3 Reasons to Date Someone Who Has Recovered from Sex Addiction

GoodTherapy | 3 Reasons to Date Someone Who Has Recovered from Sex AddictionDid you know that most individuals who have experienced sex addiction and have taken their recovery process very seriously and remain committed to it for life can be some of the healthiest individuals, despite their past challenges?

Relationships in general take a lot of hard work, but many people are not willing to engage in the hard stuff to make their relationships easier down the road. If people do not feel that they have an addiction or struggle with any kind of sexual integrity issue, it is more challenging for them to understand the need to have boundaries around their relationship to protect it from anything that can cause it to weaken.

Here are THREE REASONS individuals need not be afraid to date someone who has recovered from or is in active recovery from a sex addiction:

STRONG BOUNDARIES: Most individuals recovering from sex addiction who have worked hard in a program, such as outpatient therapy, along with being a part of a support group or in-patient program with a solid outpatient support system know the importance of having strong boundaries to first protect themselves from relapse or slipping back into old habits. For example, a person who has abused alcohol needs to stay away from bars and heavy drinking venues to avoid temptation. The same goes for people with sex addiction; they have certain places they cannot visit, movies they cannot watch, and websites to stay clear of, and even conversations with other individuals that may trigger certain thoughts or feelings.

Therefore, people who have recovered from sex addiction and have moved toward a healthy outlook in life will more than likely be very respectful and aware of situations that may be uncomfortable for their partner, such as noticing attractive people in the partner’s presence or even while alone or putting themselves in a position that could be cause for concern, such as eating lunch alone with a coworker of the opposite sex.

INTEGRITY: Most people recovering from sex addiction have learned the benefits and the importance of having integrity in their life. It is essential that they share their feelings appropriately and be truthful with themselves and that they avoid anything that would cause even a hint of suspicion by others. One way that you will know that your dating partner is someone who values integrity is to watch him or her. Does this person’s behavior coincide with his or her belief system? Is he open about his life’s journey while using discernment? Does she show consistency in making decisions with integrity in all areas of her life (i.e., financial, family, work), not just in relationships?

SELF-CARE: When people who have struggled with sex addiction have worked hard on their personal recovery, one of the tools they learn is the importance of self-care. What that means is their ability to recognize that they first must take care of themselves in a healthy way before they have anything to offer anyone else. They are good at keeping things in their lives that bring value, and they do not expect someone else to fill all their needs. These individuals will have introduced specific behaviors/patterns in their life that support their recovery and reduce the temptations they will face, such as computer filters, accountability partners, continued self-improvement choices, and consistent activities that not only grow who they are but also have a positive impact on others. Most important, where their recovery plan may change along the way, they never let their guard down to say they have arrived, and they stay in the continuous mode of healthy self-care in some fashion. This not only assists them in being the person of integrity they want to be but also prepares them to be real, genuine, honest, and transparent in future relationships.

As you can see, while some may shy away from the idea of dating an individual who has recovered from sexual addiction, there are numerous reasons this can actually be a very positive experience. Keep in mind, it is not your responsibility to keep this person on track in his or her recovery, and if the person is truly taking care of himself, he will not want or expect you to do this. You actually get the benefits of being with an individual who has come face to face with a very challenging addiction and decided that he or she is worth doing the hard work to overcome it and live a life of integrity. The end result is someone who can share compassion, understanding, and love in a deeper, healthier way in relationships because that person made it a point to have tough love for him- or herself first.

Related articles:
Three Ways to Avoid Sex Addiction Relapse
Sex Addiction: Can Trust Be Restored?

© Copyright 2012 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC, CSAT Candidate, Sex Addiction

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Marquetta

    May 24th, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Um, I don’t know about this.
    I mean, what am I supposed to say if my date tells me that this is something that he has struggled with before?
    And when should he even disclose this kinf of information?
    It’s not like this is something you would want to drop on the first date is it?

  • Vic

    November 6th, 2019 at 8:05 AM

    I’m not a sex addict but I am addicted to myself. The underlying addiction to sex addiction or any addiction is that we are addicted to self….our wants needs and desires ahead of anyone else’s and we will go to darn near any lengths to meet those desires.. We are all addicted to ourselves. Once you realize and admit that, you start to be more compassionate and are able to recognize what “healthy” looks like. We all need connection. We were made that way. Connection is the objective.

  • Brooke

    May 25th, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    How on earth am I supposed to trust a guy when he up and tells me that he has battled a sex addiction in the past? I know that there are very few fish in the sea for me, but I am willing to take a pass on someone with a sex addiction. I am better than having to debase myself like that!

  • Todd

    May 23rd, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    So Brooke it is okay for you to devalue someone who has a struggle and is conquering it?

  • Michael

    June 18th, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    I am in recovery from sex addiction so obviously I am going to tell you how wonderful we can be :-)
    First of all, I understand your concern for relapse.
    However, I don’t think you would be debasing yourself by dating a person in recovery from sex addiction. I am a nice guy, not a peice of slime. And I speak for other people in recovery too. Life is complicated. People make mistakes. People act out out of pain. And if they enter recovery they learn to see the good in all people.
    I wish you the best.

  • lkb

    May 26th, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    just because a person has battled sex addiction in the past does not mean he will have that again and someone who has not had that in the past is not necessarily a great person with no problems! relationship can go awary with anybody, not just people who have had problems in the past.

  • Charlotte H

    May 26th, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    Not saying that I wouldn’t do it, but I would have to have some serious conversations with this person if I really thought that there was any chance that this is behavior that he could easily slip back into again and would have to know that this was not going to be an addiction that would sneak back into his life. I guess more than anything it would take a whole lot of trust on the part of both people in the relationship.

  • ruthie

    May 28th, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    The important thing to remember is that while you may not want ot get involved with someone who is all out in the throes of dealing with their sex addiction, but if you are with someone who has fought it and conquered it, then how is that so different from dating someone who has battled other sorts of demons? It is probably not ideal to be with someone fighting any addiction because this is generally a time when they are focusing on themselves and not much of anything else. But think about how in tune this person could be into who they are if they have come out the other side of an addiction the winner.

  • Brett

    May 29th, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I have fought this and still struggle. I am not sure that I would recommend this for anyone. Yeah, I think I’m a pretty good guy, but I can’t say that I will never slip up again, because like any addict, there is always that chance that something will set me off and I will be on that path of destruction again. I want to have a girlfriend and fall in love, but this is not something that I can withhold form her, and I know that as soon as I am honest about it, she will probably leave. I don’t want to be deceptive, but I am not sure that there will ever be another way to get someone to commit to me.

  • jennie

    September 25th, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I am a female sex addict. When I read responses like these it increases my desire to devote myself to raising awareness of this issue. From shame to grace. It is sad that the vast majority of people would never think twice about dating someone in AA or NA but cringe at SAA or SLAA. Sex and love addictions are (IMHO) by far the most common and least understood of the addictions (ok overeating may be tied as far as commonness goes) and totally underdiagnosed because our current culture fosters and supports objectification of ourselves and others. Frankly, I would be wary of anyone who denies having an issue with sex. Someone brave enough to admit it and work on it is a far safer bet. And Brett you may need a 12 step program if you think it is ok to withhold this info.

  • thomas h.

    May 28th, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Jennie – I have only read 6 or 7 comments along with the author’s narrative, but I think your response of God’s Grace versus shame is the whole reason sexual addiction is seen as so disgustingly unacceptable compared to alcoholic or drug addicts. All these addictions are destructive and the shame associated with sexual addiction hinders many from getting help or even admit they have a problem. That’s probably why sexual addiction is a far more common addiction than reported and frankly more difficult to recover from because you can take away the alcohol but you can’t pluck your eyes out, though you can choose not to look. Thanks so much for your insightful response. Cudos to you. God Bless

  • Teri

    December 17th, 2016 at 2:55 AM

    I’m calling BS on this statement that sex addiction is the most common type of addiction. Jennie, I think you’re trying to normalize something to take away the sting of how vulgar and de-habilitating and destructive and immoral it is. Your message sounds as if you want to promote sex as being healthy and normal. Sex addiction perverts sex and makes it anything but normal. You know this I hope. I’m not condemning a sex addict that’s in recovery. It’s not my place to condemn anyone but a person who doesn’t recognize that sex addiction is WORSE than alcoholism or any other type of addiction is in serious denial. This form of addiction is worse for even the fact that it’s easy to access triggers. Women who are sex addicts are really in trouble because men will have sex with anybody and women are objectified in everything. The Sociopathology in a sex addict makes it one of the worse types of people to deal with because of the deceit and betrayal. They not only cheat and betray you in action but they betray you mentally and emotionally too. Let’s not pacify or water down sex addiction. It’s an invisible addiction that destroys lives invisibly and therefore it’s more potent.

  • Eric

    February 19th, 2018 at 8:27 PM

    Thank you, Jennie!

  • Northern_Guy

    January 8th, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    I am sure the people saying “ew sex addict!” have a few ghosts in their closet they don’t want to talk about either. Everyone entering the mating area is an egomaniac – they only focus on their positive traits and are very very particular and any flaw in a potential mate is grounds for rejection. Some can afford to be, others not. The “inexplicably picky ones” usually go down one of two paths: revisited expectations, or die alone in the company of a large number of cats. The whole point is this: people get + points for things that make them attractive. Then you subtract points for things that are not so appealing. A gal who is an 8 in appearance but has no job history and terrible credit might be a 6 to a frugal and sensible man (or remain an 8 to an idiot). A woman might diss a recovering/recovered sex addict for another guy and he just turns out to be a classic player, where the sex addict is well aware of his base instincts and primal urges and has a program in place to keep them in check. Some of the most f***ed up people in the world are those who think of themselves as normal. Such as the people on here going “ew sex addict!” haha

  • Me

    April 27th, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    What a ridiculous article. It is like saying that a recovering alcoholic is better to marry than a non addict. While it is better to marry a recovering sex addict than a non-recovering one, the ideal would be neither.

  • Todd

    May 23rd, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    I don’t think that is what the article is saying. I believe it was merely trying to say that people who overcome this issue can have a lot to offer you.

  • gg

    May 22nd, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    You don’t have to date anyone. I’m sure a *recovering* sex addict would rather date someone who would value them as a beautiful and intricate human being capable of deep and lasting love. So if you’re totally freaked out by the idea, pray the person you date will be honest, and be grateful, *kind*, and clear when they are.

    People are people. Being unkind to people who are addicted to sex is cruel. The addiction itself is a lonely and emotionally painful cycle, which no one would wish upon themself. There has been a lot of stigma surrounding addiction, and addiction is a disease just like any other… not able to be “controlled” or “willed away”. Yet a person can recover, with the help of 12 step programs.

    Anyone who *is* dating a sex addict might try attending several meetings of a 12-step program to learn more about the disease of addiction.

    I saw the title as an understanding of the human-ness of someone who has addiction. Actually recovering is a brave and admirable place to be, and involves an incredibly difficult honest look at one’s self.

    There are only two emotions in the world: love, and fear. Love is creative, and fear is destructive. Likewise, there are only two responses to this article: love, and fear.


  • bev

    June 27th, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    I suppose I should start sending my 15 year old daughter to SA meetings to search for her future husband? What a load of BS. I am married to a SA. I wouldn’t wish this stuff on my worst enemy. He is in recovery. He is doing very well. If we end up divorced and some poor woman agrees to marry him then I will pray for her. Why in Heaven’s name would anybody encourage a young woman to date a sex addict? This is a major problem with the treatment of sexual addiction. therapists keep comparing it to food or alcohol. It is NOT the same. You would think that educated people would not condone this and steer women into a nightmare. The logic is atrociously muddled.

  • Kage

    June 21st, 2015 at 5:33 AM

    “Why in Heaven’s name would anybody encourage a young woman to date a sex addict?”

    Careful there bev, ‘young woman’ and ‘sex addict’ are NOT antithetical to each other. There are just as many female sex addicts as male. It sounds as if you think sex addict = male and you couldn’t be more wrong. Just who do you think the men are cheating with? Why is no one talking about all the women who make themselves available to them in one way or another? What about all the women who molest boys or female school teachers who have sex with kids or perform sex acts on them? Our young boys are in danger as well. I don’t wish it upon you, but your daughter could be a sex addict too. Think about that.

  • Todd

    May 23rd, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    I don’t think that is was as much an encouragement to date a recovering addict as it was an encouragement for the addict to recover.

  • Doug

    March 22nd, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    Interesting to see how folks seem to put sa in a category much more severe than alcohol and drugs, or overeating, or malicious gossip….folks, we ALL have habits and hangups that hurt ourselves, others and, ultimately our connection to God. Those who say one is better or worse have commited themselves to living in DENIAL, itself a destructive attitude. I ascribe to the realisation we ALL need help…

  • M

    March 22nd, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Wow Doug, way to deflect guilt. “We all have problems,” doesn’t sound like someone who’s ready to admit how f’d up the condition of a sex addict truly is. And for the record, I wouldn’t wish sex addiction on my worse enemy, it’s better to be a heroin or crack addict than a sex addict. At least with those kinds of addicts, they are visible and they can’t hide behind the need for help. You don’t really hear how “we all are messed up,” from those folks. Once I heard a victim give an account that a sex addict is a sociopathic narcissist. When I read that it hit me, yes! The one I met was indeed sociopathic and indeed highly narcissistic. I didn’t know then what I know now about her, and even her love of the movie “Ex – Machina.” That movie is about a highly calculating machine that will use its sexuality to manipulate a man to loving her in order for her to break free. Spoiler ALERT: She Kills him at the end! And there you have it! Your post just reiterates how s.a’s fail at being able to truly feel remorse for the victims that they have devastated and hurt. If there is remorse its the remorse that the s.a’s feel for themselves. Another person has decried how it isn’t quite fair to lump all s.a’s into one batch. And each one who protests about this dubious distinction of being a sociopathic narcissist reminds me each time that they are indeed one!

  • tj

    June 27th, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    I’m married to a sex addict (filed for divorce) who has faked recovery repeatedly, fooled therapist after therapist who all personally vouched that he really was in recovery, for more than 8 years now. And I have proof that he never was in recovery.

