Struggling with Sex Addiction
After four years of marriage, Elaine says she discovered that her husband, Jonathan, was secretly addicted to porn. His addiction led him into sex chat rooms, and he eventually began having sex with prostitutes.
During this time, Jonathan says he hid his addiction out of shame, and though he felt a release when he had sex, he didn't enjoy these extramarital relationships. "There's the thrill of sex, but it's just so filled with shame and secrecy," he says. "It also brought such feelings of guilt."
When Elaine first found out about Jonathan's addiction, they separated, but they have been back together for 10 years. What advice would Jonathan give other couples facing the same painful admission?
"We always ask people to kind of take a breathing period. There may need to be a separation for a period of time," he says. "We have found that our intimacy in our relationship and our connection is vastly better than we ever imagined it could be. ... There is hope for change."
Dr. Drew says a marriage plagued by sex addiction can survive if both partners are committed to the recovery process. "It can't be a one-way street," he says.