What Every Partner Needs To Know

Businesswoman hands holding sign Stop Doing What Doesn't WorkWhat Every Partner Needs To Know

As the Partner or wife of a sex addict you are of the utmost importance here in The Sisterhood. Your needs and the needs of any minor children are our top priority. We focus on you and what you need to heal.

The very first thing that any Partner or wife must do upon Discovery is to get a full panel of STD tests. Your very life depends upon it. ALL sex addicts claim that it is ‘just porn’, but that is rarely the case. Therapists who fail to offer this advice are negligent.

The behaviors of sex addicts endanger our emotional, financial and physical safety. This is abuse and this abuse causes severe and ongoing trauma in the Partner.

We Believe that the actions of sex addicts are a deliberate choice.

Many therapists and CSATs (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) who are using the ‘trauma model’ for treatment of Partners fail to see the connection between the Partner’s trauma and the abuse.

Although many CSATs and therapists claim to use the Trauma Model for counseling Partners most do not recognize the abuse that the Partner has endured and most insist that the Partner take ‘their share’ of the responsibility for the SA’s behaviors.

When therapists counsel that the wife or Partner should ‘trust’ the sex addict and continue to have intimate relations with the sex addict they are putting the Partner at great risk for infection or reinfection of STDs/STIs.

It just makes sense that sex addicts should never counsel Partners or wives, yet many CSATs are sex addicts. The Sisterhood believes that this is unprofessional and causes additional trauma to Partners.

A complete disclosure of sex addiction by any therapist treating Partners should be a professional requirement. Partners and wives should always ask. You have a right to know. Ask if your therapist or counselor is or ever has been a sex addict, a recovering sex addict or a ‘recovered’ sex addict.

And let us not forget…children hear it, children see it and children feel it. Sex addiction affects the entire family.

Domestic abuse is also child abuse.

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  1. I found out in April that my husband was going to prostitutes because he left his cell phone on the patio table with the camera app open. He took close up pictures with his phone camera of unprotected intercourse. I got into a sex addiction treatment program called LifeStar where they treat the spouse for the trauma. He joined two weeks later. We went to couples counseling twice. He went to two weeks of groups in the Lifestar program which is a two year program. I’m still attending. In June I found out he was using crack. He denied it. I told him I didn’t believe him any more. He wouldn’t do a drug test. He got angry with me for not believing him. The next day I told him to move to his own place while we navigate our relationship and his recovery through therapists and drug treatment professionals. He disappeared for 9 days, came back home looking like he’d been homeless, and so sleepy he could barely stay awake. Said he’d thought about suicide. I told him he had two choices. Suicide or inpatitient drug rehab. He said, “I want to save my marriage. I want my life back.” Note, he did not say “our” marriage. I let him stay and told him the phone numbers for rehab were taped to the kitchen cupboard. I left for a trip to see family. I came home, he still hadn’t gotten in to see anyone so I told him to leave. He asked if we could still be good friends. I told him good friends don’t keep secrets from their wives, go to prostitutes, use crack cocaine and keep their banking and budget a secret throughout their marriage, so NO! I left the house for a few hours. He was gone when I got home. The neighbor saw him come back the next day and load some stuff in his car while I was at work. I didn’t hear from him for a week until a stranger text messaged me that she had seen him that week and helped him get into a sober living house an 8 hour drive from where I live. He’d lost his phone so she gave me the phone number to the sober living house. I called the following day. He said he’d attempted suicide by overdosing on heroine that week, had stopped breathing, was found and taken to hospital where he was revived twice and had to be on a ventilator to help him breathe. He was put on an antidepressant and released after two days. I don’t believe him. His car was stolen by the drug dealer, I spent hours on the phone with insurance and police or Sherriff departments because the car was in my name. I wound up driving the 8 hours to where he was to go to DMV to get my name off the title to his car and his off mine. He said he had a near death experience and felt reborn. He said he loved being back in that town, where he’d lived 20 years ago in his glory days of recovery, where old friends were so glad to see him, love and care about him. He said he goes to several 12 step meetings a day and was sponsoring 6 people in recovery and loves doing 12 step service. I was relieved he was alive and looked so much better. However, I noticed he didn’t ask me anything about how I was holding up, how I was doing and coping. He said he’d send me money he took from the joint account when he left, used to pay bills, which left me overdrawn. He never did. My birthday passed without a word from him. On Our 5th anniversary I took all of his belongings out of the house to a storage unit, sent him a text to tell him who to contact to put the account in his name within the next 14 days. He replied, “Will do.” That’s the last I’ve heard from him. He never took over the account. So I’m in the process of sorting through what I can sell, take to the thrift store and throw out. A lifetime of photographs of family and friends, hardly any of us. I think he was using crack off and on through our marriage. I think because he hadn’t invested many years of his life in me, it was an easy choice to move far away rather than stay nearby to work through treatment and therapy with me. I’m finally, after 14 weeks of him being gone, not waking up depressed and anxious in the mornings. For weeks I was shaking, in shock, not showering, brushing my teeth or cleaning up around the house. I had to take a lot of time off work to file for divorce and take care of practical matters. Lots of time spent driving 65 miles one way from my rural town to go to therapy and my group at the LifeStar program. I finally started walking the dogs again and feeling motivated to clean house, and at my job in the past week. I doubt I will ever see him or hear from him again. It’s like I woke up from a bad dream, only 7 years have passed, and I’m back where I was before we started dating. Only wiser and more sure of my boundaries. Also more certain than ever that the only force that has the power to solve any addiction in another human being is all mighty God. I finally realized, only my higher power has the power to save my husband from his multiple addictions. I am powerless to have any effect. That’s been a very liberating realization that’s allowed me to begin to move forward with my life. I hope this is helpful to somebody. Much compassion to you all.

