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“So when he sat me down one day to tell me he was a sex addict, I actually laughed – although I soon stopped when he disclosed night upon night of watching pornography for hours on end and numerous short-lived affairs.

“One confident businesswoman recently told me that the discovery that her husband is a sex addict turned her into a ‘screaming banshee – I’ve become a stranger to myself’,” Hall tells me.

Hall believes these partners need help of their own – hence her book, which is essentially a self-help guide, covering three broad areas: understanding sex addiction and why it hurts partners so much; repairing the damage it has caused to the partner; and finally, helping the partner to work out whether the relationship can survive and, either way, how to move forward.

Eight years into her marriage, Rachel started to wonder if her husband had lost interest in sex.

“He’d always go to bed later than me and often made excuses when I brought it up,” explains the 41-year-old.

“Ideally, partners get their own therapy,” says Hall.

“The problem is that all the assumptions made by well-meaning friends about sex addiction are also shared by many therapists who are untrained in this area.

Joy Rosendale, a sex-addiction therapist specialising in partner work, instigated the first one in the UK back in 2005, following her own experiences.

“Although there is usually huge reluctance for partners to seek help, let alone come into a group, because of the privacy and shame, something happens in these groups that liberates these women – and I say women because in my experience, it is usually women who access them,” says Rosendale, who still runs the group at the Marylebone Centre, London.

The reality for most partners I see is that they experience phenomenal shock.” The damage to self-esteem, she continues, isn’t just about the sexualised behaviour, such as visits to prostitutes that partners never knew about.

It’s the fact that they’ve lived with someone so long and had no idea.

Second, the partner has to feel stable again, as well as understanding the addiction and working out what they want the relationship to look like in the future.