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Dear Chump Lady, What if there was no sex?

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Hi Chump Lady,

What would you do if your husband did the following behaviors in an 11 year marriage (two early elementary kids)? He says this is all that ever happened.

1). Went to the strippers about 15 times since the year we had our kids).

2). Had 4 lap dances where strippers put breasts in his face, and one where he said the woman put his hands on her outer thighs.

3). While away for work, asked a woman on a date (lunch supposedly) and purchased condoms for the “date.” He said they didn’t get together at all, and I was able to confirm this through a third party and texts.

4). Several months later, the woman was in our town and he went to see her (without bringing along his family) at a BBQ.

He says he has never had sex with anyone besides me. He was actually a virgin when we started dating. I’m inclined to believe him, partly because of that. Please help. I always thought my dealbreaker was the sex act specifically, but it seems he really tried to make that hookup happen.

I see a therapist alone, and he is seeing a sex addict therapist weekly. He did read Out of the Shadows and this week started on the workbook.

Confused Chump (am I really a Chump if there was no sex?)

Dear Confused,

Thank you for the public service announcement on Why It Sucks to Be the Marriage Police.

You’re confirming condom purchases and clandestine lunches through third parties and texts? WTeverlivingF?

Forget what I would do — how do YOU feel? Is this relationship bringing out your best self? Do you feel safe and respected right now? Cherished? Loved?

Stop untangling the skein for a moment, and forget if he’s This or That degree of fucked up, or did his hand graze the thigh past the point of no return. You’re really in deep with what he’s Done and Has Not Done — step back and look at the whole relationship dynamic — is what he’s doing OKAY with you? (Yes, just the incomplete disturbing bits you know about. That’s ENOUGH to know how you feel about it!)

Here is what his behavior is saying: “I like being a skeevy creep. It’s working for me. I have all the comforts of home AND I get to act single. I go to strip clubs. I ask women out on dates. I buy condoms in case I get lucky. I go to barbecues solo.”

Who cares if he has a sex problem? He has an ENTITLEMENT problem.

Are we to award him a bitch cookie for not consummating the date?

The issue here, is that he feels entitled to date while he’s married, to do whatever he likes regardless of your feelings about it. You don’t get to “cheater” without that mindset. He can stop cheating (trust me, the guy is cheating) — but as long as you have this You’re Not The Boss of Me attitude, where you are the Sheriff and he’s a wascally wabbit, you’re doomed. Anyone who wants you to live in this dynamic doesn’t love or respect you. He’s A-okay with this sucking for you and the kids. “His” time and money belong to him, to lavish on potential pussy, or sailboats, or political office, or whatever. It is good to be King! And who are you again?

So now… about that sex.

If there was no sex, why is he seeing a sex addict therapist?

Would you go on a diet for the cookies you might eat?

Anyway, at CN we’re pretty skeptical about sex addiction. As I argue elsewhere, whatever flavor of fucked up it is, get away from it. But you should read this open letter to Patrick Carnes about his methods. Supporting sex addicts and accepting “colluding” status is just more Reconciliation Industrial Complex bullshit. This isn’t a couple problem, it’s a fuckwit problem.

Confused, workbooks don’t cure entitlement. It’s a character problem, and changing character is a long road with iffy odds. Sex (and I’ll wager you all my pinecone elves there was sex. LOTs of sex. And he’s got a burner phone.) shouldn’t be the dealbreaker — him treating you like shit is the deal-breaker.

Please break the deal.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Confused, you are confusing abuse with respect. Are hands grazing outer thighs the limit for the blue numbers on the scale on your abuse-o-meter? Yes, you are a chump. Please take care.

    • Oh dear Confused, that is a LOT of spackle. Put down the trowel. Stop smoking the hopium. Go get yourself a LIFE girl! <<>>

    • My now ex also frequented go-go bars and strip clubs. He told me in the beginning that he was not allowed to touch the girls. Long story short, he not only touched them,he had oral sex with them! Anyone with deliberately-chosen lack of impulse control will always lie and always go the distance in cheating on you. I learned this after being unceremoniously dumped after forty years together. He’s most-likely now cheating on his new girlfriend (the one who broke up our marriage), Holly — an unfortunately ugly horse-faced woman.

    • Confused- I am currently living this nightmare and smoking the hopium. I feel your desperation in wanting the truth and not wanting to destroy what you were led to believe was real.

      My advice? Get a voice activated recorder unbeknownst to him and put it in his car. And for gosh sakes, don’t EVER admit this to him. He’ll just get smarter about his cheating. Learn from me. I admitted to too much because I was so intent on proving him a liar that I gave up my investigative techniques and made him a better cheater. As CL says, he went further underground. Your cheater still thinks you’re an idiot. Trust me on that point. If you do this, You will learn the truth the hard way. It will be painful as you will learn way more than you bargained for. They have recorders that look like pens. Get it delivered when you know he isn’t home. Wipe the history off the computer you buy from.

      If you truly want “the truth” and proof, this is one avenue to get it. It might be illegal in your state so think about that too. I find it hard to believe that anyone would prosecute a wife investigating her husband in their own car but take that into consideration and for gosh sakes don’t tell anyone about it. Do it for you. My guess is you’ll still choose to stay even after learning the truth and, if so, you’ll want another future way to check on Mr. No sex’s progress.

      • What the hell?!?! NO!!! This is exactly what chump nation is against. This is not gaining a life, it’s marriage police. We don’t do that. Plus recording people is illegal. Where as cheating unfortunately is not. The guy is a douche. And you my friend, need to end your marriage. STAT!!

        • I am not suggesting she play marriage police long-term, but I do think that knowing the truth will allow her to make an informed eyes-wide-open decision.

  • I just want to comment regarding the sex addiction-this is a real issue and I live with it’s ruin every second of the day. My stbx had some terrible things happen to him as a child. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol he turned to sex. It has warped his ability to connect on a real level with anyone for his entire life. Living a double lie eventually lead to his spiraling out of control and my current situation-he left to live out his addiction and my children are now without a father. I in no way condone what he has done. However, it does give some context as to how he got this way. Obviously he has always had a choice to seek recovery or dig a deeper hole. I am currently shopping for a backhoe to help him.

    • Thank you for coming forward Cindy, My husband was repeatedly raped in the bathroom of his school by who we presume to have been a priest. Sex addiction is a real thing but it’s not really about sex. It’s about sexual humiliation and getting one’s power back.

      • It’s also about character. The majority of people who were abused do not go on to be abusers themselves.

        Also, the victims don’t make them abusers. Carnes peddles a lot of blame the victim nonsense.

        • I agree that the whole standard CSAT and 12 step methods for treating it are useless and further victimize the spouse. To blame the spouse is absolutely disgusting. 12 step only has a five to ten percent success rate for alcohol addiction so the success rate of 12 step as a treatment for sex addiction is probably even lower. I also agree for a sexually abused person to choose sex addiction instead of getting help displays a lack of character. Giving in to your addiction is easier than getting help for your problem. However, with that said, there is still such a thing as sex addiction and I commend Cindy for having the guts to say it.

        • I may not be on point, here, but I will give it a try because I have pondered this question a lot.

          If we were to debate the fine points of the existence or non-existence of sex addiction, that would be untangling a skein that is ultimately just a distraction from the core issue, which is that the person’s behavior is not reasonable in the relationship.

          I have observed that conversations among those who agree that sex addiction is a thing tend to fall into two general camps – one, it is a reasonable excuse for the addict’s behavior (ergo, the addict deserves patience and support no matter the personal cost to the partner), the other, it isn’t (ergo, the addict needs boundaries and you are likely to have to cut ties to be ok). In both cases, the enabling chump gets a bad deal, but in the latter, the bad deal is a far sight better.

          It’s the same conversation all partners of addicts have. Add to it that all behaviors of adults around kids are molding their perspectives of adulthood and you have a disturbing dance going with this partner whether the addiction is heroin or hookers.

          I would submit that I don’t do anyone any favors by condoning unacceptable behavior in relationship with me. I suffer, others suffer, and the person harming me doesn’t gain the necessary life experience to make better choices later. CL is on point from that perspective.

          If a person is doing a thing to you that you would never do to that person in a million years — because it’s mean and hurtful, because it puts the person in harm’s way, because it lacks integrity, etc., whatever the reason — then you have your answer. The person is willing to hurt you (and your kids. The person’s ethical structure includes hurting you and yours.

          The core issue is, will you live your one wild and precious life like that, right now, and then later? What’s your deal breaker?

          Work on self-value and child-focused decision making, and the answers will clarify from there.

          (If a person is committed to self-work, that work will happen with or without you. Taking care of you and your kids isn’t abandoning the other person. The addict’s sob story is a manipulation, not a statement of true need.)

          • “If we were to debate the fine points of the existence or non-existence of sex addiction, that would be untangling a skein that is ultimately just a distraction from the core issue, which is that the person’s behavior is not reasonable in the relationship.”

            This goes for sex addiction, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional abuse–the whole range of ways that people take advantage of others in relationships.

          • Amiisfree- great observation. Those chumps in the first camp often end up doing double duty in the second group after years of “being patient”.

            The key here is whether the addict agrees to devote themselves to stopping the behavior and give up their “stinking thinking”. My X refused all treatments or therapy for his alcoholism caused depression. His brain structure was permanently altered by the booze. I threw in the towel after accepting “this” was who I was married to, and plotted my escape. X helped me along by threatening me, so 911 calls and a Restraining Order were my backbone and validation.

            Seeing that marriage is voluntary circumstance, we have the freedom and right to unchoose it.

          • It is so easy to get distracted from the main issue, “is this behavior acceptable to me?” That is what it ultimately comes down to.

            IF what he is saying is true, he is nonetheless testing your boundaries like any two-year old. Is that what you want to be married to? If he gets away with touching “outer thighs”, maybe he can get away with touching “inner thighs”! He will keep testing, and testing, and testing….

            I have learned, from bitter experience, You can tell him what the boundaries are….but they are unenforceable. You cannot MAKE him stop seeing hookers, etc. unless you chain him to your bedroom and take away his phone and laptop. Is that what you want?

            I am ultimately the only one who can enforce MY boundaries….by walking away.

        • I heard a lot of desperate sob stories about sexual abuse along with threats to kill himself on the second and last D Day. I didn’t play into or respond to this manipulative bull shit, and he went right into rage mode from a deep felt and artificially generated self pity.

        • My STBX came from a loving if imperfect family. He claims no abuse. He’s been living a double very secret life (that I’m to blame for according to him). Sex with hundreds of people in the 30+ years we have been married. Had no idea the scope of his dysfunction. I’m not a “volunteer” as the RIC would say. I am a victim of some very intentional (not physical .. but everything else) abuse. The abuse was not a byproduct of addiction. It was intentional. It was about power.It took great forethought and energy. It was the rape of our family as far as I am concerned. But at least he’s finally happy now with his latest volunteer/victim.

          I hope he remembers that Karma has no timeline.

        • Chump Lady, thank you for the Carnes reference. I was all sucked in by him until now. Please tell me your take on Robin Norwood’s Women Who Love Too Much, which has similar responsibility-sharing.

      • My father left me when I needed him the most as a child. I got drugged and raped by some “friends” when I was 17. And guess what?? I’m not a sex addict. I’mnot even a cheater. I’m a nice person. On the other hand my “sex/Tinder/attention addict” ex bf had abusive childhood. He brings it up whenever he needs an excuse for his shitty behaviour. It really does not matter what you’ve been through in your past. If you’re a shitty person today, you’re a shitty person, period. I don’t talk about my painful experiences and I don’t cause pain to others on purpose. But abusive childhood victims can? Nope, I don’t think so. If you’re an asshole then you’re just an asshole no matter the past or whatever. Simple as that.

        • Amen, Sister.

          I had an abusive childhood; when I grew up, I had sex. A lot. When I was married, I only had sex with my husband, and when unmarried had sex when and with whom I wanted. Tried to ensure it was with unmarried partners, but men lie. All. The. Time. As my little ol’ Okie Mama told me “A Stiff Prick Has No Conscience”. All a person can do is to try to be as honest as possible, and if you find out the other party is a liar then dump the mfer.

