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If You Are a Spouse or Partner of a Sex Addict


What Usually Happens for Partners Without Help

Since the condition of sexual addiction is, like any addiction, progressive—that is, it invades more of the addict’s life and the addict experiences more consequences as time goes by—eventually the secret life of the sex addict is discovered and the couple experiences a tremendous crisis. Often, the sex addict then enters a period of extreme remorse, begs for forgiveness, and promises never to act out again. Promises made at this time are probably sincere and most co-addicts want to believe the addict. A honeymoon period often follows, which may include intense sexual activity between the two. For the co-addict, sex is often a sign of being loved, so the partner may be lulled into believing that everything is now all right. She will frequently offer forgiveness and in effect bind up her wounded spirit and “carry on.” She is later shattered to discover that the unaccounted-for time and the secrecy have returned. (Co-addicts are both male and female but here we have used the feminine for more readability.)