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. When I cried and told my counselor what my marriage should be like, she told me flatly, “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 and the abuse it entailed, 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 gaslighting and abusing. 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 having your reality jacked by a sex addict will do that to a person.