For most recovering sex addicts who are not already in a long-term relationship, healthy dating and sexuality is an important goal of recovery. Generally speaking, their three primary fears boil down to the following:. In this posting, I will address the third of these concerns, related to disclosure about sexual addiction. This question is eventually faced by any recovering sex addict who decides that he or she wants to date and be sexual in healthy, life-affirming, non-compulsive ways. And even when they know intellectually that the best relationships are built on a solid foundation of honesty and mutual trust, talking about their addiction to another person, especially to a non-sex addict, can be daunting. Nevertheless, if recovering sex addicts are dating and seeking a healthy long-term relationship, they must accept that keeping important secrets is, at best, counterproductive. Sure, recovering sex addicts, like anyone else, want to look good in the eyes of the person they are dating, especially early on, but eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, they need to come clean about their addiction. Obviously, the first few dates are probably not appropriate times.
The Life-Altering Realities of Sex and Love Addiction
Pornography and sexual addiction are serious issues that often begin long before the wedding day and in many cases the courtship period. No one goes into marriage with the idea of hurting the other person; however, sometimes circumstances arise that we never intended. You may have either feeling, or both, but the effect is usually the same: the pain pushes you into isolation.
In , 1 per cent of its clients were treated for sex addiction and that figure has now risen to 5 per cent. Partners of sex addicts go through deep.
As we start to understand and talk about sex addiction more, the topic is slowly becoming less taboo. This means that those who are addicted to sex are increasingly likely to confide in a doctor, counsellor, partner, friends or family. Below we share some advice for dating someone who is recovering from sex addiction. This is a great sign, however. The beginning is typically when people need the most support.
If your partner is already part of a recovery program, they should have worked through all of the above. There are many great sexual addiction treatment programs out there and hopefully, your partner found one that helped. Even those who have been in recovery for years without relapsing can still benefit from group or individual sessions. Receiving help for sex addiction means that your partner has made a commitment to abstain from sexual acting out behaviors and ultimately, has started working on the issues or challenges they faced which caused the addiction to take hold in the first place.
This process is ongoing because the temptation to return to the lifestyle can be overwhelming at times. Even so, your loved one has exhibited a wonderful commitment to their recovery, which is great news for your relationship. The more you come to understand the nature of addiction, the better you will be able to empathize with your loved one.
Dating a Sex Addict
Sex addiction is a complicated thing. Many experts would even refrain from using the term addiction, as they believe it applies to substance abuse only. However, all experts would agree that it is possible to become obsessive about sexual behaviors and to have a strong and destructive compulsion to seek out sexual activities. Some professionals prefer to call this hypersexual disorder.
Though most of us know it from tabloids, love and sex addiction is a very real affliction that affects a lot of people. But what is it, really?
Sex addiction can devastate your life. It breaks up marriages, sabotages families, and drives a wedge between friends. It can also steal your ability to date for years — leaving you seriously lost and confused when you begin once again. Dating as a sex addict is very different from dating as an average person. Much like an alcoholic who works in a bar, it is possible, but only with a steadfast dedication to work your recovery plan and stay accountable along the way. It is immensely easy to slip into bad habits and cross-addictions like love addiction along the way.
Make no mistake: early recovery — regardless of which addiction you struggle with — is certainly not the best time to test the dating waters. Everyone experiences awkwardness , uncomfortable moments of silence, and squirm-worthy early relationship milestones like discussing your sexual or relationship history. Someone will inevitably spill a drink, drop pasta on their shirt, or say something completely inappropriate eventually — all you can do when this happens innocently is laugh it off.
Write them down in a diary or discuss them in advance with your group or therapist. Work through them and develop healthy coping mechanisms rather than slipping into old behaviors like being overly sexual too soon.
Modern Dating As A Recovering Sex Addict
Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. Quotes tagged as “sex-addiction” Showing of And that is really the origin of what happens in human pathology. When we step out of the delirium of always seeking someone new, and meet the same old sad and lonely child within, our healing journey begins. Exhausting ourselves with novelty is a defense against our deepest pain, one that we cannot outrun.
Sex addiction is a complicated thing. Many experts would even refrain from using the term addiction, as they believe it applies to substance.
The individual is incapable of stopping this kind of sexual behavior for a long time by themselves. Biological — he has conditioned his body to receive endorphins and enkephlines mainly through reinforcing a fantasy state with ejaculation that provides the two chemicals to his brain. Psychological — he uses sex to medicate or escape physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
He stumbled upon sex as a substance to cure his problems before alcohol or drugs. Spiritual — he uses sex to fill the “God is absent” hole in him. The addiction to sex is their spirituality and it comforts and celebrates them.
