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Porn, Betrayal, Sex and the Experts — PBSE Cover
Porn, Betrayal, Sex and the Experts — PBSE Profile

Porn, Betrayal, Sex and the Experts — PBSE

English, Fitness / Keep-fit, 1 season, 229 episodes, 4 days, 20 hours, 42 minutes
About
Two sex addicts in long-term successful recovery are ALSO world-class mental health professionals who specialize in porn and sex addiction recovery. Drawing on 40 years of combined personal and professional experience, Mark and Steve get RAW and REAL about HOW to overcome addiction, heal betrayal trauma and save your marriage. If you're struggling with addiction—we get it. Recovery is hard. We've been there. We'l help you take the fight to your addiction like never before. If you're married to an addict—we KNOW what it's like to nearly destroy a marriage. We'll help you understand the world of your husband's addiction and begin healing your betrayal trauma, regardless of what he decides to do. You don't have to stay stuck. You don't have to keep suffering. We've made all the mistakes so you don't have to. Take back your life. Take back your marriage. Let's do this together! This is the PBSE podcast.
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What Does “Real Restitution” for Serious Betrayal in a Relationship Look Like?

In Episode 230, the betrayed parter of a porn/sex addict submitted her situation and some questions to PBSE surrounding the CRITICAL issue of "restitution." Here's how she expressed it—Over the course of our 25 year long marriage, my husband had two emotional affairs, a decade and a half long porn addiction and a 2 year long physical and emotional affair with a coworker. I was completely blindsided—no inklings or gut feelings. It has been brutal but we are working hard to heal. He has been in honest recovery for a little over a year. He has been through the 12 Steps and worked with our ecclesiastical leader. Both have encouraged some form of restitution. Obviously, he can’t unsee all the porn and undo all the selfish, hurtful things he did and said to me. I have asked him what restitution looks like (or means) for him. He said it was to try and become his best, highest self that God intends him to be —living wholeheartedly and try to not cause anymore suffering in the world. Is that restitution? Is working on yourself to be a better human and husband the same as making restitution? It seems like that is what he should’ve been doing - independent of me - all along. If that isn’t restitution—then what is? How do you make restitution for serious betrayals?In this episode, Mark & Steve get SUPER passionate, raw and real about this issue! Let’s Talk Restitution for a Minute:Sexual betrayal in a relationship is like a major "robbery"! Why and how?Restitution IS—A demonstration of contritionA FULL (as much as possible) RESTORATION of WHAT WAS STOLEN:InnocenceHopeConnectionTrustTimeCommitmentFidelityHer ENTIRE ESSENCERestitution is NOT—Something the addict determinesDoing the things that you should have done all along—getting to the “starting line” that she thought she had and you promised in the beginning, such as—Proactively connecting—being FULLY presentMaking and Keeping COMMITMENTSProviding exclusivityPursuing your partner RELENTLESSLYHow does a porn/sex addict in recovery actually provide restitution following betrayal?Creatively and Proactively, he does the following—Inquire: what have I stolen from you? Her narrative, NOT YOURS!Communicate: Sincere, complete apologies, including commitments for long-term change and consistent follow-through. Provide ONGOING empathy where needed.Provide potential ideas for restitution: come up with a list, show how YOU (not her) are going to sacrifice to make these changes.Collaborate with her: Share your ideas, humbly ask for feedback, and make consistent ongoing change as necessary.
5/28/202438 minutes, 57 seconds
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Do I Have to Accept that my Addict Partner, even in Successful Recovery, could Betray Me Again?!

In Episode 229, Mark & Steve answer some very TOUGH questions asked by a partner seeking to heal from the betrayal trauma caused by her porn/sex addicted partner. Here's what she sent in to PBSE:Do I just have to accept he can never be faithful? That an addict will always be an addict so he will always have to fight the want of others? There will always be temptation but recovery means being able to face it and not let it overpower? I don't want that. I don't want urges and triggers just fought off. I want them gone. If they will always exist, the addiction will always exist that says to me he will always have a want for others, a want for more. It says he can never be truly faithful. That I cannot be his only desire. I cannot be enough for him. So in staying, I just have to accept that?First, we have SO MUCH EMPATHY FOR THIS PARTNER!!!  We always ask, “What is under these heart-felt expressions; this pain? What are betrayed partners asking for at the deepest levels?What they were promised in the beginning!To be desired, pursued, exclusive, CHOSEN!To KNOW who THEY are choosing–full honesty and transparencyTo be SAFE and not endlessly have to be hyper-vigilant, on-guard, watching to see what he’s watching, keeping track of him . . . To NOT be in a COMPETITION for his attention, affection, desires, loyalty, faithfulness, etc. Does a Partner simply have to accept that he will always be one-step-away from betraying her again???What is “temptation” and living in the real world? What is NORMALCY? W/hat is “Addiction” and how does it “rewire the brain”?Can an addiction brain be truly “rewired” to a healthy, faithful state? What does that mean? How long does it take? What is “real recovery”? Treating the symptoms–”getting sober”Exploring and addressing the “underlying core issues”Maturing, evolving and learning HOW to have a healthy relationship and a healthy life!LEARNING the lessons that the addiction showed up to TEACH so you can move forward in healthy living! How do you reconcile “He can ONLY be sober today” with never having hope of anything changing—always having to be hyper-vigilant and wait for the “shoe to drop”? All ANY of us have any control over is ME and TODAY! There are NO guarantees. We know where this desire comes from, but it is not living life on life’s terms. So, where do you go from here?Investing in YOURSELF and YOUR POWER while he is doing the same thing. And then coming together to COLLABORATE on this!But WHAT ABOUT  . . . . .???!!!Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
5/21/202437 minutes, 13 seconds
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As a Partner, I’m Falling and Drowning—HOW DO I STOP! How do I TAKE BACK MY POWER?!

In Episode 228, Mark & Steve get SUPER passionate talking to the partners of porn/sex addicts! Over the past several weeks, PBSE has received a number of heart-wrenching submissions by listeners who are partners falling and drowning in the overwhelming intensity of betrayal trauma and being in a relationship with a porn/sex addict. Unfortunately, in all of these submissions, the porn/sex addicted partner is choosing to come at the whole issue with one or more of the following—denial, gaslighting, minimizing, blaming, secrecy, trickle-truths, etc. Mark & Steve get raw and real in addressing these CRAZY HARD situations—-  Let’s talk about all the various ways that this whole "porn/sex addiction betrayal" can blindside a partner and UNRAVEL into FAR more than the betrayed partner was ready for or prepared to take on. WHY does this quickly place betrayed partners into a state of feeling like they're hopelessly falling and drowning?!-  HOW can betrayed partners TAKE BACK THEIR POWER?!-  What does deciding to CHOOSE or not to choose the relationship going forward actually and realistically look like for a betrayed partner?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
5/14/202437 minutes, 20 seconds
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I Need My Sex Addict Partner be “all-in” with Recovery, and to Stop Throwing Me Under the Bus with Family & Friends!

In Episode 227, Mark & Steve respond to an amazing submission from a PBSE listener who is facing an incredibly hard, overwhelming and toxic situation in her relationship with her sex/porn addict partner. One of the things that was so impressive about her submission is how balanced and reasonable she was in describing her partner and the situation. She did NOT "throw him under the bus," but simply stated what has been happening and the impact it has and is having on her. Because the submission was very detailed and lengthy, here is a summary of the situation she described—-  12 years together-  He has had multiple affairs & recurrent porn/masturbation addiction-  Continuing "trickle truths" since "discovery day" (she has discovered everything through her own detective work)-  He lied in the formal disclosure process with their CSAT therapist-  He only passed a polygraph by confessing that he had lied in the disclosure itself-  He continually plays ignorant about stuff he doesn’t want to come out-  He resists exploring his past to create safety for her or be transparent-  He violated boundaries by holding onto “souvenirs” from past affair partners-  He consistently gives their therapist, family members and friends an inaccurate picture of her being aggressive and tyrannical-  She is no longer opening up to family or friends due to the aboveHere is how she concluded her submission to PBSE:I have chosen not to continue letting my family or friends know what is happening because I could tell they were losing all hope in him when I had not. I still haven't (despite him being a jerk at times). I did/do not want to damage his ability to have a relationship with them, but it seems that he does not have the same consideration for me. There are moments when I want to defend myself, let them know about his addiction and the extent of his cheating and verbal/emotional abuse, but I have held my tongue. Can you speak to why he is going out of his way to misrepresent what is going on without consideration of the damage he is doing to my reputation or my ability to maintain these friendships? It feels like my whole life is being chipped away, one relationship at a time. Thanks guys. Sorry. I know this is very disjointed. Trauma brain, y'know?In response to her very heart-felt questions, Mark & Steve address a host of important issues—-  What are the various possible dynamics going on in this relationship? -  What are the possible reasons behind this addict partner's behaviors and choices? -  What can the betrayed partner AND addict partner DO going forward to pursue the most healing, connecting and recovery-based path possible?  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
5/7/202436 minutes, 26 seconds
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How Can I Share my Authentic Feelings when my Addict Partner Reacts with Depression, Anxiety and/or Shame?

In Episode 226, a PBSE listener asks a very common question about her interactions with her porn/sex addicted partner:Hello, I just recently started listening to your podcast and I was wondering if you have, or if you could talk about, how to approach communicating our authentic feelings when our porn addict partner also struggles with depression … I'm always too scared to be fully transparent with him about what I'm feeling because I worry it will make him spiral to a very dark place … I know we won't be able to fully heal and mend our relationship until I'm able to be fully honest with him. For a little context: he is not currently in therapy; I've told him that therapy with a CSAT is one of the things I need him to do to help me feel safe and that I think it will help him in all areas of his life, not just in recovery.Mark & Steve talk straight-forward and open about this kind of situation—for both the addict and the partner:For Porn/Sex Addicts: What is the “reactive” mode all about for addicts???We learned early on that it was NOT safe to be transparent or authentic; to share needs or expect them to be met, etc. So, we learned to go into “I-have-to-defend-and-take-care-of myself” mode. In our relationships with others, IT HAS TO BE ALL ABOUT US!The Survival Brain does NOT want “its way” to be interrupted—”IT” is sure “IT” KNOWS WHAT WORKS!Because we’ve been so isolated, inauthentic and disconnected, we DON’T KNOW HOW TO CONNECT AND BE INTIMATE! So, we compensate with self-protection, deflection, resistance and manipulation strategies.And, because we are disconnected from “healthy  sources” of renewal and intimacy, we go-it-alone—which we can NEVER succeed at—it’s TOO MUCH for anyone! So, in comes shame, fear, depression, anxiety, anger, etc. AND WE TURN TO ADDICTION OUTLETS TO ONCE AGAIN—“COPE ALONE.” YOU must start advocating for YOU! You must start where you are and take the initial steps forward! If  you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting! Are you ready to finally, genuinely admit—MY WAY DOESN’T WORK! We DO have really deep understanding and compassion for addicts (we are one), yet we know too well that “reasons” too easily become “excuses” and keep us stuck! For Partners in Healing:We understand that it is stressful, scary and may even bring about unwanted consequences to share how you're truly feeling with your partner.You have to ask yourself: “what kind off marriage do I want?” Intimacy means sharing the good AND the bad. Choosing deep connection means letting go of the outcomes.Allowing the feelings of another individual to compromise your own authentic integrity is always an exchange of diminishing returns. Be loving, but direct:Be sure to authentically share the things that he is doing well, in addition to areas needing work.If there are things that you appreciate about him, express those and the why behind them.BUT, be very clear about the impact his actions/inactions are having on you, the relationship, etc.Share what consequences have come about as a result, and what yet may come if there isn’t change. Acknowledge your inability to “make” him feel any sort of way, and encourage him to access and/or find needed supports.Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Cou
4/30/202439 minutes, 21 seconds
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Can Porn/Sex Addicts be Habitual Liars—even about Small Stuff—and How Can They Stop?

Episode 225 comes from a heart-felt submission by the partner of a porn/sex addict. She reports that he is in solid, serious recovery, but he just can't find a way to become consistently honest! Here's part of what she submitted—It's just a default position (lying) that he takes to everything, whether about his addiction history or about nothing at all. I understand that this is part of their recovery journey, but I can't take it anymore and I am thinking of divorce… if they are lying about nothing, then what else are they really lying about? I don't want to do it anymore. It's unbearable. He is devastated, and can't explain to me why he does it, but acknowledges that he does. Can a sex addict ever stop lying? And if so, how do they do it and how long does it take? Because in my mind, if he doesn't stop, he is merely a relapse waiting to happen… all evidence (EXCEPT for the lying about stupid things) points towards him being an absolute gold star recovery student. I keep holding on because he is so committed, but I can't waste any more time with a liar. We have four sons too who he is terrified of losing, and they are all really angry with him, but want us to work it out. They just also want him to stop lying.Mark and Steve talk raw and real about their own struggles with getting solidly on the honesty path and the many addicts they have worked with over the years—Why All the Lying?Avoidance of consequencesExperience has taught us that “honesty is NOT the best policy”WE ARE PAIN AVOIDANT!Lack coping skills for accountabilityRiddled with shameWE ARE OBSESSED WITH APPEARANCESA glossy shell keeps the gooey center safeWE CANNOT COPE WITH REJECTION - IN ANY FORM!Part of us doesn't want to stopNot really ready to changeNot willing to get uncomfortableSadly, may have not had enough pain yetIt allows us to control PERCEPTIONS, PEOPLE and OUTCOMESTerritorially, we don’t want to cause our partners pain, eitherConsequencesWe don't matureWe stay in shameWe stay disconnectedThe relationship continues to languish.Our spouses stay in Hell—high anxiety, reactive, guessing, hyper-vigilanceThe relationship WILL NOT GROW. EVER. (best Case)The relationship WILL DIE. (worst Case)The liar never realizes his true potential and authentic selfWhere to begin being HonestAcceptance on the part of the addictImpact, significance, scope, etcDetermine their willingness to give up “control”START PRACTICINGHonestyAccountabilityConfrontingBeing confrontedMaking amendsOwning your pastProcessing your shameLearn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
4/23/202436 minutes, 44 seconds
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Should We Consider a “Sex Fast”? And IF so, HOW do we NOT become “Disconnected” in the Process?

In Episode 224, Mark & Steve discuss a topic that many couples face—the addict in recovery is trying to stay sober from his use of porn and other sex addiction outlets. At the same time, his partner is seeking her own path of betrayal trauma healing. in the midst of their individual efforts is the issue of their "sexual relationship." How can a couple balance his recovery/sobriety and her healing, while also navigating the role that sexual intimacy has and will have in their relationship? How do they start talking about this in a healthy, open, vulnerable and authentic way? How does he do so without coming across as pushy or pressuring? Here are some key points that Mark & Steve address:-  Let’s get REAL—unless we’ve really done some deep work and practice, we ALL have dysfunctions in the way we don’t talk, or even do talk, about “sex” with our partners! -  WHY is that? Where does it come from? And what are the consequences?-  What happens when we take what is often ALREADY not a healthy, open, holistic physical intimacy in our relationship and THEN add sexual betrayal and infidelity???-  What are the complexities and the “balancing act” of a porn/sex addict getting and staying sober while ALSO leaning in and leading out in helping the betrayed partner to heal AND  navigating healthy sexuality in the relationship?-  Is sex a “need," or a "want," particularly in the long-term? What is authentic for you (individually and as a couple)? -  What are the initial steps in seeking to create truly healthy sexual intimacy in a relationship?-  You MUST decide whether or not you are both willing to get “emotionally naked” and begin to actually dare to be vulnerable, authentic  and real about this part of your relationship—YOU MUST OPEN UP A REGULAR DIALOGUE! This can be awkward, triggering and clumsy. What are a few basic beginning steps?-  What “role” has sex played for each of you and your relationship in the past? What have you been “asking of sex”? How has this been healthy and unhealthy? What needs to change?-  Can you become healthy by continuing on the current sexual track, or do you need to take a break; engage in a reset or a “sexual fast”? If so, what are the basic steps for this to NOT be a “disconnection disaster"?-  True healthy, connecting, ascending sexual intimacy is ALL about the consistent dialogue, sharing, and intimate connections OUTSIDE the bedroom!  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
4/16/202432 minutes, 25 seconds
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Now that my Sex/Porn Addiction is Out in the Open, my Betrayed Partner is Lashing Out! How do we Navigate this?!

In episode 223, Mark & Steve address a submission by a PBSE listener who is in long-term recovery from his porn and sex addiction. At the same time, after many years of gaslighting, lying and multiple layers of betrayal, his spouse is understandably and significantly struggling in the relationship. Here's how he describes the situation—Hey guys! Recovering addict here, coming up on a year of sobriety. First off, I just want to say I take full responsibility for the complete destruction I've caused in my marriage through my gaslighting and lying about my porn and sex addiction. My wife did not sign up for this when we married and was 100% in on the relationship when I was not. Now that I'm in recovery and have disclosed to her the extent of my acting out, a deep seated hatred has set into her heart. I'm often the target of verbal abuse that she uses to hurt me as deeply as she feels hurt. Threats are another common form it takes, threats of cheating on me, getting revenge, or telling me I'm ugly or worthless. There are times that this escalates to physical abuse such as throwing things at me, spitting on me, or hitting me. She is seeking help for her betrayal trauma through a CSAT and I feel slowly her healing is beginning, but these episodes of extreme rage are difficult to navigate. Can you offer any advice? We have young children which can make it difficult to draw boundaries around stepping out of the situation when they need caring for also Thanks! What is the Addict's Daily Part in all of this (His recovery and Her healing)?-  What does leaning in; sitting in her pain; leading out and “loving out” look like? -  1 year sober vs. at least a decade or more of betrayal—how does this impact the levels of patience and “grace” he should be willing to offer her?-  How can he practice progressive skills of self-regulation; stepping back; asking, “What is under this;” LEARNING TRUE EMPATHY? -  How can he become skilled at navigating the line between "leaning in" and "taking a break"?-  How does he NOT go back to an old shame mindset, co-dependency and/or become a “doormat"? How can he learn to set and LOVINGLY hold "healthy" boundaries? Does he even have the right to do so?What does a "Healthy" Approach to all of this look like for the Betrayed Partner?-  First of all, an extra measure of self-compassion and self-patience for herself is critical. In many ways this is all new territory for her—emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. -  Betrayal trauma is "in the eye of the beholder"—the thoughts, feelings, symptoms and timing are unique to each betrayed partner.-  Seeking help that is outside of her addict partner is CRITICAL! -  The discovery of his years of betrayal will understandably and legitimately trigger deep pain, heartbreak, anger, confusion and many other emotions. These emotions are NOT bad; nor should they be "shut down" or ignored. They should be given a voice. However, there are both healthy, toxic and at times, even abusive ways for this to happen—for her; for the relationship; and for their children.  What is the Goal/Vision as a Couple? -  Start where they are, with ongoing raw, honest, transparent dialogue and sharing—but in a progressively "healthy" way.-  Each partner must do his or her own independent recovery/healing work so that they can then come together to be "inter-dependent" and COLLABORATIVE. -  Remember, that is some ways, you are starting a whole new relationship; you are coming to see and know each other for the first time. You are seeking to place yourselves in the position to "choose each other and the relationship" or not. 
4/9/202434 minutes, 7 seconds
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Both Partners Have a Porn Addiction History. One is Pursuing Real Recovery and the other Refuses to do so; Now What?

In episode 222 of the PBSE podcast, hosts Mark and Steve delve into a deeply personal and challenging topic after receiving a unique submission from a listener. The episode focuses on a couple where both partners have a history of porn  and sex addiction, but only one is actively pursuing recovery. The submission details the struggles of trying to support a partner who is resistant to seeking professional help due to past traumas and fears of exposing their addiction. 02:09 - 04:18: Unveiling the Listener's Challenge—Revealing the listener's submission about dealing with porn addiction in her relationship, highlighting the dynamics of both partners struggling with addiction but only one seeking recovery.04:18 - 06:27: Recovery & Resistance—The listener's journey of recovery and her partner's resistance to seeking professional help.06:27 - 08:36: Addiction & Hypocrisy—Mark & Steve share personal reflections on their own experiences with addiction, including the struggles with hypocrisy and denial in the face of needing help.08:36 - 10:45: The Stigma and Fear of Exposure—Exploration of the stigma surrounding addiction and the overwhelming fear of exposure that prevents many individuals from seeking help.10:45 - 12:54: Barriers to Recovery & the Power of Connection—The various barriers to recovery, including shame and fear of rejection, and the crucial role of connection and vulnerability in overcoming addiction.12:54 - 15:03: Empathy, Support, & Relationship Dynamics—The importance of empathy and support in a relationship affected by addiction, and how the dynamics between the partners play a critical role in recovery efforts.15:03 - 17:12: The Importance of Professional Help & Boundaries—The necessity of professional help in recovery and the establishment of healthy boundaries within the relationship for both partners.17:12 - 19:21: The Potential for Recovery & Healthy Relationships— The potential for individuals and relationships to recover from addiction through committed work and mutual support.19:21 - 21:30: The Role of Individual Recovery in Relationship Health—Highlighting how individual recovery efforts are essential for the health and sustainability of the relationship, and the dangers of co-dependency.21:30 - 23:39: Love, Boundaries & Relationship Sustainability—Discussion on the balance between love and boundaries, and how unboundaried love can affect the sustainability of a relationship.23:39 - 25:48: Facing Hard Truths & Making Difficult Decisions—The importance of facing hard truths within oneself and the relationship, and how difficult decisions may be necessary for long-term health and happiness.25:48 - 27:57: Cultural & Social Perspectives on Addiction & Recovery—Reflecting on how cultural and social perceptions of addiction and recovery can impact individuals and their willingness to seek help.27:57 - 30:06: D2C Program & the Importance of Community—Introduction to the Dare to Connect program, designed to provide a unique recovery experience through vulnerability, connection, and community support.30:06 - 32:17: Conclusion & Encouragement for Listeners—Concluding remarks encouraging listeners to seek support, embrace vulnerability, and pursue recovery.Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program at—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
4/2/202433 minutes, 41 seconds
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How Can "Love" and "Attraction" Evolve Through Disclosure and the Recovery/Healing Process?

Episode 221 comes in response to the heart-felt submission by a PBSE listener struggling after the disclosure of her porn and sex addicted partner. Have you ever felt the flame of love flicker and feared it might go out? That's the heart of our latest episode where we peel back the layers on rekindling romance in the wake of a porn/sexual addiction disclosure. We share our own stories of navigating the rough seas of love post-recovery, offering listeners raw insights on how marriages can not only survive but grow stronger through these trials. The journey is not just about rekindling what was lost, but discovering a new depth of connection and understanding with your partner. We can choose to redefine love—not as a whimsical emotion, but as a daily, conscious choice.02:20 - 04:40: A Listener's Heartfelt Submission—Introduction to a listener's raw and open submission questioning "Where's the joy" after a partner discloses his porn and sex addiction and his years of betrayal?04:40 - 07:00: Reflections on the Past and Present Relationship—Discussing the contrast between the listener's idealized past and the reality of their current relationship.07:00 - 09:20:  Yearning for the Past vs. Accepting the Present—Addressing the listener's desire to regain the 'spark' and excitement of the early relationship years.09:20 - 11:40:  The Challenge of Addressing the Submission—The hosts discuss the complexity of the listener's situation and their approach to addressing it.11:40 - 14:00:  Insights into Recovery and Relationship Evolution—Sharing professional and personal insights into how love and attraction evolve over time in recovery and healing.14:00 - 16:20:  Understanding the Honeymoon Phase—Discussion on the difference between the initial honeymoon phase and the pre-betrayal phase in relationships.16:20 - 18:40:  Authenticity and Guardedness in Relationships—Exploring how authenticity and being guarded affect relationships during the honeymoon and pre-betrayal phases.18:40 - 21:00:  Loss and Discovery Post-Betrayal—Addressing the profound sense of loss and discovery of true selves following betrayal.21:00 - 23:20:  Love and Attraction Post-Recovery—Discussing how love and attraction change and become more conscious choices post-recovery.23:20 - 25:40:  Evolution of a Relationship Post-Betrayal—Reflection on how relationships evolve and become more authentic after overcoming betrayal.25:40 - 28:00:  The Realities of Love and Choosing Each Other—Examining the deeper, more holistic understanding of love that develops in long-term relationships.28:00 - 30:20: The Desire to Return to Simpler Times—Contemplating the natural desire to return to simpler times versus accepting and valuing the evolved relationship.30:20 - 32:40: Embracing the Present and Future of Relationships—Encouragement to embrace the current state and future potential of relationships after recovery.32:40 - 34:55: Conclusion and Invitation to Explore Further—Closing thoughts and an invitation to explore deeper into relationship recovery through Dare to Connect.Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
3/26/202435 minutes, 54 seconds
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How Can my Family & Friends Support Me & My Partner in Recovery? How Much Should We Share & with Whom?

In Episode 220, Mark & Steve talk about a challenge in porn/sex addiction and betrayal trauma healing that is all about a "third party"—the family and friends of the addict and partner. Here's a situation submitted by a PBSE listener—Hey guys. Would you consider doing a podcast episode about advice for friends or family trying to support the addict and/or the betrayed partner? It’s like I want to send my friends a guide around [how they can support me] Eg: being “supportive no matter what” & helping them understand why a partner may stay due to the nature of it all being addiction outside of sex. I guess I’m struggling to explain to my friends what I’m experiencing with my grief, relationship with God, triggers etc. They are amazing friends but they struggle to understand that it was an addiction and not him just being a cheater. So they just want what’s best for me & think I need to leave. Just an idea on a helpful episode/s for us! For the Coupleship:-  Decide as a couple, as much as possible, how much you want to share with others and then HONOR that agreement.-  It's your story - don’t feel obligated to overshare!For the Partner & Addict:-  Be selective about who you confide in.-  Sharing is a one-way street (you can't "un-share" later).-  Before sharing, consider the benefits and drawbacks:             -  How can this person be of help?             -  How could sharing with them impact me negatively?             -  Do they have the capacity to bear the weight of this information emotionally?-  Always be authentic, but use wisdom in how deep you go.Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
3/19/202430 minutes, 10 seconds
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I Have Habitually, Continually Lied to My Partner! Is There Any Hope for Me and Us?

In Episode 219, Mark & Steve get super passionate in addressing a heart-felt, yet tragic submission from a PBSE listener. Here's what he had to say—Hi, I would love it if you guys could do a podcast around the effects of years of lies and trickle truths on a full disclosure? I've been a PA for 18 years roughly and i've had a hard time coming to terms with my addiction and its consequences. My partner and i have been together 4 years and she found out 1.5 years ago that I was being unfaithful through my excessive pornography and social media consumption. I have always had a hard time running away from conflict and I have a history of communication trauma and sexual assault in childhood. I done everything wrong with my partner, I lied and lied time and time again, I minimized and justified my actions where I felt I could and for most of my "recovery" I just found sneakier ways to access pornography and just flat out refused to be accountable for the hurt it would cause my partner in these moments. I don't think my addict brain could fathom accountability at these low points.  I allowed my partner to dig through every site/app/device and find just troves of visits to profiles and video history, bank transactions. This happened hundred of times over the year and with each new item discovered my partners pain Increased. I had every opportunity to be upfront and honest to my best friend and partner but I was reluctant to let go of that fear. Its like my addicted brain was convinced its easier to sprinkle dust onto her than to drop a ton of bricks but thats just not true at all. Unfortunately i have realized a lot of things too late for my partner at this point and we have just recently moved into a state of in house separation. We both have CSAT therapists but are in very early days of this and still have a long way to go. My reason for reaching out is due to the fact that my entire life at this point (our relationship/my dog / my home/my job) relies on openness and full disclosure. Is there any hope that I can ever navigate around the fact that i allowed my partner to be the detective and she uncovered at least 95% of what I've done with a measly 5% being my efforts. We have spoken for a year and a half about aspects of my addiction and I struggle to dig deep and expand on my occasions of acting out. This coupled with lack of honesty just breeds an environment for my partner to rightfully wonder, "What the hell do I not know? " I'm sorry if this seems a bit all over the place , but I’ve tried to express my situation the best I can. I appreciate the work that you guys and everyone involved do to make this available for people.-   Why do habitual lying and addiction nearly always go together? Why do addicts fear telling the whole truth and being "seen" in their totality?-  When a relationship account is SEVERELY overdrawn and operating from a deep deficit, is their any hope for reconciliation?-  Why is acceptance of, accountability for, and consistent verbal acknowledgment and validation of the pain the addict has caused, CRITICAL for both him and his partner?-  How can the addict use the "language of safety" and the ACTIONS that follow it to show true empathy, real amends and lasting change?-  Proactive, DAILY transparency, not just around sobriety, is essential!-  Why the addict must PRACTICE daily vulnerability, not only in his marriage, but in all his relationships. -  What place does "Formal Disclosure" have in this process?   Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week tr
3/12/202435 minutes, 28 seconds
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As an Addict, are you “Weaponizing your Weaknesses” as a Reason to NOT Commit to and Live “Real” Recovery?

In Episode 218, we address two similar questions that we received from partners who are in betrayal trauma healing as a result of their addict spouse's sex/porn addiction behaviors. Here's an excerpt from each of the questions submitted—Partner #1—My husband and I have been together for 3 years. In  late 2022, I found out he had been emotional cheating/porn-using our entire relationship. It continued until the fall of 2023. I have given him feedback on what I need from him to start trusting again and he tells me that I am putting too much on his plate. That he can only remember to do so much at once. In my opinion showing love and respect should come naturally in a relationship. How do I navigate this? Is it a loss cause?Partner #2—My addict partner does have some mental health challenges—ADHD and mild Autism—but, he can focus and show deep emotion in various life situations, but NOT for me when I share my pain and desires for his recovery. He responds—"Well, what if I can't do that? What if I'm not capable of that?" It feels like he's using  his mental health challenges as a crutch and an excuse for his poor thinking patterns. We (Mark and Steve) can SO relate to these two scenarios! We have both suffered from the feelings of huge "overwhelm/too much on our plates," and from the challenges of mental health struggles. A super significant part of our own recoveries, helping to create a healing environment for our partners, and making consistent deposits into our relationship trust accounts, was coming to healthy balance between "reasons/explanations" and "proactive accountability." We found too often that we were "weaponizing our weaknesses" and this created a huge barrier between us and moving forward with "real" daily, consistent recovery. In this episode, we talk about the healthy role of reasons/explanations and how, at the same time, to take full accountability for one's daily recovery and meeting the needs of a partner as she progresses on her healing journey.   Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
3/5/202433 minutes, 20 seconds
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After Deeply Betraying Her, How do I Help my Partner Feel Truly “Chosen” Again?

