FAQ’S: Sex Addiction

Written by Dr. Doug Weiss

What is sex addiction?

Sex addiction is a way some people medicate their feelings and/or cope with their stresses to the degree that their sexual behavior becomes their major coping mechanism for stresses in their life. The individual often can not stop this sexual behavior for any great length of time by themselves. The sex addict spends a lot of time in the pursuit of his or her sexual behavior/fantasy or they may have a binge of sexual behaviors.

Why do people become sexually addicted?

This is different for every sex addict but generally speaking there are biological, psychological, and spiritual reasons. The following is a short explanation of each reason why someone can become a sex addict. The biological addict is someone who has conditioned their body to receive endorphins and enkephlines (brain chemicals) primarily through reinforcing a fantasy state with the ejaculation that provides these chemicals to their brain. Psychologically, the need to medicate or escape physical, emotional or sexual abuse can demand a substance, the early addict finds the sex medicine usually before alcohol or drugs. Spiritually, a person is filling up the God hole in them with their sexual addiction. The addiction is their spirituality, it comforts them, celebrates them and is always available and present. Then there is the sex addict who can be two or even three of the above reasons. This is why a specialist in sex addiction is the best route for recovery with sex addiction.

What’s the difference between sex addiction and a high sex drive?

I have heard this question on almost every national talk show or radio show I have been on over the years. A person with a high sex drive is satisfied with sex. It’s not about a fix for something; when their partner says “NO” it doesn’t make them go off the handle thinking their partner is totally rejecting them and have to leave the house or act out in some other way. If you can relate to this the chances are there may be an addiction issue.

Can you be addicted to masturbation?

Yes, this is by far the most common sex addiction that I have treated in working with sex addiction. This usually is the first sexual behavior many of us will have on a repeated basis. This is usually where the sexual compulsion starts with sex addicts and this behavior, regardless of other acquired behaviors, usually stays active.

What role does pornography play in sex addiction?

Pornography for many sex addicts combined with regular masturbation is the cornerstone for most sex addicts. Many sex addicts have great difficulty getting sober from this combination of behavior. The pornography with fantasy creates an unreal world that the sex addict visits throughout their adolescence and other developmental stages and creates an object relationship that conditions their emotional and sexual self to depend upon these objects and fantasies to meet their emotional and sexual needs hundreds of times before having sex with a real person.

[Related: Read Jeff’s story of overcoming porn addiction.]

Can someone be a sex addict and not be sexual with their spouse or committed relationship?

YES! We call this later stage of sex addiction, sexual anorexia. In this stage of sex addiction, the addict prefers the fantasy world and fantasy sex with themselves or others instead of relational sex with their spouse or partner. The addict/anorexic avoids relational sex and hence this couple has sex infrequently and often at the partners request not the addict/anorexics.

What is it like to live with a sex addict from a partner’s or wife’s perspective?

The partners/wives of sex addicts report many similar feelings about living with the sex addict. The feeling of aloneness is a common experience with partners of sex addicts, the sense that he can’t open up and tell you about his “real” self. The confusion of even after you do certain behaviors that this still is not enough and the hopelessness that there isn’t enough. Anger for many different unmet needs as a person and as a woman are often common.

Can partners get help even if the sex addict doesn’t?

Yes, even if the addict stays in denial of their addiction the partner can receive help and support for herself. The feelings of anger, loss, loneliness and many other feelings encountered over the years of living with this addiction will effect a person. These feelings need to be dealt with therapeutically whether they stay married to the addict or not.  The addiction was in no way your doing as a partner or wife, the addicts addiction started many years before you even met your addict. This addiction would have grown and damaged anyone they would have related to in any relationship.

Is there recovery for sex addiction?

Yes, there is recovery for sex addiction. This recovery takes time and hard work especially in the first year but with guided help the sex addict can experience restoration in their emotional, relational, sexual, financial and even spiritual lives. I have seen marriages made better than they ever were and addicts live much happier lives than they ever thought possible. I have been in successful recovery over eleven years and I know it’s available for those who choose to work for and maintain recovery.

Is there research on sex addiction available?

There is research being done in the field of sexual addiction. The monitored mail list of Heart to Heart Counseling centers provides weekly research information as well as excerpts from 101 Practical Exercises for sexual addiction recovery as well as Twelve Step discussions.

Can women be sex addicted?

Yes! The number of women desiring treatment is growing significantly. The behaviors are the same as their male counterparts including: masturbation, pornography, internet activity, anonymous encounters and affairs. Over twenty recovering female sex addicts contributed in writing She Has a Secret: Understanding Female Sexual Addiction. This book plus the Secret Solutions Workbook, with over 115 helpful techniques for recovery is just for her. If you would like to set up a telephone counseling appointment to start your journey of recovery, call today. There is hope for female sex addicts to recovery.

Is there any way to help our children not become sexually addicted?

Yes! Even though many of our adult male clients report that their fathers were sex addicts (porn, affairs, prostitutes etc.) they also report getting little to no proper sexual information to balance their sexual perspective. Good Enough to Wait is the first DVD of this kind to help your children understand sex and the brain, the long-term affects of pornography, long term sexual satisfaction and a whole lot more. This is the best combination of sex research and spiritual principles to date for youth to watch to give them a proper and currently informed sex talk.


If you or someone you love is dealing with sex addiction, there is help available for you. Resources are available from Dr. Weiss’ site.

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245 Responses to “FAQ’S: Sex Addiction”

  • David Colantuono (@David4Nudist) says:

    My addiction is probably the worst of anyone else on here (though I haven’t read all comments). I’m here because I just found this website now and I wanted to explain my problems. I’ve actually had two main rounds of this addiction. The first round started when I was a teenager, back in the 1990s. I started lusting after female students (and some female teachers, as well) at my school and had fantasies about them. Late in the decade, I turned to online pornography and really got hooked on it.

    Some time during the 2000s, I discovered what I, at first, thought was more pornography online. After all, it showed pictures of nude people. But, the more I came back to these websites, the less sexual the pictures became. It was my first experience with nudism. After some time, my addiction to sex began easing up and I thought I was cured from it. I decided to become a nudist and stopped looking at nudity in sexual ways.

