1. We admitted we were powerless over sexaholism – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs


Now, do you notice anything about these lists that are similar?

Yes, both parties (the betrayed and the SSA – sexual stimulation addict) work on themselves and their relationship with God and the community. These are both wonderful, separately, in the path to healing as a individual.


The problem is, neither list of Steps covers the relationship with your partner.


This can leave the relationship Out of the recovery for each individual as it’s written in the steps and process.

Both sets of Steps are inherently selfish twards oneself and pushes away the relationship. Also, exclusive to oneself and not the person who is chaste to you. Shouldn’t your partner come second?

Now, there is nothing wrong with going to the Steps meetings or working the program. However, it’s not enough. Once a person gets so far in individual recovery, the relationship is supposed to get a chance to heal (if you so desire).

Now, I know what your thinking… Step 9 is make ammends to everyone you hurt, right? That has to include the partner, right?

Most people who are working the programs turn outward during Step 9, focusing on the “Big” picture of damage done and fail to make total and complete ammends of the relationship. It also takes the betrayeds trauma and makes it seem co-dependent. The trauma inflicted on them is Not their fault. 

A very popular saying is “Trauma is not your fault BUT healing is your responsibility.”

Um, NO. There should be No “But”! But nothing! Saying “But” minimizes the trauma!


So, trauma is not your fault. End. Period. Finito.


Both of the sets of steps for SA, SAA, SLAA and allies are a skewed in this way, in my opinion.

This could be why most people in 12 steps never recover their relationship and it ends in divorce. Only 12% of people who do the Steps Program – succeed for several years. It could be why people who work the steps fail at completing them or end up constantly relapsing. 81% of people “drop out” in year one and only 10% stop relapsing while attempting the program. The Steps has a total percentage success at UNDER 5%.

This is less than other programs for sex addiction and yet Step programs remain one of the most popular tools to attempt recovery.

I personally feel these programs could use some updates. It’s not a bad program set up as a lot of people try it and find community. However none of the steps are conductive of an interdependent relationship like marriage. Instead this promotes a marriage with God. 

Nothing is wrong with having religious values or putting God first.

However it must be understood that in recovery, however, finding religion does Not Equal recovery.


You have to do the work!


Maybe spiritual awareness will help you to have motivation and drive to recovery but only you, of your own free will and volition achieve sobriety by yourself.

Whether you try these or other techniques towards sobriety, make sure you understand the hikes and pitfalls and truly vet the best option for you and your relationship.

How you choose to recover is just as important as what you choose to do to help you recover.