Q: I have a 22 year old son who has just recently gotten married this year. He is married to a wonderful girl i adore and they are expecting their first child in July, 2009. they have been together 4 years with no major problems in their relationship except for your normal disagreements (lid up on toilet, what to fix for dinner, etc.). neither has ever gone outside the relationship until just recently. they got married in july 6, 2008 and shortly after marriage my son went outside the relationship for sex with his ex best friend female friend. ( and i say ex best friend for several reasons, he began dating my son’s little sister, he is fine as a friend but not someone to date his little sister)this other female happens to be a friend (although not close or someone she would hang out with) but at any rate this female would come over to the house with my son’s friend on occassions. this sexual incident happen at least 3 times since july 2008. my daughter in law has since found out about it (just recently this week). could this be a sign of sexual addiction or is it something deeper?
A: No. I don’t think this is a “sexual addiction.” I think your son has suddenly found himself with responsibilities he’s not sure he can handle. He met his wife when he was only 18 and married her 4 years later. Although some people can find their true love in their teens, most people need more time to mature and to have the experience of a number of relationships before they are ready to make such an important decision. Now there is a baby on the way. Whether he is admitting it to himself or anyone else, it could well be that this young man is having major adjustment problems. Rather than face his own ambivalence, rather than deal with his issues about growing up so fast, he is acting out.
The couple needs some couples counseling right away. He needs to face his responsibilities. She needs to decide if she can forgive him. They both need to decide if they will do the work required to rebuild trust. Whether or not they stay together, they do have a child coming and they need to figure out how they are going to be co-parents.
If they were seeing me, I’d tell them that their marriage deserves a chance. Either counseling will help or it won’t. If it does, it will help them set a better course for their marriage. If it doesn’t, at least they will know they gave it their best. That’s worth a few months of going to see a therapist.
I wish you all well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Oct 2008
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Does my son have a sexual addiction?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/10/29/does-my-son-have-a-sexual-addiction/