Porn harms families. No question there. So what do you do when a parent struggles with sexual addiction? Instinct may be to keep it hidden. Your spouse knows—but not the children. You reason the truth would be too painful. Better that they never find out. And yet, experience and research show that children actually suffer more from the weight of hidden truths than they do from careful and honest disclosure.
Summary from Media Savvy Moms:
Tara McCausland, Director of Outreach for SA Lifeline joins host Marilyn Evans to discuss this very sensitive topic. SA Lifeline is a non-profit foundation that provides education, resources, and a 12-Step group for those suffering from pornography and sexual addiction. As well as for family members who’ve experienced betrayal trauma in the wake of addiction.
When a parent struggles with sexual addiction
Tara was 23 when her dad came clean. After years of betrayal and deception, he disclosed to his entire family the truth of his sexual addiction. As a younger child and teen, Tara always had a sense that something was off. The pieces of their family puzzle never seemed to fit together. As painful as it was to hear, she credits her dad’s disclosure—and her mom’s strength—as the catalyst to finding her own peace and recovery.
In this episode:
- Beyond outward appearances. Children may not know that addiction is present in their home, nevertheless, they will feel the stress of it.
- Betrayal trauma applies to children too. When a child discovers their parent has been hiding the secrets of addiction their whole world is turned upside-down.
- Breaking the cycle. Continued secrecy will perpetuate more lies and secrecy. However, the purpose and manner of disclosure should always be in the best interest of the child.
- Recovery is possible. Some addicts may not fully recover. But children of addicts have the ability to choose their own path towards healing.
- A beautiful gift (wrapped in an ugly package). Tara feels immense hope for the future. She feels prepared with her own family to face the challenges of a media-saturated world.
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