          So the moral of this story is “Anyone can be an asshole”. It’s amazing how creepy human beings can be.

          • I didn’t have an abusive childhood and I had a LOT of sex when I was single. I happened to be serially monogamous and to the best of knowledge, so were the young men but I have no way of knowing with 100% certainty.

            I had a lot of sex with my then-boyfriend, later husband and I never cheated on him.

            So yeah, anyone can be an asshole or not, if that is what they want to do and be.

            Also, anyone who uses their mental health issues as some sort of excuse or free pass is also an asshole.

            You can be depressed, bipolar, anxious, suffer from PTSD or any number of other ailments (physical, mental, both) and that is still no excuse to cheat. Or shoot someone for fun or whatever the hell people do and then bewail their upbringing or medication or whatever.

        • THANK YOU!!! Once childhood is over, and you’re an adult…if you’re an asshole…you’re just an asshole and it’s not all mommy’s fault any more.
          Becoming an adult means you stop blaming your parents, and take responsibility for the way you’re living. Sure, you learned some fucked up shit from them…recognize and change.

    • Cindy

      After spending 41 years with a man who led a double life he took great pleasure in telling me it was always about the thrill of the chase. It was a choice. And a great part of the thrill was knowing he had no consequences.

      Bringing condoms to lunch with a potential victim in anticipation of having sex isn’t about sex addiction, it IS about entitlement.

      The cry for sex addiction is on my opinion to avoid consequences. He’s a victim after all.

    • This may just start a war of semantics but I am one of those who do not believe in sexual addiction but rather disorder. I am not an expert but my understanding is thosewho crave drugs, do so because of physical changes at the cellular level. They can’t function without it because and suffer physical ills when it leaves their system.

      Sexual issues are an inappropriate response to a stimulus which to me is much different than physical addiction.

      We have gone down a dangerous road when we refer to behaviors as addictions because it automatically adds in a tinge of this is beyond my control and gives a somewhat of a pass.

      • Yes, and even for behavior “beyond control” does not mean you should stay with it. If you married a paranoid schizophrenic who had delusions that made them violent toward you, it’s certainly not the person’s fault they are schizophrenic. It’s a disease of the brain. It’s still UNSAFE.

        You can make the same argument about “sex addiction.”

    • My psychologist sees sex addicts and does 12 step programs. She says “the men who come to see me tell me they don’t want to hurt their wives. The want help. Your husband has been doing this for 15 years and didn’t try to get any help until this. So don’t expect him to change now. He has no empathy. If he didn’t want to hurt you, he wouldn’t have kept doing this to you. The level to which he has compartmentalized this shows psychopathy.

      I had been considering finding another therapist since she had referenced Carnes, treats sex addicts, and one time said “if they weren’t doing this they might be committing suicide” (attributing “things” in their childhood that are the underpinnings of sex addiction) all of which she knew I didn’t buy into.

      But when she said that to me, along with her other gold nuggets, I decided to stay as long as my insurance will continue to cover her.

      • My first therapist, who had both a notable clinical practice and an academic appointment treated a lot of people who acted out sexually because of childhood abuse trauma. He never called it “sex addiction,” though.

  • He gave me MANY reassurances of “we didnt have sex” over the course of a 7 year experience (all of which I thought was a wreckonciliatin) but I later realized that the first 2 years he was likely living with OW “on business” only to learn after he died that not only was there TONS of sex with that OW, there was a never ending string of predecessors.

    but I never saw them because my mind considered such a thing as beyond the realm of possibility

    he told me tales of his bosses licking whipped cream off the nipples of strippers and waited to see my reaction…Im now sure it was him doing the licking

    He sucks and if he can do what he has already done then you would be doomed to be marriage police as long as you stay with him

  • What does a man who’s not having sex need condoms for? And CL is right – even if he isn’t having sex (he is), is all the other crap acceptable to you? I know it’s easy to sort someone else’s problems out when you can’t see the forest for the trees when it pertains to yourself, but please try to see this from an outsider’s point of view. Imagine it was your sister or your best friend, or worse still, your daughter giving you this spiel. Please get out of Dodge.

    • Hey, at least he has condoms and possibly used them! My cheater is a doctor and quite openly confesses to not using condoms. Ever.
      Just sayin’……….

      • I think we may be married to same person. My cheater (multiple women over 20 yrs) is also a doctor and never used condoms. I am slowly realizing he could not have cared less if he gave me or my children an STD. If only I knew about the first affair I would have dumped his ass instead of wasting 20 years.

        • My X is an attorney with an incurable STD. He knows that to transmit it without consent to his sex partners is a felony. The one and only time I ever spoke to the current AP she said he never told her and they didn’t use condoms. Later after I kicked him out for continuing to lie and see AP, other APs came forward and told me he never informed them and never used condoms. These evil pricks don’t care about anyone!

          • My ex, a doctor, also didn’t need condoms since the “girls were clean”. But he and I both got an STD. Gee, still not sure how that happened.

  • Someone wrote yesterday “Liars cheat. Cheaters lie”.

    I think that needs to be on coffee mugs, hats, t-shirts, coasters, mouse pads, etc.

    “I see a therapist alone”

    If your therapist isn’t asking you why in the hell you put up with this, or what you’re getting out of it and if it’s that great, why the fuck are you therapy, then you need to find a new therapist. Someone who is more about FIRST changing your BEHAVIOR (yes, yours – stop tolerating this bullshit!) and THEN exploring why you ever put up with it.

    I’d start with getting an STD panel done and separating (with the goal of divorce) regardless of the results. The very fact that you need to get the panel done (you do!) should be a huge Clue-by-Four. Let’s talk Hep B, in addition to all the other fun things he can give you.

    Oversimplified analogy. If you are shooting yourself in the foot, first get rid of the gun. Then ask about your motivations. Otherwise, you’re going to lose that foot and maybe your life due to opportunistic infections.

    • Absolutely; “Liars cheat, cheaters lie”!

      I don’t mean to kill your hope, but my experience is that my EX lied through his teeth to get me to believe him when it was clear he had been late home, on work extended holidays etc with the POS shit he had hooked up with. He lied, lied and lied some more.

      It was an attempt to control me and blame shift and provide an excuse for his vitriole towards me because I wanted answers. I was a lousy human being in his eyes because he was fucking a work colleague and I was responsible for it. ( When someone figures that out, please explain it to me)!

      I think the fact that you are even discussing the semantics of his behaviour with him is a huge red flag! He has moved the goal post so that you are now discussing whether he had sex ( frankly I would be very careful believing his stories anyway) as the issue. He is a liar. He has been carrying on behind your back and whether he had sex or not, he is going to lunches with condoms ( be very careful believing his story). Unless the third party was there….. take everything with a grain of salt.

      It is a mindfuck that you are discussing semantics. He is a cheat; at this point whether he cheated physically or emotionally, it doesn’t matter. He has lied to you and just how much lying is debatable. Don’t let him control you. You draw the line in the sand about what is okay.

      Be careful. Mindfucks leave you in a fog.

  • Confused — you may also buying into his (implied) status as “Captain Compartmentalization”, the super-hero that the entitled inevitably claim to be.

    “Never fear, this has nothing to do with my life with and dedication to you. My ability to separate my secretive actions from the reality of my promises to you is faster than a $20 hooker, more powerful than a cocaine-fueled orgasm, able to leap tall sex toys in a single blind!”

    Like all coping mechanisms, Compartmentalization is useful only when used for honest and honorable purposes. Your fuckwit is exhibiting neither.

    • You really make me laugh UXWorld. My ex needs that cape to flap out behind him fantastically, as he boldly declares:
      “I only ever lied to one person – you – and that was only about my activities in the sexual realm. Up up and away (goes my dick for ten years in brothels and gay clubs)”

      Ok he didn’t really say the second sentence. First sentence for real tho.

      You say compartmentalisation, I say dissociation possibly splitting, (let’s call the whole thing off). Entitled tosser.

    • Thanks for what you say about compartmentalization. My stbx hold up his ability to compartmentalize as something that makes him superior to me. It took me a while to figure out that he compartmentalizes in order to ignore what he needs to deal with, and that not dealing with it enables his dishonesty. Me? I prefer honesty and direct action over shutting off the parts of myself I don’t want to deal with or others to know.

    • If you can compartmentalize it, it doesn’t count, right? It’s just like when I eat standing up. Those calories absolutely don’t count.

  • Confused
    CL is right. Why would he need condoms if he’s not having sex? Haven’t you thought that? Being the marriage police is humiliating & a waste of time.
    Your self esteem is at it lowest to put up with his obvious lying & cheating.

    Are you accepting to continue to live like this? He is using you in the most disgusting way! Stand up for yourself by filing for divorce & free yourself from
    the cheating lying narc. You deserve so much better.
    (( Hugs )) to you 🤗

  • Yeah, we should all thank them for not having sex. Who’s thanking *you* for being faithful? Is he being outstandingly grateful to you for not having sex with other men? Looks more like he’s playing games and confusing you.
    The emotional affair story or the random encounters, when you accidentally meet these women at restaurants, holidays…or barbecues. The cheater is arranging these things to happen, he’s getting thrills hiding his cheating lifestyle and is planning to cheat even more. Life with a covert narcissist taught me that.

    • The covert narc is awful; that is what I had, too. Passive aggressive to unbelievable levels. I don’t know how he lives each day. He is an expert at the game he plays in his head never being direct and honest about anything. His hell is to have to live with himself I guess.

      The AP #1 was dangled in front of me, introduced, invited over to my home. Prior to the home visit there was the mention-itis, hearing about the AP all the time, usually comments that made her look dumb and boring and skeevy. He loved it. I should have booted his ass out after that one instead of wasting 9 more years before he blew up everything for OW#2.

      • Now

        Coverts love the power imbalance. There’s a certain high they get from leaving evidence in plain sight, sleeping in your own bed knowing they fucked OW in it while you were at work, leaving a used condom on top of a trash can outside, and always looking at Other women.

        And it’s easy enough to SAY, “I brought a condom to lunch.” In reality that’s what they get off on, causing pain.

        But nothing happened. One has to ask themselves if this is acceptable. And damn, what stopped him wasn’t his conscience, his wife, or his children. It was because the fantacy in his head did not play out.

        He will perfect his story and learn how to spot the vulnerable.

        Once you’ve lowered your bar for acceptable behavior the cheater takes it as a free pass. The next time will be worse. Once is enough.

  • We choose to believe what we want to believe. With space from the clusterfuck you can start to make sense of it. Why buy condoms if you don’t INTEND on having sex? Is he an animal balloon maker who was out of balloons? I don’t think so.

    Douchebag McGee told me he hadn’t had sex with homeslice “yet”. Yet he was staying with her, watching 50 Shades of Grey, getting bjs and expressing his love for her….. all right in front of me while I played the Pick Me Dance.

    Don’t minimize it and put it into a different category. Deceit is deceit. He needs to own that shit (along with a nice settlement). I get it… you’re probably scared of starting over. It sucks, but I can promise you it won’t suck nearly as bad as playing marriage police.

  • Sometimes people who have only ever been with one person and/or lose their virginity later in life feel like they’ve missed out on playing the field. Decent people in that situation talk to their partners about trying new kinks, opening the relationship, and go from there – maybe to a breakup if they feel strongly about it.

    They don’t bring condoms to a lunch date.

    If he’s not had sex with someone else, he’s going to. Imminently.

    • I get that… My husband and I had only been with each other. Now I feel like I’m going to lose everything if i don’t have a threesome with him. I suppose I hate feeling like I’m wrong for trying to start a relationship young. It’s like a forever excuse for horrible behavior and makes me feel like his bullshit is more understandable and my fault :-/

      • Kat, my husband was my first ever boyfriend and the only man I was ever with or wanted. There’s nothing wrong in starting a relationship young if you both truly believe you are going to be together forever. What else could you have done? It’s a tragedy that it didn’t work out for either of us Kat, but do not allow your fears to drive you to something you don’t want to do and which may destroy your self-esteem. If you don’t want a three some, it’s your right to say so, and if your man wants a three some more than he wants you, then he’s already left you. Many hugs to you lovely Kat xxx

  • Mine had sex addiction too.

