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-What does codependency look like in the betrayed partners of sex addicts?

-How can the safety seeking behaviors of betrayed partners appear ‘codependent’ but really be forms of healthy healing?

-If you are a betrayed partner, what are the initial steps you can take to heal?

Welcome to Episode 151! This week, I am joined by Dan Drake, LMFT, LPCC, CCPS-S, CSAT-S, to talk all about codependency in the betrayed partners of sex addicts. Dan is here to set the record straight on how, despite some behaviors of betrayed partners may appear codependent, they are often necessary, healthy, and healing ways of coping. Dan educates us on the history of treating the betrayed partners of sex addicts and how they were seen as ‘sicker than their partners.’ We discuss what treatment of betrayed partners looks like today and end with suggestions on how you can heal if you have been betrayed. It’s a must-listen!

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More on this week’s guest:

Dan Drake is a licensed clinician, a Certified Clinical Partner Specialist Supervisor as well as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist Supervisor. He has co-authored several books, including Full Disclosure: How to Share the Truth after Sexual Betrayal and Letters from a Sex Addict: My Life Exposed. Dan is the is the Founder and Clinical Director of Banyan Therapy Group in Los Angeles.

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More deets on the episode:

We begin with Dan’s definition of codependency: a way of managing one’s own internal state through others. Dan reveals his reluctance to use the definition due to the controversy and misdiagnosis of the term in the treatment of the betrayed partners of sex addicts.

Dan reflects on codependency in his own life, including how he often deferred to others when it came to deciding everyday things like what to eat for dinner. He also shares how that pattern continues on sidewalks where he defers to others in his path which way he should move to avoid colliding. Can you relate?

Dan provides a brief history on the treatment of betrayed partners of sex addicts. Since it is a “process” rather than “chemical” addiction, it is different than treating substances. However, initially, the wives of male sex addicts were seen as the enabling, “sicker,” and neurotic codependent partner. Thankfully, in the early 2000s, this perspective was radically changed as many betrayed partners are not even aware of their partners’ addiction due to the inherent manipulation, secrecy, and eas with hiding the addiction.

Dan and I explore how and why the safety seeking behaviors of betrayed partners may look codependent–but they aren’t! We grapple with behaviors like making excuses, secret-keeping, ‘snoopervising,’ and staying in the relationship. We agree that, since sex addiction is a process addiction, the behavior of the betrayed is more nuanced, and thus, more difficult to label objectively as ‘codependent.’

Dan discusses ways a partner can discern whether they are being abused/gaslit as they work towards healing. We conclude by heaing how Dan helps couples navigate the healing process from sex addiction and how he helps the betrayed partner focus on the integration of their whole self.

Thanks for coming on Dan! And thank you for being here, dear listener!
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