I often see the betrayed spouses of sex addicts. They make an appointment and come in in crisis having just found out about their husbands infidelity via seeing a text on their phone, walking in to find him looking at porn, or becoming aware about an affair. They are confused, angry, hurt, in shock, and have no idea what to do. This is particularly traumatic when they are truly in love and surprisingly find out that the one person they assume has their back, is lying and leading a double life.
What should I do? What do I tell the kids? Is this for real?
Please, wake me when this is over!
The betrayed spouse may well be dealing with a sex addiction or a form of infidelity. With the marriage being threatened, the troubled spouse may comply and come in for help. There is much that can be done to help with porn addiction, cyber sex addiction, multiple lifetime affairs etc. Thanks to the renowned Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. and his work in the area of sex addiction since the 1980’s, we now know what it is and how to treat it. He has developed a task-based model. CSATs (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) have studied his model and become competent with this standard of care. We know it has worked extremely well for people struggling in these areas. Also, we know, the traumatized partner deserves a chance to heal from all she has been through with her mate. CSATs are trained to work with the partner as well. Whether she stays or goes, she needs a chance to process what she has experienced so that she may understand and move forward with a healthier insight of herself and the spouse in the future.
I have had patients in recovery refer to the worst thing in their life, turning out to be the best thing in their life. Basically saying, had they not gone into therapy with the crisis, they would not have had the chance to enter recovery and learn so much about themselves. This new found insight turns out to be conducive to a happier, healthier lifetime. Many couples do make it through the storm, stronger and closer. Do not suffer in silence. There is help for you.