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Suzanne
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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I discovered that my husband has been viewing several swinger

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I discovered that my husband has been viewing several swinger sites and sites that allow you to meet and partake in sexual activity with no commitment. He admited to some things such as viewing some of them but will deny other things I ask that I know are for certain. He says that he is only on these sites to watch porn. I don't believe him. I feel that the secrets and the lying means he is cheating. I can't seem to not doubt everything that he says or does. We have been together for six years, one of which we have been married. We have a fourteen month old son together and recently started a trucking company. Will he ever stop behaving this way. I have always been told that a zebra never changes its stripes? I have always been completly devoted to him. I feel that if you love someone that you vow to be faithful to that person. I honestly have never thought of fooling around. After we were married he told me that he loved me enough to allow me to sleep with someone else as long as he knew or could partake I guess you could say. I was shocked. I felt so let down. There is no way that I would ask him to do that or would I let him do that. Just the very thought of him being with someone else makes me furious. I love him dearly but not enough to allow that. In my book that is not love, that is sick. When he broke all this out I kind of felt and still feel like I don't know him. Can that truely be love? He says sex is all about pleasure well to me it is a commitment. isn't that why people get married is to totally in all manners (exspecially that one) be true to that one person? I do love him. He is a great provider for my children. I am 31 and he is 37. I have never heard mention of his like for porn until about six months ago. I feel that my values and outlook on what is right and wrong are the complete opposite of his. Will I ever be able to trust him? With feelings like his, will he ever be faithful? Should I just get out now? I believe that he loves me, but it seems that what he is doing isn't wrong to him. Everything that he does somehow gets turned into my fault one way or another. He will look me dead in the eye and deny or flat out lie to me knowing that I know the truth and could prove it. It seems every time I mention anything about anything that he has done wrong he just explodes. I guess yelling and throwing things keeps him from answering my questions. We seem to get along great when I keep quiet and go on as nothing is wrong. I am always wondering who called him through the day, if he really was where he said, and if he is along the road on the internet on his phone looking, texting, or arranging meetings from all the nasty sex and dating sites I know that he has been on. Porn is one thing but these sites hooks you up with people in your home town. People that you pass on the street, not women that are all over the world that he would never get to really meet. He told me he was in the wrong and that he wont do it anymore but I know he is just blowing smoke. Is it just for viewing pleasure? Surely there is free porn somewhere that is not the girl or housewife or(my sister) around the corner that is about the same. I could go on and on but I better stop while I am ahead. Is there any hope of making it better? I know that if he wants to do it he is going to no matter what lenghts I go to to try to prevent it but is it a phase, midlife crisis, or just the way he is going to be? Is it possible to get back the trust and faith that I once had in him? I am killing myself with worry and wonder. I stay awake at night to see if he gets up and gets on his phone. I am constantly looking out the window when he is (working) on the trucks to see if he is on the phone. I want it to be better. I am tired of taking the blame but not enough so to call it quits. If there is anything that someone could suggest that I might be able to do to fix and keep my marriage together, I would love to know. I guess the big question will be, is he willing to do the same? Sure he will say he will but is it another one of his famous lies?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Bill :

I am sorry to here about this issue in your marriage. I have worked with couples with addictive disease issues for over 30 years and the story that you relate is consistent with someone who is addicted to pornography, cybersex and most likely has acted out these behaviors ( which sounds as if this would be no surprise to you).

Bill :

On can always expect a response of massive denial and rationalization when confronted with this behavior - much the same as you may have seen with someone with alcoholism or drug addiction.

Bill :

Without some form of intervention, this problem will get worse and will continue to erode the fabric of your relationship.

Bill :

The following links address internet, cybersex and pornography addiction

Bill :

These websites also provide detailed information on intervention and treatment strategies that must be employed if one is to recover from these behaviors.

Bill :

Without treatment, prognosis for positive change is extremely poor.

Bill :

THe following link is for you!

Bill :

I trust that this will help you and if you have additional questions, feel free to reply and I will respond.

Bill :

Best, Bill

Bill :

Please CLICK GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON So I Receive Credit for My Time


I also Appreciate Positive Feedback!


Have the Best Possible Day.

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't believe he is addicted to pornography, cyber sex or the internet simply because up until about 9months ago did we have any form of internet, access to any computer, or any technology in that department. He recently became buds again with a man that he lost contact with for probly 4 or 5 years. This dirt bag loves porn. He cheats on his wife and I believe encourages my husband to do as he does. Our relationship has truly been excellent up until his renewed friendship. I know that my husband is a grown man and can make his own choices but he allows certain others to talk him right into things that he himself would not normally do. I know that he would not have known how to do any of the internet things had it not been for his good ol buddy showing how to do it. I thought that I knew a few things about are advanced technologies but I honestly had no clue that sites and things like that ever exsisted. I also know that he didn't either. I guess you could say that we are just old hillbillies. It blows my mind to think people actually do that kind of thing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Sorry Bill nothing personal. I just feel that just isn't the excact problem. I am looking for advise. Am I over reacting? Is these problems common? Should I call it quits. I would lose our business and my heart.
Expert:  Suzanne replied 2 years ago.

