Couples can enjoy sex. However, this activity often becomes a source of heartache when a partner cannot seem to control sexual behaviors. If you suspect your partner is a sex addict, you might want to learn the signs if you think your spouse has a problem.
What is Addiction?
The American Society of Addiction defines addiction as the “primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” A person compulsively drawn to an activity despite attempts to quit usually has altered brain chemistry. The changes in neurotransmission taking place inside someone’s head results from a variety of environmental and biological factors. For instance, child abuse and genetic disposition might result in finding anxiety relief by having one-night stands.
Does my Spouse Have an Issue with Sex?
The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity provides the following definition of sexual addiction: The engagement of persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behaviors; acting out in spite of increasing negative consequences to self or others.
Here’s some clues that your spouse might be a sex addict:
- Your partner keeps promising not to look at porn but won’t stop.
- He or she cheats on you repeatedly in spite of promises made not to.
- Your loved one engages in sexual chats online that he/she should have with you.
- The person stays on the internet all day even if it’s not for a legitimate job.
- Every joke and conversation you have with him or her is about sex.
- Your partner has a history of risky behavior (i.e. unprotected encounters with strangers).
- Your spouse neglects work or personal obligations to seek out physical gratification.
- In the past, your partner changed partners frequently and compulsive one-night stands.
- The person in your life sees a prostitute or has in the past.
- He or she has multiple partners and/or gave you an STD.
- Sexual encounters often involve alcohol, drugs, and orgies.
Long-term Effects of Sex Addiction on a Partner
When your partner commits infidelity or watches porn so often that individual loses interest in you, you might think it’s your fault. You wonder what you can do or say differently to keep that person paying attention to your body, but the individual keeps turning affections toward others.
It’s not uncommon for you to have these types of struggles if you live with a sex addict:
- You feel rejected, lonely and betrayed.
- You’re angry and fed up with all the broken promises.
- You give into your partner’s sexual advances to keep the peace.
- You feel overwhelmed by your partner’s preoccupation with sex.
- The problem has caused discord that negatively affects your kids.
- Your partner often initiates dangerous sex acts you’d rather not commit.
- Behaviors your spouse participates in causes a financial strain – more stress on you.
- You feel ashamed that you have to bail your partner out of jail because of the addiction.
- You live a life of isolation because you don’t know who to turn to for help.
- You don’t trust your spouse.
There’s no excuse for your partner’s sexually compulsive behaviors, but it often results from sexual traumas committed against him or her as a child. However, genetic disposition might play some factor. Some people have a more addictive personality than others, which makes it harder for them to receive treatment. However, anyone can get help if they want it.