When I first heard the term sex addiction I began, subconsciously, to deny the truth about it. No way did I choose a sex addict spouse! Then the anger came – anger at my spouse, the world, God and myself. How could I possibly enable anyone? I didn’t have any issues to look at, it was all his problem. I worked so hard to keep up the “How are you – I am fine,” slogan around the house. This all began one year and three months ago, when I first learned my husband was a sex addict. I have since felt this “war” I carried on for all those months was actually, for me, a war against honesty-a war against the acceptance of truth. The truth was I did marry a sex addict. The truth was I did have issues of my own to look at. The truth was anger began long before my sex addict husband came along. The walls I carefully built with blocks of “How are you – I am fine,” have long since been crumbling around me. I could no longer pretend.
My denial of truth began early in my life. Coming from a two-parent alcoholic home, lying became a great survival tool. The very essence of the daily alcoholic chaos prompted dishonesty in all forms. But as recovery made it’s way into my life, so has the desire for truth and honesty. The old tools are rusty and worn. “Oh, it’s just a white lie; who will ever know?” These have been great rationalizations for me. But as I continue to connect more and more with my Higher Power, I’ve come to realize “they” may never know, but I will. Lies are like tiny drops of water falling into a pail on a rainy day. With time, the pail becomes full and heavy and eventually spills over – over into my self- esteem, my relationships and ultimately, my spirituality.
So I have begun to take baby steps toward daily honesty. It means, for me, tending the smallest of lies. It has had a very humbling but powerful effect on my life. It keeps me focused on my own issues and my own recovery. I have begun to experience the freedom that truth and honesty has given me. For this I am grateful. The truth has begun to set me free.
Reprinted from the Fall 1992 issue of S-Anews©.