Partner of Sex Addict Support

Private One-On-One Betrayal Trauma Counselling For Spouses Of Sex Addicts With Renown Sex Addiction Therapist In Sydney & Online

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DISCOVERING BETRAYAL

As a spouse of a sex addict, disregarding your socioeconomic standing, intelligence or education, your age, culture or ethnicity, your gender or sexual orientation, and whether your sex addicted partner has betrayed you with pornography, online sex, real people, or other forms of untruths and double life, you most certainly experience acute shock and indescribable emotional pain.

You may feel ‘unreal’ like being in ‘freefall’ where nothing  holds you safe, or makes sense. You may question your future and yourself as a person, and wonder if you have ever been loved by the person you trusted.

Commonly, spouses of sex addicts experience significant clinical distress, and Sex Addiction Induced Betrayal Trauma symptoms (SAI-T). Many betrayed spouses may require immediate professional attention to prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) development.

A DEFINITION OF BETRAYAL TRAUMA

Betrayal trauma can be defined as a betrayal on a person who is emotionally close to the perpetrator and relient upon support and survival.

Clinical studies by Dr Barbara Stephens and Ms Marsha Means reveal a shocking 70% of partners of sex addicts, most of them are women, scoring positive for PTSD. The study finds that partners of sex addicts are just as damaged and traumatised as war veterans who suffer PTSD.

SEX, LOVE AND PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION INJURY IN RELATIONSHIPS 

How can you tell your partner may be a sex addict?  All sexual addictions, including pornography addiction, are disorders of ‘faulty wiring’ of sexual desire in the meso-limbic part of the brain.

Sex addiction is also termed Progressive Intimacy Disorder. This means, you may detect in your partner signs of disconnection. Some spouses of sex addicts do not notice any change in intimacy.

Nothing can adequately prepare for the horrific impact of intimate betrayal.

SYMPTOMS OF SEX AND PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION

Sexual addiction disorder is characterised by escalations of compulsive sexual and/or pornographic thoughts and acts, where sex addicts spend inordinate amounts of time on sexual or pornographic activities, and where sex has become a single focus.

  • Obsessive preoccupation with sex.
  • Escalations of pornongraphy consumption and masturbation.
  • MAY BE – Escalations of a myriad of non sexual, dangerous risk taking behaviours, e.g. finances and sports.
  • Sexual cravings.
  • Anger, rage, gaslighting and manipulation when not obtaining sex or porn.
  • Denial and lying.
  • Regrets.
  • Mood swings.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Partner blaming.
  • Partner neglect.
  • Marital and social isolation.

IS YOUR PARTNER FULLY AWARE OF THE DAMAGE THEY CAUSE?

As a part of sexual addiction disorder, addicts  experience cognitive distortions and spiritual disconnection, and therefore tend to fail to fully appreciate the extent of the damage their behaviour is causing, not only to themselves, but the enormity of impact their behaviour is having on their spouse and family.

YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME IF YOUR PARTNER IS ADDICTED TO SEX OR PORN

Spouses of sex addicts often blame themselves, often receive partner blame, or become subjected to destructive criticism from others for their partners sexual addiction. In reality, sexual addiction is a disorder of the brain and cannot be caused by a spouse. You have not contributed to the development of your partner’s sexual addiction, nor was it ever in your power to stop it.

However, you may have been experiencing long standing unresolved marital problems and you may feel unattractive due to a lack of being sexually desired and loved by your partner.

You may have been unwilling, or unable, to give sex for various reasons. Unresolved marital, physical or mental health related, or sexual intimacy problems may stand in the way, but none of them are connected to your partner’s sexual addiction.

ADDRESSING YOUR OWN EMOTIONS

Instead, as a partner of a sex addict, you are likely to experience an array of devastating, unfamiliar, conflicting and confusing emotions in yourself.

Such as,

  • Shock
  • Numbness
  • Disbelief
  • Loss of trust
  • Checking phones, computers, devices, bank statements, wallets, pockets, etc.
  • Disgust
  • Anger and Rage
  • Emotional constriction
  • Sadness and heaviness
  • Crying
  • Extreme stress
  • Extreme agitation
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Concentration difficulties and forgetfulness
  • Loss of appetite, or overeating
  • Digestive difficulties
  • Weight gain, weight loss
  • Physical malaise
  • Hair loss
  • Struggling to manage daily demands
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Struggle with financial security
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of meaning
  • Fear of your future
  • Feelings of unworthiness and rejection
  • Humiliation
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Loss of identity
  • And you may blame yourself

INTERVENTION AND HEALING THE PAIN

Your sex addicted spouse, not you, has lost control over their behaviour. There is no biological evidence that sex addicts have abnormal high sex drives. Successful sex addiction therapy enables sex addicts to fully recover to normal healthy sex and relationship life.

ASAA is here to help with over two decades of experience in Professional Counselling and clinical Sex Therapy, specific to sexual addiction and intimate betrayal trauma.

DEMAND CHANGE AND ACTION

  • Remind yourself of your original goals and agreements in your relationship.
  • Determine what is acceptable behaviour in your relationship, and what is unacceptable.
  • Set firm boundaries.
  • Communicate these boundaries to your spouse.
  • Prepare for denial, lying, rejection, and anger as a part of their sexual addiction.
  • Stay focused and firm. NO level of abuse is acceptable.
  • Be aware of your own upheaval and your rightful anger, but be mindful of your rage, or your urge to retaliate.
  • Make your spouse’s commitment to recovery a condition for a possible continuation of your relationship.
  • Your spouse has to earn back your trust, and your respect.
  • Get professional support for yourself, allowing you coming to terms with your emotions in your own time.

HOW OUR SPOUSE SUPPORT & COUNSELLING WORKS

  • Our spouse support therapy focuses firmly on your personal situation and your own emotional needs.
  • We are here to help you finding your unique solutions, and coming to terms with your emotional pain.
  • We assist you with determining your next steps forward in your own time.
  • We help you developing and implementing day to day coping tools.
  • We gently guide you through the process of finding  your emotional balance and future.

ENQUIRE, OR MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR SPOUSE SUPPORT COUNSELLING 

Feel welcome and ask questions. Get in touch with Heide now, Principal Counsellor and Clinical Sex Therapist at ASAA. Call Heide directly during office hours  (+61) 02 9380 4486 or Book Or Enquire Online or email info@sexaddictionaustralia.com.au