Ok, so you know now your Spouse has a Sex addiction. You have yourself and your Family in a safe place. I say this because you have to make sure that you are safe, especially with kids. I have heard some really sad stories about harm coming to Spouses after discovery. Please be careful and take any and all precautions!!!
Next step is of course finding help from a Pastor, trusted Friend or Family member. We did not have any of those options at the time, so we went straight to the next step….which is finding a Therapist that specializes in sex addiction. Please Go HERE and Find one in Your area!!! Once you have found your Therapist I suggest getting a journal for both you and your Spouse. You are about to hit a million different emotions. Life is about to get extremely overwhelming, you need a place to keep all your thoughts together. The 1st year I went through 11 spiral bound notebooks!!!! 🙂
Get some books, both positive and lighter reading and of course sex addiction books. Here is a list of the 1st stack of books we read…..FYI we have read Zillions of books, I’ll be sharing all of them with you in the order that we read them.
Let me just say that these books were encouraged by the first Therapist that we saw and my Husband still continues to see him every week in a group setting. I know that these are probably not your normal average daily reading materials and you are probably going to be flooded with questions, fears and maybe even past Trauma feelings. This is why you need to be in some sort of therapy or support group as you go through this difficult time.
The 1st book is a book that my Husband read through….he never “read books” before discovery, so in the beginning it was a little hard for him to curl up with a book and read. These aren’t really those kind of books anyway….so I think he flipped through and practiced summarize reading. All men, I guess I should say “most” men watch porn at some point that have a sex addiction. It is usually the first step or beginning to their journey with addiction. What starts as a meaningless occasional flick turns into the Baby is in the pack ‘n play out in the living room while I get a few minutes of me time before the wife gets home from the grocery store. Any time you can watch will be found and at any price! Love You, Hate the Porn shows couples how to identify and deal with the weaknesses in their relationship. You will find both practical healing advice for the spouse and much needed help for the struggling partner to avoid acting out again. After discovery it’s trauma time, it’s like an Emergency Room scene and you have to stop the bleeding and quick! Your relationship is on the line here and this book focuses not just on porn and what it has done to your relationship , but on how to make the relationship even stronger than what it was before.
The next book, Out of the Shadows we both read together. Oh my goodness, it was a hard one for both of us. The reason why is because he was able to see the world he had been living in secretly and I was able to do the same. Seeing his emotions as the veil was lifted from his eyes was almost too overwhelming at times. It was the first time for me to really see the dangerous turn his life had taken. I was horrified and most importantly he was too, but that also gave him even more shame and shame plays a huge roll in the addiction cycle. I have to share the addiction cycle with you…..so much to write and soooooo little time to do it in. 🙂 This book identifies the danger signs, explains the dynamics, and describes the consequences of sexual addiction. It was full of actual stories of addicts and my Husband related to them all. He was able to see himself and that was important for him to read several situations all a little bit different, but with the same out come. This book offered a lot of practical wisdom and shows a way out of the shadows of sexual compulsion and back into the light. Finally the book, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse was a book I read by myself, but shared some of it with my Husband. Mainly because I wanted to justify my feelings….crazy talk I know, but this book did that for me. Stigma and shame hangs heavy around the neck of Spouses when their partners are sexually addicted. Trust me, I was their Leader!!!! Spouses are normally embarrassed and ashamed because we think IT IS OUR FAULT!!!! But, it’s NOT!!!! So, most of us suffer quietly alone, often in shock and isolated by the trauma itself and the many consequences that follow after discovery. You will read personal experiences that provides insight, strategies, and critical steps to recognize, deal with, and heal if you are in a sexually addicted relationship. Firsthand stories reveal the REAL impact of this addiction on survivors’ lives. And each chapter ends with “On a Personal Note” questions and propose new paths that take you from the world of Trauma to Hello Empowerment, Health and Hope. I have found a lot of support in those pages!!!
So, I want to go on record here by saying that these books made me very angry and overwhelmed week 1-2 after discovery. Honestly I should have waited until my STD testing came back and a few more sessions under my belt with a therapist before I dived into this pool of sex addiction education! But, I didn’t and I made it through to the other side…..but, have something lighter to read also, because some of this is pretty darn heavy for the Spouses out there. Remember You have to Love yourself and keep yourself safe. I would suggest the Bible for comfort also, I was not reading the Bible at the time. But, even now when I am Triggered or I feel upset I reach for the Bible. I will say that even though we were not reading the Bible at the time we did pick up another book and this book I feel healed our marriage faster than it would have healed without it. And that book is The Love Dare…..as you can see it is well-worn. This book we started reading week 2 I think. We took the FREE online evaluation before we started reading. For years my Husband was mean and nasty as a snake. When I had an issue with him watching porn, it was always MY fault….MY problem. All men watch he said to me and he refused to continue with marriage counseling because he felt there was No need. Now that was before his porn addiction turned into prostitute, massage parlors and strip clubs. So, anyway I was shocked he took the evaluation, but he was in a place now where he knew he had a problem. After he took the test he cried at his score it was so low I’m embarrassed to even post it. After our test we started to read and our walls came down from around our hearts and the Love flowed out….thank you Jesus!!!