Can The Pain Be Healed?


Marsha Means, M.A., along with her friend and colleague, Dr. Milton Magness, were recently featured on the popular show "Sex Talk with Carol the Coach" on Blog Talk Radio: 

Each week Carol interviews everyone from medical doctors to ministers to counselors and coaches focused on the topic of sex addiction and the trauma and pain this horrible addiction causes partners. Carol packs her shows full of helpful information on a variety of topics for sex addicts and their traumatized partners.

You will find a link to Carol's interview with Marsha and Milton, along with a transcript of the show, at the bottom of this article.

Carol called the interview with Marsha and Milton, "Can Addicts Heal from the Shame and Partners Heal from the Pain?" Her answer was, yes, of course. Then she, Marsha, and Milton talked about what it takes to heal from the addiction and the trauma, and what is necessary to heal a relationship damaged by sex addiction: a marriage or partnership filled with so much trauma and pain.

 Marsha's interview with Carol was to promote Marsha and Milton's new book: Real Hope, True Freedom, which is now available on

The book uses a question and answer format. Marsha and Milton took over 4000 questions, submitted by people whose lives have been impacted by this addiction, people who were seeking the truth on any topic related to sex addiction, and then they organized and consolidated those questions and answered them in the book.  

Carol shared that for her the book was "a normalizer." She said, "this book is going to normalize the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that people have about addiction, so that they will feel better about having those thoughts, and they will come to understand the answers to their questions."

So many people coping with this addiction and the impact it has on their lives feel like they are the only ones. They feel alone, frightened, confused, and ashamed. But the truth is thousands of people are struggling with sex addiction and the trauma the addiction brings into the life of the addict's partner, family, friends, and loved ones.

The questions answered in the book are consolidations, which means Marsha and Milton cover a broad range of topics and there is some repetition. But the question and answer format, combined with the repetition, have a normalizing effect, meaning this format, overall, helps the reader to better understand sex addiction and how it is best treated in terms of the whole process. The book also helps partners know that their experience, what they are going through, is not unusual but common: their trauma, feelings, and their fears are real and not at all atypical or strange. Partners can heal from the trauma, but their healing, like the recovery process for addicts, is a process too that takes time, commitment, and a lot of work. When the partner and the sex addict embrace the process, they can heal!

Carol put it this way, "I really do believe when addicts and partners do their work, they end up being healthier than the majority of couples out there, but it does take tremendous work, and there are so many tremendous blessings as a result."

Marsha's hope is that her and Milton’s book, along with their work and ministry, can play an important role in the process—in the healing and in the blessings.

To listen to the interview:

To read the transcript of the interview: