Sex addiction, pornography addiction, and the intimate partner trauma that routinely arises from these are at epidemic proportions. However, not all addictions are the same. While many well-meaning therapists advertise they treat sex and pornography addiction as well as the partners affected by these addictions, they may not have the proper training. Here at the Begin Again Institute, we highly recommend individuals only utilize those therapists who are trained to specifically treat these problems. Even if you do not choose us, please locate a clinician that has been trained as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). If you are a partner seeking help we highly encourage you to seek a therapist who is also trained in the APSATS Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model.
What Is Sex Addiction?
Sex and pornography addictions are real and incredibly painful, not just for the one engaging in the behaviors, but for the wives, the partners, and the families as well. Therefore, it’s vital to have the necessary sex and porn addiction resources available. Often, sexual addiction is a symptom of another core problem. But most treatment centers focus only on the symptoms and behaviors. As a process addiction, sex and pornography addiction are a challenge to treat and can only be handled by a trained specialist.
At Begin Again, we know the reason you haven’t been successful in past attempts to stop is you never got to the root cause of the problem. Begin Again focuses on the how and the why of addiction treating the core issues so the behaviors can finally stop for good.
Infidelity and Sexual Addiction
There are few marital problems that can cause as much pain and devastation as infidelity. If you have just learned of your partner’s infidelity, you are understandably hurt, confused, and angry wondering what to do next.
One kind of affair revolves around sexual addiction. The partner involved in the affair has a difficult time saying ‘No.’ They may want to be faithful, but feel compelled to say ‘yes.’ Some feel stuck and lack the ability to consistently follow through the ‘no.’ Remember, when many of us are lured in by something, we can find it difficult to let go. Infidelity, when connected to sexual addiction, becomes a powerful focal point.
So how do you know infidelity is a symptom of sexual addiction? Sex addiction is a pattern of acting out sexually. If this affair is not the first time you have suspected or discovered infidelity, it may be a sign of addiction. Another sign of sexual addiction is regularly visiting strip clubs, adult bookstores, hook-up bars, or other locations where there are opportunities to stray, and using online apps to connect for sex.
Indicators of Sexual Addiction
Other indicators that infidelity is attached to sexual addiction can include the following:
- Sex takes on an inflated role or value. Sex, sexual conquest, and sexual release become a powerful force. Acting on the sexual impulse is a frequent activity. Thinking about sex consumes an inordinate amount of time.
- This activity is bound by fear. The person lives with fear: the fear of getting caught, the fear of consequences, the fear of being found out, the fear of being abnormal, the fear of being punished, and the fear of losing family, partner, job, and respect.
- A promise/failure cycle. After an episode, the individual usually experiences guilt/fear and promises to themselves or others to refrain. However, they fail to do so.
- Others are used or seen as objects for personal gratification. No true intimacy is developed.
- Sex is often confused with other needs or connected to unresolved past pain or trauma.
Additionally, individuals who suspect themselves of struggling with sex addiction can ask the following questions to help determine whether infidelity is a symptom:
- Even before the affair(s), I was obsessed with sex to the point where my desire interfered with being able to accomplish important things.
- I have a deep yearning for sex as one of the only ways I can feel “normal” and sometimes it doesn’t even matter whom it is with.
- I use sex as a way to escape my typical problems either at work or at home.
- I spend hours every week on the internet looking at images of sex or sexually provocative images of people I don’t know.
- I spend several hours a month on the internet engaging in sexual-related chatting with individuals I don’t know.
- I usually have to masturbate or have sex at least twice daily in order to concentrate on normal work or relationship requirements.
- I frequently pay for or exchange favors for sex with people I don’t feel an emotional connection to. When I complete the act, I feel temporarily satisfied, but the feeling quickly goes away and I feel ashamed or guilty.
- Anonymous sex appeals to me, and I feel more comfortable with it than sex with someone I know.
Infidelity Recovery at Begin Again Institute
Infidelity, like sexual addiction, often includes secrecy, dishonesty, shame, guilt, emotional turmoil, and difficulty with intimacy in significant relationships. To recover from infidelity, couples must address the pain caused by the unfaithful behaviors, create awareness about the reasons for the infidelity, communicate their new expectations, learn to set boundaries, establish clear consequences for any future infidelity, and learn to trust one another once again.
The infidelity recovery process requires commitment and patience from both partners. By reaching out to the Begin Again Institute at 720.702.4608 individuals and their spouses and partners can start the healing process and recovery from sex addiction.