I’m fairly certain we’ve spent the better part of $25,000 for The Player to answer this question. It’s pretty insightful actually and it’s been some hard work for The Player to dig and find the reasons he did what he did. You know what fucking sucks about this though? I knew it was these reasons all along but you can’t tell someone why they are fucked up (no matter how hard one tries) and have it mean anything to them. They have to go through their own pain and path for them to get it and have their own insightfulness to the why and how.
Before I continue, let me tell you that I believe him. There’s some fucked up bullshit that was in his head. It was stuck there. There were dick things done to him. These things stayed with him and changed him into a scared, self-worthless, unconfident, and validation-seeking person on this inside, while he projected the opposite to me. These fucked up bullshit reasons are at the core of his sex addiction. They lie with his bad judgement, his lack of understanding and wanting to understand. They lie with his unwillingness to change a long time ago and with his setting aside his morals and character to shove down his own pain and self perceived inadequacies so he could just feel better.
I will also tell you that while I am compassionate about what he had to go through, sometimes I think, “Really? That’s the reason you fucked around on me for two decades? That’s the reason you broke your vow and shattered me and our relationship? Our family?” Then I think something about him being a dick and a stupid mutherfucker, then I think I don’t have as much compassion as I thought I did. Then I realize I do have compassion and grace and if I didn’t I sure as hell wouldn’t have stayed this long to see the transformation he is going through.
He grew up in a what looked like a typical family. Hard working, community-driven father with sisters. They lived in a rural area where dad was a town leader. Dad provided for his family well, had good savings, land, and paid for all the kids to attend college. They were a church going family all of The Player’s life. There were Sundays it would only be he and his father and the preacher singing acapello. At one time he considered going into the ministry, which makes me laugh honestly because, yeah, being a sex addict would have gone over well with his bosses. Also, his youth minster at the time told him, “No, this isn’t for you, go do something else.”
His mother doted on her only son. He was a surprise baby thinking she was too old at 42 and told she could have no other children. She welcomed him into the family because all points of attention and affection from The Player’s father was given to the girls in the family. To me, that is when Dad’s resentment of The Player’s and his mother’s close relationship started. Dad didn’t treat mom so great, often joking about her weight, her being not so bright, not a good cook, but you know, in a playful, “loving” manner, that no one ever questioned it. Saying something and questioning a husband’s behavior just not what you did in the 50s and 60s. You just didn’t question your parents – especially your father – about his behavior, which now The Player sees as abusive.
The Player wasn’t treated with an equal amount of affection as the daughters. He didn’t have a bedroom in their comfortable home with plenty of bedrooms if a couple of sisters doubled up, so he had a twin mattress in the family room. When he was in his early teens he was “gifted” a cinder block storage room off the family room that was about 5 feet by 8 feet, that looked a lot more like a prison cell, holding only a twin bed and a small dresser, than a growing young man’s bedroom. Even as his sisters got married or went to college, he remained in the cinder block bedroom, the girls’ rooms remaining shrines to them in case they returned home. The Player’s room remained in the cinder block prison even as empty bedrooms remained in the home.
That was a story he shared early on in my dating him and very much to my stunned and horrified look. He explained it was just how it was, and through the years has said, “I know my father loved me even though he didn’t tell me. He provided for me.” I knew The Player equated “provide” with “love.” When I explained to him that wasn’t normal and that I felt that could cause pain and resentment and he’d probably benefit from therapy to work that shit out, he always made an excuse about how that was just how you were raised in the country, how it didn’t impact him because “I know my father loved me,” and even back 25 years ago to my aforementioned horrified look, not wanting to face the pain of a father who couldn’t show his son the kind of love he needed. The Player spoke of the rough life his father had, basically being born to work in the fields, he reasoned that his father was better than his father and did the best he could.
The mother did her best to even out the unfairness by the doting, by cooking The Player’s favorite things, by showing affection towards him. The Player can be kind and caring because of his mother, thank god for her. The more his mother tried to make right the unbalance, the more The Player was treated like he was property by his father. To be fair, that is how the father’s father treated him, but a good dose of field worker treatment towards his son.
All of these things, I knew must have impacted The Player. After a while I gave up trying to get him to deal with these issues because he buried the pain so deep. I knew this. But you really can’t make someone deal with their childhood pain. Having been through a lot of therapy with my family and alone in my early 20s, I knew this had an impact on him. But he was so very good at hiding the pain and suffering he was feeling, just burying it not realizing all of this played into him seeking th e admiration and affection from other women and setting him up for sex and “love” addiction and me up from the worst trauma of my life.
Sadly, this is just the introduction into The Players’ “Why He Did It” manifesto. Next, I’ll tell you about the time he was named after a dog by his father.