Peggy* wrote in to ask about sexual addiction and its effects on marriage. She writes,
First, I think your plans for traveling for a year sounds awesome! What an exciting adventure to undertake. Your family will be in my prayers that you will only experience slight bumps in the road and have a wonderful family bonding time!
I love the podcasts and feel so lucky to have found you. I think the first one I listened to was something on infidelity.
I'm wondering if you might consider doing a podcast on sexual addiction. While the effects on a marriage are similar to infidelity there's a deeper undercurrent with it. I knew there was something off in our relationship and questioned if my husband was having an affair, he always answered "no," so I just thought he was a workaholic along with the impact of binge drinking. Finally, in the depths of his addiction he began receiving texts messages and phone calls that tipped me off.
Sexual addiction has a broad range of activities from porn and beyond. My husband's issue started with pornographic magazines back in the 70's and escalated to going to bars for lap dances. It basically followed the invasive changes that sexual addictions has taken in our society and how accepted it has become. The attitude of" boys will be boys" doesn't help but speaks to the maturity level of some men in the American culture. He was taken with being desired by other women and became infatuated with several but insists he never loved them only me. I still deal with the hurt and pain that he could break our marriage vows and the years of deceit and lying. I really don't feel I was acting co-dependently in this because I was asking if something was wrong and we consulted several marriage counselors over the years. He admits he wasn't honest with them also.
I have listened to many podcasts and YouTube's on this topic. I feel that Marsha Means and Barbara Steffens approach to looking at the PTSD or PISD (post infidelity stress disorder) it causes for the spouse has truly helped me. Plus I accept that this addiction is rooted in an intimacy disorder. Many "experts" support divorce but I chose not to take that path because of my religious beliefs. So I was wondering if you might look at the issues of sexual addictions from a perspective of staying in the marriage.
Thanks so much,
PS I have to admit I love both of your laughs! Keep up the great work!
Listen to the podcast episode for Caleb's answer!
*name changed for confidentiality reasons