I have just discovered that one of my favorite bloggers,Steve Pavlina, has announced that his wife and him decided to get a divorce.
These are very sad news for me, since Steve was an inspiration for me for a very long time. I learned so much from him about time management, goal setting, dealing with addiction, and blogging.
I became a little concerned when I read Steve’s post about his experiment with polyamory. I couldn’t help but see some parallels between his actions, and some of my personal struggles with sex addiction. I wanted to find a way to contact Steve to warn him, but decided that his personal life was none of my business and to keep my opinions to myself.
I think that I’ve made a right decision to stay out of Steve’s business, and even if I were to contact him with my message, I don’t think he was going to listen. After all it usually takes some drastic events and consequences to get men in similar situations to pay attention.
Nevertheless, let me list some of the reasons why I think Steve Pavlina might have a sex addiction:
1. Steve already had an addictive personality
In his personal story Steve shares that he had an out-of-control kleptomania addiction, which eventually caused him to end up in jail. This was a turning point in his life, when he decided to make changes. Unfortunately it is fairly common for people to recover from one addiction only to find themselves addicted to new substance or behavior. Many men whom I met in recovery from sex addiction, have struggled with two or three different forms of addiction through their lifetime.
2. Steve regretted not having more fun in college
One of Steve’s greatest achievements was making an enormous effort to graduate from college in a very short period of time. While sharing his experience, Steve expressed that he regretted not staying in college a little longer, and having a little more fun.
3. Steve’s lifestyle revolved around computer
I am very well aware of how dangerous computers can be, especially if you are in a high stress/ high demand environment. Steve was spending a lot of time by himself with his computer. Steve reported that during his polyphasic sleep trial he had too much free time on his hands, and he did not know what to do with it. It is possible that he proceeded to spend his time on not so healthy alternatives.
4. Steve expressed his concerns that he might not always be there for his children
Steve only shared this during his post about polyamory, but he did indicated that this has been on his mind for a very long time. The conclusion that I drew from that was that he was questioning his ability to stay married to his wife. This was also a very familiar dilemma for me during the times when I thought that my sexual addiction was the main defining factor of who I was as a person.
5. Steve began to look for ways to compromise between his sexuality and his heart.
Using the word “heart” is somewhat cheesy, but that is how I feel so I am going to go ahead and use this term. I know that Steve loved his wife and his children, he wrote a lot about it. But at the same time, he was concerned that he was missing out on something in life, he wrote about it too. It is my guess that he has felt his sexuality was out of control and viewed polyamory as a perfect solution. But it didn’t work.
6. Steve and Erin decided to separate
Until I found out that Steve’s marriage was over, I kept hoping that I was wrong, and he did find a way to make things work for him and his family. Unfortunately, it did not work. Perhaps a saying that “you cannot fight your devils by feeding them” is applicable in his case.
So what is my guess about what really took place?
Like many men, Steve got married without fully realizing what the marriage implied. He loved his wife and wanted to have a family, but had some sexual urges that he did not know how to control. Perhaps, like many men, he thought these urges would go away on their own as soon as he finds the right woman. Unfortunately it was not that easy, and he continued to experience those urges. This probably led Steve to look for outlets to his urges in pornography or some other form of socially accepted sexual behavior.
As he relied more on these outlets, he became more dependent on them. Male brain can quickly adopt to sexual stimulation and would proceed to seek a more intense stimulus. Perhaps Steve began to notice increase sexual desires, and attempted to control them through the regular means.
Unknowingly his means of satisfying his sexual desires only caused him to get used to them, and develop a dependency, which resulted in even stronger sexual desires. Steve began to question his past, thinking that maybe he just got married too quickly before he got “it” out of his system.
As he continued to engage in his sexual behaviors, his desires grew stronger and stronger, until he began to question the marriage institution as a whole. Perhaps he began to think of other cultures where it is socially acceptable for man to be intimate with multiple women. Or perhaps he looked at the animal kingdom and noticed that very few mammals were monogamous, therefore it was probably not natural for him to be monogamous either.
I am sure he still felt a strong feeling towards his wife and his children, and he wanted to do everything (that he thought) possible to save them from the pain that he could cause. Perhaps, this is why he continued to engage in some of his activities in secret, until even that stopped being enough.
That is when Steve found something that seemed like a reasonable solution – polyamory. Somehow he was able to convince his wife that it would be beneficial for their marriage to engage in this kinds of activities, and perhaps she agreed in an attempt to save their marriage.
My guess is that after a while Erin decided that polyamory was not working out for her, and she did not wanted her kids to grow up in this kind of environment. She confronted Steve, and they had a long discussion. Steve was sincere in his effort to do what ever was best in the interest of his family, but he was already operating from the assumption that he could not control his sexuality, and therefore it would be better for everybody if they were to separate. Thus, he was not able to meet Erin’s expectations to stay monogamous, and they decided to get a divorce.
This is just my educated guess, and only Steve and Erin know what happened. But even if I am wrong about this particular case I know there are millions of men and women out there who are going through the similar experience.
I have a message for these men and women. There is hope!
We are not slaves to our basic animal instincts. There is a reason why we are human beings, and there is a way for us to follow our heart in everything that we do. It is possible to live our lives in complete honesty. All is required is a little understand of how our sexuality work, a little commitment and a little work. OK may be a lot of work, but we also get a lot in return.
A great book to learn more about sex addiction is “Out of the Shadows” by Patrick Carnes, or any other book by the author. I am not trying to sell you anything, and chances are you local library will have a free copy.
Steve is a brilliant man, and I am confident that he will sooner or later realize the true cause of his problems.