Are You Married to Porn?

If you are the spouse of someone with an Internet pornography addiction, your self-worth has probably suffered. Wives and lovers will often blame themselves for their partner’s sexual addiction problem. Spouses will compare their own bodies to the unreasonably perfect images the porn addict is viewing online. As there is no way that anyone could reasonably compete with online fantasy images and experiences, spouses are often left feeling trapped and alone with the problem. In truth, porn addiction is not about the spouse at all, yet it affects them so directly.

Unlike alcohol or drug addiction, sex addiction often feels too embarrassing or shameful for spouses to ask for help. It is difficult enough for most people to reach out for help with a private family matter, but when the problem is this personal, it can be very difficult to ask someone for help.

Some spouses seek all the answers for their addicted partners, hoping that by learning about porn addiction they can teach their partner how to stop. Others lose their own lives to ‘detective work,’ searching to see exactly what site or app their husband or mate is using, who they are interacting with, and trying to determine why they are doing it. However, no amount of self-education or discovery will lead their addicted mate toward intimacy and away from impersonal, intensity-based arousal. Recovery involves more than leading a horse to water and providing the answers for them.

So that the spouse or significant can recognize that they did not cause and cannot control the problem, they need support and guidance. There are groups dedicated to helping spouses of sexual addicts. Similar to the 12-step programs for sex addicts, groups like S-ANON, COSA, and CODA are support groups where a spouse can discuss these issues and maintain his or her anonymity. Individual therapists trained specifically to treat and understand sexual addiction can also provide much needed direction, insight, and non-judgmental support, whether or not the addicted person ever gets the help he or she needs.

If you are the spouse or significant other to someone addicted to porn, we encourage you to reach out and ask for guidance and support from a professional or someone you trust.

 

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