The shame and despair that come from the powerlessness and unmanageability help crystallize the core beliefs about sexual unworthiness that are part of the addict's addictive system:
1. I am basically a bad, unworthy person.
2. No one could ever love me as I am.
3. My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on others
4. Sex is my most important need
Although these beliefs seem to be common to all who struggle with sexual addictions -- mild or severe -- whether they be men or woman, the addict may not be aware of these core beliefs. He may say that he comes from a very loving family, yet deeper exploration may reveal that his feeling loved is dependent on his being perfect.
Impaired thinking shows up in a variety of ways as the addict reframes his actions in such a way as to diminish the blame and avoid confronting the reality about his life, marriage or work. It is not uncommon for rationalization or denial to take over as the addict's way of coping with his addictive behavior. He may justify his actions on the basis that his wife rejected him, does not like sex, is pregnant, is busy, or is preoccupied with the children. He may justify it on the basis that the person he violated really wanted it, asked for it, and equipped it, so the incident really is as much the other person's doing as his. Or it may be that he denies that it was really that bad.
In addition to rationalization and denial, some use intellectualization, in which the addict stands back and treats the behavior as though it were some kind of experiment, helpful to the victim or necessary for the addict. Intellectualization serves to justify the actions, diminish the despair, and reduce the shame and guilt. Whether rationalization, denial, or intellectualization is used, the faulty thinking is a necessary part of keeping the addictive cycle going. This was the situation for a married man who violated a younger member of his wife's family. He was able to convince himself that his action was understandable because he had not been getting much sex from his wife and the person was asleep when he molested her. The impaired thinking is evident.
The component of unmanageability reveals itself as major portions of the addict's life become out of control. Life become unmanageable. This can affect almost any area of life: spending, sleeping, working, eating, drinking, and/or playing. When life is experienced as out of control and unmanageable, the addictive pattern is well-established and the addictive cycle will occur repeatedly.
The information from this post is taken from COUNSELING FOR SEXUAL DISORDERS.