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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted another thread about my husband whom I caught spending substantial time online at a phone sex site. I posted that I love my husband and considered my options, and decided that kicking him out would also cause me to lose my best friend, and despite all he'd done, my life would be worse off without him than with him. I know he loves me deeply, and I love him, and life has been good with him, and I'm not willing to give that up. I decided that I would tell him that this was permission for me to have affairs of my own. I knew this hurt him, because despite all he did, when he was doing it, he never felt it was cheating because it was limited strictly to online, whereas this, he feels, takes infidelity to a next level by making physical contact. Several people posted that my reaction to have affairs of my own was not healthy, and was simply a knee-jerk reaction out of anger, and would not serve any good purpose. After much introspection, I think that is true. I was VERY angry when I posted that thread. Lots has happened since I discovered his secret phone, and I thought I'd share it here. It's a doozy of a story.

After finding his secret phone and reading all the sexy messages on it, I hacked my husband's PayPal account, and learned he spent, between 2014 and 2015, about $11,000 on phone sex and the relationships that came from the phone sex. And that was just what I could see went through PayPal...I'm confident that he spent from other sources as well. Much of the spending was in the form of gifts, and eventually to one particular Domme that he'd grown attracted to and would talk about personal things with. He'd send her things as little as nail polish and lip gloss and candles, up to an iMac laptop and accessories, a PS4 gaming console, and lots n lots of cash gifts. She, in turn, would tell him that he belonged to her and that he was a lowly maggot, and would command him to hurt himself. I always knew that he regarded himself as a sexual masochist, but I never realized the extent. She would command him to abuse his genitals, to masturbate with sriracha sauce or IcyHot or BenGay; she'd have him kneel on Nerds candies or Lego pieces; she'd make him whip himself between the thighs or on his back, repeatedly til he almost bled. As long as I live, I'll never understand how this is a turn on.

The more I learned about the lengths he went to to make all of this happen, the more I realized that this is a bona fide addiction--a sickness that is difficult to control. He's been doing online porn and some spending for all his adult life, but what changed was that now he had access to more money to grow the addiction. I learned that he would take scrap from work that was being discarded, and sell it for a decent sum of money, and about 80% of his spending on these activities came from these funds. The other 20% came from our personal funds.

I learned that he had set up an elaborate network of credit and debit cards to hide his spending from me, and when I finally confronted him with all this, he confessed that he had even had a cover story at the ready for why he was carrying a 2nd phone, but never got to tell me his cover story because I never noticed the phone in the first place--for MONTHS. And when I DID finally notice it, I knew without looking into it what it was, so I never confronted him about it...instead, I kept quiet so as to look into it without his deleting anything.

I learned that much of what happened or didn't happen in our sex life was not only relayed back to her, but in fact, was DICTATED by her. She would tell him things to do with me during sex, or things to suggest to me to do during sex. I did say that we had done some domination stuff in our own sex life, and as it turns out, many of the things he suggested we do in the bedroom, came from her. There were also times when he would avoid having sex with me because she had forbidden him from orgasming. Or he would FAKE an orgasm inside of me so as not to orgasm against her command. All of that was particularly painful, to know that my sex life was not my own, but in fact, was on display, and every move within it was controlled by someone else. He not only submitted himself to her, but I was submitted by proxy.

The nature of the relationship is one I would not believe if I did not read the texts and Twitters that corroborated them. It was a complicated relationship between them. She is actually a bisexual that leans more towards lesbian, and in fact, is in a committed relationship with a woman who also would get on calls with him. And he sent gifts to the gf too. The relationship was purely about the submission, but they apparently talked on such a personal level that he was feeling close to her. He shared many elements of our personal lives and his points of view about things, and she, in turn, shared things about herself as well. It was not love and he would never consider leaving me for her, but he was deeply interested in her. They were as close as two people in this kind of relationship could get.

