I know how it feels to learn the one person in the world you trusted most has betrayed you physically and emotionally. And not just once, but countless times – perhaps daily – for years… To learn your partner is a sex addict.
It’s happened to me.
And it’s happened to millions of others just like you and I.
When I first discovered my partner was a sex addict, I felt as if I’d been hit in the head and the heart simultaneously with a 2×4. To say I was deeply shocked doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I couldn’t breathe, the inside of my head felt like it was swelling up, and I thought I was going to die. I even took antihistamines hoping they’d lessen the swelling feeling in my head and chest.
There’s no way to adequately describe the sudden, concurrent, and overlapping feelings of shock, pain, rage, and shame. I actually felt like my blood was boiling.
I have never in my life felt so out of control – emotionally and physically – and so alone. I couldn’t bring myself to speak about my discovery, even if I had known whom to call.
So, if you feel like you’re going crazy… I get it.
However, for perhaps the first time in years, you finally know you’re not crazy… You now know for certain that there’s been “something going on!”
That little voice inside you, that instinct, telling you something wasn’t right all along was right. But what “it” was never surfaced enough at one time to be able to grasp it, give it a form, to name it.
If you’re like me, the years your partner and you spent together flashed before your eyes and everything you ever suspected, doubted, or couldn’t quite put together fell into place. You “saw” the people, places and incidents in which your partner acted out practically under your nose. Everything suddenly made sense.
But the flood of memories and flashbacks doesn’t end there…
Personally speaking, memories and realizations kept surfacing in the days, weeks, and months after discovering my partner’s addiction and double-life, as did the feelings of betrayal, grief, embarrassment, and rage. These feelings were unannounced, and raw, and kept me from being able to concentrate on much of anything else.
These are just some of the feelings that can occur when you discover your partner is a sex addict…
So I know what it’s like to experience a tsunami of realizations and disturbing memories as your mind struggles to come to terms with who your partner was with, when, where, and what they were doing. Eruptions of anger can occur numerous times each day, sleep (when you can get it) is often filled with the same disturbing thoughts as your waking hours. The magnitude of the betrayal only seems to grow with time.
Perhaps worst of all, you don’t know who to turn to or speak with about such an embarrassing and disgraceful situation…
Who can you trust when you’re no longer sure you even trust yourself?
Who can possibly understand what you’re going through?!?
Well, for one, I can.
In February of 2013, five months after she died, I discovered that my partner of 27 years was a sex addict. That she had a secret life apart from me for 27 years.
I’ve gone through all of it…
And I couldn’t even confront my partner about her double-life… It was too late. She was already gone.
I was left utterly alone to try and sort through what was real and what wasn’t.
And after doing a LOT of work, I can tell you with 100% certitude that everything you’re feeling – not knowing whom or what to trust, not knowing what is real, feeling your entire life and all the memories your partner and you built together have been contaminated, anger at your partner and yourself, shock, sadness, pity, and feeling alone, confused and ashamed – are all perfectly natural under the circumstances.
The revelation that you partner is a sex addict is deeply traumatic, and trauma requires time to heal.
The problem is, the roller coaster of emotions each of us partners experiences doesn’t help.
Replaying our traumas over and over again in our minds is like a record player repeatedly playing the same part of a song on a broken record.
And remembering and reliving these memories again and again as a part of some long, drawn-out recovery process only intensifies our suffering.
The good news is…
You CAN Learn to Cope with and Overcome the Trauma and Shame of Discovering Your Partner Is a Sex Addict
You can regain your equilibrium, feel better, learn how to create healthier relationships, and move forward with self-confidence.
How do I know?
Because I’ve done precisely that.
It didn’t happen right away, and sometimes relief from the pain only lasted for a few moments here and there throughout the day… but I knew that it was my own thoughts that were causing me pain and not the incidents themselves. The incidents had ended long ago. They were in the past, and I was in the present.
Long before discovering my partner was a sex addict, I had spent years studying metaphysics, religion, psychology, Myers Briggs and spirituality, taking healing classes, reading auras, learning the Enneagram, reading autobiographies of Eastern masters, and so on, and so on…
While nothing – I repeat, nothing – can prepare us for the discovery that our partners are sex addicts and have been living a double-life, I did know that inside each and every one of us is place of wholeness and peace that can never be damaged. This is our innate health, the source of the inner peace and resilience we so desperately need to access when we’re in pain.
So, I knew I wasn’t “broken” … I just felt broken much of the time.
And the more I learned to stay in (and focus on) the present, the more I was able to reclaim my sense of self-control, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
However, learning to acknowledge and express your emotions, accept them for what they are, as they are, while simultaneously learning to calm yourself, and listen to your authentic inner self is no easy feat. That’s true even in the best of times, and it’s especially difficult when you’re dealing with the immediate trauma of discovering your partner is a sex addict!
This is why, when I first discovered my partner was a sex addict, I desperately searched for help wherever I could find it.
Unfortunately, all that seemed to be available were commitments to months of counseling and therapy or attending 12-step groups or similar recovery programs for weeks and weeks on end with little or no immediate hope for overcoming the painful feelings I was experiencing, let alone moving forward in life.
Many of these professionals and recovery circles seemed to either want to re-traumatize me by having me relive my partner’s betrayal over and over again…
Or, even worse, they seemed to insist that I was somehow responsible for my partner’s addiction… That I was, in fact, myself an addict, or a co-addict, or a codependent, or some other shame-based label.
But how could I be responsible for an addiction that my partner had long before we ever met?
And how is blaming us for our partners’ addiction going to help us heal?!?
So, I did what I had learned to do long before… I turned inward for peace and clarity. I stopped blaming everything going on outside of me for my ongoing anguish.
And I stopped blaming myself.
I used techniques I already had available to me to quiet myself and connect to the innate wisdom, resilience, and health already at work in each of us… And I can help you do the same!
That’s what I discovered…
We can either let the trauma of our partners’ betrayals control our lives, or we can learn to heal from it and make ourselves stronger.
These experiences, coupled with all of the training I’ve had and the realization that much of the professional help that is available is geared towards sex addicts themselves and not us partners, is what’s made me dedicate the past eight years and the rest of my life to supporting and helping partners of sex addicts regain their hope and reclaim their lives.
So if you’re feeling intense loneliness, confusion, rage, or shame and don’t know where to turn, know that you CAN connect with the resiliency and innate wisdom you already possess and use it to foster incredible healing and growth.
You CAN learn to cope with the shame and trauma of discovering your partner is a sex addict, regain your equilibrium, feel better, learn how to create healthier relationships, and move forward with self-confidence and optimism. Believe me. I know… And the individual coaching services I offer can help.
When you’re ready to get started, simply click the “Schedule Appointment” button below to schedule a free, 30-minute, introductory coaching call…