Repercussions of Sex addiction on your partnerHelen
Repercussions of Sex addiction on your partner
Sex is a tender and intimate expression of physical association between partners. Yet it is a powerful force that binds them in a meaningful relationship. However, like any out-of-control behavioral issue, sex addiction can unsettle a healthy life and can have a detrimental effect on the partners’ intimate connection. Sex addiction causes personal, professional and relationship issues hard to combat without building a plan to set up a support system.
Traditional therapies usually fail to recognize the debilitating consequences that an uncontrolled sexual disorder has on the partner. The sex addict’s partner needs as much focus and assistance as a sex addict to lead a normal life without prejudices. The repercussions of sex addiction on a partner ranges from terrible effects on one’s emotional well-being, physical and mental health issues and struggles with boundary dissolution.
Let us delve deep into sex addiction and its effect on the partner.
What is sex addiction?
It is any uncontrolled sexual activity. Contrary to common belief, sex addiction is not only about the insatiable urge to have sex with your partner several times. According to the National Health Services (UK) website, apart from uncontrolled sexual behavior with a partner, any activity including viewing pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes, or using sex chat lines where you don’t know to mark a boundary is described as sex addiction. This compulsive sexual behavior can ruin lives and affect one’s ability to maintain a healthy relationship and even hold on to a job.
Probable causes of sex addiction
Like all addiction, sex addiction is also opportunity-induced, however difficult to pinpoint. According to Ms. Hall, the writer of the book Sex Addiction: The Partner’s Perspective, today an individual has endless means to find anything they desire easily and anonymously. You can find a load of things you don’t desire to get hooked on.
Today sexual content is easily available to a person irrespective of his age, gender, or background. These types of sexual content can blur the distinction between fantasy and reality. You are easily hooked to a behavior that at the start seems harmless but slowly snowballs into destructive and damaging behavior not only for you but also for your partner.
Sometimes, people also devise sex to cope with early trauma such as sexual abuse. Some people are already vulnerable to any kind of addiction including sex addiction due to depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive or relationship disorder, and brain chemistry issues.
Negative effect on partner
When sex addiction is discovered in a partner you may experience shock and your life can be negatively affected by anxiety, rage, depression, and panic attacks if you are a partner of a sex addict. Trust is another victim, when you learn that your partner, with whom you have been sharing your most intimate moments with turns out to be affected by compulsive sexual behavior.
It affects a patient’s emotional well-being
The first causality obviously is the emotional well-being of the partner. The intimacy that partners share in a relationship cannot be taken lightly since sex creates a physical connection that stimulates the strength, trust, and love within the relationship. Sex addiction in a partner can wreak havoc on this trust and intensifies the feeling of betrayal in the partner. The emotional reaction of a partner ranges from an extreme feeling of anger to insecurity, vulnerability, misuse, disgust, denial, avoidance, and weakness. These emotions can break the most cherished and strong trust between partners.
Effects on physical and mental health
A person with the problem of compulsive sexual behavior can be prone to physical and mental health issues. For start, the partner can be infected with STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) that their partner may be carrying from multiple sexual partners even from prostitutes. STDs can be dangerous, incorrigible, and terminal in many cases.
The partner can suffer from extreme cases of depression, frequent weight loss/weight gain, suicidal tendencies, and paranoia. If left unaddressed these problems can pose severe health conditions for both partners.
Case of boundary dissolution
Boundary dissolution is a failure to acknowledge the psychological distinctiveness of individuals. It can also be termed as a confusion of an individual’s interpersonal roles.
Boundary confusion is the basic symptom of gaslighting when your reality is manipulated by another person for his/her personal gain. Your partner may have been manipulating you to satiate his/her pervert sexual needs with you or with others. You are also led to believe by your partner in an alternate reality for his/her benefit.
Coming out of this boundary dissolution can be challenging and frustrating especially if you feel trapped in a sexual addict’s manipulative game.
Whether you are a sex addict or a partner of a sex addict, corrective therapies are available for both today. Modern therapies now have started to recognize the plight of the partner of a sex addict. According to your situation and needs, you can opt for couple counseling or sex addiction therapy. Some common therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness approaches, trauma therapy, and positive sexual reintegration.
Most recovery work pertains to accepting who you are and what you want. They help identify boundaries and relationships. Therapies also focus on helping a sex addict learn how to better communicate their needs with the affected partner.