    But of course he never had sex outside of the marriage either.

    Until, of course, it turned out that he actually did, with a prostitute, when I was pregnant with our daughter.

    No problems lying about that for eight years and calling me “crazy” because it didn’t feel right anymore with him. I would go back and forth wondering if I was just using his ‘addiction’ to keep him ‘feeling bad’ like he said.

    For EIGHT years I had recurring nightmares of him going off with some shadowy woman.

    LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR GUT IS TELLING YOU! Mine knew it all along. It wasn’t wrong. It really bugged him.when I would say “I don’t think you did but my gut keeps telling me otherwise.”

    You know What? The day he admitted it the nightmares stopped.

    And the day I kicked him out and held to it all of a sudden that sex addiction wasn’t so damn important anymore to him. But it required going through a bunch of testing bullshit to the point where I’d fucking had it.

    I, too, would only consider the physical act as the deal-breaker. And it kept me held hostage for eight years.

    As soon as it turned out he had broken the deal long before I even knew aboit the rest of his bullshit I realized that it didn’t even hurt anymore then everything else he had already done including letting me know that I just didn’t cut it for him. So he could continue to be a douchebag.

    Get it? He’s already put in the full effort to fuck someone else. You might as well avoid the STD risk and at least kick the SOB out until you know that YOU can be safe. That was my line. If I didn’t feel safe and loved by him, Well, I would make sure I was sage and loved by ME. I still make sure I’m.safe and love by ME.

    And I’ve got to say I’ve never been more re-victimized in my life than dealing with the sex addiction recovery model.

    It just shits on your already stepped on self-esteem. It’s a daily fucking reminder about his gut-wrenching cluster-fuck mess. It’s this constant attack on your character too, when you are already fucking traumatized.

    Chumplady was the only place that GETS these feelings and makes it okay to vent them without some condescending therapizing repackaged as “help.”

    Blame shifting isn’t help. He doesn’t cheat because “you’re controlling or male him feel shame.” You “letting him deal with his own problem and relapse and accountability” works incredibly well if he was y’know, “honest, didn’t ‘relapse’ (aka troll around for pussy behind you back because we all know life solutions are in the bottom of someone else’s vagina) or actually dealt with his own problems.”

    Sex addiction therapy works wonders for those seeking not to be lying, entitled, manipulative douchebags. In other words, sex addiction therapy works great for people that aren’t sex addicts to begin with!

    Anyone give you any success stats on treatment? Not many stats ARE kept and the only one I was able to find said there was a 95% failure rate.

    So not only do you go through this character-assassination bullshit, relieve his abusive lying bullshit every damn day, walk around feeling like shit and feeling triggered by so many different things from seeing an attractive woman in public or wondering if he really IS at work this time…….you get to have it all fail 95% of the time.

    Funny how my husband could drag us through eight years of failed recovery attempts and multiple therapists he lied to only to have my boot on his ass out the door and polygraph therapy do fucking wonders.

    I know a lot of people here say it’s no way to live and that’s fine. But I wouldn’t go less than that.

    I should have sent him on an instant vacation when I found him messing around when I was 8 months pregnant flirting with sluts online. I was ready to until we went to a “marital counselor as a last-ditch effort.” That guilt-inducing shit gave him ammo for years about how he was ‘trying so hard’ and that I was ‘shaming him’ and ‘unsupportive.’ And how he ‘just wanted his family and didn’t want to be a sex addict and why wouldn’t I give him a chance?”

    Maybe because I didn’t owe him one.

    I told the counselor “maybe I don’t want to be married to someone with these issues at all.” But oh no that was ‘very cruel’ Because ‘clearly this man was willing to confront his issues and he’s willing to work through them. When you married you said for better and worse.’

    Funny, seems he forgot the part about ‘forsaking all others.’

    • “If I didn’t feel safe and loved by him, Well, I would make sure I was sage and loved by ME. I still make sure I’m.safe and love by ME.

      And I’ve got to say I’ve never been more re-victimized in my life than dealing with the sex addiction recovery model.

      It just shits on your already stepped on self-esteem. It’s a daily fucking reminder about his gut-wrenching cluster-fuck mess. It’s this constant attack on your character too, when you are already fucking traumatized.”

      This makes my blood pressure soar. That he would do it, that counselors would try to sell you on it, that you were abused so thoroughly, by so many who surrounded you – by people who should have had at least some empathy for YOU.

      I hope you are now queen of your world.

      • No Shit — I just want you to know I value all of your insights and I am thankful you bare your soul on CL. I find so much value in what you say and it helps me put my shit situation into perspective. I am sorry for all the hurt your mind-fucking sick fuck brought into your world and I wish you peace.

        • Thank you Bodhi and I hope that your situation improves drastically. I wish for immediately, but I know better. Sure would be nice though!

      • I AM Queen of my world. I don’t take shit anywhere anymore. But I make damn sure not to hand shit out either. Thank you for your kind words. It was too much to pile on top on a young, new mother and I refuse to let my daughter fall in the myriad of traps that victim-blaming lays out for her.

        I am very proud of her as I have seen her navigate bullies well, both of the kid and adult kind. She will be a force to be reckoned with. But she’s also well-tempered and introspective. 🙂

      • I forgot the kicker about how “maybe I didn’t deserve to be a parent” if I couldn’t accept “faults” in someone.

        And no, I wasn’t complaining about anything else other than the lying and sexual addiction factor.

        WTF is with some people?

    • “For better or worse” only applies when both parties keep the contract. The “worse” part is about accidents of fate, financial issues not brought on by crime or abuse, losing a job, death of a family member, etc. It’s not about finding out you are married to a cheater, an embezzler, a white-collar criminal, a rapist, an addict of any sort, or a killer.

      • Ironically she left her first husband. So I can’t take seriously someone who wanted me to stay through layers of mental and emotional abuse who didn’t walk the talk herself.

        Not that I would have wanted anyone to stay through that or anything.

  • To me, at the point you are at, it wouldn’t matter whether he had full-on intercourse or not. I would be willing to bet my life he has). I don’t trust him for a very good reason. The reasons are your bullet points 1, 2, 3, and 4. Which qualify as cheating. If he’s doing something he wouldn’t do if you were standing there with him, he’s cheating. I think we start splitting hairs to avoid pain. Read again and again Chump Lady’s response to you. I think she is spot on.

    • BTW, my husband was home at 5:30 every night.
      In bed with me every night. Had very little time away from our family. No time to cheat. Or so I thought. Turns out he was leaving work in the afternoons. A lot. (we own our own business). I realized EVEN HIS PHYSICAL PRESENCE IS NO EVIDENCE OF FIDELITY!! His mind and heart, which I can never police, and WOULDN’T WANT TO, were with other people the whole time he was ACTUALLY IN MY PRESENCE.
      Your husband’s actions are not the actions of a man who is loyal to you, who respects you, who reveres and values you. He’s made his mind and heart clear to you, with or without intercourse. Please don’t settle for being treated like trash.
      Please.

      • ….he was also going out into the front yard to talk to her after our daughter and I fell asleep….probably texting/emailing her while
        sitting right next to us on the couch….we have a freaking sailboat, which I now assume was also gear for the double life….and the new Dodge Ram 1500 hookup, oops, I mean pickup, probably bought to save money on hotel rooms…..no wonder he wanted the darkest tint on the windows. When you see a cockroach, it’s safe to assume there’s a million more behind the walls.

        • OMG!

          Some of what you write is eerily similar to the life I had with the Circus Clown’s Monkey, as I call him. LOL

          Yep, if you see a cockroach, it’s safe to assume there’s a million more!!! That description is hilarious, by the way.

      • OMG Velvet, this was exactly my husband. It is scary how skilled they are at lying and covering up their double life. Mine did that for 25 years and no one had a clue.

        When they slip and we find out something that lets us on to who they really are, it’s usually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their secrets and lies. Yet they will gaslight us to confuse us, minimize what they did, and throw us off the trail of their double life and back to the facade they want us to believe.

        It takes incredible strength to go down the path of truth. But it is so worth it ultimately.

      • Mine did that too, the first thing I said to her was “how’d you find the time?”, I was utterly baffled.

        • MAGICAL,
          I understand that , my cheaterTurd was always home , one day my next door neighbor said to me , you know cheaterTurd is Goooood friends with mrs.slutbag across the street . i said “no way WE don’t even talk to that bitch”! she said ,”well i see him slither across the street every day when i go to work “. well soon after that cheaterTurd wanted to have sex with me , and i could smell the sex ,vagina smells all over his face ! i was shocked and anguished beyond words , because i believed his facade ,or his lies .come to find out he was getting up at 4am and slithering over there and getting home before i got up . i had noticed the smells on his face at different times over the years , and you can imagine the “gaslighting” , when i asked about the”smell” on his face ..the your crazy , your out of your fucking mind , etc. etc. but after the exchange with neighbor , this big lie story fell right into place . and all these mates that believe the cheaters lie “we didn’t have sex” , these cheaters don’t hook up to “hold hands” their intent is to fuck , and to lie about it “to the death” .many cheaters have malice and enjoy our pain and anguish . my did .
          there was a “micro grin” when i confronted him this time about mrs, slutbag . oh and BTW cheaterTurd was after neighbors lovely teenage daughter , beyond disgusting .

          • This is soooo gross!!!!
            How utterly disrespectful.

            No fucking shame. He’s a sick motherfucker.

            I’m so sorry.

  • The ex in my situation also claimed he did “nothing wrong” due to No Sex.

    I personally think he did a LOT wrong, sex or not. His thing was “You can’t prove I screwed her.”. He was right, I couldn’t. But he could not prove he didn’t, and really, if your marriage is to that point, why bother? There’s nothing there for you.

  • He bought condoms “just in case”?
    Other than that, how did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln?
    Whether he actually had sex, he wanted it. He got excited by the purchase. My ex has always maintained he had NO PHYSICAL CONTACT. I really don’t believe it…Even if it true; he lied and deceived for 2 years. I could not live with that anymore. We deserve better.

    • Yeah, my X, when first caught by the kids😢😢😢😢. On Christmas😢😢😢😢😢😢 lied about the following:
      1) it was an emotional flirtation (it wasn’t- he actively pursued her after a chance encounter in an elevator- he texted her thousands of times and fucked her in the afternoon at a downtown hotel);
      2) he never touched her (see #1);
      3) he never fucked her (see #1);
      4) he had never cheated in 26 years together (many other women came out of the woodwork with PROOF that his cheating went back at least 20 years when we only had one child — we had 3 more);
      5) he adored me and never wanted to divorce and lose the family (who knows— he told his APs and later me and kids in a rage that he hated our family and couldn’t stand us for the past 10 years!— his abandonment since I booted his ass out in 2015 proves he didn’t care enough to try to be there for the kids – sees them less than 3 hours a month);
      6) blah blah blah…. all lies. If his mouth is moving he is lying.

      I finally saw the light, sued for divorce, won everything we owned at trial, and got full custody. I’m at meh and completely NC with that evil rat bastard. Life 2.0 is so unexpectedly grand that I regularly pinch myself!

      Leave a cheater, gain a life!

  • I could have written this post 7 years ago, and i think I might have on some of hundreds of support forums.

    Here I am 7 years later, going through a 3 year divorce that has gone to trial! These fuckwits will literally defend themselves to the end! I even have a screen shot of a text where he is hiring an escort over text. Are you fucking kidding me? I have no doubt there will be some lie to defend himself.

    We did the sex addiction counseling thing for years. We even did a 3 day intensive with Dr. Weiss (apparently a pioneer in the field). My personal opinion is this – sex addiction is an excuse for bad behavior. Sad sausages aren’t incapable of self control, they just don’t want to control themselves.

    Manipulators use your hope and empathy against you. If they can make you feel bad for the hurt THEY CAUSED you, you’re on a slippery slope and opening yourself up to being gaslighted. Let’s be clear… your emotional response to their egregious behavior is not the problem, the behavior is the problem!

