Someone who is married to, or in a
significant relationship with a sex addict sometimes demonstrates a common set of similar characteristics. These characteristics include denial, preoccupation, enabling, rescuing, taking unneeded responsibility,
trying to control the addict, self-compromise, anger and sexual issues. Being traumatized by sex addiction can range in severity and some individuals will find they experience few of these characteristics.
For others, they may demonstrate a range of these mal-adaptive behaviors.
Consider whether you:
1. Believe you would be happy if only the sex addict would change?
Sometimes look at other families, imagine that they are 'normal,' and wish your relationship could be happy like theirs?
3. Feel pressured to become sexual with partners before you know them very well, or
done so repeatedly in order to avoid abandonment?
4. Become physically affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior and contracted stress-related illnesses, STDs, or have a baby or an abortion to
fix the relationship?
5. Engage in compulsive, self-destructive or depressive behaviors to avoid your feelings?
6. Sometimes feel crazy or numb and have a hard time separating the truth from
lies when talking to the sex addict?
7. Feel immense shame about the sex addict's behaviors, attributing it as a reflection on you or your family?
8. Believe if only you could help the sex
addict with their pain, they would get better?
9. Put the sex addict's needs before your own?
10. Feel happy when the sex addict is happy and doing well, and struggle when the sex addict is
sad, angry, or struggling?
11. Spend time worrying about where the sex addict is, who they might be with, what they might be doing?
12. "Snoopervise" - Spend time searching for clues
to the sex addict's acting out? Check personal space, computers, cars, bank records, phone bills, laundry for clues to the addictive sexual behavior of the addict?
13. Find yourself hyper-focused on the sex addict's level of recovery?
14. Avoid ever speaking with others (close friends, a professional counselor or sponsor) about your sexual behaviors or feelings?
15. Focus more on another person's sexual attitudes, beliefs, or needs than your own?
16. Allow sexual activities with your partner which feel unpleasant, painful, scary, degrading or shaming to
you, yet you don't set boundaries for yourself?
17. Withdraw emotionally, have your mind on other things during sex, or feel empty afterwards?
18. Have less interest in and awareness of your
own sexual needs and desires, than the sex addict's sexual needs and desires?
People who identify with even a few of the above behaviors likely struggle with PTSD like symptoms brought on by someone's
addictive behavior. Practitioners often find common characteristics in the spouses or partners of addicts. They begin to notice families who struggle with setting boundaries, rescuing behaviors, trying to
control their partners and sacrificing themselves for the "good of the relationship." These family members desperately need help to learn to shatter the past turmoil, fear and pain and return to a life or
normalcy, based on mutual trust, boundaries, self-nurturing and care.
For this reason New York Pathways has developed a unique 12-week confidential support group facilitated by a licensed professional
counselor entitled Healing Our Shattered Trust: Mending Strategies for Spouses & Partners.
This group includes both educational and clinical information regarding sexual addiction, therapeutic
processing of trauma, working through intense feelings of betrayal, anger and shame and dealing with issues related to intimacy, restoring trust, and renewing or dissolving your relationship.
WHEN: THURSDAY EVENINGS
TIME: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
WHERE: 222 W. 11TH STREET, NY, NY
COST: $75 PER SESSION
(Sliding scale available)
Registration required for admission.
Educational topics will follow a 12-week cycle and the group is on-going with rolling admissions. Group members are requested to commit to a minimum of twelve weeks to support group cohesion.
212-252-4121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.