We want to thank a courageous partner for submitting the situation and question for Episode 217. Here's what she shared—Hi Mark and Steve, I want to thank you for making this podcast and continuing to tackle these hard topics in a way that is so relatable for recovering addicts and being compassionate for partners. My question relates to sexual intimacy and bringing that back into a relationship that has been crushed by porn and sex addiction. We have been married 15 years and have 2 kids, my husband has been acting out the entire relationship in many ways and we had a few small discoveries over the years but completed the full disclosure process over the last year. He has been working hard in recovery, has some sobriety and is saying and doing all the right things. I am also working on my healing and recovery and have seen a lot of personal growth. That said, we have been trying to navigate bringing physical intimacy back into our relationship, and it has been a challenge.My biggest struggle is believing that he actually wants to be with me, is attracted to me, for me and not because I happen to be a female living in his house and he doesn’t have any other sexual outlets. I feel like I want physical intimacy to be organic so when he asks or says something about being attracted to me, I worry it is because he has been thinking about sex/fantasy. I feel like he is only interested in me because I am what’s available. I know he is choosing our marriage and family over porn and other women, but intimately is it actually me he is choosing? In the past I knew it was not me he was interested in, it was the idea of acting out and being in his fantasies. I know he was not actually with me when we were together and he was in his addiction. How do I accept that his interest or attraction is real, how do I believe he is choosing me out of anything but convenience? Is there anything he can do differently? Thank you for reading this and considering providing me with some answers!-  Accepting the reality that a partner did not in any way cause their addict-partner's addiction and betrayal, nor can they cure/fix their addict partner—what CAN the betrayed partner do in this situation?-  In response to the betrayed partner's question—"Is there anything he can do differently?"—Mark and Steve have a LOT of hard-earned counsel for addicts in recovery who want to help their partners feel TRULY chosen!Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/27/202434 minutes, 5 seconds
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Is this Coupleship Issue a Dual Sex Addiction? Or Something More?

Episode 216 is in response to a very courageous, transparent submission by a parter who is seeking to heal from the betrayal of a sex/porn addicted spouse AND also overcome her own sexual addiction. Her's what she sent in to PBSE—Hello Mark and Steve! Thank you for all the work and dedication that you have put into your programs and podcasts and for providing the community with invaluable tools and resources! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I have an unusual/embarrassing question. I am the wife of a sober porn addict. I am a recovering sex addict. I have been attending S-Anon meetings as a way to heal from the betrayal of my husband's porn addiction (and I think it's helping me to heal from my sex addiction as I'm learning that sex does not equal intimacy and I'm learning that I need to let go of my addiction to control everything). My husband has not done any external recovery work other than white knuckling. We have realized that we have both hurt each other very much throughout our relationship. I feel like we have come to an impasse. I have told him that I cannot feel safe and secure enough to trust him unless I can see him initiating and doing recovery work. My husband has told me that I have never supported him in our relationship and have never been happy with anything that he does. So, no matter what he tries, it will never be enough for me. So he is reluctant to try anything new. I feel like one of us has to budge but I don't know how to move forward. I guess my question is: Can a sex addict and a porn addict (or 2 people with a sexual addiction) actually make it together? Or are we doomed to go in circles for the rest of our lives? -  Lots of circumstances and complexities can lead to a "dual sex addiction" situation-  There is a tendency to place the main focus on the "addiction symptoms." It is crucial that a couple be open and willing to explore and heal the "deep issues." -  There are a LOT more issues going on in this coupleship than just addiction! What are these issues and how can they be addressed in healthy ways?-  Why this couple can NOT rely on each other as the primary source for healing—what does an "outside support system" look like?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/20/202428 minutes, 36 seconds
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What Came First—His Emotional Disconnectedness or His Addiction?

In Episode 215, a PBSE listener asks some very-often-wondered-about questions regarding addiction and related mental, emotional and relational behaviors—I’m wondering what comes first….the chicken or the egg? Do men who already have narcissistic tendencies (born or developed in childhood) gravitate to sex/porn addiction more frequently given their insecure nature and need for validation? Or, has excessive porn use led to an increase in narcissistic tendencies in men? Could this be one reason why some men are successful in recovery while others never find true recovery?Mark and Steve get raw and real in addressing these questions and in seeking to correct some all-to-common misconceptions. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/13/202431 minutes, 5 seconds
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My Partner’s Porn Addiction Ruined Our Sex Life! Can/Should We Seek a Total “Sexual Reset”?

In Episode 214, Mark and Steve respond to a PBSE listener who finds herself in an all-too-common situation. After several years of marriage, her spouse has owned up to his porn addiction and is in active recovery. However, during their entire relationship, his porn addiction ruined what could've been healthy, connected, mutually-satisfying sexually intimacy. Now, they both want things to be very different going forward. Here are the questions she submitted to PBSE—-  In what ways could we reset our dating and early stages of marriage?-  We have discussed trying to redo our dating experience by doing a partial separation and cutting out sex so that we can both have a time period of “dating” that we can look back on and be happy with and commemorate the ending of our dating redo by coming together sexually in a way that is mutually desired. Is this a bad idea?-  Do we just need to accept that our dating, wedding, and first months of marriage were terrible and entirely shaped by my husband and his pornographic desires?-  Our sex life has always been about him and what he wanted and was never a safe place for me to explore my own wants and/or desires. How do I learn to enjoy and desire sex with my husband after he criticized everything I did sexually before and after marriage?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/6/202431 minutes, 10 seconds
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Am I Just Too Insecure and Sensitive About What He Does in His “Private Time”?

In Episode 213, Mark and Steve tackle a very heart-felt and all-too-common situation submitted by a PBSE listener who is suffering under the heavy burden of betrayal trauma—while at the same time being criticized and discounted by family, friends and other people on social media. Here's what she vulnerably shared—Mark & Steve, I have listened to every episode of your podcast and I wait on the edge of my seat the days in between them. Your words have helped my significant other and I so immensely. I can’t thank you enough for what you both are doing. I haven’t heard an episode on this topic yet… social media. I discovered my partner's porn-use on a shared iPad after we had been living together for about a year and a half. His issue has been on [she lists numerous social media sites], finding anything from semi-suggestive material to straight up porn. He agreed to stop immediately but over the last 2 years it’s been discovery after discovery and a string of lies, all relating to things he’s been looking at online. My partner has recently agreed it’s a big problem that he said he has struggled with it since 8th grade and he is now getting into therapy, D2C, and doing what he needs to heal himself. But I am constantly ridiculed and told by other people online or even some friends and family that I am just too sensitive and insecure, and they ask who am I to worry about what he does in private? Is the consumption of this sexually charged material online something that we are allowed to be hurt by? I find myself experiencing nearly every single PTSD symptom I’ve learned about. It feels like a big deal even though people try to convince me that it’s not.Over much of our lives, many of us have heard certain "cultural slogans/attitudes" that say something similar to—"He can look all he wants, as long as he doesn't touch," or "What he does in in his private time is his business," etc.  Yet, over more than 20 years of working with the partners of porn and sex addicts, Mark and Steve have heard exactly the OPPOSITE! In this episode, they talk passionately about what it means to have a holistically intimate relationship; what is required to be respected, cherished, exclusive, loyal, authentic . . . and many other aspects of a truly "connected coupleship." Mark and Steve also talk directly to partners carrying the heavy burden of betrayal trauma—what are your rights; what is speaking your truth; what do authenticity and boundaries look like; why is betrayal ALWAYS "in the eye of the beholder"? And they give invaluable guidance to porn/sex addicts in recovery—if you want to create, build and nurture TRUE intimacy with your partner—what you think and do when you are not with her is CRITICAL!   Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/30/202430 minutes, 49 seconds
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“Healthy, Connecting Sexual Dynamic”? You Be the Judge.

In episode 212, Mark and Steve respond to a tragic situation submitted by a PBSE listener. As opposed to a structured podcast, Mark & Steve spontaneously share their raw, passionate feelings as they read and comment on each part of this partner’s submission; ask a LOT of hard-hitting questions; and relate to their own addiction/recovery experiences and the experiences of the many couples they’ve worked with over the past 20+ years. Here’s the PBSE listener's submission— Hi guys! I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your podcast, in the darkest moments of our lives. My question—and it may have already been addressed: How can I be empathetic toward a partner who continually relapses with excessive masturbation [and porn]—rather than asking to have sex? For context, my husband and I have been together for [more than a decade and have several kids]. I suspected his addiction throughout our relationship but it wasn’t until the last 4 years that I had evidence of excessive porn and masturbation use. He has so much shame and remorse but doesn’t talk to me about it or even allow me to disclose it to anyone. It’s a nasty hurt that I must safeguard so his “image” is maintained. My sexual, emotional and relational needs are not being met, and he doesn’t seem to care. It is like a continual re-traumatizing and violation of trust when he relapses. Our agreement was that he would never do anything sexual without getting permission… to have additional accountability. Every time he asks [for sex]—if I don’t engage with him—I “give permission” for him to masturbate or to help him do so. Please help me understand this and be patient, loving and forgiving. I’m losing hope that this can actually work. I feel like I have to constantly put myself on the back burner to appease his needs and keep our family together for “the greater good.” But I feel like I’m being slowly suffocated.Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/23/202434 minutes, 38 seconds
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Can He Ever “See” Me Physically & Sexually like He does His Porn Fantasies?

Episode 211 is in response to a very raw and heart-felt submission by a PBSE listener. She is about to turn 40, is married to a guy who struggles with porn/sex addiction and they have 3 children. About 10 years ago, she found out that he had been regularly viewing porn for the first decade of their marriage. She was devastated and let him know she considered it cheating. In the years that followed, every time she would bring it up, he promised to stop but never did. He gaslit her and claimed it was "normal" behavior. Then over the last 12 months or so, he engaged in a "trickled disclosure" about just how bad his porn/sex addiction has been their entire marriage. Finally, about a month ago, he started into serious recovery. But, over that same year, she was so deeply impacted by his betrayal that she went to every possible length (money, time and energy) to try to modify her body to compete with or match up to what he had been seeking in his porn use.  This even drove her to struggles with anorexia and a complete mental breakdown. She realized she could never win this competition/contest! At the end of the detailed recounting of all she's been through (which was heart-breaking), she asked the following—"Will his addiction keep him from seeing me the way I so desperately want to be seen in his eyes? Or are all the signs pointing to me just never being able to be enough?" -  Why is sex and sexuality such a high priority and singular focus in our culture?-  What does it mean to be "sexy" and "sexual"—what are the deep needs behind these?-  Why is it unrealistic, inauthentic and unhealthy to seek to compete with sexual fantasies?-  After more than 20 years working with partners suffering from betrayal trauma, what have Mark and Steve found that these individuals actually and truly want/need from their addict partners?-  How has our culture confused sex/sexuality and true, human intimacy?-  For the partners of porn/sex addicts—In what ways can your partner choose, pursue and create safety for you? How can your partner authentically meet your wants and needs on a consistent basis?  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/16/202431 minutes, 50 seconds
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Is There a Correlation Between ADHD & Porn/Sex Addiction? Can You Cope with Both Collaboratively?

In Episode 210, Mark & Steve address an issue that comes up often in porn/sex addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing—the challenges of ADHD that seem to often correlate with, and/or accompany addiction. This episode is in response to a situation submitted by a PBSE listener—"I have heard there is a correlation between ADHD and addiction. Have you noticed this in your practice, and what is your advice to both addict and partner on how to cope and battle through both issues collaboratively? I looked into the symptoms of ADHD and some of my long term frustrations with my partner could fit that. But others don’t. It’s hard to know what could be attributed to the addiction (emotional immaturity and selfishness) versus what could be ADHD related."-  Mark talks about his own life-long struggle with ADHD symptoms and addiction.-  How ADHD and porn/sex addiction symptoms can correlate and cross over in a variety of ways. -  How porn use, as well as other online practices can "fuel" already existing ADHD symptoms and vice-versa.-  What can an addict in recovery do to also manage his ADHD symptoms/challenges?-  What can the partner of an addict do to support him in his "dual" struggles—without crossing the line into rescuing, over-owning, playing policewoman, etc?-  How can a couple come together to collaborate as a team in facing these issues?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/9/202433 minutes, 39 seconds
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You Get to Decide What Level of Intimacy You Want in Your Relationship.

Episode 209 is in response to a very complex, awkward, embarrassing, infuriating and painful situation submitted by the partner of a porn/sex addict. He IS in initial recovery, BUT when he finally started "trickle disclosing" his past "addiction behaviors," this led her to do some "detective work" to find out more. In searching his computer, phone, Internet search history, etc., she discovered a devastatingly DARK SIDE to him that she didn't know about and would never have assumed! But, she does love him and is very weary of bringing up what she has discovered, for fear of causing him extreme embarrassment and shame. She doesn't know how to approach this! In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about this challenge from the crucial standpoint of "relationship intimacy"--not the traditional narrow paradigm of intimacy—"sex"—but true, holistic intimacy in what we often talk about as the "8 Areas of Intimacy." What level of true intimacy does this couple want to have? What level of discomfort, awkwardness, embarrassment, confrontation, etc., are they willing to face to enjoy full, true intimacy? What does it mean to allow your partner to actually "see the whole you"? What level of "being seen" does it take for your partner to be "fully informed" to be able to "choose you." Are you wiling to do what it takes to get to the place where you can ACTUALLY CHOOSE EACH OTHER? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/2/202422 minutes, 49 seconds
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Can “Emotional Cheating” be Worse Than Sexual Betrayal?

This episode (#208) is in response to a very vulnerable and heart-felt submission by a PBSE listener. Here's her situation—"You may have already covered during previous episodes and I have just not been able to find it, but could you do a podcast on emotional cheating? This was a big part of my relationship and devastated me more than finding out about his pornography habits. This woman wasn’t something he turned to occasionally, she was someone he contacted daily. All day. Even much earlier in the morning than I’d hear from him. While he was lying in bed next to me. As soon as he’d leave my side. He claims it was not an intimate connection, just his codependent need for validation, but I’m not sure I believe that. Regardless, she’s now in every memory I had with him. Even the ones I thought were good, which brings me great pain. To make matters worse it was with his ex wife who he co parents with, so he was unable to cut ties with the person he was cheating with. I’d love to hear expert advice on how to heal from it. I’m already journaling and seeking support, taking care of myself and mental health, doing all the things one can to move past it. But I wake up everyday with a literal pain in my heart that’s so heavy. I carry it around like a rock in my chest all day. I had not previously believed people when they said, emotional cheating can be worse, but I do now. Maybe you can also touch on how too much contact with someone who’s not your partner can be damaging so that addicts understand what it is as well. I’m sure partners could benefit from that as well. Thank you."We SO appreciate this listener bringing this extremely difficult and painful situation to our attention. This is a topic for which Mark and Steve are extremely passionate and have a LOT to say! — What is "intimacy"? Is it more than just "sex"?— What is "Emotional Cheating"?— What is the responsibility of the partner who engaged in emotional cheating? What does "real" change and amends look like?— What is the healthiest approach for the partner who has been betrayed?— What is a couples best chance to move through and forward from emotional cheating?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/26/202338 minutes, 36 seconds
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How Do My Partner and I Successfully Navigate a “Therapeutic Separation”? How Do We Do This Well?

In Episode 207, Mark & Steve address a situation and concern sent in by a PBSE listener who finds herself in a very painful, difficult and complex situation. Here's how she describes it—"Hey guys, firstly thank you so much for your podcast - it’s helping more than you will ever know. My question is about separation and how to do this well. I found out four months ago, while I was 8 months pregnant, that husband of 7 years has a severe sex addiction. I moved out with our 2 year old and in with my parents, telling them everything. He & I have thrown ourselves individually into counseling & gotten support from our closest friends. However, my husband relapsed badly & I realized I needed to give him a year of full separation to see if he can change for himself, or I need to move on. How can I do this year well? What do we tell our church and wider community (our pastors know everything)? I don’t want opinions and judgement if I stay or go, but I don’t know how to live in this limbo without lying or pretending to be together! For our kids, is it better to live apart or together? I desperately need advice on boundaries and how to navigate separation with two littles! My husband is an amazing father committed to them, but his addiction got so out of control, I just don’t trust what he’s capable of, so the kids will be with me until he’s 1 year sober. It’s so so hard."-  Therapeutic vs. Non-Therapeutic Separations-  What do the expectations, boundaries and structure of a therapeutic separation look like? What are the potential pitfalls?-  An "in-home" separation vs. living completely separate. -  Creating a specific "plan for reconciliation" with specific steps, benchmarks and accountability toward reunification.-  Setting and holding boundaries with family, friends, neighbors, etc. -  What about the HUGE consideration of children in all of this?! Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/19/202332 minutes, 30 seconds
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The More I Learn About His “Disgusting Past” the Less I Want to Have Sex with Him! How Can We Ever Recover From This?

We know that the title to Episode 206 is hard-hitting! But, this is very close to a "quote" from a PBSE listener who is a partner in betrayal trauma healing. Here's the very raw and real situation and question she sent to us—"Hi Mark and Steve, My husband and I are coming up on one year since D-Day. We’ve each been in individual therapy and 12 step groups: he for his addiction, me for betrayal trauma. One of the problems is that we haven’t had a formal therapeutic disclosure and more and more information about past betrayals keeps trickling out. Every time it does, my scab is ripped off. Here’s the heart of my question—the more I learn about his disgusting past, and many many betrayals, the less I want to have sex with him. In fact I feel actual physical disgust at the thought. I hope to work through my trauma and his recovery and come out the other side with a stronger relationship. My question is what do I do about the absolute physical/sexual revulsion I feel toward him? Thanks so much. I love your podcast."In this episode, Mark & Steve directly address HOW this couple can have the best chance to "come out the other side with a stronger relationship." They talk about what each partner can do to "own their side of the street" and set and hold healthy boundaries. They also address what a proper, healthy "therapeutic disclosure" looks like and WHY it is CRITICAL that this approach replace the all-too-common "toxic trickle-disclosure." Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/13/202329 minutes, 53 seconds
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What is the Betrayed Partner’s Responsibility in Rebuilding a Relationship?

In Episode 205, Mark and Steve tackle a VERY sensitive, but crucial topic. This episode comes in response to a porn/sex addict in recovery who wrote the following—"Hi there, I just want to start by saying thank you for your work in this area of addiction. I'm an addict and I've been in a relationship for the past 4 years. I've betrayed my partner several times during that time. I've been to treatment and I've come a long way since those early days in the relationship. I've stopped my damaging behavior and language towards my partner and I've been showing up for her consistently over the past few months. I feel like I'm doing everything I can for her. I've had to endure a lot of emotional and verbal abuse over the past few years from her and it's mostly always been blamed on my addiction or my behavior. I always believed that if I acted differently then things would be different. Now that I feel like I am showing up at my best, I'm really starting to question whether or not my partner is capable of treating me respectfully. I realize that the recovery process takes time and consistency, but the abuse is becoming intolerable for me. I feel like I’ve continued to be attacked and yelled at. My partner often says or hears things that she doesn't remember saying afterward when she's in a triggered state. One thing I have noticed in this area of recovery is the lack of information regarding what the betrayed partner's responsibility is. I feel like my partner is struggling with taking responsibility for her abuse or her own recovery work. When should an addict walk away? What is the betrayed partner's responsibility in rebuilding a relationship? What should and shouldn’t be tolerated in the recovery process? "In this episode, Mark & Steve speak with authenticity, empathy and compassion to addicts in recovery; partners in betrayal trauma healing; and to couples seeking to repair their relationship. This is a very direct discussion about a very important issue. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/5/202335 minutes, 31 seconds
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How to have a Healthy Couples Dialogue in Tackling Sexually Triggering Topics

In Episode 204, Mark & Steve take on what is often a very difficult topic for couples—talking openly, authentically and non-defensively about all aspects of their sexual relationship. This episode is in response to a situation and question sent in by a PBSE listener. Her partner is in active, genuine recovery from porn/sex addiction and doing a lot of things right. Yet, there are some aspects of his behavior that she is unsure about. Here's how she describes the situation—"My question today centers around what should our new "normal" look like in the bedroom?  . . . My partner has completely stopped watching porn and masturbating and has been strong in this rule since May of this year. He does however still tell me about his fantasies about me during the day. How he will dress me up in his mind and think about me in a sexual way, along with other scenarios he might conjure up . . .  I can't help feeling that by doing this he is still living in a fantasy world. I'm not sure this is a good thing. We have a very healthy sex life in the real world and we are both still very attracted to each other. I'm unsure how to bring this up because I don't want to take away from the fantastic work that he is doing, but at the same time if his addict brain is still activated then we will need to address it. I understand this may be a difficult topic to address as every human is different but I would love to hear your thoughts on how an addict's brain in recovery should treat lust towards their partner. Thank you again for all that you do." In this episode, Mark & Steve do not delve into the topic of "What is healthy sexuality." They have covered that subject in many past podcasts. For example, in episode #170 “Why Are Sexual Boundaries Critical for A Truly Connected Coupleship?”, and Episode #144 “Are the Sexual Practices in your Relationship ‘safe’? How Can You Know?”In this episode, Mark & Steve approach this situation from the realm of “advanced intimacy and communication." HOW can a couple talk about deep sexual/intimacy issues in a healthy, collaborate, unifying way?-  The Personal/individual work you MUST do in advance BEFORE tackling this topic as a couple.-  Specific elements of healthy, collaborative coupleship communication when engaging in this sensitive topic. -  The absolute "dont's" when trying to tackle this topic as a couple.     Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
11/28/202328 minutes, 16 seconds
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How Can an Addict and Partner Stay “Safe” During Holiday Trips and Vacations?

In episode 203, Mark and Steve tackle an issue that is often extremely challenging for both the individual who is in recovery from porn/sex addiction AND for their partner who is healing from betrayal trauma. That issue is—Trips and Travel—during the holidays as well as trips and vacations throughout the year. -  WHY can trips and vacations be SO triggering for both the addict and their partner?!-  HOW  is safety created for addicts AND their partners when the addict travels "solo"?-  HOW is safety created for the addict and the partner when they travel together as a couple? -  WHY every guy in recovery from porn/sex addiction MUST create, share and follow through with a "TRAVEL PLAN."-  WHAT are the specific, essential elements of a Travel Plan? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
11/21/202335 minutes, 57 seconds
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I Have Been Betrayed by So Many Men! What Steps Can I Take Going Forward to NOT be Hurt Again?!

Episode 202 is in response to a deeply traumatic situation and heartfelt questions sent in by a PBSE listener. For over 40 years, this dear woman has been betrayed, gaslighted, lied to, disrespected and dismissed by the men in her life, starting with her own father. Now, much older and wiser, IF she enters into a future relationship, she doesn't want to set herself up for the pain of the past. Here's how she expressed this deep concern—"I don't EVER want these types of relationships again! What steps can I take to ensure I don't add  [another dysfunctional] man in my life?" In this PBSE episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about HOW to create the best chance for healthy, successful, connected relationships going forward. And how NOT to repeat the abusive, painful relationship cycles of the past. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
11/14/202334 minutes, 48 seconds
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Why do Betrayed Partners Feel Unsafe? What does it take to Feel Safe Again and Why is this Critical to Healing?

In episode 201, Mark and Steve address a very genuine and vulnerable cry for help from a woman who was severely betrayed by her husband. Her message and questions were lengthy, so here's a summary of what she submitted to PBSE—-  Our PBSE listener had a good friend who was temporarily living in her home. Her husband had an affair with the friend while she was staying there. -  When confronted, the husband and friend both blamed our listener for the situation, claiming it was because our listener  was in menopause. -  This was followed by months of gaslighting, blaming and shaming which led to a nervous breakdown for our listener. -  Since then, the husband has done a little work, admitting to using porn, but has continued to stonewall, blame, shame, patronize, show disrespect, talk over her, etc. -  When our listener shared what she authentically needs for them to try and move forward (therapy, 12-Step, D2C, etc.) he declined saying that he was taking an online porn addiction course and that's all he can handle right now.-  All of this has continued "heaping on" until our listener feels completely unsafe in the relationship and in her own home. Her husband does not understand why she doesn't feel safe and insists he "is not a danger to her." Our listener asked us the following questions—"Can you please do a podcast about safety for the betrayed spouse? Why we don't feel safe, what it takes to make us feel safe and how important it is for us to start feeling safe again? And also what makes us feel threatened and unsafe?"Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
11/7/202331 minutes, 24 seconds
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Episode 200!!! What Does it Mean to “Dare” in Your Relationship?

This is PBSE's 200th episode!  We (Mark & Steve) want to express our deepest appreciation to all of our PBSE listeners in more than 185 countries world-wide. YOU are the reason we are so passionate about this cause and dedicated to bringing you our weekly podcast. Thank you, thank you, thank you!One of the great passions that fuels our counseling work and the PBSE Podcast is the opportunity to help couples mend their broken relationships and move forward to be closer and more connected than ever! It was from this passion that our online recovery and healing program, "Dare to Connect" was born. In this 200th episode, Mark & Steve talk about what it means to "DARE" in your relationship and the deep levels of connection and intimacy that come as a result.Dare to:Be TransparentBe VulnerableBe HumbleBe Account-ableBe EmpatheticBe Response-ableBe BoundariedBe CollaborativeBe ConfrontingBe Confront-ableBe Intimate Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
10/31/202336 minutes, 4 seconds
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You Can Rewire Your Subconscious Mind—and Break Out of Porn/Sex Addiction!

In Episode 199, Steve is on the road traveling so Mark is flying solo on the PBSE podcast.  Everyday we think, talk and act on "autopilot" in SO many ways! All of this is "hard-wired" in the subconscious mind's computer.  And one of the most powerfully hard-wired programs the subconscious mind’s computer can contain is ADDICTION. Addiction is all about reacting on autopilot. We encounter stress, discomfort, pain, disappointment, shame, fear, failure and any number of other negative feelings and our subconscious programming automatically kicks in and moves us like a robot down the automatic track of seeking escape and self-soothing through long-established and practiced addiction outlets. And after it’s all over we shake our heads and wonder, “How did I fall off the deep end again? It’s like I wasn’t thinking; like I don’t even have a mind of my own.” Truth is, when you give in to addiction, you’re not thinking; you’re not using your conscious mind at all—the hard-wired subconscious takes over and from that point you’re simply along for the ride.  The question is, are we stuck with the subconscious programing that has been hard-wired over a lifetime? Can our subconscious computer be “re-wired” and re-programmed? The resounding answer to that is YES!!! The next logical question is HOW?  Find out in this episode of the PBSE podcast.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
10/24/202323 minutes, 3 seconds
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SPECIAL EPISODE! For My Recovery & My Partner’s Healing—How Can I Stop “Scanning in Public”?

Episode 198 is a very special episode!  You will notice that this episode is much longer than what is typical for PBSE. That's because we're doing a "re-broadcast" of a special "on-location" Dare to Connect session we did for addicts in recovery back in January 2023. We are doing this in response to a request made to us by a current PBSE and D2C subscriber—"Mark and Steve, the other day [in my Reddit group], I shared how my addict spouse had learned to not scan and objectify and the tools you had shared back in like December/January when you did the episode from the coffee shop. That (and other topics) have been instrumental in him learning tools for when he goes out [in public]. Well someone [in the Reddit group] asked what episode I was referring to.  And I realized, I’m not 100% sure you have covered this in [any PBSE] podcasts. Or if you have, I don’t remember which ones at the moment. Is this something you can share with your PBSE listeners so that it’s public for others to learn and grow and improve?"In this special Dare to Connect re-broadcast, Mark and Steve are actually broadcasting from a very busy and very public well-known coffee shop. In that setting, they take the Dare to Connect addicts in recovery--who are attending online--through specific TOOLS to use in triggering public places so that they don't scan or objectify and instead are fully present with their partner. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
10/17/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 1 second
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Sick and Tired of the Roller Coaster Ride of Porn/Sex Addiction? Here Are Some Simple Tools to Start Breaking Free.

After years or decades of feeling stuck in the endless "addiction cycle," it can be easy to become weighed down in hopelessness and the seeming "inevitability" of continuing relapse.  In Episode 197, Mark Kastleman  shares some simple, yet powerful tools to begin breaking free from the shackles of porn/sex addiction. For well over a decade, these tools have been tested and proved with thousands of addicts across the globe. Perhaps they can help you or someone you love in the fight to be free!Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
10/10/202325 minutes, 29 seconds
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My Spouse “Fooled” Me and Everyone in Our Family for Years! Now I Can’t Stand to Even Look at Him! Is there any Hope for us?

Episode 196 is in response to a very raw and painful situation shared by the spouse of a porn/sex addict. Here's what she had to say—Hi and thank you both so much for what you do, I found you through the worst time in my life by the grace of god. I am in my second marriage with a man who is ten years younger than myself. I poured my heart and soul into this marriage, and I have recently found out all the secrets he has kept from me for years. He has fooled everyone, my entire family, even my daughters from my first marriage said, "what? not [Jimmy]." He seems as though he wants to work through his issues and has taken steps to make changes to make our marriage better, but I cant seem to get through this pain, devastation, and hate I feel all day everyday. I introduced him to your podcast, and he reached out to Steve about counseling and is willing to commit to the whole process, but I desperately need help getting through this pain, I pray everyday, go to church, and try to live like god wants us too, but I have so much hate I cant seem to get past. I’ve looked for help groups here in [my area], but there really isn't much here for the spouses. You both speak to my heart and I feel like you could help me, would dare to connect be something you would recommend for me, or do we both need to commit to the program? I know he would like to join me, but I am in such a dark place, I cant stand to even look at him. Would this help us to find peace again, together? Alone? I am desperately seeking your guidance and hope you are able to give me the peace that I so need.In this episode, Mark and Steve share how this dear woman's story broke their hearts! During their deep addiction years, their wives faced similar situations and they have worked with many spouses over the years who have been deep in this kind of pain. This is called BETRAYAL TRAUMA and it is devastating in SO many ways for women married to sex/porn addicts—especially addicts who lie, hide, gaslight and keep deep secrets for years or decades. Mark and Steve review HOW betrayal trauma impacts spouses and WHY their addict partners NEED to deeply understand, show empathy and HELP HER HEAL!  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
10/3/202333 minutes, 49 seconds
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What is the Difference Between “Codependence” and Authentic Feelings & Boundaries?

There is an old, antiquated psychology model that is unfortunately still referenced by too many people out there regarding how porn/sex addiction impacts a spouse/partner. That old model is called, "Codependency." For many years, Mark and Steve have practiced a far more effective and correct model and approach known as, "Betrayal Trauma." A PBSE listener who is the partner of a porn/sex addict, sent in a situation and questions around the misguided use and even "weaponization" of the term "codependency." Here is what she submitted—"I recently showed my partner the episode titled “my partners definition of porn is different from mine” with the purpose of highlighting things like priorities and the authentic self. This was prompted because my partner has not been watching explicit videos, but was on tiktok listening to an adult content creator describing the physical aspects of one of the scenes she filmed; I brought this up with him to create a boundary around things that are overtly sexual as I feel they overlap with aspects of his pornography addiction. After he listened I asked him what he found valuable from the podcast and he said “the part about codependency” implying that my behavior was codependent because I was expressing that something made me uncomfortable and asking him to discuss possible solutions with me. Now whenever I talk to him about any negative feelings I have surrounding his behaviors he immediately says I’m being codependent. I looked through your podcasts for an episode on partner codependency but did not find one. I am hoping you guys could discuss what the difference between codependency and feelings or boundaries are; both so I can evaluate my own actions and behaviors and so my partner can hear it defined more clearly. I am fine taking accountability for codependent behaviors, but I do not want to be in a situation where all of my feelings get labeled as codependent."In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about the differences between so-called, "codependency" and the expressing of authentic feelings and the holding of healthy boundaries.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
9/26/202332 minutes, 27 seconds
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How Can a Porn/Sex Addict in Recovery, most effectively project His Authenticity and Higher Self?

