Recently, a partner, three years after discovery, stated "I need a disclosure." A few days prior to a planned disclosure, she was told, she wasn't ready and they were postponing to a later date. Naturally, this would throw her into trauma, sexual addiction relational trauma. This feels like another trauma discovery, the "progressive revelations" are so disturbing, she is overwhelmed by the push and pull, and trying to make sense of her new reality. It fragments and disorganizes any element of containing she is working so hard at holding unto.
A year and a half later, still no disclosure, "what about my questions, when do they get answered?"
As we sat together and I went over the process, she added, "I have never heard it this way, I get to ask my questions!"
What I call my Syllabus, is what my clients get, the layout, step by step, and dates set for the time line that sets the precedence for the projected D day.
He/ the addict is writing a story to tell his wife on D day, much like a first step. Honesty without the gory details, and parters do not want that, they need truth and commitment to the process in order to know, without blaming, and shaming, or pleading for forgiveness "what they are moving on from," as so many are told to do. His story is coached by a therapist and can be anywhere between 30 and 40 pages. This is a huge deal, for the partner, and she deserves her questions answered. I have had as many as 200 questions, that the addict has answered as part of the disclosure. Each questions, for the partner is important and viable for her safety. Such as; did you have unprotected sex, did you act out in our home, any one I know.
Its important to treat all three dimensions of the trauma that exist; "multidimensional partner trauma model" is treating the addict, partner, and relationship. You can learn more about our model at APSATS. org
"The initial feelings accompanying disclosure may be an important motivator in getting
the addict to commit to his/her own recovery going forward, including the wish to make
it right with the partner.
But although the addict feels some immediate relief in knowing that he has come clean
and that help is on the way, the partner who chooses to stick around will often have
a much harder time recovering. A large part of the reason is that the process of bringing
about deeper inner change sometimes seems glacially slow.
The literature on sex addicts and partners reports that on average it takes a year to
begin to rebuild trust.
I believe this is because the addict needs to “behave” for long enough to establish
credibility, and because the addict must walk the walk of making amends.
It is also because the partner can tell whether and to what extent basic inner changes are
taking place. And in the long run this is essential to the credibility of the addict’s
expressions of empathy and remorse "(www.recoveryzone.org)