    I wouldn’t wish this hell on anyone.

    And I don’t think they can ever be “recovered”. The addiction is something that they will always have with them. They can only be in or out of recovery.

  • Successfully Recovering

    June 30th, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    I am a woman and a successfully recovering sex, love and relationship addict. I advocate for more education on this front. There are many women who may identify as a victim in relationships or be serial daters who never understand that the disease of sexual addiction may be driving them through the gauntlet of relationship carnage. Falling in “love” instantaneously and having sex or jumping into relationships with people you don’t know well or at all. Having sex or a relationship with people who are married to someone else or to any person who is unavailable could be indicators. Here are the The Twelve Characteristics of Sex & Love Addicts

    Having few healthy boundaries, we become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to people without knowing them.
    Fearing abandonment and loneliness, we stay in and return to painful, destructive relationships, concealing our dependency needs from ourselves and others, growing more isolated and alienated from friends and loved ones, ourselves, and God.
    Fearing emotional and/or sexual deprivation, we compulsively pursue and involve ourselves in one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time.
    We confuse love with neediness, physical and sexual attraction, pity and/or the need to rescue or be rescued.
    We feel empty and incomplete when we are alone. Even though we fear intimacy and commitment, we continually search for relationships and sexual contacts.
    We sexualize stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, shame, fear and envy. We use sex or emotional dependence as substitutes for nurturing, care, and support.
    We use sex and emotional involvement to manipulate and control others.
    We become immobilized or seriously distracted by romantic or sexual obsessions or fantasies.
    We avoid responsibility for ourselves by attaching ourselves to people who are emotionally unavailable.
    We stay enslaved to emotional dependency, romantic intrigue, or compulsive sexual activities.
    To avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat from all intimate involvement, mistaking sexual and emotional anorexia for recovery.
    We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then blame them for not fulfilling our fantasies and expectations.

    The good news is that if someone, anyone, male or female is committed to recovery and works the 12 steps, you never have to do anything that you don’t want to do again. It is a disease. It is fairly apparent when you get to know someone if he or she is active if the disease of sexual addiction or not.

    Here are the Signs of Recovery

    Signs of Recovery

    1. We seek to develop a daily relationship with a Higher Power, knowing that we
    are not alone in our efforts to
    heal ourselves from our addiction.
    2. We are willing to be vulnerable because the capacity to trust has been
    restored to us by our faith in a Higher Power.
    3. We surrender, one day at a time, our whole life strategy of, and our obsession
    with the pursuit of ro
    mantic and sexual intrigue and emotional dependency.
    4. We learn to avoid situations that may put us at risk physically, morally,
    psychologically or spiritually.
    5. We learn to accept and love ourselves, to take responsibility for our own lives,
    and to take ca
    re of our own needs before involving ourselves with others.
    6. We become willing to ask for help, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and
    learning to trust and accept others.
    7. We allow ourselves to work through the pain of our low self esteem and our fears of abandonment and responsibility. We learn to feel comfortable in
    8. We begin to accept our imperfections and mistakes as part of being human, healing our shame and perfectionism while working on our character defects.
    9.We begin to substitute honesty for self
    -destructive ways of expressing emotions and feelings.
    10. We become honest in expressing who we are, developing true intimacy in our relationships with ourselves and others.
    11. We learn to value sex as a by-product of sharing, commitment, trust and cooperation in a partnership.
    12. We are restored to sanity, on a daily basis, by participating in the process of recovery.

    Peace to everyone who reads this,
    Successfully Recovering

  • burned

    July 11th, 2013 at 5:06 PM


    This article is not worthy of being available to the public. Was married to a SA. The harms caused to me and my family after a couple of decades of lying, including while in couples counseling. Sorry, one must provide actual evidience of real recovery.

    Beware, partners can be traumatized and even disabled. I speak for living through this type of hell.

  • SRiA

    April 3rd, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    I agreed. I duno if my ex is sex addict but when things turned bad. He resorted to websites n seek out and the way he talks to gals is weird. He is honest (to some extend) to me when he reveals the story. But he always made it sounds like i had blew up the matter.

    We were in a serious relationship but the things he said are very strange. He divorced his wife after 7 years of separation. Not sure why but he say he is too weak to face her in court. From the examples he shared. It doesnt seems the wife had any issues but he says he wasnt happy. So to maintain the marriage, he resort to adultery with a colleague hoping to keep the marriage alive.
    Of cos it fell as the colleague later wanted status and he rejected her. i thought its his past but i told him tats wrong. I wanted him to confront watever is holding him so he can have a beautiful future. He always remain silence.
    I m just continue to show him grace and love. Bcos God loves him. He is super intelligent, good career profile, good education and family background. But he skipped from bodies to bodies.
    I had shared that he need to turn back before he lost it all. He had too many wonderful things. He loves children but has none (luckily). And he wans 3 children with me. I do too. Only a miracle that happens and I pray God will restore him and used him to fight the devil.

  • AM

    September 2nd, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    I am with ‘burned’! Sex addiction has 95% relapse rate, lowest true recovery rate of any addiction, and absolutely worst trauma to those who try to be in relationships with them! This article is horrible, telling people to take a chance on someone who is a habitual liar, manipulative and sneaky, utterly selfish, and potentially extremely harmful. Do research, and on any SA site you will see story after story of the deep trauma they inflict, even on sites where the addicts discuss trying to quit you will see how few ever succeed, and the mental gymnastics they use to justify their continual relapses and abuse of other human beings. Charming and seems to be such a great guy/girl? So laid back nothing seems to bother them? Tiniest red flag the person is an SA like wierd sexual habits or strange moments which make you go ‘huh’? RUUUUUNNNN!!!!

  • Todd

    May 23rd, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Maybe with attitudes like that the success rate will remain at 5%!

  • Jay

    September 25th, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    Great article. I pray for the silly, ignorant people above. And I would like to note, the title reads: recovered from sex addiction. Recovered means to regain health. Not to wonder if today is the day I will relapse back into old ways. I would never date a sex addict who has no solution in place. I wouldn’t even date a recovering sex addict. But a recovered one… Yes, and the ironic thing is they are probably more aware and more free and more happy then the normal people above and in the rest of the world. :) god bless

  • wrecked

    October 11th, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    AM hit the nail *right* on the head. Anyone willing to take a chance on a relationship with someone like that–well all i can say is, good luck with that. If you’re willing to take the risk on someone who has completely turned someone else’s life as they knew it before you upside down and destroyed every fiber of their being (personal experience), then when it happens to you, you rightfully get what’s coming to you. beware.

  • RSA

    October 28th, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    As another writer mentioned, the key to this piece is a *recovered* sex addict. Meaning, someone who is *active* in his or her recovery. No one should get involved with an SA until they’ve ascertained for him/herself that the person walks the walk. As the article says: ” One way that you will know that your dating partner is someone who values integrity is to watch him or her.” I’m a recovery SA, divorced, and hoping to meet a new life partner when the time is right. For me that means A LOT of abstinence and recovery. I’m as disheartened reading some of the comments above as I was heartened to hear a “share” last night from a gentleman sober for 23 years, in a loving and passionate marriage for the past 20. There IS real recovery possible, but as with anything else in life, the person’s got to do the work. As for stats related above (95% recidivist rate) — these are b.s. and guess work. This is unfortunately the Internet at its worst. It’s really best to do the primary research for yourself. Talk to experts, read books, talk to recovering SAs.

  • Testing Th' Waters

    October 29th, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    I recently started dating a woman. We hit it off on many levels (intellectual, emotional, physical) and I was sure that this woman was ideal for a quality long-term relationship.

    She told me that she’s a recovering SA. She’s been involved in a 12-step program for several years and seems to have “put in the work” to heal this part of her past.

    I guess I’ve just been reading up on this disease, and wondered if anyone had advice or experiences in dating a SA in recovery. (Good or bad experiences.)

    Obviously I have some doubts and fears regarding this revelation, but at the same time I feel like she was more than upfront and honest about it, has made her recovery a very important part of her life, and has remained without sex for several years.

    Any advice or thoughts (either from recovering SAs or from partners of recovered SAs) on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  • momcat

    November 1st, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    I am a woman and a recovering sex and relationship/love addict. I can believe the pain and suffering that partners of sex addicts have suffered. I also believe that addicts in recovery have had the opportunity to grow in ways that many others have not. There are lessons in compassion, humility, love, spirit, surrender, focus, diligence, discipline and honesty that I never would have understood without the 12 step program. I am a better person for it and I hope that someday someone gives me a chance.

  • momcat

    November 1st, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    To Testing Th’ Waters, you might consider attending a meeting of COSA, for partners of sex addicts, where you can meet others and learn what the recovery program is like.

  • Liz

    January 4th, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    I don’t know if I would recommend this to someone who is dating. In theory, I can agree that a lot of work goes into recovery and most of the time if the person truly is working their program things are progressing in their lives and relationships.

    The problem with Sex Addiction is that it totally programs your mind and the SA has to reprogram it in order to be able to be intimate with their wife/husband/partner. Which takes much time and effort. So even when the are recovering, they still have a lot of work to do with the underlying issues, ie., intimacy — which brought them to acting out to begin with.

    I am married to a recovering sex addict who has been sober for 3 years, and while I am very proud of him for the strides he has made with his recovery, we as a couple have a long way to go. We do not have an intimate relationship and we have been working hard on trying to get there. I believe it will take a lot more time and effort. It is not easy for him and we have been in all forms of therapy – couples, individual, group.

    I would not wish this on anyone — the pain, the confusion and the fear that comes up on a regular basis and the idea that you really love someone and they really love you, but are unable to be intimate with you — only brings up more pain and confusion.

    There have been many, many times I have contemplated leaving. I am going to see this through to the end, but I know, even seeing it to the end, there is no guarantee that this will work out.

  • Sandra

    August 6th, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Hi Liz, I feel your pain, I,ve been trying to work it out for a while now.Dating one, though didn,t know,they cover it up so well. I,m really interested to know why the intimacy stopped after 3 months just like that. I know now he went looking for others then,but why can,t they be be intimate with their partners. S.

  • Ellen

    May 9th, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Hi Liz,

    I realize your post is old, but I’m hoping this reply gets back to your email. I’m experiencing the same thing in my marriage. Other than a couple of porn slips, my husband has been sober for seven years. We have BIG intimacy problems though. I’ve been digging through the Internet looking for others who are in a similar situation so we can share information and resources. I’m thinking about starting a blog for us. I hope you have found the answers you needed in the time since you posted this. If you haven’t, please reply back to this and let’s see if we can help each other out.



  • Tracey

    August 21st, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    Hi Ellen, I don’t know if you got a response from that older post, but I too have been searching for others who are married to a SA and dealing with intimacy issues. We are currently separated after 3.5 years of marriage with 3 small children. Everything I read shows the SA clear they love their partner, despite the addiction, but my husband has stated he isn’t sure if he loves me or incapable of loving anyone. It’s hard to know if that’s normal or not. I know fear of intimacy is one of the roots of this addiction but there doesn’t seem to be much out there from either partners pov. Let me know of you start a group up, I’d be willing to participate.

    On a side note, thank you to the SA.s commenting on this page. It’s great to get your perspective on this. Usually it’s just the spouses.

  • Ellen

    August 21st, 2015 at 10:07 PM

    Hi Tracey,

    It’s good to know someone in a similar situation saw my comment. I don’t think I’m qualified to start a group for this. I don’t know how long your husband has been in recovery, but his comments about possibly not loving you or being incapable of love sound like something an addict might say in the midst of trying to find his way through the early days of recovery. But, I’m not a therapist.

    In searching for answers, the most relevant information I found was about intimacy anorexia. If you haven’t happened upon it yet, it might be helpful for you. The POSARC web site has some interesting interview clips about intimacy anorexia. I approached my husband with it, hoping he would agree to get some help. He was unwilling. He’s worked really hard on his addiction recovery and I don’t think he wants to do it all over again with intimacy.

    I agree that the opinions and information shared here by the S.A.’s is helpful. I often look for comments or advice on websites given by S.A.’s

    Thanks for replying. I feel less alone.


  • Kelly

    November 6th, 2019 at 8:18 AM

    I would recommend all wives go to a workshop called RESTORE in order to heal from the effects of your husband’s acting out.
    New Life is the org who puts it on. They are pros who have walked it and lived it.

  • Heather

    January 23rd, 2016 at 4:55 AM

    Hi Liz,
    I’m interested to see how you & your husband are doing. My husband of 17 years has been sober 3 months and I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. I understand he needs to continue to focus on himself for a long time to come and I’m just not sure I want to be near him and continue to be neglected in many ways while he figures this crap out. Just an update;). Thanks!

  • May

    February 28th, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    I’m a recovering sex addict, And I’m extremely faithful to my boyfriend. I don’t touch my male friends, If they come a little close, I feel uncomfortable, I don’t talk to male stranger more than necessarily and I often ignore them if possible, I keep distance to all male because I FEAR to reveal myself, I FEAR to go back to the state, I FEAR to loose my boyfriend, I don’t want him to see me talking to other male, All of this is not healthy but it may look faithful from outside. Don’t judge from what it looks…

  • Jean

    April 22nd, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    You cannot believe what a sex addict says, they are master manipulators and liars. Make a decision regarding a relationship on ACTIONS! If not in therapy and regularly committed to a 12 step program, run like heck! The pain, fear, disappointment, utter grief, are not worth it. My SA husband has lied and betrayed me twice now…no three strikes. I am out! 34 years of marriage, a hoax. Can’t begin to express the PTSD and trauma caused by my SA.

  • Joe

    July 30th, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    You don’t recover from sex addiction. Once a sex addict, always a sex addict. Sex addicts are master liars and manipulators. That never goes away. EVER! I have been married to one for the past 4 years and he, yes he, won’t stop. Thousands of dollars spent on counseling, time and gas spent going to SA and we are divorcing. He can’t stay away from porn or Craigslist trying to hookup behind my back every time I turn around.

  • Vic

    November 6th, 2019 at 8:21 AM

    This is false. Your experience is true for you but the statement that ALL cannot change is just false. I have been pure only to my wife for 22 years.

