Rekindling Your Relationship While in Sex and Porn Addiction Recovery

Rekindling Your Relationship While in Sex and Porn Addiction Recovery

Whether you’re in recovery for a sex or porn addiction, or you’re in a relationship with someone who is, it can be difficult to rekindle your relationship. When a relationship has dealt with these issues, there are often a series of intense emotions that are in the underbelly of this.

Two of the most common emotions are fear and anger. There is a lot of fear that the old addictive behaviors will return. This can be true of both the addict and the partner of the addict. Then there is also anger that can be leftover from past betrayals. Even when couples work towards forgiveness, there can be leftover, even subtle feelings of anger and resentment.

These emotions make relationship and sexual reconnection complicated. Getting past this requires a lot of trust and vulnerability. Both people must learn how to share their feelings with an open heart and mind. This can be complicated with such a long history of betrayal. At the same time, it’s a critical door that must be opened in order to heal and rekindle your relationship.

How can you open this door, when there is no trust? Many couples will remain together for years, yet still be missing the trust they need to move forward. They try to live without this trust, because letting your guard down can be dangerous.

If you’ve been in a relationship with an addict, trust is usually a concern. Illusions have been broken down, and a tough reality is sitting there to contend with. It can be very difficult to know what to do with this reality.

The tough reality is that intimacy can’t be rebuilt without trust. For some, this means that they can’t remain in their relationship anymore. However, this isn’t always the case. Many relationships heal, and actually feel stronger after they take steps to learning to trust again.

To rekindle this relationship, you need to take these steps to deal with the fear and anger. To do so, you have to remember the following:

  1. Trust isn’t built overnight. Instead it’s a currency. You and your partner have to think about how you will add to this account together. You’re both responsible. If there is just one trust “breadwinner,” trust will not be created.
  2. Know the meaning of your relationship story. Most people have personal meaning that they have developed out of hard times. This is an important part of grief and loss. However, you also have to determine what this struggle means to your relationship. Knowing this can bring you closer together.
  3. Identify safety in the relationship. There is always some risk when you’re in a relationship with an addict of a relapse. However, as time passes, the chances of relapse decrease. This risk can lead to a lot of vulnerability. In your relationship, identify where you feel the safest. What things can you count on? You can ground to these things, while you make progress and work to grow together.
  4. Give up your agenda to hear your partner’s story. In order for a relationship to work, both people have to matter. Their stories have to matter as well. In addiction recovery, there are many dynamics that can lead to defensiveness. You have to be willing to put that defending shield down, so that you can truly listen to your partner. Without doing so, things are likely to remain stuck.
  5. Move towards consistency and reliability. Addict behavior can be very inconsistent and reliable. However, partner’s can be so confused and hurt, that there can be a struggle for them to be consistent about their wants and needs as well. The more consistent and reliable you become, the more stable and trusting your home will be come. However, this is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Identify ways that you can move towards this, and how you know that you’re taking these steps.

This is not a complete list of the steps that you have to take. In this list, you’ll see that communication is a critical piece to reconnecting. Many struggle with communication, which ends up in debates and arguments. There are others though that remain shut down and distant. Couples in recovery tend to be in either of those categories at some point in their journey. Those who are able to transcend those spaces are able to build connections. Sometimes those connections surpass the place where they were prior to the discovery of the addiction.

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