What if your partner is addicted to sex? “The most harmful thing is not the sex itself, but the lie.” | healthy

How do you deal withYou often read stories about people who are sick or have a condition, but how do you actually deal with this as a partner, family member, or friend? In this section, experts give practical advice. This week: Shanti Silos. Her ex-boyfriend with whom she had been in a relationship for 2.5 years was a sex addict.

“At some point I realized that all of his different stories were no longer coherent,” Shanti Silos says. And she discovered during her stay with her boyfriend that he was cheating on a married woman. He knew how to talk about it and she tried to better trust him again, but she was starting to feel more and more that something was not right, and through a friend who works with addicts, she found out that her boyfriend might be a sex addict. And I imagined something completely different.”

Silos decides to confront her friend about his behavior. Then it turned out that he cheated on many occasions and also watched a lot of porn obsessively. “There were so many lies and so much deception. I loved him so much, but at some point I couldn’t look at myself anymore if I continued this relationship. He was disgusted with himself, and I was disgusted with him. I felt so dirty and cheated. I broke off the relationship for good. And he finally admitted everything. It gave me peace of mind.”

I look for sex all the time

How do you recognize sex addiction? Sex addiction has nothing to do with elevated libido or sex drive. The point is that a pattern of sexual behavior that arises that cannot be easily stopped or modified, while having increasingly negative effects on your life, relationships, work, or financial situation. Psychologist and sexologist Gertjan van Zysen explains that it is difficult to diagnose sex addiction because there is no firm diagnosis. “It is different for each person and for each relationship. What is the source of pleasure for the couple (lots of pornography, flirting with others), is undesirable for the other and can only happen in secret. The addict often has negative feelings such as anxiety, depression or shame, Which is believed to be resolved through sex. At first it works, but the benefits gradually diminish and the disadvantages increase. This happens especially if someone isolates the behavior and does not share it with anyone. This leads to lying, self-deception and double life.”


I have patients who don’t feel like having sex at all, but feel very guilty about it

Gertjan van Zeesen

A person with a sex addiction sometimes looks for sex, porn, or cheating all the time, but it definitely doesn’t have to be. According to van Zysen, it is not about need: “I have many patients who do not feel like it at all, but feel very guilty about it. The most harmful thing is not the sex itself, but the lie. Deception has a great effect on sex addicts as well as on partners. People who are addicted to sex often live double lives. Lying takes a lot of energy and harms integrity. People often feel like a liar or a liar. A lying partner kills the partner’s confidence and self-confidence.”

hard to recognize

Compared to alcohol or drug addiction, sex addiction is more difficult to recognize. In his practice, Van Ziesen often hears from his associates that they wish they had followed their intuition sooner. “Partners often ignore certain cues because they don’t want to believe that something is wrong with their relationship.”


It is important not to blame yourself. Your partner has a problem and it has nothing to do with your personality

Gertjan van Zeesen

It can be very upsetting and lonely to discover that your partner has a sex addiction. The sexologist stresses that it is important to realize that it is not up to you. “Maybe you feel stupid because you haven’t seen the behavior before or you’re ashamed of your partner’s behavior. It’s tough, but it’s important that you don’t blame yourself. Your partner has a problem and it has nothing to do with your personality. It doesn’t matter how kind, sweet, handsome, and caring you are.”

asking for help

Although it is clear that you want to control your partner, you should avoid falling into this trap. “This anxious behavior often makes it worse.” In many cases, it is best to speak to a specialist with your partner. The good thing is that you can get rid of sex addiction. “Don’t be shy about asking for help with your partner.” People with sex addiction often feel very comfortable when they can talk about their addiction and their underlying emotions. “Once the stealth is gone, there is more room to work on a solution.”

What does Silos think of the advice? It was only later that I realized that my ex was addicted to sex. By sharing my story with others, I was able to address it. And it didn’t stop me from opening myself up to true love again.

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