    Unfortunately, life threw a few very big curve balls at me. The first was my family’s initial rejection of me becoming a nudist. For lack of better words, they didn’t like the idea of me without clothes on. Then, came the second curve ball…increased stress, which led to decreasing health. In 2007, I came down with a mysterious illness which no doctor could identify exactly what it was. Whatever it was still affects me to this day and now, I’m starting to think it must have been stress-related.

    The curve balls life threw at me were more than enough to re-start the same addiction and now, I’m worse than I was before. While I no longer lust after simple, non-sexual nudity in photos or movies (thanks to nudism), pornography remains highly attached to me. But, that’s not even the worst of it. Now, I lust after CLOTHED people, even in non-sexual situations. And, since I highly doubt everyone will walk around nude (which would cure me of this problem, I might add), I have no chance of ever stopping this addiction until I’m dead.

    I cannot help what triggers my emotions and my addiction. Everyone has their own fetishes. Mine happens to be clothed people (except when hooked on pornography). Sue me. I’m so deep in this problem that I don’t have the power to change. It doesn’t help that I’m constantly being thrown curve balls in my life. It’s one problem after another. This goes wrong. That goes wrong. I don’t sleep well. I have year round allergies that flare up all too often. Something else goes wrong. I can’t take it anymore.

    What can I do to get out of this trap I’m in? I’ve heard just about everything from people…do this, do that, make yourself change, don’t let this control your life…blah, blah, blah. Everything except what I’d like to hear. I should also mention that I’m suffering from depression and I’m also mildly autistic and tend to act that way when I don’t get my way. Neither my depression nor my autism can be helped. If they could, I wouldn’t be so deep in this problem as I am now.

    I cry much more often than a grown man should, sometimes for no reason at all. Physically, I’m 35 years old. But, mentally, I’m still a child sometimes. I live in the past during my childhood. Now, I know this may get a lot of “stop living in the past” responses from many people…I’ve heard all that before, too. However, I had the happiest times during my childhood. I relive moments of the past, either in thought or online (thanks in part to YouTube). Unless you’ve either lived in the 1980s or had a great childhood during that decade, it’s not possible to understand why I hold onto that particular decade so closely. You might say it’s my “security blanket”, like Linus’s blanket.

    Back then, life was much easier to live. I didn’t have any health problems, no depression, and certainly no sex addiction. I could get outside and enjoy life in every season, weather-permitting. I didn’t have to worry about lack of sleep and staying up most of the night with either congestion flare ups or too much on my mind…or giving into my addiction. I had a life back then. Now, I have no life. I’m single and still living with my dad and grandparents. He and mom divorced when I was very young and they live separately now.

    For quite a while until recently, my dad and I used to pray every day (or night) about our problems and getting help with them. Of course, I usually mentioned or implied my addiction and wanted to get away from it. That didn’t seem to work as nothing seems to have changed. I still get flare ups with congestion…though it’s possible that maybe, just maybe, it’s not quite as severe as it once was. I don’t want to jinx myself and claim to be cured of it when a sudden attack of congestion flares up one night or day. I think I’ve bored just about everyone on here with my long and disturbing story of my life and how things are going with my life. I hope this site allows long comments to be posted here.

  • Hannah says:

    Hi all, I’m a person with a pretty forgiving nature,tending to try to understand the core issues of why people do what they do. However, when faced with these questions early on in a serious relationship, I wanted to be gracious but felt vexed about what is and is acceptable in a relationship when it comes a partners past sexual history, prositute involvement and pornography. When I listened to this podcast, it resonated true and really helped me untangle this quandary so that I could reestablish my values in this area.there is no condemnation nor judgement -just a new perspective worth considering that presents a challenge for all of us…a great challenge that if we embrace these values, we will reap great rewards in our intimate relationships. I hope u will find this presentation as helpful as I have! Lovin x

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God
    Lord I lift up all who are going through this situation at this time in there lives, as it is a very tough issue and really it affects all of us as humans. Lord I pray that people will respond by getting the right help for you and from people who care and all that they need is someone to talk too about there situation. In Jesus Mighty name amen

  • Louise says:

    Hi Jamie,

    He hasn’t spoken to his therapist about talking to them because he doesnt see it as a problem.
    He says he understands how it affects me, but he can’t just delete every single girl from his life, especially when he considers some of them good friends, although personally I don’t see how, as their whole relationships they sexed regularly.
    His theory is as long as he’s not talking about anything sexual it doesn’t matter.
    But he talks to girls so often (not sexually). But it often just feels like he’d rather talk to them and go back to his old life.
    Am I over reacting?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Louise, I can understand how it would be hard to have your husband still involved in friendships with girls who he has sexted with. I can definitely see some dangers in that. What does his therapist say about continued texting relationships with those women? How does you husband respond when you tell him about how his actions impact you?

  • Louise says:

    We have had our problems with his addiction plenty of times in the past. But I am finally ready to accept it, I want more than anything to help but I just am at a loss how to.

    He is addicted to messaging girls on the internet and sending photos and receiving photos ect.
    We are long distance, and it only ever happens when we are apart.

    He sees a therapist once a week, and he also has limited his alcohol intake as often when he gets drunk is when he looses control of his addiction.

    It makes me so sad for him, and it destroys me when he does it despite our relationship.
    I could write pages and pages but I’ll try to just focus on what is concerning me right now.

    I know that he is trying to overcome it, with therapy ect. But it feels like he is not ready to let go. Almost every girl on his facebook he has done it with. After long talks with me and telling me that it’s when he’s lonely, stressed or horny and he sees certain people it is his trigger. He decided that he probably should delete people, but with over 1000 girls who he’s done it with. He is only willing to delete like 50. He claims the rest are friends and what he has done with them doesn’t matter. The problem is, he has done it with people whilst in our relationship that he has told me he considers them good friends. So when he tells me they are just good friends nothing will happen with them it’s hard to believe that is actually true.
    The other thing I find very hard, is not only does he not want to delete them, he talks to so many of them very often. Although its not usually sexual it can easily lead that way. But he doesn’t see it like that. He claims, sometimes I am bored and I just need to talk to people, it doesn’t matter because we don’t really talk about anything.
    Am I being unreasonable to think he’s not letting go by keeping all these girls, and can he really let go and move on if he still thinks he needs to talk to them.

