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The TRUTH About Being Married To A Sex Addict

The TRUTH About Being Married To A Sex Addict

He swore on his children’s lives that he wasn’t having an affair. He said someone must have broken into his email account. He kept reassuring his wife that it was nothing. Finally, she got access to all of his phone records and his secret receipts. She also found a second cell phone he accidentally left on the passenger seat of his Lexus. 

What happened next is that, unlike her husband, his phone couldn’t lie. 

His extensive Internet records of porn site usage and emails and texts to scores of women couldn’t deny the truth: She was married to a sex addict


Surprise! Your Husband Has A Secret Life

Being married to a sex addict usually comes as a big surprise (more like shock!). No one wants to believe that the person she said “I do” to has being lying, cheating and ultimately living a secret double life.

She only knows the side of him that’s spent with his family, his friends, and at work. She’s totally in the dark about his darker side: a seedy life with prostitutes, strip clubs, massage parlors, and/or porn. 

The hard-to-handle truth is that an addict’s most significant relationship is with his addiction. And for people married to a sex addict, it can be even harder to handle the feeling that somehow YOU are part of the cause. 


Truth: Sex Addicts Make Poor Sexual Partners

You might think being married to someone addicted to sex would mean having lots of sex. But it’s the opposite. 

Wives of men with a sexual addiction typically don’t have much of a sex life. Why? Because sex addicts, for the most part, are afraid of being intimate with a real woman. Instead, they seek out the safety of fantasy relationships.

Did you know that there is a very real epidemic of erectile dysfunction among men who are addicted to pornography. Even though these men are sex addicts, many are unable to have intercourse with their wives and are in dire need of pornography addiction help.

One reason for this erectile issue is that porn stars are not presented as real women. They don’t show their real feelings. They don’t smell. They don’t ask for something to be fixed around the house. They contort into various positions which, in real life, are physically uncomfortable. 

Women in porn are not “real” in the sense that a wife is real. As a result, men get used to a fantasy world and have difficulty being sexual in the real world.


Truth: It’s Not Your Fault

Women in our culture are conditioned to have negative beliefs about their own bodies. 

Supermodels and movie stars are made to look amazing. So it’s natural for a wife to believe that if only she was more attractive or shaped differently her husband would not have developed a sexual addiction

This is not true. Repeat: This is not true.

It’s not true even if your husband, when his secret life and lies are exposed, insinuates that it is. 

Although there are many complexities in marriage, most sex addicts began their objectification of women and their sexually acting out behaviors long before their marriages began. 

The real truth is that the sex addict is 100 percent responsible for his own behavior. (Getting help and committing to sex or porn addiction recovery is also entirely up to him.)


The Lies Hurt Worse Than The Affairs

For many women, it’s easier to forgive the cheating, porn use, etc. than the deeper betrayal of the lies. The affairs might be over, but not the distrust. 

Wives of sex addicts often say: “Why didn’t he tell me the truth? I feel like such a fool. It’s his lying that hurts so much.” The months — or years — of denials before the truth finally comes out can do more damage than the hidden porn use and affairs. 

The truth about being married to a sex addict is that you may never be able to trust your husband in the same way you once did. 


There Is Help Available

If you both are committed to making the marriage work, it's possible to ultimately achieve a level of intimacy that didn't previously exist in the relationship. But there needs to be a concise plan with clear commitments. 

An addict who's declaring that he doesn’t need any counseling or porn addiction therapy because he realizes that he’s been selfish and self-centered, that he's so completely and totally determined to never do such hurtful things because he values his marriage, is a spouse who is in denial. 

His “plan” to just stop on his own is not a workable plan for sex or porn addiction recovery

What a wife can do is support and encourage her husband to seek the proper help on how to stop his porn addiction. If she is willing to give him a chance — and sometimes it’s the third or fourth chance — she needs to have clear boundaries about what she will tolerate going forward. 

