Category: Learning to trust again

4 Things to Determine If You Can Trust Your Sex-Addicted Spouse

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

It is one of the most common questions a spouse will ask during a couples’ first counseling session when a sex addiction has been discovered. “How will I know when I will be able to trust him again”?

It’s a great question because at the core of the couples’ issues is the broke bond of trust. Sex-addicted partners:

  • Violate their commitment, to be honest, and faithful.
  • Drive a wedge in the relationship that feels like the size of the Grand Canyon.
  • Create a sense of hopelessness that leaves the other feeling numbed and confused.  Breaking Heart

Ask any partner who has been betrayed sexually and they will tell you, while the infidelity is like a punch in the gut, the worst part is the dishonesty and lying. While they hate being cheated upon they detest the lack of integrity their partner displays in their attempts to cover their tracks. That is why at some point, the focus on re-building trust is as critical as helping the sex-addicted partner manage the addiction itself.

So how can a betrayed partner start to become comfortable and regain a sense of confidence that their sex-addicted spouse is safe? Let’s examine four key factors to look for to determine if your spouse is becoming trustworthy.

  1. He is committed to his recovery

Of course, this is the one number key to not only learning to manage a sexual addiction but to begin the process of rebuilding a tattered relationship. A sex addict must demonstrate dedication to the game plan that has been created to assist them in breaking the bondage of secrecy and betrayal. I have seen partners who dive in and go beyond what is asked of them in recovery. I also have witnessed spouses who barely scratch the surface in doing the work that is required of them. When this happens, it is incredibly disheartening to the wounded spouse.

If your spouse is following a treatment regimen and sharing with you his progress, then have hope better days await both of you.

  1. He doesn’t shut you down when you vent

One of the first things I will tell a husband who has abused sex is that his wife has a barrel of rocks and she will be throwing them your way for the next 12-24 months. The ability for a woman to properly grieve the betrayal of the relationship is critical in order for there to be a chance for the relationship to move ahead.

But some men struggle when their grieving wives are throwing rocks. They become defensive and attempt to shut down the conversation. However, this is a grave mistake. When a woman is not given an opportunity to grieve she will continue to sit on those emotions and learn how to express them in other ways including perhaps being passive aggressive. As I tell men, when she grieves, she is healing. Let her grieve.

You can start to sense your spouse is getting better when they can sit with you in your pain. This demonstrates they understand the extent of your anguish and are committed to helping you get to a better emotional place.

  1. He starts to develop and engage in healthy communities

Clinical studies have demonstrated a critical key to recovering from sex addiction is participating in a healthy community. Yet, it’s the most significant pushback we receive from our sex addiction clients. In their intense shame and embarrassment, it would be easier to get them to agree to walk a tightrope across two New York City skyscrapers than attend a recovery group meeting. Men who refuse to participate in a support group are playing Russian roulette with their recovery. The lone wolf fails.

As the wounded spouse, if you see your husband is attending a support group; working with a sponsor and engaging in a men’s group, you should feel comfortable that he is learning how to step outside of his negative comfort zone. Establishing authentic relationships with others will help him maintain accountability, which for you and your relationship is a significant win.

  1. He demonstrates the ability to attach with you emotionally

A man struggling with sexual addiction is confused about intimacy. Somewhere along the line, they confused physical intimacy for emotional intimacy. They have an easier time connecting physical, and therefore their emphasis is on sexual relations.

When you find your spouse being able to identify and express emotions, or showing signs of being open and vulnerable, you know he is on the right track of recovery. Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder, and the course of treatment is designed to broaden the addict’s view of healthy intimacy to include an emotional connection.

An addict who is committed to recovery; supports his wife’s grieving; engages in a healthy community and begins to identify and express deeper emotions is an individual who is on the right path for recovery.

 

 

Help Her Heal: Walk into the Fire

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS

He is not doing enough,” exclaimed Susan speaking about her husband Artie who betrayed her with his numerous affairs and pornography use.

Her statement left me a little puzzled since I thought Artie had been doing well in his recovery. And from what I could see, Artie certainly had been doing everything that was asked of him. So, I asked Susan, “What do you need that he is not doing?”

“I don’t know,” she answered. “But he is not doing enough.”

fire-300x225 Then it hit me. “Are you saying he is not doing enough in his recovery or he is not doing enough to help your recovery,” I asked her.”

“It’s always about him,” she said as tears formed in her eyes. “What about me? When does he start to focus on how much I am hurting?”
Susan felt Artie was rushing her recovery and wanted her to “get over it” so they could return to their normal life. What Artie did not understand is they could not return to their former relationship. In Susan’s eyes that relationship didn’t work. And she was right. There was no going back. The only road to travel – if they were to remain together – was forward. Continue reading “Help Her Heal: Walk into the Fire”

4 Reasons Why Women Are Not Sex Objects

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of objectifying is as follows:  “to treat (someone) as an object rather than as a person” Now think for a moment if people started looking, referring, and treating you like an “object”? How do you believe you would feel? Insulted? Demeaned? Dishonored? Befouled? Humiliated? Tarnished?

How about outright pissed? You know you would be! So why then is it considered cool or even natural for us men to look upon women as playthings created simply for our own gratification? This type of behavior rings with an air of superiority, which we have no right to claim.couple-913236_640

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28,

There is no mistaking that men and women are different. However, they also are seen as equal in God’s eyes. And if the Creator sees them that way, then how can we not? There are many reasons why women are not sex objects and should not be treated as such. Let’s take a look at four. Continue reading “4 Reasons Why Women Are Not Sex Objects”

Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity?

Great article by Garrett Kell on being upfront and transparent with our wives about the struggle of sexual sin. This article originally appeared on the website “For The Church’. Read and take the advice to heart. One of the biggest issues facing couples in this situation is the husband lacks the courage to be honest and open. It is a BIG mistake and only leads to further pain and mistrust. 

Continue reading “Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity?”

Let Her Throw Rocks

Let Her Throw Rocks

By Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC
One of the most tragic aspects of a sexual addiction is the emotional pain our insensitive and self-absorbed actions cause to our innocent partner. They are the unfortunate ones who get tangled in our web of deceit and are made to pay a large price for our destructive behavior. Rocks in bucket

It breaks my heart the first time a couple sits across from me in a counseling session and I listen to the wife or girlfriend describe her anguish and frustration in trying to understand why the man she thought loved her with all his heart could crush her world through his wicked infidelity. I see in their eyes their internal struggle to contemplate how they will ever be able to recover from the betrayal and learn to trust and love again. What makes it more heartbreaking is when they start to question what they could have done differently to prevent him from acting out. Continue reading “Let Her Throw Rocks”