About 2 months ago, my husband's company had a big celebratory event and took their people on a harbor cruise in NYC. He LOVED it, and came home talking about how awesome it was and that we should go. I had actually wanted to get married on a harbor cruise, and so I was completely into the idea of going as well. But that idea never came together. I eventually learned that she had standing plans to come to NYC so that her gf could visit family out this way, and so they all planned to meet...and I read in the texts that he suggested the harbor cruise to HER instead of following through on it with me. At the point where I found his phone and unearthed the whole sordid mess, it was in the week before NYC was to happen (she is now in NYC as I type this).

He swears that he actually was about to break it off, that it was starting to get uncomfortable, and meeting was never something he wanted, even though HE was the one who had suggested it initially. He was afraid of taking it from online to reality. Although I very much believe he wasn't interested in being publicly humiliated like she was planning on doing, I still have a hard time believing he wouldn't have met her. There wouldn't have been sex, but the bond would've strengthened. He swears otherwise, and showed me his work calendar filled with appointments he would've otherwise had to cancel if he were meeting her. Whatever.

He has told me that in the days following my first confrontation with him, he became so sick over how much he hurt me and at the thought of losing me that he threw up at work twice. He said the realization hit him of what he'd done to me and our marriage, that up to that point, he was just simply falling into old habits without consideration of how it impacted the marriage, and because there was no physical contact, he justified his actions to himself, convinced himself while he was doing it that it was not cheating, but just consuming porn. He said he would do anything, absolutely ANYTHING, to keep me, and asked me what I wanted from him.

At first, I just wanted him out--I knew this was an addiction, and therefore, a problem that would rear its ugly head over and over. But as I've said in the OP, after considering life without him, I found that to be less desirable than life with him. He IS my best friend, and I'm his. We enjoy each other's company, and feel a certain level of understanding that we could never get elsewhere. We both would be so lost without each other. I knew I wanted him to stay, but could not deal with the thoughts of what had happened, or the fact that it would likely happen again down the line.

Several of you posted that I was putting swinging or "stepping out of the marriage" out there to get back at him. With a bit of distance and introspection, I have to agree. I truly have no desire to swing again--I put it out there because I knew it would hurt him. I have vacillated several times between anger and deep sadness (lots of tears) since discovering this, and when I posted this thread, I was REALLY angry. I was focused on all the things he did wrong to me while I was being completely faithful and honest with him in this marriage, and I did indeed want to hurt him.

We've done a TON of talking, and I have asked him LOTS of questions about his activities, his feelings towards the domme, his feelings on our sex life and towards me. It's been very good, and in some ways, we're closer than we've ever been. Are we healed? Gosh no...I still go through waves of deep pain over this, but I think we're going in the right direction. Our monies continue to remain separated, and he has agreed to direct our spending on the one thing I have wanted in our marriage that he kept stalling on--finishing our home remodel (now I understand why he stalled that)--and he also agrees to deed our house to me exclusively. In reading about how to heal from sexual addiction, I read that transparency is critical. So he has provided me with access to all his devices, and login credentials to all credit accounts and social media. He says it actually feels good to get back to the point we were in at the beginning of our marriage where everything was in the open. It feels good to not have any secrets anymore. I take it all as a positive sign.

I'm not convinced this addiction will stay at bay, but for now, I'm happy with the direction we are going in. Our relationship is experiencing a bit of a renaissance, and we've been closer and more intimate than we've been in a long time. And funny thing is, right up to the point I discovered the phone, I didn't think the marriage was even close to miserable. But now, it's just a whole new level.

He needs therapy. We're debating whether traditional couples or group therapy is something we need right now--he's willing if I insist, but prefers not to. What I DO think he needs is counseling of a sex therapist. He cannot orgasm without masturbating first, and I think this is a direct result of years of masturbating and consuming porn. It's amazing how much this stuff can consume a person.

What are your thoughts? Do you think it's folly to think he could avoid falling back into addiction? Is it a complete mistake to sidestep couples/group therapy, or do you think we can work it out with a lot of openness and transparency? I welcome your thoughts.
 