  • Kristie

    August 14th, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    I’m 20 years old I’ve been dating a sex addict for two years now. He didn’t even know he was a sex addict until my mother pointed it out. We have an 8 month old baby together and things have gotten really bad. He hates his problem because he doesn’t understand it. He is a complusive liar, he talks to random girls online and is a compulsive masterbater. He’s been going to therapy and is going to start the 12 step program. I love him and I want to believe he will change, but I don’t want to live my life in fear. I also just don’t want to give up on him, he has no one to be here and support him through all of this. We love together now, is there hope for me? I’m so confused as is he.

  • Mike

    August 14th, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    I went 10 years without acting out, but within the past 2 years I’ve had 2 affairs. Things between my wife and I got bad because of a couple major life changes, before I acted out. Now I’m at the point in life where I’m honest enough to admit that I have no business in any committed relationship. No woman deserves the heartache of a sex addicts bs. Just saying.

  • Egg

    August 23rd, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    It is not what sex addicts do….. It is who they are……
    STAY FAR AWAY FROM THEM. They are extremely manipulative. They can compartmentalize their life like no other. Masters of deception…..
    Stay far, FAR away. They play Russian roulette with your life….They gaslight you like no other and cause you emotional trauma like you cannot imagine.
    God Bless and protect yourself as God would want you too

  • J

    August 30th, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    Sooo true!!!! I was very hurt by a sex addict (divorced him) and he claims he’s recovered now and can have healthy sex with a new woman, yet to do this, he’s ridding his kids put of his life!!! Total manipulator, but his kids see his true colors with their own eyes. Karma… Shouldnt mess with karma !

  • Jeff

    August 29th, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    I believe that people can change. I have lived a secret second life as a compulsive sex addict and it’s really painful. My situation may be unique from some other addicts but I was not proud of this problem. I’ve been sober for a month and have been in therapy the whole time trying to understand it. I understand some of you have been hurt by people like me but I can assure you we are just as powerless as any other addict be it drugs or alcohol or gambling. My problem stems from early childhood abuse, emotional and physical. I had a mother who beat me and verbally abused me for years and an emotionally absent father too checked out to notice or care. At 11 years old my best option to cope with everything happening was to isolate myself in my bedroom and look at women on the internet. Naturally like any other addiction it progressed and got out of control. 18 years later, married and with a 9 month old daughter, I hit rock bottom and confessed everything. You can’t understand the feeling of not living behind a lie anymore. Or finally finding out why you are the way you are. It’s like being born again to borrow a Christian reference. I spent so many days with my head in an indescribable fog.

    Picture this addiction like trying to sit and watch TV with someone in the room screaming and trying not to notice them. The more you ignore them, the louder they scream until eventually you give in to shut them up. Maybe you masturbate. Maybe you call a hotline. Maybe you go out and have anonymous sex with a stranger. As an addict your tolerance for what quites the screaming goes up. Eventually masturbating is no longer sufficient. The stress and anxiety created by this constant buzzing in your head becomes too much time and again. After you act out you have no sense of pride. You’re not happy and excited. More like devastated at what you did. Completely shattered and broken down. But at the same time relieved to have that screaming in your head go away. What most addicts fail to recognize and treat is the source of that mental anguish. I’ve been taking an active role in figuring this out and it’s made more of a difference than anything I’ve tried in the past. I will have this disorder for the rest of my life. I will have to fight these demons forever and I can only hope I’m strong enough to die an honest man, free from the clutches of something I didn’t create and have been powerless to control on my own.

  • SRiA

    April 3rd, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    I salute u.

    I wish my ex had the same courage to face the demons. These are lies!!
    God is truth!! The only way to fight it and win it is to use God’s words and Grace.

    Look. U did not create this and u are not happy doing it. U hated it after u done tat and u know u will return again. So.. It isnt u!
    Its lies and the devil tat are using this vunerable spot to keep hitting u.

    My ex… Cried with me many times and he wasnt happy doing wat he is doing and he is very very needy.
    Through his long time friends, colleagues and himself… He said knowing me was the best thing tat happened and he had not been so happy for a very very long time. But yet.. He did not know tat dating other women i will be unhappy?!

    I freaked out and listened to lies too… About how i m more precious than to be used by him.
    But i loved him. So much tat i only wan to kiss him in every morning before he wakes. Tease him to see him laugh. Rub on his big tummy like soothing a bear.

    But now. The relationship had been again and again betrayed when he promised to work with me and yet dating other gals. Telling me he wans to grow old with me and yet dating other gals.
    I m not stupid but many times i kept mum so i dun upset him. But my limit exploded.
    The final time… I uttered many nasty words and told him tat he is a monster.

    I resorted to pray for him and let Jesus handle the devil. I will let go and wish him well. Although i still love to see his morning look and kiss him on his forehead. I will give him my best wishes n relentless prayers that he will come out of darkness and confusion.

    He is 44 and I am 35.
    Good that we both lived long enough to say there isnt another 100 years to endure.
    Not sure how long but I will wait for the day to see God’s triumph in bringing him to light and love.

  • Me

    February 6th, 2017 at 5:18 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  • B. Cassatt

    August 30th, 2014 at 6:21 AM

    My husband is in a rehab in TN for Sexual Addiction at this time. I am the victim and have suffered for 13 years of the 16 years we have been married. I am wondering if anyone knows of a support group that I could join? I live in southern NH and Northern MA. I really need a support group to attend to and to be around others going through the same issues as myself. Thank you

  • Eve, married an SA

    September 25th, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    You give a chance now, start dating and when you least expect you find yourself married, with kids and damaged beyond repair.
    Chances are You’ll get hurt, cheated on, going to suffer, kids are going to suffer. You forgive, work it through, it happens again, you forgive, you work it out, it happens again… when you finally walk away from this insanity you AND your kids will be so wounded and traumatized and too messed up.
    Met a SA? Advice: walk away. I feel bad for them, but if I could go back in time I would have walked away before I was too involved.

  • mindy

    October 19th, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Sex addiction is unlike any other addiction. Sex addiction attacks the partner’s heart and soul. The are master’s of deception and it is very difficult (impossible) to get rid of all the crap that goes with it. Truly it is a personality disorder. I was married to an SA for 30 years. He was also diagnosed with an attachment disorder. His mother had narcissistic personality disorder. Unless you are prepared to have sex withheld, be betrayed serially, be exposed to std’s and basically be made to feel like yesterday’s lunch on a regular basis then forget dating a recovering SA.

  • Just a girl

    October 25th, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    All these comments seem to be about Sex addict still acting. This post was about dating a recovering addict.
    I myself am a recovering sex addict, I hurt a lot of people and I am Not proud of it. I decided 3 years ago that I wanted to change who I had become and I devoted my whole life at that time to making the change. Believe me, it’s still a day to day struggle, especially when emotions are all over the place. But I remember the pain it caused for not only others, but myself. I’ve learnt so much about myself and I will NEVER go back to who I was. It’s all about wanting to change. I was 100% committed to my now ex partner, who I recently left over his drug addiction. You can only give people a shot, and if they hurt you enough, walk away. But if they haven’t done any harm, give them a chance!

  • John

    July 14th, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    I’m currently dating a female sex addict who recently revealed that she has slept with between 100 and 200 men; most of whom were strangers. She claims, and I believe her, that she’s never cheated on a boyfriend while in a relationship and that she hasn’t had sex with strangers in over 5 years. She did say that she had friends with benefits between relationships but that they were all people that she didn’t care about. This is where my problem comes in. She has been surprisingly honest with me revealing things I wouldn’t expect. One of those is that the best sex she ever had is with people she doesn’t care about; which is something I will never be able to give her (unless she stops caring about me and then, what’s the point). Unlike you, I don’t think she saw her acting out as problematic because of her faithfulness while in relationships. The intimacy problem is the most scary part of this whole thing for me because that’s really what I most want from a woman.

    Since you are already on the path to recovery, I was wondering if you could comment on what I’ve shared about her and give me some advice on how to properly support her in getting the help she needs. Or would your advice be to cut my losses? Thanks for your help and thanks for sharing here. I hope you find true happiness!!

  • SRiA

    July 15th, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    If you truly want to find a life partner (someone who loves and cares throughout your life time), quit this person. Honestly is not always the best policy. Unloading emotional guilt but saying all things isnt the best way to show you loved them. Rather, actions are louder than words.

    My ex had given me full account of his sex history and slept with random women. I thought he is brave to even share it with me. But he did not change. He indeed also claims he is faithful in all relationships. But thats not totally true.
    While of course we are talking about 2 different person here.

    Take time to find out more about this person. If she truly wants to turn away from who she was, she might make your best soul mate. But it takes alot to do so if she is really an addict.

    I threw myself into the relationship thinking how honest and nice of him to pour out all.
    Although we broke up, he claims he never cheated me. He merely kiss, hug and watever but no sex with any other women. According to my ex, I was the candidate whom he feels is THE ONE, wanted to be my husband and father of my children. With all sincerity he said that. And in 2 months after breaking up, he is in bed with another woman (a married one)
    And in less than 6 mths. He bedded 5. (Those tat i managed to find out)

    What scares me the most is. While he was working hard to get us back together, he went dating behind my back.
    I can only give credit to God who reveals all to me. I did not even hire a private detective for the work.
    The good merit for my ex is, If i ask him. He will admit as lying in his dictionary is a dirty word. But he will put up justification for his actions. So he do not feel he done anything wrong.

    See the problem?
    He was the man whom i will want to give him happiness and kiss him when he sleeps.
    I pray for him… If God reaches his hand and he is willing to be save, miracle will happen.

  • Male Victim

    July 18th, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Hi John, Hey buddy, my Ex Cindy came back in March.. Said she was with a sick jewish old guy , water view Long boat key Sarasota.. She has sex with him for weekend drugs , the Gulf view and a free place to stay, even though shes a Nurse and makes 70,000 a yr.. So yes, she told me all these things, but the guy abuses her, is very perverted and is also and Addict, NA, AA.. Anyway she claimed she wanted to marry me.. 12 days later went back to the old pig.. John, heres the bottom line,, The SLA person loves their Addiction more than ANY human.. I will always love Cindy, but she is just basically evil. Sure they are very truthful, why not, they just don’t care.. Its NOT a cry for help.. Its a human being talking to you that has NO conscience and it breaks my heart to write this.. Stay away from her John, she is very mentally ill and as Cindy almost destroyed me, this girl will destroy you.. I hope you can do it my friend.. and keep believing in God.. This isn’t Gods work, this is the Evil ones work..

  • GREG

    July 30th, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Hey John,
    I am on the other side of the fence because I was SA for many years but I have not reached out for two years now.
    So my advice will be from my personal experience and I will not be offering any religious advice either, I dont think that was the reason or the advice you were seeking when you posted your blog.
    In Short, by your girlfriend being totally transparent with her history with you takes a lot of courage to share and gives you insight that she probably needs a partner that is understanding of her condition and that the road to recovery will be hard and long. This was only possible to me by seeing a therapist and having my wife joining some of the sessions but because we cared and loved each other, we decided that this was best for us to stay the course and not live with any regrets….if it did not work out then we at least knew we explored all avenues for my recovery. Very fortunately for me and us, it did all work out.
    To your situation, this may be a tall ask for you to commit to, but if you love her and she loves you and is willing to go to therapy, then give it a go…you may even find that bond more as a couple. However, if she is not keen to see a therapist, then pull the pin because it will require work for your relationship to work.
    Good Luck John!

  • H

    February 6th, 2017 at 9:58 PM

    John, good luck, you’re going to need it. I was fooled by the girl who would disclose things that made her seemed brave too! I’ve found out that this is a pattern by many!!! And it is a ploy to engender yourself to her. These people are very sick. And it appears that they may indeed be socio pathic narcissists which are the most scary type of human beings to be around. They ultimately don’t have or don’t want to have the ability to empathize and see things and feel things from your perspective. The girl I knew endeared me to her with disclosure’s about her neglected childhood and sexually abusive dad. She found me on tinder. I know now that I was her latest kill from a hunt. Women can be worse than men in that they are mislabeled as incapable of predatory behavior. This is not true with female sex addicts. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE DISCLOSURES. This woman is toxic and ultimately she will hurt you. Badly. I feel bad for you. Female sex addicts can hide for years and they have a constant source of their drug everywhere because stupid dudes will have sex with any woman, regardless of what they look like. Sex addicts LIE like you can’t believe. They can look in your eyes with tears and be lying. She will hurt you. Also, the fact that she has had sex with so many men should not only alarm you it should make you understand that intimacy is destroyed with her. You are a person with a penis to her. She is incapable of intimacy and is constantly thinking about sex with OTHER MEN. AND WOMEN (it’s trendy). She is fantasy driven. You are not in her fantasy!!! She has been pleasured by other men and you are number 201 or number 301. I’m sorry to tell you, and you won’t listen until you just get so badly heartbroken that it will break you up but, she is very sick and you will not be able to cure her. Remember that movie EX MACHINA? Female sex addicts relate to THAT CHARACTER! THINK ABOUT IT. You won’t. You will continue with her until you can’t anymore and it will be a wasted time and heartbreak. The girl I knew had a dad that molested other girls and is probably still in jail. He is sociopathic. She, unfortunately, inherited his behavior though she doesn’t molest kids. She, like your girlfriend, has targeted, hunted and seduced their prey. And used them. Sex addicts are like monsters in human form. This is not hyperbole. They are a threat to people and it is sad when well meaning people believe their lies and become their next narcissistic victim.

  • Teresa

    November 14th, 2014 at 5:03 AM

    My husband and I have been together over ten years,married nine. Typical behavior for him was compulsion to masturbate. Then when life changes happened, he progressed to chat lines and of course the online porn, and now with my job change which has me making an more significant amount than him, he’s progressed to contacting prostitutes and favored one that he believes he loves and is currently on a small trip to have his first physical affair and with her to boot.
    He’s been suffering from toxic shame for years due to childhood traumas and sexual abuse, even witnessing his dad rape his mom.
    I’ve been as supportive as I can and question if he’ll ever be able to recover since he’s been listening to the shame that he doesn’t deserve me and he’s done too much damage. So instead of finding the courage to get help he’s steeped in trying to get me to finally agree that he’s worthless along with his attempt at trying to escape in the sexual act.
    I’m at a loss.

