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When sex addiction surfaces in a relationship, the focus tends to revolve around addressing the symptoms and causes of the addiction and the steps toward healing for the person with the addiction.
It is important for partners and spouses of those with sex addiction to take care of themselves and try to avoid the downward spiral that can threaten them.
It is not uncommon for the betrayed partner to feel pity for his or her partner and focus attention on him or her.
When people feel betrayed, it’s important that they take time to care for themselves first so as to build a plan to create structure, reduce anxiety, and get some much needed encouragement and support.
A good counselor can be instrumental in providing that support because the counselor functions as an advocate, providing validation, compassion, and clear direction.
Some may benefit from joining a support group of other spouses that are going through the same thing.
Dependable friends and family can also provide support, especially on those very tough days.Incorporating a healthy lifestyle by getting plenty of rest, eating properly, finding some time for exercise, and scheduling times for fun will give the partner’s body, mind, and spirit the energy it needs to cope with daily stress.The person feeling betrayed may experience a sense of shame that results in the temptation to shut down, or to numb the pain by suppressing the painful feelings.The feelings are there and they are very strong, and it will cause more harm, eventually, than good by stuffing them or hiding them.That is why finding a counselor, having supportive friends, and being a part of a group are extremely important in providing a safe outlet for the partner’s full expression.Whether it’s anger, fear, abandonment, or any number of emotions, sharing those feelings in a safe and healthy way helps work through the grieving process and generate some hope.