Sex Addiction Is Not A Real Addiction

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Larina 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #13289
     JoAnn 
    Keymaster

    I know I have said it before…probably hundreds if not thousands of times, but for those of you who may not have heard me, here’s some info.

    There is very little ‘real’ scientific research on sex addiction because…no on will pay to research something that isn’t real. Here is an article that gives a good understanding of why sex addiction is not an addiction.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/07/sex_addiction_study_ucla_researchers_find_that_sex_and_porn_might_not_actually.html

    These behaviors definitely are a problem but approaching it and treating it as if it is a true addiction is akin to giving cough syrup to a lung cancer patient. These men are sick, they have a mental illness and it needs to be approached from that perspective. Personality disorders are legitimate but any psychiatrist will warn they are almost impossible to treat. Some behaviors can be managed but the basic personality cannot be changed.

  • #13298
     Dottie 
    Participant

    I’m new to all of this so forgive my ignorance…can he be helped? Treated? Is their hope? Obviously my man has got a huge problem but he can’t find help? Is he doomed to hurt every female for the rest of his life, living with only the shadow of real intimacy? How could a person live like this, going from person to person for sex alone and the vague feeling of being wanted and desired only to be tossed away with no real human connection? It’s unfathomable to me. I’ve read some books and visited websites. There seems to be two schools of thought about the possibility of recovery. I can’t wrap my head around the fact the tender, loving man I have in my life has this duality to him, one totally parallel opposite with the other. Please, advice? More knowledge?

  • #13299
     shamrockv2-0 
    Participant

    Dottie, You are not ignorant at all. Being the partner of a “sex addict” is a confusing space to live in. I remember that bomb blowing up my life as well. Joann is asserting that sex addiction is a catch-all phrase used to simplify the form of abuse you have experienced and in turn give you unrealistic hope. Sex addiction is most likely a set of behaviors that result from a personality disorder. People don’t recover from personality disorders. It’s who they are. Thats why you have keenly observed the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. That’s real and not likely to ever change. Most of the women in SOS have come to this understanding and level of critical thinking after multiple times around the track and throwing our assets away hoping for change. We want partners to be educated to protect themselves and their children. Sending you strength.

  • #13300
     Dottie 
    Participant

    “…But for ev’ry time that we spent laughin’
    There were two times that I cried
    And you were tryin’ to make me your martyr
    And that’s the one thing I just couldn’t do
    ‘Cause baby, I can’t hang upon no lover’s cross for you…”
    Jim Croce-Lover’s Cross
    How do you turn your back on someone you love? How do you stay when you are walking, eyes wide open, into a life where you martyr yourself for your mate?

  • #13301
     shamrockv2-0 
    Participant

    It’s hell on earth. It helps to think long term for yourself and your children. I tried recovery for three and a half years and actually I was fooled into believing things were improving by both my X and therapists. I wanted to believe he chose our life. Years and money thrown down the drain. The gift of that is I know I tried everything. That is scanty reward and I assumed all the risk. I don’t advise it. I did everything I personally could until the realization that I could literally die or become very ill due to the actions of my husband caused me to change the locks. It struck me like a lightening bolt.

    It takes a lot of disordered thinking to maintain a separate sexual life for decades. That’s the personality part that the sex addiction model doesn’t account for. Sex addiction treatment doesn’t delve into the thinking or values. It doesn’t consider personality disorders. It doesn’t consider this abuse. The treatment providers believe the partner and children are just unfortunately impacted by the addicts addiction. Your experience won’t have the same weight. They will focus on your husband. Truth and consequences of his behaviors will be judged shaming and relegated to silence least you trigger him again.There are no checks and balances. Think about drug/alcohol treatment you know when someone relapses or at least have tools. There are no tools.

    Bottom line is – My kids need a functioning parent, I had no choice but to give up. I chose the three of us. My children are thriving today and we have virtually no contact. We can’t change another persons values or thinking. I’m sorry you are experiencing the mind bending flip flops of trying to figure out what is reality. As one of my daughter’s says…It doesn’t matter why. It IS both. We experienced both. The good and the hidden Horror. It’s real and we have to get away from it. Out of the mouths of teens…

  • #13302
     Dottie 
    Participant

    Shamrock, We are in the “pink cloud” phase of this mess. I’ve found out the truth. It’s been two months now. He’s said he doesn’t want that lifestyle anymore and he wants to change, saying he wants a real & lasting life with me. He’s says he’s tired of having nightmares, tired of this life, tired of the lifestyle.
    I have access to his phone, can track his movements, etc. He’s moved out just this week to his own place. We were supposed to move as a family but I decided to stay behind in my own place for now. He’s promised to go to group therapy, talk with the priest, read all the books on the subject (Dr. Weiss).
    Right now he is being open, repentant, honest (so much as I can tell) and contrite.
    I am not his wife, but his girlfriend of almost three years. His former wife is still very much involved in his life for various reasons. I found out this summer he’d been sleeping with her regularly for a year at the same time living with me. She found out he was with me when I posted public pics of our vacation. Then in January I found out there were other affairs, emotional and physical, with other women he found on Tinder. He admitted to sleeping with at least three of them.
    Where do I go from here? Do I give him a chance to redeem himself? He says he hates himself. He says he wants to make a life with me.
    Do I contact the former wife to keep an open dialogue with her so he can’t tell half-truths to either of us? I think that’s how he was able to live his double life before and the mess of this summer could have been avoided. I know she hates me. They had the same problems we are having now but twenty years of it. I’ve got her number. From some of her texts, I can tell she doesn’t know all of what is going on in regards to me. I don’t want to hurt her further but she should know the truth.

