The following is the sixth segment in a 13-part series based on the book, Divorce: It’s All About Control — How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, by renowned family law specialist and managing partner of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif. This continuing series deals with one of the most destructive wars — the Internal Wars — and the Enemies Within, all of which can be just as devastating as the emotional, psychological and legal wars. The Internal Wars deal with “way too much” and “far too little,” — both of which can be vicious enemies. As I mentioned in the prior four segments which covered alcohol/drugs, over-spending, gambling and overeating, each one of the Internal Wars deals with self-abuse in one way or another. This segment highlights overworking.
Another internal war concerns that of the Sexaholic. Many of those going through a breakup find their salve in sex. Many of those who have not been intimate in a marriage or relationship for some time, find they need to “reinstate” their sexuality or to make up for all they lost out on during their arid spell within that sexless marriage. Becoming sexually active after a breakup is not wrong, certainly, but more often than not, I find people using sexual activity to mend a broken heart or as a means to prove their viability as a sexual being. When sex becomes a chronic remedy, one that gives you instant gratification, and a “bromo” for what ails you at the moment, you know you are on your way to marching into an ominous War. Do not overlook the prospect of contracting AIDS or HIV because of your erratic sexual obsession—two Wars over which you can never prevail. So, just because your ex makes an unflattering remark about your figure is no reason for you to hit on your gardener because you know he has been eyeing you for years. And just because your ex shows up with her new beau at your child’s holiday school pageant, that does not qualify you to bed down with every colleague in the office. But this often happens. Rather than over-eating or working too much, there are those who get caught up in the “Way Too Much” sex wars. They spend every waking moment figuring out how to prove their prowess, or satisfy their need for pleasure. Again, I am not suggesting that sex is wrong between two consenting adults, but if your need for or use of sex becomes habitual or creates an obsessive need to have it then there is no question that you are allowing a very specific Enemy Within to win.
I am sure you will find an assortment of reasons why having an obsession with sex could be a detriment to your well-being, both physically, emotionally and spiritually, but before you make your list, here is one to get you thinking:
- I may lose self-esteem if I am promiscuous.
- I may lose the prospect of making sex something special and meaningful with a very significant other.
- I could easily contract a sexually transmitted disease (including AIDS and/or HIV).
- I will hate myself “in the morning.”
- I could become pregnant (woman), or (man) set myself up for a paternity suit.
- Chronic and/or deviant sex can become affiliated with other perverse behaviors such as illicit drug and alcohol abuse.
- If my children, parents, business associates, or friends find out about my obsession with sex, they may look down on me. Worse yet, they may shun me!
- I may wind up with shame, regret and remorse—feelings that will be hard to shake.
- I could be putting myself in some kind of dangerous circumstances other than those presented by possible diseases.
- I will be ruled by physical urges and most definitely remain out of Control!
Just as you have done in the prior Internal Wars segments, if this is a War that you may be about to engage in, or one in which you are heavily ensconced, make your own list of reasons you need to get this issue under Control.
Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Blank Rome LLP, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.