What is the Double Life of a Sex Addict?

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How can you tell if someone is a sex addict? Chances are you can’t. They are so good at keeping their unwanted obsessive and compulsive sexual behaviors(acting out behaviors) a secret. They don’t want anyone to know about the shameful behaviors and secrets they keep.

Sex addicts are just like you and I, with the exception that they are struggling with a disease that is gradually consuming more and more of their lives. Because sex addiction causes addicts to continually increase and escalate their sexually compulsive behaviors, they have to lead double lives. They lead their normal life the best they can and live every moment of the day for their addictive life. They spend time planning about and thinking about their sexual behaviors. Over time the normal life will unravel as the addictive life consumes more and more of the addicts time and energy.

For addicts, their addiction is a deep, haunting secret. They live in constant fear of being caught. Tension, anxiety and stress built up as a result of having to live a secret double life. The compulsion to engage in sexual behaviors becomes more and more time consuming and the addict has to constantly escalate the behaviors just to achieve a sense of normalcy in their life. Along with a deteriorating emotional state, many addicts suffer from severe consequences as a result of their addictive double life.

Relationships suffer as a result of sex addiction. When a sex addict is living a double life, they tend to withdraw from everyone, including their spouse or life partner. This means their relationships will suffer and in some cases become broken. The person the addict is in a relationship with, will find it difficult to understand his change in behavior. Naturally, the addict will not be able to explain that change out of fear of revealing his double life, so he or she lies.

Leading a double life often has serious financial implications as well. Sex addicts begin to neglect their responsibilities or are unable to perform well at work as a result of engaging in sexually addictive behaviors the night or morning before work. In some cases, addicts may even be engaging in sexual behaviors while at work, to the detriment of their duties. All of these instances of neglect will eventually add up, and employers will be left with no choice but to terminate the person. Repeated warnings will not be enough for an addict to stop the neglectful behavior from continuing.

Another source of stress and financial burden comes from the expenses related to leading a double life as a sex addict. Just like gambling, alcohol and drug addictions, sex addiction can become quite costly. The costs of pornography, online sex chats, phone sex chat lines, prostitutes, strip clubs, adult videos and books and other sexually related goods can add up to huge debt for the sex addict. The burden of covering up these expenses combined with the looming debt will only add to the pressure that the sex addict is experiencing while trying to keep his double life a secret.

Over time, this double life can lead to severe consequences such as divorce or loss of a house. Unfortunately, like any other addiction, the sex addict himself will need to make the decision to seek help. It often takes serious life consequences before sex addicts, like other addicts, are able to seek help. However, once the addict makes that decision, there are many effective programs that can lead him to lifelong recovery

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One Response to What is the Double Life of a Sex Addict?

  1. I think sex addicts are able to live double lives because they have unconscious, disavowed parts of themselves that they had to become unaware of because of childhood trauma. When some aspect of a child is “shamed” or criticized, feelings, wants and needs become disavowed, or repressed, because the child wants to please his parents.

    Sex addiction recovery is very much about “integrating” the personality to heal the “Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde” sides to him.

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