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Is he a sex addict? I don't know what to do next...

(28 Posts)
nopainliketoday Fri 21-Dec-12 23:41:37

My world has broken and I never saw it coming. This is long. I'm sorry, and grateful to anyone who makes it all the way through.

Have been with my husband for nearly four years. His job involves working away, so we often spend time apart. Four months ago I emigrated to be with him. I gave up everything - my career, my home, my family, and my friends. All worth it because he is my soulmate, we have always been so happy together even though the distance has made it tough.

The last few weeks have had challenges, and he has been distant and sometimes obnoxious at times. We have had some heart to heart conversations and generally things improve. Just assumed it was part of the new life, and perhaps triggered by me transitioning to a new environment. However, I have loved the move and made new friends, joined clubs etc. All was well.

Yesterday I asked to borrow his iPad as mine had run out of battery and I wanted to FaceTime my family. He was cagey and shielded his contacts list when setting up the call. He left the house while I was on the call, but said something that upset me as he left - so when the call was over, I looked at his contact list. Need to stress I have never done this before, I respect his personal space and have never pried before.

There were so many unusual email addresses that it prompted me to check his email. I know, I'm not proud of this. There were numerous emails setting up sexual encounters with other men - plus two with hookers and one where he has exchanged swinging messages with another couple. He even talked about me in this email, with my name and age, but saying I was not part of the 'lifestyle'.

I asked him about it when he got home, and first he denied everything, before slowly admitting the bare minimum as he clearly didn't realise how much I knew. He has finally admitted that he is addicted to cybersex, and to chat rooms, but has never acted and met any of these people in real life. I asked why he had contacted local people if that were true, and he couldn't answer this. In the emails he talks about good times to 'get away' and these times tally with his trips to 'the gym', 'playing sport', and 'meeting friends'. I have trustingly never ever questioned these trips, why would I?

Part of me wants to believe him, I want to go back to the life we had, but I know that if he is an addict, he is also a highly skilled liar. I could have left him last night, gone home to my wonderful family in time for Christmas. I wish I could have.

But here is the complication.

I am typing this with our beautiful three week old baby on my lap. She is a chubby cheeked angel who loves food and cuddles - and only ever cries when one of these is overdue. I love her more than life. I cannot leave the country with her - she doesn't have a passport, and if I tried to leave without his permission I would be facing child abduction / extradition issues.

The sex emails predate my pregnancy, the ones I saw go back months before we even knew she was on the way. I thought the day she was born was the happiest of my husbands life, he was just overjoyed and a great support to me. However he also sent gay cruising emails the same day and the following day - while I was in hospital, and possibly even from my bedside. He is still adamant that he hasn't followed up any of these emails, even though home addresses are exchanged in some of them (theirs, not his). I find it hard to believe him on this.

I have been so so calm so far - partly because I am hurt at a level deeper than pain, and am still in a state of shock. However, I don't want to exacerbate this - I want my husbands signature for our daughter's passport application (she is a dual citizen and it will be easier and quicker for her to get a passport from here than the UK). I want to go home soon, at least on a temporary basis. There is no way I am leaving without her.

We are also tied together for life because of her, so I don't want this to get uglier than it already is.

But I also don't know what to do. Yesterday I would have left him and never looked back if it hadn't been for DD. Today he has been the perfect husband, he has been so kind and thoughtful and apologetic, and has promised to get help, to 'fix' this - because he doesn't want to lose us.

If he is a sex addict, is this EVER fixable? He comes from a family of alcoholics so I always thought this might come and haunt us. But at least with drugs or alcohol, I would probably guess if he relapsed - I wouldn't know with sex.

I feel so betrayed, and it is so sordid and embarrassing and humiliating. For him as well as me. I wouldn't even believe this if it weren't happening to me.

I don't know what to do now. I have no one to talk to. I can't burden my family with this before Christmas, especially as it is hard enough for them that we were spending it abroad.

And I'm too embarrassed to admit that my dream life is a total utter fraud sad

moreyear Fri 25-Jan-13 22:44:37

Thinking of you and your baby and hoping you are ok.

TisILeclerc Sat 22-Dec-12 15:01:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Corygal Sat 22-Dec-12 14:57:50

What a ghastly shock for you OP. Your poor thing - what a time to go through.

But, as the ladies on here are showing you, get through it you will. You don't actually have a lot of practicalities to sort out, luckily, although I bet it seems a lot. All you have to do is leave.

Your DD won't miss out on anything - she's known nothing else, which is a lot better than knowing about living with an addict.

If you can't face telling the family now, don't. There's no need. Just book the ticket & remember you can talk to them face to face if you feel like doing that.

If it's any help, I know a sex addict very well. He's straight, very good looking and successful. His last relationship, with a smart, really stunning woman, ended because of it. She was liberal as hell but just couldn't take it - I don't think many people can, to be honest. I'm afraid all the cliches about addiction masking deep problems are true too.

