Two Women, Same Wife

by Smitty

My wife, and I, met by accident at her senior prom. May, 1959. We, after a tumultuous three year dating process, we married in 1962. We were together for 50 years, had four beautiful kids, and she died in April of this year.
As the title says, one wife, but two women. You see, although I've known for probably 45 of those 50 years, I now, with the aid of today's psychology, put a name to her activities. She was a sex addict. Addicted from the age of 6 or 8 to self satisfaction, and fantasizing. By the time I met her at 17, she was already a full fledged addict, and very good at the art.
I knew she was not sharing herself with me when we were dating. I didn't know why, and that caused many of the breakups we endured. But, the way I loved her, she could have done any thing, and I would have still "been there". She remarked many times that I would find someone better, and would leave her. I knew she had very little self-worth, but I never realized why. That one thing haunted our whole life. I tried everything I could think of to make her happy, but there was always that "wall" between us, some times only vaguely, other times like a concrete fortress. The fortress presented itself at those times when I challenged her behavior. There is where the "two women" came into clear view. She would clam up, and the look on her face would be like that concrete wall.

Now that she is gone, the whole sordid details are beginning to reveal themselves. And, that is what is making this healing process so very hard. I loved that woman with my whole heart, and wanted only that in return. But, that was not to be. And now, it's too late. Too late for any explanations, any sorry's anything. The one thing that our marriage lacked was intimacy. We got along greatly in almost all aspects of marriage. It is only now that I have begun to see just how subversive, and deceitful she could, and did, act.

Psychology addresses these issues in women today. But, 50 years ago, this issue was limited to men. Women just didn't "do that". That made it that much harder for all the women who did, to address the issue. They just thought they were abnormal, weird, or God knows what else. But, it surely wasn't talked about. That made secrecy the most important aspect. Then, there was the lying, the manipulation, the minimizing. If anything was found out, it was minimized to the limit.
And, yet, through it all, I grew more, and more in love with her. And, I still am. But, there is so much yo-yoing that I can't see the end of the tunnel. The introduction to this site talks about the ups, and downs, that this monumental loss in your life will bring on. That much, I can surely attest to. Things can be going well, and then, just a minute thing can cause a sudden onrush of tears that are just not controllable. One minute, you are cursing her for not "sharing" your life, and the next, you're apologizing for your outburst.

I hope that this story will be released for publication, because I seriously doubt that I am the only one hung up in this particular process. Thank you for the opportunity to present it.

Comments for Two Women, Same Wife

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Jul 11, 2013
Two Women, Same Wife
by: Anonymous

Anonymous Good for letting Doug know that this was an insensitive remark to Smitty. When someone has lost a loved one it doesn't matter how your story sounds. It is important to you. This was of a subject that needed expression as it could address someone else's problem. This is the place Healing Starts so let us all try and focus on supporting others. With trying as much as possible to be sensitive to others.

Jul 10, 2013
Two Women, Same Wife,
by: Anonymous

I agree with the anonymous poster who replied to Doug.

He was right. Your comments verged on being cruel, Doug. There was a very subtle subtext to the original message, the one you accused of being "made up". Obviously you are too insensitive to get the message in the that subtext.

Thanks to all you others who obviously did get it.


Jul 10, 2013
by: Anonymous

Doug, your remark is so insensitive to Smitty's story. While he is grieving the loss of his wife he is expressing his reality of his marriage. Sometimes it helps to be honest with our situations in order to move on. Not all of us had the perfect marriage. Some of us had the perfect imperfect marriages. Are we only to remember the good times and not the hardships ? WE still love them but we have to voice how in their death we were somehow left a bit damaged emotionally from some things. and since they are gone we can't ask them the whys of their actions and they certainly didn't od couldn't explain it while alive even when asked.

WE all grieve differently Doug. This site is to help us put down and get it off our chest those things that are part of our process.

Jul 10, 2013
by: Doug

Your story sounds contrived, and if not why are you telling us this.

Jul 09, 2013
I'm sorry for your lose
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry for your loss. I cant imagine the pain your going through.

I agree with the first comment. There has to be a reason your wife was a sex addict. Being molested or sexually abused at a young age really distorts someone's ability to have boundaries, receive love and to view sex in a way someone would if they were healthy. I know from my own experience. its hard to accept love when you don't feel you deserve it.

I'm sure your wife's love for you was sincere. If she could have controlled this addiction. She would have. I'm not saying it wasn't wrong. But she needed help. She was lucky to have such an unconditional love from you.

You should do some research for your own sake. When you understand what was going on in her head. It may help you.

God bless you and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Jul 09, 2013
two women,same wife
by: silver

Dear Smitty,Although I can't begin to understand what you went through with your wife,I can understand the grief you feel.My husband died May 2011.I have gone through so many stages over and over that I sometimes wonder when it will get on a steady course.I'll go days without a crying spell(doesn't count the occasional few tears),then I will hear something or see something and it begins again.On TV there is this commercial talking about fixing an Italian dinner with some product and at the end they talk about it being,"a great date night".Sometimes I can watch it and then last night it came on and I began crying because I will have no more of them with my love.I can go days with only the occasional tear then something he used to do or a show he used to watch comes on and I have to turn it because I can't bear it.That is not to say that I'm not getting better because I am.The first couple of months I was more or less a zombie.Now I walk outside most days.I keep house fairly good and getting better.I actually have begun to fix food sometimes,not just eat TV dinners.I don't cry everyday.This is what I hope for you that you will reach this point and go beyond.Don't let anyone tell you how to grieve or how long to grieve.It's different for everyone.One thing that helps me is talking about him,keeping him alive.I also write poetry.Others write in a journal when they need to express their thoughts and get some of the anger and grief out.Pleas take care of yourself.Perhaps,later,when you feel more in control,you can go to someone and maybe be a crusader for your wife.To bring awareness to her plight,and possibly get help started for others.I can't begin to know how to do this but it's a thought.GOD bless you and send you strength and peace.I will keep you in my prayers

Jul 09, 2013
Been there
by: Anonymous

Hi Smitty,

Your wife truly loved you. Look how long you were together. But it sounds to me as though her ability to express that love through intimacy grew more and more difficult for her over the years.

