According to Mark Laaser, sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder. A SA is unable to be emotionally vulnerable with others, because feelings are painful and to be avoided at all costs. They lie to cover behaviors, delude themselves and others and generally lead a double life. They fear if their loved ones knew them they would be rejected and abandoned. They may open up to strangers which makes the spouse angry and resentful. They have lots of acquaintances and few friends; they may be the life of the party but no one knows them. Their relationships may be stormy, unsuccessful, and enmeshed.
Statistics on SA
Up to 10% of Christians in US are sexually addicted
In a congregation of 500, 50 are sex addicts
2/3 of all Christian men (in one study) admitted to struggling with pornography and numbers are almost equal for women
40 % of pastors (of another study) confessed to looking at pornography
40% of pastors view internet pornography and 1/3 have looked at it in the last 30 days
More women are accessing sites, especially dating and chat sites.
Treatment for Sexual Addiction is very successful if the addict is serious about recovery. Restoration of marriages is promising once the addict works with a therapist toward full disclosure confirmed with a polygraph.
Treatment includes accountability and support groups, couple counseling and/or intensives, individual therapy, and education.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a sexual addiction (male or female) click on the get started tab and complete a Sexual Addiction Assessment, then seek counsel from someone certified to work with spouses or those with sexual addictions (CSAT or Christian specialist CCSAS)
Some of NFCC’s suggested readings for male sex addicts include:
Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction by Mark Laaser
Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes
Don’t Call It Love by Patrick Carnes
Some of NFCC’s suggested readings for female sex addicts include:
Dirty Girls Come Clean by Crystal Renaud
No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction by Marnie Ferree
Create in Me a Pure Heart: Answers for Struggling Women by Steve and Kathy Gallagher
Some of NFCC’s suggested readings for spouses of sex addicts include:
Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means
Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed by Debra Laaser