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My Porn/Sex Addict Partner’s “Empathy Button” is Broken! What Can I Do?



The title for Episode 185 may sound a bit strange—"My Porn/Sex Addict Partner’s 'Empathy Button' is Broken! What Can I Do?" Actually, the idea of a "broken empathy button" comes from a PBSE listener who sent us the following situation and plea for help—


"I am the betrayed partner of a sex addict and we are around 2 months into our journey at this point—very early days. So far I have to say my partner seems to be doing all the right things and listening to the podcast has somewhat reinforced that for me. I am struggling though to come to terms with the fact that [his] preferred “porn” was sexting and hooking up with past partners. He would have have [multiple] women that he would sext, fantasize over and orgasm too at any one time. There have also been physical infidelities with some of these women, however the majority has been sexual pictures and videos sent via text."


"We had our disclosure day 3 days ago and the totality of what had been going on behind my back floored me. I had been told parts, but not everything. I thought I was prepared but I was not. I could see that he felt bad for hurting me but I’m struggling with his lack of empathy towards what he’s done and the effect this has had on me. He has even said himself that his “empathy button” doesn’t seem to exist in the sexual space. He says he loves me and I can see him doing the work in these early days but I know we have a long way to go. Can you please shed some light on why he has no empathy and how we can work on fixing that empathy button. I am really struggling to understand how he is able to switch it off and not think of me and how it will hurt me when he’s acting out."


In this episode, Mark and Steve give some real, life-in-the-trenches guidance on what to do when empathy is not present in a relationship—How can the addict-in-recovery develop an ever-deeper empathy? How can the partner seeking to heal from betrayal trauma set and hold healthy boundaries and have her needs met? How can the coupleship seek the path of "collaborative empathy"?



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—daretoconnectnow.com


Find out more about Steve Moore at: Ascension Counseling


Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services

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