Partners who discover betrayal in their intimate relationship experience a form of sexual abuse. The sense of femininity or masculinity is damaged by the trauma. Sexuality becomes tainted by the trauma of betrayal. This myth is based on the assumption that the partner can control the addiction. In reality, it will have no affect on whether he continues to act out or not. Sex addicts have been known to have great sex with their partner and still go masturbate to porn immediately afterwards. This is not about him needing “too much sex.” It is an intimacy disorder. Part of recovery is learning and experiencing true intimacy. Eventually a neurochemical tolerance builds up and there is a progressive need for more acting out.
There is also the reality of sexually transmitted diseases. Since your partner has been involved in sexual acting out behaviors, we suggest you don’t have unprotected sex with him/her. Insist upon a test for sexually transmitted diseases, and get tested yourself. One of the most humiliating and painful moments for a partner is the experience to the family doctor or gynecologist to request such a test. There is the fear of wondering if the doctor believes it was your husband or you who acted out. As painful as the moment will be, it is necessary physically and emotionally for you to protect yourself and begin proper self-care. Partners have been known to get involved in acting out with the addict when they believe this myth. We’ve seen partners visit strip clubs, view pornography, and involve other partners in the marriage trying to please the addict. The end result is typically more trauma and humiliation for the partner. It does nothing to help the addict in their healing journey.
Don’t buy into this myth. Instead, focus on your journey of healing regardless of what the addict in your life chooses. There will be hope for you.