Three sex addicts that my husband knows have relapsed in the past few weeks. Two of them were discovered by their wives. The third one came clean of his own accord and made the heart wrenching decision to tell his wife about his mistake. There are many complicated issues at play within any addictive behavior, but in my opinion the man who is willing to admit his powerlessness and ask for help and forgiveness seems so much further down the road in recovery than the others. It seems that he is truly serious about beating his addiction and understands that he can not remain sober without complete honesty. He has taken appropriate actions to start again – a day at a time. It’s refreshing and comforting to hear that men like him exist in this community of sex addiction. It gives me hope that there are those who are getting sober not because they have been given an ultimatum from their spouse, but because they don’t want to live in shame and regret and isolation any longer.
99% of the relapses I hear about are when partners discover some horrid secret by accident – this is also how I found out about my own husbands relapses. Discovering the secret activities myself added an unimaginable degree of pain to the already devastating information. Being cheated on is one thing…but being lied to about it is a betrayal that is most difficult to overcome. Although this latest group of guys who went astray doesn’t include my own husband, I live with the understanding that it could be him tomorrow. I hope that if and when another relapse plagues us that he will have the courage to tell me and together we can figure out how best to proceed.