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Don't believe for a minute he was 'about to call it quits' on her. That's him trying to minamalize things. He probably harbored a lot of shame and guilt for a long time. It's possible he was going to 'call it quits soon' for the entire time of the relationship. Which of course translates into quitting when he gets caught.

Could be an addiction, could be that he is that messed up and getting lost in this fantasy life is his way of escaping reality. There could be a lot more going on than you'll ever find out.

So, first thing is first. If it is an addiction, these things are not easily broken. Relapse is a very real part of addiction recovery. Most addictions are driven by feelings of guilt or shame. Is he ready to introspectively at himself to figure out where that comes from? Do you have the emotional fortitude to deal with a relapse when it happens, and call him on the carpet for it. You will need to be tough, and let him suffer the full consequences of any bad choices. You can't keep any secrets for him. Which means every detail anyone wants gets told. Yeah, it will embarrass him. It's not a punishment, it's just shining a light on who he is and what he as done. If he is truly embarrassed, it just may help prevent him from repeating.

You are in a very difficult position. It may be much easier to divorce him. I don't think I could live with the mind movies you must have running in your head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For sure, it's not easy. It's the biggest mind**** I've ever dealt with. But as I said, we are best friends and losing him would be worse. I'm prepared to deal with this, and know full well it could end in relapse. We talk a lot, and there are so many details of that that I've left off of here, but know that we're working on it, and he very much seems to want to get better. We make things as transparent as possible, and go from there. I'm taking this one day at a time.
 

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How old is he? Could he be going through a mid-life crisis? How satisfied is he with your sex life? Has he been seeking some kink which you might not agree to?
 

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I happen to think telling him that you now have permission to have affairs is a good thing. Not that you should do it, but he's treated your marriage as an open marriage so why can't you?

Why does he get his fun but you need to wait at home for him?

A little empathy goes a long way.

And I agree that he's lying about wanting to break it off.
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Wow, what a story.

Remember, this is only what you now KNOW. There could be so much more. You really don't know if he's gone physical with someone else.

Even if you are willing to give him the things he craves (and it sounds like you have done some of that already?) This is not a guarantee that he will stop seeking out others to fulfill this fetish..

I'll have to go read your other thread, but what a mess and I commend you for even trying to stay in this marriage.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How old is he? Could he be going through a mid-life crisis? How satisfied is he with your sex life? Has he been seeking some kink which you might not agree to?
He's 40, but this is no mid-life crisis. He's been heavily consuming porn and internet chats for his entire adult life.

There is pretty much no kink he could want in the bedroom that I would be averse to. I'm SO sexually open, and that was why this hurt so much--that he STILL felt the need to go elsewhere when I was as open as a guy could ask of a woman. I did read a text to one woman in which he explained that he loved me very much, and I was indeed dominant with him, but that he didn't feel I would be comfortable with taking it to a very heavy level of pain...and he was probably right. I've changed my mind about that, though. He's given me plenty of motivation to hurt him now!! And ironically, I think I'd actually be aroused by it.

We've done a lot of talking, and I asked him about why he felt the need to go elsewhere. He said he really wasn't entirely sure he understood himself, but thought that it was some sort of hunter instinct--the whole thing is more about the chase than the acquisition, which he says is why he never met anyone, and never would have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I happen to think telling him that you now have permission to have affairs is a good thing. Not that you should do it, but he's treated your marriage as an open marriage so why can't you?

Why does he get his fun but you need to wait at home for him?

A little empathy goes a long way.

And I agree that he's lying about wanting to break it off.
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This was exactly my thought process with him--he HATES the idea of my going with someone else, despite what he did, and he admits that this whole thing has suddenly made him realize what he would lose, and he's terrified of it. He's BEGGED me to stay, and has agreed to deed our house over to me as a show of his sincerity. And as long as he has the threat of my screwing around with some hung competition that might steal me away from him...it's motivation for him to stay on the straight and narrow.