In Episode 194, Mark and Steve respond to what may be the most brief situation and question ever submitted to PBSE. It comes from a sex addict trying to reconcile with his partner. Here's his submission—"How can I reconcile my infidelity and my care for women’s rights? My wife says that I’m lying to myself, but I feel like I do care about #metoo. Like, wtf???"In this episode, Mark and Steve get raw and real about HOW a porn/sex addict in recovery can most effectively project his authenticity and higher self to his partner. First, Mark and Steve talk about "obstacles"—Obstacles:-  Lack of trust-  Lack of empathy-  Caught in victim mode-  Lack of accountability for the past or future commitments-  Unwillingness to collaborate-  Lack of shame resiliency-  Ego Defense Mechanisms (Pride, stubbornness, machismo, ego)-  Incorrect paradigms surrounding sexuality, connection, etc. -  Addict/Survival Resistance mentalityThen they talk about the "solutions"—Solutions:-  Actively seeking and developing trust-building experiences-  An openness to other paradigms and ways of doing things (input from a spouse, therapist, group members, friends, etc)-  Practicing and growing in active account-ability and response-ability-  Developing vulnerability and mindfulness-  Practicing & developing self-worth and confidence-  Sobriety-  Consistent follow-through and change in working to fix cultural and cognitive distortions regarding sexuality, connection, etcLearn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
9/19/202336 minutes, 49 seconds
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What is “His” Role and “Her” Role in Rebuilding Trust?

In Episode #193, Mark & Steve talk passionately about a super-crucial part of addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing—rebuilding trust! This episode was created in answer to the following situation sent in by a sex/porn addict actively seeking recovery and yearning to rebuild trust with his partner—"Hello, I have been listening for a few months now and have a question. A little back story, I have been as far as I know addicted to sex/porn for most of my life (about 30 years). Until recently when I have been trying to do something about it by understanding it and the underlying issues. About two three years ago is when I had an affair (no sexual contact, but flirting and hiding everything). Wife found out about it and it’s been downhill ever since. We have not gone to therapy. We have gotten some books and have been listening to your podcasts for a little while. I feel I have made some improvements personally as a result. I guess what I am trying to ask is, when or how long does it take being faithful, open, honest, and committed to her for her to start to trust again? I know that it may take the rest of my life for that to happen. I am in desperate need of help and I don’t know where to go. I do not know who to talk to and I don’t know how to talk to her. My work has a chaplain service, and I talk with them usually every Friday, but I don’t know if it is helping or not. I do not believe that it is helping her at all. I do not believe that she talks with or to anyone about this."Rules for Rebuilding Trust:-  The betrayer is optimally the one leading the charge. It is their primary role to lead out in:Providing accountability about the past.Providing ongoing transparency in all current and future situations.Cultivating, practicing and expressing empathy for the pain of their betrayed partner.Creatively and proactively pursuing both AMENDS and a COMMITMENT–BASED PLAN going forward for how they will go about enacting all of the above.What can the betrayed partner do in the rebuilding of trust?Crazy hard, but being open to the fact that trust is not “all or nothing”—looking for small areas where trust CAN be built. Trust is a “trajectory.” But even in so-called small things, "trust but verify." Active steps to find and catalyze healing on your own end (EMDR, therapy, working a 12-step program, Dare to Connect, etc.)Although trauma is a one-way street, healing in a relationship context is a two-way street. He can hurt you, but he cannot fix you.This is good news–your recovery doesn’t have to be completely dependent on him, particularly from an individual side. When it comes to your own personal healing, you are in the driver's seat! Our whole focus in D2C this month is how “Boundaries” are essential to rebuilding trust. One essential component in recovery and healing is a clear division of response-abilities and roles in all aspects of the relationship. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
9/12/202332 minutes, 45 seconds
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Should I Marry My Porn-Addicted Fiancé or Move On?

We KNOW this is a VERY intense episode title! We decided to tackle this topic because it was submitted by a PBSE listener who is engaged to a porn addict and wants to know if she should proceed or end the relationship. Here's how she describes her situation—"Hi, I really appreciate this podcast and what it offers—as a partner of a porn addict, it gives me valuable insight on what we are both going through. I have been with my boyfriend for 6 years. About 3 years ago, I found out about his addiction and it’s been an uphill battle ever since. All of this has been heartbreaking to say the least and I have been trying to make sense of the deep betrayal and hurt. About three months ago, I finally asked him to put accountability software on his device and regularly talk to an accountability partner. He also has content and website restrictions on his phone. Since then, there have been 3-4 times I’ve found that he has looked up pornography on his device or worked a way around the accountability software. Despite this, I see real progress from him—he was almost 3.5 weeks sober just recently. I believe it happens much less often and genuinely believe he is trying. However, I am defeated because he told me he slipped up again. I have given him so much grace and understanding despite my deep hurt and pain. I am becoming increasingly more frustrated and heartbroken every time this happens. Being with someone for 6 years, I have been ready to get serious and start a life with him. But, every time this happens I feel like we are taking more and more steps backward. How do we end this toxic cycle, reclaim our relationship and finally move forward? Or—do I need to be more realistic and end this relationship, as he is too deep in his addiction? Thank you for any insight."In this episode, Steve shares his own personal relationship story to illustrate that many years ago he and his partner were in a very similar situation! -  Why is it crucial to understand the differences between "reactive/pain-avoiding recovery" and "proactive, leading-out, all-in recovery"? -  What are the "3 Critical Rules" for couples contemplating entering into a life-long committed relationship where one of them is a porn/sex addict?-  Why is it NOT in the best interest and happiness of either individual to enter into a long-term commitment UNLESS certain very specific conditions are willingly agreed to and worked on long BEFORE the final joining takes place?-  Why is it imperative that the partner of a porn/sex addict tell him what he "needs to hear" as opposed to what he "wants to hear"? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
9/5/202331 minutes, 30 seconds
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What Happens when Porn Use/Sex Addiction is Blamed on the so-called “Inadequacies” of a Partner?

In Episode 191, Mark and Steve take on what is an extremely difficult and painful topic for the partners of porn/sex addicts. This episode is in response to a PBSE listener vulnerably and transparently describing a very hurtful and traumatic situation and history she is facing with her partner. During their relationship, he has regularly chosen to access porn and other sexual behaviors outside of the loyalty and faithfulness of their committed relationship. When he immerses himself into those destructive behaviors, he tends to “turn the tables” and place blame upon her for his choices. Here’s part of what she expressed—“When he’s not active in his addiction, he’s the sweetest, most open, considerate, really great guy. When he’s active in addiction, everything is my fault. He’s been addicted to porn and sex probably his whole life, and he knows the issues underlying it. Would you please, please do a podcast on how it’s NOT how your partner is not a porn model;  it’s not her behaviors when the addiction has always been there; it’s not right that he blames her and makes excuses for keeping on doing it. And maybe touch on how addicts can fall into self pity? Ugh. Thanks again for all you do. This is the first really applicable podcast I've heard about these issues, and the first place I found in depth descriptions and help. It’s a huge relief. Thank you.”In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real to individuals struggling with porn/sex addiction and to their partners, who too often can be blamed for destructive, betraying behaviors and choices that they did not cause, do not deserve and cannot fix.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
8/29/202323 minutes, 42 seconds
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After My Lying and Gaslighting, My Partner Won’t Believe Me! How Do I Show True Empathy & Rebuild Trust?

In Episode 190, Mark and Steve take on some excellent questions asked by a PBSE listener. He is in good, solid, active recovery from porn/sex addiction and alcoholism. He is doing a LOT of right things and amassing some really good sobriety. But, based on his long history of addiction, lying, gaslighting, etc., she is having a hard time believing that he is doing as well as he claims. Here's part of what he shared—". . .  she doesn't believe it was possible for me to cut back like I claim to have done. Making things worse, [in the past, I lied to her] and hid my porn use. Now I've been sober from porn for about 3 months. Even though it has been less than once a month between September 2022 - March of 2023, she believes it has been and continues to be substantially more. I was gaslighting her as well, which clearly has not helped. She is aware of all my disclosures now, but does not believe me. To add to the mix, she suffers from past trauma, including her upbringing, and prior relationships. So while I am sober now, and have been honest with her, I have an uphill battle to reestablish trust with her. Even in my sobriety, she believes I am still using, including as recently as last week. My sponsors have told me that I cannot control other people, which is correct, but I am wondering how I can go about reestablishing trust with my current partner? How can I learn to be more empathetic? How can I work to put us back on a solid foundation so I can repair the damage that I've done, or at least try to repair the damage? Here are some insights that Mark and Steve offer in this episode—-  What is "true empathy/leaning-in" and how can it help rebuild trust?-  How can an addict in real recovery respond in healthy, connecting ways to a partner that wisely "seeks to trust but verify"? -  In order to rebuild or even establish trust for the first time, a porn/sex addict MUST show forth consistent, authentic "recovery efforts" and "recovery results." How does one in recovery specifically "lead out" in these two areas? How does an addict in recovery embrace and live the motto—"Talk is cheap, show me!"  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
8/22/202332 minutes, 42 seconds
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Boundaries, Trauma and “Long-Distance-Sex”–Where do We Go From Here?

In Episode 189, Mark and Steve answer three critical questions sent in by a PBSE listener who is trying to balance her own healing from sexual trauma and her relationship with a 15-year-porn-addict who refuses to get into recovery.  And he insists on a long-distance, "digital/cyber" sexual relationship. Here's her situation—"My partner and I are long distance. He has been a porn addict for the last 15 years and due to unrelated circumstances, refuses to get into formal recovery right now, although he has been clean for a little over 2 months. I have a long history of sexual abuse and and often suffer a form of sexual anorexia. The last time we had a conversation about him getting into recovery, I set a boundary around being sexual and said if he wasn’t willing to do even the smallest things for recovery then I wasn’t comfortable with being sexual. Right away he refused to abide by the boundary and continued to shove inappropriate conversations and jokes in my face, fully knowing it triggers me. Because of my past with sexual abuse, this feels worse than the addiction itself and we are having trouble navigating. He is annoyed that we have no sexual relationship (even through words) and it seems like he’s not able to understand my side of the story and doesn’t care to. Do I need to address my sexual trauma first? Is my boundary unfair? And how are we able to have a healthy sexual relationship from a distance without him being in formal recovery?"In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real in answering there 3 questions—-  Do I need to address my sexual trauma first?- Is my boundary unfair?- Are we able to have a healthy sexual relationship from a distance without him being in formal recovery?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
8/15/202338 minutes, 15 seconds
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Will Confronting my Addict’s "Acting-Out Partners" Help Me Heal?

Episode 188 addresses a PBSE Listener's painful situation and heart-felt, crucial questions:"Hi Mark and Steve, Firstly I want to thank you for hearing my previous question about my addict partners "empathy Button" being broken. Your podcast really reiterated that we are on the right track. Our disclosure day was with a Sex Addiction Specialist and we are both in ongoing therapy working through our individual journeys as well as our journey together. Today I have a question geared more towards my head space than his. I mentioned in the past email that his preferred "porn" was interactive messaging and sexting to ex-partners, along with a few physical infidelities with a couple of these women. He openly admitted in the disclosure day that some of the women knew about me but that when he was asked by others, he flat out lied and told them that he wasn't seeing anyone. This was one of the most hurtful parts of his disclosure. I understand that it is not healthy for me to compare myself to these "fantasy" women and while I did start to do that in the beginning I can quickly catch myself when those thoughts arise now. I do though, have one thought that keeps coming back to me—I want these women to know about me! I want him to tell them about me and that I know what they did. I want the ones who don't know about me to also know the truth and I want him to be the one to tell them. Part of the problem though is that we blocked and deleted their numbers and he also deleted his social media in the early stages of our therapy. So now we have no way to contact them. Im struggling to understand why I feel like I need them to know. Am I just being vindictive? Am I being petty? Or am I seeking acknowledgment in a situation that made me feel like I just didn't exist? If he does ever get a chance to tell them, would it even make me feel better? Id love your thoughts on this if you get a chance. Thank you for all that you do."In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about their own personal experiences and their decades-long work with partners in betrayal trauma healing, to answer the critical question—"Will Confronting my Addict’s Acting-Out Partners Help Me Heal?"Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
8/8/202334 minutes, 5 seconds
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What Place Does “Edging” Have or Not Have in Healthy Recovery and Healing a Relationship?

In Episode 187, Mark & Steve take on a topic and question from a PBSE listener that hasn't been specifically addressed on the podcast before. Here's what a listener submitted—"Hi Mark and Steve - long time listener now and I've recommended your podcast many times to others in recovery. Thank you for all you professionalism, vulnerability, and all the resources you've put together! My question today is about so-called "edging" which refers to masturbation without orgasm. There seems to be confusion about whether this behavior is harmful, how or whether it fits into recovery, and how or whether it fits into a committed relationship, even without pornography or fantasy. Would you please share any wisdom you have around this behavior? Thank you for all that you do." -  What is "Edging"? -  How does it apply to various forms of "acting out" in addiction and life?-  How can you step back from "narrow definitions" to focus on the real  keys—Key #1—What is your "true intention"?Key#2—What is the "honest impact" on the individual and couple?Key #3—Does the "edging" behavior move you closer or farther away from what is truly "authentic"  for you as an individual and in your most important relationships?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
8/1/202329 minutes, 31 seconds
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My Partner’s Definition of “What is Porn” is Different from Mine—We are at an Impasse—Now What?!

In episode 186, Mark & Steve address a very difficult and sensitive topic sent in to PBSE by the partner of an addict in recovery—"My husband and I have been in healthy recovery for an extended amount of time. He thinks someone can be objectified whether they have clothing or not, so if he wants to watch a movie where he knows there is a scene with nudity—that has nothing to do with the topic of a movie—as long as HE knows his intent and purpose for watching the movie, it doesn’t break his boundaries of 'relapse/acting out' and isn't even porn to him. I’m dying! He can see how the scenes would upset me, but he won’t call them what they are–PORNOGRAPHY. Is he just in denial? When we have a conversation and I tell him the honest truth, that I want him to choose me/my feelings over the movie, he states he feels like if he has to comply and that diminishes his sense of self and his individuality."Exploration for the Addict in Recovery:-  What is Authenticity? Who I am deep down—the values/attributes that I both possess, and am trying to cultivate and the person I am endeavoring to become?-  This all involves a clear understanding of not just what I value and prioritize, but also how do I take and hold my priorities in a balance? In other words, how do these priorities stack up against one another? Which are “more authentic” and more important than others?-  What are my "hills to die on"? What is authentic, not only for "me" but for "we" as a coupleship? What does "love" really mean to me? What does "giving up something for something better or more" really mean to me? What truly matters MOST to me?Support For Partners Healing from Betrayal Trauma:-  It comes back to your own boundaries, both with your addict partner, but also with yourself. -  In what ways are your spouse’s choices impacting you, and HOW are you holding boundaries? -  Do you have clear consequences in place to keep yourself and/or the relationship safe?-  What does YOUR "optimal environment of healing" look like and HOW can you fight for that in healthy, authentic ways? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
7/25/202335 minutes, 11 seconds
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My Porn/Sex Addict Partner’s “Empathy Button” is Broken! What Can I Do?

The title for Episode 185 may sound a bit strange—"My Porn/Sex Addict Partner’s 'Empathy Button' is Broken! What Can I Do?" Actually, the idea of a "broken empathy button" comes from a PBSE listener who sent us the following situation and plea for help—"I am the betrayed partner of a sex addict and we are around 2 months into our journey at this point—very early days. So far I have to say my partner seems to be doing all the right things and listening to the podcast has somewhat reinforced that for me. I am struggling though to come to terms with the fact that [his] preferred “porn” was sexting and hooking up with past partners. He would have have [multiple] women that he would sext, fantasize over and orgasm too at any one time. There have also been physical infidelities with some of these women, however the majority has been sexual pictures and videos sent via text.""We had our disclosure day 3 days ago and the totality of what had been going on behind my back floored me. I had been told parts, but not everything. I thought I was prepared but I was not. I could see that he felt bad for hurting me but I’m struggling with his lack of empathy towards what he’s done and the effect this has had on me. He has even said himself that his “empathy button” doesn’t seem to exist in the sexual space. He says he loves me and I can see him doing the work in these early days but I know we have a long way to go. Can you please shed some light on why he has no empathy and how we can work on fixing that empathy button. I am really struggling to understand how he is able to switch it off and not think of me and how it will hurt me when he’s acting out."In this episode, Mark and Steve give some real, life-in-the-trenches guidance on what to do when empathy is not present in a relationship—How can the addict-in-recovery develop an ever-deeper empathy? How can the partner seeking to heal from betrayal trauma set and hold healthy boundaries and have her needs met? How can the coupleship seek the path of "collaborative empathy"? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
7/18/202330 minutes, 15 seconds
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How can we Connect When My Partner Acts Out and Then Goes to Shame—Silent, Stoic and Self-Absorbed?!

In Episode 184, Mark and Steve respond to a PBSE listener's situation and question. This is a VERY common situation that MANY partners describe who are struggling under the heavy burden of Betrayal Trauma—"My husband acts out & then completely turns inward about how awful of a person  he is & in turn I feel like he pushes me away. How do I as a partner in betrayal react to this? His silence & ignoring me makes me so angry. I know that the opposite of addiction is connection & my husband has said this to me as well. How are we supposed to connect when he is so self-absorbed in his own shame?" -  Why is this situation SO common? It has to do with "legitimate needs" that an addict seeks to fill and also seeks to deal with shame, BUT in "unhealthy, inauthentic, destructive" ways. Nearly always, the addict learned to do this by what was "mentored" or "mirrored" to him through family, peers, the culture, religion, etc. -  WHY can addicts often enter into the "Victim Role" where they go stoic, silent, detach, disconnect, escape, pull away, etc? What are they hoping to gain? What needs are they hoping to fill? How is this a strategy to "cope with shame"?-  How can an addict in recovery break free from these old dysfunctional, disconnecting strategies?-  How can the betrayed partner shift to authenticity, transparency and vulnerability while also setting and holding healthy boundaries?-  How can a couple shift to a place of "healthy connection" in this crazy hard situation?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services   
7/11/202330 minutes, 47 seconds
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“Clearing Away the Wreckage of Your Past"—Recovery Lessons from Steve’s Metal Detecting Trip

Almost 30 years ago, when PBSE co-founder Steve Moore was 13-years-old, his father was killed in a plane crash. This traumatic event played a big role in Steve developing an addiction to pornography as a young teen. A few weeks ago, Steve traveled to his father's plane crash site to "uncover the wreckage of his past." In this special episode, Steve relates his experience directly to how crucial "uncovering and clearing away the wreckage of your past" is to recovery and healing—-  “Scanning the Surface” sometimes brings insights about what is below the surface, and vice-versa.-  Meditation, or “quiet time” in recovery is easy to under-estimate and/or neglect.-  Exploring the “Physical Avatars”, or examples of trauma/one’s past can be a powerful experience, but should be done cautiously. -  Whatever methods you choose to explore your past, be on the look-out for opportunities for "post-traumatic growth."Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services  
7/4/202330 minutes, 39 seconds
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I Want My Addict Partner to SUFFER; to Feel TERRIBLE like I do! Is that Normal? How Can I Stop this Feeling?!

In Episode 182, Mark and Steve respond to a very authentic, vulnerable and VERY direct question from a PBSE listener—"Can you address this question on your podcast?  I want my partner to suffer the same hurt as he inflicted on me. I actually want him to feel terrible. Why do I feel this way. How can I stop feeling this way? "-  What does "Betrayal Trauma" look like and feel like when you are the partner of a sex/porn addict?-  Why does Betrayal Trauma feel "crazy;" create "emotional variability;" and even what might seem like a "split personality"?!-  What is "under" all the INTENSE emotions surrounding Betrayal Trauma? How can you move from a "symptoms focus" to addressing the "deep core issues"?-  Is "stopping" the intense feelings of Betrayal Trauma really the best answer? How can you "move through" these feelings to learn, become more authentic, create and hold boundaries, establish your own support system and sources of health and wellbeing and "become your own person"?-  If you are an sex/porn addict in recovery or thinking of getting to that place, what valuable insights and lessons can YOU learn from your partner's Betrayal Trauma?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services  
6/27/202330 minutes, 28 seconds
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Evolve from Treating the “Symptoms of Addiction” to a Real & Lasting “Change of Heart & Mind."

In episode 180, Mark and Steve address an insightful inquiry from a porn/sex addict seeking a real and lasting change of heart and mind in his recovery. Here's how he describes his situation—"Hello! I am a recovering porn addict, and I have been listening to your podcast for the past six months or so. I have had a CSAT for the past nine months and started going to 12-step meetings around the same time. The recovery process has been hard, but I have begun to finally uncover some of the needs that I have been trying to meet or ignore by using porn. It has been in some ways exciting to have a better understanding of my insecurities which I have unknowingly been trying to shore up with porn. But now that I have started to pull back the curtain, I’m not sure of the best way to move forward. How can I practically retrain myself to address my insecurities in a healthy way, now that those insecurities have been at least partly revealed? Just the knowledge of how my coping mechanisms are unhealthy and an idea of what a healthy response would be doesn’t actually change my heart or my brain. I can tell myself truths repeatedly and I can set up daily reminders of what would be healthy, but that does not seem to offer much in the way of real heart change. I know this question is very broad and answers may be insecurity/situation specific, but if there are any recommendations for how to really internalize healthy responses, I would appreciate it. "-  Why do porn/sex addiction “symptoms” seemingly get all the attention and focus? -  What is the difference between treating addiction “symptoms” and uncovering and healing the “core causes/issues” and why does this matter?-  How does all of this relate to “co-dependencies” and relying on the “external” to soothe the “internal”? -  Why can addicts in recovery become burned out, complacent, disillusioned and give in to the so-called “inevitability of addiction relapse”? -  How does an addict in recovery move from “sobriety” to a “real and lasting change” of mind and heart?  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services  
6/20/202328 minutes, 9 seconds
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Should I Pay Off My New Spouse's "Porn Debt" So We Can Have a Solid Financial Start?

We KNOW this episode title sounds crazy! But, many partners of porn/sex addicts face some hard decisions about where to "draw boundaries" as they try to navigate the relationship moving forward. In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a PBSE listener's genuine concerns and questions about discovering her new spouse has tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt as a result of his years of online addiction. She accurately refers to this as "financial infidelity" on top of all the other aspects of infidelity. Does she offer to use her hard-earned savings to pay off that debt so they can "start their marriage" on a solid financial footing? Or does she set and hold healthy boundaries and accountability—and what does that even look like?!Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services  
6/13/202333 minutes, 2 seconds
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Is There a “Statute of Limitations” on Feelings, Betrayal Trauma and Disclosure?

In Episode 178, Mark and Steve address an all-too-common situation and question faced and asked by porn/sex addicts in recovery and their partners seeking to heal from betrayal trauma—"Should there be a limit on how long and how many times difficult feelings can be felt, expressed and processed; how long and how many times betrayal trauma can resurface, be confronted and shared; how long before Disclosure cannot be asked for, or additional Disclosures requested? Is there a "statue of limitations" on these things? A PBSE listener—the partner of a porn/sex addict—asked Mark and Steve a lot of questions around these issues:-  Is there a limit on how long the partner of a porn/sex addict can express feelings, struggle with betrayal trauma or seek disclosure?-  Are all these issues things a couple needs to keep proactively talking about?-  Does everyone need to have a full disclosure? I'm not sure if I would even want that!-  When will I know as a partner that I am "OK?"In this episode, Mark and Steve take on these and many more related questions.   Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services  
6/6/202328 minutes, 29 seconds
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How do I Stop Comparing Myself to Porn and His Sexual Fantasies?

In Episode 177, Mark and Steve address a very heart-felt question sent in by a PBSE listener—"My partner recently came clean to me about porn addiction and online disloyalty, as well as checking out my friends. He insists that these other women's appearances have very little to do with his sexual attention towards them, and he wasn't even really attracted to them. He says it was all about the pornographic dynamic he projected onto them. Do you have any episodes that could help me stop comparing myself to them ? I can't help but feel insecure and self hating, and I always struggled with an eating disorder and it's gotten so much worse."What this dear partner expresses is all-too-common in a heavily sexualized and body-image-centered culture and is only highly magnified when porn and sexual addiction are "heaped on top of it all."Mark and Steve get raw and real about HOW to break free from the psychological devastation of "body/sexual comparison." They have some really crucial insights for porn/sex addicts who are trying to break out of creating an "environment of comparison." And they have some compassionate and practical solutions to help the partners of addicts live an authentic, confident, boundaried way of life.   Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
5/30/202328 minutes, 22 seconds
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If “Sex is Optional,” How can a Couple Possibly Stay Connected?!

In this episode Mark and Steve address a super common question—if "sex is optional" in a relationship, then how can a couple possibly stay connected?!  This question actually came in recently from a PBSE listener. Here's how she asked it—"Hi, I’ve been binge listening to your podcast for a few days now to try to understand my partner’s addiction. I have been able to take away a ton of great stuff, but I have a question. You often say that sex is optional. I think I understand the sentiment, but is it truly reasonable that a couple can sustain a relationship without physical connection for the rest of their lives?"-  Yes, it IS possible for sex to be optional in a relationship!-  Sex is "part" of physical connection, NOT the "be all, end all." -  A couple can be "sexual" while not achieving "intimacy." -  In the "True Art of Intimacy," there are 8 areas of intimacy, only one of which is "sexual." -  We can build a relationship based on sex and hope that the rest of our intimacy follows—OR—we can first build an emotionally-intimate/vulnerable relationship and allow the physical side of the relationship to "reflect" and naturally flow from the emotional intimacy foundation. -  What does "sex" and other forms of physical intimacy "mean" and represent for you in your relationship? If sex were to be removed from the relationship would your overall connection and intimacy still be fulfilling; would it be enough? Why or why not? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
5/23/202325 minutes
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How Can We Avoid the Traps and Pitfalls of Addiction Recovery and Betrayal Trauma Healing?

Episode 175 finds Steve and his wife on vacation on the island of Hilo in Hawaii. Hilo is the site of an actual "active" volcano. While there, they observe that there are limited "solid footpaths" around the volcano and a LOT of areas of "thin crust" where the lava is flowing one or two inches below the surface! The surface "looks" solid, but step on it and BAM! you plunge through the crust and into the molten fire! In this episode, Mark & Steve take the Hilo location and terrain and create an analogy: —How do we "walk out onto the thin crust" in addiction recovery, betrayal trauma healing and our relationship?—How do we ignore or refuse to see the "lava-core-issues" under the "thin-crust-symptoms" of addiction and betrayal? —What do "solid ground" and "experienced guides"  look like in healthy recovery and healing? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
5/16/202325 minutes, 8 seconds
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What Keeps us Stuck in Addiction and What Does “Real” Recovery Look Like?

The partners of sex/porn addicts can find it difficult or near impossible to discern whether or not their partner is still "stuck in addiction" or in actual "real recovery." Here's how a PBSE listener describes this frustrating, painful experience—1 year ago, iIfound my husband of almost 25 years has been addicted to porn our whole marriage and he had racked up  tens of thousands in debt that included monthly subscriptions for Viagra, for cam girls and gambling. He has struggled with ED for the last 10 years and always gaslit me into thinking it was“I made him nervous” about performing. I begged him to tell me what was going on, but he denied all. I have known about his porn use but did not know anything about PIED [porn-induced erectile dysfunction] and had no idea he was depending on Viagra to be able to have sex with me. For a while after D-Day [disclosure day] he was able to perform without Viagra, but the last 6 months , we are back to ED. He denies using porn. But besides listening to your podcast, he has done nothing for true recovery. No program, no groups, no CSAT , no disclosure, etc. He says has not slipped once with porn or masturbation but i find it hard to believe this “white knuckling” approach is that successful. He just admitted this year to being molested by a neighbor boy at a young age, but refuses to talk to anyone other than me. His parents knew about it but never discussed it. I believe this is why he struggles with being emotionally unavailable and has used porn to numb his pain. He has gotten emotional once with me, but mostly is closed off to emotion. I know he needs to be the one to decide to truly lean into recovery. But since you are the ONLY people he listens to, can you do a podcast on what true recovery is - that it’s not just avoiding porn. I don’t want to leave him - but I’m pretty sure I’m standing in the middle of a volcano that will eventually explode again without help. Thank you for being the one guidance we have. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about what keeps us stuck in addiction and what REAL recovery actually looks like. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
5/9/202328 minutes, 53 seconds
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What Happens When we “Weaponize” What Could be “Healthy Boundaries”?

Healthy Boundaries are CRITICAL to our individual happiness and authenticity—AND—to our connection as a couple. But when we're not experienced with setting and holding healthy boundaries and/or we've spent our lives "going along to get along," it can be all-too-easy to "weaponize" what could otherwise be healthy boundaries—sabotaging our own authenticity and and connection in our couple-ship.This episode is in response to a situation sent in by a PBSE listener—My husband starting reading " No More Mr Nice Guy" which was referred to him by his 12-Step sponsor. Now he says his"boundary" is going to Jiu Jitsu 2 times a week which is during bedtime with the kids. I said I am ok with one, but not two, especially on Mondays which are really challenging. He responds that his needs are important and he can no longer back down because then he is compromising his self care time. [He goes on to state] that his needs are also to receive love and me pursuing him romantically.  (Even though he continues to act out [in his addiction] every 2 months or so for the past 3 years.) How do I respond? Aren't boundaries to help a relationship thrive? This does not feel that way.In episode 173, Mark & Steve talk about boundaries—healthy vs. toxic—and HOW these boundaries can be "weaponized." They also discuss HOW to find a place of "collaboration" and "balance" between individuals in a coupleship.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
5/2/202327 minutes, 37 seconds
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“Normal Human Attraction” vs. “Toxic/Betraying Lust”?

In Episode 172, Mark and Steve tackle a topic that is extremely difficult, triggering and traumatizing for the partners of porn/sex addicts and even for the addicts themselves—the line between "attraction and lust." This episode is in response to a situation and questions submitted by a PBSE listener—Hi Mark and Steve, The PBSE podcast really has been such a Godsend helping inform my husband and I of the possibility of hope and healing. We had our 4th D-day a few months ago, but in some ways it was the very first, as we finally have acknowledged the impact my husband's porn addiction has had on our marriage (4 years married) and the damage "ignoring it" has done. We are really starting to experience some great progress even after a few months of fighting for genuine connection. My question, however, is this: why do men often struggle with the concept of monogamy? My husband and I really struggle to see eye to eye, as he seems to believe that men are wired to notice and be drawn to the physical bodies of other women. He also believes that, then, monogamy is a choice to live the best way God intended and to choose to not act on those desires, and it will be a constant battle with temptation. He does not see a day in the future when he will not value and be curious about female specific body parts on others, even after recovered from porn addiction. Is this the porn addiction speaking? Or is there an element of truth to this? This is so outside of my own experience of sexuality as a woman, and I am really challenged to see a future with someone who will always prize female sexualized body parts—mine, but also the general public, and see that as normal. I have loved the episodes that have touched on public encounters/experiences and making a plan with your spouse for areas that could be challenging. However, I would love to hear this facet answered on the PBSE podcast if you'd be willing. Thank you so much.Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
4/25/202329 minutes
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What can I do about “Random ED Symptoms” in Sexual Intimacy with my Partner?!

