Sex Addict Full Disclosure: Taking Responsibility
A major aspect of a sex addict’s recovery is the willingness to take full responsibility for his past behaviors and harm. The basics of a Sex Addict Full Disclosure are confession, repentance, and making an amends. Sex addicts in a relationship also need to show his/her partner remorse for the harm and damage done to the partner.
For relationship reconciliation to take place, the Full Disclosure allows the betrayer to share with the partner what he/she has done so the betrayed partner can begin the steps of forgiveness.
Confession, Repentance, & Amends
Confession is sharing and owning your past behaviors while taking full responsibility for those behaviors. It may be tempting to blame, minimize, justify, and/or lie about the true extent but “your only as sick as your deepest darkest secrets.” The partner needs to hear the truth so he/she can begin to chose whether to forgive. In my disclosure process, it is face-to-face with the partner to show ownership and courage. The sex addict needs to see his/her partner’s expression of pain, anger, and grief.
Expressing Genuine Regret & Remorse
Taking full responsibility requires the sex addict to express genuine regret and remorse. Sharing the truth confirms to the partner what he/she has probably suspected for years but was gas lighted that he/she was crazy. Often the partner will feel shock for the sex addict’s years of betrayal. The partner will often ask the question, “Who is this person that I thought I knew?”
The partner will have a long journey of healing from the reality that he/she was married to someone that hurt her/him. Betrayal trauma is often the most painful because it is caused by someone thought to be trusted and loved.
Truth & Honest Key To Full Disclosure
Two weeks prior to giving the full disclosure, I recommend that the sex addict take a polygraph to insure all his/her history of acting out sexually has been included. I have witnessed clients adding to the disclosure information that he never thought he’d ever tell anyone, let alone his own spouse. The polygrapher usually asked questions around the completeness of his disclosure, whether he left anything out, lied about anything, and whether he was purposely leaving any info out.
The partner of the sex addict can include a few specific questions too. Once he/she passes the polygraph, the partner can feel assured that the disclosure is complete and not fear that he/she continues to lie.