Sexual Addiction May Fuel Codependent Relationships

Codependency and sexual addiction: it can occur in several destructive ways. One person in a relationship is codependent on the other, and chooses to ignore their sexual addiction. Another person with sexual addiction is codependent on others for a sense of security and acts out sexually due to the stress.

The cycle of codependent relationships reveals some of the linkages between codependency and sex addiction. A person begins to ignore or avoid the reality that there’s an ongoing issue or problem in a relationship. Meanwhile, the other partner may be living with sexual addiction and pursuing activities like paid sexual services, sex with multiple partners or sex in inappropriate places. As one partner continues to deny that the situation exists, the other partner’s addiction escalates until they can no longer control their thoughts or behaviors toward sex. Even when the addiction is revealed, the other partner may refuse to acknowledge it or take action because they are codependent on that person for their own sense of well-being.

Codependency and sexual addiction can also occur when the person with the addiction continues to remain enmeshed with people who help them carry out sexual actions, denying that the addiction is real and destructive. This can be especially dangerous in cases of sexual addiction because many experts believe underlying self-esteem problems and an inability to form close, personal relationships on an emotional level is often present. Thus, a person could maintain codependent relationships with people merely for sex and not seek treatment to uncover the core triggers that led to the addiction.

There’s also another complex and destructive element at work in codependency and sex addiction. The tendency to continually avoid negative emotions or feelings that is often present for people with sexual addiction can also lay a foundation for that person to become codependent on others for a sense of security. When this happens, the desire to please other people or serve them can become strong enough to create a cycle of high stress and depression – which can in turn lead to that person acting out sexually and perpetuating their addiction.

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