Sex Addiction and Relationships

All is not lost. There’s a clear path forward for your loved one (and you).

All relationships have complexities. Finances, boundaries, communication. Some are more common than others, and because of that most people are completely caught off guard when they discover their loved one, partner, or spouse is a sex addict.

Sex addiction is seeminlgy a less common complexity in relationships, but you’d be surprised to know that it negatively impacts relationships over ten million times a year.

Please remember two things. You didn’t cause this to happen, and neither did your loved one suffering from sex addiction. The condition is very complex, as is the diagnosis, treatment, and therapy.

There is one thing that is simple. The first non-judgemental phone call to the group that knows what it’s like to be in a relationship with a sex addict, and to help a sex addict (and you) on their path to recovery.

photo of an unhappy married couple in bed

Sex Addiction Relationship Problems

When left unaddressed, sex addiction can slowly unravel the strongest of loving relationships. Your largest hurdle is identifying and distinguishing the problems caused exclusively by your loved one’s sex addiction. Sharing these observations with us on your initial call will be important, however, we’ll help you recognize other problems that may have been overlooked.

Here’s a list of 10 common relationship problems influenced by sex addiction:

How to Deal with Sex Addiction in a Relationship

Sex addiction can negatively impact a variety of unique relationships, from a family member to a friend, or even your partner or spouse. Each relationship requires a different path to recovery for your loved one (and you).

Your first step is to realize one thing. Love isn’t blind—you can and will see the faults of the people you love. This in no way means that your love for these people is reduced by these faults, rather, it should be seen as a path to strengthen your love and relationship with them.

You will be tempted to abandon your loved one and the relationship you share, especially if you share your struggles with friends and other colleagues, or if you engage with counseling centers that encourage self-centeredness.

Your heart, spirit, and mind are strong—that’s why you’re here.

To learn how to best deal with your loved one’s sex addiction, choose the below button that best describes their relationship to you and let’s talk for 15 minutes.

photo of a married couple not talking

Can Sex Addicts Have Normal Relationships?

Normal is a fickle word. Too often it gets mistakenly construed as perfection.

Here’s another key step to inner peace—accept that normal relationships are a two-way street. There are times you give and there are times you take, and in both scenarios you may be open or closed to your loved one for the simplest or most complex reason.

When you find yourself in a relationship with a sex addict as a partner or spouse, it can feel like you’re giving everything and they are taking everything. Instead of swimming in deep feelings of betrayal and anger—which can lead to the tempting abandonment— you need to give everything for a short period of time.  This does not mean helping enable your partner’s or spouse’s addiction, rather it means initiating a course to recovery and offering emotional support and overall presence.

When you find that your friend or family member is sexually addicted, the fear of being accused as judgemental or “perfect” can create hesitation or procrastination. That’s understandable, however, in hindsight, the recovered addict will more-times-than-not express that they wished you confronted their problem sooner rather than later.

Relationships are never easy, but you can get your relationship back on track by starting a conversation with our counselors who have been in your shoes before.

Can a Sex Addict Love You?

Yes. Alcoholics, drug addicts, and obsessive gamblers can love you, too. During the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship, the levels of love given and taken are at an all time high. Like most normal relationships, influential factors can introduce themselves and interfere with the level of love shared by a single party. While the party may have consciously or subconsciously invited this love interference into your relationship, it does not mean their lack of love for you played a role. Here’s an important thing to remember—their love for you is what’s going to encourage them to recover sooner rather than later, so don’t wait any longer to start a conversation with a recovery center.

Loving a Sex Addict

Love is tested when challenges such as sex addiction present themselves.  In addition to reaching out to a recovery center for help, here’s a list of “love demonstrations” that you can exercise to help lower your loved one’s guard before, during, and after recommending counseling and therapy. One quick tip: don’t make it appear that you’re doing any of these because of their struggles with sex addiction. Do it just because you love them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Being diagnosed with sex addiction does not disable a person’s ability to fall in love, or sustain a loving relationship with another person.  It can, however, prevent someone from falling in love with a new person, and it can weaken the love bond between an existing partner or spouse—this is one of the most drastic negative side effects of sex addiction. Depression, low self esteem, and high levels of apathy can accompany a sex addict once the bond or potential for love is weakend.

Yes.  Sex addiciton is not exclusive to infidelity. Married spouses or partners in relationships can find themselves addicted to such things as pornogrpahy, masturbation, and compulsive lustful thoughts. While most do not consider these actions as infidelity, the other partner can suffer similar consequences as a victim of infidelity, including depression, self hate, and the temptation to participate in similar activities.  

Yes. While some addiction counselors promote the idea that specific addictions are “diseases” or “genetic”, thereby working to only manage the addiction’s impact on the sufferers life, we at City Gate promote the idea that the suffering experienced by the victim of sex addiciton is only temporary. This is proven out by empirical evidence that we can share with you during our initial session.