Part 2, continued from this post…
I knew some of his "sorted" past when I started dating him. At that point he had mastered the art of hiding. No one knew his secret struggles. He let no one know of his pain.
Sexual pleasure was like a drug. It consumed his mind, it dictated his choices. It was all about when and where the next opportunity would arise. He knew it was wrong, but it became like a noose around his neck — squeezing ever tighter, not letting him go. How would he ever be free?
To him, sexual addiction was like trying to fill a bucket with water, not knowing there was a hole in the bottom. No matter how hard he tried, he could not keep the bucket filled. And it became increasingly more difficult to fill it up. He had to find new and different sources, but nothing ever satisfied.
It was easy for me to think that his infidelity had something to do with me — who I was, whether or not I fulfilled him. The truth was, nothing fulfilled him, not even the sexual pleasure he was searching for.
I stopped accepting blame when I began to understand sexual addiction (reading Schaumburg's book, "False Intimacy" gave me great insight). It also helped when I tried to see the innocent boy inside the hurting man.
I began to realize how rooted the infestation was and found, to my surprise, compassion and a desire to help him.
Sexual addiction doesn't happen overnight. It wouldn't have mattered who he had married. The temptation to stray was more about filling the bucket, then about me.
I would never be enough until he broke free from the chains of addiction and started a path towards healing.
1. This Is My Solemn Vow