Something I have seen over and over again in my practice is that abuse and addiction go hand in hand with an abuser. Granted, we, the targets are addicted to the intermittent positive rewards, but the abusers? Oh, they have a whole slew of addictions of anything from drugs and alcohol, to sex addiction to porn addiction. The number of times a target says in session, “But s/he promised me they didn’t drink/do drugs/watch porn/need sex every day multiple times a day with multiple partners” I’ve lost count of. Abusers tend to protest too much in the love bombing phase of the relationship about how they don’t drink/do drugs/watch porn/need sex every day multiple times a day with multiple partners. Once the abuser has the target in their clutches and the abuser is feeling secure that the target won’t leave, suddenly the abuser starts drinking out in the open or you start finding bottles of alcohol or drugs around the house. The sex life suddenly shifts and they are devoting their free time, not with you but with porn. They start saying that you cannot satisfy them and it is all your fault and therefore they need someone or multiple someones who can satisfy them. Or they start demanding that you engage in sex acts that you are not comfortable with such as threesomes and orgies and of course they want to video it. So, what to do? At the first sign of an addiction ask them to seek help. As soon as they start the gaslighting, flipping the script and rewriting history, LEAVE. They are showing you who they really are. Get out and stay out and do not look back. You did not break them, you CANNOT fix them. Totally NOT your job!
In this episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris talks about Co-Dependency and when helping actually hurts.