I'd like to give a female perspective, but must first say that I absolutely agree with the first expert...when something that a person is doing is having a negative impact on his life and his loved ones (you), but he still keeps doing it, that really does suggest an addiction. An adult man doesn't get this involved with sexual acting out just because a buddy turns him on to it. If he didn't have a leaning toward liking it, he wouldn't have gotten so involved. The first indication was that he told you (after you were married--which meant he knew it might be a deal-breaker for you) that sex was strictly for pleasure. This is a rationalization for his desires. Men know full well that women expect monogamy after marriage.

 

That said, I'll move on to your other questions.

 

Are you over-reacting? No. Are you reacting in a way that will drive him further away? Yes. I was particularly struck by this quote from your first note:

"It seems every time I mention anything about anything that he has done wrong he just explodes. I guess yelling and throwing things keeps him from answering my questions"

 

While most women would react as you have, if saving your marriage is your true goal, making him feel ashamed is counter-productive. Men have a strong aversion to feeling ashamed. Rather than feel shame, they defend, close down, and blame their partner for their bad mood or current life situation. Essentially, it puts them into fight or flight mode.

This isn't my opinion, it's taken from research by Dr. Patricia Love in her book

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It Reading her book will improve the communication between the two of you, even if you're the only one who reads it.

 

Are these problems common? Common enough that there is an entire organization devoted to helping the wives of sex addicts. (I know you don't want to call him that, but most professionals would). There is a huge discrepancy between what you expected in your marriage and your husband's attitude about monogamy. You're going to need some support to figure out if this discrepancy is too big to overcome or not. Sex addicts rarely reveal their natures before marriage, so the fact that you didn't know about his porn leanings until six months ago doesn't necessarily prove anything. His telling you it was okay to sleep around after marriage was the first very big red flag. By saying it was okay for you, he was building up a justification for himself to do the same.

 

Dr. Patrick Carnes is an authority on sex addiction. Here's a link to his website, and another link to his books on the subject. I particularly recommend his book Don't Call it Love.

 

S-anon is for the partners of people with sex addiction, and you'll find a lot of support there. You'll be in a room full of people who have been through the same pain as you have. If there are no meetings in your area, they also have online meetings. S-anon will help you keep your own sanity during this time, and will help you realize that his problems have nothing to do with you--which is very hard for most women to accept. It will also help you get the constant "checking up" on him ...something all the women in the room will be very familiar with...under control by keeping the focus on yourself and your children.

 

I'd also recommend you find a counselor to support you through this. As you said, ending your marriage would affect your children, your business and your heart...it's worth making every effort to save it before giving up. Here's a link to a directory for therapists in your area http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

 

No one expects to have to deal with a situation like this when they marry. Give yourself every opportunity for support through this rough time.

 

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for explaining to me why you both believed this. Your explaination was a lot clearer to me than just a diagnosis. Are sex addicts able to change? Should I try to confront him with this info or just read learn stay quiet and give it time?
Expert:  Suzanne replied 2 years ago.

You're very welcome. People have to come to their own understanding that their habits/addictions are ruining their lives. Think of it like alcoholism, which is more familiar to most people--a person has to "hit bottom" before they really get it. All the advice and confrontation in the world won't get them to that point. Hearing you call it an addiction will just increase his defensiveness. Use the knowledge you've gained for your own welfare and well-being. Do read the "Don't Call it Love" book--it's very clear and down to earth.

 

Keep your attention on reading, learning and focusing on what you want for yourself out of life. It's called "detaching with love"--you love the person, but disconnect from the actions of the person. (this is talked about a lot in all the "Anon" groups) This is no small feat--and that's why the S-anon meetings are so very helpful. It can be a great relief to have a room full of women to talk to who will never judge you or your situation and/or your decision to stay in or leave the marriage.

 

If there are no S-anon groups in your area, they do have online meetings. You could also try al-anon meetings, and in your mind substitute the words "sex addiction" whenever alcohol is mentioned. Actually the focus of all the "anon" groups is to help the partner of the person with a problem learn how to set appropriate boundaries, not take the addiction personally, and to keep the focus on your own welfare, regardless of the actions of others. http://www.sanon.org/meetings.htm

http://www.sca-recovery.org/literature.htm#concern

 

Sex addicts can change, and they do it the same way as alcoholics--by hitting bottom, and getting into recovery in a 12-step program, such as Sexaholics Anonymous or Sex Addicts Anonymous. However, trying to talk him into recovery is doomed to failure. Guaranteed. The only person it's possible to change is ourself. You can hear (mp3) some stories of men who were addicted and got into recovery here: http://xa-speakers.org/pafiledb.php?action=category&id=89

 

This is most likely making you feel like the earth is shifting and crumbling beneath your feet. Just know that you are not the only person dealing with this issue in their lives and that help is out there for you...give the groups a chance if there are any available in your area. If not, reading the literature from the groups and educating yourself as much as possible will help a lot.

 

I wish you all the best as you work your way through this situation. If you'd like to work together again in the future, just put "For Suzanne" as the very first words in your question, and it will get directed to me.

Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience: LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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