Find some pointy questions to ask him or her when considering leaving a marriage where adultery and sexual addiction are problematic.
I outline 7 types of business in my E-book, “Break Free From the Affair.” One business, “I Can’t Say NO!” characterized by addictive tendencies. Infidelity (as well as pornography, strip clubs, online chat, compulsive masturbation, etc.) may be part of a sexual addiction.
Spouse of a Sex Addict
Often the partner or partner of a sexually addicted person intuitively knows about the addiction and the struggles his partner is having with the behavior.
These couples often “feel for” their partners and are in great confusion about staying at the marriage or leaving the marriage.
If you are the person facing this dilemma or know someone who is, here are some pointing questions to help move more quickly through the decision-making process:
1. Do you really want to save the marriage or are you just tired? Does it seem that much easier to just put up with and tolerate the kind of crazy behavior you run into? Are you emotionally fried and thinking of dealing with it with your feelings and thoughts of ending the marriage as jumping into a more emotional mess?
2. Do you really want to save the marriage or do you think you should stay there for religious, moral or other “should” reasons? Most couples who partner with those who can’t say no are very conscientious. Whether it’s you? Do you want to do the right thing? Are you willing to continue to feel humiliated and face danger because you believe you have to stay in the marriage? Do beliefs rather than practical and personal issues dictate your decisions?
3. Do you really want to save a marriage or do you believe you have to stay behind to protect children? Do you think you are the only partner who can look after children? (You may.) Or maybe your partner cares deeply about children and is a great parent. (That’s possible too.) Do you think that ending a marriage will make life immeasurably worse for your children? Are you afraid for their welfare if you face their behavior?
4. Do you really want to save the marriage or do you see absolutely no way out and resign for this marriage? You may experience a strong pervasive feeling of being stuck. You may believe that you have tried everything and that it is in everyone’s best interest to stay where you are. Your partner is exhausted by feeling trapped and you can tolerate a lot of disappointment and pain for the sake of marriage.
5. Do you really want to save a marriage or do you see yourself unable to get out? Your self-esteem may be at rock bottom. You may perceive yourself as unable to start over, unable to start new relationships, unable to make the transition to a new life and unable to make decisions on your own. It is unusual for someone’s partner who can’t say no to lose his sense of dignity and self-worth as he tries to control, intimidate, and dictate.
6. Do you really want to save a marriage or do you need to protect it? Do you see beyond what there is in basic emptiness and fear? It’s there and you know that? Maybe you fear what might happen to him if you did leave? Can he handle it? What destructive path might he take next? So you hang in there, aware of the underlying pain and hope that it will one day be treated.
7. Do you really want to save your marriage or do you live in fear that if you talk about leaving you will face danger? Maybe you may face violence? You may be facing an emotional game playing at a new level of intensity? Does it seem wiser to hold back, not confront, not move toward change for fear of what he might say or do? Do you sometimes feel frozen with fear?
8. Do you really want to save a marriage or are you not thinking about how you might start over? This is a little different from the fear of starting over. Perhaps your life has been so wrapped around or caring for your children that you have given little, if any, thought to you. Have you thought about your desires, your skills, your dreams, your hopes and masa front of you apart from him? Or, apart from your children?
Take the time to seriously and wisely answer these questions. Once you do, you may experience newfound freedom to act and move in new ways.