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Vol.190, March 2
With 53% of all marriages ending in divorce, with 41% of marriages having infidelity being evident, and with 40 million people in the United States sexually involved with the internet, (Exposing Porn: Science, Religion, and the New Addiction, Paul Strand. Christian Broadcasting Network, 2004) one would have to give merit to the idea that there is something going on in our homes that may be more prevalent than we may wish to believe.
How do you know if your significant other is a sex addict versus just being tired of the relationship that is being experienced with you?
Sex addicts are sex addicts because they are unable to stop acting out their impulses regardless of the huge price that may be paid in loss of relationships with their spouse, losing their family, losing their job and in 10% of cases of illicit paid sex, ending up behind bars (with 90% of prostitutes getting arrested).
Some signs to be aware of in this situation would be: finding your mate spending inordinate amounts of time at his computer, no longer coming to bed at a reasonable hour, finding your partner engaging in frequent massages where he is getting his releases done for him there and maybe escalating to seeing escorts to fulfill his every sexual fantasy.
The inability to form normal attachments in primary relationships is the core reason for sex addiction to form. This goes back to never being nurtured fully while an infant, never attaching normally to the primary guardian. I have written about this more extensively in my book Do I Have A Sex Addiction? Now What? Which you can get for a small investment through this website or through amazon.com.
What you need to know as the partner to this gentleman is that it is not your fault and never was your fault. What you also need to know is that like most addictions one cannot force another to face up to the fact until one is ready to do so. If you realize that your spouse really does want to stop and hasn’t the ability to do so, you are probably dealing with a sex addict.
So what are you to do in such a case? Well, the first thing you need to do is figure out if you are willing to go through the emotional ups and downs of being with a person who isn’t capable of truly loving you in the “normal fashion,” not because of the lack of desire, more because of the lack of true ability to do so. If he is willing to get help, he can learn how to love in the manner that is more in line with what we mean by using that word “love.”
I have treated many men who have come to me for sex addiction over the past several years and in the great majority of cases where their was a primary relationship, and the partner was aware of the situation she was supportive of her partner receiving the help needed. So, the marriage needn’t end if you are both committed to have it work out. Though, there are going to be some realizations regarding how to best address the issue of the sexuality as expressed both in and out of the marriage. Appropriate boundaries that work for both of you will need to be formulated and abided by as a deeper respect for the relationship and each other is formed.
In some cases, the marriages are dissolved more as a result of one or both of the partners realizing that they are not ready for the commitment that a marriage requires.In these cases many of my clients have remained close friends with one another.
No matter what your specific case may be, there is hope that you can get through this issue with the correct respect given the understanding of what is really behind the behavior and a willingness to work through it. Like any addiction, this is an illness that needs appropriate treatment.
In my practice I help my clients to let go of their addiction and form boundaries with others they never had before. I teach them respect for themselves and for others through hands on exploration of the relationships in which they are currently involved. For the partners who are aware of the problem, we deal with a better understanding of what needs to happen for a better sexual relationship for the two of them. This is because more often than not the sex addicted partner feels unable to express what his true desires are for the sexual relationship having felt he “put off” his mate previously with asking for the fulfillment of the sex play of his fantasies.
Another aspect of this whole issue is the relative ease the female partner has with her own body and sexuality. It is sad that given the religious backgrounds of many, that the inherent ability to express one’s sexuality is condemned as a person comes into their sexual expression as if there is something wrong with being sexual. Many women have no idea what sort of sexual play is fun and fulfilling for them being told that masturbation is wrong and that sexual relations outside of baby making are prohibited. With these sorts of ill gotten beliefs of his mate, any male with ten times the testosterone of a female will find other ways to take care of his immediate sexual needs. Unfortunately, for the man with an attachment disorder, this will lead him right into sexual addiction.
With any relationship it does indeed take both parts to have a healthy interdependence. If there is a problem both need to be willing to look below the surface of blame or excuse making to heal the issues that are the reasons for the destructive behavior. When this is done, the relationships can and do heal in my experience working with this population.
Do I have a Sex Addiction? Now What?
Do you suspect that either you or a loved one might have a Sex or Porn Addiction? Find out for sure as well as the best ways to treat Sex and Porn Addiction in “Do I have a Sex Addiction? Now What?”, currently available from the Dawning Visions Hypnosis StoreDo I have a Sex Addiction? Now What?
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