Are you living a double life?
Jeopardizing your marriage, family or job? Recovery is possible.
Sex addicts live in secrecy, feeling dread and shame that someone will learn the truth about their behavior. Sex addicts often make promises to themselves about “cutting down” on their pornography use, or “this is the last time” they’ll have sex outside their relationship. The torture of active sex addiction is failing to keep these promises—finding oneself again back in the cycle of sexually “acting out.”Sex addiction is characterized by repeatedly seeking or performing sexual behaviors despite negative consequences.
Negative consequences of compulsive sexual behaviors extend beyond “getting caught.” Long before a sex addict’s behaviors are discovered—by a partner, boss or law enforcement—the addict is already experiencing adverse effects of their behaviors. Consider:
- Loss of emotional intimacy in a relationship.
- Loss of connection with family and friends.
- Stealing time and/or resources from an employer.
- Financial losses (e.g. paying for sex, pornography, secret cell phones, other expenses to cover one’s tracks.)
- Physical consequences (e.g. masturbating to self-injury, being “hung over” from acting-out behavior, contracting an STD, erectile dysfunction.)
- Occupational and legal risks associated with an affair-partner in the workplace, particularly if there’s a power differential.
- Health effects on body and nervous system from constant state of hiding, being ready to defend, having to remember lies.
The good news is that treatment is available for sex addiction. Initially, treatment puts some measures into place to stop damaging behaviors. Next, it becomes crucial to understand what purpose these behaviors have been serving. For most people, hypersexual behaviors are the culmination of many factors in one’s life history. They arose as “solutions” to other stressors and situations. The goal of treatment is to develop more adaptive and healthy solutions. Sexual behaviors become choices, rather than compulsions.