Category Archives: For partners

Five reasons a therapist is recommended when disclosing your sexual betrayal

Sex addiction can kill your relationship. It is a serious mental health issue, a dysfunction that affects many areas of your life. Your risky sexual behavior hurts you and others around you. It is unlikely – just about impossible – that you can handle sex addiction on your own. Probably you do your best to fight off your addiction, however, you cannot. You fail over and over again. You hate yourself for your weakness. You do not want to betray a loved partner. You have to live with guilt. You take risks that you do not want to take. You might need help from a sex addiction therapist.

A therapist does more than listen to you. You can share your burden with someone, it is helpful in itself, but a trained sex addiction counselor can do more: she or he can provide advice and professional guidance. Their assistance might very well save your relationship.

1. A Professional Can Deal with your Shocked Partner

If you want your relationship to survive, you will need a disclosure to your partner. A disclosure means that you are honest with your partner and you take all the responsibility for everything you have done. You cannot recover from your earlier behavior without this step. You will have to tell your partner about your sexual acting out. It will be a rough situation. Do not face it on your own. If you – or your shocked, infuriated partner – give in to impulses of rage, disappointment and sorrow, or if you start a blame game, your relationship might turn for the worst.

You and your partner would be served best attending professional sex addiction therapy. When the counselor feels the time is right disclosure will occur. This date may vary, it always depends on your specific circumstances.

A therapist should be present when you tell your partner that you are a sex addict and you were unfaithful (probably on many occasions). Chances are that your partner will be shocked and angry. A therapist can tell you how to do the necessary preparations. He or she will give a structure to this hard conversation, letting you know how you should tell everything, step by step. A therapist will help you express your guilt. With his or her help, you can let your partner know that you regretted your mistakes, you are accountable and you are willing to change and what that change looks like moving forward.

2. A Trained Sex Addiction Counselor Knows How to Tell It

A sex addiction therapist will help deal with your partner’s reaction. A therapist will know what has to be shared and what would cause more harm than good. Your therapist will sometimes make you write a letter, this will provide a structure for the forthcoming situation. Once you know what you want to talk about, you can avoid of getting distracted by angry outbursts, blame, defensive behavior and other harmful reactions.

3. A Therapist Will Find the Roots of your Problem

A therapist will help you find the reason behind your addiction. Sex addiction is a behavior that seemingly helps you deal with stress and negative feelings, many of these feelings are hidden in your subconscious mind. Sex addiction often comes from childhood traumas. Such issues are hard to face. It will stir up emotions that you probably cannot handle. Dealing with these traumas also requires help from a mental health professional. Your addiction is a obsessive-compulsive behavior. It is a mental disorder; you cannot get rid of it on your own.

4. Guidance through Hardships

Your way to mental health and recovery will not be easy. Your partner will have a rough ride, too. He or she might feel furious and disappointed. He or she does not trust for a long time and may blame you.

Your partner can have his or her own issues: codependency or anger. A counselor can address the partner’s issues, too. Your partner might have sensed that something was not right all along, however, you dismissed his or her worries. Sex addicts often lie, and – when they want to get off the hook – they are verbally abusive. Both you and your partner should change your approach.

A therapist can help you and your partner avoid pitfalls while healing your broken relationship. Your aim is to take full responsibility for your sexual behavior and not to cheat on your partner anymore.

5. A Therapist Can Help Avoid Staggered Disclosure

There exists a behavior that experts call staggered disclosure. It means that you do not tell everything to your partner, you hide some of your sex adventures from him or her. It is very harmful. Again, you will find yourself in a tangled web of lies. It will undermine your partner’s trust which was already damaged. A trained addiction therapist can recognize such tactics and will help you avoid it.

Those are five reasons a therapist is recommended for disclosure.

Please comment on the ways a professional helped you in this disclosure process. Or any pitfalls you avoided or what you can relate to in the comments below.  

If you’re the partner or the sex addiction check out these posts below for further information:

A Story of “Infidelity Induced Trauma

Help! My partner cheated on me.

What does sex addiction look like?

What’s the difference between health sex and addictive sex?

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infidelity

Help! My Partner Cheated On Me!

infidelityInfidelity is not rare. People cheat on their partners. What if you are the betrayed one? You feel devastated. Maybe your partner only wandered away once or twice – perhaps they are notorious cheaters, moreover, sex addicts, which means they have an obsessive approach to sex. The shock and pain will not go away soon; a romantic betrayal has long-term effects on you. Seek treatment. Support groups are vital but probably not enough. You may want to seek a sex addiction therapist to help you sort out your disturbing thoughts.

5 Ways of Infidelity Affects You.

Depression and Despair

Your partner’s infidelity has a devastating effect on your everyday life. You may lose your focus and you cannot concentrate on your job, your everyday tasks. You may feel depressed. You may alienate from your family members and friends. You may feel shame or fury. Probably you cannot sleep, you have nightmares, you develop migraines.  If you feel weary all the time, you are distracted, you find no pleasure in your favorite activities, you should see a therapist. You may need help with your marriage and family problems and your depression, too. Clinical depression is a serious matter.

