Restoration of Yourself and Your Relationship
How Do I Assess My Progress on this Journey?
Finding out that your spouse has a sexual addiction can shatter your sense of reality because you didn’t have a clue that he could betray you in this way. As you work with a certified partner therapist or coach, you begin to deal with the betrayal and your own sense of reality. You recognize that you were not at fault for his indiscretions whether it be pornography, infidelity, strip clubs, prostitutes or other types of sexual addiction.
As partners get healthier, they start owning their power and when their husband slips or reverts back to old behavior it does not send them back to the feelings of the “discovery”, instead they are able to identify how they feel and what boundaries need to occur.
DISCOVERY, SAFETY AND STABILIZATION
A Partner’s Dilemma, "What Supports Are Out There for Me”
You have just discovered your partners betrayal and you are devastated. You feel like you have been sucker punched in the gut and you can’t catch your breath. Whether you have been married one month, one year, 10 years, or 40 years, it is devastating, because the illusion of what you had … has changed forever. You must be asking yourself, what can I believe, and more importantly what can I do to regain a feeling of safety and stability. APSATS clinicians and coaches have worked with thousands of partners of sex addicts and believe that it is so important to take care of yourself by finding a therapist, coach, or support group who can get you through this incredibly difficult time.Maybe you saw his phone come up with some texts that were totally inappropriate.
Don’t Ever Let Them Tell You to Stay on Your Side of the Street
There’s nothing more infuriating then when you’re doing a lot of reading, you’ve joined a coaching group, you’re seeing an APSATS or CSAT partner trained therapist, and he seems to be sluggish. He may be doing his meetings, but he’s not working his steps. You don’t see him reading the Green Book or the White Book, depending on what 12 step program he’s in. He’s calling his sponsor maybe once or twice a month, and you’re like, “Carol says you should be checking in at least weekly.” Does that mean that I’m doing his inventory? No, I just know that when you work it, it works, so I get that it can be very difficult to watch somebody not work as diligently as you are.You have every right to say, “if you want to make me feel safe, you have to work harder, because what you did to me created so much trauma that I’ve got to see extreme measures from you.
Protect Your Brain: You Don’t Need to Know Everything
I would like to be your advisor as to what is in the partner’s best interest. What I know more than anything is that “a partner wants to feel safe in an unsafe situation,” which is Barbara Steffens’ quote from My Sexually Addicted Spouse. And to feel safe typically means you need to know everything about the issues and events that your husband participated in. Wow! That can put the brain on overload. So, I’m going to say although you deserve to know the general truth, it’s not good to put every fact, every image, every bit of data into that brain of yours. I’m here to protect your brain.Now why is that? Because I am a partner sensitive therapist, and what I know to be true after doing this work for years and years is that it is good for you to know the truth. That’s why after a certain amount of recovery, and for every couple that’s different, it’s time for you to have a disclosure with somebody that knows how to do that,
The Recovery Stage of Your Relationship
Will I Ever Feel Positive about My Spouse Again?
You may be in the stage of your relationship where your spouse is in good recovery and the triggers are less frequent, you’re feeling less activated, you’re functioning better, and you are wondering what to do to keep this momentum going?
You are actually in the restoration phase of your relationship. You now feel safe enough to work on rebuilding the coupleship.It can feel scary to start to believe in the relationship and wonder what to do next. As the relationship recovers from active sexual addiction and your spouse is working a strong recovery program, your trust can begin to get stronger. To fortify the relationship requires that you start investing in the types of skills you would learn if you were wanting to improve a relationship that hadn’t been fragmented by sexual addiction.
You Need to Take Care of the Basics, and That’s You
One of the things that I know is that you are in a crisis state, whether you’ve just discovered that your spouse has been sexually betraying you by cheating or being unfaithful. Perhaps he has been looking at pornography compulsively, participating in activities that don’t match your values. Whether you’re at the beginning of discovery, or you’re in the midst of your healing, the most important thing that you’ve got to remember is you have to take care of you.
Now I know that’s really hard to do when your brain is thinking about him and what he’s doing and what he might not be doing. It is normal to monitor his recovery. You so badly want assurance and reassurance that he will do the right thing. Yet, this kind of situation takes a real toll on your heart, your mind, and your soul. The anecdote for this kind of damage is Intentional Self Care!