Hi Bee81 thank you for sharing. There are many paths in all of this, be it self help books that help highlight what someone goes through and then whether support can be with friends, family. Or support groups and or ones own therapy to help overcome the impact of this on you . On this website there are also many self help resources. The groups we run for partners is specifically designed to help with many of the above subjects you raise. being with others and hearing one is not alone, can itself be one of the most powerful gifts from a group. There is also something for you of not knowing your partner in recovery and how the relationship can/will heal and repair and for trust and forgiveness. This is also a topic covered in "sex addiction: the partners perspective" and in the group. take care Ian, Paula Hall Associate.
Rejected Suspicion Doomed Sense of failure Disbelief Used Degradation Unloved Guilt it can feel like falling and with no end. memories are threaded and its hard to know where the truth begins ends or exists. There is support through recovery groups we run here, individual counselling, couple work too and individual support for you . What I would avoid is any therapist not trained in sex addiction. As much as I might say that, I've heard too many partners have the whole story dumped on them and they are even more traumatized. Have the acting out behaviours treated as an affair, even ultimatums presented by couples therapists to make a decision to keep the partner. There is so much work to be done and care for these choices to be made and the recovery groups for partners can really help explore the many things going on that is beyond relationship counseling Kind regards Ian PHA
Hi Gary. whatever you do with the wonderful support shared may I add that recovery is not abstinence. The work on self in key and central to support and prevent returning to unwanted out of control habits. Block what you wish to stop, find your relationship to what it is you want to return to. find what is exciting, edging, the zone, the need. and then work on what is going on , see a group, therapist, 12 step, self care. all paths can work out how to overcome what the addictive behaviours are anaesthetising. stay honest and look after yourself, watch when tired or angry or lonely or bored.
in Paula Halls book there is an exercise, the two circle exercise. it helps people to reflect on what is out of control and what is OK, not OK and iffy. this brings in a focus to what it is someone, is wishing to recover from. But it can cause lots of anxiety. Talking it through in therapy can be helpful. lessen the angst and get more clarification.
Hi Yasisboet compassion empathy sympathy ..can have many meanings to different people, especially where they may be in their life. For me, compassion is being with and feeling of another's grief, sorrow, upset, misfortune and/or suffering. but I would also add, we can also be compassionate to our selves and what we have experienced. One way of being with this is journalling experiences and reflecting on the content and feelings in that moment Hope this helps you BW Ian, Paul Hall Associate
Hi Bellatrix echoing the advice given before, seeking a trained counsellor in this specialist area is essential. Although as a Paula Hall associate you may expect me to say this but I have heard too many stories where the partner has had all disclosed to themselves, without really consenting to this and it can be devastating to have so much info becoming a trigger to pain in every day life. The relationship needs some support that understands the pitfalls of treating this as if it was an affair. it isnt. This can pervade all memories, times, places and begs questions as to what is left that is real. for trust and forgiveness to begin, a trained counsellor in this field is highly recommend BW ian
Can I add that at anytime you wish to seek counselling, make sure the individual knows about sex addiction. I've heard some devastating stories that alas with best will in the world, havent helped . There is more research being conducted on the relational impact of porn addiction and how the relationship can repair. Please if and when the need arises do ask an we can provide good supportive pathways BW Ian
Paula Halls book sex addiciton the partners perspective is very helpful. p24 and p60 explores cycles of addiction and cycles of reaction . this helps to gain an understanding of a partners pain. P 42 43 goes a long way to explaining that. I know this means buying the book but it is a serious step in the right direction in self help to gain knowledge over this to gain control to lead to understanding , empathy to then work through and on a place of forgiveness to rebuilding trust Ian
Hi Bilbo change some passwords to something personal, ie wife's name. find ways of having a distraction before the need arises and practice it before, planning is key. persoanlising what will work for you too. Think ahead , what time is bad and do somehting else around that time, ie bored at 4 o'clock.plan somethign different and get out of the trigger zone
Hi Tantalus, my name's Ian and I am a Paula Hall Associate. reading through your honest sharing, may I share this: we use an assessment to help you and others address what s out of control and causing harm to you and to others. This isnt just a questionnaire. it allows what is troubling you to be explored and for a therapist to work with you, to your needs and goal. Sometimes, this can be about how to begin and working more psycho educationally to help address what you wish to stop of finding yourself needing to stop. As resources go there are books , specifically I would highlight Paula's book ( and whilst that may sound obvious, people I have and work with have found it immensely beneficial ) . there are also 12 step recovery groups ie SA SAA SLAA. We run groups too that address of weeks how to overcome something that has been a part of someones life. And we do individual work too. . Your last sentence strikes a cord with me in that a habit of safety behaviour , needs to be understood first for what is provides and does , before any individual would wish to change it. thats why none of this is ever prescriptive. finding other pleasures is all part of this, that are not causing you harm, relationship harm, impacting on work etc. addressing the risks involved in this is also central to therapy. here's a great video to help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BHAREf9zmU there are more on http://paulahall.co.uk/resources/videos/
Hi Emotionally Drained my name's Ian and I'm an associate with Paula Hall Associates. You're not alone with your experiences as that of a partner of a sex addict. In general, I have heard many similar stories from partners and yet for each story there are also the many unique differences in any relationship, that also need to be heard and acknowledged. Life will change for both of you after what was once secret is now uncovered to be questioned. And those changes to both of you will also be difficult within a relationship that will change , as it is also you and the relationship that needs time to heal and recover too. Empathetic and making amends to those we have caused harm to is also one of the steps and getting support in twelve step is key as well as individual work. However, for couples, therapy with a trained sex addiction therapist is also important. Although I may say that, there are fast differences between a couple exploring the impact of an affair, to the impact of sex addiction on the relationship. And support is there for you too. We have workshops for partners of sex addicts so you can share and work through the impact this has on an individual and the couple bond. The growth you are feeling and roller coaster of emotions are very very real, but there is one central thing within this area of work and that is you are not a co-addict in this. Co-addiction comes from AA or NA work but more research within sex addiction goes towards the belief that labelling the partner as a co-addict is damaging. Couple work may help the partners uncover more codependent behaviours but this is still not co-addiction. Life without an addiction uncovers aspects of attachment to intimacy and I ask partners in couple work to explore intimacy by breaking the word down into P.R.I.S.E.; physical intimacy, relational, intellectual, sexual, emotion and emotional intimacy with self. Instead of tension and angst it helps to begin to explore where relational strengths exist to help support other areas of the relationship to work on, by breaking down defensive conversations that escalate into more vulnerable/listening conversations that can flow to explore the many truths existing in each unique relationship. kind regards Ian