  • recovery girl

    November 21st, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Its a terriable situation to be in for the addict and the partner. I would say to anyone go if they are not willing to recover, and I know that it not easy.
    My husband has been in recovery for three years and it has not been easy, the pain we have gone through, however he is a different man and as long as he stays there we will be a couple but should he ever return its over.

  • Carrie

    November 25th, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    It was over 2 years ago that this article was originally published. I had to read it and actually read it again to make sure I wasn’t missing something. There are ZERO reasons to NOT be afraid of dating someone in recovery from sexual addiction! You should be afraid VERY VERY VERY afraid VERY VERY VERY aware and VERY VERY VERY prepared with solid information before considering a relationship with a sex addict! I realize that my tone will appear strong and I hope it does. The caveat is I am not an angry person, not a judgmental person nor am I a glass half empty type of person. What I am is a realist, a partner of a sex addict who happens to take his recovery very seriously. However, I would never support an article or argument that there is a single reason one should NOT be afraid. For those of you reading this article, make no mistake about it, sexual addiction is a SERIOUS addiction that can have a devastating effect on the addict, partner everyone involved. It is wildly misunderstood, not treated properly (or at all) by many therapists (who may not have the training and/or are not skilled in their training with this addiction). The bottom line is that while a sex addict can be in recovery, only the addict really knows if they are maintaining their sobriety or not and while they may not be ‘acting out’ recovery from sex addiction is a LIFETIME COMMITMENT it is not TEMPORARY! That means if you are a partner it is a lifetime commitment for you as well. Don’t take it lightly. Read as much as you can about it first…just don’t read this article again. Ugh!

  • H

    February 6th, 2017 at 10:14 PM

    I agree so much with you. I wish I knew before hand what this sick ex was like before I got lured into her narcissistic, predatory trap. I’m not a angry person either. I love people. But the sex addict may indeed be a monster in human form. Can an addict recover? Anything is possible in prayer. But the sex addict, especially what I know about female sex addicts, is a creature all its own. They sexualize everything. They lead 2 different lives and can seem to themselves to have a split personality. The girl I knew had a dad that molested her but I believe that her mom is guilty for the damage that this girl has mentally as well. I think her mom became a surrogate pimp. Bad parenting should be illegal and people should be locked up. It can corrupt a society. She resorted to selling her services on a popular sugar daddy website for mutual beneficial means. Prostitution. Her mom set her up with older men too. Unbelievable. I didn’t see any of this coming toward me. It broke me heart. For a article to give any reason to date a sex addict shows just how toxic and dangerous the internet is. Any body can say anything. Porn addiction is sky rocketing because of the internet and sex addicts, especially female ones, can go for years in secret because of the ample ability of online prostitution and secretive ads to meet up discreetly. The girl I knew would get assaulted and like any addict, would stop for a bit and then, START RIGHT BACK UP. I wish I never met this EX MACHINA (just like the character from the movie. I bet most female sex addicts relate to that character from the movie).

  • Carrie

    November 25th, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    I hit the send button too soon…I kept reading more posts AND still feel like someone hit me upside the head with a 2×4. Here is the deal – addict or partner or potential future partners simply need to be informed PERIOD. When you are informed you can make the decision that is best for you. I only plead that anyone considering such a relationship DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY! For those of you who are like me, married to a SA who takes his recovery seriously (understand that I know without hesitation that could change in a nano second) there are great books you can read that are FOCUSED and PURPOSEFUL for the partner. That has been one of the most frustrating things about SA is the lack of support for the partner. Sexual addiction is horrifically selfish and when the partner discovers that recovery is all about the addict and there is N O T H I N G out there to support them it can be even more painful for the partner. There are support groups SANON and COSA but nothing against them – they were sporadic and not a good fit for me. But what I have done is read. And it has helped me. Here are books that I would recommend looking into: Mending a Shattered Heart by Stephanie Carnes (breakthrough book for me to learn SA is NOT NOT NOT a reflection on me as a woman and my ability to keep his attention! It teaches you how to take care of yourself and understand the disease – I met therapists that didn’t know this believe it or not) Facing Heartbreak also by Stephanie Carnes (this is awesome and more like a workbook) Intimate Treason by Claudia Black AND A couples guide to Sexual Addiction by Paldrom Collins and George Collins. Give those a try partners. Hope they are helpful!

  • Tracey

    August 21st, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Great list of books thank you! I’d like to add the list…My Sexually Addicted Spouse, Barbara Steffens. It is very helpful for those of us that don’t fit the codependent/coaddict model but showing PTSD symptoms from relational trauma.

  • Anonymous

    January 7th, 2015 at 7:53 PM

    Where to start…
    I was an addict up until Aug 2014.
    Then the inevitable happened, my wife found a text and my entire world as I knew it completely imploded.

    The gist of it was that I was seeing sex workers for 5 years. This started after the birth of our first child and continued during our second child and subsequent stopped after my wife found the text message and took the boys out of our family home.

    I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist but if anything the past 5 months of counseling and going to Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) has taught me is that typically one becomes an addict due to a disturbing or psychological impact that has been inflicted on the individual that has never really been treated, typically during childhood. No I am not looking for pity, that is just generally the reality.

    So why the response on this blog then?
    Well when I realized I was an addict, I jumped onto the net to find out what the chances of my recovery were, I was completely naïve to this addiction…I was very shocked that 9 out of 10 blogs on most sites were by partners pleading for their addicts to take responsibility of their condition or that they had re-offended on many occasions and once an addict always an addict. I made a promise to myself that when I got to my stage of being strong enough to posting a blog and a better understanding of the addiction, then I would post a blog to say that recovery is achievable.

    So hopefully this blog will provide hope for the addicts out there wanting to recover, if you have a desire and a will to fix yourself then in my humble opinion you have to stop the denial and get to the cause of the problem/trigger.
    The 2nd and 3rd steps is to find a professional that can guide and support you through this process as well as going to some therapy groups like SAA.
    From there the road to recovery will be long and bumpy but so much better than the alternate road which dark and lonely which only makes you feel worthless.

    I have been 5 months “dry” now and I am fortunate I have got to the bottom of my issues, that is not to say that this has been easy on any of the family, I live with that shame daily but I will never take a backward step.

    To the partners of addicts out there, I hope you can take something away from this especially in identifying if your addict has a desire to recover and be clean again, I wish you strength and will always be amazed by your empathy.

    This is never easy on the victim, the addict or potentially new partner but everyone is entitled to one chance to make amends.


  • Susan J

    March 23rd, 2015 at 4:50 AM

    I am married to a sex addict who has been in treatment for over a year. Too exhausted to write details. I do not want to be divorced again. Too humiliating. Depression has returned with a vengeance after realizing this is not going away. I have no one to talk to about this who understands. In a bad emotional place. wish there was a group like this near me.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    March 23rd, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Susan. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Nala

    April 7th, 2015 at 6:06 AM

    I’ve been in a relationship with a sex addict for 5 1/2 yrs. He has been in recovery for over a yr. seeing a sex addiction counselor, going to group meetings & just completed his 1st step in a 12 step program. After supporting him through all of this, he now says that he doesn’t feel he can meet my expectations for a relationship nor does he have the skills to make me happy. He says he feels inadequate. Because he is also codependant, he says this leads him to want to do things that don’t feel natural to him to try to make me happy. He says he needs to focus on himself & wants to break up & just be friends. It sounds to me like maybe he is just scared that I would compromise his recovery or is it just a nice way of letting me down easy?

  • Anonymous

    August 23rd, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    I posted a blog on the 7th of Jan.
    I was a SA and this month marks the one-year anniversary of me being “dry”.

    Recovery is hard, really hard… but I have been extremely fortunate that my wife has been forgiving and open to try and understand why the addiction took hold of me in the first place.

    Therefore for those SA’s seeking some hope that recovery is possible and achievable, then YES you can do it if you WANT to change.

    This does not mean that my wife and I are 100% now, I would say we are 90% there but as majority of the partners of SA’s have commented on above, intimacy is one of the final pieces to complete our puzzle. But it is a complex piece that will take time to solve. As you are all aware, there is so much deep emotion and trust wrapped into this topic that we could spend days on discussing intimacy.
    This is our next chapter of recovery and time with honesty and transparency will hopefully bring us even closer as a couple.

    My opinion/comment about partners saying that their SA’s are not wanting to commit to therapy or workshops that they have/are recommending is that (IMHO) it is a rather simple equation – if SA’s are really committed and dedicated to their partners, then they should be willing to explore anything to get their relationship back on track….a relationship is about two people wanting the same thing…each other. If they are not keen to do any therapy sessions etc, then they are probably not that invested emotionally into the relationship and that should be a sign to you that you possibly need to consider that this person is not really meant for you – again that is my humble opinion.

    SA’s – Stay strong and focused on your recovery!
    Partners to SA – Please don’t give up on us, some of us will find a way to make it work!


  • Ellen

    August 24th, 2015 at 4:42 AM

    Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for your reply. I really do appreciate hearing the opinions of SA’s. Congrats on your one year of sobriety!

  • SRiA

    October 8th, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    (Male SA. I need yr answers pls)

    Hi, I had dated a SA for abt 7mths.
    We had a long distance relationship which caused me hard to figure out his sex addiction. I m not sure I am lucky or unlucky to have found out that soon.

    He cried when i found him cheating and claims he is a victim of himself.
    He paints me dreams of future and promises of marriage. He says he loves me and do not wish to hurt me so he let me go.
    But he is manipulative and controlling. He even want to decide the earring i wore.
    But… I loved him.

    I broke off after finding him not caring for my feelings. Cheated on me. He makes me fear of the future.
    Wats worst is his sex addiction coupled with sex spanking.

    He says sex is like air to him. So when i request to stop sex for time beinf. He calls for breakup.

    I want to know
    1) if he doesnt wan to face it, any help ?
    2) is he capable of love
    3) what is the future for SA if he dun seek treatment. Please advice. Thanks.

  • Unrealistic Article

    December 14th, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    There is no such thing as a “recovered” addict. Addicts are addicts forever. Sex addicts, in particular, cease normal emotional development, usually in childhood. This means they are usually incapable of intimacy, AND empathy, AND honesty. And “sex” (or rather, the neuro-chemical overproduction high they produce by “acting out”) is a drug they can do forever without outward physical signs, which is why they almost never tell a romantic partner about a relapse.

    The assumptions implicit in this article are dangerous. If you read this article and believe it, then at least make sure you have no children, always use condoms, and keep your finances separate.

    Because that is the closest you can get to safety.

  • Male Victim

    February 6th, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    have been the VICTIM of an S.L.A. FEMALE.. In her 50s, looks like shes a beautiful 43 for 5 yrs. I live in Florida. She came into my life and got me to fall head over heels for her.. We constantly made love, she constantly kissed me.. We never had a fight.. It was ALL to get me and my heart. She PREYED on me and later told me she did.. 4 months into the relationship, she told me she was S.L.A., which I didn’t even understand. She left me 2 months later, said we were too intimate . 5 months later came back. This happened 6 times.. SLA’s have the power to ‘addict’ we victims to them. I am living proof.. She left me in Dec, 3 days before Christmas for an older rich guy with a view of the ocean. I am left with a broken heart and ruined life.. LISTEN TO ME, NEVER DATE AN SLA!!!!! NEVER , She told me one night she wished she could kill every man on earth.. Her father tried to make out with her at 16 yrs old and stuck his hand down her pants.. All I know is, they can NOT love.. They use their beauty and sex as WEAPONS, only the victim doesn’t know he’s under attack.. I believe a CRIMINAL law should be made about S.L.A’s .. She ASSAULTED me.. My life and my happiness .

  • Leigh

    February 11th, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    You have GOT to be kidding me! The partner of a sex addict is absolutely and completely destroyed. Years, decades of a life is taken and thrown away as everything the partner thought they knew is proven to be a lie. Sex addict, recovering or recovered are NOT safe people. If you meet one, don’t date them…run away…as fast as you can. This is an uninformed, irresponsible and dangerous article. Shame!

  • Reese

    February 22nd, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    Known my sex addict for 10 years. Married for 8. Discovered the addiction 6 years ago. He “went into recovery” 4 years ago…..expensive therapy, several groups a week, sponsor, spiritual direction, etc…….all of it was a lie. He continued to act out, and simply lied to the expensive therapists, the group members, myself, everyone. AND, he got much better at lying because now he knew all the buzz words from the therapy sessions and meetings. He can really “talk the talk”, but when it came down to it, he was never “walking the walk”. Beware beware beware. This is not an addiction that can be healed easily (or in my opinion at all). Luckily I got my own help 4 years ago, and started on a path that allowed me not to get as devastated as I did the first time. And, you know what my new, better, sense of self-worth has taught me……get your husband out of the house. Sad to say, but I believe that my higher self-esteem is in fact the thing that has allowed me to move on from this marriage. The devastating effects on the partner are palpable. Partners, get healthy, then get out. You don’t need this drama for the rest of your life. You are worth it to be in a relationship where the other person doesn’t lie and cheat (or as the therapeutic community puts it “relapses”….whatever).

