The Four Types of Books You Can Read When Your Partner Starts Sexual Recovery

The Four Types of Books You Can Read When Your Partner Starts Sexual Recovery

What types of books should I read now my partner is in sexual recovery?

During and after treatment for a sexual addiction or compulsive sexual behaviour disorder your partner will hopefully be actively engaging in several regular therapeutic interventions such as personal therapy, aftercare and self-help support groups. Through their own recovery process and with the help of the people supporting them they will be learning about the addiction cycle, recovery and sexual healing.

The best way you can support your partner in their sexual recovery and treatment is to focus intentionally on supporting yourself and your own healing process. One of the positive compassionate ways you can support yourself is to read and learn about these four key areas which may impact upon you and your relationship in the coming months. In this article you can find a list of over 30 related self-help books that may help you in your healing journey.

The best way you can support your partner in their sexual recovery and treatment is to focus intentionally on supporting yourself and your own healing process.

Partners most definitely also need support and healing and can benefit greatly from learning through books or listening to audio books what they can about sexual addiction, sexual recovery, their own healing process and healthy loving relationships.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by what to read and what books feel relevant to you. Just go with your gut and intuition, research a few I have listed below and browse some good local book shops for ones which catch your attention.

Hopefully your partner will also be receiving good book recommendations and purchasing their own books and workbooks as part of their recovery plan which you can also pick up and read from time to time. Incorporate taking regular quiet time out to relax and read into your own personal healing selfcare plan.

Psycho-educational books about sexual addiction

Knowledge is power. The more you read and absorb about the process of addiction and recovery, the easier it will be to both emotionally and mentally detangle yourself from all the habits, traits and behaviours that come with addiction and maintain a healthy level of detachment from your spouse. Sexual addiction is progressive which is why it can be helpful to understand more about infidelity and betrayal which may develop into a hidden sexual addiction.

Practical books and workbooks about sex and relationship recovery

Reading what is required and necessary for a strong sexual recovery path and knowing what supports, interventions and activities your partner should be engaged in will give you the confidence to be able to talk openly and directly to your partner about their recovery. This also means agreeing to talk about slips, relapses, boundaries, ground rules, sobriety goals, non-negotiables and rebuilding trust again when the time is right.

Self-help books about personal healing from a partners addiction, partner betrayal and relationship trauma

Sadly, with sexual addiction comes various degrees of discoveries, disclosures, infidelity, different forms of betrayal and emotional and relational trauma. Betrayed partners can experience many symptoms of PTSD and betrayal trauma and a strong emphasis on their own healing is needed before couples addiction recovery can commence. Reading books about your own healing journey from a partners sexual addiction and the impact it can have on your relationship bonds, attachment system, safety and security will be a part of helping you heal yourself. When you understand what your own needs are then you can begin to help your partner understand clearly too when the time feels right.

Finally, evidence based books about healthy loving relationships

This may not feel relevant in the early days of sexual recovery but there are many advantages to reading books about healthy loving relationships including establishing your own strong sense of clarity and confidence in your thoughts and feelings about the type of relationship you deserve. The deeper meanings around of sex, love, intimacy and trust and how compatible you really are together. They can empower you to set clear boundaries, identify your needs and relationship expectations and provide a blueprint for rebuilding your relationship or trusting when it feels right to end the relationship.

Here is a list of books for partners who wish to understand more about the diverse areas of sexual addiction, sexual recovery, healing from partner betrayal and healthy relationships.

Deeply Troubled Radically Forgiven: A memoir About Rebuilding & Forgiveness after Complex Sexual Betrayal by Kelly Ibarra (2021)

Help Her Heal – An Empathy Workbook for Sex Addicts to Help Their Partners Heal by Carol Juergensen (2019)

Sex Addiction: A Guide for Couples and Those Who Help Them by Paula Hall (2019)

The Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work by Dr John Gottman (2017)

Out of The Dog House: A Step by Step Relationship Saving Guide for Men Caught Cheating by Robert Weiss (2017)

Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage and Why We Stray by Helen Fisher, PhD (2016)

Sex Addiction: The Partners Perspective by Paula Hall, UK (2015)

Facing The Shadow: Starting Sexual & Relationship Recovery by Patrick Carnes (2015)

Why Men Really Cheat by Martyn Steward (2014)

Letters To A Sex Addict: The Journey through Grief and Betrayal by Wendy Conquest (2013)

Sex, Addictions, and Marriage: The Importance of Sexual Integrity by David J. Shock (2013)

Stop Sex Addiction: Real Hope, True Freedom for Sex Addicts and Partners by Milton S. Magness (2013)

Living and Loving after Betrayal: How to Heal from Emotional Abuse, Deceit, Infidelity and Chronic Resentment by Steven Stosny PhD (2013)

Facing Heartache: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts by S. Carnes, M.A. Lee & A.D Rodriguez (2012)

Soaring Above Co-Addiction: Helping your Loved One Get Clean, While Creating the Life of your Dreams by Lisa Ann Espich (2012)

Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction by C. Black and C. Tripodi (2012)

The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples by Dr John Gottman (2011)

A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction: A Step-by-Step Plan to Rebuild Trust and Restore Intimacy by P. Collins & G. N.Collins (2011)

Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts by S. Carnes (2011)

A House Interrupted: A Wife’s Story of Recovering from Her Husband’s Sex Addiction by Maurita Corcoran (2011)

Attached by Dr. Amir Levin & Rachel Heller (2011)

Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul (2010)

Sex At Dawn: How we Mate, Why We Stay and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan & Cacidla Jetha (2010)

How Can I Ever Trust You Again: Infidelity, From Discovery to Recovery In Seven Steps by Andrew G. Marshall (2010)

Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey Through Sexual Addiction by S. W Silverman (2010)

Love, Infidelity, and Sexual Addiction: A Co-dependent’s Perspective,  Including Cybersex Addiction by Christine A. Adams (2009)

The Porn Trap: A Guide to Healing from Porn Addiction, for Sufferers and Their Loved Ones by W. Maltz (2009)

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope & Heal by B.Steffens & M.Means (2009)

Relationships from Addiction to Authenticity: Understanding Co-Sex Addiction – A Spiritual Journey to Wholeness and Serenity by C. Pletcher & S. Bartolameolli (2008)

Hold Me Tight: A Guide to The Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships by Dr. Sue Johnson (2008)

The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick Carnes Ph.D. (1997)

Co-dependent No More by Melody Beattie (1992)

Claiming Your Self-esteem: Guide Out of Co-dependency, Addiction and Other Useless Habits by Carolyn M. Ball (1991)

Women, Sex, and Addiction: A Search for Love and Power by C. Davis Kasl, Ph.D (1990)

Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the “Love” Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships by Anne Wilson Schaef(1990)

Lonely All the Time: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Sex Addiction, for Addicts and Co-Dependents by R. Earle, G.  Crow & K.  Osborn  (1989)


Orlagh Gahan is a an IACP accredited Psychotherapist, Sex and Relationship Therapist, Addiction Counsellor & Specialist Fertility Counsellor in private practice in Co. Kildare, Ireland and worldwide online. She specialises in sexual wellbeing, psychosexual problems, sexual recovery, couples & relationship therapy and addiction recovery. Orlagh works with individuals and couples online using DOXY.ME, a secure telemedicine platform. Find out more or book a consultation online at

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