I am struggling to cope with my wife's sex addiction and affairs

DEAR DEIDRE: DESPITE being happily married for 20 years, I am struggling to cope with my wife’s sex addiction.

During the early years of our marriage I knew my wife was regularly unfaithful but I had no proof. Whenever I confronted her, she would say it was all in my head.

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I am 46 and my wife is 44. We have always had a very healthy sex life, or so I thought — even though we have three children.

A couple of years ago, a work colleague told me he’d seen my wife in an upmarket restaurant with an older man. Only then did she confess.

I always knew she liked the finer things in life — something I can rarely provide.

She admitted she’d had several flings with wealthy men. She missed being wined and dined and loved the adoration.

But what devastated me the most was her admission that she was hooked on the thrill of having sex with someone new.

She promised it would never happen again and I believe that it hasn’t. She agreed to have therapy and has had years of regular counselling. I thought we were in a much better place.

However, from time to time, she searches online for escorts and says it is for “us” even though she knows I don’t want to be with anyone else.

I also know she has been messaging a male friend of hers saying what she would like to do with him.

The feeling clearly isn’t mutual as the messages are usually laughed off by him.

I just don’t know what to do any more. If I say I know what she is up to she will simply say I shouldn’t snoop, but if she didn’t behave like this then I wouldn’t need to.

I feel there is no respect, yet we are the best of friends. I love everything about us apart from this.

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DEIDRE SAYS:  Finding out your partner has a sex addiction can be a painful and devastating revelation.

She knew what she was doing would hurt you, and the fact she was deceiving you was eating into your relationship.

Living with a sex addict is a challenging position to be in, but living with a recovering sex addict also has its emotional demands. Talk about how you could heal this and rediscover your love and trust.

But she does have to be 100 per cent on board and stop messaging other men.

She may accuse you of snooping but what she is doing is far worse. My support pack on sex addiction will help.

Also, insist you organise some couple counselling. Try Tavistock Relationships and Relate (tavistockrelationships.org and relate.org.uk).

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