Los Angeles Sober Coach: Infidelity, Sex Addiction, and Ashley Madison

Los Angeles Sober Coach:  Infidelity, Sex Addiction, and Ashley Madison
www.theaddictionscoach.com  1.00.706.0318
couple hurt
This Summer, a story broke that has caused more stir than a lot of headlines in recent memory—the Ashley Madison hack. If you missed the story, Ashley Madison is the world’s most popular online dating site, a Toronto-based website that facilitates affairs for married people.
Last week, hackers released the usernames and/or emails for 32-million of the site’s users. As you can imagine, since the data leak, the legal, social and psychological implications have been widespread. The issue at the core of this story, is not who was on the website, but why. Until this story broke, many people were probably in the dark about what an epidemic infidelity really is, but the numbers speak for themselves: 57% of men admit to having cheated in a relationship, 54% of women admit to having cheated in a relationship. There are approximately 40 million registered users on AshleyMadison.com. We also have to inflate these numbers a bit to get the real picture, since the top numbers only apply to those who have admitted infidelity, and there’s obviously another portion of the population committing adultery without the aid of a website.
Infidelity and sexual addiction are addictions that have more shame attached to them than any other addictions in the world. What many people don’t realize, is that infidelity rarely happens due to a problem in the relationship, it is driven by a few factors: feeling “not good enough”, feelings of abandonment, and ultimately—trauma. These feelings of abandonment, rejection and low self-worth are things we have all felt at some point in our lives, and as Kim Barthel and Theo Fleury discuss in ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’, many of us feel these for the first time as infants. “Negative triggers can come from implicit memories of early developmental trauma, such as chaos, neglect, abuse. Infants have to learn to read their caregivers in order to know how to communicate their needs. These back and forth interactions between babies and their parents are the earliest implicit memories we have.” — Kim Barthel, from ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’
These early developments of human connection influence how we interact with other people as we grow older. Different forms of trauma may be involved in the development of sex addiction. The trauma may be developmental, or there may be excessive encouragement of sexuality early on. Trauma, such as sexual abuse, can also create unhealthy sexual development, interfering with physical, emotional, and psychological processes conducive to healthy sexual behavior. We already know that one in three people has experienced some form of trauma in their lives, so what makes sexual addiction or infidelity different from any other addiction? Nothing.
True sex addicts, suffer from a cycle of self-destructive behaviour. A pain agent or emotional discomfort (fear, shame, anger, for example) triggers the cycle. The person removes themselves from their emotions yielding a kind of numbing state, eliminating awareness of consequences, and leaving only awareness of pleasure.”
 — Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., sexual disorder researcher. When the addiction is triggered, the addict yearns for that numbing state, which is why they will look to places where they can feed their addiction easily, such as sex lines or websites. Enter infidelity. “If you don’t deal with the trauma you’ve suffered, the patterns will repeat themselves and manifest in many different ways.” — Theo Fleury, from ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’.
Now “dealing with the trauma” is a very interesting phrase because we are going to see a fall out on both sides of the coin when it comes to the hacking of Ashley Madison. For those married men and women who have now been made public and who now have some explaining to do with their significant other, we will now see a spike in drug and alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism. As we stated above, this isn’t the way to go or deal with the predicament that they have put themselves and their spouse in. And on the flip side of this uncomfortable situation, we will see a spike in drug and alcohol abuse in the spouse who was cheated on. The betrayal may be too much for a person who has struggled with drugs and alcohol in the past. Because this addictive behavior involves two people joined in marriage most of the time, we strongly encourage those affected to look for help and guidance at Top Rated Addiction Recovery and Sober Coaching Services or call us at 1-800-706-0318