There are no villains here

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I was recently reading an article written by a woman who is a life coach and who has spent some time counseling victims of sex crimes. The title of her article was, literally, ‘Sex Addiction.’ That’s it. She didn’t talk about the difference between an offender and an addict. She did talk about addiction in general, how it starts, heredity as a potential factor, that the act of using sex as a drug is not about pleasure, it is about pain and sadness and wounds and long nurtured and escalating habits. Then, she basically insinuates that all sexual addiction behavior escalates into crime. That’s where I started going, wait, what? She offered her help to “victims” of sex addicts, and specifically called out wives. She wants to help us. I’m not going to link to the article because I don’t think it was well written or well informed. I’m not actually the victim of a crime (although I have said many times that infidelity feels like a crime against the non-cheating spouse) and I do not feel like I have been persecuted by a villain. Blue Eyes has never forced sex on me, ever. I know this happens to some, but it does not always happen in relationships with sex addicts.

The author did talk about sex crimes and how those in the path of the sex addict are victims of crime, and in this case she was speaking specifically to what in my case is/are the acting out partner(s). BUT, she used an example of an older man who had molested his granddaughter. Okay, the man is a sexual criminal, not JUST a sex addict. He may be a sex addict, but he is certainly a perpetrator of sex crimes. The two are not necessarily the same. Yes, there are sex addicts who commit actual crimes, but there are also sex offenders who are not sex addicts, and sex addicts who never commit a crime, lots of them. For those of us in the throes of living with a sex addict, it is not appropriate for people who are not, to generalize in such a destructive manner, in my opinion.

Strangely enough, Blue Eyes was called a sex offender by the LA sex addiction specialist he saw in Summer 2014. I believe the specialist (previously referred to as The Director) did this to “scare Blue Eyes straight” so to speak. Blue Eyes did not break the law. He didn’t hire prostitutes, he didn’t force himself on any unwilling person, ever. He did not have sex with minors, or even with someone who was younger than he is. He had sex with very willing and generally older lonely and or desperate women. Although he was the secretary’s boss, she not only knew what she was getting into, she instigated it. Again, Blue Eyes was shy pulling the trigger. These women were not shy. The secretary quickly moved on and even uses Blue Eyes’ business as a reference on her LinkedIn account. Technically he had the power to take her job away from her if she didn’t “perform,” but she willingly performed, and she didn’t deserve that job in the first place. She was a horrible secretary and should have been fired on that premise alone (and eventually she was). Just because two adults (and she was five years older) have consensual sex in an office setting doesn’t make either of them criminals. Disgusting behavior, morally corrupt in my eyes, yes, criminal behavior, no.

In my trauma I have definitely villainized both my husband and his acting out partners because their behavior hurt me deeply and I needed to vent, so I vented here. But in the reality of the bigger world, they are broken people who behaved very very badly and although I do not feel better than them, I am surely glad that I do not have the kind of wounds that would allow me to participate in such vile and hurtful behavior. I have forgiven my husband for his transgressions and I stand by his side as he works towards being that better person, something most of us work towards every day. Likewise, the other women are not villains. They are sad. No one in my story set out to hurt me or anyone else (although the stalking situation wasn’t very nice–and it was definitely a consequence of Blue Eyes’ lies and SA behavior), but in their selfish pursuits of filling empty voids, and of not understanding their own pain and wounds in the process, they did hurt many people, but Blue Eyes is not a criminal, and the women are not victims. It’s not all us against them.

22 thoughts on “There are no villains here

  1. I have to get in this conversation again. I’ve dealt with pedophiles. One of the most egregious cases that I dealt with was a man who was very focused on pre-adolescent boys. Pedophiles are fixed at puberty. That is what their interests are. It can be little children, or pre-adolescent girls or pubescent girls or pubescent boys, or boys and girls, but the interest is always the same. Escalation does not happen because the interest is fixed. Sex addiction is entirely different. It may escalate from pornography to neighbors, to coworkers, to waitresses, to sales clerks, then prostitutes but it is always there as a grooming and titillating addiction with the orgasm as the end product. If they are in a part of the world where the sex workers are young and that is the only person they can get to they might but it is not their fixed interest. Their interest is the build up. The secrecy, the texting, the grooming all of that is part of their addiction. They are two entirely separate issues. The only thing they have in common is that a sex act is at the end of it.
    I had one case where the man was a sociopath and he would have sex with any thing that moved. That was his own awfulness. He was not a sex addict he was an evil person and I could barely stand to be around him. That guy should have been neutered

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    • By “minor” I was referring to a person under 18. I agree that there is a difference between a pedophile and a sex addict who progresses to minors, as in teens. I doubt that Anthony Weiner is a pedophile but his addiction progressed to sexting with a girl knowing she was 15. I personally know of two sex addicts who got involved in online sex talk with girls who presented as teens. One was a set up by the cops. The other ended badly when the parents intervened. Sex addiction is a complicated mental illness.

