What About You, the Spouse?

Sex-addicts face many critical challenges within their effort to get sober. But the discovery that your partner is a clandestine sex addict, is a profound challenge as well. When sex addiction is discovered or disclosed, many betrayed spouses question everything they believe about their relationship. They often torment themselves trying to figure out how they could have been so clueless.

For partners who thought they were in a safe and secure marriage, the revelation they have been deceived and lied to on a vast scale might induce them to speculate what, if anything, does work in their relationship. They may begin to wonder if it’s even worthwhile to attempt to rebuild a foundation of trust with their partner.

Betrayed companions also tend to question their own conduct. They may speculate whether they could have done more to enhance their relationship.  All of this self-appraisal is very typical, and a good couples therapist can help betrayed partners grieve the often intense trauma of the loss of trust and connection.

The hurt partner needs to put responsibility on the addict. It is typical to be angry and hurt.. but take care of yourself first

Best Practices For Hurt Partners

  1. Educate Yourself on Sex Addiction. When your partner is a sex addict, the more you know, the more you understand. Go to Amazon and check out books by Patrick Carnes, Stephanie Carnes, Mark Laaser, and Robert Weiss.
  2. Self Care for the Hurt Partner is Job 1! Make sure your get sleep, watch your diet and try to build a healthy support network. Do not let your partner’s sex addiction become an obsession. You’ve experienced a shock. Healing is vital.
  3. This May be Hard… but When Your Partner is a Sex addict, Try Not to See Them as the Enemy. Their behavior is terrible, but try to hate the sin and not the sinner. Research suggests that your partner is most likely dealing with a toxic soup of genetics, and childhood trauma.
  4. Let Your Feelings Flow. When your partner is a sex addict, it is normal to feel hurt, anger, sadness and grief. Don’t stuff it down. Robert Weiss gives sound advice. Feel what you feel.
  5. Recovery can be a growth process for you both. Welcome your partner’s sincere efforts for a structured recovery process.
  6. Decide What You Will Do. Will you be willing to work, over time, with your partner to rebuild trust? Are there things you need first from your partner before you can even begin to consider this process? A good couples therapist can help you go deep into your emotions and help you get clarity and confidence about what matters most to you.
  7. Go into a selfish period. Really focus on what you need. Take a night off to socialize with friends. Get in touch with what makes you happy and pursue it with passion.
  8. Therapists Know a Great Deal about the Science of Forgiveness. Healing can be a very specific and structured process. Good science-based couples therapy is an essential tool in the healing.

Ready for a change in your relationship?

It starts with a no-obligation 15 minute phone call with our client services team.

Daniel Dashnaw

Daniel is a Marriage and Family Therapist and the blog editor. He currently works with couples online and in person. He uses EFT, Gottman Method, Solution-focused and Developmental Models in his approaches. Daniel specializes in working with neurodiverse couples, couples that are recovering from an affair, and couples struggling with conflict avoidant and passive aggressive behavior patterns.

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