    Alas, just like so many spouses of “sex addicts” I suppose you’ve been sad sausaged into believing his issues aren’t personal… it’s something he can’t control. BULLSHIT! There are hundreds of decisions that are made between kissing your spouse goodbye and ending up at the store buying condoms!

    The only good thing I see coming out of this is you’ll pick me dance to the point of consideration for long term alimony (if you live in a state with alimony laws).

    I wish I could transfer all my experience (16 years) with “sex addiction” into your brain, but alas, it’s usually only through experience that we learn the hard lessons.

    • I am an addict/alcoholic with 33 years in recovery, and I think sex addicts should be in relationships with fellow sex addicts! That’s one 800 lb. gorilla I am not messing with. My husband was going to the Asian “massage” parlors at the same time he was (is?) seeing the Lower Companion. Addiction may explain the behavior but that doesn’t mean I should live with it!

      • My therapist told me that sex addicts typically aren’t attracted to one another-they aren’t each other’s type!

        How ironic is that, if true?

        • Probably true…! Why else would people cool with cheating marry people who aren’t cool with cheating? That’s why we’re (sadly) all here….e
          I now agree with my husband that his Lower Companion his “sole mate” (his spelling). Their souls are both defective.

        • Well, there’s no one to chump! No one to take advantage of. That”s a sort of disordered but level playing field. Both parties lying and sneaking and manipulation. What’s the fun in that?

        • groundhound ,
          i don’t think thats true , at SA meetings , there is rampant sex going on , and with my cheaterTurd he only looked for an “orifice” he really did not care about the rest of the body , just the orifice.

          • Repulsed and breathless…what YOU are saying makes way more sense to me. It came up in the context of me asking-why would those meetings be COED?? I can only imagine a room full of sex “addicts” who can’t (read: choose not to) control themselves to the detriment of losing their entire lives/marriages. It just seems like a recipe for disaster.

    • I own that I believed “we” could fix this (aka, i smoked a lot of hopium).

      Instead of getting mad at the hurt he was causing me, I stuffed it down and tried to own and direct what belonged to him … HIS dysfunction. I minimized my pain so we could fix his.

      I took a “we” approach, but little did I know there was no “we”, it was all about him. I truely believe that hurting me gave him pleasure. Looking back it’s like a sadistic nightmare.

      • “I took a ‘we’ approach, but little did I know there was not ‘we,’ it was all about him.”
        This describes my situation exactly! Realizing that made the scales fall from my eyes, and made clear that I had nothing to work with.

  • Confused, your letter sounds like something I might have written about 10 years ago. At that point in my marriage, I had discovered lots of pornography, sexual messages between him and other women, and money missing from our savings account. He admitted that the money he took from our savings account was used at strip clubs. But he said there was no sex. He was ashamed and sorry and promised to stop. We didn’t have money for counseling, but he did start going to a 12 step group for sex addicts.

    Over the next 8 years, there were periods of time I didn’t find any evidence of infidelity and things seemed to be great between us. There were also times I did find evidence of infidelity: texts or messages between him and other women, missing money, and more pornography. He always swore there was no sex. It was “just talk”, he was ashamed, he was sorry, he would stop, he would get counseling/spiritual direction/read a book/go to a marriage retreat with me. etc. About 3 years ago, after a series of messages I discovered between him and another woman, which he again swore did not involve sex and which I “confirmed” by talking with her, I pressed for a full disclosure. It took him 2 years to do the disclosure, but when he did, he admitted to many sexual affairs, including the strippers and the last affair I discovered (remember, the one where I “confirmed” there was no sex by talking with her?).

    Do you know what a lap dance is? When my stbx first told me that he had been to strip clubs and that he had had lap dances, I thought that was just a stripper dancing in front of a man. It’s much more intimate than that. It’s a stripper rubbing herself up against a man until he has an orgasm. And it can include or lead to actual sex.

    My stbx’s remorse and attempts at change kept me stuck in the marriage for a very long time. But he was lying and continuing his behavior. He had other people lie to cover for him. To keep me in the dark. I am just astounded at how much he deceived me.

    We are in the process of divorce now. I filed last fall and I hope it will be finalized before the end of the year. After the disclosure, I decided to go back to school and finish my degree. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. I graduated in May, with honors. I have a job lined up and will start working in August. When I filed for divorce, I told my family and friends what was really going on–about the infidelity and the abuse that went with it. People have been so loving and supportive. I was always afraid that I would be an outcast or something if people knew what our marriage was really like.

    I don’t want to give too many details, because he knows I read CL, but we have a large family together. I went back to school and finished with many children still living at home, some of them pretty little. I just want to encourage you that it can be done. I didn’t do it alone; my family and friends helped me. So many people were willing to help when I asked.

    Big hugs to you, Confused. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    • Same story here.

      The discovery process of divorce was very eye opening. $10,000 (yes I typed that right) on credit cards in ONE night at a strip club. That was buying more than drinks and tipping. Not to mention strip clubs were agreed off limits in our marriage. Just like so many other things, that rule only applied to me.

  • Confused:

    Sorry but “confused” isn’t the correct descriptor here. Instead, how about selecting one or more from this list (or come up with some of your own):

    Wounded
    Duped
    Harmed
    Deceived
    Offended
    Disregarded
    Injured
    Disrespected
    Brutalized
    Dishonored
    Violated
    Depreciated
    Injured
    Deserted
    Undervalued
    Dismissed

    PLEASE LEAVE TODAY.

    • Or he might be a Jackass type who loves the chase but fears the actual performance, where he might…come up short.

      • This! ^^^^

        Porn dick not very useful, practically. But I never complained or chased strange.
        Because i’m not a disordered cheater.
        But he is.

        Trust that they suck.
        ….and not even well, at that.

  • Will you ever be able to believe a word he says now ? Doubt can eat you up. Maybe try for six months or a year then see if you feel any trust. Set a deadline. He very much wants to experience other women sexually before he dies. I would bet on that.

  • My Ex-husband confessed to visiting adult shops in his lunch hour but claimed he only went to watch the movies. Claimed he always went by himself, that the movies (aka porn) was straight even though where he was going was in the middle of our cities gay sector. I did not believe his claims suspecting much more I stated I saw his actions as adultery, when I spoke out about it he called in our minister who listened to his story and then advised me I was too black and white about life and that he had confessed and basically I should get over it. Within two years we changed churches and he got a clean slate because from the beginning of our marriage he had conditioned that once you confessed something it should not be held against you. For the l2 years that followed I endured a constant avalanche of lies and denial resulting in him eventually confessing to an affair with a man and multiple partner’s over 8 years. Because I had become so broken turning myself inside out trying to make everything happy Yes I spackled at Olympian levels, I never noticed that my son at age 11 became the internet police in our home after catching his father looking at homosexual porn and being bullied to keep his mouth shut. His father got smart and began wiping the history every time he used the family computer. It took 4 years and him catching his father out again for him to tell me what he knew. He should never have been put through that…..

    Confused, while you are trying to unravel the skein of fuckedupness and hoping to justify your choices to stay, it was not sex, and he was a virgin when we married (yep so was mine apparently) what are your kids getting? I ask because I know what the answer is, they get a father who is too busy putting himself first to care about the long-term effects of his behavior on them, and a mother that who is distracted because she is constantly tied up in knots over the lack of connection with her husband and angry all the time because she can not get a straight answer to any of her questions, and despite the nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach that something is defiantly wrong she puts up with it and makes excuses. Until D’day hits!!!!

    • @Thankful This is an excellent question and one that takes courage to honestly answer. You get it… @Confused, please don’t wait until you have “proof” because you already do. Our stories are similar… no sex. I was 17 years in when I received an email, the one we all dread but expect, from the OW’s husband confirming a three year affair.

      Recap: What are your kids getting? I ask because I know what the answer is, they get a father who is too busy putting himself first to care about the long-term effects of his behavior on them, and a mother that who is distracted because she is constantly tied up in knots over the lack of connection with her husband and angry all the time because she can not get a straight answer to any of her questions, and despite the nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach that something is defiantly wrong she puts up with it and makes excuses. Until D’day hits!!!!

  • Honey, that’s a cheatin man if there ever was one. It doesn’t matter if he says “I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMAN”, (because he certainly has had sex with her or some other women!), what matters is he isn’t fully present in your relationship and he is trying to find secret ways to get sex or kibbles or combination of both. Which means he is lying and manipulating you. You want to live life like that? With your heart in your throat half the time? Never being able to relax? White-knuckling it through the relationship? F*ck that noise. Kick him to the curb, girl, and keep your sanity.

  • oh, and another thing. Its never good to marry a virgin. They will always be wondering what’s out there that they missed.

  • Having sex with someone else is only part of the cheating. Chasing & making plans to be with someone else is a huge part of cheating. The cheater has checked out of the marriage. Not having sex means he was possibly shut down by the other person. His intent was quite clear.

  • I know when I had my 5th and final dday with ex narcopath and he was lying and gaslighting and being a pathetic crybaby asshole because I caught him with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, What really forced me to wake up was that “his attention was on another woman”. Even if she meant nothing.

    He professed he loved me, he was committed, I was everything he ever wanted. He kissed my ass daily.

    But then he does this? TALKING to other women? And I later found out sleeping with other women?
    That’s his version of love and commitment.
    That’s bullshit.

    I was so in love with this man that I simply could not fathom this. The thought of psychically being with anyone else, other than him, made me want to throw up. So, why was it so easy for him? Why could he fuck these other people and not be repulsed because they smell differently than me or kissed differently or felt different? It would be so wrong.

    But. He did it: BECAUSE HE WANTED TO.
    It didn’t even phase him.

    That is what got me stuck after we broke up the final time, and he went off merrily with another woman. I kept trying to apply my morals and thinking to him, and apples to bananas (or satan) just doesn’t work.

    All those times he was “just texting” or on POF were times he was not focused on US and that is unacceptable to me.
    I don’t want to spend my life with a knot of anxiety in my stomach wondering wtf he is doing anytime he is away from me for 5 seconds. I found out much later, that when we were dating and I would make plans to go out with girlfriends he would always message an ex girlfriend trying to hookup. He hated when I did anything without him and always tried to get me to change my plans (red flag) and when I held firm he would punish me by trying to hook up with someone from his past. He was scared to be alone because he knew he did bad things but I also think he was a selfish psycho. So who knows.

    My point is that YOU would never dream of doing the shit he has done.
    You’ve got nothing to work with and it’s time for hard consequences.

  • I believe sex addiction is real. My wife has been with many men during our entire marriage, often more then one at a time. It’s a painful grueling experience. But I also believe addiction is a choice. Because, you quit by choosing not to do it anymore. With that being said, Chump lady is right. It’s their Character…they can choose to destroy lives or realize how destructive their behavior is and make major changes.

  • Mine was “just a kiss” when our baby was five weeks old. Oops! He happened to leave out an important detail! It was actually sex but it suited him to keep that to himself another 4 years until he was in love with his affair partner and “couldn’t choose” between us.

    But his false confession earned my trust and had me taking risks for him and making sacrifices to keep our marriage intact. I wish I had those four years back. Don’t let him waste your life. I am so angry to have been duped out of both the final years of my fertility and just the simple fleeting chance to focus on our baby’s early years instead of all the drama he invited.

    What’s your husband doing while you trust him with his sex addict “I’m really trying” smokescreen? Mine gave $14000 to his mom without my knowledge. He was about to do it again the next year but I filed for divorce so he couldn’t. He probably hid money other ways too.

    He had plenty of time to tell whatever story he wanted to his family and friends. He started putting his hands on my neck during sex. Danger.

    Get away get away get away. You won’t believe it perhaps, but it is so different, so much better even single parenting after marriage to someone like this. Life rocks when captain entitlement isn’t around to make every little thing hard. Focus on yourself and your babies.

    Liar tries to cheat on wife. Enough said. Don’t wait until you know in great detail. It’s too many years of your life and too much abuse from now. And then the details will torture you too. His mistreatment will have had the Miracle Gro of cake to make it strong. You are ready to be free from him. You would never advise your child to stay in a marriage like this I bet. Be free.

