by Nick Pizzio
With gay “dating” apps like Scruff and Grindr it’s become easy for people to find anonymous sex and increase the spread of diseases to their unknowing partners. They are able to hide behind low res pictures and promises of a clean STD status with no regards for anyone other than their own needs for sexual release. After two years of being blindly happy in a relationship I found myself being victimized by these men my boyfriend brought into our lives without my knowledge. He used family photos – photos I took of him and vacation photos of us to lure these men into anonymous sex through Craigslist without any care for my safety or our relationship.
You see, I spent the past two years happier than I ever have been with David. He was this amazing guy who only after a few months I saw myself spending my life with him. He was kind, caring, attentive, honest, trusting and loving. Not only to me but my 13 year old daughter. Almost immediately he slid into the parent role helping her with homework, going to all her track and cross country meets and even spoke to her class about his career. He clearly loved both of us. Although we agreed to keep things light between us, six months in David gave me an ultimatum to commit to a full relationship or go our separate ways. How could I leave this amazing man? I of course committed, I loved him even though I hadn’t told him yet. This past October the veneer of our perfect relationship started to chip away. He came to me and told me he had stage 2 Syphilis that required a spinal tap and that I needed to get tested. He said it was from a guy he met before to me but that would have been a year and a half prior. Things didn’t add up. I was tested and clean but the question was still in my head. How could we have had unprotected, monogamous sex for a year and a half and I not have anything. Like an idiot I shrugged it off. David hadn’t given me any reason not to trust him before. He was here at the house every single night for dinner and all day on the weekends, there was no way I could have known. In mid-January he came to me and said his work at Boeing was overwhelming him and that he loved me but he couldn’t continue with a relationship and maintain his career. I was devastated. I was dumped.
After two days of crying I went to his house. I was ready to tell him that it doesn’t work like this. People don’t get stressed at work then abandon their family. I mean, my daughter was calling him dad! Then it happened. The bomb was dropped on me. David said he was a sex addict and had slept with 200 guys from Grindr, Scruff and Craigslist over the course of three years. I was in shock and at that moment everything came rushing back to me. I asked him why he would push for a relationship knowing he had this addiction, he said because ‘he didn’t want to lose his family’ and with me the addiction wasn’t as strong as when he was with his ex. I asked him why he dumped me in such a way that would have left me no reason to think I should run out and get tested, he said he would have “eventually” told me but that I shouldn’t worry because he was “always safe.” Safe to him was using a condom then swallowing their semen. Apparently my idea of safe sex was totally wrong for today’s gay relationship. I asked him when he had time for all this given he was with us at almost all times. He said he would call in sick or go into work late and have these encounters in the morning. David admitted to giving every aspect of our relationship to these men. He had sex with them, he kissed them, he often stayed after and cuddled with them and talked. There was nothing of us, our love, our life he kept just for us. Anger and hatred started to build in me almost immediately. No, not for David… for myself. I felt like this was my fault that maybe if I were thinner or smarter or younger he would have stayed faithful; so I begged him to stay with me. I didn’t just beg, I cried. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing what I perceived was my happiness with a guy that was nearly perfect. I knew for myself I could manage this with him. I was ready to help in any way I could and be supportive in his treatment. The problem is the next day everything seemed to change. David didn’t want to see me as much, he said I was a source of anxiety for him but wouldn’t say why other than he felt guilty. In the real world I thought people worked through guilt slowly but it was clear he had no interest. When he did come over he was cold, distant, almost angry with me. Even the way he looked at me changed, it was as if he blamed me for everything forgetting that this was his addiction that impacted our family and not the other way around. Over the course of three weeks the change in his personality changed me as well.
Where I was happy and loving and wanting to do everything I could for him I turned bitter and angry. I was starting to feel the hurt, betrayed, and angry over what he did but when I expressed those emotions he turned it around on me. He made me feel like I didn’t have the right to show those feelings to him because it wasn’t his fault it was his addictions. I was being poisoned by his cruelty and every interaction with him just seemed to get worse. Finally it hit me when he admitted to sleeping with yet another guy just two weeks later. The man I loved wasn’t real, it was all smoke and mirrors to cover up his addiction. He portrayed himself to be the perfect man so there would be no suspicion of his insidious addiction. I finally could let go. I could finally hear my friends and his friends telling me he wasn’t working to get better, he was working to make it look like he wanted to get better. Now just a few days out I feel the stress, the anger and insecurity gone from my chest. I’m not focusing on him, his treatment or how I played into it. I’m focusing me, my daughter and getting through this. He still claims what he did wasn’t malicious and I’m sure all addicts would agree with him but to me, if you admitted to yourself to having an addiction and did nothing to seek help then everything you did was in fact intentional.
To me David will always be my first real love, I’ll always love him and likely always want to be with the man I thought he was. Unfortunately, spending a month in the presence of a sex addict almost destroyed me. Sex addiction isn’t like the others. With alcohol you avoid bars, don’t go into liquor stores and remove it from your house. What can you do with a sexual urge when you really aren’t ready to change? No matter how much we fool ourselves into believing we can help someone the fact is unless they are truly ready we just end up being dragged down with them. The destruction David’s addiction left behind him was large. It wasn’t just me losing a boyfriend or my perception of happiness. It’s my daughter losing her dad. It’s her crying to see him again. It’s the loss of her family that she’s come to know over the past two years.