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  • Articles

    Is Sex Addiction really a “get out of jail free card?”

    By Michele Saffier, LMFT, CSAT-S

    “I don’t believe in sex addiction. It’s a convenient excuse for atrocious and unforgivable behavior.”

    Sue Anne is correct; there are no excuses for cheating; it is unforgivable behavior. When someone in a committed relationship has secret affairs sex with prostitutes, compulsively views pornography, and masturbates to the point of injury or job loss, it is a sign of a more profound and more severe issue.

    Sex addiction is more serious than having an affair. It is a chronic, longstanding behavior that often begins early in life. It is a primitive way to cope with distressing and overwhelming emotions. It is a desperate measure used to survive extreme circumstances.

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    Journeying Through Betrayal Trauma

    By Allan J. Katz and Michele Saffier

    Katz, Allan & Michele Saffier. (2022 June). Journeying through betrayal trauma. Counseling Today, Vol. 64, No. 12, 43-47.

    “Cathy’s” life has just been turned upside down. She picked up her husband’s cellphone only to discover a loving message from his affair partner. Cathy’s brain is spinning, and her emotions are all over the map. She feels embarrassed and alone, disconnected and detached from reality. She questions whether her entire relationship has been an enormous lie. She questions her attractiveness, her sexuality and her ability to ever trust anyone again. She feels as if she were just pushed out of an airplane and fell with no parachute.

    As a certified sex addiction therapist and a member of the American Counseling Association, I (Allan) have seen firsthand that betrayal trauma is real. The shock is debilitating for betrayed partners and can last for years. Their lives are broken to pieces, and they are overwhelmed with shame, often thinking, “How could I be so stupid not to realize what was happening right under my nose? I’m such a fool for trusting him/her.” They feel they are going crazy.

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