    I know there are exceptions, there are some girls that he has done it with that are genuinely friends.I want to not care, but I find it so hard and feel really uncomfortable, but he says they are good for him, and perhaps he is right. One particular girl he talks to about everything, when I met her (the only girl he’s been with that I met), he told me they had been involved, but I recently found out that when he told me involved he actually meant he did the addictive things with her, whereas he made it seem like they were involved in a relationship type way, i think it was a bit of both. And it’s so hard that he feels he needs to talk to the girl he used to send naked photos to ect, as well as the fact he used to have some sort of genuine feelings for her. But he says he needs her and he talks to her about things that he can’t talk to me about his addiction. But I want him to be able to talk to me about them, rather than calling her up at 3 in the morning!
    How do I stop myself from feeling uncomfortable and insecure about her?

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Stacy, I am so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with such a hard situation. You’ve made an excellent suggestion in asking your husband to go to counselling, it really would be the very best option. But he says he won’t go so what happens from here? One option would be for you to go to counselling yourself. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1. You have your own grief to work through, and I would imagine probably also could use some help figuring out how to rebuild trust that has been shattered. 2. Going to counselling yourself shows your husband that you take his behaviour seriously and that you are also committed to making this marriage work. 3. The counsellor may have some advice on how to raise the idea of counselling again at a future date with your husband.

    Do you feel like your husband understands how devastating this is for you? Does he see that he’s broken your trust (and probably also your heart)? Does he know that you do love him very much but that this behaviour cannot continue? Have you had a chance to ask him what he thinks would help if he doesn’t think that counselling is the answer? Does he see that there is an issue to repair here?

    Lastly, this is unpleasant, but have you been to see your doctor and had yourself tested for STDs? In a monogamous relationship there’s very little concern about sexually transmitted infections. But your husband has slept with other women and there are health risks associated with multiple sexual partners. Condoms are not 100% effective, even when they are used properly and used every single time. I know it’s probably the very last thing you want to think about but if you do have any kind of infection the sooner your doctor knows about it the sooner you can start getting better.

    This is fixable if you’re both willing to do the work. I know it may feel insurmountable, but couples do come back from this. I don’t know if you have a faith background or not, but there’s a beautiful verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that talks about how God makes us a brand new creation. If you’d like to know more about how God could factor into your situation, there’s an article here.

  • Stacy says:

    I discovered in April that my husband of 22 years has been seeing prostitutes for the last 15 years. I am heartbroken. We have been together since high school and I always thought he was the perfect man for me. He says that it wasn’t about me that it was just a “hobby” that he told himself to stop but he just couldn’t. He said that he never once felt guilty or bad for what he was doing, that as long as I didn’t know it wouldn’t hurt me. He claims that now that I’ve discovered his secret life he will not do it ever again. I can’t live my life this way forever always wondering if he’s at it again. I love him so much and I don’t want to leave him. I have begged him to go to counseling but he refuses saying he doesn’t believe in it. Last night I asked him if I died tomorrow would he return to prostitution and he said that he didn’t know, probably. I’m devastated all over again. We have three daughters one that is the same age as some of the prostitutes that he’s seen. He told me that he’s been with more then 50 but less then 100 (he’s lost count of how many he’s been with). I’m so afraid of losing this man but I know that if I ever found out that he did it again I will have to leave. How to I get him to agree to counseling? I’m afraid that him white knuckling it is just a temporary situation until he can’t stand it anymore. Help!

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Lucy,

    Long comments are okay. Sometimes they’re the only way to get what you’re really thinking across. I can see that you are quite concerned, and I agree that this is hard situation that you’re in. You love this man and he is hurting you and that’s a really tough spot to find yourself in.

    I’m going to say the hardest part first. Please know that I say this as someone who genuinely wants the best for you. Sometimes love isn’t all you need. Your love cannot change his behaviour. A lot of your questions focus on what you can do to make sure he doesn’t do it again. But there’s nothing you can do to guarantee that he’ll stop because you don’t control his actions and choices. He can change if he chooses to do so, if he’s willing to do the hard work of changing, but you can’t make that change for him.

    So the question you need to answer for yourself is not, “How can I help him change” it’s “Can I handle being in a relationship with him exactly as he is right now? Is this someone I want to be with if he doesn’t change a year from now, five years from now?”

    There are a couple of things on your comment that stand out as red flags to me:

    1. He lied to you about his behaviour.
    2. He minimizes what he’s done wrong.
    3. He justifies what he’s doing and claims “it’s just who I am”.

    You said that he told you there was nothing sexual in the conversion where he sent naked photos of himself to a female friend. That’s not true. It WAS sexual because there were nude photos involved. When he sent the “hilarious” photo of himself doing a naked headstand, what did he hope would happen? What was he expecting? Imagine how he would feel if you started sending photos of yourself to other guys – would that be funny? I know that you love him and I know that you want to be a good girlfriend, you want to be supportive, but there’s a difference between being supportive and allowing someone to disrespect you. He knew exactly how much it upset you when he did it the first time and he turned around and did it again. So what happened? Does he think it isn’t a big deal? Does he think your feelings aren’t that important?

    Take a look at how his behaviour is making you feel. You have done nothing wrong and yet you’re the one feeling guilty for checking his Facebook. You talked about blocking out what he did, have you considered that maybe thinking about what he did is important too? Have you had a chance to talk a counsellor yourself about this? Often when someone we love is addicted -whether it’s to sex, or alcohol or gambling – we try to convince ourselves that if we can be better, if we can support them enough we can love them enough to get better. It doesn’t work that way. You said that you know you can’t walk away from him, but the truth is that you can if you want to. You’re not married. You don’t have children together. If you’ve had enough of this, there is a door if you want to walk through it. I am not suggesting that it would be easy, but I can hear the pain in what you’ve written here. How many more times are you going to let him hurt you?

    Addicts can recover if they enter into a treatment program and are committed to the daily struggle of overcoming addiction. Comedian Russell Brand has been sober from drugs and alcohol for 10 years but he writes about how he still has to choose sobriety every single day. One paragraph in particular stood out to me. Russell is writing about the family of a relapse alcoholic and he says this:

    “His family blame themselves and wonder what they could have done differently, racking their minds for a perfect sentiment; wrapped up in the perfect sentence, a magic bullet to sear right through the toxic fortress that has incarcerated the person they love and restore them to sanity. The fact is, though, that they can’t, the sufferer must, of course, be a willing participant in their own recovery. They must not pick up a drink or drug, one day at a time. Just don’t pick up, that’s all.”

