26 thoughts on “Leaving a Sex Addict: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

  • July 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    The sex lives of a child’s parents are a matter between the parents, and are never to be shared or aired to the child. Never. No matter what age they are. What the heck happened to the idea of adult material vs. children material, and what the heck happened to discretion and privacy?

    • August 17, 2014 at 2:16 am

      Privacy and discretion? The sex addict threw that out the window a long time ago. Children aren’t stupid. They know more then you think they do. Children deserve to know the truth about why their family is broken. Addicts are emotionally unavailable, and their children are no exception. It aids in healing that relationship when the addict admits that to the child and asks for forgiveness. Thats what happened between my ex and my son & I’m thankful for that. Telling the truth is always the best choice. Age appropriately of course.

      • April 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

        When you tell a child they don’t need to know, either directly or by keeping a secret, the lesson is: “Your needs don’t matter, and your place in the family means nothing”. They DESERVE the truth, in order to cope with the present and future changes in their life, their parents relationship, family dynamics, their feelings, and even to rationalize what they may have been perceiving as rejection or an absence of love from the parent who was acting out.

        My 11 year old son was becoming increasingly irritated and confused that his dad had to leave, but no one would tell him why. A counselor advised that of course he deserved to know why his family was falling apart suddenly, but age appropriate and only need-to-know info. She emphasized it was his father’s place to tell him, but she was very unfamiliar with sex addiction (so was I at that early stage). When my husband kept putting it off, I gave him an ultimatum, and we set a day aside for a father/son day, but he still could not bring himself to admit his guilt, or accept responsibility. 2 years in, I certainly understand now why that was a silly concept. I ended up telling my son, not to harm his father or their relationship, but so we all could heal. We talk about it openly now, and I try to find analogies and stories SO he will believe that the addiction and resulting neglect in no way means that he himself is lacking or unlovable, or might grow up to make the same mistakes. Whenever possible, I’d use humor, or compare experiences my son has already had in his short life, to help him see the stark differences. Examples:

        Remember when you were little, if someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up, you’d answer, “I want to be a fireman when I grow up!”
        As a child, do you think Daddy ever answered that question with, “I want to be a Sex Addict when I grow up!”

        Do you believe any little boy plans to grow up, get married, and have children, just so he can hurt them all, when he doesn’t even know how to spell the word addiction yet? (We keep it lighthearted, so we both giggled when we pictured a devious little boy, planning ahead)

        Do you think it would be enjoyable to do something that you are ashamed of, but you literally CAN’T stop yourself from doing it?

        You know how… we hug you all the time/pulled you onto our lap and read to you when you were little/saying I love you is perfectly normal in our family? It wasn’t like that in Daddy’s home when he was a little boy. It made him believe he was unlovable, and changed how he feels about himself. It made him believe no one would ever REALLY love him. Imagine that… think about it… Now, put yourself in his place, and think how different your childhood would feel. Would you feel happy/safe/lonely?

        There needs to be more information available for the ‘safe parent’, to help their children cope with this nightmare and navigate their own feelings. Right now, it’s all help the addict, help the parner. What about the children? I want to write a book, because I know I was desperate to find help and advice and studies, and it was rare!

  • August 1, 2014 at 12:06 am

    I had a short-term relationship with a sex addict.The beginning of this relationship was an affair on her part.i was single.But although there were ‘signs’ such as her being unable to stop herself looking at other people when out/every text message having an underlying sexual connotation etc, it was only later i realised that this woman was a sex addict and compulsive liar who cheats on partners with no remorse-because she doesnt have the usual emotional connection/ feelings which go alongside a healthy relationship.It is often too late when the ‘partner’ ralises what they have to face to be with thisperson & when asked to look at their behaviuors and the effects on other people, the addict will make light of it or run away thinking it is easier to just access sex than commit to a relationship with another person who also has feelings.
    Thisleaves the partner in a vulnerable state following the break up as the addict is often next seen flirting with someone else right under their nose.Partners ned assistance in coming to terms with the difference in ‘meaning’ of tbe relationship for themcompared to the sex addict who seems able to cut off emotionally and very quickly find another object of desire.

  • September 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    What are the real reasons that someone looks at porn sights? Is this a sex addiction or is it so they don’t have to have sex with a partner? Faking impotence?

