Sexual addiction is a very real concern that spouse of sex addict forum cause havoc in relationships. Life for partners of sex addicts who have been affected by a series of betrayals by the addict can be an emotional roller coaster. The knowledge that stages in the recovery process are natural and normal can be reassuring to the addict’s partner, regardless of whether they choose to stay in the relationship. There are six identifiable stages of recovery for sex addicts’ partners as defined by the research by Dr.
Let’s take a look at them and what you can expect in helping a sex addict on their road to recovery. It consists of the partner not knowing about the behavior at all, or having suspicions that things in the relationship are not right. The crisis stage, stage two, consists of the addict’s partner discovering the addict’s sexual acting-out behavior. The partner may try to micromanage the addict, or attempt any number of strategies in an effort to keep the very real pain of the betrayal at bay. The gift of this stage is that the partner begins gathering resources or attending 12-step groups such as COSA or S-ANON or will seek counsel with an experienced sex addiction therapist. Shock is characterized by periods of numbness and avoidance, and periods of conflict.
Very powerful feelings of anger, resentment and hopelessness can arise, as well as feelings of tremendous self-doubt. This is a very normal, yet painful stage to go through, and gathering the support of other partners as well as a therapist can be crucial to help the partner through this difficult time. The fourth stage is grief and ambivalence. After the emotional upheaval, many partners find themselves focusing less on the addict’s behavior, and looking inward to grieve the losses.
Self-care typically increases at this time. In this stage, the partner is fully invested in self-care. The grieving process for the relationship as they thought it was has taken place, and partners enter into a sense of emotional stability. Boundaries have been set and kept. If the partner chooses to remain in the relationship, it is because the addict is following a solid program of recovery. This stage is marked by transforming feelings of being victimized into resiliency.