    There’s really only two options. Either a) your boyfriend is not addicted and could stop if he wants to and is choosing to have extra sex outside of your relationship or b) your boyfriend IS addicted and recovery is possible if he’s willing to enter a structured program AND stop doing the thing he’s addicted to.

    You love him, and you’re sleeping with him which strengthens that bond. I do not doubt your love for him, it sounds like a very strong love. My question to you is this: how much do you love yourself Lucy? If a friend of yours had a boyfriend who did everything your boyfriend did would you want her to stay with him? What would you tell her? I am so sorry that you’re in such a hard situation. If you’d like to talk to someone privately you can use this form to contact a mentor. You don’t have to face this alone. Do you have a faith perspective? Is there a pastor or priest you could talk to? If you’re not sure how God fits into a situation like this, there’s an article “A Conversation About Love and God” that might interest you.

  • Lucy says:

    Anyone who knows anything about sex addiction please read my story and provide any insight that might help me. I am at a loss of what to do.

    I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 6 months, but it took a while to become truly serious, I don’t trust people easily, so it took me a while to feel fully comfortable.

    My boyfriend has recently come out to me as a sex addict. He was very open to me when we got into our relationship about the fact he has had a lot of sexual partners, including 3 prostitutes. While I was put off at first, I chose not to let his past affect us. A little bit into our relationship he told me although he’s had lots of sexual partners, the majority of them were unsuccessful, including his first two prostitutes. Stating he got them to rub their boobs, or show their bum while he masturbated instead, often also the case with other girls. After some internet research on Sex Addiction, I begin to wonder if this may have been the reasoning why we was being unsuccessful?
    He is now on what he calls penis pills, (and has been for the duration of our relationship). Well now he has no problems getting hard, in fact he’s hard all the time, even for no reason, and our sex life is very healthy, averaging every other day when we are together (unfortunately we are now long distance for the time being.)
    The first time we had to be apart for distance was about a month into our relationship since it had gotten very serious. Within a day or so I received a message saying, he’s done a dumb thing, and found some of his old naked photo and sent them to a friend (that there has never been anything sexual with) because he thought she’d find them funny. Of course I was so upset, but after a lot talking about it I accepted that I could move on from it. He gave me his login and password immediately to try and reassure me, he wanted me to read the convo to show there was nothing sexual and he wasn’t coming on to me. But I decided against going on it. I just needed to move on. I am his first real girlfriend, and even though I hate when he uses the excuse that he doesn’t know how to be in a relationship, I understood to some extent. At least I thought I did, in actual fact I had no clue that he was actually a internet chat sex addict.
    When I was then able to see him again, after being apart, I began to find out more about it. I knew from previous conversations that he used to talk to girls online all the time and be incredibly sexual, but then he told me that he used to go on for like 9 or 10 hours a day for many years, finding any way possible to send photos to girls and get them to send photos to him. Still, possibly naively I didn’t really think too much into it, I never thought anything about a sex addiction. I just thought he used to be a rather horny teenager and just kept going with it into his early 20s. (He’s now 24; he started when he was 15 or 16).
    After an amazing two weeks together I couldn’t have felt more positive about our relationship. The next time we were apart the first 2 weeks we were unable to have any communication at all due to commitments. Then we were able to talk, the odd bad days but nothing major, just missing each other. Four weeks into being apart, I don’t know why but I just felt funny about us, possibly a slightly rubbish phone call, I’m not sure. But I went on his facebook, and I regret having to do that, and that is not the kind of relationship I want to have. A few nights before I went on he had sent messages to a few girls who he used to message. Saying he was bored because his GF was away. All of his usual flattery and stuff before saying something like ‘Do you want to see this hilarious picture I found, I’m doing a naked handstand.’ And many other statements. He didn’t actually send any photos this time. But this time he didn’t tell me. I just decided to confront him, he said he was going to tell me after talking to his therapist (I was aware he had one but thought it was only for his depression and anxiety that is now mostly under control). Whether that is true or not I will never know.
    At first I just wanted to walk away, but I know that’s not an option when you love someone that much. Lots of tears from both of us and fights later and I’d say we are back on track. But I’ve blocked it out, I know that’s not an option, but I don’t know the best way to deal with it. So I guess I have a few questions.
    1. How do I stop myself from feeling like he is more attracted to the other girls, like I am doing something wrong sexually or any other way. It’s made my self confidence fall, even though he says it has nothing to do with the other girls at all.
    2. Is porn a good idea or bad idea, part of me feels that porn is just another aspect of his addiction and unless he fights it as well, he wont ever be able to rid himself of it. If so, how do I tell him this? Or is it a good thing as it stops him wanting to talk to other ‘real’ girls?
    3. He is still friends on facebook with all of the girls he used to talk to, do I and can I tell him that I don’t think it is a good idea, why have them to tempt himself? But what about girls that are his genuine friends, but he still used to talk to them sexually?
    4. How likely is it for him to do it again? What things can I do to help ensure that he doesn’t? I want to believe that he wont, he said he wont because he saw how truly crushed I was and knows I wont be able to stay if he does it again.
    5. How can I built the trust between us again, and how can I stop feeling insecure and feeling that every time he goes out in the evenings I will wake up in the morning and he will have done it again?
    6. What is the likely hood this will develop into cheating?
    7. His ‘penis pills’ give him a higher sex drive, would going off them help him recover from his sex addiction, (even if it causes our sex life to be more difficult)
    8. Can someone ever fully rid themselves of a internet sex addiction, He claims it’s an addiction and there will always be a part of him that gets urges, but he can control them. I see it as it will always be a part of his past but you can overcome it and not get urges any more, am I just being naïve?

    I know I can’t walk away from him, and I know he needs me to be supportive, I’m just not sure how.

    I’m sorry this is so long! I’m just at a bit of a loss of what to do

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Oh Arlene, I am sorry for the position that your husband has put you in. It must be so hard to know what to do. I am not one who often counsels a person to divorce but I can understand from your story why you would want to do that. Trust is such a crucial part of marriage and if your spouse repeatedly promises fidelity but breaks that promise again and again I can see how destructive that would be on your love and trust.

