SEX ADDICTION RECOVERY TIMELINE

sex addiction recovery timeline

"For me it was a God send--literally. The disclosure/polygraph lifted a huge burden off of me. It gave me such hope knowing we were starting from a clean slate (after the polygraph). I was more willing to give of myself after it. It's hard to explain, but the intensive, although extremely difficult (emotionally), gave us such hope ... I'm still excited. I thought I might "come down" after a while but our future looks like we have one together! Such a change. Thank you, thank you!"  
LS, Virginia
Recovery from sex addiction often progresses through readily identifiable phases; below we have outlined the progression of these phases for you:

phases of recovery timeline

survival phase

The Survival Phase of your recovery from sex addiction marks the beginning of your journey.  The following applies:

Duration:  
Six (6) months to one (1) year or more
     
You are in the Survival Phase of your recovery if you:
  • Have just started your recovery  
  • Have recently slipped or relapsed
  • Have not been able to establish a period of sobriety
  • Have recently experienced a crisis related to acting out
learn more

stability phase

The following applies to the Stability Phase of your recovery from sex addiction:

Duration:
Begins from six (6) months to two (2) years into your recovery and lasts for one (1) year or more
   
You are in the Stability Phase of your recovery from sex addiction if you:
  • Have established sobriety
  • Have good recovery routines established, including regular attendance at “S” type 12-step groups 
  • Are actively working with a sponsor 
Focus of therapy for individuals:
  • Making your recovery routines life-long habits 
  • Preventing relapse
Focus of therapy for couples:
  • Enhancing communication between yourself and your partner  
  • Learning conflict resolution skills
learn more

sustaining phase

The following applies to the Sustaining Phase of your recovery from sex addiction:

Duration:
Begins 18 months to three (3) years into recovery and lasts one (1) year or more    

You are in the Sustaining Phase of your recovery from sex addiction if you:
  • Have made a disclosure of your acting out behaviors to your relationship partner
  • Are successfully living “slip free,” with unbroken sobriety of at least six months, and 
  • Your partner is actively working his or her own recovery 
Focus of therapy for individuals:
  • Completing the “basic tasks” of your recovery 
Focus of therapy for couples:
  • Learning and practicing healthy sexuality with your partner 
learn more

freedom phase

The Freedom, or Maintenance Phase of your sex addiction recovery is momentous! The following applies to this phase:

Duration:
You have reached this phase having been in recovery for 2½ years or more, spending the first six (6) to 12 months in this phase actively working recovery. 

Ultimately, you will move out of therapy or use therapy sporadically to address specific concerns, work on “rough spots” in your relationship, or do periodic recovery check-ups. 

You are in the Freedom (Maintenance) Phase of your recovery from sex addiction if you:
  • Have at least one (1) year of unbroken sobriety
  • Are living a balanced, growing life 
  • Have reached the point in which acting out has become more of a memory than a present temptation
Focus of therapy for individuals:
  • Refining and refocusing your recovery routine
  • Learning to balance recovery activities with other areas of life
Focus of therapy for couples:
  • Expanding skills learned earlier (i.e., communication, boundaries, healthy sexuality)
learn more

more on your recovery timeline

What exactly is recovery?

The dictionary defines recovery as:

…bring back to normal position or condition:
For many, the greatest difficulty is identifying what normal is. And it may be impossible for some to remember what life was like "before" because addiction has been a part of life from their earliest memory. Therefore, to bring back to normal means entering into a life-long quest to discover normality.

…to make up for:
This is a tall order. For some, it may seem as if a lifetime of right living will not make up for the acting out of the past. In truth, for the partner of a sex addict, that is very close to true. Sex addicts can never fully appreciate the injury done to a partner. But in the process of recovery, as long-term sobriety is established, and the sex addict and his/her partner learn new boundaries, a new way of relating, new sexual behaviors—to a large extent recovery does make up for what addiction took away.

…to find or identify again:
This may include re-identifying career and relationship goals as well as character traits the client wants to mark his life.

…to get back:
For the sex addict, recovery means reclaiming his life. Recovery means being able to look in the mirror and say, “I really like the person I see!”

recovery is so much more than sobriety!

recovery means:

  • New boundaries
  • New traffic patterns
  • New friends
  • New behaviors
  • New time management skills
  • New life

it also means an end to:

  • Isolation
  • Narcissism (admittedly this is probably a work in progress)
  • Self-loathing
  • And many other things
Share by: