My Husband Is A Sex Addict JoAnn Russell, RN, BSN, MS
Is Your Husband A Sex Addict?
Hope and Healing for Spouses and Partners of Sex Addicts!
Personal Stories From Our Readers
About 9 months ago, I have started feeling he is keeping some secrets from me,,,,work trips extending to the weekends, spending days at a friend s house in Belgium that I have never heard of! When I finally got so frustrated and confronted him, he told me his dark secret…it was more than I could bear.
I think my husband is a sex addict. The first time I found out he had been sleeping with someone we both knew and she could not keep it a secret any longer. After it came out I found out she was not the only one there were at least five others.
I have been married to a sex addict for 10 years. 3 years together prior to that. He has been an SA for pretty much all of his adult life. I am his second wife, he lost the first one because of his addiction.
For you to share with my blessing, hoping it will do some good for someone as well as allow me to release a little bit of pain. Please just call me J. Thanks! Here is my story. It is exhausting to tell. I feel like I need to tell it though, because for the first time in my life my silence and shame about being married to a sex addict is ending and I am opening up to sharing and hence, erasing the fear. Forgive me if my details are confusing at any point. I have large portions of memory/time that are lost to me. I guess we can experience something like PTSD when we have internalized being married to an addict for so long. What do you think? I am intelligent, capable and loving, from a loving childhood home, yet I have not escaped the pain of sex addiction in my marriage. […]
Those of you who have been following this site know that I recently censured a comment posted by a reader named thora1. I did this because it contained graphic descriptions of her sexual behaviors. I have decided to post her story here, with just a few portions deleted and with my thoughts placed within her story in bold. The reason that I have chosen to feature Thora’s story is because she is an active Sex Addict with multiple addictions who is in a relationship with another Sex Addict who is also a drug addict. Why should we care about this? Well, first, because she is a woman in pain who has reached out to us. And, in addition, her minimizing and denial is so perfectly articulated I felt that my readers would get a better understanding of how Sex Addicts tick. I have been brutally critical with Thora and I hope she will understand that the only way she can ever recover is to face her addictions and do the things she must to change her life. It will be interesting to see if she is up to the challenge. Here is her original story with my comments in bold. […]
One woman's story of what it is like to live with and love a Sex Addict.
I have found so much comfort in sharing my story with others as well as listening to and reading about the experiences of others who are dealing with loving and living with a Sex Addict. Please share your story here.
Sometimes I think when we are dealing with our spouses or partners Sex Addiction we forget that the addiction is not necessarily the only problem in the relationship. Sex Addicts have a myriad of emotional issues that can make the relationship rocky aside from the addiction. My husband and I had a ‘discussion’ this morning over an incident that happened last night. It had nothing to do with his addiction, it was simply one of those ordinary misunderstandings that should have been over and done with in about two minutes. […]
One of the reasons Sex Addicts have such a hard time with recovery is the easy and free access to their mood-altered state...fantasy. Sex Addicts are able to trigger a hit of the pleasure chemical, Dopamine,
What do you need right now from your Sex Addict partner or spouse? For me, the most important piece in our recovery was honest communication. Until my husband got rid of his defensiveness and started [...]
Finding out that your spouse or partner has a Sex Addiction is both devastating and life changing, but what follows that discovery is often so much worse. It is rare that a Sex Addict ‘comes clean’ about his addiction. Often their secret life is discovered by a spouse or partner who confronts them with the evidence, or their activities result in job loss, legal action or arrest. […]
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”. […]
It’s difficult to understand how someone can become addicted to an activity or behavior such as shopping, eating, gambling or sex. We can understand chemical addictions because it is so straight forward–put the chemical into your body and get a measurable physical reaction. There are levels of the chemical in the bloodstream, visible signs of impairment and serious reactions if the drug is withdrawn. But, in the case of non-chemical addictions the signs are subtle or non existent. Addictions to behavioral processes are called “process addictions.” The process of engaging in these behaviors leads to typical addiction symptoms (withdrawal, tolerance, heightened excitement or euphoria). […]
Just imagine...A group meeting where kindred souls come together; a place of sharing and empowerment, discussions and suggestions; each strengthening and supporting without dogma, authoritarianism or judgment. A place to ask for and give advice. [...]
Ahhhhhh…ANGER! If you are not familiar with it you better get used to living with your new best friend. Anger is the second stage of grief and for most of us who are confronted with our spouse’s Sex Addiction it is the emotion that stays with us the longest. Now, some people, such as counselors, co-12 step groups and the like will advise that we should avoid outbursts of anger and that we need to act in a ‘mature’ manner; that anger will have a negative effect on communication or that our expression of anger will cause the addict to withdraw and feel more shame. Well, sorry, I beg to differ here (and that’s putting it mildly). Unless and until you get all your anger out, […]
Sex Addicts live in a rigid, limited world. It’s an absolute black and white existence without any nuances of gray. Their world is either right or wrong, good or bad, all or nothing, always or never. Life is either 100% one way or the other; 50-50 just does not compute. They do not reason, compromise or work things out. Everything is placed in it’s left or right, black or white category never to be pondered again. This ‘black and white’ thinking is a form of Cognitive Rigidity, a Borderline Personality Disorder that is common to all types of addicts and survivors of abuse. It is a primitive pattern seen in early childhood, which ties in with the emotional immaturity of Sex Addicts. This type of thinking makes it difficult to communicate with a Sex Addict. […]
My husband and I just returned from a Caribbean cruise. I knew the environment would have challenges for him, but I was pleasantly surprised as he really did well. The pool area provided unlimited eye [...]
