No real recovering is happening if a sex addict isn’t committed to learning why he acts out, avoids those triggers that are causing that behavior and learning what caused the addictions in the first place.
I married a sex addict and as a recovering spouse I have committed myself to learning why he acts out, honing in on his triggers, and attempting to help him face the cause of his addictions. I have been the one working on facing the reality for over the past year and working through it. In order to make a relationship work, and for a SA to heal, he/she should be the one doing all those things. I have provided a safe place for healing and have given him tools and a way for him to heal, but he hasn’t chosen to do so.
I admit there have been attempts on his part, but there has yet to be COMPLETE honesty and transparency – no evasiveness, denial, half truths or defensiveness. I soon realized however, that if he can’t be honest, he can’t be committed to his recovery as I thought he was.
Addicts have a way of bending the truth and manipulating situations that make you start to question your own sanity.
When I confronted him I was made out to be the one who was delusional and my intuition was doubted and questioned. Everything I said in bringing the truth to light was denied and excused for. I'd walk away from those conversations wondering what went wrong. I didn't understand that he was very clever at manipulating the situation and would end up answering all my questions with a question. I never got a straightforward answer and it always bugged me!
When I initially discovered the truth, I kicked him out. I couldn’t deal with all the deception and lies. I made requests of him in order for our marriage to continue. I needed space. I needed time to process what was going on in my life. I needed time to own my part in where my marriage stood. I felt lost, vulnerable, confused, and angry. I hated myself for being led into deception so willingly and for not seeing my husband for who he truly was. I had to face my past and why I was drawn to a sex addict in the first place. I had to face the wounds of my childhood – the fact that I was sexually abused as a child. Why else would I be drawn to someone like this? People who haven’t been abused don’t call in abusers, nor do they marry men who purposely deceive and manipulate them. I believe there is no other reason. I owned it all. I cried. I screamed. I asked for God’s help. I repented. I asked for a transformation of my spirit. I prayed for healing. I prayed for my Divine Mother to comfort me and show me the way.
I went through the birth of my daughter, Miriam without my husband...again. This was my second labor in which my husband wasn't safe enough to be a part of my homebirth.
Despite the difficulties in this situation, I was given a gift in the midst of my trial. I was given a beautiful, perfect spirit to be my constant friend and reminder of God’s love. My beautiful baby had Down syndrome and she is a manifestation of pure love. She is innocent, pure, unassuming, always loving straight from her heart.
After months of separation after her birth, I saw changes in my husband and I wanted to make things work despite his dark side. I saw his goodness. I saw the man I had married. I had hope and trusted that he was indeed on the path to changing his life and giving his addictions to Christ. Shortly after I thought things were patched up, the lies, deceit, defensiveness all started to creep back into our relationship.
Sex addicts lack problem solving skills and have great difficulty dealing with stress. That’s why they will push for decisions immediately because they do not know how to handle the insecurity of not knowing what is going to happen. When I learned this about SA’s I recalled numerous instances in which that very thing happened. It all started to make sense to me.
After a year of intense emotional and spiritual work, I got to the emotional and spiritual place where I sincerely realized the following truth. You do not have the power to change another person; the only person you can change is yourself. After a year of going through this cycle every few weeks I decided I was done and that I deserved better than that from my husband. It took a lot to get to me to that place, but after another round of uncovering his hidden life, I decided I didn’t want to contine in this cycle and live my entire life this way.
And so it is that I feel the same way as a fellow online friend who expressed her feelings so beautifully, “This chapter in my life is over although I will carry it with me always, including the love I had for this man – who believed in me and listened, who loved me – for me, who was my friend and lover and who deceived me and let me down so badly.”
Even after I made my decision there were more opportunities that confirmed to me yet again that I was making the right choice for my family and I. The following quote describes perfectly some of the things I had to continue to deal with.
“It is to the SA’s advantage to position you in public and sucker punch you on an issue that they know you are very emotional about. That subject will be one that contains something you have an excitable reaction to, where you may seem angry, hostile, disgusted and you express it so. They like that one best because it was designed to show you as excitable and in questionable light. Well, you were just set up. Now doesn’t the SA just seem like such a nice person, look what he/she puts up with and they stay so calm.”
I am grateful for JD and for our marriage…really I am. I would not be the woman I am today if I didn’t marry him. I wouldn’t have the beautiful daughter I have if it weren’t for him. I can be grateful and acknowledge what has happened and still be done. It’s ok. As for me though, I am done learning the hard way. I’m ready to experience joy, peace, love, and clarity. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and hope that I will be able to continue to share what I’ve learned in hopes of helping anyone else who is ready to see the truth.