Like most partners, she initially didn’t buy into the concept of sex addiction (“it sounded like a pretty weak excuse for an affair”) and even when she did start to believe that her husband’s behaviour was compulsive, her friends didn’t (“they’d look at me in despair, asking since when had sexual desire became a monster that can’t be controlled”), leaving her feeling isolated.
To be fair on Rachel’s friends, there is some debate about whether the term sex addiction is scientifically accurate, but the field of addiction is changing fast and emphasis is shifting from the substance to the psychological symptoms of addiction.
When meeting someone a conversation may also touch on places to visit, be it locally or overseas.
They want to know about other places, including the food, customs, music, the political climate.
Eight years into her marriage, Rachel started to wonder if her husband had lost interest in sex.“Sex addiction feels extremely personal when you’re the partner because it affects the most intimate part of your relationship in a way that, say, alcohol or drugs just don’t,” she explains.“I could have dealt with a gambling addiction or alcoholism – anything but this,” Rachel confirms.These interactions may differ depending on how the contact is made.For instance, when meeting someone for business, the conversation maybe confined to very safe and neutral topics.