Sex addiction can not only damage marriages, but also emotions. Being the spouse of a sex addict is a traumatic experience, and it is not easy to overcome it or remain unscathed.
To understand what it is like to be married to a sex addict, you first need to know the symptoms of sex addiction and how they can affect the spouse.
Signs and Symptoms of Sex Addiction
Sex addiction is a complicated condition that is not easy to define. Its symptoms differ from person to person, but there are a few signs that most sex addicts tend to exhibit:
- Preoccupation with sexual thoughts and activities that can interfere with their work performance, productivity, and day to day lifestyle.
- Habitual masturbation or engaging in other sexual pursuits such as prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, or sadistic behavior.
- Cheating or having compulsive relations with multiple partners that may include relative strangers.
- Compulsive lying or dishonesty regarding their behavior and sexual pursuits.
- Inability to cut down on sexual habits despite wanting to do so.
Based on all that it should be easy to see how sex addiction can strain a marriage once the spouse finds out about it. But the way it does so can be complicated as well.
How Sex Addiction Can Affect a Spouse
When most spouses find out about their partner’s sex addiction and the symptoms that go along with it, they often experience stress and anxiety. In many ways it is like the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may lead them to feel depressed and isolated.
The severity of these feelings can vary, but often the spouse will require therapy to cope and get through it. If no action is taken, their condition could very well deteriorate.
Unfortunately, many spouses end up blaming themselves for their partner’s actions, especially in cases that involve infidelity. They may feel that if they had responded differently then things would not have ended up that way.
Because of the shame they feel, it is easy to end up feeling completely alone. However, the truth is that the best way to deal with the problem is by reaching out and getting help.
In fact, if you feel that your partner is a sex addict, couples therapy may be your best option to deal with it. Be sure to look for therapists that specialize in sex addiction, and a good place to start would be by getting in touch with Novus Mindful Life.
Make no mistake, being married to a sex addict is challenging and if you do not take any action things are very likely to get much worse as time goes by.