“That’s when they realize this is serious,” Giugliano says.
It’s the quintessential story of the frog in the boiling pot that doesn’t even know he’s in a boiling pot until it’s too late,” Coambs says.
No matter what kind of spending occurs, some sex addicts, most of whom are men, maintain a secret credit card so their wives or partners don’t discover their out-of-bounds spending.
A secret credit card can mask the secret expenses of a sex addict.
Maybe the addict amasses thousands of dollars in charges to cover pricey hotel rendezvous with high-dollar escorts – and to hide these deceitful expenses from a spouse.
While a secret credit card might be an extreme example, out-of-control sexual behavior and out-of-control credit card behavior easily can go hand in hand.
For instance, someone who lost his job due to a sexual addiction – perhaps he obsessively viewed porn on a work computer – might lean heavily on a credit card to pick up household expenses.
For instance, the addict might buy high-tech gadgets for the kids or fancy restaurant meals for the spouse.
Coambs says the addict’s mindset goes something like this: “I feel really bad about what I’m doing.
“He was not at all wealthy,” she says, “but was clearly and quickly diminishing his savings.” As part of his treatment, Winter had the man create a spreadsheet laying out his income and expenses so he could confront his financial predicament.
In this instance, the man was a co-dependent giver, lavishing money on his lover to fortify the relationship, Winter says.
People find themselves in debt for many reasons, but sex addicts might find their problems directly related to their need for sexual pleasure.