Is there a light at the end of the tunnel??

I am 28 years old and just recently came to this community to seek advice/guidance/support... I have struggled with sex/love addiction for as long as I can remember at least to a degree and it seems like over the last few years the compulsion seems to have gotten stronger.. My first few relationships it didn't get strong enough to where I cheated or really even thought of cheating, I just seemed to have a really strong sex drive.. I guess when it began to interfere with my life was in my last marriage. I was doing stuff that morally I was absolutely against doing but I somehow found myself doing it anyway. I was down right embarrassed of my behavior and how it looked to others and I got kind of a reputation for it. I think at first I knew I had a problem but kept trying to make excuses for myself and justify my inexcusable behavior. In my current marriage things have pretty much gone to hell but I refuse to give up on it. I love my husband so much it hurts and the worst part about it is that I've hurt him
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  • @Kels2017 hello and welcome. glad you are here!!  i'm glad you are wanting to work on this... love and sex addiction can sure be bondage cause a lot of havoc.

    do you have a game plan going forward?  i struggled with a form a love addiction... codependency. i got my worth from a lover....she was my "fix". it sucked... and it took me years of working on me...and healing and growing...

    for me learning about this helped me understand myself better. my addiction's root fear was abandonment.... at the root of all of it i feared being abandoned or alone...and my security came in someone needing me...(my kids and then a lover)... and sex was simply more of the same. i needed sex to feel good about myself. 

    i went to codependent anonymous meetings. read great books by melody beattie and pia mellody. check out some books on the topic and start reading... watch some youtube videos on the topic...   learning about addiction in general can help.

    counseling is an option too. can give you a chance to start digging to get to the root of the issue and learn some valuable things going forward.

    hope this helps... and hope you stick around the forum. great group of people here!
  • @Dominica yes that is exactly where my problem stems (codependency) and I always leave relationships when they start getting tough because being abandoned is one of my worst fears as well. The therapy has been helping I think getting at least at my self esteem issues which I think plays a significant part in my seeking affection.. I went a couple years without acting out or even secretly wanting to honestly, when I was pregnant with my daughter and it didn't start back up until my husband started battling addiction himself to benzos and alcohol. He could get pretty emotionally abusive but it was just the substances because when he quit things were good again for quite awhile but it seems like anytime stuff gets hard between us I turn to this seeking out people to be with both physical and emotional.. I twill check out those books thank you so much for the suggestion. I really want like a conceptual understanding of what I'm dealing with and why I am this way ♥
  • @Kels2017... If you have an issue with codependency, you have to read Melody Beattie's Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself. It's an AMAZING book! I can't recommend it highly enough.

    You will find that light at the end of the tunnel, my friend. I know you will. Keep the faith and keep working hard. And remember we're here to help and support you any way we can.
  • @Dean and @Dominica, I have kind of a mix of problems and I'm not sure which "category of addiction" I most accurately belong in. Codependency is absolutely an issue with me, I've never been able to be single even though I knew I should I always ended up in relationships and now I am married and I do believe my husband is THE person I want even despite our problems because of my addiction (i would have this problem no matter who I am with) I know sex plays a part because I am a highly sexual person although I realize that a lot of my sexual feelings make me feel very shameful which is not normal either. I've had some sexual trauma in my early child hood that my therapist says plays a significant role in my problem although it took a lot of convincing me because it's not something I often think about.. I think my problem is that I don't necessarily seek out sex, I seek out love, affection and acceptance and unrealistic kind of love too.. I really want to find some reading that will help me sort out exactly the kind of stuff I can relate to that will help me and I think it would really help if it was from a female perspective too (whatever kind of literature I find)..
  • @Kels2017... One question for you: Did either of your parents have an issue with alcoholism or addiction? Just curious. Some of your "symptoms" seem to correlate with those of adult children of alcoholics. 

    As for the reading material, @dominica is probably a better person to make recommendations to you because, well...she is a female. ;)
  • @Kels2017 ;

    John Bradshaw has some great books on healing shame...and working with our inner child... youtube videos too. helped me A learning a bit about why i looked outside for validation and love...and why i kept coming up empty...
  • @DeanD as far as I can remember no, neither of my parents had alcohol or drug/addiction problems but my closest brother is a pretty severe alcoholic.. He himself has always had addiction issues and has made a lot of mistakes of his own but he likes to point out all my mistakes and make me feel worse than I already do, he basically revels in it for some reason we aren't very close anymore because he is a toxic person I think..
  • @Kels2017... I came across this article this morning on The Fix website and thought you might be interested in reading it:

    Hope you have a great day!
  • @DeanD, yea I know it has a lot more to do with seeking an unrealistic kind of romance/connection, sex is only part of it... The part that really strikes a chord for me is the "chronic search for new partners" that describes my life to a T! My mom always asked me "Why do you have to be so boy crazy?" Or "Why can't you just be single?" Or "Why do you care so much about guys or what other people think?" My self esteem has always been a serious problem for me and growing up I constantly needed to look perfect, to the point where I had eating disorders and had completely lost touch with reality (I was anorexic and very skinny but when I looked in the mirror I always thought I looked fat or not pretty). A lot of those issues though came from my childhood because my parents always had something to say if I put any weight on...My therapist actually thinks that is the main reason I have this addiction.. Thanks for the read Dean!
  • @Kels2017... Thinking of you today and hope you're doing alright. Remember that you have a community that cares about you here. :)
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