Partners of Addicts


Support for Partners of Addicts

Partners of addicts are often affected deeply by their loved one’s addiction. The revelation of addiction, its extent and depth, and the impact of being in an unhealthy relationship can all be traumatizing. Partners of addicts often need more support than they realize. You need to know that feelings of anger, disgust, guilt, shame, hurt and betrayal are normal. You shouldn’t try to “just get through it” alone. Having support while you process your own wounding and struggle is necessary and so important! Family Strong provides a safe, compassionate, empathetic environment which allows you to move through your pain at your pace to find healing, wholeness and strength.


It’s Not Your Fault

You are not to blame for your partner’s pornography use and other compulsive sexual behaviors. The flooding of emotions you feel are normal. Obsessive thoughts (“I just can’t stop thinking about it!”) are common and the shock of revealed sexual secrets can even interfere with daily functioning. 

You may have been feeling like your partner has been distant lately (or for a long time). That’s because addicts are usually disconnected, even from themselves. Addiction is like a lonely, dark cave and often addicts go into what’s described as “the bubble.” This makes it unlikely (specifically in the early stages of recovery) that your partner will be able to provide the safety and support you need to heal and why it’s so important that you have support outside of the relationship. 


Why do I need recovery?

The needs for recovery for partners of sex addicts are different for everybody. But it’s just as important that you heal from the trauma as does your addicted partner or loved one. We believe that recovery for you as the partner of an addict is essential both to you and to the relationship. Family Strong highly recommends attending our group for partner’s so that you can find support and know that you’re not alone in your struggle.

Partner’s recovery at Family Strong includes


  • Working through your pain and trauma
  • Learning to establish and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Learning to rebuild trust and closeness in your relationship
  • Finding support in group from others who understand your pain and struggle 

Should I leave?

Ultimately only you can decide whether or not you should stay or go. The stark reality of your partner’s betrayal and secrets impacts not only you but also the members of your immediate and distant family. Your sense of safety and trust may be shattered or gone. The breaking of the attachment and connection you once shared can you leave you confused and wondering about the legitimacy of the entire relationship. You may feel abandoned and that leaving is your only option. It makes sense! We often have strong feelings of fleeing when in emotional danger.

Leaving may ultimately be what you choose to do but we recommend that you don’t make any immediate decisions. We wholeheartedly believe in the reality of recovery for you, your partner and the relationship. In the early stages of learning about your partner’s addiction you’re likely experiencing a trauma response. Being in this state may lead you to making a choice that feels right in the moment but may not be the best decision for you in the end. We wholeheartedly recommend that you find healing and stability before making the decision whether or not to leave. The decision will become clear in the course of your recovery. 


We cannot stress enough the importance of having support and a place to find your way through the difficult feelings of having a partner who struggles with sexual addiction and other unwanted compulsive sexual behaviors. We are happy to offer a free phone consultation to discuss your situation and needs.