When you find out that your spouse or partner is a Sex Addict a piece of you dies. You lose your sense of reality and equilibrium, your self esteem, your lifestyle, your hope and your trust. It’s as if everything you believed in and everything that existed has suddenly been shattered. The world you thought was real disappears, leaving behind a dark and ugly landscape strewn with lies and deception. The person you love is suddenly a stranger and you no longer feel safe in your own home. […]
This is one of my favorite videos. It's a great song, has phenomenal editing and it makes me remember just how important we all are to each other. Stay connected and stand by each other. [...]
Don't be surprised if you see new colors and unfamiliar backgrounds here-- it's still the same place with a fresh coat of paint. I decided it was time for a change and I am still [...]
Well, I went to my second COSA meeting this week
Everything You NEVER WANTED TO KNOW About Sex Addiction Okay, you know all the definitions and, like myself, you may even wonder if Sex Addiction is a real disease or just a convenient cop out for bad behavior. But, semantics aside, the problem is very real, so let me put in my two cents and tell you what I think Sex Addiction is. First, let me clarify that for lack of a better term, I will continue to use the term Sex Addict for the person who engages in behaviors that are addressed in this book. […]
I still have major objections to the implication that a spouse or partner of a sex addict needs to accept the tenants of the 12 steps.
Is there really such a thing as Sexual Addiction? Is Sex Addiction an uncontrollable, inbred, genetic disorder that cannot be reversed or cured? Is Sex Addiction a psychological disorder brought about by childhood trauma or abuse? Or, are Sex Addicts simply self-centered, immature and immoral jerks; individuals who lack impulse control and who seek pleasurable experiences without considering the consequences? Ask ten counselors or psychiatrists and you will probably get at least that many answers. The major 12 step groups for Sex Addicts have varying but similar views […]
Here are some interesting comments from some of my friends about my last post–thank you everyone for sharing: Yes, when a sex addict acts out, it is cheating. The only difference between the cheating a non-addict might engage in and the cheating a sex addict engages in is the relationship the cheater has with the cheating. For a non-addict, the cheating may be a symptom of a particularly tough time in his life, marriage problems, etc.–it’s a way to cope with a specific, isolated situation in his /her life. For a sex addict, on the other hand, sex is what he/she uses to cope repeatedly with almost every uncomfortable emotion or situation over a long period of time, often a lifetime. In that sense, some people might argue that the cheating a non-addict does is worse than the cheating an addict does because it’s nothing personal against his/her spouse–it’s just the way the addict deals with everything and he would cheat […]
Can you believe that? After years of separation, counseling, 12 step meetings, soul searching and an ungodly amount of time spent in discussions over his addiction, my husband had the nerve to claim that he [...]
Wow! You can’t get more mainstream than the Wall Street Journal! In my research I ran across this article and was impressed by it’s no-nonsense approach and helpful links. Oprah, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil and many others in the media have done much to educate the public about the problem of Sex Addiction and as the public becomes more aware of the seriousness of this issue the stigma and sensationalism of the topic will hopefully decline. I am optimistic that this education of the masses will have a positive ripple effect on all Sex Addicts. Sexual Addiction is based on shame. The addict, for whatever reason, […]
Probably the most controversial issue surrounding addictions of all types is recovery. Most recovery programs are based on the AA 12 step model. Statistics are difficult to decipher and recovery rates vary from 5% to almost 100%. The higher stats don’t take into account all the members who come to a few meetings and, for whatever reason, never return. Of course, those who stay will claim a 100% recovery rate. Scientific data on the 12 step programs show that the recovery rate is almost exactly the same as no intervention at all, which will result in a spontaneous recovery of about 5% of addicts. It is unfortunate that the mindset of our society is […]
From my journal: It always comes down to this when dealing with a Sex Addict. It's not about what they do, although that is vitally important, it's more about what they say. It’s always about [...]
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New Trauma Recovery Video Series
This video series for partners of sex addicts outlines some of the most important, and very first things that a partner should consider after discovering that the person they are in an intimate relationship with may be a sex addict. These videos will help you understand your trauma, know what you need to do first after your discovery and offers resources and exercises to help you recover physically and emotionally from your trauma.
Coaching for Partners of Sex Addicts
Coaching for partners of sex addicts
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