Debbie Laaser, MA, LMFT Susie Smidt, MA, LAMFT
If you are a wife of a sexual addict or in relationship with someone who has broken your trust by using pornography or sexually acting out, it is important to think about some of the needs you may have:
You will need individual support (counselor, pastor, and/or women’s group) for your healing, just as your husband needs it for his healing. Couple’s counseling is not sufficient for you to find safety and progress for your own issues.
You need to be heard about the pain and loss in your life created from your husband’s sexual sin. While your husband may feel great relief from having disclosed secrets kept for years, you are only beginning to take in the reality of how his secrets and behaviors have affected your life. Debbie Laaser, M.A., LMFT and Susie Smidt, M.A., LMFT are available to counsel the wives of men struggling with pornography, sexual purity and infidelity. Call our office at 952-746-3880 to schedule a counsultation with Debbie or Susie.
Information about addiction will help you understand the depths of this problem. It does not take away feelings you have, but it can help you create a new perception of the problem and understand the kind of help that is necessary for change.
You need full disclosure of the secrets/behaviors that he has been engaged in. To begin to restore trust, you need your husband to be totally honest about his past. We suggest that professional help may be necessary to facilitate this process.
You need to hear as quickly as possible from a professional that you did not cause your husband’s addiction, that you can’t control it, nor can you cure it. He will need a program of recovery to work on the deeper issues that drive his decisions. Your efforts to be more sexual, more attentive, more watchful, more ‘anything’ is not the solution.
You will find healing and growth if you participate in examining your own life. Creating greater emotional and spiritual intimacy with your husband takes both people to change patterns of your lives.
You may need someone to ‘hold your hope’ while you begin this journey. It can look hopeless and despairing in the beginning. To have someone who has ‘been there’ and ‘made it through’ to greater intimacy is to have a ’hope bearer’ while times are difficult.
Debbie Laaser, M.A., Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Susie Smidt, M.A., Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist