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When I confronted him about it, he immediately confessed and apologized profusely. He explained that it’s a sexual issue/addiction that he’s had for years – even before he met me. But a part of me also believes everything he told me, because it’s in line with his character. And, to echo your sentiments at the close of your email, unfortunately I don’t have enough experience with addiction (much less sex addiction) to be able to rightfully guide you. While sex addiction is not listed in the 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is pretty much the bible for mental health diagnoses, it’s still prevalent enough to have been studied extensively. As such, you’re taking a highly calculated risk that he doesn’t backslide.

We had talked about the future and had great relationships with each other’s families and friends. I recently found out that he had been responding to sex posts/ads online. My emotional side tells me that I should give him a second chance, but only once he’s made progress through counseling. Unfortunately I don’t have enough experience with love to know. –Zoe Dear Zoe, A very thoughtful letter and a very tricky situation.

Does she show consistency in making decisions with integrity in all areas of her life (i.e., financial, family, work), not just in relationships?

SELF-CARE: When people who have struggled with sex addiction have worked hard on their personal recovery, one of the tools they learn is the importance of self-care.

For example, a person who has abused alcohol needs to stay away from bars and heavy drinking venues to avoid temptation.

The same goes for people with sex addiction; they have certain places they cannot visit, movies they cannot watch, and websites to stay clear of, and even conversations with other individuals that may trigger certain thoughts or feelings.

If people do not feel that they have an addiction or struggle with any kind of sexual integrity issue, it is more challenging for them to understand the need to have boundaries around their relationship to protect it from anything that can cause it to weaken.

I just broke up with my boyfriend of almost three years. He swore that he never actually met up and did anything physical with anybody; he had only exchanged messages. He asked me if I could find it in my heart to stay with him and give him a chance to fix himself and be a better man. He had always been honest with me, even when we discussed difficult subjects. I’m not the type of person who magically “knows” or dreams about marriage, but being with him made me start thinking about the possibility of marriage. One short description on the page sort of leaped out at me: In layman’s terms, that sounds like some serious shit. The one thing I can weigh in on with some measure of authority is this: You WILL fall in love again. You don’t seem to lack for attractive traits or self-esteem.It is essential that they share their feelings appropriately and be truthful with themselves and that they avoid anything that would cause even a hint of suspicion by others.One way that you will know that your dating partner is someone who values integrity is to watch him or her.Does this person’s behavior coincide with his or her belief system?Is he open about his life’s journey while using discernment?

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