Addicts lie. They cheat. They steal...time, money, energy, love, and trust. They deceive and betray. They hurt to the point where you can't fathom why you love them. But you do. You keep going back. Or you stay and put up with their crazy games. "Why do you put up with it?" People ask you. You try to explain your answers, justify your reasoning, rationalize half-truths. All for the sake of keeping what you thought was real alive.
But what is real?
A relationship with an addict is never real. It is based on delusion, and it is a delusion that rests on the false premise that they can keep their "dirty little secrets" hidden from the world.
But it never happens. It never is obtained, this double life, as someone always finds out. There is always a catalyst to cause a huge shift. Whether it be an ultimatum, criminal charges, an affair partner that comes forward, receipts from a "massage" parlor, money gone missing, or something else.
Shift inevitably happens.
Why is this? Why is it that there is a shift? Is it that the addict comes to his/her senses and wants change? Or is it based on fear of loss of a loved one(s)? Or both?
Usually there is an external factor that causes a shift to where the addict will reach out for help. In reality, deep down, sometimes in the addict's subconscious, they really want help. They hate the life they are living and want to connect with who they truly are.
Hence, why so many start treatment. For the first year you may feel like your partner (the addict) is making zero progress. You may be thinking, "He/she continues to lapse and relapse so therapy must be a waste."
But in reality, a whole lot of change is taking place. Changes that you may not be able to see, but that are real and lasting. I am talking about~
An addict's brain literally begins to create new neural pathways through repetition of task-based assignments, discussions, trauma therapy, Mindfulness Techniques, and EMDR therapy.
Here is the thing: Who a person truly is has nothing to do with their addiction! Who you fell in love with has a PART of them that we call the addict. Yes the relationship may have been created with the addiction at play, but somewhere inside of you, you were drawn to the spirit of the person you fell in love with.
We all have parts; a vulnerable child, a protective addict or anorexic (or both) and a functional self (note: some people have several parts that developed to help them survive). For someone with addiction, who they really are, their functional self, has gotten lost in the identity of the addict. However, even though they wear the addict's mask, they are NOT the addict.
This is why we know that sex addiction is a dissociative disorder as well as a disorder that oftentimes results from complex trauma. The addict part of the person forms typically around 12-16 years of age to protect that vulnerable inner child part (who is usually 5-8 years old) from being harmed. Partners might say,
It isn't so!
But this is the case. When an addict enters therapy, he/she and their partner's world feels like it is turned even more upside down than it was. This is because for the very first time you are seeing your spouse without their addiction. So they literally might begin to look different, sound different, and start to act different. THEY ARE DIFFERENT. They are changing.
As the addict starts to learn new coping skills and begins to change, you realize that what you thought was real in your life with them before was not. Most of it was a delusion caused by the addiction and an attempt to cope with it. However, in recovery, you both get to cultivate a new relationship based on the Core Values Of Sexual (and other) Recovery~honesty/accountability, vulnerability, nurturing, healthy intimacy.
Your reality gets to be redefined by both of you (if you choose) with the support of seasoned therapists and with a lot of structure, education, patience (lots of patience), and guidance.
And soon, one day, the lies, deception, etc. will fade into the distance, and you both will embrace the light that has come out of the addict's darkness.
Remember, You are WORTH it!
NOTE: SIGN UP TODAY ! I am offering a gender specific Recovery Start Kit Workshop on Saturday Oct 18 (women) and Saturday Oct 25th (men). Explore the Soul Window, Positive Sexual Focus, and more!! Email me for details on cost, time,the Recovery Start Kit, etc.