Is Your Partner a Sex Addict?

Have you ever wondered if your partner is a sex addict? Perhaps you’ve long had your suspicions or a recent incident caused you to entertain the possibility in your mind? In any case, the idea that your partner may be a sex addict can be devastating. 

As in many relationships, sex is probably a significant part of your bond with your partner. Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to come to terms with the possibility that they are not only excessively obsessed with sex but may be getting gratification elsewhere. 

Sex addiction is characterized by an overwhelming obsession with sex and an irresistible compulsion to engage in sexual activity. This urge can be directed toward pornographic materials, and often, to other people who serve as sex partners.

Actions And Behavior Patterns Of Sex Addicts 

Sexual addiction can take on many forms and manifest itself in different ways. Most sex addicts exhibit certain patterns of behaviors and display the following characteristics:

  • Thinks of sex constantly 
  • Turns to sex when tired, stressed, angry, lonely, bored, or sad
  • Places unreasonable sexual demands on relationship partners 
  • Engages in risky or extreme sexual behavior  
  • Persists in addictive behavior even when it is detrimental to the relationship and responsibilities 
  • Prioritizes sex above everything else 
  • Engages in inappropriate sexual behavior regardless of time, place, or situation 

Understand that these behaviors don’t necessarily make the person a sex addict. Some people may display some of these characteristics or engage in these behaviors only occasionally or when under extreme duress. When the crisis or temptation passes, they may revert to their normal patterns of behavior and even show remorse and regret for their actions. 

But sex addicts are different. Most don’t feel guilt or remorse at the pain and suffering they cause to their family members or relationship patterns. Although some may regret their actions and seem ashamed or embarrassed, they will likely revert to their destructive behavior at the next opportunity.  

Negative Consequences Of Sex Addiction 

Sex addiction can cause many negative effects on the addict and the people around them. It destroys personal and work relationships, and prevents the addict from carrying out their responsibilities. 

For many addicts, every waking moment is consumed by thoughts about sex: how to get more of it, how to conceal it, and so on. Often, these thoughts are the overriding instinct, regardless of the damage they are causing and the responsibilities they have to their family, relationship partners, and employers. 

As the addict sinks deeper and deeper into the addiction, it eventually takes over most of their lives. But rather than gaining satisfaction and pleasure as they did initially, they soon find that sex provides diminishing returns.

At some point, the addict will no longer derive any satisfaction from sexual activity and engage in the destructive behavior compulsively in an attempt to feel ‘normal’. This effect mirrors that same situation that many other addicts find themselves in.

How Can You Tell If Your Partner Is a Sex Addict?  

It can be difficult to determine whether or not your partner is a sex addict. Most addicts become extremely cunning and skillful at concealing their addiction. They are also often reluctant to share their thoughts and feelings with others, even with their relationship partners and close friends.  

Nevertheless, these behaviors and actions may indicate that the person is struggling with sex addiction: 

  • Overwhelming preoccupation with sex. When not engaging in sex, most sex addicts will be thinking about it constantly: when they can get it, how they can get more of it, and so on. They may also be always on the lookout for sexual partners or sexual opportunities. 
  • Inability to resist sexual behavior. Most sex addicts find it extremely difficult to stop their destructive behaviors or even cut back on them. Even after making a commitment to avoid these incidents, they often find themselves irresistibly drawn into their old patterns of behavior. 
  • Experiences negative consequences related to their sexual behaviors. Sex addiction ultimately results in negative consequences that the addict is powerless against. Many feel that life is treating them unfairly or that they “never catch a break” when it is their behaviors causing most of their problems. 

What Can You Do If You Are In A Relationship With A Sex Addict? 

If you are in a relationship with a sex addict, the best thing you can do is to support your partner and encourage them to get counseling and treatment. 

Understandably, helping your partner might be the last thing on your mind considering the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. But if you feel that the relationship is worth saving and that you are committed to your partner, forgiving them and helping them get better is part of the process. 

Sexual addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome, but it isn’t impossible. With counseling-based treatment from a certified sexual addiction professional, your partner may have a chance at a normal life.