Let’s start with discovery and with anger, because you may be feeling quite a bit of that now. Of course, you are angry at him, but it is possible you are angry at yourself for not discovering sooner, too. Maybe you torment yourself, thinking of all the years it went on while you slept or hung the laundry or knelt before the rack of men’s socks at a department store, making sure you got his correct size. You think how easily he slipped away with another woman while you dusted around the wedding photos, waited at the school gate, or booked tickets to Disneyland, and how you never asked or imagined or gave it any thought.
People will tell you that you must have known all along, that you turned a blind eye, that you were in denial. None of this is true. Your husband was your most trusted partner and he was above suspicion. Above suspicion, meaning you did not search his computer history, or check his bank statements or monitor his text messages. Now, you realize that if you’d done any of those things, you’d have known years ago. And with that, a feeling like hatred wells within you, but it isn’t that you hate yourself now, for something you’ve done. This is worse and deeper. You hate who you are now, and who you have been over a long period of time. Everything about your identity shifted in that instant of discovery. Your husband is a sex addict. Your partner is a sex addict. The person you love is a sex addict. Husband, partner, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend. What matters is that they are a sex addict. What exactly does that make you?
Maybe you’ve found out because there was an hours-long history of pornography mistakenly left on his computer. Or his phone has a text from a woman whose identity is vague but refers him to a code to enter on her website. Maybe he’s been arrested for curb-crawling. Maybe he’s been fired for using a computer at work to look at sexual images. I’ve heard all these stories, and the worst story, that you find out after he kills himself. What we know about some addicts is this: they mostly can’t stand to live with sex addiction. For a few of them, this means they choose not to live at all.
I found out because my husband was having an affair. You might not think an affair could be part of sex addiction (and I am not convinced it was) but I’ll talk about that later in this book. For now, let’s call the affair part of the addiction, just as the pornography and prostitutes and chat rooms and phone sex were all part of addiction. And let’s spend a moment on what finding out feels like, because if you are an addict reading this, it might help you to know what your wife (it is usually a wife, though it can certainly be a husband) may have gone through. So often sex addicts say, but she’s so angry! Or they throw up their hands in despair and call out, But she is so crazy!
I’m not crazy, but I sure felt so then. And you might, too, if you experienced this kind of sudden detonation of yourself, your marriage, and your life.
I’ve written how exactly I found out about the affair, then all the rest of it that I’d never known about. I’ve had to remove it because I am a writer in real life and I need the “scene” (haha, my awful heartbreak) for another thing I’m publishing. But eventually a version of it will be back.
You wanna know how I found out? Because the idiot woman he was sleeping with texted him t 6.30 in the morning. I mean…really.
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