“How should you respond when someone tells you they have a sexual addiction?” There are certainly more resources that can be developed in this area surrounding what to do if and when someone confides in you about their sexual addiction.
A few tips that can help you or a loved one respond to that Question:
- Listen – This is probably not easy for the person disclosing the information. Maybe this is one of the first times the person with the addiction is talking about what has been happening. Listening attentively might be a great starting point for what they need.
- Be supportive – Though this might not be the most ideal conversation, being supportive of them wanting to change and reaching out for your support can be therapeutic to the person with the addiction.
- Know your limits – Recognize that you cannot change the person. Only they can change themselves. They need you to be loving and non-judgmental during this time, not the “fixer.”
- Educate yourself about the myths of sexual addiction – “It’s the partners fault”, “Women are not sex addicts” and “Sex addicts are always rapists” are a few of the wide spread misperceptions.
- Research – Understanding what the sex addict is going through can help you understand, break down your own assumptions and better empathize. Some great resources are Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes, No Stones: Women Redeemed From Sexual Addiction by Marnie Ferree, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means, Sexhelp.com, and XXXchurch.com.
I’d love to hear any topics you’d like to have discussed along with comments and your questions.
Please leave comments and suggestions below this post or email me.