Unfortunately, sexual addiction is growing rampantly across our nation. Men are viewing porn at greater rates than at any other time in history. The effect on our culture because of this growing epidemic of sexual addiction is immeasurable. The silent pain that partners of sex addicts experience day after day, because of their addiction has not been unmasked until now.
I cannot tell you how often women in my life come to me seeking advice, because of their husband’s sex addiction. Partners of sex addicts are now checking their husbands phones and the history files on their computers and finding out the addict they are in a relationship with, is into some pretty bizarre pornography. Ongoing deceit is exactly what a partner of a sex addict does not deserve to have happen over and over again.
In the book, Partners: Healing from His Addiction, Dr. Doug Weiss states that a partner of a sex addict has often been deceived by her sex addict’s addictive lifestyle.
Sex addicts, by nature of the addiction, have become masters of dishonesty over the years. Dr. Weiss has counseled many partners that have been married many years, and honestly had no idea about her husband’s sex addict behavior.
One wife found out about her husband’s addictive behavior by breaking into her husband’s safe and finding hundreds of women’s underwear with names and dates, and a book full of phone numbers. All these years of marriage, she thought she was the only woman in his life.
Addicts are the single most motivated people in the world. The greatest part about their motivation is that it is all internal motivation. If an addict wanted to develop a hobby or get involved in a sport or social activity, he would go all out to do this. If he wanted to learn how to fish or golf, he would probably buy the best equipment money could buy. He would read every book and go on the internet to related topics. He would even meet the local or national experts in that field, so he could maximize this activity.
Almost every woman married to an addict can identify with this aspect of their addicted spouse. Unless they are clinically depressed, they generally have this quality about them.
When an addict goes into counseling, they already have all the skills needed for them to get better. They know how to meet new people, they know how to make phone calls to people they don’t know, and they know how to read; even better, they know how to stay 100% focused to get something done when they want to. They know how to create time to be somewhere, if they want to.
When an addict starts recovery by doing the basics which, Dr. Doug Weiss calls the Five Commandments of early recovery, they can stay focused to do it.
The Five Commandments are very simple, but when applied to the addiction, can put the addict into remission. These are all behaviors that the addict actually does, not intends to do, or promises to do. When addicts do these Five Commandments during the first 100 days of recovery, you can expect progress.
The Five Commandments are simple:
- Pray — in the morning asking God to keep you clean today
- Read — literature related to sexual addiction recovery daily
- Groups — attend a Twelve Step or Freedom Group as much as possible
- Call — someone in the group daily to report your recovery status
- Pray — again thanking God for a day of sobriety
These five steps may sound simple enough to you because, honestly, they are easy to do. If an addict only wants to do 1, 2 and 5, then he is not ready for recovery.
Attending a group and making calls are truly the hallmarks of someone who wants to get better. Only those who want to get better, who are internally motivated, get better. Those that want to do it their own way, are simply lying to themselves and their partner. Remember if you believe a lie instead of believing behavior, you are actively choosing denial. That would not only be him lying to you; that would be you lying to yourself.
Dr. Doug Weiss coined the phrase, Believe Behavior. Believing his behavior is the only way for a partner to stay sane. If he doesn’t attend groups or make recovery efforts, he doesn’t want recovery, and you need to make hard choices for yourself and your family.
Also, in this same stream of thought, if you keep hearing that he “has to” do all these things instead of an attitude of “I get to” recover, then be concerned. Those who realize they are sick, and that they can get better, are generally so grateful that there is a name for what they have, sexual addiction, and that there is help for them.
Look for creativity in your sex-addicted spouse’s recovery. He will begin to create time for meetings, phone calls, and reading recovery material; you will begin to see him do more than just the minimum. Remember, always believe behavior.
Remember that believing behavior works both ways. He is making progress, if he is doing the recovery behaviors, then the same applies to you. The happiness happens when both partners work on their recovery, so they both can be the best they can be for each other, for the rest of their lives.