Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
On paper Dylan looked great.
“I’m a single father, a good one I think, and a hard-working man. I love my children and do my best to teach them the right things in life. I’m very considerate. I treat women well. I open doors, light cigarettes and walk on the street side of the sidewalk. I’m a good provider and have been told many times I’m the perfect man.”
And yet he kept sabotaging his relationships. He was 44 before he realized that it was his lying and cheating that had wrecked almost all of his relationships.
His last relationship was with Demi. Their first date lasted 17 hours and Dylan says it was the best day of his life. The second date was more of the same. Another perfect day. The third date was spectacular and ended with what Dylan calls “the most incredible connection I’ve ever had in my life. Demi was eager and willing and completely satisfied with our union. I sometimes wish I had died that day. Then she would have never known the other me. I would have always been the perfect man in her life.”
But, he didn’t die. Instead, he did what he always did, he cheated and then lied about it. “I hit on every woman I could and also got involved with prostitutes. I thought if no one knew I was OK.”
When she found out, Demi broke up with Dylan. Then she took him back. They went back and forth several times.
“I would be good for a while then right back to my same old patterns. This is the cycle of addiction. It starts with shame over what you’ve done that leads to guilt. Then you must medicate the guilt with whatever your drug of choice is. Mine was women, and then after acting out you suffer with remorse which leads back to the shame and the circle starts all over. It’s the most powerful cycle there is and it’s the root cause of all addictions.
“You see all my life I’d been hurt by women. I had a distrust of them, yet always wanted their approval. Somewhere along the line I had developed a hurt-them-before-they-hurt-me defense. This went all the way back to my first real girlfriend who left me for my best friend.”
After five years, Demi had had enough. She finally said goodbye. Losing her was the shock Dylan needed to do something about his life. He went to sexual addiction meetings, started seeing a counselor and visited his doctor who told him he was severely depressed and put him on medication that changed his life.
“As I came out of my depression and quit acting out, the memories of my life started coming back to me. I don’t want to go into the gritty details. Suffice it to say that I had had a brutal childhood. I was molested by a cousin and beaten by my mother. I left home when I was 15. I thought I had buried the abuse forever. Little did I know that my past would knock the legs out from under every relationship I had unt
Is an addiction ruining your relationship? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to email@example.com. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.