(Closed) Is sexual addiction really an excuse?

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think your actions through all of this have been entirely appropriate; you were absolutely right to confront him when you found evidence that he had been sex-talking with other girls.  I know everyone has their own viewpoints, but to me marriage is a life-long vow to stay exclusive to each other, and sex-talking with other girls is in the domain of cheating in my book.

Addiction is another story.  I don’t claim to understand anything about sex addictions, but I can only promise you one thing:  that NO addiction ever goes away even with intervention or therapy, it just goes into remission so to speak, and there’s always a chance that the addict could relapse.  You should come to terms with that before you commit your life in marriage to this man.  If you do make that commitment, then you have to remember your vow to him even if he relapses into his addiction again in the future.

The difficult thing about this is that men usually feel physical attachment, whereas women feel emotional attachment.  This means that your Fiance could be sex-talking with other girls and not feel any attachment to them at all, because he only feels attached to the one person he’s actually having sex with (you).  However, he’d have to understand that since you experience attachment emotionaly, it’s most important for you to be able to trust him, so even if he’s exclusive with you, his sex-talking with other girls erodes at your trust and attachment to him.

I really wish you the best of luck on this.  It sounds like the logical first step is for him to go to therapy (and for you to go with him if possible).  Maybe give it 6 months – 1 year and see how things progress with therapy, then revisit your marriage plans if you think it’s still a viable option.

Post # 4
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I am so sorry you are going through this. i am no expert on sex addiction..and i kind of see it as an excuse for some people.. looking at porn in one thing…. but talking to women explicity is stepping wayyyyyyy over the line and completely ruins trust as you can see from the snooping around. I think spending time apart is a good thing, maybe he needs to talk to someone professionally.

Post # 5
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

He needs to go to therapy alone, and with you. There’s a lot going on here, and I think before marrying him you need to get to the root of the probem. His behavior is very disturbing

Good luck to you.

Post # 6
37 posts

I went through the exact same thing and while it may be an addiction that doesn’t mean it is right- he needs to work on that addiction.  He needs to go to therapy, he needs to commit to getting better and realize it won’t be easy because it never goes away.  

I still snoop, I can’t help myself–it’s just hard knowing that someone betrayed you like that and then did it again.  I am trying to get better because how can we have a healthy relationship when I don’t trust him?

I also recommend 

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior

 By Patrick J. Carnes, David L. Delmonico, Elizabeth Griffin, Joseph M. Moriarity

Not just for him to read but you as well.

If you need someone to talk to feel free to PM me, I know the situation is hard and we are still working through it.

Post # 7
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I fully agree with jenbrandner.  Sorry this is in italiics now for some reason…but, I think she really hit on a lot of key things–it was great that you were upfront with him and sharing your feelings, and also really important that you took time away and stood your ground. 

As far as this time around…if he truly does have a sexual addiction, then he needs to get help.  Addiction is addiction,no matter what the need.  And untreated addiction of any kind can really damage a relationship.   I think something like sexual addiction is more challenging to accept/understand in part because 1. having sex with someone else can feel more like cheating, since it’s a breaking of a trust, and also engaging in actions that he could be doing with you.  And also 2. i thihnk sexual addiction is particularly challenging to accept because, like a PP said, it can be seen as just an excuse to cheat.  With something like drugs or alcohol, those issues don’t come into play quite as much.  You’re not “cheating” on someone with drugs, and you’re not able to say “oh I can’t help it I need to sleep with someone” with alcohol.  Though, if the root of iti IS addiction, it doesn’t matter what the “addicted substance” is.

If you do choose to say with him, he needs to be in therapy of some sort, and it will be helpful that you do as well.  I’m going to paste below a VERY basic article about sexual addiction, including a spouse section.  I know from personal experience the importance of getting support whne you have an addicted love one in your life (no matter the nature of the addiction).  There are lots of 12 step groups for people with addicted loved ones, and I know that has been helpful for me.  (Here’s the link http://www.sexualrecovery.com/sex-addicts.php)

Whatever you do, I think approaching it with a clear head like you’re doing is a really great plan.  And I think you have to realize also that if you choose to say with him, it’s not going to be HIS challenge, it’s going to be YOUR challenge as a couple.  And if you can work through it, it will make you stronger.  And if you don’t feel like you can handle that, you are most definitely allowed those feelings.  

Good luck with whatever decision you make.   

Post # 8
9230 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010


You keep repeating over & over how you guys are “perfect” for each other–what does that mean?  Do you see yourself as in need of a man who has a serious enough problem to make him a full time job?  What percentage of your emotional energy is being sucked up by his problem?

I think it’s a huge mistake to get too tangled up into understanding “his” problem.  A little education is one thing, but women in these situations tend to become completely obsessed with their men & trying to figure out how to “manage” them. You certainly can’t change them.

I’m less concerned with his “addiction” than I am by your thinking such a man is “perfect” for you, except for the fact that he has a sexual compulsion that drives him to lie constantly.

Sure, he “should” get therapy.  You may even be able to drag him to it.  Maybe he’ll put on a show of going to keep you from bolting.  But unless he truly & deeply wants to change, it’s pointless.

