Porn, voyeurism and more — dark past of hus­band scares wife

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

DEAR AN­NIE: Not long ago, I dis­cov­ered that my hus­band of 25 years was liv­ing a com­pletely se­cret life. This life in­cluded pornog­ra­phy, voyeurism, phys­i­cal af­fairs, emo­tional af­fairs and flir­ta­tions with hun­dreds of women he met through his sales job. Many of the women thought he was go­ing to di­vorce me, even though he was ma­nip­u­lat­ing them to get his fix. He is a sex ad­dict. At that point, I sim­ply stayed with him for the sake of our chil­dren.

Ac­cord­ing to my hus­band, his ad­dic­tion to pornog­ra­phy and mas­tur­ba­tion started af­ter he was abused as a child. He shared with me that he used lust, fan­tasy and sex to numb his pain and the belief that he was fun­da­men­tally flawed. As he is learn­ing to deal with his old trauma, I have given my hus­band moun­tains of grace, though he raged and ver­bally at­tacked me. Lately, he’s do­ing sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter and is regularly at­tend­ing meet­ings of Sex Ad­dicts Anony­mous.

My hus­band claims he has been in re­cov­ery for 18 months, but he has yet to dis­close ev­ery­thing he did, and I have come across ev­i­dence that he is still look­ing at racy photos on his phone. (Voyeurism is also his thing, so he stares at women in public and then de­nies it.)

I am out of pa­tience. Any­time I start to build trust, I dis­cover he is still ly­ing. But it is hard to leave, be­cause when the mar­riage is good, it is great. What should I do?

— Want My Hus­band to Stop Lust­ing Af­ter the World

Dear Want: Re­cov­ery from any ad­dic­tion takes time, and there are of­ten re­lapses. But your hus­band may need to put a bit more ef­fort into re­as­sur­ing you that his progress is sin­cere and on­go­ing, and you are the only one who can de­ter­mine whether you’ve had enough. He isn’t the only one who needs help. Please look into COSA (cosa-re­cov­ery.org), a sup­port group for those whose lives have been af­fected by some­one else’s com­pul­sive sex­ual be­hav­ior. And do get tested for STDs.

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