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Dan B.
Dan B., Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 19
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
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I have had a lot of progress with my situation in which my

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I have had a lot of progress with my situation in which my husband has eliminated a lot of his behaviors. Things have been going semi ok but I'm scared because I've been feeling like he's only gotten smarter since he now knows all the ways in which I've caught him. However, he is on his computer way more often and I noticed that he still clicks off of his computer when I am walking past. I've addressed this on several occassions and nothing has changed. This past weekend, I had to attend a function in which he claimed he couldn't attend and he didn't want to leave our teenage children home alone. Well I attended my function and then received a call from him asking me what time I will be home. When He insisted that I call him when I am on my way and i wasn't sure as to why but I agreed. When I asked him how the kids were doing, he claims that they've been at their friends house all evening and they will be spending the night. I tried not to think the worst given all I have been through and the feeling of not trusting him home alone. Well when I got home, I decided to prepare myself in bed and try and surprise him and spend some alone time since we had the house to ourselves. When I went to get "lubrication", I noticed it was missing from the usual spot that we place it in. I then walked past his computer desk area only to find the lube sitting by his computer. I'm not really sure how I feel about this. His addiction to porn, other women online is killing our relationship and rather fast. I wrote him a letter explaining how hurt I was of my finding and how I dont feel like I am being respected as a woman. He obviously claimed to be "too tired" to have sex with me and has for the past week. We use to have sex 5 times a week and now I'm lucky if it happens once. My concern is that his addiction to what he sees on the monitor and masturbation is taking over our relationship. I've tried to address it, wrote him a letter explaining how his addiction is killing us and I got no response at all from him. I'm thinking he likely just deleted it and didn't even bother to read it. I know that he is still very much so sexual because I learned this past weekend that he sent a girl at his job a video of a couple having sex. My brother works with him and told me that they just wanted to see her reaction and forwarded it on. I still find that to be "crossing the line". I'm not sure what to do or how else to address this issue but I feel like I'm losing my mind with this man. Help!

DrJackiePhD :

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Please let me know if I can help you. I'm Dr. Jackie.
This sounds like a difficult and frustrating situation. I read through your earlier question and responses and fell like the expert you were working with gave some good information and advice. I will try to build on this.

It is now understood that sex can be an addiction for some people, just like drugs or alcohol. What this means is that the sex addicted brain has physical changes that take place due to the addiction which make it very difficult for the person to change the behavior. The "pleasure center" in the brain becomes rewired to respond to a certain type of stimulus as pleasurable, and the regulation mechanisms for this pleasure shut down. This doesn't mean that the addict is free from taking personal responsibility. Recovery for addicts, including sex addicts, is a long road which takes total commitment from them and a strong effort. The question that I would ask first is; do you believe that your husband is committed to changing this behavior or is he trying to do just enough to keep you off his case? Depending on your answer to this, I have some different information.

If your husband is committed to change:
One of the hallmarks of addiction is relapse. This means that in spite of a commitment to do differently, an addict will often return to the behavior several times during the course of recovery. The reasons for this can be a moment of weakness when they let down their guard, experiencing some sort of trigger, or a belief that they are doing well and can somehow test themselves in order to prove it. If your husband is truly committed to changing his behaviors he needs to do some serious work to identify triggers and work on a plan to prevent this behavior from happening. You guys may be able to identify some of his triggers on your own; the computer, the location of the computer, being home alone, certain people, etc. Addressing these may be as simple as moving the computer to a more public location in the house. The most important thing though, is that you can not do all of this for him. He needs to take responsibility and commit to change. You can't be with him all the time. Recovery from addiction takes a long time and a huge amount of patience and effort. If you believe you husband is committed to change he should be in counseling and actively working to address this. In this case, the best thing that you can do is encourage, support, and understand that relapse may happen.

If you believe that your husband is just dong enough to keep you happy with no real effort: You are in for a long battle and will need to make some serious decisions about your relationship. You will be working harder than he is and wanting change for him more than he does. This is not a recipe for success. Know that in this situation real lasting change is unlikely. If this is something that you can deal with and accept, then you can work to minimize the effect that it has on you and your own wellbeing.

If you can not accept this, you must be prepared to make clear demands(regular counseling, actively avoiding triggers, written relapse prevention plan, honest communication about slips and relapse) with consequences that you are prepared to follow through with. This will either bring him to the point where he understands all that he has to lose and he will meet these requirements, or you will need to follow through with what you need to do to take care of yourself and not let your life be brought down by the addiction. With an addict, you must be prepared to walk away if they do not make efforts to change. Plan ahead so that you will have a place to go and have everything in order if you decide to leave so that you don't "relapse" yourself and go back before your demands for change have been met.

I have worked with addicts for several years and you are in for a difficult journey, no matter which route ends up being the right one for you. Get your own support system and look after yourself. I know that this may just bring up more questions than answers, but I hope it is helpful. Let me know if I can be of further assistance or if I need to clarify anything.
Dan B., Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 19
Experience: Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
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