Trust is critical for a healthy, thriving marriage. When trust exists between a husband and wife, they are vulnerable with each other, and their bond strengthens. But can you trust a sex addict?
Sex and pornography addictions damage trust between partners. If someone seeks sexual gratification outside the God-ordained bonds of marriage, it weakens the marital bonds.
Jesus Christ came to save people and to heal and restore them from their sins. But He was clear when He talked about lust in His Sermon on the Mount.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28, NKJV)
Once a man breaks trust through sex addiction, he must work to heal himself, his marriage, and his relationship with God. Otherwise, it will be difficult for his wife to trust him again.
Understanding Sex and Porn Addiction
Hypersexuality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by a preoccupation with sex. Sex and porn addictions are part of this disorder. The preoccupation with sex can manifest as sexual fantasies, excessive porn watching, or compulsive urges and behaviors. It’s a disorder because the obsession with sex impacts your ability to function in your daily life and negatively impacts you.
Pain from trauma – whether physical, emotional, or sexual — drives sex addiction. When a person doesn’t heal from trauma, they look for ways to cope with the negative emotions resulting. Sex and porn are one way to do this.
Betrayal Trauma and Its Effects
For a partner, sex or pornography addiction can lead to betrayal trauma. This type of trauma is when a person significantly violates another’s trust or well-being. And while it’s not limited to committed relationships, it can shatter a marriage. Betrayal trauma is common in relationships where pornography or sex addiction are factors.
The betrayed partner may begin to question what they thought they knew about their relationship.
Can You Trust a Sex Addict?
It’s not impossible to regain the trust damaged by sex or pornography addiction. Yet, it takes time and effort to heal the wounds the thoughts and behaviors caused. And each partner must first heal themselves.
At Boulder Recovery, men with sex addictions get the help they need to return to fuller, healthier Christian lives. But wives also need psychological, emotional, and spiritual help to recover from their husband’s addiction and the subsequent betrayal trauma.
Boulder Recovery offers a 14-Day Men’s Intensive to help deal with addictions to pornography and sex. We also offer a unique Partner Support Program for their wives to get the healing they need. Betrayal trauma specialists facilitate the support program. It helps women understand their betrayal trauma and the shame, anger, and fear that comes with it. Wives learn tools for forgiveness and healing to help them move forward in restored, healthy relationships with their husbands.
Spousal Healing from Betrayal Trauma
Time and effort are two critical elements to getting through betrayal trauma in a marriage. The healing won’t just happen overnight, and a simple “I’m sorry” won’t undo the damage betrayal trauma causes.
Acknowledging the Betrayal
For someone to fix any problem, they must recognize that it exists. Sometimes those affected by betrayal trauma won’t or can’t see the pain it causes. Betrayal blindness is when the betrayed person ignores or dismisses trauma or its resulting pain. They do this to preserve their relationship.
As with any addiction, everyone involved must be honest and accept responsibility for their actions. Those with betrayal trauma must also recognize they are not at fault for what happened.
Prioritizing Your Needs
Both a husband dealing with sex or porn addiction and a wife afflicted by betrayal trauma have needs to address. The husband needs to admit his sin and turn to his wife and the Lord for forgiveness and help in recovery. And his wife must acknowledge there are problems and ask God for help to heal herself and her husband.
Loving and Forgiving
Love and forgiveness are the bedrock for healing and recovery from any addiction. Sex and pornography addiction can deeply damage relationships and trust. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“…Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:26)
Turning to Others for Support
Couples must realize that they can’t go it alone for true healing and recovery. Christians especially know the importance of supporting each other in good and bad times. Again, the Apostle Paul wrote, “…bear one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
How Boulder Recovery Can Help
At Boulder Recovery, we take a Christ-centered, Scriptural approach to treating sex and pornography addictions. We specialize in helping men recover through our 14-Day Men’s Intensive. And we also provide the support wives need to deal with betrayal trauma through our Partner Support Program. Begin your road to healing today by reaching out to Boulder Recovery for more information.