Denial induces numbness. Now couple your need for denial with the fact that sex addicts are masters of misdirection. They can quickly tap into your vulnerability, and charm you or shame you right out of your distrust. His manipulations may include being charming, bullying, threatening, and playing the victim and often using the combination of any or all of those. This conduct is beyond hurtful. It’s cruel, abusive, and traumatizing. It is also a natural aspect of addictive behavior, a manipulative attempt to take the focus off of him.
Examples of denial are thinking such things as:
- The pornography doesn’t really bother me, it’s only pictures.
- He can’t help it if other women throw themselves at him.
- Work must be his problem; if he would just change jobs.
- If we move he will stop this behavior.
Your denial is supported by extensive rationalization.
- Men will be men.
- He is an honest person; he would not lie to me.
- He’s not really staring at women; he’s just interested in watching people.
- It doesn’t hurt to look at pictures (porn) – at least he is not having an affair.
- It’s easier for him to be friends with women – that doesn’t mean he is having an affair.
- His business takes priority over me and the kids but I understand – it’s just while he is building his career.
- I must have gotten this STD from a toilet seat – he told me I couldn’t have gotten it from him.
- He told me the long distance calls were not his – the phone company must have made a mistake.
- Those Internet spammers are infiltrating our email with porn sites.
- The police are exaggerating his behavior.
- He’s such a good dad.
- It's not his fault that I can’t fulfill him sexually.
- I am the one he comes home to.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, they are rationalizations that will keep you in denial.