How Do You Get Over the Betrayal of Sex Addiction?

the betrayal of sex addiction

How on Earth do you get over sex addiction betrayal?

My story is very similar to other sex addiction stories what I have read on your site – an 18 year sham relationship. I have been lied to, manipulates and gaslighted by a truly evil narcissist, who has even taken money from his kid’s bank accounts to fund his sordid habit.

I got chlamydia and gonorrhea for Christmas, yet when he got tested after, his results came back clear, so in friends and families eyes he is innocent. He even left himself a reminder on the table, ‘Ciana – 10am Saturday’, then changed it to say ‘Cinema’ when he returned home an hour later.

I had a breakdown. I couldn’t eat, sleep or function. I spent a month on a mental ward. I am now stronger, and moved out of the facade of a forever family home. That’s another sore point – he is only paying interest only payments on the mortgage, so that he has extra money in his pocket. I’ve moved into a rental and the children share their time with me and their perfect Dad. I’m hoping that will change though as he intends to sell the family home.

My new home is lovely and the children are settled, however, I am still a shaking wreck. I am on 2 lots of antidepressants and am eating and semi -sleeping, but I don’t know what I can do to get over my all consuming intrusive thoughts. I am too depressed to read or watch TV and too ill to work, so I don’t know how to fill my time and distract me from my thoughts. The summer holidays are almost here, yet I am no longer the confident, proactive Mum, taking the kids for trips out. I just want to curl up in a ball…

Everyone says it’s a grieving process and it will take time. I just can’t stand that it fills my head constantly. Any advice please?


14 thoughts on “How Do You Get Over the Betrayal of Sex Addiction?”

  1. Hi T,

    I am so, so sorry for the trauma you have suffered and for the continued stress that you are enduring. I hear your pain and I do understand how awful life seems right now. When we are in the middle of our journey out of hell there appears to be no end to the pain.

    Please know that it will eventually get better. It sounds like you are doing all that you can, especially with the anti depressants, which I always recommend for situations like yours. You may need a different type of anti depressant as each person responds differently to the many types available. Please talk with your health care provider and tell them how you are feeling and that you are sleeping.

    Don’t feel as though you have to conquer this all at once, that’s an impossible task. Set tiny goals so that you can feel good when you accomplish them. These could be a small as going out for an hour once a week to enjoy something you really like, such as a movie, a trip to the library, shopping and buying yourself a small gift that you wouldn’t ordinarily buy…things like that. One baby step at a time. The positive feedback will help with your depression. Then add another tiny goal, something just for yourself. You are a strong woman, you will get through this and the confidant, proactive woman that you are will emerge again.

    I will post your letter on my site and hopefully you will get some suggestions from other partners.

    As for being in the UK, I have and have had many women subscribe from the UK and from all over the world, so there should be no problem with you subscribing if you choose to do so.

    I am sending all my best energy and courage to you.

  2. Thanks joann. I think I am trauma bonded as I have returned to live with him. Things are no better and I am very depressed.

  3. I am so sorry Tracy, that you feel that you had to make that decision. We all leave when we are ready, and not before. I will be thinking of you and sending you courage and strength.

    Here’s a quote from a post in the forums from one of the Sisters–the author is unknown. I think sums up all of our experiences:

    The Pain Stops: when you stop looking at the person
    you love as the person you love, and you begin to see
    them, not as a partner, a lover, or a best friend, but
    as a human being with the strengths and weaknesses and
    even the core of a child.

    The Pain Stops: when you begin to accept that what you
    would do in a circumstance is not what they would do,
    and that no matter how much you try, they have to
    learn their own lessons, and they have to touch the
    stove when it’s hot, just as you did, to learn that it
    is much better when it is cold.

    The Pain Stops: when your longing for them gets slowly
    replaced by a desire to get away, when making love to
    them no longer makes you feel cherished, when you find
    yourself tired of waiting for the moments where the
    good will truly outweigh the bad, and when at the end
    of the day you can’t count on their arms for comfort.

    The Pain Stops: when you start to look inward and
    decide whether their presence is a gift or a curse,
    and whether when you need them, they cause more
    heartache than bliss.

    The Pain Stops: when you realize that you deserve more
    than they offer and stop blaming them for being less
    than you wish. When the smile of a stranger seems more
    inviting and kind, and you remember what it’s like to
    feel beautiful, and you remember how long it has been
    since your lover whispered something in your ear that
    only the two of you would know.

    The Pain Stops: when you forgive them for their faults
    and forgive yourself for staying so long. When you
    know that you tried harder than you ever tried before,
    and you know in your heart that love should not be so
    much work.

    The Pain Stops: when you start to look in the mirror
    and like who you see, and know that leaving them or
    losing them is no reflection of your beauty or your

    The Pain Stops: when the promise of a new tomorrow is
    just enough to start replacing the emptiness in your
    heart, and you start dreaming again of who you used to
    be and who you will become.

    The Pain Stops: when you say goodbye to what never
    really was, and accept that somewhere in the fog you
    may or may not have been loved back. And you promise
    yourself never again to lay in arms that don’t know
    how to cherish the kindness in your heart.