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a VERY common challenge among those struggling with porn/sex addiction AND also common for addicts in recovery. The discussion in Episode 171 is in response to a question from a PBSE listener—Hello, I’m an addict in recovery. I’m in good solid recovery I listen to multiple podcasts a day I go to therapy once a week, im working on an empathy workbook in my free time and trying really hard. I’ve been free from porn for 60 days. Since d day I had one slip up about 25 days in where I was watching YouTube videos I shouldn’t have. My wife found this out on her own. And this is after we had been really starting to get intimate and recover together. Since that day I haven’t acted out in any way. I’m really struggling with weird symptoms of random ED with my wife which makes her question my recovery but I don’t have an explanation for this. So when this happens I overreact and get mad and depressed so then it makes it seem even more likely I’m acting out, but I am not. I don’t know what to do in this situation. How am I in good recovery and this is happening? Why can’t I be vulnerable in those situations and try to work through it with my wife. Why is this happening? -  What are some of the potential causes of ED?-  How are physical health issues, mental health issues and emotional issues involved?-  How does an individual's "Arousal Template" play a factor in this?-  How can the addiction recovery process contribute to struggles with ED? -  How pairing "emotional connection" with "sexual connection" is part of answer. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
4/18/202324 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why are Sexual Boundaries Critical for a truly "Connected Coupleship"?

Once an addict starts into recovery and his partner begins her journey of healing betrayal trauma, a couple should immediately look at the difficult but essential work of SETTING BOUNDARIES. Why? Because the most connected relationships are BOUNDARIED RELATIONSHIPS! The first priority is to set boundaries that create "safety" in the relationship. Without safety, what every couple desires—intimacy (into-me-you-see)—is not possible. Among the most important boundaries establishing safety are SEXUAL BOUNDARIES. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
4/11/202330 minutes, 24 seconds
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As a Partner in Betrayal Trauma, I Feel Resentment Toward my Addict Partner. How do I Manage this?!

In episode 169, Mark and Steve address a very raw and real scenario and question from the partner of a porn/sex addict. As a partner trying to heal from Betrayal Trauma, she feels a lot of resentment toward her addict partner who is in recovery and she wants to know HOW to process through these very legitimate feelings—Hi! I would love to hear a discussion of the effect of resentment on the partner in recovery. My husband and I have been married for 19 years. D-Day was 15 months ago, and since then my husband has been sober and began to enter into recovery. He attends SA and I attend SAnon. We both have been working with therapists individually. I listened to your episode on resentments several times because so much of what you said resonated with me. I too experienced the hurricane of my husband's moods and lived on egg shells for years, never knowing the true reality of addiction he was in. In those years, the resentments were really difficult to live with and I think I numbed them out and focused on raising our kids. However, I find [that my] resentments that creep out as we navigate recovery hurt so much more as I am feeling them all deeply in my soul and whole being. Could you address resentments from a partner's perspective, the boundaries needed and any tips for navigating recovery when relationship setbacks seems so consequential and painful. Thank you so much- I am learning so much from your podcast.-  The bravery, resilience and love of partners suffering from Betrayal Trauma is AMAZING!-  Addicts are not the only ones who struggle with resentments!-  The legitimate, understandable reasons WHY the partners of addicts find resentments bubbling up inside their hearts and minds. -  HOW to face these resentments and process them/move forward in healthy ways—what is the role of the partner AND the role of the addict on this journey?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
4/4/202321 minutes, 33 seconds
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How a lifetime of “Communication Trauma” can prevent “Healthy Connection” in the Here and Now.

We have all suffered from "communication trauma" in our life experiences! This can too easily get in the way and/or sabotage healthy communication and connection in our current relationships. Here's how a PBSE listener expressed the challenge she is having with her partner who is an addict in recovery—Hi. I was wondering if you could do a podcast on communication. My partner is a recovering sex addict and he has a hard time with communication and working on fixing issues that come up because he basically freezes and doesn’t know what to say. With years of verbal abuse from an old employer, plus the life of addiction that he’s battled- he learned to not argue or say anything to avoid confrontation. This becomes a battle for me as I’m really trying hard to work on communicating with him and making it a priority for myself. This is something we are battling and I don’t want to lose out on what is an amazing relationship (even with the addiction) just because we can’t communicate effectively. Even simple things as asking for help with something he’s struggling with can be to much, and then he’s just angry because he’s struggling but won’t reach out to me and it causes conflict.-  What are the potential "causes" of Communication Trauma?-  What is the first step to shifting into healthy communication styles?-  Why finding "safe" people to share with is CRITICAL!-  How to begin daring to engage in the SCARY process of "Collaborative Confrontation/Conflict."-  What are some simple "healthy communication" tools and strategies? -  How to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
3/28/202320 minutes, 13 seconds
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The “Fallacy of Fairness”—Why I Cannot Stand Up For Myself with my Partner

In this episode,  Mark & Steve address a PBSE listener's question about WHY she has trouble standing her ground, having a voice, speaking her truth and holding boundaries with her porn/sex addict partner. She is suffering from a very common "thinking error" known as the "fallacy of fairness." Too often, we base whether or not we ourselves or our partner has an "equal voice at the table" at where we or they are with regard to our "moral standing;" our "rightness in the relationship;" our past behaviors and other factors. We become trapped and stuck in the "fallacy of fairness" and the relationship is unable to move forward—whatever that may mean.  In this episode, Mark & Steve will teach you HOW to recognize this thinking error and HOW to evolve out of it WITHOUT giving up or violating one another's boundaries. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
3/21/202327 minutes, 16 seconds
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W/hat Does a Formal, Full “Disclosure” Look Like?

In this episode, Mark and Steve review what is an often mismanaged or overlooked “critical” part of porn/sex addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing—the “Formal Disclosure Process.” -  How NOT to do a disclosure:  go-it-alone; “wing it;” engage in “staggered disclosures;” etc. -  How to PREPARE for a Disclosure–both the addict and the partner-  What the “day of disclosure” looks like-  Critical follow-up to the Disclosure—the “Impact Letter” and “Reconciliation/Amends Process”Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
3/14/202320 minutes, 9 seconds
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Having Trouble with “Couples Check-ins”? Give this a Shot.

   What is a "Couples Check-in" and WHY is it so ESSENTIAL to your relationship success?   What are the BARRIERS to the Couples Check-in?   How to use the "Core Couples Check-in" format to succeed when all else fails!Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
3/7/202321 minutes, 28 seconds
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When it comes to boundaries and consequences in recovery and healing, what is “my side of the street vs. his"?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address what can often be a confusing topic for couples—when it comes to recovery, healing, boundaries and consequences, what is my side of the street vs. his side of the street? How do I know when I've crossed the line?  Here's a question sent in by a PBSE listener about this challenge—Guys, do you have anything to share for those of us unsure of when we should be staying 'on our side of the street'? I'm hearing it but I can't make sense of where the line should be drawn. Do I step way back onto my side of the street and support his efforts even when they seem so base level and even when I sense he's drifting toward relapse? Do I congratulate him while part of me is crying out "so he bloody should"? My understanding is that I can make requests for what would make me feel safe. As in x amount of recovery work. But consequences for that wouldn't be fair on him and would be stepping onto his side of the street? As in if you don't do XYZ then I'll need to distance myself from the relationship or something along those lines. When he's not engaging much with his recovery work, I become very anxious and afraid, and start questioning whether he's up to no good or whether I should leave him. It just feels so necessary to me that he commits himself to recovery if he wants the relationship. Am I understanding right when people say stay on your side of the street then that would mean let him participate in as little recovery as he wants and I can't set consequences around that?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/28/202325 minutes, 5 seconds
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Is all this “Recovery & Healing Crap” really Worth it? Hope for Couples.

Recovery from Porn/Sex Addiction and healing from Betrayal Trauma are HUGE commitments, take a long time and are HARD work. It can be easy in the early to mid stages of that journey to wonder if success is really possible and if all this "crap" we're going through is really worth it! In this episode, Mark and Steve share their personal experiences and the experiences of working with couples all over the world—there is GREAT HOPE and YES it absolutely is WORTH IT! Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/21/202324 minutes, 31 seconds
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Stop Focusing on your "Addiction Symptoms” and Get to your Core Issues!

Too often, those struggling with porn/sex addiction focus primarily on their outward addiction behaviors--the "symptoms" of addiction. Many believe, "Once I get sober, I'll be good to go." While sobriety is crucially important, it is NOT "recovery." If an addict is unwilling to look beyond the addiction behaviors to the deep "core issues" driving their unwanted, destructive behaviors, the "symptoms" will just keep coming back. In this episode, Mark & Steve talk about what these "core issues," how to identify and start working on them. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/14/202321 minutes, 44 seconds
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Is there any “Good” to be Learned from Sex Addiction Behaviors and Betrayal Trauma?

In this episode, Mark & Steve respond to a painful situation sent in by a PBSE listener. Her spouse was caught in an affair, which uncovered 6 years of multiple affairs and other sex addiction behaviors. Her addict spouse has been in dedicated recovery for some time now and in that process he has disclosed something that is enormously hard for her to accept. Here's how she describes it—"What he has shared in his recovery journey is that for the first time, within some of his acting out relationships, he was able to talk openly about his sexuality and find 'acceptance' [and his true sexual identity] within that (and yes, that is hard for me to hear). He can now see that that openness did not lead to true intimacy within those relationships but what he hopes for is that we may be able to move forward and build more openness into our relationship. So I guess that 'piece of himself' he doesn't want to lose is rooted in open communication. I can see some sense in that, but as a betrayed partner it is hard to find a way through, knowing where this has come from. It would feel simpler if he was saying that everything about his addiction was something he wanted to recover from and leave behind."Mark & Steve talk openly about their own experiences with this concept of "finding a piece of ourselves" while engaged in addiction. What does this mean and how in the world can anything "good" come from the "living Hell" that addicts create through their bad choices?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
2/7/202319 minutes, 48 seconds
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My Partner has a Slip with Porn and I go Online to See What He was Looking at! How do I Stop this Painful Behavior?

In this episode, Mark & Steve address a very common "painful" behavior that the partners of porn addicts can often engage in. A PBSE listener sent in a description of her situation:  her boyfriend is currently in recovery for porn addiction and making a lot of great progress. Like nearly all addicts in recovery, he still does have occasional slips back into porn use. He shares these openly with her and then she feels compelled to go to the same websites to view what he was looking at. Here's how she describes her pain—I've found myself spiraling every time it [his slip] happens, and I end up either stalking the accounts of porn stars, models, Only Fans girls, or watching actual porn as a means of comparing myself, and I don't know why I do it. It almost feels comforting but it also sends me further into a spiral. He has a close friend he can confide in, and after a slip up he recovers quickly, and gets back on track, but I often feel stuck in a rut after an incident, and I'm not sure how to break this toxic cycle of comparing myself and looking at the same content he does. What do I do from here? How do I stop? Is there anything else we should be doing as a couple and individually?Mark and Steve address her concerns and talk directly about HOW she can break free from this constantly "re-traumatizing" practice.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/31/202318 minutes, 26 seconds
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If I Don’t Get Angry/Intense When My Partner Slips/Relapses, He Becomes Complacent! How Do I Find a Healthy Balance?

A PBSE listener describes a situation that many partners of addicts face. Here's how she describes it. See if you can relate—My partner has been in recovery for only 3 months now and it was then that I found out about all of the disclosure of his addiction. He has had 2 relapses since then and has been honest about where he is in his recovery. He is in a 12 step program and has expressed that he is struggling with shame, guilt and feeling like a failure. Your podcast is truly helping me recognize I can’t control his recovery and I am only responsible for my own but sometimes the fear and insecurities are overwhelming when he is in these moments because I fear they mean he is going to act out. I know I can’t plan for them happening but I don’t know what the best way to react to him when he is honest about these relapses. I genuinely want to be supportive and I do appreciate him being honest, but I struggle with feeling like by supporting him during those moments mean I don’t have any boundaries and am enabling him by not over reacting during these moments. His relapses haven’t been cheating but because of my own betrayal trauma I am terrified that they are leading up to that. I want to be supportive to his addiction and also give him a safe space to share when/if slips happen but I don’t know the heathy or best route to take when he does disclose these moments to me.-   Mark and Steve share personal examples of how this was in their marriages. -  Very common for Spouses to ask this question/balance on this tightrope–What response has the best chance of him continuing to take his recovery seriously?-  Responding to his inauthenticity with your own inauthenticity/control is not helpful!-  How long will your “control/making him change,” carry him in his recovery?-  Compulsion vs. Conversion in recovery-  Be a “clear window” and a "mirror" to him–that is AUTHENTIC!-  PUT IT BACK ON HIM as opposed to constant “outside pressure” as his motivation, which keeps him IMMATURE in his recovery! -  Anger and control keeps the focus OFF OF HIM and drains you of all the energy that YOU NEED FOR YOUR OWN HEALING! -  An addict that is not taking this seriously does not deserve you taking it seriously! You can’t care more than he does!  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/24/202321 minutes, 21 seconds
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What if I Marry an Addict in Recovery and Down the Road He Stops Choosing Recovery? Is there a “Safe Zone” to Prevent This?

This episode is in response to a situation shared with us by a PBSE listener. She is currently engaged to a guy in his mind twenties who has struggled with porn addiction since age 9 or 10 and other more severe forms of sexual addiction in later years. He IS in active recovery; seeing a therapist; working a program and has 160 days of sobriety—the longest in his life. Here's her questions—My fear is that while he's committed to recovery right now, this might not always be the case, especially if his brain is so tightly wired this way. Although I hate this reality I'm told that slips will almost inevitably happen. I am so scared though that one day he might stop choosing recovery and a relapse will happen. Even worse, that he might physically act out since a) he's also a love addict and b) his addiction had escalated to visiting prostitutes before we met. So although he hasn't to my knowledge had sex with others while we've been together, I'm afraid that he could easily slip back into this.My question I guess is; is there some kind of safe zone? Have you heard of many men kicking their sex addiction for many years and then just doing a complete flip where they get tired of fighting it and just stop choosing recovery? Does that happen often We understand that addiction is for life and that he'll always need to be in recovery. And right now he's very committed to that. I'm just so sacred that I'll start a family with him and that once he feels safe that I'm locked in and by then a little bored of my body, that he'll stop choosing recovery and return to sneaking these old habits on the side.To address these questions, Mark and Steve draw upon their own personal experiences with marriage and recovery and that of many clients over the decades. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/17/202329 minutes, 15 seconds
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How do I Forgive Myself after Betraying my Wife for 18 Years?!

Here's a raw, heart-felt submission from a PBSE listener—Hello Mark and Steve, I am a recovering porn addict and the grateful husband of the listener whose question about foreboding joy you answered in episode 107, “How Can I Ever Dare to Trust Him Again?” If you have time, I would be grateful for your insights on the two questions below. I tried to provide context without becoming too long-winded.I really connect with everything in episode 149, “As a Porn/Sex Addict in Recovery, How Do I Let Go of Deep Feelings of Shame & Unworthiness?” I am working hard on, and making progress with, my feelings of worthlessness in my therapy sessions and through fellowship in SAA. I believe I can change. I believe that my wife deserves an improved, authentic and integrated man. I am grateful that I have a new life, but I’m not sure that I feel like I deserve this new life. The last part of the listener’s message really hits me hard, “even if she forgives me, I’m not sure my self-worth would allow me to accept it.” This is the situation I am in right now. My wife forgave me after my 9th Step amends to her last year. But how can I forgive myself for my betrayal of her before I have given her at least 18 years of my authentic, integrated, sober self?In our recent couples’ therapy session, our CSAT told my wife that “John is proud of his sobriety of 20 months,” but I struggle to feel proud. I feel happy, grateful, encouraged, and hopeful, but not proud. How can I feel proud that I have now done the minimum basic expectation of being faithful for 20 months when I betrayed her for 18 years?In this episode, Mark and Steve address these great questions and the dilemma that many married addicts face! Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/10/202329 minutes, 36 seconds
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After Our Long Addiction and Betrayal History, We Now Live Like “Married Singles.” How Can We Get the “Chemistry & Spark” Back?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a "couple's issue" that is unfortunately all-too-common:  In the wake of addiction and betrayal trauma, the relationship grows stale, becomes ambivalent and indifferent—it feels like the spark and chemistry are very low or even gone.Here's how one PBSE listener describes this situation—As a betrayed partner (married 30+ yrs), my concern now is that since my partner has demonstrated first order change I cannot seem to establish a cohesive bond & I don’t feel the chemistry or connection to him as I once did. Sex went away 7 yrs ago when he had relapsed and we went through many separations/ disclosures/ therapy. Now we live “parallel lives”(under the same roof) trying our best not to violate reasonable boundaries. We have common interests, no resentments, but no chemistry or spark. I accept him for who he is & I appreciate him as a friend and father of our grown children and we both have separate careers. I want to move on (which I have brought up many occasions) however he is very opposed to the idea which I believe is tied to his very strict religious upbringing. I am seeking your perspective on partners who like me have worked through the tougher parts and are ready to say “it is finished.” My partner creates such a guilt trip for even entertaining the idea of a permanent separation. I sense I may be on my own in this endeavor which again is a traumatic place to be. He runs two groups for men in sex addiction and I work with addicts & partners ironically. Thanks in advance for all you guys are doing and for such an incredible podcast.  PS: We are not at the divorce juncture (or maybe me more than him) but the point of my question was to address the “ambivalence” that a partner feels and to get some validation. Wish you both a very warm and wonderful holiday.Mark and Steve talk raw and real about HOW to get the "chemistry and spark back" after years or decades of addiction and betrayal trauma. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
1/3/202330 minutes, 7 seconds
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Is 2023 already “Ruined” Due to His Destructive Sexual Behaviors over all the other years?!

As we look at moving into a new year, many addicts in recovery and spouses healing from betrayal trauma, wonder if their year and experience will ever be "normal" again. Will they ever be able to go to the beach or a BBQ or pool party ever again without one or both being triggered? Can we watch any movies other than G-rated without the risk of something sexual popping up? How can 2023 be any different with all the preceding years of "horrible history."In this episode, Mark and Steve get "practical" about HOW to make the Holidays and all of 2023 a positive, hopeful, connecting experience even with the "history" looming in the background.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/27/202220 minutes, 34 seconds
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How to be the proactive “Architect” of your Holidays and 2023—as opposed to the same old “Reactive Firefighter.”

If we're not mindful and proactive, addiction and betrayal trauma can turn our Holidays into constant "fires" that we run around putting out. Instead, how can we become the proactive "architects" of our Holidays and of 2023? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/20/202224 minutes, 8 seconds
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Does it Take a “Catastrophe” to Break Out of Addiction? And, Should I Disclose to My Partner?

We recently received a VERY raw, vulnerable and transparent communication from one of our PBSE listeners who is struggling with porn addiction and has some very pointed questions. Here are some excerpts of what he sent us—I have been battling with porn and sex addiction off and on for the better part of 25 years. In my younger years, I was able to break free of it . . .  Now, a number of years later, I think I am in a full blown addiction that is spiraling out of control.  When I look at people’s "quitting stories" out there, it always seems that there is some catalyst that forces the change (ie spouse finds out, loss of relationship, job complications, etc). I have none of those. I only have a desire to change and the feeling that I’m spiraling toward some catastrophic event like that in the future. Do you think that lasting change is possible without some catastrophic catalyst to anchor that change to?Second question—To my knowledge, my wife does not know about my habits. She might suspect something is weird in our relationship and she definitely feels the disconnect in our relationship. I know I feel it. If she doesn’t already know, I see no reason to break that news to her. I see no reason to further distance her with that information when my goal is to ultimately bring her closer. Is it possible to break free of this without ever disclosing these things to her? I don’t necessarily want to fight this alone but I also don’t want to put her through the heartache of this when she has been through so much already. It would devastate her. I just want to fix this problem and move forward.In this episode, Mark and Steve tackle these two questions head-on! Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/13/202228 minutes, 53 seconds
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How to Raise Sexually Healthy Kids and Help Those Already Struggling

Mark & Steve rarely address issues with kids and teens on PBSE podcast. However, two PBSE listeners submitted questions in this area. One is in addiction recovery and wants to know HOW to help his three young children (one more on the way) grow up to be sexually healthy adults who are not "set up" for addiction. The other listener, also in recovery, has a 16-year-old son who recently admitted to being caught up in porn since age 12. How can he best help his son? In this episode, Mark and Steve offer some straight-forward advice on HOW to raise sexually healthy kids and help those already struggling. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/6/202224 minutes, 42 seconds
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Now that I know about my addict partner’s past sexual behaviors, I don’t want to have sex with him!

This PBSE episode comes from a very bold, but authentic situation and question from one of our listeners—I am a betrayed spouse and just listened to Episode 37, “I’m not Sexually Attracted to my Partner.” I was so hoping you would also be dealing with the betrayed spouse’s feelings of not being attracted to their partner. Because that’s where l am. After 24 years of absolutely no sex or sexually intimate connection at all, now that he’s recovered, he’s interested in me sexually and emotionally. But l have no interest in him sexually any more. After living with the knowledge of what he was doing with his penis for 24 years, l don’t even want to see it, let alone have it near me. So now what? Thanks and sure hope you answer this.Mark & Steve take on this topic directly—raw and real!Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about why his porn use is NOT your fault—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-fault
11/29/202229 minutes, 39 seconds
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What Can You Do When Your Partner Will Not Acknowledge They Have a Porn Problem?

In episode 150, Mark & Steve tackle a situation submitted by a PBSE listener—Her partner of 3 years came forward and admitted to her that he's been hiding his porn use from her their entire relationship. He was humble, willing and indicated that he would get help and do whatever it takes to break out of this. Then, a short time later, he made a 180 degree turnaround and blamed all of it on her, telling her that there's nothing wrong with porn and it's all her issue! To say she was blindsided, confused and traumatized would be an understatement! Here's her question—What do you do as the partner of someone who has not accepted or fully acknowledged if they have a problem? Is there anything that I can do?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about why his porn use is NOT your fault—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-fault
11/22/202225 minutes, 19 seconds
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As a Porn/Sex Addict in Recovery, HOW do I Let Go of Deep Feelings of Shame & Unworthiness?

In episode 149, Mark & Steve reach out to an addict in recovery who expressed some very deep feelings and meaning questions—Hi Mark and Steve, I love your podcast and have learned a ton from your experiences! Thank you for all that you do for the SA recovery community! I'm a betraying partner in recovery from porn and sex addiction. I've been working with a CSAT for 10 months and engage in separate therapy and accountability groups each week. My wife and I completed a therapeutic disclosure 4 months ago and just started couples' counseling this week. I struggle with a deep feeling of worthlessness that manifests in many areas of my life - being afraid of failure, perfectionism, and having trouble accepting affirmation even from fellow people in recovery. My question is: What steps can I take to overcome that feeling of worthlessness? My partner and I explored EFT (Hold Me Tight) months ago and agreed that it was not the time to discuss forgiveness. Even if she forgave me, I'm not sure my self-worth would allow me to accept it.-  Where do feelings of "worthlessness" come from?  A distorted view of one’s identity!-  What does being an "addict" mean to you?-  Is addiction an "identity" or one of many attributes?-  Do you believe you can change?  Do you deserve change? Do you deserve Something better?-  What part does "spiritually" play in all of this?-  What is my identity/place in the universe? -  What is my TRUE potential for growth and change?-  What do I have to contribute to the world?-  How can "parenting your inner child" help you break the bands of worthlessness? -  Are you willing to allow your partner to choose you or reject you on their terms, rather than making assumptions and deciding for them?-  Are you practicing "vulnerability" in your relationships with self and others?  Why or why not?  What do I need to do to resolve these obstacles?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article with some practical tips on HOW to STOP watching porn—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/how-can-i-stop-watching-porn
11/15/202225 minutes, 27 seconds
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Steve's Lessons Learned in Successful Recovery!

This is a special podcast and the first of its kind here at PBSE. In this episode, PBSE Co-Founder Steve Moore, goes “solo” and talks raw and real about how, in October, he celebrated 8 years of total sobriety from porn and sex addiction! Steve shares the incredible recovery lessons he’s learned along the way and HOW you can be SUCCESSFUL! Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article with some practical tips on HOW to STOP watching porn—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/how-can-i-stop-watching-porn
11/8/202222 minutes, 51 seconds
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My Addict Spouse Can’t Help His Bad Behaviors Because He is “Powerless”—Right?

In this episode, Mark & Steve respond to a spouse's heart-felt description of the EXTREMELY traumatizing situation with her addict partner. Her words JUMPED out at Mark & Steve and they have a LOT to say to her and her partner!!!  Here are the words she sent in to PBSE—I have been married to my husband for 10 years. We have 2 young children and I have been aware of my husbands addictive sexual behavior for several years. We have had many D days, a few breakdowns from both of us, broken promises, attempts at counseling with no consistency. The behavior seems to ebb and flow. It is typically pictures, videos, texts but has gotten physical in the past. He is now involved physically with someone, this was discovered by me. His initial reaction was that he is not able to feel ‘happiness’ , is always searching, and this physical relationship is a result of acting out via texting that grew to more. His words- he has been unable to end this relationship, yet he states he would like to keep our family intact, he loves me and is struggling.  He has not ended this affair, and I am broken pretending for my kids that all is well. I have listened to all of your podcasts. I know this is crazy that I am living this pretend life while he continues with this relationship. It is eating me alive.I understand addicts are powerless over their addictions, he has said many times he is unable to stop and how desperately he wishes to. How can I ‘accept’ this continued affair relationship until he gets good help, knowing he is ‘powerless’ at the same time. If he is truly addicted, then I understand he cannot stop on his own. I just cannot continue to pretend for my kids sake any longer. Thank you for everything you do.Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article on "True Intimacy vs. Sex" in a Marriage Relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
11/1/202231 minutes, 16 seconds
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Because of Trauma from my Addict Partner, I'm Seeing the World Through "His Hyper-sexualized Lens"!

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a very unfortunate, but all-too-common challenge for the partners of porn/sex addicts. Here's how a PBSE listener describes her extreme difficulty with this issue—I feel like I now understand, to a maybe uncomfortable degree, what’s going on in his head when we’re in public and an attractive girl is nearby.Y’all talk about “scanning a room” but, now I feel like I’m the one scanning! I obsessively scan every environment looking for the girls I know he’ll view that way, then I become crippled with anxiety when I see one. After that, I’m full of resentment that this is how I exist in the world now. I can’t even run basic errands, and it happens whether he’s with me or not. I feel like I can’t stop viewing the world around me through his eyes. What does it matter if I’m attractive, if he finds everyone else more attractive? How do I grow myself so that I don’t keep viewing the world through this lens? I am an otherwise very confident person who knows who they are. His obsession with other girls is crippling for me, and as much as I can understand this addiction or understand it’s roots, I cannot seem to get past this. I have a personal therapist, and I’m working on building back my self confidence but it seems like I’m hitting a wall when it comes to shutting off this part of my brain that views the world now through “his” hyper sexualized lens. Thank you so much for any guidance you can provide. He and I are both so grateful for the work y’all do. You truly discuss this topic in a way that no one else does, and it really resonates. Your authenticity is palpable. Thank you!! - MaryLearn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article on "True Intimacy vs. Sex" in a Marriage Relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
10/25/202229 minutes, 54 seconds
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What Role Can/Should a “Polygraph” Play in a Porn/Sex Addict’s “Disclosure” to a Partner?

In this episode, Mark & Steve respond to a PBSE listener's questions about "polygraphs" and their role in Disclosure to a partner—Hi Mark & Steve, I am really enjoying your podcast, and have been in recovery for just over 9 months. I am listening to the podcast in order and am on episode 72, so forgive me if you have covered this topic. My question is regarding polygraphs. I have failed 2 of them and now my wife does not trust a thing I say. I admitted that the first one I took I was being dishonest because I wasn't ready to fully disclose all my past behavior, and felt rushed in the disclosure process. However I scrapped the barrel with my therapist, admitted to everything I could remember from my acting out years, and still failed a second time. I am now being 100% honest, but now my wife does not trust anything I say. It's not looking good for us because of this. I have heard from other men in recovery that they have experienced the same thing, they were truthful yet failed a polygraph. I wonder where you guys stand on this, and if you have any advice for me going forward. I really appreciate all you do. As someone who is not religious and a non believer, I am still able to connect with you guys via this podcast. Thanks.-  Why a polygraph?-  Is it true that polygraphs are not an exact science?- When considering a polygraph, it's important to identify the specific goals/expectations and realistically whether or not the polygraph can actually deliver these.-  In addition to taking a polygraph, what other actions should always be pursued/expected as progressive “evidence” of real change?Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article on "True Intimacy vs. Sex" in a Marriage Relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
10/18/202225 minutes, 10 seconds
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Are the Sexual Practices in Your Relationship “Safe”? How Can You Know?

In this episode, Mark & Steve address a very difficult and painful situation and questions submitted by a PBSE listener. Her spouse has engaged in sexual practices with her where she did NOT give her "consent" and definitely fall under the definition of  "abusive." How can you KNOW with certainty when certain sexual practices in your relationship are "safe" and when they cross the line into the "abusive"?   Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article on "True Intimacy vs. Sex" in a Marriage Relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage  
10/11/202224 minutes, 7 seconds
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I was just “blind-sided” by the shocking details of my husband’s sex addiction! Now what!

I this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a spouse who sent in a CRAZY HARD situation she is facing! Her courage, authenticity and wisdom are very impressive!Hi Mark and Steve! First of all, I just want to say thank you so much for doing these podcasts. I am married for 19 yrs and we are together for 20. I am brand new to this scene. Just found out in the last 3 weeks that my husband has severe sex addiction including Voyeurism, porn addiction, infidelity, and intimacy issues. The only thing he has disclosed to me before heading out to a 2 week intensive retreat just last week was that he was connecting with other women through apps like kik and only talking with another woman. Since he’s been gone I’ve discovered so much more than he was willing to reveal initially. The lengths he has gone to cover up his addiction and infidelity is quite alarming. He has recently gone to the extreme of adopting a dog so he could use her as a cover when creating a “dog” Instagram account and connecting with women through that. He clearly is excellent at lying and manipulating. I think he believes when he returns that he will be staying in our home. However, I will be asking him to live with an extended family member until he can prove that he is trustworthy. My questions for you guys are: -  Have you found that most men come completely clean after going to an intensive retreat for sex addicts? Is it best to do a 3 day intensive disclosure or a 3 month disclosure? I am more of a rip the bandaid off kind of gal so we can then heal already. -  Also, what are the signs I should be looking for to have confirmation that he’s staying away from the porn, cheating, and is committed to his healing and overcoming of his addiction? -  Lastly, should and how can I be holding him accountable without this becoming a full time job and driving myself crazy? Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
10/4/202225 minutes, 9 seconds
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My Husband Acts “Sexually Anorexic”—What Can I Do?!

