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Married to a sex-addict!

Nov 6th, 2008 by Dr. Elia | 0

I recently received a question pertaining to sexual addiction and infidelity in a marriage. Because of the amount of detail contained in the question, I have elected to remove it from this site. The answer to the question appears below for the benefit of those who may be struggling with similar issues.

Dear Pam,

First of all, your feelings are NOT messed up! Not wanting to be
intimate with your husband after years of infidelity is perfectly
normal. Trust is the primary cornerstone of any successful relationship.
Your husband has completely emptied the marital “trust fund” through
his actions. Clearly he has a LOT of work ahead of him to try and
restore whatever little is left from the destruction he has caused.

You say he “needs it a lot” and therefore you feel like you should
oblige…He’s an addict and like any addict, of course he would say he
needs it a lot. What however might be in his best interest is a period
of abstinence. He needs to be working with a therapist that specializes
in Sexual Addiction recovery on a weekly basis. He also needs to be
attending a 12-Step support group (where abstinence is encouraged.)
finally he needs to be meeting with your Bishop every Sunday for the
time being. If he does ALL of these steps for a long time then he might
have a chance of a different and by that I mean, a sober life!

I seriously doubt if he truly knows what love or real love-making is all
about. He might be great at “lust-making” but that is part of his
problem. You do not want to enable his lust-making by trying to meet
those addictive acting-out needs. Taking care of yourself does mean that
you treat your body and yourself with respect. You are NOT an object for
his desires. You are a daughter of your Heavenly Father…always
remember that!

If you need to talk more, please feel free to call.

God bless,

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

Serious Sin

Aug 31st, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | Comments Off

Dear Dr. Elia,

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I am a faithful member. I have been married for nearly 20 years to a man that does not honor his priesthood. We have had a lot of problems in our marriage throughout our time together. It has been very difficult. I have taken these woes and sorrows to my bishop on a number of occasions, and just the other day, we both admitted that we are very attracted to each other. During his counsel to me, we ended up making love in his office.

I have no idea what to do. I think that I am falling in love with him. I do love my children and know that what we did was horribly wrong, but at the same time, he comforted me beyond what my husband has ever been able to do.

Please help me get a grip here.

Dear S,

I would usually be more than glad to answer questions on the subjects of “unhappy marriages”, attraction to others and even infidelity. I have dealt with these issues numerous times over the last 20 years with a multitude of clients. Unfortunately, given that this was with a person in a position of trust, who has stewardship over you and so many others, I will make the following recommendations:

1) Your situation requires that you get in contact with your Stake President or other local ecclesiastical leader(s). It is an urgent manner and needs to be addressed now, as the potential consequences to your family, his family and the entire ward can be enormous. Please don’t delay, even though it will be painful.

2) As to your marriage, have you attempted to find a third party to help resolve your issues? Besides confiding to your bishop, have you (and your husband) received any counseling or marital therapy? If your marriage is not beyond the “point of no return” I would highly recommend it. If it is beyond the point of no return, then you have some very important decisions to make.

3) It is easy to see why you would be “falling in love” with someone that has provided comfort, especially when you’ve been involved in a loveless marriage all these years. With your needs going unattended for so long, you became extremely vulnerable. Unfortunately, your vulnerability has led you to this situation. Even though I try to never judge anyone, the biggest responsibility for what took place lies with your bishop, because he was in a position of authority… With such a position comes great responsibility and even if he was wonderfully empathic to you, his actions cannot be justified. If he had felt attracted to you, he should have talked with his Stake President and sought help before it escalated.

If you have any more questions let me know. You can contact me directly at the phone number below if you have any questions or would like to discuss this further.

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

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