Get rid of denial
Most spouses addicted to sex or pornography who have not sought help are in a state of denial. This repudiation of the truth causes them to ignore the root problems that are causing their negative behavior. They lead a life pretending that their actions are no big deal. Coming to terms and facing the problem head-on shrink denial and creates the ability to confront reality.
There’s always a way back
When a spouse is in a marriage that involves a sexual addiction, it is a big step to acknowledge that you are lost and hurting your partner. By doing this, you can take the first step in correcting your negative impulses.
You can now have an opportunity to do things differently and to make diverse positive choices. You don’t have to understand the way fully, you just have to begin the journey with the willingness to face the future, and go where you mentally must travel in order to return home.
This first step involves looking at the problem so that you can begin the process of change and healing.
Start by making a list of problems that you have created in order to feed your negative behavior. Make this a comprehensive list; leave nothing out, even if it seems trivial. This may seem overwhelming, but the point is to be honest and no longer live in a fantasy world, pretending there are no problems or consequences.
Some problem behaviors on your list can include –
- hiding parts of your life from others
- omitting the truth
- staying up too late
- hoping your husband or wife will go to bed early so you can get online
- fearing you will be found out
- spending money that could be better used elsewhere
- contracting a sexually transmitted infection or disease
Ask yourself, “Who has been harmed by my behavior, even if they don’t know about it?” People will suffer the consequences even if they do not know about your addiction. For example, if a husband or wife who stays up late viewing pornography, they rob the other of valuable evening time they can spend together. Someone who masturbates too often lacks the motivation for having sex with their partner. Also, don’t forget to think about how you have been harmed yourself. For some people, addiction has its greatest toll on the self.
Allow this truth-facing experience to be empowering, not defeating
Facing your truths begins the process of setting you free from the past. Now that you have honestly looked at the problems your addictive or compulsive behavior has caused, you have begun your healing process.
Remember to face your addiction with the knowledge that you are doing something to resolve it, and that you no longer want to live the way you once were.
Also, remember that it’s not important that you know every detail about where to go from here, just that you are headed in the right direction.
Today I face my struggles with the strength required to be honest and true to myself. I move forward through my day realizing that this honesty is freeing and the beginning of me being who I am meant to be. It’s true that I don’t know exactly what’s ahead of me, but I trust that I know all I need to know, and the rest will be revealed to me along the way.
Congratulations, today you have taken an important step in reclaiming your life.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by William Feuerborn