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Living with a Sex Addict: A Guide

Sex addiction is a serious issue that can ruin years of love and trust. As you begin to deal with your partner’s addiction, there might be several questions in your mind. Here’s how you can move toward healing and recovery together.

Learn More about Sex Addiction

Often spouses wonder why they weren’t thin or beautiful enough and think they ‘failed’ somewhere in their relationship. That’s not true.

Addiction affects the brain and can have varying reasons for an addict. The more you learn, the better you, your spouse, and your relationship will be able to heal.

Never Blame Yourself

Like a lot of spouses that get betrayed, the thought of “what if I had…” has already passed through your head. Never blame yourself for your partner’s addiction.

Not only will it take a toll on you, but if you have decided to stay and help your partner through it, you won’t be able to offer any support. Sex addiction can result from adverse childhood experiences or other challenges.

Practice Positive Self-talk and Self-care

Your partner isn’t the only one going through the path of recovery; take the time to practice self-healing. Indulge in self-care and positive self-talk. It’s in no way selfish for you to put yourself first.

Be Supportive of Your Spouse

If you’ve chosen to stay with your spouse, be as supportive as you can be. It’s pertinent to remember that they’re also healing. Recovery from any addiction takes time, and so does rebuilding trust.

Don’t let the past cloud your present, and try living in the now. Focus on enjoying the good times and finding healthy ways to cope with the bad.

There are ways you can help them as well. Group therapy and inpatient or outpatient rehab will let give them assurance that they’re not alone in this addiction and treating it is possible.

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Don’t be an Enabler

There’s a difference between being supportive and enabling them to continue with their addiction.

It’s important to forgive and avoid judgment. However, if they relapse, you shouldn’t cover for them. The more you sweep it under the rug, the harder it will be for them to recover.

Establish Firm Boundaries

When living with a sex addict, it’s necessary to establish boundaries. Remember, forgiveness and forgetting are not the same things. Making your partner ‘pay’ for their betrayal will not help. Instead, it may make them retreat into a higher level of secrecy.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forgo all your pain; rather, you relinquish your right to punish them. Forgiving will release you from your bitter feelings and will help you heal too.

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Consult with a Professional

We can help you deal with your life’s problems with various therapies and counseling at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling. We advise you to consult an experienced family therapist for relationship counseling and marriage counseling in Palo Alto.

Call at (650) 206-9973 to get a free 20-minute phone consultation.

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