Center for Relational Healing
357 Riverside Drive, Suite 200, Franklin, TN 37064
Sex and Relationships... A Drug?
Over the past 20 years or so, we have come to recognize the addictive qualities of certain sexual behaviors and obsessive, emotionally dependent relationships. Indeed, sex and relationships can be used like drugs to avoid or “medicate” feelings, elevate mood, and/or temporarily boost self-esteem. For the sex addict, these behaviors may include compulsive use of pornography, obsessive fantasy and/or masturbation, multiple affairs, anonymous sexual encounters, and other addictive behaviors. The relationship addict, or “love addict,” may use similar behaviors that tend to be more emotionally or romantically involved. With the advent of the Internet, addictive sexual/relational behaviors have risen to new heights of anonymity, easy access, and risk.
Of equal concern is the issue of co–addiction. A sexual co–addict is one who is in a significant relationship with a sex/love addict. Living with an addicted spouse can be very painful and lonely for the co–addict. Many spouses feel there is no one to talk to and believe they have to deal with the consequences alone. Spouses can respond to this pain in different ways, ranging from trying to control the addict to being passive. In co–addiction the focus tends to be on the sex/love addict, many times at the expense (perhaps unknowingly) of the co–addict’s own needs and wants.
Consequences can be devastating with both addict and co–addict. For some, their behaviors may create problems with family, work, and finances. Others may encounter legal and/or medical consequences. For all, there is an increasing sense of shame, isolation, and despair that block healthy, trusting intimacy.
The Center for Relational Healing is a Christ–centered counseling service dedicated to helping those who are struggling with various addiction and trauma concerns. Through a multi–stage process of therapy experiences, unhealthy coping patterns are broken. A nurturing support system encourages the client through deeper work of unresolved emotional issues. As self–defeating beliefs are replaced with truth, a transforming paradigm emerges. Spiritual surrender and forgiveness empower the journey toward healthy connection with self, God, and others.
Copyright 2017, Center for Relational Healing