When I found out about my husband’s Sex Addiction and eventually found out that he had slept with over three hundred prostitutes in less than three years, forgiveness was the farthest thing from my mind. I didn’t think he deserved forgiveness from me or anyone else. All I could think was that he deserved to rot in hell for all of eternity.
I had years of anger, which I spewed quite furiously and quite frequently.
But, eventually the anger, which is a legitimate emotion that needs to be voiced, became toxic to both myself and my husband. I needed to move on and work on the future rather than rehashing the past. It was time to forgive–not for his sake but for mine.
The dictionary says to ‘forgive’ is to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. Forgiving your Sex Addict spouse or partner does not mean that they are no longer responsible for their actions, nor does forgiveness mean that you accept their behavior. Forgiveness is not the same as a ‘pardon’, which means to release from punishment.
Forgiveness means you let go of the anger and resentment that drains your soul of any sense of peace. Forgiveness allows you to let go and face your future, a future that may or may not include the Sex Addict. Forgiveness means getting unstuck, leaving the abyss and setting yourself free.
Well, that’s all fine and good, but how can you find forgiveness when the elephant of Sex Addiction follows you everywhere, including your bedroom?
I believe you cannot forgive until several things happen. If these things don’t happen then you must leave the relationship in order to find forgiveness and regain your stability and health because if these things are not present the relationship really has no future.
- Your spouse or partner must stop all Sexual Addiction activities. This is non negotiable.
- Your spouse or partner must become involved in an ongoing recovery program such as counseling, sex rehab and/or 12 steps.
- You must feel ‘heard’. There is no room here for the Sex Addict’s denial, minimizing, double talk or drama.
- The Sex Addict must make a commitment to be completely honest with you.
Forgiveness is not forgetting. We can never forget, nor should we. It is important to remember what has happened to us. It has been a lesson and if we don’t learn from it all of our pain has been wasted.
By forgiving and choosing to move on, one takes the power back to morph it into positive energy. ~ Eugenia Tripp