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Joy Rosendale, a sex-addiction therapist specialising in partner work, instigated the first one in the UK back in 2005, following her own experiences.“Although there is usually huge reluctance for partners to seek help, let alone come into a group, because of the privacy and shame, something happens in these groups that liberates these women – and I say women because in my experience, it is usually women who access them,” says Rosendale, who still runs the group at the Marylebone Centre, London.
Farmer husband too was it at one of the four most important.“It could involve sex with a partner, but it may also mean activities such as viewing pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes or using sex chat lines,” it explains, claiming that while for most people such habits don’t cause problems, sex addicts are unable to control these urges and actions.Causes can of course be more complex, while for some – a fast-growing number, according to Hall – it’s simply opportunity-induced.is overdue, Hall believes, with thousands of partners across the UK struggling with something that evokes all the most destructive ingredients of personal pain – betrayal, infidelity, deceit and shame.“Sex addiction feels extremely personal when you’re the partner because it affects the most intimate part of your relationship in a way that, say, alcohol or drugs just don’t,” she explains.Rosendale starts each 12-week support group by educating the women about sex addiction.
“One of the points of this group is to depersonalise it.
“So when he sat me down one day to tell me he was a sex addict, I actually laughed – although I soon stopped when he disclosed night upon night of watching pornography for hours on end and numerous short-lived affairs.
My life fell apart.” Sex addiction hurts partners in a way that no other addiction can, says Paula Hall, who has written a book on the subject.
Sex addiction for a partner brings up feelings of ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘He doesn’t want me’, but it’s not about the sex, it’s about the dopamine fix.
Once they understand the nature of the addictive drive, sometimes they’re able to move into self-care.” Rosendale’s anecdotal research reveals that a third of those partners seeking help decide to stay in the relationship, while a further third leave and the final third “remain stuck”.
“I could have dealt with a gambling addiction or alcoholism – anything but this,” Rachel confirms.