Who we help Addictions We Treat Love and Sex (Relationships) Is your romantic or sexual behaviour causing you problems? If the answer to this is yes then read on. At some time most people will have viewed porn, been distraught at the loss of a relationship or experienced infatuation for someone? But for some, feelings of sexual longing, infatuation have become obsessive and their behaviour a compulsive problem. Here are some of the manifestations of Love Addiction: Staying in violent or emotionally damaging relationships. Leaving and returning to the same relationship constantly, after promising you would never go back. Missing important appointments or activities because you are obsessed with your partner. Ignoring and getting angry with your children or friends because they are interfering with your fantasies about a partner. Finding that if your partner leaves you are unable to function and cope with life. Here are some of the manifestations of Sex Addiction: Compulsive masturbation. Obsessively watching internet pornography and using magazines or video’s to enhance sexual pleasure. Missing important appointments or activities because you are obsessed with a sexual activity. Visiting prostitutes, massage parlours or chat rooms for sex, even though you cannot afford it. Finding that you cannot be faithful to your partner even though you are regularly having sex. Saying your partner does not meet your sexual needs and blaming her/him for your problem. Ignoring and getting angry with your children or friends because they are interfering with your fantasies about a sexual activity. If you can identify with some or all of these manifestations there is a chance that you have a sexual or romantic addiction. Sex Addiction Sex Addiction is becoming an increasing problem in our society as the number of erotic images available, largely through the internet, has burgeoned. When a person is sexually aroused, the brain releases the same chemicals that motivate a person who uses drugs or drink. Whilst for most, this is not a problem, and perfectly natural; for some the ‘high’ associated with sexual arousal offers a route away from reality, its problems and personal responsibilities and can lead to addictive and compulsive behaviour. For a sex addict, the obsessive use of porn and masturbation often leads to personal injury and/or become insolvent paying for chat lines, prostitution or massage parlours. Love Addiction When a person is infatuated, the presence of the partner is enough to take away his or her fear of life and responsibility. Just being in the presence of the partner can set this off. If the partner is not there, then just fantasising about the partner is enough to set off the chemical reaction but soon the obsession takes over and the partner becomes the sole preoccupation of the Love Addict. Addictive relationships are characterised primarily by their intensity, with the participants doing a round of arguing and making up (usually sexually): this drama is highly addictive. Over time, the length of time that the two can be together gets shorter and the time they are arguing gets longer. This is called `The Toxic Tango’ and can go on for years unless one of the two finds another partner. This seems to be the only way that they can leave each other, because of the fear of being alone. The problem here is that they start the process all over again only with someone else. The person with love addiction may even get in trouble with the police; seeking revenge on a partner who has left them, including the use of violence, damage to property or even suicide. Romance Addiction Romance addiction involves an obsession with the fantasies and feelings of falling in love and a compulsion to seek out the euphoric high associated with romantic relationships. Those with romance addiction cut short relationships, preferring fantasy over the possibility for real intimacy. The person with romance addiction fails to achieve real intimacy and their obsessive and compulsive behaviour can pay a heavy toll on work, study, family and friendships. Don’t despair if you are experiencing any of the problems explored above. They can be tackled with the right counselling and support. There is a solution. ~ To book an assessment call 0300 365 0304 (local call rate) or Get Help ~ For further information on sex and love addiction click here.