A PBSE listener sent in a very raw and vulnerable situation and question. Here's what she said— I've heard the term "sexual anorexia" and this describes [my husband] to a tee! I've been binging your podcast recently and it seems you guys are always talking about wives setting boundaries around not having sex until feeling safe, but I have the opposite issue. He never wants to have sex with me. He wants to be in a relationship but I don't think he sees me as a sexual person anymore.He's always trying to stay busy. Work is always an issue. He avoids any romantic situations. He doesn't touch me other than a quick kisses and a hug here and there in the morning and at night. We get along great. Live together and work from home, but no connection, no intimacy and no sex. Literally like friends/roommates. I guess I just feel left out because I listen and it seems to be always the sex starved man and they don't want to be denied sex, but what about the opposite side of the spectrum? I'm going to address our boundaries and therapy again as a last resort.This dear woman is right! There are more situations than people would think where it's the man in the relationship that is not interested in sex. In this episode, Mark and Steve address this very sensitive and often complex issue. Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
9/27/202225 minutes, 45 seconds
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Basic Recovery/Healing Tools, Part Three: Building Your Support System

The Problem—- RECOVERY/HEALING NEVER WORKS IN A VACUUM!- Isolation, in all of its forms, decreases safety, encourages avoidance, feeds addiction and trauma responses, and deepens the issues for both the addict and the spouse. - For Addicts: you cannot put the load of your recovery on your spouse—it will hinder her healing.- For Spouses: the source of your trauma CANNOT be the sole source of your healing. He can’t support you in some ways and to varying degrees, no matter how much you or he may want to!The Solution—- Involving others in the struggle creates a commonality; helps to normalize the situation; provides a needed empathetic and healing space to be with others who “get it”—BECAUSE VERY FEW PEOPLE WILL!- A valuable resource for bouncing off ideas; venting negative emotions or toxicity; reducing reactivity; connecting with authenticity.- A practice arena for how to navigate intimate relationship challenges.In this episode, Mark and Steve also discuss HOW to build your support system. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
9/20/202227 minutes, 32 seconds
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Basic Recovery/Healing Tools, Part Two: The Couples Check-in

The Problem—- Addicts: lack of skillset in connecting; inability to regulate emotional states; lacking insight/empathy into the reality of others; consumed by shame, which overrides other emotions; defaulting to dysfunctional past relationship patterns—“relationship ruts”- Partners: Trauma inhibits the ability to be present to "hear," or to even trust their partner; tension often prevents addressing of difficult subjects; inability or lack of safety to vulnerably share true emotions “on the spot”. A Solution:  The Couples Check-in—Couples Check-ins are the best possible environment for developing successful connection following betrayal outside of a therapeutic setting. Here, we practice every element of connection in a controlled environment, with advance notice and opportunities to prepare for it—eliminating variables that often lead to escalation. We have an opportunity to not just practice, but to set up and follow-up regarding couple's goals, to retool our approaches, to learn one another’s love languages, and to make amends where necessary. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about HOW to do a Couples Check-in; the RULES that should be followed for Check-ins to be authentic, vulnerable, collaborative and even healing; the SPECIFIC GOALS of a Couples "Check-in." Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
9/13/202227 minutes, 38 seconds
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Basic Recovery/Healing Tools, Part One: The Power of Journaling

The problem—  Addicts—tuned out; numbed out; in-denial; lack emotional “wholeness” skills; the opposite of mindfulness is the state of compulsion/addiction; truthful vs. hiding; open vs. isolated; confront vs. escape and avoid; resilient vs. fragile;  reality vs. fantasy; imposter vs. true/higher selfPartners—In survival mode; trying to make it thru the day; intrusive thoughts; difficulty trusting anyone, including themselves; their own internal “gut” is compromised; living reactively rather than proactively; defense mechanisms are compromising their authenticity, which then leads to self-betrayal. An integral part of the solution:  Journaling—- Forces us to slow down and examine before reacting- Crucible for practicing self-examination, authenticity, vulnerability, accountability, etc.,  free from self-judgment and judgment from others.- Preparation tool for connection (i.e., Couples Check-ins)How?- Unfiltered; for your eyes-only; no journaling for "posterity;" not rushed. - A little bit each day is MUCH better than a lot once a week. - Use the S.O.A.P. method to guide your journaling.Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
9/6/202225 minutes, 12 seconds
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Let's Talk "Fetishes"!

In this episode, Mark and Steve tackle a series of questions sent in by a PBSE listener. She and her partner are in good, solid recovery with a therapist and support groups. A major issue that has come up is her partner's long-standing "sexual fetish" which has ties to abuse he suffered as a child. The fetish is often triggered when he sees women in public. Here are the specific questions she has about this issue—-  Is it ok to explore his fetish or could that keep him in his addiction and his struggles with lust?-  If he is 're-creating' his childhood abuse via his fetish, could this be helpful or harmful to him?-  He has a high sex drive. Would abstinence from sex for a while (he HATES this idea) help loosen his attachment to his fetish, and his relationship with lust, fantasy and objectification? I'm scared this fetish could bombard him with urges to watch porn or to fantasize about women in public.In their raw and real style, Mark and Steve take these questions head-on!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
8/30/202225 minutes, 50 seconds
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My Partner Claims He “No longer notices women.” Is that possible?

In this episode Mark and Steve take on an issue that is more common than you might think. A PBSE listener wrote in about her partner who claims that "He no longer notices women because he's had a change of heart." Yet, his behaviors (some of them secret) appear to indicate otherwise. Is it possible for a guy to no longer "notice" any other woman but his partner? Is this even the "right" question to ask? Where should the focus be in real, effective and lasting recovery and in healing betrayal trauma? Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
8/23/202221 minutes, 27 seconds
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Is It Simply "Sex Addiction," or Something More?—Examining the Nuances & Roots of Addiction Behaviors.

In this episode, Mark and Steve tackle a VERY important issue—examining the nuances and roots of addiction behaviors. This is in response to a PBSE listener's question—"I recently discovered my husband hired a prostitute for himself while away on business. Since this discovery it’s come out that my husband was viewing porn and visiting massage parlors with regularity. My question, as we are only about a month into this process, is how do you know if your spouse has a sex addiction versus poor morals/lack of respect for the relationship? Our therapy team is calling these issues sex addiction but the people I trust most in my life question if his behaviors are truly addictive versus behavioral. I’m confused."-  What this PBSE listener describes could definitely be evidence of addictive/compulsive behaviors. However, using their therapy team to consider some other additional reasons for the behaviors would be wise—Is it a single-causation issue, like addiction, or does it include other variables, including but not limited to—- Lack of attachment skills or knowledge base.- History of past dysfunctional/unhealthy relationships.- Styles of attachment modeled by influential figures (male role models, attachment styles between parents, etc.).- How long have these behaviors been going on? Does he have a history of various forms of acting out, or is this a new or rapid-onset problem?- Are there any other pre-existing or co-occurring mental health conditions?- Trauma is one of, if not THE most common root of addiction behaviors—how this plays a role is critical.- In most cases, the case for addiction isn’t completely black and white, and even when it is, understanding it’s true roots, not just the behaviors, is the key to effective treatment. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
8/16/202227 minutes, 39 seconds
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How do “Family of Origin” Issues Impact your Addiction, Recovery and Marriage Relationship?

In response to a PBSE Listener's situation and question, Mark and Steve share some raw and real thoughts and feelings from their own "families of origin."  Here an excerpt from what the PBSE listener sent in—Mark & Steve,It’s been an absolute blessing to have discovered your podcast. My spouse and I listen regularly. To be blunt, Mark, he has said he relates so much with you in particular when it comes to mindset & behaviors of his addiction. And like Steve, he too lost his father too soon, as a teenager (of which he said he was emotionless when it happened. No tears. Just nothing… indifference, despite how much he loved his Dad.)I’m not ignorant to the contribution of my past & family of origin has added to our dynamic. I’m an adult child of a substance use addicted mother and a sex, porn and love addicted father who struggles with narcissistic personality disorder. However, betrayal trauma and being the spouse of a porn & sex addict has been the worst pain I’ve ever felt. It’s been a slow, dwindling over 3 years and I can’t help but recognize how my grace and stability in values have been taken advantage of….How has family of origin played a role in your dynamics with your spouses, if at all? Thanks for all you guys are doing. You’ve set the bar high in my hopes for my spouses recovery.-  Mark and Steve share specific traumas from their childhoods and HOW these "family of origin issues" directly impacted their addictions, recoveries and marriage relationships.-  Remember that "brain wiring" from your family-of-origin experiences is EXTREMELY dominant and will be your "default" in times of stress, especially during marriage difficulties. To grow and evolve "through" this wiring to create "new wiring" you MUST do your PERSONAL recovery and healing work! -  Please know that this "rewiring process" will take time, patience and consistent effort. Hang in there with yourself and your marriage while this process and evolution unfolds. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
8/9/202223 minutes, 11 seconds
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Now that my partner is in recovery, what should our “sexual norms” look like as a Couple?

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a scenario and question from a PBSE listener—"Since my husband and I have gotten into recovery I struggle with still feeling like we are supposed to be having sex every three days or my husband will fall and it will be my fault. I still struggle with his decreased libido now that he isn't hyper-sexualize and can't help but feel triggered that he must be acting out, I'm ugly or there is something wrong with me. I can confidently say he is in good recovery and he is not echoing the things I am feeling.So how do I come to terms with this healthier sexual norm? How do I move through feeling like I wasted my sexual "prime" and now have to be ok with sex once or twice every two weeks? We both enjoy sex together but with work, kids, responsibilities it's hard for us to get good connection time in that can open the door for healthy physical intimacy."Mark and Steve take this topic HEAD ON, including the VERY important principle of "engaging in holistic intimacy which can then lead to sex, vs. using sex as the way to attain healthy intimacy."Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCan your marriage survive sex and porn addiction?  Check out this article to learn more—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
8/2/202225 minutes, 30 seconds
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It’s Been a Long Time Since I Looked at Porn–Am I Cured? Do I Still Need “Recovery Work”?

A PBSE listener writes in about her spouse who has been porn-free for over ten years. Yet, there are still many areas of his personal life and their relationship where there is room for growth and improvement. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about how "recovery" is about a WHOLE LOT MORE than just being "sober." When one gets into recovery, IF he or she can catch the full "vision" it is truly AMAZING the many ways personal lives and relationships can evolve into something never imagined possible! Mark and Steve talk real about how this has been true for each of them and their clients over the years. What ARE the KEY INDICATORS that someone is in "real" recovery? Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
7/26/202228 minutes, 26 seconds
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Would my Spouse Still be an Addict if He had Married Someone Else?

In this episode, Mark and Steve speak from the heart to a PBSE listener whose addict spouse passed away and now she finds herself wrestling with some horrific "what-ifs."  Here's the honest and courageous message she sent to Mark and Steve—Would this have happened if my spouse had married someone else?—Three years ago my marriage And my life as I knew it imploded upon learning that my husband of 21 years had been living a double life of lies, infidelity, and addiction for our entire relationship. I Began intense therapy for betrayal trauma in 2019 and in the two years that followed we struggled with couples recovery and my husband struggled with his own recovery which included AA in addition to his sexual acting out with both women and men. One of the things that my therapist tried to help me see early on is that my husband would have walked his path no matter who he married….. that it didn’t matter what kind of partner I was or how good or bad our marriage was that he would have acted in the same manner regardless of who he was with. Sadly my husband lost his battle with alcohol last year. Now I am left with a million questions about how we ended up where we did. Did he ever truly love me? What did I do to contribute to the breakdown of our marriage and his death? Is there really nothing f I could have done or said to help him or prevent his going outside our marriage for sexual gratification? And so many more. I struggle to except what my therapist tells me…that my husband‘s behavior was a reflection not on me or our marriage but solely on him. I have been listening to your podcast since my husband passed and in addition to a tremendous amount of education it has helped me see what real recovery could have looked like for my husband had he been able to get there…. it helps me to know that what I thought recovery could be, although not easy, was not unrealistic. I would love your perspectives as clinicians and recovering addicts on the question that I can’t seem to get some closure on and that is— “Would this have happened no matter who he married or what kind of marriage he had.?" Thank you for reading and for the wonderful content you bring to this community. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCan your marriage survive sex and porn addiction?  Check out this article to learn more—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
7/19/202228 minutes, 16 seconds
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What if my Addict Partner DEMANDS Sex so He can Stay Sober?

In this episode, Mark and Steve directly address a spouse's extremely difficult situation. Here's a small excerpt from the message she sent to PBSE—He has been an off and on again porn user through the years, and currently claims he is not using it. Since he has given it up, the demand for sex is nearly daily with clear expectations that “sex must happen every other day” or he will relapse and it will be my fault.-  Attempting to transfer ownership of sobriety to a partner.-  Using threats of acting out or other emotional outbursts if "his needs" are not met.-  The challenge with a partner not being willing or able to set and hold clear boundaries.-  How a partner can "lose her voice" in the relationship.-  Why the phrase "sex is optional" is crucial to true, holistic intimacy and connection in a relationship.Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCan your marriage survive sex and porn addiction?  Check out this article to learn more—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
7/12/202222 minutes, 30 seconds
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How “Sex” can be used as an “Intimacy Substitute.”

In this episode, Mark and Steve speak directly to a PBSE listener's in-depth question about sex being used as a substitute for true intimacy—"I love your podcast. I'd love to make a podcast topic request, if you're able . . . "Question:  Can sex be used as an intimacy substitute? My husband wants lots of sex and cuddling, but then either avoids or only goes "into the shallow end" regarding the other areas of relational intimacy.  I wonder if he has been using sex to try to fill an emotional hole that's been there since before I came along...to "feel" intimacy in a fun easy way that doesn't involve the risks that come from the other crucial areas of relational intimacy. He says he wants intimacy, but I think he doesn't understand what intimacy truly is.""He says he wants intimacy and that he wants lots of sex because he's a sexual person (physical touch is his primary love language). It seems like having sex is the "easy" way for him to experience closeness and "feel" intimacy without actually having to engage in true deep intimacy. He also avoids conflict and confrontation. He hasn't wanted to talk about his past. When things get tough or too deep, he shuts down and retreats. I don't want him to believe this is what intimacy is.""I believe he truly wants intimacy, but he fears it at the same time. Personally, I think he believes lots of affection and sex is the core/foundation of intimacy and will fill that bucket for him...and I also think he subconsciously relies on sex and affection to fill that bucket because that's less risky and its an easy quick way to "feel" intimacy.  Plus that, I think it's been a coping mechanism because he was promiscuous in teen and adulthood before marriage...I think he used sex to cope or fill the hole of rejection and abandonment from an abusive home (to feel validated, accepted, wanted, connected to someone). I'm no expert though."Mark and Steve try to tackle this HUGE topic and address this listener's situation and questions—-  What is “Intimacy”-  When is “sex” intimate and NOT intimate? When is it connecting and disconnecting? -  HOW can sex easily become a substitute or escape from true, vulnerable, holistic intimacy with SELF and a PARTNER?-  HOW can we begin moving sex into the place of true intimacy?-  HOW can we recognize the “intimacy issues” we’re avoiding through sex and start addressing them head on?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCan your marriage survive sex and porn addiction?  Check out this article to learn more—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
7/5/202222 minutes, 21 seconds
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Recovery and Healing ARE Possible—Here's HOW to be Successful!

Porn/sex addiction recovery and healing from betrayal trauma can be SO confusing, frustrating and even come to the place of hopelessness! In this episode Mark and Steve give you a view into their own recovery and healing journeys as well as their experiences as therapists. Learn what it takes to succeed in your recovery and healing efforts.  Find hope that as a couple you absolutely can come together and be better than ever! Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
6/28/202226 minutes, 33 seconds
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The “Abuse Cycle” Par Two—The Impact of Abuse on Betrayal Trauma and Healing

In Episode 127, Mark and Steve addressed the "Abuse Cycle" and its effects on addicts in recovery. In this episode, they talk directly to the partners of addicts. How does the Abuse Cycle impact partners suffering from Betrayal Trauma and their healing process?Factors to be aware of regarding the Abuse Cycle—-  Abuse from prior romantic/non-romantic relationships including childhood. This can include abuse that is often "discounted" such as a history of neglect, dysfunctional family systems, gaslighting, etc.)  This trauma history establishes "relationship rules" which impact abuse in a current relationship.-  "Cultural traditions" have an impact on current abuse cycles—being a "caretaker;" going along to get along to keep family members/spouse stable and happy; "patriarchy" issues, etc. -  Trauma creates "echoes" that travel from one relationship to the next. Current trauma can be "amplified" based on past experiences and can create increased pain, aversion and responses due to past intensity and frequency. -  What happens when trauma becomes your "expert" or your "obstacle"?-  Why a support system outside the abusive relationship is SO critical to healing! Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to deal with a porn addict gaslighting you—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-youHere's an article regarding how pornography can create a "drug-like-dependence"—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addiction
6/21/202231 minutes, 13 seconds
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The “Abuse Cycle” Part One—The Impact of Abuse on Addiction

In this episode, Mark shares his own story of abuse as a child to illustrate how the "abuse cycle" is often directly related to addiction. -  The "Abuse Cycle"—  1)  Tension Builds   2) the "Incident"   3)  Reconciliation   4)  the "Calm"-  The Abuse Cycle is NOT an excuse for addiction but a VERY CRUCIAL EXPLANATION! -  Remember that "abuse" is in the eye of the beholder:  what seems "minor" to one may be "deeply traumatic" to another. -  Understanding an abusive history doesn't "fix" the pain or the addiction, but it is a critical "doorway" to healing and recovery. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to deal with a porn addict gaslighting you—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-youHere's an article regarding how pornography can create a "drug-like-dependence"—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addiction
6/14/202228 minutes, 28 seconds
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My Addict Partner of 33 Years is Out of Control and I Don’t Know Where to Start!

This heart-felt description, question and request comes from a PBSE listener—I’m a wife of 33yrs in betrayal trauma after finding husband on multiple times has had on and off affairs over 8 yrs with the same person and now found he is using drugs. Multiple addictions. I would like to set boundaries but I’m not part of his addictions as he does not turn to me. No sexual relationship in 2yrs between us. Can you talk about escalation of addiction. He started with weed then alcohol then porn then affair and now meth. What boundaries can I set?-  What does "escalation" of addiction look like—"cross-addiction" and "co-addiction"-  Mark shares his personal story about learning to have "no voice," going-along-to-get-along and being a "doormat."-  In a relationship, EVERYONE is entitled to some basic decencies and courtesies—being chosen and fought for; being pursued, looked out for; feeling safe and empathized with; having an equal voice . . . -  What does it mean to truly "love" and "be loved"?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to deal with a porn addict gaslighting you—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-youHere's an article regarding how pornography can create a "drug-like-dependence"—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addiction
6/7/202227 minutes, 23 seconds
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How to Surrender Control of an Addict’s Behaviors while Maintaining Boundaries and Accountability.

It's very normal for a betrayed spouse to seek to be safe and avoid being "blindsided" by more betrayal, by trying to "control" the addict spouse's recovery.  Here's how a PBSE listener describes this challenge—My addict is coming up on 2 years of sobriety and 5th D-Day. I am in therapy and he has been in therapy off and on, changing therapists a few times and seeing them maybe twice a month. He was going to multiple SA meetings a week, even leading some. Now he goes a few times a month. In the early days of our recovery, things were good, he was a different, more accountable person who understood the damage he caused. I chose to stay because I saw a change in him. Now, I see him falling back into old patterns, not committing to his recovery and consequently I have fallen back into a lack of trust, fear, and always worrying about how he will behave in certain social and family situations. His character defects are coming through again. How do I communicate my concerns to him when I know his recovery is his and his alone? The slide backward is so upsetting and gaining momentum in my eyes.In this episode, Mark and Steve share HOW to surrender control over an addicts spouse's behaviors while STILL maintaining healthy boundaries and accountability. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to deal with a porn addict gaslighting you—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-youHere's an article regarding how pornography can create a "drug-like-dependence"—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addiction
5/31/202228 minutes, 17 seconds
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“To Masturbate or Not to Masturbate?” that is the question!

Masturbation is an extremely controversial topic these days; one that elicits a lot of heated debate. This is especially true when an addict spouse engages in masturbation alone and separate from his spouse. Here's what one PBSE listener had to say about this—Hello Mark and Steve- I want to say thank you so much for your weekly podcasts. I am a former client of Steve’s, and I still listen to the podcasts weekly. I am so grateful to you both, for your conversations. I listed to your most recent episode, #123, and at the end of it you mentioned the topic of masturbation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, as it relates to porn addiction or attachment, and the dynamic that all of this involves. My partner believes that masturbation is natural and something all men do on a regular basis. That there is nothing unhealthy or damaging about it. I believe there can be balance in all things, except when there is porn addiction or serious attachment to porn, involved. My partner has admitted that it is very hard for him not to watch and/or masturbate, but he only needs help in blocking apps, etc. I’d love your thoughts on this. Thank you so much.-  We are NOT here to talk about masturbation from a moral or religious perspective. We invite PBSE listeners to address this aspect from their own tradition and perspective. -  Masturbation activates the body's most power "biological reward system"— HOW can this become an unhealthy "crutch/form of self-medication"?-  Masturbation and the "biology of connection"—climax can "weld" you to fantasy or reality; to self-sex and solo-connection or to a deep, "we" connection—"I" vs. "Us"—which one do you desire most?-  What you repetitively "connect to" builds a "pattern of connection." What you "attach to" in the fantasy world "detaches" you from the real world. A partner CANNOT compete with a diverse fantasy world that is consistently rewarded and reinforced by sexual climax. -  How masturbation coupled with fantasy can trigger the brain's "habituation mechanism" and become "insatiable." A "holistic" love and connection in a committed relationship does NOT follow this path nor create this "trap."   Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to deal with a porn addict gaslighting you—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-youHere's an article regarding how pornography can create a "drug-like-dependence"—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addiction
5/24/202229 minutes, 21 seconds
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It’s NOT an Addiction if I’m Only Using “Porn Substitutes”—Right???

There's a lot of heated debate out there about "what is pornographic" and "what is not." Too often in these arguments, the REAL ISSUES can get pushed aside. Recently, a PBSE listener and spouse, submitted the following with regard to her partner's use of "porn substitutes"—Just over a month ago, around 2 months into his latest recovery, I noticed my partner watching videos on YouTube that are porn substitutes (eg clickbait 'funny' videos with suggestive thumbnails, videos of women filming themselves wearing short dresses on windy days, Benny Hill videos containing Benny Hill type 'humor' of women being caught in "naughty" situations and other such videos designed to give a "kick". . . . . . . . I'm so so sorry for the long email but I'm feeling so low. I know in yesterday's podcast you mentioned that you've been answering listeners questions for so long - but I would be extremely grateful if you could do an episode on porn substitutes and what problems they carry - my partner still does listen to the podcast from time to time and I think hearing directly on this particular subject from someone other than me might help. In this episode, Mark and Steve tackle the controversial topic of "porn substitutes"—are they OK in a relationship or not? Do they qualify as part of an "addiction" or are they simply a harmless pastime?  It all comes down to the viewers true INTENTION and the IMPACT that viewing "porn substitutes" has on CONNECTION and INTIMACY in a relationship, as well as on the "maturation process" and development of the viewer.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
5/17/202230 minutes, 38 seconds
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How Mark & Steve moved from “Defensiveness” to “Fighting for their Marriages”—Part Three—The Conclusion!

This is Part Three—the concluding episode on "How Mark and Steve moved from defensiveness to fighting for their marriages. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real to addicts in recovery about—HANGING BACK vs. LEADING OUT. -  When an addict in recovery "hangs back" in the marriage, what does that look like?            -  Checking-the-boxes attitude or "it wasn't on the list."          -  Waiting for a spouse to apply pressure before taking action; doing the mandatory/minimum          -  Going into "mopey/victim mode"          -  50/50 attitude—all about percentages and fairness-  What kind of mindset/attitude does it take to move from hanging back to LEADING OUT?-  How SPECIFICALLY can an addict spouse in recovery LEAD OUT?  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
5/10/202224 minutes, 39 seconds
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How Mark & Steve moved from “Defensiveness” to “Fighting for their Marriages”—Part Two

In "Part Two," Mark and Steve address a VERY difficult situation for recovery addicts and their spouses—HOW to navigate people and places that are "triggering" (for both the addict and the spouse)—-  A review of the people, situations and locations that can be triggering for both spouses.-  How an addict in recovery can use "grounding techniques" to successfully navigate through triggers.-  How to prepare for triggering situations IN ADVANCE. -  How to "get ahead" of triggers as opposed to being blindsided by them.-  How to "debrief" and "recap" as a couple AFTER triggering situations. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
5/3/202226 minutes, 5 seconds
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How Mark & Steve moved from “Defensiveness” to “Fighting for their Marriages"—Part One

One of the greatest challenges we face as sex/porn addicts in recovery is becoming "defensive" when our partners offer feedback, speak their truth, stand their ground, face triggering people or places, etc. We easily go into fight, flight or freeze and DEFEND ourselves as opposed to "fighting for our marriage"!In "Part One," Mark and Steve share their personal experiences with specifically HOW to go from defensiveness to FIGHTING for their marriages when it comes to—"My spouse is speaking her truth and offering feedback"—how do I handle this in a healthy and connecting way???"Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
4/26/202226 minutes, 17 seconds
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How Long Should I Be “Sober” Before I Start Dating or Having Sex Again?

This PBSE episode is directed at single listeners and those already in a relationship. A PBSE listener who is single sent in the following quesiton—Hi there! I'm so grateful for your podcast- just found it last week on and feel I've already gained a lot. Here's something I'd love love love if y'all could address: For us single guys (and girls), at what point in recovery can we/ should be/ may we start dating? I know in 12 step circles, many suggest a year of sobriety before dating. In your experience, does that ring true and, either way, how can we internally assess our readiness to date in light of our history with porn/ lust addiction. Thanks so much and may G-d grant you continued success in helping others.-  There's a saying in sex addiction recovery circles—"If you feel you're ready for a relationship,  start with a plant!"-  Ask yourself, "Where am I in my "co-dependence" on sex?"  "Is sex in any way a method for emotional avoidance or escape?" "Am I still using sex as a way to "self-medicate" and avoid "whole intimacy"?-  How can you expect to figure out "We" (sex) before you have figured out "Me"?-  Contrary to popular culture, sex is NOT the place to start an intimate relationship. It is so emotionally and biologically "intense" that it easily overrides critical "intimacy development." -  Healthy relationships require a "balanced building." Premature sex and/or a narrowed focus on sex can skew the relationship and make it lopsided. -  A BIG test as to whether a porn/sex addict is truly on a solid recovery track is his or her willingness and wisdom to "slow down" the push toward sex and develop true, holistic intimacy one-layer-at-a-time. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about "true intimacy" vs. "sex" in a committed relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
4/19/202223 minutes, 53 seconds
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Should I Just be “OK” with my Partner's Lusting?

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a PBSE listener's question about her struggles with her partner lusting after a co-worker— Hello Mark & Steve,  My partner and I are currently in reconciliation from sex addiction and we are in our 4th month of monthly couples sessions as well as I recently started individual sessions. We really like our sex specialist, but he tells me to not pay attention to [my partner's] "lusting" and to get out of his head when it comes to the lusting as well. My question is: My partner had betrayed me by lusting and acting out with images and thoughts of his coworker. How do I ignore the lusting, as that was one of my main questions to gauge how he is doing by asking him, and it is now one of my boundaries—I don't think he is working on this area, as he still lusts after her week after week and it is tearing me up inside.-  Relationships are consensual—you have the right to expect fidelity, trust and safety—AND to define what these terms mean for YOU.-  You also get to decide on the definition of "exclusivity" and the specific boundaries attached to it—what do you want this to look like in your relationship? -  In a truly connected relationship, each partner must have an "equal voice." -  Transparency/authenticity on the part of both parties is essential to THRIVE as a couple—this includes behaviors and expectations. -  Be mindful of the influence that your life history can have on this process:  being raised in a heavily sexualized culture; your family of origin; interactions with peers; rigid religiosity; trauma and abuse; etc.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
4/12/202218 minutes, 55 seconds
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Are you Sick & Tired of Relapsing? Then it’s time to “Be Stubborn”and “Get An Attitude”!!!

Are you trying to break free from porn viewing and/or other unwanted sexual behaviors, but you just keep falling back into it?! In this episode, Mark and Steve get real about their own struggles to attain lasting sobriety–what does it really take? How exactly do you get to that “permanent place of sobriety”? You may be surprised by the answer.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
4/5/202235 minutes, 24 seconds
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How can I KNOW when my Partner has finally Stopped Lying and is Serious About His Recovery?

In this episode, Mark and Steve answer a spouse's questions about her addict husband and how she will KNOW that he is serious about recovery and no longer lying—My husband is in early recovery for his sex addiction which he has kept very well-hidden for years. We had our most recent D-Day’s 6 months ago at which time he swore that I knew everything and he was working on changing.. I was seeing a CSAT for betrayal trauma and he was seeing a therapist who specialized in “relationship issues and infidelity” (not my choice). Then I discovered 2 months ago that he was still acting out the entire time and his addiction actually ran much deeper than I originally thought. He has finally accepted that he’s a sex addict after listening to SA meeting tapes and has started seeing a CSAT. My question is- how long until I see any real concrete change in his behaviors? I have over 10 years clean in a 12 step fellowship myself and I understand recovery doesn’t happen overnight, but he is still only “checking boxes” and not going above and beyond as I guess I expect him to in order to save our marriage. How long until I can KNOW that he’s actually changing? He is a master manipulator and has shown me he is capable of looking me straight in the eye while I’m breaking down and flat-out lying to me. How long until I know he’s actually stopped? Or maybe I’m putting unrealistic expectations on him to do a complete 180 in a matter of a month? For context- he says I can look at his phone whenever, we do weekly FANOS check ins, both have CSATS (no disclosure yet, though), I have access to all of his social media, etc. but we all know there are ways around all of this for him to still lie. Your podcast has helped me immensely throughout these past months and I would really be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.Mark and Steve tackle this listener's questions Raw and Real—but perhaps in a way that most people would not tend to think about—it's not about timelines—it's about EVIDENCE!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
3/29/202229 minutes, 57 seconds
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I Have Discovered My Husband's Relapses More Than a Dozen Times. What Now?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a major challenge faced by many betrayed spouses—they keep uncovering and discovering their addict partner's relapses and bad behaviors. The addict may get some "sobriety" under his belt, but refuses to lead out by proactively pursuing his own recovery work. It seems the only time he does much of anything is when he "gets caught." Here's the situation a PBSE listener presented—i am messaging you from sunny England about my husband who doesn't know if he is an addict or not. He is 42, I am nearly 40 and we have 3 children. We have been together for 20 years. His porn use has been an issue for over 15years now, and so far, we have had [more than a dozen] D-Days. Your last podcast really resonated with me, where the guy started by saying he had just been found out for the 8th time. It hit me, that [after so many discoveries] still nothing has changed. My husband claims to be porn free for over a year now. I have not found any evidence of use, but his attitude is still as bad as ever. He claims that because he hasn't used for over a year, he must no longer be addicted; in fact he doesn't know if he ever was! He is not in therapy, he is simply just not watching that stuff anymore. In your personal opinion how long can someone realistically white knuckle? Years? Decades? He is the most stubborn person you will ever come across. I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and genuinely don't know where to turn at this point. Many thanks for all that you do for us betrayed wives.What can or should a betrayed spouse do in a "stuck place" like this or other similar situations? Mark and Steve offer some important insights and guidance. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
3/22/202226 minutes, 34 seconds
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When is it OK for my Addict Partner to “Back Off” from His Recovery?

