Compulsive sexual behavior, including so-called “sexting”, seems harmless to most, until we are given a front row seat into the reality of the extreme risks and potential costs of the behavior. In this very public case, we see a highly successful person who is now poised to lose everything. This is what the effects of addictive behavior and an addicted mindset look like!
I find it interesting that many believe Weiner’s behavior has no bearing on his ability to serve the public. Many do not understand the hours and energy this compulsion robs from the individual and those around them, not to mention the emotional and mental cost over time. Weiner, as with others caught up in the behavior, must take that energy and now put it into rebuilding his life, treating the compulsion, and seeking to restore trust with those he has disappointed.
As a therapist who works in this field, I know the many casualties when this kind of crisis explodes include those close by who are caught in the fall-out. The committed partners of such “addicts” are one of the most severely impacted. I can say with confidence this behavior has extremely negative consequences on the lives of those closest to the “addict”, resulting in traumatic responses for most.
Partners of sex addicts are innocent bystanders. For me, this situation is yet another example of the many costs of sex addiction. I also hope we can also take this as an opportunity to learn how to help those who are injured in its wake.