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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Persons who suffer from addictive disorders may engage in a wide variety of sexual behaviors
Author: Fraser Trevor
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42-17843858 (Photo credit: kedai-lelaki ) Persons who suffer from addictive disorders may engage in a wide variety of sexual behavio...
42-17843858 (Photo credit: kedai-lelaki)

Persons who suffer from addictive disorders may engage in a wide variety of sexual behaviors, frequently outside of their marriage or primary relationship (Carnes 1991). This is particularly true of sex addicts, but many chemically dependent persons who are not sexually addicted also engage in extramarital sexual behaviors before recovery, sometimes because their judgment is impaired or the chemical use is disinhibiting, at other times as part of an exchange of sex for drugs. When help is finally sought, one of the questions most frequently asked by patients is whether or not to disclose the sexual behaviors to the partner. Regardless of the presence or absence of an addictive disorder, the secret existence of sexual activities outside of a committed monogamous relationship involves several ethical considerations. These include
(1) the accumulation of lies about the behavior;
(2) the possibility of health risks to the partner;
(3) the ethical dilemma of the couple's therapist who is told by one partner about extramarital sexual behavior but is asked not to reveal the information to the other partner.
Honesty and fidelity are implied or clearly stated in most marital contracts or agreements (Brown, 1991; Hyde, 1990; Reiss, 1980). Pittman (1989, p. 20) defines infidelity as "a breach of the trust, a betrayal of a relationship, a breaking of an agreement. . . We are talking here about a sexual infidelity in a monogamous relationship. " However, infidelity involves much more than sex: The dishonesty about the infidelity involves self-esteem, the value of the rule broken, and the energy keeping the secret takes from the relationship. Pittman (1989) states that dishonesty may be a greater violation of the rules than the affair (or misconduct) and acknowledges that more marriages end as a result of maintaining the secret than do in the wake of telling. He firmly supports rigorous honesty. He speculates that the partner may be angry, but will be more angry if the affair continues and the partner finds out later.
Brown (1991) advises that, in most circumstances, the unfaithful person must tell the partner if healing is to occur. When an affair remains secret, communication about other matters is gradually impaired. She does indicate that behaviors from previous relationships or the long ago past do not always have to be revealed. Brown also advises that time and support for the partner are necessary and often takes longer sessions or more sessions of therapy to help the partner express her or his anger and sadness about the infidelity before actual rebuilding of the relationship can occur.

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