If you are not following the comments on my posts you may have missed this one. I felt that the questions were so universal that I wanted to make certain that all of you had the opportunity to read and respond. You can read the entire post and the comments here. Thank you Seren.
Seren: Can you teach a person by doing this and can they learn and will they develop a conscience. Or is a conscience something that has to develop in childhood. I have this huge need to try and make sure that he regrets his actions and is sorry and that this is why he has lost “us”.
JoAnn: In time that need to know that he regrets his actions will go away–we all have that feeling, but, unfortunately very few Sex Addicts ever come to that realization. Will they ever learn to have a conscience or develop empathy? That’s debateable. These traits are developed during a critical learning period in childhood. My husband tries, but he very honestly says, ‘I really don’t know what that feels like so I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel.” If I ask him a rhetorical question by turning the tables, such as, ‘How would you feel if I did that to you?’ he can’t answer because he lacks that sense of empathy, the ability to put himself in another’s place and imagine how they feel. Some would catagorize this as the trait of a sociopath , and it may well be, but, as with everything in this world there are gradients. My husband would never go on a mass killing spree but he does have
serious psychological deficits.
Seren: “How fucking dare you not let me have that choice”. “Because you knew I wouldn’t, you selfish bastard”. If I can get it out of my system perhaps I’ll be able to pity him for what he’ll never have and forgive him. I can’t bear to feel so acidic towards someone I thought I knew and loved.
JoAnn: Anger is good. As I said in my post on grieving you will not heal until all of your anger is expressed. You do not have to express it with him, or get closure from him, you can do that yourself. Do you have a friend or counselor that you can talk with? Role playing works very well–even if you have to do it with a chair. Place the chair in the middle of the room, put a pillow in it, name it and tell him what an asshole he is. Yell, scream (as long as you won’t have the neighbors calling the police) and get it all out. Tell ‘him’ that he is not off the hook yet, that you will be back the next time the anger surfaces. Another trick, shared by a woman dealing with her husband’s Sex Addiction, is to get in your car and drive to a safe, remote area. Close all the windows, turn your radio up full blast and scream at the top of your lungs until you are exhausted. You can’t imagine how great you will feel afterward. Beats a crying jag every time.