Q&A for women affected by a loved one’s pornography / sex / lust addiction

porn-addiction-recovery-is-possible-croshaws

Rhyll Croshaw, a woman who has been married to an addict for 40 years (he now has several years of recovery), answers questions from women who are personally affected by the sexual addiction of a loved one.

Questions include the following (and we’ve shared a few snippets of Rhyll’s answers).

Q: I just found out that my husband has a porn addiction, what should I do?

Rhyll writes:

When a woman first finds out her husband has a porn addiction she probably feels shock, denial, minimization, anger, and all sorts of craziness all rolled together. What she needs first and foremost is to recognize that she not only has trauma in that moment, but that she has been living with trauma in her life up until that point. When I found out about my husband’s addiction, some of the craziness that I felt for good portions of my life began to make a little bit more sense.

Although I started to recognize that I was really being influenced by his behaviors, I didn’t know how to deal with that information. 

(Read more on Rhyll’s site, Rhyll recovery….)

Ask Rhyll: How do you recognize when it is “recovery” and when it is just one of the regular stretches in the [addiction] cycle?

Rhyll writes:

Thirty three years ago our therapist said, “Can you stay with your husband if he is in recovery?” I responded, “After 33 years of lies, while I thought he was doing well and discovering later that he was acting out, how will I ever know if he is in recovery?” The therapist said, “You will know.”

In the last 7 years I have discovered two ways that help me to truly know. First, I have become educated on what the addiction is and looks like. I have learned what addiction attitudes and behaviors look like. Secondly, I have learned to trust my gut. I don’t second guess or minimize when I believe that something is wrong. With those tools and my own inspiration I can then be honest with myself and with my husband.

(Read more….)

Q: How did your family react to your [husband’s] disclosures?

Q: How did your family react to your disclosures? My husband and I have been in recovery quite a long time, but our children and grandchildren are pretty sure their father and grandfather hung the moon. When I even think about “coming out” my heart just sinks. How did you do it? Has there been a change in the relationship between your family members (especially grandchildren) and your husband?

(Read more to see Rhyll’s response)

Q: I just found out that my boyfriend has a porn addiction; will this pain ever go away?

When facing pornography use we naturally ask ourselves “Why would he look at pictures of other women if I were enough in his eyes?” Pornography use not only detaches him from you (and all other people in his life) and creates an attachment trauma for you, but it also pushes you to think, “I am not enough.” and then to ask, “What do I need to do to fix this?”

This kind of thinking fuels the pain, but to answer your question I’ll say to you here that the pain does subside. Working through the pain takes time, getting support, setting boundaries, and most of all getting a better understanding that YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Getting support is key….

(Read more….)

Rhyll and her husband, Steven, are the co-founders of the non-profit organization, SA Lifeline, an organization dedicated to “providing hope, education and resources related to pornography and sexual addiction recovery” — including a free, downloadable book called “Understanding Pornography and Sexual Addiction