Revisiting the Treatment and Recovery of Sex Addiction Infidelity

Recovery from sex addiction infidelity is painful and complex.

Evidence suggests that there are an increased number of people who suffer from this form of sex addiction, specifically heterosexual males in married or committed relationships. In response to the rise in sex addiction, this paper presents some preliminary findings from my PhD study on infidelity. Here I focus on a case study of the wife of a recovered sex addict.

Couple therapy session

The data consists of an audio recording and transcription of an interview that was analysed using narrative inquiry. The story tells of the wife’s experience of hurt, betrayal and healing as well as that of her husband’s deception, treatment and complete recovery from sex addiction infidelity where he committed multiple acts of infidelity, despite the increasing risk of getting caught and the adverse consequences of this to him and to his wife and children as well as his standing in the community.

Only through an analysis of their experience of working with four different therapists, both individually and as a couple, over a period of one year and self-help activities were they able to make sense of what aided in the husband’s recovery from sexual addiction and the repair of their relationship.

Two years on, the marital relationship is reported to be stronger than ever. And this is in spite of the fact that the couple lost a child during this period. Further, long-term follow-up at three-month intervals throughout the two-year period was found to have helped in the prevention of relapse.

These findings support the importance of studying the experiences of those living with recovered sex addicts over time. The findings not only have implications for both the education of professionals with an interest in sex addiction infidelity but also give hope to those wondering if treatment might possibly help them kick an unwanted habit like sex addiction infidelity.

This update was kindly provided by Iona Abrahamson, who presented ‘Treatment and recovery of sex addiction infidelity’ at the 2017 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference.

To secure your spot and register for the 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference, click here.

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