay. I am so torn. It sucks. I go from being full of rage, to accepting that he has an addiction and needs help. ...I should walk away...but man, I really loved our life together--it was so awesome, and he was my best friend.

Hi to KGlover87, rn09soloflyin, and HowToMoveForward,

All three of you ladies have the same problem. The man in your life is involved with Internet sex sites. This kind of thing can be truly addictive, and nothing you can say will ever be able to change these guys. Listening to him and asking what you can do to help him overcome this addiction might help, if he were serious about dealing with the problem. But I saw nothing in what any of you shared that indicated that your men were wanting to get help. Oh sure, they talk a good game and promise they will never do it again, but they are addicts, and that means that they are totally and completely POWERLESS over their behavior. That's the definition of an addiction. So, if talking with them, listening to them, and reasoning with them won't work, what are you supposed to do?

In order for an addict, any addict, to get serious about turning their life around by getting into recovery, they first have to "hit bottom". Until they do, nothing you say or do will have any effect. Now this "hitting bottom" process is not a very pretty picture, and those the addict loves are often also affected when the addict is broken. Some addicts, for example, have to have a car repossessed because they spent the money that should have gone for car payments on sex before they "hit bottom", while others need to have their homes foreclosed on for the same reason before they will come to their senses. One may need to lose a job because of their sexual activity, while another may need to be arrested for some type of sex offense. And still others will need to have their doctor tell them that they have a sexually transmitted disease or are HIV+. It takes a crisis to cause an addict to "hit bottom".

Probably the best thing each of you can do, and the quickest and easiest way for you to get your men into recovery would be to ignore them completely and instead work on you. This will create the kind of crisis in the addict's life that will cause them to "hit bottom". This may sound kind of silly, but let me explain why I say this.

Your relationship is a balancing act of sorts, with each side of the scales being equal. If you do something to tip the scales in your favor, the man in your life will scramble to get things back into balance, doing whatever he can to restore the equilibrium or balance. If you get into counseling, for yourself, not for the sake of the relationship, and you learn all you can about sexual addiction and sexual codependency, you will be tipping the scales in your favor. The man in your life will then have two, and only two choices -- get into recovery himself, or leave the relationship. This is the only method I know of that is guaranteed to work.

Maybe the best place for you to start learning about sexual addiction would be with a book titled, "Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction", by Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D. This is the first book ever written about sexual addiction, and it is still the best one out there. You might also want to read, "In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior", by David L. Delmonico, Ph.D., Elizabeth Griffin, M.A., and Joseph M. Moriariity. Edited by Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D. Both books can be purchased from www.amazon.com.

As far as sexual codependency goes, you might want to start by reading, "Back From Betrayal: Recovering From His Affairs", by Jennifer P. Schneider, M.D., Ph.D., and "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal", by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means. One final suggestion would be, "Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts", by Robert Weiss, Omar Minwalla, Sonja Rudie, Jennifer Schneider, Cara Tripodi, Mavis Humes Baird, Joe Kort, Barbara Levinson, Patrick Carnes, and Stefanie Carnes. These books can also be purchase from Amazon.

There are also Twelve Step support groups out there for the spouses/partners/family members of sex addicts. The two groups I'm aware of are:

S-Anon
(Sister group to Sexaholics Anonymous which is for the addict)
www.sanon.org

Codependents of Sex Addict (C.O.S.A.)
(Sister group to Sex Addicts Anonymous which is for the addict)
www.cosa-recovery.org/

You can learn all about each of these groups by going to the websites. And on each site, you should be able to find a listing of all of their meetings (they sponsor hundreds of self help groups every week all across the country). The list should tell you what day of the week the group meets, where it meets, and what time it meets. The list will be indexed by state, and then by cities within each state to make it easy for you to find a group or two that would be convenient for you to attend. If you find something on either list that would work for you, I encourage you to drop in on a meeting or two so that you know what they have to offer and can learn what they can do to support your own recovery efforts. If there are no meetings listed in your area, then please check out the telephone groups and the online meetings. These aren't the same as "in person" groups, but they sure are better than nothing, which is what you have right now. Information on both the telephone groups and the online meetings can be found on each of the websites listed above.

