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Eight years into her marriage, Rachel started to wonder if her husband had lost interest in sex."He'd always go to bed later than me and often made excuses when I brought it up," explains the 41-year-old."Ideally, partners get their own therapy," says Hall."The problem is that all the assumptions made by well-meaning friends about sex addiction are also shared by many therapists who are untrained in this area.To be fair on Rachel's friends, there is some debate about whether the term sex addiction is scientifically accurate, but the field of addiction is changing fast and emphasis is shifting from the substance to the psychological symptoms of addiction.The NHS has a website page dedicated to sex addiction."I could have dealt with a gambling addiction or alcoholism - anything but this," Rachel confirms.
Once they understand the nature of the addictive drive, sometimes they're able to move into self-care." Rosendale's anecdotal research reveals that a third of those partners seeking help decide to stay in the relationship, while a further third leave and the final third "remain stuck".I felt that meant the risk of relapse was too great, so I left.But without help of my own, I wouldn't have been able to let go and move on with my life." Sex Addiction: The Partner's Perspective by Paula Hall, Routledge, £19.99 Belfast Telegraph By Abi Jackson When things go wrong with our health, we visit a doctor.Sex Addiction: The Partner's Perspective is overdue, Hall believes, with thousands of partners across the UK struggling with something that evokes all the most destructive ingredients of personal pain - betrayal, infidelity, deceit and shame.
"Sex addiction feels extremely personal when you're the partner because it affects the most intimate part of your relationship in a way that, say, alcohol or drugs just don't," she explains.Joy Rosendale, a sex-addiction therapist specialising in partner work, instigated the first one in the UK back in 2005, following her own experiences.