Partner of a Sex Addict

Bring a partner of a sex addict refers to anyone in a primary relationship with a sex addict.

This is different from other types of co-dependency. Sex is so core to ones identity that sexual transgressions within a committed relationship are more damaging than are other process or chemical addictions. It is one thing for your spouse to be unable to put down the bottle and quite another for him/her to be unable to refrain from sexual behaviors outside your relationship.

Often individuals who have tried to maintain a loving relationship with a sex addict will exhibit symptoms similar to those of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a constellation of symptoms first identified in soldiers returning home from Viet Nam. The partner has experienced a similar level of trauma and may identify with the following constellation of behaviors in themselves:

Research has shown that partners tend to come from families similar to sex addicts. Both report rigid (high expectations, inflexible rules) but disengaged (little connection between members, no one is talking about feelings) family systems. Approximately the same percentage of sex addicts and co-sex addicts report histories of sexual or other physical abuse and emotional abuse in childhood. The partner deserves the same level of care as the sex addict. We now know that if both partners gets into recovery simultaneously, the chance of the relationship surviving is much greater. Even if the relationship does not survive, the likelihood that partners will find an other unhealthy mate is great unless each partner gets help.

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