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      • Indeed it is complicated and I am by no means saying that some sex addicts don’t potentially progress to teens (in my mind it is an escalation and not a propensity for pedophilia–I have heard MANY stories of porn addicts falling prey to child porn without even knowing it was child porn, every single one says he had no idea he was viewing child porn), but I will never believe that ALL sex addicts would resort to such behavior if never caught, found out, come clean, whatever. There are all kinds of people, personalities, stories and the most egregious tend to get more air time. I personally know of men who weren’t caught until their 60’s and 70’s and yet never “progressed” to acting out in any way with underage partners, and yet there are guys in their 30’s that have spent time in prison for acting out with children (whatever the age). They are offenders. Criminals. The progression for most of the addicts I have been exposed to led to them getting tired of giving in to the blackmailing or delusional ways of their acting out partners and they were outed, or they were going bankrupt from spending money on prostitutes and/or “massages,” or they got lazy or careless with increased activity (consensual adult activity) and were found out. BE also believes that some of the men in his own family are sex addicts, one being an uncle who is in his 80’s. He has quite a sexual history, but has never gone for anyone underage. And yet, there are sex addicts in BE’s group who have been in prison for pedophilia. They are sex addicts and sex offenders. Their stories go way back to multiple sexual molestations when they were young. But that doesn’t mean all people who are sexually molested as children will go on to molest children themselves, or become sex addicts for that matter. Some do, some don’t. The generalizing and demonizing of sex addiction is what I can’t stand for. Yes, it is critical for sex addicts to get help, in order to heal or recover from the causes and the grips of their addiction, to be able to cope with life and live with integrity, if they so desire. Just like any other addiction. BUT, I will never believe no matter what we call the addiction, mental illness, disease, whatever, that all sex addicts will resort to, escalate to, sexual activities with a minor or any other criminal behavior. I read about it a lot in articles (a lot of them are designed to sell something, papers, magazines, attract advertisers, whatever, not really inform the public) but in fact in the past 3 1/2+ years, the actual real stories, of all the men and women both my husband and I have encountered, are much less dramatic, much less dire. I’m not being delusional, or trying to be argumentative, I am merely trying to understand the catastrophic nature of what the author of the “article” wrote. Her mixing up sex addiction and sex offending, in my mind, is dangerous, and hurtful. I’ll probably write another post on this subject. BE and I have talked about it a lot in the past few days. Thanks, Maggie. xx

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  2. I agree with your perspectives here, Kat. However, the reality is that SA is a progressive disease and without recovery the SA will progress to acting out he or she never would have done prior to the progression. Some SAs never would have believed they would be involved with minors or same sex partners bc they were never attracted but that’s the craziness of SA. One SA I know of only had affairs with adult women for most of his life. Wife never found out. The disease progressed. Long story short he was arrested at age 80 for gross sexual imposition of a MINOR. Spent a yr in prison. That’s why recovery is so important. I sort of get why some professionals try to scare SAs straight bc the consequences of SA are horrible. But I doubt scaring them works. My h did Craigslist ads and used street whores. Talk about scary.

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    • Oh ick ick ICK!!! Craigslist, whores, biker wives, disease, murders…. seriously WTF have we come to? How the eff did nice girls like us get in places like this?? I don’t want to know about this stuff, I don’t want to know how sick a society or people are.

      I can see how one commenter is saying that SA can progress and it scares the hell out of me. Maybe whores and craigslist hookups are like “gateway drugs” to worse acting out behaviors like pedophilia? I just can’t… I need to go find a cabin in the woods I think

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      • It’s okay TH. We’re in a bit of a bubble here. All men are not SAs and all SAs will not eventually become pedophiles. Our men participated in some really icky behavior. Digging deep into the why is important for all and critical for an SA. There are men in BE’s group who were found out in their 70’s, they never escalated to criminal behavior, and they are grateful to be in recovery. They are not monsters, they are addicts. I hope your husband has been able to reconcile with himself why he did what he did and that he truly knows how destructive and hurtful his behavior was. xx

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    • Many SAs participate in same sex activities, from what I have learned along this journey and the behavior is not necessarily an escalation. Of course it has little to do with sexuality, and is far from criminal with consenting adults. I understand what you are saying about escalation and it is possible for some people, but I don’t personally believe that if left unchecked most SAs would eventually seek out minors. That is what the author was saying and I disagree. Scaring an SA “straight” is one thing, but insinuating they all have it in them to be pedophiles, eventually, doesn’t fly with me. For BE, having consensual sex with his secretary wasn’t enough in my book to accuse him of criminal behavior. I think it undermines the credibility of the therapist. These SAs are vulnerable at the time of discovery. Their protective cloak has been removed, most feel deep shame. Personally I would deal with the issues at hand, not create more drama. The therapist that likened BE to Ted Bundy was out of line as well. What these guys do to feed their addiction may be hurtful, and we feel like we have been violated, but it’s not always criminal. Over 40 years, BE progressed from masturbation to a long term affair with a consenting adult and then he thought he would die from the shame and he orchestrated being found out, being free.

