As with any other addiction, a relationship with sex addiction can present a number of challenges. Sex addiction can include lies, manipulation, adultery, irresponsible use of money and/or excessive use of pornography.
For the partner of the sex addict, it can be challenging to find ways to cope. At the same time, the process towards recovery for the addict can be a difficult process. That is why we have made a list here with five suggestions for how you as a couple can handle the situation . This can be a help on the road to recovery from sex addiction, and at the same time keep the relationship.
- Practice open communication
Communication is the key to success in most relationships. Through open communication, you can create understanding and trust in each other . In order to achieve good communication, it is important that you both have an open mindand really listen when the other is talking. If you are more concerned with saying what is on your mind than listening, it will not solve anything. At the same time, it is important to ask questions about how you can both be of help to each other.
Only you can answer how you would like the other person to be of help and support . Then it is also important to put what you agree on into practice and show through actions that you mean what you have agreed on. This will help create a good flow in communication.
- Spend time learning about sex addiction
Knowledge about sex addiction is one of the most important things you need to be able to achieve a good life together. Knowledge contributes to increased understandingboth towards the person suffering from sex addiction and towards the partner. The partner of a sex addict can often blame themselves for the addiction. Through knowledge of the subject, you will both gain a better understanding of why the addiction has arisen, and what feelings you both have.
- Be honest about the situation
Finding out that you live in a relationship with sex addiction can be quite difficult for both parties. One of the worst things can be all the lies it entails. For some, it may seem like you are living a double life. But when you are in the situation and working together towards a good life together, it is also important that you are both honest about how it affects youand what emotions are at play. The only way to work through it and improve the relationship is to be honest and vulnerable with each other. Then it is important that you are also honest with yourself as a partner to a sex addict.
TAKE THE TEST: ARE YOU A SEX ADDICT?
- Two-way support in relationships with sex addiction
When working towards recovery from sex addiction, it is important that you both support each other and what you are going through. It means what you go through together as a couplein the process towards a better life together, and what each of you experiences on the inside. For the partner, it can be challenging to show support to someone you feel has been deceived by you. Then it is important to remember that the person suffering from sex addiction also goes through a process to get out of the addiction.
In order to make the relationship work, it is in many ways about being generous with each other . Try to be present in the here and now, and focus on ways you can restore a healthy and safe relationship.
- Be patient with each other
Patience is a very important tool when you are on the road to recovery, and it has to go both ways. As the next of kin of a sex addict, it is important to experience patience from your partner, but this also applies the other way around. Patience means giving your partner the time they need to recover from the addiction. This can be a long-term process because there can be many feelings and experiences that need the right kind of treatment. At the same time, everyday caresses and kindnesstowards each other are also part of being patient with each other. It helps to show that you are committed to making this work.
Couples therapy as part of recovery
For many, it may be important and necessary to seek help to get out of sex addiction. Through treatment for sex addiction, you get help and support on the way to understanding what the cause of the addiction is, and thus how to work towards recovery. During the treatment, it can also be useful to involve the partner through couples therapy.
A therapist can see the situation you are in from a neutral and new point of view. The therapist also has the necessary knowledge and experience and can therefore be a good help on the road to recovery. This is how you can work on improving communication and restoring a healthy sexual life in your relationship. It can also be a good way to get help with setting boundaries.
Couples therapy as part of the treatment for sex addiction can be useful for both cohabitation and you as individuals. Then both parties’ feelings are taken care of, while working together to improve the couple’s relationship .