She also needs to hear from her husband that he is seeking recovery not for her or the marriage, but for himself. 

It’s possible a sex addicted husband can get porn addiction help and do the difficult work of ending the cycle of sexually compulsive behavior. 

Similarly, if you choose to stay in a relationship with a sex addict in recovery, you need to make that choice for your deepest and most honest self. Such clear inner decisions will give you both the greatest possibility for success.

Rebuilding trust in the relationship will be probably be as challenging as the addiction itself, and you will probably also want to seek couples counseling. 

An immediate first step towards that success is for men to enroll in the completely confidential and very affordable 10 session online video course for porn addiction treatment at If you're wondering if you or your partner has a porn addiction problem, take this online Porn Addiction Quiz.


Sign Up for more info and get a free copy of the Intro and first chapter of my best-selling book, "Breaking the Cycle"!

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18 comments on “The TRUTH About Being Married To A Sex Addict”

  1. She is in her own state of torment. There is only one bad guy here and it’s the cheating husband who used you and her. To expect a betrayed partner to behave well or rationally or calmly is futile and, frankly, unethical.

    I am so sorry for what you’ve gone through. I would seek counseling for yourself to help work through your own betrayal trauma.

  2. I’m really needing some help, I’ve been with my now fiancé 10 months. He has talked about addiction but never the extent. I always assumed it was AA. I suppose it’s my fault for not asking deeper questions. I was at his house and stubbles across a journal expressing is sex addiction. He’s been in active recovery since 2017… much of the journal detailed the women, the cheating, the betrayal and urges. Im completely caught off guard and am questioning our whole relationship. Im not sure how to overcome this and I’m not sure if this is something I’m willing to take on for our for seeable future.

  3. What does the sexually exploited partner do when it turns out the man is married. This happened to me. When I found out all the lies he’d told me, I had no choice but to end the long term relationship. I found out who his wife was and let her know, with proof, texts, msgs and videos, it was irrefutable. To my horror, she protected him. Posted pictures of them on her social media cuddling and made me out to be a liar. She didn’t allow me to get any explanation or closure. I was told afterwards by a horrified friend of hers that he’d done this before and he claims he has a sex addiction. He didn’t apologise to me, he simply said he’d faked the years we had together, meanwhile his wife is lying to protect him and seemingly couldn’t care less about his victims. She is a Christian pastor, her abuse was almost worse than his. What do I do?

  4. He needs help. He needs individual counselling and he needs to go to SAA. Obsessive watching of porn is still sex addiction.

  5. This is the most ridiculous thing I have read for a while. People like you Ken, simply cant be bothered to give women the love, respect and honesty they deserve.

    Youre here because you are a sex addict and looking to blame women rather than reflect on your own behaviours. Firstly - here's the truth - maintaining a secret sexual life is psychological abuse that causes trauma to intimate partners, relationships, children and families.

    So remember - having an affair is a form of abuse, that makes you an abuser. You have a choice to be emotionally mature and connected with your partner. You have a choice to sit down with your wife/gf and tell her how you feel about sex, your desires and what you want from your physical relationship. But like most men, you think that talking about your feelings and desires makes you vulnerable so you shut off and take the easy route - like tossing off to porn, a one night stand or a prostitute.

    Stop blaming women for your inability to talk to your wife/gf about your intimate needs - BE A BETTER MAN.

  6. If I knew that my now ex-husband was a sex addict, I would have never married him. 25 years after we said "I do" in front of God, family, and our closest friends and co-workers is when I discovered all the lies and deceit, including how long he was divorced from his first wife. It was only months and not the 3 years he told me when we first started dating. I recently discovered his addiction destroyed that marriage, too.

    I am not a naive person. This man apparently had this addiction for decades before we met and had been lying to me since we started dating in 1997. He's a master at future faking and lies. Here's what I know. While some recovery programs may help these men stop the behavior for a while, after decades of porn use and who knows what else, he will never be able to get those fantasy images out of his head. They are burned into his brain and I refuse to be left wondering what/who he's thinking of if we were ever to be intimate again. I never in a million years thought my marriage would turn out this way. I married the "nice guy."

  7. This won’t be published but if wives didn’t make it such a big deal to have sex then their husbands wouldn’t be going elsewhere. Simple as that. All men like sex more than women and that is where the problem starts so stop trying to put a diagnosis on nature.

  8. At what point should I be worried I’m just enabling my husbands addiction? We have been married 23 years, and have 4 children. I discovered his porn addiction after 6 months of marriage. We have been through so much counseling, he has been through step recovery process, has had mentor, heavily involved in church etc. Checking all the boxes! We have a falling out about every 5 years. Every time I tell myself it’s the last time I’ll stay. Well it just happened again. I don’t work and am terrified of leaving. The kids have no clue I’ve ever dealt with any of this. Oldest is 20. Should I continue to hide it from them? Am I just enabling him by still staying? I’ve always heard addicts have to hit rock bottom. Am I his cushion?

  9. I was conned by, what I now believe to be, a sex addict with high narcissistic traits. He told me he was single, we were together for years long distance. I found out that he is in fact married. I ended the relationship immediately. His wife wouldn’t tell me anything, other than he had a sex addiction. Both of them turned on me as if it was all my fault. I didn’t even know he had a wife. I feel exploited and conned. AND his wife sees me as ‘the other woman’. It’s devastating. They are publicly trying to say I’ve lied about being with him and that there is nothing wrong with their marriage. It’s like being gaslighted by them. Now, maybe she’s also devastated and is hiding it. I am finding it very hard to have any sympathy for her as she’s made me the scapegoat and him the hero. Can anyone shed light on what is likely to be the real case of how she’s feeling? I actually want to find sympathy for her and to forgive him in time. But it’s so hard when they’ve made me out to be lying and to hide his addiction

  10. Abby, Best to get help....for both of you. Certainly couples work is in order. Call me and I'll explain how we could be of assistance to you.
    Best, George (Director)
    925 932 0201

  11. Been in love w this man for 15 years, dating for 9, married for 4, 1 child, 1 dog. Arrested for snooping into a *fortunately* empty window and only got probation. Before that there was general objectification of women, taking pictures and videos of them w/o their permission. One of these women included my younger sister. So much hurt lies and betrayal. He decided to get help and has been sober for 4 months. We’ve decided to stay together as long as he is active in the program. We haven’t had sex in almost a year and HES denying ME bc he’s “not ready”. I’m sure he’s still riddled w guilt and shame but what about my needs? I’ve never been a cheater so I’m just left to suffer. What should I do?

  12. Wow came across this as prob most of us did, searching for answers on the web lol well we been together 17 years married 14 have 2 kids. I just recently came to a full understanding that my husband may be a sex addict, he basically has been cheating on me since we been together he would get caught I would feel like I died and we would “heal” promising not to hurt me anymore but it kept happening. He got locked up and I started to entertain another man for about 4 years and had an affair 1 month out of the 4 years it was cut off when my husband was released and had no issue doing that bc I always was so deep in love with him. So I kept believing he would change until recently I finally admitted to what I did while he was away and it killed him im talking he was a different person all of our family and friends were so blown away with how he took it bc they always were aware how many times he cheated so I dealt with a lot verbal abuse bitterness all that for two years and we grew closer after I thought shit was sweet 2 more years went by with nothing but happiness I didn’t find him doing anything until this Oct in an old phone seen the messages and ig messages (ig is the devil btw 96% of all the cheating was from that platform) seen the same pattern and I just felt numb I was so messed up with thinking things were finally good after we healed from my situation that was the only time I messed up out of the 17 years compared to over 50 different women I was aware of let’s not even get into what I don’t actually know. So here we are now he finally started admitted a lot of things to me and I had to sit there with my heart racing listening to him bc I didn’t want to act out and he not tell me anything but my God it’s just so many different women they all were short lived like maybe week of building heavy text ig talk then he either has sex or gets head then ghost them then on to a new person so He has finally deleted his ig and allowed me access to his phone messages and says he wants to really try and beat this thing (I didn’t ask him to do any of that so I was like wow) We need therapy 100% and I def do bc I’m traumatized from all the hurt I forgave him each time so yes I see my fault in this but I’m just not trying to live the rest of my life this way I’ll be 40 next year I need to escape and cold turkey bc Im still in love with him so it would be hard to do this but I’m aware it may be needed if things can’t change sighhhh so weird that he is all open now and even told me times he tried to fight it but it was windows of being good then drag back into the double like he admit some shame after acts etc and I’m like cool it does kinda make me feel better but I’d rather him not wanting all these other women. And to speak on our sex life it’s amazing we have sex a lot he doesn’t neglect me he shows love he provided he does everything perfect as a husband and father other than only wanting to commit to me and only me so here I am…basically that’s the situation

