This is the third and final part of my series on resilience.
I’ve taken you through the steps of incorporating self-care into your life, and also reminded you of the emotional tools you already have in your toolbox.
- Part One: Caring For Yourself When You Love An Addict
- Part Two: Power Regained: Working Your Way Through Your Partner’s Betrayal
Now it’s time to answer the biggest question of all: “Where do I go from here?”
After what might have been months, or even years of denial, suspicion, and reluctance to speak up, you can finally say that you know your partner is suffering from an addiction to sex or porn. It’s not a guess, or a fear anymore; it’s a known fact. Think about how long the journey has been just to get to this point.
Of course, this knowledge, hard-won as it may be, doesn’t always make partners of sex addicts feel better. It can hurt. However, the greatest difference between the “you” of right now, and the “you” when you began this journey, is that you know it’s okay for things to hurt. It is okay to feel sad about this and to mourn the relationship you thought you had.
My job at this point is to help you and other partners of sex addicts deal with these feelings constructively.
Opening Up a New Kind of Communication
Because confronting your partner about his sex addiction or porn addiction can be tremendously daunting to many women, I never want to assume that they have already done it. So this should be the first step in opening up communication for partners of sex addicts. You must confront your partner about their addiction, only now, you are much better equipped to handle the conversation you are about to have.
Something that many women struggle with is the idea that their life matters. Your life does matter. Your thoughts, your goals, your ambitions, your emotional wellbeing, and the things you need out of a relationship are all things you get to prioritize when you enter into any type of communication with your partner. No more putting yourself or your needs on the back burner.
Don’t forget to be honest with yourself as well. Women who have lived their entire lives feeling like the smallest and least significant presence in the room can very easily backslide into that mentality. So, even though communication with your partner is of vital importance, the person you most need to seek honesty and openness from is yourself.
What will it take for you to maintain your sense of personal integrity? Only you can answer that question. You have every right to demand – notice I use the word “demand,” and not “request” – everything that you need to feel safe, appreciated, and empowered. You get to demand anything you need to remind yourself that you matter.
The way you do that is through communicating.
Keep Seeking Help
If you have made it to this point on your journey for personal integrity, clearly you are doing things right. I spoke in a prior post about how important it is for partners of sex addicts to surround themselves with trustworthy and helpful people, and I want to expand on that point a bit.
There are people out there who do not have your best interests in mind. Take care that you are not opening up to those people as you make your way to a stronger and more confident version of yourself. Ideally, you want to surround yourself with a network of supportive and understanding people who can help you channel your emotions constructively. This includes any professional that you may be working with.
Here at Neulia Compulsion Solutions, I have been lucky enough to see many partners of sex addicts come through this process with flying colors – but even I understand that there are certain personality types that simply don’t click. If I ever sense this happening with a client, right away we open up communication frankly and honestly. If I am not the one who can help her, I will get her to somebody who can.
So now, I am extending that challenge to you: if you feel that you are having trouble reaching or maintaining a sense of personal integrity, consider whether or not your counselor is the best fit for you. If you think you may want to try our method, I urge you to contact us as soon as possible.
Together, we can take you through our tried-and-true method to get your self-esteem up off the floor and to stand you up as a woman with a true sense of her own worth, identity, and integrity.