It’s impossible to know where to start something like this – something as complex and confusing as being in love with a sex addict. There is no way to pin down a theme in my day to day emotions in order to devise a simple introduction to you about who, why, what, where, and how I ended up here, on this blog, writing to you. All I can do is put pen to paper and watch where it goes. I know it will help me and I very desperately hope it can help you. None of us are alone on this windy path of recovery. We may feel alone and isolated temporarily, but I have found that if I keep moving forward that I end up side by side with someone else who understands. I don’t want to alienate any men who are struggling with sex addiction in their partner – but I suspect that most people who find themselves on this page will be women. That being said, I have to recognize that the unbelievable power of our shared sisterhood can take on an entirely new meaning when we are brought together through this heartbreaking addiction. I started this blog because I want to reach out to other women who are in pain – especially those who have just discovered a betrayal. But sadly, since this is a pain that we tend to keep secret from those around us, I don’t know who you are. So I will pretend that you are the co-worker sitting in the office next to me. I will imagine you are my neighbor who walks her dog late at night. I will consider that you might be a family member who has never had the courage to tell the rest of us about your daily pain. I so want to know who you are. I so want my experience, story and friendship to reach you.
Where do I begin to tell my story so you can know me? What should be the my first words? Perhaps this should start with the words I said to my husband when I learned about his relapse. As far as I knew, he had been sober for 5 1/2 years. All signs made me believe it. Or did they? I was home on a sunny June afternoon this past summer and had a sudden and overwhelming feeling that I should place an ad on a popular adult site just to see what happens. I followed my instinct and placed an ad as a woman named ‘Tammy’ and said that I was looking for an NSA affair. I placed the ad almost without thinking….it was out of the blue and robotic. Within moments of placing the ad the replies started pouring it. It disgusted me to see all of the men who wanted what Tammy was offering. I was moments away from pulling down the ad when I opened an email from my husband, photo and all, asking to meet “Tammy”. I was shocked and numb. I returned to the email a dozen times to double check that the photo was really him – each time foolishly thinking the photo would change to a stranger. My “Tammy” persona emailed back and forth with him a couple times. I was sick to my stomach as I wrote words to entice him to the next step. I was shaking uncontrollably but managed not to cry. Somehow, I managed to hide my feelings when my husband got home from work. While I sat a few feet away from him on the sofa he wrote to
“Tammy” and asked for a meeting for the following day. As Tammy, I replied and accepted the offer. When he left for work in the morning I called his therapist and told her what was happening. I said that I set up a meeting time and I intended to go meet him. Then I called his sponsor and asked him to go to the meeting with me. All day long, my husband was needy and missing me. He wrote to me at one point saying he wished we could just ‘run away’. I could feel that he was lost and I comforted myself by thinking that explained some of what he was doing with his on line activities. I tried repeatedly to convince him to come home to me – but the pull of an anonymous woman waiting at a bar at 4 in the afternoon was too strong. When the time of the meeting rolled around his sponsor and I drove into the bar parking lot. I prayed the entire way that my husband wouldn’t be there – but as we entered the driveway I saw my prayers weren’t answered this time. My husband was sitting in his car waiting for “Tammy” to show up. We pulled up next to him and shame overtook his face. I let his sponsor get out of my car to speak with him first. I couldn’t wait very long to join them, so after about 5 minutes I got out of the car – walked toward my husband’s open window – gently touched his arm and said “I’m Sorry”.
No one, including myself, expected these to be my first words. I was sorry that I had to catch him the way I did. I was sorry that his addiction was so strong that he was sitting in a parking lot on Sunset Boulevard at 4 PM on Wednesday waiting to meet a figment of his imagination. I was sorry for anything I did that enabled him to be there. I was sorry that I was in pain. I was sorry for all of it. And I am sorry that you have gone through a similar pain to mine.