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How Do My Partner and I Successfully Navigate a “Therapeutic Separation”? How Do We Do This Well?

In Episode 207, Mark & Steve address a situation and concern sent in by a PBSE listener who finds herself in a very painful, difficult and complex situation. Here's how she describes it—

"Hey guys, firstly thank you so much for your podcast - it’s helping more than you will ever know. My question is about separation and how to do this well. I found out four months ago, while I was 8 months pregnant, that husband of 7 years has a severe sex addiction. I moved out with our 2 year old and in with my parents, telling them everything. He & I have thrown ourselves individually into counseling & gotten support from our closest friends. However, my husband relapsed badly & I realized I needed to give him a year of full separation to see if he can change for himself, or I need to move on. How can I do this year well? What do we tell our church and wider community (our pastors know everything)? I don’t want opinions and judgement if I stay or go, but I don’t know how to live in this limbo without lying or pretending to be together! For our kids, is it better to live apart or together? I desperately need advice on boundaries and how to navigate separation with two littles! My husband is an amazing father committed to them, but his addiction got so out of control, I just don’t trust what he’s capable of, so the kids will be with me until he’s 1 year sober. It’s so so hard."

-  Therapeutic vs. Non-Therapeutic Separations-  What do the expectations, boundaries and structure of a therapeutic separation look like? What are the potential pitfalls?

-  An "in-home" separation vs. living completely separate.

-  Creating a specific "plan for reconciliation" with specific steps, benchmarks and accountability toward reunification.

-  Setting and holding boundaries with family, friends, neighbors, etc.

-  What about the HUGE consideration of children in all of this?!

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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