Codependency and Sexual Addiction
Codependency is often referred to as “relationship addiction.” Codependency is a learned behavior that affects one’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. The condition may be passed down or learned from others. Someone dealing with sexual addiction may have been exposed to domestic violence or sexual abuse in the past. Other conditions that may lead to codependency include the following:
- Substance abuse
- Compulsive gambling
- Eating disorders
- Sex addiction
Codependent individuals may have endured emotional pain from someone else’s behavior, and they carry this pain with them and allow it to affect their future relationships. Codependent individuals develop extremely low self-esteem and often find themselves in one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive relationships.
Dealing with a Loved One’s Sexual Addition
Sexual addiction will damage the addict and will cause severe harm to the addict’s partner, spouse or children. As a codependent individual, the addict’s partner will ultimately sacrifice his or her wellbeing in order to “save the relationship” or refrain from upsetting the addict. Despite how hard to codependent partner tries, the relationship will worsen until it becomes dangerous and unbearable for everyone involved. While the codependent person believes he or she is making the situation the best it can be, he or she is enabling the addict’s behavior and allowing the problem to progress. Common characteristics displayed by the codependent partner of a sex addict may include the following:
- Denial: Refusing to believe that a problem exists
- Rationalization: Making excuses so that the addiction makes sense to you or to others
- Fear: Constantly fearing the relationship will end
- Blame: Believing that the relationship problems, the addiction itself or other negative consequences are your fault and not the addict’s
- Seeking approval: The codependent partner will go to all measures to make the addict happy so the addict will not leave
- Poor self-worth: The codependent partner will have low self-esteem and feel hopeless, depressed, powerless and inadequate
Why Do Codependent Partners of Sex Addicts Need Treatment?
Codependent individuals sacrifice their entire self to maintain their relationship. The addict’s lies, sexual behaviors, affairs and inappropriate or excessive behavior can lead to a slew of problems. The addiction can lead to a loss of intimacy and trust, and the codependent partner will undoubtedly feel extreme pain, both physical and emotional. This pain must be treated in order for the relationship to have a chance and for the codependent individual to live a healthy, fulfilling life.
What Type of Treatment Is Available for Codependent Partners of Sex Addicts?
Treatment options for codependent individuals are available through addiction treatment centers. Treatment can be specialized for codependent partners of sex addicts, alcoholics or drug users. Treatment will involve individual, group and family therapy and counseling for the patient to understand his or her condition and learn how to overcome it. A codependent individual can express pain and discover healthy ways to heal and control his or her codependent behavior. Treatment will also offer help for patients dealing with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder.
Finding Help for Codependent Partners of Sex Addicts
The longer a codependent individual continues to live with an untreated addict, the more damaging the situation will become. Without making the decision to get treatment help the problem will worsen until both the addict and the codependent partner hit rock bottom. Please call our toll-free helpline now to speak with a highly trained recovery counselor about treatment options for you and your loved one. We are here 24 hours a day to talk, listen and help you find the treatment solutions that can put an end to this terrible situation.
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