When I discovered my husband’s sex addiction, the questions began immediately.
Over the next several months, I googled and cried my way through hundreds of questions about sex addiction. Then something unexpected happened: the more answers I found, the more unsettled and angry I became. It was all too much.
Now, all these years (and mistakes) later, I know the 2 questions I was really trying to answer:
“How do I return to my “before” life?”
I wanted to go back to “before” and forget all about this sex addiction crap. In the fog of pain and confusion, I thought I could find my way back.
Here’s the hell of it – I couldn’t ever go back. I could never un-see or un-know what I had discovered. My marriage was dead, and so was a part of me. As my counselor said when I cried about what I wish my marriage had been or could be – “You didn’t get that.”
It was like cold water in my face, but it was true. I didn’t get the happily ever after. Not with my then husband. It was now up to me to create a different story, and to do so while confused, lonely, exhausted, and trying to raise 2 children in the fallout.
“What is my future with this sex addict” (i.e. Should I stay or should I go?)
Later, as began to grasp the gravity and depth of my husband’s sex addiction, this question was at the core of all my searching. I obsessively sought out detailed stories of those who went before me.
- Did he cheat again?
- How long until he cheated again?
- What did real recovery sound like?
- Did his recovery “stick”?
- What are the statistics for sex addiction recovery?
- If I divorced him, what if I had paid the ultimate price and his next wife got to reap the benefits of his recovery?
I falsely believed that if I could get enough information I could predict my future and make a sound decision about divorce. Or, better yet, I could somehow control the outcome of things that were never mine to control.
In the end, he kept cheating and lying, and I had my answers. Looking back, I realize that I knew the answers all along. I just doubted myself and was afraid of facing the truth. Years of being lied to by a sex addict will do that to a person.