    • March 29, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      They are selfish and greedy. They want the security of a loving home and wife but also want to imagine they can have women who are way too attractive for them in real life – unless its for money.

      • December 20, 2018 at 10:37 pm

        I totally agree, they are usually narcissists. My husband of 21 yrs, with a 14 yr old boy still in our home, got caught having an affair with a woman 20 yrs younger, stringing her along and using her. Then, few days after that, I discover he was using Craigslist to meet men for sex before he started using her for sex. So, now that I kicked him out, it’s all about him and that we should pity him. I give him 2 weeks before he finds another person to use. So, here I am, 50, back issues, unemployed, and afraid we will lose our home. But, he is too focused on his feelings. 🤨

  • February 14, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I finally had to leave because my ex was arrested and still wouldn’t confess everything. He still feels his stuff is “normal”. It is the most heartbreaking thing in the world!

  • March 10, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I want to offer some different answers to all the questions that might prove sensible and clearer:

    Should I consider getting back together?

    As a general rule, trust your instincts. If you felt strongly enough to divorce the addict instead of staying and attempting to move forward despite, your self is telling yourself something. Be advised to listen.

    What should I tell friends and family about my sex addict ex?

    Tell them nothing that you would not want your children — no matter what their ages — to know. People are leaky. They leak all the time. They are not bound by confidentiality. Speak accordingly.

    How come the addict feels fine and I’m still struggling?

    How you think the addict feels and how the addict actually feels are two different things. Make no assumptions about the inner emotional life of any human being, your ex included.

    Should I have tried harder, was it my fault?

    You probably could not have done anything, but addictions arise in individuals who are part of larger systems. If you have the courage to examine your own place in a system, you’ll be better for it,.

  • June 20, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Partners ned assistance in coming to terms with the difference in ‘meaning’ of tbe relationship for themcompared to the sex addict who seems able to cut off emotionally and very quickly find another object of desire.

  • July 4, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Contemplating the meaning of the relationship to me and the meaning of it to my SA seems frightening. I was never loved as a sexual intimate, just used for friction while he envisioned his porn fantasies. My self image was slowly eroded as he blamed all marital problems on me and my anger issues while keeping porn use at work secret from me and various marriage counselors. He made me the scapegoat for his very active emotional distancing. He chose to lie to me from long before we were married and made me the problem partner. Insidiously cruel now that I see what he was doing. It was all a sham relationship. Claims he wants to stay married but still pushes me away emotionally. What does he really want from me – complete submission to his whims of needing occasional affection?

    • July 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you for sharing your comment I feel as though it was somebody writing about me and exactly how I felt about my Marriage August we will have been married 10 years! My whole marriage was a complete lie I was cheated on every single one of those years with multiple women…. Now I’m left to wonder how will I ever trust my judgment again.

    • October 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Are you still with him or did you leave? You sound so much like me too. 10 years of a sham marriage. Do you go to group therapy meetings? I feel is just another thing I have had to do to get better. He says he is remorseful but I don’t feel it. He’s still emotionally distant but in therapy. It seems he’s identified the problem, has been making changes, cut off ties with his abusive father (but not his and mother) but is he really going to able to emotionally connect to me? The lies were there before we married. I feel duped into marriage and unheard almost invisible. He too, made everything my fault. I threw myself into our small kids, trying to be the best mother, cooking everything from scratch, and doing the best I could to not illicit his wrath. I had no idea he was doing this. Never in a million years would I thought he was capable of such masterful deceit.I knew he was horrible to me but not THIS horrible. It was always so up and down, lies, emotionally distant, abusive, dysfunctional- sometimes ok but that was a lie too. I’m going to therapy too. His therapist made the disclosure about him not me. It’s been horrible. It’s still about him, his addictions, his family of origin, his problems. Hardly making sense. I have withdrawn, barely making contact with the world- the bare minimum to not detect unwanted attention. I have told no one except my therapists. I feel very alone. I have to say I am less angry than I first was but it’s still boils up when triggered. It’s extremely difficult to look at pictures/videos of my kids between 0-5 knowing now what was actually happening and I was completely unaware.