  • Gregory

    March 6th, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Hi , my name is Greg and over the last couple weeks I have been coming to terms with myself as a sex addict. I am 34 years old and have never had an intimate relationship during my adult years . The last girlfriend I had was when I was 16. My story starts with me getting molested as a young boy and then getting ridiculed by family and friends about that incident saying that I brought it on myself . The person responsible was never held accountable other than being made to apologize to me. Not long after that is when I was exposed to pornography which then led to masturbation , which I was doing even before my body could produce semen. Then about 10 to 12 years ago is when I went out and had sex for the first time with a sex worker . After that first encounter I went home and cried in the shower until it was time to go to sleep. The guilt and the shame I felt didn’t stop me though because I would masturbate frequently and then about every 3 months go find a sex worker. It is a vicious cycle that has done nothing but push that part of me into a state of loneliness and isolation. Then I started visiting strip clubs , actually became a regular at one. I enjoyed it because the girls would actually talk with me, even if it was just for money. I craved just to have that conversation , that interaction with the opposite sex and that was the only way I knew how to get it because if I tried any other way I would just be shrugged off. I ended up meeting a really sweet girl while at the strip club , we developed a pretty good platonic relationship with each other. We actually did stuff together outside of the club and when she told me she never wanted to do this stuff again I encouraged her and helped her get out of that lifestyle. We were pretty good friends for a little more than 4 years during which time my visiting sex workers had ceased and my masturbation had slowed quite a bit . But then things went bad as she started dating an individual and we saw less of each other. She then tells me she was dating a guy but broke it off with him for certain reasons . It wasn’t to much longer after that , that our friendship suffered because of certain things entailed to that situation. After that I go back to acting out again , the masturbation and then when that isn’t enough the visiting a sex worker. I am not proud of any of this , I absolutely hate it . Because of it I consistently ask myself what self respecting woman would ever want anything to do with someone like me and I can’t think of any. Be that as it may I am still committed to beating this addiction because I can feel how it was gaining a powerful influence over my life. My heart hurts because of it all , there are many times that I feel completely unworthy of being loved or cared about. To those leary of dating a sex addict you have every right to be leary and every right to run as far as possible away from it. Even if I am a good person when not acting out I still cause quite a bit of damage through my acting out. I don’t ask for sympathy for I don’t deserve it. I have sought out a support group on my own and actually attended my first meeting on friday. I know this will be a long and difficult process but it is a process that I must endure and have no choice but to succeed in. I will not be the person that I was , I will be the person that I need to be . I will be that person not only for my betterment but also for the betterment of others. For those of you who are willing I just ask that you would keep me in your prayers. And for the abused partners I send out a sincere apology , this is an addiction that we choose to let control us no matter the hurt it brings to those that love us unconditionally and that is wrong and abhorrent and I am sorry that you have had to go through that. At this writing I am proud to say that I am 2 weeks clean of seeing a sex worker and 6 days clean of masturbation. Thank you for reading .

  • Jules

    March 29th, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Praying for you, Gregory.

  • Gregory M.

    April 3rd, 2016 at 7:05 AM

    Hi my name is Greg.

    I am a recovering sex addict of the age of 27.yes young I know know but here I am.
    It upsets me to see people on here saying never to give a recovered sex addict a chance, I understand that these people may have been hurt by their spouse’s even traumatised but to say never to trust one is slightly unfair. Every person is different meaning every sex addict is different too, I think the outcome all comes down to commitment, does the sex addict really want to change their life around and make a difference, look forward and not back, leave behind all the negativity and focus on becoming who they really want to be.?i know I did.
    I’ve been in recovery for 7-8 months and it’s consumed basically my whole life since I got caught. Recovery has not been easy, anyone who says it is are basically lieing and are not committed to their recovery. I’ve lost everything my beautiful fiancée my house and my self respect. I had everything I wanted but my addiction ruled my life, I was paranoid, I lacked intimacy, and now my life and my ex’s life is completely different to how we wanted and expected it to be. The reason she left me was because I was not honest I had plenty of opportunities to confess but could not do it for the life of me, I was so ashamed and disgusted with my actions that I couldn’t even own up to the person I loved the most. My addiction took me to places I could never have imagined, made me carry out acts that I have to live with forever. But the worst thing of all that I have to live with is losing my soul mate. I feel sorry for sex addicts, they truly are ill, it destroys their way of thinking, it ruins every single aspect of their life. I’m basically writing this to get other addicts to not make the same mistakes I have. I thought I was invincible and I’d never get caught, how naive I was. I promise you someday sometime you will get caught and it will ruin your life and the ones your loved ones to, so word of advice as hard as it is own up now not tomorrow not after acting out one more time, do it now, the sooner you seek help the sooner your life will become better. If your worried about your spouse leaving you, she may appreciate your honesty and respect you for being honest, all be it if things go tits up for a bit. Trust me if I could rewind the clock I would rather own up rather than getting caught.
    Im now depressed and each day is a struggle, I will beat this and come out the other side but it will take time. I am fully committed to becoming a better person, after the mess this has caused I never want to feel like this again. So in order to become a better person I know I must work hard and make drastic changes in my life.
    I have been having therapy for 7 months now and it has definitely helped my therapist has brought me back from the dead so to say. I do attend a 12 step program although due to work commitments I can only attend a certain amount a week.
    Basically in a nut shell I believe people can change and sex addicts can change, yes there are people out there who don’t want help and continue to lie and cheat but there are people who do want to change I myself being one of them. I am disappointed in people saying not to give addicts a chance. once they have battled there demons and learned from their mistakes, then I believe they are ready to be given another chance. yes triggers and urges will always be there but it’s about choice and making the right decisions. I myself have relapsed and it does knock you back but it’s how you bounce back and learn from them, I will continue to strive to be a better person and break free from this so I can live a happy honest intimate life.
    To all the other sex addicts out there… Stay strong.

  • SRiA

    April 3rd, 2016 at 8:17 PM


    I struggled if my ex is a sex addict.
    We first knew each other through long time colleagues. Then he invited me to his place in london and then we set for travel. Jump straight into my bed the night we were in same room. I guess i myself love sex too and too vunerable to reject it.
    We dated and things became wonderful. We were so right for each other, like a copied version as we matches well. Our nicks for each other is copycat.
    Everything went well Until he was so nice to other women when i wasnt around. And he invited a gal to sleep in his hotel room.
    Maybe he isnt a sex addict? Just being insensitive to my feelings?
    I do not know. As at point of break up i initiated, he told me that he only wan to be my husband and father of my children. He gave me promises after promises. And in less than 2 months he bed another woman. And within 6 mths. He dated other women when he was still in contact with me and working out to coming back in our relationship. I cannot trust him and finally got disappointed.
    Our relationship had another layer of challenge. He and were physical apart after our trip. He is in Europe. I m in Asia.
    So now he is here in Asia after 9 mths of break up and the intention was to see if we could revive our relationship but 3 wks ago i found him dating a new gal again and threw nasty dirty comments on him.
    I met him yesterday and upon seeing him. My heart went tender again but he is very persistent in no sex as he do not wish to hurt me. We both cried and he says we will move on.
    I feel sore in my heart but i realised nobody will say tis is the right relationship for marriage.

    I just do not understand tat how he could know very well tat we matches soooo many aspects in life n give it up.
    He lost his job a few mths ago and i never once left him. Encouragemt and always being there for him. He say i m his stronghold
    I really wan to be his best friend, partner, wife and take care of him to laugh and play with him. We both have flaws but I wanted God to be the center of our love. Its sad isnt it?

  • Ellen

    April 3rd, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Until one week ago, I thought my husband had eight years of active recovery with 3 or 4 minor porn slips. Turns out he has been relapsing for 3 1/2 years. He was attending meetings and lying to the other addicts at his meetings. I’m in a better place than when he originally began his recovery, but I no longer think he is capable of beating this addiction.
    Now our kids are old enough to understand that daddy’s moving out. Explaining this mess to them is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. One of the reasons I chose to stay in this marriage was so we could keep the family together. I wanted the kids to have their mom and dad. I gambled with their well-being and they are paying my debt.

    At this point, if someone were to ask me if they should date a recovering sex addict, I would tell them not to. There are too many other people out there to choose from. The risk involved in a serious relationship with a recovering sex addict is too great. If you’re at the dating stage, I would suggest you move on.

  • Ellen

    December 3rd, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    To any spouses of sex addicts that happen across this post:
    I have found an incredible support group for infidelity survivors, isurvivors.org
    This is not an ad. It’s free. Weekly telephone/internet meetings for sex addict’s spouses. The members are there to support you in your endeavors to heal yourself from the damage done by your sex addict partner/husband.

  • Jenn

    April 29th, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Sex addict here, 28 years old. I’m working on myself just like everyone else in the world is. I just find myself at a loss when I read comments that put all sex addicts in a bunch together as a group, and then say that they can’t ever fully recover or are liars or are all manipulative or whatever. We’re like everyone else in the world. There isn’t really a “we”. I don’t think smokers are all alike. I would never say smokers are stressed out, unhealthy people as a group. People can make assumptions or observations about what a particular aspect of a group of people looks like, but putting it out there on the Internet as solid information is hurtful. And untrue.

  • H

    February 6th, 2017 at 10:30 PM

    Jenn, not trying to be judgmental. I’m glad you are working on yourself. Female sex addicts may have it the worse because any guy thinks a girl who wants sex all the time is a jackpot. And most guys are willing to have sex with absolutely, unashamedly, any girl. Which isn’t pretty. But, there is a m.o. for sex addicts that make them lethal. I certainly hope that you are continuing on your journey and are avoiding the pitfalls that this sexualized society has placed out there. God helps. He truly is the best answer. That and support, and a very good accountability partner who is no nonsense and who has gone down that path as well. And also a behavioral therapy program. I’m sure you know about all these things. It’s just after meeting and finally being free from this last girl that I knew, it showed how horrific, selfish and dark the world can be. Thankfully God can restore all things and bring beauty back into our lives I wish the best for you. You can do it.

  • Jenn

    February 7th, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    In reply to “H”: I find the generalizations you are making about people to be hurtful. “Female sex addicts” shouldn’t be lumped into one category. Everyone is different. “Most guys” shouldn’t be a category either. Every person is different, every story is different.
    As an update, I am recovering and doing well. Behavioral therapy has helped. But I think what has helped me the most has been the experience of intimacy with a safe partner. After experiencing what healthy sex feels like, I am able to recognize sexual thoughts that are not part of the safe, healthy, sacred sexual space that I can only share with my partner. I shared my body with many people, and never once experienced what it felt like to be intimate with someone. Having the opportunity to experience intimacy is what has helped me the most. I never want to go back to the numbness that a relapse would give me.

  • Shane

    September 8th, 2016 at 7:05 AM

    My partner and I were together 4 months before he disclosed that he previously struggled with sex addiction. Shocked was not the word initially but how can one not have some form of understanding, especially if they recognize the development of unconditional love in the relationship. Openly communicating, discovering various underlying causes, and getting to the root of this issue hasn’t been easy and we are still working daily. I will say, he is composed, grounded, and is able to avoid issue for the most part. There is still a favor toward porn so as it stands, occasionally we will watch it together in an intimate fashion, it is however being phased out but everything is a process I have learned. The most difficult part of this entire thing for me is having to deal with the sex not being what I feel it should be. I am daily having to make myself realize there is nothing wrong with me physically, mentally, emotionally (well, at times there is). I had to learn and understand that many men who suffer from sex addiction, even in recovery are so trained to be with a different person at times that sex with the same person does not keep their interest and they are unable to perform without extreme effort if at all sometimes. Psychology recommends the partner choosing to perform regardless of their reluctance due to previous circumstances and says that doing this is actually healthy. There are times when I just want to shatter into a million pieces from all the strength, trust, and confidence the supporting partner MUST have in order to keep both regulation and order in a relationship if it is truly long-term oriented. I am so thankful to have a partner who is able to practice control and no give into temptation. It is a daily struggle internally, and tons of prayer for both strength, support, and that there are not relapses or slip ups.

  • H

    February 7th, 2017 at 9:49 PM

    Jenn – Whether we like to admit it or not, there is a profile to sex abusers. This is no place to be ‘P.C.’ There’s a pattern to why people grow up and act out and there’s a pattern to male addicts and there’s a pattern to female addicts. That’s the truth. Unfortunately, but it’s the truth. What’s hurtful is the pain inflicted by addicts to their victims using something sacred and good as sex. I for one believe that it’s meant to be for your life ‘partner,’ not just some girl or dude one finds themselves going out with. But hey, that’s for each to figure out. Sex by an addict is devalued and defamed into a narcissistic tool and is made to look vulgar, perverse and utilitarian.
    I repeat again that I’m glad to hear that you are in recovery. But I don’t know quite what to say about a ‘safe ”’partner”’ being the savior. I have a big problem with that. A big problem. God is what brings healing. Also, the support of friends, a great no nonsense, accountable sponsor and behavioral therapy. And again, GOD. I’m voicing my opinion like anyone else on here. And believe me when I say that I’m using restraint. I don’t hate anyone but I know very well what sex addiction looks like with women. I know the research, and I know by experience. My ‘generalizations’ are accurate and haven’t even gone into the half of it.

