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I Need My Sex Addict Partner be “all-in” with Recovery, and to Stop Throwing Me Under the Bus with Family & Friends!

In Episode 227, Mark & Steve respond to an amazing submission from a PBSE listener who is facing an incredibly hard, overwhelming and toxic situation in her relationship with her sex/porn addict partner. One of the things that was so impressive about her submission is how balanced and reasonable she was in describing her partner and the situation. She did NOT "throw him under the bus," but simply stated what has been happening and the impact it has and is having on her. Because the submission was very detailed and lengthy, here is a summary of the situation she described—

  • 12 years together

  • He has had multiple affairs & recurrent porn/masturbation addiction

  • Continuing "trickle truths" since "discovery day" (she has discovered everything through her own detective work)

  • He lied in the formal disclosure process with their CSAT therapist

  • He only passed a polygraph by confessing that he had lied in the disclosure itself

  • He continually plays ignorant about stuff he doesn’t want to come out

  • He resists exploring his past to create safety for her or be transparent

  • He violated boundaries by holding onto “souvenirs” from past affair partners

  • He consistently gives their therapist, family members and friends an inaccurate picture of her being aggressive and tyrannical

  • She is no longer opening up to family or friends due to the above

Here is how she concluded her submission to PBSE:

I have chosen not to continue letting my family or friends know what is happening because I could tell they were losing all hope in him when I had not. I still haven't (despite him being a jerk at times). I did/do not want to damage his ability to have a relationship with them, but it seems that he does not have the same consideration for me. There are moments when I want to defend myself, let them know about his addiction and the extent of his cheating and verbal/emotional abuse, but I have held my tongue. Can you speak to why he is going out of his way to misrepresent what is going on without consideration of the damage he is doing to my reputation or my ability to maintain these friendships? It feels like my whole life is being chipped away, one relationship at a time. Thanks guys. Sorry. I know this is very disjointed. Trauma brain, y'know?

In response to her very heart-felt questions, Mark & Steve address a host of important issues—

First, lets address your question, then we will explore the “why” with you:

  • What is going on:

  • Lack of accountability

  • Lack of empathy

  • Unwillingness/inability to acknowledge his own “side of the street”

  • Resistance to outside narratives

  • Highly controlling and manipulative

  • Possible enablement/conflict avoidance/lack of adequate boundaries/consequences on the part of the partner

  • Possible reasons:

  • Past poor modeling in relationships

  • Past traumas around accountability and transparency

  • Pain avoidance - I don’t want to be uncomfortable

  • Lack of coping skills

  • Past enablement from others

  • What to do:

  • You can't control him, only you

  • Get a separate therapist, or set up different sessions with your therapist for you to explore, find and express your voice and narrative - YOUR pain, perspective, and needs

  • YOU ARE TOO ISOLATED - you are behind enemy lines without reinforcements!

  • You need to cultivate your own support system where you can be transparent and open. As long as it isn’t violating confidentiality/is anonymous, this is perfectly fine - you don’t need his permission. 

  • With a therapist:

  • You need to explore, map out, and fully express your needs and wants going forward in the relationship. 

  • With specific boundaries/consequences in place if these are crossed/violated.

  • If your current therapist isn’t open to the above, FIND ANOTHER. 

  • Nurturing your relationship is great, so long as it doesn’t disrupt YOU TAKING CARE OF YOU.

Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—

Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services

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