  2. i came across your site while looking for information. I do not have evidence of a sex addiction, but I have a strong awareness that things are not well in my marriage and I feel unsafe. There are deeper problems. Problems that I can’t fix or understand. Emotional abandonment is obvious. I have been married for 27 years and have given my best. In recent weeks, I came to realize that I am treated with contempt and despised. When I discovered my observation and my wound, I mentioned to a counselor friend. the response was, I have known this for years. I am in shock and discovery. My husband has an over arching contempt towards women. He has an angry and cruel presence that does not satisfy. Although he may not be a sex addict, there is something wrong and I need more knowledge. I am looking for support and research material that I can read and consider.

  3. I believe my husband is a sex addict. Married 20 years, been together 26. Started exposure as a young boy, age 9, being exposed to porn and walking in on his brothers masturbating on the couch together. Later as internet becomes available he starts moving into cyberchat, then a co-worker affair, then onto Craigslist ads for one night stands or at least thrill of knowing he could if he wanted by the responses he got. Moves to another affair when I was pregnant, still engaging in cyberworld off and on throughout our marriage, then trolling on dating sites and Ashley Madison and fetlife looking to explore swinging.

    Has been in an affair for 1 year with a much younger married woman with 3 young kids. Physical Affair discovered by both myself and her husband (and my kids know of it as at least an emotional affair). They won’t stop communicating with each other, took sex videos together and he claims she’s his soul mate.

    I asked him to leave earlier this week and that we needed space, so he packed and left indefinitely at this point.

    I came to discover 2 days later that she approached him, she’s a serial cheater and a solo swinger and wants an exclusive partner to swing with her with just a few other couples to “not jeopardize anyone’s marriage or health”, all the while he husband has no idea this is going on and thought my husbands affair with her was over. Now I know why my husband is so enamored and thinks he may have a “life” with her. Her and her husband are financially tied in her Chiropractic business together and I don’t see that happening but who knows.

    I’ve consulted lawyers but it’s all raw. I have my prayer warriors praying for his soul as he continues on a path of self destruction regardless of if our marriage ends, he is my kids father.

    I’m just in disbelief. Most of family doesn’t know we are newly separated, but his sister knows he is in an affair – to what details I don’t know (like that she’s married with kids…let alone the depth of it).

    I told him he’s a sex addict and he didn’t disagree. But I can’t help him and I know that, he has to want to leave this and seek help and it will be a lifelong struggle. I’m just so sad for what I thought I had and for my kids.

    I want to be honest with his family but not sure how or what to say. I also am not sure if I should tell the OW husband about her behaviors. But he did reach out initially to let me know of the affair (which I already suspected but he confirmed).

  4. Hi Kate, I am so sorry for the confusion you must be feeling and I understand your need for answers. The best I can recommend is to read the blog posts and comments on both of my sites, which have been up for over 15 years now. Real stories and comments from women who are experiencing some of the same feelings you must be having right now will hopefully help you to understand the complexity of this thing that is commonly called Sex Addiction.

    I have had many women ask me for citations on Sex Addiction research. There is none. Sex Addiction is not a real disease, it is simply a cluster of traits related to personality disorders. There are volumes of research on personality disorders and new research on genetic components of certain traits are appearing in peer reviewed journals. To find those papers do a search for ‘scholarly articles … xxx’ for any topic you choose. This will give you real, scientific results rather than the anecdotal articles that have no real basis.

    If you would like to read blog articles that I have written along with the comments to them you can go to my original website, which is https://marriedtoasexaddict.com

    I do wish you all the very best in your journey. You are not alone and never forget that YOU are important. ~ JoAnn

  5. My husband works away from home. I started to notice a few things that seemed off. I I went digging and discovered his porn use and corresponding incidents of his phone location NOT being at home in the late night hours. One location in particular he frequented over and over. I suspected an affair, I hired an investigator, and waited it out as long as I could, looking for confirmation. I knew he would deny it when I confronted him. I am pretty sure he sensed something was off with me. When I finally confronted him, he laughed and called me crazy. I told him I had hired a private investigator, and he laughed that off too. I told him I had been monitoring his porn use for a while and the fact that he was in various locations in the night. He admitted to the porn use, denied he was cheating and said he did go out to the car the night before to try to start it (been having car trouble) but it wouldn’t. So basically he was admitting to the porn use (I didn’t address the content…which was ALL adultery/cheating titles) and trying to start his car after using porn at midnight. So I guess all those other times he used porn and his location was not at home, his cell phone just took itself for a walk. He hung up on me twice and then texted me saying “the medication I am taking must be messing with my head and please stop taking it.” I had been to the doctor the day before and got a tentative diagnosis (also upsetting to me), I checked the computer again and found he was searching how to browse privately on his devices. I considered that a pretty good indication of where his priorities are.

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