Boyfriend has been hiding anal sex activities from me and I am shattered

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by WorriedCatherine, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. WorriedCatherine

    WorriedCatherine New Member

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    Hello everyone. This is the first time I am attempting to put into words what has gone on over the past 7 weeks of my life, and I hardly know where to start.

    I've been with my boyfriend for 4 and a half years. I'm 28, he's 36. We run a small business together employing 7 people, so our lives really are very intertwined. We don't live together - can't afford anywhere at the moment, both living with parents (don't judge! We live in London!) - but we spend the majority of evenings together anyway. We're extremely close in terms of we love sleeping beside each other, cuddling each other, holding hands... but after the initial honeymoon phase, we've not been very close sexually.

    As well as this fact (that we had sex about once every 4 months!), there have been a number of "warning signs" which proceeded what I am about to tell you, including the discovery of very unconventional porn on his computer about a year into our relationship (he claimed he didn't like porn and his friends had sent it to him - I didn't buy it, but I tried my best to move on anyway), the occasional disappearing act, the mood swings, the fact that he could never compliment me or talk about sex or why we weren't having any, a warning from a friend and so on. I knew something was very wrong. But I couldn't just walk away and leave him on a gut feeling.

    I had the occasional compulsion to act like a stalker girlfriend and park outside his house or do some real digging, but I knew this was unhealthy and I also knew, with an impending sense of doom, that whatever it was would reveal itself in time.

    Fast forward to 7 weeks ago, and I was on his computer at work and opened up Chrome. He always kept his internet browsers cleared of every scrap of history for "web development reasons" (web development suddenly became a priority after I found porn on his computer all those years ago), but there must have been a glitch or an oversight that day because there it was: hours and hours of searches on transvestite porn. Log ins to websites and forums. Private messages received from transsexual and transvestite escourts.

    My world literally fell apart. When I confronted him with it, there was the usual denial, until he realised the futility and ridiculousness of the lies and finally admitted some of it. First of all, he admitted only to looking at it.

    A few days later, after more prying/research on my part (I'd written down all his usernames, and his passwords are easy enough for me to guess), he admitted he'd visited BDSM mistresses. He didn't have much choice when I had the emails arranging the meetups and his reviews left afterwards on their profiles.

    A couple of weeks after that, he admitted he'd visited transvestitate and transsexual prostitutes. Again, he literally needed me to put the evidence in front of his face before he'd admit to it.

    He realised he had an addiction which also led to him occasionally acting out, and promised to seek help.

    I had and have so many mixed emotions inside of me. As well as the obvious feelings of betrayal, I'm angry about the selfishness of it all. I'm angry about the material things, the things I probably shouldn't even be thinking about. Like the fact that I have slaved away for over 3 years, working every hour there is, to build this business... hardly ever getting a holiday (though he takes a couple of short break holidays with his golf friends each year) because he says we can't afford it. That I asked if we could sometimes have an evening out, but again, he says going out is expensive and we must save for our future. But then I find out that these prostitutes are £80 - £180 a go, and he was visiting them around 6-8 times a year.

    I'm angry that he turned things on me, that when I asked about our lack of a sex life he said I needed to make more of an effort to dress up and be more feminine (and trust me, I am anything but butch) -- and he's out getting it up the bottom from MEN.

    I'm angry that I tried so so hard to connect with him, to get him to open up and talk to me, to tell me what was wrong when I knew things were wrong. But he never took that opportunity.

    After the initial "it's over" phase, I tried to forgive, understand, and work with him to move on. You might think I am mad and a total doormat. I don't know if I am. All I know is that he was a broken man. He was standing at the edge of the precipice, looking at a life where he was about to lose everything (his partner, his business, his dignity), and he was willing to do whatever it took to salvage anything he could.

    He spent every night reading about porn addiction and drug addiction, trying to understand his actions. He compares the anticipation of the porn / sex meetups with same anticipation you get before getting high, and indeed he would always combine the two - he would always get high and then go to see these prostitutes. He associated drugs and sex together, and bizarrely he would tell me that the porn and the meetups were "not about sex" - that he didn't get aroused. It was about a high, but not a sexual one. I find this extremely difficult to understand, particularly as I have never taken drugs myself, but it seems that a lot of sources looking into the psychology of addiction do actually say the same.

    He sees a psychiatrist once a week and he goes to AA meetings (the drug addiction ones they run). All of this is coming from him, it's not me pushing him into it.

    He's made real efforts to spend more quality time with me, even sacrificing some golf time for me (amazing). We even had sex (even more amazing)... he'd magically rediscovered his sex drive.

