Healing From the Pain and Trying to Make Sense of Life
Has your heart and your reality been shattered into a thousand little peices when you found out about this secretive lifestyle of your partner? Do you notice your mind racing, trying to put these new puzzle pieces together from the signs you noticed in your partners behavior?
This new discovery of your partner’s life has thrown your world upside down; questioning your past, feeling as if the relationship has been a lie, and your future destroyed. You may find yourself on this emotional roller coaster; enraged, depressed, numb, confused, alone, embarrassed. These emotions are to be expected right now as you make sense of things.
Many people jokingly toss around the word “sex addict” as a way to say that they really really really enjoy sex. But sexual addiction is nothing to joke about. Sexual addiction ruins marriages, relationships, careers, and in most cases lives.
There are thousands of men and women out there suffering, committed to fighting for the relationship, yet hurting from the actions of their partner. This time can be a lonely place with no one to talk to. A fear of how others judge, or feelings of shame about the relationship may arise. Please know that you are not alone. Now is time to learn how to cope and get through your partner’s sexual addiction.
Remember, it has nothing to do with you!
Being involved with a partner suffering from sexual addiction causes an emotional rollercoaster. You might feel ashamed or demoralized. You may have difficulty trusting and fear for the relationship. A common feeling for those in the relationship is feeling responsible, not good enough, and self evaluating. Asking “What is wrong with me? Am I not good enough for my partner?” Once again, it has nothing to do with you!
Seek professional help:
Addiction is addiction. Start couples therapy to help learn how to build a healthier relationship and recover together. Individual counseling might help for you to decide what you want…and then stick to it. Couples counseling will also help get you educated about what you can and cannot do to rebuild the relationship.
Learn about what healthy sex is. Sex experiences can be extremely skewed when having an intimate relationship with someone who suffers from a sexual addiction. If you have become indoctrinated into sexual roles which seems abnormal, re-educate yourself to your needs and desires.
Get educated on sexual addiction:
There are many books on sexual addiction and how to handle having a partner with sexual addition. (Check out my sexual addiction resources page for specific tools to help you take back your life).
Set boundaries and follow through:
Sex addicts have difficulty setting healthy boundaries. Teach your partner what is acceptable in the relationship and what is not. Then, it is your job to keep strong to what you say and follow through.
This will be a difficult process, dealing with addiction always is. If you need additional support, book a session with us – individual or couples.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653