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 telling me the truth there was really no hope for us.
What do you think is the most important factor in your relationship with a Sex Addict that would make you stay and work it out if it was there, or would make you leave if it wasn’t there?
Right on! Unfortunately empathy is one trait that a lot of Sex Addicts lack.
Empathy is that wonderful emotion that allows us to put ourselves in another’s skin, to imagine and share their emotions and to understand their feelings. Empathy makes us human and it requires observation, listening, and understanding. Empathy prevents us from doing things that we know will hurt others because we empathize how badly they will feel.
Early during their development children learn empathy by observing that certain emotional cues can suggest what another person is feeling. Children even learn to predict someone’s emotional response from the context of the event, such as seeing a friend fall and skin their knee and knowing that they will feel pain and cry.
The development of empathy is complex, and is often lacking in Sex Addicts and abuse victims. Without empathy the partner is nothing more than a possession as there is no understanding of their partners emotions or needs.
Sex Addicts tend to be highly sensitive to their own pain but dismissive of, or indifferent to, anyone else’s feelings.
Joann, You put it perfectly I think. I definitely notice that in my soon to be ex.
Honesty is all that I’m asking for. Unfortunately I keep thinking I get it, he comes clean, and then a couple months later I just happen to find out something else. Sometimes it’s small like a speeding ticket he didn’t tell me about. Other times it’s big like he’s having an internet and phone affair. I agree without honesty, there is no hope. I’m just scared to death that, that’s where we are right now. After 5 1/2 years of marriage, a toddler, and another baby on the way, I don’t know how to move forward without honest communication.
I really don’t think you can. I know I can’t. It’s so much harder when you have children together but I really don’t think that life should be that hard. To expect and have happiness shouldn’t be a constant struggle and a roller coaster of upset, strain and dissappointment. I have left someone that I thought I meant everything to only to find out that I meant nothing at all, in the sense that I want to mean something to someone. I was in love with him. It’s been terrible but I feel that I deserve to be happy and I would never have been happy with him. You deserve to be happy. I hope things work out for you.
I would need to see a change in behaviour, honesty and obviously empathy.