    I thought we could move on. He was finally being so open and honest with me. We were emotionally close again. I knew there might be mini relapses - that he might open up his laptop and automatically go to porn sites a few times until the habit was finally broken once and for all - but I felt that together, we could get through this. I read other stories of partners of sex addicts and where recovery did happen, they said their husbands or partners actually emerged a lot more self-aware than the average person - a lot more sensitive to their partners, aware of their own triggers, and how to avoid them.

    I felt I could walk this path with him and maybe, just maybe, we could come out the other end stronger for this. Knowing more about ourselves and each other.

    Then the final bombshell hit. In a way, it should make no difference, but for some reason it does. He went to get tested at my insistence, and he is HIV positive. They can't tell when he caught it, but it was pretty recently. Maybe even the last time he ever engaged in this behaviour. My insistence that he used a condom recently means I am probably negative (I've had two tests, should get one more in a month to be absolutely sure but it's seeming unlikely that I have contracted it).

    While it makes no difference on the one hand: he put my health at risk by his behaviours whether he got infected or not; he was unfaithful whether he got infected or not; he lied to me and betrayed me whether he got infected or not; on the other hand, it does change things, because it's a constant lifetime reminder of what has happened.

    If we are to be together for the rest of our lives, not a day will go by when I am not forced to remember this, when I see him taking the pills he will have to take to suppress this disease. We won't be able to enjoy unprotected sex together. Ever. And up until a couple of months ago, he'd never even used a condom with me, said he hated them. It was only after I found out about this that I basically said it's condom or nothing (plus I'd stopped taking the pill because I realised it was pointless when we never had sex).

    If we're both lucky enough to be fertile, we won't be able to try to have children "naturally" - the excitement of not knowing if and when we might be blessed with a pregnancy. He'll need to donate sperm, have it scrubbed, and it'll all have to be done in a hospital to order. And if we're together until we're old, if no cure is found in the mean time, I will have to nurse him through the increasing number of illnesses he will fall pray to as his immune system loses strength. Will I be able to do that without resentment?

    And if we do have children, I'll have to lie to them for their entire lives, too. They can never know that daddy used to get high, have anal sex with men, and contracted HIV - while he was supposed to be being faithful to their mother. You can never tell a child that.

    I just feel so shattered. I don't know where to begin to try and rebuild my life. I want to be that person who stands by him, I want him to realise what an amazing relationship we had and have and know in his heart he'll never do anything to jeopardise that again, but I can hardly imagine anything any more.

    My sex drive is totally gone. I can't imagine sex with him (or anyone) again right now, which perversely is probably the worst possible response to this for him or for his recovery (your prize for ditching the porn and prostitutes issss... celibacy! Congratulations, keep at it). And I have all these things running through my head.

    My post is too long to submit - to be continued...
     
  2. WorriedCatherine

    WorriedCatherine New Member

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    He says he only ever engaged in anal sex and BDSM when on drugs and "in reality" he does not enjoy these things, but after reading on these forums I believe that these things can be a very healthy and normal thing to explore in the right way. I feel so upset that he wasn't willing to explore these things with me. Ok, I'm not very experienced (I've only been with one man before him), but I am open minded. If he wanted to try something, I'd have tried it with him. Now I feel like everything is ruined. How can I, someone so inexperienced, even think about where to start in that regard, when I know he's used to being high as a kite with an 8 inch dick up his bum. I'd just feel too nervous, too self-conscious now to even try it, not to mention disgust at the memory of who had been doing that with him before hand (I'm not homophobic, but come on, when it's your own boyfriend and the last person up there was a disease bag). Plus when he won't stop saying he has no interest in it and it was purely drugs-related, if I ever tried it he'd know it was because of everything... and how else to kill the mood than to bring up such a past.

    I thought I would get to that mental place where I could wipe the slate clean and we could start again, but this HIV is now a permanent link to the past that will always be there, every day of our lives.

    I don't even know what advice I am looking for, or what I expect anyone to say, but reading through some of the posts on here I just felt I needed to tell someone. Because in my life, I can't tell anyone. I have to keep it all inside.

    If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. Sorry it was so long.
     
  3. cocksteady

    cocksteady New Member

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    WOW.....I feel for you, there is nothing I could possibly say to make this any better for you,besides you must be one hell of a person to still have your sanity and I salute you.
     
  4. WorriedCatherine

    WorriedCatherine New Member

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    Thank you for your kind words. It's just nice to know that someone read it, to be honest. As for still having my sanity... sometimes I don't feel so sure! I'm trying though :)
     
  5. cocksteady

    cocksteady New Member

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    Hang on in there
     
  6. oldkid

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    Hi. Bite the bullet and wave goodbye. There are nice guys out there who will be honest with you. You owe yourself a better life.
     
  7. Dogooder

    Dogooder New Member

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    Friend, you should seek therapy for yourself. You seem to be a pretty bright woman but you've endured a tremendous amount of grieve, sadness and mistrust. Time for you to start taking care of you. Best wishes to you and if you need to bend a strangers ear, drop me a note.
     
