Whether it’s porn addiction, infidelity, or obsessive sex related behaviors, being in a relationship with a sex addict or someone who repeatedly lies about their sexual behaviors can be paralyzing and often end in divorce or a break up. Partners of sex addicts often struggle with intense anxiety and fear that their partner will continue to repeat the obsessive porn use, the affair, the sex with strangers, or the obsessive sexual behaviors.Partner’s of sex addicts often experience intense confusion and shame because of their being married or in relationship with a sex addict.
You stay because you love them, it’s what you know, because the passion you experience together seems impossible to recreate, or maybe because you have children together. You stay married to or in a relationship with a sex addict because, well, you don’t know. Or maybe it’s because when things are good, they are really good. Your friends are fed up with you, they think you deserve better, they are no longer willing to listen, be your counselor, or therapist when you come to them hurt and confused about your partner’s most recent infidelity – whether it was new porn you discovered on the computer, conversations of them sex-chatting on-line with someone, or evidence that they are having an affair again. Your friends tell you to leave the marriage or relationship but you feel they just don’t understand. Or maybe your friends don’t even know. Keeping a partner’s sexual addiction a secret is common.Partners of sex addicts often experience such intense shame that they keep their pain and their partner’s addiction a secret.
You may feel having friends know about the disrespectful behaviors – the lying and cheating, would be humiliating. So you may be coping with the pain of the infidelity-the addiction alone. Which makes coping with the feelings you have even more difficult. Your own obsessions about where your partner is at any given moment, what they are doing, what they lied about today, whether you will ever be able to trust them again, keep you from experiencing your own happiness, pleasure, success, healing, etc.You may have resorted to spying – gps tracking, reading texts, hacking into emails and tracking their every click on the computer…
you are now addicted to tracking them and most of the time tracking them no longer relieves the anxiety you feel when you are away from one another. The only time you feel like you can relax slightly and not obsess about their every move is when you are together. This can be incredibly confusing and if you have no one to talk to about it, you feel alone in your relationship but also alone in the world. Seeing a therapist who understands what you are struggling with can be incredibly helpful. But if you are not yet ready for this, here are some amazing books that can help you better understand some of the feelings you are experience and help you to know that you are not alone. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse by Barbara Steffens & Mending a Shattered Heart by Stefanie Carnes