    At the same time I am also convinced that there is no person who is beyond hope of changing. That confidence is not based on a person’s ability to change themselves but rather on the transforming power of Jesus Christ. I have seen Jesus do some miraculous changes in people’s lives and I know He can do that in anyone’s life. So I know there is hope for your husband and your marriage but only through a miracle of God.

    But if I was in your position I would be very cautious of how I give trust to your husband. The burden of proving his trustworthiness is on him. He would need to make some extreme changes to his life before I would give my trust to him. A marriage counsellor could be a great help in identifying ways that he could establish that proof of his trustworthiness. A counsellor would also be a big help for you planning how you can give that trust again.

    Let me pray for you: Heavenly Father I pray for Arlene as she is so hurt by her husband’s actions. Bring comfort to her and help her to find her strength in You alone. I also pray for her husband who has some real problems. I pray that You would do a miracle in his life and set him free from these things that hold such power over him. I also pray for their boys and ask that You would protect them from the destructive influence of their father and keep them from following in his footsteps. Allow them to see a miraculous transformation in their father through the power of Jesus in his life. Amen.

  • Annie Elizabeth Farmer says:

    For Arlene: My book, Survival Snapshots: Defending Home Against Sex Addiction, would I hope show you that you can survive this, no matter what your husband does, for yourself and your children. You are not alone and you can get through this. You might ask your library to order this book.

  • Arlene says:

    What to do? I’m at a crossroads. I feel so paralized right now. I’ve been married for 20 years. Have two wonderful boys, ages 11 and 20. Thought I married the love of my life, only to find out time and time again that he’s cheated on me. First time was a year and a half into our marriage, and that is only because he got caught. God knows how many affairs there have been in between all the affairs I have uncovered. Each and every time he told me he loved me soooo much, and didn’t want to lose me or the kids like he lost his first wife and kids (she took the kids and left after 7 years of marriage). The first few times, he said that we were both at fault. That I didn’t give him enough attention so he had to find it somewhere else. The guilt was always laid on me heavily, and of course feeling guilty and partly to blame for the straying, I would forgive and try to move on with our marriage. Two years ago, I found out that he cheated on me again with someone he worked with. That was the first time I brought up the possibility that he may have an addiction. He agreed to see our family therapist and after his first session he told me that the therapist did not think he had a sexual addiction, but maybe couples therapy could do a world of good for our long-standing marriage. I believed that. At least, I thought we reached a point were he understood the hurt it was causing me and the family. Two years later, new town, new jobs, new life, and I find out that he is cheating again with someone he works with. He’s told me that they only saw each other twice, although the first time was six months ago. Am I to believe that in the space of 6 months, they have only seen each other for sex twice??? He was found out two days ago because I looked through his phone while he was sleeping and saw very explicit sexual text messages in conversation. I had warned him two years ago that if it happened again, our marriage would be over. I even put it in writing to which we both signed our names – not a legal document by any means. After finding out about this last affair two days ago, he has been desperate, never blamed me for this, said it was all on him, that he truly thinks there is something wrong with him, that he thinks he may be a sexual addict, we both have cried, he has tried to come clean, told me of all the other instances I did not know about including his frequent visits to massage parlors and porn online late at night. He also uncovered the small stash of money he puts away regularly to pay for massages, hotel rooms, and the like. He has bought several books on information about sexual addiction and has contacted a sexual addiction clinic in our area. His first appointment is tomorrow. So, I’m at a true crossroads with noone to talk to about this. Do I treat this the same and -stay – and support him as if my spouse was trying to recover from alcohol or drug addiction, or should I do what I said and wrote I would do two years ago if this ever happened again – leave -.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi B,

    There’s an article I think you should ready called Does Forgiveness = No Consequences. The author, who is a counsellor, talks about how forgiveness opens up the possibility of reconciliation but does not cancel out the consequences of bad choices and behaviour. You are not going to be able to instantly trust this man who has hurt you so deeply in the past, but if he has had a real change of heart then in time he may be able to demonstrate that he is a new man and they may be the possibility of a life together. You mentioned that you filed for divorce but not whether or not that divorce was finalized. What you do now will depend at least somewhat on what your marital status is.

    Where to begin? I would strongly encourage you to seek counselling – together if he’s willing to go, alone if he is not. It will take time to work through the past hurts and a professional can really help with that. Your church is a great place to start. Many pastors do counselling and also keep a list of recommended counsellors. Take it slow. When trust has been broken it takes time to rebuild it, but when God is at work in the heart it IS possible. If you would like to talk to someone privately, we have online mentors available. You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days. (What is mentoring?)

  • B says:

    Thank you again. Please pray for God’s guidance in my life and my husband’s.

  • B says:

    Good morning…..

    My husband deceived me 100% while dating. Became a chameleon in order to gain my trust and eventually win me over. Once married, everything changed. In the 7 1/2 years we’ve been married I discovered his sex addiction (2 years into the marriage), he began engaging inappropriately with females anywhere, anytime, anyplace. And eventually had a full blown affair. After separating for 2 years and filing for divorce, on New Year’s Eve of 2012 he turned his heart over to God and now wants to reconcile. With so much deceit, lying, betrayals, and out right unfaithfulness, I don’t know that I can do it. He has turned all access to his phone and online phone bill to me, suggested I use the tracking system our provider has to find family members via their cell, and I still don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. Is it time to move on? I’m happy he received his miracle of a renewed heart with God. But I fear I will always live a life watching my back and/or waiting for the next shoe to drop. I could use some Godly input. Thank you so much for being here. In the Spirit~ B

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Dear Nik, so glad that you decided to open up and share the struggle you are currently dealing with regarding your problem with sex, porn, etc. The beginning of finding freedom from such addiction is realizing you have a problem and that you have not been able to concur it in your own strength.

    It is good to hear that you “need to seek faith”. This shows that God is working in your life and desperately wants you to acknowledge your need for Him above all else. You said that you are Catholic and that you have been to confession several times but no true change has occurred in your situation. Have you ever accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior? It is through this personal relationship that you will find the ability to be set free from the battle you are in.

