When thinking about how to spill my guts anonymously about a secret that I've carried for 17 years, it is difficult to know where to begin. In short, I have frequented escort services for 17 years, in my marriages, on a semi-annual basis. This last time, and IT WILL BE THE LAST TIME, I wasn't safe, and brought home an STD to my wife. Thank all that is holy that I found enough research online that shows this STD could've been contracted by other means. It was also not a permanent condition, and yes, I did get tested for everything else. I am ashamed, terrified, and get to enjoy the remainder of my days knowing that I was a hair's breadth away from having this secret, sad, shameful part of my life exposed. I nearly destroyed my wife & family in the process. Because I can tell no one, I am shouting it out here. Also, before we begin, I do love my wife dearly. Always have, always will. I have no desire to leave, nor do I have any wish for anything in our family dynamic to be different. Yes, I do wish that she was more adventurous in bed, but that wasn't why I sought out escorts. It was a control-oriented activity, and an unhealthy way for me to deal with anger & frustration. And I have problems with impulse control, and being told no. All this aside, I am absolutely resolved to end this part of my life. This will never happen again. Hopefully, by writing this, I help myself, and by reading this, you find something that can help you. I always had an unhealthy obsession with sex, and paying for sex. When I was a teenager, I remember staying home from school one day, and counting the coins in my coin jar to see how much money I had. I called escort services in the yellow pages to see if anyone would take my ones and quarters for a visit. No takers. I didn't start visiting escorts until my first marriage. We lived near some disreputable businesses in a large city, and one day, I paid them a visit. This started an escalating cycle of behavior. My job allowed me the freedom to do this without scrutiny, and over the years of that marriage I would use this activity as an outlet. When I had free time, or a free evening, or surplus cash, I would figure out a way to go to an escort. When we divorced, this allowed me to take the reins off and go hog wild. There were months where I saw 2-4 escorts, all while I was dating. I didn't stop myself. When I met my wife, I stopped for awhile. But slowly, over the years, I would go more often. And the behavior itself would escalate. At first, I would limit myself to oral activities only. That stopped 2 years ago. And now, here we are. I had this fantasy of doing an escort unprotected. I found someone who was into it, and in the spur of the moment, I let it happen. Not 2 weeks later, a phone call from a doctor left me terrified. Not sleeping for 3 days terrified. I am not proud of this. I was never proud of this. Since it happened, in my quiet moments, I can think of nothing else. Even going to the bathroom to take a leak, when the door is closed & everything is quiet, this incident comes rushing back to the forefront of my mind. I cannot escape it. I will list out my reasoning for why I had this habit, and why it only took this incident to break the cycle. Before doing that, I will say this: I know there is no justification for what I did. There is no defense for betraying my wife and family like this. It is reprehensible. I did this for nothing but selfish reasons, and more selfishly, in a complete disregard for the possible consequences. Eventually, this incident will fade from memory, and it won't haunt me like it does today. But the shame, stress, and internal consequences will always be there. A big, fat, self-inflicted scar that will heal, but never go away. Like a really bad face tattoo. I do not deal with anger well. I don't get violent, by any means, and never have, but I do not have a healthy outlet for when I get angry. Or frustrated. I stay too positive outwardly. Something would upset me, and I would bottle it away & justify going to visit an escort later. It might take months for everything to work out just right. That part, the "its OK now, and you can go shopping" vibe was thrilling. I would wrestle with the decision for a long time, try to talk myself out of it, and sometimes I would prevail. But not every time. Once decided, the appointment itself became an obsession. Work was impossible. Every waking minute of alone time I would have would be searching for the right escort. Then, I'd have the appointment. I can count on 1 hand the number of appointments I actually enjoyed. I would kick myself afterward, and ask myself if the expense was worth what I just did. It never was, but I kept doing it anyway. Also, seeing an escort allowed me to be in control. I set the appointment. I chose what happened in the appointment (nothing crazy, I assure you). Having a high sex drive means that sometimes I go without. Or, worse, I get gifted sex, where my wife just lets me do my thing and that's it. I hate that. This is reads as so childish as I go back & proofread this. It sounds so stupid. To risk my entire life, the life I have created for my children, for what is ultimately a disappointing experience that I wasn't supposed to do in the first place. Idiocy. Further to that, there is a part of me that doesn't like being told no. Oh, I can't fuck anyone else except the wife? Well..... yes I can. This teenage part of me never grew up. It played a small role in this whole process, but it did allow me to get over the guilt hump of betraying my wife. Only now, with the entire structure of all of this nearly exposed, do I see how silly all this is. Now, I live in fear. Is she not texting me back because she's busy, or is it because my lies have been exposed & I am about to be busted for real? This paranoia is also getting better, but it will take months, or longer, for me to actually settle down. I am convinced this entire episode has taken years off of my life thanks to the stress I have put myself through. Worst of all, I feel awful that I hurt her. Unintentionally, but I hurt her. I will never forgive myself for that alone. I have never spoken about this. Never written it down where it could be found. Never told a soul. There's no money trace anywhere. The likelihood that she would ever discover the truth is close to zero. And I will deny it to my dying day. There is nothing but pain in telling her the whole truth, and even a partial truth would destroy our world utterly. She doesn't deserve that, and I don't want it. Maybe I should go to therapy, but I don't want to be labeled as a sex addict. I don't think that's the impetus of the behavior. It was control, lack of emotional maturity & weakness in being unable to break a habit that started so long ago. Plus, I could never go to therapy without her finding out. Protecting what my family is, and how it is, is more important than my own healing. If that's what it takes to resolve this, then I'm just going to live with it. Thank you for reading all of this. I am sorry. I don't know what else to say.