Will it work? I'm not placing heavy bets, because I know this is an addiction. But as I've said, every other end of our marriage was very good, and he is my very best friend in the world. I'm willing to give it a try. I know people will tell me I'm off my rocker or being very naive...but trust me, my life would be far worse without him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How are you doing? I can't believe there is not more interest in this thread.

This story is off the wall crazy...and so traumatic for you.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it was off the wall crazy!!! I'm sure many will feel my response to the whole thing is just as nutty...but I guess unless you're IN the marriage, you can't fully understand.

We're moving things along. We've planned a trip to Jamaica for Thanksgiving, for some dedicated, uninterrupted couple time. We've been spending lots of time cuddling, and trying to avoid some of the bad habits we fell in before that had us doing activities separate from each other. We've also been doing a LOT of talking, and he doesn't get upset that I bring up the online affairs often, or ask him questions about it. I need that, and it's been very helpful. I feel like we're more open than we've been in a very long time.

And we've resumed sex...that's also better than it has been in a LONG time.

We're not out of any woods yet. I'm still healing. But progress is in the right direction!
 

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There is pretty much no kink he could want in the bedroom that I would be averse to. I'm SO sexually open, and that was why this hurt so much--that he STILL felt the need to go elsewhere when I was as open as a guy could ask of a woman.
This was exactly my situation. I thought, you could do anything and you still looked elsewhere. ??? WTF????? I think we shot ourselves in the foot by being "open." You and I lack boundaries. Because we never set clear boundaries they thought they could do anything they wanted and that we would be OK with it.

I have learned my lesson on this one. Good luck to you two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This was exactly my situation. I thought, you could do anything and you still looked elsewhere. ??? WTF????? I think we shot ourselves in the foot by being "open." You and I lack boundaries. Because we never set clear boundaries they thought they could do anything they wanted and that we would be OK with it.

I have learned my lesson on this one. Good luck to you two.
You may well be right about that. I don't think there's anything wrong with no limits sexually, but there's a difference between no limits and no boundaries. Any freaky fantasy that you have, I'm going to go down that rabbit hole in your mind and encourage you to explore it...with me. And if you want to take it to reality, if it's not illegal, I'll probably go there with you as well. But what I learned here is that I cannot assume that our *boundaries* are the same--what is considered cheating, and what is just "consuming porn". In the back of an addict's mind, I'm sure they KNOW what is cheating and what is not, but we humans are weak--it's easy to justify just about ANYTHING to ourselves if we want it badly enough. And with men, I think that statement is even truer.

If I'm honest, I resent that I have to spell out the obvious, and be hyper-vigilant about transparency. But if that's what it takes, I'm willing. I can remember how lonely life was before he came into it. As I've said, I used to swing, and I dated, was desired by men...so I was social and not alone...but I was dreadfully lonely. My husband and I had (and have) a CONNECTION. We fit together SO well in so many ways--not just sexually--so I'm super reticent to give that up. These last 5 years of marriage have been the happiest times of my life. He was that rare, compatible find, and further, I'm certain he feels the same way about me and our relationship, and has made large overtures to make amends and stay focused on us. I DO agree with what Acoa said above, that "It's possible he was going to 'call it quits soon' for the entire time of the relationship. Which of course translates into quitting when he gets caught." But now that he IS caught, and he now fully understands just HOW much he hurt me, I think he's truly motivated to stay away.

So I'm not willing just yet to throw the baby out with the bath water. I *know* people--including probably you--think I'm completely deluded for making that decision, but you aren't sitting in my shoes to understand fully. Am I naive enough to think that his resolve today will equate to guaranteed fidelity tomorrow? Or next year? Or five years from now?? No. But splitting is NOT an option. So we're exploring other ways to make it stick, and we are becoming even closer in the process.

I would love to talk to you in private message, where_are_we. I read your story as well, and found many parallels between yours and mind (I still think mine takes the cake for craziest, though!). I also felt you understand what I've been going through better than most, and your words have been very helpful to me. Hope to chat more with you.
 

