For too many years, Prudence Aldrich has been numbing the pain in her life with random sexual encounters. Her marriage to cold, self-centered Nick is, not surprisingly, on the rocks. But after several dangerous experiences with strangers, Prudence finally realizes that she needs therapy to stop her self-destructive behavior, and so she checks into the Serenity Hills rehab center.
Prudence blames herself for her irresponsible behavior and is filled with self-loathing. She’s convinced she’s totally at fault for Nick’s manipulative attitude and that, with therapy, she can return their relationship to its idyllic beginning. However, her therapist and the other members of her rehab group see the person behind the pain. As Prudence learns more about herself and the reasons for her behavior—including startling revelations about her childhood—she begins to understand the basis for her lack of sexual self-respect. She also learns that she’s not entirely to blame for the failure of her marriage. With the positive reinforcement from everyone at Serenity Hills, Prudence learns not to define herself by her past. But moving forward would mean letting go of Nick for good—and Prudence isn’t sure she can.
Prudence Aldrich doesn’t know how she got to this point or what to do about it, but she is determined to try. Prue’s behavior isn’t normal, but sex with random men helps bury the pain from her childhood and her marriage to Nick. A therapist encourages Prue to attend a weekend retreat to deal with her unresolved childhood trauma. At the retreat, the leader diagnoses Prue as a sex addict. She advises Prue to check into a five-week treatment program. At first, Prue resists going to rehab, not ready to stop her current lifestyle or face the dark memories from her childhood.
Nick is handsome, funny, and intelligent when Prue marries him. After a few happy years, Nick starts drinking again. Soon, he becomes an angry alcoholic, making her crazy. Prue decides to separate from Nick. She can’t take the silent treatment and stink-eye anymore. When Prue asks Nick if he loves her, he merely says, “I fuck you, don’t I?” Prudence sees herself as the bad seed in the marriage, but perhaps Nick has manipulated her into believing this, so his bad behavior will go unnoticed. At the time of their separation, Prudence learns that Nick has driven the family business into the ground, leaving her and her son penniless. The financial stress is unbearable. Prudence does what she has to in order to survive. She sells all of her family heirlooms, dates wealthy men, and finally resorts to selling her body for money. Prudence avoids the real reason she disregards her physical self with unsavory men. She must face her childhood demons to lead a healthy life and get Nick back. After a few scary encounters with random men, Prudence checks into rehab to get the help she needs.
While in rehab, Prudence develops a deep connection with Mike, the evening counselor. He’s pivotal in helping her understand her toxic marriage and Nick’s unwillingness to change. Other patients help Prudence see she’s not the disgusting, hateful person she thinks she is. They find Prue to be inspiring, brave, and someone who uplifts the other patients. When Nick and their son, Christian, visit for Family Week, Nick resorts to his cold, manipulative behavior, including having sex with Prudence. In rehab, Prue’s low self-esteem lifts. In the final scene, Prudence rides with her Serenity Hills driver, heading back to the airport. Prue realizes she can’t go back to Nick because she’s moved to a place of healing and he’s resistant to getting sober and changing. Prior to rehab, Prue sees herself as a repulsive, disgusting, sick person. After learning how other patients view her, she realizes she’s a good person deserving of love and respect. Prue is strong and empowered and ready to live a happy life without Nick.