Infidelity can sometimes be the result of sex addiction.
But when high profile cheaters like Tiger Woods, Jesse James, David Duchovny, and Steve Phillips check into rehabs for sex addiction treatment, there’s a significant increase in the number of people who claim to be sex addicts when they get caught cheating on their mates.
For some it’s a legitimate medical reason for their infidelity. Unfortunately, for most, it’s just an excuse.
But how can you tell?
The checklist below can help you figure out whether your cheating spouse or significant might really have a medical problem, or if he or she is merely using sex addiction as an excuse. (Yes, women can be sex addicts, too)
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) estimates that there are nearly 12 million sex addicts in the United States.
Those estimates include high profile cheaters like Tiger Woods, Jesse James, Steve Phillips, and David Duchovny, as well as the man next door.
Checklist for Sex Addicts
Only a qualified medical professional can make an accurate diagnosis as to whether or not a person is addicted to sex.
But below is a list of behaviors and characteristics common to both male and female sex addicts, compiled from several medical websites.
If you compare this list with the behavior of your spouse or significant other, you can at least make an educated guess.
1. Behaviors associated with sexual addiction include multiple partners, multiple affairs, and unsafe sex.
2. The term sex addiction describes the behavior of someone who has an unusually strong sex drive or sexual obsession.
3. Most sex addicts live in denial of their addiction, and the associated risks and consequences.
4. Sex addiction is defined by an addict's compulsive use of sex to address non-sexual emotional needs. That compulsive behavior completely dominates the addict's life.
5. Sex addicts turn to sex when they need comfort, like binge eaters turn to food.
6. Sex addicts may engage in exhibitionism, voyeurism, prostitution, compulsive masturbation, or cybersex.
7. A sex addict has an uncontrollable urge to have sex with many different partners.
8. A sex addict may withdraw or become frustrated over his inability to cut back or stop engaging in his addictive behavior.
9. Like other addicts, a sex addict becomes preoccupied with a behavior that is used to numb his or her feelings.
10. A sex addict lacks normal coping mechanisms and uses sex as a way to self-medicate every feeling.
11. Sex and thoughts of sex dominate a sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships.
12. Some sex addicts are known to be shameful, suicidal, and prone to other addictions, as well.
13. A sex addict, like all addicts, continues such behaviors despite decreased pleasure and the negative and serious consequences they bring.
14. People with a sex addiction often have a history of emotional and sexual abuse.
15. Most sex addicts have an intense preoccupation with sexual urges, fantasies and behaviors.
16. Sex addiction is characterized by the addict’s lying or minimizing his involvement with sexual activities.
17. A man who is addicted to sex will use sexual activities to escape from his problems.
18. A sex addict will often waste time or neglect other responsibilities because of his sexual preoccupation.
19. The majority of people who struggle with sex addiction are men, and their sex addiction becomes the most important need in their lives.
20. Like an alcoholic unable to stop drinking, sexual addicts are unable to stop their self-destructive sexual behavior.
21. Sex addiction is almost always about a secret life. The addict displays increasingly secretive behavior and deception.
22. A sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even arrest.
23. Sexual addiction is often accompanied by other addictions, such as an addiction to work or chemicals.