Question and Answer.
My wife catches me every now and then but doesn’t know the full extent of my sex addiction. Should I tell her?
A few thoughts to consider:
- On the relationship side. You need to think through how bad divorce will be and realize that now is your time to save your marriage if you want to save it. You may think your wife won’t divorce you but trust me, she will all of a sudden snap and enough is enough. It happens all the time. But you can save this if you want.
- The lying, gaslighting, defensiveness, blaming does more damage in a relationship than the actual sexual behavior. Decide now not to do any of that. You may feel powerless to the addiction but you’re not powerless over that stuff. Be the best husband you can be. She’s experiencing trauma. Her response is a trauma response. Work through your shame enough that you can handle her trauma response without being defensiveness. It’s not permanent. Be strong and react to her with perfect patience and loving kindness every time and that will go a long ways. She probably also needs counseling to work through her trauma.
- I recommend IFS therapy for someone who is stuck this deep in the pattern. It’s a different approach than the traditional 12 steps addiction model approach, and if you feel like that’s not working for you, IFS might help. If not, keep trying with therapy. It will work if you’re motivated.
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Rob Terry is a therapist for clients in Utah and coach for clients outside of Utah and across the globe. He specializes in sex addiction recovery for individuals and couples. He integrates the CSAT, OCSB, and Minwalla models for individual recovery and Gottman Method, RLT, and ERCEM for couples recovery. He is betrayal trauma informed. His therapy modalities are IFS, ACT, CBT, EMDR, and Attachment Theory.