Disclosure of Extramarital Sexual Activities by Persons with Addictive or Compulsive Sexual Disorders: Results of a Study and Implications for Therapists

Posted on March 18th, 2011

Excerpts from this paper regarding the nature of sexual addiction

Brown (1991) classifies affairs as:

  • conflict avoidance strategies, in which couples who cannot discuss their differences use affairs to make it clear that there are significant problems,
  • intimacy avoidance, where “it feels safer to keep things stirred up a bit”,
  • empty nest affairs, in which the marriage feels empty,
  • out the door affairs, in which the affair gives one or both partners the impetus to leave the marriage, and
  • sexual addiction, in which people “deal with their emotional neediness by winning battles and making conquests in the hope of gaining love”.

Several authors cited believe that sexual disorders with compulsive or addictive features may be implicated when sexual infidelities recur in ritualized patterns. There is disagreement among professionals about whether compulsive sexual behavior should be viewed as sexual addiction.

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