My daughter is a newlywed. Her husband is a recently confessed sex addict. He has his white coin from SAA – I’ve seen it. But….his behavior doesn’t smack of someone trying to recover.

He disappears for “meetings” well before the scheduled time and doesn’t come home until late into the night. He has a new best friend – woman – who has been through AA, who he claims is helping him learn to be a better person. He associates his new home and wife with all of his sex problems and won’t spend any time with her at all. Does the twelve step program really allow the addict to hide from his partner all in the name of “working on me”? Seems like something fishy is really going on here.

We’ve counseled her to get to a therapist. Just wanting to see if this truly sounds like someone who is trying to recover, or someone who is using recovery as an excuse to start an affair.

A: I am sorry that you and your family are having this difficulty. Your daughter needs a huge amount of support now as she begins to cope with her husband’s addiction. To be blunt, the 12-step program is typically an excellent component but it is doubtful that it alone will help your son-in-law and daughter move through this.

Your daughter may want to educate herself about sex addiction and here is a place to start. Additionally, I would highly recommend a specialized therapist in addictions, particularly one who has worked with sex addiction.

But the bottom line is this: It is your daughter’s life and your son-in-law’s issue now. You may offer your support and suggestions but at the end of the day this will be theirs to cope with.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral