addicted to flirting, sex, and its not DH. i truly need some help….

posted 3 years ago in Intimacy
Post # 3
11604 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think you need to go see a mental health professional to deal with it. In the end, cheating is a choice. You chose to have sex with another man. You can choose to stop. I can imagine it’s hard, but you know what you’re doing is wrong, and you really need to take proactive steps to improve it. 

Going to church and praying about it is fine, but it’s clearly not working, and you clearly are not honoring God or your husband or your marriage with your actions.  You need to get professional help, and soon.

I also believe you need to come clean with your husband about the flirting and cheating. 




Post # 4
2302 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@housewifeindistress:  i’m confused as to why you repeatedly say that you’re looking for people who have the same problem – shouldn’t you be looking for advice to curb this dangerous behaviour? are you seeking people with the same issue to normalise it for yourself and convince yourself what you’re doing isn’t that bad? that’s the feeling i got when i read you say ‘i can’t be the only one’ etc. 

you need to seek counselling and work on coming clean with your husband. 

Post # 5
641 posts
Busy bee

My very best friend has in the past had a lot of difficulty with infidelity to her boyfriends. I’ve talked to her at length about it (she knows I don’t consider the behavior okay at all, but still love and support her.) A lot of what drives her to it is her desire to be validated as attractive. She’s confessed to not liking the men, not enjoying the sex, and before we talked it out, she didn’t know why she was carrying the behavior out in the first place. You and she may not have the same motivations, but I think you do need to find someone to talk with about it.

Ultimately, you need to figure out what is lacking in your relationship that is making you act this way, really deeply look at what the root is, and you need to have a talk with him about how lacking this is destroying your relationship.

Post # 6
1244 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@housewifeindistress:  Seek out counseling, both as a couple and individually. You need t. work on yourself and also your marriage. Don’t let a rough patch in your marriage justify the actions that you know are wrong. Get into counseling asap if you really want to change; a therapist can help you figure out what drives you to this behavior and offer some ways to change that.

Post # 7
9019 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@housewifeindistress:   I can relate to this in certain ways from my past, even though these feelings haven’t resurfaced since being married to my husband.  We’ve been married for a year and four months.  I think it’s an adrenalin rush addiction.  It feels good to fall in lust in the same way taking drugs feels good to a drug addict.  I’m not going to judge you because to a certain extent you are making the choice to cheat but to another extent you’re being driven by subconscious urges that are extremely difficult to control.

First, stop slamming yourself because that won’t help.  Secondly, stop the cheating immediately and realize what’s going on with you is deeply serious and could destroy your marriage.  You have to get a grip on this. 

I understand the fear of the distance between you and your husband.  I understand that his lack of romantic attention is what’s driving you to seek attention from other men.  But if you still love your husband you’ll need to redirect your passion in another way.  I agree that counseling would be a good thing for you as has been mentioned.  But I also feel you need to find a substitute for those feel good feelings that your brain is addicted to.  And realize on one level you’re insecure about your own desirability and you’re seeking reinforcement from outside sources to get it.  That’s unhealthy, very much so!  Work on yourself.  Find an interest that captures your attention and imagination and devote yourself to it to distract from flirting and having sex with other men.

Next, work on your marriage in a healthy way, maybe seek marriage counseling as well as personal counseling.  I really do wish you all the best.

Post # 8
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

You need professional help, not help from an internet message board. 

Post # 9
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I haven’t experienced this, but no judgment here. I agree with the pp that you have got to hash this out in counseling. Feeling like you are not in control of your life is horrible and usually stems from a very deep place. There could be any number of reasons you feel this compulsion–from self-sabotage to fear of intimacy with your husband to deflection of marital problems with your husband, and beyond. I don’t know how much of this your husband knows, but in addition to individual counseling, you should go to couple’s counseling because it sounds like some issues between you and your husband triggered this behavior for you.

As with any addiction, you need help to realize that you are in control of your life. 

Post # 10
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Excalibur

I  completely understand you. I love flirting,  the ‘newness’  feeling  and butterflies.  While it’s nice to have  commitment  and someone there for you,  it’s nice to try something new and remember how that felt. I  have cheated on all my bf’s  except for FI. I  don’t have many friends and rarely go out so,  there is no temptation.  I  also try to make sure I don’t put myself in a bad situation. Don’t put yourself in a position for these things to happen if you know you have a problem.

Post # 12
11604 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@housewifeindistress:  Perhaps if you tell him about your flirting and cheating struggles, he’d be more receptive to counseling, for both you and for your relationship?

Post # 13
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@abbie017:  +1, exactly. Cheating is not the answer to marital issues. Rather than focus energy on a new man and an affair, direct that energy into working on your marriage. 

There’s lots of stuff I want to do that I choose not. I’m thinking more along the lines of eating cake for breakfast than cheating but either way – what we do in life is a choice. 

