What’s the difference between sex addiction and just being a serial cheater?

Question and Answer

What’s the difference between sex addiction and just being a serial cheater?


What is a serial cheater?

A serial cheater is an individual who consistently engages in acts of infidelity across different relationships or within the same relationship. These instances are not isolated but rather a pattern that demonstrates difficulty in maintaining commitment and monogamy. Often underlying this behavior are complex psychological issues such as sex addiction or narcissistic personality traits. Sex addiction, characterized by compulsive sexual behaviors over which one feels they have no control, can drive individuals to repeatedly cheat on their partners. Their struggle with persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior often leads them into a cycle of infidelity.

On the other hand, narcissism is marked by an inflated sense of self-importance and lack of empathy for others. Narcissists may engage in chronic infidelity because they prioritize their own desires above those of their partner’s feelings and needs. Understanding the drivers behind serial cheating is crucial for effective intervention strategies.


What’s the difference between sex addiction and just being a serial cheater?

One difference might be someone who feels conflicted in their acting out and that it goes against their values and wants to quit but feels like they can’t (sex addiction) and someone who feels entitled to cheat on occasion (serial cheater/narcissist). Another difference might be someone who uses sex or porn on a frequent basis as a coping mechanism and the cheating is a part of that and someone who doesn’t seem to rely on sex/porn on a regular basis for emotion regulation but for some reason just seems to cheats on occasion (serial cheater/narcissism).

An unfortunate aspect of sex addiction is for many people the hopelessness and shame they feel from multiple failed attempts to quit shifts them into a form of narcissism where they kind of give up and accept the sex addiction and all the negative consequences as just “part of life”. But there is hope.

Our model for both sex addiction and narcissism recovery is very similar and consists of: mindfulness/ACT therapy, IFS therapy, relationship partner empathy, work towards earning secure attachment.


Can a marriage survive serial cheating?

Indeed, a marriage can survive serial cheating. This complex journey of recovery requires commitment and hard work from both parties involved, particularly the cheater who must confront their destructive patterns and make meaningful changes. Rob’s personal experience as a reformed and recovered past serial cheater offers valuable insights into this process. His therapeutic approach emphasizes the importance of self-compassion, introspection, and trauma healing in transforming relationships impacted by chronic infidelity. When a former cheater does the necessary emotional and psychological work, not only can trust be rebuilt but also an increased depth of intimacy may develop between partners – resulting in marriages that compare favorably to even the healthiest relationships untouched by infidelity.



Also Read:
APSATS Betrayal Trauma Therapist (CSAT) Therapist Near me
Online Women’s & Couples Betrayal Trauma Recovery Groups
Betrayed Partner Therapist

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