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What’s the Point in Staying with a Porn/Sex Addict? What’s in it for the Betrayed Partner?


In Episode 233, Mark & Steve respond to a very heart-felt submission from a betrayed partner, who asks some very hard questions about her relationship with a partner who is a porn/sex addict in recovery. Here's what she submitted to PBSE—


Hi Mark and Steve, I’m feeling a lot of apathy in my marriage and I don’t understand the point in staying. I’ve been with my husband for two years and married for less than six months. We have been separated for two weeks now because he has kept relapsing on porn. I have been previously married and initiated the divorce when I realized I was in a psychologically abusive marriage. My current husband has the pattern of—a [new disclosure day,] then a honeymoon period where he makes changes and has lots of epiphanies, and then within a couple of weeks he slides backwards and then he is shocked when he relapses again. This time around it looks like he is throwing himself into recovery: 12 step attendance, therapy, daily accountability partner, journaling, meeting with our religious leader. But I just don’t believe in any of it. I’m waiting for the cycle to repeat itself. I go to my own support groups and I listen to these sad women and the whole time I’m thinking, “why are we putting up with this? Why are we risking our well-being for the slim chance our addict spouses will change decades of ingrained behavior?” I want to leave. I know life goes on after divorce. I know I’ll be ok. Currently I stay because God has told me to give it more time. But I am not interested in being another woman whose spouse is still relapsing years later. Could you please tell us spouses what’s the point in staying? What is there to be gained for us?


In the Dare to Connect program, we are currently diving deep into what it means to get in-tune with one's authentic wants and needs in a relationship and how to set healthy boundaries around this authenticity.


-  Too often in our culture, it's not safe to express true wants and needs, or we're used to them not being consistently met anyway, so we naturally default to hopelessness, apathy and exhaustion.


-  How can betrayed partners peel back the layers on what they truly and authentically want and need at their deepest core—and HOW can they voice these and place healthy boundaries around them?


-  How can a betrayed partner use a "Pros & Cons" list to get raw and real in the decision about whether to stay or go—and how can she talk openly and vulnerably with her addict partner about this list?


-  For many betrayed partners, it IS authentic to keep having hope, being optimistic and keep seeing the good in their addict partners. But are there limits on this approach? When does it leave the realm of being "authentic"?


-  Why a betrayed partner should ALWAYS make life-altering decisions from a place of EMPOWERMENT and NEVER from a boxed-in place of helplessness.





Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.com


Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling


Learn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services

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