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Living & Loving A Sex Addict: Curbing Her Infidelity

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Like Brenda and Steve, the married couple struggling with Steve's sex addiction in yesterday's story, Casi and Levi have been watching every step of Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin. And like Brenda and Steve, they have a personal interest in what Tiger says and does, and whether he and Elin remain together, because Casi and Levi are a married couple struggling with the same problem in their own marriage. The only difference is, in this case, Casi, the wife, is the sex addict. Casi followed the reports of Tiger Woods' multiple mistresses coming forward and says she can relate to Tiger in many ways. Casi reveals to ESSENCE.com, "I didn't have as many as Tiger, but I did stop to figure out the amount of times while this was all happening in the news. I cheated on my husband by sleeping with other men about three-hundred times--but that was not with all different men. I think it may have only been ten men. I had to know the person a bit before I had sex with him. Maybe women with this compulsion are different from men in that way. I got to know someone first---flirted with him, spoke with him, then I would have sex with him." She continues, "I believe Tiger when he says he really loves his wife, Elin. I get it when he has this expression or tone of voice that the sex with so many women has nothing to do with his love for his wife. It really is a compartmentalized act. "At first, it seemed as if it was an isolated case. I met my husband in college. We were very young and I would get jealous when other girls flirted with him. When I first met him, he had another girlfriend, so I feared I would lose him to someone else. I checked his Facebook page, his email, I was a suspicious girlfriend. "My anxiety about Levi not being faithful to me led me to what I would call 'revenge sex.' I'm not trying to blame Levi or make excuses--but that is really what I see as what led me to sleep with another man the first time. "In the beginning, I was fearful. I loved Levi and I didn't want to lose him. But after a few times, I got less worried, less careful; and Levi did find out." So, what was Levi's reaction when he discovered that his wife slept with another man? He didn't leave. He tried to understand, and he stood by her. "I do not think there are a lot of guys like me," says Levi, recalling his discovery of his wife's infidelity. "I am not some kind of weak man who doesn't care if his wife has sex with another guy--far from it. I am an athlete, I ride mountain bikes, I work hard to provide for my family... But, I loved Casi and I knew she was the one for me. I knew that she had done this before I asked her to marry me." So Casi and Levi decided to get married. "When Levi stayed with me, when he took me back knowing what I had done, I thought I would have the strength, the purpose, to put all of the sexual affairs behind me. But I was wrong. Even after we were engaged, I had sex with other men," she admits. "I would try to stop it but the compulsion always was stronger. I am sure Tiger had moments where he would think about his beautiful wife, who trusted him and loved him and tried to make himself stop but it just doesn't work that way. It's like alcoholism or drug addiction...you can't have a 'little bit.' You are either faithful, or you are way not faithful--and I was like Tiger, I was the later." Then came the marriage, and a new beginning for the young couple--attractive, bright, full of hope for a future together. So, were things different for Casi now? Did the behavior end when she became a wife? "It didn't end when we got married. We've been married for three years now and I still was sleeping with other men the entire marriage. I didn't have the revenge sex excuse anymore. I wasn't Levi's girlfriend, I was his wife, but I couldn't stop. The type of man didn't matter so much--I was with all different types. What mattered is that I needed to do it...and I did it." Women anecdotally, and in various studies on the relationship between sex and love, grow an emotional connection to a man when they sleep with him. Did this happen to Casi? Casi was thoughtful in her response: "To be honest, it was a lot easier when I did not feel that way. There were men I slept with who were using me for sex just as much as I was using them for sex. It made me feel dirty at times. But it was much more difficult when I developed feelings for someone I was cheating with...or if he did for me. It caused drama and it caused pain. So really in either scenario, it never felt good." Did Levi suspect his wife was stepping out again? "I felt something different about Casi," he says. "I have a good intuition. And it was not about sex. We were having sex, maybe even more sex than usual, which is something that is not unusual to happen when people are cheating. Casi would get distant. She wasn't emotionally dependent on me. She wasn't asking me questions about everyday events, not caring about my opinions. I knew it was happening again. Casi didn't lie to me, she told me the truth." How did Levi react as a husband? "My Dad always tells me communication is the key to a good marriage. I made Casi talk to me about it. I know how people try to blame themselves--and I was not doing that--but I know Casi needs a lot of attention and with work, my sports, I know I wasn't always there 100%," he says. "But I did forgive her. And I didn't do it for her so much as I did it for myself. Carrying around anger and hurt wrecks my life. It's just not worth it." Levi is a big fan of Tiger Woods. "Tiger Woods has always been my idol. He really has been. The guy is a phenom. No one has ever been able to beat him, and I think it's crazy his sponsors would pull away from him. They hired him because he's the best golfer in the world and he still is. He didn't even have to do that public apology the way he did, not in my book anyway. That's his own business...his and his wife's." So, the couple continued to try to stay together, living with Casi's sexual obsession/compulsion/addiction...and then she got pregnant. "The craziest part of all of this is that I did this while I was pregnant with our son. At first, just about one month pregnant and I didn't really know. But I guess it's like when they tell pregnant alcoholic women not to drink. They know they shouldn't. I am sure they don't want to hurt their babies but they have to have a drink. After I got big, I didn't chat. I gave birth to our son 13 months ago--a beautiful baby boy." When asked if Casi stopped having sex with other men after she became a mother, she tells us. "Not at first, but about four months after I gave birth, I acted out again. People might think how could I do this when I had a good husband and a baby at home? Well, look at Tiger Woods, he had the world on a string, he had everything that any man alive could want, and he could not stop either." Casi feels sorry for Tiger in some ways. "As someone who has the same type of compulsion for sex that Tiger has, I think about how hard it must be for him with cameras lurking everywhere he goes, just waiting for him to fall down again and be with another woman. It's so much pressure to keep this thing under control just as a regular person, like me. I don't know how he takes it the way he's living now. I really don't." Levi says, "I wish we had the means for Casi to go to a place like the one Tiger has been to, but we don't. I read everything about what he is learning, whether all of it's accurate I do not know, but some of the stuff he said himself. Like it's hard to admit exactly what he did and Casi has done that with me, and that he's going to make it his #1 priority to stay away from any partner other than his wife, Elin. Casi is doing that, too. He is putting his wife and kids first. Our son means the world to me, and to Casi. We want more than ever to make this work." So, in making it work the couple agreed to talk to us at ESSENCE.com. For Casi, it's part of her new life, her determined resolution: "The reason I am talking about it now is because I made a New Year's resolution to myself that I would stop cold turkey, like people give up things on New Year's Day. I gave up sex with other men. I actually didn't start it until January 3rd, not New Year's Day. I had something...happen...those first days of 2010. But since then I have been clean 100%. Not everyone has the money or the time to go to a rehab or a clinic to stop. I don't have it, that's for sure...So I am doing it on my own--but I am doing it." Casi and Levi have agreed to speak with us down the road, to let us know if the strength of Casi's resolution will triumph over her sex addiction. In the meantime, they watch and try to learn from Tiger and Elin. Read more:
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