startanew © 2014 • PRIVACY POLICY

WELCOME TO START ANEW

WELCOME TO START ANEW

Counselling, Psycho-sexual Psychotherapy and Sexual Addiction Treatment

WELCOME TO START ANEW

Partner Support

 

Learning to trust again after the devastating betrayal of sex addiction is an uphill struggle. I work with many partners who are afraid that they will never be able to trust again, who are fearful that to trust means to be vulnerable to further hurt, and who are grieving for the lost relationship they thought they had.

 

If you have discovered that your partner has been engaging in unhealthy  and destructive sexual behaviours, then I can offer professional support, in the form of one to one counselling, and if desired, group support work.

Contact us today for further information.

 

Gaslighting

 

Many of the female partners I have worked with report a feeling of suspicion that something was going on for many months before the final discovery of the sexually addictive acting out behaviour (‘D-Day’).

 

Most often the acting-out was hidden or covered up and ‘explained away’ by the addict, and the sexual addict may have got angry when questioned or challenged by their partner, suggesting that she is actually the one who has a problem.

 

As a result of being subjected to ‘Gaslighting’ these partners began to feel confused, experienced self-doubt and wondered if they were slowly going crazy.

 

What is ‘Gaslighting’?

 

Gaslighting is insidious.  In the case of sexual addiction it may not involve any of the signs we traditionally associate with emotional abuse—no insults, cutting remarks, put-downs, or controlling behaviour.

 

The ‘Gaslight Effect’ is a terminology coined by some psychotherapists, after the old movie Gaslight.

This classic 1944 film is the story of Paula, a young, vulnerable singer (played by Ingrid Bergman) who marries Gregory, a charismatic, mysterious older man (played by Charles Boyer). Unbeknownst to Paula, her beloved husband is trying to drive her insane in order to take over her inheritance. He continually tells her she is ill and fragile, rearranges household items and then accuses her of doing so, and most deviously of all, manipulates the gas so that she sees the lights dim for no apparent reason. Under the spell of her husband’s diabolical scheme, Paula starts to believe that she is going mad. Confused and scared, she begins to act hysterical, actually becoming the fragile, disoriented person that he keeps telling her she is. In a vicious downward spiral, the more she doubts herself, the more confused and hysterical she becomes. She is desperate for her husband to approve of her and to tell her he loves her, but he keeps refusing to do so, insisting that she is insane. Her return to sanity and self-assertion comes only when a police inspector reassures her that he, too, sees the dimming of the light.

 

 

Have you been the subject of ‘Gaslighting’?

 

Symptoms:

 

• Frequent feelings of being bewildered or confused

• Bad or restless dreams

• A troubling inability to remember details of what happened with your partner

• Physical indicators: sinking stomach, tight chest, sore throat, unexplained

 anxiety

• A sense of dread or hyper- alertness when he is out, calls or comes home

• The feeling you’re tolerating treatment that compromises your integrity

• Trusted friends or relatives who frequently express concern

• Avoidance of your friends, or refusal to talk with them about your relationship

• A loss of joy in your life

 

 

 

You may have been subjected to ‘Gaslighting’ if you recognize or have experienced any of the following: -

 

• You feel confused – even that you are going crazy at times

• You find yourself constantly apologizing to your partner (or his mother?)

• Your partner’s perception or portrayal of you differs from your own reality

• You start asking yourself- am I being over-sensitive?  Am I making a big issue out of nothing?

• You hesitate before bringing up seemingly innocent topics or reasonable questions to your partner for fear of an angry response

• You know something is wrong but can’t quite put your finger on it

• You make excuses for your partner’s behaviour

• You begin to doubt your own judgment

• You have the sense that your partner is distorting reality or remembering a different version to you of how things happened

• You have lost confidence in your own abilities

• You don’t’ recognise the person you have become

• You feel bad about questioning your partner

• You feel guilty when you are angry with his behaviour

• You are reluctant to ask for what you want or need

 

Repeated dishonesty from your partner about sexual acting out behaviour is traumatizing. If you have been ignoring your instincts for some time and finding it difficult to trust your own judgment due to the Gaslighting effect, then working through this with a trained professional can speed your recovery.