A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts
Setting healthy boundaries is an important part of every relationship, and arguably, even more important for partners of sex addicts. Sex addicts are known to violate their partners’ boundaries, intentionally or not, by going against what their partner values. After boundaries are repeatedly violated, partners often struggle to determine healthy boundaries.
As a partner of a sex addict, there is no one-size-fits all for the boundaries you should have in your relationship. Boundaries are formed around what you need to feel emotionally safe in your relationship. What you need to feel emotionally safe depends on your values. Identifying your values is a simple way to start formulating healthy boundaries.
What do you value? It may be helpful to think about the values you had before you even knew your partner or knew of your partner’s sex addiction. Which of your values are being compromised in your current relationship with an addict?
Do you value honesty, independence, trust, transparency, health, or faith in God?
- If you value honesty, you may want to request that your partner goes through a formal therapeutic disclosure with you and trained professionals.
- If you value independence, you may have regular alone time scheduled for yourself.
- If you value trust, you may want to create a system with your partner that allows you to see your partner’s online activities or location or/and have your partner regularly communicate with you about slips or relapses.
- If you value transparency, you may request that your partner inform certain people in your lives of his/her addiction.
- If you value health, a boundary for you may be ensuring that you and your partner have STD/STI tests before being sexually active.
- If you value faith in God, you may request time daily to pray without interruption.
If you can identify your values, creating and communicating your boundaries with your partner will be easier. In my next blogs, I will go into more detail about how to create your boundaries, and consequences if your boundaries are not respected.