Sex Addiction and Partners

You’re questioning your relationship. Clarity is within reach.

You have found yourself scrolling through this website because of one of the most traumatic and devastating pieces of information – you discovered information about your loved one’s sexual acting out behaviors, and are wondering if you are a partner of a sex addict. Or, maybe you have known for a while, and are stuck in the cycle of sobriety and relapse,, sobriety and relapse. Or maybe you are noticing changes in your relationship, and are unsure as to what is happening, but your gut check is telling you that something is wrong even though you cannot figure out what it is. 

If you are unsure about what to do next, we encourage you to reach out for support. 

photo of a woman hiding addiction from her boyfriend

My Partner Has a Sex Addiction

Whether you have just discovered that your partner has engaging in sexual acting out behaviors, or have known for a while, the impact is devastating. As a partner, you might be asking yourself, “What if I had been more sexual? Maybe if I initiated more? Maybe if I was prettier, lost 10 pounds, or looked like the person in…” 

Now you find yourself asking – “How did I end up here? and “What could I have done differently?

Yet, in the vast majority of partners impacted by sex addiction, there is a history of acting out behaviors that existed long before the partner was ever in the picture. 

Since this is not something you ever chose for yourself, you might also find yourself feeling stuck and disempowered.

However, what is this an opportunity for hope, healing and restoration? What if this is also an opportunity to seek healing for yourself?

Sex Addiction Signs in Your Partner

Is your partner demonstrating any of the following symptoms? 

photo of a man hiding addiction from his girlfriend

Help for Partners of Sex Addicts

Talking about sex is uncomfortable! But what do you do when your partner is struggling with pornography and/or a sex addiction? For partners, the topic of sex often becomes a source of pain, shame and isolation. Partners frequently ask “Who can I talk to?” and “Who can understand what I am going through?”

For this very reason, we have specialized therapists to walk with your on your journey towards healing. We also know that sometimes it takes a while before you feel courageous enough to take that step towards reaching out. In the meantime, please visit our resource page to learn about helpful resources that can guide you in your journey. 

As a spouse of a sex addict, it is important to reach out to gain the support and guidance you deserve, as you navigate the path forward toward your healing and recovery. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A full disclosure, also known as a “Rite of Truth” is a 2-3 hour session during which the partner of the sex addict finds truth, and the sex addict has an opportunity to step into responsibility. 

Of the many consequences of addiction and addictive behaviors are a vast web of lies, betrayal, blame-shifting, and manipulation that have often occurred over a period of years, sometimes decades. This leaves a partner questioning everything. A full disclosure gives space for healing to start through the disclosure of information, while also giving a partner an ability to make an informed decision about the relationship. 

 

To complete this in a meaningful and comprehensive way, an addict works closely with a therapist to complete a formal document that includes a timeline of acting out behaviors, requested by the partner. Meanwhile, the partner works closely with a therapist to identify what information is desired, (such as from the beginning of the addiction; beginning of exposure to sexual information/stimuli; beginning of relationship), types of behaviors, as well as providing space for questions. Due to the depth and extent of lying and manipulation, a polygraph is required as a part of the full disclosure process, as this provides an outside source that can verify the truthfulness of the information being requested. 

When done therapeutically, this can provide a meaningful step towards building a new future on the foundation of honesty and integrity. 

For more information, please watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IIGpuFgFG0 or visit our resource page, and talk with your therapist. 

Yes, however, it’s more simply stated that a depressed or anxious partner is more likely to be addicted to anything that acts as a coping mechanism in the absence of treatment. Addiction, whether it be to sex, substances, or even gambling, is a complex web of issues that often has ties to one’s neurobiology, childhood experience, and other unique factors. 

Someone who is grappling with depression or anxiety can find themselves reaching for quick fixes like alcohol, drugs, or sex. Any form of addiction can spread into other addictions if the underlying factors causing the initial addiction is not treated.

This is a great question to discuss with your recovery counselor. This is a great opportunity to empower yourself in your own recovery process, by seeking a complete medical exam, including screening for sexually transmitted infections and diseases.