Partners of Sex Addicts

Welcome. If you are reading this page, you are likely looking for information to make sense of what’s happened in your life. Perhaps you’ve just learned of your partner’s compulsive use of pornography, or that a supposed one-time infidelity was actually a long history of liaisons. Your partner’s behavior may have resulted in trouble at work or even legal involvement. If your partner downplays his/her behavior, or even implies it is your fault, you may wonder if you’re going crazy. Whatever the issue, you’ve come to the right place. 

You are not alone.  It is estimated that up to 7% of the U.S. population has clinically significant difficulty with compulsive sexual behavior. One of the hallmarks of sex addiction is subterfuge, minimizing and outright lying about what’s really happening. Therefore, being a partner of someone with a sex addiction is inherently traumatic.

FAQs and Links:

I’m confused! Is my partner’s behavior normal, or am I right to be concerned???

This free, anonymous screening resource can be very helpful.

What does therapy for partners look like???

Partners of sex addicts often experience a variety of symptoms as a result of their partners’ behavior. Many people report feelings of grief, anger, depression, betrayal and loneliness. The symptoms of trauma are common. A thorough assessment is where all good therapy starts, to identify exactly what is happening and what emotions/thoughts/behaviors you are experiencing. Individual treatment can then be tailored to meet your needs. *** Note that it is not recommended for sex addicts and their partners to be treated by the same therapist in the early stages of recovery.

What can I expect from group therapy???

The group format for Partners of Sex Addicts is based on the model developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes and Dr. Stefanie Carnes. Everyone purchases the workbook Facing Heartbreak. The book Mending a Shattered Heart is also highly recommended. Group participants pledge to maintain strict confidentiality so that everyone can feel safe and supported in the group. Though it is often very hard to come to group at first, most people feel it is the most helpful type of treatment and support.

I can’t afford therapy. Where can I go for free help???

There are a number of 12-step Fellowship groups across the country.  Here is a list:

Sex Addiction Help Organizations