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What is the Difference Between “Codependence” and Authentic Feelings & Boundaries?

There is an old, antiquated psychology model that is unfortunately still referenced by too many people out there regarding how porn/sex addiction impacts a spouse/partner. That old model is called, "Codependency." For many years, Mark and Steve have practiced a far more effective and correct model and approach known as, "Betrayal Trauma." A PBSE listener who is the partner of a porn/sex addict, sent in a situation and questions around the misguided use and even "weaponization" of the term "codependency." Here is what she submitted— "I recently showed my partner the episode titled “my partners definition of porn is different from mine” with the purpose of highlighting things like priorities and the authentic self. This was prompted because my partner has not been watching explicit videos, but was on tiktok listening to an adult content creator describing the physical aspects of one of the scenes she filmed; I brought this up with him to create a boundary around things that are overtly sexual as I feel they overlap with aspects of his pornography addiction. After he listened I asked him what he found valuable from the podcast and he said “the part about codependency” implying that my behavior was codependent because I was expressing that something made me uncomfortable and asking him to discuss possible solutions with me. Now whenever I talk to him about any negative feelings I have surrounding his behaviors he immediately says I’m being codependent. I looked through your podcasts for an episode on partner codependency but did not find one. I am hoping you guys could discuss what the difference between codependency and feelings or boundaries are; both so I can evaluate my own actions and behaviors and so my partner can hear it defined more clearly. I am fine taking accountability for codependent behaviors, but I do not want to be in a situation where all of my feelings get labeled as codependent." In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about the differences between so-called, "codependency" and the expressing of authentic feelings and the holding of healthy boundaries.

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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