In recent years, cybersex and cyber-affairs have presented a new and difficult dimension in couple relationships. Internet use can easily lead to abuse, which can lead to addiction, due to the seductive power of anonymity, convenience and opportunity for fantasy and escape.
Not infrequently a spouse/significant other of someone addicted to porn and sex will disclose they have very infrequent sex with their spouse, sometimes not for weeks or months. The addict seems very little interested in the physical part of the relationship while spending hours on the internet watching porn. Often the spouse wonders if their partner is having an affair.
Regardless of your suspicions, your relationship is in trouble. Get couples treatment with a sex addiction therapist who knows how internet porn and sex addiction can affect relationships. Initially the addict often resists going for couples therapy. The spouse will have to insist on addressing the lack of physical intimacy in their marriage. If the addict continues to resist couples treatment, in might be best for the spouse to seek treatment initially for themself to figure out his/her next step.
For a couple affected by sexual addiction, therapy offers the opportunity to heal the pain of rejection, lies, broken promises and commitments. The first three to six months of couple recovery are usually the most stressful. Both partners must be willing to participate in the recovery process, individually and together. Sexual infidelity usually causes trust issues that can feel irreparable. Anger over the betrayal, and grief over the loss of a bond and connection can feel overwhelming. In order to heal and return to healthy intimacy, professional skill, support and counseling is often necessary.
Couples who make their individual recovery a priority, accept that couple recovery is an ongoing process and are committed to the relationship will do well with couples therapy.
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