Sexual Addiction and the Power of DENIAL — By Rob Weiss, MSW — Most common forms of denial = ENTITLEMENT, MINIMIZATION, JUSTIFICATION, BLAME AND RATIONALIZATION
Here is an informative article by author and expert Rob Weiss that addresses the many forms of DENIAL of obsessive porn users and people who engage in risky and harmful sexually compulsive behavior. This denial is most commonly demonstrated by ENTITLEMENT, MINIMIZATION, JUSTIFICATION, BLAME, and RATIONALIZATION. Sadly many people are only too familiar with such behavior from personal experience, especially women who have tried to address the regular pornography use of their partners.
The BAD news about this is that people who are seriously IN DENIAL of their harmful sexual behaviors won’t usually quit or seek help until their lives (and often the lives of their partner and/or their family) have been seriously devastated in some way, such as by a divorce or by losing their job. The GOOD news is that when that happens, there IS help available to assist them in freeing themselves from their harmful compulsive or obsessive behavior.
Please read the article excerpt below to learn more, and please feel free to share in the comments if you have ever observed or had to deal with any of the outlined behaviors. Thanks!
Note: The article is technically about “addicts”, but the points about DENIAL and the associated behaviors are sadly true about most porn and sex trade users in general, as many of their partners can unfortunately confirm.
[Psych Central] [Excerpt] — Essentially, denial is a series of internal lies and deceits. Typically, each lie has its own rationalization, and based on that imperfect foundation the addict’s sexual behaviors can seem utterly reasonable to the addict in the moment of his or her obsession. The rest of the world would easily see through the smokescreen, but the addict cannot (or will not), repeatedly defending the lies and deceit until his or her functional world disintegrates into divorce, disease, job loss, arrest, etc. Often it is only in a crisis that that the addicted individual will finally become willing (and able) to examine the appallingly shaky foundation upon which his or her sexual house of cards has been built.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT!
On some level, even though their compulsive sexual fantasies and behaviors are clearly harming both themselves and others, sex addicts oftentimes feel as if they are the victim. This is their justification. Defending their sexual behavior patterns to themselves and others, many say they are at the mercy of people or problems in their lives, and that sexual acting out gives them a sense of freedom and control they do not experience elsewhere. These men and women see themselves as burdened by the seemingly unceasing demands of other individuals, especially those close to them, for attention, participation, validation, and support. Not surprisingly, they find it difficult to know what their own emotional needs are, and nearly impossible to ask directly for those needs to be met. Unfortunately, feeling like a victim leads to feeling entitled to act out, which of course leads to the behavior itself.
For sexually addicted individuals, denial takes many forms, the most common of which are listed below.
ENTITLEMENT: Just look at how hard I am working. I give and give and give to my family and the company. I work nights, and sometimes even weekends. There just isn’t any time left for me. But I deserve a little bit of pleasure in life. It can’t be all work and no play. So if I spend a few hours here and there online, getting off on a little fantasy, that’s a reward I deserve for all the work that I do and all that I give to others.
MINIMIZATION: I’m no different than any other guy. All of us are on Grindr, waiting for our smartphone to buzz and let us know there’s someone nearby who wants to have sex. Everybody does it. We meet somebody online, we have sex, and then we brag about it the next day. Besides, I’m not in any danger. I’m a big boy, and I can handle myself. And I can tell when someone is too weird or into drugs from the kind of things they write me, so I don’t get into those situations to begin with.
JUSTIFICATION: This is what single girls do. If I’m not in a relationship, then I need some kind of excitement. And all I’m doing is chatting up guys on Facebook, dating sites, and a couple of apps. It’s a lot better than sitting around in some cheesy bar waiting for someone to buy me a drink. Plus, it gives me something to look forward to after work. It’s exciting and distracting, and I don’t even have to leave my apartment. And if some of those guys seem nice and want to come over for a quickie, there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, if I was in a relationship I’d be having sex every night, so why can’t I have sex every night when I’m not in a relationship.
BLAME: With the lousy sex life I have at home, who wouldn’t be looking at porn and chatting up women online for sex? Ever since we had kids, my wife doesn’t have time for me. Plus, she’s put on a lot of weight. It’s like she got what she wanted (the kids), and now she feels like she doesn’t have to worry about me anymore. Plus, even when we were having sex it was totally vanilla. She never wanted to try anything new or interesting, whereas some of the women I meet online are up for anything.
RATIONALIZATION: I’m not having affairs like some of the other women I know. I’m not even flirting with the doctors at work, even though most of the other nurses do. So if I go online for a few hours after my husband falls asleep at night and have my secret little intrigues, no one gets hurt and nothing comes of it. Lots of women are reading Fifty Shades of Grey and nobody thinks they’re doing anything wrong, so why am I?
READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT THE LINK BELOW. It describes how to best get the person acting out to break through their denial and change their destructive behavior. (And please don’t forget to like, comment on, and share this post to inform others and support the cause. Thanks! )
Rob Weiss, LCSW CSAT, is the Founder and Director of the Sexual Recovery Institute (http://www.sexualrecovery.com), and the Director of Sexual Disorder Treatment at Promises and The Ranch. He is the author of four helpful books about compulsive porn use and unhealthy sexual behaviors, including the excellent “Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn and Fantasy Addiction in the Internet Age.” Check it out at Amazon below!
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