      • November 3, 2016 at 2:25 am

        Sadly, I have been hanging in there because he appears to be trying so hard to do repair work. Last night he went to a marriage counselor we agreed looked hopeful so he could layout what all he had done to make our marriage so awful. She decided he was too broken for marital counselling and wants to work only with him on his traumas using EMDR. Also, he is still in psychoanalysis and 12 step. I was livid that he wont stand up for our relationship and sucks down yet more therapy money for his self-centered self. My therapist says this new EMDR gal is absolutely right that marriage work would be wasted on someone as broken as he is. Its been nearly 3 years of this crap. I will file for separation this month. The sex addiction industry is all about the poor little suffering addict. His betrayed spouse and how he relates to her are of no importance. Screw it. I’m out of the house already, need to do the paperwork for my state to get that ultimate divorce, unless some miracle occurs. (When SAs stop lying and pigs fly.)

      • March 20, 2017 at 5:39 am

        The abuse doesn’t stop at cheating sexually. These guys simply hate women and will hurt whoever allows herself be vulnerable to them. The only women who can stand up to the abusive nature of sex addicts are professional whores because they know how to use and abuse a stupid, penis-centric overgrown child. Take my husband…Please!
        I now have diabetes from all the cortisol this mess has pumped through my body. Gottman say women lose 4 years of life in a low-trust relationship. Can’t wait for the CT scan of my lungs because I re-initiated the nicotine habit after 20 years clean on D-day. The conscience-free ……. never even loses any sleep.

      • April 3, 2017 at 9:40 am

        I’m sorry to hear things have taken a turn for the worse. We’ve hit some bumps too. You may have something when you say they hate all women. Though he won’t admit it, my husband definitely thinks less of women. I think he spent too much time around adult men as a child. His mother also did a number on him and he projects that crap onto me. He hasn’t been tested, but I think he falls on the autism spectrum somewhere. High functioning and very intelligent, but his inability to connect, lack of empathy and his obsessive behavior with trivial things make me think Aspberger’s. Yours too? I wonder if Aspberger’s breeds sex addicts or if the addict traits are similar to Asperger’s

        I hope the CT went well. They do take a toll on our health.

      • May 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm

        I to think my SA has aspergers. Has a genius IQ and lots of the aspergers traits. He is an engineer by degree. His mother did a number on him. All I have left is to lovingly detach. Started an SANON group this is a life saver and will be my life program far past the divorce that is pending. Good luck to all.

      • May 3, 2017 at 8:04 am

        I belong to a twelve step group for indfidelity survivors that is incredibly helpful to me. We also do a text group to support each other throughout the week. I’d say 75% of the women in the group think their husband has Aspberger’s. Their tendency to obsess coupled with the pain they experience with being socially awkward in adolescence seems like the perfect storm for addiction to take hold when they self soothe with sex. Add in an enmeshed mother or a disapproving one and…kaboom. I wish there was more information out there about this. I wonder if treatment would be more successful if it were geared towards the way people with Aspberger’s function. Good luck with your SANON group!

      • February 13, 2019 at 5:47 pm

        Hey, My sex addict also has a PH.D. degree in engineering …. His good job and intelligent mind, and exceptional computer programing skills actually allows him to continue in the disorder. His mother also did a number on him , She was a controlling, anxious, micro-managing mother, and in later years became a “functioning” alcoholic with a glass of wine starting at lunchtime. His dad and grandfather were also controlling men , always wanting their own way. It’s no wonder how he became a sex addict with grandiosity, and narcissistic disorder. I am educating myself at present, and making a sensible, quiet and safe plan to ESCAPE the relationship. He refuses any counseling , is not remorseful, is not taking any responsibility, and is still engaging in destructive behavior. Even though an addict signs up and gets help, doesn’t mean they will be sincere about the work involved and the disclosure …. so the the relationship be “saved” and addict be rehabilitated. My relationship is basically doomed because he does not want help and wants to continue being an addict !!! I guess he’s still having fun, it’s still working for him and and he hasn’t hit rock bottom … yet, or do they ever as they are master manipulators? He’s had over five years to get help so I do not feel sorry for him. I actually really pity him. I am soon looking forward to new, joyous life free from shame, blame and manipulation.

