Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
So far, no responses from an addict point of view. I've been a sex and love addict probably from my teens. (58 now) Didn't know it till a year and a half ago. In 1988, when I got sober from addition to alcohol and drugs, I thought my life would be free from the grip of addiction if I remained vigilant. I can't quickly explain for you right now how my mind reconciled my secret sexual persona vs. trying to "do the next right thing" as a recovering person. It would make my brain explode. Still working on it...
My "acting out behaviors" as a sex addict included but were not limited to everything mentioned so far...porn, online social networking sex sites including web cams, etc.
Suffice as to say, I qualify to comment in this thread...
Is your husband an addict? ...probably
Is what he has told you the tip of an iceberg? ...likely
Can you and he solve this on your own? ...Not in my opinion
Is there a future for you together? ...if you both commit to the effort it will require, long term. He will need to commit to a lifetime of sobriety which is accomplished one day at a time. There is SA, SAA, SLAA (I'm involved with SLAA: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) You should seek counseling specific to being the spouse of a sex addict. To use the word trauma to describe what you are going through IS NOT overstating.
Addicts need to "hit bottom". They need to become "sick and tired of being sick and tired". This comes as the result of consequences. You need to set a zero tolerance boundary. You also must insist he get help. A therapist with a focus on sex addiction will likely encourage a 12 step fellowship. (see my list) He has already had consequences that have cause him pain (I know you are in pain too, but regarding his "bottom"...). He knows that this has caused him his education which has caused all of the things you describe and many more within him emotionally. He has revealed (I hate saying admitted) to you something that is an enormous source of shame. Inside he is a mess and he doesn't even realize how bad it is.
Addiction isn't an excuse, but rather an explanation. An addiction takes over. It tells you what to do, where to go, what to think, how to feel, and tells you that the rules no longer matter. The process is gradual thus the addict doesn't see it happening in real time.
Step one of the 12 steps is the beginning of hope: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.
It's been so long since I first heard these words that I can't remember my initial reaction. Admitting powerlessness goes against the ego of a healthy person. It's even worse for the addict. (An addict is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex) But to break free from the grip of addiction, this surrender is non-negotiable.
I'm not responsible for my addiction. But I AM responsible for my recovery. If I fail to work my program of recovery and wind up losing the internal struggle to my addiction(s), I most definitely AM responsible.
There are a million things that could be said. This is a start. Hope it helps...