Healthy Sexuality Requires Creating A Long-Term Relationship

As addicts recover from sexual addition or addiction to pornography, they need to relearn some things. In previous blogs in this series, we’ve discussed how to re-establish a healthy relationship with yourself, as well as how to have a healthy relationship with sex. In this next blog, we’ll look at how love factors into those relationships. 

Now that you’re beginning to reintroduce healthy sexual relationships into your life, you may also begin to wonder how the feeling of love fits into your life. 

There are several types of “love” in these sense of what you may feel for a sexual or romantic partner. Those 3 aspects of love include: 

– Lust — the passionate feeling of instant attraction

– Romantic love — a bonding feeling 

– Long-term love — building a stable relationship over time, usually calm and secure feeling

As you recover from sexual addiction, the challenge is to move from feeling lust to feeling long-term love for your partner. Lust releases chemicals in the brain similar to those released when an addict is experiencing their addiction. However, to achieve intimacy like we’ve discussed in previous blogs, you must work at a lasting relationship. This will be more rewarding in the long run, and will help maintain healthy relationships both with your partner and with sex. 

Ideas for forming lasting relationships: 

– Hold hands during otherwise mindless activities, like watching TV. Periodically engage and talk during these activities. 

– Do something together, even if it’s just planning a future vacation, listing to music, playing games or going for a walk.

– Share a romantic event like a sunset together in silence; discuss what you saw afterward 

– When you arrive home or first thing in the morning, make a point to give your partner a long hug, taking deep, steadying breaths as you do 

– Talk about your day, including how you feel emotionally, physically and spiritually 

What habits do you have with your partner that helped to form long-term love? Think back to when you first started dating — what were the little things that made the relationship grow? Talk with your partner and your therapist about these topics. 

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