Sex Addiction Kills

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A friend from my recovery group I attend sent a group text to us all this morning. It stopped me in my tracks and an old, bitter, stomach churning, feeling washed over me. She was informing us that another woman in our group just told her that her sex addict husband, who was struggling so hard to stay sober, could not handle the pain and failure any longer and took his own life. They had two small children.

I had to sit down and fight tears as I read the words and fight back the emotion, not because I knew this man and I am not close at all to this woman who attended so infrequently. It was the enormity of the problem. The Addiction. The destruction and devastation it brings to lives…the addicts, their spouses, their families, their friends. It is an evil, disgusting life sucking addiction that destroys one not only physically, but because of its nature, disintegrates the very soul of its victim. Tearing down every last feeling of self-worth,  any hope of redemption, any grasp of living without shame or embarrassment. Addicts truly believe at some point that they are probably better off dead and most wish that God would just take them to stop the pain. This man did not wait for God. He stopped his pain himself. He could not stop the pain of his constant guilt or the pain of hurting his sweet wife any more. He couldn’t stop anything except his own heart beating.

I thought back to my first few weeks, even months after D-Day and my horrific dreams/nightmares wherein Will would die or be violently killed. Sometimes it would be at my own hand in a hate-filled rage and I would awaken struggling to breathe with a severe anxiety attack. Indeed, there were times, when I was in the midst of my deepest trauma and hate, that I truly wished he was dead. And then, of course, as most of you know, I truly wished that I was. That is what this addiction does. It is unlike every other addiction in that respect. In a relationship, this addiction changes both people…whether they know it or not…and eventually, they both will know because they are always found out. But one’s brain is either altered by the addiction and the lying and the porn and the secrecy, or one’s brain is altered by being lied to, and gaslighted, and ignored, and withdrawn from, or neglected. And at some point, for either one, it can seem too big, too ugly, too terrible, too powerful a hold on us to escape from. It can seem bigger than even God.

That is how this man felt. And now his sweet wife and their two children do not have him in their lives anymore. There will never be a chance to watch him become a new man. A strong, confident, connected husband and father. A man truly and deeply committed in word and deed to his family and filled with a depth of love for them that he was never able to show before. And that is the biggest tragedy. The biggest loss.

The loss of what could have been, what should have been and what likely would have been. Recovery is hard, grueling, painful work. Marriage through recovery is sometimes ugly and very messy. But truly recovering addicts are human miracles and amazing testimonies of God’s grace and love. And marriages, recovering thru the hell of this addiction, are even greater miracles of Christ’s Atonement and His sacrifice for us.

My heart is breaking for anyone in that darkest of places because of addiction, the fallout of someone’s addiction, or for any reason. I pray for those souls whomever and wherever they may be. I ask that as you read this, you pray for them too. God blesses those who need Him the most. ❤

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14 thoughts on “Sex Addiction Kills

  1. That is amazing that you understand. I don’t think I made the decision or choice to become a sex addict any more than a person makes the decision to be gay. I have been where this guy was but, of course, not quite as I am alive and writing this comment. My ex-wife did not understand. My second wife did. I do have a choice of whether I attend meetings or not. I had to let go of my second wife to cancer as she would have with me had I stopped going to meetings. Thanks

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    1. It is part of the trauma of betrayal to look inward. The pain is such that even considering that the offender may be struggling is only insult to injury. When healing begins, we can then start to come out of our own fog of pain and have compassion for those who have hurt us. It takes time. It took me quite awhile to even believe that Will had any emotion, let alone struggle. This horrible addiction, indeed, any addiction, is devastating to the addict. God Bless you and your SA in your recovery. ❤️

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  2. That’s so sad to hear. As a man that’s fully recovered from sex, drugs, alcohol and gambling addictions I really heart this. If I hadn’t have found my inner peace I’m sure I too would have taken myself the same way. I’ve always said I was destined for the gutter if I didn’t actively seek a way out.

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    1. The road to recovery is not for the faint of heart. It is hard, brutal work. Good for you for seeking help and staying the course. So, so many never find the help they need until it is too late.

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  3. When I read this, all I could think of was that my husband *almost* succeeded in taking his life in spring of 2016, shortly after he divulged his secrets, and THE BOMB went off in my life. According to the police and EMTs on the scene, he was a few minutes from death. I was able to save him, and they said I was a “smart cookie” for doing what I did to get to him. I honestly don’t know if he is glad to be alive. His career as a physician is trashed. He worked very hard to get where he was in his career. He truly wanted to end his emotional pain. He thought he had HIV an possibly gave ti to me (not true). Anyhow, yes, this is a horrid disease/addiction and yes, it’s unbelievably hard to be married to a man who is trying to get well. He hasn’t *used* in over 15 months, but he has no recovery program. He’s still dealing with depression, in therapy, and trying to handle basic daily life at this point.

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    1. Oh dear one…it is so hard, so devastating and sometimes it can feel so hopeless. Don’t give up hope. You are unique and valuable and you must recover from your own trauma. I pray that your husband finds the strength to seek help for himself and to embrace recovery. For an addict, recovery is life. Hold on my friend. I will keep you in my prayers. Please reach out to this community and wherever you can for support. God Bless you! ❤️

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      1. I just found your reply. I have to admit that I am not very good at navigating this “blog stuff” yet. The good news? He is doing better with his depression, and he finally found a therapist who is trained in helping him properly with his addiction. He has *just* begun recovery. I try to treat myself gently b/c I have good days and bad days. My body holds the pain, literally. Intimacy, true intimacy, is present between us (non-sexual). There are many good things to be grateful for.

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  4. Great article Leigh. I struggle day to day with my sex and love addiction. The addiction is very harmful and dangerous. Personal low self esteem and the realisation of the hurt and shame I inflict on myself and loved ones can suffocate me emotionally and physcologically. I recover and relapse, however support from other recovering addicts and sobering and honest writings like your article give me the focus to tackle my dangerous addiction.

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    1. Mark, addiction of any kind is dangerous and insidious. I am so sorry you have this beast in your life. I pray for your strength to overcome because this IS a battle you can win. The uniqueness of this particular addiction is that the emotional and psychological effects on loved ones and partners is equally as devastating and dangerous. From my own experience and those of others, I know that the risk of suicide and self harm is very high to the partners of addicts…unlike any other addiction. Don’t give up your journey of recovery and don’t give in to relapse as a way of life. Hope and wholeness is possible. Thank you for reading. God Bless you.

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      1. Thank you Leigh for your supportive words. This addiction is a curse to addicts and their loved ones. God Bless and thank you for sharing your difficult experiences. Articles like yours help give me focus and a clearer perspective in tackling my addiction.

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