Transcript for Actress 'proud' of husband for opening up about sex addiction
We met on social media. He favorite something, and I was like who's this guy? The rest is pretty much history. Reporter: Actress Jana Kramer and former NFL player Mike caussin seem to have it all. The Hollywood couple is all smiles on the red carpet and on social media. Those beaming photos showing their loving and growing family. But behind that public image is a deeply personal battle the couple is now sharing for the first time. We're not hashtag relationship goals in the way that everything is perfect because it's not. We've had more downs than, you know -- lows than highs. But we're fighting through those things. Reporter: The most daunting of those lows, Mike's struggle with sex addiction. Yeah. It manifests in different ways for different people. It doesn't come from me wanting to have sex. It's me feeling a certain way. And my entire life looking back I just used sex as an escape from that. Reporter: Last week on their podcast lying down with Jana Kramer and Mike caussin the former jaguars tight end candidly spoke about their marital troubles. What we're going to talk about is something pretty deep. I sought treatment for sex addiction at an inpatient treatment facility. Reporter: Just overt weekend Jana who's known for her roles on "One tree hill" -- My sexy fighter pilot manager. Reporter: And "90210." Boasting about her husband on Instagram in an emotional post. "I'm so proud of his strength and willingness to be a better man for not only his family but for himself." We caught up with Jana and Mike at I heart media where they record their podcast, talking to them in their first sit-down interview since opening up about their struggle. You cheated. Mm-hmm. What happened? Where to start? We're honest with one another and said we haven't been perfect, let's be perfect for each other, or try to be. You know, I can may any kind of excuse from me transitioning from the NFL to the quote unquote normal world feeling like I lost my identity because I wasn't a football player anymore. I ran to women. I ran to sex. What kind of flourished, what I later found out is an addiction. How many times did you cheat? You know, details like that are something that Jana and I still kind of keep within our, you know, partnership and our relationship. But more than once? Yes, more than once. Yes. This therapist says you might be a sex addict. Did that sound crazy to you? Because it does sound like an excuse. No, absolutely, it did. Our worlds were just blowing up. I was going to do whatever it took. Reporter: The retired football player revealing he spent 60 days any residential treatment facility near Nashville and has been in a 12-step program for the nearly three years since. Did you believe that he might have a sex addiction? I didn't know what sex addiction was. Sex addiction is not a very socially accepted disease. There's so much more shame around sex addiction. I love that he's speaking out about it because I think people want to understand it more. Reporter: Jana and Mike aren't the only stars who publicly battle sex addiction. Charlie sheen, Tiger Woods, and Russell brand are just some who have come forward about their own struggles. Sex addiction is relatively common. It is absolutely not just the high-profile cases you hear about. It can afflict anybody. And it's particularly increasingly common amongst young people. Reporter: Dr. Drew Pinsky works with the addicted. People come to treatment because they have run-ins with the law, their spouse, their employer, and they are brought in to treatment. And they can't stop. And they're in pain. Jana, how did you find out that Mike cheated on you? I noticed kind of a shift with him. He, you know, was shorter with me on things that I looked at some phone bulls, and I was like -- I saw a lot of numbers that didn't add up. And after? Research I found out more things and I was about to play a show, which was so hard to have to like mask that, but we had talked about 20 minutes before the show and you know, he told me things that I had -- you know, that completely rocked my and just like what? Like this can't be happening. There's no possible way that this is happening. He's my husband and we love each other and we have a daughter and we have a happy life. It felt like a double life. While Mike was in rehab Jana turned to an unlikely place to deal with her emotions. "Dancing with the stars." ��� In my daughter's eyes ��� I needed an escape, and it did help me kind of escape the world for a second and just kind of focus on me and my daughter. I didn't have a lot of contact with him. I wasn't ready to talk to him. And when I did have contact I was very angry. You wouldn't take his calls, right? They had to basically disconnect my call because I was screaming at him and that wasn't healthy for him. ��� In my daughter's eyes ��� Reporter: Even dedicating a dance to her daughter Jolie. Mike admits since leaving rehab he's had relapses. What happened? The big mantra in any 12-step program is progress, not perfection. I'm trying to learn a new way of living that I've never known existed, that I didn't know how to do. I'm trying to ride a bike, you know, all over again without training wheels, just trying to figure it out. Reporter: But this week Mike hit a major milestone. So you're one year sober? Yes. What does that mean to you? For me it's hard honestly to accept only because there still is so much sxan shame behind my actions that I don't want kudos. I don't want a pat on the back for behaving the way I should behave. So it's still emotional. But it's -- I have a hard time. There's a tremendous a stigma associated with sex addiction. For somebody to recover from sex addiction usually they have to go to a 12-step program and identify as a sex addict. Underneath that is deep shame, and oftentimes people are very reticent to experience that shame. ��� Love was just blind ��� Reporter: Jana's also turning to music to help with her healing and inspire others. Recently releasing a song called "Beautiful lies." ��� Tell me beautiful lies ��� I wanted to explain how this made me feel when I first found out about the affairs and the cheating. For me everyone's like why do you want to rehash it in song? Because it's therapy for me. And I want people to connect to my music. I want people to feel something. I know I'm not the only person out there that has gone through something like this. Reporter: Now they're taking their podcast on tour hoping that face-to-face transparency could help other deal with their own imperfect love stories. We want to connect with everyone through more than Instagram dms. And we want to show how we've made it work. It's another way for us to connect with people who are interested or people already listening to the podcast where okay, they hear us vulnerable on the podcast via audio but we want to get in front of them and show them how we really are. What is your message then to anyone who is a sex addict or is in a relationship with a sex addict? I would just say have grace for yourself. Have grace for the addict. And also give it time. If the other person's showing up, give it a chance. I know every single part of him, the good, bad, and ugly. He knows my good, bad, and ugly. We fought for our marriage. I'm glad we showed up to fight for our marriage. Because I love our family and I love what we have together. Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Marci Gonzalez in Los Angeles.
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