partner is a sex addict , dont know how much more I can take.

Ive been in a relationship with with a sex addict for 4yrs. I don’t understand it although i do try, part of me see’s it as something that’s beyond his control and the other resents him sometimes even hates him for what he puts me through.

His “thing” is sexual fantasy , obsessive masturbation and exhibitionism. He masturbates in public and has been arrested for this, he has been arrested again and i don’t know if I can go through it all again.  He has finally began to accept he has a problem and has just started a residential recovery program. He seems almost relieved after speaking to someone for the 1st time and being honest about how he felt to be told that there is help and he’s not alone, like many other people in his situation I know he felt deeply ashamed. The thing is because he has been arrested for indecent exposure the police have informed social services, as we have a young daughter , and now he is only allowed supervised contact with her.

This is what makes me feel so negatively towards him and unsure if i can support him as i really resent just how drastically his actions have impacted on our family life and the consequences they could have. Social services do not sex him as a sex addict just a sex offender and of course they are right he did break the law but he has an addiction that is beyond his control. I’m constantly being told by everyone else in my life , friends , family , social services that sex addiction does not exist and is just an excuse for his actions so he does not have to take responsibility.

They think I’m wrong to stay. But i see him when he seems so lost and unhappy , awake at night staring into space his mind always so troubled. He has begun to speak to me about why he does it, although he doesn’t really understand it himself. He was 14 when he began a sexual relationship with a 36 yr old woman, it was an unhealthy inappropriate relationship which I’m sure has had a huge effect on his state of mind. I seem to constantly switch from anger and frustration , not understanding and wanting to walk away to sympathy , seeing how vulnerable he really is and just wanting to help and support him  But i don’t know what to do. He has just started therapy and will be away for about 8 weeks , but then what? Does anyone who’s been through this have any suggestions?

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5 thoughts on “partner is a sex addict , dont know how much more I can take.

  1. love4me Post author

    Hello am sending you a big virtual hug!
    I am so sorry that you find yourself in such a difficult situation. I would suggest that whilst your partner is having help you seek some for yourself at the same time.

    You have been in a terribly difficult situation and continue to be. You need help too to help you understand why you have been able to suffer and stay in such turmoil and pain for so long. Also you are concentrating predominately on your partners needs, feelings and situation, what about you, what do you need, what do you want? Counseling, reading, posting on here, joining a group etc will all help you to shift the focus onto yourself and your daughter, and will help you to realize however isolated you have been and may continue to be, that you really are not alone.

    You will be able to set boundaries and bottom lines that will help protect you, and you will also discover what we as codependents do often unwittingly to support the addictions of those with whom we are involved. I recommend reading Women who love too much by Robin Norwood and The Love Trap by Melody Beattie and The Betrayal Bond as a start. I know exactly how you feel although you may find that hard to believe.I wish you peace and serenity

  2. jmarie Post author

    Thankyou so much. It has been helpful to go through postings on sites like this and read articles online and ive ordered some of the books you mentioned. I know i have spent too much of my time concentrating and worrying about his state of mind and how this all this effects him , even supporting him and standing by him when he wnnt to prison for masturbating in public ,even though at the time i was 8 months pregnant with our daughter and was left to go through the rest of the pregnancy and labour by myself. My focus was always his feelings, missing out on the birth and those first few months with his child. Thats not to say i haven’t let him know just what i feel and what he’s put me through , we’ve had many arguments over his behaviour and my comments can often be downright vicious ,which i know does more harm than good , but i know it gets to him and sometimes i just want him to feel a little of the hurt he makes me feel. i feel very confsed at the moment , my emotions are very conflicting. Whilst i am glad and relieved that he is finally seeking help im worried that even if he can “get better” , controls his addiction , that i will still always be angry , untrusting , that i will be bitter and constantly throw the past back at him. This only my second post and already i feel a weight has been lifted , even if no one else reads it it feels good to express my feelings as there is no one i can talk to about any of this. Today im going to look into some counselling.

  3. Prof Post author

    Hi JMarie,

    Thank you for your honest and moving posts. I believe that writing things down, sharing your feelings really does help in recovery. I expect many people will read your posts and relate to what has been said. Within my own recovery, I don’t think I will ever say that I have “recovered” only that I am a “recovering” sex and love addict.

    I certainly have got a lot better since attending SLAA. I am sure that your partner will benefit greatly from his rehab, spending time looking at the underlying causes. His acting out was the effect, not the cause of his addiction. He needs to get to grips with the causes.

    You have mentioned already one, his sexual encounter when 14. He will need to look at all the other causes. This takes time. I am married, and though I never expect my wife to truly know how I feel, nor would I want her to know all of my history, I know that while she stands by me in my recovery, my relationship with her is improving.

    I am a better person than I was 18 months ago before SLAA. It is very important for you to have your own recovery/counseling.
    Having been through such pain, its important to fully discuss your feelings with a counselor.

    Keep up the counseling and best wishes for the future.

  4. love4me Post author

    Hello JMarie,

    Glad to talk to you again. I must agree with Prof and say that embarking on counseling is a super step.

    I’m sure you will find the talking empowering and that it will enable you to express any anger and emotions you rightly feel, without fear of judgement.

    It will take time to recover and you will have plenty of decisions to make. Whatever you do try to maintain the counseling that you start and keep reaching out to those who wish to help you. You have been alone for a long time but need not suffer alone and in silence any more.

    I’m so glad you have tried to get those books I mentioned, they really, really helped me and am certain they will be a comfort to you as well. Take the time to nurture yourself now, what makes you happy, what do you love to do, what lifts your spirits?

    Try to reconnect with the little one inside you and spoil her…you know she deserves it!

    All the best to you

  5. cathy Post author

    Hi jmarie. Thank you for your post.
    I have been with my partner for 4 years and married 6 months. I found out on honeymoon about his SLAA and cheating. I feel your pain, i know your pain. I have been and maybe sometimes still am where you are.
    Always concerned for him, what if i upset him.I am seeking support from a therapist as well. I have good days and bad days. I would recommend that you seek support from a fellowship, this is when you realize that you are not alone in your pain, and confusion. My friends and family also cant understand why i am still with him and don’t believe that it is an addiction.
    The best piece of advice i have been given which has given me so much help is, don’t bring your friends and family into your problems, speak to people outside your family circle you can trust. As your friends and family see the pain your going through and cant see past that! My husband is in early recovery, he spent the first 6 weeks of our marriage in a clinic across the water and left me to deal with everything… the pain the rumors, it was hell.

    But time heals!!!I am sending you my thoughts and strength. Keep talking and keep posting.

    Most importantly get your life back on track learn to truely smile and laugh again! this helps.x

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