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How To Respond To Your Husband’s Sexual Addiction

your husband's sexual addiction

 

If I put myself in the place of someone who has learned their spouse has a sexual addiction my first thought is, “I’m out of here.” That is a knee jerk reaction I image is shared by most that discover such disturbing information about a spouse.

Should that first reaction be the step you take? Is your marriage doomed to end because of sexual addiction? I personally don’t think divorce is the answer until you’ve turned over every stone and come to an educated decision about what is right for you and the marriage.

Below are things you can do that will help you make a final and educated decision about whether to stay or leave the marriage.

What to do About Your Husband’s Sexual Addiction

1. Do your research; find out all you can about sexual addiction. When researching you should not only focus on the spouse who is sexually addicted but yourself also. I have found that most people research the problems of the other person in hopes of finding a way to change them.

When faced with marital problems the only person you can change is yourself. When gathering information be sure to find out what about you got you there, it can tell you a lot about whether or not you need to stay.

2. Find a good support group. You local mental health association can put you in touch with a sex addicts support group such as COSA, an organization for those whose lives have been negatively touched by the sexual behaviors of another person.

3. Find a therapist who is an expert in sexual issues and family of origin issues. There may be issues you need to address from your family of origin that lead you to marry someone with an addictive personality.

4. Do not tolerate what you feel is intolerable. People married to sex addicts, alcoholics or drugs addicts tend to be co-dependent. Co-dependents have a hard time setting boundaries with others about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

The more adept you are at setting boundaries, the more self-esteem you will have and the more empowered you will feel.

5. Insist that your spouse become actively involved in a sex addicts support group. Not only does the addict need a 12 step program to address their issues, you, the wife, needs to see a willingness to work through their issues. If you stay in the marriage trust will need to be rebuilt and for that to happen the addict will have to show, via their own work that they are worthy of your trust.

6. Don’t threaten to leave the marriage unless you are serious. Empty threats to leave only reinforce the addict’s belief that he/she can behave inappropriately and you will still be there.  It won’t take your spouse long to realize that you aren’t really going to leave.

Instead of threatening to leave take action. If your spouse witnesses you researching the problem, going to support group meetings and setting firm boundaries you will send a stronger message than an empty threat to leave will.

It has been proven that to change another you must first change yourself. Responding in the same manner to any problem in your marriage only prolongs the problems. If your spouse sees you changing the way you typically respond to problems they may be spurred into making changes in themselves.

When it comes to addiction of any kind, the addict won’t address their own issues until they are faced with the likelihood of losing what is most valuable to them. If you focus on helping yourself instead of focusing on fixing the addict you are more likely to elicit the change you wish for.

If, in the end, your spouse refuses to seek help the likelihood of him/her changing is slim. Whether they change or not is unimportant because what you have done is take action to educate and protect yourself. Your future and emotional wellbeing will no longer depend on what your sex addicted husband does but on what decisions you make about what is and isn’t in your best interest.

There is a process psychologist referred to as “detachment.” What I have described above are the actions of someone who has detached themselves from their spouse’s behaviors. Detachment is a difficult process to explain BUT I believe it is the most effective way to deal with an addict.

If you want to “detach” and do what is best for you, the addict and the marriage print out the points below and change your behavior accordingly.

  • Accept and embrace your own inabilities to change the sex addict.
  • Do not engage in snooping or watching the sex addicts every move.
  • Accept that you cannot control the sex addict or what he/she does.
  • DO NOT react in the same old way.
  • Focus your time and energy on your life and what you want from your life.
  • Set boundaries in a loving manner and expect respect and kindness in return.
  • Detaching does not mean ignoring negative sexual behavior or becoming a doormat.
  • Accept that, in the end, your marriage may not survive.

The post How To Respond To Your Husband’s Sexual Addiction appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Child Sexual Abuse: Yes, I Am A Helicopter Mom, And For a Good Reason

Child Sexual Abuse: Yes, I Am A Helicopter Mom, And For a Good Reason

Sad Boy.jpg

 

I’m that “helicopter” mom playing with my son at the park. I’m making sure my sweet boy doesn’t get out of sight.