    I feel so foolish. I feel so confused. I feel so desperate. I don’t feel myself anymore.

  • #13303
     shamrockv2-0 
    Participant

    I’m so sorry. If you don’t share children,legal, financial issues, i.e. no mitigating factors this is really an opportunity. I flat out think you deserve better. The separate spaces is a great start. Space creates clarity.

    I heard all those things too. It just depends on what kind of life you want to live. I couldn’t feel myself and live that type of lifestyle. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. To some degree even divorced I wait for the shoe to drop. My kids are subjected to the fallout. I know women who do opt not to lose their sunken costs. I understand it, but its not for me.

    The number one rule of psychology is “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” People try to make it more complicated than that, but its really that simple. The vast majority of behavior established that long, decades will only change briefly.

    I hope you read Chump Lady. SOS and then Chump lady literally held my hand for years.

  • #13305
     dolores 
    Participant

    I run this around in my head constantly. “If it’s an addiction, then it’s not something he consciously chose to do. He didn’t mean to hurt me. If it’s not an addiction, then it is a choice he made, not giving a **** how it impacted me or our marriage.” It’s been nine months since I discovered I had an STI, and he admitted to having had sex with a prostitute in December of 2016. He then disclosed that he has gone to happy ending massage parlors, according to his count, five times over the last six years. I’ve known for years that he preferred to masturbate to porn over having sex with me.

    Since what I’ve come to call Black Friday, I’ve taken over complete control (so far as I know) of the money in the bank; he on his own volition gave me access to all (?) his computer passwords and accounts, and enabled location services on his phone so I could track his movements (even though I know that he could switch it over to his computer and leave that at the office while he runs out for a rub and tug and I’m none the wiser). What I’m getting at though, is that it looks like he’s behaved himself for nine months. He doesn’t sit downstairs and have a wank after I go to bed at night; he doesn’t leave cum all over the toilet seat for me to clean up in the mornings. It looks like he has controlled his “addiction”.

    It seems to me that if it were an addiction, he would have participated in the paid sexual services more often than he claims he has, and it I think it would have been much more difficult to stop could turkey. So that leaves me at, he chose to do it. Or, and this makes perfect sense to me, it’s a personality disorder. It scares the crap out of me when I read the comments above that a personality disorder can’t be fixed. I’ve stuck around for the last nine months, because aside from the previous lack of marital sex, we had a very close and loving relationship, or so it appeared, and I wanted to salvage it. If it’s inevitable that he is going to betray me again, why am I here?

  • #13306
     shamrockv2-0 
    Participant

    Dolores.. I have been where you’re at. It sucks. The big take away for me is that the possibility of a personality disorder is seldom if ever even presented as a hypothesis for this pattern of behavior. It should be. Most of the people treating these “Sex addicts” never practice any differential diagnosis. They don’t refer out. They treat the symptoms not the cause. At least if partners knew what type of mental illness they were dealing with they could make informed decisions. Tests for personality disorders exist. They are expensive and seldom performed but they have a long history with solid research behind them.

    The partner is treated as a after-thought at best and co-conspirator at worst. I was told I was co-dependent. It never made sense to me how can a person be “codependent” on something they didn’t know existed. I honestly didn’t know what a happy ending was when I started this journey.

    I too struggled for a long time with the same question you ask. What if he didn’t mean to hurt me? What if he is just sick? I used to say I wouldn’t leave a man with an eating disorder.
    I tried everything I could until I had to save myself. I hope you have a positive outcome. This is a crappy lose – lose proposition you did not create. Sending strength for you to choose the outcome that will work for you.

  • #13307
     JoAnn 
    Keymaster

    Hi Dolores,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through and I hope our words of wisdom an support will at least give you a sense of not being alone in all this.

    You say if it is an addiction (which it definitely is not) then he has no choice. That is so not true. Of course he has a choice, he has free will, he is not insane.

    Only insane people are not responsible for their actions and genuinely insane people must be institutionalized for that very reason.

    Your boyfriend makes cool and calculating decisions. He plans. He lies. He covers up and is deceptive. He has been doing it for decades and that is who he is. Why would you ever believe that he could just flip a switch and change?

    You are in a position where you can leave. Of course it’s hard, you love who you thought he was, not who he is. It will take time to grieve over that.

