What Is It About Those Who Have Sexual Addiction Which Make It Difficult For Those Who Love The Sexual Addict?

Friedrich Nietzsche
Cover of Friedrich Nietzsche

 Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

“What do you regard as most humane? To spare someone shame.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

In recent articles the discussion about sexual shame has been touched upon but not thoroughly discussed. The definition of sexual shame is, “Refers to a feeling of grave responsibility and deep remorse associated with participation in or even thoughts and fantasies about sexual activity.”

In the Christian community many individuals have left the Church due to the sexual shame they have felt. They can’t deal with the embarrassment, guilt, exposure, status issues in the church and so forth.

The individual who suffers from sexual shame has to deal with shame on a daily basis. The sexual addiction which consumes their everyday life style is too difficult to handle and the attachment which comes with the life style is sexual shame.

Too often an individual who is caught up in the sexual addiction world doesn’t know what to do with the sexual shame they live with. It is a difficult world for them to live in as they can’t turn to their partner or spouse and tell them the feelings they have associated with the sexual addiction. So they live with the guilt and shame of the sexual addiction and it becomes cyclical in nature.

Shame, Shame
Shame, Shame (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The sexual addict can’t control himself so he searches for answers to his pain and how he will respond to the answers he has sexually acted out and the shame produces guilt, depression, and so many other emotions.

It is devastating to him when his pastor finds out that he has been sexually acting out not with women, but with pornography on the Internet. The problems associated with his sexual addiction don’t begin and end with the infidelity but with the financial costs of his behavior. The family’s savings may have been expended to deal with his sexual behavior and acting out. It isn’t that he suffers from the sexual addiction but that he has taken his family behind the scenes and destroyed the things they built together as a family.

The sexual shame which he deals with isolates him in a world where he can’t turn back. He believes he has already made a mess of things and if he tried to stop now his world has already caused hurt and pain for those he loves, so why not continue acting out, what does he have to lose?

At some point he will hit rock bottom and he will have no other choice but turn to his partner or spouse and tell them what he has been doing. His secret will have ramifications as his partner and spouse will now have to decide what to do. Trust is now the major issue in the relationship.

The partner and spouse will have to make a decision if they can ever trust him. One of the questions they will ask themselves is why did he decide to tell them now about the sexual addiction. Is there some reason why he selected today as a reason to tell all?

Tell all, is this what he did or did he just tell the icing on the cake, the partner or spouse will ask themselves? Is his sexual shame so great that he didn’t tell them anything except he is dealing with a sexual problem.

The education the partner and spouse will have on the subject will be minimal. They will begin asking questions which they have no answers to. They heard long ago that a friend of theirs husband had an affair, but was that sexual addiction they ask themselves?

They remembering hearing from a close friend that their spouse was found viewing pornography on the Internet. Was this sexual addiction they ask themselves? Who would they turn to find the answers? A counselor, their pastor, an expert, a friend, family members and so forth?

Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The sexual addict has no idea the impact he would have on his partner or spouse, family, friends, coworkers, peers or his best friends. When he was sexual acting out he felt unbelievable shame and would ask what if questions, with no answers found.

Still the sexual acting out continues, the sexual shame is an everyday occurrence and each day grows longer and longer and longer and he can’t stop his sexual acting out. It isn’t easy for him. When he is found out no one will feel sorry for him because they don’t understand sexual addiction.

When they first hear the word sexual addiction they will immediately mishear the words sexual offender. They will believe he molests children and he is a threat to their children and to them. They will not want anything to do with him and they will no longer invite him to their home.

At some point they will understand the truth about their friend, but since they don’t understand the illness which he suffers from they will be guarded and keep him away at a distance. They too will begin asking questions from their counselors, pastors and other experts on the subject about this term “sexual addiction”. They will ask what does it mean to be a sexual addict.

Tomorrow, learning about sexual addiction can be a challenge for those who know little to nothing about sexual addiction. The problems associated with this devastating problem effects everyone who is acquainted and related to the sexual addict. It will be a long road for all those who know him. Most addicts will never find peace. Peace will come at a price and still the problem will exist and everyone involved will have to deal with the sexual shame which is associated with it.

Remember April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Lawrence W. Daly
253-852-6702 B/P
253-852-6704 Fax
Kent, WA

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