Not everyone who comes to our website is the person experiencing the problem. Sometimes they are a loved one of someone who is exhibiting problematic sexual behavior, even though the sufferer might not know that they have a problem with sex addiction, or they might recognize the problem and not understand the issues it’s causing in their lives and relationships.

Many times the people who are looking for answers are the loved ones of those with a pornography addiction or other problematic sexual behavior. If you are interested in helping someone who has out of control sexual behavior, we’d like to say “good for you.” You’re interested in helping someone improve their lives and will most likely improve your own at the same time. Whether you’re a spouse, significant other, parent, or simply a good friend, we thought we’d offer some ways to approach someone with an addiction and get them to recognize the fact that they need professional help.

(Please note that these are very basic pieces of advice that tend to address addictions as a whole. If you’d like to talk about out of control sexual behavior of a loved one or inquire about support groups for such individuals, please contact us here.)

Be Understanding

You might be angry with the person. To you, what they’ve been doing has been self-destructive and is probably hurting yourself in some way.

But out of control sexual behavior is just that: out of control. Like any other addiction, they are often not in control of what they are doing and are being led by a part of their brain that they might be unaware is exhibiting control over them.

Be Kind

Again, being angry is perfectly normal. But as you exhibit understanding, do your best to exhibit kindness. It might not feel natural to do so, but attacking someone with accusations is not going to get them to open up about what they’re doing. Being kind can get them to admit to themselves that they have a problem.

Be A Friend

Addiction is stigmatized in our society. For 99.9-percent of human history, it has been seen as a moral weakness in the person who has the problem. But if you can be the friend (even if you share other labels with them such as lover or parent) and can be the one who isn’t stigmatizing them, you’ll be more likely to get them to seek help.

Listen

While it’s important to get your loved one help for problematic sexual behavior, you can start the process of healing simply by listening. A large part of being a therapist or psychologist is about listening, and by doing so it gets the person to open up about the root of their problem. They might not be interested in talking to a professional right away, but you can be that stepping stone that helps them admit they need professional help.

How do you listen? Be sure not to interrupt; let them finish their thoughts and be the one to invite you to talk. Also, don’t criticize, because that might cause them to avoid talking to you about the issue in the future and decide (often incorrectly) that even talking to a professional wouldn’t help.

Make Sure They Get Professional Help

You can help. In most cases, you can be that first step for someone with problematic sexual behavior, but the next step needs to be with someone with professional training. When they’re ready, give them our number, 610-844-7180, to get help with a doctor who can provide the help they need.