4 Strategies for Spouses and Partners of Sex Addicts

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Sex addiction is a real disease and the more a spouse and partner knows about the disease of sex addiction the easier it will be for the sex addict to get the help they need and the support of understanding loved ones.

Strategy 1: Recognizing the ‘disease’ of sex addiction

Like other addictions, sex addiction is a disease. There are many facets to sex addiction and is not easily understood without some research. To better understand the disease we recommend some topic specific to fully understand sex addiction from an outsider’s perspective. There are many helpful articles and books available. Besides the many articles on this site, check out our YouTube channel Onsexaddiction and read this article  “Strung Out on Sex.”

If you are able to pick up some books, these three titles are informative and insightful:
Don’t Call it Love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction. Patrick J. Carnes 1992. Bantam Books.
In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior.  Patrick J. Carnes; David Delmonico; Elizabeth Griffin; & Joseph Moriarty, . . 2001. Hazelden .
Cybersex Exposed: Simple Fantasy or Obsession? Jennifer Schneider & , Robert Weiss.  2001. Hazelden Information Education.
Breaking the Cycle. Geroge N. Collins, MA

Strategy 2: Broaching the topic

Your first instinct may be to confront your partner about their addiction. You are likely feeling angry, sad, or betrayed – all valid feelings. If you can step back for a moment and consider whether your partner is even aware there is an addiction problem, you may realize no matter how good your intentions may be, your confrontation may be interpreted as an attack. So, talk to a professional, do some research and broach the topic with some guidance and support.

Strategy 3: Stocking up

There will likely come a day when talking to your partner about sex addiction is the right thing to do, or they recognize their addiction on their own. To make this discussion easier, it might be wise to have already done your research about certified sex addiction therapists, Twelve-Step programs, and support groups in your hometown. This information will be beneficial if and when your partner decides he wants help later on. The internet is your best resource for research into the programs mentioned. The three most popular 12 step programs for recovery from sex addiction are:

  1. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
  2. Sex Addicts Anonymous
  3. Sexaholics Anonymous

Strategy #4 Help yourself

The discover of sex addiction in itself is very traumatic for the spouse or partner of the sex addict. If you are feeling alone and afraid and don’t have anyone to talk to, it might be time to seek professional help. You should see a therapist or join a support group like COSA which helps partners and spouses of sex addicts. Bear in mind, there are other people suffering with the same addiction.  Know you don’t have to go through this struggle by yourself.

What are your thoughts about being the partner or spouse of a sex addict? Share your comments below

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