Recovery from Betrayal: Tips for the Spouse

Bf4zYwmCMAAJl65It’s a tough being the spouse of a recently identified/recovered sex addict. If you’ve been the victim of his/her betrayal, you are probably raging mad, sad, confused, depressed. Your trust in him/her is shattered. The last thing you probably want to think about is how to try and make this relationship work! But, your partner wants to work through this and stay together. What do you do? Do you stay with him/her? What about all the years you’ve invested? The kids? The finances? The friendship? The sanctity of marriage? Can you move past this? If you think there is a chance, that it’s worth it to try and move forward with the relationship, here are a few steps to help make your healing process successful:
1. Seek help. Get into individual therapy with a therapist that works with partners of addicts. Process the trauma and gain some insight and tools in order to understand how and why you got involved in this relationship (No, it’s not your fault he/she cheated and yes, you were drawn to this person because of reasons that might be outside of your consciousness).
2. Find a 12 step program to attend regularly. Go to S-Anon (or AL-ANON or CODA) for support and work the 12 steps in order to learn to focus on your goals and unhook yourself from focusing on your partner’s behaviors.
3. Set boundaries around treatment with your spouse. Is your partner committed to treatment? He/She should be in treatment (12 step- SAA or SLAA, individual therapy, group therapy, maybe an IOP- he/she should have consulted with Sex Addiction expert to design a program) and meeting all of his/her treatment obligations. If he/she is not following through with treatment, then he/she is most likely acting out (or is going to act out again). Refrain from trying to control him/her, but do make your limits clear. What will you put up with? What can and can’t you live with?
4. Finally: Go to couples therapy. Learn how to build trust, communicate effectively and create more intimacy.

Elana Clark-Faler
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