Since this is a “process addiction,” versus a chemical addiction, it is so hard for wives to understand. There are many different compartments so that he can divide his life up into separate components that don’t touch each other.This lack of understanding can cause numerous misconceptions to be held as truths and can postpone healing. His marriage and family can be in one compartment, his job in another…you get the point.The co-addict model says a person who is married to a sex addict is sick, out of control, addicted to their spouse, and implies she is partially to blame for his behavior, simply because she chose to marry a sex addict, even though the vast majority of the time she did not even know he was an addict.Symptoms of PTSD have been shown to mimic symptoms of co-addiction, but still most therapists are sticking to this outdated model which is doing great harm to partners.Women’s brains are more like spaghetti where everything is connected.
This explains how a politician or celebrity can make such risky, career-destroying moves without stopping to consider the consequences.
Do they refer partners to COSA, S-Anon, or any other 12 step meetings? 12 step meetings are almost always for addicts and codependent family members of addicts.
Many partners of addicts (such as drug addicts and alcoholics) do enable addictive behavior, turn a blind eye, allow their children to be put in harm’s way by not protecting them from the addict, etc. But most partners had no idea their spouse was a sex addict for many years.
I hope this article will give partners the information they need to locate the right therapist for them.
Unfortunately, in spite of studies showing that 70% of wives of sex addicts meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), most sex addiction counselors are still working from the co-addict model.