Ive been in a relationship with with a sex addict for 4yrs. I don’t understand it although i do try, part of me see’s it as something that’s beyond his control and the other resents him sometimes even hates him for what he puts me through.
His “thing” is sexual fantasy , obsessive masturbation and exhibitionism. He masturbates in public and has been arrested for this, he has been arrested again and i don’t know if I can go through it all again. He has finally began to accept he has a problem and has just started a residential recovery program. He seems almost relieved after speaking to someone for the 1st time and being honest about how he felt to be told that there is help and he’s not alone, like many other people in his situation I know he felt deeply ashamed. The thing is because he has been arrested for indecent exposure the police have informed social services, as we have a young daughter , and now he is only allowed supervised contact with her.
This is what makes me feel so negatively towards him and unsure if i can support him as i really resent just how drastically his actions have impacted on our family life and the consequences they could have. Social services do not sex him as a sex addict just a sex offender and of course they are right he did break the law but he has an addiction that is beyond his control. I’m constantly being told by everyone else in my life , friends , family , social services that sex addiction does not exist and is just an excuse for his actions so he does not have to take responsibility.
They think I’m wrong to stay. But i see him when he seems so lost and unhappy , awake at night staring into space his mind always so troubled. He has begun to speak to me about why he does it, although he doesn’t really understand it himself. He was 14 when he began a sexual relationship with a 36 yr old woman, it was an unhealthy inappropriate relationship which I’m sure has had a huge effect on his state of mind. I seem to constantly switch from anger and frustration , not understanding and wanting to walk away to sympathy , seeing how vulnerable he really is and just wanting to help and support him But i don’t know what to do. He has just started therapy and will be away for about 8 weeks , but then what? Does anyone who’s been through this have any suggestions?