6 steps for the partner of a sex addict

Many times after someone discovers their partner is a sexual addict, all the focus is on the addict: What can be done to help them recover from the addiction? In the drive to get the addict help, partners sometimes let their own recovery fall to the wayside. Many partners of sexual or pornography addicts often resent the idea that they need recovery as well — after all, what did they do wrong? However, recovery is necessary for both members in the relationship. There are a lot of feelings of anger, betrayal and confusion that need to be understood in a healthful way.

How does a partner of an addict start recovering? Here are six steps:

  1. Reach out for help
    Recovering from infidelity requires a lot of emotional support. Don’t be afraid to lean on those closest to you, or on people who understand the situation, such as members of a support group.
  2. Learn what you can about sexual addiction
    Sexual addiction is a multifaceted, complicated situation that is not easy to understand right away. Read writings by therapists or doctors who have studied the situation and can help you.
  3. Get tested for STDs
    Those who engage in sexual infidelity can be careless about having protected sex. Stay healthy and protect your own body.
  4. Investigate your legal rights
    Even if you want to stay with your partner and work through the issues causing the addiction, it is always important to know your rights.
  5. Trust your feelings
    Don’t assume things will get better on their own, and trust your gut if something seems off.
  6. Seek therapy of your own
    Expect to join your partner in therapy, either in a couple’s session or in a session on your own. For those in North Idaho and Western Washington, search for certified therapists in the area.

Your partner’s road to recovery isn’t the only thing the partners of sexual addicts should consider. Remember to attend to your own healing process as well.
Do you have another step that helped you during your recovery process? Or do you have questions about the steps? Let us know.