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The reasons for this are numerous and include the shame associated with this addiction for both the addict and the spouse, the sense of betrayal, and stereotypes linked to the addiction.
I specialize in counseling wives of sex addicts, and I often see women who haven’t told anyone about their husband’s addiction, sometimes for months or even years.
His use of porn causes a release of the same chemicals involved when a drug is ingested.
At the height of his addiction, nothing, not even the risk of losing his job or his marriage, is enough to stop him.
Let your addict know when he is not being open and when he seems to be putting you off. Set appropriate boundaries for yourself including what you are OK with sexually. Likewise be clear about what you want in a relationship and make sure you ask your addict what he is looking for in a relationship. Talk to other people or go to one of the many websites that deal with partners of sex addicts and get as much support and information as you can.
Educate yourself about sex addiction, and if the relationship gets serious, feel free to make an appointment wit a certified sex addiction therapist to discuss things.
The addict is aware of what went wrong in his past relationships and understands how he retreated into his addiction, avoided intimacy, and hurt his partner.
The lack of support available to spouses, and often inaccurate information being put out about partners of sexual addicts, can cause a wife to suffer additional trauma and feel like she is partially responsible for her husband’s behavior.
Since this is a “process addiction,” versus a chemical addiction, it is so hard for wives to understand. There are many different compartments so that he can divide his life up into separate components that don’t touch each other.
They may seem eminently “deniable.”: The recovering sex addict will often have had little or no experience with healthy sexual relationships. Sometimes the addict will try to bring addictive behaviors into the relationship in some way. Often they will leave out a whole set of behaviors that they are to embarrassed to talk about.
You need to know these things even if you don’t think you want to.
We are more likely to be worrying about our kids when we are at work and thinking about work when we are at home.