The Impact of Sexual Addiction on Relationships

  • Sexual addiction creates many challenges in relationships
  • Coping with discovery and the experience of betrayal in a relationship.
  • Impacts on marriage and intimacy.

Sexual addiction is a progressive disorder that affects the individual suffering from the problem as well as the loved ones, partners or others involved with the individual in a number of ways. The impact of sexual addiction on relationships can cause serious negative consequences for the individual including breakups, distressed marriages, intense regrets and a number of other concerns. Unfortunately, it’s not just the sex addict who suffers when there is betrayal in a relationship; the spouse also suffers greatly as a result of the sexual addiction and compulsive behaviors involved.

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Broken Relationships

Sexual addiction

Sex addiction often leads to broken relationships.

Sex addicts often suffer from broken relationships or a distance that makes intimacy difficult at best. While the addict may be able to easily go out and take part in sexual relations with others, remaining close to the individual that he or she loves can be challenging. An estimated 40% of all sex addicts suffer from marital stress, intense anxiety, loneliness, and loss of self-esteem. Broken relationships are a very common outcome for those suffering from sexual addiction.

Adultery & Betrayal

It’s difficult for most partners in a relationship to accept that their loved one committed the ultimate betrayal. Unfortunately, for the sex addict, committing adultery or cheating on the spouse may become a way of life and although the addict may or may not want to stop, he or she finds that the actions tend to occur over and over again. Betrayal breaks trust, makes it difficult to feel comfortable with the individual and can ruin a relationship faster than just about anything.

Disease

As if discovering that there is betrayal in a relationship isn’t enough to cause serious problems, disease such as STDs like HIV, AIDS, HPV, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted disease can wreak havoc on a relationship. Contracting an STD and then accidentally passing the disease on to someone you love is a serious, but completely possible, outcome of sexually addictive behavior. For most partners, bouncing back from the fact that the spouse, and his or her sexual betrayal resulted in disease transmission is almost impossible to overcome or to forgive.

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Incarceration

Relationships struggle when two people are apart. It takes a very, very strong bond for a relationship to continue when there is great distance between two partners. Unfortunately, sexual addiction can lead to incarceration which can place a great deal of strain on an already strained relationship. Sex addicts get arrested for sexually explicit behavior, acting out, being involved in prostitution, or otherwise having involvement in sexually explicit behaviors in public.

Impacts on Marriage & Intimacy

For a married couple, finding out that a spouse has cheated even once is hard. Many married couples who have a partner who is a sex addict find that the betrayal runs much deeper. It is not uncommon for a sex addict to have multiple partners or cases of cheating that occur. The impact that sexual addiction has on a marriage can be so devastating that the marriage will probably not last, at least not without counseling. For most married couples, sexual addiction is a disease that results in complete devestation.

Sex Addiction Stereotypes

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