Should You Leave Your Relationship With A Sex Addict
Sex addiction can be difficult to understand. It can be caused by a wide range of issues including relationship difficulties, dysfunctional attachments, and other problems that drive vulnerable individuals towards isolation and self-sufficiency. In some people, neurotransmitter disorders and PTSD from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can contribute to sexual addiction.
For people involved with sex addicts, life can be extremely difficult. Unless the addicted spouse gets treatment, the relationship can deteriorate to a point where staying together becomes unbearable for both partners.
Partners of sex addicts may come to a crossroads wherein they wonder whether the relationship is worth holding to. For some, the situation gradually devolves to a point when they feel they must decide whether to try to work things out and stay in the relationship or file for divorce.
The decision is even more difficult to make when there are children involved. Any relationship with a sex addict can be challenging, of course, whether or not they have offspring together. But the bond between married parents can be especially deep and complex, requiring a thorough consideration of all the factors before deciding one way or the other.
The pros and cons of divorce
For some people, divorce may seem like a viable option. But it is important to realize that this course of action has some drawbacks. Whether or not there are children to consider, going through a divorce can be a tremendously stressful situation for everyone involved. And depending on whether both partners are in agreement, it can be a long drawn out process that could take years. In some cases, divorced people may not even fully recover from the experience.
There is also the issue of growth and accountability. Divorce is often a final solution that eliminates any possibility of taking responsibility or learning and growing from the experience. In many cases, partners are left to deal with feelings of intense grief, which is often complicated with denial and anger.
When sex addicts refuse treatment
This is not to say that divorce is not an option. If sex addicts refuse to get help or even acknowledge the problem, partners may feel that divorce is the only alternative. If they have done all they can to support and encourage their partner to get help with the addiction, they may be compelled to file a divorce when they encounter continued resistance to their efforts to help.
If you decide to stay, you need to understand the implications. Sex addiction recovery is a long, hard process, and in some cases, the sex addict never fully heals. It is often very mentally exhausting for the sex addict’s spouse.
Maintaining a relationship with a sex addict
If you stay with your partner, you need to understand and accept their needs during recovery. Providing unconditional love and support is essential for helping them through the difficult process of getting better.
Your decision to stay with your partner should be contingent on their willingness to get better and make a firm commitment to get help. If they continue to deny their addiction, refuses to seek treatment, or take responsibility for their actions, you may have to consider whether the relationship is worth holding on to.
A person placed in this situation should not feel guilty or ashamed of ending the relationship. Like all addictions, sexual addiction takes a tremendous taking toll on the partner’s mental health, leaving them feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. And if staying on poses a risk to you or your children, leaving is perfectly justified.
Making the tough decision of staying or leaving
One of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make is whether to stay in the relationship or leave. It might be helpful to seek guidance from a professional or at the very least, discuss the matter with trusted friends and family. Ultimately however, no one can make the decision for you. Leaving‒or staying in the relationship and trying to work things out‒is something you will have to decide on your own.
There is some hope for couples dealing with sex addiction in the relationship. Many have worked through their problems and developed strong and lasting bonds even after years of problems. The important thing is for the sex addict to realize the gravity of their condition and acknowledge the need to seek help. And get help! If both partners still love each other, they can work through the recovery process together and possibly come out even stronger than before.