  • Mike

    March 6th, 2017 at 4:09 PM

    Hi Erin, I recently found an online blog by a woman who is a sex addict. She has a few kids at home as well. After reading the details of her daily escapades the level of depravity is U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.A.B.L.E! I think this blog speaks for itself as to how depraved sex addicts are and how depraved the acts that they do are. What your mind allows you to imagine can’t scratch the surface. It is not hyperbole to call them SOCIOPATHS. They are indeed, at the base level, extreme narcissists and that in and of itself is not a red flag, it’s a call to arms. A narcissist is one of the most vile, dangerous traits a human being can have. Sociopaths are narcissists. Think about that. I believe that his subject of sex addicts and their link to narcissism could stop right there and it would be enough for any victim to run away from a sex addicts.
    My ex was horribly molested by her dad when she was 6 years old. I understand that this is probably one of the worse things that can happen to a child. It is a destructive, immoral, sincerely evil act. But she has grown up to mirror this child molestor’s behavior. She hunts for her latest sexual conquest on tinder because society has legitimized tinder as normal and because it seems that “everyone uses tinder.” She also uses the online prostitution website seeking arrangements to get paid for her indiscretions. Why am I saying all of this? Some may actually feel that what I’ve just written so far, isn’t bad. And this is why sex addicts are truly one of the worse conditions to have: Society doesn’t know where to fall on the issue of sexuality. Even if its for pay. And sex addicts can hide for years by leading double lives with this condition while no one will step in and say something. People will just say that they have a ‘high sex drive.’ People will causally laugh about it. People will say that sex between adults aren’t hurting ‘anyone.’ All of this is a lie. But it’s a lie from ignorance. When a sex addict ‘acts out,’ it’s part of a psychological cycle of denial, self pity, obsession with food or alcohol, shopping or gambling, seclusion, self pity and then hunting for a new victim to satisfy their narcissism all over again. It does hurt people, themselves, their children, their wives or husbands, their future luckless mates.
    The mind of a sex addict is very fantasy driven and also very, very depraved. It is also highly destructive. It’s not a coincidence that many sex addicts perform S&M and call any other kind of sex, as ‘vanilla,’ It’s also not a coincidence that the young woman I unfortunately knew, since she had been raped by her dad, seeks to simulate the rape experience in her sex life. For added measure, she prefers much older men, which shouldn’t take much to conclude why (father figure).
    You would rather wish your enemy to be a heroin addict than a sex addict. A sex addict is visibly seen and people will not make general excuses for them. A heroin addict, when they need their fix can be volatile, dangerous, manipulative liars. But the sex addict is under cover, and society not only doesn’t know enough about them, they are duplicitous about online porn, online prostitution, hooking up and sex addicts who they think are just ‘nymphs’s’ and call it a good thing. Female sex addicts have it worse and men, ignorantly actively seek them out. They will almost, ALWAYS, have an std or two. Herpes can virtually be guaranteed.
    Sex addicts lead a double life for years. Some, like this girl that I unfortunately knew, thought that she may have a split personality.
    But I must stress that sex addicts do not feel remorse like normal functioning adults do. Their childhood development got somehow disrupted, and how they bond and communicate has severely been corrupted. They will not only cheat on their loved ones physically, they will betray you emotionally, all the time – daily, hourly. If you are not married to a sex addict and you have found out about this person’s diagnosis, count it a blessing and run like hell. I understand that as a loving husband or wife, you have history with this person and a strong sense of love and commitment. You’ve experienced all the stages of psychological bonding, filial love, agape love, eros, companionship love – everything – and I know that it is unnatural emotionally and mentally to discard this kind of commitment. But I’m telling you, you have been in a relationship with a narcissistic, damaged, devious con artist who has been deceiving you and maybe themselves (maybe). And you are doing yourself the best thing possible by staying away from the manipulation, gas lighting, deceit, and unknown betrayal that has not only happened already but will continue to happen if you stay with them. But this time it will be horrible for you and their gas lighting and betrayal may damage you (whatever you think you know about their betrayal and deceit and double life in the past is only the tip of the iceberg). They are expert manipulators.
    By the way, if I can find the link to the website of one particular sex addict online that I’ve found, I’ll post it. Many sex addicts like to keep a record (like sociopaths). And this one is curious because she’s so anonymously open and prides herself about how pretty she is and how easy it is to find sexy, sort of sexy, dumb horny men. And is quite illustrative about what she does and allows. It’s really, really bad news. The worse news. And reading how her mind works and the mechanics of her sex rendezvous would blow your mind and repulse you on a level you can’t imagine. After reading some of her accounts, if you can reconnect back with a husband or wife after getting insight into how the sex addict gets their fix, then by all means try to make it work.
    I really believe forgiveness is key – not for them, I really do, but for you, especially if you are a Christian and believe in Jesus as I do. But your emotions should not be the tool used in determining what to do next. Especially when they start explaining all of the reasons why they did the things they have done and then start begging to take them back (if they do want to be back with you). Just know that they will attempt to manipulate you because they’ve learned at a young age to be good at it. They will lie. Trust me. Lie’s are on the way. Can you change? I think anything is possible but only God can change them. And if your spouse is an atheist like the girl I knew was, then, well, you already know what I think about their prognosis.

  • erin

    March 6th, 2017 at 5:54 PM

    whoa….thanks for the very lengthy email. I appreciate all of your comments. they are helpful. see…I’m learning I’m very co- dependent and this person was a perfect storm for me to try and rescue. we are both Christians….and I do believe in the healing power of God but He gives us free will so if my partner won’t continue his recovery process after the in patient rehab then it’s a lost cause. my family and friends are concerned I’m going to fall back with him. they think my purpose has been served to have lead him to the rehab center and also let his family know the extent of the addiction so they can monitor him. I feel guilty if I walk away but that feeling is starting to fade and it’s being replaced with deep remorse for what I’ve been through. imagine …me being actually hurt by finding the most vial stuff on his phone…and it was only a 2 week snapshot of his secret life. he’s been at it for 20 years. I’m feeling foolish for the amount I put out to show him love.
    I could never trust him again. he is not my spouse so I guess that’s good. we both have no kids and I live in my own. he is living with parents. I’m grieving alot this week. I miss hanging out with him even though we had nothing in common. I miss cuddling. but now the thought of us cuddling doesn’t feel safe. he used to tell me even my head on his shoulder in my sofa or me tickling his arm while we enjoyed tv would have him instantly thinking of sex with me. I was flattered that I could get him that turned on by such a tiny loving act but now I look back in disgust. I’m angry now but I do forgive him for all the lies and pain but I cannot forget. I must protect myself and my heart….and my.body too.
    I would welcome comments from sex and porn addicts in recovery. I’m listening to all of your comments very seriously and I pray you are all doing well. to those in recovery and trying your best to be your best I commend you but to those being shady and deceptive you’re only fooling yourself and hurting someone else deeper than you realize. keep your emails coming. it’s truly helping with my healing. I don’t expect to hear from partner for about a week then it’s going to get interesting….I will be invited to participate in his treatment plan and therapy.
    I’m.afraid of i walk away while he’s in rehab he will have no.hope when he gets out and relapse. the percentage of relapse is something like 95%? I read. that’s crazy!
    I just ask you not get too graphic with things you read…learn about or want to share. they are triggers for me and it’s upsetting. graphic details of what I already kind of know isn’t helpful . he has not gone to escorts yet but I believe gebwas headed there. oh one thing? he said he aimed at a gopher crossing street one night and enjoyed killing the animal then tried to kill a gopher in his yard throwing a rock at the gopher narrowly missing his skull. he did tell me he lacked empathy for others and could say really blunt and mean things to me . what a that?

  • erin

    March 4th, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    hi friends…
    so after almost 3 years with porn sex addict bf, I told his sister. we both acted quickly after I found in his phone young teen sites ( probably illegal), escorts…S&M..rape..u name it. I was done. we got a family intervention put together from very out of the loop parents who had no idea. their son is 40 and I guess his quiet isolation made them not question his deep depravity. anyway…we all presented him with his options. he is now away for months at an inpatient treatment facility. he wants me part of his recovery but to be honest…I’m recovering now catching up on sleep from being emotionally drained and ptsd symptoms. I also don’t think I could ever trust him again ever. I’m going to visit him next week but I may have to fake it while he’s in there as I don’t want him losing hope. so many earned me about staying. deception…cheating…apathy..yea. that’s exactly what I signed up for. imagine reading this stuff on someone’s dating profile? or how about your kid sister telling u this trash about her new boyfriend. we stay because we need help too. codependence, guilt, fear, pity.. whatever the case…this is not a healthy or quality relationship we deserve to be in. its punishment…it’s playing therapist…it’s paranoia…it’s insecurity X1000, it’s not good for us. a lifetime of this would surely kill me. I’m.done. are you?

  • Mike

    March 4th, 2017 at 11:37 PM

    Erin, sorry to hear about that boyfriend. But you’re in a lot of trouble and worse heartache if you go back to that dude. If you truly only knew to what level a sex addict goes and how they think you wouldn’t be able to handle it. It’s beyond bad. And add narcissism to this, which they are, and you have someone who secretly feels that their perversity and fix is owed to them. Get emotional support right away and do all you can to heal away from this person and forgive. But, unless there’s a miracle from God that they are seeking to recover, they will hurt you again and again and destroy any kind of living sense that you have about the world and yourself.

  • erin

    March 5th, 2017 at 12:20 PM

    hey Mike
    thank you. Are you speaking from experience? I hear the urgency in your message and believe me I hear you. I’m nervous about what I will say to him. he has over 5 more weeks to go in in patient. my fear is that because he was coerced into going that the the recovery won’t stick and I’ll be back to playing accountability partner and always checking and asking. I’m sure my constant questioning and insecurities got on his nerves but my goodness, he was leading a double life with little remorse.
    weird question….
    he told me he found pleasure in running over a gopher he saw crossing the street one night and tried to kill one with a rock as well. is there any correlation? the empathy thing seems missing there.

  • erin

    March 5th, 2017 at 12:41 PM

    one more thing….I’m going to a therapist now once a week and joining 2 support groups. one for codependents and one for women who are or were partners of sex or porn addicts.
    I really do care for him and if he wants recovery badly enough I suppose it’s possible he will heal but to be honest, he’s not one to be filled with gumption. no ambition or motivation. the odds aren’t good for his recovery.
    I just never realized it was so severe. the stuff he viewed was unbelievably disturbing. I guess it’s true when the stats say an addict needs more and more crazy stuff to get there. the odd thing was? he was very tender and loving behind closed doors with me. he definitely would let me know though that he ogled other women constantly like an obsession and I knew I wasn’t his type as he told me he was into tiny young blondes. I’m an older brunette who’s got 10 lbs in him. though he’s very very thin. unhealthy thin. he’s been not so kind to me as far as being a solid man…kind boyfriend…loving partner…Godly leader. no. but never was brutal to me like some of the creepy stuff I saw he viewed. that day for me was traumatic. most girls only know of the porn addiction. they don’t get the luxury of reading the titles of the multitude of sites the guy was on or the excessive time stamps.
    I lost my job over this. I’m.utterly devastated. can barely get out of bed. I’ll be ok. I’m a strong person. this was just such a blow to me as a compassionate and giving loving girlfriend. what a slap in the face. I’m deeply hurt. feel foolish. scared. removed and detatched. can I ever trust again. he seems to think we will be a couple when this rehab is over as we have a history together. I just can’t see that happening. please email me more. your words have me additional strength. I have a good family and friends support. good church. I need to muster up the strength now.

  • Shane

    March 5th, 2017 at 9:24 PM

    Well, looking back on my post from 2016 and the confidence and assurance I appeared, and by all means at that time did in fact possess, has all by completely disappeared. After going through different stages of my relationship, I discovered that everything I was told was a lie. All that I was promised was never intended to come to fruition and I am now told that the struggle not only exists on a daily basis to go back into a the lifestyle of open relationships and random sex, but that he wants this.

  • erin

    March 6th, 2017 at 9:58 AM

    Shane…I’m so sorry. wow, what a nightmare. I’m in the very beginning stages of being in limbo while my boyfriend just started in patient treatment for 6 weeks. u have absolutely no idea how I’m expected to trust him or feel the same about him when I see him in a week. it’s all so awful. I joined some support groups and have a therapist. I’m crawling out from this hole of utter despair and slowly getting my life back. I’m in no way healed yet and what’s going to happen when he contacts me from rehab and I’m expected to visit and be part of his therapy while I’m trying desperately to get over him. my fear is his intense treatment won’t stick either. you’re proof of that. so that’s it then? your guy chose to return to that sicko lifestyle? you’re done, right? any advice for me would be helpful. I feel guilty just abandoning him. not sure if I could do that. my family is so worried for me. I can see why.

  • Tracey

    March 6th, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Shane, I went back and read your 2016 post. I see your struggle then to do what we are told we need to do and be in order to support the addict. I’m not sure if he was working a 12 step? My husband is in SAA and while I was willing to follow your path to support his recovery to keep our marriage, he did not want to reconcile. At the time I felt so rejected. In retrospect, and now especially after seeing your post, I am thinking it was a blessing. Sex addiction is real, the relapses are real, and the path of destruction it causes is real. I know it will be a journey for you to pick up the pieces (once again) and hope you find the strength to do what is right for YOU.

  • Ellen

    March 6th, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Shane…I’m sorry to hear things have take a turn for the worse in your relationship. As I’m sure you know, this is very common in relationships with sex addicts and it is so painful. I’ve done sooooo much partners work and have found what I think is the best recipe for healing a relationship with a sex addict, if that is what you want.
    1. The addict has to want it. At first just to keep his/her relationship/family is okay, but it must become something the addict wants for himself/herself
    2. Intensive therapy for the addict/couple with a good CSAT. This can be tricky, because some of them have no business counseling others.
    3. A full therapeutic disclosure with the CSAT followed by a polygraph exam.
    4. Regular follow ups with the CSAT with polygraphs
    5. Individual therapy for the addict with serious work around childhood trauma and shame with a CSAT that has experience with EMDR
    6. Individual therapy for the partner to help heal the trauma and pain the addict has caused and to look at any unresolved issues the partner has.
    7. Complete willingness on the addicts part to help their partner heal
    8. Active participation in a twelve step program for the addict with a sponsor and accountability partners. No half measures.
    9. Support group for the partner
    10. Time. Some of these wounds only heal with time. It’s not uncommon for healing to take 5 years or more for the partner and relationship.
    11. A lifelong willingness to make recovery for the addict, the partner and the relationship a lifestyle. The disease never goes away.
    In short, it’s a crapload of work for the rest of your life and there are no absolute guarantees. Make sure that’s what you want.

  • Ang

    April 19th, 2017 at 8:18 PM

    I have recently discovered my partners numerous infidelities and sex addiction over the last 7 years-our entire relationship (and in his marriage before me). The confession was written in a suicide note. I don’t want to say I had NO idea because there were red flags (yes, I ignored), but I was shocked. Luckily he survived, but after taking 400 Tylenol and sleeping pills in an attempt at make sure he didn’t wake up he certainly wanted out of this life and was very close to death. It is evident that he is so disgusted and full of guilt and shame that he could not bear his actions or feelings of self hate any longer.

    He is seeing a CSAT and is in a 12 step program. He is also reading and doing the work in a Patrick Carnes book as well as the 12 step SA book. The fact that he is truly devastated, disgusted by his actions, is getting help and is committed to recovery gives me hope.

    I believe in second chances, not third in this case but we are all human and struggle to cope with negative emotions at some point in our lives i. e. when we are children, are grieving etc. My husband has to rewire his brain and learn how to cope with his self hate, low self esteem and depression/anxiety. If he does and can stay sober we will have an amazing life, but these steps must be taken and continue into perpetuity. This is a must.