Knowing that your spouse or partner is addict to pornography, having affairs, or cheating on you can feel like being buried under a pile of bricks. That knowledge leaves your spirit crushed, saps your energy, and darkens your sky on the brightest day. You may be experiencing the effects of sex addiction in your relationship or know someone who has. Many women know others who have husbands struggling with pornography, sex outside of marriage, sex with self, emotional affairs, social media affairs, etc.
Some of you are living with this in a secret way.
It can be incredibly challenging to go through problems with addiction. On the one hand, you love your partner, and you want to be able to help them get healthy again. On the other hand, this situation might be impacting your life in terrible ways. You have to look at the situation realistically and really know that you want to move forward with trying to help your partner. It might be painful to acknowledge this situation, but you have to discuss what is happening. Your conversation with your partner might be the first step toward them, realizing that they have a problem.
If you let them know that this is hurting you and that you want things to change, then it could be a step in the right direction. Together identify actions that represent moving forward and getting help such as attending support meetings. Some people who are dating sex addicts tend to try to push their feelings to the side. You can love your partner or spouse very much while still feeling a deep sense of hurt.
So, Now I Know He’s A Sex Addict! Should I Stay Or Go?
When you love an addict, life can be pretty hard. When you love a sex addict , life may be exponentially hard. Your mother and your friends may tell you to dump him, and nobody seems to understand. In a relationship in which one partner is a sex addict , both people suffer. With the presence of sex addiction, there is a strong chance that other compulsive behaviors exist as well—problems like drug or alcohol dependence, compulsive shopping, restrictive or overeating, or OCD.
These issues create a tense dynamic for the relationship, which is then amplified with the presence of children.
For some addicts, their compulsive sexual thoughts and acts don’t go beyond compulsive masturbation, a reliance on pornography or expensive.
Relationships expert Paula Hall says the partners of sex addicts need specialist help of their own. Eight years into her marriage, Rachel started to wonder if her husband had lost interest in sex. My life fell apart. Sex addiction hurts partners in a way that no other addiction can, says Paula Hall, who has written a book on the subject.
The NHS has a website page dedicated to sex addiction. Traditionally, most partners of sex addicts have been treated as co-dependents, says Hall. The reality for most partners I see is that they experience phenomenal shock. No wonder many partners suffer trauma, which can lead to depression, anxiety and panic attacks, rage or utter dissociation.
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. Also providing a haven of hope is the small, but growing, number of support groups.
The reality of living with a sex addict
Most of us have seen addiction in action enough to know its disastrous effects on dreams, families, goals, health, and spirituality. My own struggle with addiction has lasted for 25 years, the last seven of which have been spent “sober. But my stories differ from those you typically hear, because my addiction is to sex, not drugs, gambling, or alcohol.
To many, this addiction is a strange one to consider. For a sex addict looking for help, the first therapy session or step meeting can be petrifying. Many of us expected a shadowy cabal of oleaginous men in trench coats and skeevy women in stilettos.
Finding Out When You Discover Your Partners Sex Addiction. Finding out about your partner or spouse’s sex addiction is devastating. Knowing.
What are boundaries? They are a dividing line between you and anyone else. These lines represent physical, emotional, and spiritual limits that other people in your life may not violate. It may help to envision a psychological fence that separates you from others in your life. You may have different boundaries for loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, depending on the area of focus and the situation.
Boundaries are meant to protect you from physical danger, anger, hurt, fear, or any other painful emotions that you would experience if someone violated these limits. They help to regulate the personal space in relationships. Boundaries help to keep you safe and communicate your expectations to others. They are one way that you show respect for yourself and the other people in your life. Every individual has worth and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
JoAnn Do you experience true intimacy with your husband Larry now? Has Larry changed? I know you said that healthy sexual intimacy is not programmed into a sex addicts brain, but is it possible to change that? Can the compulsion to have sex slowly dissipate with years of behavioral therapy?
When one partner in a marriage or relationship is a sexual addict, both partners suffer as a result. The extent to which each partner is impacted.
I have a dilemma and I thought you may be able to give me some advice. He told me he is a recovering alcoholic. Today he told me he is a recovering sex addict. His rehab counselor told him to first get to know each other and then tell the person. I have trust issues from the past, I can be jealous. What do you advise. Please, I need help from someone. A compulsion is only a problem when it a causes physical or financial harm and b is perceived negatively within a particular culture.
Both criteria must be met. Most people have compulsions, and most compulsions are socially acceptable. I have a raging sweet tooth and probably have a cupcake every two days. No one bats an eye when someone goes on a needless trip to maintain their platinum airline status or owns too many clothes. Many harmful substances are not seen negatively in the United States — most people here are addicted to processed sugar, which is associated with various cancers and gastrointestinal problems, and alcohol kills more people in the U.