How long should a spouse expect her addict partner to keep up his recovery? Doesn't there come a time when he can "back off" to some degree?  In this episode Mark and Steve answer an excellent set of questions offered by a PBSE listener. Here's what she had to say—My partner and I have been in recovery since February 2021. Your podcast has really helped pull us through some rough times. We have navigated the "messy middle" and my partner says that now he is in a "good place." He has taken initiative with disclosing slip ups and even new issues he is facing in recovery with temptations in [public] (he struggled with porn addiction, but has now disclosed he is struggling with lust and does not have the tools to work through it like he does with porn).I am struggling immensely with relationship insecurity. The last discovery I had to make in October really shook up my confidence as he had been hiding it from me and lying about porn use. Since then, he has been honest about any urges or slip ups.Are porn addicts ever in a place to slow down with recovery? We started out with daily check ins, therapy, Celebrate Recovery 12 step group, Fortify, accountability software, and other relationship building activities (bible studies, intentional time together). Now, he says he just wants to listen to your podcast and do the check ins as he claims he has the tools to manage temptations. I want to trust him and what he says are his needs, but I am afraid since this feels like the perfect time for a slip up, when his guard is down.From the partners perspective, should I be okay with him taking less active recovery? I am working through my own issues still, and they are becoming magnified with my insecurities of him using less recovery tools. Any input is appreciated. Thanks for all you do!With passion, clarity and vulnerability, Mark and Steve address the various issues brought up by this PBSE listener—and use a number of experiences from their own decades of deep addiction, as well as many years of recovery success to get to what matters most with this topic and challenge. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoTo learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
3/15/202225 minutes, 53 seconds
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What if my Betrayed Spouse Won’t Keep Up?

In this episode, Mark and Steve openly and passionately address a PBS listener's situation and questions. Here's what he asked— I have been found out for the eighth time. I am working with my counselor to work on my recovery. She says she’s not sure how much longer she will stay in the marriage. I will not fail to work on my recovery this time. I am in a SAA twelve step group. I will work on myself to make myself a better man. Here’s my question—I truly want to be transparent. However she is not willing to work on her issues. So how can I be transparent and expect her to respond in a useful way? I’m afraid it will not go well. I want to do the once every 24 hour check in. How do I do this and make it a useful tool if I’m the only one in recovery? I know I can only control my recovery. How do I successfully bring her into the process if she refuses to be in recovery as well? If you're a porn/sex addict in recovery or a spouse straining under the heavy burden of betrayal trauma, you're going to want to hear Mark and Steve's take on this!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-video
3/8/202223 minutes, 26 seconds
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Episode 112: As Addicts, We Can Throw Up HUGE Barriers to Recovery and Mending Our Most Important Relationships!

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a situation and series of questions from a PBSE listener who is the partner of a porn/sex addict and struggling with betrayal trauma. Here's what she had to say—Hi Mark and Steve. first off thank you for all that you do. my partner and I have been listening to your podcasts lately. I have a few concerns though that I'm seeking input on: he told me he's not in a place of his recovery to be disclosing things to me such as what his fetish was/is. I think I deserve to know this about my partner's addiction since he was acting out throughout our whole relationship secretly even though I set it as a hard boundary early on. does this mean he is trying to protect his addiction still? its been less than 3 months of sober/recovery.My other concern is: he says he's not against porn and doesn't have an opinion about it and this is a healthier method to view it. but this makes me very angry as I know there are endless reasons to be against porn and the industry as a whole, not to mention how its negatively impacting our relationship. Thirdly, he oftentimes says he doesn't have enough time to partake in daily recovery. but I think that's just an excuse because he didn't have trouble making time for watching porn throughout our relationship, which I classify as cheating.There are 3 major barriers her addict partner his throwing up that are blocking his own personal progress and the mending of the relationship—1.  Withholding information about addiction behaviors and betrayal2.  Minimizing, rationalizing and justifying the nature and effects of pornography3.  Making excuses for not doing the hard daily work of recoveryMark and Steve address all three of these road blocks and how they held them back in their own recoveries and relationships. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article on the Brain Science behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addiction
3/1/202224 minutes, 1 second
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TV, Movies & Media in a Betrayed Relationship—Part Two: What to do if you are the Spouse.

In episode 110, Mark and Steve addressed the responsibility that a recovering porn/sex addict has with regard to TV, movies and media--both for his own recovery and in creating the environment where his spouse can feel safe and heal. In this episode, Mark and Steve get super real about how crazy hard it can be for a betrayed spouse to trust her recovering addict husband around TV, movies, media and in public in general! HOW can a spouse trying to heal from betrayal trauma navigate her spouse's behaviors around media?-  Let him own HIS recovery!-  Your job is not to make him change, police him, mind-read him or be hyper-vigilant. Your healthy role is to hold your boundaries in response to his action or inaction.-  How can a betrayed spouse ever feel a sense of peace and trust while at the same time letting go of his "stuff"? -  How can you "be enough" regardless of his behaviors?  How do you take care of you?-  What if he betrays you again--then what??? Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-video
2/22/202228 minutes, 39 seconds
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TV, Movies & Media in a Betrayed Relationship—Part One: What to do if you are the addict.

Something that can be a BIG issue for couples—when one is a porn/sex addict in recovery and the other is a betrayed spouse trying to heal—is TV, movies and media! A PBSE listener asked Mark and Steve about this—Hi guys! My husband and I are working through his sobriety and our recoveries. We found your podcast and are truly thankful we did, thank you so much!! I had a question regarding boundaries. I have been working on my list but I am struggling with one in particular. When my husband and I would cuddle and watch our nightly tv shows together or a movie, he would later google images (sometimes explicit) of the actresses that caught his eye. I could tell during our time together he was objectifying and becoming aroused by them. It has become a very triggering thing for me but I can't seem to think of an appropriate boundary or any boundary for this. I have asked in my support groups but it is most often suggested to completely remove watching shows or movies altogether or screening them. I understand doing that for explicit scenes or R rated but I just don't think that is ideal for shows that don't involve sexual/intimate/explicit scenes. Do you have any suggestions or advice on this?  In this episode (pare one) Mark and Steve talk about the addict spouse's responsibility in regard to his use of TV, movies and media--for his own recovery AND in helping his spouse feel safe and heal. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article on the Brain Science behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addiction
2/15/202227 minutes, 8 seconds
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Are Your “Resentments” Holding You Back?

Resentment is a POWERFUL emotion!  And while it most certainly can be very legitimate based on actual events, history, betrayal, etc., it also acts as a HUGE BARRIER that can block us from moving forward in our recovery, healing and relationships. In this episode, Mark and Steve get real and dig deep on this issue—- What exactly is resentment?-  How can you navigate through your brain's own defense mechanisms to recognize, identify and face your resentments?-  Are you willing to begin shifting out of toxic resentment? What might be creating resistance and blocking you from moving forward?-  HOW exactly do you begin "shifting" through resentment and into healthy emotions and a path forward?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's an article on the Brain Science behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addiction
2/9/202228 minutes, 56 seconds
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As a Spouse, You Have “4 Primary Rights” with Regard to His Disclosure!

One of THE most important milestones in real recovery is when a porn/sex addict prepares a completely transparent and authentic "disclosure" of his past discretions and betrayals and then presents it to his spouse. This is often referred to as "D-day." And while the addict plays a key role in this process, there is also a VERY significant and essential focus on the betrayed spouse that must not be discounted or sidestepped in any way.  In this episode, Mark and Steve address the needs and "rights" of the betrayed spouse in the disclosure process. The 4 Primary Rights you have with regard to his disclosure are—1.  The right to choose when and how the disclosure will take place.2.  In a "boundaried" and healthy way, the right to ask and have answered any and all questions.3.  The right to have a "full voice" in the disclosure process, including an "Impact Statement."4.  The right to specific, measurable and accountable reconciliation and amends. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-video
2/1/202224 minutes, 57 seconds
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How Can I Ever Dare to Trust Him Again?

When there has been Betrayal Trauma, it can seem impossible to ever dare to fully trust again. A PBSE listener describes this struggle as "foreboding joy"—things can be going OK in the relationship, even happy, but there's always this "shadow" in the background threatening to "blindside" her with another betrayal.  Here's how she describes it—I came into the relationship with many self-esteem and insecurity issues which, of course, have only been deepened by his betrayal. The thing I struggle with most is the concept of "foreboding joy." When things are going smoothly I feel like I trigger myself because I can't seem to believe that things can be going so smoothly because I was fooled for so many years. Is this a concept you can discuss in the podcast and maybe share ways to quiet those negative voices when they become overwhelming?In this episode, Mark and Steve cover in detail, the basic key elements needed in order for a betrayed partner to dare to start trusting again. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-video
1/25/202229 minutes, 58 seconds
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All the ways we convince ourselves we are “entitled” to act out in our addictions

There are MANY reasons the ego-addict part of the brain convinces us that we are entitled to escape into our addiction outlets. These can include:  I'm not getting enough sex from my spouse; I have no other way to cope with hard things; Every guy does this to some level; I've tried to quit a thousand times and it's impossible–I've resigned myself to it; You all expect too much of me–you don't want me to have a normal life; I need to be free to just be me . . . and the list goes on and on. The question is—"Do you truly want to break out of the entitlement an d excuses that are enabling your addiction behaviors and keeping you stuck?  In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about their own experiences with "entitlement" and the first steps to breaking free. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about how to move out of "toxic sex" in a marriage relationship and into "True Intimacy"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
1/18/202221 minutes, 43 seconds
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How do we move out of a “Trauma Response” into “Relationship Authenticity”? (Part Two)

Once you recognize that you and/or your partner are caught in a "Trauma Response," HOW can you intentionally move into a place of "Relationship Authenticity"?  Assuming you have completed and openly discussed your "trauma map," proceed as follows— -  Take a break from the situation—the people involved and/or the environment and circumstances.-  Pursue some sort of grounding self-care, i.e., Journaling; Talking it out with someone NOT involved; Some sort of recharging self-care (not avoidance-based)-  Ask yourself: Why does may brain use this particular trauma Response—Where did it come from?  What does it do for me?  What might be some healthy alternatives?-  Set a time for yourself and/or the other person to come back—Establish ground rules for how long you will work in that “trauma space;  establish ground rules for taking a break again as needed.This episode is "Part Two" on this topic.Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's an article about overcoming porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
1/11/202224 minutes, 58 seconds
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How do I Recognize when I or my Partner are Caught in a "Trauma Response"? (Part One)

There are MANY "trauma triggers" that can create great conflict, pain and difficulty between partners. If you truly desire to work on mending your relationship and/or deepening your trust, connection and intimacy, it is CRITICAL that you each learn to recognize when you are becoming caught in a "Trauma Response." -  Why is this recognition SO important to your personal and partnership path of healing?-  How can you learn to step back and truly "see" your trauma response in the heat of the moment?-  What do the various manifestations of a trauma response look like?-  How can you put together your own "Trauma Response Map"?This episode is "Part One" on this topic. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's an article about overcoming porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
1/4/202222 minutes, 55 seconds
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New Year’s Resolutions Can Make Addiction Worse! Try this Instead.

In this episode, Mark & Steve talk raw and real about why the traditional "New Year's Resolution" failed for them SO many times—and often had the effect of making their addictions even worse!What is the Psychology of the New Year's Resolution?Why do they often fail? Why do we keep doing this to ourselves, year after year???The KEY to success is all about realistic, reasonable, reliable systems and routines, NOT grandiose goals!And here's the kicker--much of the process that gets us into addiction, is actually very close to the system that can get us out and move us forward to real and lasting healing and success going forward.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's an article about overcoming porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
12/28/202126 minutes, 10 seconds
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How to Balance Christmas (and other holidays) with the Trauma of Recovery & Healing

In what can sometimes be the "hellish" experience of addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing, can we still find wonder, enjoyment and even a little "magic" in our special holidays and celebrations? In this episode Mark and Steve will share with you a very simple formulas they have personally used and taught to others--one that can help you find joy in the "little things" which can make ALL the difference!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's an article about overcoming porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
12/21/202121 minutes, 56 seconds
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When Stress Hits—STAND UP for Your Personal & Couple-ship "Bill of Rights"!

Everyone faces different kinds of STRESS in everyday life. But, when we're in addiction recovery or healing from betrayal trauma, that stress is often multiplied and magnified! Then add on top of all of that "holiday stress" and you have a recipe for some daunting challenges!In this episode Mark and Steve talk about how crucial it is to have a personal and couple-ship "Bill of Rights." Learn how to draw the line, set boundaries and stand up for yourself and your relationship in the face of life stresses. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's an article about overcoming porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
12/14/202124 minutes, 57 seconds
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This is Our 100th Episode! In the Pain of Addiction & Betrayal Trauma—There is GREAT HOPE!

Although we can't quite believe it, this is PBSE's 100th Episode!!!  Thank you to all our listeners who made this possible! It would never have happened without YOU!In this episode, we talk about a SUPER important part of recovery and healing--HOW do we find HOPE in the midst of the immense struggle of addiction and the deep pain of betrayal trauma? Come with us as we explore Real Stories of Hope!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
12/7/202120 minutes, 44 seconds
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My Spouse is in Recovery but will NOT have Sex with Me! What Can I Do?

There are plenty of situations where an addict spouse wants to have sex all the time. There are situations where the spouse suffering from betrayal trauma does not feel safe having sex with their sexually addicted spouse, even when that spouse is in successful recovery. But what about a situation where a spouse is yearning for the healthy connection of sex, but her husband in recovery will NOT engage with her sexually? In this episode, Mark and Steve address a PBSE listener who submitted a question about this very scenario that is taking place in her life and marriage. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCurious about "why" porn/sex addicts do the kinds of things they do? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionWant to learn more about how to move out of "toxic sex" in a marriage relationship and into "True Intimacy"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
11/30/202126 minutes, 3 seconds
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How Do We Find Connection When There’s Been “Mutual Betrayal”?

A PBSE listener recently sent in a situation and question—He has been in recovery and "clean" for a year. At one point during that year of recovery, his wife admitted to having an affair while he was in recovery. His question is—"How do I help my wife trust me again while I'm also having trouble trusting her?"- Why does "mutual betrayal" happen???-  This is a VERY complex form of trauma and requires a very specific and comprehensive approach to healing. An "outside" support system is CRITICAL!-  Underneath all the pain, a couple can learn to "mutually empathize" with each other.-  Through this painful process, as a couple you can learn that you have a "mutual enemy" and you can "have each other's backs" in fighting that enemy.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-video
11/23/202124 minutes, 15 seconds
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What Should Come First—Him Ending His Affair, or Us Starting Couples Counseling?

We know—the title of this episode is INSANE!!!  But it comes from an actual question sent in by a PBSE listener—My partner and I are STUCK. We have been separated for almost a year now but living together for financial and child reasons. I have told him that he has to break up with his affair partner before I will agree to couples counseling. That goes without saying that I will not welcome him back to our bed without breaking up with his AP. He will say to me that he will break up with this AP but only if I can show him effort that I still want him. He tells me that I am the one that has given up on him and our marriage because I won't go out of my way to set up dates with him, agree to cuddling and physical affection. My heart is PLEADING for him to want our marriage over his addiction. Am I being too stubborn with my boundary that he give up his girlfriend before couples counseling? Some days I feel like I am drowning in heart ache and indecision. A huge part of me knows it's time to talk divorce but a part of me still yearns for the connection I know we could have—Help!Listen as Mark and Steve get SUPER PASSIONATE in their response to this situation!!!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCurious about "why" porn/sex addicts do the kinds of things they do? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionWant to learn more about how to move out of "toxic sex" in a marriage relationship and into "True Intimacy"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
11/16/202122 minutes, 5 seconds
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How Can I “Adequately” Explain to My Spouse WHY I Looked at Porn?

Here's a question from a PBSE listener—I am a recovering sex and porn addict working on my recovery and trying to reconcile with my wife and heal our marriage. She is constantly asking questions as too why I looked at porn and web cams and also commented and looked at women with lust. I struggle to answer this question in a way that satisfies her if that’s even possible. Any way you can help us navigate this difficult question would be helpful. ThanksThis is a VERY common challenge and opportunity in the addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing processes. Mark and Steve address several key issues with this topic—-  Unraveling the "reasons" behind porn use and sex addiction takes time and often, insights that we do not have early in the recovery process. We must develop sufficient "mindfulness skills" to successfully navigate this process. And it often takes outside help to do it. -  Addiction IS a form of "insanity." There are "reasons" and components that may NEVER make sense! We can walk a spouse through the "logic in the moment-of-acting-out," and come to conclusion that it was NOT in fact logical at all!- AFTER a full disclosure by the addict to their spouse, HOW can a couple come to a place where there is a feeling of SAFTEY and an ability to move forward?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCurious about "why" porn/sex addicts do the kinds of things they do? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionWant to learn more about how to move out of "toxic sex" in a marriage relationship and into "True Intimacy"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
11/9/202120 minutes, 20 seconds
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My Husband Watches Female Professional Wrestling. Is That a Problem?

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a listener who asks a very important question about one of her spouse's favorite pastimes—watching female professional wrestling. While this sounds pretty straight forward, there is a LOT to consider here! I caught [my husband] watching women’s wrestling and a very inappropriate video of the same. More than once in the last few months, he lied until I showed him evidence. Then there were excuses and gaslighting and finally a pathetic apology. The last time, I told him wrestling and YouTube  had to go at least for 6 months and hopefully I could eventually get to the point of even trying to move forward with the marriage. We had a good talk, I got really open about my feelings about it (something I had not done ever). He said he understood  and agreed to the 6 months. The very next day he asked if he could watch a YouTube series during lunch. Needless to say I was angry. Well, he watched it (and more). I found out and the same cycle began again. His excuse is that wrestling makes him happy. Can you say stab to the heart? He doesn’t even see how that statement is hurtful. Wrestling makes him happy, so happy that he will chose it over my boundaries. Something I desperately need out of our lives to begin to heal. My question is this. How do I get him to understand and when do I say enough is enough? I realize this answer varies with each individual, but when does staying with someone who continues this behavior become a co-dependent relationship? How do I know if this is what I am experiencing? I want to stay but I feel like if I do, it just shows him that he can continue to hurt me and put me second to himself. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesCurious about "why" porn/sex addicts do the kinds of things they do? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionWant to learn more about how to move out of "toxic sex" in a marriage relationship and into "True Intimacy"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
11/2/202119 minutes, 44 seconds
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As an Addict, How Can You Move Past Your Defensiveness to Truly Connect With Your Spouse?

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a PBSE listener's sincere inquiry about HOW to move through his defensiveness in response to his wife's legitimate trauma triggers. Here's his message and question to PBSE—I am a sex and love addict, I have found that I perceive my life in negative defensive ways. When my wife pulls away from me for mental safety I perceive it as her wanting to abandon me. How do I repair that? I don’t want to continue being so defensive. I understand where my defensiveness came from in the enmeshed life I lived with my trauma filled mom.My wife’s defense mechanism is omission of information and mental bullying, overtaking conversations or dominating situations. I have never been able to trust in my life due to my moms training from our enmeshment and her traumas I took on. How do I get ahead of this and start trusting my wife in healthy ways; knowing her defense mechanisms….?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about how to move out of "toxic sex" in a marriage relationship and into "True Intimacy"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
10/26/202124 minutes, 29 seconds
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Has Your Addict Partner Truly "Forgotten" His Past Betrayals OR is He "Gaslighting" You?

In this episode, Mark and Steve take on a PBSE listener's question about her husband's "claim of not being able to remember the details of his previous disclosures to her. Several months after he finally came clean and told her "everything," he backtracked and denied ever disclosing those things. Here's her description of the situation—Since then, he has said he doesn’t remember having these conversations and confessing these things. After a few weeks of feeling crazy I searched my text messages and showed him detailed texts that took place over many weeks detailing these exact disclosures. He explains what his behavior was and what would trigger him to do it. He claims he was weak and his mind told him that’s what he needed at the time. After seeing these many texts he became frustrated and said he has no clue why he admitted to such betrayals and that they [never happened]. Have either of you experienced a client who admitted things “just so they never had to come back later if they remembered it and say they lied” or have forgotten part of their disclosure early on? I feel he has blocked this part of the betrayal out in order yo block some guilt or that he is simply lying now because he has shame for those specific acts. Any advice?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesIf you are the spouse of an addict, it is CRITICAL that you be supported in the FACT that his addiction is NOT your fault! Here's an article to help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultHere's an article looking at how addicts can "gaslight" their partners—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-you
10/19/202119 minutes, 52 seconds
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How Do I Overcome the Shame of My Past "Toxic Sex/Me-Centered" Behaviors?

In this episode Mark and Steve respond to a very heart-felt question by a PBSE listener—My wife and I recently listened to your episode on healthy sex vs toxic sex. I realize now that for our whole marriage, sex has been toxic and me-centered. I asked my wife if she identified with the part in the episode where you said some wives discover feeling abused in this process and she said yes. This crushed me. My question is: how do I process the shame and self-hate that comes with learning my wife feels this way? How can I forgive myself, especially if she is still struggling to forgive me? Self forgiveness seems selfish before she offers forgiveness. Will I ever stop feeling like a monster?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about how to move out of "toxic sex" in a marriage relationship and into "True Intimacy"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
10/12/202127 minutes, 29 seconds
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Is My Partner Lying About His Porn Use? How Can I Know?

How do you know if your partner is telling you the truth about his porn use and other sexual behaviors?  A PBSE listener recently submitted this question and expressed her pain and confusion in a very raw and authentic way.  In this episode, Mark and Steve provide some guidance—Is “pornified” (objectified) language and behavior an indication he is still acting out?In many cases, yes.Regardless of acting out, it's a clear sign that there are warped and unhealthy views about sex, sexuality in general, and that he is NOT placing his partner's needs and wants as the first priority. Can someone stop their porn addiction without help?It's rare, but remember, even IF he stops on his own—Sobriety is NOT recovery.They can stop, but can they really change? This is less likely. What are other signs of ongoing porn use/acting out?There are many: emotional variability/radical mood swings; lack of healthy coping skills; distorted views on sexuality/healthy sexual norms; abnormal changes in sexual routines; sexual aggression; low self esteem and self worth; lots of guilt and shame around the topic of sexuality and recovery in general.These aren’t guaranteed signs, but are all serious red flags. Taking all the signs you see into account, along with your own "gut" and intuition, you will likely be pretty close to the truth. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesNote sure if you have a porn addiction? Here's a chart that will help you self-assess—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/are-you-addicted-to-pornHere's an article that will help you balance your own healing from Betrayal Trauma with providing support for your addict spouse in recovery—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-fault
10/5/202122 minutes, 49 seconds
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How Can I Forgive a Man Who Has Spent Nearly Our Entire Marriage Lying?!

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a very heart-felt message and question from a PBSE listener:  a spouse struggling to forgive her porn-addicted spouse—How can you work through feeling like you can't forgive your spouse? The deception, gaslighting, secrecy, disrespect and disregard for others feelings is causing contempt that grows by the day. How can I forgive a man that spent most of our marriage fantasies about sleeping with other women behind my back. He admits he liked the idea of getting away with something in his mind. After 16 years of lies, he now wants forgiveness. I love him, but all I see is a monster when I look at him.Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that will help you balance your own healing from Betrayal Trauma with providing support for your addict spouse in recovery—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-fault
9/28/202120 minutes, 19 seconds
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How Do I Know if My Spouse is an Addict or Not?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a common question submitted by a PBSE listener—I have listened to many episodes of your podcast. They have all been very helpful. My question is: Do you consider every man who views porn an “addict” or “sex addict?” My husband confessed to viewing pornography (no other acting out) for the last two and a half years. He can describe the events that led him to cross that line in our marriage. He has told me on two different occasions that he was tempted and was able to identify the feelings that triggered him for both times. I’m in a support group with other women and most of their husbands were addicted to porn as a teenager and brought it into the marriage and have been viewing porn for 10, 20, 30 years. I know that my husband could slip or relapse. I’m just wondering if you ever encounter clients who get sucked into porn through a stressful time but sought help early enough, say a year or two. Would they be considered addicts as well? I am assuming since porn is addicting that could be the case? Thank you both for your dedication to the podcast and the topic of pornography.Here are just a few of the things Mark and Steve discuss—What IS the Definition of Porn/Sex Addiction?Addiction is a spectrum - not an on-or-off switchWhat are the consequences/outcomes of addiction?How to determine if he is an addict and the depth of his addiction—What level of insight/vulnerability does he display?What is he doing (ongoing) to cope with difficult feelings and emotions?What is his level of reactivity?What does his capacity to empathize look like?Is he present/engaged in sex?How open/safe do you feel with him? Are you comfortable asking him hard questions?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you learn more about HOW the brain works in sex/porn addition and HOW to set healthy boundaries in recovery—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addiction
9/21/202123 minutes, 58 seconds
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Unhealthy Relationships Can Help Fuel Porn Addiction—How Can You Move from Co-Dependency to Recovery?

Growing up, a PBSE listener suffered from an abusive relationship with his father, which was a BIG factor in the development and ongoing struggle with Porn Addiction. He submitted some questions to Mark and Steve—I've realized that improving my relationship with my Dad is key to my recovery. How do I approach him about this without letting out 20 years of anger and resentment? His approach to life is that anyone that can't solve their problems with willpower alone is just weak. What do I tell him then? How do I work through the codependency?In this episode, Mark and Steve talk directly about HOW to move from Co-Dependency to Recovery and let go of the shackles of past and present abusive/dysfunctional relationships. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a blog article that shows you how to achieve "real intimacy/connection" even in the midst of conflict!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/collaborative-conflict-is-essential-to-real-intimacy-in-marriage
9/14/202124 minutes, 13 seconds
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When Your Partner is a Porn Addict, What Does “Healthy Connection” Look Like?

If your partner is a porn addict, is it even possible to have any level of "healthy connection"???In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and open about what is possible and real when it comes to healthy connection when one spouse is recovering from porn addiction and the other is healing from betrayal trauma—How does Porn Addiction destroy connection?Can there be any healthy connection before he gets into recovery?Once in recovery, what does healthy connection look like?How can we be connected while allowing each other to work our own individual processes?  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about what "healthy connection" looks like in a marriage relationships:  https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
9/7/202121 minutes, 22 seconds
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Does Recovery & Healing require that we STOP Internet use, AVOID going out in Public and NEVER talk to the opposite sex?

When it comes to daily life and being subjected to a "sexualized culture," what are the "healthy boundaries" in sex/porn addiction recovery? What can/should an addict-in-recovery STOP doing in "regular" life? What is too strict or too lax? When does an addict cross the line into rationalization, minimization and denial? How do we "collaborate" on this as a couple? When and how can we start to integrate ourselves back into regular, normal life—or can we ever do that! In this episode, Mark and Steve answer these tough questions and more.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you learn more about HOW the brain works in sex/porn addition and HOW to set healthy boundaries in recovery—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addiction
8/31/202122 minutes, 25 seconds
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Your Chosen Path of Sexual Experience—Healthy or Unhealthy? Connecting or Disconnecting?

In working with people all over the world, we often get questions from couples regarding what IS and what is NOT healthy and connecting in their sexual relationship. In this episode, Mark and Steve get really DIRECT about WHY we bring certain expectations, practices, attitudes, etc., to the bedroom and HOW to begin opening up an authentic, vulnerable, healthy dialogue as a couple to take your Sexual Intimacy to a truly healthy and connected place.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about what "Healthy Sexuality" looks like in a marriage relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
8/24/202121 minutes, 23 seconds
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You are "Powerless" to Control What He’s Thinking During Sex—or Any Other Time!

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a HUGE issue many partners struggle with. Here's how a PBSE listener expressed it—My question is with all the porn videos and images he has seen how does the wife know what he is thinking while having sex with the wife? By this I mean how do we know, even after getting help, which he is not in any recovery, that he is not still bringing some porn scene, scenarios or acts he's seen, into the bedroom?The raw answer is:  "You don't know!" and you CAN'T control what he does or does not think about. So WHAT do you do with that reality???  HOW can you ever have a healthy relationship or healthy sex KNOWING this is true??? Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about what "Healthy Sexuality" looks like in a marriage relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
8/17/202126 minutes, 26 seconds
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Should I have Daily Sex with my Husband so He can Recover?

We know—this title is ridiculous!!!  It's intended to be totally SARCASTIC!  But it's in response to a lengthy, raw, heart-felt, super authentic email we recently received from a PBSE listener. Her spouse is a sex/porn addict who is NOT in "real recovery," but insists that if she would give him daily sex, he could overcome his struggles. In this episode, Mark and Steve have a LOT to say about this!!!  They get RAW and REAL about the TRUTH of this situation and HOW this good woman can proceed forward with her own healing and fulfilling life. They also offer some very DIRECT advice to her addict-spouse. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you in recovery from Porn Addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/what-got-you-into-your-porn-addiction-can-help-get-you-outIf you're a spouse suffering in Betrayal Trauma, this article can help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/why-would-your-husband-who-loves-you-gaslight-youTrying to heal your marriage relationship? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/do-sexual-entitlement-and-a-healthy-marriage-go-together
8/10/202127 minutes, 52 seconds
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Stuck? Real Recovery & Healing REQUIRE a Trajectory!

It's SO easy to get STUCK in a negative, hame-based mindset; trapped on an endless rollercoaster of dark emotions; feel like your relationship is going nowhere or just downward!In this episode, Mark and Steve get real about their own personal experiences with being STUCK and STAGNATING in recovery; stuck in negative thinking; in anger, bitterness and resentments; in hopelessness or apathy; and stuck in a relationship rut!Allowing yourself to stay stuck is really just a "slow emotional death;" it's "eventual destruction by default;" it's really a state of being "damned"!  The solution is to be willing and daring enough to start facing and asking the HARD QUESTIONS and then making a CHOICE to starting moving in a direction—ANY direction! From that place, ANYTHING is possible! Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you in recovery from Porn Addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/what-got-you-into-your-porn-addiction-can-help-get-you-outIf you're a spouse suffering in Betrayal Trauma, this article can help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/why-would-your-husband-who-loves-you-gaslight-youTrying to heal your marriage relationship? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/do-sexual-entitlement-and-a-healthy-marriage-go-together
8/3/202126 minutes, 27 seconds
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After the Betrayal of Porn Addiction, Can We Ever Have “Healthy Sex”?

Here's a heart-felt question from a PBSE listener—Since learning that my husband of 44 years has been addicted to porn our entire marriage, a floodgate of emotions continue to wash over me. We are both committed to this union and he is working very hard in recovery. My question involves how do I trust and ignite my own healthy sexual expressions after years of dysfunction and “taking care” of a “needy” husband?In this episode, Mark and Steve discuss HOW to "weld together" the broken, shattered pieces of betrayal to enjoy a new, more diverse and expanded closeness and intimacy as a couple—including HEALTHY sexual intimacy.  Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you in recovery from Porn Addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/what-got-you-into-your-porn-addiction-can-help-get-you-outIf you're a spouse suffering in Betrayal Trauma, this article can help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/why-would-your-husband-who-loves-you-gaslight-youTrying to heal your marriage relationship? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/do-sexual-entitlement-and-a-healthy-marriage-go-together
7/27/202130 minutes
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Do You STINK at Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries?!

A PBSE listener recently sent us this comment and request—You speak of the importance of establishing boundaries.  While we understand that each couple is unique can you address more specifically or give examples of what healthy boundaries look like during recovery?Let's get real—based on how we were raised and what was "modeled" to us, nearly all of us have some issues with setting and enforcing boundaries. In fact, a lot of us STINK at setting healthy boundaries! (Mark and Steve REALLY STUNK before learning how to do this!)In this episode, Mark and Steve get SUPER RAW about what unhealthy, dysfunctional boundaries look like and HOW to start setting and enforcing HEALTHY BOUNDARIES in your life and most important relationships. Summertime can be a HUGE trigger for porn addicts in recovery and for spouses healing from betrayal trauma! As individuals and as couples, HOW can you SUCCESSFULLY navigate the visual and emotional "minefield" of summer?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you in recovery from Porn Addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/what-got-you-into-your-porn-addiction-can-help-get-you-outIf you're a spouse suffering in Betrayal Trauma, this article can help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/why-would-your-husband-who-loves-you-gaslight-youTrying to heal your marriage relationship? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/do-sexual-entitlement-and-a-healthy-marriage-go-together
7/20/202129 minutes, 48 seconds
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Letting Go of Control & Manipulation to WORK Your Own Recovery!

