Your emotions are the most powerful part of your character and are, in my view, the biggest motivator of behavior. For many people, emotional triggers such as frustration, anger, resentment, loneliness, and abandonment drive us toward the closest source of comfort. For some, that comfort comes from dangerous sources like drugs, alcohol and food.
Addicts who abuse the above often define their addiction to a desire to fill some void. Rapidly, however, the substance use goes out of control. Sex addiction is no different. Social and behavioral issues that stem from childhood stigmas, such as experiences of sexual abuse or separation from parents, cause the brain to crave more of what stimulates excitement to counter those harrowing emotional triggers. When a sex addict cannot manage the recurring feelings of frustration, loneliness or abandonment, they become emotionally deficient and it becomes an excessive urge to have that rush, or fill that void.
That void, for sex addicts, can become an abyss of secrets as shame and embarrassment erect a wall further isolating addicts from intimacy, a vital part of a healthy relationship.
On Wednesday’s (March, 24, 2010) show, Dr. Drew Pinsky of VH1’s “Celeb Rehab” and I welcome Kathy and Wayne, a couple who found that saving their 18-year marriage was a battle in the war waged by Wayne’s uncontrollable emotional triggers. With her husband’s sex addiction stacked against them, Kathy took control of what could have been a hopeless situation, and nothing has been the same since.
While many of the triggers are the same for other addictions, sex addiction is often harder to identify, and could be even harder to work through. Understanding the driving forces behind a sex addict’s behavior could help save a relationship you care about – possibly even your own.