Understanding the Many Causes of Repeated Sexual Deception

Chronic sexual infidelity can have long-lasting negative consequences for everyone involved.  People repeatedly engage in sexual deception for all kinds of reasons.  In my Atlanta counseling practice I've helped individuals and couples heal and grow from all kinds of sexual secret-keeping.  I'm always available to set up a personal appointment for a confidential discussion about your specific needs.

There Are Several Causes of Repeated Infidelity.  Counseling Addresses Them All.

Studies suggest that about 20% of men and 15% of women will be sexually unfaithful at some point in life.  Of course, statistics don't matter much if you are one of the people affected.

Healing from a single incident of infidelity is difficult enough, but what about those who cheat over and over? Why do some people keep engaging in sexual deception despite the risks?  As an experienced Atlanta counselor who specializes in the treatment of repeated infidelity, this is what I have learned:

  • Some people have never fully considered the consequences.

Just about everybody would agree that lying about sexual infidelity is wrong.  At the same time, some people have never truly considered the full consequences of their behavior. They just haven't let themselves think about it until some crisis happens.   A few never received good lessons about sexual integrity to begin with, often because they grew up without sufficiently healthy caretakers to model this behavior.

How counseling helps.  Good counseling helps people explore themselves in ways they may have never considered and consider new and better ways of living. 

 exploration and professional feedback can potentially have lasting impact.  Support and guidance builds greater self-awareness and the consistent ability to make healthy choices about sex and other important aspects of life.  

  • Some people have a psychiatric diagnosis, chemical imbalance or substance abuse issue that reduces resistance to sexual impulses.

Psychiatric or neurological issues can negatively influence a person's sexual behavior.  Substance use problems can also severely influence a person's sexual judgement.

How counseling helps.  One goal of counseling is to figure out what's driving behavior, so I help my clients address all the issues needed to resolve the problem.  If medication or other medical issues need to be addressed I will provide referrals and consultations with other healthcare providers.

  • A (very) few people just don't care much about right and wrong.

Studies show that about 4% of the population doesn't operate with a strong moral code. People with severe narcissistic or antisocial personality disorders can engage in unpricipled sexual behavior from a sense of entitlement or simple opportunity. The idea that one out of twenty-five people will do whatever they want if they can get away with it is not a statistic to take lightly.

How counseling helps. Whether a person is faking remorse, empathy and commitment will be determined over time.  Most people with personality disorders don't continue the active process of personal growth for very long.  They may blame others, minimize the severity of the problem and/or try to rush the healing process.  Full healing from the damage of chronic infidelity requires patience, responsibility and empathy.  I've helped many people who lacked these qualities at first but who went on to develop tremendous character, conviction and courage.  This is why "sometimes a breakdown is a breakthrough".

  • Many people have some type of sexual turn-on they are too ashamed to admit which drives their behavior.

In our society filled with sexual shame this happens a lot more than many people realize. Repressed desires can only be acted on in secret, which can create a never-ending cycle of deception.  Many problems would be avoided if people felt safer to say "this is what excites me sexually".  They can then can direct their efforts toward managing their life, relationships and desires truthfully rather than hiding the full nature of their sexual interests and fantasies. 

How counseling helps.   Counseling provides people an opportunity to talk about sexual desires, conflicts and questions they have never had an option to safely discuss before.  Shame and confusion lessen with increased acceptance and understanding about the reasons and meanings of different sexual interests.  Couples counseling can help people communicate their sexual needs and desires more openly, avoiding secret-keeping and helping partners achieve greater sexual satisfaction with each other.  As a "kink-aware professional" I am comfortable talking about any form of sexual behavior with respect and understanding.

  • Sometimes this behavior is a way of “acting out” some kind of painful early life experience.

Some life traumas can contribute to the development of secret or risky sexual behavior that in some way reflects this past.

How counseling helps.  Counseling can help people resolve the effects of painful life events that can lead to problems with sexual self-control.  I offer a safe place to heal from past traumas to help a person break the cycle of unhealthy sexual choices.

  • Sexual secret-keeping can be a symptom of an "intimacy disorder". 

Some people have a lot of difficulty forming and maintaining a truly intimate emotional connection with a spouse or life partner.  They may be drawn toward a sexual desire for someone they don't really love. Intimacy disorders can lead some people to engage in ongoing sexual deception rather than be honest and trustworthy with their partners.  

How counseling helps.  Counseling can help resolve these kinds of intimacy problems so that people can feel comfortable expressing sexual and loving feelings with the same -- and only -- person. 

  • Finally, some people simply cannot control their sexual behavior, despite their best attempts. In other words, the issue is a form of sex or pornography addiction.

Some people have truly lost the ability to effectively manage their sexual thoughts, urges or impulses. For them, sexual obsessions can be as strong as a drug.  They not able to consistently control their sexual behavior no matter how hard they try. 

How counseling helps.  As a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT) I know how to help people develop or regain sexual self-control and maintain healthy boundaries on their sexual impulses, urges and desires.

In summary, any pattern of repeated deceptive sexual behavior is a serious issue no matter what caused it, what it's called or what other problems are present.  This is why it's so important to accurately assess each person's situation.  Since this is what I can provide I welcome you to contact me if I can be of assistance to you.

Bill