Partners of Sex Addicts

partners-of-sex-addictsPartners of sex addicts have specific emotional and psychological needs which require focused attention in therapy. Being the partner of a sex addict is undoubtedly one of the most traumatic and painful experiences possible in an intimate relationship. Not only is trust broken with your partner, trust in your own perceptions and judgments may be shattered as well.

As a partner of a sex addict you may be feeling devastated by your partner’s addictive behavior. You may also be feeling shock, denial, anger, depression and fear. The images of what you have discovered may seem as if they are ever-present in your waking hours. Your imagination may run wild with thoughts of the activities in which your mate may have engaged. You may struggle with sleep, nightmares and difficulty attending to the daily routines of life. Your self-esteem along with your sense of security and predictability in life may be decimated. Just when you begin to recover your footing a new discovery or revelation may send you reeling once more.

If you identify with any of the statements in the following list (adapted from S-Anon) it is likely that you may benefit from treatment as a partner of a sex addict:

  • I have felt hurt or embarrassed by someone’s sexual conduct
  • I have secretly searched for clues about someone’s sexual behavior
  • I have lied about or covered up another person’s sexual conduct
  • I have had money problems because of someone’s sexual behavior
  • I have felt betrayed or abandoned by someone I loved and trusted
  • I am afraid to upset the sexaholic for fear that he or she will leave me
  • I have tried to control somebody’s sexual thoughts or behavior by doing things like throwing away pornography, dressing suggestively, or being sexual with them in order to keep them from being sexual with others
  • I have used sex to try to keep peace in a relationship
  • I have tried to convince myself that someone else’s sexual thoughts and behavior shouldn’t bother me
  • I have felt that sex plays an all-consuming role in my relationship
  • I have doubted my attractiveness, my emotions, and my sanity
  • I have felt responsible for the sexual behavior of another person
  • I have felt angry and/or stupid for not knowing about someone’s sexual acting out behavior
  • I have engaged in uncomfortable, unwanted, or physically dangerous sexual behavior
  • I have thought about or attempted suicide because of someone’s sexual behavior
  • My preoccupation with someone’s sexual thoughts and behavior has affected my relationships with my children, my co-workers, and/or other friends or family members
  • I have neglected my physical and/or emotional health while in a relationship
  • I have helped someone get out of jail or other legal trouble, or feared legal action as a result of his or her sexual behavior
  • I have blamed other people, such as friends or sexual partners, society in general, his/her job, religion, or a birth family for someone’s sexual behavior
  • I have felt confused about what is true when talking with someone about his or her sexual thoughts or behavior
  • I have avoided painful emotions by using drugs, alcohol, or food or by being too busy
  • I have sometimes felt that someone was inappropriately attracted to me or my children
  • I have felt alone or too ashamed to ask for help

I work with partners of sex addicts in the West Palm Beach, FL area to cope with the immediate crisis and to restore sanity, self-esteem and balance to their lives. Through therapy it is possible to heal. I welcome you to contact me by email or to call (561) 968-1505 to begin the process of moving forward.