Sharing our stories is good therapy. Women do this well; we laugh, we cry, we talk, pace, gesture and pull our hair out. We throw things, eat, purge, binge, scream and vent with each other. Then, when the storm has passed, we hug one another and sit down together to [...]
Listen as JoAnn Russell interviews Barbara Steffens, author of 'Your Sexually Addicted Spouse, How Partners Can Cope And Heal' in Part 2 of this four part series of interviews. In Part 2 Barbara discusses the 'life quake' of discovery of the Sexual Addiction, disclosures, honesty, trust and boundaries.
Barbara Steffens, author of 'Your Sexually Addicted Spouse, How Partners Can Cope And Heal' shares her years of experience as a professional counselor specializing in the field of helping partners of Sex Addicts heal from their trauma.
So many of you are experiencing such crisis in your lives. I can only hope that each and every one of you know that my wish is not only to give you hope and comfort through this web site, but also to raise the collective energy to help you through these tough times.
Our path to recovery starts with discovery. The ways that each of us find out about our spouse’s Sexual Addiction are as varied as the types of addiction. Some of us are jolted into painful reality with a phone call from the local jail, the other woman or man, or just by having to face the overwhelming evidence that we have been trying to ignore. Rarely, our spouse may have become so distressed with their way of life that they will shock us with a confession. But, however it happens, the initial discovery is only the beginning. It took over four years for my husband to reveal the full spectrum of his addictive activities. This partial disclosure is quite common among Sex Addicts. Often those who are confronted will vehemently deny any wrongdoing and only fess up to what absolutely cannot be denied. This kind of behavior can make you crazy. Not only is the frustration enough to make you want to scream, but over time a more insidious pattern emerges where we begin to doubt ourselves. […]
Are you still having sex with your spouse or partner even though you know that they are a Sex Addict? Do you practice safe sex by using condoms? This usually happens early in the process of discovery and disclosure. I guess it’s just human nature–and our primal need to feel close to someone we love again along with a bit of denial about facing our fears about the unknown future. […]
If you read the quote below you will understand when I say that writing my book, Married To A Sex Addict, has taken over my life. It has not quite reached the tyrant stage, but it is close. This is a good thing, but it doesn't leave much time for [...]
When my husband and I visited the Galapagos Islands last year we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz island. This Research Station is the home to ‘Lonesome George’, the last living tortoise of his species. When he dies the species will be extinct. Thinking back on that trip today I realized that when I met my husband he was like Lonesome George. He had no friends, no social life, no intimacy. […]
The book is coming along nicely and yesterday I was working on a section about Discovery–how and when we find out that our spouse or partner is a Sex Addict. I can remember the day I found out as if it were yesterday. It was a Thursday and I was off work. While sorting through the stack of mail from the previous few days I noticed that a bank statement that I had seen come in was missing. […]
Sometimes I think when we are dealing with our spouses or partners Sex Addiction we forget that the addiction is not necessarily the only problem in the relationship. Sex Addicts have a myriad of emotional issues that can make the relationship rocky aside from the addiction. My husband and I had a ‘discussion’ this morning over an incident that happened last night. It had nothing to do with his addiction, it was simply one of those ordinary misunderstandings that should have been over and done with in about two minutes. […]
What do you need right now from your Sex Addict partner or spouse? For me, the most important piece in our recovery was honest communication. Until my husband got rid of his defensiveness and started telling me the truth there was really no hope for us. What do you think [...]
Finding out that your spouse or partner has a Sex Addiction is both devastating and life changing, but what follows that discovery is often so much worse. It is rare that a Sex Addict ‘comes clean’ about his addiction. Often their secret life is discovered by a spouse or partner who confronts them with the evidence, or their activities result in job loss, legal action or arrest. […]
It’s difficult to understand how someone can become addicted to an activity or behavior such as shopping, eating, gambling or sex. We can understand chemical addictions because it is so straight forward–put the chemical into your body and get a measurable physical reaction. There are levels of the chemical in the bloodstream, visible signs of impairment and serious reactions if the drug is withdrawn. But, in the case of non-chemical addictions the signs are subtle or non existent. Addictions to behavioral processes are called “process addictions.” The process of engaging in these behaviors leads to typical addiction symptoms (withdrawal, tolerance, heightened excitement or euphoria). […]