I'm new to using forums, and very new to 'being the partner of a sex addict'....
I need to ask whether it actually gets better. Can someone with strong and long running sexual addiction problems ever get better? Or will I spend the rest of my life paranoid and sick, because I don't trust my partner?
I know there are no magic formulas for this, and I have had some short term counselling for myself, but I have never experienced anything like this, and neither has anyone I know - that I could speak to about it. My support network is very small because I am confused and ashamed of everything that has happened. There are very few I feel comfortable discussing this with.
I have been with my partner for 3 years, we are engaged. We have a beautiful life together (besides this). I discovered 7 months ago that he has been cheating on me with numerous people, hundreds of online affairs / inappropriate behaviour, long term secret online girlfriends, porn addiction, shopping addiction, constantly cruising exes, reigniting exes.... it goes on. He has done some incredibly unkind and cruel things, and destroyed the relationship I thought we had. Without going in to too much detail, he has been gaslighting me and deceiving me so deeply and completely for so long, that he still believes his own lies to some extent. I have spent a long time in grief, trauma, despair.. in and out of anxiety and depression.
I discovered that he has been acting like this for over a decade, and created a huge web of lies for himself which crept across all aspects of his life. Unfortunately he works in pop culture, and is a little 'famous' so there is opportunity for him to access sexy girls pretty much 24/7. The girls he cheats with are all famous models (usually he has dated them), suicide girls, fetish models... nothing like me. I'm a babe, but I'm not a fantasy girl.
While things are improving significantly, there are still a lot of issues not being addressed. My main problem is that while things feel more level now after a heart breaking period of explanation, new discoveries, digging, therapy for both of us, revelation after revelation... we are both exhausted... I don't think he fully grasps the fact that he has addiction problems. He is directly addressing the core, root problems that caused his unhappiness with a therapist (childhood trauma, recent death of parent), but won't address the acting out behaviour or participate in the directly 'addiction' based things I want to talk about, or work on. He thinks it is all over now that everything has come out in the open. The pressure release was devastating but great, for both of us, but I'm worried it will be damaging for the future for him to sweep it under the carpet. To give him credit, he is working very hard to be better, to change our life, and to demonstrate his love and commitment to me now. I feel a lot of positive changes.
I want to know how to rebuild trust, and to love him fully again. I don't want to marry someone I don't feel safe with, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling paranoid and crazy. It's truly truly awful.
Does it get better? Is it possible?
I believe in the life we have together, and in our future, but when you have been lied to so successfully, so fully, it is hard to trust your own judgement again. I have chosen to stay with him right now, because I am optimistic, but I am cautious.
I appreciate any words of light, or encouragement.
Thank you xxx