In a Relationship with a Sex Addict – Help
Sexual addiction or sexual compulsivity is a significant problem that occurs for various reasons and impacts everyone involved. Dealing with your partner’s sex addiction, whether it began before the start of your relationship or grew throughout your marriage, can be traumatic and profoundly painful.
Taking a first step towards help is very important to ensure that you can start your process of recovering and healing.
So, here are some suggestions to help you deal with your partner’s addiction and start to heal your relationship.
Recognise the Addiction
Since everyone has a different idea of what is normal when it comes to sexual behaviour, it might be hard to tell if someone is suffering from sexual compulsivity or is sexually addicted. As a result, you might not know whether you should get concerned about your partner’s sexuality.
So, even though sex addiction can look different for each person, your partner may have a problem if they are preoccupied with sex or spend excessive time engaging in sexual activities.
You may be in a relationship with a partner suffering from out-of-control sexual behaviour and sex addict if they hide and are secretive about their sexual behaviours from you and frequently find them lying, cheating on you regularly, or having rising sexual demands that make you uncomfortable.
Understand the Science Behind Sex Addiction
When we have sex, a reward area in our brain is triggered, producing neurochemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins. These “feel-good hormones” then flood our brain and bloodstream, causing a pleasant sensation and improving our mood. As with any other addiction, people addicted to sex are hooked on this chemical response.
When sex addicts are unable to get sexual stimulation, they may feel anxiety, depression, irritability, and restlessness.
Show Support and engage in Conversation
Sexual addiction is usually progressive, which means that your spouse’s compulsive behaviours may intensify over time. But the feelings of shame and guilt that always follow sex behaviour or fantasies may only make your partner act in new, more extreme ways. Do not delay seeking help.
So, try to be supportive of your partner as much as possible. Avoid judging, blaming, or criticizing your spouse. Instead, try to hold back your resentment and or anger and practise open communication by listening to what they are saying, reflecting, and using “I statements” (“I feel uncomfortable when you ask me to…”)
Don’t Enable Addictive Behaviour
There is a lot of help to support people suffering from sexual compulsivity and It is essential to understand that there is a significant difference between supporting your partner and enabling their addictive behaviours. You may be encouraging your spouse to continue their addictive habits if you:
- Frequently lie to cover them
- Find excuses for their behaviour
- Make excuses for them
- Put their needs before your own
Take responsibility for their actions or help them avoid the consequences of their behaviour.
Show your love and support for your spouse. However, set boundaries and hold them accountable to help your spouse quit the behaviour and overcome addiction.
Patterns of addiction hurt a person’s health, relationships, work performance, and well-being as a whole. Encourage your partner to seek sex addiction counselling and couples therapy, as most people need help from a professional to get through these problems.