  8. mispas

    mispas New Member

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    Wow, i understand now why u say u understand how i am feeling. I cant possibly begin to say anything that will make u feel better....but i agree u need to move on. I am so sorry, i dont know u but wish i could give u a big hug....if u need to talk PM me
     
  9. Meee

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    It's interesting to me that the title of your thread focuses on anal sex. I see this a lot in these forums. A person focuses on a sexual issue when really there are huge relationship issues that should be at the top of the post. You could have titled your thread:

    "My boyfriend kept a whole lifestyle of drugs and unsafe sex secret from me and possibly infected me with HIV."

    The two of you need to go together to medical professionals and counseling professionals to learn about living as a couple with his HIV and his addictions.
     
  10. oldkid

    Guest

    Meee..... I understand your point, but I think this still young woman has endured enough. She has already wasted much of her life to try to save the relationship. I don't know you, but I doubt you could tolerate long what she has tolerated. How wrong am I? Be honest, I can take it.
     
  11. Meee

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    She's trying to cope with this alone and in private and even in secret. She's also trying to cope with it separately from her boyfriend, who is going to AA and so on without her. Let her give it a try to reach out to others in her life and in the helping professions before she gives up. The two of them still have a chance to work on these challenges as a team.
     
  12. ginger

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    only Worried Catherine can decide if or even when enough is enough but lets be honest its a pretty comprehensive list of betrayal.

     
  13. xeniadraven

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    Agreed!

    I dont think anyone can provide a solution here, only support.
     
  14. Silverfox

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    I'm truly sorry for you, I really am. You have some hard thinking and decision making to do. You're right, your life with him will be full of compromises and lost possibilities. If you stay with him, can you accept the costs that go with it? It will be very difficult, and long term. Do you truly love him? I mean do you love him for who he is, good, bad and everything in between? Do you have unconditional love for him, even after what he's done? Have you forgiven him? Have you forgiven him completely, with all your mind? You have to remember that his actions were his own, even with his addiction. He's responsible for them, and the consequences, no matter how bad. His mental health is his own responsibility. You said something about his being on the brink. Sorry, but that's not your responsibility. I know we're supposed to be selfless, only thinking about others, but that's not realistic. You have to think about yourself and your future, apart of whether it's with him.

    I think you really need some counseling whether you stay with him or not. You've been through an extraordinary experience of betrayal and shock. How can it not affect you no matter what you decide. If you stay, you both need couples counseling. You will also need counseling on how to live with HIV.

    You have to make your own decision, but please, whatever you do, make an informed one, with your eyes wide open. PM me if you want to talk some more.
     
    #14 Silverfox, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  15. WorriedCatherine

    WorriedCatherine New Member

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    Thank you for all your replies. I didn't expect you to all be so kind.


    Those who say it is time to walk away, I do understand you completely, and if I was reading this about someone else I would be screaming the same. The one thing I have always said to myself is that I can tolerate anything, I can work through anything, but I can’t get past infidelity. Yet here I am doing an Obama over my own “red line.”

    To be honest, if it wasn't for our business, I know I'd be gone. Which I know everyone will say is "proof" that I already should be. That I'm doing this for the wrong reasons. That's sort of true and sort of not, because when you work 365 days a year for over 3 years with somebody to build a dream and a future, it's hard to give that up. I'd have to start all over again, from ground zero, not just in terms of losing my boyfriend and best friend but also my business, my business side-kick and my career. I lose not only my dreams for myself but also those for others I care about, like my mother, who I hoped in a few years’ time I’d be able to pamper a little bit. She’s 67. I don’t have forever to mess about.

    Neither of us have any money to buy the other out so we'd just have to fire everyone, sell down all our stock and close up. Even if we could buy the other out I don't think either of us would have the heart to be running the business alone anyway. We did it for our future, for each other.

    Thanks for your posts, Meee. Maybe I'll try relationship counseling with him, perhaps it is worth a try. I probably was a bit prejudiced against the idea because all I seem to hear or read from his psychiatrist or AA people is a sort of "he has an addiction, it's not about you" sort of attitude. Not directly, but he passes these messages across to me because he talks about me at these sessions. Everyone will tell you it’s not about you because it’s supposed to make you feel better. But if it’s not about you, it also makes you feel like you’re being selfish or self-obsessed to want to make any of the discussion about you!

