woman rebuilding trust with husband

When Your Partner Is (Or Was) a Sex Addict

Written By: The Meadows Web Team

By Wesley Gallagher

So your partner has completed treatment for sex addiction. That’s a big step! Whether you’ve been with him the whole way or met him during or after treatment, you’re probably wondering what your relationship will look like going forward. It’s no small feat to support a significant other through recovery. At the same time, you may be in need of your own healing and restoration of trust.

Is My Partner Still a Sex Addict?

The biggest question you probably have upon your partner’s return from treatment is, Is my partner a sex addict still? Or, Is he truly recovered and past his addiction? Knowing how to deal with a sex addict post-recovery can be challenging.

Especially if he has recently completed treatment, your partner is very much still in the early phases of recovery. While there may be a day when you can confidently say you are dating a former sex addict, the healthiest mindset right now is to think of him as a recovering addict. He has a long road of healing and growth ahead of him.

What Can I Do to Help if My Partner Is a Sex Addict?

As the significant other of a sex addict, you play an important but complicated role in his recovery. Any addiction will affect a romantic relationship, but sex addiction is particularly impactful because it directly affects a key aspect of your relationship.

As the significant other of a sex addict, you play an important but complicated role in his recovery.

Especially if you have been with your partner since before treatment, you likely have your own journey of healing ahead. It’s important that you have a support system, and even your own therapist or support group, to help you adjust to life after treatment.

You’ll need to set healthy boundaries with your partner, too. Whether you are ready to jump right back into your relationship, or you need time to learn to trust again, setting boundaries will be helpful for both of you.

Michael Lazar, a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT) at Gentle Path at The Meadows, gives the following advice to partners of men coming out of treatment:

  • Seeking treatment does not absolve your partner of responsibility for his actions. In fact, you should expect your partner to take more responsibility for his behavior, past and present, when he comes out of treatment.
  • Let him re-earn your trust. Your partner should know that in order to regain your trust, he will need to prove that he is trustworthy through his actions. You aren’t required to immediately trust him now that he is out of treatment; let him show you that he can be trusted.
  • It’s not your job to coddle him. While you can be supportive and sensitive to your partner in his recovery, he alone is responsible for protecting his recovery, and nothing you do or say can “make” him relapse.
  • This is the beginning of his healing journey. Completing treatment is a big deal, but it’s the beginning, not the end, of recovery. For many, recovery is a lifelong journey, and that will include steps forward as well as steps backward.  
  • Remember the “three Cs.” You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. You are responsible to your partner, but you aren’t responsible for his actions or his recovery process. Ultimately, this is his individual journey.
  • Trust your instincts. Keep an eye out for warning signs of relapse. If something feels wrong, it probably is.  

Sex Addiction Treatment at Gentle Path

If you or a loved one is struggling with sexual addiction or the effects of it, Gentle Path at The Meadows is here to help. We offer confidential, in-depth treatment for sexual compulsion, pornography addiction, relationship addiction, sexual anorexia, and other distressing sexual behaviors. We also treat any underlying trauma and co-occurring substance abuse or mental health disorders. Contact us today to start your healing journey.

January 31st, 2023

Categories: sex addict sex addiction sex addiction treatment

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