Most sex addicts live in denial of their addiction, and treating an addiction is dependent on the person accepting and admitting that he or she has a problem. In many cases, it takes a significant event -- such as the loss of a job, the break-up of a marriage, an arrest, or health crisis -- to force the addict to admit to his or her problem.
Treatment of sexual addiction focuses on controlling the addictive behavior and helping the person develop a healthy sexuality. Treatment includes education about healthy sexuality, individual counseling, and marital therapy. Support groups and 12-step recovery programs for people with sexual addictions (like Sex Addicts Anonymous) are also recommended.
Partners of sex addicts, spouses of sex addicts, or any significant other who is close with the patient will also need support when they discover the secret life of their mate. The pain of broken trust is massive. The relationship is exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, financial ruin and social embarrassment. Support is needed to make sense of the crazy-making reality of being repeatedly lied to about the foundation of a relationship.
If you have recently discovered that this is also your reality, it can be very upsetting. Getting support for living with sex addiction is good for your mental health. Partners of sex addicts normally find themselves reeling once they discover their significant other has been hiding compulsive sexual behaviors. Being the spouse or partner of a sex addict is a painful position to be in as you try to figure out how you’re going to survive all the feelings that come up. The feelings many partners report are:
Feeling confused is normal when you discover that the person you love is a sex addict. The confusion of sexual addiction is usually accompanied with all sorts of questions. How could he do this to me? What is sex addiction? Does this mean they’re crazy? Am I crazy? What should we do? If you are wondering what you are going to do, consider this: all the experts agree, getting support for partners, spouses, and family members of sex addicts is the first step.