I am a recovering sex addict

I am a recovering sex addict in love with a wonderful, loving, understanding woman. When E first suggested we do this blog, that sharing our hope and experience may help others in a similar situation, I was a bit hesitant. I have had periods of success in recovery from this addiction, three times where I stayed sober from all destructive behaviors for over a year, but when E and I first got back together (we had dated years ago), I was in a really bad spot. I had slipped back to old, destructive behaviors, was regularly using pornography, had been going to strip clubs, living in sexual fantasy, all the out of control behaviors of my addiction in the past. My living conditions were abysmal, my financial life a complete mess. Somehow, even with my life in complete tatters, E saw something in me, saw something in us. I knew I loved her, but was unsure I could be the man she needed me to be. She gave me the courage to do my best to be a man she could trust and love, and I set forth a goal, to live up to that image she had of me as a good, decent, sober man.

I would like to say the transformation was overnight and complete, but it was not. I moved to her state to be with her, began going to local SA meetings, seeing a therapist who specialized in sex addiction issues and recommitting myself to recovery. Over the next few months I had some slips, some relapses where I looked at pornography, but was honest with her and my sponsor and support people after each incident. Over a month ago was the last time, and I felt so miserable, like such a failure, I didn’t want to live anymore, and that is when something fundamental seemed to change. I loved E too much to hurt her anymore this way, because acting out triggers all sorts of feelings of low self-worth in her, brings on the negative tapes that tell her she is not enough, is not worthy, words from the Devil, I think of them, because they are so destructive.   But knowing that my actions trigger this self-destruction in her was more than I could bear. For my own sake, and for hers, acting out could no longer be an option. I had to vigorously use the tools of the program: meetings, reaching out to other addicts via the phone, turn over any lingering lust to God, trust in God and my own efforts to keep sober, one day at a time.

Today E and I work hard to face the hard questions, to work on our relationship and we gain strength in this through our deep love for one another, that it is underlying all our interactions and is an absolute in our lives.   So E and I invite you to come on this journey with us, and we hope that in sharing what works (and doesn’t work) for us helps you in some way to see that a loving, positive relationship is possible even when a great obstacle like sex addiction is present. That recovery for the addict, the co-addict, and the relationship is attainable with a positive attitude and the support and help of other fellow sufferers and a Higher Power of your understanding.

E’s Introductory Blog

I never expected to be in a relationship with a recovering sex addict. I never expected to love a recovering sex addict. I never expected to find hope and healing through my love of a recovering sex addict. Yet, I have all of these things in my life and as I tackle each new day, I find myself wanting to share our journey. Our journey has been ours and I don’t believe that everything we have done will work for everyone, but my hope is that there may be things you find here that may help you in your journey.

When I first found out that C was a sex addict, I googled everything I could to find out what we could do. He was already attending SAA and had been for many years. He had experienced many times of success, but was currently living in active addiction. How could I fix this nightmare? How could I expect my life to be if I stayed with him? I found a lot of anger, a lot of bitterness and a lot of things telling me that it was hopeless, that if I was smart I would end my relationship and save myself from the sure path to unending misery that being with a sex addict brings. I attended a couple of S-Anon meetings at the encouragement of C. These meetings only seemed to reinforce the information I had found when googling.

There was only one problem with ending my relationship. I loved C and was not prepared to end our relationship without a fight. A fight for us, a fight for me, but also a fight for him. He is many other things besides being a recovering sex addict and if we could find a way to heal the part of him that was a sex addict, I believed we could remain together and have our love flourish. What I did not expect when trying to fix C, was that I would find healing for myself. It is slow going healing, but it is there and as C heals his own things, we become closer and the trust is rebuilt. As we put safeguards in place, as we put up boundaries and as we share our triggers in the moment, honestly and openly, we are able to keep honesty and integrity at the forefront. Also, as I attend healthy S-Anon meetings, I have found myself open my heart to others who are trying to survive this journey. I am grateful I gave S-Anon another chance and found meetings where there was hope and healing.

I hope that through this blog, C and I will be able to share the hard things we experience, the successes we experience and the hope that does exist when living a life with a recovering sex addict. I hope that this blog will provide some resources for those of you seeking help with this addiction and that you will feel safe to share your own experiences in the comment section. We only ask that in the comment section we keep it clean. No swearing, no explicit sexual terms or descriptions. This is not a blog to trigger the addict or their partners. Your pain is real and although this blog is going to focus on the hope and healing that come through recovery from this addiction, there is a place for the pain and for the hard things too. Through the honest sharing of the pain and the healing that is possible, we can all help one another.

We plan on writing about our journey in a weekly blog posting and hope that you will join us.