How to Help a Sex Addict Husband? (10 Steps to a Healthy Relationship)
Wondering how to help a sex addict husband? Sexual addiction can destroy a relationship and make you feel betrayed.
There can be multiple reasons why your husband’s sex addiction began, which probably started way before he even met you.
It is easy to blame yourself but you must understand that it isn’t your fault. The causes of sex addiction may be complex but have the same consequences – the addiction hurts everyone involved.
Finding out that your husband is a sex addict can be devastating but if he is committed to getting rid of this unhealthy habit, there are ways to help him recover from this addiction.
Remember, you also need to heal from the emotional trauma of your partner’s addiction. The following 10 steps can help both of you to heal together and maintain a healthy relationship:
1. Avoid Isolation
When you enter a marriage, you do expect to face problems along the way but truly believe that you would tackle them together. What you don’t expect is finding out that your partner is sex addict.
This revelation could leave you in an emotional turmoil and push you towards isolation. This is a natural reaction but shutting people out will only worsen the problem.
Initially, it would be difficult to want to talk to your husband. You can consult a therapist to vent out your feelings before you are ready to discuss it with your partner and decide where to go from there.
Your sexually addicted spouse will need your support now more than ever but you also need to heal as you start helping him get rid of this addiction for good.
2. Gain More Information About Addiction
After noticing the sex addiction signs in your partner, you might be feeling guilty. It is normal to find yourself thinking if you aren’t good enough for him, and conjure up other reasons how you drove him to sex addiction.
Fight these negative thoughts and stop blaming yourself by getting more information about addiction. As you gain more knowledge, you will realize that what starts with an innocent mistake becomes a habit, which leads to an addiction.
It affects the basic chemistry of the brain and hijacks the user’s normal functions. In a way, the addict gets imprisoned in a cycle they are unable to break. Your husband might have tried to quit several times but failed.
The more you understand this addiction, the more it will help you with your emotional turmoil. You will be able to free yourself from the guilt, the urge to blame yourself, and start the process helping your husband.
3. Acknowledge the Symptoms
As you begin helping your spouse with his addiction, you will find yourself monitoring his sex addiction symptoms. Just as this is an effective way to help out, similarly you need to monitor your own symptoms.
Your emotional turmoil is not going to disappear suddenly. You will experience a cycle of obsession, fear, and control seeking behavior. This can prove rather unhealthy if not handled the right way.
Understand the symptoms of this cycle, which might include, isolation, self-harm, obsessing over your husband’s every move, unhealthy eating and more.
It is important for you to monitor yourself and look out for these symptoms. Understand that this unhealthy behavior must be stopped. Have a recovery plan in place before you get swept deep into it.
4. Make a Recovery Plan Together
As you heal, you will start determining ways to help your husband. While opting for sex addiction counseling is the best solution, it is also important that you create a recovery plan together.
Creating goals with your partner and ways to distract him, picking a hobby together, opting for a couple fitness class, going on a trip or whatever could help you both work as a team and drastically help in the recovery.
When you create a recovery plan together, it also begins the process of regaining back the lost trust. You and your husband will be working as a team again.
You both need time to heal, so it is also important to set aside some me-time to recover and deal with your emotions. This step is an effective way to deal with the emotional turmoil you both are going through.
5. Seek Professional Help
During this period of recovery, having a support group and professional help can play a vital role. To cope better, the next step is consulting an experienced sex addiction therapist.
Your husband needs private sessions with the therapist but couple sessions are also recommended. This will give you a better idea about the struggle you both are going through. The therapist will help you both in channeling your inner anguish.
Just like with other addictions, you don’t have to deal with sex addiction on your own. Many addicts have made successful recovery. There are high chances of your husband recovering successfully from this addiction.
Attend support groups that help loved ones of addicts cope with this issue. When you realize that you aren’t alone after hearing the struggles others like you are facing, you will be able to start moving forward in this journey.
6. Don’t Forget Self-Care
With every sex addiction story, the one helping their partner recover gets so focused on this task that they forget to take care of themselves. This can eventually lead to a mental breakdown.
If you want to create a healthy relationship, you need to take care of yourself too while your husband recovers from his addiction. Regular self-care is a crucial part of your healing process.
This can be hard for women as they tend to put their loved ones first. Take it slowly. Set aside ten minutes a day to meditate, write in your journal, read a book or do whatever gives you joy.
Remember, self-care is never selfish. There is no way you can help your loved ones if you are emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. Recharge your mind, body and soul to have the energy to deal with this recovery process.
7. Incorporate Positive Affirmations
The sex addiction symptoms in men include the feelings of guilt. Your husband is imprisoned by this addiction, he probably tried to get rid of it but couldn’t. This results in guilty thoughts, which might prevent him from opening up.
Try incorporating the habit of daily positive affirmations. This will help him in replacing those thoughts with positive ones, which will motivate him to do better and try harder.
Write down a few affirmations and stick them up around the house where he can constantly see them. Moreover, repeat a few of them during your conversations as a way of encouragement.
Come up with a few positive affirmations for yourself as well to enhance your self-worth, and help you through this tough journey. Repeat these affirmations in front of a mirror with confidence. You will notice the difference.
8. Maintain Boundaries
For a successful sex addiction treatment and to ensure a healthy relationship with your husband, it is important to set boundaries. It is natural to want to have some distance during this time to protect yourself from more emotional harm.
This surely doesn’t mean that you start making rules for your partner just to punish them. This is a way to clearly explain the hurt caused by his actions and the steps you would take in order to protect yourself.
Write down the things or actions that are making you uncomfortable. Once done, determine ways you can protect yourself in case your husband makes a minor mistake or relapses. Try to be reasonable with these boundaries.
Think about the things you are willing and unwilling to compromise on. Share this list with your husband and make sure you follow through.
9. Maintain Social Connections
Maintaining social connections is important for both you and your husband. This doesn’t mean you both have to hang out in the same social circles. Look up sex addiction help near me and find support groups for your husband.
Being around people struggling with the same problems and feelings will help him in dealing with his recovery process. The tips and suggestions shared in that group will enable your husband to cope with his struggles.
Be sure to find a social group for yourself. This necessarily doesn’t mean joining a support group for loved ones of addicts. You can try out different things. For instance, volunteering at an orphanage, community center or the library.
These healthy social connections will do wonders for both of you during this journey.
10. Have Open Communication
Lastly, the best sex addiction help your husband can get is to be able to open up to you. Maintaining an open communication is important for the recovery process. It works both ways.
Try communicating in a non-aggressive manner. Share what you felt when you found out about his addiction and give him a chance to share his feelings. Having deep conversations with each other will create a stronger understanding.
Hold back your resentment and try to genuinely understand. The more you understand one another, the better you would understand one another’s struggle and pain. This will play a major role in the recovery process and establishing a healthy relationship.