The silence has been deafening. When the drama of Anthony Weiner's Cybersex Sexting Scandal was unfolding, we saw daily updates and images. Denial…deception…acknowledgement…resignation from his job. The questions were continuous. What will Anthony Weiner's wife Huma Abedin do? Will she stay or go?
Since then there has been silence. There have been occasional sightings of them. He was spotted on a plane "going to sex addiction treatment". They were seen in Miami on their anniversary "looking happy". There is speculation. She has forgiven him. They are moving on with their lives. She is leaving him.
With the recent publication of a book by one of Anthony Weiner's sexting partners, we are again seeing his name in the news. Mr Weiner is being made well aware of the permanence of sexting records. His texts about masturbating in the bathroom at the House of Representatives, sexting from his Congressional office and making negative comments about his wife and his in-laws are now public record.
That's the thing about infidelity and sexting with an affair partner. There is the illusion of intimacy and privacy.
And now not only Anthony Weiner is again dealing with the public shame of his actions. His wife Huma Abedin – an innocent victim – is being reminded and humiliated yet again…when she did nothing wrong.
I don't know Ms Abedin but, as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, her story is one that I hear daily – mostly from women but also from men. A spouse caught sexting, cybersex affairs, risky sexual behaviors, deception, careers and reputations lost.
I meet women and men who thought their marriages were strong, committed, monogamous. They trusted their spouses and thought values were shared. They wanted to have children and raise them together.
Then the lies surfaced…the shockwaves began…and the seemingly solid relationships unraveled.
The pain of betrayal is palpable. Smart, successful, capable women are brought to their knees by the devastating web of deception and sexual behaviors perpetrated by someone they love. I know perpetrate is a strong word but partners describe feeling assaulted.
Wives and partners say they feel like fools to have loved and trusted someone who betrayed them so deeply. They question themselves relentlessly. They are shaken to the core. They are bewildered as they ask how could they not have known? They don't yet understand how adept at lying sex addicts can be. Sex addicts even fool themselves.
Partners of sex addicts fear that they will never trust again. They feel devastated, humiliated and alone.
They wish they could wake up, find out that this was all just a nightmare and go on with their lives.
Unfortunately it is not that simple. It is possible to heal and rebuild from this devastation. The road is hard, support and guidance are needed and their acting out spouse has to make the commitment to recovery for a healthy relationship to be established.
In the meantime, the trauma and pain can be excruciating. I keep thinking of Ms Abedin. About to have her first child…hoping the scandal would calm down and she could start to see what her new normal is in her life. And now to have the scab ripped off the wound. I hope Ms Abedin is getting the help she deserves to recover from this crisis and be able to focus on the joys of motherhood.
Shari Cohn, LCSW, CSAT is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist providing Sex Therapy, Sex Addiction Therapy and Psychotherapy to the Madison, Wisconsin area for over twenty years.
Shari specializes in helping sex and porn addicts, partners of sex addicts, abuse and trauma survivors, ptsd and sexual problems.
"Reclaiming Sexuality…Reclaiming Your Life…One Step At A Time"
Visit Shari 's website and blog at www.ShariCohn.com
Find Shari on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SexTherapyMadisonWI