When problems develop in a relationship as a result of an addiction it can be the cause of great distress, creating feelings of anger, sadness, grief and isolation and can often lead to further problems for the whole family.

When problems develop in a relationship as a result of an addiction it can be the cause of great distress, creating feelings of anger, sadness, grief and isolation and can often lead to further problems for the whole family.

This was the case for Sarah White. Her husband Sean worked for a large electrical contractor but in 2018, when his behaviour changed at work, his employer contacted EIC for help.

After spending time talking to Sean, EIC concluded that he may have an alcohol and a sex and love addiction and as a result of this, EIC funded 12 weeks in a private rehabilitation facility for Sean. During this time Sean was diagnosed with both an alcohol and a sex and love addiction.

An alcohol addiction is one which is very common and therefore widely understood, but a sex and love addiction is very different. Whilst still an addiction, it is not measured or diagnosed in quantity but instead by the negative impact and consequences associated with the behaviour, on the individual and others. It is characterised by obsessive feelings and behaviours which the individual feels compelled to repeat regardless of the consequences. These behaviours and thoughts get progressively worse, ultimately resulting in the breakdown of personal relationships. In Sean’s case he had become addicted to the feeling of being wrong and this behaviour became an obsession.

Sean responded well to the treatment he received from a specialist therapist and at the end of the 12 week period he felt like a changed person. However, one of the conclusions which Sean had reached during this period was that he needed to devote all of his time and energy into making himself stronger in order to overcome his addictions. As a result he took the very difficult decision that he couldn’t become the person he wanted and needed to be whilst still being married to Sarah.

Sarah had continued to support Sean throughout his period in rehabilitation and initially was very positive that the treatment was going well. But these thoughts soon turned to a feeling of immense shame when he took the decision to end their marriage.

Sarah was very committed to her relationship with Sean and like most people wanted to have a fulfilling relationship with her husband. She struggled to cope with his decision to end the marriage and the feeling of immense shame began to manifest itself in feelings of anger and hate towards him.

In a short period of time Sarah became so consumed by this hate that she was unable to apply sensible logic to her everyday life which began to not only have an effect on herself and her husband, but also their seven year old son. Sarah constantly found herself reinforcing negative comments about her husband’s behaviour to her son which created a divide between him and his parents.

Once again the Electrical Industries Charity provided support, but this time for their son, to help in coping with what had sadly become a very toxic and highly challenging environment in his family home. With the Charity’s support, Sean’s relationship with his son has now improved and they are working together as father and son to mend their relationship.

Sadly Sarah and Sean’s relationship has now completely broken down but despite this they have agreed that their son should be their priority and the anger which they feel towards each other should not have a detrimental effect on their son. In addition, their son continues to receive counselling which is being funded by EIC, to ensure that he is able to deal with the breakdown of his family unit.

Sarah has been offered counselling by EIC and is now moving forward with her life. While she is still consumed by the overwhelming feeling of shame as a result of the breakdown of her marriage, she has started to come to terms with her feelings.

A relationship breakdown can affect people in many different ways. In Sarah’s case it manifested itself in feelings of anger and hatred which affected her whole family but the important thing to remember is that however you are affected, and whatever the cause, EIC is able to provide assistance and support to help you on the road to recovery.

For further information, please contact Jess Vailima: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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