Hey Kids, Your Dad is a Sex Addict

Well, those aren’t the precise words that were used to tell our children of my husband’s sex addiction. Because I wasn’t the one who said them. He did.

My husband and I had discussed the when and how of telling our young adult children that our marriage was in crisis and we were in recovery from his sex addiction and intimacy anorexia. We never really entertained the idea of if.

Neither of our children was living at home with us. Or even near by. Our son lived seven hundred kilometres away. Our daughter was attending university overseas. They weren’t aware that the festering pain in our hearts had erupted. We didn’t have to tell them anything. But we chose to.

We didn’t have a plan of action. No details worked out, other than my agreeing to allow my husband to disclose to our children on his own. I trusted the sincerity of his heart. His vulnerability, courage and desire to expose his sexual sin to our children strengthened my ability to trust his recovery and care for the precious hearts of our son and daughter.

When this would all happen remained an unknown. Particularly knowing it was not likely to be a one time occurrence with our children sitting together on a couch waiting expectantly for their father’s words. No day was marked on the calendar. I trusted God to provide the moment.

And God did just that. Only two months into my husband’s recovery program, he strongly felt the necessity to share his struggles with lust, pornography and masturbation with our then twenty five year old son. It happened in a phone call. My brave husband was scared, but more concerned about our son’s future well being than he was about protecting himself. In his words, he wanted to break the generational curse.

My husband stepped up in his role as a man, father and husband that day. I witnessed his pride melt away and be replaced by a genuine desire to confess his sin and offer a warning and if needed, hope, to his son.

We continued to discuss whether to wait several months until our then twenty two year old daughter was home from overseas to drop this bombshell on her, or to tell her now when she didn’t have the same support system to depend upon. A few months later, my husband received the answer. Our daughter called one afternoon as I was in the city at my partner’s recovery support group. I returned home to the announcement that as they were talking, he strongly felt led to share his struggles and recovery with her. He did.

God was preparing the hearts of both our son and daughter for this disclosure. We did not have to choose the time, or even the words. That was all up to God. All we, or more accurately, my husband, had to do was follow God’s leading. Now the healing that was beginning to occur in each of our hearts, and in our marriage, could radiate outwards to include all our family.

I have met many women through my recovery support group for partners of sex addicts. And I have heard many reasons for not disclosing the addiction to their children. Occasionally, the reasons have merit. There is obviously an age appropriateness factor to consider, and discretion needed in the details provided. But more often than not, the justification was simply an excuse to avoid discomfort or protect a false image of their husband and family.

It is my belief that those false images need to be shattered. That our children should be shown the truth of sexual sin and how it harms the entire family. Because it does. Most children know something is not quite right within their home, and identifying the issue can be freeing for everyone. Exposing the pain and sin allows an opportunity for the healing light to shine through the many, many cracks of a family damaged by addiction. Even when they don’t look broken to the outside world.

As parents, we need to teach our sons and daughters that pornography is not harmless and kills the soul of the user and deeply wounds their loved ones. Our children need to know that hiding and enabling sexual sin does not help anyone. Our sons and daughters need to know that there is freedom and healing, resources and help to overcome the bondage and shame of porn addiction. Our children need to be aware of the dangers of pornography use as they enter relationships. Our children need to know that when choosing their spouse, and also offering themselves as a mate, that often the best partners are those who have fought battles and won. We would have failed our children by remaining silent, standing aside, and watching them enter soul destroying relationships as either the abuser or the abused.

My husband, their father, is a hero. A warrior. Fighting for his freedom and marriage every single day. And winning. I want my children to know that. I want my son and daughter to know that God showed up in a mighty and marvelous way to lead their father to victory over his addiction. I want them to know that the shame of his sin was washed away by the blood of Jesus. I want them to know that miracles still happen. And their daddy is one.

I couldn’t imagine denying our children the opportunity to celebrate God’s supernatural power and healing in their father’s life by choosing to withhold his testimony from them. Their life stories are intertwined.

God shone His light in the darkness, and we followed. We invited our son and daughter to journey alongside us and have never regretted that decision for one moment. Healing is for all of us.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

17 thoughts on “Hey Kids, Your Dad is a Sex Addict

  1. I am sorry I did not comment on this before. This is so powerful. I do not know what to say but, Amen! This is completely humbling. When your husband can admit to his sex addiction and tell his children about this demon that almost ruined your marriage…….That is priceless. That took so much strength and courage. He is on the path to healing.
    Blessings your way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you A for your affirming words and continued blessings. Yes, my husband’s repentant heart has him solidly on a path of healing and recovery.
      But I do want to say that his sex addiction didn’t almost ruin our marriage, it DID ruin our marriage. We crashed. Blessedly, we both got up, chose to change and heal ourselves and then subsequently build a brand new marriage. It took all three of us, God, myself, and my husband, to write our amazing redemption story.
      There is an amazing story for you too. We just don’t know what it will look like yet.❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! Amen! Yes, there is freedom! And the younger generation need to not only be warned of the dangers of porn but, also, that there IS a way out!

    Loved this! Thank you for sharing. Let your husband know I am proud of him for his stance.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Stu! I will pass it along to him. Both our kids are super proud of him too. What he started with his vulnerability and willingness to talk about his addiction also continues to bring a new openness in our kids to share their struggles with us. The healing and freedom trickles outward and expands. It has been a gift for all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Praise God for his humility to share such a deep, personal struggle with them! Our children are still SO small, so it will be years before they understand the fullness of Hubby’s sin and what it’s done. But we’ve already talked about the fact that we WILL tell them in age-appropriate ways, especially because the age kids first see porn just keeps getting younger and younger as more and more children have smart phones and other devices. Hubby wants to do all he can to spare our boys and their future wives from this. Thank you for sharing your heart again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is awesome that you have already discussed this and chosen to be open. With your children being so young, it would be so easy to never share this part of your life story with them. Even though none of us can control the choices are children make regarding porn, or anything else, we can always offer them hope and a way out if they do become enmeshed. And at least by not keeping porn and sexual sin hidden, we have opened the door for our children to not feel alone and isolated. We have to keep shining the light through the darkness, beginning with our family!


  4. Amen!
    Your husband is indeed a hero to admit his addiction and to continue the fight for recovery and wholeness, both personal and marital.
    I love this statement: “As parents, we need to teach our sons and daughters that pornography is not harmless and kills the soul of the user and deeply wounds their loved ones.” It is so easy these days to be exposed to pornography, yet people disregard or don’t want to admit the damage it can do.
    Continued blessings to you both as the ripples of your testimony of God’s goodness continue to spread and help more and more people know that hope and healing exist with His help.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Sunshine Blogger Award | Something to Stu Over

    • Thank you. I have been inspired by so many others on my recovery journey that I feel blessed when someone is affected by my/our story of redemption and healing. I appreciate your feedback!


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