Because addiction affects everyone close to the addict, it is necessary to include family therapy or couples therapy as part of the healing process we offer at our treatment site near Long Beach and Los Angeles. Addiction counseling for the addict’s partner is especially important when the addiction in question is sex addiction and pornography. addiction or love addiction. Through outpatient sex addiction therapy, couples can learn to rebuild mutual trust and re-establish their relationships.
Evaluating the Relationship Breakdown
By the time a sex addict seeks treatment for the addiction in outpatient rehabilitation, it is likely that the relationship has already suffered considerable damage. When the partner discovers the existence of the addiction, he or she may feel a life-changing betrayal, especially if the sex addict has committed adultery. The partner may begin to wonder if he or she is “not good enough” for the sex addict. In the meantime, the sex addict almost certainly feels considerable shame and guilt. Both partners are likely to experience significant communication problems. Resentment and anger may blossom, and partners may begin to separate. It is not unusual for one or both partners to start thinking about separation or divorce in the absence of sex addiction treatment.
Understanding Sexual Codependence
As the relationship continues to deteriorate, the sex-addicted partner may develop signs of codependence, jeopardizing the health of the relationship. Codependence is a complex concept that is believed to arise from deeply rooted attachment problems stemming from a person’s early childhood development. A codependent couple fears being out of the relationship so much that they will do almost anything to keep the relationship alive. Sexual codependence can cause a couple to resist seeking addiction treatment for the addict and counseling for him or herself. Instead, the couple may continue to forgive repeated transgressions, neglect themselves for caring for the addict, and tolerate behaviors that would otherwise be unacceptable. To truly re-establish a relationship and help both heal, it is necessary to address the underlying psychological problems of the addict and the sexual codependent.