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In Love with a Sex Addict?

Love, Heartbreak

Must do’s when your guy is addicted to sex.

When was the first time you suspected that your partner was a sex addict?

Did you realize he seemed to want sex from you ALL of the time?
Did you notice that he watches a lot of porn?
Did you come to the conclusion that he masturbate more than you think is healthy? 
Did you catch him flirting or cheating (again)?

Maybe it was alluring and exciting at first. You’d never been with anyone quite like this before and it was a turn on...until it became worrisome and upsetting. What started out feeling fantastically 50 Shades of Grey, soured. Trust has been damaged and you wonder if he’s really into you or just into sex. With anyone.

Now that you believe your man (or woman) is addicted to sex, you’re wondering what to do.

You don’t know how to bring up the subject without making him angry or so embarrassed he withdraws from you. So you remain silent and continue to worry. In the meantime, you’re closing down to him. Misunderstandings and arguments over “little things” crop up daily.

What used to feel like passion feels tarnished or has disappeared and you’re wondering whether or not you should even stay in this relationship.

The truth about sex addiction...
It’s especially important for you to make a wise decision about whether or not to stay in your relationship when you see red flags. Be sure you understand what sex addiction really is as you move forward.

According to experts, sexual addiction is not about physical attraction, intimacy or even pleasure. It’s not about connecting or expressing love either. Instead, it’s driven by a perceived need for power, dominance, control or even an expression of anger.

The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity defines this psychological disorder as: sexual behavior that escalates and persists despite “potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even arrest.” Sexual addiction may involve: incessantly searching for multiple sexual partners, excessively consuming porn, compulsively masturbating and even crimes such as exhibitionism, voyeurism or child molestation.

Sex addiction occurs in varying degrees and forms. Not all sex addicts commit crimes, but some do.

It’s helpful to know what sexual addiction really is so that you can use the term appropriately. It could be that your partner truly is a sex addict or maybe he or she is behaving in ways that violate your morals or the agreements you two have made, but isn’t compulsive.

Whether your partner is or is not a sex addict, do take it seriously if you see signs that you are being disrespected, lied to or cheated on.

Set clear boundaries.
If you and your partner don’t have clear agreements about what behaviors are okay and what aren’t okay, it’s time. It’s important to communicate about what your expectations are and to set boundaries if a mutual agreement doesn’t seem possible regardless of whether or not your partner is diagnosed with a psychological disorder like sex addict.

If your partner’s behavior is negatively impacting trust or your ability to be as close and connected as you’d like to be, find the courage to talk about it.

You can set a boundary without blaming or shaming. Identify the behavior and ask your partner to agree to either limit that behavior or completely stop it. Don’t assume that he or she “should” know what you mean. Be specific and watch for proof that your partner is following through with what you’ve asked.

Get professional help.
If you believe that your partner truly is a sex addict, urge him or her to get help from a professional who specializes in compulsions and addiction. As you see your partner facing the addiction and learning new strategies, the damage and trust can begin to be repaired.

A professional counselor, coach or therapist can teach you techniques to deal with your partner’s behavior and help you get the support you need as well. Even if your partner refuses to admit to the problem or do anything to change, you can learn a lot when you reach out for help individually.

Put your well-being first.
Addiction is a tricky thing. You may tolerate what would otherwise send you packing because you see the “addiction” as what’s driving your partner. Don’t put your health, well-being and self-respect last even if your partner is diagnosed.

Do find out effective ways to communicate about his or her sex addiction and address the behaviors that are impacting you and your relationship. Do use protection if you two have sex and especially if your partner seeks out sex with others.

Do give yourself permission to choose. Ask yourself if it’s healthy and in your best interests to stay in this relationship. Are you seeing clear signs that your partner is getting help and making significant changes? Or would it be better for you to end the relationship now and start the healing process?

There are no guarantees that your partner will stop whatever he or she is doing that’s eroding trust and coming between you two. Make a decision that will allow you to be healthier and happier now and in the future too.

What’s really best for you? Being in a love relationship or marriage with a sex addict or partner who is breaking trust is painful. Get help deciding, Should You Stay or Should You Go? at www.stayorgo.com

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