    You are wise to stay behind, that space will allow you clarity.

    Keep posting and we will hold you up through it all and trust me, you will come out on the other side happier, healthier and free of all that toxic drama.

    Sending you hugs and strength. ~ JoAnn

  • #13325
     Jean Kinnear 
    Participant

    I just joined this group. I just found out that my boyfriend was diagnosed with a sex addiction we were engaged to be married and it was planed for this June. I found out in January that he had been having an affair for most of the time we were together which is about a year and a half. I am trying to work things out with him but am slowly realizing that he is making no effort to change and he is trying to make me feel like it is my fault that I am the one not trying. I am pretty sure that he is seeing someone else now and has contacted the girl he had the affair with recently. I am at a lose I know what needs to be done but do not have the strength to do it yet and to make matters worse he is supposedly dying from crisscross of the liver which I am taking with a grain of salt because I can see him using that so I will stay with him. He is still keeping things from me and hiding things. just need some advice on how to leave him and move on.

  • #13328
     Jan 
    Participant

    I also just joined this group and website! I have been struggling with these issues with my husband for 18 of the last 20 years. Back in the day when I first realized he had a serious problem, all I could really find information about was SA and BPD. I found some relief in a BPD forum but zero anything helpful from the SA & S-Anon communities…except for the very valuable but not entirely applicable “I am powerless” and his addiction is “not my stuff”. When you have a child together, the disordered person’s “stuff” does become yours as well…and the interest in protecting the child sometimes requires you to stay in relationship and sacrifice your self, as in my case where there was income inequality between SA hubby and myself. I could have left him, but he could have made that costly and hellish for me for a long time, and he could have won unsupervised visits or time with our child, a boy, who is now a young man of 18 about to graduate high school and go to college…leaving me my first real and best guaranteed chance at freedom in 20 years. SA hubs had to move out at the end or January 2018 due to a domestic violence instance and after admitting he was “chatting” again…but he is now in full panic mode and attempting every manipulative ploy in the book to alternately hoover and shame me back into relationship. Lord have mercy on our souls! This disorder is extremely trying and exhausting…and as I recently told his therapists…my life for twenty years characterized in one word: HELL. :/ SO GLAD to have found this forum. WISH it had been around in 2001.

  • #13330
     Larina 
    Participant

    Hi I’m new to this forum I think it’s an addiction brought on by mental illness although I’m not an authority to use those words in effect it is due to the fact addict becomes compartmentazed, the person dissociates like multiple personality disorder the secret sexlife they have to have a fix of they go to that they can’t control. One thing for sure all addictions have to get fed more overtime to have that high. My partner for over 15 yrs thought he player with women not into affairs but due to his working in a night club would pickup if there available strange drunk women seem to throw themselves at doormen! the duplicitous of a sex addict can engage in a sex act and see you face to face no conscious or guilt. Very hard to read but you feel in yr gut something not right. There brilliant at lying quick to alternative realitys timelines, which can quite well think your going insane! I started diaries nearly everything. Part of his sex addiction I feel was sailing so close to wind with out getting caught, pretty twisted.
    This confirmed NYE 2018 party went to together, I saw him head in the toilet with a gay man I said to him where are you going?? What are you doing?? He said were just going do coke I said we’ll can I come 2 out of character for both of us to do drugs! No then said no and followed man to toilet he stayed in there 30min much to the observation of other people at party which were his friends. When I confronted him about this denial anger even tied humiliate me saying mentally ill almost putting on a seen. He ignored me all night. We got separated Uber’s home. Imagine what shock horror to discover the boyfriend bisexual sex addict. He has to get his sex fix when ever however at any opportunity it’s obviously that uncontrollable just like a junkie to everyone detriment at any consequence has to have a fix of there sexdrug. Took me 4months of interagation, treats to leave him police intervention cause his become violent, put in statement his behaviour to be read out in court. Full disclosure of his behaviour he admitted he only had oral sex first time ever with a man, I don’t believe that at all think he quite accustomed this is way of his secret life. Quite sickened to subject myself to all STD and aids tests. He still in denial he has problem, but has admitted he sexually abused by his best friends 3 older brothers down the St since he was 8, which in fact I think it’s his own brothers when he gave there ages the oldest 16yrs and a real bully. OMG… this I can see after againing all information how this could be early sexual abuse, can be underline factors sex addiction. It’s a minefield to get to bottom of filled with trauma denial hurt and pain. Don’t think he cauld ever tell therapists about this would mean confronting his family also himself of true reality… that lead to his life time of deboucherous behaviour cyclical shame. Iv agreed to stay his close friend help him through his problems, as he also doesn’t really now have any friends, drinking heavy quite suicidal. I almost feel responsibility and regret making him reveal what he did in the toilet NYE. We are victims of a sex addict in many ways over. I feel free of him as in partner lover relationship have no expectations happy ever after. No more hurt confusion blotting out your intuition. But still feel robbed of all those lost years living in that matrix.

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