The Most Personal Addiction

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Did you lose a good relationship or never have one?

Chapter 3

There is a connection between emotional isolation and sexual addiction.

Sex addiction is a symptom of intimacy problems. If you don't have someone close to you in an intimate way, you are probably very familiar with the pain of loneliness. Sexual addiction creates obstacles to ending your loneliness. This interview will help you identify the destructive wall of fantasy that sex addiction builds between you and a good relationship.

Dear Joe,

Today is the 6-month anniversary of my girlfriend and I living together. That may seem like no more than a happy occurrence; however, to me it is an incredible event I once thought impossible.

I started masturbating in my early teens, as most kids do, exploring their changing bodies. In no time I was masturbating up to 15 times a day, maybe more.

Along with that, I rapidly developed a sexually-charged fantasy life, enhanced by porn. I continued with this behavior through my teens and I enhanced it with one-night stands with women and men.

I had no life, no real friends, no relationship beyond a few days. I just had my addictions and the sexual feeling that accompanied them.

The irony is that for a long while, I viewed my sexual behaviors as my only comfort in a cold and lonely world. In reality, they were the things that made my world a desolate place, but I was so deeply addicted I could not see it. 

Now I am at a point in my life where I have overcome my addictions and I am in love with a wonderful woman who loves me in return. All my relationships are greatly improved.

Though I always hoped for this, many times I believed it would just not happen for me. If it were not for you and the incredible work you have done, I would not have this today. It's a horrible thing to want to get help but not have a place to turn. You provided me with that place.

You made it clear from the start that there were no easy answers, that it was hard work, but if I did the work you would guide me. You did not let me down.

I have truly gone from nothing to everything, thanks to your work and our collaboration.

Any addict with a shred of honesty knows the desolation and pain in their life. I am able to take pleasure now in really feeling things, instead of numbing myself to them. I can enjoy people instead of fear them. I could go on and on.

The words "thank you" don't seem like enough for what I've gotten from you. The proper words don't exist. Just know that you have made a profound difference in my life, and you will be my friend forever.

"Timothy"

(Real name withheld)

The Interview

-Did your partner complain of being neglected?
|Yes| |No| |Sometimes|

Maybe you thought she was too needy, too dependent, not emotionally mature. Maybe to some degree you were right. But not completely.

If you were acting sexually addictive, it definitely caused you to neglect her.

Do you avoid people?
|Yes| |No| |Sometimes|

Building a good intimate relationship is difficult. The rewards are wonderful. Sexual addiction creates the illusion that you can have intimacy without effort. It's only an illusion.

Sex addiction is easy. You can turn on the fantasy, get sexual satisfaction and stay in the house.

Some people never have a good relationship because they expect reality to be like fantasy. Be thankful it isn't. Because fantasy ends with a humiliating, degrading, depressing crash.

The real long-term, truly loving joys are with a real person in an honest, loving, committed relationship.

Were you using pornography and/or masturbating during the relationship?
|Yes| |No| |Sometimes|

When you lost that good relationship did you ever feel, "If I just had one more chance, maybe I could have saved it"?

Addictive masturbation/pornography deprived you of that extra chance because the energy you put into your addictions took you away from building a good relationship.

Did your partner say she didn't trust you?
|Yes| |No| |Sometimes|

I'll bet you lied to her about your sexually addictive behavior. That alone can cost you a good relationship. And it can keep you from ever having a good relationship.

Were you having sex with other people while you were in the relationship?
|Yes| |No| |Sometimes|

It doesn't matter if your partner knew you were cheating on her or didn't know. Your cheating hurt the relationship and probably destroyed it.

Were you more turned on to porn than you were to your partner?
|Yes| |No| |Sometimes|

This is covered in the Relationship and Sex Addiction Interview, in Chapter 1. As you will see, the same issues that hurt a relationship can eventually destroy it.

There are probably some more questions on your mind, such as:

-I don't want to lose another good relationship. What can I do?

You need to change your approach to relationships. Also, the first thing to understand about sex addiction is that it is *symptom* not a cause.

Look at it this way, your problem is not sex addiction. Your problem is the way you approach relationships. Sex addiction is the result of your approach to intimacy.

The goal is *not* to stop sexually addictive behavior. The goal is to deal with your intimacy issues. Then as a result of achieving your goal, you'll be able to work on your sex addiction issues.

In other words, it's a two step progression:

First, deal with intimacy issues.

Then, overcome sex addiction correctly.

One big reason people don't overcome sex addiction is they don't approach it correctly.

Make sure you use an approach that works.

