Rebuilding your relationship tips for partners

After a person who is addicted to sex or porn decides they want to overcome their addiction, it is up to them to change their behavior and hold themselves accountable (although there are steps and tools they can utilize.) However, when it comes to rebuilding the relationship between a recovering addict and their spouse or partner, both people in the relationship can participate. The opportunity to save the damaged relationship does not fall solely one or the other; as a team there is hope.

As the partner of a sexual addict, you may wonder how you’re supposed to help fix the relationship. Here are some tips for the partner of someone who is a sexual addict:

  1. It’s OK to be angry, and to let yourself be angry. Don’t suppress your emotions.
  2. Educate yourself. Learn about the addiction, how it affects your partner and other people like them, and how it affects (or has affected) you. You can do this by reading our blogs, attending therapy, or going to support groups.
  3. Take care of yourself. There is a saying: You cannot pour into someone else’s cup if your own cup is empty. This means you have to take care of yourself (or fill your own cup) before you take care of someone else.
  4. Give yourself permission to accept that you will have judgmental feelings, yet seek support to avoid acting on them.
  5. Give yourself permission to take time to grow beyond the anger.  Holding on to anger disrupts rebuilding trust in the relationship, which is needed to save the relationship.

For couples in the Coeur d’Alene or Spokane area who are ready to start working toward recovery, talking to a professional sexual recovery therapist, either together or separate, is the best first step. Contact Coeur d’Alene Counseling today to schedule your appointment.