    I love him with all of my heart and am happy he is taking steps to love himself now. I could not possibly be a weak person, this is the strongest I have ever had to be. I hope all of the comments above regarding narcissistic personality is not applicable here.

    Thank you for reading and any insight would be appreciated. I wish you all, sex addicts and partners, speedy healing to your hearts.

    As mentioned, the discovery is recent, only a month ago. I am trying to keep this as clinical as I possibly can but the confession and thoughts are haunting and disgusting. The deceit and betrayal so very hurtful I hope I can forgive. I have to get past this with or without him, so I am going to give it a shot with him.

  • Jenn

    April 21st, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Hi Ang,
    I’m an addict that’s been in recovery for over a year now. So I can’t begin to understand how you feel.
    I just felt compelled to respond to your post because reading it made me root for you both. You seem very articulate and level-headed and he is just so very lucky to have you by his side. I wish you both all the best. I hope he can turn his life around and build himself up again. I hope you make the best choice for you. I just hope for the best for both of you. Please keep us updated. Your post seems so healthy and honest in this thread that makes everything seem so hopeless.

  • Ang

    April 21st, 2017 at 10:25 PM

    Jenn thank you so much for your words of encouragement, I cannot tell you how much your response means to me. I’m really trying not to take his actions personally, but I’m not going to lie-I’m not always successful. I do know I have to feel these emotions now, if I don’t, they will certainly creep up in the future and only delay this healing. Seeing me in pain hurts him, but he no longer has that drug to escape the hurt. He will realize that he will survive the hurt and it’s just a feeling. Happiness is also a feeling, it’s just ok to feel.

    I am proud of you for taking the steps of recovery, and I truly hope you are safe, happy and healthy. Please keep in touch.

  • erin

    April 22nd, 2017 at 1:13 AM

    my friends…
    he is out of rehab now. 6 long weeks later. what I found was myself in this process. he didn’t really want help but I did. started seeing a therapist 2x weekly as well as a codependent support group weekly. I learned to care about myself again. it was advised to him when he got home that his parents take his phone at night…( apparently it’s left on the kitchen table), that his phone have new make accountability partners before he left rehab…1 week being discharged he still has yet to do this in addition to having no sponsor and he still has Facebook and internet on his tv. I believe he will be among the 95% who fail at recovery because quite simply…he doesn’t care enough to.
    I am no longer with him and am going to work it out with my ex husband. he is a good man. we just had a breakdown in communication after a traumatic event in our marriage. the grass is NOT greener lemme tell you. glad I went thru this horrific experience to save myself and ultimately return to my ex hubby who I appreciate so much more now. this porn addicts family keeps texting me and I think they believe he will fail too and they do t want me to go away but they also know he’s very bad for me and quite frankly and sick of them all and want them all to leave me the heck alone so I can heal from this devastating and creepy experience.
    don’t settle for less people. you’re worth it.
    most won’t change…they’ll just find new ways to lie. let them have porn while you take your life and integrity back.
    you’ll win in the end.
    I did.

  • M

    April 21st, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    Good luck Ang, I’m sorry to hear how your spouse has seriously betrayed you. It is devastating when one finds out. It’s worse than most things. Good luck because you’re going to need it. Hopefully he will demonstrate sincerely, that he is truly sorry for the pain that he caused you and not try to justify anything, unlike some of the addicts here who try to explain how they messed up but have the nerve to be offended when people and victims speak up against the behavior and say from experience how truly loathsome an addict is. If your husband is able to show true empathy for you (NOT HIMSELF but for you) and not narcissistically explain away his behavior – ever, there is great hope. I think some addicts will always have a perverse view of sex, even if they’re in a committed relationship. They will explain it away as all just poor choices, not as the perverse, dissociative, immoral, destructive act that it is. Especially the addicts who are atheists. We’re living in a time when behavior like this is being enabled by people who use the internet as propaganda to sexualize everything and coin words like “slut shaming” to normalize a profound dysfunctional, destructive behavior. You and the victims on here were on ground zero of what a sexualized, normalized, dysfunctional culture looks like. Good luck to you.

  • Ang

    April 22nd, 2017 at 4:49 PM

    Hi M, thank you for your reply. It is devastating to find out about this betrayal, you’re right. Finding out somehow was relieving, everything made sense now – all the red flags and gut instincts were right. I no longer have to wonder or have anxiety about the unknown, it’s all out now. As I said I ignored the red flags and gut instincts, I would question him but would accept his answers somewhat but my gut still nagged. The prelude to the confession via suicide note was after 7 years I went into his email and found a sexual email, and I would not let it go.

    I believe he is disgusted and feels horrible for the pain he has caused during our entire relationship. He is truly sorry for ME and MY pain. He doesn’t like to see me in pain or know he has caused me pain. This I know.

    These women were not attractive, and I see the way men look at me so I know I am. I don’t know how he would have sexualized them, but his actions with them were sexual perhaps as a way to be in control. I believe he had sex with unattractive women as they were more insecure than him and that made him feel good. Our entire relationship he has had an issue with initiating sex with me, it was very rare and he was always the one to say when it happened. I think our sexual relations were when he needed intimacy and emotional connection.

    I can’t even begin to try and figure out the why, I feel his love for me and ihe is a good person, everyone feels this. I know he did not do this to hurt me.

    Thank you for the good luck wishes, I know I will need all of the good vibes as possible.

  • KK

    June 11th, 2018 at 2:57 AM

    Hi Ang,
    Our stories sound so similar :( I would love to connect to see how things are going for you

  • Justine

    December 2nd, 2018 at 5:31 AM

    My partner has finally gone into Sex Rehab for his porn addiction and sexting past with other females, while in our 5 year relationship. I had a boundary that he needs to find a rehab that does not mingle the 2 genders, in any of the treatment or off-time / social activities.
    He only got admitted yesterday. Today I was running with my dogs on the beach, with my son as well, and suddenly my son slowed down, and in front of us was my partner. Their group had come out for a walk on the beach. I see girls walking with them. He had assured me, and so did the Rehab assure me, that girls and guys do not mix. But here they were. I said please tell me you are upholding the boundary and not engaging with them. He plainly said he has been engaging with them. And that today after the run, they have some chill time, and then a barbeque, and they all get to socialise and tomorrow he starts the actual work. I was so confused, and hurt and my anxiety peaked. I went to the rehab which is less than 1 mile away from my home, and on route to my stables where I was going to ride my horse, and I expressed my concern and problem with genders mixing in a Sex Addiction rehab. And they do not allow him to talk to me. They asked him if he would come and see me, to which he replied, no he doesn’t have any interest in seeing me.
    I subsequently felt humiliated as I was just calmly asking for him to come and express what was going on. As he promised if the females and males would be mingled, then he would find a solution to his addiction that would not spark more anxiety and triggers in me. As there are more options and more rehabs that operate differently around our area. I stated, please let him know then that due to him breaking boundaries at a time that is so crucial, I am ending this relationship as I cannot be sitting here for the duration of his rehab stay and sit in deep anxiety and betrayal trauma triggering and he gets given the opportunity to see me and discuss it, and he plainly chooses not to see me.

    Is it normal for rehabs to allow males and females to socialise and take beach walks together and have barbecues together? I feel he is just having a big social event over there. I am so hurt that he would not come and sit and discuss anything with me as well. And then what? Does he somehow expect me to come and do family sessions next week after breaking boundaries, and then rejecting me like that when they gave him the option to come and sit and have a chat with me. No ways. I am so tired of only his needs and his wants being the only priority. His addiction, his sexual desires, always just what works for him. I told him I’m not comfortable with this rehab, but he went coz they have a gym and tennis court, and he kept saying it feels like he’s going on holiday, and he’s actually quite excited. Not once has he said he’s excited to get help for his addiction and to make sure he never hurts me again… just worried that they have a TV so he can watch the Soccer. And worried that they will have good food, and was so happy to hear they have an award winning chef cooking the meals. And now he’s chilling with these girls, having a barbecue and going for beach walks and and and… i mean this just sounds like a breeding ground for sex addicts to get numbers from each other and connect with each other. I’m SO confused . I thought him going to treatment was supposed to reduce my fears and help us as a couple. It has actually on day 2 already made things feel so much worse.

    Any one got experience with their partners going to rehab? Is this normal behaviour on the rehabs part? on the addicts part? and on your part as the partner? I’m really feeling conflicted and confused. and more anxious than ever before.

  • Michael

    December 3rd, 2018 at 7:24 AM

    My heart goes out to you from what I hear. I am a sex addict. I went to rehab and once I got there I found out there had been a woman there before I came (began my stay). I couldn’t believe it and disagree with it but I am telling you so you shouldn’t think this is the only place. They probably justify having men and women walk together by saying that they need to learn to “normalize each other as people not objects” and that is how to do it. Since there will be women in real life they are probably arguing that relating in a controlled environment is a healthy way to practice. I do not believe in rehabs and have a low opinion of them. I assume they will not tell your husband to leave because then they will lose money. In my case they alienated me from my parents. I assume you have your own therapist who will help you make the decisions as where you need to go in your relationship. I really wanted to get better and went to a low frills place. They still didn’t help me but you are entitled to a healthy life.
    Good luck

  • Justine

    December 3rd, 2018 at 10:29 PM

    @Michael, Wow I am so so grateful for your comment. You have expressed exactly what I am feeling about this rehab business ( and I say business, coz that is exactly what I feel it is, no empathy, compassion or humanity, just wanting money and not considering that sex addiction needs to consider the partner as much as the addict. And needs to keep men and women separate as it is a SEX Addiction they are fighting). I truly appreciate you telling me your story. I am still in shock by how they have handled the situation. I feel like he is being controlled by them in a way, to not see anyone or speak to anyone, but is free to talk to a bunch of strange women, and yes they did justify it as you have said, about normalising their stay there. But they have taken them out of their own normal life so how is it normal. Pushed me aside and not cared at all about my betrayal trauma’s and of course when he gets out then he has to deal with that too. And he won’t want to because as they have shown him, he can just say no he doesn’t want to speak to me. It seems so warped. I ended the relationship when he chose to not see me, which I am not entirely sure they were being honest, I think they just said that to me as they don’t want to lose the money he is giving them. But his therapist emailed me yesterday asking me as his partner to write a letter about how his addiction has affected my life, I told him I don’t understand, did my partner not tell him the relationship is over based on what transpired on Sunday and how he stated through strangers he does not want to see me. (again I am starting to believe it was not him who said that, I think its possible he doesn’t even know I was there after I gave it some thought and after getting the email from his therapist, who also didn’t know about what happened on Sunday when I went there). I find this extremely unnatural and I have to agree with you, the way this particular rehab is approaching things is really not sitting right in my gut. I told him that before he even was admitted. Michael I truly wish you well in your recovery, and your heart and mind seem strong in your decision to recover, I believe whole heartedly you will be one of the exceptions that truly make a full recovery based on how determined you are and also how clear you are in your feelings of what is right and wrong in your recovery. There is a lady above that stated what she feels is the best route for recovery, and that to me makes a lot of sense. See Ellen’s comment higher up. I hope you find your recovery and stay in it. Your partner will at least have the security of knowing that you can feel for yourself what is right and wrong and you seem to act on it in other areas of your life, so you will be able to exercise it in this area of your life too with practice and commitment. I have no doubt. Again, thank you for your response. I thought maybe I was going mad due to how it made me feel and how the rehab situation is making me feel still.
    Good luck! don’t give up! There is an amazing CSAT in the USA who does Skype sessions also, his name is Brannon Patrick. He has youtube videos and Facebook pages, and podcasts, he is the first person I came across who I saw truly understood and had empathy for both parties in the addiction and betrayal pattern. Maybe look him up if you haven’t yet. He responds to his emails as well quite quickly. I just think we are unique humans and these rehabs are using a cookie cutter model as if it must work for every one. But its not possible. All the best Michael! Rooting for you!

  • Trish

    August 1st, 2019 at 9:48 PM

    A few years ago I went to visit a relative in rehab for alcohol addiction. Part of the family day was to watch a wife read a letter to her husband about how much damage his addiction did to her. I really felt for her. After her letter the counselors called on people to comment and most of the people that wanted to comment were also there for treatment and they all attacked her for being so horrible to him when he had a “disease”- even the counselors said that she didn’t understand that he had a “disease.” Of course everyone knows that addiction is a disease but it totally re- victimized her that the entire place attacked her while her husband was even saying he had no desire to be sober but had to be there for some court case. I tried to find her at the next break but she disappeared. Be careful if they want you to read the letter in front of the group.

  • Michael

    December 4th, 2018 at 4:49 PM

    It is common in rehab for the wife to read a consequence letter to her husband in order for him to realize the full impact of how he has hurt her. I assume that is why they contacted you though I always thought the wife shows up with the letter, not that she sends it beforehand. I didn’t undergo this as I am single and have never really had a significant relationship (I actually act out because I think no one will ever love me-that’s my warped thinking). Thank you for your kind words about my recovery. I actually just started taking a medicine that is calming down my obsessions. I do know a few sex addicts who got sober and reconciled with their wives. I don’t know what is going on where you are but I really hope you have support-we all need support! however things turn out. Good luck.

  • Chumped

    July 30th, 2019 at 1:21 PM

    I spent 5 years of my life with a sex addict. D-Day occurred at almost exactly year 4. This past year has been a living hell. I know it will be a lifetime recovery for him, but I would never, ever, EVER think that when he gets things under as much control as possible, that he’s going to be someone’s prize (me or someone else). I know what he is capable of doing. If someone I cared for wanted to date a known sex addict, I would IMPLORE them NOT to! I have been used and abused (not in outright physical ways, but mentally), lied to and gaslit beyond belief. If there was a “cure,” I wouldn’t feel this way. But, as long as sex addicts breathe air, they can spew lies and have risky, unprotected sex with the most disgusting ppl on the planet. No thanks!

  • H Vac

    July 31st, 2019 at 11:47 AM

    It’s the narcissism that makes them so repulsive once the charade is exposed. They are not unlike a sociopath. I’m sorry you had to meet one. Once you see them for who they are it’s the lack of empathy and narcissism that makes them uniquely horrible…I had the misfortune of meeting a female sex addict. They may have it worse because society hasn’t caught up to this deviant, destructive vile behavior yet & horny dudes like the idea of a sexually free woman and ignorantly doesn’t know about sex addiction. So women can binge and wreak havoc for years without getting called on it. Never take it personally what they do, without the help of God they are incapable of change. They do not know how to love.

