"One confident businesswoman recently told me that the discovery that her husband is a sex addict turned her into a 'screaming banshee - I've become a stranger to myself'," Hall tells me.Hall believes these partners need help of their own - hence her self-help guide, covering three broad areas: understanding sex addiction and why it hurts partners so much; repairing the damage it has caused to the partner; and finally, helping the partner to work out whether the relationship can survive and, either way, how to move forward.
Rosendale starts each 12-week support group by educating the women about sex addiction.
"One of the points of this group is to depersonalise it.
I felt that meant the risk of relapse was too great, so I left.
But without help of my own, I wouldn't have been able to let go and move on with my life." Sex Addiction: The Partner's Perspective by Paula Hall, Routledge, £19.99 Belfast Telegraph By Abi Jackson When things go wrong with our health, we visit a doctor.
"Ideally, partners get their own therapy," says Hall.
"The problem is that all the assumptions made by well-meaning friends about sex addiction are also shared by many therapists who are untrained in this area."It could involve sex with a partner, but it may also mean activities such as viewing pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes or using sex chat lines," it explains, claiming that while for most people such habits don't cause problems, sex addicts are unable to control these urges and actions.Causes can of course be more complex, while for some - a fast-growing number, according to Hall - it's simply opportunity-induced.Second, the partner has to feel stable again, as well as understanding the addiction and working out what they want the relationship to look like in the future.Third, the couple works together on the renegotiation of the boundaries in the relationship." While some sex addicts move on, other partners must recognise that they'll be living with someone in recovery for the rest of their life.Traditionally, most partners of sex addicts have been treated as co-dependents, says Hall.