In the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a well-respected doctor, with many friends and an impeccable reputation, leads another life as the despicable Mr. Hyde. Sex addicts can often identify with the notion of being two different people, living two lives which are incompatible with each other–yet both exist.
Shame and guilt lead the sex addict to hide his behaviors from virtually everyone, including spouse, friends, and family. There is the person everyone knows–responsible, caring, admired. Perhaps he is a church deacon or a Little League coach. He is known as a loving parent, faithful spouse, and successful businessman. However, there is another part of him, behind the scenes, known by no one. That person views pornography for hours at a time, visits prostitutes regularly, and often goes to strip clubs.
Even though sex addicts rationalize and minimize their actions, the internal strain can take its toll. Living another life contrary to one’s values, morals, religious beliefs can create tremendous emotional turmoil. The emotional energy needed to constantly avoid detection by deceiving others can be exhausting. Self-esteem is damaged and self-respect destroyed.
Seeking help for sex addiction is the first step away from a Jekyll and Hyde existence. Recovery from sex addiction is possible and can break the curse of living with one foot in the light and one foot in darkness. Very hard work will be needed, but it is work directed toward living a life of authenticity, integrity, and honesty. Sex addicts can escape the plague of living two lives and can become whole, healed persons.