The first steps – what to do as the partner of a sex addict

Most times, partners of sexual addicts learn about their partner’s secret on accident. This could be through a friend, by discovering internet search history or coming across other undeniable evidence. Or, your partner may choose to tell you they have a pornography addiction. Regardless, once you know, it’s impossible to go back. You may have many questions, especially if your partner doesn’t know that you know about their addiction.

So what next?

In the beginning, you will probably choose to confront your partner about their addiction. If your partner agrees they have a problem, the next step is to seek professional counseling for the addiction. This can either be as a couple, individually or both.

How will counseling help?
Having a professional help you and your partner unpack the issue and begin to move forward in a healthy, productive way.

What will happen?

Your counselor will cover a lot of ground with you. If you are in therapy together, one of the first things you will do is plan a disclosure session, where you and your spouse or partner will discuss the extent of the addiction to help you both form a more complete picture of the infidelity and addiction.

How much should I know?

It may be difficult to hear about your partner’s infidelity. You may be compelled to want all of the details to feel as though you have more control or can explain past behavior better. However, knowing unnecessary details may cause additional pain or suffering. Talk with your therapist ahead of time to figure out what details are important to know about the addiction. In general, it is best for the spouse or partner with the sexual addiction to stick to broad details without leaving out significant information. That way, their partner will still be able to come to terms with the sexual addiction without undue hardship.


The choice to change unhealthy behavior still lies with the addict. However, you can both continue to work toward a healthy relationship together. If you’re ready to start your professional therapy sessions, contact the team at Coeur d’Alene Counseling today.