Finding out that you have been in a committed relationship with someone who was leading the double life of a sex addict makes you feel like you can't trust your . If you're lucky, the sex addict you're breaking up with will vanish into the that the on-again, off-again nature of your relationship just means. As the betrayed partner of a sex addict, there is some important information to know sexual addiction damages not only their relationships, but their emotions. Try to put off filing for divorce, taking the kids and leaving, quitting your job and .
Leaving a Sex Addict: 5 Frequently Asked Questions
I never felt that I was enough for Donny, and I secretly worried that I lacked sexual energy. Naturally, I questioned his need for the soft porn with no response from him. They will always find more stash to replace it. I stayed in denial and continued my quest to have the ideal family. We purchased the house, and built a 30 x 40 steel building on the land especially for Donny.
I wanted to please him and make him feel happy that he had married me. I would go to great extremes to take care of him. I was creating a sanctuary for my husband, a place that he could go to hang out and 'do the guy thing. What a bundle of joy! Denial set in even deeper, and I deluded myself into thinking that Donny would now settle down to become a responsible husband and father. I was the top producer in our real estate office, and I would do anything to make the sale including lugging our daughter in her pumpkin seat with me to the office without question.
I had no idea of the denial I was in. I had assumed that if I' or we, could create a normal life together, it would stop him from finding the time to want pornographic materials.
Information For Partners Of Sex Addicts
He had sex like I was no one special and I remember feeling so hurt and disillusioned with our relationship. I decided that I needed to take a stand regarding my feelings. I no longer was going to participate in watching what people might or might not do in their bedrooms.
I was mad at him for bringing this into our home and mad at myself for putting up with it. This served many purposes as it gave Donny, who was skilled at construction, an opportunity to make money and stay busy during the times when he was not working. In my own mind I hoped that it would keep him productive and keep him out of trouble.
It also allowed us to do something together while improving the community. I even gave up my business after several episodes where I depended on Donny to care for our kids, to no avail. I never knew where he was, and suspected he was in the bars with his buddies or gallivanting around town. It seemed he was always missing in action. After several years, I felt as though I should try to resume my career. Coming home from a long day I was surprised to find my sister-in-law babysitting the children.
She explained that she had gotten a call that Donny was in jail. She had little detail, except that he was arrested at a porn shop with an injury, and my brother in law had gone to bail him out. Donny knew I would never bail him out for any reason whatsoever, let alone this.
Donny was arrested for indecent exposure and resisting arrest. How did his seamlessly harmless pornographic viewing turn into an indecent exposure charge? Naturally, I asked him what happened and why he was there. Donny was non-responsive and non communicative. I felt like an interrogator trying to make sense of an insane situation. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of Donny's behavior. I felt the personal shame and humiliation that this caused our family.
I was beside myself, and secretly sick to my stomach that he had involved his brother and sister in-law. Just like a drug addict who has to increase their usage to get the same high, a sex addict will spend more and more time feeding his addiction. Part of the addiction means that the addict will always look for new opportunities to reach a greater high.
Did I ever share this with family or friends? I felt like it was a reflection of me, if I told anyone. Strangely, Donny and his brother live 5 miles apart and have no contact with each other since Donny's arrest.
This was a personal black mark for the family. I secretly hoped that this would put an end to his crazy, sexual behavior but deep down inside I suspected that there would be more episodes.
Sexual addiction requires secrecy, both from the addict and the partner. When you break the secrecy, you begin the process of making better choices and decisions. It is important for you to do your research and find people who have expertise in this area. I started finding "Swing" magazines hidden in the barn. Skimming through one of the magazines, I noticed that several ads were cut out.
Again I felt isolated and alone while trying to make sense of my husband's bizarre behavior. Was he a pervert? Would he ever get better? How would this affect our kids? I could not trust him. I felt so powerless to get him to stop. Nothing I said or did seem to make a difference. I had nowhere to turn.
I believed in the sanctity of marriage, that family came first, and as long as there was no physical abuse, alcoholism, or drugs I should stay with him because of my vows and commitment.
I rationalized my behavior because I reminded myself that Donny was a good father to the children, and a hard worker. Am I ashamed of my husband's behavior? Did I take it personally and wonder how I contributed to the problem? Did I see a way out other than divorce? I did eventually see a therapist who knew that I needed support and education about my husband's inability to control his sexual behavior.
It was especially difficult for me to begin discussion of Donny's sexual antics. She was patient, compassionate and knowledgeable as she worked with me. She immediately reassured me it was not my fault and assured me that there was help. She referred me to a group for women who loved sex addicts. The therapist has explained that my husband may have developed a template for what sex looks like, and unfortunately his preference is for sex that resembles pornography.
I realize that I am not going to leave despite the realization that my husband is not going to change. Call me old fashion but I made a commitment to stay with my husband through sickness and in health. I just pray that he doesn't infect me with an STD.
Sexual addiction increases with intensity and frequency. If one truly has an addiction, the problematic sexual behavior will worsen and become more out of control. There will be more risk taking and greater sexual preoccupation. I know that we can never live a life of emotional intimacy and closeness until he gets help.
I am fully aware that more than likely that will never happen. During this time, spouses of addicts are dealing with their own emotions of denial, hurt, anger, and guilt. While working through this difficult time, there are two important factors to keep in mind: Take steps today to find help and move forward in your own recovery.
This can be particularly hard for women, who tend to have a difficult time putting themselves first. However taking even five minutes daily to focus on yourself can do a lot to boost your recovery.
You cannot serve from an empty vessel. Practice Positive Self-Talk During this difficult time, you may find your thoughts turning negative and filling with self-blame. This can be devastating to your own recovery and further destroy your sense of self-worth.
Replace those spontaneous negative thoughts with positive self-talk and compassion towards yourself. Try, for instance, coming up with some personal affirmations and practicing them, both each morning when you get up, and each night before you go to sleep.
It is also recommended you practice your affirmations in front of a mirror.
Louise Hay has a lot of wonderful affirmations you can use to help you in your healing. To get you started, here are a few example affirmations: I replace my anger with understanding and compassion.
I draw from my inner strength and light and take each day at a time. Set Your Boundaries Setting boundaries is an important skill to have for building well-rounded relationships and knowing yourself better.
Instead, this is an opportunity to explain clearly what actions they take that cause you pain, and what steps you will take to protect yourself if problematic behavior continues. Create a list of things that make you uncomfortable or stressed in all areas of your life—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Then, for each action, determine an appropriate reaction that can help you protect yourself. Then communicate this list clearly to your spouse, and follow through.
It may be hard, but stand by your boundaries, and take action when one of them is violated. Showing respect to yourself this way will clearly teach them your expectations.
Take some time each week or month to go out and volunteer at your local library, shelter, or community center. Or, just lend a hand to a neighbor in need. Getting outside yourself will help put your problems in perspective, and the joy of helping others will be a welcome respite from your turmoil.
Leaving a Sex Addict: 5 Frequently Asked Questions | The Impact of Sex Addiction
Practice Open Communication Throughout your healing, communication between you and your spouse is essential. Try to hold back your anger or resentment, be genuinely understanding, and require the same of your spouse. Be Supportive of Your Spouse This will take time, but try to be as supportive of your spouse as you can.