Symptoms of sex addiction: What behaviors to look for in your partner

Over time, you may begin to notice changes in your partner or spouse’s behavior, and you may wonder, “Is my partner a sex addict?”

Some behaviors alone might not be indicative of addiction; however, a combination of several behaviors could be a sign of sexual addiction. Here are four basic behaviors that may be symptoms of sexual addition.

Negative consequences 

One of the easiest signs to spot is negative consequences for sexual behaviors. Has your partner’s behavior soiled solid relationships, or has it affected their work or career? These consequences may be easy to spot from the outside, although the connection may be less clear to your partner. Other negative consequences might include spending money they wouldn’t normally spend, experiencing legal ramifications, a drop in mood or heightened anxiety.

Unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut back

Maybe your partner has made promises to you that they would stop looking at pornography, or that they would delete hook up apps from their phone. In the beginning, they appear to have kept these promises, but over time, they have slipped up and you eventually fall back into the same habits.

Inordinately preoccupied with sex

The above items could be signs of any addiction; however, if you find your partner is inordinately preoccupied with sex — utilizing hook up apps, watching excessive amount of pornography or has an unhealthy view about sexual relations — it may be a sign that they have a sexual addiction.

Downplaying or hiding behaviors

Maybe your partner makes excuses such as, “All men watch porn,” or, “You’re overreacting.” Attempts to downplay behaviors or excuse them are usually signs that your partner is trying to justify their actions (either to you or to themselves) even though they are aware that something is wrong.

One of these behaviors alone might not signify a sexual addiction, but a combination of any of these could be a sign of a deeper issue. If you think your partner might have a sexual addiction, contact a professional therapist who can provide help for both you and your partner, individually or in couple’s counseling.