Why People Have Affairs: Infidelity Versus Sex Addiction

Why People Have Affairs: Infidelity Versus Sex Addiction

It’s a question we have been asking for as long as marriage has existed: Why do people cheat?

The answer isn’t as straight forward as you might think and the reason for infidelity differs from person to person. For some it may be that their sexual or emotional needs are not being met inside the marriage, for others it’s due to a communication breakdown, or simply because they are ‘bored’. No matter their reasoning, infidelity is a powerful catalyst for many relationship failures.

Do sex addicts often cheat? Yes. But if someone steps outside the marriage for sex, does that automatically make them a sex addict? No.

Infidelity is a common sign of sex addiction but that doesn’t make all cheaters sex addicts either. It also doesn’t mean that every sex addict will cheat, just that they are more likely to than non-addicts.

Sex addicts use sex as a coping mechanism in the same way alcoholics turn to the bottle to deal with their emotional issues. It’s commonly said that if a sex addict wasn’t addicted to sex, they would probably be self-medicating with other things because they are simply trying to numb some kind of deep, emotional pain from their past.

Among other destructive behaviors addicts and their partners face, infidelity is a harmful side effect that often results in failed relationships and marriages, but contrary to popular belief, sex addicts actually want their relationships to work as much as their partners do, it’s just that they struggle more with closeness and intimacy than others do. As such, these issues should always be approached with empathy rather than judgement.

If you or your spouse is suffering from sex addiction, contact our highly trained sex therapists at Sex Addiction Australia in Sydney today.