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Sex addicts, upon admitting their addiction to themselves, face an even more daunting prospect: that of telling their spouse or partner. The prospect of the person you love viewing you with bitterness, anger, or hurt is enough to compel many addicts to keep their partners in the dark. However, a partner is a vital resource in the recovery process because he or she can provide support, encouragement, and faith.

Many recovering sex addicts are told by well-meaning friends and family that their journey out of addiction is a path that only they can tread, and their partners must stand back and allow them space. However, choosing to move forward without the participation of your partner may further the wedge of pain and mistrust that your addiction has caused. While an overbearing partner could hamper progress, an informed partner could be the iron railing you grasp to keep your recovery on course.

While you don’t need to reveal the specifics of your therapy discussions or the identities of those involved, you can confide in your partner your feelings, your concerns, and information about the program you’re in. Knowing where you are in your recovery will help your partner know what he or she can do to support your progress. Never put your recovery before your relationship—or vice-versa—but let them develop together.

Here at Desert Solace, we encourage the support of a partner in helping our participants overcome addiction and regain a love of self. Our 12-step program includes family weekends so that partners and other family members can better understand what their loved one is going through and offer help where needed.