Things to know as the partner of a recovering sex addict

As the partner of a sexual addict, you have probably been lied to, and learned that your partner covered up secret lives or manipulated you. It is understandable that most partners of sex addicts feel betrayed and violated after finding out about infidelity. However, if you have chosen to try to work through the addiction with your partner  — or even just delay making a big decision until you work through some therapy together — there are some things you should know.

It will take time

Sexual or pornography addiction is like any other addiction or illness. The addict has a problem they need to address, and it will take time to fix this problem. Much like if they smoke too much or gambled excessively, they won’t be able to quit overnight.

In the same vein, it will take time for you, the husband, wife or partner of the addict, to stop having doubts about your partner’s activities and to trust them again. Trust is not rebuilt overnight, and re-establishing intimacy and healing will take time.

There may be relapses/slips

Often, sex addicts, just like other kinds of addicts, will relapse or slip. This does not mean the partner of an addict should expect or immediately forgive the addict’s behavior. Instead, sexual addicts should be open and honest about discretions, and the couple can work through the issues with help from a licensed therapist.

Things will change

For both recovering sex addicts and their partners, the relationship will change. Both people must understand that the original relationship is gone and the trust that was there will have to be rebuilt, and rebuilt differently to accommodate the new challenges. Both members of the couple must actively work to rebuild, with the addict working to earn trust by continued, rigorous honesty.

For couples in the Coeur d’Alene or Spokane area who are ready to start working toward recovery, talking to a professional sex addiction counselor, either together or separate, is the best first step. Contact Coeur d’Alene Counseling today to book your appointment.