Husband Is A **** Addict, Should I Leave Him?

My husband is a christian. He is a loving father and a supportive, attentive spouse. He is a person who loves ministry and serving God. And he is a sex addict.

I don’t mean he has a higher sex drive than me, or that he is more “sexually charged”. I mean he is addicted. To ***********.

This has been going on for several years. When I first found out about it, I was numb. I mean, I wasn’t happy about it, but I wasn’t really angry. And I was not really surprised. I mean, after all, doesn’t every man struggle with lust? It’s not like he was having an affair. And sexual images are impossible to avoid in our culture. In fact, he seemed more upset about it than I was. Which I thought was a good sign. If he felt that guilty about his behavior, and if he was willingly confessing it to me, than that must mean he was on the road to “recovery”.

That was probably 3 years ago.

What I didn’t know at the time was how long it had already been going on. I didn’t know he had been hooked on *********** since college, and had been viewing it before and after we were married. Or that he felt powerless to stop, despite feelings of shame and guilt that always accompanied it.

Then, best friends of ours had a huge fallout in their marriage and separated due to the husband’s *********** habit. The wife left him for 6 months. My husband was shocked and angry with her for being so drastic. I wasn’t sure it was really a reason to leave your spouse. I mean, come on. All men look at ****, right? It’s fairly harmless, isn’t it?

But that situation made me take a hard look at what I really feel about the subject. What exactly is ***********? Can I really overlook the fact of my husband secretly seeking out those images if I really think about what the images are? And WHO they are? These are not just pictures, after all, they are images of real people. Women who are being objectified, de-personalized, lusted after. They are only portrayed as bodies, “willing” to do whatever the viewer fantasizes, and having no intellect, emotion, spirit. No relationship, no intimacy. No personhood. Often the women and girls are sexually exploited and abused. How is that sexy? I mean, maybe to a sexual deviant or predator that would be exciting, but how does my husband enjoy it? If I really look at how I feel about it, it makes me sick. And it does not inspire trust and respect for my husband.

The last time he confessed to me that he had looked at *********** again, we decided that he needed to take some real steps to resolve this problem. I told him how much it hurt me, and how serious I thought it was. It was not getting better on it’s own. He is unable to stop, although it was relatively infrequent (every 3 months or so he would have a day or two where he would view ****). I asked him to get counseling. He agreed, and looked for counselors the next day, but never actually made an appointment. We put safeguards on our computers and set up a couple of his friends to receive lists of any questionable websites that he viewed. But then, it happened again. And then again, this time 2 weeks later.

He still hasn’t made an appointment for counseling or looked into joining a sex addict group as had been recommended to him by a mentor. He thinks it too difficult to find someone who will offer real accountability. Nothing has really changed, despite his claims that it is getting better or that he is “working really hard” on it.

He is very busy. Preparing for the mission field. Support raising, speaking at churches, asking people to get behind our mission and our family. The hypocrisy of this is not lost on me. Going to the mission field as a sex addict? Not having time to pursue counseling and restoration because you’re too busy preparing to serve God?

I am thinking about leaving him, not permanently, but to put some real pressure on him.

Up until today I have not taken a hard stand with him. I have wanted to be supportive. I love him. He is a wonderful man. I don’t want to hurt him. But I have been an enabler. Somehow, I have to do something to shake up this cycle. It hurts me, and it hurts our marriage. It hurts our ministry and our future. It hurts my husband. If I don’t do something now, I might wake up one day and realize that I have quietly lost all respect for him, and that our marriage is over.
kathpro kathpro
31-35, F
1 Response Dec 5, 2012

I am also married to a sex addict and we have been in "treatment" since 2010. We have been married for 35 years and prior to 2010 did not have a clue, since treatment we have our ups and downs, but to be honest, I should have called it quits and gone on with my life. He is always tempted/sometimes gives in, my emotional life is unstable. Draw the line in what is acceptable but be prepared to follow through with leaving,divorce, or whatever. The trouble with addicts is they are good at deception and lying, they know how to play to your emotions, get help yourself through COSA or a therapist.

Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. Have you found yourself pulling away from him emotionally? Looking for emotional fulfillment or self-esteem from others? I feel like I am starting to do that, wonder if that's part of the reason I am toying with the idea of leaving...like it would be so much easier just to get out, maybe start over.