Living with a Recovering Sex Addict: What You Should KnowTandem
Living with a Recovering Sex Addict: What You Should Know
Although sex addiction is not formally listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it’s still a serious condition. Many people believe this condition is exaggerated, even though compulsive sexual behavior is recognized as a mental disorder by The World Health Organization. Sex addiction is often the punch line of many jokes in movies and tv shows, but it’s slowly receiving more recognition as a formal problem. As a luxury drug and alcohol rehab in Palm Beach that offers treatment for this condition, we wanted to share what you should know about sex addiction and tips for living with a recovering sex addict.
What You Should Know About Sex Addiction
Sex addiction is the compulsive need to perform sexual acts to achieve a high or “fix,” similar to what a person with a drug or alcohol addiction may desire. Sex addiction is entirely different from Pedophilia and Beastiality. From everyday people to celebrity sex addicts, this type of addiction can cause major relationship problems and other issues like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Like drug addiction or alcoholism, sex addiction can negatively impact a person, whether physically or mentally, and affect their relationships, safety, and overall quality of life. The condition may manifest itself as a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, or be in sexually arousing situations. A person with this addiction may rearrange their lives to perform sexual acts multiple times a day and cannot control their behavior regardless of the repercussions.
We offer sex addiction treatment at Seaside Palm Beach that’s designed to help individuals with this condition recover and learn how to build healthy relationships. We offer individual sessions with our licensed therapists and other treatment methods to help them realize and cope with the underlying causes of their condition.
Building a Healthy Sexual Relationship With a Recovering Sex Addict
Living with a sex addict in recovery isn’t easy. You may be afraid to say the wrong thing or do something that will upset them or trigger a relapse. You may also have experienced a lot of emotional pain as a result of the disorder. Whether your husband or wife is a recovering sex addict, we’re sharing some tips for supporting your spouse in recovery from sex addiction and common characteristics of a sexually healthy relationship.
Educate Yourself on Sex Addiction
How can you support your partner if you don’t try to understand how they’re feeling? The number one way to offer support when living with a sex addict spouse in recovery is to learn more about their condition. Not only will you gain a better understanding of how they’re feeling and what drives their disorder, but it will also show them that you’re committed to being with them and working things out.
Emphasize the Need for Consent
Consent is crucial for a healthy sexual relationship. Consent refers to an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. If it’s not yes, then it’s no. Establishing consent in a sexual relationship is important. Some examples of consent include:
- Agreeing by clearly saying “yes” or using other statements that indicate clear agreeance
- Making sure every step of the interaction is mutually wanted (“Is this okay?”)
- Understanding that failing to say “no” does not in any way mean “yes”
No matter how long you’ve been with this person, consent is always needed.
Discuss Mutual Satisfaction
A healthy sex life can reduce stress, alleviate pain, decrease blood pressure, and more. It can also offer emotional benefits in your relationship with your spouse. Mutual satisfaction in a sexual relationship is when all participants are satisfied, which doesn’t just refer to physical satisfaction but mental and emotional satisfaction as well. Talk to your partner about the things you like and do not like in your sexual relationship and work towards improving this relationship and rediscovering healthy ways to enjoy each other.
Communicate With Each Other
Communication is key to any kind of healthy relationship. Couples communicate so that each partner recognizes and understands the other’s needs. Consent and mutual satisfaction both require communication. Always be honest with each other about how you’re feeling, and encourage your partner to be honest with you whether they’re struggling or not. Clear communication prevents hurt, lies, dissatisfaction, and falling back into destructive behavioral patterns.
Respect Each Other
A healthy sex life also involves respect. Both partners should be able to express their feelings and be willing to respect each other’s boundaries. For instance, maybe you don’t feel comfortable doing anything else past kissing. Your partner should honor and respect your feelings. Respect fosters the growth of happiness and trust in any relationship.
Learn the Importance of Compromise
Compromise in this situation doesn’t mean giving up something, but rather avoiding something, so you do not diminish the other person’s wellbeing. This is done between partners by deciding on a sexual relationship they’re both happy with and one that doesn’t make them act against their own choosing or wishes.
Reestablishing your sexual relationship with your spouse when they’re recovering from sex addiction is a process that requires baby steps. It’s not going to happen in a day. There’s a lot of emotional healing that goes into this process. It’s okay to take your time, both in getting to know this person again and in developing mutual trust.
These tips can make living with a recovering sex addict less challenging and help you establish a healthy sexual relationship with your partner.