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Feel free to PM me any time.

You have a connection with your husband and are good friends. I can understand why you don't want to throw that away.

I don't have any of that with my ex husband. He did not even speak to me if he didn't have to. It was like he was a piece of furniture.

You have to do what is right for you.


Still just in shock you aren't getting any support here. Maybe people just don't know what to say...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think that's what it is. Willing to bet that as soon as I say that I did some swinging and he's into really freaky phone sex and BDSM, I think people tune out and write us off as loonies. Fact is, there are a LOT of professional people that are into these activities, but just keep them well hidden. And none of it makes us immune to the ups and downs of marriage.
 

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I think that's what it is. Willing to bet that as soon as I say that I did some swinging and he's into really freaky phone sex and BDSM, I think people tune out and write us off as loonies. Fact is, there are a LOT of professional people that are into these activities, but just keep them well hidden. And none of it makes us immune to the ups and downs of marriage.
I guess I am a freak right along with you two. I have done the BDSM thing as well. I have also been a third wheel. I think views here are more traditional. My marriage was very traditional and very vanilla (because that is what he wanted and I was willing to compromise), so I have been out of that scene for a long time. Little did I know, he was just as kinky but afraid to tell me. That is what ticks me off the most!

I had to laugh about the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie and book. I watched the movie and I tried to read the book (could not tolerate how poorly it was written). Let me just say that I have lived far better experiences than what was portrayed in this story. Also, I agree with you that it is far more common than people think.
 

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I can understand this, specially the last para. It sounds honest to me. Sometimes we don't understand our own sexual motivations, or what turns us on. At other times, we don't want to admit things to OURSELVES, leave aside our partners.

My view is that you should treat this with empathy and understanding.

From what you say, you'll have been speaking and trying to get to the bottom of this. Sounds positive.

Be careful about the 40s. It's a tempentuous time to be at. I went through a very tough mid-life crisis around 42-43.... my partner tried to understand, but couldn't quite.

He's 40, but this is no mid-life crisis. He's been heavily consuming porn and internet chats for his entire adult life.

There is pretty much no kink he could want in the bedroom that I would be averse to. I'm SO sexually open, and that was why this hurt so much--that he STILL felt the need to go elsewhere when I was as open as a guy could ask of a woman. I did read a text to one woman in which he explained that he loved me very much, and I was indeed dominant with him, but that he didn't feel I would be comfortable with taking it to a very heavy level of pain...and he was probably right. I've changed my mind about that, though. He's given me plenty of motivation to hurt him now!! And ironically, I think I'd actually be aroused by it.

We've done a lot of talking, and I asked him about why he felt the need to go elsewhere. He said he really wasn't entirely sure he understood himself, but thought that it was some sort of hunter instinct--the whole thing is more about the chase than the acquisition, which he says is why he never met anyone, and never would have.


He's 40, but this is no mid-life crisis. He's been heavily consuming porn and internet chats for his entire adult life.

There is pretty much no kink he could want in the bedroom that I would be averse to. I'm SO sexually open, and that was why this hurt so much--that he STILL felt the need to go elsewhere when I was as open as a guy could ask of a woman. I did read a text to one woman in which he explained that he loved me very much, and I was indeed dominant with him, but that he didn't feel I would be comfortable with taking it to a very heavy level of pain...and he was probably right. I've changed my mind about that, though. He's given me plenty of motivation to hurt him now!! And ironically, I think I'd actually be aroused by it.

We've done a lot of talking, and I asked him about why he felt the need to go elsewhere. He said he really wasn't entirely sure he understood himself, but thought that it was some sort of hunter instinct--the whole thing is more about the chase than the acquisition, which he says is why he never met anyone, and never would have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have my ups and downs with all of this. We're working through it. I think there's a certain something lost that we will never get back, and I'm sad for myself. But I still am trying to work through it all.
 
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