How an addict's behavior(s) affects his partner

Here's a powerful, yet disturbing video about the impact of addictive behaviors on partners:

Though not easy to watch, this video dramatically shows how our addictive / compulsive behaviors are never done in isolation - there is always an impact on our loved ones.  Often times, that impact is traumatic and destructive.  Let me know what you think about this video.

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Reader Comments (13)

This film is very interesting! However, I was wondering if any spouses of sexual addicts have viewed the film. If so, was there a difference in the reactions of sexual addicts vs. spouses of sexual addicts. Thanks!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Thanks for your post. I was actually shown this video after an intensive for partners of sex addicts. I'm waiting for more responses - I'm also interested to hear if there are differences in the reactions of addicts and their partners.

July 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterDan Drake

I am a partner. I have seen it. I know of many more partners who have too. It's very well done. I would never show it to my SA though, because he'd just end up masturbating to the nudity in it -- being about my gut wrenching pain would not stop him. Sad, but completely true. So his reaction would only intensify my pain and deepen the feelings that my life is worth nothing.

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Dear Partner,
Thank you...I appreciate your genuine, honest, forthcoming description. You described exactly how you experienced this film and how you believe your SA would react to it. I honor you.

July 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Thanks both of you for your responses. Lisa, it is really painful to think that the point of the film could be lost and that you'd end up continuing to feel like your life is worth nothing. Belinda, thank you for your kind words.

July 12, 2013 | Registered CommenterDan Drake

I agree with Lisa. I was thinking of sending this to my SA but the nudity would just turn him on. Any kind of nudity now puts a pit in my stomach. It's ironic that You tube has a pornographic cartoon next to the video which is completely distracting. Women have to stop being told they're co-dependents. That's why I refuse to join these 12-step programs. I had no part in this, it was not my fault, and I will not apologize for it.

July 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDon't Wanna Be an SA

Thanks for your comment. What a difficult situation: to find a community that can offer support through this, while a the same time not labeling or pathologizing through terms. I think things are shifting, but we have a long way to go. I hope you are able to find a community that can bring healing and support during this painful time.

July 20, 2013 | Registered CommenterDan Drake

I sobbed after watching this unbelievable video. It portrays all that I've been feeling as the victim of my father's and husband's sex addiction, and it was so painful to see my feelings, and the devastation, that I've lived with for so many years acted out in this way. It was also incredibly validating: I'm not crazy for feeling that I live in a cesspool because of what happened. It IS sticky like that, the remnants of this hideous disease, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to walk out freely - and cleanly - the way that man did in the video. So unfair; so unjust. I've never wanted to sound like a victim. I've hated the idea of it, but I was. I am. And this video illustrates my reality so poignantly. But now what?

July 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

I am saddened at the devastation and blaming and ignoring of the plight of partners of sexual addicts. As Dan stated, there are those of us out there who are researching and working and attempting to discover how to help partners, rather than traumatize them further with treatment that is not efficacious. Have courage and hope in the fact that there are professionals who know how to help you.

July 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Since I am doing a study using trauma theory involving wives (married/separated/divorced) of sexually-addicted ministers, I am wondering if there are any wives of sexually-addicted ministers who have seen this video?

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda


How's your study going?


December 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterDan Drake

I am a partner; short of physical violence, this film depicts my life. I have to say that my heart was pounding throughout it.
No, I would not show my husband this film, and for two reasons: he would say that the woman is depicted solely as the victim when she contributed as well, and because I think it would trigger a self-loathing moment or two (which I know precipitates his cycle of acting out).
For myself, I felt very frustrated and angry at the woman. Strange, as I am one myself? I looked at her and wanted to shout out: "Get up! Where is your power?! You're just laying there…fight for yourself! " I was cheering for her, but she only chose to "keep rolling in the muck". It hurt because of how true it is….it hurt because that was "me". How come there were no windows to her outside world? Why couldn't I see life that was being lived outside my prison walls? Why did I let myself stay imporisoned so long, to the point of near death?
Lastly, I'm somewhat critical of the filmmaker. I wasn't "quiet" like this woman. I began as a quiet woman, but as years went by, I got angry. I lashed out, and eventually even hit and became verbally abusive. I am ashamed of having done so. But the lady here comes off as a saint….and I know that many partners are not. I am in NO way excusing what I did; what i am saying is that we women complicate things by letting our emotions get the best of us. I did wrong to my husband, understandable or not. And sadly, words and actions cannot be undone.
I think the movie is phenomenal. Yes, amazing. It brought out all the anger, fear, terror, panic, loneliness, despair and shock that i have felt, and still feel in many ways today. It only angered and frustrated me because of it's truth.

January 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWendy


Thank you so much for your heartfelt and honest response. Videos like this can really stir up a lot - both in terms of how much to share with our partners and also elements that resonate or don't resonate with us. So thanks for sharing your truth here, as well as the emotions and reaction it stirred up in you.

January 8, 2015 | Registered CommenterDan Drake

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