Why can’t they just tell me everything and get it over with?
That is probably the most painful cry of spouses and partners of Sex Addicts. We get information in bits and pieces, or as one woman put it, ‘on the installment plan’. Even when confronted with black and white evidence Sex Addicts just can’t seem to admit what they have done. Even though we beg them for the whole story we only get a few paragraphs at a time.
And every time a new ‘truth’ comes out, every time we hear another contradiction or find out about another lie we feel as if the old wounds have been ripped open and doused with salt. And with every new disclosure we are thrown back to square one, left to start all over again picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of it all.
Why do they do it?
Sex Addicts live a life of shame. They are ashamed of who they are and what they have done. They are ashamed of their childhood and ashamed of just existing. When confronted with questions or when they are forced to face what they have done they withdraw from the conflict, finding safety in their unreal fantasy world that has been their security blanket for most of their life. Their emotional immaturity makes it impossible for them to be accountable, to ‘face the music’ and take the consequences for what they have done. So they lie. They don’t know what else to do. Lying has been their way of life for so long they don’t even know how to tell the truth–or even what the truth is.
Eventually, through counseling, support groups, introspection and recovery, and with a firm commitment to the relationship and to themselves, the Sex Addict may learn to trust you enough to disclose their deepest secrets. But, until then all we can do is try to understand why they act the way they do as this understanding is what helps us begin our own healing.
The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we’ll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy. ~ Richard Bach