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Sex Addiction & Spouses of Sex Addicts

Sex Addiction

  • Are you or someone you know concerned about your sexual behavior?
  • Has your sexual behavior ever created problems for you or your family?
  • Do you hide some of your sexual behavior from others?
  • Have you engaged prostitutes and escorts to satisfy your sexual needs?
  • Have you purchased services online for erotic purposes (sites for pornography, cybersex, infidelity)?
  • Do you often find yourself preocupied with sexual thoughts?
  • Has sex (or romantic fantasies) been a way for you to escape your problems?
  • Have you made efforts to quit a type of sexual activity and failed?

Then you may have a sexual addiction.  Take the free Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) here: http://www.recoveryzone.com

At the core of sexual addiction is an attachment disorder that prevents the individual from effectively bonding and staying attached to a partner.  Due to childhood trauma, a fear of emotional intimacy exists.  Sex is instead used as a way to meet unconscious needs, regulate emotions, or act out unresolved trauma.  Individuals with sexual addiction need to be meet with deep compassion instead of shame.     

Spouses of Sex Addicts

Discovering that your spouse is a sex addict can be an extremely traumatic experience.  Spouses often report having the following symptoms:

  • Feel that their sense of safety and trust in the relationship has been shattered
  • Feel angry and betrayed
  • Feel shocked - that this could not possibly be happening to them
  • Question if the whole relationship was a lie
  • Engage in self-blame by wondering if they could have done something to prevent their spouse's behavior
  • Compulsively read about sex addiction in order to try to make sense of what happened
  • Leave the spouse without assessing if the relationship might be salvageable
  • Develop anxiety, panic attacks, depression, headaches, aches, and/or pains
  • Experience intrusive thoughts of real or imagined sexual acts of spouse with others
  • Cope by abusing alcohol, over eating, over spending, or engaging in other unhealthy behaviors

Some of these symptoms are also experienced by spouses who have discovered that their spouse is having an affair.  It is important to understand the distinction between the causes and recovery process for infidelity versus sex addiction.  Additionally, some spouses of sex addicts also have love addiction and/or co-dependency issues themselves.  You do not have to go through this alone.  Healing and true intimacy are within your reach.