In this episode Mark and Steve openly address a PBSE listener's questions about what to do with an addict spouse in recovery who still tries to exert control and practice manipulation. -  Why porn/sex addicts can tend to shift blame and accountability.-  Addicts can have a strong affinity for relying on external factors for their emotional stability.-  Why real recovery begins and ends with "ME."-  We have NO control over our partner's perceptions—these are "their reality"—stop trying to do battle with them!-  It's NOT your job to "make your partner feel better," and it's NOT their job to make you feel better! We can support each other's recovery and healing but we should not take OWNERSHIP of them!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you in recovery from Porn Addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/what-got-you-into-your-porn-addiction-can-help-get-you-outIf you're a spouse suffering in Betrayal Trauma, this article can help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/why-would-your-husband-who-loves-you-gaslight-youTrying to heal your marriage relationship? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/do-sexual-entitlement-and-a-healthy-marriage-go-together
7/13/202123 minutes, 37 seconds
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Navigating Summertime and Sex Addiction!

Summertime can be a HUGE trigger for porn addicts in recovery and for spouses healing from betrayal trauma! As individuals and as couples, HOW can you SUCCESSFULLY navigate the visual and emotional "minefield" of summer?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article that can help you in recovery from Porn Addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/what-got-you-into-your-porn-addiction-can-help-get-you-outIf you're a spouse suffering in Betrayal Trauma, this article can help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/why-would-your-husband-who-loves-you-gaslight-youTrying to heal your marriage relationship? Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/do-sexual-entitlement-and-a-healthy-marriage-go-together
7/6/202120 minutes, 23 seconds
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Let Go of "Emotional Wallowing" & Embrace "Vision & Meaning"

When we rely on "sheer motivation" to break out of porn addiction, this will easily plunge us into a pit where we become stuck in "emotional wallowing."' Then to escape the wallowing, we move back into addiction outlets—and the "wallowing cycle" spins around and around. In this episode, Mark and Steve guide listeners in HOW to move out of emotional wallowing and into Vision and Meaning. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
6/29/202126 minutes, 3 seconds
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Father's Day—Addiction & Trauma Trigger or Healing Event?

There are MANY "triggers" that can impact and even derail addiction recovery and healing from betrayal trauma. One trigger that can blindside us are significant, meaningful events like holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and more. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about their personal struggles with "Father's Day" and how it has been a trigger for both of them. Their raw and real personal examples will help you begin to uncover the core emotions/cause of your own addiction and trauma. And very importantly, learn HOW to start moving through and beyond your "triggers."   Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
6/22/202127 minutes, 33 seconds
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Why is Mindfulness & Connecting with Myself SO Hard?!

We constantly talk about how and why “mindfulness” and CONNECTING with your True, Authentic Self is SO critical to recovery and healthy living!  Yet, when it comes to stepping back to be an “observer” and “watcher” of our thoughts, feelings and emotions—WHY can it be SO HARD?!  It’s way easy to get pulled into GOING TO WAR and battling it out with our brains—seeing the brain (especially the ego-addict-Limbic System) as the ENEMY! There is a way to work WITH your brain and not against it—a way to get into a "flow" of self-connection. STOP battling with yourself and start connecting!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
6/15/202123 minutes, 47 seconds
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Erectile Dysfunction and Your "Arousal Template"

A podcast listener asked about her husband's risky, bizarre, self-centered sexual behaviors; his Erectile Dysfunction; and how these are related to his porn/sex addiction.In this episode Mark and Steve talk raw and real about these issues. They relate this to their own experiences with addiction and the many clients they've worked with over the decades. They discuss:-  How porn/sex addiction radically alters the "Arousal Template" resulting in a dramatic impact on healthy sexuality. -  Unaltered by extreme outside influences, a healthy Arousal Template represents our "sexual authenticity." -  Is our Arousal Template formed by nature or nurture? -  How can changes in the Arousal Template lead to Erectile Dysfunction?-  Can one's Arousal Template be changed in positive ways? If so, HOW? Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
6/8/202126 minutes, 37 seconds
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I’m Engaged to a Porn Addict—What Should I Do?

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a listener who is engaged to a porn addict. She submitted a message through PBSEpodast.com describing her situation:  she and her fiance have been together for two years. He has regularly used pornography during that time and she has let him know she is NOT OK with it. He promised he was getting help to quit porn but she discovered he's been lying about that. She also discovered he's been untruthful about other aspects of his life outside of the porn. In addition, she recently discovered text communications between him and his closest friends where they all commented that her expectations are too high and she is crazy for making such a big deal about his porn use. She is suffering from Betrayal Trauma. What should she do? Should she move ahead with marriage or pull back? Mark and Steve get very RAW and REAL in addressing this situation! Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services 
6/1/202122 minutes, 55 seconds
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Is Physical Touch the “Love Language” of Most Porn/Sex Addicts?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address and excellent question submitted by a PBSE listener—In the book written by Gary Chapman it talks about the 5 Love Languages. My husband says his love language is physical touch. Are most sex addicts love language physical touch? As a spouse how do I honor my needs and authentically respect myself? {there are days I don't want to make eye  contact, much less touch him after the betrayal} How do I make sense of this?-  If a spouse is a codependent, unhealthy and/or in an unbalanced state, then physical touch/sex as a love language is a misnomer. -  Looking at love vs. need and choosing vs. requiring as it applies to sex and physical touch in a relationship. -  Compulsive behaviors, including porn addiction, rewire the brain, placing physical touch/sex on a PEDESTAL—not as an optional component of giving and expressing love but as THE way to connect. -  Truly connected sexual intimacy is NOT manufactured but is the culmination and celebration of working to build ALL of the areas of holistic intimacy in a relationship. -  A healthy guy will have an affinity for physical touch among many other forms of connection. It will NOT be the sole "need" but rather an "optional desire." -  Be willing to explore ways in which sex may have become an unhealthy need or demand and HOW you can begin to move the needle toward it becoming a healthy desire and one piece of your overall holistic intimacy puzzle. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services
5/25/202123 minutes, 23 seconds
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Moving from Addiction to Connection: Reconciliation with Family

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a question submitted by a PBSE listener:My husband has been in active recovery since earlier this year. Your podcast has been instrumental in his recovery. My almost adult children are aware of the porn addiction and witnessed and were victims of his controlling, abusive and angry attitude during his active addiction. Do you have any advice to help him reconnect in a healthy way? Thank you.You cannot move from addiction to reconciliation quickly or in a few steps. There is a very specific and important process needed in order to heal relationships and move back into real, intimacy CONNECTION.Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
5/18/202123 minutes, 1 second
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From Surviving to Thriving in Your Marriage: A Vision for Addicts

In this episode Mark and Steve use the analogy of a unique little bird known as the "Bower Bird." HOW can we guys who are in recovery from addiction do the "little" things each day that move us from merely surviving in marriage to thriving?!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
5/10/202119 minutes, 9 seconds
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When is it Time to “Shake Up” Your Recovery and Healing?

Your recovery and healing are always at risk of stagnation, burnout, boredom, overwhelm, relapse and other potential "disrupters." In this episode Mark and Steve talk about how to regularly "shake up" your recovery and healing so they stay fresh, on-track and ever progressing toward greater peace, happiness, fulfillment and connection. Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
5/4/202122 minutes, 54 seconds
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How Inadequate Self-Care Sabotages Your Recovery and Healing!

Mark and Steve discuss why Self-Care is SO crucial to overcoming porn addiction, healing from betrayal trauma and mending your marriage. And why it is so often taken for granted or overlooked entirely. Very importantly, Mark and Steve talk openly about their own struggles with self-care and the barriers that often get in the way of this essential element in healing and recovery.Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
4/27/202131 minutes, 27 seconds
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The Wall Between Betrayal Trauma and Healing/Connection

In Episode 66, Mark and Steve explored the walls an addict spouse often throws up in defense against his betrayal-trauma-suffering spouse beginning to "speak her truth."In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about the totally legitimate thoughts, feelings and emotions triggered by Betrayal Trauma that can create a huge barrier to connection and healing. What are the symptoms of Betrayal Trauma? How can these create walls that hinder or completely block out healing and connection? What are the initial steps to begin navigating through Betrayal Trauma on the path to a healthy life and relationships?Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
4/20/202125 minutes, 47 seconds
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The WALL Between Conflict and Connection

A BIG part of beginning to heal a marriage marred by pornography addiction, is for the addict spouse to provide a SAFE space for the betrayed spouse to honestly and openly express her pain and speak her truth. But when she does, it's very common (for a host of reasons) for the addict spouse to immediately throw up a WALL of self-defense and resistance.In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about the walls they both piled up when their wives tried to be totally authentic and speak their truth. Mark and Steve talk about where these walls come from and why as addicts we tend to build them.And, most importantly, how can we begin to tear down these walls so we can open the path to Real Healing and enjoy True Connection? Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
4/13/202126 minutes, 21 seconds
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How Can a Struggling Couple Come Out of "Relationship Limbo"?

In this episode, Mark and Steve respond to a recent email from a listener—“I’d like to know how is it that your wives were willing and able to stay in your marriages through all the porn and affairs? My son-in-law is an addict and my daughter can’t see how she can stay married to him. She’s willing to be friends for the sake of the kids but she doesn’t know how she can stay. He is not yet admitting he’s an addict. She’s never felt loved in their young 5-year marriage.”What is the answer to this dilemma? Listen in and find out!Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit—daretoconnectnow.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
4/2/202129 minutes, 9 seconds
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Can I Ever Go Back to Porn?

In this episode, Mark and Steve openly address a common issue they faced in their own recoveries, and one they see often with their clients—"Can I ever go back to porn?"  What this means to most men in recovery is—"Can I ever just live like a 'normal' guy?" Do I have to do this "recovery stuff" the rest of my life?!  What about masturbation, provocative movies and entertainment, certain sexual practices? What are the boundaries and can these change after I have a period of sobriety? And VERY importantly--HOW does this whole train of thought and questions affect a spouse suffering from betrayal trauma? What boundaries can and should she expect and enforce? Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
3/30/202125 minutes, 12 seconds
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What it Takes to SUCCEED in Recovery and Healing!

In this episode, Mark and Steve give listeners a window into what they've learned from their own recoveries and what they've experienced over many years as therapists. What DOES it take to truly succeed in your recovery and healing efforts? Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
3/23/202126 minutes, 54 seconds
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Defining "Slips" and "Relapses"

When a couple is working together through addiction recovery and healing betrayal trauma, it can be VERY difficult to understand the differences between a "Relapse" and a "Slip." In this episode, Mark and Steve discuss WHY there should be separate definitions for a "Slip" and for a "Relapse"—why the distinction at all?How can a couple navigate the differences and use these definitions to aid in effective recovery, promote healing and increase connection?Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
3/16/202119 minutes, 11 seconds
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Where is the line between “loving” someone and “trusting” them?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a PBSE listener's heart-felt dilemma. After discovering her spouse's addiction to porn and feeling the intense betrayal, she was justifiably angry, hurt and numb. Here's how she expressed it—"It breaks my heart that I have these feelings for someone I love so much. It makes me angry with myself and him. All the years of lies have just turned me somewhat cold. I don't want to be bitter. How can I get back to a place of empathy and compassion?"In this episode, Mark and Steve talk real about HOW to navigate the line between "loving" an addicted spouse and "trusting" him. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn 
3/9/202132 minutes, 7 seconds
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Spiritual Safety and Sexual Intimacy: You Can Have Both!

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a questions submitted by a listener—"Can you discuss the dynamic of being the spouse of an addict who is not a believer? In my marriage there has been sexual addiction and he is 2 1/2 years into recovery/sobriety but we are now dealing with the dynamic of a sexless marriage. How can we make the transition to a healthy sexual connection void of a spiritual connection?"First, we need to be clear about what "healthy sex" is and is not. (for a deeper dive on this, see PBSE episode #23: Healthy vs. Toxic Sex)-  Healthy sex begins with a strong emotional/spiritual connection. It's all about "what you bring with you."-  Seeking to understand and then to be understood.-  Focus/appreciation on your partner as a "whole" as opposed to selective "parts." -  Physical intimacy is a gauged physical expression of a point on the Connection Spectrum.Second, we also need to be clear about "Spirituality" vs. "Religiosity." -  Religion is an institution/organization of spiritual concepts, doctrines, structure, ordinances, core tenets, etc. Spirituality is the "relationship accompaniment" to religion. Religion gives me a definition of God; Spirituality is coming to know and communing with God. -  Healthy Sexual Intimacy is a coming together of physical bodies AND spiritual bodies. A key to a truly connection relationship is finding the "commonalities" and "intersection" of our individual spiritual beliefs/worlds. A true coming together.Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
3/2/202132 minutes, 7 seconds
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Is it "OK" to "Offend" Your Partner?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address some very poignant questions submitted by a listener:"What do you do when the proof is in the pudding that your partner is a sexual addict but they refuse to acknowledge it?I asked him for a separation at the beginning of Dec hoping that would shake him up a bit …  He has agreed to couples counseling but is "offended" at my suggestion that he has a sex addiction. There have been many discoveries over our 17 years. Is there a way to help him see or are we a lost cause?"-  We have NO control over (and must surrender) another's feelings, even our partner's.-  We tell the truth at any cost!-  The focus in true Intimacy is on Authenticity, NOT on preserving/protecting/enabling unacceptable behaviors. -  LOVE cannot be LOVE if it is robbed of truth!-  FEAR can derail authenticity.-  We CAN help a spouse "see" the reality of their addiction, BUT we cannot force them to recognize it. We can be consistent and bold with boundaries and consequences. We can "hold up a mirror." And, we can love him or her enough to let them be uncomfortable. -  How to use "outside voices" and "other messengers" to help an addict spouse come to a place of vulnerability, acceptance and accountability. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
2/23/202132 minutes, 7 seconds
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Great! He’s in Recovery . . . but What is He Thinking?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address a recent question by a listener—a very honest, legitimate, excellent question—"Hi there, my recovering spouse and I LOVE your podcasts.  it has brought us closer through sharing our thoughts on episodes. One thing I would love to hear your take on as a betrayed spouse is how on earth do you as an addict keep those images and thoughts of porn and past sexual encounters out of your head on a daily basis? I would think it would be really easy to "reminisce" and have no one be the wiser. "How can a recovering addict and a healing spouse DEAL with his inevitable sexual thoughts and fantasies in a HEALTHY WAY? Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article on the "Brain Science" behind porn and sex addiction—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
2/16/202133 minutes, 30 seconds
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Why Would the Man Who Loves Me, "Gaslight" Me?!

In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and open about an extremely destructive behavior that porn addicts engage in with their partners—GASLIGHTING!Mark and Steve talk about their own gaslighting and narcissistic tendencies during their dark addiction years. And they also share WHY there is GREAT HOPE even in marriage relationships where gaslighting is currently going on. -  What are the underlying causes of gaslighting--WHY do so many porn addicts engage in this behavior?-  What is the "neuroscience" behind gaslighting?-  How can an addict get honest about his gaslighting and break free of it, moving instead into a habit of absolute honesty?-  Why is there great HOPE for your marriage? Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's a great article that will help you determine if your partner is Gaslighting you—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-youHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
2/9/202133 minutes, 20 seconds
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What Does it Take to Get "SERIOUS" about Real Change?

In this episode Mark and Steve speak openly about what it took for them to get to the rock bottom place where they were ready to start down the path of real change. They also acknowledge that everyone is different--"it takes what it takes." Learn how YOU can come to the place where you're ready to take solid, deliberate steps onto the path of breaking free from addiction and healing from betrayal trauma. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
2/2/202132 minutes, 7 seconds
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The Addict's Journey from Escape & Avoidance to Authenticity & Transparency

It has been said, "We are only as sick as our secrets."  Another way of coming at this would be: "Living in secrecy keeps our addiction alive." In this episode Mark and Steve share their own past personal struggles with authenticity and transparency. And, they answer some common questions—-  WHY is it so terrifying to allow others to truly "see us" just as we are on the inside without the outside facade of masks, personas, guardedness, acting, story-telling, half-truths, selective disclosure, etc.?-  WHERE does this FEAR of being seen come from? What are its origins?-  HOW does the lack of authenticity and transparency FEED addiction and keep us trapped?-  WHAT are the initial, simple STEPS for daring to come out of secrecy and hiding to finally BE SEEN?Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
1/26/202132 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to Navigate Mental Illness AND Addiction/Betrayal Trauma

Mental illness and addiction, as well as betrayal trauma, can be parallel struggles! And it can be very difficult to understand where one starts and the other begins, or which one leads to the other. In this episode, Mark talks raw and real about his own struggles with mental illness that began as a small child and how that morphed into and ran alongside his decades of addiction. Mark and Steve also discuss some important aspects of mental illness and addiction/betrayal trauma—-  Addiction can be its "own" mental illness/brain dis-order, but also interacts toxically with other conditions--the "catalyst effect" and "the chicken and the egg." -  Addiction can MIMIC and/or trigger mental illness symptoms related to ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, shame and depression, anxiety and many others. -  HOW can we BREAK the CYCLE?  First of all, there is GREAT HOPE! Second, we can eliminate certain "variables" to get on a healthy path. There are also certain areas we can STABILIZE.  Also, be REALISTIC about expectations—it's about PROGRESS not PERFECTION. Safety is created in the TRAJECTORY not necessarily the DESTINATION. -  Mark and Steve give a very specific assignment that is VERY HELPFUL!Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
1/19/202133 minutes, 32 seconds
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Should We Hide Sex Addiction and Betrayal Trauma From Our Kids?

It's hard enough navigating through porn/sex addiction and betrayal trauma as adults! But what happens when we're raising kids at the same time? What should we disclose to our kids, if anything at all? And if we do disclose—how, when and how much should we share? And how can we create an environment where we don't pass on the same dysfunctional behaviors to our children? How do we help them to grow up and be sexually and relationally healthy? In this episode, Mark talks raw and real about his experience as a dad in addiction and his wife in betrayal trauma as they tried to raise 6 kids! Steve plays the "therapist" in asking Mark questions about those "dark days" and what we can all learn as parents or future parents. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
1/12/202137 minutes, 33 seconds
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How to be Emotionally Healthy as an Individual and Couple in 2021

We're all SO glad 2020 is over! In fact, we should all receive a t-shirt that reads, "I Survived 2020!" And we're all hoping 2021 will be SO much better. But . . . the reality is, this year could bring some challenges even more daunting than last year! We just don't know. The key is to seek emotional health and resilience for ourselves personally and as a couple-ship, NO MATTER WHAT this year brings! In this episode, Mark and Steve share some practical, in-the-trenches ways to maintain and even increase your emotional wellbeing amidst whatever chaos 2021 may bring.   Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
1/5/202138 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ditch the “New Year’s Resolution" BS—it doesn’t work!

Can you believe it--it's a NEW YEAR!  And it's that infamous time again--New Year's Resolutions!  In this episode Mark and Steve get real about WHY these resolutions virtually never work to produce long-term LASTING change. Using the "resolution" approach, especially for overcoming porn addiction and healing betrayal trauma, often does just the opposite! Here's why—-  We mistake "novelty" and initial "excitement" as true commitment. -  New Year's Resolution "energy" is only temporary--the brain CANNOT sustain it! -  Mark and Steve declared "blood oaths" and "this will be the absolute LAST time, only to fall right back into old addiction habits by February. -  It's NOT about goals—it must be about "Daily Systems" if you want to succeed long-term.-  It's NOT about quantity or even quality--it's all about CONSISTENCY. -  Learn the Power of Piggybacking to harness your brain's natural change capacities. -  Learn the True Formula for CHANGE in the New Year--and it's NOT the old New Year's Resolution! Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
12/29/202039 minutes, 31 seconds
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Learning from Mark & Steve's "Recovery Ghosts of Christmas Past"

This episode is a kind of "Christmas gift" from Mark and Steve to their listeners. They talk raw and open about how too many Christmas seasons over their decades of deep addiction were anything but merry and joyful! But, today Christmas time is SO MUCH BETTER! Mark and Steve share HOW they and their wives have turned Christmas into a truly enjoyable, peaceful, connecting time. Recovery, healing and Christmas truly can harmonize! Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
12/22/202038 minutes, 17 seconds
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Recovery, Healing & the Holidays—Part Three: Finding Serenity in the Midst of Family "Stuff"

During the holidays, "families" can be both an opportunity AND a challenge! Family interactions can support us on our paths of recovery and healing OR knock us off the path!In this Part Three episode, Mark and Steve offer guidance on HOW to successfully navigate family and the holidays—-  Balancing TIME between self, marriage and family. -  What to do when "enmeshed" family dynamics collide with new recovery and healing skills. -  How we can easily fall into old unhealthy family "roles." -  How do you learn to say, "No"?-  How to set and maintain healthy boundaries in family situations.-  How can you balance Transparency and Safety?-  Let go of expectations and don't take things personal!  -  Create NEW holiday traditions that bring Intimacy and Connection.  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
12/15/202035 minutes, 52 seconds
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Recovery, Healing & the Holidays—Par Two: "Self Care? Forget that! It's the Holidays, Bro!"

It's SO easy to "go off the self-care rails" during the Holidays! If we're not careful, we can tend to use as an excuse for laziness, apathy, self-indulgence, disconnection, etc., the old "Yah, but it's the Holidays!" In this Part Two episode, Steve and Mark talk about their own tendencies to fall prey to "holiday laziness" and how easy it is to fall out of the structure and routine of HEALTHY LIVING!!! Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
12/8/202029 minutes, 37 seconds
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Recovery, Healing & the Holidays—Part One: Preparing for and Managing Triggers

The holidays are a time for MAJOR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS—good and bad. In fact the Holidays are intended and designed to elicit intense emotions. These can be ignited by our internal or external environments. In this episode (part one of a 3-part holiday series) Mark and Steve get real about HOW to deal with holiday triggers in a healthy way—-  Normalize your holiday triggers—they're going to happen!-  Practice simply "being" with your emotions as opposed to "doing" something about them. -  Learn to break them down by playing the "what & why game."-  Once identified, turn to effective tools to manage your triggers.-  Connect with healthy people who truly care about you.-  Own your emotions and allow others to own theirs.-  You may need to let go of some traditions and adopt others that are more healthy.-  Have an "escape plan" for emotional emergencies.Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
12/1/202030 minutes, 36 seconds
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Where Relationship Expectations Collide with Individual Boundaries

It's very natural and legitimate to have certain expectations in our marriage relationship. And we NEED healthy boundaries in order to make steady progress and attain and enjoy real CONNECTION. But what happens when our relationship expectations come into conflict with our individual recovery and healing boundaries? What happens when expected goals or timelines aren't met or change? How do we deal with setbacks, disappointments and "unmet" expectations? Can expectations and boundaries be "fluid" while at the same time not falling prey to manipulation or complacency? In this episode Mark and Steve talk about their own personal and marital experience with expectations and boundaries and their journeys with clients in this often difficult-to-navigate subject.   Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhy FULL disclosure is CRITICAL to your Marriage Success:  https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageLearn why his porn addiction and the Betrayal Trauma it brings is NOT YOUR FAULT—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
11/24/202031 minutes, 17 seconds
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The "Unholy Triad" that can Decimate Your Marriage!

In their own addictions, recoveries and healing, and working with people all over the world, Mark and Steve have come to understand an "unholy triad" that decimates marriage:  Pride; Shame; and Trauma. In this episode Mark and Steve get raw and real about how these three HUGE challenges can derail our most cherished relationships and how to begin moving through and beyond them.  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhy FULL disclosure is CRITICAL to your Marriage Success:  https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageLearn why his porn addiction and the Betrayal Trauma it brings is NOT YOUR FAULT—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
11/17/202025 minutes, 16 seconds
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What Does it Really Mean to "Man-Up"?

With so many dominant influences from Hollywood, the mainstream media, pornography and the role models we were raised with, there's a LOT of confusion about what it really means to "man-up." It's NOT the "macho/sexual-prowess" stereotype the culture often tends to promote.   In this episode, Mark and Steve talk open and real about their own experiences as men and their work with men across the world.A man's strength has NOTHING to do with being "weakness-free." It has EVERYTHING to do with being willing to VULNERABLY face weaknesses, OWN them and learn how to move THROUGH them to become stronger. It's all about steadily and progressively stepping to one's highest and best self as a man. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
11/10/202028 minutes, 49 seconds
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How We Get Stuck in our Pain . . . and How to Heal and Move Forward

In this episode, Mark and Steve come from a very heart-felt place in speaking to the women who may find themselves "stuck in the pain of Betrayal Trauma." This is actually a very common struggle for many in early or even ongoing healing and recovery. Mark and Steve discuss—-  How the "grieving process" is a necessary part of facing pain and beginning to heal. -  Many women and men feel like they "don't have a voice," aren't being heard and often never really learned "how" to have a voice. -  Mark tells his personal trauma story as a kid and never really being "heard" or acknowledged. How this created Betrayal Trauma AND addiction! -  There are "communication realities or truths" that often do NOT adhere to our expectations or the "standard check-the-boxes." -  Why trauma does NOT follow a standard timeline and there is no "manual" that declares what is "normal" when it comes to healing. It takes what it takes!-  We CAN learn new communication skills, find our voice and learn to ADVOCATE for ourselves and others!-  HOW to learn to "lean into the pain," find "shame resiliency" and help each other as spouses through the recovery and healing processes. Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's why a husband's porn addiction is NOT his wife's fault!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-fault
11/3/202036 minutes, 14 seconds
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Is there a Place for "Sexual Entitlement" in a Healthy Marriage Relationship?

Mark and Steve produced this episode in response to a PBSE listener's question—Hi Guys!  Would it be possible to talk about entitlement in an episode? I feel like many men struggle with a sense of entitlement for sexual pleasure and/or being "serviced".  I know for my husband and many of his friends, the belief is that if they aren't getting it from their wives, they have the right to seek it elsewhere (porn, affairs etc).  How does someone work on changing their mindset of entitlement and seeing how it affects a relationship on so many levels?-  How our "culture" over generations has created an "entitlement attitude."-  How we can confuse "sex" and "love" in the marriage relationship.-  "Needing" vs. "Choosing" when it comes to sexual intimacy.-  How the answer to this dilemma can be found in BOUNDARIES.-  As individuals and as a couple, we need to decide what "kind" of sex we desire in our marriage relationship. -  What is "love" in your relationship? How do you define and specifically practice it?-  Is it time to let go of certain "paradigms from the past"?   Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhy FULL disclosure is CRITICAL to your Marriage Success:  https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageLearn why his porn addiction and the Betrayal Trauma it brings is NOT YOUR FAULT—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
10/27/202031 minutes, 58 seconds
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If You Don't Have Honesty—You Don't Have Much

This episode starts with Mark and Steve getting super raw about how lying was a big part of their addiction years and early recovery. -  There are MANY "layers of lies" that can be obvious or very subtle; active lies or passive ones. -  Why do addicts tell lies? And why do spouses often have struggles being totally open and blunt about what they're feeling and thinking?-  Why is dishonesty SO devastating to a marriage relationship? -  HOW can we make the shift into total honesty, transparency and authenticity?Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhy FULL disclosure is CRITICAL to your Marriage Success:  https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageLearn why his porn addiction and the Betrayal Trauma it brings is NOT YOUR FAULT—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
10/20/202035 minutes, 55 seconds
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Are YOU Choosing Your Life . . . OR . . . is "IT" Choosing You?

Mark and Steve get personal and talk about how, for much of their lives, they lived in "victim mode" and ran around spouting off cliches like, "I'm a realist," and "It is what it is," and "Things never change, so why bother?!" As CRAZY as it sounds, much of our TRUE POWER resides in this bold claim: "Acceptance is the answer to many of life's problems." Listen in as Mark and Steve talk about HOW to:- Embrace serenity in accepting the things you can't change;- Muster the courage to change the things you can;- Find the wisdom to know the difference!Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesLearn why his porn addiction and the Betrayal Trauma it brings is NOT YOUR FAULT—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultFind out HOW Porn use can easily turn into a "Drug Addiction?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addictionIs there a difference between "true intimacy" and "sex"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriageHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
10/13/202036 minutes, 54 seconds
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In Recovery & Healing—Is God Your Problem or Your Solution?

In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about their personal "God journeys"—how God operated in their lives BEFORE recovery and healing (crazy dysfunctional!)—and how their God relationships evolved in ways that literally "saved" their lives and marriages. Maybe in your individual and couple recovery and healing you could use a personal "God assessment."Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesIn many cases, "religiosity" which is often very different from "spirituality" can have a dramatic impact on keeping us stuck in addiction. Check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/lds-porn-addiction-helpWhen an addict spouse is "gaslighting" you, it can be very difficult to trust in your own "spiritual insights and promptings." This article might help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-youPorn and sexual addiction rob us of the deep spirituality that should exist in a healthy marriage relationship—even spirituality in the physical/sexual aspects of our relationship. This article may provide some valuable in sights—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage  
10/6/202036 minutes, 51 seconds
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Hey, we're doing well, so we can let up on our Boundaries—Right?

When things have been going well for awhile in addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing, there can be a temptation to relax the boundaries we've agreed to. This can also seem like a viable option when things are continuing to fall apart in the relationship. In either situation, experience tells us that the BEST chance your marriage has is within the safety and growth of BOUNDARIES. In this episode, Mark and Steve get into some of the more subtle and advanced nuances of boundaries—- Boundaries are often like “sand castles”--clear and strong at first, but then when the waves come crashing in they can quickly erode. - Beware the “subtle ruts” that can creep into your boundaries.- Should boundaries “evolve”? And how is this different from them simply being worn down or decaying?- Boundaries should be serving you—not you serving your boundaries!- Why are even seemingly “small” boundary enforcements important to recovery, healing and your marriage relationship?Assignment:  Do an honest, open “Boundary Assessment.”Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesLearn why his porn addiction and the Betrayal Trauma it brings is NOT YOUR FAULT—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultFind out HOW Porn use can easily turn into a "Drug Addiction?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addictionIs there a difference between "true intimacy" and "sex"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriageHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
9/29/202032 minutes, 55 seconds
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I'm Not Sexually Attracted to My Partner—Are We Done?

We live in a culture that can easily tend to make physical/sexual attraction the "be all, end all," in marriage relationships. In this episode, Mark and Steve share their own raw and real marriage experiences in relation to this poignant and difficult topic:Sexual passion/attraction is a force that "acts upon us." On the other hand, "Love" is a force we "choose to act within." What is "Attraction"? What is it based upon? Can it change?We each have an "Arousal Template" which is both physically and chemically driven. This template is largely programmed into us by our upbringing, media, culture, peers, porn, etc. BUT, we are NOT trapped in the same unchanging template--it CAN change, evolve and mature.  HOW can we begin to develop and enjoy a "holistic attraction and passion"--the kind that LASTS and DEEPENS with time?Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
9/22/202044 minutes, 20 seconds
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How to Have DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS that bring TRUE CONNECTION!