I think you are the one who should be seeking professional advice–not about how to fix him; but, how it is you have been putting up with this & what is driving you to insist that this man is “perfect” except for this one little bad habit.

This is unhealthy, toxic behavior.  You can’t fix your man.  You can, however, get some support in figuring out why this man is so attractive to you & make sure you don’t waste your life trying to fix someone else.

Post # 9
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@princessleia:  I really don’t know that I buy into the reality of “sexual addiction.” 

In my opinion, if you continue on in a relationship with this guy, you are pretty much accepting that this is going to be your life and that he is going to cheat on you – probably repeatedly.  If you can’t trust him now when your life and love is fresh and exciting – how on earth are you going to be able to trust him as the years go on? 

Please don’t dismiss or excuse the fact that he was planning to meet women for sex and likely has before. 

Please also realize that you’re demonstrating  to him that he can continue on in this behavior and as long as he apologizes and makes a big show of being sorry and making promises, you’ll continue to take him back.  I think its telling that he made the comment to you that he didn’t believe you’d leave him.

Do you want this to be your life?

Post # 10
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

sex addiction is a real disease. i don’t know if he has it or not, but he should go to some 12-step groups (SA, SLA, etc) to see how he relates to other sex addicts. he should also get therapy, and if you decide to stay with him, you need individual therapy too – no relationship should be full of snooping, and you need a professional to talk this out with. 

good luck!

Post # 11
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

I was in a similar relationship, we were “exclusive” and I found out on accident that he’d been emailing 3 other women who also thought they were exclusive to him. I ended it, with a lot of drama and lies, and now have my amazing Fiance. I would never do that to myself, nor do it to any future children if that is in the books for you.

Post # 12
9230 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

And let’s not forget the importance of being tested for Save-The-Date Cards while involved with this guy.

Post # 13
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

First, princessleia I’m truly sorry to hear what your SO has put you through. No one deserves to be treated this way. I absolutely don’t want to come across as abrasive or offensive… but based on my personal experience I know how much I would have appreciated brutal honesty (would have saved me a lot of time and heartache), so that’s where I’m coming from.

now onto MHO. All the romantic, thoughtful and sweet gestures in the world aren’t enough to compensate for the fact that your man clearly doesn’t have an unconditional respect for you or your relationship. When you reflect on how well he treats you to your face, or look at the things he’s given to you, material or not, can it really feel genuine when you know he’s doing such hurtful, selfish things behind your back? For me, I feel like these tokens of his “love” are more or less products of his guilt and or disgust in himself. To me, there’s no such thing as perfection, but  if that’s the label we’re using, my definition of a perfect relationship or SO doesn’t include someone who basically treats you well at times, and knowingly horribly at others…. 

Reading your post from an outsider’s perspective displays a very clear pattern. While I get that patterns can be broken and people can change… what troubles me is that you’ve given him some incredibly heavy ultimatums and its done nothing. You’ve essentially pulled out your biggest ammunition… leaving him. So consider this: he has contemplated/dealt with the thought of loosing you forever the first time you left him. That wasn’t enough to motivate a change in his behavior. What’s worse, is now you’ve also created your own pattern… he messes up, and you eventually take him back. Taking him back hasn’t worked for you either, as there’s a pretty well established track record of failure there too. I feel that together, these two ingredients can only create a recipe for disaster.

If you love him, encourage him to go to therapy because you want to see him have a healthy and successful future. As for yourself, you don’t deserve a relationship where you not only can’t allow yourself to trust your partner, but also have incredibly good reason not to. I experienced something similar to this, although not as serious to border on the line of infidelity and I can tell you from experience… it doesn’t change. I drew lines and walked away too… and yet always caved and always ended back at square one. My saving grace was when I came to his house to surprise him and talk to him about reconciling, aaaand I walked in on him wanking off. Although I didn’t drop him on the spot right there (still not sure where my head was at) I never could look at him the same way again… never respected him quite the same, and quite quickly found myself falling out of love with him.

Whether its sex addiction or not isn’t something I know enough about to comment on. But from what I’ve experienced and my reaction to reading your story is that you’ve given him his second chance and then some and he still hasn’t come good for it. You’re left with a choice to accept this as a dimension of your relationship or reclaim your self respect and find a man who can give you all the superficial gestures that your current SO does as well as commitment, honesty, and respect.

Easier said than done, I know. But listen to the voices of other women who have faced similar obstacles, stood up for themselves and now have their (healthy) happily ever after. Good luck, and again, I’m incredibly sorry you’ve been put through this.

Post # 14
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

omgosh… could i have written a longer post?? Sorry all… haha

Post # 15
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

If I were you, I’d get some counseling.  This is a pretty big deal and the more tools you have, the better you know if you can handle this addiction.   

Post # 16
630 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

How would you councel someone else in this situation? a friend, a sister, daughter etc… I think you know the answer. You dont deserve this- this man, addiction or not, is not treating you right. It is a disgusting problem that he has subjected you to. if he really knew he had aproblem and really cared about you, and wanted to change, he would have  gone to therapy THE FIRST TIME you found the evidence. Dont buy into promises- they are LIES– he has not demonstrated that he can change or be trusted

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