5 Signs Your Partner Has a Sex Addiction
In many ways, you and your partner have the perfect relationship. Your partner is loving, committed, and thoughtful. However, you sense that something has shifted. Your partner is becoming more secretive and reactive. When you try to comfort them, they push you away.
Initially, you think the stress from work or family is getting to them. As time goes by, your suspicions start to grow.
You know your partner is hiding something from you, and whatever it is fills them with shame. Your internal alarm bells ring. Could your partner have a sex addiction?
How Can I Tell My Partner Has a Sex Addiction?
Suspicion Is Useful But Not Evidence
Your gut feelings are a fairly strong indicator that your partner is struggling with something significant. However, sex addiction is a complicated condition that only a professional can diagnose.
At the same time, sex addiction can overlap with many other issues and mental health problems. It can be impossible to understand what drives your partner’s behaviors from your observations alone.
If I Suspect That My Partner Has a Sex Addiction, What Can I Do?
Protect yourself- Your partner may not be honest with you about their behavior. They may put you at risk of a sexually transmitted infection. An unplanned pregnancy at this time can also further complicate your situation. Reconsider your boundaries. You have every right to limit physical or emotional intimacy during this time.
Avoid blame- Sex addiction is caused by a multitude of factors, including past traumas and experiences. Until you gain a better understanding of your partner’s issues and how other dynamics may have impacted their behavior, you will not be able to identify the causes of their addiction.
Get professional help- A skilled couples therapist specializing in sex addiction and partner betrayal can give you and your partner the support you need to navigate your recovery.
At Peter Stathakos and Associates, all of our experienced and compassionate staff are trained in the Sexual Dependency Inventory for diagnosing sex addiction. We have worked successfully with hundreds of couples facing the same challenges as you. Book a call with us today to learn how we can support you.
Symptoms And Warning Signs That Your Partner Has a Sex Addiction
While every individual is different, there are some tell-tale signs of sex addiction. If you have noticed at least two or more of the following behaviors, it could indicate that your partner has a sex addiction.
You Notice Changes in Your Partner’s Routine or Behaviors
Sex addictions tend to progress over time. As your partner’s focus on sexual gratification grows, it starts to take over their life and affects their daily routines.
The changes may start out small. Your partner begins to spend more and more time on the computer or phone. They may start to send out text messages at unusual times, such as the middle of the night, or text excessively.
People with severe sex addictions may start to neglect other aspects of their life. If your usually responsible partner is ignoring their work or falling out of their routine, take note.
Your Partner Has Become Moody and Emotionally Volatile
Living with a sex addiction can cause strong negative emotions to build and fester. Your partner may become easily irritated or angered. On the other end, your partner may spiral into depression and lose interest in any activities besides sex.
Sex is often a trigger for mood swings. If your partner has a sex addiction, you may notice that their mood seems to improve just after sex but declines rapidly shortly after.
You Suspect Your Partner Is Living a Double Life
Sex addiction can cause people to engage in risk behaviors, including cheating or paying for sex. Your partner may hide their whereabouts or become defensive when you question them.
They may start to hide information from you, such as their credit card statements, text messages, or emails. If your partner has suddenly become secretive, it may be a sign of a sex addiction.
You Notice Negative Changes in Your Sex Life
As with other types of addictions, sex addiction can increase tolerance to sexual stimulation. Your partner may start to push your boundaries as a result. Sex can become transactional or emotionless. You may feel that your partner is using sex as a means to an end rather than a time for connection. You may feel more objectified during sex.
If your partner is fulfilling their addiction elsewhere, it could cause a decline in your sex life.
Your Partner’s Sex Addiction Can Complicate Your Relationship
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. That is why uncovering your partner’s sex addiction can feel like such a blow. When you look back at the lengths they took to hide their behaviors from you, you become sick to your stomach.
An emotional haze comes over you. You question every word, every phone call, every interaction. You wonder how many other lies they have told, or if you can ever trust them-or anyone else- again.
In the midst of your pain, it can be easy to forget that sex addiction is treatable. Your partner, if they are willing to accept help, will need love and support to face the roots of their destructive behaviors. You will also need compassion and understanding as you process your emotions and begin your recovery.
The therapy team at Peter Stathakos and Associates are backed by decades of experience of working with couples facing some of the most challenging circumstances possible.
We offer customized, effective care that supports the needs of both partners. If you are ready to move past the darkness of fear and uncertainty and onward to healing, we invite you to contact us today. We offer a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to determine if we are a good fit to help you.