5 Telling Signs That My Husband May Be A Sex Addict
The problem with identifying sex addiction is that there are no obvious physical symptoms that would indicate a problem.
A Breathalyzer test, and urine or blood samples are sure ways to determine whether or not someone has been drinking alcohol. A breakdown in speech, coordination, and mental capacity are also a sure signs of excessive alcohol use. A bloated, distended, stomach, and a red, ruddy, bloated face are physical signs of alcoholism.
There are no physiological signs indicating that your spouse has watched porn, or cheated with a prostitute or co-worker.
Most men are able to hide their sexual addiction problems until they are finally caught cheating or watching porn after several times. The reality is that getting caught once usually represents several random hook-ups, and/or many hours of undetected viewing of porn.
The problem with identifying sexual addiction is that the offender and the spouse often minimize deviant sexual behaviors. The addict often will contend that the behavior was just a one-time slip, and that it happened in an isolated moment of weakness.
Promises of never doing it again, coupled with “make-up” acts, usually suppresses the spouses suspicions of further indiscretions, which only postpones the inevitable need for treatment.
As with any other addiction, it is normal to deny, minimize, and promise to change, but until there is an admission of addiction, the sexual behavior will most likely continue unnoticed until they are caught once again.
The addict may even stop their deviant sexual behavior for a season, convincing their spouse that they have truly changed, but it’s usually not long before they are back into their compulsive cycle.
The reality is that 2 out of 3 men watch porn on a regular basis, and many are sex addicts. Most would not admit to a compulsive dependency, and therefore, see no need for treatment.
So, how do you know if your spouse is a sex addict?
There are 5 signs that can help you tell if your spouse is a sex addict
There are self-assessment tools available, but they require complete honesty on the part of the addict, which is difficult to attain because of the fear of disclosure.
While you may not be able to know the extent and details of your husband’s sexual activities, there are some signs that could indicate a problem. Generally, if you sense something is wrong, there most likely is some kind of problem that needs to be addressed.
Here are 5 telling signs that there just may be a sexual problem with your husband.
Sign #1 He's depressed and has anxiety
Depression and anxiety can both be a cause and result of sexual addiction. If he's showing these signs, they could be a result of sexual addiction. Remember, sexual addiction, like any other addiction, is an attempt to numb pain, and find comfort, nurture, and pleasure to cope with life.
Certainly, there are a lot of people who struggle with depression and anxiety, and who are not sex addicts, but studies have shown that these symptoms are signs of vulnerability to compulsive behavior.
Coupled with the other signs listed below, there is a good chance something sexual is happening that you are not aware of.
Sign #2 He's isolating and hiding
If your husband is staying up late after you have gone to bed, or having unaccounted periods of time spent alone away from home, there just may be a sexual problem going on.
Sexual addiction is cultivated in secrecy.
Withdrawing and isolating from the family system are often signs indicating secret compulsive sexual behavior.
Sign #3 He's emotionally disconnected in your relationship
If you find him emotionally unavailable, disengaged at home, and in relationships. If you notice a lack of intimacy, or pulling away from you when you desire sexual intimacy, he just might be a sex addict.
Remember, sexual addiction is ultimately an intimacy problem.
Men who are unable to connect emotionally, engaging in healthy intimate communication, are often prone to sexual encounters in which intimacy is not expected or available.
If you are noticing that your husband is not emotionally present at home, there just may be a hidden compulsive sex problem.
Sign #4 He's lost sexual interest with you and avoids sex
If you notice him making excuses for why not to have sex or can't perform as usual, your husband just might be a sex addict.
It is not normal for a man to forgo sex for an extended length of time.
Erectile dysfunction is often a mental or emotional issue rather than a physiological phenomenon. When the sex addict has engaged in fantasy, virtual sex through pornography, casual hook-ups, prostitution, or massage parlors, there is an adrenaline fulfillment that is difficult to replicate in a healthy relationship.
Often, the spouse will attempt to perform the fantasies of the addict in hopes that the sexual desire for her will increase, but this will just lead to more requirements and despondency because the sexual acts alone are not going to meet the need for intimacy.
Sign #5 He gets angry or shuts down when his sexual behavior is discussed
If he's resistant to talk about the accountability for his time alone, and gets highly defensive when confronted - he just might be a sex addict.
The reality is that a sexual addiction affects the entire family unit, especially the marriage. The way a spouse approaches the recovery process is just as important as the treatment of the sex addict.
What Can You Do If You See The Signs?
1. You can admit that there is a sexual problem with your spouse. You have probably suspected that something has been wrong for a while. You may be ready to find the courage to face the reality that treatment is needed.
2. You can get help for yourself. Even if your spouse refuses to get help, you can still find support for your journey. Your spouse may never be willing to get help, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue taking care of yourself and your family.
3. You can get coached from someone who understands the underlying issues of sex addiction, in order to make wise decisions about recovery and the relationship, as well as providing a strategy for healing, wholeness, and wellbeing.
4. You can set a boundary that expects your spouse to seek appropriate treatment. Obviously, no one will get help unless they are willing to get help, but oftentimes, the addict does not “bottom out” until there are felt consequences for their behavior.
There Is Help and Hope
Working through sexual addiction can be a scary journey for a spouse. The sense of betrayal, rejection, humiliation, as well as fear of the future can leave the spouse feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.
A sufficient support system is essential to ensure a safe and successful recovery journey.
Having a skilled coach can help in the process of developing strategy, tools, and encouragement to walk through the steps of recovery, restoration, and wellness both individually and relationally.
We have seen many relationships healed and made whole through our Freedom tools and coaching. There is hope in this crisis for you, your husband, and your family.
The Freedom U team