My new e-book starts with the premise that when one person in a relationship is engaging in sexually addictive behavior the relationship will be damaged.  It doesn’t matter whom the relationship is with or what the addictive behavior is.  Even sexual avoidance can be related to sexual addiction.

It doesn’t matter how the addiction is carried out.  The addict may lead a secret double life or may be open with their behavior such as porn addiction, compulsive seductiveness, and pressuring the partner to participate in more extreme experiences.  Sometimes the sex addict wants a great deal of sex in their marriage and sometimes they want little or none.

By far the most common experience is the discovery of hidden sexually addictive behavior in a partner followed by a traumatic crisis and upheaval.  At this point both partners need a great deal of support.  They need to find helping professionals, 12-step groups, books, online resources and spiritual supports.

The fact that sex addiction is considered to be an intimacy disorder means that problems were almost certainly developing in the relationship whether the partners knew it or not.  This implies that both partners need to change and grow in ways that will allow them to have a stronger bond based on trust, honesty, and a willingness to be vulnerable.

Partners of sex addicts need to make a journey from feelings of traumatic betrayal to an understanding of the nature and sources of the disease of sex addiction and a level of trust and comfort with a new kind of relationship—either with their partner or with someone else.  This is a long process and requires patience and a willingness to tolerate the ups and downs of recovery.

Addicts need to make a journey through treatment, psycho education and support groups to a point of giving up their old way of life and living in integrity.  The process is a slow one, usually taking 3-5 years to complete.

The process of recovery from sex addiction in a relationship is a blessing disguised as a catastrophe.  It forces both the addict and partner to become aware of and resolve issues in their relating that they have never before addressed.  In recovery they become different people.  What this means is that the relationship as it existed in the past must be let go.  The partners must eventually look at each other anew and decide if the relationship is right for them.  If they stay together they will be starting a new relationship.  They will have let go of their previous relationship, or of the fantasy of it, and will be living in awareness and reality.

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  1. “The fact that sex addiction is considered to be an intimacy disorder means that there were problems in the relationship whether the partners knew it or not.”

    You honestly don’t have a clue where real sex addiction stems from. Most sex addicts enter a relationship WITH the addiction already in place — hiding it from the unsuspecting partner.

    Unless a full blown addiction suddenly and randomly appears in a man or woman’s life after years of marriage which is a rare occurrence at best you are so far off in the above statement it isn’t even funny. And I’ve been studying addiction since I married a SA 12 years ago I’m not new to this business either.

    • Thank you!

      When I read what you commented on it made me angry. So thank you.

    • Did you read the book? Ms. Hatch is clear in her writing that most addicts with intimacy disorders came into the relationship as such. They are masters at deception and leading a double life. She also touches on that these intimacy attachment issues most likely began to develop in young childhood between the caretaker and the addict. This is one of the best books I’ve read for both the partner and addict. It’s one of the few that gives the addict a good look into the trauma that they’ve caused their partner and what it will take for both to recover.

  2. […] initial impetus can often come from the desire to hold on to a partner.  And in the long term, the relationship can get on the right track if both partners are engaged in recovery both separately and as a […]

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