Many partners of sex addicts express frustration for not picking up on the lies, deception and broken promises in the relationship. Due to the constant exposure to the sex addicts’ stream of lies, you may have lost your intuition. Early on in the relationship, your intuition may have signaled that something was not quite right, but after several attempts to uncover the truth and being met by the addicts’ denial, you may have concluded that your intuition must be wrong. Like
any spouse in a marriage, you desperately want to believe and trust the man you love, so you chose to ignore your intuition. Over time, many partners of sex addicts lose all trust in their intuition. The internal alarm simply stops going off.
Thinking back on your relationship, you may now identify with feeling hoodwinked. When you met, your sex addicted spouse probably told you that you were smart, funny, beautiful, and that you were his best friend. Over time, the sex addict starts to deliberately chip away at your self-esteem by making a shift. At this time, the sex addict starts to attempt to groom and decrease your self-esteem. He may start by criticizing you- maybe it is your looks, your personality, your sexuality or your intelligence. It is done gradually over time- so smoothly; you don’t even realize what is happening. You become the collateral damage of the addiction. You realize that you were hoodwinked, and most likely have been for a time span of many years.
An important factor in your recovery will be to learn to listen to and reclaim your intuition. There is nothing in life that could have possibly prepared you for learning that your spouse has a sexual addiction. You will most likely have an emotional roller coaster ahead of yourself. Spend some time reclaiming yourself. Reach out to a therapist who has training in this area, reach out to community resources and read books that relates to partner healing and trauma response. Learning of a loved one’s addiction does not necessarily mean the end of a relationship. It means the end to secrecy, lies and a start to reclaiming parts that may have been lost due to the
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, NCC, SRT, therapist at McKinney Counseling and Recovery, specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy
deprivation. McKinney Counseling & Recovery serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist