Blog Contributed by Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Addiction Hope
If someone you love is suffering with a sexual addiction, you may be feeling confused, angry, hurt, and saddened by the nature of this disorder.
Learning to process the complexities of a sexual addiction can feel overwhelming, and you may feel isolated as the person you care for struggles through this journey.
Are you uncertain about how to support your loved one with a sexual addiction? Perhaps you have worried about what to say, how to act, or what to do that will help show your care and concern.
Suggestions for Supporting Your Loved One
Here are some helpful suggestions for supporting your loved one with a sexual addiction:
Communicate gently and lovingly:
The swell of emotions you may be feelings can be overpowering. Take the time to process how you are feeling before talking with your loved one. While you may be justified in feeling angry, upset, or saddened, be sure that the words you are communicating are constructive and spoken with love.
Uplifting the person you care for with positive encouragement will be much more supportive that destructive and negative words. Your loved one will also be more likely to listen to you when you are approaching them in a gentle manner and from a caring place.
Does your loved one need to connect to a therapist or counselor? Professional help will be needed in the case of sexual addiction. Having reliable resources to share with your loved one can help support their decision to receive help and treatment.
Find your own support system:
Watching a loved one suffer with a sexual addiction can be devastating and crushing as your own relationship has likely undergone significant change. Make sure you have your own support to help process the many feelings you are likely dealing with. This can be a trusted friend or mentor or a professional therapist.
However you are supporting your loved one through their journey of sexual addiction recovery, you may begin to feel weary and exhausted, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Take the time to engage in activities that help you healthily cope with any difficulties you are facing.
This can be activities such as meditation, relaxation, fellowship with friends, and more! Be sure to fill your cup as you dutifully serve your loved one.
You Are Not Alone
Know that you are not alone and that many resources exist to support you and your loved one through this journey. The journey of sexual addiction recovery may feel ridden with shame and guilt, but there is also hope for recovery and freedom.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
If you have been supporting a loved one through sexual addiction recovery, what resources have been helpful to you?