A couple's Guide to Sexual Addiction

by spirituality

My review of 'a step-by-step plan to rebuild trust & restore intimacy'.

For everybody who is struggling with watching porn or having inappropriate relations outside your steady relationship. This book is ALSO very useful for your the partner of someone with a sexual addiction or problems in this area. One thing to remember: if your partner does not WANT to change, there is no hope and you are probably best off leaving.

Who should read this book

I do think this book is a great read for anybody struggling with sexual addiction: both partners, the one who 'has' sexual addiction as a pattern in his life and the one dealing with the effects of that on the relationship. 

For me it was a useful book because it looks in depth at how healthy relationships work: the intimacy, working through issues, dealing with conflicts etc. Sexual addiction can be overcome, so the authors suggest, if both partners are willing to work on it and they develop more healthy ways of dealing with the inevitable low spots. 

"We tend to be surprised when sexuality and/or intimacy become issues in our close relationships. But where else would the issues and difficulties we might have around sexuality and intimacy arise? Our closest relationships are exactly the place offering us the opportunity to heal the wounds that may have moved us away from the naturalness of our sexual expression and/or away from our natural connectedness with others." (p. 43 from Ch3: Sex Addiction and Your Relationship) 

Shame

"One of the spokes on the wheel of sexual addiction is shame. Shame leads to the desire to cover up, and covering up leads to lying - outright false statements, and lies of omission. Such lies are one of the most troubling parts of the addictive behavior for the partner of an addict." (p. 91, ch 5: Re-Establishing Trust on the Road to Forgiveness)

Helping you deal with sexual addiction

If you are the one who uses sex to avoid dealing with issues in your relationship, either by cheating on your partner or by watching porn, the main thing to do is face up to this fact and stop doing it. This book will not only give you tools on that - but will also help you deal with your disillusioned partner and how to help her know that you're serious this time. 

There are no quick fixes, but if both partners are committed to the process, healing IS possible. 

Personally I loved the real life stories in this book. However, as you would expect from a self help book, it also contains exercises to do together and alone. I obviously haven't tried them, but they do sound psychologically sound and healthy. 

"Your partner's imagination about what you have done is generally more destructive to your relationship than the truth about your compulsive, addictive sexual behavior." (p. 79 from ch 4: What Does This Mean about You?)

The business details

George N. Collins, MA is a former sex addict and founder and director of Compulsion Solutions, an outpatient counseling service that addresses sexually compulsive behavior. George is also a professional member of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. He lives in Pleasant Hill, CA. Find him at www.CompulsionSolutions.com.

Paldrom Catharine Collins helps couples work through their sexually addicted relationships at Compulsion Solutions, an outpatient counseling service. Previously a Buddhist nun, she is married to a former sex addict. She lives in Pleasant Hill, CA.

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media (December 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440512213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440512216
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches

Disclaimer

The publisher sent me this for review after I'd written an article about celibacy of all things. I did mention sexual addiction in there, so I guess there was some reason for me to read it.  

I hesitated to review the book, not because it didn't think it was a good book - it's actually great - but because I'm really primarily a writer on spirituality, even if I do some more commercial writing on the side. 

However, because the book is great, and because I almost promised a review here we go.

Just so you know: I have no personal experience with sexual addiction at all, nor do I have experience with having a partner who deals with this. 

I do have a chocolate addiction, but I'm not sure that counts. 

On being vulnerable

"To be vulnerable means you are willing to be hurt. If we emotionally block ourselves off from being hurt, we also shield ourselves from other feelings. We cannot selectively choose to only experience positive feelings and emotions and do away with the negative ones. If we banish fear, anger, and pain, we cut ourselves off from joy, love and belonging." (p. 122, Ch. 7: Working with Strong Feelings and Emotions)

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Updated: on 05/02/2013, spirituality
 
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Jimmie on 01/10/2012

Chocolate! Ha! Mine would be coffee. It's scary how much I love that stuff. Thanks for the book review on a topic that is a real struggle for so many people.



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