Flavors of Denial

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In last week’s post, we discussed the manifestations and impact of denial on addicts and those who love and care for them. In that article, we briefly discussed the “flavors” of denial. This week, we’ve decided to share a handout we give to our clients at Seeking Integrity: Los Angeles to help them identify denial in their own lives and addictions. Our hope is that this will help you spot your own denial.

The most common flavors of denial are as follows:

Blame/Externalization

  • 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.

Entitlement

  • 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.

Justification

  • 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?

Minimization

  • 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.

Rationalization

  • 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.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with sex, porn, or substance/sex addiction, help is available through our free resources website, SexandRelationshipHealing.com, our low-cost online workgroups, and our residential treatment center.