Sex Addiction and Destruction
Sex addiction leaves a trail of destruction that affects addicts as well as those who care about them. It destroys relationships and destroys intimacy. Sex addicts lead tragic and emotionally frantic lives. Let’s discuss the negative impact of sex addiction on self and family:
Effect on yourself
Sex addiction is best described as an out of control relationship with a strong mood-altering experience. Imagine a teenager struggling to find his place in the world and in an often dysfunctional family. Now imagine that this child is granted anonymous access to cocaine with an endless supply. How well did he handle this powerful experience? Isn’t sex the same thing? Of course the power of arousal and orgasm is a gift and an essential part of a healthy life and development, but what if it becomes a necessary retreat and a place of solace? This is often the case with children who face very real emotional, physical, and often sexual abuse. Passion can be a forbidden pleasure enjoyed as often as the opportunity presents itself.
Passion becomes a goal in any form. For some it means stepping back from real-life experiences into a lonely and lonely fantasy world. For others it may mean seeking sexual opportunities.
Sexual development is impaired and the experience of healthy courtship and intimate relationships with others is hindered. In contrast, would-be addicts may find and use pornography, sexual conquests, anonymous sex, strip clubs, sexual massages, use of prostitutes, or any number of other sexual activities.
Unlike drugs or other dependent behaviors, this is one that the addict carries between his ears. Passion is available to all of us with a simple thought. Sex addicts have lost the luxury of indulgent sexual fantasies. For sex addicts, life is largely a sexual fantasy punctuated by what we call “acting out” behavior. and interspersed with work, spouse, and often family. Until this addictive relationship ends, a healthier and more uplifting sex life is impossible. Instead, life continues “normally” but with the hidden and embarrassing secrets of the addicts’ “double life” growing day by day. It’s an addiction tragedy that no one sees, but everyone who knows an addict feels it intuitively.
Effect for family
Intuitive “knowing” by others that is important in the addict’s life is denied by the sex addict. How could he reveal their deepest and most humiliating secret? They believe that “if you really knew what I was thinking . . . then you would leave me.” So the secrets and lies continue and the shame and fear drive the addict more and more out of control and farther away from the people who care about him the most.
Couples addicted to sex began to distrust his own mind. “I thought something was wrong but he said everything was fine”. Couples begin to deny their own reality. What they thought they saw must be wrong because he said it and because they wanted so badly to believe it. But the evidence of a problem continued to grow until one day an undeniable discovery was finally made. All sex addicts are finally found.
The debris that follows can be overwhelming. This is a trauma for a partner – a real trauma. What’s real? What’s not real? Am I safe? What can I believe? The shame of being in a relationship with a sex addict causes more suffering. Is that me? Is that what he really wants? Can I do something different? Even more challenging may be the question of who to talk to. Once this secret is known, it cannot be “unknown”. Emotional pain can be devastating.
When a spouse is in such a severe crisis, imagine the effect on the children. Could they find themselves looking for some kind of solace and comfort? Could this problem be generational?
Sexual addiction is real and common. The risk of not tackling this problem now can be enormous. If you think this might be a problem for you or a loved one, trust that thought and ask for help. This is not a problem that just goes away on its own but there is a recovery process you can trust. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to get the help you need. Life can be so much better than this cycle of sex addiction and you deserve to live a great life.
If you have questions about Sexual Addiction, contact Jeffrey Schultz, LPC, CSAT. She is a counselor in private practice with The Sonora Healing Center in Phoenix, Arizona who specializes in substance abuse and process addiction treatment with expertise in treating compulsive sexual behaviors (sex addiction and love)…. There’s help for you.