understanding internet addictions and infidelity


Understanding Internet Addictions & Infidelity
Internet Addictions


Cyber Cheating Online
Cybersex Addiction
Internet Addiction

Internet Addiction Problems
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Online Fantasies
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understanding internet addictions



Understanding Internet Addictions and Infidelity

Why Do People Become Addicts?

It’s 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 father’s 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.

One 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?

After 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.

Unresolved 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 family’s life for years—or generations—to 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.

This leads us to the unspoken part of the question posed above. If we understand what causes addictions, won’t 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 family’s life for years—or generations—to come.

In 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 individual’s 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.

Not 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.

by Steven Earll, MA,MS,LPC,LAC, www.pureintimacy.com

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