Sex Addict Full Disclosure
When I work with men that struggle with sexual addiction behaviors (porn, affairs, paying for sex, etc.) and they are either married or in a relationship, I will encourage them to give a full account of their past sexual acting out behaviors. The goal of a full disclosure is in taking full responsibility with ridged honesty so the partner or spouse will begin to restore trust. We call this the Sex Addict Full Disclosure process.
Partners Right To Know Truth
The full disclosure is given also because the partner has a right know the truth about his sexual acting out behaviors. I recommend this even if he believes his spouse knows “everything.” The addict often attempts to disclose only information that the partner already knows or only what he believes that the partner can “handle”. This dishonesty during disclosure reinforces the partner’s belief that the addict can never be trusted. He may also minimize, justify, or even blame his acting out on the partner.
No Blaming, Minimizing, Justifying, Rationalizing
I have the Sex Addict begin by writing out a timeline of his sexual behaviors and the lies he told his partner. Together, we insure he doesn’t blame, minimize, justify, or rationalize any of it. The full disclosure timeline is essentially the facts and not an opportunity for apologies. The apologies, feelings, and regrets will come later in his writing of an Empathy Letter.
Sharing Full Disclosure Rough Drafts
I have my client review his Full Disclosure timeline with me in several individual sessions to make sure he isn’t sharing any sexual graphics that could cause further trauma. The first drafts are often assembled as bullet points of behaviors, actions, money spent and other information regarding his past sexual behaviors. The goal is to be as transparent as possible without doing further harm.
Polygraph Provides Confidence
Once the Full Disclosure timeline is complete and we agree that it is ready to share with his partner, he will schedule a polygraph two weeks prior to sharing it with his wife. Passing the polygraph provides both him and his wife/partner confidence in the process and reduces the fear that he hasn’t been truthful. I have also found that the client knowing he is taking a polygraph two weeks prior strengthens his resolve to include everything.
Sex Addict Full Disclosure Includes
A Sexual Addiction Full Disclosure includes: legal problems, sexual transmitted diseases, negative impact on his professional reputation, and money spent. The timeline includes specific sexual behaviors, time frames of acting out (dates/events), locations, behaviors with people, frequency, sharing the identity of any acting out partners that the spouse/partner personally knows, and any other information that a spouse/partner needs to hear so the lying and secrets stop.
Partner Asks Specific Questions
I also ask the spouse/partner to provide a list of specific questions that she wants to specifically know or has concern. Usually the number of questions average around 10 questions but some partners have provided upward toward thirty questions. I review the questions with my client to insure he understands the questions and that he is prepared to read and answer at the end of his timeline.