There is a riddle in Alcoholic Anonymous that goes like this: How do you know when an alcoholic is lying? The answer is, when his mouth is moving! The sex and love addict in active addiction works on two playing fields at the same time.
The first is for him to keep his day job intact, i.e., work, home life, social system.
And the second is for him to keep his night job equally intact. His primary internal drive is to keep all avenues for supply and access to the addiction available at all times and at all costs. I have had many men when they first get caught who sit in my office and are mad at themselves because they didn’t erase their computer history, or have a second cell phone, or they forgot to take the strip club book of matches out of their sport coat.
Protecting the supply and the secret is a basic instinctual drive.
Now here is a basic fact of life: when confronted with some feeling or evidence no matter how rock solid, the addict will LIE! Often times if the evidence is flimsy the addict will try to turn it around and make it about the spouse being crazy. That technique makes the wife second guess herself and in the process she stops trusting her own intuition. That is a tragic cost to a wife for being partnered to an addict. Putting his wife back on her heels keeps the system in place. It’s the first line of defense for the sex addict and the cost of doing business, don’t take it personally it really isn’t about you even though it hurts so much, it’s a habit.
If the evidence is indefensible he will under duress admit to it but usually with a disclaimer like…
“I only did it this one time” or “I’ve been under a lot of stress at work lately”, or even more frequently, “well we haven’t had sex in a long time.”
How many times have YOU heard any of these statements?
Don’t buy it, remember addicts lie!
When men come in for the first time and I probe them in exact terms about their sexual behavior I always ask them the same question: what percentage of your behavior does your wife know? Some say “all of it” which is a lie and some say as little as 10%, that’s a wide range, but there is a common thread between the two polar opposite data points. Both men still want to protect stuff, and the man whose wife knows 98% just like the man whose wife knows 10% both believe that if their spouses knew just one more percent point the marriage would be over. That belief mandates and drives the addict to lie.
The other classic lie that comes out of the addict’s mouth is:
“I’m sorry, I promise to never do it again and PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!”
Have YOU heard that one?
This scenario is almost universal. At that moment in time when their night job has collided with their day job and the day job has become more important they will say and promise anything, but I can’t say it too strongly, without recovery the promise and good intentions will NEVER last. Regardless of what he says, his behavior was not an error in judgment, it’s an addiction and all the self will and good intentions will not stop it. It cannot be prayed away, computer monitored away, new jobbed away or geographically cured away, and I can tell you based on the many years I’ve being doing this work that this is an illness, cunning, baffling, powerful!
The Tipping Point
It is at this exact junction that the entire history of the marriage becomes most precarious, and it is exactly at this point in time that regardless of what each person believes or how smart they are or what they do for a living or how much money they have, neither one of you have the expertise to fix this on your own or collectively. That’s the truth. Squeezing the wheel of life even tighter will not fix this. It’s time to seek assistance and get out of your own way, even though every cell in your body tells you that you can figure this out yourself. Surrender is a BITCH! This IS the most pivotal point in the journey.
I have seen wives turn into cops and moms. I have seen them do forensic detective work, put GPS tracking systems on their husband’s cars, check cell phone and e-mail accounts, neglecting their kids to spend more time chasing and snooping around their spouses, not leaving their side… All in the hopes that they have the power to change him and dictate outcome. I have seen women become depressed, stop eating, gorge themselves with food, turn into a state of constant rage, beat their husbands with their fists, belittle them publicly to family and friends, get a lover in revenge, bring their pain into the work place or just sit home and sob all day. I have seen women use sex as currency believing that their own sexuality will keep their husbands sated and forever down on the farm. I’ve also seen women giving up their moral beliefs to the point they become willing to join their spouses on their sexual acting out with the intention of controlling their behavior, they sell their souls to the addict for a very cheap price. I have witnessed a wide range of un-healthy responses from otherwise very smart women and the truth be told none of them work.
Finally, I want to leave you with this advice…
To those of you whose house is on fire now is time to call the fire department, and let people who do this for a living do what they have been trained to do: put out fires.
Get out of your own way. You are not alone, many spouses have gone through this process and will support you all along the way. You are worth to be in a faithful and trustworthy relationship. There is a solution!
I believe, and our track record proves it, that men and women can heal from the brutal effects of this dis-ease and marriages and families can be repaired. We have beautiful success stories that show it.
At NMS all we offer is a choice and chance, to live an addiction free life.
You are a phone call away of turning your life around.
We are here to help you.
Make the call!