Post # 14
1470 posts
Bumble bee

@Sunfire: Oh Sunfire….you’ve done it again-hit the nail on the head! +1 to all of this sage advice. I seriously love coming into threads like this and reading your thoughtful, critical, empathetic and helpful replies. I hope the Op takes heed of your wisdom! Thanks for being an awesome bee!

Post # 15
138 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve felt like this twice in the past; however, I certainly never acted on it the way you have. When it occured for me both times, it didn’t go beyond text message flirting and the like because just the thought left too much guilt. Shortly after I found myself doing this, the relationships I was in at the time dissolved, and it was not as a result of my behaviour.

The reason I’m letting you know that is because, in hindsight, I realize that the relationships I was in were not satisfying my emotional needs. Yes, there was lust and desire for the physical, but it was fuelled by my need for my emotional intimacy. In on situation, my boyfriend at the time was not affectionate or loving. He was controlling and didn’t ever do anything to make me feel good. Every nice comment and action that came from him was a result of ulterior motives to get something or generally manipulate me. He didn’t make me feel loved, beautiful, happy, or wanted. Normally, I wouldn’t say it is his fault alone (I didn’t speak up, after all), but because I realized all he wanted was to manipulate me, in the end I do blame him entirely for pushing me away and making me need something more. Text message flirting with a then-coworker satisfied me in ways my relationship did not.

The second instance I was in a relationship that started out wonderfully. Over a couple months, however, I noticed that my boyfriend had become distant. He didn’t cuddle me in bed the way he used to, he didn’t try to initiate sex, he wasn’t as interested in me coming over as he used to be, he never tried to hold conversations with me anymore. When I tried to talk to him about it — and I did numerous times — he was stone faced and would only have a conversation if I let him play video games during (yes, turns out he was an asshole). I’d say something requiring a response and he’d not answer. When I insisted for one, he’d tell me he has nothing to say and that I’m being crazy and emotional. This led me, once again, to find comfort and intimacy — this time with someone I had been seeing for a while before my boyfriend and I had gotten together — in the form of flirtatious text messages. Well, a week later he felt even more distant. While I was over, he had a shower… During which my gut told me I needed to get to the bottom of things, so I went into his messages on his phone and Facebook. I found out he had distanced himself, whether he realized it or not, because he’d been sleeping with a coworker for at least a month. It could have been longer, but it was difficult to tell.

In any case, while my behaviour was horrible, I can see now that my desire was a result of the saddness and dissatisfaction I felt with my partners. With my current SO, I am incredibly happy. Rather than being in a one sided relationship where all I do is give love, and am not loved equally in return, he returns my love just as strongly. He is affectionate, considerate, loves to spend time with me, is concerned for my well being, makes me feel beautiful, and is genuinely loving. By caring for me in such a way, I am fully emotionally and physically satisfied, and the idea of repeating the behaviours of those two relationships in my present relationship… Well, the thought just appauls me.

I would suggest that what you think is an addiction to flirting and sex, is actually a psychological response to you not being emotionally satisfied. My personal opinion is that, in a romantic relationship (not ones based strictly on a physical exchange of sex for physical satisfaction alone), if a person becomes emotionally unsatisfied, the sex dies. Only when you and your husband get on the same page emotionally by sorting out your issues and opening up lines of communication — I suggest counselling — will the physical intimacy return, and hopefully your desire for gratification outside your marriage will also disappear (I suspect it will). Either way, you need to confess to your husband what happened. I think that is crucial if you two want to move forward. He may decide he doesn’t want to continue being with you, but that is the price of your actions. If the relationship is strong enough, it will survive. If it is not, it won’t. Easy as that. And if he is unwilling to try to go to counselling and make changes even before he knows of your infidelity, well, sorry to say but then neither he nor you will ever be happy so you might as well cut your losses.

Edit: I just saw that you replied saying counselling is not an option and he will not go… While I’m typically against ultimatums, I think you need to set one. Tell him if he wants to try to save the marriage and be with you, he will go to counselling. If he does not, you will walk. I know it sounds harsh, but you cannot live the rest of your life in an unhappy marriage and cheating on your husband. You need find happiness, and this is not the way.

Post # 16
534 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Do you love your husband and want to be with him, or is this your way of coming up with an excuse to leave your marriage?  I’m not judging, just asking.  

I don’t believe you’re addicted to sex.  I think you’re upset that you aren’t getting attention and sex from your husband, so you’re seeking it out elsewhere.  But the thing is, people in healthy relationships look at that situation and say, “I miss my husband.  I’m going to talk to him about this.  If he won’t listen, maybe we need therapy.”  People in unhealthy relationships will seek emotional support elsewhere.

I’ve been in similar situations in the past.  I would be in relationships and find myself in flirtations with other men.  I loved the attention and excitement of it all.  What I didn’t realize was that my relationship weren’t fulfilling me because I didn’t love those men enough to stop flirting with others.  Now that I’m engaged to my FI, he’s the only man whose attention I want in a sexual way.  So, I think you should really consider if your husband is what you want or if maybe you need to move on.  Good luck, hon.

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