Sex addiction and infidelity are vastly different; while infidelity can be a one time event, addiction is usually uncontrollable regardless of life consequences and some addicts have tried to quit. Sex addiction is usually something that has persisted since a young age and usually has markers throughout the years whereas infidelity tends to be isolated events and a sort of surprise to the other person.
Most times addicts and their partners must undergo treatment separately in the initial stages of treatment, especially if the addicts is still presenting symptoms of addiction. In this way the addict is able to get through treatment being sure to heal themselves before healing their relationship.
One of the most important things to know when you and your partner are going through couples therapy, whether for infidelity or sex addiction, is when to stop asking questions that will hurt the relationship. Knowing when you should move forward either by continuing the relationship or walking away, but knowing every detail is not beneficial. It is also beneficial for other partner is to really resonate with the hurt that has been inflicted on their partner and knowing whether their actions were from addiction or not. If the actions were not the result of addiction, finding the underlying reason for the betrayal is key.
Duane Osterlind and discusses with an expert (Cindy Shadel) key parts of infidelity and how to cope.