Troubles In My Second Marriage

A Request For Support

In one of the sex addiction support groups that I belong to, a man posted, seeking support and accountability for the situation that he found himself. He had been struggling with an addiction of a sexual nature, which had played a role in the demise of his first marriage, and which was playing a role in creating problems in his second marriage. It became a relatively popular post, especially since there were so many that could relate to the details of his story. Having helped my clients to work through similar issues, I shared some general advice with him.

Learn To Identify Your Emotions

Sex addiction rewires the brain so that the addict become separated from his own emotions. He doesn’t know what he is feeling, or why. He only knows that he feels uncomfortable in the space that he is in, oftentimes even trapped, and he does not want to feel that way anymore. What results is that addiction becomes the thing that he turns to in order to simply feel better. However, when one begins a journey of sex addiction recovery, and the idea of turning to that addiction in order to feel better is no longer a viable option, even the most basic emotions can be overwhelming.

Learn To Identify Your Triggers

Learning which people and which circumstances do not serve you well on your journey is extremely important. Continuing to place oneself in a toxic environment is unhealthy, especially if unequipped to handle the toxicity in such a way that it does not lead to you being triggered. Remember, we have only limited amounts of emotional energy each day. If your emotional energy is constantly being used to clean up new messes (created by you, others, or situations out of your control), you are not moving forward. You may be able to manage your space well enough to not relapse fully, but you will not be able to maximize your progress – and true recovery is about moving forward. Maintaining simply is not good enough to lead to a more fulfilling existence.

Therefore, in learning to identify one’s triggers, much freedom is found. This becomes the birthplace of empowerment. You identify the things that are detrimental to your journey and you decide what to do about them. That is true empowerment.

Identify Candidates To Help Make Up Your Support System

Those in recovery need support. They have to condition themselves to get outside of their own heads. The reason for this is that their addiction lives inside of their heads, and because addiction always knows the addict much better than he knows himself. In addition to providing support, a support system provides accountability; and both are absolutely necessary on the journey to recovery.

The Highlights

  • Learn To Identify Your Emotions – No true journey can be undertaken until an individual acknowledges what he feels.

  • Learn To Identify Your Triggers – People, places, and situations can be the catalyst for a myriad of feelings – both positive and negative. It is good for a sex addict to identify the specific feelings that are likely to trigger him to turn to his addiction. This helps the individual to more proactive on the journey to recovery.

  • Identify Candidates To Help Make Up Your Support System – The journey to addiction recovery simply cannot be completed alone. One needs support on the journey. You cannot outthink your addiction. You need someone to help show you the way.

  • Judgment-free zones – I like to remind clients that these issues must be addressed in judgment-free environments. However, that does not mean that clients are not held accountable for their thoughts and actions. There has to be a balance.

  • Why are you hurting? – Addictions are used to soothe weary souls. If you can figure out why you are hurting, you become empowered to address the source of your pain. This empowerment is the foundation upon which your recovery is built.


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