Why Sex Addiction Professionals Hate Marriage

Ok so your counselor doesn’t really hate marriage, although most are setting you up to fail. How do I know? Because I talk to hundreds of couples who tell me what counselors have said or done and my wife and I are tasked with repairing the damage. Please don’t read this and take away that I’m attacking your counselor, they simply don’t know or don’t fully understand how their actions are affecting your marriage.
Here is what I see on a regular basis. First, the current treatment model refers to your wife as a co-addict. I cannot tell you how damaging that is in and of itself. The term co-addict implies that your wife is sick. Most wives aren’t really keen on hearing how “sick” they are after you’ve confessed to sleeping with over thirty prostitutes, or viewing pornography while on the job, hooking with random women, or whatever your thing has been. I understand why they want to use this model and why they feel the need to label some wives codependent but trust me this is not helping you, your marriage, and especially not your wife. Your wife has been beaten down by your secret acting out behavior and now she has to hear from your counselor why it’s her fault you’ve acted out. I know this is great for you at the beginning of recovery because shouldering the weight of what you’ve done to your wife and the marriage can get heavy right? Why don’t you just hit her in the head with a baseball bat while you’re at it? It might be less painful. Wives are sick of you being the center of attention, they are sick of having to censor how they express their emotions because your therapist told them you’re not ready. If your therapist is telling you not to tell disclose your acting out behaviors in a clinical disclosure they are hurting you, your wife, and your marriage.
Your counselor has no clue what your wife is going through because they are working off an outdated model that will ultimately end your marriage. Listen to what the guys are saying in group. “Everything is fine, I’m still sober, feeling great about myself, getting out from under the shame and all, but my wife is still upset” Your counselor has told you that her issues and the guys in the group have eagerly backed that up saying that it’s something wrong with her or her recovery…..yeah something is wrong all right. She’s being blamed and being told she’s second fiddle. As usual the entire world revolves around you. Her emotions don’t count, her questions are self-deprecating and unimportant, she is hyper-vigilant, codependent, hysterical, etc. It’s all too much; and the fact that she can’t “get over it” and forgive you is driving you crazy. Why can’t she see what a great guy you are and how you’ve changed? Why can she be more like your therapist?
I hope by now you see where this is going and how your therapist, the one that tells you “We all have our part” or “You both need to be working you own recovery” is setting you up to fail. It’s not rocket science. You’re marriage doesn’t stop for you to get healthy. Your wife can’t wait for you to get to a place where you are “ready”. You have to do your recovery work and learn how to support your wife at the same time. Recovery isn’t easy; since there is so much co-occurring you must have a recovery that can work with a lot of moving parts.
It’s been said that the number one predictor for the successful recovery of a sexual addict is the support of family members. What family member is more important than your spouse? She’s the one closet to you but she’s also the one you’ve hurt the most and expecting her to support you without supporting her first is in one word….asinine. It’s like you ran over her and now you want her to get up and drive you to the hospital. Never mind that she’s bleeding all over the place and in more pain that you or I can ever imagine, it’s all about you. And that’s what she hears from your therapist who is feeding into the self-absorbed nature of our addiction and setting your marriage up for failure.
Your wife must be allowed to process and grieve. Let me say that again. Your wife must be allowed to process and grieve. Why wives are shut down I will never understand because from what I’ve seen, once a wife is afforded this opportunity most are able to move through the grief process and then in time are able to give you the support that you so desperately desire but in no way deserve from her without first putting the work in to support her. There is no such thing as a free lunch; you can’t get something for nothing; every reaction has an equal reaction. Is this starting to make sense?
I know you don’t want to answer questions. I know you don’t want to revisit that place of shame but if you aren’t there for her and continue to make everything about you, your marriage will fail. Ask your wife how you can better support her, apologize often, admit when you’re wrong, and purge your marriage of any and all secrets. Don’t wait for your counselor to tell you if you’re ready, you don’t have to live with them and if you’re willing to do “anything” like you’ve told your wife a million times to make the marriage work, you’ll stop listening to your counselor or your sponsor and do these simple things. Reject the implication that your wife is not the victim because she is and in the context of the marriage you are the perpetrator. Be humble and walk in your brokenness and watch out for this very common trap so you and your marriage can recover.