What Ashley Madison has done to sex addiction.
According to news reports, Josh Duggar was forced to resign his position as the director of the Family Research Council for alleging molesting five young girls (four of them reported to be his own sisters).
When the data for Ashley Madison was released in the wake of the hack, the servers indicated a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address that matches the home in Fayetteville, Arkansas owned by his grandmother Mary, which was also a home that was on the now canceled TV show and in which Anna Duggar gave birth to their first born child.
There are potentially devastating fall outs of the leak. There is also an opportunity for healing, honesty and hope for individuals and their families in the future that change and real intimacy is possible.
Many families will, and currently do, suffer after finding out the truth of what their loves ones were doing in secrecy. There will be emotional trauma, marital conflict, divorce, public humiliation and possible blackmail along with the rupturing of family relationships whether the users of the site actually cheated or not in their relationships.
What are the possible connections with Sexual Addiction and websites like Ashley Madison?
1. Painful Consequences
One of the hallmarks of a sexually addicted person is they engage in the behavior despite the consequences. With the breach of confidential data being released this past week, the consequences will be great for many users.
There may be divorces, a lot of emotional pain but also a potential to recognize or come out of denial that there is a problem. When someone is choosing to engage in secretive behavior, they willingly take the chance of getting caught and being exposed. Most will take the chance despite of the potential consequences.
2. Secrecy/double life
In the case of Josh Duggar, who recently admitted to having a hidden porn addiction with escalation that led to him cheating on his wife, lived a double life for many years without others knowing about his secret encounters with other women. Many sex addicts have an entire other life that they keep concealed away from their known life with others.
3. Engaging multiple sexual partners
One of the symptoms of sexual addiction is habitually having sex with more partners than they originally intended. Ashley Madison intentionally encourages this type of behavior to happen for many of their users, so it can be a very tempting choice for a person that struggles with sexual compulsivity.
Many people who have issues with sexually addicted behaviors will often spend a lot of time fantasying or craving the high of the sexual experience. The cheater’s website is like a storefront with many different versions of crack cocaine for the substance users. The members can spend many hours or just a few minutes engaging with other like-minded members to feel the high of the anticipation of the potential future sexual encounter.
Whether it is the first celebrity being publicly exposed like Josh Duggar, your neighbor down the street, or your partner, the consequences are devastating and the pain for the betrayed will be great.
There is also a greater opportunity for many to finally come out of hiding to deal with their potentially addictive and/or dysfunctional relationship with sex and relational commitment. If you or someone you know has found out that their partner was living a double life, help is available across the country by Certified Sex Addiction Therapists.