Being married to a sexual addict is a complex and exhausting situation. The first thought a person might have is to give up on the marriage, but, is it advisable to classify all sexual addicts into one group?
God made men and women to be devoted to each other, in the biggest joys and the biggest sorrows. This is why my suggestion is that, first, you gather information regarding this matter and understand the possibilities within your reach.
I want you to understand that a sexual addiction is caused by neurotransmitters in the brain that force the compulsive behavior. Suffering from any type of addiction is unpleasant, so, in cases as complex as these, the best thing to do is to take some time to reflect and learn about it.
Let us begin.
Seven things every sexual addict’s partner should know
For a sexual addict to recover from their addiction, their partner’s contribution will be essential. I am not going to lie to you by saying it is easy, neither are you obliged to stay where your happiness is compromised, just that love tends to mean sacrifices.
Before making a decision, I recommend you to consider these 7 statements that will help you open your eyes about this condition.
- Your suspicions might be real
It is difficult to admit that a husband has a sexual addiction, therefore, your first reaction might be denial. It is normal to feel this way, I witness it all the time. But when obvious signs appear, it is not healthy to deny them as though they were not there.
For example, if your husband seems depressed, anxious, and he withdraws himself from others, including you, it is a sign that something is wrong, as well as when he disconnects from you emotionally and your mutual sex life is dying, when he avoids sexual intercourse with you or when he evades the issue of sexuality. A healthy couple should not have problems making love or talking about this subject.
If you confront your husband with circumstantial proof, do not expect him to admit it on your first try. Many times, they must be caught in the act before they will admit the problem.
- It is not your fault
I am going to tell you this so that you can take it into account. You are not the one to be blamed for your husband’s sexual addiction. As an independent human being, he is free to make his own decisions regarding his sexual behavior, and he could even assure you that maybe these sexual deviations started before he married you.
I have had patients who are addicted to pornography, and they hide this addiction from their future wives because they know it is wrong, but they can not help themselves. So, do not believe you are the cause of the problem. His sexual aversion towards you has nothing to do with the way you look, it has to do with your husband’s inability to create a sexual connection with you.
Women tend to have their self-esteem affected by this issue and they develop a fear of being rejected, but this is useless when it comes to healing. Make your husband take responsibility and walk with him through this path in an objective way.
- You cannot fix everything by yourself
You will not be able either to fix your husband’s sexual deviation on your own, without his help. It is impossible. No one changes if he/she does not want to, and we are only capable of changing ourselves, not others.
Where am I going with this? Monitoring your husband constantly so that he does not fall into his addiction, to the point where you lose your own life, will not solve anything. The addict must want to improve by himself and for you, for his family. Basically, your role will be to demand that he seek help.
- It is healthy to admit your own feelings
You might be confused, sad, or angry in the face of having a husband who is a sexual addict. You might experience all these stages at your own pace. You do not need to deny them or to believe you are stronger than you actually are.
I want you to know that people can heal and let their feelings flow. If you feel like this is too much for you to deal with alone, seek other people’s support.
- Forgiving is not forgetting
You must not feel ashamed of trying to restore a marriage that was broken by sexual addiction. You will not make this process easier if you do not forgive your husband. However, if you believe that forgiving equals forgetting, you are making a big mistake.
You will not achieve anything positive by seeking revenge or a way to make your husband pay for his flaws and forgiving him does not mean that you are renouncing your pain and grief. Forgiveness will free you from resentment and when it becomes too difficult for you to let it go, seek help for your own emotional well-being.
- You are powerful
The decision to stay or to leave is in your hands. You are the one who has the power to set boundaries, to fight together, or just to take a path of healing in solitude.
You have control over your life, regardless of the decision you make. Whether you choose one option or the other, you will most likely need help. You must believe in yourself.
- You have worth
You have the right to be respected and loved in your marriage. Maybe you do have flaws in your marriage, you are not perfect, but those flaws are not causing the sexual choices your husband is making. They do not define your worth.
If you feel that you are not enough, that it is your fault, know that none of those feeling are healthy for you. You have to face this challenge feeling fully confident, with self-love and courage.
What do you do when your husband is a sexual addict?
When you first find out that your husband is a sexual addict, you have two options: to leave him or to work to save your marriage. If you choose the former, you must pay attention to your own needs and insecurities first. Forgiving a sexual betrayal can be traumatizing for some people.
These are some actions you can take if you decide to stay:
- Turn to professionals: The main thing is to seek professional help and go together as a couple. Also, follow the recommendations with an open mind.
- Take care of yourself: Take care of yourself mentally and physically. Work on your self-esteem, seek social support and exercise more, or practice a new hobby, for your well-being.
- Do not have sexual intimacy with your husband until you get your confidence back: Do not push yourself to have sex with your partner after being betrayed. Take your time to heal. Husbands can find time and use it for activities such as meditation, exercising, or attending motivational groups until their wives are ready.
- Do not assume the responsibility for your partner’s abstinence: If you are able to forgive your addict husband, who is walking the path to recovery, you do not have to be his babysitter. He, as a grown man, is responsible for controlling himself and not breaking the promises he made so that you would stay by his side.
Working on sexual addiction is scary for any wife. But as long as there is a commitment from the husband’s side, life is made of second chances.
Do not forget that it is valid to feel confused and to have doubts about what is best for your case. Have you gone through this situation? Let me know in the comments.