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

Author: Steve Moore & Mark Kastleman

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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'll 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. 

216 Episodes
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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Comments (3)

Pashm Ina

the island is called Big Island, not Hilo. Hilo is a town on the Island! aloha from oahu!

Oct 18th
Reply

Bekah

Seems like a cop-out not to have any women on here. Just 2 guys guessing what a betrayed woman is going though.

Dec 23rd
Reply (1)
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