Partners of Sex Addicts- The Healing Journey with the Help of Group Therapy
Written by: Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, National Certified Counselor, McKinney, TX
Supervised by: Debra Larsen, MS, LPC-S
If you have been affected by your spouse’s sexual compulsivity, whether it may be pornography addiction or sex addiction involving other people, you know what a tailspin that can be. You have probably heard countless times that the behavior would stop, you have heard empty apologies and you have also realized that it was a lie. Learning that your spouse lies by omission or blatantly lies to you have devastating impacts on a marriage as trust is broken.
For the wife or partner of the sex addict, some of the effects may be: the loss of intuition, anxiety, depression, hyper vigilance, intrusive thoughts and fear. Maybe you have a “surgical cut” disclosure, where the truth is spoken at once and you have all the facts. This is a very painful time. You learn to reach out for help and start the journey to heal, no matter what the relationship status is. Maybe you have “rip and tear” disclosures, where you think you know the whole truth, but in fact you do not. The truth comes out in bits and pieces. The “rip and tear” disclosure pattern is worse for the partner and the relationship. Once the partner believes that they have the truth and starts to heal, another bomb hits. In the end, the partner does not believe anything that the addict says and the healing process is stalled.
The most effective healing journey for partners and wives of sex addicts is to work with a therapist who has training in this area and to join a therapeutic work group where you will get the support and understanding from others who have similar experiences. You no longer feel crazy, alone and you learn to become empowered, no matter what the addict in your life decides to do or not do. You will learn to set healthy boundaries to protect yourself. Most likely, you will experience growth, increased self-esteem and self-confidence.
McKinney Counseling and Recovery offers group therapy and support for wives of sex addicts. The therapy group meets on Saturdays from 12-1:30 pm. It is facilitated by Janice Caudill, PhD, CSAT and co-facilitator Ingela Edwards, LPC-Intern, NCC. The group utilizes a trauma based model that provides healing, growth and coping skills. We invite you to join us! For more information visit: www.mckinneycounselingandrecovery.com
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist