How Men Called Sex Addicts Abuse Their Wives and Partners

After discovery many wives and partners are too traumatized to recognize themselves as victims of abuse. Enter the treatment industry who calls all of it his “sex addiction,” instead. For most of us, that’s a whole lot better than being a victim of abuse. I was sucked so quickly into the “sex addiction” alibi that it took me a while to back my way out. But back my way out, I did, as what I was reading and hearing from the sex addiction treatment industry just stopped making sense.

Along the way I started a list—a list of the offences women face from these men called “sex addicts”. We experience physical, spiritual, emotional, financial and psychological harm that no one seems to name. I realized that if any parishioner came in my office with even some of these signs, I would have concluded she was in an abusive relationship. My first concern would have been for her safety. Only in this farce of a treatment industry is that long list of abuse set aside and replaced with the two words “sex addiction”. Actually, they don’t even bother making a list.

But in this week’s blog we will be working with my list. Please honor your life by going over that list compiled from the last ten years of my experience. Check off what also applies to your experience. Take your time. If you feel vulnerable do some mindfulness breathing to ground yourself again. Chances are you will be shocked at how many things on this list he has done to you. As difficult as it is to get these men to recognize what they do to us, it can be equally challenging for us to do the same. We’ve spent years, even decades, being groomed to put it aside.

Don’t put it aside anymore.


Sex addict inventory of domestic violence that is not episodic, but systemic behaviors in your relationship. In other words these things were not exceptions, but regular elements.

  1. Lies to you without hesitation about big things and little things

  2. Emotionally distant

  3. Sexually unavailable

  4. Moody and belligerent

  5. Unsupportive

  6. Talks with his family about your failings behind your back

  7. Making you second guess yourself/creating self-doubts about your perception of reality

  8. Blaming you or others for his conduct

  9. Personal criticism against you, including but not limited to your body, your appearance, your sexual attractiveness (especially as compared to porn women—-yes, really)

  10. Denies the truth even when presented with evidence supporting it

  11. Emotional affairs—seeking and giving emotional intimacy to others that normally should belong to a primary relationship, thereby sexualizing these other relationships

  12. Sexual activities with others

  13. Ignores you, including when you speak to him

  14. Flirting with others

  15. Forging your name on documents (such as loan applications)

  16. Is often late and won’t provide an explanation

  17. Staring at or watching other women closely while he is with you

  18. Sulks or is furious if you don’t do what we he wants

  19. Porn use

  20. Cruelty toward you

  21. Offloading household duties onto you

  22. Offloading parenting onto you

  23. Refusing to answer questions

  24. Seems to believe and act as though he’s “better” or “more important” than you (or your children)

  25. Ruining family occasions and holidays

  26. Buys himself expensive clothes while you shop sales for yourself and children

  27. Facial expressions of disgust towards you

  28. Sexual relations are mechanical, predictable, and controlled by him

  29. Compromising your family’s financial security

  30. Rejecting your sexual advances

  31. Playing Russian roulette with your health with respect to STD’s/STI’s

  32. Giving you STD’s/STI’s

  33. Ignoring your achievements or ruining their celebrations with sulking and being in a bad mood

  34. Sends pictures of his genitals to others and post pictures online

  35. Tells you that you smell

  36. Using joint personal assets or children’s savings to fund his sexual and sexualized activities

  37. Acting with arrogant disregard for you and your children

  38. Talks about other people in your sexual relations, or brings their known mannerisms into it

  39. Bestiality

  40. Using joint business assets to fund his sexual and sexualized activities

  41. Humiliating you if you try and talk about your unsatisfying sex life

  42. Involving your children in his lies/secret life activities

  43. Untrustworthy

  44. After discovery he claims you have to excuse his behavior because he has a disease just like some people get cancer

  45. Asking children to keep secrets from you

  46. Spends excessive amounts of time in the bathroom, often with his phone, and gets angry and arrogant if you ask about it

  47. Refuses to engage the pain he is causing you when you ask or even beg him to

  48. Humiliates you if you try and suggest new things in your sexual routine

  49. Accuses you of shaming him if you stand up for your right to know the truth of what’s going on

  50. Treats you with even less respect since starting “therapy” and “12-step group”

  51. Charms others and creates allies with them he can and does use against you

  52. Makes inappropriate sexually charged comments in social settings that humiliate you

  53. Uses religious values to control you and criticize you

  54. You wake up to him violating your body and he won’t stop when you resist—and you aren’t sure if you are being sexually assaulted by him

  55. Has few or no close friends of his own making but criticizes yours

  56. Too interested in your teenage children’s girl friends

  57. Selfish and self-centered

  58. Likes to inflict pain in your sexual relations without asking permission or warning you

  59. After separation will break into or use other means to gain entry into your living space without your permission

  60. Unable to perform sexually

  61. Tells people he “did some things he regrets” but “you can’t get past it”

  62. Physically intimidates you (grabbing you, blocking your way, shoving you, throwing something at you)

  63. Gives permission and opportunity to interfering/unpleasant/abusive members of his family

  64. Police come to your door with complaints about his behaviors and you defend him because you have no idea what he’s been up to

