Chad

Name: 

Chad

Location: 

Texas

Occupation: 

Director of Operations

Children: 

1

Discovery Date: 

Spring 2010

Summary: 

I spent a majority of my marriage (and my life) lying about who I was. When my wife uncovered my infidelity, I created an elaborate tale to continue the lie, which only served to hurt her more. Eventually, I fully disclosed my struggle and admitted to myself and to my wife that I am a sex addict.

Story: 

I met Delaina in 2006 and married her two years later. Everything was going so well so we decided to try to start a family, and by the spring of 2010 we were expecting. After Delaina’s first prenatal exam, I got a text from her questioning my faithfulness. The doctor had called to tell her she had an STD and would need to get a prescription. I pledged my faithfulness and told her she must have gotten it before we met and, for a little while, she believed me. A few nights later, she realized what a long shot my story was and began to investigate. She woke me in a fury over the proof she had found in my email inbox. I finally confessed to Delaina that I had an affair. I created a story to go with it in attempt to soften the blow of what really happened. I didn’t want her to know it happened in our house, that she was in our car or that it happened after I found out she was pregnant. I was filled with fear of what was happening and in shock. I had put away all the guilt and shame that I felt because it was so hard for me to handle, but it all rushed back at once. The way Delaina saw me wasn’t who I was because I was still in denial of who I truly was. I had compared myself to other men and rationalized my behavior and told myself I wasn’t as bad as them. I didn’t brag about my endeavors to other men and that made me better. I still loved Delaina and wasn’t looking to replace her and that made me better. I had created so many rationalizations that I couldn’t tell the truth from my disgusting fantasy world. I had been lying our entire relationship. When we first met, my Dad died suddenly of a heart attack which put a huge emotional strain on me. Then, once we got married I received a promotion that ended up being the worst job imaginable. I was overly stressed and completely worn out due to all of the hours I worked. To sum it up, I had a lot of life’s pressures weighing on me and didn’t know how to handle them. Since Delaina believed the story I created, she was willing to work things out. During our next prenatal exam, we found out that the baby’s heart had stopped and the estimated date it stopped was the day I disclosed the “affair”. Our hearts were broken but at the same time a little relieved due to the chaos we were experiencing due to the affair. A new life shouldn’t be created in that environment. Delaina agreed to attend EMSO with me but moved out of the house to stay at her sister’s to get a break for a while.

Struggle: 

After a month, and some pressure from Delaina, I made an appointment to see Rick Reynolds to find out what was wrong with me. During the appointment he asked me to tell him my story. I attempted to tell him the same story I created for Delaina but he saw right through it and asked for the truth. This was the first time I revealed to anyone the secret life I had been living. He explained that I needed to give her full disclosure and emailed me a form to help me cover everything. At this point I had already closed my email and Delaina and I were sharing one, so she received the email. I called to try to catch her before she read it and explain that Rick wanted to see us both to help me answer her questions. She saw through it and by the end of the call I had confessed everything to her, FULL disclosure. I had been unfaithful from the time my father passed away. After taking the time to recollect everything I had done, my full disclosure included sexual contact with 13 women comprised of prostitutes, coworkers and employees. I also invested hours of my time in online relationships and “sexting”. I am a sex addict. I felt that the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders! I no longer had to hide and keep things secret. However, at the same time, I had a great deal of guilt and became suicidal. I had lied all my life to all my friends, family, and coworkers. Who I truly am was now out in the open and couldn’t be taken back. I always felt that I needed to be fixed before I could follow God but now I felt how much he truly loved me. I grew in my relationship with Christ more and more every day.

Course of Action: 

