Wisdom From Partners
In this new weekly series, ‘What Partners Say’ I have gleaned the best of the best wisdom from the private forums of what partners say about sex addiction.
These are all anonymous and any personal information has been removed. Some of the comments may have been combined or edited, but all are real words from real women who are partners of sex addicts.
This week I have brought some words of wisdom from those of us who have ‘been there’. Reading these often brought tears to my eyes. The raw honesty of these women’s words emphasize the depth of the abuse they have borne.
Here are their words.
There is a REAL price to pay in keeping their secrets.
I stayed 19 years with my now ex Sex Addict Husband because he was such a GREAT guy. There was just no way he could do this. Yet he did do it again and again. He was and is a great father. I do not question whether that is real or not. He was and is a kind man. He treated me like a queen. He treated my family and his so well and with respect and kindness. Part of the reason why I was so in love with him was because of how important family was to him. I can not think of any fault in him.
Except he used prostitutes.
It was eroding my very being and I allowed it. I had to leave or die. I had to stop listening to the minimizing (“I didn’t have affairs” and “It was meaningless sex”) and start listening to the screaming in my head that was saying ‘get out now’. I had to take a good look at the situation and say to myself “Would you want your daughter in this kind of relationship?” The answer was always ‘no’, so why would I want it for myself? I got out.
I am still sad sometimes but I am also finding a use for the incredible amount of energy I used to spend ruminating and doubting and struggling with obvious truths that I just could not accept. What am I doing with that energy? Finding me again! Scary but finally living honestly.
Sometimes I worry that while waiting till we’ve ‘had enough’, we find ourselves slipping into someplace where we are no longer emotionally strong enough to have ‘had enough’.
Most of us have this nagging sense that something is rotten in Denmark, we just can’t put our finger on it.
It is not an easy decision and we don’t want to make it. So we dance around the fire a little longer, we hide in a bottle or our bed, we try to trick ourselves that it’s not THAT bad or maybe this therapist has the answer, this book, blah, blah. We are doing the work, the hoping, the suffering.
We’ve discussed this before, how normal, honest people believe the best about the people we love. And right, if we’re talking about things we could never conceive of doing to someone else, how could we easily make that leap to believing our partner could heap such abuse on us?
For the longest time I looked at our marriage as a scale with all the good on one side and that one bad on the other and was able to stay because the good outweighed the bad. But it really didn’t. It was eroding my very being and I allowed it. I had to leave or die.
It hurts so deeply. Nevertheless, once you emerge from the ashes…you are forever changed.
Stay tuned for more comments from partners on sex addiction therapy and watch for other posts from the ‘What Partners Say’ blog series.
These are real comments from real women. If you think you would benefit from the experiences and support of women who have walked the path of living with and loving a sex addict please consider joining our online support group. To find out more click here.
This Post Has 4 Comments
“It is not an easy decision and we don’t want to make it. So we dance around the fire a little longer, we hide in a bottle or our bed, we try to trick ourselves that it’s not THAT bad or maybe this therapist has the answer, this book, blah, blah. We are doing the work, the hoping, the suffering.”
How long did I live in Delusionville until, physically and emotionally, could not take another hit? Could not hold another secret, could not tell another half-truth.
I’d prefer to live in a messy honesty than a neat lie any day.
It has been 6 months since I first found out about all the cheating, porn, and whatever else my husband has been up too. I am disgusted. Reasons I have yet to file for divorce include his father died, then he lost his job, & now we are in the middle of the Corona Virus. My adult children will think I am insensitive for filing for divorce at this time. Do you tell your adult children why you are leaving? Is it any of their business? I am so confused!
@Jo I don’t know how I came across your post as it wasn’t in the recent column. I just happened to look at the Sister list and seen your name; which I did not recognize. I apologize if I missed your Welcome page. Or if I forgot I have seen it. This shitstorm really wreaks havoc on our brains. I’m glad you are reaching out for help with your situation. It is one that most people will not understand unless they’ve gone through it. It’s a frickin nightmare.
By your post I can see you are a very sensitive, compassionate and caring person. I’m damn sorry you haven’t received the respect you deserve from your husband. Disgusting is a kind way of putting what they have done to us. Their sheer lack of consideration for our very lives is heinous! How they sleep like a baby at night knowing they are possibly exposing us to diseases that can kill us is unfathomable. I would NEVER risk the life of someone I love for ANYTHING!! Sadly to say, that last sentence pretty much wraps up the truth of our married life. They don’t know how to love and they certainly really didn’t love us like we loved them. When you love someone, you give them respect. If you don’t respect someone, you do not love them.
And for goodness sakes, do not hesitate to go with your gut instincts to get this evil person out of your house. You file for divorce ASAP. Your adult children deserve to know the truth about the way their dad treated you and the disrespect he had for his marriage AND family. He was not only abusing you, he was also abusing his children. You don’t risk the mother of your children, if you love and want the best for them. Seriously, what these men do IS DOMESTIC ABUSE. Think about it. They mentally, emotionally and psychologically abuse us. Please look up covert narcissism. It is real. I won’t be surprised by how much you will find matching the behavior of your husband. In my opinion it’s also physical abuse as they are abusing your body, health and safety. Would you have had sex with him if you had known he had all those extra curricular penis activities? That is uninformed consent in my book.
Remember, this will also be a big shock to your children. I’m sure you have found the whole concept very hard to accept. That is cognitive dissonance. Basically when our brain has firm facts in place and then is presented with conflicting facts, as a form of self protection it will try to stay with what it knows. Your children are adults. They don’t necessarily need to know the real vile and disgusting details, but a simple “Your dad has been unfaithful, not just once, but throughout our marriage. I did not know, but now I do.” (Learned that one from another survivor of this shitstorm) I would be very cautious of the details you share. I would hate for them to carry his shame and embarrassment; that’s for him and him alone! Also, please talk to them without him around. He will only try to turn the narrative to make himself look less like a creep. Beside, why would you want him present? He’s a known adept liar! He’s good at what he does; manipulation, image management, gas-lighting, blame shifting, using anger to force you into compliance and control of “his” world. If he’s covert, he’s probably got you thinking he’s stoic and very thoughtful about his responses. NO, he’s running scenarios through his mind so he can pick the one that will give him what he wants.
Sorry if I went a bit full bore with my reply. I get very upset every time I see another loving and caring wife have her life ripped out from under them. It’s so inexcusable! If you want to have many sexual partners, don’t get married! Read, read, read the forums. There is so much insight and wisdom from those that have gone before us. Sending you strength and a big hug!!