Coaddicts also feel a sense of relief at the end of secrecy and validation of their experience of pain. The following is a list of what to expect in the early stages: Recovering couples begin to communicate at a more intimate level, often on issues they have never discussed before. Exposing oneself in a window or car. Perpetrators are seen by many as subhuman and beyond help. Law priority for enforcement officials generates minimal risk for addict. But increasingly, women are acknowledging their own destructive patterns involving sex and dependency relationships.
Multiple or long-term extramarital affairs. The goal becomes intimacy rather than intensity. Cruising to be seen by men in malls, bars, etc. There are often difficulties in the areas of communication styles, intimacy levels, sexuality, spirituality, parenting, past trauma, and finances. Where other sexual partners were involved, the possibility of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases must be faced early. Excessive flirting, dancing or personal grooming to be seductive. Anxiety about sexual behavior reflecting on family. The self-esteem of both partners initially may worsen but with continued work will improve. Couples who grow spiritually together have hope that a power greater than themselves is also involved in the re-creating of their relationship. But this one discovers pornography or fantasy based sex with self and may even put in thousands of hours into a double life. Co-addicts often berate themselves for not having been aware sooner of the addiction. The addict experiences pain over the loss of their "best friend," the addiction. Black and white moral standards. Abstinence, and later the frequency, types, and quality of sexual contacts, are issues that the recovering couple must address. Sex a matter to find out by self. For some behaviors such as womanizing there is a compelling negative hero image of glamorous decadence. Tension and distance around sexual matters. In the past decade or so, researchers have discovered that although drugs affect a variety of neurotransmitters, virtually all of them increase the levels of dopamine in the brain's mesolimbic region, which is involved in pleasure, reward and motivation. Secrecy preserved by no talk rule with outsiders. Then the addiction goes away. Trading sex for drugs, help, affection, money, social access or power. Wearing provocative clothing whenever possible a form of exhibitionism. If you answer yes to more than 6 questions, consider, counseling with a professional trained in addictive disorders and checking out a 12 Step support group for sexual addicts. The addict usually finds a great sense of relief after admitting the secret of the addiction. Both partners are encouraged to work in therapy and attend separate step meetings as well as couples meetings such as Recovering Couples Anonymous. Sex has a different meaning in recovery. Having sex with someone they just met at a party, bar, or on the Internet forms of anonymous sex.
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