Boulder Recovery Blog

Understanding Porn Addiction

It’s difficult to estimate the impact pornography addiction can have on a relationship. Wives whose husbands are addicted to pornography can be affected in many ways. Still, you want to help your husband heal and mend your relationship if possible. 

Understanding Porn Addiction

It’s crucial to understand porn addiction and what causes sex addiction to help your husband recover. Porn addiction and other sex addictions are hypersexuality disorders. Porn addiction is an excessive preoccupation with consuming pornography. This urge is difficult to control and causes distress to the individual experiencing it. It negatively affects their health, job performance, or personal relationships. It makes it difficult for them to function in their daily lives.

Porn addiction develops as a response to unresolved trauma. In an attempt to cope with trauma, some people may use pornography to feel better in the moment. When watching pornography, the brain feels a rush of dopamine, which signals that the experience is pleasurable. This positive brain response causes the person to continue to seek out pornography to achieve the same feeling. 

Signs of porn addiction include:

  • Being consumed with thoughts of porn 
  • Feeling ashamed about looking at porn
  • Hiding your porn use
  • Trying unsuccessfully to quit looking at porn

First Things First

Your husband’s porn addiction isn’t your fault. Many wives feel they play some part in why their husband uses porn so frequently. “I’m not as attractive as I used to be.” “My body has changed after the kids.” “I am not a good wife or available enough sexually.” The thoughts can go on and on. Your husband may have reinforced some of these thoughts in arguments, with subtle comments, and through blame-shifting tactics. 

Wives of men addicted to porn need to know that they did not cause the addiction, they can’t control it, and it’s not their responsibility to cure it. The addiction probably predated the marriage and is actually not about sex or you at all. 

Porn addicts use porn to cope. Sex, porn, and masturbation are merely the drugs of choice. You are caught up in the addiction through no fault of your own. And your husband will have to take the responsibility to heal from porn addiction.    

How to Help Your Husband with Porn Addiction

How to Help Your Husband with Porn Addiction

It’s not a weakness for your husband to admit that he might also need a professional therapist or additional tools to tackle his addiction. And since it likely stems from traumatic experiences in the past, some “tactics” might be more effective than others. He likely will need help to identify the unresolved trauma and recover from it too.

Ways to help your husband include:

  • Set Boundaries For Yourself. You deserve to live in an emotionally safe environment. Don’t make deals with addictive behavior. If your husband can’t or won’t stop looking at porn or images used for sexual gratification, honor yourself by requiring changes in his behavior. Consult a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist or a member of the Association of Partners of Sex Addict Therapists to form healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries contribute to healthy relationships. 
  • Install Porn Blockers. Discuss installing porn blockers, like Covenant Eyes, on your husband’s devices. He can install online blockers to help keep him from looking at porn on his computer or phone. This is a step to create safety in the home for him and others such as children who may accidentally be exposed to porn. 
  • Encourage Therapy. Addiction is a mental health issue. Encourage your husband to seek help from a mental health expert. They can help him identify the root cause of the addiction and provide tools for overcoming the behaviors that resulted in addiction. 
  • Promote Support Groups. A support group, like the Samson Society, can be a positive way to meet and learn from people in a similar situation. It also will help you and your husband feel less alone during recovery.
  • Consider a Treatment Program. Choosing to admit into a higher level of care like a 14- or 28-day residential program can feel like a frightening step. But him stepping away from his environment for a dedicated period of time to focus solely on addressing the addiction may be one of the best decisions you can make for your relationship. It’s the best way to have a chance for true healing and your husband to live a life of recovery from porn addiction.
  • Seeking Support. Your husband will, most likely, need professional help in working through his addiction, but you also need support. Consider seeing a counselor to discuss your betrayal trauma and work through your feelings about the addiction. 

Support Through Boulder Recovery

Dealing with porn addiction can be an arduous process, but there is hope. And while it may take time, it’s possible to rebuild the relationship and establish intimacy again.

Boulder Recovery is here to help you find your way through pornography addiction. We help men address addictions and the trauma that creates them and offer partner betrayal support for the spouses of those in our program. Reach out to us for information on how you both can start on the road to healing.

  • Category: Addiction
  • By Lawrence Buddoo
  • October 23, 2022

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