- I've never had a good relationship and I desperately want one. What do I do?

Someone who has never had a good relationship needs to discover why he avoids intimacy. Your problem is not your sexually addictive behavior. Your problem is fleeing from intimacy. Sex addiction is your method of fleeing.

-I've tried to overcome sex addiction, I feel like it's impossible.

It's not impossible. Anyone can overcome sex addiction, if you're properly advised, you work hard and you're honest with your counselor.

-To be honest, my primary sexual relationship right now is with masturbation/pornography. Is there any hope for me?

Of course there is.

-My sex life has been almost exclusively with prostitutes. Can I ever have a good relationship?

Yes, you can. You might believe that because of your past no decent woman would want to be with you. You're mistaken. You can change and you can build a new life for yourself and develop a wonderful relationship.

-Chapters 1 and 2 are addressed to people in relationships. Can they help me too?

Yes! They will show you what *not* to do and they will help you understand what the partner of a sexually addicted person goes through.

-I've never met anyone more pessimistic than I am. I just can't believe I could overcome sex addiction.

Your pessimism is unfounded. Anyone can overcome sex addiction. It's like anything else in life, if you know what you're doing, work hard at it and stay honest about it, your chances of success are excellent.

Menu: Home | The Most Personal Addiction | Sex Addiction Help | Porn Addiction | Masturbation Issues | Infidelity | For The Partner | Contact | Survey

Articles in this category

For The Man In A Relationship Troubled By Sex Addiction | Is He Sexually Addicted | Did you lose a good relationship or never have one? | The Key To Mental Health and Overcoming Sex Addiction | You Have What It Takes To Stop Sex Addiction | Stop Sex Addiction Here and Now Naturally | Rely On Yourself To Stop Sexual Addiction | Work With The Mind To Stop Sex Addiction | How To Be In Control Of A Sexual Addiction | How To Find Competent Help To Overcome Sex Addiction | Sexual Addiction - Why People Become Addicted | Sexual Addiction - Misconceptions To Avoid | Sexual Addiction and The Symptoms of Addiction | Why Sexual Addiction Is A Unique Addiction | How I Overcame Sex Addiction |

Contact Info

Dear Joe,

When I first contacted you, I had tried to quit "cold-turkey" many, many times before. After acting out my addiction, I would swear that this was the last time and I'm never going to do this again. But, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I would be back to my addiction within weeks, if not days.

I contacted several people from sex addiction support groups. Every one had the same advice for me: Get into a twelve step program and start attending as many meetings as I possibly could. Well, that simply would not work for me. After I read your book, I called you, and after one conversation, I decided that I wanted you to help me.

Thanks to you, I am now able to have a normal, intimate relationship with my wife. I thought that I had loved her as much as I possibly could. But, during the counseling, I saw that my addiction was actually getting in the way of our relationship. I was indulging in this fantasy world that I had built up around me and I had little intimacy left over for my wife. Needless to say, this was having a negative impact on us not to mention making me feel guilty all of the time. Now, I'm more fully able to express my love for her, both emotionally and physically.

My work has improved as well, as a result of your counseling. I don't spend hours every day trying to appease my addiction. Needless to say, this has greatly increased my productivity at work.

For the first time in my life, I have hope. I can finally look at myself in the mirror and be happy about the kind of person that I am. I know, at last, that I am being true to myself; that I am being the kind of person that I always knew I was deep inside: a loving, faithful husband. For this, you have my undying gratitude.

Bertram [real name withheld]

If you would like to know more about how sex addiction is overcome, it will be my pleasure to spend a half hour talking to you and advising you about how to overcome your addiction at no charge.Whatever you tell me will stay in confidence. I will not try to make you feel guilty. I will not try to humiliate you. I will try to help you. Even if we never talk again, you will find that the time you and I spend speaking to each other will be beneficial to you.

You're welcome to call me at: 866-414-CONTROL (866-414-2668) 

Call 877-332-2869 if the circuits are busy (International calls: 805-214-1377)

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Snail Mail: Positive Realism 9732 Pyramid Way #327 Sparks, NV 89441

Please note:
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The Most Personal Addiction Copyright © 2002-2013 by Joe Zychik,
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This book is intended as a guide to understanding sexual addiction and to suggest a method of overcoming it. The advice rendered by the author in this book is based solely on his experiences in over 38 years of personal counseling. The author does not guarantee any certain result to the reader of this book. The author and the publisher shall not be responsible to the reader or any third party for any action or inaction by an individual who attempts to apply the methods set out in the book.