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If I Don’t Get Angry when my Partner Slips/Relapses, He's Complacent! How Do I Find a balance?

A PBSE listener describes a situation that many partners of addicts face. Here's how she describes it. See if you can relate—

My partner has been in recovery for only 3 months now and it was then that I found out about all of the disclosure of his addiction. He has had 2 relapses since then and has been honest about where he is in his recovery. He is in a 12 step program and has expressed that he is struggling with shame, guilt and feeling like a failure. Your podcast is truly helping me recognize I can’t control his recovery and I am only responsible for my own but sometimes the fear and insecurities are overwhelming when he is in these moments because I fear they mean he is going to act out. I know I can’t plan for them happening but I don’t know what the best way to react to him when he is honest about these relapses. I genuinely want to be supportive and I do appreciate him being honest, but I struggle with feeling like by supporting him during those moments mean I don’t have any boundaries and am enabling him by not over reacting during these moments. His relapses haven’t been cheating but because of my own betrayal trauma I am terrified that they are leading up to that. I want to be supportive to his addiction and also give him a safe space to share when/if slips happen but I don’t know the heathy or best route to take when he does disclose these moments to me.

- Mark and Steve share personal examples of how this was in their recoveries and marriages.

- Very common for Spouses to ask this question/balance on this tightrope–What response has the best chance of him continuing to take his recovery seriously?

- Responding to his inauthenticity with your own inauthenticity/control is not helpful!

- How long will your “control/making him change,” carry him in his recovery?

- Compulsion vs. Conversion in recovery

- Be a “clear window” and a "mirror" to him–that is AUTHENTIC!

- PUT IT BACK ON HIM as opposed to constant “outside pressure” as his motivation–this keeps him IMMATURE in his recovery!

- Anger and control keeps the focus OFF OF HIM and drains you of all the energy that YOU NEED FOR YOUR OWN HEALING!

- An addict that is not taking this seriously does not deserve you taking it seriously! You can’t care more than he does!

Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—

Find out more about Steve Moore at: Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services

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