One word: accountability! I immediately got involved in SAA, men’s bible study, men’s fraternity, celebrate recovery, and a married small group. We saw Rick once a week as a couple and continued our EMSO group online. I cancelled cable, internet, my phone number and exchanged my smart phone for a crappy old flip phone with no features. I had a clean slate. The weight I had carried all my life that had grown bigger and bigger over time was thrust upon Delaina all at once. I really struggled with how to fix that and make her better. It was incredibly difficult to watch her live through the hell I created for her. I also had a very tough time answering her questions because there was a great deal I couldn’t remember and a lot I flat out didn’t know. I received hundreds of texts a day from her and was expected to answer them immediately even while at work. I desperately tried to be honest but I didn’t have answers to a lot of her questions. To an extent, I still don’t for some of them. To ease her mind and make her feel safe, I took a lie detector test. I take a new one about every 6-9 months to keep her feeling safe. Delaina got in a Harboring Hope course and was paired up with an accountability partner to work through her anger. About a year after discovery she wanted to come home, but the memories were too painful and would immediately trigger rage. At Rick’s suggestion, we invited prayer partners to pray over us and our house and posted scriptures written on index cards on every wall of the house. I got rid of all the furniture an AP had ever touched, and finally Delaina moved back home. We finally seemed to be moving past all the destruction. We read books together to improve our marriage and communication, but things just weren’t the same as they were before. Delaina was mostly distant and obviously didn’t feel the same about me anymore. I continued all my groups and kept myself busy. In doing this, I grew with Christ daily and followed Him. However, I didn’t understand why He couldn’t allow her to be happy if He wanted me to stay in the marriage. In the midst of her anger, I had to release the marriage to Him because at times, I didn’t want to be married to her anymore. Daily I committed myself to following Him and not myself, my marriage, or Delaina. For the first time ever, He was first in my life and nothing or anyone was before Him. I was trying everything I could to get Delaina to fall back in love with me but nothing worked. She told me she wanted a divorce and was more persistent now than before. She began going out with friends all the time and we rarely had any real communication. I started looking for an apartment or a house to rent but it didn’t feel right. I still felt like I needed to try to save the marriage, although sometimes, if I’m being honest, I I just wasn’t sure what to do. Delaina ended up having an affair as well. After she told me it felt, strangely, more wrong than it did before for me to look for another place. Oddly enough, I still felt like I needed to pursue the marriage, more now than ever . After Celebrate Recovery one night, I felt like God was speaking to me on the way home. He wanted me to talk to Delaina and lead her and our home. Only I didn’t know what to say or do. When I got home, I started speaking to her with words that I didn’t come up with. What came out of my mouth had to come from God as I have no clue on how it could have come from me. Life here on earth is short in the grand scheme of things, and I wanted my marriage and I wanted my wife. Since I felt called to the marriage, that’s what I was going to do no matter what her actions were. I still don’t remember everything I told her but I remember telling her that I was in the marriage for God, not for us. After this defining moment, we began to feel closer and more connected than probably almost anytime before. Our marriage is better than I ever thought it could be, and we can’t wait to welcome our daughter into our family in four short months.

Lessons Learned: 

Before disclosure, we attended church but weren’t very connected and certainly weren’t giving back. We now lead the Celebrate Recovery ministry at our church together. I also lead the men’s ministry and Delaina assists leading the children’s ministry. I have been a group facilitator at AR for the past couple years and now work with group leaders for AR full time. We both realized the importance of having safe people to talk to. You have to get involved, be honest, and have someone other than your spouse holding you accountable.

Encouragement: 

We are a little over 3 years out from D Day and more than ever I’m convinced redemption and restoration are more than possible for those who are in crisis due to infidelity or addiction.

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Comments

affair

Im in the midst of finding myself after suffering blow after blow from my husbands porn addiction. I'm not sure I have all of the story. But the porn by itself hurts. Do you consider a man who seeks porn and has an addiction an affair on the marriage?

My opinion

Katy, Rick defines infidelity as the keeping of secrets and so if a man is seeking porn and hiding it from his wife, yes, I consider that infidelity or an affair on the marriage. There was a time in my life when I thought porn was natural and perfectly fine for couples to use. I now have a completely different opinion after not seeing it for 4 1/2 years. I now see my wife in a whole new light. Porn affects my image of my mate, my marriage, and what sexuality is supposed to be. It's amazing what it feels like to receive my satisfaction from my wife and her alone. I still struggle with what healthy sexuality is and am trying to learn and put it in place but understanding that porn is not natural and it is an unhealthy view of impossible sexuality has helped me tremendously. I have friends who have only had issues with porn and have not had extramarital affairs and the pain that the betrayed spouse feels is just as real. I hope each of you find healing from the damage done. When your mate seeks satisfaction from anyone but you, it hurts and that is normal. I hope I have helped you.