Our most DIFFICULT conversations can also be the most CONNECTING! In this episode, Mark and Steve get raw and real about WHY we avoid difficult and uncomfortable conversations and HOW we can turn these situations into TRUE CONNECTION! If you're a couple where many or most of your hard conversations turn negative and divisive, this episode will help you understand "why" that happens and "how" to turn things around so you can stop fighting and start CONNECTING! Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
9/15/202036 minutes, 20 seconds
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How Do We Become Trapped in a "Marriage Crisis" and Can We Ever Come Back Together?

Porn addiction, Betrayal Trauma and other challenges can plunge us hopelessly into a seemingly perpetual pattern of Negative Relationship Patterns! This constant negativity wears us down until we can't see EVER having a happy, connected, fulfilled relationship. In this episode, Mark and Steve speak from personal marriage experience, as well as years of working with couples, about WHY we get trapped in our Negative Relationship Patterns and HOW to Break Free. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
9/8/202038 minutes, 37 seconds
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How "Pain Avoidance" feeds Addiction & Betrayal Trauma!

It's natural to avoid pain--that protection mechanism is built directly into the human brain. BUT, "pain avoidance" often creates and then feeds Addiction. And it can also keep us trapped in Betrayal Trauma.In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about HOW to STOP avoiding pain and actually start Embracing and Learning from it! Perhaps pain is the solution you've been searching for. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
9/1/202035 minutes, 49 seconds
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Separating "Attraction" from the "Addiction"—Where are the Boundaries?

In this episode, Mark and Steve address the questions and concerns of one of the PBSE podcast listeners. As the spouse of an addict in recovery, this listener brings up the very legitimate concern—As a sexual addict in recovery, should my husband be having an "attraction and chemistry" toward other women? How can he possibly do this without crossing the line into lust, fantasy, relapse and adding to the already deep and painful Betrayal Trauma I feel? Mark and Steve talk openly about HOW to separate normal, human "attraction" from "lust" and "addiction"—Where is the CEAR line? What expectations and BOUNDARIES should the spouse of a sex addict have? How does an addict honor these boundaries and keep a close watch on his true "intentions"?  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
8/25/202040 minutes, 23 seconds
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Porn Addiction Relapse—the Fallout and Breaking the Addiction Cycle

What happens when there is a "Pornography Addiction Relapse"? The Fallout of Relapse—For the Addict:  Hopelessness, shame, resignation, apathy, "Eeyore mode"—emotional volatility and variability. For the Spouse:  Often forced to be the absolver and confessor—she feels like she must set aside her pain to be there for him, or feel like she is insensitive for taking care of her own needs. For the Couple:  Often left feeling hopeless, exhausted and less motivated/energized to recommit and try again. Breaking the Cycle of Relapse—For the Addict:  Showing up from a place of proactivity, accountability and transparency. Learning "shame resiliency." NOT waiting to be asked about relapse; reaching out to people other than a spouse for support; rather than just saying "I'm sorry" to a spouse, present and then ACT on a plan to move forward. For the Spouse:  Setting and enforcing boundaries; taking personal space as needed; detaching with love; reaching out to your own support system (other than your husband).For the Couple:  Meeting in the middle; making "sincere" amends; collaboration on a plan going forward to prevent future relapses.  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
8/18/202042 minutes, 29 seconds
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Refuse to Be a "Victim"—"Let Go" and Allow Her to Heal from Betrayal Trauma!

-  Learn how to “let go” of Your Spouse’s Healing-  Instead of focusing on what she is or is not doing—put all your energy into YOUR recovery.-  You can’t “undo” trauma or “fix” your spouse. The best thing you CAN do is CHOOSE to break free from addiction. -  The best chance to “save your marriage” is to work your own recovery!-  Clear Setting AND Adherence to Boundaries is essential—it’s the ONLY way to make consistent forward progress.-  “Hard things” do NOT justify abandoning boundaries and going back to “old ways”—back to “victimhood.”-  Look out for “complacency” when things are going well. -  Individual paths of recovery and healing will bring you back to a connected, joyful marriage path. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
8/11/202032 minutes, 29 seconds
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Breaking Free from the "Victim Trap" of His Porn Addiction

Addiction and Betrayal Trauma can easily plunge us into the "Victim Trap"! In this dark place, it is nearly impossible to progress on our paths of recovery and healing. In in episode which is "Part One," Mark and Steve discuss—-  How being distracted by your "partner's stuff" and drained by his or her issues leaves you no energy to work on your own stuff. -  In being a "victim" you give away power over your own happiness. -  Why the Victim Trap throws us into a cycle of perpetual hopelessness. -  Basing your "inner peace" on his "external actions" = Endless Frustration! -  Staying stuck in the Victim Trap will eventually lead to a bitter divorce—AND—you'll simply carriage your "emotional luggage" into the next relationship! -  One of the first steps to breaking out of the Victim Trap is "Healthy, Accurate ACCOUNTABILITY"!Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
8/4/202026 minutes, 58 seconds
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How Do I Regain Her Trust and How Do I Trust Her?

Two of the BIG questions we hear a LOT from recovering porn/sex addicts is:  "How do I get her to trust me again?" and "How do I trust her?" In this episode Mark and Steve get raw and practical about the answers to these critical questions—How do I regain her trust?The basis for your spouse trusting you again involves YOU developing consistency in several areas of recovery—not just sobriety. There is NO way to MAKE her trust you, so QUIT pressuring her! "Neediness" will NEVER develop trust!Your wife needs you to be a SUPPORT in her healing—learn how. Be accountable for YOUR role in her PAIN. How do I trust her?Validating your own pain and shame is a CRUCIAL first step. You have to LET GO of the "shoulds" about how and when to trust. Let go of any lingering responsibility for her recovery, trauma responses, future choices, etc. In some respects, the LESS you need the relationship, the MORE you will be able to trust it. Work on your own healing—knowing YOU will be OK regardless of what she decides, will allow YOU to show up in the relationship again. Trust is a CHOICE. At the end of the day, only YOU can make that decision.  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
7/27/202040 minutes, 59 seconds
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How Do I Ever TRUST my Porn/Sex Addicted Spouse Again?

Discovering your spouse has a porn/sex addiction triggers Betrayal Trauma and SHATTERS trust! HOW can you ever get to the place where you can "trust him again"? Mark and Steve share insights from their own marriages and their experiences helping women and couples over the last 20 years—Validating your own PAIN is a crucial first stepTrue empathy from your addicted spouse is ESSENTIAL!You need to let go fo the "shoulds" regarding how and when to trustLearn to LET GO of any lingering responsibility for his addiction, deception or future choices. The basis for "trusting again" is the process of the addict developing consistency in behaviors and attitudes in ALL areas of recovery—NOT just sobriety. In some respects, the LESS you "need" the relationship, the more you will be able to trust it! Working your own healing and knowing you will be OK by yourself, is what empowers you to "show up" in the relationship again. TRUST is a CHOICE. At the end of the day, only YOU can make that decision. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's why a husband's porn addiction is NOT his wife's fault!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
7/21/202045 minutes, 25 seconds
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"Boundaried" Relationships Last—Even in the Midst of Porn Addiction & Betrayal Trauma!

For any relationship to last and thrive, there must be "boundaries." This is especially true when you're dealing with Porn Addiction and Betrayal Trauma! In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and open about "boundaries in the marriage relationship"—If we love each other, why do we need boundaries? Love shouldn't be restricted-right? WRONG!  Love is NOT love unless it's "boundaried." Isn't setting and enforcing boundaries exhausting? It's FAR more exhausting in on the long run NOT to have them!How exactly do you begin setting boundaries? What are the key components to good, healthy boundaries?Boundaries are NOT "punishments in disguise"!  They are a "love map" to guide you on the path to true connection and happiness with your partner. How do you hold and enforce boundaries when your partner doesn't respect them? Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriageWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriage
7/14/202046 minutes, 19 seconds
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Todd Tells His Sex Addiction Recovery Story—Part Two

This episode is "Part Two" of the interview with Todd, a former Mark and Steve client, who tells his raw and real story of recovery from Sex and Porn Addiction. In this second half of the interview, Todd talks about how he moved from "ME" in addiction to "WE" in real recovery—How to shift your attitude from "me-centered" to "we-centered" and build the support network that is CRUCIAL to lasting recovery. Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering IF you have an actual "porn addiction"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/are-you-addicted-to-pornEver wonder WHY LDS men suffer so much shame from porn use?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/lds-porn-addiction-help
7/7/202032 minutes, 30 seconds
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Let Go of the "Sexual Beast' and Embrace REAL Intimacy in your Marriage!

In this episode, Mark and Steve address an issue submitted by a PBSE listener— Hi Guys!  My husband loves your podcast.  It's the only he will listen to openly.  I loved your topic today "Healthy Sex vs. Toxic Sex in Marriage."  You talked about lust and I found that topic to be very relatable.  Is it possible to discuss how lusting can cause issues in a marriage?  From the partner's perspective, it's broken down my trust in him and his motivations.  I recoil from his touch because I don't know if I am triggering the "beast".  His hyper-sexual needs have led me to be disgusted by his touch and causes me to want to avoid both it and him.If your marriage relationship is filled with too much "lust-based-sex," aka, "The Beast"—learn HOW to move into the beautiful and amazing realm of REAL INTIMACY! Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriageWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriage
6/30/202050 minutes, 35 seconds
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Todd Tells His Sex Addiction Recovery Story—Part One

Todd, a former Mark and Steve client, tells his raw and real story of recovery from Sex and Porn Addiction. Todd also talks about how being convinced from a young age that he had to "earn love," was a BIG part of what led him to and kept him trapped in addiction! Tune in next week for "Part Two"!Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering IF you have an actual "porn addiction"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/are-you-addicted-to-pornEver wonder WHY LDS men suffer so much shame from porn use?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/lds-porn-addiction-help
6/24/202041 minutes, 36 seconds
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Healthy Sex vs. Toxic Sex in Marriage

In this episode Mark and Steve openly discuss the differences between healthy and toxic sex in marriage—What are the differences between a healthy sex drive and a lust/fantasy focus in marriage? You can trigger the "addiction cycle" or the "connection cycle" through the sexual relationship in your marriage—which one do you want?What do you know if you're engaging in "lust" or "healthy attraction"? How lust can be a "poison" in the bedroom. How your spouse can be a "lust trigger" and why "toxic sex" is possible in marriage. When it comes to healthy physical intimacy—"intention" is EVERYTHING!Great sex is all about what you do OUTSIDE the bedroom and then bring with you into that setting. How to talk openly and intimately as a couple about your sexual relationship.Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriageWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriage
6/16/202044 minutes, 8 seconds
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How do you keep going in Recovery and Healing when you're Burned Out and just plain "Done"!

Mark and Steve know from personal experience and helping others, just how heavy, difficult, exhausting and discouraging addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing can be! In this episode they tackle this common issue head-on—-  How you and your spouse can honor and embrace your pain and feelings without allowing them to derail your recovery and healing. -  Is your view of recovery and healing (the pain and the blessings) realistic? How to plan and prepare for "the hard"?-  How to "get selfish in a healthy way" and capture or recapture the "vision" for your recovery and healing--"what's in this for me?"-  How to find your recovery and healing "fight song;" anthem and inspiration. -  Learn to "exercise your agency" in the areas of life where it isn't already compromised. -  Learn to view recovery and healing as a "lifestyle" as opposed to a temporary measure or event. Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/heal-betrayal-trauma-program-utahWondering IF you have an actual "porn addiction"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/are-you-addicted-to-pornWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionEver wonder WHY LDS men suffer so much shame from porn use?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/lds-porn-addiction-helpWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-porn
6/8/202048 minutes, 12 seconds
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Is it OK to Occasionally "Lie" if its in the Best Interest of Your Recovery or Healing?

We live in a world where honesty is a steadily shrinking virtue! Many in politics, sales, advertising and the media send a subtle or even blatant message that truth is relative, situational or interpretive. But what about issues related to addiction, betrayal, recovery and healing? Is telling the "whole" truth all the time really the "best" policy?What exactly is "the truth" when it comes to recovery and healing?How important is total truth and transparency to an authentically "intimate" relationship?Is "truth at ALL costs" really the most intelligent and healthy approach to recovery and healing?What is THE most important truth that should be shared in a marriage relationship?Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriag
6/1/202041 minutes, 6 seconds
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Those Darn Thinking Errors!—"Emotional Reasoning" and the "Unreal Ideal"

Addiction and Betrayal Trauma both have a dramatic impact on the brain and the heart! And one of the primary barriers to our recovery and healing is our THINKING ERRORS!In this episode Mark and Steve give personal examples from their own lives about two BIG thinking errors—EMOTIONAL REASONING and the UNREAL IDEAL. You'll learn how these to thinking errors work, effect us and get in the way of our healing. You'll also learn HOW to move them out of the way so you can progress forward in your recovery and healing--for you and your marriage!Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionEver wonder WHY LDS men suffer so much shame from porn use?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/lds-porn-addiction-helpNeed help healing from Betrayal Trauma?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoWant to mend your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
5/25/202037 minutes, 21 seconds
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Pulling Out a Chair for God at Your Marriage Table

If you want your marriage to truly be ALL that it can be, we HIGHLY recommend pulling out a chair for God at your marriage table. But that can be easier said than done! In this episode, Mark and Steve talk in-depth about HOW to build a marriage partnership with God—Addiction and betrayal can easily create a kind of "God-trauma" for each spouse individually and for the marriage--how can you navigate this?You each bring your past knowledge and experience with God to your marriage. How can you BUILD on that past to evolve and grow together as a couple?Be willing as a couple to explore how your connection with God currently does or doesn't work and what it can become.Be willing to try new approaches to spirituality in your marriage.Plan out a spiritual direction, but have a willingness to be flexible and adapt as needed. Learn HOW to engage in raw, vulnerable, transparent "couple prayer" as an irreplaceable part of your deep marital connection.  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
5/18/202042 minutes, 13 seconds
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For the Spouse of an Addict—How to "Let Go and Let God."

The devastating pain and confusion caused by your husband's porn addiction can easily create a distance or wall between you and God. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk about the realities of Betrayal Trauma HOW you can "let go and let God"—which is NOT easy!—Marital Betrayal—WHY would God allow this to happen???Manipulation and "Gaslighting" may cause you to doubt your intuition!Why didn't God tell you along the way about your husband's betrayal?If God won't protect you, then you have to protect yourself? Who has your back? Deeply flawed religious/cultural traditions about "men being more sexual" and a woman's obligation to meet her husband's "needs."How to develop a personal "alliance" with God FIRST and then look to the marriage.How to establish a CLEAR division of responsibilities—HIS recovery; YOUR healing; the marriage—a "3-part deal" with God enabling and empowering all of it.   Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
5/11/202047 minutes, 37 seconds
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The "Addict" vs. "God"

In the midst of your struggles with pornography, can you also have a relationship with God? Mark and Steve talk open and raw about their personal experience with this conflict. They offer some CRITICAL insights and a specific ASSIGNMENT that has helped them and their clients over the years.  Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesAddiction and God can be an especially difficult balancing act for LDS men. This article can help you with the issue of porn use and shame—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/lds-porn-addiction-helpTrying to overcome pornography addiction so you can establish a deeper spirituality?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionUtah has many people who care a great deal about their relationship with God. There is pornography addiction help in Utah—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/pornography-addiction-help-utah
5/4/202034 minutes, 34 seconds
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We Made All the Marriage Mistakes so YOU Don't Have To!—Part TWO

Mark and Steve come back to talk SUPER raw about even MORE marriage mistakes they and their clients have made--and HOW YOU DON'T HAVE TO KEEP MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES! In this episode, learn even more from Mark and Steve—We're NOT Enemies—we're in this Together—Too often, marriage becomes "him vs. her" in a competition or battle! You CAN learn HOW to shift from "Me" to "WE."Being "FULLY PRESENT"—It can be too easy to "be there physically," but absent emotionally. Learn HOW to truly "be there" for each other.Begin Seeing Your Spouse on EQUAL Terms—Even though it might be subtle or even subconscious, we can get into a place where we come across as intellectually or spiritually superior, condescending or intimidating. Learn HOW to be EQUALLY YOKED and ONE. Let Your Spouse OWN His or Her Recovery and Healing—Without realizing it, we can step into a place of CONTROL and playing police-woman or police-man with our spouse. Learn HOW to take care of your OWN recovery and healing and watch your relationship naturally come together. Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
4/25/202043 minutes, 4 seconds
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We Made All the Marriage Mistakes so YOU Don't Have To!—Part One

During their deep addiction years, Mark and Steve made all the marriage mistakes you can imagine! Now they offer you a great gift—the opportunity to LEARN from their MISTAKES! If they could go back in time knowing what they know now, here's what Mark and Steve would've done different in their MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP—During our courtship, I would've been open, honest, vulnerable and transparent—allowing my future wife to SEE the REAL me and KNOW the man she was about to marry. I would've let go of my MACHO attitude of needing to "handle it myself," and "go it alone" (excuses)—and been raw, open and sought serious therapy sooner!I would've dared to "get underneath" my anger, silence and other "covering up strategies" to get to my real issues and real trauma. I would've been less obsessed over my "knight-in-shining-armor" complex—"always being right" and realized it was OK to make mistakes in my marriage and ADMIT IT! I would've practiced "being comfortable with the uncomfortable" in my marriage and embraced the "tough conversations"!   Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWondering if your marriage can survive porn and sex addiction? This article will give you some hope—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornHow can you "heal" your marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriageReady to STOP Keeping Secrets in your marriage?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageWhat is the difference between "True Intimacy" and "sex" in a marriage relationship?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage  
4/20/202036 minutes, 56 seconds
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Two Former Porn Addicts—"If I Could Go Back in Time, WHAT Would I DO different?"

Mark and Steve get VERY raw and real about the struggles during their deep addiction years. Knowing what they know now—if they could go back in time, WHAT would they do different? Be open, honest and seek help WAY sooner vs. staying stuck in shame and secrecy!Face the PAIN and REAL underlying issues vs. believing it was all about the porn!Be open about the real possibility of being able to break free vs. buying into the lie that "I'll never actually be totally free from this!"Be willing to DO the DAILY WORK of recovery vs. being lazy, making excuses and thinking recovery is an EVENT when it's really a GREAT way to live life!Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about HOW to break free from porn?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addictionWondering IF you have an actual "porn addiction"?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/are-you-addicted-to-pornEver wonder WHY LDS men suffer so much shame from porn use?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/lds-porn-addiction-help
4/13/202043 minutes, 3 seconds
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Here's EXACTLY HOW to Use the "Surrender Tool" as an Addict, Spouse and Citizen

In this episode, Mark and Steve walk you through three REAL LIFE examples of HOW to use the "Surrender Tool" in times of overwhelming emotions like fear, lust, anger, resentment, betrayal and more. Learn how to go from "Me" to "We" and WIN through Surrender!  Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesTo learn more about HOW to use Surrender and other tools to Overcome Porn Addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/how-can-i-stop-watching-pornIf you're a spouse struggling with NOT being consumed by your husband's porn addiction, this might help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultA big part of Surrender in Marriage is letting go of Secrets!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriage
4/7/202033 minutes, 5 seconds
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How to Practice the Essential "Art of Surrender" in a Scary World!

Our natural tendency in addiction, betrayal trauma and current scary world events is to attempt to INCREASE the CONTROL we have over our lives! This is exactly the OPPOSITE of what we truly need in recovery and in life. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about exactly HOW to "SURRENDER" trying to control things when you feel the most out-of-control! Although it sounds like a total contradiction of oxymoron—the BEST way for you and those you love to succeed, connect and WIN in these crazy, uncertain times is to PRACTICE THE ART OF SURRENDER! Visit the PBSE website at:  pbsepodcast.comFind out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling ServicesTo learn more about HOW to use Surrender and other tools to Overcome Porn Addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/post/how-can-i-stop-watching-pornIf you're a spouse struggling with NOT being consumed by your husband's porn addiction, this might help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-faultA big part of Surrender in Marriage is letting go of Secrets!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriage
3/30/202046 minutes, 56 seconds
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How to Get Out of Your "Coronavirus Brain" and TAKE CHARGE!

Right now a lot of people across the world are feeling pretty "powerless"! But, those of us who have suffered from addiction, betrayal trauma and other significant trials—WE actually possess the raw experience, resilience, knowledge and tools to STEP UP and STEP INTO the role of "Servant Leaders." In this episode, you'll learn how to GET OUT of your "Coronavirus Brain" and TAKE CHARGE!   YOU are NOT your brain! Become a "Forceful Stage Director" and help others do the same. There are more important things than pallets of toilet paper! "A Feeling is Just a Feeling"—You can remain calm in ANY circumstances and show others how to do the same. The greatest protection you have against this virus is a STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM! And a CRITICAL part of attaining this is your DAILY SELF-CARE ROUTINE!The opposite of worry and panic is CONNECTION! Let go of "ME" in this crisis and embrace "WE." Even with "social distancing" you can still CONNECT! Out of the greatest struggle and adversity comes the greatest growth and development. Because of what you've already been through, you are UNIQUELY equipped to be a SERVANT-LEADER in these tough times! You KNOW more than you realize and you are more capable than you might think! If we are willing, God always turns everything for our good! Allow Him to use YOU in brining about that miracle! Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services
3/23/202048 minutes, 22 seconds
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Managing Your Emotions & Triggers in These Trying Times!

During times of HIGH emotional stress, like the COVID 19 pandemic, "triggers" go up for the population as a whole, and especially for those dealing with addiction! The HIGH STRESS can impact us in many ways—Financial fear and instabilityIncreased feelings of anxiety and depression--both individually and sociallyFeeling a lack of emotional safety and stabilitiyIncreased strain on relationships; more time together (which can be good and bad); increased strain on parentsSpiritual stress—is God there for me? Can I trust Him? Will He take care of us? Will we make it through this?Turning to outlets for self-soothing and coping like pornography, substances, gaming, social media, food, etc. How can you COPE? In this episode we talk about:Good "Self-Care"Safe activities; getting outside; mixing up your routine; keeping a solid, reliable structure in placeJournaling and focusing on what you CAN control; living one day at a timeYou MUST stay CONNECTED to those around you—do "emotional check-ins" with spouse AND children; maintain social and recovery connections; give "safe service"Get OUTSIDE your own head!Seek a variety of ways to stay CONNECTED TO GODUse the "First 3 Steps" as a guideVisit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services
3/17/202046 minutes, 54 seconds
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Are My Sexual Behaviors a Problem?

When it comes to sexual behaviors, we live in a world where there is a very broad spectrum about what people consider to be "healthy" and "not healthy." In this podcast, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about their personal experience with this and working with men across the globe. You'll learn—Can "sex" become an addiction? What are the levels on the path to sex addiction—CuriosityRecreationSelf-soothingObsessionCompulsionAddictionThere are MANY ways to "act out sexually"--Here are some examplesHow can you tell is your sexual behaviors are a significant PROBLEM—You are sacrificing the people and things you care aboutSelf-medicating vs. facing your issuesDisconnecting from others vs. TRUE CONNECTIONConnecting vs. Fantasy vs. Reality"What's in it for me" vs. REAL LOVEAssignment:  Do a "pros and cons list" regarding your current sexual behaviorsVisit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an infographic that can help you determine if you're addicted to porn—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/are-you-addicted-to-pornHere's a cool article talking about how Pornography use can turn into a "Drug Addiction"—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addiction
3/9/202040 minutes, 54 seconds
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Unraveling the BIG Mystery of Porn Addiction—"Why do I keep going back to it?!"

Everyone who gets trapped in porn addiction struggles with the "big mystery"--why do I keep going back to this crap? Why can't I just say 'NO!' once and for all?" The reason is that pornography radically changes the brain. In this episode you'll learn:After viewing porn and reaching climax, the viewer often pounds his fist on the table and asks, "What was I thinking?!"  The answer—"You weren't AND you COULDN'T!"What is the "Addiction Cycle"?--Initiating Trigger; Preoccupation; Ritualizing; Acting Out; Pain/Remorse (blood oaths)You get pulled into the "Porn Funnel" through "BLHASTed" feelings; massive waves of powerful neurochemicals release; all logic, reasoning, caring and consequences are BLOCKED out; the bottom of the Funnel is the Dialogue from Hell--"What was I thinking?!!!"Half the battle of breaking free from porn is in becoming knowledgable, aware and MINDFUL of exactly HOW porn changes your brain and HOW you can interrupt that process!Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesFor more on the Brain Science of Porn and Sex Addiction, check out this article—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionTo view a cool video about "your brain on porn," visit this link—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/your-brain-on-porn
3/3/202046 minutes, 38 seconds
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Battling Through Trauma Together!

Trauma is ALWAYS part of a marriage relationship—either trauma we bring with us from childhood or trauma created while we're married. Either way, trauma can open a chasm of disconnection and conflict between us, or it can bring us close together than ever! It all depends on whether we battle each other or join forces and battle the trauma together. In this podcast, you'll learn the 5 Steps to Connecting in Trauma and Conflict—Sit in One Another's Emotions (fight through being "pain-averse")Use Validation and Inquiry (as opposed to "deny and defend")Be Accountable (vs rationalizing and justifying)Show TRUE Empathy (instead of sympathy and going into "victim=mode")Give Support (vs "shutting down")Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesWhen you battle trauma together, your marriage can survive porn addiction and even thrive!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/can-marriage-survive-pornYour marriage can even survive the trauma and devastation of infidelity!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/how-to-mend-your-marriage
2/25/202044 minutes, 8 seconds
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Conflict Isn't Bad—Fighting the Real Enemy, NOT Each Other!

Most of were raised to believe that "conflict is bad" and to be avoided at all costs! The truth is, in healthy relationships, conflict should be expected and even encouraged!  Conflict doesn't destroy a marriage—it's the way it's handled that does. In this podcast you'll learn:The differences between "conflict" and "contention." How to engage in "Collaborative Conflict"Real connection in a relationship has very little to do with "agreement"Seeking to understand and to be understood is the keyHow "ego-defense-mechanisms" get in the way of real connectionThe role TRAUMA plays in conflict and contention  Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension CounselingLearn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesA crucial part of fighting the real enemy is eliminating secrets in your marriage relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriageFighting together means seeking "true" intimacy vs. simply having sex—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriage
2/15/202041 minutes, 51 seconds
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What is Betrayal Trauma—Part Three—Setting Sexual Boundaries

In order for a porn addict to move into "real" recovery, AND a spouse to begin healing her betrayal trauma, as a couple you MUST begin setting BOUNDARIES! Why? Because the MOST connected relationships are those with boundaries. First, there must be boundaries that create "safety" in the relationship. Without safety, intimacy (into-me-you-see) is impossible. Some of the most important boundaries creating safety are SEXUAL BOUNDARIES.Mark and Steve talk raw and real about HOW to set sexual boundaries--the do's and dont's; dealing with awkwardness, resistance and old sexual attitudes that no longer belong in your relationship. A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT that will help you talk openly about your sexual relationship and what you want it look and be like in your marriage.  Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesPart of setting sexual boundaries is knowing the differences between "True Intimacy" and "Sex" in the marriage relationship—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/true-intimacy-vs-sex-in-marriageA CRITICAL boundary in the marriage relationship is NO secrets and full disclosure porn addiction behaviors—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/no-more-secrets-in-your-marriage
2/6/202046 minutes, 47 seconds
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What is "Betrayal Trauma"—Part Two—Symptoms and Healing

This episode is for women suffering from betrayal trauma AND their husbands who truly want to understand them. What are the symptoms of Betrayal Trauma? What are the feelings and words in your head and heart?Betrayal Trauma has a massive impact on a woman’s sense of self-worth: ·       Personal inadequacy (physical, emotional and sexual)—“I’ll never be enough!”·       Insecurity—in the marriage and other relationsips·       Spiritual damage—“Why would God let this happen.” The “female” brain science of betrayal trauma—why it spills over into all aspects of a woman’s life.How to let go of the “should haves” and “could haves” and move forward in your “authentic self.” Learn to step into Divine connection and inspiration to know how to move forward when trust has been shattered. What does your “authentic self” need physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sexually? How can you move forward with your #1 priority—your healing?     Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services Here's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/heal-betrayal-trauma-program-utahHere's how you can know if a porn addict is "gaslighting" you—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-a-porn-addict-gaslighting-you
2/4/202045 minutes, 9 seconds
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What is "Betrayal Trauma"—Part One

When a spouse finds out about her husband's infidelity through porn use, an affair or other sexual behaviors, a flood of emotions can come rushing in—shock, confusion, anger, fear, inadequacy, anxiety, depression and many more. All of this is part of what is known as "Betrayal Trauma." In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about Betrayal Trauma—You are NOT going crazy! The roller coaster ride of emotions you're feeling is normal.Whatever you're feeling is OK for you. No one has the right to tell you how you should or shouldn't feel!Now that you know about his infidelity, should you still keep having sex with him?Should you stay in the relationship or move on?Can he ever really, truly break out of his porn/sexual addiction and be "normal"?Was anything in your past relationship with him real? Was it all a lie? Did he ever really love you?How can you ever trust him again? Where do you go from here???Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling   Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesHere's an article about healing Betrayal Trauma—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/healing-betrayal-trauma-videoHere's why a husband's porn addiction is NOT his wife's fault!—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/his-porn-addiction-not-your-fault
1/28/202043 minutes, 53 seconds
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Porn—Stress Reliever or Stress Inducer?

A recent article in a popular publication claimed that "porn is the perfect stress reducer." In this episode, Mark and Steve get raw and personal about their experience. In the "short-term" porn is a "drug," an escape and gives a perceived "sense of control" over one's life. Porn gives a temporary feeling of self worth, connection and satisfaction. In the "long-term," after the escape of porn is over, the SAME challenges and stressors return--with a vengeance! Stress increases as feelings of guilt, shame and disconnection come flooding in. Porn lowers self-esteem. Porn makes one less resilient to real life and more conditioned to escape problems instead of facing and addressing them. What to DO:  Engage in "mindfulness/feelings" journaling. Instead of immediately running to porn, explore--"What is going on in my life, in my headspace, in my environment and relationships that keeps PUSHING me to porn? What exactly is it that I'm trying to run from and escape?" Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling   Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesWant to learn more about the Brain Science behind porn addiction?—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/brain-science-porn-sex-addictionHere's how porn addiction can be like a "drug addiction"—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/is-pornography-a-drug-addiction
1/14/202037 minutes, 7 seconds
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What is Porn and What is Not? It Might Not Be What You Think!

There's a big debate about what is pornographic and what is not. In this episode, Mark and Steve talk raw and real about how defining "porn"—it's less about what's being taken in, and more about the impact it's having on the viewer and others. To the brain "meaning" is everything! It's all about your INTENTIONS.Parts vs. PeopleSomething to be consumed vs. someone to be valuedEmotional isolation and disconnectionWhat to DO:  Use mindfulness journaling to assess your levels of fantasy and lust on a daily basis. What impact is this having on you being "fully present" with real life and real people? Are you more connected or more isolated as a result of your porn use? Visit the PBSE website at: pbsepodcast.com  Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling   Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling ServicesHow do you know if you're addicted to porn? Check out this infographic—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/are-you-addicted-to-pornHow can you overcome porn addiction? Here's an article that can help—https://www.reclaimcounselingservices.com/overcome-porn-sex-addiction
1/14/202036 minutes, 38 seconds