I also want to give you three mega websites that each contain a wealth of information concerning sexual addiction and sexual codependency. Please take your time reviewing each site so that you don't miss anything:

Sex Help
www.sexhelp.com/

Society for the Advancement of Sexual Help
www.sash.net/

Sexual Recovery Institute
www.sexualrecovery.com

Finally, it's vitally important that each of you get into into counseling as soon as possible. No one ever overcomes a sexual addiction or sexual codependency by themselves, we all need help. Many addicts and their partners find that talking with a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist is helpful. A list of these folks can be found on the Sex Help website, and also the website of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health.

So there are my suggestions for you. I hope something here proves helpful to you. Good luck to you all.

This Helped me out so much thank you!

Hi Kglover.

I read your post. I am married and borderline (if not) sexual addict. I read the above advise (very nice), but before you go in therapy. I Have some comments and maybe suggestions from a man's point of view (cause lord knows men and women
are sexually different) First, it sounds like you are a young couple and you have had a child. I know at first sex is blazing then it tends to settle down. For a man, it is always blazing (for some) and we can't control it. Men also are very visual and fantasize a lot sexually. Have some wine with him some night and find out what his fantasy is. Maybe it's the dirty schoolgirl or hot maid (you get the picture) Once you find out. Make his fantasy come true. Make sure no kids are in the house. Dress up and meet him at the door and knock his socks off. Have sex with him as much as possible so he does not have time to look elsewhere. And just so it's not just one sided, As you find out his sexual fantasies, tell him yours. Make him play too. This will keep him occupied. Maybe make him dress up as a repairman and have him fix your plumbing. Guys like that love that kind of stuff. Good luck.

raging -penquin

I am now separated from my ex who has admitted to sex addiction. I just want to add that if a woman is having to change and do things that she may not feel comfortable doing to keep her man satisfied will not always be enough for him and his expectations may change and escalate to asking his partner to do other things. My ex had suggested many things I was not comfortable with. I became co-dependent and at times was practically forced to do things just to keep him satisfied. Speaking from experience in my own relationship he was sexually abusive because of his addiction.
Trying to please him made me lose my self and my self worth.
Sex addiction is exactly that sex addiction comparable to drug addiction.
If there is sex addiction I can almost guarantee there are many forms of abuse present as well .
just my opinion and speaking from my own experience.

AG

I just want ed to also add that unless these men can admit to their problems if they do they definitely need some form treatment or counseling.

I wasn't suggesting to do things that you did not want. Oh, yeah that aint gonna work anytime. And if there is abuse as well, stay far far away. Not all sexual addicts are abusers. I for one am not. Many, many guys have the fantasy thing going. Men are visual creatures. Hope you find a better match out there. Good Luck.

Thank you all for your insights and honesty. I'm struggling myself shall we say...

Im not cheating on my wife I love her to death but im by and its somthing she is not cofertable with any suggestions?

I am 28 and the daughter of a sex adict. I believe to keep the family intact especially with a small baby. HOWEVER, I have watched my mother go through hell with my dad and after 28 years together they are getting divorced. IF, you stay with your husband I would only do it if he is in thearpy and attends meeting for the rest of his life. This may sound a bit much but after watching my mother be drug through the bottom of hell by my sex adict father for the past 28 years I would consider this fair. Affairs, child porn, cross dressing, gay bars, hookers, internet porn.. to name a few. YOU don't want this to be you. If you think you can believe someone caught up in this addiction you are dead wrong (I would get myself test, I had to watch my mother do).

My mother's self esteem is crushed because of this. I would try to work it our if he will get help. BUT, if he doesn't GET THE HELL OUT!!! Don't be my poor mother and let him abuse you for the next 20 years. Just my 2 cents after seeing the aftermath of a sex adict who does not stick with treatment.