This is my first time posting on this forum. D-Day was less than four months ago and WH is trying to determine whether he's an actual SA, or just a guy who makes bad choices when it comes to sex. We're both leaning toward SA, as is his IC.
Going back to high school, WH says masturbating was his form of stress release. When some of his classmates were experimenting with drugs, smoking, alcohol, etc. he would go home and masturbate, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. That continued into college, and he also added porn to the mix. There was no internet back then, so his access to porn was magazines and regular visits to the porn-only movie theater in his college town. He would sometimes go with his friends, so I figured it was just a guy thing. I met him when he was in college. I was a few years younger, still in high school in our home town. After the initial, more cordial letters and phone calls to get to know each other and establish that we were a couple, his tone started to change. His letters were downright disgusting, with sex stories and scenarios about us. We hadn't even had a formal date yet, much less had sex. But, I was young and in love and thought that was just how it was supposed to be. I commented once on his letters being too "dirty." He said, "Oh those were nothing. I threw one out instead of sending it because it was so bad." So I guess I was supposed to be grateful that the letters I was receiving weren't worse?
Still, going back to that young and foolish stuff, we did eventually has sex. Looking back, I was probably too young to go there, especially with a slightly older (by 3 years) guy who was so into all things sexual. We stayed together, both finished college and got engaged. He was still into his "dirty" magazines, but I figured he'd grow out of it.
After we got married, it seemed like one awful discovery after another, and they just kept getting worse. I found a list he had made of all the women we knew - my sister, her roommate, our friends, wives of guys we knew, etc. He put a list of features and body parts across the top and rated his favorites for each woman. I was included and only came in first place for my eyes. I guess my body parts weren't high on his list. After we got a computer, I found porn software in a drawer. After we got a dial-up internet connection, I found out he was chatting with women online, one who wanted him to write a dirty story about her (I found a little note where he'd written her name and bra size). Next I discovered he was chatting with even more women and arranged to meet-up with one in person. He says he pulled up next to her in a parking lot and said he couldn't go through with the meeting (that's what he said at the time and still says over 20 years later...who knows?). At the time, I had a 3-year old who was in the process of being diagnosed with autism and an 8-month old). I realize now that I rug-swept that entire situation. It was painful and I never let it go, but we never addressed it head-on.
After that discovery, he claimed he would stop the porn and cybersex, but it continued. He was stealthy about it, turning his computer monitor away from the door and always having an explanation for his long hours on the computer. He would stay up hours later than me and the kids, saying he's just a night-owl and likes to read the news and watch old movies at night. About 8 years ago, I discovered an email, confirming his registration on a site for people seeking "discreet affairs." I confronted him and he said he was just blowing off steam but never intended to act on it, never even read the replies.
Fast forward to this past March. I discovered his full-blown, 2-year physical affair with a bitch former co-worker. They were going at it in parked cars, behind bushes, at her house, at our house. I confronted him and he said he would shut it down, that he knew it was wrong, that he tried to shut it down, but she would cry and make him feel bad. When it came down to it, he didn't want to give up the freaky sex that she was willing to give him. From what I've heard, I am far more conservative than her and will never be into stuff she did. He knew what I was like in the bedroom but married me anyway. Looking back I now see lots of red flags, but I was young and in love and hindsight is always 20/20.
After D-Day, I demanded that he confess everything he's been up to over the years. I said I would listen with an open mind if he told the complete truth, but if I found out later he was lying or holding anything back, it wouldn't go well for him. Here's what he confessed to: Porn, lots of porn. Lots of sex chats and cybersex. A "friendship" with a co-worker in which they exchanged way too much information about their marriages. They began meeting up for walks, even after she quit the company. A few times, they made out at the park, but he says it never went any further and they agreed they should stop meeting up. They are still Facebook friends and sometimes chat on messenger (I read their most recent chats and they look benign). Next, there were multiple visits to massage parlors that provide "happy endings." He would squirrel away an extra $20 here and there until he saved enough for a hand job or blow job. He said he went 6 or 7 times and stopped for two reasons 1) He would feel incredibly empty and guilty afterward and 2) It crossed his mind that it was illegal and the places could be raided with him naked on the table.
So now, here we are. Yes, I still love and feel connected to this man. I owe it to myself and our marriage vows to see this through. If our marriage is beyond repair, so be it. But I can't give up until I've exhausted all avenues of recovery. WH has attended one SA meeting online. He's going to try out another this week. He's seeing his IC and taking his advice to stay busy with other things to keep his mind off porn and chat rooms. He understands that if he truly is an SA, he will be in recovery all his life. He's saying and doing the right things, at least in my mind. But we're really early in the game and his good habits are not yet established. He can slip back at any second. I am keeping my defenses on high alert, which I hate. It's hard to live this way, as I'm sure you all know!
So, I came here to tell my story and see what you guys think? WH and I are going with the assumption that he is an SA. We realize that he needs to be diagnosed by a CSAT, but we haven't yet found that person. We live in a huge metropolitan area with tons of therapists of all types. But it seems that every single one is booked right now and have waiting lists up to six months. His insurance approved him for mental health treatment by a specific therapy group, but they put him on their waiting list. He chose an online therapist so he could get started right away. I also had a few session with an online therapist and didn't click with her. I have an appointment with a new one later today and am hoping she will be the right one for me.
I would appreciate any ideas and input on our situation. Thanks for reading this far!