Internet Addictions and Infidelity
Do People Become Addicts?
4:00 am and once again Sandy has spent the night online in sex chat rooms. At
times like this, when she is tired and vulnerable, she asks herself how she has
come to this place in her life. She feels ashamed when she thinks about the drive
to fantasize, talk, flirt, and possibly hook up with faceless men.
Sandy thrives on the attention, mystery and danger that have become the sum of
her sexual life.
This excitement is familiar. Sandy grew up with a mother
who committed adultery and a father who valued his sons and ignored his daughters.
When she was twelve, she discovered her fathers collection of Playboy magazines
and was fascinated by the perfect bodies and the obsession that men seemed to
have concerning sex. In her teen years she discovered that she could get male
attention by using her body and control men through sex. These relationships never
fulfilled the need for love from her parents and caused deeper emotional pain.
Years later Sandy is driven by a need to feel loved and complete. Now, however,
her sexual behavior is out of control.
of the most common questions that visitors ask is: What causes a person
to become addicted to pornography? Numerous variations, such as "How
could a Christian become addicted?" crop up, but all of these variations
lead back to the underlying point: why do people become addicts?
spending years studying the issue and counseling addicts, I can tell you that
addictions are very complex. Yet, I also know that many people who engage in harmful
behavior (even if they would not be clinically diagnosed as an addict) do so as
a result of unresolved family trauma.
family trauma is at the root of most major life conflicts facing individuals and
families. Addictions, personal dysfunction, relationship conflicts, divorce, and
abusive behaviors often find their origins in a painful family history. All families
and individuals encounter trauma at some point in their lives; the way we handle
trauma often determines how it will affect our lives and our familys life
for yearsor generationsto come. When an individual or family does
not seek to heal these wounds, the legacy of trauma is often passed on to the
next generation in varying degrees.
leads us to the unspoken part of the question posed above. If we understand what
causes addictions, wont we then know how to cure them? For some people,
simply having a personal revelation will open a vital door to helping them stop
their harmful behavior. Others may need to put forth a much greater effort to
overcome their patterns or addictions.
All families and individuals encounter trauma at some point in their lives; the
way we handle trauma often determines how it will affect our lives and our familys
life for yearsor generationsto come.
most cases what is often thought of as a behavioral problem, such
as alcohol, drug, or pornography abuse, involves deep-rooted wounds. The behaviors
are the visible aspect of something going wrong in an individuals life.
But like the tip of an iceberg, what is going on below the surface is far more
dangerous. Identifying the deeper wounds allows an individual and a family to
move toward recovery and healing.
all people who experience unresolved trauma will develop addictions, but any unresolved
trauma can prevent a person from enjoying life fully and from relating intimately
with others. The less unresolved trauma in our lives, the more likely we will
develop healthy relationships, happy homes, and joyful and fulfilling lives.
Steven Earll, MA,MS,LPC,LAC, www.pureintimacy.com
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