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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this forum but not new to the pain of betrayal. I have endured at least one affair, an addiction to porn and more, but the worst of the damage has been from the endless lies and deliberate acts of deceit. I lost a son in an auto accident which is at the top of my trauma list, followed by 2 more traumatic events and then, "betrayal." Spouse cheated on me prior to marriage and I often hate myself for ever giving him a second chance. After we were married, discovered his horrible porn addiction to some of the absolute worst kinds of porn known to man! More lies and more denial until he had no choice but to admit it. It's been about 5 years since I've had any substantial proof exposed, but I continue to have so many issues. Have been seeing a counselor for at least 3 years & of course, spouse is not an active participant. He saw a counselor once and that was it. He got some sort of slap on the wrist as if it were acceptable for him to be a sexual addict! Amazing! I keep having nightmares, trigger events, bouts of rage and intrusive thoughts and memories. Just read some articles about how they are now saying spousal betrayal can cause PTSD. I'm going to address this possibility with next therapy session. I came here because I feel I have "no one" I can talk to about my fears, feelings, and pain. It's just too embarrassing and shameful...plus my spouse has an "image" in the community that he is something special. (What a joke!) Unfortunately, any leak of his sexual/porn addiction would totally ruin his career and reputation. I don't want that, but I would like to jap-slap him upside his stupid head!!!
 

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To hell with his "image" we're talking about your LIFE here. The biggest question you need to answer is why are you still married to this guy? Seriously? Is it that he offers you so much love or so much lifestyle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He has many wonderful qualities and as I mentioned, I've not uncovered any additional activities in past 5 years. He has made some incredible strides, especially about sharing passwords, access to all his devices, etc. I have no doubt that he loves me and even with my underlying issues from our past, we manage to have fun, share, spend most of our free time together, engage in joint activities. The battle is really with "myself" I think.
 

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FlyBaby - I don't think the issues are with you - they are certainly with him...maybe he just makes you feel like it is you - that's what WSs do...and I have to say - you pointing out that YOU have been going to therapy for 3 years and not him? That is a LONG time....what problems do you have that need fixing, other than suffering at the hands of a twisted spouse?

Please forgive me if I am wrong (being a parent, my mind flashed to this instantly)...you said he was/is addicted to the worse type of porn...if it is child porn - run, run, run. If not, I apologize for assuming. To me, that would be the worst possible kind.
 

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Flybaby...do youself a favor and re-read your initial post. Read it out loud to yourself and pretend you're hearing it as someone else's story.

You say you sometimes hate yourself for giving him a second chance BEFORE you were even married for his trysts. You say that his porn addiction is "some of the absolute worst kinds of porn known to man!!" I'll ask you straight up...what kind of porn are we talking about?

Yet he has many wonderful qualities. I'll ask another straight up question: How do you know he's stopped the porn? For real. He never got true counseling for his stuff but you get to deal with this stuff on a daily basis it would appear.

There's such a change in your second post to your first it literally reminds me of battered wife syndrome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No child porn that I'm aware of. I agree with all of you to some degree or another. I am very unhappy beneath the surface but the best word to describe it is "miserable" with my life & myself. No easy, pat answers or solutions to this at age 56. I know I have to eventually make a choice to let go & move on or learn to live with possibility it may happen again---which means yet another choice to make "if" it does. I do not believe he has physically cheated on me since we got married. I don't think there's anything he can do here even if he tried. The decision is within me about whether "I" can shut up and deal with it or just can't, period.
 

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My husband is a sex addict. Have a look at the links in my signature. There are at least two books which would be very helpful to you. One is

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal: Barbara Steffens, Marsha Means: 9780882823096: Amazon.com: Books

and the other is

Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing: Dennis C. Ortman: 9781587613340: Amazon.com: Books

If your husband refuses to address his addiction, then there is no hope for your marriage. I am sorry, but the fact you haven't uncovered anything probably just means he has taken it so far underground you have no idea.

There are 12 step groups for sex addicts (again, see the links in my signature). There are also specialized counselors for them, CSAT's (Certified sex addiction therapists) and you can find one thru the link in my signature as well. Most family therapists have NO idea how to address sexual addiction, so I suggest that you go and see a CSAT for yourself.

You cannot do anything about your husband. Only he can. If he isn't willing to, it has to be a dealbreaker for you. The first book above has stories from real spouses of sex addicts and the hell they go through. I highly suggest you read it - it deals with the PTSD aspect of it extremely well.

Good luck to you, and have strength.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you. I believe he "is" a sex addict and intuitively, I believe he has not stopped engaging in the porn activity---just learned to hide it much better. It's the deceit that has hurt more than anything. Although he denies he still does it, I can't help but seriously doubt what he says with his mouth and that is what is killing me. I have no solid proof, but yet I don't "need" proof. I just know deep inside. Add his behavioral history patterns and logic (I spent 6 years working in behavioral health)---he's most likely STILL at it. I'm sick of feeling as if I am living an endless LIE!
 

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I know I have to eventually make a choice to let go & move on or learn to live with possibility it may happen again---
Here is the problem for me. These are simple answers that border on psychobabble.

You've been traumatized. You don't just 'let go and move on.' The mind doesn't let you do that. You don't just 'learn to live with it.' The mind doesn't let you do that either.

What you do is come to accept that your H's betrayals have changed you and your relationship to him. You get some therapy to understand how you are changed and whether you can live with him knowing how he has changed you. You expect that he faces what he has done and does what he has to do to make it possible for you to deal with these changes.

