Addicts: What Does Your Denial Look Like?

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Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW

Denial is a series of internal lies and deceits that addicts use to make their addictive behavior seem OK (in their own mind). Because addicts lie to themselves, their behaviors can and do seem utterly reasonable to them in the moment of their obsession. Others are often able to see through this smokescreen rather easily, but addicts either cannot or will not, choosing instead to “deny” that they have a problem. Often, it is only in a crisis that addicts will finally examine their denial and the reality of their behaviors. 

If you are reading this blog, it is quite possible you are addicted and finally ready to examine and break through your denial. If so, I have listed and provided examples of the most common forms of denial to help you on your journey of self-discovery. 


  • My partner never wants to try anything new in bed. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be looking for satisfaction elsewhere.
  • I can’t help it if other people come on to me.
  • My wife has gained a lot of weight since we got married, and that’s unattractive to me.


  • I earn all the money for my family and nobody appreciates that, so I get high and look at porn for a few hours here and there as my reward.
  • I’m lonely and bored, and that’s just not the way that life is supposed to be.
  • I deserve to have some fun.


  • If I was in a relationship, I’d be having sex all the time, so why can’t I have sex all the time when I’m single?
  • I need to get high and get a massage to reduce my tension and anxiety.
  • Everybody else can look at porn, so why can’t I?


  • I’ll only do this one more time.
  • What my partner doesn’t know can’t hurt him/her.
  • I only use drugs and cheat on my partner when I go on vacation.


  • I see prostitutes, but I’m nice to them. I pay them what they want and even give them a little extra. I’m clean and a good lover, too, and that’s a nice treat for them.
  • Nobody will find out, so what I’m doing is not a big deal.
  • Everybody drinks and plays around with hookup apps. That’s just life in the modern world.

Victim Mentality

  • I was abused as a kid, so this behavior is expected.
  • Everybody wants so much from me. I just feel overwhelmed and at the mercy of everyone in my life. And my only relief, the only time I feel in control, is when I’m using drugs and being sexual.
  • I’ve got a lot of medical issues. Getting high and cruising online gives me some relief from physical pain and worry.

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If you or a loved one are struggling with sex or porn addiction, Seeking Integrity can help. In addition to residential rehab, we offer low-cost online workgroups for male sex addicts and male porn addicts new to recovery. Click HERE for information on our Sex Addiction Workgroup. Click HERE for information on our Porn Addiction workgroup.