Any form of addiction works on the addict as some form of self-soothing emotional escapade from all sorts of pressures and anxieties that addicts face in life as a result of the drug use or as a result of life complexities.
Addicts attempt to meet their primary emotional and mental needs with a substance or behavior which supersedes reason. No matter how much sex or pornography a person consumes, the core emotion with which they are struggling is unmoved, and the feelings of emptiness are exacerbated by the very “remedy” intended to bring relief. People free of addiction tend to meet those primary needs with healthy physical and relational behaviors that serve as a priority over other forms of connection.
When one partner in a marriage or relationship is a sexual addict, both partners will have to suffer. The extent to which each partner is impacted by the sexual compulsivity will vary depending on the type of addiction, the length of time he has been a victim, the pace of progress of the menace, the presence/absence of children in the family, presence of other co-occurring addictions among other factors. In every marriage, if a partner has sex addiction, the impact is enough to cause gross damage to the relationship or the family. There is therefore need for treatment so that the condition of the addict may not worsen. However, the partner who is not yet addicted also needs help.
A sexual addict will leave the partner feeling guilty and shameful and sometimes even bitter and these calls for counseling to help them eradicate these thoughts from their minds as they may escalate into more serious effects. These feelings will have a negative bearing on the relationship and the un-addicted partner may begin viewing him/herself as an object of desire that is abused and misused, with these thoughts he/she is bound to be distant and this creates discord in the relationship.
Fear of exposure causes a female sex addict to act in certain ways that jeopardize her relationships. The shame from her sexual acts and the fear of being exposed and rejected are powerful motivators that keep the sex addict trapped in isolation. She closes himself off, not realizing she’s creating a “vacuum of emptiness” inside. This “vacuum of emptiness” is unbearable and so she “fixes it” by acting out sexually. But her acting out only produces more shame and emptiness, and a vicious cycle sets in.
To try to run from the mess she is on the inside, she fakes it on the outside. Some will spend more of their time din their jobs and neglect the time they have for their partners; they mostly do this in hope that their success in their careers may fill their vacuums in love.
Some will turn to food, drugs, relationships and alcohol in pursuit of a fix for the vacuum they ail from, all these will only beckon more sexual acts that only make the relationship between her and her husband sour. However even after engaging in sexual activities with different people the hunger for more will be insatiable hence they will remain trapped in the behavior.
She becomes increasingly self-centered.
In her isolated state the sex addict becomes the center of her world. She becomes obsessed with acting out (or not doing so) her wants, problems, feelings and she also becomes very worried about what people think and say about her.
She obsesses about acting out, (or not acting out), her wants, her problems, how she is feeling at the moment, looking successful and what others think about her. She also becomes egocentric and judgmental making it hard for her to be understood and pleased by the rest of her family members; her children and husband as well as those in the extended family circle.
Her values will also change and she may become a person whose character is wanting and no one really would like to spend time with.
Her perceptions, values and decision making processes are distorted.
She doesn’t see how her decisions affect herself and others and she can’t see the devastating long term consequences of her choices. Her distorted ambitions and her insecure and narrow perspective leave her prone to making big mistakes when crucial decisions need to be made both in her personal and professional life.
She’s blind to the fact that the course she’s on is destructive to herself, her family, her employer and the church.
The stress sex addiction puts on her immune system and lowers it making the addict more susceptible to diseases like colds and other infections of the respiratory system.
Sexual addiction alters the shape of the brain and drains natural levels of serotonin. It also interferes with the nervous system and may also affect your sleep and energy levels will be drained. Depression and anxiety will find their way in and cause the mayhem they are known to cause; emotional instability. With depression they will be bound to use antidepressants to ease the tension and this may be a leeway to some ailments.
Fear of exposure by female sex addicts has far reaching effects on their social lives. At AWAREmed Health and Wellness resource center, help and support is available. Call Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) for expert advice.