Diane's Approach

I believe in wives and partners of the men called sex addicts. No matter how defeated and broken these women may be, I believe in their capacity to give themselves what they need to heal, recover, and go on to live good lives that resonate with their core values.

I provide:

  • Support for Understanding and Managing Your Trauma Symptoms

  • Practical Knowledge about Predictable Behaviors and How to Cope and Protect Yourself

  • Identifying the Best Options for You—Staying, Going, and Living “In-between”

  • Critical Coaching and Support through SeparationNegotiations, Mediation, Court Appearances, and other Court-ordered Processes

My priority is for the safety, health and healing of wives and partners (and any minor children) of the men called sex addicts. This is a distinctive aspect of my work. I invite women to make themselves a priority for these things and affirm that their life matters. I provide a path for doing that that goes beyond what they have endured at the hands of their husband or boyfriend and his treatment group, to uncover the underlying narratives in their lives and rewrite them if necessary.

There is currently no academically credible and publishable research to justify any claims of the prevailing treatment industry about recovery from sex addiction. Additionally, the treatment industry offers an addict-centered model that may do harm to wives and partners by not making their needs a priority for treatment. Often saving the marriage becomes more important than saving the woman. This violates the sacred value of her life.

Many wives and partners of men called sex addicts are like me—they tried to participate in and support their husband’s or boyfriend’s recovery, and set their own needs aside to do so. We learned that it was never going to be our turn for healing, justice, or restoration. We also learned that who he turned out to be revealed core value conflicts that could not sustain an ongoing relationship. Other women have financial constraints and family dynamics that mean a careful exit plan must be developed and executed over time. Still others choose to stay for reasons that make sense to them. There is no “one way” to manage your crisis. We work with the facts of your situation and resources available (especially your core values) to develop your approach and plan. I listen to you. I help you do risk assessment and I challenge you to make your needs a priority the way you make other people's needs a priority for you.

I believe that what the men called sex addicts do to their wives or partners, and sometimes to minor children in the home, is domestic violence. In developing a secret life, these men control the lives of wives or partners (and minor children) by putting them at risk in multiple ways. There is no opportunity for wives or partners (or minor children) to take themselves out of harm’s way, defend themselves or seek appropriate treatment or remedy. Secret sexual and sexualized activities are not only compulsive. They are abusive and used to act out jealousy, anger, and resentment.

My hope for the men called sex addicts is that they will be properly diagnosed and treated by people qualified to do so who are not themselves “sex addicts” or working from a treatment model developed by one. The men called sex addicts deserve therapeutic care and programming that is evidence-based and effective. My heart aches for the way the prevailing treatment models set these men up to fail over and over again.

My hope for women is that they will recover their worth and never surrender it again. They will respect themselves so that others will respect them too, or move on. They will trust the power of life at work in them to heal, renew, and create new lives that express and reflect their core values. They will grieve, accept, and create their own way to carry this lifelong sadness so that it is a rich sorrow, and not an empty one. Being a person isn't about avoiding loss or sorrow. It's about knowing how to carry it with grace so that joy, love, and service to creation is abundantly possible.