So, it’s been written over and over that sex addiction isn’t really about sex, just like alcoholism isn’t really about the brand of alcohol a person likes to drink. Addiction is about medicating wounds, trauma, mental illness, about filling the void and feeling better in the moment, even if that moment is ever so brief. From what I understand, sometimes the whole process provides hits even without sexual release.
For sex addicts, sex is the drug and in order to get that drug, many sex addicts cheat. Sex addiction is most often an escalating disease. In the case of my husband, I believe the escalations happened when he moved from obsessive masturbation as an adolescent, to his first sexual relationship with a young woman who after years of sexual abuse, had become sexually promiscuous. Sexual obsession and public sex acts with her followed. Later, after we were married, he escalated from sex with me plus his secret masturbation habits to obsessive flirting (grooming), which escalated to short term affairs and eventually a long term affair.
Clearly, not everyone is like Blue Eyes. Some sex addicts secretly obsess over masturbation and pornography, often leaving them impotent in true intimacy situations, but never move forward into extra-relational arrangements. Some visit prostitutes and massage parlors with happy endings, even though it costs money, it’s more of a sure thing. Not necessarily a sure orgasm, but a sure warm human body. Others obsessively visit chat rooms and dating sites to get hits and to find willing sexual partners.
Obviously not everyone who masturbates, views porn, or has extramarital relations is a sex addict. Addicts are riddled with self doubt and shame around their cheating, and swear every time that they won’t do it again. Non sex addicts probably have different motives and feelings. Still filling a perceived void, but maybe not driven by the same neural pathways.
I’ve been writing about our story for five years and I’m sure some people are wondering when I’m ever going to shut up. Kidding… maybe? Anyway, I keep writing because addiction still permeates my life. As of roughly five years ago, I pretty much knew what I was up against. Every day I know what I am signing up for living with an addict. However, that doesn’t mean I will stand idly by and let him manipulate me and the people around me. Everyone who reads this blog knows my husband is sober for almost six years now. December 11, 2019 will mark that six year point. Yippee (sarcasm). But seriously, I’m glad he has decided to respect our marriage and stop fucking around. I’m glad he (eventually) took his sex addiction diagnosis seriously. I’m glad he is in recovery, has worked the steps (is working the steps), attends meetings and fellowship, and I think it’s great he regularly sees his CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) to work on family of origin and mental health issues. All good.
The thing is though, addicts are dishonest. They suffer from an integrity disorder. They will lie, cheat, and steal to get their drug. That integrity disorder doesn’t just go away. They may stop acting out, but they learned to lie to exist (in their minds). They truly believed they needed their drug to survive (be it whisky, meth, sex… ). So, they get sober, and they strive to be a better person. But conquering the lying habit, much more difficult. It’s instinctual now, survival behavior. I know my husband believes that lying helps him avoid awkward situations. It also allows him to get what he wants. Well… I’m wise to him, guys. I know what he is doing and it’s not going to work.
Here’s the scenario. Over the past few years we have stripped Blue Eyes of some of his work powers. My youngest brother is now a co-managing partner (equal power/equal responsibility) with Blue Eyes. I have always had as much power in the business as I wanted to take. I can shut the whole thing down if I want, but that would be like shooting myself in the foot. Blue Eyes is an incredible salesman, but a horrible business manager. Not to pat myself on the back, but I will. I run a mean business. It’s in my blood. We have brand new beautiful offices and I am back to working my full time schedule in our downtown office. I actually love our new offices and have allotted some time each day for writing (thus my almost daily blog posts). But now, because I’M BACK, I won’t be suckered in by Blue Eyes and his manipulative tactics. I just wrote six months ago a post about Blue Eyes chasing the next shiny thing. I’m not as tired anymore. I’m fed up.
Blue Eyes thrived on clandestine relationships for years and not just ones with women. He likes to be the cool guy, the mentor, the savior. And he is back at it. He has lied to our faces and gone behind our backs ostensibly to better the business, again, but in fact he is just bolstering his own ego by swooping in and trying to save a friend. The friend has manipulated him, but that doesn’t matter to Blue Eyes. Ego stroked. This is Blue Eyes’ story, from the beginning of time. I actually think it is astonishing that he chose to marry me. Knowing him, I would have thought he would have tried to marry someone who needed saving. I think the reason he didn’t is because he instinctively knew he needed a safety net. Deep down he knew he needed a strong presence in his life for the day it all came crashing down around him. Guess what? I’m that safety net.
I called a meeting today with Blue Eyes and the management team to discuss his latest charity case. It’s a man, he’s not even on this coast, but the clandestine phone calls have happened, the money has gone out the door, everyone is up in arms, and Blue Eyes finally admitted what we now all know. He lied to us and he manipulated us to get his ego strokes from an outsider. It cost the business money and that’s where I come in. A successful business is a profitable business. I take it as my personal mission to make our business as profitable as possible. Blue Eyes got in my way, and now I’m pissed. Pretty sure, like always, he wasn’t aware while he was doing it, or even why he was doing it, but he did it, so none of that matters. Changes are being made and it is going to be awkward for Blue Eyes to shut this guy off, cold turkey. But he will. There are always consequences.
As my brother was leaving to head back home (he doesn’t work out of Portland), he voiced his frustration and sadness that he just can’t trust Blue Eyes. Blue Eyes lied to our faces and manipulated the hell out of all of us. Once again, we feel duped. Once again, Blue Eyes used his supposed survival instinct to stroke his own ego and play the game on his terms. If I could fire him right now, I would.