Self-doubt and Low Self-Esteem

You might believe that your partner cheated on you because you were not good enough for him or her. You may have thoughts like “my wife cheated on me, because the other guy was better” or “the other woman is brighter and more beautiful than me”. You blame yourself for his or her infidelity. You feel insecure and frustrated. Low self-esteem is toxic. You may develop self-harming habits like compulsive eating or compulsive spending. You may want to find relief in excessive drinking, or you want to cheat on your partner, out of revenge. However, do not forget that your partner’s infidelity has its separate issues from yours.. Sex addicts are obsessed with sex, their behavior shows obsessive and compulsive tendencies. Infidelity is just that.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

You may develop some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. You have angry outbursts without any reason, and you become aggressive. You avoid the places or people that remind you of your trauma. You have intrusive thoughts: you relive the painful memories over and over again. You feel hopeless, you dread the future. Once you recognize some of these symptoms, consider seeking professional help. If a month has gone by and you still have the symptoms or the symptoms are extreme, you have a problem – a sex addiction counselor can help you.

Paranoia

You have probably doubted your partner’s honesty to begin with, and he or she has shrugged it away, saying that you are paranoid or insecure. You might have felt guilty about your doubts – and now it turns out that you were right all the while. Now that you do not trust your partner anymore, you are overly cautious: you are looking for tell-tale signs, red flags, you check your partner’s pockets, wallet, and desk drawers. Perhaps you have obsessive images of your partner’s infidelity. Your partner probably has sex addiction issues and you have a good reason for not trusting them. Although your partners dishonest is separate, paranoia is rooted in you and a plan to get help is needed for health and recovery for yourself. A counselor or Sanonn meeting will help you to know what to do next.

Anger

Your situation is particularly hard, because it is not an enemy or an indifferent person who caused your woes. It is the person whom you are supposed to trust the most. You cannot forgive your partner and you let them know it. You nag them, you slip hurtful remarks. Be careful with it. Probably your partner has issues and needs help. Seek a professional who sexual addiction and infidelity induced trauma.. A counselor or a sex addiction therapist may find the underlying reasons for your partner’s behavior. Probably she or he has undergone severe traumas, coming to understand this will help you both greatly. Many sex addicts come from dysfunctional families. Brace yourself for ugly surprises. Once you start  therapy, you may learn about unthinkable issues in your partner’s distant past, from childhood abuse to incest or assault but there is also hope ahead. Many relationships bond like never before with an openness they only wished for.

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What does Sexual Addiction Look like?

What Does Sexual Addiction Look Like?

The answer may surprise you. It looks like you, or me, or your neighbor down the street. Sex addicts don’t “stand out” from the crowd. We have families, go to work or school, might be community leaders or even spiritual leaders. We’re college presidents and college students. CEOs and mail clerks. Beauticians and physicians. We are regular people, just like the person in the mirror.

What does Sexual Addiction Look like?
There is no “face of sexual addiction.”

You won’t identify an addict the way you might a meth addict, who wears his addiction on his face, or an alcoholic, who manages to get drunk at every opportunity, or the food addict, who can’t seem to stop eating. People addicted to sex are normal people who have an abnormal need to act out. We Addicts use sexual activity to seek pleasure, avoid unpleasant feelings or respond to outside stressors, such as work difficulties or interpersonal problems. This is not unlike how an alcoholic uses alcohol. In both instances, any reward gained from the experience soon gives way to guilt, remorse and promises to change. need to satisfy a craving deep within that often has very little to do with sexual satisfaction.

A sex addict might use his addiction for power, or to relieve stress, or to avoid problems in his daily life. It’s an escape mechanism, much the way alcohol is for an alcoholic. There are dozens of theories about how sex addiction has to do with biochemical changes in the brain, but I don’t want to dwell on the brain right now; this book isn’t about “how did this happen?” but more about “what do I do now?” It’s about recognizing the face of sex addiction and figuring out how to help yourself to escape the trap in which you find yourself.

Consider the case of Sam G:

How did he get to be a sex addict?

Sam was your average 35-year old with an MBA and a great job that had the makings of a brilliant career. He had a wife, 2.5 kids, and a pretty house with two cars in the garage. The future looked bright for Sam and his family. But with that great job came a lot of stress, and he started to use the Internet on his lunch hour to wind down and relax.

Sam’s “extracurricular activity” had started innocently enough. He’d been trolling websites on the Internet one day, when he happened upon a racy looking site with scantily-clad girls in provocative poses. The girls were gorgeous, and what healthy man, married or not, didn’t like to look? With a lot of quiet time at work, there was just so much opportunity to view more and more of the sites. Sam noticed that the girls seemed to be getting younger and sexier looking but he shoved any misgivings to the back of his mind – he was enjoying himself too much.

