When the Internet arrived in our home, it became my main activity. I got into videos. I developed more rituals to enhance my acting out. I stayed up all hours of the night getting my fix from male same-sex sites, personal sites, chat rooms, and video sex. It was never enough. In 1997, I had an affair with a guy living in our home. I admitted this to my wife. My behavior was destroying our marriage. She was in the major career position of her life, and I was creating hell for her. One night I was online setting up a date with a man, thinking my wife was asleep. I was lost in the haze of acting out and didn’t realize she was looking over my shoulder. We argued, and that argument led me to see that I had a problem.
I made the call and got to my first meeting. I got a sponsor, went to meetings, and began working the Steps. I found a good job and got involved in Sexaholics Anonymous service. But I had only embraced physical sobriety, not lust sobriety. My character defects were still at work. Things were better, but I was not happy, joyous, or free. One month shy of my fifth sober anniversary, I lost my sobriety.
After a period of time, I got back into the program and once again achieved one year and five months of sobriety. My wife said I had finally become the man she always hoped I would become. I could almost hear the rubber stamp that screamed, “Fixed”. I decided that the rules of Sexaholics Anonymous no longer applied. I lost interest in meetings, went back on the Internet, and began masturbating again. I went on Internet dating sites, male clothing sites, and more. I crossed the boundary of not viewing this at work. I went right back to where I had left off years before, but worse. I was hopeless but still going to meetings.
The filters on my work computer had to be removed because they interfered with my job. Once they were gone, I was looking again. I acted out again and had to admit it to my wife. I began to get some relief from lust. I increased my meeting attendance and started praying. When we were getting ready to move, I masturbated and chose not to tell my wife. I lied to my groups. I acted out once more—and suddenly I clearly saw the extent of my sickness. I’d been engineering resentment toward my wife, which gave me a reason to act out.
For once, facing my sickness head-on brought me to despair. It was the beginning of freedom for me. The past three years of my recovery have been significantly better because I’ve learned to forgive myself and allow myself to be an integrated person, a whole and loving child of God. I have come to accept all of me, especially the part I had tried so hard to suppress—my same-sex attraction. The support and friendship of a wonderful man with a similar attraction in our fellowship has helped me to see my life as choices. I know now that love is commitment. Commitment has become a beautiful word in my life. Today I love being used by God to do His will.