Road Map for Life Seminars:
Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts
It starts with suspicions. Your partner is up at all hours of the night surfing the Web. Or you discover piles of pornographic magazines in his closet. Maybe he's coming home from work later and later or disappearing for hours.
Suddenly his interest in sex has become unpredictable. One month he wants sex more frequently than ever before. During sex he becomes more demanding or controlling. The next month he's withdrawn, angry and disinterested.
Over time, as intimacy drains from your relationship, you feel increasingly depressed and hopeless.
Your mind is flooded with questions.
Could he be a sex addict or is he just a very sexual person? Is he gay? Is he in love with someone else? Why is he destroying our relationship this way? Will be ever be able to stop? Should I leave him? Can our relationship be saved?
When faced with the possibility that your partner is a sex addict, it's not surprising that you may feel angry, afraid, embarrassed, hopeless, depressed or shocked. Despite the flood of emotions that partners often experience when faced with addiction, it is possible for the relationship to be healed. But it takes time and a commitment.
Often couples discover that recovery, while not an option in every case, is possible for many. With therapy, relationships can become stronger and healthier than ever before. But it is as arduous a journey for both the partner and the addict. There is no time frame for healing or a direct path to recovery.
Just as there is with grief, there are stages that individuals go through, starting with the moment that someone suspects their partner is a sex addiction and continuing through the many emotions that lead to a recovery. While the addict is busy at work learning about their addiction, how and why it started and what skills are needed to restore their life, the partner must work too. They must come to understand the role that they played in the dysfunctional relationship and learn the concrete steps they can take to improve their life and heal.
Learning your partner is a sex addict is devastating, but it does not have to lead to the end of the relationship. Couples that work through the many challenges and learn new skills are often in the end, rewarded with a healthier, happier and more satisfying relationship than they ever thought possible.
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