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After Lying & Gaslighting, My Partner Won’t Believe Me! How Do I Show True Empathy & Rebuild Trust?

In Episode 190, Mark and Steve take on some excellent questions asked by a PBSE listener. He is in good, solid, active recovery from porn/sex addiction and alcoholism. He is doing a LOT of right things and amassing some really good sobriety. But, based on his long history of addiction, lying, gaslighting, etc., she is having a hard time believing that he is doing as well as he claims. Here's part of what he shared—

". . . she doesn't believe it was possible for me to cut back like I claim to have done. Making things worse, [in the past, I lied to her] and hid my porn use. Now I've been sober from porn for about 3 months. Even though it has been less than once a month between September 2022 - March of 2023, she believes it has been and continues to be substantially more. I was gaslighting her as well, which clearly has not helped. She is aware of all my disclosures now, but does not believe me. To add to the mix, she suffers from past trauma, including her upbringing, and prior relationships. So while I am sober now, and have been honest with her, I have an uphill battle to reestablish trust with her. Even in my sobriety, she believes I am still using, including as recently as last week. My sponsors have told me that I cannot control other people, which is correct, but I am wondering how I can go about reestablishing trust with my current partner? How can I learn to be more empathetic? How can I work to put us back on a solid foundation so I can repair the damage that I've done, or at least try to repair the damage?

Here are some insights that Mark and Steve offer in this episode—

- What is "true empathy/leaning-in" and how can it help rebuild trust?

- How can an addict in real recovery respond in healthy, connecting ways to a partner that wisely "seeks to trust but verify"?

- In order to rebuild or even establish trust for the first time, a porn/sex addict MUST show forth consistent, authentic "recovery efforts" and "recovery results." How does one in recovery specifically "lead out" in these two areas? How does an addict in recovery embrace and live the motto—"Talk is cheap, show me!"

Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—

Find out more about Steve Moore at: Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services

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