This is a start.

There are several threads right now about affair-related PTSD many years after the A. In each case there was rug-sweeping and a lack of work/recognition/respect on the part of the WS. You should read some of these threads and take some cues from them.
 

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My dear you need to take care of yourself here. Your gut is not lying to you...HE is. You know his pattern. You've been married to him all of this time. You need to ask yourself if you feel so badly about things that you sought out an internet forum for Infidelity, why in Heaven's name are you still with him.

I understand the being 56 years young and being frightened. Of course. ALL of us who have gone through this type of thing has been right there in that same spot.

This whole issue of him having an "image" and ruining his career and reputation is exactly IT!!!! Allowing him to maintain this outward profile very well could get someone very hurt. Think of all of the boys/men who finally had the courage to speak out to the local diocese in the Catholic church. The Church could no longer hide and they have, unfortunately, suffered tremendously for it.

But...is it not deserved for their perpetuating the lies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've been seeing a respected, credible Marriage & Family licensed counselor for at least 3 years. I only see her now every 2-3 months, but she has helped me enormously. My spouse attended one whole session with me initially, but my counselor was quick to see through his total denial and lack of accountability for his actions. He never even made an effort to come back or suggest we go anywhere else "together." I decided to go it alone for my own sake!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I couldn't agree more, but I'm not about to just jump off a cliff and pray to God I land on a soft mattress. What I keep trying to say here is that "I" must come to my own conclusion as to what is best for me one way or the other. It's just a very painful and confusing journey to get to that place. I think I know that I will eventually opt to leave him, but only when I am fully ready to do so.
 

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What does she say about his sexual addiction?

I HIGHLY recommend the two books I linked above. Especially the first one. And it wouldn't hurt for you to seek out a CSAT for yourself as well, just for a different perspective. If you've been seeing this counselor for three years, and you're still rugsweeping what your husband is doing, I think it's time for a second opinion.
 

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I'm new to this forum but not new to the pain of betrayal. I have endured at least one affair, an addiction to porn and more, but the worst of the damage has been from the endless lies and deliberate acts of deceit. I lost a son in an auto accident which is at the top of my trauma list, followed by 2 more traumatic events and then, "betrayal." Spouse cheated on me prior to marriage and I often hate myself for ever giving him a second chance. After we were married, discovered his horrible porn addiction to some of the absolute worst kinds of porn known to man! More lies and more denial until he had no choice but to admit it. It's been about 5 years since I've had any substantial proof exposed, but I continue to have so many issues. Have been seeing a counselor for at least 3 years & of course, spouse is not an active participant. He saw a counselor once and that was it. He got some sort of slap on the wrist as if it were acceptable for him to be a sexual addict! Amazing! I keep having nightmares, trigger events, bouts of rage and intrusive thoughts and memories. Just read some articles about how they are now saying spousal betrayal can cause PTSD. I'm going to address this possibility with next therapy session. I came here because I feel I have "no one" I can talk to about my fears, feelings, and pain. It's just too embarrassing and shameful...plus my spouse has an "image" in the community that he is something special. (What a joke!) Unfortunately, any leak of his sexual/porn addiction would totally ruin his career and reputation. I don't want that, but I would like to jap-slap him upside his stupid head!!!
Sorry for your pain, and I absolutely believe there are permanant lingering after-effects of being betrayed. When a spouse tells you they love you, and then betrays you behind your back, the idea of LOVE is completely destroyed.

After my major betrayal by the remorseless "soul mate" I stopped believing in true love. In my opinion everyone is out to better their lives, and will leave you for a better situation, I do not believe in "love" anymore, we are all ALONE, and cannot count on anyone else, ever.

Now I am in a second marriage and I am always insecure and suspecting the wife, thinking I married the same kinds of woman, seeing "red flags", and I am not sure if I am crazy, just living the PTSD, re-enacting the pattern to avoid being devastated again.

I have NO HARD EVIDENCE of an affair, despite trying, yet I go through waves of suspecting, assuming she is cheating, and then assuming it is my "baggage".

So now I am treating my wife badly, assuming she is cheating, reading everything she does thru this lense, and being miserable.
 

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Ya know...sometimes I forget that I've been on the forums for a while and that it really is NOT easy to come here and air your feelings. We tend to offer advice, good and bad, within moments of a poster writing the issue they're dealing with...and I can admit to sometimes not remembering what it was like when I first came to my own realizations.

Flybaby...you are the one to look in the mirror - not me. I apologize if I made it out like you "should" answer to me that way, it certainly was not my intent.

My suggestion is to make an appointment with your counselor. Write some things down in a small notebook for yourself, because we ALL know what it's like to go in with this that and the other to talk about and we wind up talking about something totally unrelated! (I'm totally guilty of that!!) Write what you've written here...heck, make a print out if you must, but make sure you have an agenda to talk to your counselor about. They will be able to help guide you through this myriad of turmoil you're facing.

Peace to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you Ever-Man for your compassion, honesty, and empathy. I feel the same way when I think about the future. I don't think I could ever marry again because I'll never trust enough to do it. The feelings of being crazy & the mental/emotional tug-of-war is almost unbearable at times for sure. I continue to struggle with feelings I am going against my own integrity and dignity by staying yet I'm not in a secure enough place to walk away just yet. It really stinks! I feel for you and your continuing struggle with trust. It's so painful!! Don't wish this on worst enemy--but glad to see I'm not alone in my thoughts, fears, doubts and battle with this!
 
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