One of the worst parts of dealing with my husband’s sex addiction was feeling like i was literally going crazy. Everything i thought i “knew” turned out to be false, things I thought to be true turned out to be a lie, and at every turn i began to question my reality. After having the privilege of talking to other women, i now realize that there is a list craziness that many (not all) partners of sex addicts experience, and it was comforting to know that I was not crazy and that i was not alone.
Symptoms of living with a sex addict may include:
- Insatiable urges to snoop, spy, and play detective
- Feeling like you are outside of your body and floating through a bizarre world
- Loss of appetite (or compulsive overeating)
- Social isolation
- Fear of going crazy
- Paranoid that everyone you know either has already slept with or is trying to sleep with your partner
- Complete loss of sex drive OR completely going overboard and becoming hypersexual
Of course, not everyone experiences these things…I simply share from my experience and from friends who have experienced a similar list of craziness. The only thing I want to say is that there is hope and that there is help. Only by being VERY patient and kind to myself one day at a time was I able to even begin to put the pieces back together.
Today I am so overwhelmingly grateful at where my path has led me. Currently, the husband and I are fighting about something that has NOTHING to do with sexual addiction, which is quite lovely (though I’m too stubborn right now to tell him that). My dogs are sniffing around the kitchen looking for a snack, and my desk is full of papers and books for my MSW program that I’m halfway through. God is good.
One book that I want to recommend this week is Mending a Shattered Heart by Stephanie Carnes. It is a great place to start, and has really helpful information from both the point of view of the addict and the spouse.