In our society sex addiction is viewed as either a moral failing or just “wanting too much sex”. In fact, sex addiction is a maladaptive way of coping with intolerable feelings. What almost every addict shares is a history of abuse, emotional neglect, or other significant adverse life events. The definition of sex addiction is any sexually related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes problems in family, work, and social life.
Sex addiction therapy addresses the behavior as well as the underlying causes. Recovery is about healing the trauma, changing harmful behaviors, and growing. We heal from a broken arm, a broken heart, or a broken spirit. We are built to heal and grow.
“The world breaks everyone; then some grow strong in the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway
To recover we need someone to listen to our story with compassion and without judgment, someone who accepts us as we are, and challenges us to go further. We need a trustworthy person who holds us accountable. We need a sense that we are connected to a greater purpose than just ourselves.
Dr. Patrick Carnes, author of Out of the Shadows, said about sex addiction more than 30 years ago, “We have a tsunami coming”. That message was prophetic. Everywhere you go now you see a politician, a celebrity or someone you know or hear about who is affected by sex addiction. It’s a problem that impacts ourselves and the people who care about us, as well as our society.
If sex addiction is The Problem, I’m grateful to be part of the solution.