What Partners Say About Sex Addiction Therapy

Client is dead and at the funeral one friend says to the other, "Dr. Gluxman is having trouble accepting that Harold doesn't need therapy anymore".

In this new weekly series, ‘What Partners Say‘ I have gleaned the best of the best of some of the comments from the private forums. These are all anonymous and any personal information has been removed. Some of the comments may have been combined, but all are real words from real women who are partners of sex addicts.

One of the first reactions of women who discover that their husband or partner is a sex addict is to get him into sex addiction therapy. But, does that therapy really work?

For over a decade my websites, Married To A Sex Addict and Sisterhood of Support have posted the experiences that partners have had with sex addiction therapy. Below are short excerpts from comments of partners of sex addicts who have shared their thoughts about sex addiction therapy.

Please note, the comments below are only about sex addiction therapy, there will be other posts with comments on the treatment models for sex addiction such as 12 step groups and inpatient therapy.

Here are some of the partners comments:

We have already been to one sex addiction therapist who totally traumatized me. My husband asked about getting on an antidepressant because he thought he really needed it. The therapist was total anti medication. I have been on medication for anxiety for 15 years. I have also been to therapy. I believe the combination of the therapy and medication is what has helped me deal with my anxiety. When I disagreed with his stance on medication, he compared psychiatric drugs to using alcohol or drugs. That totally pissed me off. I tried to further continue the conversation but he said the conversation was over. That we could agree to disagree. I refused and said that I did not feel comfortable with his approach. I was aggressive when talking to him. He got up close to me and goes “I am in control in here. Not you. You may try and control your husband, but you will not control me”. I was physically and emotionally scared of him. I got up and walked out. I fainted in the parking lot. I felt like he traumatized me all over again. It was awful.

Re: Barbra Steffens. Steffens continues to believe that these guys can recover. And that it is a relational problem that both parties need to work on. And that these guys just need to ‘learn’ empathy. I find that statement not only naive, but unprofessional.

TWO YEARS in our sex addiction therapy and no therapeutic/clinical disclosure, eight previous therapists, three “intensives,” relentless cycles of acting out and passionate affairs, erratic behaviors, threats, (he does NOT any longer live in the house), I have NO HOPE OR EXPECTATION for any future, but to have closure and a divorce that protects my few assets.

My SA would begin therapy, would report good rapport with the therapist, and then, shortly, would become confrontational, arrogant, blaming – AT first, I was very confused. It took me some time to figure out what was happening, partly, I guess, because he had spent so many years creating a fog around us that everything was confusing.

Mine (therapist) suggested that I went out and had some casual sex so that I could feel we were even and we could move on with our lives.

No amount of therapy can make emotionally abnormal people, normal. They can perhaps modify their behavior, perhaps stop the sexual activity. BUT stopping the behavior does not mean their desires are gone- they are simply controlled. That means as wives, we are charged with living with a husband we KNOW lusts after things that they do not want from us, a husband who is defective sexually and emotionally. It is a tall order…to keep the familiarity of your life at such a price and the price becomes higher the more invested you are in your marriage.

Therapists or counselors are not really qualified to deal with personality disorders. A psychiatrist (who is an M.D) or a psychologist (who has a PhD) are the ones you need.

Part of my anger over this whole thing is that all those counselors out there, who CAN RECOGNIZE personality disorders, should be referring most Sex Addicts to the appropriate professionals. But, they don’t. So we keep hoping and staying, thinking that counseling or 12 steps will solve the problem.

Stay tuned for more comments from partners on sex addiction therapy and watch for other posts from the ‘What Partners Say’ blog series.

These are real comments from real women. If you think you would benefit from the experiences and support of women who have walked the path of living with and loving a sex addict please consider joining our online support group. To find out more click here.

5 thoughts on “What Partners Say About Sex Addiction Therapy”

  1. I love this new forum JoAnn! Its neat to see the comments grouped together like this. I am looking forward to the other “what partners say”. Have you ever considered putting out a book in this format? Anonymous comments by partners of Sex Addicts. It would be a great read.

  2. Therapies don’t work, the only thing that will work is take away the addiction trigger, much like taking away alcohol from an alcoholic and drugs from a drug addict, or control the volume of food for people with eating disorders. Remove the sex addicts’ sexual rights and access, expose them so their lies, cheats, deceits and dark secrets have nowhere to hide. Legal system and modern societal values have seriously failed us, it is time for us sisters to get together and take specific actions for revolutionary changes in our laws and values. Start a White House petition, write to our congressmen, publicly expose addicts (note so many cheaters reporting sites these days) who repeatedly cheat on and hurt us. Sex addicts don’t love anyone, they don’t even love themselves. People truly love and respect themselves would have basic level of integrity, sex addicts do not.

    Sex addiction is becoming an epidemic, let’s stop this trend of insanity now for ourselves and all our future generations!

  3. I just recently discovered my husband was using Craigslist in search of another mans husband to have sex with. I found out because the guy messaged me on fbk and told me he knew something I didn’t then proceeded to tell me My husband had been having sex with his wife to “satisfy” her while he watched! I have 3 daughters one is only 11 months old turned out all the nights he wasn’t coming home from work this is what was happening I’m completely shattered and don’t even know the next step I should take, any advice would be greatly appreciated, we’ve been marrie 10 years this august

  4. On the topic of therapy methods…

    I just have to say… this whole “don’t shame the addict” way of writing impact statements is bull.
    I mean, a man walks in to my home, shoots me with an uzi, I’m full of bullets and bleeding out. He whines that it hurt him so bad to shoot me and tells me it’s my fault. He loves me, he’s awesome, why am I bleeding, I should really clean it up. And make him a sandwich. Won’t call an ambulance. I survive. I write him a letter saying his actions of shooting me hurt my feelings. But I have to say it like “I felt as if I was shot with a hundred bullets when you pulled that trigger.” Even though in truth they pulled out 206 bullets from my body. And I have to say, “it seemed like the blood on the floor was my responsibility to clean up, and may leave a permanent stain” When reality is, it was my floor and no one else was going to clean it for me as kindness, and it did permanently stain a two foot wide area! Oh, and on top of it all, the man wasn’t a stranger. No. He was the man who swore to God to love, honor, and cherish me. He’s the one who snuggles me every night and kisses me and says, “I love you” and reads Bible stories to the kids at night and worships God with me. When he shot me, he told me he did nothing wrong and I was crazy. Making mountains out of mole hills. In fact, he handed me a box of bandages and kissed me as I lay there pale and bleeding, and reassured me he would always be a loving husband. A good man.
    There’s something really really wrong with this reality. But I’m not allowed to say in my letter to him, “you pulled the trigger on that uzi and gave me bandages and a kiss, asked me to make you a sandwich and clean the floor. You abandoned me, could have killed me, almost orphaned our children. You didn’t help me. You said you were in pain. And that it was my fault. So today it’s time to tell you what a horrible and rotten and cruel creature you are. You’re less than human! I want you in jail, I want you suffering, I never want to see you or touch you again. You’re disgusting.”
    No… that would be shaming. Name calling. Abusive. Can’t do that. He could have a relapse, go on a killing spree. Wouldn’t want that. Better just say, “I felt abandoned and fearful our children would be orphaned. I thought that bandages were inadequate for bullet wounds.”
    Yeah. That’ll teach him. That’ll really help him understand the insanity of his ways, hear how somebody else felt for a change, and try to join the human race.

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