Can someone really be addicted to sex?
Many people have asked that same question when they first heard the term “sex addiction.”
Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “oh, that’s just an excuse for getting caught.” Or perhaps you’ve thought “I have needs and I like having sex or looking at porn. What’s the big deal?”
It’s true that the term “sex addiction” can seem like a desperate attempt to escape consequences. It’s also true that some people seem to like and want sex more than others and aren’t necessarily “sex-addicts.”
The problem a true sex-addict experiences isn’t due to their biology or libido. They don’t invent this problem as a convenient way out of a personal or professional embarrassment, or negative consequences.
The real problem here is that sexual acting-out has become a drug. It has become a “go-to” for dealing with painful emotions and situations such as:
- relationship troubles
For these folks, sex has become their “fix.” The shame, secrecy, and loneliness these individuals carry is so heavy that the desire to “medicate it away” is more powerful than their rational thinking processes.
Does this describe you, someone you’re in a relationship with, or someone you know?
Are you searching for an answer? Longing for freedom? Ready to experience lasting change and transformation?
Uplift Counseling is here for you, and here to say, “there is hope!” We offer sex addiction counseling for men and their spouses/significant others from all over the Orange Park area. We do so because we believe no addiction is stronger than hope, belief, and love.
How can we be so sure of this hope? Because we’ve had the honor and privilege of seeing hundreds of men over the past 10 years realize this hope, find renewed belief for their futures, and experience healthy intimacy for the first time in their lives.
Couples and men from all over the Orange Park area have found recovery from sexual addiction, and lasting change. If you are ready to get started, contact us today – we would love to hear from you. To learn more about how therapy can help, read on!
How will sex addiction therapy help me recover?
First, it is important to have a basic understanding the cycle of addiction before you can appreciate the cycle of recovery.
Cycle of Addiction
The cycle of addiction is usually precipitated by a trigger, which can either be internal (e.g. thoughts and feelings) or external (e.g. seeing, feeling, hearing something that excites one sexually). The cycle then gets kicked off with Preoccupation, which refers to the mental obsession with sex and fulfilling sexual fantasies.
From there the addictive cycle moves an addict to the Ritual phase, which refers to the ritualized patterns that prepare one for sexual acting out.
A few examples of this phase would be:
- finding a place to be alone
- calling out sick
- taking out cash from an ATM
- booking a lunch meeting with a potential sexual partner
- and many others
Once a sex-addict has engaged in their ritual it becomes a virtual certainty that they will Act out. This is the step that attempts to make real what they’ve fantasized in their head the experience will be like. Over time a sex addict finds this phase to be less and less enjoyable, which leads to new, more risky ways of acting out.
Once the experience is over a sex addict will fall into a state of deep Despair. Often the guilt and shame over what they’ve done is nearly unbearable, and many report feeling suicidal. For an addict caught in the vicious cycle of sex addiction, their only known way out of the pain is to begin fantasizing about the next opportunity to act out. Similar to one with a chemical dependency, a sex addict needs their next “fix” in order to deal with the negative consequences of the last “fix.”
But There is Another Cycle! Cycle of Recovery
The cycle of recovery begins with an individual embracing a compelling New Vision for their purpose in life. From past clients, a few examples of a compelling vision are:
- Finally becoming the husband and father I’ve always wanted to be.
- Living out the rest of my days in such a way that I leave a legacy.
- Loving my partner the way they deserve to be loved.
- Surrendering my life to the will of God.
- Reaching my full potential in life, work, and relationships
Once the recovering individual has found their compelling new vision they need Healthy Rituals that empower that vision. These rituals could include tending to one’s physical, emotional, and mental health, developing positive habits and disciplines that lead to better career outcomes, or practicing daily prayer and meditation.
As one is finding consistency in these new rituals they begin to experience a newfound ability to have True Intimacy in their life. Why? Because a person who loves himself now believes he is worthy of love. A person who is finally pursuing positive goals in their life wants to be around healthy people going in the same direction. Intimacy for the recovering sex addict can include a romantic partner, family, friends, others in recovery, and one’s spiritual community.
After these new operating systems for life have been downloaded and installed, a person will be primed to finally feel the pure Joy in life they’ve wanted for so long. It is this natural high, this positive feeling that comes with no strings attached and no regrets, that becomes almost irresistible. The old ways of finding temporary pleasure pale in comparison to this kind of happiness.
If you found the vicious cycle of sex addiction described above to fit your experience, and if you found that the cycle of recovery awakened hope and a desire within you for a new life, then let us help! We provide sex addiction counseling in Orange Park for individuals just like you who have decided that “enough’s enough.” Read on to learn how couples can recover from the pain and brokenness caused by sexual acting out and infidelity.
What about help for the betrayed and broken partner?
A critical piece of the counseling process involves helping the partner of a sex addict through the pain, devastation, trauma, broken trust, and shattered dreams (and vows) of their partner’s acting out. It would be unthinkable to us that help wouldn’t start right here!
You are understandably angry, hurt, confused, and scared. Your world may feel as though it’s been shattered. You may wonder if it’s over between you and your partner. You may think that there’s no way the two of you could ever rebuild.
Can couples recover from infidelity and save their relationship? We’re happy to share that they can and do!
We offer couples therapy for sex addiction for couples from all over the Orange Park area because therapy works, and it’s saved the relationships of countless other couples experiencing pain and brokenness as a result of infidelity!
As therapists trained extensively in the Gottman Method, we utilize the Atone – Attune – Attach approach to counseling couples in crisis over infidelity.
Atonement does not mean that we start by asking you to forgive your partner. Rather, atonement refers to the betraying partner acknowledging the hurt they’ve caused, listening to their partner’s pain, getting completely honest by doing a full-disclosure, and answering questions about the infidelity. It is in this phase that we often discern symptoms of PTSD that need to be treated.
Attuning is a process where you learn to “tune-in” to your spouse’s needs, emotions, and thoughts. Often this step reveals areas where your relationship hasn’t been very “tuned-in,” or at least “tuned-in” to the right channels. Additionally, we find that we spend a good bit of time unlearning dysfunctional ways of communicating and disagreeing, and learning new strategies
Attaching is the stage where trust is re-established, commitment is renewed, love is starting to be given and received, fears of trusting again are processed, new habits are formed, dreams are shared between each partner, good sex is renewed, and friendship is reborn.
If you and partner are struggling through the pain and betrayal of infidelity and sexual acting-out – don’t wait! Uplift Counseling Center was founded because every relationship deserves to be taken to the next level.
Interested? Let’s Connect!
Interested in hearing more about our practice? Want to learn more about how we can help? We would love to hear from you. Click on Contact in the menu above!
Our office is conveniently located on 2233 Park Avenue (US-17), Building 500 Suite 103, Orange Park, FL 32073.