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: