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When Your Husband Is A Porn Addict

Esther Simpson

Odilia - published on 05/28/14

– I would caution you against going to a therapist who advertises first as a Catholic (or a Christian) and then as a therapist. What you need is someone who understands what you’re going through. Whether or not they are Catholic is a minor issue. You need to know if they are an expert therapist who can help you. Do an internet search. Call the state board of health to find out if there have been any complaints against them. You can also ask your primary care provider. Some maintain lists of mental health professionals who are values neutral.

4. Read up on codependency and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for partners of sex addicts. If the codependency diagnosis doesn’t resonate with you, don’t let anyone stick you in that box. More and more, therapists who work with the spouses of sex addicts are finding that the spouses suffer more immediately something that looks a lot like PTSD. There’s probably an element of codependency, but the PTSD effect is much more immediate because sex addiction is such a deeply personal and intimate addiction. It’s not like drug and alcohol addictions which also hurt loved ones terribly. It causes a pain that is radically more personal for the spouse. Also, it is often far more secret and hidden. Typically, there’s a brutal moment of discovery for the spouse of a sex addict.

5. To understand more about sex addiction in general, read Dr. Patrick Carnes’ book, “Out of the Shadows.”

6. Read up on resources for spouses (partners) of sex addicts. There are many books and online resources available. Some are written by Christians, others are not. Take what works for you. Being in a group should also help you to sift through the available resources.

7. Settle for nothing less than sobriety from your husband. As you get stronger, encourage him to get help. There are three main 12-step programs relating to sex addiction. Here’s a brief summary:

– SA
– Sexaholics Anonymous. Members of SA agree that the only legitimate form of sexual behavior is between husband and wife. There’s no sex with others or self. SA lines up very well with Catholic teaching on sexual morality.

– SAA – Sex Addicts Anonymous. They define sobriety for themselves; so it could include behaviors that are not strictly faithful and chaste.



– 
SLA[A] – Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous. Members also define sobriety for themselves.

8. Your husband can also find help from a CSAT therapist and/or group. However, I would recommend working with someone who first requires your husband to achieve some sobriety (90+ days) before delving into the psychological issues. Your husband is an addict. Chances are that he’s an intelligent man since he’s been able to maintain at least some semblance of a façade so far. The therapy will become a distraction from his immediate work of sobriety. He can also manipulate the therapy and your hopes. Only settle for sobriety. He’s sick, and there’s only one way that he can get better. Sobriety.

9. Don’t argue with your husband. He’s not in a reasonable space. He will turn everything against you. State your needs, requests, etc. But don’t engage if it’s going to become an argument. This is where your own work will be utterly essential. If you are not doing your own work, your husband will pull you into a devastating spiral every time you argue.

10. You are not your husband’s accountability partner, sponsor, therapist, or spiritual director. The great thing about utilizing these resources is that you can start to free yourself from an impossible role in which you probably find yourself trapped.

11. Don’t start marriage counseling. Until your husband is sober and you are both somewhat healthy, there’s nothing that can be done for the marriage. Any therapist who suggests otherwise is a quack. The marriage is on hold for now. If you do reach the point of marriage therapy, only work with a therapist who does not keep secrets from either spouse. Ask the therapist for their approach to marriage therapy. Does it include transparency? There has to be complete transparency. The marriage should be the patient, with each of you having a role in it. But the therapist should be focused on healing the marriage, not offering cover for one or both of you. It should be tough work. If it’s easy, it’s probably not real.

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Tags:
AddictionPornography
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