"One of the hardest things to do is to admit that you have a problem. Even though my addiction to sex was hurting my wife and my family, I could not stop. I love my wife, and Mitchel has been me get to the source of my issues, and helping us find our way back to each other."
Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, or one's work environment. Sexual addiction has been called sexual dependency and sexual compulsivity. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that dominates your life. Sexual addicts prioritize sex over family, friends, and work. Sex becomes the organizing principle of addicts' lives. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue in pursuit of sexual behavior. No single behavior pattern can define a sex addict. However, when these sexual behaviors have become out of control your behaviors have become unmanageable this may indicate the presence of a sexual addiction. Some common behaviors include: compulsive masturbation, compulsive, compulsive viewing of pornography, compulsive prostitution, compulsive exhibitionism, compulsive voyeurism, incest, and rape. Sex addiction is never really about sex.
We mistakenly think that since so much time is being spent in the pursuit of or recovery from sex that it must be about sex. In reality, sex is the canvas that is being used to paint a picture revealing the deeper emotional world of the addict. Often the painting is an unconscious effort to relieve anxiety from wounds that may have been caused in childhood. The addict is usually unaware of the connection between their sexual acting out and their past life events. It isn’t until they look more deeply into their story, that they begin to understand how it is now affecting them. This is when the colors begin to ﬁll in and the picture starts to take shape, and make more sense.
One of the ﬁrst things people learn in healing, is that whatever their chosen sexual behavior is, it is not random and it does have meaning. The behavior is somehow related to their story. As individuals begin to explore their behaviors, they start to see patterns in their behavior, and suddenly things begin to make more sense. This is often very helpful for the addict as their behavior has confounded them for years, and created deep shame. As the addict begins to understand that their behavior is grounded in their personal history and has meaning, the shame begins to diminish. Along with the shame in their lives, the pull toward the behaviors also begin to lose power as the underlying forces are brought out of the unconscious mind and move to being constantly aware. The brain chemistry will also begin to shift itself back into healthy thoughts and behaviors.