People with sex addiction lie for many reasons. Maybe they want to downplay their addiction or its severity. Or maybe they’re ashamed and want to keep their addiction secret. But to start the healing journey, a person with sex addiction needs to understand the importance of honesty in addiction recovery.
Whether it means coming clean to friends and loved ones or finally admitting to yourself that you have a problem, honesty is required to start the first five steps in sex addiction therapy.
Why Honesty is Important in Sex Addiction Recovery
Sex addiction recovery is about making positive changes toward a new, healthy lifestyle. To do that, you must be honest about your struggles, emotions, and addiction. There are many reasons why honesty is essential for your recovery.
Honesty Restores Trust
Someone with a sex addiction is likely to lie or break promises to their loved ones to hide their addiction. After recovery, trust isn’t magically rebuilt between the person with addiction and those they betrayed. Being honest about your recovery is the key to repairing relationships and restoring trust.
Honesty Rebuilds Relationships
Lies and broken promises damage trust and relationships. Being honest can help you rebuild relationships. Offer genuine apologies for the harm your behavior may have caused. When you’re honest about the damage you may have done, you are better able to accept your past behavior and move on.
Avoiding a Relapse
Many people with addiction lie to hide their behavior or reassure others that they don’t have a problem. For many, lying is a normal part of living with a sex addiction. After recovery, choosing honesty over lies can help you avoid relapsing or sliding back into old bad habits.
Recovery is an ongoing journey that continues throughout the rest of your life. If you’re honest with yourself, you can accurately assess how you’re doing. Some people in recovery may become dishonest about their recovery, causing them to relapse. But maintaining honesty with yourself can help prevent that from happening.
Sex addiction often is the result of unresolved trauma. If you’re not honest with your therapist about the addiction, your thoughts and feelings around it, and what happened to you, they won’t be able to help you. Honest is required to make progress from addiction to recovery and a healthier life.
How to Maintain Honesty in Sex Addiction Recovery
Being aware of and understanding the challenges of sex addiction recovery is vital for successful recovery. Being completely honest with yourself about these challenges will help you begin your recovery journey. There are many ways to maintain honesty in sex addiction recovery.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Feelings of guilt and shame are common in sex addiction recovery. Many people feel these negative emotions, especially in the early stages of recovery. Even though these emotions can be difficult, you mustn’t avoid them. Suppressing these feelings can create problems down the line. Instead, acknowledge they exist and discuss them with a therapist, journal through them, or find safe activities like exercise or art to help you work through them.
Seek Professional Help
Counseling is a necessary part of recovery from sex addiction and can help you stay committed to your goals. Therapy and counseling can help you communicate with others about your recovery journey and maintain accountability to yourself. These are crucial elements to stay sober, even during difficult times.
Be Honest With the People Around You
It can be tempting to sweep difficult emotions or experiences under the rug, especially when it comes to partners, friends, and family. But being honest with those who are closest to you will help you rebuild broken relationships and create an open way of communicating about your struggles. If your partner wonders if a sex addict can be faithful, being honest and open with them is necessary before you can start to rebuild the relationship.
Be Truthful About Your Struggles
There are mental, emotional, and physical stages of relapse. If you’re experiencing the mental or emotional stages, be honest with your counselor, partner, family, or trusted friends. There is no shame in reaching out for help when you need it.
There are many reasons someone may be dishonest in sex addiction recovery. Lying may be an ingrained habit, and they may not realize they’re doing it because it’s something they do automatically. The more someone lied in the past, the more likely they are to do it again unless they are actively working to break the habit.
Some people may be dishonest in recovery because they fear the consequences of their actions. They may lie to protect themself from those consequences. For example, you be afraid to tell your partner about all of the risky sexual encounters you had during the height of your addiction, so you may lie or conceal them.
Dishonesty can have some desirable short-term results. Whether socially, economically, or healthwise, telling lies can help someone achieve something they desire in the immediate future. But, in the long run, the consequences for these lies often outweigh the short-term benefits.
And in some cases, a person with addiction may be self-deluded or in denial. They may not see what they do as a problem, and they may continue lying to themselves because they don’t see it as a lie.
The Dangers of Dishonesty in Sex Addiction Recovery
There are many reasons dishonesty is dangerous in sex addiction recovery. For example, dishonesty can be a common relapse trigger. It’s a sign that someone with addiction relies on old coping mechanisms and may be falling into old habits.
Dishonesty can make someone in recovery feel trapped. Whether they are dishonest with themselves about their recovery or the guilt they feel from the dishonesty, lying or avoiding the truth can stop recovery progress and make them feel stuck.
Before recovery, many people with addiction damage their relationships with partners, friends, and family by lying. While in recovery, it’s essential to maintain honesty to rebuild those relationships. If loved ones, especially your partner, find out about any dishonesty, it can further damage those relationships.
Honesty is key for making progress in treatment. Dishonesty with loved ones, treatment professionals, or yourself will halt recovery progress.
How to Increase Honesty in Sex Addiction Recovery
Honesty is crucial for successful sex addiction recovery. There are many ways to increase honesty in sex addiction recovery.
Ways to be more honest include:
- Admit Dishonesty. It can be difficult to admit when you lied. But doing so is the only way to break away from a pattern of dishonesty. Admitting to lying or dishonesty as soon as you can after it occurs will help break the habit and make it more difficult to be dishonest.
- Practice Honesty. Building a new habit is just like building muscles. It takes time and lots of work, but you can do it. Practice honesty like you’re building muscles. Make honesty the new habit.
- Journal. Journaling is a great way to keep a record of your life. It’s also a great way to practice honesty. By keeping a record of your behavior or any dishonesty in your life, you’ll see when it becomes a pattern. You’ll also be able to prevent yourself from becoming self-deluded because you won’t be able to ignore your dishonest behavior.
- Understand the Importance of Honesty. If you understand the importance of honesty and the dangers of dishonesty, then you can see the value honesty holds in your life and recovery. By making this importance clear in your mind, you’re less likely to fall into old dishonest habits that may lead to a relapse.
- Recognize that White Lies Are Lies. It’s common to view specific lies as harmless. People often refer to these harmless lies as “white lies.” But in recovery, it’s not a good idea to view any dishonesty as acceptable. Instead, someone in recovery should strive for 100% honesty.