Q&A How Do Sex Addicts Develop a Healthy Sexual Relationship with Their Mate?

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Question: 

My husband and I agree he has sexual addiction tendencies due to childhood abuse and very early introduction into that behavior. He doesn’t like to say it a lot, only because he says he doesn’t want it to become an easy excuse for his past bad choices. I say tendencies because he seems to have done really well not masturbating and not searching for porn. He has gone 10 months without either vices. I feel that he still uses sex with me as a vessel of masturbation instead of connection. He is really against the idea of participating in a SA group because of the “putting it in Gods hands” part of it as he is agnostic. There are no sexual addiction specialists in our area either so he feels stuck in his options going forward. Are there books, online resources, etc that you would suggest to help him move from using sex as a vessel of masturbation to connection? We just bought “Restoring the Pleasure” and plan that as our next step but wanted to ask if there was anything else out there for options. I know he will probably never get completely away from sex being a vessel but he currently likes to keep count of how often we have sex because he feels he needs it and gets irritable if he goes more than a week without. I don’t want to be thought of that way or pressured like that. Where is the balance between meeting his needs vs wanting it to be about connection and not just assumed he gets it especially with the added aspect of addiction?

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Cherish

I have the same concern, however I drew a line in the sand. (Still waiting to see how that works out). Until my spouse treats me like a loved one and not a vessel, our intimate life is on hold. He found a lecture series on the radio, Focus on the Family I believe, that introduces the wedding vow Cherish, as in Love , Honor, and Cherish. I purchased the book Cherish that is a mate to the lecture. (it’s excellent by the way). Unfortunately for me, I believe the idea was just for him to get more sex-I was supposed to Cherish him I guess. I told him that when he treats me like a woman instead of like his brother, all bets are off. He’s not complaining so I assume.... you can probably guess what I assume.

My fear, as a recovering sex

My fear, as a recovering sex addict, is that marital intimacy with my wife will trigger the lust that nearly killed me and nearly destroyed our marriage. I'm in a 12 step program (SA) and am enjoying prolonged sobriety, and my wife sees dramatic changes in me and my behavior. She shares my concerns about what intimacy may do, but I can't condemn her to a life of celibacy because of my problem.