@chacomom: I’ve been lurking for a few days on this board and decided to create an account to share my experience with you. My bf and I have been together for a little under two years. Three months into dating, he confessed to me one night that he suffers from a compulsive sex addicition. Lucky for me, he never has physically cheated on me but was obsessed with online porn, webcam and chat sites. This was a huge shock. At that point, we decided to cool the relationship and just proceed as friends. He quickly realized that he wanted to be with me and his online behaviours had to cess, so he stopped using webcams and chat sites. This was a great move on his behalf – he had been addicted to these outlets for well over two years. We eventually made to decision to move in together and see how things went. It became quickly apparent that while he was no longer using sites where he could interact directly with other women, he still had a horrible porn obession and constantly fanatisized about cybersex. It was to the point that anytime I left the house, he was on the computer watching porn until I returned. It greatly affected our sex life and needed to be addressed if we ever wanted to move forward.
After speaking with a specialized addicitons counsellor and hearing his full sexual history, the descion was made that he needed to go to an intensive 90 day inpatient treatment centre. Sex addiciton is just like an other addicition, it requires intense treatment to over come. It also requires highly specialized treatment – not many people are qualified/understand how this addiciton cycle works. Sexual additction is also one of the hardest addicitons to overcome, just due the ease our society has created for the addicit to access material of a sexual nature. I have always been fully aware of my bf’s addiciton problems and am fully aware of his sexual history. It has not been a easy road, but his honesty is what has kept me around. Since leaving treatment, he nows attends three SAA meetings each week, as well as meets with an addicition counsellor and group therapy sessions. It still has been a bumpy road, and he does slip on occasion (watching porn online – this is what they refer to as a “trigger” from which further behavior can manifest), but all together is on the right path to recovery.
I have stuck by him through everything due to the honesty that he has shown. Since he first confessed, he has been nothing but truthful with his struggle. He is a sweet, caring individual and my best friend; I love him to death, but had he not shown level of honesty, I would have walked away long ago. I have the upmost trust in him, but also know that being with an recovering addict I have to realize everything is not going to also be perfect. Recovery is a life long process, I have accepted the fact that he may have slips along the way. However, this being said, I have made the lines in our relationship very clear. I will not put up with physical/emotional cheating of any kind. As much as it hurts, you need to put YOUR own well being first. But I also know that if this ever occured, he has gone into full blown relapse which I am confident he will never do. He has so many places now to reach out to when he starts to feel a need to “act out” (i.e. compulsively watch porn) and treatment taught him to recognize these signs when they start to occur.
Now with all this being said, your premartial counsellors obviously knew NOTHING about sexual addictions. As I mentioned above, you need to find a counsellor specialized in this area. It is so different from alcohol/drug addicitions. They can also do a testing to ensure it is a true SA problem, and not just an “excuse” for bad behaviour.
I hope everything works out for the best between you and your husband. It is a long, hurtful road but there can be light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t want to sound callous, but it all depends on on much effort he puts forth towards his recovery. Addicition is a family disease, but always remember to put your own well bring first.