  13. Rhaena, I hope this finds you doing better. I’m not sure if I am actually doing better or not. It is so hard some days. Sometimes I just want to say, I can’t do this anymore. But then the love feeling come back and I can’t leave. So sometimes I feel very stuck. He did confess that there were 3 different women. I had no clue. I still find myself crying a lot. My self worth, I have to confess has taken quite a blow. I do believe he is doing everything in his power so stay away from all sorts of sex. TV shows, movies. He goes to a therapist every week. I believe right now he is doing ok, but I also think
    the withdraw has been very hard on him but he doesn’t like omit it. Personally I can’t put the porn and affairs together and I am struggling with believing the affairs are from the addiction. My therapist keeps trying
    to help me see that, but it still just blows my mind.
    I don’t know if you are having problems with concentration, but I have none. I draw, do watercolors and calligraphy and I can’t do any of it and it has been over a year. But it took almost a year to get the whole truth out. I would love to talk with you, we don’t have groups for the spouse here in my area. I have two friends I have confided in but I still haven’t told them everything. But talking to someone who is going through the same thing would be good. If. You can figure out away without putting information on this sight.

  14. Deb I am in th same position as you are. The tears are falling fast down to the sheer betrayal of the fact my husband of 26 years has going to sex workers. What I find most hurtful is his affair with 2 women for 5 years. One woman dropped off as she wanted more but the latter one he stayed with sneaking around telling me he was going fishing but instead spending weekends with her. He tells me she was his fantasy of a black woman who would perform certain sexual acts he enjoyed and he would also push her for more. He also said he was ‘fond of her’ and when she left him he begged her for 2 years to come back to him. He said he missed the sexual acts not her. I am so confused and hurt. I go from lashing out to sobbing. The hurt and pain is indescribable. The anger I have makes me want to scream. I feel stupid that I was so trusting. This is a mild mannered quiet man- just shocked. Please contact me should you wish to as this is soul destroying and hard for friends to understand too. I wish I could say it will get better but I not sure for me I can move past it this level of betrayal sex addict or not.

  15. Kurt,
    I honestly don’t think it matters much if it is the male or female. The hurt is the same. I found out a year ago about the porn addiction and late July I found out about the affair(s) I only know about one. I am lost, full of rage and sorrow. I have been screaming in my pillow, (I think I blow a hole in it) the relieve some of the hurt and anger. I have know idea where the tears are coming from because I have cried so much and so hard, I can’t have many left. I’ve been married for 43 years and never had a clue. I am 62 and have know idea what my future holds for me. The one thing that I ask of him is to stop the lies, I’m not real sure he can do that. Please if you haven’t found a therapist find one. It does help. Take care of yourself.

  16. I can relate to what was written. But there is one major difference. The sex addict is my wife. I am having a hard time finding help for dealing with a spouse who is a women with sex addiction. She also has postpartum on top of it and a sexually tramatic childhood. I'm in over my head.

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