    • I forgot to add the MOST important thing I learned through the whole ordeal is that it doesn’t hurt some people to lie. Lying doesn’t feel good to me and I had been projecting that on him. But lying was easy for him. And research shows lying makes you comfortable with lying. My about to retire therapist says “you can’t fix a liar!”

      Reading the “projection” page on Outofthefog.net was a turning point for me.

    • Yes, the first time I caught my wife. She said they just kissed…several men later she still said they only kissed. I knew she was lying but I was to busy with the pick me dance. My self Esteem was so shot, I did everything to save the marriage and made it easy for her….when I finally had enough. I reclaimed my manhood back….I should have done it long ago.. Chump lady is right, you really gain a life

      • What is it called when a woman reclaims her “manhood back”? ‘Cause that’s what I did, too, but I’m a woman.

        • “Trying for mighty”……I like the word Moxie….it sounds sexy too…..so you got your Moxie back!….congrats girl!!!

  • #1. They lie, we believe (seems like you are trying to believe him) and then it turns out that they are mind boggling good liars. It’s just so hard to fully fathom that the person you love and are loyal to could go out and have sex with someone else. They just don’t do loyalty. They really don’t. It’s a minute thing in comparison to the grand happiness feels they get. Their brain is just different. It’s actually easy for them to cheat. They can rationalize it.

    #2. I dealt with a ‘trying to cheat’ issue back in 2011 with XW. 2nd chance, marriage counseling, promises to be a better person for this ‘unfortunate situation that is definitely not what you think it is” blah, blah, blah. Once you forgive them they actually become secretly resentful of you for getting in the way of their thing that they were trying to do. They then use that resentment to rationalize cheating on you all the way next time.

    #3. He’s doing sex addiction therapy even though he claims he never actually had sex with anyone ???? Sounds suspicious. His therapist is going to tell him that it’s “up to him”to decide whether to tell you or not that he has been cheating. In turn he won’t tell you because….”he doesn’t want to HURT you”. Then he feels like a good person.

    Walk away. Just the peacefulness alone makes it 100% worth it.

  • When I read the Carnes book, I was still trying to untangle the skein, and I had joined the marriage police. I thought I might be promoted to Master Detective, but then one day, clarity occurred, and I resigned from the force. I think it was part of a process I had to go thru because of my family of origin issues, and I was grateful for some of the information about pornography, and how it does become addictive to the brain — the awful part has to become worse for the thrill, and it never gets better.

    It was helpful to me to understand how porno turns live human subjects into body parts and specific acts performed with simulated feeling and emotion. It was helpful to learn that many are “recruited” into the sex industry by those who are willing to exploit people who have no viable choices. I finally understood compartmentalization. This is different from prioritizing, because a heavy dose of entitlement is added to the dysfunctional personality mix. It may well be a gateway to the deviant behavior of cheaters in training. Porno and hanging out with others who have no character or values can lead to a life of deceit and chumping others.

    I can tell you from my personal experience and investigations during my stint on the marriage police that these folks may talk about changing, but they never seem to be able to pull it off. Change is possible for YOU if you have character and values and YOU are willing to do the hard work involved. If YOU decide to change your life and fix your picker, you can build a better life for yourself. You cannot change another person, and if your relationship was based on lies, it is doomed.

    In the end, for me, it wasn’t the sex that was the deal breaker. It was the lies. I grew weary, and used the anger I had left to propel myself to freedom. I woke up one Tuesday, and found myself in a better place. I was older, wiser, and living peacefully. I had gained my own life, and it was infinitely better than the life I left behind. Trust that he sucks, and is not worth your time and effort, You won’t regret it, I promise!

    • We are still learning a lot about brain wiring, but repeating behaviors over and over is one way to hardwire in that behavior. That’s a sign to get out.

  • I go through life with the philosophy that life is a trade off of problems.

    I know in divorce I’m going to worry that he will meet someone else, just as I worry about that now. So that is one problem that I will not lose in divorce. I can’t afford our house on my income alone and will have to move, so I know I will definitely be trading for that problem, which I do not want to do, as my kids are rather attached to their school, which will be starting soon. I have spent a great deal of time planting trees, and I really love my yard that I worked at when we built this house.

    It would be nice to have an agreement in divorce that gives me peace of mind. But, I know that I will be sad when he meets someone else and I’m left in an apartment without my yard.

    However, I do not want to be married to someone with a reputation for being a sleazebag. How do I know how many people know about his problems? He went to the strippers alone, so no one would know.

    • He is not the man you thought he was. Maybe like me you love the illusion. No one he meets is going to get the illusion. It takes a while for the fog to clear, to reconcile who he actually is with who you thought he was. I remind myself that the pain I feel of him being with someone else is about MY ILLUSION of who he is being with someone else. BTW, he lied to his affair partner
      (Lower Companion) too…..he is not a prize and after all I have been through I deserve a REAL prize. He doesn’t qualify.

    • So I was in your spot for years until it got worse. So I get your point. But I can tell you something Chump lady has said. “I hate that my choices suck.” Just say it. Than either stay with him or leave, but do not f- ing play the marriage police. You won’t be in a good relationship, but don’t think he is going to change by doing this workbook. Your choices suck- but can you imagine living this same nightmare until you are 50? For some trees?

      • What? You are indeed confused. You are not trading off problems if he is married to you and seeing other people. By divorcing, you END the problem of what he does with other people. You END the problem of being married to someone who lies and deceives you. You END the problem of living with someone who disrespects you.

        If you divorce, you don’t have to support the kids on your income alone. You can get child support.

        If you sell the house, you can buy a new one and plant new trees in the same school district. You don’t have to live in an apartment. Or your kids, like you, will learn that some things are more important than where you live or where you go to school. What are YOU teaching those kids by tolerating this abuse?

        • And I’ve divorced and walked away from a lovely home and gardens and all sorts of things I loved. I’ve also divorced and taken on the burden of managing property on my own. You are stronger than you think.

      • Agreed. I played the marriage police for too long. The stress made me crazy (which just fueled his narrative of me) and I think very much contributed to me getting cancer. It’s not worth it.

    • Or…. you could have a cool yard and meet an awesome life partner who loves trees just as ardently and loves to hold your hand! And your kids are rocking it at their new school.

      This possibility will never happen so long as you crowd your life chasing after) your “nonsex” man. There’s only 24 hours in a day and you have one life.

      I sense a lot of fear behind your rationalizations. It’s scary and hard work starting a new life but it’s worth it!

    • Why are you contemplating ‘what if’ scenarios instead of focusing on protecting yourself and your children? Get your priorities straight.

    • Well CC, just go ahead and stay married to your house, trees, school district and his promises to overcome his dark propensities…let him spin it anyway he wants to. That might get old real fast…but you can do it…at least half of us here DID before we finally had enough! Don’t bother wasting your energy and emotions being the marriage police because cheaters (or potential ones) know how to take it underground and you don’t want to waste precious time on this exhausting endeavor either. Just enjoy your home and trees…make sure the kids enjoy them too while you all can. Seriously.

      Let your husband do his workbook while you look the other way hoping that something in it will stick for awhile. Once he sees that your guard is down, he will ramp up and regroup his tactics…all the while making you think you are safe with him…that can actually work in your favor over time if you develop a plan.

      So what if you can’t prove that he did or did not have sex with someone else…he has already SHOWN you his true desires. Wait until he flings that shit squarely into your face and jumps ship. OR, a better idea would be to perhaps reposition yourself and get a really good job in the meantime so you can buy him out of the house and keep everything that is precious to you once this happens?? It’s okay…you can stay and hunker down living with what little you already know (many here did)…but if you do, just don’t neglect to make an exit plan because someday you will NEED it.

      Keep an eye out on the finances in the meantime…nearly ALL cheaters have a nasty habit of hiding money, taking or moving money or getting into incredible debt behind your back. OR they convince you to go deep into debt financing stuff to placate them while they are working out their “issues”.

      • Oh, most importantly, make certain the he wears condoms here after…he was willing to wear them for the potential skank, he should also be just as willing to wear them for YOU.

      • Get a post nup to protect you financially if you decide to stay with a cheater. That alone would have saved me at least 300k and the alimony I can’t get because he stopped working before we separated.

    • Dearest Confused,
      I understand. I understand. I understand.

      Here is a strange idea. Why don’t you tell him that you believe he needs some time apart from you. And that he should go get a studio apartment. I know it makes your stomach knot to imagine him other women.

      I went through two years of deranged projected -meaning lasting far too long- grief over this issue. As someone wrote above very well I could not wrap my mind around the fact that he wanted to taste or smell another woman. But he did.

      I think that medication, strenuous exercise and having a therapist helps. But you are just going to have to white knuckle those mind movies. Remind yourself he is no prize. Remind yourself that you have no control over that – his desire to experience other sexual partners.

      I can make you this promise: that the pain will subside. When I read that on this website 2 years ago- I thought to myself …..yes but not for me. But it did.

      It also can help to have safe sex with other people but you may not be ready for that. As alternate, go get lots of massages. Be touched. Hug people.

      So get him out of your house. I deeply understand attachment, that geographical psychology of loving a piece of land. Once you get him out of the house, talk him into paying some support. Make him see that that’s the price he has to pay for exploring all of the sexual fantasies that he wants to delve into.

      Make him think that you are going to be there waiting for him after he goes out there and gets his strange on.

      I am 100% sure that after you process the grief that he wants to have sex with other women, once you experience the peace and calm that results from being AWAY from a pathological liar – you will not see leaving him as a problem.

      You will see it as the only solution to sanity.

      It is impossible to gain clarity when you are living with someone who is a liar and a cheater. Don’t be confused- he’s a cheater.

      And everyone’s temperament is different. You may have to just take baby steps.

      Make him think that you are giving him this wonderful gift of freedom to delve deep into his sexual abyss. And hopefully you can guilt him into giving you money in exchange for this freedom.

      When you can get away from him and start to see how much better life is away from someone that turns your stomach into a tangle of anxiety – I am certain you will not be confused anymore.

      Just remember: you are going to be confused until you can get away from him. Full stop. I was so confused tangling with The Human Draining Pustule – I was going to narcotics anonymous meetings and asking them if I was unreasonable to not let him smoke meth and crack in my home. I am ashamed and stunned to type that but it is true. I was so lost.

      I understand you don’t want to leave your house. Use all of your powers of persuasion to get him to leave and also give you support. Only then can you begin to see what a mammoth shit hoagie he is asking you to eat. I was asked to eat one too.

      I thought I would die without him. And here I am. I had a great day today. I had lunch with a true, no bull shit friend, I got some work done, I went and fed some stray feral dogs, I danced around to the Brothers Johnson- Strawberry Letter #23. I played with my new microscope.

      See all the wonderful things you can do when you are not trying to understand that sometimes shit is just shit? And shit don’t mean shit.

      There is no magic to his machinations… no mystery to solve . It’s as common as a plastic Walmart bag.

      If you can just hang on *just hang on * Confused… I promise you that the bracing light of sanity will come roaring through the poison fog he is blowing in your face-

      but you have to get away from him first.💙❤️💜

      • Sounds nice BUT CC will then have a nagging doubt that she “pushed” him into other women’s arms rather than watching to see what he does when he thinks no one is looking. She will blame herself when she finds out what he does with this freedom that you propose. I personally would do it…and DID…but that’s because I am OLD and refused to put up with this shit in the first place. I told my husband to get out and go live out his life on his terms…fully EXPECTING that he’d sack every woman he could.

        I also have BEAUTIFUL property in the mountains of California…full of cedar and oak trees, with flowers and beautiful plants that I alone planted and care for…I was willing to let it all go rather than play the marriage police for the rest of my short life (we are in our 60’s). As it turned out, X did not want to be caretaker of all this property (he is too busy gambling on line and doing porn)…so I took several years and positioned myself to buy him out over time. I was able to because I saw early on the handwriting on the wall and took the steps necessary to earn enough to do this.

