Discovering that your partner has been unfaithful is hurtful, but it’s more complicated when dealing with sexual addiction. Like other addictions, sexual addiction destroys relationships and affects a person’s mental and physical health and quality of life. Sex addicts have the impulse to have sex or perform sexual acts such as masturbation even when there are negative consequences. Sometimes, they don’t work or are incapable of undertaking other responsibilities to feed the urge. In some cases, love addiction may go hand in hand with sexual addiction. What can you do to make your situation better?
Take your Time to Process the Addiction
Finding out about the addiction can hurt; don’t make any rash decisions. Don’t immediately file for divorce, move out of the house or take the kids away. Give yourself a few months to consider possible solutions. Moreover, understand that just like any other addiction, if your partner is willing to change, he/she needs your support. If he is ready to go for counseling, start rehabilitation and make the necessary adjustments, be there to support him.
Have Protected Intercourse
Immediately after finding out, get tested for STDs and protect yourself after that. Even if your partner is addicted to sex, don’t risk contracting a sexually transmitted disease by having unprotected sex with them if they are unfaithful. Understandably, it will be hard to engage in any sexual activity with him/her after the discovery.
Doing so only leaves you more confused, hurt, and exposed to STDs. Take time for yourself to decide if you are willing to stay. If you stay with your partner, and he shows a considerable amount of effort to change, be supportive, and have protected sex if you want to.
On the other hand, don’t blame yourself. You might think that you weren’t giving your partner enough attention, prompting him to cheat. Don’t be compelled to have more sex with him to keep him from other women. It won’t work. The decision to cheat has nothing to do with you; it’s upon him to make up his mind to change. You should not have sex with him for some time until you sort the mess and feel you are ready. Don’t be coerced or forced into sex to keep him around. It will affect your self-esteem and mental health.
As much as your partner is the one who needs professional help, it would help if you had counseling too. It’s not easy dealing with an addict, and you need a professional to help you cope with the pain and make the right decisions.
Go for Counselling Together
If your partner agrees to get help, go for some of the sessions together. You will understand the addiction better. The professionals will help you restore trust and faithfulness in the relationship and rebuild areas of your life the addiction affected.
As hard as it is to accept and rebuild a relationship after cheating, sometimes it’s the right thing to do; but more importantly, take care of your emotional and physical health.
This is a collaborative post.