On June 1, 2007 my life disintegrated when I found out that my husband and best friend of 20 years had spent tens of thousands of dollars having intercourse with high priced prostitutes for the past 3 1/2 years, and had been visiting strip clubs for lap dances since before we were married. I never had reason to suspect a thing, (in fact my husband always spoke with disdain about infidelity) and I would have bet my son's life on my husband's honesty.
Because we had a child, I chose not to leave immediately (as my whole being was screaming out that I should do, and I would have were it not for our son.) I decided to take actions that were aligned with what I wanted the outcome to be. Even though I couldn't begin to imagine at the time how it would be possible, what I wanted was for us to be able to be together to provide a loving stable environment for our little boy. I wasn't going to stay if it didn't seem to be heading in that direction, but I was willing to stay long enough to try.
Over the past 2 years we both entered individual therapy for the first time in our lives, and also went into couples therapy with someone who specailizes in sex addiction. We started attending recovery meetings regularly (SANON for me and SAA and OA for him.) And we both began individual explorations of spirituality.
Two years ago the life I'd thought I was living was destroyed. And today, I have peace, serenity, clarity and a relationship with myself that I never even knew was possible. (I'm still learning and growing from this experience - the more I learn and grow the more I see where I can learn and grow, in a very positive way. ) Husband and I also have a better relationship than either of us ever knew we could have.
I've learned that for me I'll never say "forever" again, because things change due to forces beyond my control. But taking my life and my marriage one day at a time, I can honestly say that I have come to not regret the past, and that I don't wish to shut the door on it. It's still difficult to say with total authenticity that I'd choose all the pain I've gone through again, but I can say definitively that I don't know how else I would have had the growth and learning that I've had over the past 2 years. The leaps and bounds I've made are a direct result of the discomfort and groundlessness of discovering such profound betrayal. I was left with no choice but to grow and learn exponentially or be annihilated by pain, loss, dispair and hopelessness.
I am thankful. I am grateful. And I am here to say that it's possible to survive discovery of a partner's sex addiction and come out healthier and happier (whether or not you stay together) on the other side of it. Everybody's circumstance and everybody's journey is different. My story is only one story. For those of you struggling to maintain hope where hope seems impossible, my experience is that having gotten support and having focused on myself rather than the addict, I have not only survived this, but I've blossomed as a result. I have realized aspects of myself that were previously unknown to me: I've found more strength, more confidence, more compassion, more courage; I've found I'm a more loving person, a more honest person, a more forgiving person, a more courageous person, a more conscious person, a more spiritual person. I am more fully myself - the self that has always been there, but that I've never had a relationship with until now.
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