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  3. Couldn’t agree more. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me if I’m worried about leaving my SA ex alone with my daughter. uh…no. If I was worried, I wouldn’t let it happen. Now I find myself pre-empting the question. Telling people…”he’s a sex addict but he’s not a sex offender or pedophile. He is into consenting adults. The counselors are positive he isn’t a risk to children.” Pre-empting comes with it’s own set of problems. #1–I’m not as kind as Kat. I don’t forgive him and the last thing I want to do is defend him! #2–If the person wasn’t thinking about kids–they are now! Ugh

    Horses…I’ve heard people say stupid shit like that too and I really let them have it. That is absurd.

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  4. This was very reminiscent of the hooha surrounding gay men and their contact with boys. When my father came out in the 80s, many people were worried he might have molested my brothers! We found it so bizarre. Did they ever worry before they knew he was gay that he was molesting me??? Equating any sexual ‘deviance’ from heteronormative, monogamy with any number of criminal behaviours is just such a ginormous leap! How people write this gobshite, I have no idea!

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  5. Both the partner and the addict already have enough to heal from without the constant battle against the ignorance, misinformation, and stigma of sex addiction. It keeps us all hidden away to a degree, and unable to find and share freedom except for places like this.

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  6. Eeeek. Sorry you had the experience of reading that article. It sounds like another ill-informed “professional” writing re: sex addiction. There’s a tremendous difference between a sex offender and a sex addict. (Not that one can’t be the the other, but…)

    There is just SO much misinformation out there.

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  7. Yikes!!! Talk about taking something to the extreme. Glad I didn’t have to read that article. I think pedophilia is an addiction but it certainly shouldn’t be grouped with SA.

    But hey I watched 20/20 friday night. It was about a man who disappeared for over 2 years. His family, not wife, was relentlessly looking for him. The authorities thought maybe it was a suicide but the family insisted it wasn’t. So the police kept trying to solve his disappearance.

    Well long story short, enter the OW and her very jealous husband. Husband caught them together one night in his car. He beat the guy to death and then enlisted the help of his friends to hide the car and bury the body in the woods. Of course some hiker with his dog found the body and case was solved. This story scared the crap out of me!

    Bigger lesson here is when we invite certain people into our lives that we don’t know and are acting immorally, interfering in other peoples marriage and lives crimes happen! People snap. This is what scares the crap out me about SA or cheating of any sort quite frankly. Even though it is the cheater who paid the ultimate price in this story, both his widow and his sons are the ones left here on earth to deal with his murder, loss of her husband and loss of the sons father. What a mess and legacy he left because he was a cheater. BTW he sounded like an SA as well.

    People take cheating way to lightly, boys will be boys, she wasn’t happy, the BS must have done something wrong in the marriage blahblahblah…. Cheating is romanticized and made into comedy in movies and music and the media. It’s not funny in real life. It’s tragic and it destroys lives. Many lives. It pisses me off when people think it’s funny like that show with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

    Frankly I am very careful anymore who I let in my life. And this is something my h and I have discussed. The woman with whom he cheated was married to a biker guy and not a nice guy, then she moved on and had an affair with his son after she divorced his father and at the same time she was having an affair with my h. The son called my h and threatened to kill him more than once! I can’t believe how stupid STUPID he was to let this garbage and her ilk into, not only his life, but his family’s and business life. We are lucky nothing happened.

    It’s very unwise to fuck around in other peoples lives! I know some of the things I did on the night of DDay 1 would have sent me to jail and only by the Grace of God I didn’t!

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    • Yikes!!! When I found out BE put in a personals Craig’s List ad and then actually drove over to this woman’s house on “the wrong side of the tracks” and parked his Mercedes smack in front of her house, went inside, and had sex with a virtual stranger I was dumbfounded! Well, physically ill too, but mainly in shock. WTF? It could have been anyone on the other end of that phone. He could have been beaten and blackmailed (for real), or killed! Seriously more than the sex, I couldn’t believe he was stupid enough to put himself at that kind of risk. SAs can rationalize anything. Shock, horror and disgust is what I felt. You coulda knocked me over with a feather. But yeah, NOT a criminal or a pedophile. Stupid though. Really really stupid! xx

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  8. You have stepped into my area of expertise, or as much as anyone can be an expert.
    Pedophiles are consumed with wanting sex with children. Period. As a society we have sexualized young girls. Stupid beauty pageants, 14 year old models, skimpy bikinis, and more. Young boys are preyed upon by coaches, teachers etc.

    BE IS NOT A PEDOPHILE!!! He is an addict but his focus is women.

    Sadly, the lines drawn are so different state to state that that an eighteen year old high school kid can go to prison for having sex with his fifteen/sixteen year old girlfriend. There is so much molestation of children that politicians react in hysteria and pass ridiculous laws. I have dealt with pedophiles. They can’t be fixed. BE can manage his addiction and maybe get past it. There really is a huge difference in the two.
    I hope you deleted that article, hugged BE and took a walk.

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    • Yes, deleted while still shaking my head. This is unfortunately one of the reasons sex addicts often don’t tell their stories outside therapy and 12 step. People fear what they don’t understand. But if people can’t be honest about their struggles without fear of judgement and persecution, it’s difficult to get the word out that there is help.

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