For The Partner
I wish my former spouse could write a brief intro for this section of Together We Can Heal. She would have more insight than I.
The following are the thoughts of a Grateful Recovering Sex Addict.
Regardless on if you decide to stay together or if you decide to end your relationship, it’s important for you to find a support group. I also recommend therapy to heal from the damage done by the lies, deceits, and betrayal of the sex addict. If we don’t heal the underlying trauma and the issues that have plagued us, we will find that our next partner will end up being the same template and we’ll only repeat the past once again.
Your recovery and healing is just as important as it is for the Sex Addict.
PoSA vs. CoSA
When I went into treatment seven years ago (2010), the belief in the therapeutic community was that partners of sex addicts were similar to partners of alcoholics; they were codependents enabling the addictive behavior.
While there are many different models that addicts and their partners can use to heal, rebuild their relationship, and to better understand themselves, my former spouse did not feel she matched the codependent model. She may have had some codependent traits, yet, the question that plagued her was, “How did I enable the behavior when I had no idea that it was going on in the first place?” Sex addicts are very good at keeping their secrets and this model of recovery made my former spouse feel like she still wasn’t being heard, only fueling the anger she had toward myself and the recovery community.
As brain science has progressed, the therapeutic community is slowly changing the way they treat a partner of a sex addict. What has been discovered is that a partner dealing with disclosure of the actions of a sex addict shows similar symptoms as someone who was raped; Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD) becomes the norm when encountering triggers. These can, in a split-second, throw a partner into a “flight, fight, or freeze” response.
PoSA (Partners of Sex Addicts) was formed, providing a trauma focused community support group for partners. It’s important to know that you’re not alone. And, just as a sex addict needs to continuously tell their story to release the shame and guilt from their past actions, you too need a fellowship of people who can help you heal.
Find what works best for you, but my prayer is that you work on healing from the past that was thrust upon you.
This section is a resource for the partners so you can heal from the trauma someone else inflicted on you.
From my personal experience in recovery, the majority of sex addicts with partners truly love their partners and want to learn how to grow and change. Sex addicts are masters at compartmentalization and their actions really had nothing to do with you. I realize this is a hard concept to comprehend and agree with. I still struggle trying to explain it.
I also hope that every sex addict will get to a point in their healing where they can use this site as a resource to help them understand what their actions did to those close to them.
It took over six years of learning how to get past my own blocks to truly hear my former spouse. Yes, six years of sobriety and recovery before I can say, “it’s not about me”. I can finally look at this portion of my former spouse’s recovery without the trauma triggers of my own guilt and shame taking front stage.
We can change. You can heal.
It takes time. It takes a lot of deep work.
It takes community to know that you’re not alone.
It takes time.
T.I.M.E. – Things I Must Earn
My wish is that you, the partner, can heal too.
The bottom line is; it doesn’t matter if the addict understands what they did to you. It doesn’t matter if they recover from their addiction. What matters the most is that you do what you need to do to heal from their actions, dig deep to find out why your inner child connected with this person in the first place, and stop your own patterns of getting into similar relationships in the future.
Search for the grace underneath the pain and one day all you will see is grace; like a Phoenix reborn.
This page is for you. May you find support so that Together You Can Heal.
July 17, 2017