Setting boundaries as the partner of a sexual addict

As the partner of a sexual addict, you may wonder how to keep yourself healthy during your recovery process. One of the best ways to ensure you stay healthful and keep yourself strong is to set boundaries for yourself and your partner. These boundaries will help you establish guidelines for your recovery.

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are limits. These limits are like a fence around your property, showing where your property begins and ends. In this case, we’re discussing boundaries with your emotions, and what you’re okay with physically and sexually.

Why should I set boundaries?

Emotions, physical and sexual boundaries aren’t visible to others. Unlike a fence around your yard, others can’t see these boundaries and see where your limits are. Because of this, it’s up to you to set and enforce boundaries. If you haven’t been cognizant when setting boundaries, you might cross them, or allow someone else to cross them, and you wouldn’t know until after you realize you are uncomfortable.

What are healthy boundaries?

Healthy boundaries are about self-care, not control of others. Make sure your boundaries are not a punishment for a partner who has stepped out of line or a way to force your spouse to change behavior. Instead, boundaries should begin with you, and be “self-focused.”

What kind of boundaries should I set?

A good way to set boundaries around a recovering sexual addict is to know your rights. You have the right to:

  • Not tolerate any unwanted sexual advances
  • Expect commitment to recovery if it is made through actions, not just words, such as attending sexual addiction counseling or a support group
  • Have my boundaries respected
  • Not be victimized by sexual behaviors
  • Not be lied to or deceived

Talk with your therapist or certified counselor about healthy boundaries to set, and how to help ensure you keep those boundaries.