Myth: My Spouse doesn’t want sex with me and acts out with others because I’m not attractive enough.
Emotionally, it feels like rejection when you discover sexual betrayal. Spouses/Partners of sex addicts, according to the addict, are wonderful partners. While intellectually we know the addiction isn’t about physical appearance, the emotional experience is devastating for the partner.
An addict may act out sexually instead of engaging in sex with a spouse because the addict fears intimacy and connection. Some addicts have past trauma that promotes a believe that for sex to be good it has to be “bad.” These addicts may turn their sexual energy towards pornography, prostitutes, or affair partners. It’s about the addict’s intimacy impairment, not about the physical appearance of the spouse.
It’s important to remember that sexual addiction isn’t about sex. Addicts are trying to use sex to fill holes that only God or a higher power can fill. In a time of brokenness, one addict who had thousands of partners said that no matter how many partners he had, it was never enough. The story of Halle Berry and her marriage to a man she identifies as a sex addict, reveal that even when an addict is marriage to a Hollywood actress, it won’t be enough to prevent sexual acting out.
Breaking out of the comparison trap is difficult in our culture. The feelings of inadequacy caused by betrayal are devastating. As a partner, you are enough. The addicts betrayal feels like a knife in your heart and will make you question yourself and your physical appearance. Don’t let this myth keep you down. You are enough and it will be important for you in your healing journey to be reminded of this often.
Adapted from Spouses of Sex Addicts: Hope for the Journey
Richard Blankenship and Joyce Tomblin
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