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April 27 • Unexpected Expectations

Day 658

I have written before about how fortunate I am to have a spouse who not only was willing to forgive me, but has been my biggest advocate in recovery. It is a gift that I certainly have done nothing to earn. I think the hardest part for her, aside from getting past the betrayal and that initial realization that I am a sex addict, is grasping that being a sex addict does not mean that all I want is sex all the time. Sexual Addiction is an easy label for an illness that merely manifests itself in outrageously promiscuous behavior. I believe it to be a result of underlying life issues far more than a causative disorder.

For me, and I know for a lot of others that I've talked to in the program, sexual anorexia has been a much bigger challenge for me. By extension, that is also part of my wife's continuing struggle. My not being able to show her the physical affection that I feel just doesn't make sense, and she often takes it personally, thinking incorrectly that I no longer find her attractive or desireable. Because of my conclussion that my avoidance habits are tied directly to my very conscious efforts to control and cease the constant sexual fantasies that have dominated my life for most of my life, I don't feel like I've made much progress in finding answers to this conundrum. If I allow myself those wild thoughts, I'm pretty sure my libido will return, probably with unintended consequences related to my addiction. But if I keep them tucked away, I feel safe, at the expense of not making a lot of progress toward healthy sexuality. I never expected to be struggling with this problem more than 650 days into recovery. I would not have guessed that I would still be in recovery with this still being an issue. But here I am, and more importantly, here WE are. I am fortunate; frustrated but fortunate. Physical feelings and desires for my wife are returning in recent weeks, but as they come back, so do some of the sexual dancing we've done almost from the beginning of our marriage. That is not a price I'm willing to pay again, so I continue to seek wisdom and courage on how to regain this aspect of our lives together, and how to do that in ways that bring us to a healthier place than we've ever been. For starters, I must stay sober, at least for today.




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