  • Trish

    August 1st, 2019 at 10:39 PM

    I met my husband in the summer of 1987 and we married in 1991. I was 19 when we met and he was about 10 years older that me. I knew he had been promiscuous during his single years and even after we became intimate I naively thought it was a given that were were then exclusive but quickly found out that he didn’t consider us that way at all. After breaking up with him on three different occasions (yes I was young and dumb) he would come back to me and weep, saying he never felt the way he did for me for anyone and had never even cried before (there was no internet then but I now know that’s a classic narcissist move). Finally I broke up with him “forever.” I wouldn’t see him if he came by, I would hang up if he called (no caller ID back then..). Months went by and I ran into him somewhere and he told me he had joined a Bible study and had been soul searching (with great examples) and knew I was “the one” and would I please go to Bible study with him. I did and was thrilled because I was so in love with him. We got married, had three kids right away. Life seemed magical (with some red flags along the way) but he was a master of keeping us so busy, busier than beyond raising three kids. When the last one left about a year and a half ago I was thinking it would be the first day of our new life together (I was still in my 40’s and have a lot of life to live). I guess I had been talking a little too much about how great it was going to be and literally on our first day alone he came home from work (while I was doing my own work from the house on the computer) and he started rage screaming in my face. This went on day after day until a point he said he wanted to knock my teeth out. I finally told him I didn’t feel safe with him at the house and wanted him to leave and would only talk to him with a counselor. We started going to a counselor and he was playing all kinds of manipulative games (crying, threatening suicide, saying he wanted a divorce, screaming at me for not being upset he wanted a divorce, and on and on…) that I started to consider he had a brain tumor. This was so extreme and beyond any outbursts he had over the years. I remembered some suspicious behavior right after I delivered our third child and he admitted to “getting a blow job from a couple of hookers in Mexico” and meeting up with “a couple of hookers” in our hometown back when we had babies “but that was it.” I went into total crises and left couples counseling and went to a trauma counselor and worked on my spinning head for about six months and finally came to a decision that his previous activities had been over twenty years ago, and he was willingly going to counseling so I could work myself back into considering him a friend that lived in the same house (but different room) that I could start doing things with again and I had just started to function again when a few weeks ago he asked me to go through a stack of our credit card bills for the past six years because we noticed that we had a reoccurring fraudulent charge and the credit card company sent us every bill and said to circle every time we saw it so they could investigate. Even though it was “our” card that I accessed the account to make payments, I never thought to look at our card charges with a critical eye. I started to notice some strange looking charges here and there like in town hotel rooms. I started to pull those pages to look at later. One of the places I googled came up with a website that kind of tried to pretend it was a sex therapy place but provided women to explore your sexual fantasies and preferences. He had multiple charges to this place that were just about three years ago. When he came home I hid all of the suspicious pages but one and confronted him with it and he just stone face lied about it. After I provided enough details that he couldn’t deny he said he just went there once to explore some fetishes and “it was fun.” He denied the other charges there but he said he did go to another place like that in another town once. I then mentioned that I noticed that he had a reloadable credit card in his wallet while we were in couples counseling, instead of the real kind that we have about 10 of, and I wanted to know what he was using it for and he told me “live internet sex.” This was about two weeks ago and he started counseling and SA but he has ZERO remorse. Of course I don’t believe those were the only times but they covered the span of our entire relationship. He even told me that I should feel sympathy and compassion for him for having to give this up. I can’t even believe I have to tell him WHY IT’S NOT OK TO CHEAT AND ESP WITH TWO OR MORE HOOKERS AT A TIME. I pointed out today after his SA meeting that he hadn’t even said he was sorry to me, it’s all about him. He is a true narcissist and even psychopath. He only has feelings for himself. Over the past year and a half of his crazy behavior he has numbed me enough from feeling too much about him. I don’t feel like I have to flee the house (although he is welcome and encouraged to). I have let him know that I have given evidence of his behavior and recordings of our conversations to several people, including our counselor so he better hope nothing happens to me. But in the meantime, I am going to focus on my mental health, finances, career, physical health, etc and make sure I am thriving and strong before I have to deal with a divorce. Yes he is damaged from childhood but so are rapists and murderers. You can feel sorry for them but I would never wish one on my worst enemy. He literally cheated on me with hookers for the whole 32 years I have known him. I will feel sorry for any woman that may end up with him but I truly feel that when I do go he will self destruct.

  • David

    December 13th, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    I like how you explained that people who recover from sex addiction have a strong sense of integrity and self-worth. This type of addiction can truly destroy someone mentally and even physically. If someone is able to properly recover from it then they will be able to better understand their partner and give them the utmost respect that they can. Thank you for helping people see how beneficial it is to overcome sex addiction.

  • J

    April 3rd, 2020 at 2:08 AM

    I’m 3.5 months past my discovery of my ex-boyfriend’s first affair, and he’s since been diagnosed as a sex addict. We’re regularly seeing a CSAT therapist to determine if trust can be rebuilt. We also have individual therapy. He’s also attending regular SAA meetings and now has a sponsor for his recovery. Even with the polygraph (part of the CSAT therapeutic process) he still had a “staggering” (in our therapist’s words) amount of post-polygraph disclosures. His methods of denial have included at least 50 lies. He’s a master gaslighter. If I knew before we began dating that he was a sex addict, and that he would lie left-and-right to avoid feeling shame, even while in recovery, I would have spared myself the pain. Unfortunately his acting out behaviors have been extremely hurtful to me, including cheating on me while I was at my mother’s funeral. He was incredibly selfish–a hallmark of sex addiction, according to our therapist. At this point I’m not sure that trust can be rebuilt. Sometimes it seems that staying in a relationship with a sex addict, even one is recovery, is borderline-to-overtly masochistic. Experts say that it takes at least a year before trust is re-established after betrayal trauma, with 3-5 years being the average. So before dating a sex addict you might ask yourself, “In the event of a significant relapse, and this person betrays me due to compulsive sexual acting-out behaviors, do I have 3-5 years to spare while this person rebuilds my trust?”

  • Katie

    January 22nd, 2021 at 9:09 PM

    I am dating “Tim”, a guy from church who was an acquaintance for 12 years. He’s 45, never married/ no kids. He’s been sober from alcohol for 15 years. He was respectful, sensitive to my boundaries & ok with taking it slow from the start. I have only been with 3 guys my entire life & I’m 41. Things were stressful with him moving, Working on his phd, working nights at the hospital during COVID, & other personal conflicts with his divorced parents dealing with terminal illness. Our relationship started with open & honest communication. I had felt safe. Then, when we had been dating 3 months,, he just seemed “off”. Spending, sleeping, exercising, eating, cleaning, all was a little wacky for about a week. I was really concerned. This man finally confessed he had relapsed… watching porn. The “relapse” had taken him to a dark, imbalanced place and he was acting so weird because he thought he would lose everything as a result? I totally didn’t get it. But he was too scared to tell me these things of his sex addiction, because of how “innocent “ I am. If anything, I was just sheltered, grew up in a safe, Christian home, waited for marriage to have sex, and only slept with a couple men as an adult after my husband passed. But I’m a human being, and have compassion for anyone in pain! I am so glad he shared what he did. I love him for who he is and understand the relapse had nothing to do with me, everything to do with him not working his program. I had no idea how powerful this addiction is- but I battled anorexia in my 20s and can understand the inner pain & demons of shame and guilt and also have experienced Gods saving grace. The God/higher power/ force of universal, scientific, miraculous kinetic energy saved me and countless others from themselves. I am supportive of his recovery, while also proceeding with open eyes of caution. This article helped me with making the choice to be supportive. Sex is personal and I think someone seeking recovery in this area should not be shamed. Social stigmas will exist beyond my lifetime, but I hope to be part of the solution in making it safe and acceptable to admit the problem. To those people honest & brave enough to seek help from something so stigmatized – keep moving forward. Seek God and you can be restored. Just providing him a safe place has given him the courage to go back to his meetings. He had never attended them while dating for fear of what the woman would say or think, while also not wanting to lie about his whereabouts. I sat in on a few open SAA meetings and joined Sanon (for partners of addicts). He is back in the support group working the program. Recovery is a beautiful thing. He is vulnerable for the first time, seeking a spiritual connection with me along with emotional and physical intimacy. I accept whatever comes of this decision because it is my decision. I am strong and independent and also on a journey. I appreciate everyone’s comments and opinions.

  • H

    January 23rd, 2021 at 9:10 PM

    I’m yawning trying to stay enthusiastic Katy after your kumbiya note. Did you NOT read any warnings in this column??? Lady, wake up! I’m a Christian too. Guess what, you are in for a world of mind boggling lies and gaslighting. You think you’ll be the lightening rod or strength to help him? Or, you’re going to say, “no, God will be,” or something absolutely nauseating to that effect? God is indeed the only way to turn someone around and sister, if you think that this guy is now going to seek God and be clean, one day at a time, because “he wants a spiritual, emotional and ….PHYSICALLY INTIMATE CONNECTION with you, you are in for one heck of a wild, confused ride. People here have tried to warn you. You don’t get it. Just like a horror movie, you went back into the house. Remember your “Christian” upbringing. From how your message read, I hope you’re not regretting a somewhat, celibate, un-eventful sex life. The opposite end of the sex spectrum is a sex addict. You have absolutely no idea what ideas and thoughts invade their mind and you have no clue what these addicts are capable of. You just hit the ice berg. You have no idea of the depths of what you think you know. You shouldn’t have slept with the guy too. But that’s on you. Now that you actually think your warm, loving heart will help, along with faith, bring him around, along with your spiritual connection, emotional connection and yes, physical connection, I got some sobering news that you won’t listen to: you’re already been scammed and you don’t know it. This ain’t a Julia Roberts, rom-com. Your only solace would be to bring a Pastor into your decision making which will make you more accountable to someone else. When things start hitting the fan, they’ll see it before you do and maybe someone on the deacon board will help you down from the cliff. It’s difficult to have sympathy when there’s road signs everywhere in front of you telling you that nothing is what it seems and that the guy you are “hanging” around with is unwell in a very despicable, dare i say, evil way. If you believe in God, maybe you believe in darkness that overtakes a person down to their core. (look up M. Scott Pecks thoughts on the nature of evil and how he didn’t believe in evil until he met a socio-path. Sex addicts have all the narcissism and all the ticks that go with being a socio-path).

  • Kristine

    August 14th, 2021 at 11:04 PM

    Well, here goes my comment. I was married to a sex addict for 19 years. I witnessed him looking at porn on quite a few occasions. He actually would catch up to me, put his hands on my shoulders and lie. He would bend down and look me straight in the eyes and tell me he loved me and would never do anything to hurt me. It just popped up! Right, 20 times through the years. Lied right in my face. After 15 years of marriage a bazillion discusting things were revealed! The fake crying, threatening to kill himself. All manipulation! Then the counseling, therapy, going to church and getting baptised. Ugh! He still acted out. We went to counseling together with the pastor and a therapist. It doesnt work when they use it so you will get off their back or fool you into a sense of security. Then to get back at you by assassinating your character. Everyone thinks you’re a horrible person. Listen, I stayed for 4 years. If that isn’t supportive enough, OH Hell you have got to kidding me. He was so cruel that he took me out to dinner where his sex partner worked. She was so horrible. She touch him and laughed at me. He said he didn’t know her. I checked the ticket and there was her name. He yelled and said I was crazy. On and on this crap went on. I finally left. He obviously didn’t love me. After 4 years I threw in the towel. To bad we don’t see the true horrors when we look up sex addicts. This man needs to be stopped. Now he doesn’t think he should make restitution. Not even alimony. He told me he was laid off so he wouldn’t have to. Addicts don’t say there recovered, they say there recovering. There will always be a chance you could slip. Those usually are the ones that are trying and running a good program. Sex addicts hardly ever make it back to recovery. Sex addicts are not like other addicts. That’s if you believe in sex addiction. It’s never and not yet been proven. So it’s taking forever to prove it. Why? Cheaters and perverts love to jump on that band wagon. Before you throw a fit and think I’m bashing men, I’m totally aware that there are women sex addicts. Therefore whatever side of the road your on, don’t let your loved one go to sex addicts anonymous! There’s plenty of hooking up there. Wow! I’m so glad I got to share. If I only had 1 sex thing to go through I probably could of made it work. When a woman tells me about 1 discretion her husband did, I laugh to myself. Never date a sex addict. They will debase you more then we ever will. That was for you Todd. You have to admit my guy was the devil.

  • Ann

    February 5th, 2022 at 11:47 PM

    Thanks, Kristine. Totally agree! When those cheaters and perverts got caught, they would try to make themselves look pitiful and miserable by saying they have been suffering from sex addiction and wanting to be cured. But behind your back, they would start doing other types of immoral sex acts. They are disgusting. Don’t ever date a so-called recovered sex addict as you don’t know if they will lie and be unfaithful again. You don’t deserve their lies and BS.

  • C

    March 31st, 2022 at 8:26 PM

    I’m a recovering female sex addict coming up on 10 years of sobriety. I’ve read through several of the replies here and it just breaks my heart. I get the damage that a SA can do to their partner and I get that some of the commenters have been through hell because of SA partners. However, saying you should never date a sex addict in recovery is painful too. I grew up being told no one would ever love me, so I started having sex with anyone I could because I thought maybe if men had sex with me they’d fall in love with me. Now I’m not acting out and haven’t had sex in 12 years but when I hear people saying not to date sex addicts I hear that same message that I’m not worthy of being loved. I hope someday I’ll meet someone that is willing to give me a chance. I wouldn’t tell someone on the first date that I’m a sex addict but I would tell them before entering a committed, exclusive relationship. If I get to that point with anyone I want to be open and honest about my past and also about what I am doing in my recovery. While relapse is always a possiblity with any addict no matter how much sobriety a person has, I really feel I’ve come too far to give up on my recovery now.

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