      • May 12, 2017 at 5:29 pm

        Hi, fellow travelers. Last week was the third serious assault so I filed charges because the disgusting police would not. Damn husband karate chopped me in the left jaw twice and right jaw once. I saw stars and started to drop but stayed on my feet. When I stood and looked around I had double vision. Tried to dial 911 but couldnt see smartphone number pad. Pushed past him, went into house and called from old house phone, relieved it still worked. I put scratches on his face so I got charged with assault. Rude paramedics practically dragged me up my driveway not believing I was injured because I was picking up glass from the bowl we broke on the sidewalk – with one eye closed and my head tilted! He never leaves marks so he didnt get charged again.
        I have been a victim of emotional abuse and sexual betrayal since we were dating and now physical abuse. How the pigs can believe that someone 5’3″ can hurt a 320 lb 6’1″
        man is just ridiculous. ER Dr did CT scan of head and ultrasound of right eye then called in opthamologist. Retina damaged but not detached. I’m still seeing many floaters but few black dots/lines and for 2 days,zero flashes! Have seen no “curtains” in my field of vision at all.
        I’m done with my mysogynistic abuser. Just legal matters and logistics now. Detached emotionally. Hope he finds an apt soon. Dogs and I to stay in house for the year, then re-assess the situ. I just need his health insurance. I guess they wait to blow up our lives until we are post-menopausal because we remind them of their hated mommies. And they are selfish perverts.

      • May 13, 2017 at 10:55 am

        I’m so sorry this happened. When I read your message I was deeply saddened. If you’re not currently working with a therapist, please consider getting one to work through this trauma. My prayers are with you. All the healing we do as spouses of sex addicts and now this for you to heal from. You deserve better.

  • January 15, 2017 at 4:23 am

    My husband and I have been married for 23 years.
    Three months ago I found out that my husband has been posting pictures of himself, both partially clothed as well as fully naked on gay websites for over ten + years. I also found out that he registered on swinger websites. His profiles were very explicit regarding what he would do. In addition, at the start of this new life 10+ years ago, he stopped having relations with me. He claimed he didn’t want to hurt me because I was going thru vaginal atrophy, and even though I remidied that, he kept using the excuse….”I don’t want to hurt you.”
    Upon my confronting him about the gay websites and the swingers website, he said he just did it so that he would receive accolades about his body and private parts and that he never ever cheated on me. However, he did confess to going to at least three men’s residences. He said nothing sexually happened with these men….he just masturbated in front of one of them. I also found out in one of his emails that he asked one gentleman when he would be ready to ‘play again’ …….what am I missing here????
    I have filed for divorce but am so confused regarding his actions. He keeps saying nothing really happens…and he loves me beyond words and wants me to stop this divorce action. I have no more love for him…..I am in my late 60s but I just want out…..but he is pleading with me to stop the divorce proceedings. How can I when he has deceived and betrayed me for 10+ years?
    He has since gone to a counselor who says he is a sex addict so therefore my husband feels since he is getting help and has stopped all actions (he says he is‘sober’ of all sex addiction) that I should forgive him and stop the divorce proceedings.

    • November 19, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Your story is similar to mine. The attraction to men puts an added twist on the already complex experience of being married to a sex addict. I have three adult sons. We are making our first holidays as a family of four. I hope that you have found a path that feels best for you.

      • November 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm

        Thank you…I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving. I’m trying to move forward and I’m taking baby steps. I’m lucky I have the support of friends family and my beautiful daughter. Thank you again.

  • January 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Sex Addiction May be reason for divorce? My Wife divorced me without given any reason, i don’t understand the reasons and she don’t want to tell anything to me, but i remember she said that i am sex addicted.

  • May 6, 2019 at 11:32 am

    First of all, I’m amazed at the courageous people here, who have gone through so much from experiencing so many years of betrayal and deceptions. I hope all of you are now in a safer, peaceful state. Recently, the person I had a relationship with for five years said he needed space, said he wants to be single, tells me he promises to prove to me one day as a better man, tells other people we broke up. It’s only months before that he said he wanted to build a life and settle down together. He seemed so kind and helpful. I later found out after he said he wanted distance, that he has been lying to me all this time. There were times in the past that I know about slip ups, which were hurtful, but seemed ‘forgivable’ as we were in an LDR, seemed remorseful. This last disclosure after he left was traumatizing-fetish apps, activities with other couples, the sheer amount of people involved and the mastery of deception while acting so ‘kind’ to me…it was crippling. It’s been just 2 months ago..and am going through waves of grief and trauma. I feel like I’m hanging on to life on a branch. The stories here amaze me and make me feel less isolated..since most people don’t understand what it’s like. Thanks for this space.


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