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Tip for living: Healing from the trauma of husband's pornography and sexual addiction

Published: Thursday, May 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"What Can I Do About Me? Healing from the Trauma of My Husband's Pornography and Sexual Addiction" is by Rhyll Anne Croshaw. (book cover) "What Can I Do About Me? Healing from the Trauma of My Husband's Pornography and Sexual Addiction" is by Rhyll Anne Croshaw. (book cover)

"What Can I Do About Me? Healing from the Trauma of my Husband's Pornography and Sexual Addiction" (Forward Press Publishing, $16.95), by BYU Women's Conference speaker Rhyll Anne Croshaw, is a candid look at the healing process from the traumatic impact of a spouse's pornography or sexual addiction from her own experience.

Croshaw found that she needed to take responsibility for her own healing.

Establish and maintain healthy boundaries.

Boundaries create safety by allowing personal preferences to be expressed and releasing the person from the responsibility of someone else's bad behavior. Croshaw presents boundaries in "If I feel … then I will do (or not do) …" statements, where the "if" is the boundary and the "then" is the action to be taken.

Forgiveness is the not the same as trust.

Emotional consequences of addiction include the betrayal of trust. It is important for both the addict and the spouse to understand that forgiveness is not the same as trust. Forgiveness is a letting go of past offense, but trust is something that must be proven over time through positive behavior and interactions.

Letting go of fear and taking care of yourself.

Letting go of fear shifts a person from victim back to active participant in the relationship. This becomes part of positive self-care that may include prayer, scripture study, journaling, counseling and personal hobbies. This empowers the spouse to invite healing by finding meaning in past experiences and purpose in the future, while leaving the work of addiction recovery on the shoulders of the addict.

Emily Christensen, Ph.D., lives with her husband in Oklahoma. Her Ph.D. is in marriage and family therapy, and she is pursuing a degree in Hebrew and Jewish studies. Her blog is www.housewifeclass.com, and her email is housewifeclass@gmail.com.

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