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blindsided

Where will this end?

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I'm sorry for the length of this but please bear with me! I discovered 1 month ago that my partner of 9 years has been using gay 'hook up' sites to meet men for sex - usually at our home. And as if that isn't bad enough, he did this whilst cross-dressing! I am absolutely stunned, my head is swimming and I'm still reeling from the shock. Initially I threw him out and was clear that our relationship was over but, within hours, after seeing my young son sitting in his pyjamas trying desperately to keep his eyes open, waiting for his dad to come home, I decided that we needed to separate in a more gentle way so our son wouldn't suffer more than was necessary. I went to fetch him back that night and was stunned, angry and devastated to see that it was obvious he'd been considering ending his life. I took him home and we ended up talking endlessly about absolutely everything. He answered all my questions on how, when, where and who and told me he'd being actively doing this for around 15 months and that he'd done it previously, before we were together, he told me when I found him that he had planned to have a bottle of wine and decide whether to take his life as he could see no way out of this mess. Then he begged me not to end our relationship. I told him I didn't know what I wanted to do but that he needed help. Within 48 hours he'd arranged an assessment with a counsellor, booked an appointment with his G.P and went to the GUM clinic for a barrage of tests. He has since seen his G.P and had several sessions with a counsellor who have both said he has an issue with sexual 'compulsion', depression and anxiety and the counsellor has also highlighted several issues from his childhood and past that she believes are at the root of these problems and he is actively trying to address these to help his recovery. He is very optimistic about his future ability to recover from this and is so much happier in every way. He is completely committed to his therapy and recovery and to saving our relationship. I've promised him that because he's done all this work and because I love him, well, the man that I fell in love with, that I'd try my hardest to stick with him through the recovery process and, hopefully, rebuild our relationship.  The problem is that I'm just swinging from mood to mood, having days where we could have almost forgotten what's happened and are enjoying being together - like we used to do, and then there are days when I just feel so much pain and need to ask hundreds of questions, which, to be fair, he always answers but he is obviously struggling to cope with them now and then I bring his mood crashing down - and then I feel bad and feel like I'm hindering his recovery. I am also now seeing a counsellor - the first session was on Friday, but I have so many thoughts and worries that they're just getting in the way of us moving forward. Can a sex addict ever get over this completely? Is it possible for a relationship to overcome something like this? Will this uncertainty ever end or is this how our relationship would be forever? 

 

 

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In short, yes a sex addict can recover - completely.  But it nearly always takes professional help, long term recovery plans, changes in lifestyle and being part of a support community.  It's rare for addicts to establish recovery without the support of others who have struggled with the same problem.  And relationships do recover as well, but that takes time too.  If you have read my book for partners, please do.  It will help you make sense of the mood swings that you're experiencing and give you some strategies for coping.  There's also a chapter on rebuilding trust and rebuilding your sexual relationship.  Partners so often feel completely alone and isolated so you will also find it easier to move on if you can get support for yourself from other partners.  You have been through a significant trauma.  Please do make sure you give yourself the same compassion that you're generously offering your partner.  The pain won't go on forever and whilst there will still be dark days, they will gradually become fewer and further apart.  But get help for you too - don't try and get through this alone.

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