    The Lord loves you so much and wants to fill the void in your heart that you are currently trying to fill via means of porn and dating multiple guys. These avenues and vises will only continue to bring you heartache and intensify your depression. Here are a few links for you to take a look at that will help you understand more fully the problem you are dealing with and sources to help you overcome your problem with abstaining from fleshly desires.

    How to Deal with Your Sexual Addiction


    Pure Intimacy


    You mentioned that there is no form of counseling where you live. Do you know if there are any local support groups in your area such as Celebrate Recovery? You can search on line for their site and then search for a local support group in your area. Hope to hear back from you and let me know if the above links where of help and if you where able to locate a local support group.

    At this time, I would like to pray for you:

    Father God I pray for Nick who is currently struggling with multiply issues. I pray that You would open Nick’s heart into receiving the pure, true love You have for her. May You line her up with the proper people and support that will enable her to overcome the bondage she is held captive to at this time. May Your Spirit guide her into truth that will set her free to become the woman you are calling her to become. May You impart Your peace and purity into her heart so that her mind is not so focused on sinful things. It is through the renewal of her mind that she will overcome and become victorious in Your ways of living. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

  • Nik says:

    I’m a single 30-something women.. and I can’t get sex out of my mind. I’ve tried abstaining from sourcing the net for porn, from masturbating, from fantasing, but nothing seems to help. I know I wasn’t abused as a child. I think one parent may have had a tendency towards sex and porn too. I’m catholic and trying to fight this. I’ve been for confession several times. The verdict has been that I’m depressed and need to seek faith. Really facing a hard time. There is no form of counselling where I live. I took a vow of chastity and broke it after a month which I’m very unhappy about. I’m back to dating two guys and still I’m searching for a life partner. I think I’m desperate. Please help…

  • Andrew says:

    @Amy your husband is fooling himself if he thinks that being a sex addict is in his blood it is pure lust. Sex addicts need sex not because they have a high sex drive but that they are hiding a deep pain and by watching porn it is self medicating. One of the things I have learned in my life is that when we surrender to God and ask him to take care of the problem things you never thought would happen will. It is important that you seek a support group for yourself from a local church as they will give you the strength to be able to deal with the problem. It helps when we talk with others. When you trust Christ and wait for him to answer you then you will find the way. Cry out to God and let him do the work not you as the Holy Spirit will do more than you will ever be able to do. God Bless

  • Grace says:

    Most sex addicts do not want to get help, let alone admit they have a problem. All they can give are excuses for themselves that they are guys, they are alpha male, it a stress release/relief for them, it is not a crime….etc.

    How come their partner can tolerate all these nonsense? i often wonder!

    Such guys, to me, have sold their souls to the devil. I believe sex demon spirits are at work within them to ‘empower’ their sexual lusts and cravings…they may have asked for that for intensive sexual pleasure.

    Sex is God-created for marriage relationships and is a beautiful gift from God Himself, yet the Evil One has twisted it for destruction… sleeping around, cohabiting, have multiple sexual partners, one night stands, etc, has now become the norm in this world of sexual immorality… cos everyone is doing it, its so common… that is how the devil whispers into their darkened hearts and deadened spirits…a Big Lie and Deception that will eventually lead to doom and destruction… STD, STI, HIV, etc , are totally ignored…

    It is really a very sad situation and world we are living in these days… we know that we are living in the last days….. Jesus is returning soon…..

  • anonymous person says:

    Having a daily Mantra that you practice & commit too, through daily sacrifice and discipline-everyday to help with sex addiction can be invaluable.
    There are many self help groups, therapies, CD’s, and books that can offer support, encouragement, and be very helpful. But nothing or no one is going to help you like you can help yourself.
    The best help is ‘Within’ You! A daily mantra that helps you daily can be most effective in facing ones sex addiction Head on! May I suggest a book to do just that…
    Ps… You may want to check this book out called: ‘The Masseur’ at lulu.com (There is also a CD that goes along with that book too!)

  • amy says:

    I have been married for 7 years, we’ve dated for 4 years prior. I have always known that my husband had a high sex drive and was a sex addict. I went into the marriage knowing it was an issue, but I guess I thought somehow I could deal with it or fix it. Over the years I have made excuses for him and went from extremes of ignoring it, to begging for him to seek help to trying the if ya cant beat him join him thing. His biggest issues are needing it constantly more than once a day even and using porn for masturbation. Ive voiced my hurt and concerns over the use of porn and masturbation and feeling that sex is the only thing he wants from me. He says if I just give it to him and try all the things he wants that he will be fine that nothing else can help. More and more I cant help but think I cant do this any more I really want a divorce. He knows he has a problem but thinks no one can help. He uses the excuses his dad is the same his grandfather had wi2e to take care of it. Its in his blood

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Rachel, You’re in a complicated situation. You cannot stop someone else’s addiction, only the addicted person can do that, and often only with a lot of professional help. It can be done, but the addict has to want to change. From what you’ve said here it sounds like he is very happy with his life and is not interesting in giving up his addiction. Until he truly wants to change there is very little that you can do.

    One question that I think you may need to ask him is whether or not he is having sex. If he says that he is a sex addict, that he can’t control his addiction and that he loves his life with the addiction, and he’s not having sex with you, does that mean that he’s having sex with someone else? I know that that is an awful question to have to ask, but you need to know for sure. If he is having sex with other people then he brings health risks into your relationship that you need to be aware of.

    As much as you want to make him stop, you can’t and that is not your job. If he wants to stop there are people and programs that can help, but you cannot do it for him. I am so sorry that is such a hard truth. It is awful to watch someone that you love continue in a harmful behaviour. I would encourage you to find a counsellor to talk to. If you do get married sometime in the future, his addiction won’t simply go away because you got married. It will always be there – either as something he does, or something that he needs to be careful about because he can fall back into it. A counsellor should be able to help you see what your options are and the best way to more forward. If you would like to talk to someone privately, we have online mentors available. You can use this form to request a mentor. (What is mentoring?)

