Infidelity vs. Sex/Porn Addiction: What are the Differences? Robert Weiss PhD, MSW

As the author of ten books on sex/porn addiction, infidelity, and relationships, I am asked relatively often if all sex/porn addicts are cheaters and all cheaters are sex/porn addicts. The answer is no. Plenty of cheaters are not sex/porn addicted, and plenty of sex/porn addicts are not cheaters (usually because they’re not in a relationship). Moreover, the criteria for cheating and the criteria for sexual addiction are very different. In my book Out of the Doghouse I define infidelity as follows: Infidelity (aka: cheating, adultery) is the breaking of trust that occurs when you keep intimate, meaningful sexual and/or romantic secrets from your primary romantic partner. Please notice that this definition does not talk specifically about affairs, porn, strip clubs, hookup apps, or any other specific sexual or romantic act. Instead, it focuses on what typically matters most to a betrayed partner—the loss of relationship trust. For betrayed partners, it’s… Continue reading

My Relationship with Relationships – Kyczy Hawk

As last year was drawing to a close I pulled a few old diaries (now called “journals”) from my shelf. It has been years since I looked at them. Some years due to fear and shame, other times avoided in disgust for the sheer repetition in the pain, but this time I pulled some down with compassion and curiosity. Almost every page is filled with the pains of unrequited “love”. What I found was informative, enlightening and somewhat heartening. These books chronicle a young woman’s struggle for wholeness and autonomy over years (one of the early entries begins “Here I am, twenty four year old. There have been so many changes over the past year and I am lost again.”) Each entry has that same unmoored quality, desperately trying to find foothold for a spirit that is lost. Most often I looked for safe harbor in relationships. I won’t start… Continue reading

Why do People Become Addicted? – By Lee Weber

If you are reading this, you probably have a friend or family member who is addicted to something, gambling, drugs, alcohol, even sex or the internet. Maybe you are probably wondering how did they ever wind up in such a bad place in their lives. Therefore, if you are asking the question why do people become addicted? You are really wondering what causes addiction. If you want to better understand addiction so that you can react better to the person you are worried about, we hope to help explain addiction basics for you here. At the end we will answer all your questions about this topic. We will be discussing the following: What Is Addiction? Statistics, Is Addiction Common? How Do People Become Addicted? Addiction´s Effects In The Brain Why Do People Become Addicted? Signs Of A Problem: Am I Addicted? Why Cannot Addicts Say NO? Any Help For And… Continue reading

Rigorous Honesty: The Key to Healing an Addiction-Damaged Relationship By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

As addicts, we damage our relationships. And sadly, the more important a relationship is to us, the more damage we tend to do. Once we enter recovery, beyond the work of staying sober and pulling our lives back together in a general way, a primary goal for many of us is healing our damaged connections—especially with our spouses and partners. Most of the time, the most significant and painful damage, in the minds of our loved ones, involves the loss of relationship trust. As addicts, we lie, we keep secrets, we manipulate, we gaslight, and we just plain violate every aspect of relationship trust. These behaviors are part of the denial of our addiction. We lie to and keep secrets from ourselves and everyone else as a way of protecting (and continuing) our addictive behavior. Much of the time, we’re not even aware that we’re doing this. Our lack of… Continue reading

Finally, an Official Diagnosis for Sexual Compulsivity! – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  For a long time, sexually addicted/compulsive people did not have an official diagnosis delineating the criteria for diagnosing and treating their disorder. Nor could they get insurance companies to directly fund much-needed treatment for this debilitating issue. This did not by any stretch of the imagination mean that sexual addiction/compulsivity did not exist, because it did. (For a comparison, think about alcoholism, which was officially recognized by most medical and psychological organizations as a diagnosable and treatable disorder in the 1970s. But that hardly means the issue did not exist prior to that time.) The good news is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the latest version of its diagnostic manual, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), will include “Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder” as an official diagnosis. For those who are not familiar with this manual, I’ll simply state that it’s the most commonly used medical… Continue reading