  65. Insults you, mocks you, and calls you names

  66. Triangulates you

  67. Staggers disclosures so he re-traumatizes you and sets you back in recovery each time

  68. Uses your things (even clothes or facecloths) so you have nothing personal to you alone

  69. Hides money from you

  70. Withholds child and/or spousal support payments and/or makes you beg for it

  71. Calls police and tells them you are violent. They may even arrest you

  72. Breaks things that mean something to you, or mows down things in the garden you like

  73. Wrongfully accuses you of infidelity or interest in other men

  74. Things, mementos, and family pieces that matter to you go missing

  75. Secretly takes videos of you or other visitors to your home showering/bathing, changing clothes, using the toilet

  76. Secretly takes video of you having sex

  77. Posts these secret videos to internet sites

  78. In couple sessions he “performs” for the treatment practitioner, manipulating him or her by crying and lying, so that he gains sympathy and advocacy

  79. Criminal activities such as solicitation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, stalking

  80. Goes through your closets, drawers, or any personal space

  81. Tries to manipulate you into doing sexual things you don’t want to do—like “swinging” or having sex with someone else while he watches, going to strip clubs

  82. After disclosures about sexual assault with vulnerable populations or animals, the treatment group does not report and he complains about your objections

  83. Threatens you with physical harm, financial ruin, or taking the children

  84. Uses religious leaders and community to support himself and disparage you spiritually

  85. Manipulates and charms counsellors against you

  86. Calls you abusive after baiting you emotionally with outrageous behaviors

  87. After discovery he pretends like everything is back to normal

  88. Presents himself as the victim to his children no matter how old they are

  89. Shows no compassion or empathy for the pain, loss and devastation he has caused you

  90. Had secret sexual and sexualized relationships with people in your family, work settings, circle of friends, church family, thereby ensuring you are isolated from support when you find out

  91. Proactively spreads falsehoods about you to diminish your credibility in searching for support

  92. Uses phrases and vocabulary learned in therapy and support groups to escalate emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse

  93. After discovery he pressures you to have sex with him and bullies you about it

  94. Upon discovery of his secret life his main concern is controlling you and your reaction

  95. Writes lies about you in his treatment workbooks

  96. Tells you that you have to expect less from him because of his “disease”

  97. Only expresses being sorry without specific reference to anything he actually did (such as from this long list or grievous abuse toward his wife/partner and sometimes his children)

  98. Does not invite you to social events related to work, community leadership, or volunteer groups

  99. He will help others in a pinch, an emergency, or with urgent (and non-urgent) problem-solving, while leaving you (and your children) in the lurch to fend for yourselves. You and your children not as important as the praise and appreciation of others.

  100. Grabs and gropes your body without warning, even though you’ve told him you don’t like that, it scares you, it doesn’t feel like intimacy, it’s too rough, etc.

  101. Uses personal information from your life, especially challenges you faced, to undermine your objections to his behavior, accuse you of (or intimate to others) psychological problems and deficits, and diminish the offences he has committed.

  102. Even after you leave him, he tells you and others (even dating services) he must find someone exactly like you because you were his match, his soulmate, and you threw it away—and he often does find a “clone” of you.

  103. Threatens suicide and then gets mad when you call it in and he’s admitted to hospital for 3 days of observation

  104. Threatens to divorce you and tell everyone you are unstable and dangerous

  105. When he sees how angry you are, he primes your closest friends or family with declarations of how much he loves you and will do anything for you and how you are the best thing that happened to him so that when you go to them with your anger, they defend him

  106. These men will even ruin a moment when you tell him you are pregnant with his child—he won’t even let you have a little scrap of joy about that in that moment or in your memory

  107. He uses critical health crises in your life that include hospitalization or immobilization, or even time in the hospital giving birth to his children as opportunities for sexual and sexualized opportunities

  108. Making you “pay” for anything good that happens to you by covertly punishing you with his secret sexual and sexualized activities that you discover later

So, I first posted this with 97 items on the list. We cracked my goal of 100, and the emails are still coming in. I will not be posting the names of those who make suggestions. I wonder how long the list will be once you all have a good look and cast over your personal experiences with these CASRD men (Dr. Minwalla’s correct term is Compulsive-Abusive Sexual-Relational Disordered man—C.A.S.R.D.—rhymes with “hazard”).

Now, originally, I was going to add the list of how these abuse tactics impact us, because that information also in important to know. Unfortunately, the list of his abuses is just too long. So, that second list will be next week’s blog, with additional discussion.

So, how did it go? Did you end up checking more on this list than you thought you would?

The truth of your experience should not have to be diminished, ignored, hidden, or excused in order to “save” him or the relationship. The truth of our experience should be used to save you. Don’t hesitate to contact a women’s shelter, helpline, or crisis service agency if completing this task has brought your need for safety to the forefront. Change begins with your decision to honor the sacred value of your life, and then expecting the same from others.

Next week, I will look at the impact of these abuses on our lives and how to make use of this information in your decision-making and with others. Stay tuned.

With you,


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