Being married to a sexual addict is a complex and exhausting situation. Probably, the first impression a person might have is to give up on marriage, but, is it advisable to classify all sexual addicts into just 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, firstly, you gather information regarding this matter and know 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. It is not pleasant to really suffer from any type of addiction, so, in cases as complex as these ones, 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, thier partner’s contribution will be essential for this process. I am not going to lie to you by saying it is a simple one, neither are you obliged to stay where your happiness is compromised, just that love tends to imply sacrifices.
Before making any 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 if 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. Also, 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 to make love, or to talk about this subject in their intimacy.
If you face your husband with circumstantial proofs, do not expect him to admit it on your first try. Many times, they must be caught in the act so that they 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 that he is, 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 center of the problem. His sexual repellence towards you does not have 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 see their self-esteem affected by this issue and they develop fear to be rejected, but this is useless when it comes to healing. Make your husband own his responsibilities 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 and without his help, it is impossible. No one changes if he/she does not want to do so, 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 again 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 from him that he seeks 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 this alone, seek other people’s support.
- Forgiving is not forgetting
You must not feel ashamed for trying to restore a broken marriage due to sexual addiction. You will not make this process simpler 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 something positive by seeking revenge or a way to make your husband pay for his flaws and forgiving him will not imply 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 the control of your life, regardless of the decision you make. Whether it is 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 this will be healthy for you. You have to face this challenge feeling fully confident, with self-love and courage.
What to 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 last one, 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 as a couple, go together. 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 you, 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 in activities such as meditation, exercising or attending to motivational groups until their wives are ready.
- Do not assume the responsibility of 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 to break the promises he told you so that you would stay by his side.
Working on sexual addictions is scarry 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 confusion and to have doubts about what is the best for your case. Have you gone through this situation? Let me know in the comments