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Even wives of sex addicts farther along in recovery may still be living in fear, or that old fear may creep up again, if you aren’t keeping her in the know about your recovery. Maybe not, and your marriage will suffer–or end–if this is the case.If you are one of those who is taking recovery seriously you have probably received guidance from many individuals: therapists, sponsors, coaches, books, meetings, etc. It is important to remember that those who are there to help you through your personal recovery are not often marriage experts and some of their well-meaning marriage advice may hurt more than help. By putting your recovery first you are doing what is best for her. Ignore all advice that sounds anything like what I mentioned above–that “her side of the street” stuff. So, how do you let your wife in while respecting the anonymity of the group, while being able to feel safe in your counseling sessions without having to worry about having to go back and report everything that was said? Give her so much information that she doesn’t have to ask.At 30, and employed as a human-resources administrator in Phoenix, she had serially cheated on both her husbands—often with their subordinates and co-workers—logging anonymous hookups in fast-food-restaurant bathrooms, affairs with married men, and one-night stands too numerous to count. Not even after one man’s wife aimed a shotgun at her head while catching them in flagrante delicto.Valerie called phone-sex chat lines and pored over online pornography, masturbating so compulsively that it wasn’t uncommon for her to choose her vibrator over going to work.
Valerie realized that sex was wrecking her life right around the time her second marriage disintegrated.The kind of conversation outlined in italics above will not save your marriage, but it could be what gets the ball rolling in the right direction. Depending on where you all are, your wife may even get angry or skeptical about why you are suddenly doing this. A formal or clinical disclosure, done with the guidance of a skilled therapist, is a crucial first step to finding recovery in your marriage.I find these are much more successful when done in the context of a couple’s three day intensive.When I explain this to wives they are almost always very receptive and understanding about this: control) you should be the one finding the therapist and meetings.If she is doing this, lovingly tell her that you want to be the one to do these things because it shouldn’t be her responsibility and isn’t fair to her. If she won’t have this conversation with you, make sure she knows you are there when she is ready to talk, and remind her of this often.