I am at my wits' end. I have been a kind, loving wife for over 20 years. I have raised my children to be respectful and have never asked of my husband more than he has been able to give and worked hard myself to make sure our boys didn't go without.
I found out this month that George (not his real name) has been seeing prostitutes after I contracted an STD. My doctor, knowing me to be a good, decent woman urged me to confront him and he broke down and confessed everything.
It was worse than I thought. George is on the verge of losing his job and is undergoing a disciplinary hearing after sending a female coworker pictures of his genitals.
The company also says their investigation showed that he had accessed a number of porn sites and downloaded material to his work laptop – probably at home because the office has a firewall for that stuff and we don't - which goes against their policy.
They recommended he see a therapist who deals with this type of thing as part of his agreement for them to keep him. If he refused, they would let him go. The coworker has also agreed to not press criminal charges.
The therapist they referred him to is highly trained and deals with repeat sex offenders and even pedophiles. His first session was conducted alone but the doctor requested my presence at the next one and I went.
The therapist says my husband has a sex addiction and needs my support. According to what George told him, there have been prostitutes in our bed since the beginning of our marriage and he has lost count of how many people he has been with during our relationship.
The doctor says it is a disease, like cancer, and I should not be angry with George but try to be understanding and help him. I didn't even know what to say to this man with all his degrees plastered on the wall. He wants me to feel sorry for George, but who cares how I feel?
How am I supposed to just accept that my husband has been and will be with countless other women, oh and also men, while married to me? How am I supposed to be able to look him in the eye knowing he's been downloading porn and watching it in his office at work, masturbating while his secretary was just a few feet away? How could he hide this from me for so long?
My husband comes across as a meek fellow who couldn't hurt a fly and would give you the shirt off his back. I've now discovered that he gets paid a lot more than I thought, enough to pay for high-class whores and that I've been working all these years to help make ends meet for nothing.
I feel so disillusioned with my life. If it weren't for my two teenage sons, I would walk away right now. Our marriage is over. I hate him. And I am filled with fear and worry that his addiction is hereditary and my boys will end up the same way.
I cannot tell anyone because I don't want to see their pity and also, what if they think it's because I was a bad wife and didn't satisfy him? The therapist says that's not the case at all, that nobody is able to satisfy the lust and craving of a sex addict and we need to work through this disease together.
His disgusting secret has now become my secret. I won't sleep in the same bed as George anymore or let him touch me. I cannot deal with porn and prostitutes in my bed. Am I a bad wife? I really don't know which way to turn.
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