TisILeclerc Sat 22-Dec-12 14:56:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

izzyizin Sat 22-Dec-12 14:37:07

As a British Citizen, it's highly unlikely the OP will be committing any offence if she attempts to leave the country without her h's consent, cronullansw.

There's no reason to suppose the Brtish Consulate won't be of assistance in this matter and it may be that they will provide a temporary travel document for her baby dd if, for example, the OP needs to return to the UK due to illness or other emergency as suggested by honey.

BitBewilderedChristmasTree Sat 22-Dec-12 11:52:50

Thinking of you NoPain. How are you today? I agree with getting a UK passport for DD and playing the long game. It may make life easier for you in the long run.

What an utter bastard - I can't get over the contact on the day your DD was born. sad

Lavenderhoney Sat 22-Dec-12 11:37:28

Get your dd registered at the Britsh embassy. Appy for her british passport now. It will be back very quickly, even if you have to send it to Germany. She will need a uk passport anyway and you could create future problems not getting one. I don't know where you are, but having different passports and her not being British coud cause you problems getting out and in the uk applying for benefits or just generally. Go on the website, download the forms- actually I think you can apply online for first passports? Get her to a snappy snaps for passport pics and get them signed by your doctor/ friend etc. on the form write ASAP please.

Also ask the embassy - if you could apply for an emergency British passport for your dd as you want to go home urgently due to pnd and needing your family. Can you ask your mum or a friend to come and stay with you til the passport arrives? Be strong and use the time to prepare.

Letsmakecookies Sat 22-Dec-12 08:54:29

Addicts are the most amazing liars, you said so yourself. They can also be very charming and persuasive as they are trying to protect their addiction. So you need to stop listening to him and start thinking about what you feel about this, and where your boundaries are. Addiction is not fixable. Addicts can get recovery, if they decide they want to.

You need to talk to RL people. You need to talk to your support, family, friends. Addiction thrives on secrecy. You need to listen to what you want to do, not consider your beautiful baby's needs in this situation. She will be happy if you are happy.

My heart goes out to you. What a shitty thing to find out when you have a newborn. sad. There are groups like www.sanon.org/ you could try and contact and talk to someone, if you really can't bring yourself to call your family yet.

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 22-Dec-12 08:44:14

What a shock that must have been sad

Lots of great advice here.

I doubt he is a real sex addict - he is a selfish entitled cheating bastard who does not care about the risks to your and DD's health.

Do what you can get the British passport legitimately and then leave as soon as you can.

Take care x

somanymiles Sat 22-Dec-12 03:45:16

I got trapped in a foreign country because I broke up with my husband while abroad. Once you are there for a year it is considered the child's "habitual residence" and you cannot move without the father's or court's permission. So... get the passport, and get home within the year. Play the long game now and keep quiet. Maybe your husband will recover but for now I would assume that he won't, figure out your financial security (get photocopies of all bank statements, investment statements etc covertly) and look after yourself and your child. Sorry to be bleak, but I was too trusting and got burned.

cronullansw Sat 22-Dec-12 03:20:36

The Consulate won't help you break the law, which you would be doing if you were to try to leave the country without his consent.

So do the passport thing legitimately, and take the extra time to get a British one, not a local one, it might make things a lot easier if things get legal.

nopainliketoday Sat 22-Dec-12 02:32:12

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your feedback - the hand holding, the practical advice and the tough love. Bless you and thank you. No one has told me what I want to hear but you're all telling me what I need to hear.

Even though discovering those emails was just horrific, I remembered to forward several to my own account. I have enough ammunition there to destroy his career, and figured even then that I could use that to bargain if things got unpleasant re custody for DD.

Another reason to stay calm - he wouldn't respond well to threats and I may have put myself in a dangerous position by knowing too much. I have never felt threatened in the past, but there is clearly a lot I didn't know about him. I am using my own iPad to write this and have changed the passcode. He doesn't know about MN.

I will pursue the passport(s) - a local one will take 2-3 weeks compared to 6-8 weeks plus delivery times in the UK. In the meantime, status quo will be maintained, which isn't such a hardship. He is being so nice and kind. I know, I am fucked up for actually appreciating that. Last night we slept in the same bed, and he held me all night while I wept. I didn't want to be alone and am thousands of miles away from anyone else to hug.

He is going for counselling and has promised me he will change.

But I have the horrific emails and this thread to bring me back to reality.

I feel so much less isolated by your support. Thank you so much.

izzyizin Sat 22-Dec-12 02:08:06

Your baby does not need to be tested for stis unless the results of any tests you have prove to be positive.

If much of your antenatal care took place in the UK and the pg/brith was uneventful, I would suggest you wait to be tested until you're home if you don't have easy access to a GUM clinic or similar strictly confidential resource in your current country of residence.

familyscapegoat Sat 22-Dec-12 01:51:01

He's definitely met and had sex with these contacts. If you hadn't have had the proof that you did, he would have carried on denying it. He has now admitted only to the extent of what you can prove and is taking you for a fool.

