Twelve months can make a big difference, according to experts, when a spouse is trying to make a decision about staying or leaving if their partner is discovered to have a sex addiction.
A recent article in the Huffington Post highlights a story that’s becoming all too familiar. One partner learns of a spouse’s sex with multiple partners, or frequent use of sex services or paid sex-themed online sites, then is encouraged by friends and family to leave immediately. While it is certainly shocking and surprising to learn that a spouse has been harboring a sex addiction in secret, with professional counseling for both spouses, recovery may be possible. Experts recommend that the spouse avoid rash or quick decisions, but spend time considering their options – including professional treatment at a center with trained experts in sex addiction.
Like other addictions, sex addiction is progressive and destructive. The person may seek sexual behavior despite the consequences to family and career, and eventually, will be unable to control their cravings for the behavior. Researchers believe changes occur related to the brain’s pleasure centers, similar to drug addiction, and these changes escalate the progressive and consuming nature of sex addiction.
When a marriage is involved, the most successful treatment involves professional counseling for both partners. Aside from the shock value it can take several sessions to work through the guilt, shame, anger and sadness associated with sexual addiction, but recovery is possible. Recovery is even more likely when both partners are honest about their feelings and the nature of the behaviors throughout the counseling process.