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According to the National Library of Medicine, sexual addiction is a very real disorder, which has a number of negative consequences. Perhaps one of the most devastating of these consequences is the effects that your sexual addiction has on your relationships. Particularly with those you care for most. To understand this, it is necessary to know the types of sex addiction, and how they affect the various people that are close to you.
Types of sex addiction
The first thing to know when trying to understand how your sexual addiction affects those around you is what the different types of sex addiction are. There are as many different types of sexual addictions as there are types of sex. Some of these include:
- addiction to pornography
- addiction to voyeurism or being seen during a sex act
- addiction to multiple partner sex
- internet or phone sex addiction
- addiction to buying or selling sex
This is not a complete list, in any way. However, it illustrates the wide range of sexual addictions. This wide range creates ever more far reaching effects, particularly on the person addicted, and those closest to them.
How Does it Affect Friendships?
Typically, your friends will be least affected by your sexual addiction. However, this does not mean that your addiction will not negatively affect your friendships. This stems from your behaviors as an addict, including:
- refusing help from friends for your addiction
- skipping out on friends to have sex
- stealing or borrowing money from friends to pay for sex
- attempting to seduce friends or their significant others
All of these behaviors can easily destroy friendships, even ones that have existed for many years.
How Does it Affect Family Relationships such as Parents?
Another group of people that your sexual addiction affects are family members, such as your parents. Some of the effects of your addiction, on them, include:
- social backlash, related to the nature of your addiction,
- emotional trauma from seeing you destroy your life,
- financial damages if they have to support your addiction, or pay for your recovery, and
- worry and stress because of your risky behaviors.
All of these effects have a high likelihood of permanently damaging your relationship with them.
How Does it Affect your Spouse or Significant Other?
The person that is affected most by sexual addiction, other than the addict themselves, is their spouse or significant other. This is the person closest to the addict, and thus closest to the addiction and its ravages. In addition to the effects mentioned above, spouses and significant others suffer their own mental and emotional traumas, such as:
- intense feelings of betrayal
- an inability to trust you or others
- loss of self-worth and self-esteem
- feelings of inadequacy
- intense fears related to intimacy and sex
These traumas are very real, and can have life-long effects. Not to mention the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases as a result of risky sexual behaviors on the part of the addict. According to the New York Times, this damages not only their relationship with you, but all future relationships that they may have with others.