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Hypersexuality, bipolar, relationships, cheating

Community Member

Hi all,

Here is a backstory:

I am in a relationship with a beautiful man (I am also a man), and we've been together since June 2016, living together since September.

At the beginning of our relationship, before committing to one another, he wanted to be upfront and honest to say that he has hypersexual disorder, also commonly known as sex addiction. He wanted my input on the idea of him having sex with other people, outside of our own sex, to fulfill his constant and high sexual desire, however promised to love only me. Eventually, I came back with the response that I wouldn't want him to suffer or be unhappy, so I would agree to it, but I never want to know about it.

A couple of days later, he said that he wanted to do it, but couldn't do it to me, that it was too painful for him to do that to me, and that we would think of other ways to cope with it. This is secretly what I had hoped for as, for many people, we would love out partner to only want to desire us, and us alone, I thought.

So, that's the backstory.

Fast forward to about a month ago, and for two or three weeks prior, I had had my suspicions that he was cheating. I, very rudely, went through his phone and found evidence pretty quickly that confirmed my suspicions. I calmly brought it to his attention, before pouring out all of my emotion. Naturally, he was speechless and could only say "I'm sorry". Since then, we've had a million open and honest conversations about how we're feeling, that I was fulfilling his irrational fear of me not desiring him, what we desire, etc. We recently tried sex with a third person, which turned out to be quite fun and good for us, and I think has brought our communication closer. I could go on and on about the fine details and complexities.

Since then, I have felt depressed, angry, sad, happy, joyful, stressed, anxious. You name it, I've felt it. Countless conversations with friends, until I had a breakdown at work last week. I now have a mental health plan, and have my first session this week.

What I need opinions/advice on:

What does hypersexual disorder feel like on its own like in a relationship? How do I help him? How do I help us? How do I help myself?

I can't think of much more to write. I have felt better since my "breakdown" last week, which is relieving.

8 Replies 8

Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your experience.

You are very patient and understanding and caring partner.

Personally I don't know a lot about hyper sexuality.

I have bipolar and when I was manic I would be sexually adventurous and hurt people in the process.I was very impulsive so I would not be able to sit down and discuss things.

I suppose if one has an 'illness' one may have little control over their impulses. This would vary from individual to individual.

Does yours partner get any help for his illnesses. ? Have youtoldyourpartner about things you have written here.?

You need to care for yourself and workout what you want oryouwillbe at risk of getting hurt again and again.

I am sure people will respond with suggestions.

Thanks again for your honesty.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Mdoddy,

Welcome to the forums.

My partner and I also had a similar talk. She's just a lot more sexually active and adventurous than me and we knew it was going to be a trick situation. So I had a pretty good think about it then we had a talk about having what was basically a one-sided open relationship where she could have sex with others (since I was just not interested).

The talk was very helpful and we set some (lots) of rules around it. It sounds to me like the thing involving the third person, while fun, isn't something that you're super comfortable with.

While my partner and I were talking about it, she mentioned that she had a friend who had a similar arrangement. They agreed that he could have sex with others and she said she was okay with that. Fast forward 6 months later, she was getting pretty bad mentally and they eventually called off their relationship.

Sometimes we do things because we want to be okay for the other person, but I think it's important that you have a look at whether this arrangement really works for you. From the way you talk about it, his hypersexuality is currently a problem for you and I think it's totally okay to tell him that you're still not comfortable with it and need to talk more.

To put an ending to my own story on this, my partner and I actually agreed that even though I thought I was okay, if at any point I did not feel okay, she would understand. We both know it's an arrangement that could fall apart at any time, but that we'll talk about it as challenges come along.


Community Member

Hi Mdoddy,

I really appreciate hearing your experience, and the others here. I've had constant problems with hypersexuality affecting relationships, especially during manias (I have BP too) that is one of the main things I do. Although infidelity often feels out of my control, its hard not feeling like a jerk and many people would label me as such.

Open relationships haven't worked for me, so I've been working on ways to achieve monogamy because I love being in love, much more than sex. I just had the first serious relationship that I didn't screw up with infidelity, until a manic episode. I was actually proud of myself for being able to stay faithful.

Two things that I found helpful even if they sound silly or extreme. Hope this doesn't bring on too much judgement they are just things you might discuss.

- Pornography (distraction): Although this can be an addiction in itself, it gets my sexual energy out without infidelity. It actually helped me that my partner "provided some of the material", I could reinforce my attraction to her and avoid thinking about others. Also because "keep it in your pants" just doesn't work for me, it helps if can address my libido without expecting my partner to participate whenever I want.

- Being very careful with female friends (avoidance): I enjoy platonic relationships with men and women equally, they both make great friends. This is kind of extreme, but I don't like being around a female friend too often, or spending time with them alone.

I feel like a jerk just writing those but they helped. Lately my therapist and I have been trying to confront my negative behaviors rather than dance around them.

Also, I wouldn't do anything you're too uncomfortable with. You're obviously a supportive, loving partner, but from experience its good for the other half to stand up for his/her feelings as well or they could turn to resentment and prevent the person from seriously addressing the issue.

Best of luck

Community Member

Hello everyone,

Thank you so very much for all of your insightful and helpful replies. It feels amazing to know that there are people out there that can somewhat relate to what's happening for myself and my partner.

I just want to make an upfront statement to say that my partner does have a bipolar disorder. I've discussed that with him, he says he has had tests completed on such things and has not come back with bipolar disorder. The reason I included that in the topic subject is for the very reason that some of you have posted here for: that for some of you, hypersexuality is linked to bipolar for you. It's something I can't wrap my head around, that he does have a bipolar disorder, but does have a hypersexuality disorder. Although, it does make sense that one could be without the other, I would just like to understand more.

Does my partner get any help for his illnesses?

He does a lot of self care for himself. He uses online pornography, and we regularly enjoy wonderful intimacy. He has not sought help for this though. He feels that if he did seek any psychological help to reduce his impulses, that he would lose a big part of himself. And I'm not going to force the idea onto him either, I feel that that would be rude of me.

Have I told my partner about things I have written here?

Yes. He knows that, along with going to my own first session with a psychologist this week surrounding these topics, that I have posted here for further help.

Again, thanks so much for your replies, guys.

Community Member

Also, regarding my feelings on adding a third person to our intimate times occasionally:

It is something that I am continuing to explore within myself. Our first experience with that thus far, I really enjoyed.

To truly understand what it could mean for, and how it could help our relationship, I will just need more time to process it as it happens. Otherwise, I loved it.

Watch this space.

Community Member

Sorry, does not have a bipolar disorder.

Does have a hypersexuality disorder.

Just wanting to make sure that's clear.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Mdoddy,

It sounds like you're both doing a lot of talking which is always a good thing. It's just important to always remember that you are a person too with needs and wants, and a big one is emotional security.


Community Member

Hi Mdoddy,

i don't think it's rude if you told him he needs to get help, because it is an illness (just like you would expect your partner to get help if they had cancer). A psychiatrist or psychologist who specialises in sex addiction should be able to help.

Something unpleasant that no body else has raised is I hope you are using protection when with him since he might not be using protection with other partners and you don't want to catch an Sexually Transmitted Infection.

hypersexuality can be controlled. I have hypersexuality and have had self imposed celibacy for a year now.

i also never cheated in my one relationship. I have male friends but I friendzone them.

My ex liked my hypersexuality at first but I didn't know he had a porn addiction and that was one of the things that came between us. He would turn me down for sex a lot.

You matter too and if you want a monogamous relationship and he doesn't (or isn't ready to seek help) it might not work.

Good luck