Dear Church, Stop Abusing Wives of Sex Addicts!

Dear Church,

Learn the facts and stop abusing the wives of “sex addicts”!

Every Sunday your pews and pulpits are filled with men harboring the dirty little secret of “sex addiction”. These men blame their wives for the marital problems, seek leadership roles in the church, emotionally and physically abandon their families, and  proclaim their love of Jesus while secretly wallowing in illicit and often illegal street sex. Greater hypocrisy is hard to find.

Thanks to ongoing research, we now know that the vast majority of women experience PTSD when they discover their partner’s sex addiction. These women’s pasts, presents, and futures are ripped away, leaving them disoriented and shaken to the core. In this vulnerable state, they are forced to endure your messages of forgiveness and reconciliation; messages born of enormous ignorance on your part.

In your church-sponsored meetings, these women learn absurdities from other women in horribly sick marriages to horribly sick men. They learn how to track their husbands, forgive  “slip ups”, and better perform sexually so he won’t be tempted to stray. This pure insanity is abusive! Your sick approach serves to further damage the wives, in essence blaming them for the problem. Worse yet, you are literally teaching them to become co-addicts by forcing them to take responsibility for their husbands “addiction”  – which, prior to disclosure, they by definition could not be.

This is all done under the banner of “God hates divorce”. I’ll tell you something God hates more – hypocrites who risk their wives’ lives and destroy their families when they stick their penises in any available hole, every chance they get.

The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize sex addicition for good reason. I have found “Sex Addiction” to be a label used mainly by churches and counseling services run by “sex addicts” themselves. In any other circle, a man who spends decades living a double life of lying, cheating, and stealing from the family while pretending to be something he’s not would be called a sociopath.

It’s time for the church to stop hiding behind the false label and face reality – these men, at best, are selfish little boys. At worst, and more likely, they are full-fledged personality disordered sociopaths. They are not the “great guys” that you think they are. They are practiced liars and a masters of self-promotion. The naiveté with which you believe these skilled liars is disgusting and possibly more damaging to their wives than the original insult. It takes a special kind of denial and hubris to take the side of a proven manipulative liar over his victims.

If you bother to look at the faces of these wives, you’ll see the fatigue and grief of betrayal, abuse, and lost dreams. These are women left to raise children under enormous difficulties while their husbands continue to disappear, this time under the guise of “getting help”. These are women who will be blamed by the those who choose to identify with the the ongoing lies set forth by these men; men who merely use the church and counselors to sharpen their tools of manipulation.

Sexual Addiction treatment centers boast of 90% “cure” rates, which is troubling and misleading. How long have they tracked these men? These centers haven’t been treating “sex addicts”  long enough to realize actual outcomes. Even worse, their statistics rely on the self reporting of known habitual liars. What constitutes failure vs cure? Is a “slip” counted as a failure? Not according to the well-known addiction authority, the National Institute of Drug Abuse. They answer the question: “Does relapse to drug abuse mean treatment has failed?” with “No.” If that doesn’t scare you, check yourself for a pulse.

These are men who have used and hidden inappropriate sex since childhood; we’re not talking about simple masturbation here. And yet, we are first asked to believe that this is an bonafide addiction. Then, we are asked  to magically leap to the stunning conclusion that this special addiction has a cure rate nearly twenty times that of all addictions combined. Is it just me, or is there a logic problem here?

Church, know this: By supporting these men while marginalizing their wives, you have on your hands the blood of families destroyed. If you believe that the iniquity of the fathers will be visited on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation, that’s a lot of blood. Your ignorance, abuse, and one-sided support of my husband left me with only one emotionally healthy option: leave the church. P.S: I took God with me when I left – I doubt you noticed.

My husband destroyed my well-being, health, trust in others, peace, faith, security, financial future, and more with his actions. If sin is to be arbitrarily weighed by mankind, perhaps the greatest measure of sin is the cost to others. Look in the mirror, church. You are guilty as charged.

Cognitive Dissonance and the Narcissist/ Sociopath/ Sex Addict

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Now that my kids are adults, he’s shown up again, riding in like a hero on his “great guy” image, denying his actions and sewing confusion anew.

Narcissists (NPD’s) and sociopaths are like that. It’s easy to be the great guy when time is limited to holiday photo ops and lunches. In their wake, however, these personality disordered individuals leave people with the uneasy feeling that something isn’t right.

Most of us readily dismiss that feeling because we like our belief systems to match our reality. When confronted with information that conflicts with our beliefs, values, or ideas, we experience emotional pain called cognitive dissonance.

When the difference between the new information and our beliefs is huge, so is the pain. The greater the pain, the greater the desire to deny the new, disturbing information.

There are only 2 ways to reduce the pain: change our beliefs (very difficult) or deny the new information (much easier).

No wonder spouses of sex addicts experience such trauma. The truth is directly opposite our supposed reality. It takes intense trauma therapy, and enormous courage, to quiet the war waging in our brains and face the abuses perpetrated against us.

Cognitive dissonance explains why his version of the story – “I cheated once 15 years ago because my wife was such an angry crazy woman” – is much more palatable to his family and our children. Who wants a dad, or a son, or a brother who is a sexually deviant, abusive serial cheater?

They’ve never witnessed the deviancy, but have plenty of experience with his carefully crafted false image. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

I won’t ever win by engaging in the war of words, so I have zero contact with him. He will continue to lie/deny and sew confusion wherever he goes, and I will be portrayed as crazy.

He has to have it that way, just in case his worlds collide and any of his victims speak truth to his new prey.

But, all hope is not lost. I have a secret weapon called truth. It always wins, just not on my schedule!

STD’s and Stirrups on a Monday

“I’ve hit the ground. Gone right through it. Never in my life have I felt this. Nothing like this. I’ve felt shame and cowardice, weakness and strength. I’ve known terror and indifference, self-hate and general disgust. I’ve seen things that cannot be unseen.

And yet I’ve known nothing like this terrible, horrible, paralyzing feeling. I feel crippled. Desperate and out of control. And it keeps getting worse. Every day I feel sick. Empty and somehow aching.” ~ Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))

There have been many traumatic moments in this journey as a sex addict’s (ex) wife; this one took me completely off guard.

On a Friday night, my husband revealed to me that he thought he “might be a sex addict”. By Monday afternoon, I was up in the stirrups at my gynecologist’s office being checked for sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). I’d borne 2 babies by this point in life, so a little pelvic exam/pap smear was nothing to me. I had no reason to think this would be any different, but it was … this time it was very different.

As I lay there in the most vulnerable of positions, I felt deeply violated – not by the doctor, but by my husband and the hundreds of strangers he had secretly invited into our bed. As I was probed for the germs of men and women I’d never chosen nor even met, I began to feel filthy and used and worthless.

The reality and gravity of my situation crashed in on me, and I began to sob convulsively. For the first time in my adult life, I couldn’t pull myself together. The doctor finished quickly, sensing correctly that I needed to crawl back into the safety of my own clothing.

And then, somehow, I drove myself home, where I got into the shower, sank to the floor, and wailed while frantically scrubbing my body. I couldn’t get clean enough.

If you discover that your spouse is a sex addict, please know that getting tested for STD’s in a timely fashion is extremely important, but it is not an emergency. You’ve likely been unknowingly at risk for years, so it’s okay to take the time necessary to arrange for someone to accompany you to the appointment. This is not the time to prove how strong you are by going it alone.