Jennifer not her real name , 36, lives in Miami. Her compulsive behavior, which she thinks may have been triggered by childhood abuse, destroyed relationships and ultimately wrecked her marriage. She sought treatment and has been sober for six years. Sex Addicts Anonymous is a step program that can help. Getty ImagesYou often hear stories about sex addicts who have multiple partners, or who have sex in parking lots, or hook up with strangers they meet on the Internet. That wasnt my style.
Married Partners of Sex Addicts
Can Serial Cheaters Change?
A reader posted this question as to whether serial cheaters can change. In thinking about it I realized the answer is not a simple yes or no. Many factors enter into the prognosis for serial cheating such as the characteristics of the cheater, whether the cheating is part of an addiction, the motivation to cheat and the motivation to change. Cheating in general is so common that it further complicates separating out what is serial cheating and what is just the normal state of affairs as it were. Is it simply a pattern of repeated infidelity over time? Certainly someone who continuously seeks out extramarital sexual relationships or hook-ups seems to be by definition a serial cheater. This of course leaves aside the kinds of relationships or sub-cultures in which having multiple partners is accepted by all the participants.
Sorry, But You Can't Stop A Cheater From Cheating — And Here's Why
Some people cheat very rarely and others cheat a lot. Others who cheat repeatedly use cheating as a sexually addictive behavior and can definitely benefit from being given appropriate treatment. The generally accepted clinical criteria have to do with things like being preoccupied with and unable to resist the urges to do certain behaviors, escalation of the behavior over time, inability to stop despite negative consequences, and distress if prevented from engaging in the behavior. But many of these criteria would be hard for a spouse or partner of a cheater to see.
Sex addiction the compulsive sexual behavior described here should not be confused with disorders such as pedophilia or bestiality. For some people, sex addiction can be highly dangerous and result in considerable difficulties with relationships. Some report that it may manifest itself as a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, or be in sexually stimulating situations.