    The Pain Stops: when you are ready.

  4. It is a journey for all of us, Here is a glimpse into my Journey thank you in advanced for listing. I was and have been obsessed with fixing my husband since before we were married, I was aware of his sexual addition prior to wedding. He would miss text me things, like ” I only have 40 mins, for our secret sexy rendevous” when he was not planning a secret sexy rendevous of any kind planned, He left my bed and would miss text me things like: “baby I am near i just need your address.” Currently walking through a path of healing for myself. Learning about my co-dependency and what made me focus on and love someone who; I knew was a sex addict.
    He had a perverse nature and wanted me to preform, and act out with him and I did enough to convience him that I was on-board, I also told him I was sure the the sexual appitite he demonstrated was going to be a huge hurdle in our attempt to marry.
    I spent years following him on google maps, experencing extream anxiety when he was away, going through his phone and other obssessed activity. I wanted to catch him red handed: because of his dennial. His ability to behave in narccisitc ways Saying “I have never nor would ever do anything wrong” although I saw many sign of evidence, I never actally walked in on him. I hope if I could catch him that he would conceided to seek help, that he could face the deynal, and admit that it was an issue.
    Now that we are seperated, I feel so much better, I no longer care where he is or what he is doing. It has been a 6 month recovery, for me so far and I often still think about the relationship, much to often, I hope once we are divorced and I contunue growing in my own effort of realizing why I made him my Higher Power, and wanted to Fix Him. I am so happy that I am growing and healing, I did not feel like I would ever have energy to be myself again for so long. I am working on healing in body, doing yoga to aide in my effort, it is a journey that I am half way through. It was difficult because my husband took care of me, fincially and I have had to grow in my effort to provide for myself. It is a very healthy change for me to have left him.

  5. I. too, am struggling as I was married almost 33 years. I realized about year 20 that he was really into pornography when I found Barely Legal and Eighteen magazines. At that time he was a high school guidance counselor which made me sick. I tried so hard to get him to go with me for counseling and he always refused. Before the guidance counselor, he was a Director of a Mental Health Center. He moved out of our home 3 months ago due to a boundary I set. More about that later. Some days all I want to do his cry. I feel so very stupid for not recognizing how fast his addiction progressed this year. Hugs and good thoughts to all of you. I have to say fear and sadness are overwhelming. I feel so so stupid.

  6. Hi! My story is so similar…..husband who has done this to me for 13 years, but also a very mean, gaslighting narcassist ,who has come home smelling like condoms and women…. I have placed a GPS on his car, and guess where I caught him!! Yes! But, he “went in , but left”. He is also on viagra pills, but has me believing that he is not and he is just “lucky” that he grew 2 inches, at 62 years old…… he has also become abusive , and truly makes me cringe.
    I’m so destroyed! I’ve been on meds for 4 years, just got off of them, because it did not help. To him, my meds made me “crazy”.

    I have kicked him out, but he pretends that it is all fine, and he is just giving me a break……
    Every city we have been in, he has gone to the paid ladies, and over a thousand dollars went missing in Budapest. A city FULL of them, on every block, there was a Thai massage. When I mentioned the money, once again , I’m crazy and did not see any money… refuses to admit to anything!!!!
    Please help me!
    Please! Thank you!
    Crying sad lady in Canada

  7. Thank you for all the ladies who have posted here.
    Really lets me know that I’m not alone!
    We are not alone!
    Thank you for sharing your stories

  8. I’m the original writer of this post. I am still with him for our children’s sake, but still very depressed. Has anyone come out the other side? I’ve been on dating sites hoping to find someone to show me what real love is and whisk me away from this nightmare. He caught me. I’m now called slag, fat bastard, dirty bitch, ugly, bald, crow, prick and dickhead. I’m trying to get legal aid and have discovered that the 3 properties we own are only having interest only paid off on the mortgage! Any advice please?

  9. What good do you think you are doing your children by staying in a toxic relationship for your children’s sake? Children feel and are harmed by living with the stresses of a broken relationship. Many children do just fine when their parents divorce. Is it ideal? NO. But it is better than what you and they are living right now.

    If your husband is paying interest only on your properties it’s time for you to get the advice of a good attorney or accountant. Your husband is taking you down into a financial black hole and you need to take control now or you and your children will wind up with nothing, or worse, deeply in debt.

    What are you thinking–going on dating sites? You need to take care of the issues with your relationship, your children and yourself before focusing on any new relationship. Dating sites will not find your true love, you are not ready for a relationship until you have worked through your issues, are comfortable and confident with yourself and you are a supportive mother who puts the needs of herself and her children above a selfish man or some new relationship. You are more likely to find another loser on dating sites than you are to find a Prince Charming. Those sites are sex addict magnets. I would advise you to stay away from them.

    Take some time to really decide what your options are. You will probably have to support yourself and your children, with some child support from your husband. What will it take to do that? Do you need more education? An update on your skills? That’s where you start.

