Sex addiction can be complicated, especially in dating and interpersonal relationships. Learning different scientifically supported sex addiction strategies and theories can be an important step in living life well and healthfully with a sex addict partner.
Continue reading to learn more about possible co-morbidities or contributing factors to sex addiction, as well as supportive strategies that may assist both partners in living a better life.
What Is Sex Addiction?
At the time of publication, sex addiction was not listed as a referenced disorder in the most recent edition of the DSM-5. It is, however, a term that can be used to describe excessive compulsive sexual behaviors and hypersexuality in people of all sexes, identities, and genders. Sex addiction can manifest in a variety of ways because it is highly individual. Understanding the range of possible symptoms and experiences can help those living with this disorder feel more validated.
Sex Addiction Quiz (Self-Assessment)
Do I have a sexual addiction? Sexual addiction, also known as hypersexual disorder, is characterized by obsessive sexual activity and a preoccupation with pornography or sexual thoughts, actions, and fantasies. Utilize this test to evaluate your actions.
Supportive Strategies for Sex Addiction
You may feel overwhelmed, objectified, or frustrated if you are a partner to someone who suffers from sex and relationship addiction. In contrast, you may want to help your partner but are unsure how. All of these emotions are common in many people’s lives. As you continue your relationship’s journey, you can try a variety of supportive strategies.
Discuss Sex and what is going on in your relationship.
Miscommunication and frustration in a relationship can result from sex addiction. To counteract this, open and honest communication is essential. While acknowledging the situation or your feelings about it may feel painful or uncomfortable, it can provide you with a deeper level of intimacy and healing in your relationship.
Your conversation with your partner may or may not be the first step toward them realizing they have sex and intimacy addiction patterns. If you tell them that this is causing you and their pain and that you want things to change, it may result in faster progress and a mutual understanding of the next best step.
You may also choose to identify actions that represent moving forward and healing as you speak, such as seeking professional help and attending support meetings.
A trained sex therapist or couple’s therapist can assist you in navigating the individual effects of sex addiction in your relationship.
Pic: Sex Addiction
Acknowledge Your Emotions Honestly
Some people who are dating someone who has a sex addiction may suppress their feelings to keep the relationship intact. This isn’t always a good thing, and it can lead to unhealthy relationship patterns and frustration.
The circumstances may cause both partners in the relationship to feel emotionally hurt. Anyone can feel guilty, angry, insecure, or “stuck.” These emotions are valid in any range or intensity.
We should point out that you can love your partner or spouse deeply while also feeling deeply hurt. Overcoming sex addiction-related events may not feel possible right now, but it may be after speaking with a therapist and maintaining open communication with one another.
Create a Support System
Support systems can be extremely beneficial for both the partner of a person suffering from sexual addiction and the person suffering from sexual addiction. It may be difficult to open up to others about what is going on in your relationship. However, you may need to vent from time to time, so having people with whom you can speak openly is beneficial.
You should think about carefully selecting your support system to encourage healthy patterns and support for both partners in the relationship. Professionals and therapists are a great way to vent and process your feelings without the risk of embarrassment or unhelpful opinions from people who may have personal ties to the situation if you are looking for support outside of close friends or family.
Consider Your Limits
Setting boundaries in your relationship might be the next step. This can help you communicate more effectively and has the potential to make any treatment or support attempt more impactful to both or all partners in the relationship. Defining what matters the most to you in a relationship in terms of the three major elements: emotional, sexual, and physical needs is one of the most important boundaries to establish.
Treatment Options for People Suffering From Sex Addiction
The treatment process for those experiencing sex addiction and those who are partnered with those experiencing sex addiction may involve a variety of methods and healthcare professionals. You can make an appointment with a doctor to discuss what has been going on in your dating life and to ensure either an individual’s physical safety or well-being. A psychiatrist or psychologist may also be of assistance to either partner during this time.
Some people may seek treatment for sex addiction in a rehab facility or through inpatient treatment. As previously stated, some people who suffer from sexual addiction may also suffer from other types of addiction and may benefit from inpatient or outpatient treatment.
How Can Online Therapy Help Those Suffering From Sexual Addiction?
Sex addiction can be a trying experience for everyone in a relationship. Online therapy can be beneficial in assisting relationship partners to work through roadblocks or previous instances of hurt. Online therapy can be especially beneficial if one or more partners in a relationship are too nervous or embarrassed to leave the house, or if they do not see their behavior as a problem. This type of therapy is accessible to the majority of people and can be done from the comfort of your own home or another safe location.