Living With a Sex Addict

2: Discovery

Let’s start with discovery and with anger, because you may be feeling quite a bit of that now. Of course, you are angry at him, but it is possible you are angry at yourself for not discovering sooner, too. Maybe you torment yourself, thinking of all the years it went on while you slept or hung the laundry or knelt before the rack of men’s socks at a department store, making sure you got his correct size. You think how easily he slipped away with another woman while you dusted around the wedding photos, waited at the school gate, or booked tickets to Disneyland, and how you never asked or imagined or gave it any thought.

People will tell you that you must have known all along, that you turned a blind eye, that you were in denial. None of this is true. Your husband was your most trusted partner and he was above suspicion. Above suspicion, meaning you did not search his computer history, or check his bank statements or monitor his text messages. Now, you realize that if you’d done any of those things, you’d have known years ago. And with that, a feeling like hatred wells within you, but it isn’t that you hate yourself now, for something you’ve done. This is worse and deeper. You hate who you are now, and who you have been over a long period of time. Everything about your identity shifted in that instant of discovery. Your husband is a sex addict. Your partner is a sex addict. The person you love is a sex addict. Husband, partner, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend. What matters is that they are a sex addict. What exactly does that make you?

Maybe you’ve found out because there was an hours-long history of pornography mistakenly left on his computer. Or his phone has a text from a woman whose identity is vague but refers him to a code to enter on her website. Maybe he’s been arrested for curb-crawling. Maybe he’s been fired for using a computer at work to look at sexual images. I’ve heard all these stories, and the worst story, that you find out after he kills himself. What we know about some addicts is this: they mostly can’t stand to live with sex addiction. For a few of them, this means they choose not to live at all.

I found out because my husband was having an affair. You might not think an affair could be part of sex addiction (and I am not convinced it was) but I’ll talk about that later in this book. For now, let’s call the affair part of the addiction, just as the pornography and prostitutes and chat rooms and phone sex were all part of addiction. And let’s spend a moment on what finding out feels like, because if you are an addict reading this, it might help you to know what your wife (it is usually a wife, though it can certainly be a husband) may have gone through. So often sex addicts say, but she’s so angry! Or they throw up their hands in despair and call out, But she is so crazy!

I’m not crazy, but I sure felt so then. And you might, too, if you experienced this kind of sudden detonation of yourself, your marriage, and your life.

I’ve written how exactly I found out about the affair, then all the rest of it that I’d never known about. I’ve had to remove it because I am a writer in real life and I need the “scene” (haha, my awful heartbreak) for another thing I’m publishing. But eventually a version of it will be back.

You wanna know how I found out? Because the idiot woman he was sleeping with texted him t 6.30 in the morning. I mean…really.

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Copyright © 2016 The Wife. All rights reserved.

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  • Reply
    Lee Davy
    April 11, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    You are a beautiful writer. I can’t wait to read your book. You are going to be an inspiration for so many people. Lee.

    • Reply
      The Wife
      April 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Lee, Thank you so much for the comment–it means a lot to me! I write this with no input from anyone so comments like yours keep me going! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 24, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you for writing and sharing this. It helps to heal my heart.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Did you ever confront any of these women either via phone or letter/email? I know you had an initial phone conversation with one of the other womaen, but did you attempt to contact her again? If not, were you tempted?

    I find myself daydreaming a lot about writing them letters explaining that they were not special, he had no feelings, they were just “things”, and that there were so many other women too all at the same time.

    I don’t know if I would feel any better doing this; even when I think about doing it I feel so much anger and not relief but I just so very badly want them to know how unspecial they were.

    Just curious if you ever felt this way as well and if you acted on it.

    Thank you again for your blog, you have helped me like no other.

    • Reply
      October 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm


      I understand the anger against the women, yet I can’t brush off the feeling that in all messy sex addiction cases- its mostly women who are being hurt;
      I am not mad at the prostitutes, Craigslist girls, etc- I feel pity and sadness; having daughter myself- I’m thinking- what pushes a girl to sell her body? Definitely not a stable home and loving parents….
      In all madness I held my husband accountable – for breaking my spirit, for using other women ( helping them- as he says) —- it all comes to men abusing women.
      Yes, I know that infidelity is awful and getting engage with a married man is plain wrong… but still- we married our spouses not ” the other woman” and our husband is responsible for breaking the family…
      Other woman… well… maybe one day she will understand the wrongdoing maybe she won’t….
      all the paid sex workers… I think they know… otherwise they wouldn’t be charging for their services…. it’s s business deal and our husbands don’t mean much to them, unless they pay….
      Everything goes back to husbands.

  • Reply
    Sarah gordon
    September 18, 2017 at 1:21 am

    I love the way you write too…I am/was married to one of those husbands you mentioned who couldn’t live with how he had betrayed us all and took his life -it’s been a rollercoaster 2 years – so many mixed emotions..missing my best friend, but hating his behaviour and reading stuff that I’m not able to ask him about …and not wanting to ever date another man as I literally feel all men may be sex addicts ….

    • Reply
      The Wife
      September 18, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Oh, I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say. You lost a man you loved, a man with many flaws and many complicated emotions and issues, but a man of great value, worthy of love. I don’t have words.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Hello, thank you for this site. My husband died earlier this year. I was having a particularly hard day today, when I found your blog. I found out after he died, there were countless women over the 28 years we were married. It has been difficult. I hope to get over it someday. They used to have to warn the new girls at work about him. I think he had a real problem. Covered his ass really well. I also got a suspicious text, but he attributed it to a male coworker, joking around with him. I guess I wanted to believe it. He died of lung cancer, I pulled out all the stops to try save him, even breaking laws. Cigarettes were another thing he lied about and hid. I also worry a LOT of men out the there are sex addicts.

    • Reply
      The Wife
      November 23, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Deb, I am so sorry. It doesn’t matter what degree of addiction he suffered with, the fact is that he was your husband and you have endured a great loss. Also, a terrible discovery. That is so hard. Please stay in touch.

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