Whatever insecurity you may feel, it has probably been heightened by your partner/s infidelity...
Is it time for disclosure?
How much do you need to know about the specifics of your partner’s sexual acting out? How much do you want to know? You know his disclosure will be painful and confusing, and yet you wonder what exactly has he been doing and with whom.
You really want to know, but you may be afraid of actually finding out — of actually hearing the facts. You want to know what he’s been up to. You probably feel rejected, humiliated,and shamed by his need to watch porn, to have an affair, or to see a prostitute.
Let’s face it — our society makes sure we women see ourselves as physically imperfect.
We are bombarded with information that tells us we need everything from massive diets to reconstructive surgeries. We hear about face lifts, tummy tucks, etc. or at the very least, we are inundated with information about a cornucopia of products promising to make us smell wonderful, have impossibly thick, shiny hair, and so on.
Whatever insecurity you may already feel, it has probably been heightened dramatically by your partner’s infidelity — after all, he chose someone else over you. So your partner’s acting out is not only extremely painful, but it may trigger feelings that you are a “loser.”
Your partner is probably ashamed of his behavior. He feels guilty, so wants to minimize what he’s done. He has to face his betrayal and his fear that you may choose to leave him. He also may fear that you may never forgive him and will feel the need to unendingly demonize him.
Let me give you an example to illustrate what I’m talking about.
Let’s look at Peggy and Bill:
Peggy and Bill had been married for 21 years with three teenaged children and seemingly a comfortable and busy life. Peggy became worried about Bill two years ago when seemingly overnight he became moody and distant. He began working late at the office and seemed more and more distant and preoccupied. Their sex life took a nose dive.
Peggy was worried, and she began questioning Bill who brushed off her fears, accusing her of nagging. Peggy was puzzled. She was seeing a change in Bill and felt afraid. After several months of ongoing and escalating arguments, Bill confessed that his occasional watching of pornography had been increasing but that he intended to stop.
He kept insisting that the porn had nothing to do with Peggy — that he had first watched porn when he was a kid in high school. Somehow as there were cutbacks and layoffs at his company, he had become very stressed and found himself watching more and more pornography to “calm himself.”
Peggy was devastated.
Their arguments escalated even further. Peggy went online and found websites and testimonials about porn addiction. She discovered just how widespread this issue is in our society. She found her way to Compulsion Solutions where both she and Bill have found the help that they needed. This has been a painful and scary journey for both of them, but it has given them the opportunity to each find the support and help that they have needed.
It has been important for Peggy to have a safe place to begin to understand that Bill’s compulsive sexual addiction has actually truly not been about her. She has done some important work in learning about herself and her insecurities. She has grown. She has also had a chance to learn how to communicate her desires and needs to Bill and to ask for what she needs.
As she became more secure in herself, she was ready to hear his full disclosure and to be present in the moment. Hearing Bill’s disclosure wasn’t easy, but over time she has begun to see that their marriage will be stronger. They will have learned how to really talk to each other.
So… what do you need to hear from your partner?
How much disclosure do you want and need?
Before the actual disclosure occurs each partner needs to have come to a reasonably comfortable place in their own recovery and be ready to face this challenging task in their relationship. In my experience, disclosure is best done in the presence of an experienced and caring therapist. Both partners and the relationship need the understanding support and counsel of the therapist who is equipped to serve as a mediator and a support for both partners.
Don’t be discouraged. We here at Compulsion Solutions have seen that when couples get through the difficulties of disclosure and rebuilding the relationship that their bond gets stronger than it ever would have been had they not faced these issues. It’s amazing.
George Collins, Founder of Compulsion Solutions has spent the last 30 years helping porn/sex addicts to reclaim their lives, self-esteem and relationships. His books are Amazon's #1 Bestsellers in the industry. Click here to get 1-on-1 help from George, or simply get the first chapter of his book, free.
This article was originally published at compulsionsolutions.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.