As a counselor that specializes in sexual addiction recovery one of the biggest questions I hear in my office is: “How do I know if my husband is a sex addict?” If this is a question you have this article will be helpful to you.
The warning signs of sexual addiction:
Common signs within the family of origin:
- A family history of addiction, abuse or emotional unavailability.
- Past sexual abuses that can either be overt sexual abuse or simply over sexualized environment within the childhood home.
- Sex and sexuality was a taboo subject in the childhood home.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Does he have large amounts of unaccounted for time at home or work?
- Can he be reached when working late or travelling?
- Does he seem distant and mentally pre-occupied?
- Is he up late at night on the computer or other web-based technology by himself?
- Is he accountable to anyone regarding his internet use?
- Are there mystery phone or credit card charges?
- Does he make/receive mystery phone calls and refuse to explain?
- Is he involved in regular Christian community? Are his closest friends Christian?
- Does he display controlling behaviors?
- Is he willing to be open and honest about his personal life?
- What is his pattern of responding to authority? Happy submission or angry rebellion?
- Does he get defensive or minimize things when the topic of lust and pornography are brought up?
- Does he flirt with people of the opposite sex?
- Does he respect the sexual boundaries of others? How about with his eyes?
Overt signs of sexual addiction:
- You’ve stumbled upon pictures or websites on a computer.
- You’ve learned about your partner’s arrests.
- You’ve contracted a sexually transmitted disease.
- You’ve found incriminating phone records or receipts.
You may also experience these symptoms in your partner’s behavior:
- Increased anger or irritability
- Decrease in sexual activity within your relationship
- Emotionally unavailable
What if I’m struggling with a sexual addiction?
It is important that you see a Christian counselor that has experience working with sexual addiction. A sex addiction counselor is an invaluable recovery tool for both individuals and for the relationship. Addicts and their partner can benefit from individual and couples counseling, group support and 12 Step Recovery.
If you feel that you or your partner are suffering from the impacts of sexual addiction, BeFree counselors would be happy to meet with you to determine what your needs are. To obtain more information on how to arrange clinical consultation with us, please click HERE.
Carnes, P. (2001). Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction. Center City, Minnesota: Hazeldon.
Carnes, S. (2011). Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts. Carefree, Arizona: Gentle Path Press.