I get a lot of emails about my post about being married to a sex addict. I get emails telling me to hold on, run away, see a certain therapist, read a certain book, pray, listen to God, ignore God, and so many other things. They are all private messages. They are all messages from people who have been through this, have a parent who went through, or a friend. More people married sex addict than you’d guess.
It can be hard, all the advice and criticism.
Mainly I am trying to listen to my own voice.
People want to know all the time, “what is your life like.”
It is really easy to remove the human from the equation. It is very easy to say, “I am married to a sex addict. What do you think my life is like?!” The true story, however, is that I am married to Garrett, who happens to be a sex addict. When something comes out about a salacious lifestyle it is easy for THAT to be the definition. The reality is that I married Garrett BEFORE I knew what his secret struggle was. I am still married to him today. One day at a time. Being married to a sex addict has the same themes of being married to a typical partner. It includes tackling issues of honesty, trust, mutuality, self worth, extramarital relationships, boundaries, and expectations.
I am not over simplifying things.
These themes are harder and usually end in a heated exclamation when communication gets hard: “Hey! Remember when you had ANOTHER affair!!!” These themes are wrapped in some of the dysfunction that can be the life of an addict.
IF we weren’t discussing the multiple indiscretions we’d still be talking about trust, honesty, and self esteem. These are things all people tackle in relationships. Looking at it from that perspective it makes each day easier to get through. Each moment doesn’t seem so bleak. Hope begins to soak in and I can feel, even just for a slice of a second, like any other woman in any other relationship.
It is easy to get caught up in the big scary jargon of addiction. It is easy to get lost and forget about the boy I met in high school, the boy that grew into a man and became the father of my children. It is easy easy easy to make a person’s mistakes the sum total of their definition. I think this is where forgiveness starts- that place where you realize people are more than their mishaps and moments of self-indulgence- that place where you embrace that the awful dark dark moments are interwoven in moments of absolute love and light. What is my life like? Well, my life is our own personal brand of crazy. I am married to a sex addict, after all.
I am married to a person (Garrett) first and a sex addict second.