Sexual Addiction, Perception or Fact

Dr. Lorin Bradbury, author of "Treasures from an Old Book, Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World".

by Dr. Lorin Bradbury

Question: I recently married, and I know my husband is cheating and it’s with multiple women not just one. He holds me when we sleep, sometimes we hold each other while walking down the street, and he kisses me in public when he leaves to get on the train. I’m worried I made a mistake by marrying him. I think my husband has some type of sex addiction. He sends friend requests to multiple women on Facebook and claims it wasn’t him. He doesn’t talk to them just sends requests. He is always looking in people’s car as we walk and is super friendly with females right in front of me calling them “Sweetheart.” It’s like he cheats every opportunity he gets and doesn’t even care who the woman is. He also watches porn. He denies all infidelity. Please tell what I got on my hands?

Answer: This is a question that is beyond what I can answer with any sense of confidence. Sex addictions can refer to a range of behaviors that are done in excess and significantly impact one’s life in a negative way. What you have described, if true, could be considered sex addictions.

Addiction to porn is a type of sex addiction. Some of his other behaviors suggest a sexual addiction—a need to believe he is desired by women. Those who are sex addicted often do not have healthy boundaries. They look for ways to exploit for gaining a sexual reward. He appears to have a need to reaffirm his sense that he is desired by women in general.

As you described, sending friend requests to various women, calling them “sweetheart” in front to you, suggests poorly developed boundaries. Individuals with sex addictions often can go back and forth between a legitimate spouse, a non-sexual affair, a sexual affair, and pornography without a sense of doing anything wrong.

If what you described is true, he may be able to go from watching porn to seemingly loving you to secretly texting or Facebooking a potential sexual partner without any sense of conviction. As with most addictions, it’s only when the addicted person is about to lose something significant that they will take steps to address their issue.

However, I have a sense that there is more to this scenario than you have described for me. I am left wondering HOW you know your husband is cheating on you with multiple women. HOW are you aware of his friend request? I also am concerned about your lack of emotion when he addresses other women by the term “Sweetheart.” Is there anything in this scenario that may be perception, rather than fact. I would recommend you find a family therapist near you that can help you and your husband work through these issues. If I were the therapist, I would want to hear his side of the story.

Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected]

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