The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Monday, March 10, 2008


My heart goes out to Silda Spitzer and their daughters. My first thought was that I wanted to send her books. Here is the book list I'd recommend:

Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes (all the Carnes books I've read have been helpful)
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron
No Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Grief Club by Melody Beattie
Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
On Grief and Grieving by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler

My heart goes out to him as well. I think sex addiction is such an under-diagnosed and certainly under-discussed issue.

Reading about the Spitzers today brought a little pit back into my stomach. I don't like looking back, but it's good to go back there. When I can look back with no fear, no anxiety, no anger, no resentment, no regret...then I'll know I've faced all there is to face and learned the lessons there for me to learn.

Right now, I'm still on the journey.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Being married to a sex addict has given me a whole new perspective on these scandals. I really feel for everyone involved each time. I know how hard it was for me to go through what I did in the privacy of my little life -- I can't imagine the pain of going through it all in the public eye.

Stefanie said...

Question: What makes someone a sex addict (hinting at medical condition) versus someone who's just a schmuck who cheats on his wife? I'm not trying to be flip - I just don't understand.

woman.anonymous7 said...

Stefanie - That is a good question. I don't know if I have a satisfying answer, but I will speak from my experience.

Husband is an otherwise kind, generous, thoughtful, loving person. He is not a liar in areas outside his addictions. He is not generally experienced by others as someone who is selfish, out for himself, thoughtless of others. He has deep remorse for what he has done. He went to most of the prostitutes he saw only once, so he was not trying to develop relationships. He is doing everything he can from his side to heal our relationship, and to maintain his recovery. In other words, this activity was very uncharacteristic. He also exhibits some of the other traits defined by those who have studied sex addiction: Narcissism, arrogance, self-delusion, denial (until recently he'd staunchly maintained that his parents divorce had no effect on him, yet at the same time he talked of remembering walking to school crying every day,) personal charisma, a larger-than-life personality, grandiosity, and an inability to express his needs and upsets among other things.

It's only based upon the extensive research I've done and through working with an expert in sex addiction that I've come to believe Husband is something other than a schmuck who cheated on me.

But to be honest, that questions still comes up for me sometimes. Sex addiction does not change the fact that he's betrayed me, lied to me, hurt me in the deepest way possible, and caused me to profoundly re-examine my entire view of the world and myself. So along with the ways I've grown from this, I've also developed a much stronger sense of self preservation, and I may never have the level of trust I had in him before. That makes me sad sometimes, but it's my path and the chance to develop (one day at a time) the strength and courage I need to face the world (including Husband) knowing that nothing is 100% certain feels like a great spiritual gift.

thejunkyswife said...

I saw something on the news this morning about how (maybe) Spitzer is a sex addict, but maybe his wife just wasn't fulfilling his needs.

It made me FURIOUS.

GentlePath said...

I just found your blog -- and I so agree with your post about wanting to send books.

And I can't help adding that (imho) an addict is someone who wants to stop but cannot. Being a schmuck and being an addict is not necessarily mutually exclusive but in recovery we tend to behave less schmuck-like.

woman.anonymous7 said...

Thank you for that distinction, GentlePath. That makes complete sense to me. With his main addiction (food), he wants to stop, but finds it very difficult. With the sex, he hit his bottom, saw that he was about to lose everything that meant anything to him - inclduing his identity - and has not struggled with that as much.

But even when he was in the deluded state of thinking secretly having sex with prostitutes and lying to me about it (and spending a lot of our money on it and lying about that, too) wasn't wrong, from what he says I see there was an element of not finding what he was looking for in having sex with prostitutes, but being obsessed and continuing to do it anyway because next time might be the "peak experience" he was searching for.

This peak experience was going to change his life somehow, in a way that I think he felt unable to do himself. So as unsatisfying as the behavior was, he continued to do it. Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result...

kristi said...

I can't imagine what she is going through right now...I would want to beat his ASS!

davka said...

I've never heard of sex-addiction. It's really got me thinking. I don't doubt that it's real, but I also think that it's so convenient for men to have this "disease" to reference. There's always forgiveness for men. When do women get forgiven and pampered? Women have way more of a midlife crisis to deal with in a society that considers them worthless after they've lost their youth. Where are our support groups? Maybe I'm not making any sense. I am sure your husband is a beautiful person with a great soul, but what about those young girls he paid? What about them? You guys get to return to your six figure life and they are probably still sucking dick to pay rent. It seems so unfair.

Sorry, but your blog has me so full of emotion. Right at this moment- I hate men. Truly.

woman.anonymous7 said...

I asked Husband about those women...if he'd ever though about the profile of women who sell sex. And I filled him in on how the majority were sexually abused as children, among other things.

Of course, he'd never thought about that. He didn't know about sex addiction and codependency at the time, and wasn't aware that the women he was paying for sex were probably some combination of addict and codependent. In other words, they weren't necessarily making the choice to sell their bodies from a healthy, happy place.