How to Prepare for a Conversation about a Loved One’s Sex Addiction

Category : Getting Help

How to Prepare for a Conversation about a Loved One's Sex AddictionIf a loved one is exhibiting signs of compulsive sexual behavior or sex addiction, it may be time to have a conversation about seeking help. Signs that a loved one may be addicted to sex include the following:

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Excessive use of pornography
  • Sexual harassment
  • Emotional distance
  • Multiple extra-marital affairs
  • Mood swings before or after sex
  • Frequent dishonesty
  • Depressed mood

While some masturbation and use of pornography may be healthy within a relationship, excessive or compulsive masturbation with or without pornography may be unhealthy and a sign of sex addiction. Individuals who are addicted to sex may be depressed or experience mood swings. They may lack intimacy with romantic partners or family members and may be dishonest about sexual activity. Sex addiction can cause an individual to use sex to avoid uncomfortable social obligations.

How Should I Begin a Conversation about Sex Addiction?

Talking about sex addiction can be difficult when individuals are not communicating openly about their sexual relationships. An individual with a loved one addicted to sex may first need to become comfortable talking about sex before bringing up compulsive sexual behavior. Individual counseling or support groups can help an individual become more comfortable voicing concerns about sexual behavior.

When preparing to talk to a loved one about sex addiction, it can be beneficial for an individual to prepare what he or she will say ahead of time by writing down key points. It may be best to approach the individual in a relaxed and non-sexual environment. An individual may want to discuss treatment options with an addicted loved one. The following are options for sex addiction treatment:

  • A 12-step program: A 12-step program can help an individual open up about how compulsive sexual behavior is controlling his or her life.
  • Individual counseling: Counseling can help an individual uncover underlying causes of depression or anxiety that may be motivating compulsive sexual behavior.
  • Couple’s therapy: Couple’s therapy can assist with preserving a relationship while an individual addicted to sex receives treatment. It can also help couples become more comfortable discussing relationship problems and sexual behavior and allow the partner of the sex addict to address an enabling behavior.
  • Inpatient treatment: Some individuals may benefit from inpatient treatment that includes a variety of treatment methods, such as mental health care, group counseling and individual therapy.

A loved one may want to research treatment centers or counselors in preparation for a conversation about sex addiction.

Find Treatment for Sex Addiction

If you have a loved one who is addicted to sex, pornography or masturbation, treatment can help. Our counselors can answer your questions about sex addiction and help you find the right treatment for your spouse or loved one. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now to learn more about treatment for sex addiction.