Q&A Can I Stay With a Sex Addict?

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Question: 

In early 2014 my husband confessed to having many affairs in the first 10 years of our marriage. We have now been married 16 years. I am devastated and really in distress over it. He lived a secret life and I have 4 children with him. He is very remorseful, which I am grateful for, but my life is forever changed. He was also recently diagnosed with a sex addiction which I find very scary and this in itself may just be too much. We are working through things (apprehensively) but it has been extremely volatile and very difficult. I am not sure if we will remain married. He has volunteered to take polygraphs annually, which I am appreciative of. I know I could not remain married without him doing that. But, a huge piece remains. For those that are aware of sex addiction, your mind is changed, and they say it is changed forever. You have neuropathways that will always remain. They may be rogue images or past memories that pop up in your mind uninvited, and even if they are completely unwanted. One may struggle with seeing females as sex figures constantly in their everyday life. He does. They get 'lust hits' when a pretty/sexy woman is around or in view even if it’s for a quick second. This can happen 1-20 times per day, maybe more. For me, the betrayed, I feel betrayed by knowing this happens. I don't know if I can live with this. Even if he tells me about it, just knowing that this is occurring is very hurtful. What advice can you give? I have prayed that God would literally fix and mend his mind/brain. I think this may be a deal breaker for me. I can't stand to think that he gets a feeling from other women around and has to look away and fight not taking a second look. This disgusts me, to put in plainly. There are many resources out there. What would you ultimately recommend? He has read Out of the Shadows and the book from Mark Laaser. Anything else? He is also part of a 12 step program. However, I do recall you mentioning another author, and I thought you mentioned that this particular author's book was especially helpful. I don't recall the name of that author. If you know who I am referring to, please let me know.

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Sex addition

I am in the same kind of situation with my husband, but never learned of this until 37-38 years later. He has not done anything on his own to get help and I feel pushing this on him at this late stage is not going to get me where I want to be in life.. (At least with him) He apologizes often and I believe that is only for my benefit and because I caught him. I'm afraid, I would have gone to my grave without ever knowing the truth of this relationship. I've had so many gut feeling in the past and could never feel like I'm in an intimate relationship, but always "plain lonely". I long to be the apple of my husbands eye and have it be only me, but I don't think that's possible anymore. He is now seeing a counselor but I truly believe he's only going through the motions until this blows over and he can go back to his old and only way of life. Too much minimizing and justification while debating this subject has gone on for me to ever truly believe that he will change. Along, with a lot of trickle truth and later taking each truth down a notch. I know that I have to be apart from this person eventually and move on before he drives me to a crazy place that can only lead me in the final act of destroying my life in order to stop the craziness that I live with every day (especially when I know he's still not telling the whole truth, only what I can verify).. That's the sad part.. He wants me to forgive and trust him again, but he can't trust or respect me enough to give me the truth long enough without changing it.. Those pictures inside my head haunt me and hurt me so badly.. I feel some days like the ugliest person on earth because of his actions! "Deal breaker"- [Yes].. You are completely right about that' I can NEVER feel special in his eyes because I share that spot with so many others, and I know there's no special place in there for just one. [certainly not me] I would love to give you hope and don't know how you found out the horrible truth of your situation, but I truly wake up each day with less hope than the day before. It don't end, and I think you really need to find someone who can make you feel the way you were meant to be treated.. "Like you are the only one he sees"! I wish you luck'!