After a disclosure of infidelity or sex addiction, a couple may choose to complete the difficult and important process of the full disclosure. Disclosure day is painful for both partners and can stir up a lot of difficult emotions. The final two parts of the therapeutic disclosure help the couple more fully process the emotional impacts of the full truth that has now been revealed.
The second part of the journey is called the emotional impact letter. This is the partner’s opportunity to reflect on his/her emotional experiences throughout the relationship in light of the the addiction and in the aftermath of disclosure. Often partners have not taken the time to fully identify the emotional impacts of this journey for themselves, much less sat down and shared those experiences with their spouse. Voicing the pain is an incredibly important part of the healing process.
When living with active addiction, whether it is disclosed or hidden, partners often experience a disconnect between their gut instinct and their mind. Often women remember moments when they intuitively felt that something was wrong, but when they asked their husbands it was explained away or denied. Over time, partners then start to distrust their intuition. With the full truth now on the table, partners can sift through those experiences and begin trusting and reconnecting intuition and mind again.
The emotional impact letter is also a crucial part of healing and recovery for the addict or acting out partner. Sex addiction is primarily an intimacy disorder. Addiction of any kind is often more about the avoidance of pain, not the pursuit of pleasure. Thus, sitting and listening to their partner’s pain can be very challenging. The ability to listen to and understand the emotional impact of their actions challenges denial and encourages recovery towards accountability & full responsibility. This is an important marker in recovery and emotional intimacy.
If you think you may benefit from moving through the disclosure process, reach out today!