Overcoming Sexual Addictions for a Stronger Marriage
Sexual addiction: it’s something that brings shame and guilt – a personal secret that affects an individual in the core of his or her being. Sex addicts are consumed by sex and thoughts of sex that there is difficulty connecting with other people and building quality relationships.
The obsession will also impact other aspects of the addict’s life since the compulsion leads him or her to act regardless of negative effects to his or her financial, emotional, health and social situation. Sex addicts don’t care how and where they get their satisfaction as long as they get it, even when there obviously is no bond with sex partners.
Sex addicts are prone towards taking serious risks – engaging in sexual activities that may be hazardous not just to his or her relationship but also to his or her health. The acts may include:
– Being a peeping tom
– The use of pornography, phone sex or cybersex
– Going for casual, anonymous sex (i.e. having sex with prostitutes, one night stands, etc.)
– Indecent exposure
– Masturbation whenever the mood strikes
– Making obscene calls
– Sexual harassment, molestation or rape
The advent of the internet has made this addiction easier to indulge. The addict can obtain his “fix” online or arrange for hookups via the web.
According to statistics, some nine million Americans suffer from some form of sex addiction. The problem is further compounded by the fact that those struggling with a sex addiction also have substance abuse issues (i.e. the use of alcohol or drugs).
In the context of a married couple, sex addiction will have a profound effect on the relationship, especially upon the discovery of the addiction by the other spouse. A married couple may need serious couples counseling in Provo for recovery from the devastation brought about by the sex addiction, as well as Utah substance abuse counseling to deal with the drug or alcohol abuse.
The Effect of Sex Addictions on a Marriage
The sexual addiction is wounding, especially for the other partner. Not only are emotional barriers built between the sex addict and his or her partner, it also builds feelings of insecurity and bitterness due to the seemingly unreasonable expectations and pressure brought on by the sexual compulsion. Sex between the married couple loses its joy and wonder, as it competes with the partner’s sexual addiction. There may also be issues with marital infidelity. Even the seemingly “innocent” act of looking at pornography can cause pain and bitterness, if one partner is not okay with this form of “adult entertainment”.
Fighting Sex Addiction
The first step is for a sex addict to want to stop and believe that he or she can do so. This can sometimes be a struggle since the sex addict is not even aware that he or she has an addiction. The other partner should not feel obligated to bear the burden of overcoming the addiction (which is properly the responsibility of the one with the addiction). However, the partner should also be patient and realistic in his or her expectations about the partner’s recovery.
Treatment of the sexual addiction would involve discovering how one can control the addictive behavior so that the individual can eventually develop a healthy sexuality. The treatment may also include couples or family therapy.
Therapy can be helpful for the couple to:
– Understand the issues surrounding the addiction
– Start the road to healing – for the addicted partner to heal from feelings of guilt and isolation and for the other partner to overcome feelings of bitterness and insecurity.
– Be equipped with tools to cope with the effects of the addiction, as well as tools to strengthen the marriage and family bond.
– Draft a recovery plan and break addictive patterns by having strategies as to how to act and react when the impulses strike and how to manage the stress that may arise.
Therapy in Provo, Utah
Recovery from sex addiction can be a challenge for the individual and the people he loves. But with the help of an experienced Provo, Utah counselor, the barriers are not insurmountable. A marriage can emerge stronger, more loving. Dr. Triston Morgan offers individual and family therapy for couples and families in Utah who struggle from these problems.