    Take a realistic look at your situation and start making choices that will secure a stable future for you and your children and get legal advice about what your husband’s responsibilities and obligations are and what your financial picture looks like. If you don’t do it now the situation will only get worse. Sending you strength and courage for your difficult journey. ~ JoAnn

  10. It’s been a little over 5 months since my husband disclosed his sex addiction. It is all so serial. I am still having a difficult time wrapping my head around it. I have been married to this man for 42 years and have been friends with him since I was 12 years old. This is all just crazy making to me. He has always treated me with respect, encouraged me to do the things that were important to me, was active in our children’s lives, and took my complaints seriously and made changes. (Of course, I say all this knowing now that his second life negates any respect I thought he had for me.) I honestly thought he cherished me and our two daughters. About, ten years into our marriage he confessed to me that he was having oral sex with men. We agreed if he continued, our marriage would end. He went to counseling, and joined SAA. I thought, again, there is a problem and he is willing to take care of it. He told me he didn’t relate to SAA. The story in my head was he was grappling with being Bi-sexual. I agreed that SAA wasn’t for him. He continued counseling. I have no idea what he was telling his counselor. He seemed at some point to be good and on the right track. We went on with our lives. During his disclosure much more was brought up. Cruising for prostitutes, cruising for men, adult book stores one night stands, glory holes, and daily masterbating. He began traveling for work. This enabled his addiction to skyrocket to hook ups and an eventual sex partner he met up with for six years while traveling out of state. She would travel to the hotel he was staying at and they would have separate rooms. They had sex on and off, but mostly would go together to swing clubs to have sex with other couples. They tried BDSM and had sex with various people with different gender identities. When that ended due to a new job, he started meeting an older woman for sex on and off in a town close to where we lived. That went on for about 2 years. While dealing with a rental house, his visits consisted of having anal sex with men for about a year. Then there was younger woman he saw for about 6 months when he travelled out of town. All the time while he was at home he was still cruising for men, and masturbating (looking at porn to get him started), the woman had stopped. Then we decided to move and COVID hit. So, his cruising places were no longer available to him. I got diagnosed with Breast Cancer and went through Chemo and Radiation. He told me at that point he realized if he acted out he could actually kill me and stopped. During my Cancer treatment he was amazing, he was so loving and cared for me so well. He has for the most part always been so loving. This is partly why my head continues to spin. He has stopped everything the last 5 months, is seeing a counselor, and attending SAA meetings. He says he is worried because so far it has been easy to stop. He says he feels horrible and embarrassed and he never meant to hurt me, and for me to never find out. I let him know he never had my consent and put us all at tremendous risk physically, emotionally, and financially. He confessed that he almost got arrested once while having oral sex with a man at a park, and he had a sexual harassment complaint filed on him at work. There are no words for the sexual harassment complaint. If you knew my husband, you would think he was the nicest guy and I would have agreed, a real feminist. Last month I went to planned parenthood to be screened for STD’s and requested he come as well. (He did.) Everything came back negative. I am reading a great book, “Moving Beyond Betrayal”, over and over again. I am seeing my own therapist. I have no idea where this will lead. I thought this was my person, I thought he had my back, I thought I was loved and cherished. He is really trying, he is saying and doing all the right things. He is trying to step up and regain my trust. I am crying harder than I ever have in my life, I have had suicidal thoughts, I am angry. I am bracing for a wild ride.

  11. My dear Jen71523. I am so sorry for all you are going through, and I am so sorry that I did not see your post soon after it was written.First, and very much the most important, please, please find a therapist, a medical professional and/or a spiritual confidant to get help with your suicidal thoughts. This is not a symptom to put aside or to ignore. Many, many of the women on my websites have had those same thoughts and I can guarantee you that counseling and often a short term regime of anti depressant therapy will work wonders. The weight of all of the information your husband has burdened you with has caused severe trauma to your system.

    And now, after only a few months, he expects you to move beyond this betrayal? Your breast cancer was a warning from your body. Stress lowers your immune systems response to disease. Stress makes you vulnerable to illness. This is an undisputed medical fact.

    You definitely need a break from the pressure he is putting on you. For him to expect you to absorb all of that information and ‘understand’ now that he is being oh so honest and nice is another abuse. You need some time. A lot of time. You need to process and think and reflect without his ‘mr. nice guy’ guilt trip that he is playing on you.

    I would suggest a temporary separation with a long period of ‘no contact’. That means no phone calls, no texts, no just stopping by to see how you are no contact. You need to detox from all of the information and clear your head.

    If he cannot give you that, then he is truly not remorseful.

    People do not change. His activities are not normal. They are extreme.

    Let’s set the record straight. What he has done is not a simple betrayal. He has led a very ambitious and dangerous secret life for most of your marriage. This is not just some brief affair, it is not a minor betrayal. He has engaged in an enormous amount extremely varied and dangerous behaviors. Dangerous to you, to your health, to your lifestyle and to your marriage.

    Right now the focus should be on you and what you need to return to normalcy. Some day you may be able to consider discussing your marriage and what choices you have, but right now your very life depends upon you getting the help you need and the space you need.

    Sending you all my very best. With love.


    It is no wonder that your body and brain just cannot even begin to comprehend all of it, let alone simply put it all aside and ‘move beyond the betrayal’.

    After you discuss you

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