I don't believe he's a sex addict. I think he can control these impulses like everyone else but he doesn't want to and hasn't seen the need to. Get checked out for sexually transmitted infections and ask the person giving the test if your baby needs any swabs or blood tests too.

I'd leave a man like this in an instant. Your life ahead will be unbridled misery if you stay with him.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Sat 22-Dec-12 01:35:24

Poor you. What an awful thing to discover at any time, let alone at Christmas with a 3 week old baby sad.

I don't read that you H is necessarily a sex addict but I do think he is definitely bisexual or even gay. He may well be experimenting with his feelings by seeing men whilst being married to you. He should have done this before you were ever married or settled down, let alone parents.

I think the advice to go to the British Consulate is good. They will help you get home.

Lots of virtual hugs & hand holding.

No more advice, just here for a hand-hold/wine-pour/shoulder-rub.

Back2Two Sat 22-Dec-12 01:10:49

nopain oh my love. I've no real advice. Except that you should muster all your strength to follow the seemingly harsh but excellent advise that you'll get from the wise women here on mumsnet. There's not really any excuse you can apply to his behaviour. It's not the behaviour of a committed and loyal, responsible partner and father.

There's a better life awaiting you and your beautiful daughter.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sat 22-Dec-12 01:03:57

I think 'sex addict' is a big leap to take. I know the addiction exists but it's used an awful lot as an excuse why someone 'can't help' being a lieing cheating scumbag. He sent those emails the day you had your dd? How will you ever be to trust him again?

You are not tied to him forever because of your child, your child will always be tied to him but he could be a distant bad memory to you in a few years if thats what you want

If he really wanted to change and fix things wouldn't telling you the truth when you asked have been the first step, it sounds like he's still lieing to you even now and that the only thing he regrets is getting caught

He has not been the 'perfect husband' today, it's unlikely he's ever been even an ok one to you

izzyizin Sat 22-Dec-12 00:39:26

First things first: register your dd's birth with the British Consulate and get her a passport as a matter of urgency.

Don't burden your family yet - keep schtum and unburden yourself on this thread until you are in a position to leave the lying scumbug that you married.

Play your cards close to your chest; don't let on the extent of your knowledge or antagonise him in any way as your objective is to get the hell back to the UK without hindrance.

Please note the above is virtually the opposite of what I would advise if you were in the UK but needs must when the devil drives.

In an emergency the Consulate can assist with repatriation of you and your dd but you're best advised to play your h like a fish and arrange a 'visit' home, with him if necessary, in order to show your dd off to friends and family - and then kick him into orbit around planet offufuck institute divorce proceedings citing his adulterous/unreasonable behaviour.

If it's possible to do so without arousing his suspcions, get screen shots (on a digital/mobile camera if necessary) of the evidence you've discovered. Apart from supporting a petition for divorce, this may serve to concentrate his mind on ending your marriage -- with the minimum of information being released to his== family/friends/colleagues honourably - which is a word he may struggle with.

Take heart, honey. Although he fathered your dd, you are not tied for life to him, or tied to him in any way other than facilitating his contact with her until she comes of age.

Btw, when you and dd are safely back home with your family, seek legal advice on applying for a prohibited steps Order to prevent him removing her from the UK.

Spree Sat 22-Dec-12 00:37:00

Can you wait and get the British passport for your child?

In the long run, if your child never had the passport of another country, it may make your life less complicated.

Can you get to a British consulate or embassy near you and find out?

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 22-Dec-12 00:22:45

and by all means, stay here but for heavens sake delete your talk history and cookies....

dont let him have a whisper of what you are thinking.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 22-Dec-12 00:21:26

i would also get that passport at all cost.

then fly home to your family, talk the them. I would bet my bottom dollar that if he was arranging exchanges while you were having your DD that he has acted on them.
im so sorry but this is a man you simply cannot trust.
get the passport for DD, and get home to the safety of you family and friends.

CurrentBun Sat 22-Dec-12 00:13:16

I agree with Denning - you have to be strong to be nice to get that passport. It may require an Oscar winning performance but just think of the end result, getting your beautiful baby out of this horrible situation.

fiventhree Sat 22-Dec-12 00:06:29

My h did cybersex behind my back, and denying it, for over 5 years. He stopped after I discovered all a year ago. I don't think for s mi ute that with only one very young child and such a recent marriage that it would be at all worth the effort you will have to make. He will snatch your child's first year from you, in effect. Don't do it. I found it hard enough with three older kids at home

thecook Sat 22-Dec-12 00:03:48

Oh love. Please stay online. It is midnight in the UK. You get some excellent posters in this
section in the wee hours.

I am sorry but I think your husband is gay/and or bisexual. It just screamed out to me from your post. And I would not believe his words about not meeting these contacts. Too much of a coincidence they were all local.

I really cannot give you any more advice than stay online till at least 3.00am our time. God bless love xx

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