Is My Partner a Sex Addict? – How to Spot the Symptoms
People dealing with sex addiction may not believe they’re actually struggling. Even if they do know there’s a problem, they’ll often do whatever it takes to hide it.
If your partner denies they have a problem with sex addiction, there are still some things you can do to spot the symptoms yourself.
Keep in mind that sex addiction affects people differently. But, there are a few telltale signs that are often associated with this problem. If you notice several of these behaviors from your partner, they may be dealing with this type of addiction.
They Have Frequent Mood Swings
People who are dealing with sex addiction may withdraw from everyday life because they struggle with handling feelings such as stress and anxiety. This can lead them to quickly lose interest and have short attention spans.
They’re also likely to feel that boundaries from partners are controlling. This perception is often accompanied by mood swings.
Irritation and anger aren’t uncommon for people dealing with sexual addiction. This is often because they feel guilty, or even because they aren’t getting the sexual gratification they want.
They Are Preoccupied With Sex
Someone who is addicted to sex will make it the center of their life. They’ll want to talk about sexual things frequently, they’ll use sexual humor, etc. This can represent boundary issues.
This is different than liking sex and thinking about sex. It’s also different than fantasizing about sex. In our society, it’s not uncommon for people to be more open than ever about their sex lives. Yet, there’s a big difference in casually talking about sex and noticing when it takes over almost every thought going through someone’s head.
They Become Lost in the Fantasy of Sex
For an addict, the gratification of something sexual can start to feel a lot like the high from a drug. Many describe the behaviors that represent their addiction as something that completely takes over. They can lose focus of other valuable things in their lives such as work, family, hobbies, etc.
That’s often why people who struggle with sex addiction deal with more serious underlying issues. Some of the common problems include things like depression, low self-esteem, or an inability to deal with sexual trauma of the past.
When they don’t deal with these problems in a healthy way, the addiction becomes a “quick fix” that can make them feel better for a while.
They Start to Live a Double Life
Even if your partner realizes their behavior isn’t normal or healthy, they’ll likely go to great lengths to hide it from you. This kind of deception quickly seeps over into other areas of their life.
Before long, it can almost seem like your partner is living a double life, because of all the lies they’re telling on a regular basis.
Since they feel they have to hide one thing, they start hiding more and more. Soon, it may seem nearly impossible to trust anything they say. This kind of deceit can be extremely damaging to relationships.
Confronting your partner about a sex addiction can be scary. They may not even believe they have one. Or, if they do, it’s likely they’ll deny it. While you can’t automatically assume (or accuse) someone without talking to them first, these signs and symptoms can help to make things clearer for you.
If you don’t know how to approach your partner, feel free to contact us. Sex addiction in a relationship can make things tumultuous, and you shouldn’t ignore your own feelings. Together, we can work on strategies to keep you strong as you go through this with your partner.