Addiction in marriage
I believe that we engage in addictive behaviours because we are suffering from the pain of trauma, often due to adverse childhood experience. Sometimes this addiction in marriage or relationships is the first sign of how the past can show in the present. The path to relieving this pain is discovered in a process of deep self-awareness and the learning and integration of new approaches and attachment strategies.
It is only through engaging in this process that recovery can be both effective and sustainable. The work requires a holistic approach embracing mind, body and spirit.
When we are stuck in a cycle of addictive behaviour we can question our identity and the meaning of our lives. Recovery is based on cultivating the wisdom of a rich inner terrain and the connection with interpersonal relationships.
What is sex addiction?
Sex addiction (also called compulsive sexual behaviour) is characterised by compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviour. This often manifests itself in marriage and relationships and can embrace financial problems, substance misuse and potential health risks. It’s important to recognise that having a high sexual desire does not constitute a sex addiction. Recreational use of pornography for entertainment also does not constitute compulsive sexual behaviour. However, when sexual behaviour becomes compulsive it can be like a chronic illness with a devastating effect on self-esteem, careers, health and relationships.
If you feel your partner is suffering from compulsive sexual behaviour, how you handle this and attempt to speak to them can make a very significant impact on their willingness to seek professional help. The natural response to any such accusations is likely to be defensiveness and denial. Sometimes it is helpful to seek professional guidance about how to best approach this delicate subject with your affected partner, to increase the likelihood that they will seek professional sex addiction counselling. Blame and shame must be replaced with a great deal of empathy, compassion and attunement.
Road to recovery from addiction in marriage and compulsive behaviour in relationships
I am committed to helping couples and individuals to have meaningful relationships and overcome self-defeating behaviours related to substance misuse, including self-medicating with alcohol, cocaine, cannabis and other drugs. I can also help with behavioural problems associated with eating disorders, gambling addiction and compulsive sexual behaviour.
I recognise that the cause of all addiction can be found in deep personal pain and often a lack of connection. The solution requires a healing journey and the discovery of meaning, purpose and wisdom.