  • Rachel says:

    im dating with sexaddict bf whom just told me everything about his addict.he say he still love me, but he cant control his addict.we plan to getting married but suddenly he say he scare of marriage, he scare he cant trust himself n hurt me. but we still care n love each other.when i ask him to stop d addict, he say that he love his life now (with d addict),i dont wanna have sex before married. but he like sex so much and now he addicted to it already.what can i do to make him stop his addict?my heart is torn apart when he suddenly say he cant married me because he love his addiction life now.he say he wish we married earlier last years but its too late now…i still love him..n i really wish he can stop his addiction…please help me to help him stop his addict…

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Hi Jules, I am in agreement with Claire regarding your situation with your husband. Please do not try to ‘fix’ this issue on your own. It sounds like this situation is serious and heartbreaking to you. Proper counseling would be your best approach.

    Please know that I will be praying on your behalf that God will open the eyes of your husband’s heart in allowing him to realize his wants and desires regarding sharing ‘sex’ with others are not proper for a married man and wife. I will also pray for God to comfort and aid you through this situation along with your little girl.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Jules, It sounds like you could really benefit from seeing a counsellor. Right now it seems like you and your husband have unreconciled expectations about your sex life. I wonder if your husband keeps asking for group sex because he thinks he can have both? A counsellor may be able to work with you both and help him to see that it’s an either/or situation, not both. Perhaps there might be other ways to add some additional creativity to your sex life in a way that is comfortable and honouring to the two of you?

  • Jules says:

    I am almost 100 percent sure that my husband is a sex addict. I am very concerned because I love him but I am very unhappy. He has told me the same thing Stacey has been hearing from her date. “That he only wants me and others” “he wants to have sexual fun like group sex but he wants to share those experiences with me.” I do not want to share those experiences with him. I just am not happy and I don’t know if I should leave or hold on and try to fix things. We have a little girl.

  • Gail says:

    Hi J
    You are so wise and courageous to walk away from this type of life. Thank you for sharing your experience with some of us who have walked this road before. Reading your message again confirmed to me that I am doing the right thing to walk away. This addiction is so destructive and it breaks my heart to see how our innocent children gets drawn into this. Therefore we have to have the courage for ourselves so that we also protect them for their future. One sick parent is one too much.

  • J says:

    I have been dating a guy for the past several months. Come to find out he’s a sex addict. What a manipulative, lying, thieving, sick guy he is. He would always try to turn things around, so that I was ‘crazy’ and nothing was going on. My mistake was not dumping him the minute I realized he was ‘sick.’ I know better than to think I can help anyone with any kind of addiction…other than pointing them in the direction of an appropriate 12 step program and giving them to God. I can’t help anyone, I can only get myself to an Al-Anon 12 step or similar 12 step program. I’m really pissed off at myself for putting my physical health, and emotional health in danger. This guy, all but robbed me blind, financially, too…because ‘poor thing’ has been victimized by this woman, that woman and yada, yada, yada. [Comment edited to comply with our Terms of Service. – Ed]

  • Gail says:

    You so right Christine. I also found that my husband was distancing himself from me. OK it’s the shame then hey? It must be such a prison experience for a sex addict. Because I guess you dont want to hurt the people you love the most and then you probably promise yourself it will never happy again and then it does and then you start the cycle again of the shame, blame and so on. Wow thank God I am moving towards freedom from this life of living with an addict.

  • christine says:

    Hi all,
    I am Christine na thank you for all of your posts, there are great.
    I agree that you fcan not help a sex addict unless he/she admitts the problem.I of recent found out that my husband has been a sex addict for about 15 years, even before meeting me, but he never accepts the problem. He basically covered himself, used me got children and after that went more wild with his addiction. I would have loved to help him beacuse he is the father of my children though our relationship is ending, but he never accepts even when i have the proof on the table. In fact the whole situation os guilty,shame makes him unconfortable to be around me.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Taylor, as with all addictions the first steps are admitting that you have a problem that you are powerless to fix. I think that you are coming to that place. Some next steps for you could be going to see a counselor, a pastor, or accessing other resources. One online resource is http://www.xxxchurch.com. You also saw in the article here that Dr Weiss has an online resource at http://www.sexaddict.com/. But if you are powerless over the addiction that controls you, you need to find a help outside of yourself that can give you that control back.

  • Gail says:

    I recently discovered that my husband was loading airtime for a few mobile numbers from his bank account. I called these numbers and the phones would be switched off. These ladies then call back and want to know how you got their number? Is this the way prostitutes operate now? Sorry guys if I sound stupid but I mean they operate with cell phones now. As you would have seen from my previous posts I know my husband has this problem. I’m just curious to know about that community. Truly it is a community on its own hey. I thank God that He has allowed me to walk away from this life with a husband ensnared in sexual addiction. it is sad to see his life spiralling but I dont have to take responsiblity for his behaviour. I thank God for the strength I have found on this site just reading other peoples challenges and walk to freedom helps a lot. We are still in the process of divorce but at least he has now moved out of the house so my children and I are not exposed to this lifestyle any longer.

  • Taylor says:

    After reading through this article I felt like I had more of a problem than I had initially thought. After hearing that sexual addiction among females is not an uncommon thing I am growing increasingly more frightened and concerned for myself. I am currently involved in a two year, long-term relationship with an incredible individual although during the last year I cannot seem to stop myself from cheating over and over again without reason. It is tearing my relationships (family, friends, partner) and although I try to address the problem, I can’t keep it under control! Is there anything I can do? What does this mean?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Stacey, I would agree with Gail that it is a dangerous thing to feel like you are the one who is going to help an addict get free. Often (not always) it is the person who feels like the helper who inadvertently becomes the one who enables the addict to continue by trying to cover up for the poor choices the addict makes. You know, the wife who calls in sick for her husband when he is just hung-over, the dad who hides his son’s stash from police so he doesn’t have to go to jail. You could get drawn into that same kind of enabling for your boyfriend.

    I appreciate your request for prayer and I have been praying for you and him. Make sure you allow God to build a support group around you that can help give you a balanced perspective and godly counsel in this relationship. Let me pray for you now: Lord God I ask that You would protect Stacey. Guide her into the actions that You want her to take to help this boyfriend. Give her wisdom and strength and bring people to her who can be a help and support for her. i pray for this young man that she loves. I ask that You would open his eyes and transform his life. Set him free from this addiction and guide him onto the path that You have created him for. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen

  • Gail says:

    Dear Stacey
    I cannot tell you what to do because ultimately it is your decision. I read your post with so much concern for you. There is nothing you can do for your friend who is a sex addict. The experiences I have had and I wish someone told me that 20 odd years ago, was that only the addict can help him or herself. the first part of that help is to admit that they need help. If you are in a relationship with this person you definitely cant help the person. You too need counselling as you need to be made aware that there is a point where you may have to walk away. Living in a relationship with a sex addict is a tough life and no one deserves it. Hope this helps hey.

