Tag Archives: Sex Addiction


 “I would rather know the truth; I can deal with the truth much better than not knowing. If I only knew the full truth from A to Z, I wouldn’t feel like I’m going crazy.”

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard statements just like this, from partners of sex addicts. So often, partners have been sad-couple deceived time after time and trust in the relationship was bruised and battered.

After an initial disclosure, a partner may feel the affects of being traumatized. Hurt and confusion dominate every moment of the day. As time passes, partners may come to accept a small portion of their new reality and commit to working through this difficult situation with the one they love. They may believe that they have the whole truth and affirm that they can work through this.

Down the road there may be yet another disclosure, which turns their world upside down. Although the first disclosure was painful, they were re-assured by their spouse that they had all the information. Yet they find themselves, again struggling to make sense of it all. They begin to question everything they knew about their former life.

Again, promises are made and many partners agree to continue in the relationship hoping that this is now the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Yet, in their mind and heart, they worry and question everything. Feelings of uncertainty about LS011997themselves and their love relationship are always with them, as they wonder if there is more that hasn’t been told.

These staggered disclosures are extremely damaging and painful to the partner. Partners deserve to have full disclosure. There are several decisions that need to be made and they need to be based on truth.

Full disclosure is an opportunity to help heal the relationship in a real and authentic way. Although the very thought of this can be paralyzing for both the partner and the addict, full disclosure holds the key that unlocks the door for developing real connection and emotional intimacy. There are no more secrets, no more hiding, only truth and transparency.

The process of full disclosure is so significant and important to the couple’s healing that it is not to be taken lightly and should be guided by a trained professional. A therapist trained in disclosures can assist the addict in preparing his full written disclosure. This preparation can take months, as they identify truth and accountability.

During this time of preparation, the partner also works with the therapist to identify specific questions that need clarity. When the day of full disclosure comes, the partner, addict and therapist meet together. The therapist assists and guides the session while supporting the couple.

This disclosure process, when done properly, can be pivotal for a couple’s progress. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is a gift of renewal and empowerment for both the addict and the partner as they journey down their path of recovery.

Jennifer Thibodeau MSW, RSW

Clinical Social Worker, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist-Supervisor



Living With A Stranger


How could this be? This isn’t how you saw your life unfolding. You were in love and believed that you were meant to be together. This is the man that you have felt so attached to and been building your life with. He was your rock, your soul mate and above all you committed to be true to one another.

But now things are different. You caught him in a lie and one thing led to another. You’ve discovered that the problem is much bigger than you could have imagined. He has an addiction to pornography and he’s been chatting on line with other women. Your heart feels like it’s been shattered into tiny pieces. There are a million questions that you want answered. How long has this been going on? Why am I not enough? What else has he done? Has he told me everything? What do I do now?

sad-coupleHe’s seen how devastating this has been for you, the tears you’ve shed. Your mind is consumed with worry and you are preoccupied wondering what he is doing on the computer when your away or what he might be thinking as you stroll through the mall together. Does he really understand the trauma you have experienced?

Yet, he says he loves you and wants things to be better. He’s going to try really hard to conquer this addiction. After all, he is a good person in so many ways and you said you would support him and help him. Every fiber in your being wants this to be true and at the same time your heart and spirit are broken. You just don’t know if you could survive one more disclosure. So, you start checking his emails, his cell phone and computer history. This can’t happen one more time! In some strange way this gives you a false sense of control for a moment in what feels like your out of control life. But this isn’t you. This isn’t the person you use to be. Somehow you’ve lost yourself through all of this. You didn’t find anything in your checking and searching this time. Things settle for a short while but then you find yourself preoccupied again with all the hurt and worry. This is called the fear cycle.

This is a familiar story for partners of sex addicts. Partners do experience trauma and often require professional help. You can heal and your relationship can heal. Recovery is not just for the addict, partners too have to experience their own recovery. If you would like more information about our recognized leading out patient program go to www.lifestaralberta.com


By Jennifer Thibodeau MSW, RSW

Clinical Social Worker, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist


The Three A’s That Fuel a Sexual Addiction

Why is it that good men and women struggle with a sexual addiction that can devastate their love relationships, affect their performance at work, and leave them questioning their own value and worth? There could be many answers to this question such as the latest science research on the brain, past trauma, or the type of family they grew up in. But one thing we know for sure, is that the addiction is fueled by the three A’s which are Accessibility, Affordability, and Anonymity. Imagine if you were a drug addict and you could get your drug anytime anywhere for free and no one needed to know whom you are!


It use to be that a person who wanted to get their stash of pornography had to actually go to a store, ask for their magazine of choice and face the clerk who rang through their purchase. Obtaining pornography and opportunities for casual liaisons took some significant effort. However, in today’s Internet world, the simple act of clicking a button, or tapping our phones can open the gateway to endless varieties of pornographic images, chat rooms, social networks and on line affairs.


Indeed, if you can’t find what your looking for right away, you can open up several windows at a time, and spend hours searching through sites till you find the one that satisfies for that moment. We carry our electronic devices with us almost everywhere and as fast as a thought can cross the mind or the instant a sexual urge can be felt, we have almost simultaneous availability and access.

So, what does it cost to have such access and availability? Other than the cost of a smart phone, computer, or tablet with Internet service, not much. There is a multitude of free and affordable sites waiting to be accessed. Yes, there are some sites that require membership but there is a wealth of sites professional and amateur alike that are free.

3575828156_e04def5dfa_zAll this, and you can be anonymous! No one needs to know your true identity. On one hand you can be the upstanding citizen, father, husband, wife, son or daughter and on the other you can create a secret life. Unfortunately, this may leave you feeling like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but it is anonymous. Creating a dual life can leave you feeling more and more isolated from those you love. Trying to juggle dual lives can be emotionally stressful and personally demoralizing. Most often your secret life may go against your own personal value system and can leave you feeling lost and empty.  Learning to set boundaries and limits on your behaviour can be helpful, but you may need to seek professional help if you are struggling with a sexual addiction. There is hope, recovery is possible, come out of hiding.

If you would like more information about our out patient treatment program at LifeStar Alberta, go to www.lifestaralberta.com


By Jennifer Thibodeau, MSW, RSW, Clinical Social Worker, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist