Experts are still wondering if sexual addiction really exists, but the truth is Compulsive sexual behavior deeply affects the lives of many people.
Sangita Myska, a BBC journalist, interviewed many of them.
This is the case of a woman in the UK who discovered, after 20 years of marriage, that her husband had a secret life.
I always thought that I had a very normal marriage. We were together for several years before we got married, we had two married decades and we had children.
My husband was a successful businessman who traveled a lot, so I spent a lot of time alone, bringing up children, but he came home every weekend.
Just I assumed it was a very normal relationship. He always seemed happy when he was at home. I had no idea what was really going on.
But one day I had to go to his office to look for something on the desk and his laptop was open. I've never done it before, but the screen showed her e-mails and I saw one that showed the hotel booking in London, the day after I planned to go with my friends on vacation.
I thought: "It's kind of weird, Why do you have a hotel room booked?"It seemed strange, I could not understand it.
I've been thinking about it all day. At night, when I was lying in bed, I just could not get it out of my head. So I gathered my courage and asked him why he had a hotel reservation. And he did not answer.
This silence told me that there was something very wrong. It seemed like an eternity. After half an hour – I suspect it was probably two minutes – I got up and said, "What's happening?"
I do not remember his exact words, but he just He said he was sorry and he saw someone; At that moment, I grabbed my robe and went down the stairs. I just could not stay in the same room. And I cried.
Finally he went down the stairs, sat down in front of me and told me how sorry he was. He told me that I started going to the strip club some time ago and I met a dancer in one of the clubs and who booked the room to meet her to deepen the relationship.
There, I asked him if they had sex, and he told me that he did not just flirt, but nothing more.
I wanted to believe him. I think she was absolutely desperate to believe him. I was terribly angry, but there was a part of me who thought, "Well, we can solve it, it's just a middle-aged man, a moment of madness.
And because my friends desperately wanted to join them over the weekend, I thought I would have time to transform my thoughts.
I did not tell my friends. I wanted to keep it to myself. It was really difficult a few days. I slept very badly. I could not eat Looking back, I'm not sure how I got to it.
When we returned home, we talked a lot. There was a lot of crying on my part.
But the truth is that I always thought it was too much of a coincidence that I had just found an email from the hotel reservation before the sexual relationship occurred. It was too accidental.
So I insisted he look into my eyes and say he did not have sex with that woman he could not do. It was about two or three weeks after I found an email.
Next he admitted he was a sexual relationship and it happened for a few weeks or a few months.
I remember looking at this man whom I met over the years, I thought, "How could you hide it? How could I not have realized that something was wrong?"
I could not understand like the man I knew, he did what he didHe got involved in something that simply did not fit the character of the person I knew.
Nothing made sense, so I went in search of more pain: I started to check all their emails.
I found other hotel reservations that took place before the dates he gave me. And after coming back for a few years, I discovered that some quotes do not fit her story about how long I saw this woman.
The turning point came one day when we went for a walk. I just told him: "I need to know everythingI will continue to press and continue to push because I do not think I know everything. "
I threatened that I would look at bank statements and check all their emails. I told him that I really must know the truth.
He replied: "Are you sure you want to take this route?" At that moment, I thought, "Oh no, there's a lot more." But I had no idea how much it devastates me.
He told me that I paid sex to prostitutes throughout our marriageI also saw a lot of pornography, sometimes for hours. And it went to strip clubs, sex clubs and sex cinemas while traveling abroad.
Nobody has been informed. One or two friends noticed that I was quieter and they asked me if I was okay, but I always had an excuse: "I'm tired, I'm not sleeping very well, it must be menopause …".
I was ashamed of what had happened. I wondered what people would think when I told them what would they think of Daniel, what they would think of me, I assumed that people would judge our marriage and think it was a false marriage.
I also felt that people would think about it it was not good enough for him, not pretty enough, not sexy enough.
I have always been a relatively safe person. She was not a woman who did her nails every week or found a botox. I'm middle-aged, I'm a bit overweight, I'm getting old, I have wrinkles, but I thought it was normal at my age.
But it I completely destroyed my self-esteem, I was wondering if this is a funny person.
I started using more makeup and making sure that he saw me as best as I could. I already lost some weight, because it took me a long time to eat normally again.
I bought some new clothes, more often I went to the hairdresser, and I put on botox.
He thought, however, that something was wrong with his psyche: with illness. I thought I needed help and that I needed help from me.
When I went to the clinic and explained that their behavior was probably sex-addicted, I believed it and thought: "Fine, there is a label for it, he's sick. Something is wrong with him"
I want to believe it because then I can convince myself that "no, you had nothing to do with it, it was going to happen anyway."
But he came back from the therapy session once and told me that he was not sure if it was sex addiction or was it just I made bad decisions.
I noticed that it was very difficult to hear and it affected me for several days.
When we started marital therapy, one thing he talked about and remembered very clearly was that life before I discovered the truth was like being in a dark tunnel, hiding a secret, and now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
I remember looking at him and thought: "It's great for you, but now I live in total darknessEverything is dark and dark now and I have a secret because I can not tell anyone what is going on. "And I felt it was unfair.
I do not want to tell people because I do not want people to judge meFor example, I watched the Ryder Cup the other day and saw Tiger Woods with a girl and I thought people would look at her and think, "Oh, this is a little woman, a doormat, probably stomping her, respect for women."
People judge … they assume they know.
In many ways our marriage is better than it was – which seems crazy – but we spent months on therapy. We are more open between us.
We talk a lot more and talk about our feelings, not just about what we're doing today or what we plan to do. We are talking about feelings, both good and bad.
I still get sick many times, but I would say that most of the time I feel that our marriage is balanced and my emotional state is also balanced.
Can I forgive him? This is something I talked to therapists with and I really do not know what forgiveness is. I do not think I will ever forgive him the pain that caused me and which is so deep. I do not think I can forgive, but I want to be with him and I love him. And life at his side is good. Is this forgiveness? I do not know
I think that we are together at the end of the day. We are good friends. I still love him, and he assures me that he still loves me, that he always loves me.
I would also hate that my children knew that I absolutely hate him. I think so they will lose all respect for their father. And my family loves my husband. I think if you knew him, you would not believe it. It's just not a person who would do something like that.
He would be the last person for whom he would suspect something as stupid as what he did.
* Illustrations: Karen Charmaine Khanakira
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