Supporting A Spouse Recovering from a Sex Addiction

One of the most traumatic events in a marriage is to discover your spouse cheating on you. Now imagine that the cheating is compulsive, an addiction. It could be internet porn, strip clubs or even affairs. Does this make it any more traumatic? No. When you spouse acknowledges a sex addiction, it’s devastating. But now you have a place to start the healing process. Admitting the addiction is the first stage to recovery.

Since there was no “substance” to detox or withdraw from, the physical pain of starting recovery isn’t there. The psychological treatment is how this addiction will be helped. Your spouse will most likely attend a weekly session with a counselor or psychiatrist who specializes in this field. Depending on the effectiveness, your partner might opt to be in an inpatient facility. This option would completely isolate your spouse from the outside world and remove all temptations. This would also limit your ability to interact with your spouse; at least in the beginning.

To be able to support your spouse as he or she goes through this recovery, you must be mentally ready yourself. It is recommended that you attend therapy sessions to deal with your own healing. Betrayal and loss of trust in your spouse needs to be addressed if the union is to survive. A regular schedule of therapeutic session with a counselor will help you become grounded again as well as give you the skills you will need to support your spouse as they address their own issues.

There should definitely be a time when you and your spouse will want to seek counseling together to work on fixing your marriage. This road to recovery from a sexual addiction with a spouse is not an easy road and both partners must be willing to give 150% of their effort to make it through.


N.A. “Recovery You Can Expect from Your Sex Addict.” (Website). (2015).
  • 14 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I can only imagine this would be one of the most trying situations a married couple would have to face. Infidelity is hard enough to get through when it is/was a one time thing. Finding out about habitual and reoccurring sex with others would just be traumatizing. I always said if my spouse ever cheated I'd be out. That is a deal breaker for me. I don't know how I would handle a situation where my partner admits to being addicted to sex. I think counseling seperately and together would have to be a must if any success is expected. 
  • There is no way I would stick around after that. It's the worst betrayal there is and even if it was the symptom of an addiction, I don't think I could look past it. 
  • I think it could really be an awkward thing to have to go through and have to stick around with, but if you're really in love with the person and you really care about them, I could understand why they would want to stay with them. But at the same time, if I were in that situation I don't think I would have the strength to stay, no matter how much in love I thought I was with them.
  • I'd like to hear from ladies that choose to stay and are currently dealing with a spouse addicted to porn..I'm wondering what you do to stay positive and supportive while trying to work thru the addiction w/your husband/partner..
  • @MaggieElizabeth hey there. Welcome to The Forum and thank you for sharing. Though I haven't done with this directly, I've encountered others who have. From a faith-filled perspective, I know of a pretty good article that may offer you some encouragement and tips.

    I think for me realizing that the addiction doesn't necessarily have anything to do with me would help me. I'd have to go into it consciously , understanding that addiction is simply a cover for underlying wounds or issues. That would be addiction of any kind. Not easy , I am sure. 

    I am glad to hear that he is willing to work through this and that you are willing to be supportive. That means a lot and says a lot about the both of you.
  • Some of this article was helpful.. is there always an underlying issue for porn.. my husband says there is nothing in his past or that he can think of thats supports this theory
  • @MaggieElizabeth I think my bf is worth staying for. I can sense his pain with his struggle. I believe him that he wants to heal, but it is a slow process. It takes a lot for him to open up, and I've learned to not broach the subject to where he would feel attacked or judged. Honest communication is key, even if it is hard to hear or say. I have several fears but know we can work through them. Every other area of our relationship is incredible, which gives me the strength to deal.
  • I think my bf is worth staying for. I can sense his pain with his struggle. Every other area of our relationship is incredible, which gives me the strength to deal.
    Those parts hit me hard, it's so hard to let go of them and you just want to help them because you know deep down they're good people. My own struggle is with an ex I've walked away from because of an Ice addiction. Easiest thing in the world for people to say is walk away but it's got to be one of the hardest things for us to do.
    Work with them and support your significant other and see where it goes. One day at a time yes ?.
  • @bubblegum exactly. I know he is struggling with it and not doing it to hurt me. I have no doubt of his feelings of me. I wouldn't want him to turn his back on me if I was struggling with something he didn't care to deal with. If he was treating me poorly or not sensitive to my struggle, I would have a different opinion.
  • @ern you have a great attitude toward it.... that's helpful!
  • Sending you lots of positive energy and hope, @MaggieElizabeth and @ern. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Everything I see for support for the spouse involves money. I have health insurance so I can see a counselor, but I would like a free support group. Plus how is my husband supposed to get help with no money and no insurance???
  • @Knows63... It's not really a support group, but I think this website would be of help to you:

    Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center

    Also, your husband may want to look into Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA). Here's a link to their website:

    Sex Addicts Anonymous

    I hope you both can get the help you want and need. We are here to help and support you whenever you might need it. Please don't hesitate to reach out, okay?
  • @Knows63 hello there! thanks for reaching out. Dean has given some great links for you to check out. there are also some online video support group meetings...might be something there that can be of value to you and your husband:
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