  • stacey greeen says:

    I need help. I just discover my date is a sexual addict. I noticed his weird that he onlyt talked sexual. That’s about all he can talk about. I think he’s in the ” later” stage of sex addict. I’ve been surfing internet how to help the sex addict. He wants to have sex with me so bad. He only wanted me and he said I only want u and others. I haven’t give in. I refuse.but he keeps begging. He trusts me and a lot of women rejected him. He told me he get burn so many times that no women wanted him. I do find him sexuality attractive but I’m not a sex addict but I do have high sex drive. I’m christian. So I try not to be preachy. So I wanna show GoD’s grace. God’s grace can be substitude for sex. He doesn’t know God’s grace. So I’m thew only one can show that to him. I understand how he feels. Cuz I was a love addict before and my pastor showed me God’s grace by showing hhis love for me and He ave me a lot of attention. So I wana do the same foer this guy who is sex addict. There I no one whill show that to him. I’m the only one. So I would need ur prayers fort him.there is no one eles. He’s isolated and lonesome. He used to be popular when he was high school. I can see he’s heading toward a corrupted mind. So tell me what to do.I juist wanna hug him make him feel like a person again. Alive in chirist. He needs to feel that. So I’m no expert b ut I do know lov e of Christ.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    So glad you were both helped Gail and Marian. We are always encouraged to hear that from our visitors! Thanks for taking the time to post!

  • Marian says:

    Hi,Thank you so much, for the information and i really impressed with the article and i really for sharing this information actually i had a problem a few years ago but it good now, due to the addiction hotline,this article is very helpful to any one who is facing the problem….

  • Gail Roman says:

    Thank you Claire. God uses you to say the appropriate things and this is why this site is soooooo meaningful to me. You are so so right. I don’t have to accept what is said in an email. It’s him giving vent to the deep down anger I guess and the realisation that I deal with these things differently now than in the past. Since he has moved out of the house well not completely but at least he sleeps over at his mums now, things are easier on me and the kids. no more early hours of the morning arrivals, or coming home drunk. We can begin living our new life and restored life with the Lord’s grace. But yeah you so right whatever is legal will have to come to me via the lawyer. He even blames me for having a lawyer when he was the one to run to a lawyer first. Anyway it’s part of his process I guess but not my problem. All the best and thank you again for an insightful website.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Gail, My heart aches for you and the road that you are walking. As I read your comment I was reminded of something a good friend of mine constantly tells me: I am not responsible for another person’s thoughts, feelings, or actions. The same is true for you. If his life spirals after the divorce that is on him, it’s not on you. Remember too that you are not required to read his emails. It’s likely that he is very angry and I can only imagine what those emails must be like. Anything official that needs your attention will come through the lawyers. If he’s only spewing venom at you, don’t read them. You don’t have to plunge the knife any deeper into your own heart. There has been enough damage already.

  • Gail says:

    Hi, I have written before and we have now appeared for the protection order to be put in place, in the meantime my husband has applied for a protection order denying his addictions and accusing me of causing him emotional and psychological abuse by accusing him. After he himself having admitted this at a time in our marriage when I wanted to divorce him before. The deception and lies that goes with this addiction can drive you mad if you dont remain focussed. Since he now has four addictions, sexual, smoking, drinking and gambling I have asked my lawyer to arrange for me to remain and have the house transferred onto my name. Aye the stink email he sent me today…… telling me how his family will fight me tooth and nail etc. I thank God I have the courage to not respond. Of course it does affect me but I believe I have moved from the place of him holding me captive and towards my freedom. His uncle’s wife divorced the uncle years ago and died recently. He uses the example of what he interpreted at his uncles funeral as the ex-wife looking so bitter and says he thought to himself that’s Gail in a few years time. So sick the way Satan can control an addicts behaviour to believe their own lies. We as the spouses need to remain committed to the Lord and keep our hearts and minds in accord with Him so we keep focussed that it is not a fight we are putting up. I need to think with my head now. It is inevitable that we can lose everything if the house remains on both our names and it is inevitable that once the divorce is granted his life will spiral. To all the spouses in my position I am mindful of you tonight and pray that God will take us through and through it all He will get the glory.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Gail, that is fantastic news!

  • Steven says:

    I have been through this. Throughout my adolescence, I would look at porn and my actions that coincided with it constantly left me feeling guilty, etc., afterwards. It carried on into my adult-life. Even when I would try to resist it, I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t DO anything about it. Part of the problem was that, although I considered myself to be a Christian, I did not understand WHY what I was doing was so hurtful to myself and to God. When I researched it and started reading in-depth in God’s Word, I saw that the lust for the images that I was feeling was sin. I knew I was sinning before, but I didn’t know exactly how. When I really, entirely gave my life over to Christ, I can tell you that Jesus took hold of me, creating a complete 180 in my life, and drove the addiction right out of my life. God is faithful and good, He won’t let you down. I was an addict for 15 years, and if Jesus could change my life so drastically, so wholly and fully, then no matter how long you’ve been going through this, Jesus Christ is in the business of saving and changing lives! “…[W]ith God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NIV).

  • Gail says:

    Dear Claire
    Thank you so much for your response. I have been so blessed to be exposed to this site. Can’t remember how it happened but I am so grateful. God has heard your prayer and while you prayed that my husband not live with us it miraculously happened. last night he came to my younger son and said to him, Mum doesnt want me to come home drunk and I am going to sleep next door at night at his mums house. He also said, you know what is happening between mum and dad. I dont want to sit in jail and I will be sleeping next door. The Lord is so faithful and I wanted this but God’s timing is just so amazing. Yep I get the bit about the transference. I wish I could feel that maybe one is better than the other but having walked this road so long, it all is so gross and so destructive. Yep I too pray for mercy on his life. However I believe God to work it all out for His glory. Thanks for the clarity and thanks for your prayers. Wonderful Jesus.

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