About the author, Ella Hutchinson

Ella is a Licensed Professional Counselor and and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) who is passionate about advocating for partners of sex addicts by helping them to find their voice. She served for three years as a founding board member of the Association for Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS). Today, she proudly serves on the board of directors for the organization, Certified Sex Addiction Specialists-International (CSASI). Ella and her husband, Jeff, work together helping couples whose marriages have been invaded by sexual addiction.

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18 thoughts on “Why is my husband so angry? It all comes down to shame.

  1. I need some guidance in finding a therapist in Wisconsin who is well educated trained, and experienced in sex addiction and betrayal trauma. I have been struggling alone with this for a year and a half now. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on. I’ve seen 2 different counselors who were clueless and I believe did more harm than good. My church is useless in this regard. Is there anyone out there who can help me?

  2. Finally an article with real MEAT in it!! Thanks–though our 15 year marriage ended in divorce, it hits the nail on the head and I will gladly share this with my suffering friends. It’s only been a year since I made this decision to move on alone; his untreated porn still wrecks havoc with my head. Still in counseling, prescribed antidepressants, family, friends, and my God, I get through each day one moment at a time. Trust a BIG factor–right now it’s God and me that I put my trust in.

    • You are blessed to be out of it. I wish I could do the same. We have 3 kids together and I’m committed to homeschooling them. Some days are hard to put on a smile and get through, but I do. My kids make it all worthwhile.

  3. I found this article fascinating. I’ve been free from porn and sexual self-gratification for probably 5 years now after being involved with it for over 20 years. I’ve had my struggles and not without setbacks. Jesus has set me free through His Word and promises. I have found my church’s practice of private confession to be of great help.

    One of the side effects I’ve noticed is that I am so less angry. I didn’t realize how angry a person I was until I was no longer spending time in porn. I used to find myself angry at everything – especially my wife and kids. Now? not so much. They’re still the same – but I’m different. No longer hiding, or covering up. However – if someone had told me this before – I don’t think I would have believed them. Experience has been my teacher and I’m a slow learner.

    • Hi, John, thank you for sharing. When you describe the decrease in anger, I believe you are experiencing a rewiring of your brain. See, as you were teaching your brain to bond to porn with certain chemicals, your brain started to see your wife and kids as distractions from the stimulus it craved….more porn. That’s the dark side of our complex neurology – our brain is a-moral – it just responds to our choices, whether they’re moral or not. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing intimacy with your wife, that teaches your brain to bond to her as the source of the stimulation. It’s fascinating! Dr. William Struthers has some research about this neuroscience that you might enjoy watching and learning more about, if you have access to YouTube.

      Peace! Chris
      Covenant Eyes

  4. Very general and subjective opinions viewed one sided. So much about this is male specific and negative without including the female problems with the same addictions. One might say it is not as common but 50 years ago so were women voting. Times change and subjective opinions like this one article is not looking at a much bigger picture of what lead the person to this label and is it really the base of the problem or an outcome of another problem? It is very Freud based of clinging to mother or because of childhood. For an expert I was hoping to hear more understanding and deeper research of the actual causes based on discussions with the victim of the addiction not those around the same.

    There is so much more even a layperson would know and has seen. Any first responder would not agree with most of these conclusions. Clinical truths do not match in home real life facts seen by a first responder.

    • Joseph,

      I disagree with you. First off, you need to be specific about how this article is incorrect and bias and then comment on each bias. Then you need to explain what you see and why.

      I would like to know why you believe telling the truth about men is negative. The truth is the truth whether you like it or not.

      I am a mental health professional who specializes in these topics. This article is so accurate that I am planning on sharing it with colleagues.

      I really would like to know why you take issue with it. Does it hit too close to home in some way? That is do you have a wife who you believe is a sex addict or have you been labeled as one.

      The part about childhood trauma is not Freudian. It comes from family systems therapy. It also comes from behaviorism as shaped by environment and past experiences.

      So let’s hear it— what’s wrong with the article, point by point?

      And what does women getting the vote have to do with sex addiction?

      Your comments are all over the place.

  5. This article is a very interesting read. I relate to everything said. I feel to many emotions and know I’ve caused to much pain. Pain which has caused my wife to lose her family. Pain which has made her bury herself in her work. Pain which has driven her away from her kids. I find myself wanting to heal in hopes that her pain would subside.
    It is to easy to just believe that my sexual addiction was caused by being sexually exploited at a young age. I have and still do tell myself, I known what I was doing on my knees. I have a very hard time believing what happened to me 45 or 50 years ago is still my problem.
    I look forward to reading the second part and “what wives of sex addicts have a right to know”.
    I have huge amounts of emotions bottled up inside.

  6. Good article but it almost comes across like it’s blaming the wife. I would walk with caution on the way it’s written. Of course a sex addict will view his wife as you describe here. He’s accustomed to manipulating. What is often not mentioned is the reality that with any addiction only 5 percent or less actually are repentant. The wife is only having natural reactions to his betrayal. Often times if she isn’t reacting as such, i would be concerned. Holding him accountable, I would probably change the tone or the way this article was written. Just my 2 cents. Speaking from personal experience and especially since it’s information that is public. Taking away the shame does not mean we have to fix the wife to get it especially since there is a lot at stake. He will feel shame regardless of how she reacts and most often that shame is also something he hangs on because most likely he might not want to give up his habit. We must be careful very careful. Because sex addicts are living a secret life, they usually have been training themselves to manipulate well, to the point that they count on their wife to behave wounded, it gives them a sick form of control and it also helps them play victim as they use excuses to not give up their secrets. The anger can come from many areas yes, Shame is a huge culprit but like anything shame is complicated. The anger may also be what the obvious “he got caught, doesn’t want to change and lacks empathy” because sex addiction inhibits narcissistic behaviors that overtime are difficult to change.

    • Thanks, Maria. Often folks are not familiar with defense mechanisms and gaslighting, which go hand in hand with addictive patterns. When we are not wise about these patterns, we will make the wife responsible for the husband’s choices, and that’s never healthy. Thank you for speaking up against this insidious form of blame toward women. Peace to you, Kay

  7. I’m sorry but I do not understand where in the article blames the injured spouse. Am I missing something? The article and replies are great information. The defense mechanism’s are not discussed in this particular piece but doesn’t mean they disagree.

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