    He says his actions had nothing to do with his love for me. He’s always seen himself with me forever. He wasn’t looking for an emotional connection with anyone else. He never wants to be with anyone else. He separated me off in his mind away from this strange place, kept the two things separate. He’ll spend his life making it up to me. This isn’t who he really is, this isn’t who he wants to be. He hid it from me out of shame. He never even enjoyed what he did. When he came out he just felt even lower. He never even got aroused. It wasn’t sexual, it’s not about sex. He’s hit rock bottom and he’s finally seeing things clearly. He’s being given new ways to deal with things, instead of the old destructive ways of addiction which he has always relied upon in the past. He’s learning to talk about his feelings and he’s enjoying being open and honest about everything. He never wants to go back to how things were. He feels like he is in the right place now, where he should always have been. He feels so close to me. He is so sorry. The thing that hurts him more than anything is how much he’s hurt me. And so on….

    He tells me these things all the time. I just find it all so very difficult to understand. I believe he is sincere but I also know now that he clearly has severe moral weaknesses – and what value is sincerity in a person whose convictions can be so easily changed?
    He’s telling the truth when he says he didn’t and doesn’t want to be that man, and I’ve known for a long time that he battles with inner demons in this way (who he wants to be versus who he is, and not being able to follow through with that – whether it’s reading that book or attending that maths course or whatever it is he says he wants to do or change). I think at the moment he sort of reminds me of those people who come across a religious cult and get “cured” of their homosexuality. Where they’ve actually convinced themselves that everything has miraculously changed.

    But I suppose any sort of addiction recovery has to be a brainwashing process of sorts, doesn’t it? That is fundamentally what it is, a reprogramming of the mind. If he genuinely has a problem and an addiction, who am I to say he can’t beat it? If it was a single substance addiction, like cigarettes (he did have that too, he did beat that one, to his credit), drugs or alcohol, or even another behaviour like gambling – can people ever change their lives to live without these things? With a lot of hard work, yes, they can. But somehow when it’s to do with sex, it just feels so different. Because the friend that wants to support him through it is also the lover that’s been hurt more than anybody else by it. It’s that conflict that is so difficult.

    Thanks again all of you for your replies. I really was feeling so alone. It's just really nice to be here.
     
  16. WorriedCatherine

    WorriedCatherine New Member

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    Thanks Silverfox. You're right, I probably do need counseling no matter what. I suppose it's the Britishness in me that has resisted it this long. I will look into it.
     
  17. xeniadraven

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    I think you are proving to him and yourself how strong you are. There is clearly a strong bond between you both which shows in your need to see him through a recovery period. All you can both do is keep talking and stay honest and take each day at a time.

    Good luck hunni xx
     
  18. xeniadraven

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    As a fellow brit I know where you are coming from with the counselling. I would consider speaking to your gp about "relationship issues" and only be as specific as you want to be. You may find you open up more than you anticipated xx
     
  19. rileyjane

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    Wow.. That is all very overwhelming, and very sorry you are dealing with this.. It sounds to me like you have really tried and it just isnt working.. I think counceling for you is a great idea, and time for you to move on, i know easier said than done... But you deserve to be happy, have a good realtionship and have the children you want some day.... I wish you the best...
     
  20. Silverfox

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    Sorry, WorriedCatherine, but I get so tired of people with mental/emotional or addictive problems, trying to pass off their actions as something they couldn't help, because it was caused by their mental issues, and that explains everything. "I couldn't stop because I'm addicted, and that's my excuse. It wasn't about you, therefore you should understand and forgive me". Pile whatever amount of sugar on it, or any excuse you want on it, they are responsible for their actions, and the consequences. Sorry, but actions equals consequences, no matter the cause. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. His actions may not have been about you, but you are still affected, and you still will be no matter what you decide to do. So, this is also about you. You're not being selfish if you feel that way.

    How can I be so harsh? I'm bipolar with addictive personality traits (meaning not only do I like drugs, especially narcotics, I can also become aggressive). However, I am responsible for my actions. Before I was diagnosed, I knew what I was doing when I did it. Because I took drugs, I did a lot of things I'm not proud of. But, I knew it was wrong when I did it, and the things I did. I knew I was being bad. I knew I was affecting the people around me. I knew why my girlfriend left me. I knew why I lost all my friends. I knew why I was kicked out of the college fraternity. I knew why I failed an entire year of college. I knew.

    I eventually got help, because I had dropped so low. That decision took all of my will power on my part. As they say now, I had to "man up". I know from personal experience how difficult it is to over come addiction. It took all my will power too not take the drugs one morning and instead call my doctor for help, because I knew I was screwed up. After I began treatment I began to understand what was causing my behavior and actions, but it didn't make me any less responsible. I lost things that I never could never get back. I was an untreated addictive bipolar, out of control, and sometimes I didn't feel like I could control myself, but I knew what I was doing.

    Sorry if I've upset you. If you don't want to have anything to do with me now, let me know and I'll never comment on your threads or comments. I just don't want you to feel like you have to accept what's happened and then feel selfish if you think it involves you. It's not healthy.
     
    #20 Silverfox, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013