Our hypersexualized culture makes it challenging to remain pure in mind, body, and spirit. Thus, it can be especially difficult nowadays to know how to deal with a sex addict husband.
Sex addiction is when a person is unable to control their sexual feelings and behaviors. It causes them substantial distress and impairs their functioning.
Technology bombards men with images that flood their thoughts and draw them away from God and their wives. Given the ever-presence of the sensual, you can see how arduous it is for today’s Christian man to, as the Apostle Peter wrote, “…Be holy in all your conduct.” (1 Peter 1:15, NKJV)
And for some men, their sex addiction has become a secret part of their lives. They can act upon their urges by turning to “outlets,” like TV, magazines, or the internet. But afterward, they can become convicted of their sins. Then they feel guilt and remorse for what they’ve done. Sometimes they confess their actions to God and their partners. Yet after time has passed, those thoughts can return, and the cycle begins all over again. They feel like they’ve fallen away from God and their family.
How to Deal with a Sex Addict Husband
The burden and shame of sex addiction doesn’t fall only on the husband. As the wife of someone with sex addiction, you’re wondering how to deal with a sex addict husband. How can you help him? Can you save your marriage?
The first step in helping your husband is identifying the symptoms and recognizing the addiction.
Signs of sex addiction include:
- Using the Services of Sex Workers. It doesn’t need to be a regular occurrence. Any use of a sex worker’s services, even a one-time instance signifies a problem in your marriage.
- Reliance on Sexual Stimulation From Others. Though this can be innocuous and brief, it still is a sin and a violation of your marriage vows.
- Dangerous or Illegal Sexual Behaviors. These behaviors can include finding multiple partners or even turning to illegal pornography.
- Out-of-Control Behaviors. When your husband doesn’t feel like he has control of his sexual behaviors. He may even try to stop certain behaviors but end up repeating past patterns.
- Always Asking for or Demanding Sex. This sign of having a sex addict husband can happen despite resistance from a partner.
Understanding the Root Cause
Is there hope for such a relationship? Thankfully, the answer is “yes,” but it takes work. And part of that work is understanding the root cause of the sex addiction. Your husband’s sex addiction really isn’t about sex at all. Instead, it’s about coping with trauma that he hasn’t fully processed. The trauma even could go back as far as his childhood.
Trauma can include:
- the death of a loved one
- divorce in the family
- physical or emotional neglect
- mental, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
If they don’t deal with the trauma, the survivor turns to coping mechanisms to make them feel better. These coping mechanisms can include various forms of pornography and sexual behavior.
Once the survivor realizes the pleasure felt through the brain’s release of dopamine – known as the “feel-good chemical” – they return to those behaviors as “outlets.” They do this even more frequently when experiencing more hardships or other stressors.
Unfortunately, this self-coping behavior becomes an addiction. By then, it’s out of the man’s control. It’s damaging his relationships, including his marriage.
Getting Help for Sex Addiction
If you’re dealing with your husband’s sex addiction, you’re not alone in your struggle. Boulder Recovery is an innovative, Christ-centered treatment center specializing in sex and pornography addictions. If your husband is ready to get help, we’re here for you both.
Our 14-Day Men’s Intensive focuses on helping men who struggle with sex, porn, and relationship issues. We employ a neurobiological method to understanding and healing sex addiction, coupled with a Scriptural approach to the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.
Boulder Recovery’s two-fold method can help to:
- Find and heal the root cause(s) of sex addiction
- End destructive sexual behavior
- Enable lasting recovery in relationships through a solid foundation
- Restore clients to genuine relationships with their Creator
Our Partner Support Program provides you with virtual meetings with a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist during the men’s intensive. This critical element of the recovery program helps facilitate healing for you. It helps you better understand your husband’s addiction and begin healing from betrayal. It also provides guidance for restoring your marriage.
Recommitting to Your Marriage
Another vital aspect to helping your husband is recommitting to your relationship with him. People in recovery are in more need than ever of love, care, and attention. Men in sexual addiction recovery often become more attentive to their partners and their needs. Returning that attention to them will help them overcome their addictions.
A final yet crucial component for restoring a relationship is rebuilding trust. While your husband damaged your trust, it’s critical to support him in his recovery, so you can work together to heal your relationship.
Seeking Help from Boulder Recovery
Boulder Recovery values the sanctity of marriage as God intended. We want to help restore and heal both partners in a relationship damaged by sex addiction. If you or someone you love is dealing with sex addiction, contact us to learn more about our treatment options.