Until the day he was called into the boss’s office. They knew what he was looking at in all those hours he was supposed to be working. They would not press charges, to report him to the police, but he was fired and told to leave immediately.

Now he had no job, but that wasn’t the worst part of this mess. How in the world was he going to tell his wife what happened?

Does sexual addiction sound familiar? Does this ring a bell about someone you know or someone you heard about, or even someone in your family? What started out as a seemingly innocent pastime turned into a criminal act capable of ruining a lot of lives.

 Related posts

Whats the difference between healthy sex and sexual addiction
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 More descriptions of sex addiction problems

Think you may have a problem? Take out online sex addiction test with instant results.

If you know you need help and are ready to get started go to or contact page and reach out for more information.

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Sex Addiction: Is My Partner Addicted to Sex?

Are you right? Is there really something wrong?

Has it seemed like the emotional disconnect between you just gets bigger and bigger?

You bring it up and say you feel like he or she is always somewhere else. It’s like he’s never really there. Always in his head.

He tells you  he’s “…been under a lot of stress” or he’s “…been working a lot” or maybe he just says that

“Nothing is wrong at all, …why do you ask?”

But your intuition knows that something is wrong. It’s like you don’t even know him or her anymore.

Maybe the sex you used to share and enjoy – the sex that left you both feeling close and connected – is now just about getting him or her to orgasm.

Intensity has become the rule and real intimacy and connection the exception.

 

When you have sex, it may feel love-less or even exploitive. Or maybe you just stopped having sex.

You feel lonely and depressed. You might feel a little crazy since he or she always says you’re wrong, or over reacting, or just a nag. But you can’t shake this gut feeling that he’s no longer in the relationship. Where did he go?

You may know more than you think you know … and you are not crazy.

Your partner may be out of control with sex.

Sexual dependency is different. You won’t recognize it like you would if he or she were an alcoholic or chemically dependent.

He won’t be impaired in those more obvious ways. But if she is a sex addict, then eventually she will get caught.

Every sex addict gets caught. Either the secrets are disclosed or a discovery is made.

The sex addict’s “drug” of dependency is arousal – that wonderful, pleasurable, and for many, addictive storm of “feel good” chemistry that fires off in the reward centers of the brain.

The sex addict carries this drug literally between his or her ears. They can fix with a thought.

Imagine a drug addict who never needed a dealer, but who could “score” with a thought alone.

The result is a man or woman constantly scanning for sexual hits over much of any day. The sex addict may have little awareness of what he or she is doing, barely noticing how much of a dissociated haze has settled in on his mind. For the spouse or partner, it can be like living with the walking dead. He has literally “…left the building.” 

What is it like for the Spouse or Partner?

Discovery of the sex addict’s betrayal can feel like your whole world no longer makes sense.

What you thought was real was not.

Who is this person you’ve shared a month, a year, or most of a lifetime with?

For someone who says she loves you do such a thing is truly traumatizing. Make no doubt.

Sex Addiction often results in a traumatic injury in the Partner’s sense of self and world view, both before and after discovering the addict’s acting out.” Silvia Jason, LMFT, CSAT

The obsessive thoughts then are a kind of trauma reaction.

“Who was it? What did you do? How often? Where? Are you lying now?

How can I ever trust you again?”

The questions turn inward too. What does it mean about me if this is what he really wants? You’ve told yourself that if “…anyone ever did that to me, I would be gone” and yet it’s not so easy.

Maybe if you know enough now, you won’t be “fooled” again.

Who can you tell? Who can you lean on with this? Once you’ve told someone, you can’t “un-tell” him or her later.  You’re left with the raw pain, the terrible fear, the shame, and especially the anger.

What can you do?

You can ask for help. Find someone who understands and acknowledges just how traumatic discovery or disclosure of sexual betrayal really is. Get the help you need for you.

You can set limits.

You can learn healthy boundaries.

You can come to your own aid.

Trust your intuition and ask for the help you need.

Confront what you see and speak your truth. Watch for actions. When words can’t be trusted, only actions have value. Take the time you need.Listen to your instincts and be safe. The shame the sex addict carries can lead to anger and sometimes rage.

What next?

The sex addict must be willing to do all it takes to recover. Whatever it takes. This is his work and he can and should be accountable, however, but you can’t do his work for him.

Your work is to take care of you and there are people who can and will support you. Whether family, friends, communities, or counselors, you do have people you can trust and who you can talk to now.

Countless others have been where you are now and by doing certain things they healed old wounds and often healed their relationships.

With help, there is every reason to be hopeful.

People can and do recover from the wreckage of sexual addiction and you can place trust in a process of recovery when you can’t trust the words.

Give yourself the gift of caring for you. You are precious and valuable and nothing you have done or not done can ever change this essential truth. Honor the little girl or little boy inside who hurts so badly with nurturing and love. The kind that only you can give him or her.

Best wishes as you trudge the rocky road of recovery…

 

Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT, is the owner and founder of the Sono­ran Heal­ing Cen­ter in Phoenix, Arizona.

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