I know this because I, too was sexually molested as a child, by my step-father. He not only took away my innocence, he pretty well destroyed my ability to trust - at least sexually.

I am married to a man who adores me. But over the years the horror about what had been done to me kept coming back and I found it more and more difficult to respond to him sexually. He knew what the problem was and we both suffered terribly. Me with guilt for what I was doing to him and him for having a stunted marriage.

Now it's too late. He is very ill and we have to live apart. I am grateful that we are still able to express our deep love for each other verbally, but can no longer be together intimately, because of his physical impairments. I do and always did love him passionately, but was truly "blocked" from being able to express that love "normally".

I made the mistake of telling a "friend" about what had happened to me as a child. She "kindly" informed my mother. As a result, I was excoriated and abandoned by my family. They blamed the victim!

I have no-one now except my husband and very few close friends. Because of one man's twisted, sick behaviour, I lost my ability to fully enjoy one of life's great gifts.

Over the years, I sought and received much help from doctors but, unfortunately, it's very difficult for someone suffering from PTSD - which I suspect is what your wife was going through - to recover fully.

I know just how tough it has been for you but please, please don't blame her. Try to remember what brought you together in the first place and love her for all the wonderful things you did manage to enjoy together.


Jul 09, 2013
A Tangled Web of Grief
by: Judith in California

Dear smitty, you're having what is called a complicate grief. Your, one day refecting on the positives and the next the negatives.
I know of whqt I speak becasue I,too go through that. I loved my husband from the very depths of my soul but we had a very tumultouous time in the first years of our marriage. He would hit me and berate my son to me at every chance he could. We went through some counseling and even separated Long story short we reconciled and renewed our vows with the understanding he was never to be physically abusive to me again and he was to stop the verbal abuse to and about my son. Well he just could not/would not heed my warnings about my son. He died 2 yrs and 10months ago. I was his caregiver for the last 3 1/2 years of our 35 1/2 years of marriage. He was verbally abousive to me while caring for him and that is a hard thing to digest when you are giving all of yourself to someone who can no longer do any physical thing. It has left me to where I hae forgiven him but I certainly have nt forgotten how our life could have been so beautiful if only he had .....fill in the blanks. I sit and think a lot about the atrocities that one human does to another human never knowing the long term effect that their actions leave another person with. I ,too, vascilate with mixed emotions with my grief. Loving him mostly but periodically asking myself could he have treated the very person who loved him unconditionally and that he vowed to love honor and cherish in such an indifferent way. I too wonder if we could go back and start anew would I marry him knowing what I know now and as much as it hurts I have to say NO. though I still love him. It hurts to admit that. Now I hope to help other women and men to give themselves respect and not stay in an abusive relationship.

I hope you will come to terms with all of it and just decide to let it go and forgive as I have. We now have the chance to do for ourselves and create a loving live even if it's just loving and caring for our selves and makig sure we choose wisely if we get another chance.

Jul 09, 2013
Two Women, Same Wife
by: Doreen U.K.

Smitty did it ever occur to you that your wife was SEXUALLY ABUSED. No child of 6 or 8yrs. could know what to do never mind know about sex at this age.
Sexual abuse damages a person in more ways than you could ever know and such a person would find it impossible to bond or have intimacy in any relationship. Many who are sexually abused will go on to live a very promiscuous life much like you describe. Many become sex addicts and can't understand why? but INTIMACY and BONDING are the two areas that are badly damaged. Many reach their latter years of life when all this damage starts resurrecting itself and causes mayhem for the individual and the family. I would say to anyone if you have been sexually abused read the book THE COURAGE TO HEAL. Can't remember the author. try on Amazon.
I lived with my husband for 44yrs. and we loved each other but there was a lack of intimacy we could never understand that was missing. He died 14 months ago of cancer. Just before he died he told me he was molested at 7yrs. of age. He always had that far away look and found it hard to bond or be connected. All part of sexual abuse. Prior to this I did a lot of research on the subject and I worked in a counselling centre and used the library there and am well read. Don't know everything but enough to know the signs, symptoms, and damage. I knew of one man who was sexually abused as a child and then at age 8yrs. tried having sex with his young sister of 4yrs. He was stopped by the Older sister coming in to the room and realizing what was going on and stopped it. No one can judge these individuals. Unless you know how devastating this is to the rest of one's life you won't know how every aspect of that persons life is affected. they try to connect with people and can't. They try to bond and can't. In every case this individual would need to have psychotherapy/counselling. Part of the therapy would consist of dealing with the CHILD WITHIN. Where the damage is done. This is highly skilled therapy and does work. The person in therapy will never be truly HEALED. But a measure of Healing will take place where that person can live with less pain and perhaps get their life back. But INTIMACY and BONDING may never be restored. My research has not gone this far. May take it up again. If only to support other people like yourself.

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