Over several posts we’ll look at many of the different aspects of sexual addiction in order to better understand the grip sexual addiction and pornography addiction have on our loved ones and possibly on ourselves.
One of the beliefs I hear from clients struggling with sexual addiction or pornography addiction has to do with getting their needs met. Often the person believes that their needs cannot be met by others, that it’s not OK to share their needs or ask for what they want. Of course the belief can take many subtle forms, but it often involves a lack of belief that others care about them, that asking for what they want is selfish, that no one else cares enough to give them what they need, and that it’s up to them and them alone to get what they need.
Family members can help, but the core issue is that the person struggling with the addiction has to understand their belief and work to change the belief from the inside. This can be a long road, but is the way to lasting recovery.
So how does viewing pornography or performing sexual acts get this need met? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes these actions are ways to escape from the feelings associated with the beliefs that the person is alone and no one cares enough to meet their needs. (Of course this is often not “true”, but it is the person’s “truth”.)
We all have sexual needs – we’re sexual beings – but the person struggling with addiction has the belief that their needs can’t be met through regular means, so their addiction is a way to get needs met.
Understanding their beliefs and working to make positive change in their thoughts and beliefs is one step in beating their addiction.