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“All I Want to Know Is Why”

I hear this question from partners and those who are dealing with sex addiction as well. A partner will ask, “why did he do it?” Why did he go outside of the sexual boundaries of the relationship? So often, the addict will answer with “I don’t know.” Although it often seems like this answer is avoidance, it often is the truth. A great deal of recovery for sex addicts is gaining a better understanding into the basis of their behavior.

So as the partner of someone who has gone outside of the boundaries of your relationship, how do you deal with this understandable question? You wanting to understand the reasons why this person, who you thought you knew, would go outside of your boundaries is understandable. Knowing the origins of this question for yourself can help you process through this.

Many times, partners who have been subjected to this difficult time are questioning their own place in this situation. They wonder if they sexually did something wrong. At this time, it is important to remember that sex addiction is not about sex, but more about problems with intimacy and attachment. None of these problems were created by you. Rather, they were likely formed well before you even met your partner or spouse.

This is what can make it very difficult for the addict to understand. What seemed to be only deception for the addict is now very complicated. It’s likely difficult to sympathize with these complications at this point in your partner’s recovery, which is why it is very helpful for you to have supportive counseling yourself to process this through. Know that your questions are valid ones, but your addicted partner likely has a genuine lack of understanding at this time, which will make it difficult for him to answer. With the right help and support, you both can learn and grow together to make better sense of this difficult situation.

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