        I think that she would be better off (other than just dumping him like most here would) working towards a new life plan even while staying with her husband. She can just tell him that she needs something more to “distract” herself with while he works through his issues over the coming years. CC should insist that he wear condoms. She should tell him that while she’d really like to believe his stories, that there is enough doubt lingering that she now feels the need to protect herself…and that while there is nothing to help her emotions while she learns if his remorse and resolve is real and lasting, having her own personal goals would help.

        If he balks at this, she should remind him that ONLY HE is the cause of it and that only he can prove to her that it is unnecessary over the next several YEARS. He opened that Pandora’s Box and changed the dynamics of their entire relationship…only he can shut it. It is not ethical that she should have to risk her health further just because he wants her to believe his stories. He threw that away the moment he drove himself to Walmart and purchased condoms to use for someone else.

  • Needed this one today. STBXW is drawing a hard line between what she’s admitted to (kissing in a hotel and spending the night together, inviting him to another hotel for a weekend, saying she loved him and he was her soulmate) and having sex. All I have is her word she didn’t … She emailed yesterday after our final mediation appointment. Said it was breaking her heart that she was breaking mine. That she never thought we’d end. That this hurts her too, but it’s for the best. That she accepts responsibility, and is sorry for what she’s done, but won’t admit to what she didn’t do. I haven’t responded to the email. But I have strong feelings of wanting to take her abuse if she would just come back and promise to treat me a little better …

    • You’re falling for the sad sausage channel. Be assured that rage is under there as well, and will rear its head the minute she senses SS isn’t working.

      Read your moniker over and over and over again. And DON’T RESPOND.

    • “She emailed yesterday after our final mediation appointment. Said it was breaking her heart that she was breaking mine.”

      She wants you to cave. Also, I bet she just tested positive for something nasty and she’s terrified that you now have a venereal disease and this will wreck her carefully laid out plan to string you along and abuse you further.

      No kids? No contact – ever. Kids? Grey rock.

      “But I have strong feelings of wanting to take her abuse if she would just come back and promise to treat me a little better …”

      Therapy. She SAID she loved you in the past but her BEHAVIOR told you the truth.

      No more shit sandwiches!

      • “But I have strong feelings of wanting to take her abuse if she would just come back and promise to treat me a little better …”

        But I have strong feelings of wanting to set myself on fire if she would just come back and PROMISE to treat me a LITTLE better.

        What a low standard you set here, for allowing someone into your life. What a low standard. Set low standards and you get abusive behavior. Raise your standard. Stay away from her until you say: I no longer have strong feelings of wanting to take her abuse. For any reason at all.

    • your “strong feelings” will subside once you escape. I promise !. Been there. Those feelings are like an addiction. No contact is like detox (minimal contact if you have kids). Once you escape you will think back “why in the world was I feeling like that for HER”.

    • Just remember this terrible lesson: just when you think a cheater can’t take you lower, they always do.

      Play it out in your mind. Imagine if you invest in her again deeply: financially emotionally and spiritually. And on a random Wednesday, you find evidence that she is again fucking another man.

      I understand longing for someone that you sort of hate. It is a type of obsessive and addictive thinking. It is delusional thinking. She is not super pussy.

      There is another woman out there who would be delighted to be with you and NOT degrade you.

      Go to a bar tonight and engage in harmless flirting with some females.

      Do you understand there are billions of other women out there besides a lying whore? And being alone with a delicious Takeaway and a good book or movie is infinitely better than spending time with someone who deliberately betrayed you?

      Perspective!!! I had to drive to the dump today in my old pick up. The landfill. I left all kinds of rotten nasty trash there boiling in the 96° heat. Do you think I should go back and pick it up and put it in my Mercedes and bring it back home?

      No?

      You took the trash out. Don’t bring it back in the house.

      • “And being alone with a delicious Takeaway and a good book or movie is infinitely better than spending time with someone who deliberately betrayed you”

        I would buy a throw pillow that had this embroidered on it.

  • Dear Confused,
    Oh yes, you’re a Chump because there’s been sex. Bet on it. How do I know? All but one (and I’m not convinced about the one) of the dozen affairs my ex admitted to (emphasis on admitted – there was probably many more) were with strippers. Strippers are essentially hookers. They have sex inside the clubs as well as outside (picture them banging your husband in the back of the family minivan, which is what happened in my case). I bet your husband has a nasty porn habit. That too, is part of the pattern we see all too often here in CN.
    And please Confused, throw away or burn every book you bought by Patrick Carnes and his ilk. Carnes and his CSATs are a bunch of “sex addicts” themselves and their mission is to remove accountibility for bad behavior from the man and fling the guilt and responsibility for fixing the situation onto the wife. Don’t buy into their bullshit. Cheating on your wife isn’t an addiction, it’s a sign of poor character and you can’t fix that no matter how much you may want to. Buy Chump Lady’s book(s), get your ducks in a row and start protecting yourself and your children.

    • How did you get him to confess to that? It would be a lot easier for me to leave him if I knew he had sex.

      • He did have sex!! Everything you said you know is sex!! Lap dances are sex!!! Buying condoms isn’t a cup of sugar for a recipe!!
        Sex is more than just intercourse!! Interacting with strippers is sex! Broaden your definition!!

        • PS….I try to remember to not talk to the Problem (my “husband”) about problem.
          He’s a proven liar and it just makes me feel crazy. Everything I know to be true ia because I found out, not because he told me. If I have a set number of breaths to take in this life, I don’t want to waste anymore trying to get the truth out of him.
          ❤️ to you.

      • Do not engage with a liar. Do The abuse you get from the playing with your head? You volunteered for it because you engaged with a liar, hoping that ‘this time’ they would be like you. They are not like you. This reality (he is really this cruel and uncaring and selfish and will not hesitate to hurt you in order to get what he wants) is the hardest thing to accept.

        The ONLY question that counts, is Chump Lady’s question: ‘is this acceptable to me’? Keep asking yourself this question because it will help YOU get over YOUR insanity and unmanageable life.

        PS: he has had sex. Lots of it. Stop kidding yourself.

      • Confused — You are truly confused. I get it. We want to believe the best in people especially those we love. It takes time and distance to see what is really going on. You are not there, yet, and you want to salvage this horrid relationship of deceit and disrespect because the crushing mental pain and anguish is unfathomable and the uncertainty of the future is equally crushing. I get it. You WILL eventually get there. You know why? Because your shit husband will leave you for someone else and if you are lucky, he won’t leave you with a life long disease. It may sound harsh we are all telling you to leave, but most of us, I think, have been in your shoes; we are out of the fog. Yes, it sucks, but we do get through the pain even though we never thought we could.
        Work on loving yourself and know unhealthy boundaries will destroy you.

      • Exchanging bodily fluids with another person is your deal breaker?
        What about disrespect, betrayal, dishonesty, disregard, deception, etc etc etc?

        What’s YOUR explanation for the condom? I don’t understand how that situation could make any possible sense.
        Also, he blames frequenting titty bar and having ‘casual’ encounters with other women on sex addiction? That’s bullshit and you know it.

      • Just wait then until there is undeniable proof if that is what it takes for you. But don’t waste a precious moment of your time while doing so. Get and keep all your ducks in a row going forward…there is more than one way out of this…start saving for an Atty and a down payment to refinance your home for a buy out. Watch the finances rather than HIM. That alone will give you a degree of strength.

        I did not have concrete proof either…until I did TEN years later. But all the cues up to that pointed to it and so I used those years to get myself into position for when the proof finally arrived…and it is like they say here, cheaters get sloppy especially after the initial smoke and drama settles. When he finally got caught red handed pursuing a woman, he bolted and ran like his hair was on fire under the pressure, and I was completely ready to make my proposals. I had a soft landing and never looked back. You can too.

        Most people here are speaking from hind sight. The coulda shoulda woulda kicking themselves after being gas lighted and duped for years even though there were enough red flags waving wildly in the breeze. But you already HAVE hind sight…USE IT TO BENEFIT you.

      • If he didn’t have sex it wasn’t for want of trying! How is that ok? What makes the actual insertion of the penis into the vagina the sacred dividing line between “ok behavior” and “not ok behavior”??? He’s been frequenting titty bars (strip clubs) and jacking off (soliciting lap dances) and attempting–if not succeeding–to screw his co-workers. Sorry to sound crude, but I thought maybe it would help you to see through the bs he’s feeding you.

      • CONFUSED CHUMP ,
        he is not going to have sex in front of witnesses or you . most ppl will not do that . our culture frowns on that . and cheater maggots will only admit to what they think you know . they think ” you were not there ,you don’t know .” so i am not going to admit to any thing . that is how cheater maggots work and think .
        he is disrespecting you by being dishonest ,and untrustworthy, his lack of integrity is huge . is this OK with you ? does any part of his behavior say “i love you ” , i cherish and value and honor you ? don’t believe his lies , but watch closely his behavior , you ‘ll see the truth .
        repulsedandbreathless

      • I woke up in the middle of the night one night and had this compulsion to go through his briefcase. I found a flash drive with a draft email to his AP which made it clear that she was a stripper, that he had long term relationships/friendships with other strippers in the club, and that she had accompanied him on business trips while I was home with the kids. I made him leave the house the next day. The rest of it came out in a formal disclosure done in the presence of our respective therapists months later. He never stopped making excuses for his behavior “I was increasingly unhappy in the marriage” and he never stopped the behaviors either. If anything, it was easier on him to cheat when we were no longer living together.

        But really Confused, you know everything you need to know already. It doesn’t matter whether he has actually, physically stuck his willy in a random hole. He has emotionally betrayed you and financially (strip clubs ain’t free and they ain’t cheap) abused your family. That’s all you need to know.

  • A family member owned a business for over 50 years. During that time he would hire applicants who had gone to jail or prison for selling drugs, but would NEVER hire someone who had stolen money or embezzled funds. I asked him why once and this is what he said,

    “Drug dealers are entrepreneurs with a lousy product and business plan. Thieves then are thieves now and in the future.”

    If you think about adultery as a form of theft (stealing your peace of mind, your trust, your health, etc.) you will see why it’s Wreckonciliation and Unicorns at least 99% of the time.

  • Leave aside the question of “addiction” for a moment (which is bunk). Even if his story was true, and he didn’t get any, he’s still a cheater. He intended to cheat, he just failed. Why does it make any difference that she turned him down?

  • I had to look carefully to be sure that letter wasn’t from me. Cheater also claimed no sex, only this… only that… I was making a big deal… he never actually “cheated.”

    Let’s put this in a simple form: Whatever you find out is only the tip of the iceberg. Cheaters never get caught the first time. They get caught the 1,425th time when they have gotten so lazy about it that they fail to adequately cover their tracks. And then they admit to 0.01% of whatever they were doing. They also redefine “cheating” so that the definition suits them. My Cheater said it wasn’t cheating if he wasn’t emotionally involved with the woman. So he wasn’t “cheating” if it was all strippers and prostitutes. But Cheater’s mother is also a Cheater, and she said she didn’t “cheat” BECAUSE she was emotionally involved with the guy. It wasn’t cheating. It was love! Basically, they use whatever they can to excuse what they are doing and so they can smile and say, ‘I never cheated.’

  • I just listened to the tail end of an old Dr. Phil show based on his “Life Code” book from some years ago (1/13/12). He was talking to a man whose GF embezzled $450,000 from him. The discussion was at the point where his big question was if he was getting the money back; Dr. Phil said his question should be where he was going wrong.

    What Dr. Phil explained was that we are often raised to give people the “benefit of the doubt.” His point was that “the benefit of the doubt” is a stupid and dangerous way to live, a mode of interaction that makes us vulnerable to people who have character disorders. The alternative is to “take in information””- and by that he didn’t mean go into marriage police mode but to take in the information you have already, in the case of the man on the show, to pay attention to people who warned him that this woman would “rob him blind.” Dr. Phil talked about the danger of “buying the lies” and “requiring more of people,” expecting them to meet standards of behavior.

