Careful disclosure

After a person’s disclosure of their sexual addiction, the partner who was caught unaware has to process so many emotions. If they were told about the addiction in a careful and controlled manner, perhaps with the help of a specialized therapist, they likely received the entire truth of their partner’s deception minus the gritty details. This is because if a therapist was involved, that person knows that the best way to reveal the betrayal is by only revealing pertinent information—not information that will forever trigger the partner and cause further harm. For instance, it is really important that details about how many times, when, and with whom are important for the betrayed partner to know. Revealing the restaurants you ate at, what cologne you were wearing, what you each said to one another might seem essential to the hurt partner at the time, but as they process those details they will forever be hurt by them. They will no longer be able to step foot in that restaurant—it will trigger them immensely. These details and specifics are the things that should be carefully weighed out with a specialized counselor ahead of time. That counselor can walk you through a revealing process in which the appropriate level of details are considered ahead of time.

The chances are much more likely that the person with the addiction was caught, either in the act or by the partner stumbling upon an email or pornography on a phone or device. This is the most common way that a sexual addiction comes to light. It’s unfortunate because this is also the most painful way for a partner to find out. This is when the hurt partner will grill the person with the addiction and draw out all the details that will forever haunt them and become a part of their story. For example, if the addicted partner saw a movie with someone, all the actors in that movie will forever remind the hurt spouse of her grief. It is a far-reaching web of sorrow that will temporarily taint the hurt partner’s entire outlook for some time to come. Every single detail will hold some level of anguish for them.

If you are struggling with a sexual addiction and your partner is unaware, please contemplate seeking the advice of a specialized therapist before you get caught. It is not a matter of if you will get found out but when. It really is better for your loved one (and you in the long run) to receive the news in a controlled and careful manner. There is hope that unlocking your secrets can lead to a better, more fulfilling life. There is hope.

[Specialized sexual addiction counselors have training for not only sexual addiction but helping partners through the pain of this addiction. Search your area for counselors who have the acronyms of CSRT (Certified Sexual Recovery Therapist) or SRT (Sexual Recovery Therapist). S-Anon, COSA, and Pure Desire offer support groups for partners. Click on the links to find a meeting near you.]

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