I’m the mom at the play date who stays at your house, visiting, always keeping an eye on my child. I politely decline sleepover invitations.

I dearly love this boy. He’s funny and outgoing and generally kind. You may think I’m hovering and being overprotective.

Child sexual abuse: I’m making sure your child is safe from mine.

At age five, my child started acting out sexually, in explicit ways, and he told me clearly about inappropriate, intimate sexual contact he’d had with an adult’s penis.

I reported it to the proper authorities. Nothing happened.

The adult was my husband, and we were divorcing. Instead of believing my child’s words to me, it was easier for Child Protective Services to believe his dad’s word that they just took a shower together. CPS “educated” him on not doing this again and filed a report ruling out abuse.

Since then, his dad has been seen drunk-driving our son and leaving him strapped in a hot car while buying alcohol and cigarettes (CPS again did nothing, even though it was a criminal act, so it’s happened again). Our son says his dad has served him wine and shown him porn. Our son has talked about death and has tried to cut himself and strangle me. He’s drawn scary pictures with demons and genitalia and weapons. He has fits of rage. He has odd seizures of staring into space.

This happy boy, who could read at age three, by grade three needs help for multiple learning disorders and risks failing state exams.

Our son has been suspended from school for sexualized behaviors against other children. Most concerning, he initiated sexual contact with a friend the summer after first grade, while his friend’s parent and I were in the next room. He told his friend to keep it a secret. A few months later, he told his friend he wanted to have sex again. His friend, distraught, finally told his parents about the incidents.

State law mandates a person call CPS when a person suspects abuse. When I’ve made these required calls, I’ve been wrongly accused of “parental alienation.” Some judges wrongly use this unscientific theory to take kids away from protective parents who report abuse. This is a horrendous outcome for kids: to be stripped from a loving parent and given to an abuser.

Meanwhile, no one else ever reported the sexual behavior to CPS – not his psychologists, not the school counselor, not the (former) friend’s parents. Even though we all know acting out is a huge red flag for a child being sexually abused. It’s an even bigger red flag for a seven-year-old to ask his friend to keep it a secret. It’s an enormous red flag when we all know the child made a prior outcry.

When asked about incidents, our son pretends they never happened. He flees to a fantasy world. He tells me his dad tells him to keep secrets. He sometimes drops hints. But it’s possible we may never know what happened – or is still happening – to this precious child.

It’s clear that the person I love most has been abused. It’s also clear our society does not prioritize crimes against kids, and our courts do not make child protection a priority.

If a stranger victimized my child (or committed a crime against an adult), there would be a real investigation by police, with real evidence-gathering. But an abuser is almost always someone in a child’s circle of trust. When the perp is the parent or family member, the “investigation” is largely left to over-worked, under-resourced state caseworkers who don’t have the tools or time to gather or analyze evidence or even talk to relevant people. The CPS workers instead offer services to keep kids with parents. They meet strict deadlines and usually “rule out” abuse – which then makes protecting the child in court even more difficult for the protective parent.

It’s time to declare war on child maltreatment.

Toxic stress from abuse and neglect physically damages children’s developing brains. The Adverse Childhood Experiences study conclusively proves the link between severe or chronic maltreatment and future mental health problems, addictions, chronic diseases, self-harm, crime, and violence – and the perpetuating cycle. Children with several adverse experiences have a much greater prevalence of learning and behavior problems in school. Without intervention, they can end up repeatedly cycling through jails, emergency rooms, and hospitals.

It’s time to break the cycle.

My son is doing much better, after intensive counseling and other measures, but I don’t let him alone with another child. I want him to have friends and fun and learn empathy and respect and self-control. I want him to know he’s loved. I want him to grow up to be a good, moral man and to overcome the toxic maltreatment that can overwhelm him.

I will do my best to protect your child. My heart breaks when I can’t protect mine.

The post Child Sexual Abuse: Yes, I Am A Helicopter Mom, And For a Good Reason appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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