    I left the TV on while an new episode came on (I was doing school papers and I like “TV company”) and her comes an episode a out a woman sneaking around trying to get pregnant while hr husband isn’t ready, “deceiving her husband in nefarious and malignant ways” but not involved with cheating. The deceived husband was the one worried about being a “bad husband.” Dr. Phil said the partner who is “lying, cheating, deceiving and manipulating ” is the bad partner. That people should trust their instincts when things are off, rather than being “nice” when people are hurting you

    These moments struck me as the key to the dynamic between cheater/disordered person and chump/enabler. (I’m not conflating chump and enabler, but as someone who was both in relationships and still has to watch the enabling tendency, I’m aware that these behaviors co-exist). At the root, we think it is the right thing to give people chance after chance, a continual rolling benefit of the doubt, a sort of what a famous sociologist calls “normalization of deviance”—how our standards become so elastic we end up allowing terrible and dangerous behaviors to become normal. That’s the problem with setting the dealbreaker at having sex with someone else after marriage. My dealbreakers (plural) before marriage? Lying. Dating. Kissing. Open flirtation. Public disrespect. Private disrespect. Being mean. Unkindness. Deception. Manipulation. Addictive behavior, including drinking, drugs, sex, gambling. Lack of reciprocity or equivalent standards of behavior in a relationship. Any attempt to isolate me from family or actual friennds (not Schmooopies and wannabe lovers). And I pay a lot of attention to how I feel in relationships now, not just my romantic one but work and friendship. I don’t spackle when people do things that are unjust, unkind, selfish, or even just misguided. I learn where I need to place the boundary between this person and me.

    • ‘I don’t spackle when people do things that are unjust, unkind, selfish, or even just misguided.’
      I learned how do do that, too. I learned it from a lot of different places, but mostly here, and reading The Four Agreements over and over! It’s so hard to undo an upbringing of abuse. It takes the rest of your life!
      So now, when certain people say or do underhanded things, I call them out on it. “Are you saying-(fill in the blank with selfish/covert Narc/cruel behavior)????
      But later I feel kind of bad for speaking up, but really, these people have done this for years, and they deserve to be seen for what they are!

      • This is a huge life truth, and one that saves us over and over: “It’s so hard to undo an upbringing of abuse. It takes the rest of your life!” That’s what life IS.

    • Thanks LAJ. I copied this to reread and get ingrained. I love Dr. Phil…he gets to the point, in simple memorable way, with a Texas no BS accent. He also said “It is NEVER OK to step outside your relationship”. Nuff said! ❤️ to you.

  • People go to prison for “attempted murder”. This means they were intending and planning to murder but the attempt did not result in the targeted death. Just replace the word “murder” with “sex”.

    Or use “robbery”…or “hijacking”…or anything that shows an act of criminal intent. We may have fantasies…but once we cross the line by taking some sort of planned action, then you have “intent”.

    Your husband had all intentions of having sex by the ACT of buying condoms, going out to lunch (preparing his target and grooming her for the kill) ect. My X did this too…claiming they were “just friends”…and of course, I was not invited into that “friendship”…wonder why? Notice I said “X”? This means that his intentions and ongoing grooming of his target was enough for me to jump ship…I did not need to see his dick inside her mouth, anus, or vagina to know what I had on my hands. Add this to a stack of years of catching him jerk off to porn…no, just no.

    His heart is not with you and you alone, which is obvious…but he also does not want to suffer consequences and would prefer that you do all the suffering for his behavior. If he can drag this out over time, he can then start planning for his exit and move around finances to his favor.

    He wants to fuck other women and went so far as to make arrangements to do so…that is clear enough reason to make your own exit.

  • One poster said that cheating is doing something with another person that the cheater would not dare to do in front of their spouse. Do you think he would have naked women sitting on top of him rubbing him into an orgasm while you watch? Do you think he would send you out for a box of condoms before he went on a date with another woman? Do you think he would sit you down beside him while he jerked off to porn or sex chatted with another woman? See how absurd this is?

  • If I had a dollar for every time my “sex addict”cheater used the “I have a disease, if I had cancer you would stand by me” line, I would be rich.The thing is true disease, like cancer, is foisted upon us due to no action of our own. To lie, sneak, gaslight, badmouth me to talk his OWs into bed IS NOT THE FUCKING SAME AS CANCER. They are willful acts that require effort. So to expect the same level of sympathy and care for it is the definition of Chumpness and gives us insight into their delusions of entitlement.

    Even if I did believe sex addiction was a real thing (I do not)going to therapy for anything requires actual honesty about ones problems for it to help. I realized along the way all the “therapy” he sought (6 therapists total) was nothing more than another way to gaslight and blame shift. He didn’t want to change, he liked who he was, what he didn’t like was me having holding him to consequences and he realized playing the “therapy game” gave him more stalling time and was a way to keep ME in line, after all “I’m working on it honey, I’m in therapy like you want, it’s just soooo hard with all the triggers in the world”.

    Shut that shit down Run far, run fast.

    • Oh, Beachgirl- that line about cancer just reminded me of something Asshat said out the blue a few years ago. It was during a time that I was undergoing testing for autoimmune disease (lupus was suspected). I was not feeling well, also in the throes of menopause, so I wasn’t feeling particularly sexy. One night in bed, Asshat grumbles “well, if you had to undergo chemo or something and couldn’t eat anything, you wouldn’t expect ME to stop eating too, would you???”

      Talk about your false equivalence. Covert narc right there. I know it now. And to the OP- yes, girl. RUN.

    • Yup, some cancer is only cured by removing the infected parts. He is a disease, cut him out of your life and survive it.

  • Confused, your letter really resonated with me. It’s where I was 3 years ago, basically. It’s really tough place to be. My heart goes out to you.

    I want to share with you, if you are open to it, what I learned from my experience. Take with you anything that speaks to you, and ignore the rest 🙂

    1. What my H admitted to initially (lap dances, etc) was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of his behaviors and cheating. I learned this kind of “ trickle truth” is common behavior in addicts (of any kind) and cheaters. It kills trust, as you can imagine, because just as we are processing and working through one lie, another one is revealed. Once I stopped listening to his words and only paid attention to his actions, I saw a whole different person.

    2. He used the guise of therapy to continue his behaviors (and lies). They can do this because they compartmentalize their behaviors, and the character flaws they have developed to hide them (thinking that what people don’t know won’t harm them, etc) give them the green light to keep doing it. These are deeply ingrained patterns that stem from their childhood, so changing them is Herculean.

    3. My decision to divorce him was 100% related to what I needed and what was acceptable to me in a relationship. It wasn’t because I didn’t think he would do the work (he eventually went to rehab etc…the jury is still out on its effectiveness, I don’t keep tabs on his recovery anymore), it was because it didn’t matter whether he did the work or not – a partner who lies and cheats has demonstrated to me that he is not a safe partner for me. This was simultaneously excruciating and also crystal clear. It was so hard to give up the dream of the intact family and the truly wonderful (or so I thought) life we had built together. I have not regretted it one iota.

    4. Trust your gut. It is there to protect you.

    You have a wonderful resource in this chump community and Chump Lady…the collective wisdom is strong. Use the parts of it that resonate with you to help you decide what is the right choice for you.

  • RUN

    If he has not technically cheated on you, it’s not for lack of trying. He’s already at the bar, just waiting to be served.

    I do believe in sex addiction. I went to sex addiction therapy with my ex for a year. By experts own admission, chances are slim that they will “get better.” He’s doing a lot of shitty things, and has become comfy with the idea of doing them to you. Sex addiction therapy is all about HIS PAIN. It doesn’t mean he will ever be able to understand the pain he has caused YOU. It’s hard to become a good person when you’ve reached that level of selfishness. So does it matter if the sex addiction made him a shitty person, or if he’s just a shitty person? In my experience, not really.

    Being with a sex addict is a horrible way to live, and they are very good at hiding their secret life. You don’t want to always be looking over your shoulder, and every time you feel like things are good – trust me that they aren’t. Like all addictions – they need to escalate to keep the original high.

  • “Sex (and I’ll wager you all my pinecone elves there was sex. LOTs of sex. And he’s got a burner phone.)”

    THIS. This this this! How many times did so many of us hear those lies? I heard that they only met twice, and the second time, he kissed her but then pushed her away because he knew it was wrong.

    Reality? He met with her many times, and they not only had sex, but they also had unprotected sex while he was also having unprotected sex with me.

    Dump this jerk and get tested for STDs. I think that what you’ve heard about his behavior is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m so sorry. I remember exactly what that was like. I wanted to trust him– we had been together for 17 years at that point– but I was told by others on a different infidelity site that he was likely lying, and I needed to dig further. Well, I’m glad I did. I might still be with his entitled self if I hadn’t. *shudder*

    • When I discovered the affair, my now exH said he met her in line at a restaurant, she was just someone that he met up with to talk to, that they always met in public places, that they’d only kissed a couple of times, and that they’d never had sex. After trickle truth and additional discovery on my part, he admitted to replying to and posting ads on Craigslist, she responded to his ad, and they did meet up in public places..to have sex in his truck. It was ALL about the sex.

      • ONMYWAY ,
        My cheater maggot was using craigs list and other hook-up sites ,would do the “close to home ” fuck buddy thing and sometimes be back home in 45 or 50 minutes , he told me he was going to a garage sale close to home . WTF? sometimes did it more than twice a day …… i always believed him ………chump chump chump .
        repulsedandbreathless.

  • I think at the end of the day we can all have different boundaries, I know when I told a friend about the love lyrics/poems I found along with his recordings of him playing and singing them, all about someone else, she didn’t think it was a big thing, to me it was devastating, same when I discovered the virtually once a day porn habit
    behind my back, to her meh, to me WTF !! Not so much the odd bit of porn more the frequency and secrecy!! So I think you have to decide if the fact he hasnt been unfaithful in a physical sense is enough or the fact he was clearly ‘on the sniff’ is enough to end it for you.

    • Yep…right there with you. To me (my personal standards), if my X were pining away for another woman to the point of lusting for them in his heart on a continued basis…then he is giving his emotional, mental, and spiritual connection that belongs to ME over to someone else. Ditto for Porn since he is actually including the physical when he jacks off.
      This is unfaithful and indicates that if he could have, he’d have sacked her (or any Porn star) in an instant. I really don’t want to live with a spouse who is dripping for someone else on any level…why bother staying married at all since clearly we are no longer good enough (if we ever were)? Run along dude and get your fucks out…but leave me out of the whole mess cuz I have better things to do and a career in marriage police is not one of them.

  • Confused,
    He does not seem at all confused in his entitlement and actions that show disrespect and a lack of character. From CN you can see these factors make cheating very likely. I too was once paralysed by lack of proof of going all the way, fear of exiting, and hopium for the future I had signed up to for me and the kids. Spoiler alert ‘proof’ he did physically cheat only arrived much later. There is so much smoke here…this site can help you to line up your ducks then run like you’re escaping a fire. Sorry but it sounds like you need to!

  • I pray you get away! Believe me it doesn’t get any better. I put up with that crap for almost 37 years. I found out about him kissing a co-worker a few years into our marriage and spackled. Caught him in a chat room online when chat rooms first started. Again I believed his lies and spackled. Found an inappropriate card from a co-worker when I was helping him clean out his office to move to another office. When our daughter was 2 (we were married 14 years before we had her) I found out about sexual harassment charges against him from 2 co-workers (it happened when I went home for my mother’s death). When my daughter was 9 there were new sexual harassment charges from 2 co-workers (which caused us subsequently to end up spending a quarter of a million dollars on a failed restaurant since they had taken away his ability to supervise employees and of course he couldn’t deal with that). We took out a 100,000 loan on our house to pay off the debt. It was paid off in June of 2016 and on July 9 I caught him testing at 11;30 that night. (Had also found a receipt a month earlier for a card and some candy which he claimed he had given to their receptionist for her birthday which was a total lie). He refused to tell me who he was texting and the next morning acted as nothing was wrong. Thank God I kicked his ass out. We have been divorced sine February 2017 but I can’t seem to get away from the crap he has caused. I have only seen him a few times since our divorce (May 2017 for our daughter’s surgery, July 2017 when he finally came to pick up his shit from my house, August 2017 when I had to help him remove some items from the house we were selling, February 2018 when I had to see him to sign papers on a house we owned, March 2018 for our daughter’s engagement, and almost ran into him and his w_____ at our daughter’s graduation in May. Our daughter is getting married in November this year. The thought of ever having to see him makes me physically ill. I was a beautiful, happy, smart person who unfortunately let someone like him into my life. Please, please, please get out while you can. When I think of what I could have been without him in my life, it makes me ill!!!!!

