Last week, readers were introduced to the story of a woman with sex addiction. Here is the continuation of her experiences, though of course this is only a glimpse of what her life has been like.
Jennifer, 37, last “acted out” six and a half years ago, and she said that although her sex addiction became a major problem later in her marriage, she first saw signs right after high school.
“I just was never faithful,” Jennifer said. “I couldn’t be faithful.”
She tried to get help by seeing a therapist when she first noticed signs of a problem.
“She just told me to stop,” Jennifer said. “She didn’t really understand what was going on.”
Her family members don’t know about her sex addiction, because she said she feels it’s personal, so only her husband knows.
She said when she was dating, she met men who were not OK with her past, which was upsetting.
“It was hard to know when to tell them,” Jennifer said. “At what point in an early dating relationship do you want to tell people that information — early enough that they don’t feel like they’ve been mis-led and late enough that it’s not inappropriate.”
For example, she said the first date is too soon, but four months is too late.
Surprisingly, she said some men who were OK with her past were not OK with her going to a strong recovery program, Sex Addicts Anonymous, for the rest of her life.
“Nobody gets cured from this,” Jennifer said. “If you believe that it exists, which I do, it never goes away. It’s always there. We can handle it and it definitely becomes much less of an issue, but it needs to be maintained and treated forever.”
She said most of the urges have gone away.
“They’re much less frequent, but they do come up,” Jennifer said, and she calls her sponsor, her program friends, reads and meditates in order to control the urges.
She said stressful times increase the urges.
“Addicts don’t like bad feelings, and so the root of any addiction is that we’re trying to cover a bad feeling with an accent that is destructive to us,” Jennifer said.