  • Don’t fall into the same trap I did, which was to stupidly think “Thank goodness we caught this in time so we can go to therapy, heal, and move on before he did something worse that’s irreversible.”

    He went on to far worse anyway and dived headfirst into the irreversible despite all of the interventions, heart-to-hearts, crockodile tears, therapy, and everything that goes along with the shitstorm in which you now find yourself.

    Whether or not he’s consummated his desires doesn’t change that those ARE his desires. He’s showing you who he is and what he wants, and it’s not monogamy. No amount of therapy can change the fact that he’s already been willing to risk his family, his marriage, and your health for his agenda. It’s a bitter, horrible pill to swallow, but there is no getting around reality. He’s a louse.

  • Also yes change is scary and tough but it is worth it and gets better. It was not nearly as difficult as I feared to be in the location I wanted – even renting for a while can be an option – and when something is really important to you like trees – there are ways. For some more ideas how to make things like that happen I like the book by Barbara Sher of how to get what you want http://wishcraft.com/wishcraft_complete.pdf

  • No question at all that this douche banged someone else.

    Sure, it will crush your heart and soul, but divorce his ass nonetheless.

    Trust me, post cheater life is incredibly satisfying, even if you had kids with the douche.

  • For starters, he had sex with her. Mine didn’t have sex until I stumbled on a text app that even she could not deny. Two, even if he has not, a weak response will embolden him. He will think you are weak and there will be sex. Right now, at least maybe you are blessed with a sort of responsible cheater….. he bought condoms. Seems most, mine included were immune to STDs and didn’t bother with such things! Walk away. Get tested. Take a solid firm stand now!

  • Confused-My therapist finally hit me with a 2×4 and said “ Do you realize you are in an open marriage? Are you ok with that?” Please ask yourself these two questions. Despite 23 years of investment, I got out and have no regrets. Now I have a wonderful man who only wants me!!!

  • Confused, as someone that has been through a very similar situation here are a few things that most of us that have been through this have likely had to learn the hard way. Hope that this list of things that it took me a while to figure out might help make your path to meh a bit less confusing.

    1) It is very likely that you know .1% of the truth.
    2) Your husband is not confused man or a helpless SA. He knows exactly what he is doing, and he has zero problem with what he is doing and has consistently proven to have an profoundly arrogant sense of entitlement.
    3) It is very likely that your husband is not telling a few lies about specific things that he has or has not done; no this is most likely a common and sadistic little game of partial truth vomiting that narcissistic individuals enjoy playing. They enjoy your confusion and suffering over their ability to harm you.
    4) Your husband is not telling lies, your husband is a lie. He is a living breathing lie. The person you think he is does not exist.
    5) It gets worse too, any true substance or depth to this lie of a person is almost nonexistent. Seeing this truth can take years sometimes. In your quest to find what was or is authentic or true regarding these individuals or your relationship to them it is often meet with the chilling realization that there is actually nothing of true substance there.
    6) The shallowness and lack of authentic depth of any kind in these individuals can be unbelievably disturbing to witness.
    7) The practical thing to know is that he wants you and everyone else he uses in his life to believe what he needs you to believe about him so that he is able to more easily extract and get what he wants or needs from you.
    8) When there is nothing or very little that is authentic or of substance to a person then what is there that can be fixed, worked on or saved?
    9) Sex addiction is a made-up diagnosis related to behavioral markers that are well documented to be related to serious psychological and character disorders.
    10) The concept that SA is an addictive disorder that people have that can be fixed or dealt with is nothing but a predatory marketing scheme. This scheme explicitly takes advantage of people in the midst of traumatic life changing situations brought on due to a relationship with a disordered individual.
    11) The marketing of this theory of SA is a predatory scheme based on selling people in desperate life altering situations a false sense of hope. This psychological scam based on false medical claims, bogus science, and profoundly flawed postmodern ideology takes advantage of a people during traumatic vulnerable situations for profit. This is evil and ethically immoral.
    12) Like your husband these SA therapists are also not confused. They understand exactly what they are doing. They know that what they are labeling as SA is most likely a much more serious disorder regarding the personality and character of the individual they pretend to treat. They know these so called “sex addicts” are most likely people dealing with serious forms of narcissism that are well documented to be related to very serious disorders of the personality and attachment.
    13) These therapists know full well that the likelihood that SA therapy will lead to any authentic or lasting change in an individual participating in it is close to zero. These therapists know that character and personality disorders people play out extremely predictable patterns of behavior, that these patterns of behavior cause a lot of harm to any individual that continues to be in a relationship with them yet they continue to sale a false hope and will throw in some blame shifting and other delusional co addict based theories for good measure.
    14) These therapists understand that these disordered personalities cause all sorts of harm society at large and they know that persons with personality and character disorders are not curable or fixable, yet they continue to sell this false hope to anyone willing to pay the price knowing that society at large also pays a price for this. NOTE* The price here includes much more than just a monetary cost.
    15) Not only are these so-called therapies not effect in any way they often cause serious harm. The harmful aspect of these predatory therapies plays out on many different levels. The harm is most often related to the predatory and sometimes sadistic misuse of the non-disordered partners capacity for authenticity, a conscious and empathy.

    16) Delving into “Why” a deceptive partner does what they do is a huge waste of time. Trying to figure that out “why” or what mommy issues they might be dealing with is useless and it opens the non-cheating partner up to a vulnerability for all sorts of therapeutic abuse to take place. This form of abuse is based on using a person’s capacity for honesty and empathy against them so that they agree to continue in an abusive therapy situation where the stated goal is to save or stay in an abusive relationship.
    17) Arrogance and Entitlement are behavioral states that are no doubt a serious part of your husband’s personality and these are also key markers for a character disorder person including people with narcissistic personalities. Falling anywhere on or near to the scale narcissistic personality or other personality disorders or attachment disorders is very serious. People with these disorder that are not likely to ever change in any significant or meaningful way ever.
    18) People who feel entitled to use and buy other human beings to feed a creepy sexual perversion, or to boost a fragile ego do not make good partners or fathers or role models.
    19) People that knowingly deceive a partner, so they can enjoy the many benefits that come with pretending to be in a monogamous while not being in one are cowardly and pathetically unworthy individuals that cause a lot of unnecessary harm to the people in their loves.
    20) Pretending to be in a monogamous relationship while feeling entitled to extra sexual activities with strippers and prostitutes is not only profoundly arrogant and cowardly it is also profoundly abusive and intentionally destructive to the lives of the people you are using and deceiving i.e. your wife and children. STD, CPSTD, financial vulnerability to name just a few.
    21) For an eye-opening understanding of men who feel entitled to use prostitutes and strippers just go to any of the many review sights, blogs and online forums where punters rate and discuss their experiences with specific strippers and prostitutes online. The predictability of the words from the punters themselves reveals a profoundly disordered and predatory attitude and way of thinking that is clearly connected to people with serious personality and character disorders. These men are not relationship material. Aim higher.
    22) No Contact is difficult with children. Document his use of prostitution venues and anything else you have found regarding his character including financial records so that you can prove any need of protection for your children. People that frequent prostitutes of prostitutions venues are not seen as upstanding people or good father material in most courts of law for very good reason.
    23) EMDR is a great therapy for helping make sense after this type of abuse.

  • He’ll get to it eventually. My ex was also a virgin when we got together. He had an emotional affair in 2007. It did not go physical but he was tempted. I thought we had dodged a bullet. Eight years later he regretted not going physical and did go physical with the next one. The one after that he decided it was worth tearing his family apart over. This is how these things progress. The only thing you may have control over is when the divorce happens and maybe not even that if you wait too long.

  • When you hear about all the I never really did it or only when I was drunk and only because you weren’t putting out etc….
    remember little details like the AP was the cheater’s best friend’s spouse;
    while badmouthing the chump nary a word about cheating with other married people to the family or friend they are commiserating with,
    no mention of the massive collection of porn, or scads of alcohol, romantic trips, lingerie, “toys” etc that weren’t ever shared with the chump for the entire marriage
    Yeah, never really did nothing but got treated for STD’s, tested for HIV, had condoms in the glove compartment (you know so one of the boys could access them for dates in the car the cheater never ever let them drive)
    Liars cheat, cheaters lie.

    Asshats all of them.

  • Don’t spend your life, time and energy on someone who has no remorse and wont change. Because really he isn’t changing or working on himself . Its just all smoke and mirrors.

    I’ve just spent 10 months in Wreckoncilliation and was played like a fiddle the WHOLE time. I should have let him go when I found out about his slapperho last year, but I was so bent on saving my marriage I couldn’t see it for what it was, turned out I was the only one doing any work to save it.

    After a very short time, if in fact he ever stopped he was back to his old ways ,secrets, phone on silent, phone in pocket you name it he did it. There was also financial infidelity going on behind my back , I couldn’t quite understand what he was at until he left, then I realised he had been setting himself up all along to leave.

    The daily knot in my stomach, the hyper vigilant state you are in 24/7 , the watching ,the lies, the bullshit you are fed on a daily basis, all whilst they carry on behind your back . They have no empathy or care, don’t kid yourself they do.

    I would go to work every day and have serious stomach cramps ( I honestly wondered if he was poisoning me ) my doctor looked at me after every test came back negative and said ” This is stress, leave your husband, hes killing you “.

    I finally kicked him out 3 weeks ago when he told me he wouldn’t change and would think about what he wanted. Eff that shit. It took me a long while to get there and yes I’m sad and hurt, but my doctor was right the stress WAS killing me.

    Don’t be me and waste anymore time on him, you are worth so much more.

    Btw the stomach cramps have gone!!

  • Wow!!! I thought this was my marriage for a second – 11 years and all. Right on the nose. Sex addiction- what a joke. He also let me believe he was a Virgin when we got married and meanwhile he was a young man meeting couples and hook ups- pretty inane stuff for a young man.
    Listen!!! Mine SWORE he wasnt hooking up! He swore there was no sex. Our therapist warned me to protect myself and I could not believe it one bit because I could not see him doing that to us! She was RIGHT!!!!!!!!! He was so sly about hookups!!! He totally was having sex. I hadn’t ptsd from all that’s trauma. And why did I believe him? He was so good at being manipulative and putting on that mask!!!! He was so amazing at it! Angels tongue. Believe me, If they are watching porn and sexting etc- they’re doing it! They wanna live out those fantasies. Believe it!
    I needed to see the hard core evidence to believe it but now that I do I can trust they suck! I finally set my boundaries- I finally said no more and I left. It took everything and it was hard to break and now being out of it I feel so free and stress free and happy!!!!!! I didn’t even realize how messed up it was while in it (trauma bond!!!) do I want to live my life with someone I don’t trust at all and who does really messed up stuff? Do I want this as a role model for my children? No. By leaving I showed them that this is not okay and not normal. Be strong for your kids!!!!
    Also my therapist said you don’t give them a chance at sobriety till you leave. Hopefully maybe they have a chance then. And sex addiction is the worst addiction. Deeply insulting and person to the spouse and hard to be sober when it’s all around you 🙁 I trust he sucks and I trust he did saa to pacify me, no fruit on that tree.

  • I think the whole “it was never physical” is just part of the script. I think most of us here heard it and wanted to believe it.
    I think,in my experience anyway, it was a complete lie.
    Sure it is manipulative. But it is also deep rooted in shame. Don’t allow someone else to make their problem your problem.
    It is all about being aware of who you are dealing with and getting out when you know in your gut something is off.

  • “Who cares if he has a sex problem? He has an ENTITLEMENT problem.” Bingo! Most powerful sentence in this post.

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