3 things not to do if your spouse is addicted to pornography
Tracy was confused. When she and her husband married three years ago, their sex life was great. They couldn’t seem to keep their hands off each other. But increasingly, her husband Bill seemed less and less interested in sex.
Tracy was confused. When she and her husband married 3 years ago, their sex life was great. They couldn’t seem to keep their hands off each other. But increasingly, her husband Bill seemed less and less interested in sex. He claimed it was due to increased stress at work, but Tracy sensed there was more to it than that. One night as she lay awake worrying about this problem, she noticed that her husband wasn’t in bed. As she got up to look for him, she noticed the light of the computer screen coming from the study. As she walked into the room, she saw her husband sitting in front the computer and asked quietly, “Bill, are you okay?” He quickly switched off the monitor and turned away from her, but not before Tracy saw what was on the screen and what Bill was doing. Stunned, Tracy realized that her husband had been watching a porn video.
Pornography is fast becoming one of the most common sexual addictions. Many people view pornography as a harmless habit because it is done in the privacy of their home and they falsely believe that it affects no one other than themselves. However, in marriage, when one spouse is addicted to pornography there are consequences that can quickly destroy a relationship. Intimate sexual relations in marriage are one of the best and most effective ways to increase intimacy, build trust and foster love between a couple. When one partner finds sexual fulfillment outside of this relationship through pornography, the love and closeness that should be maintained through the couple’s sex life is replaced with pictures or videos of another person.
More often than not, pornography is viewed in secret behind the other spouse’s back. Any kind of dishonesty or deception in a marriage prevents the openness and communication that is necessary for a healthy partnership. Additionally, addiction creates a scenario in which the one who is addicted puts his or her own needs and desires ahead of what is good for the relationship or the feelings of his or her spouse. If your spouse is addicted to pornography, there are things you can do to help or hurt the situation. The following tips will prevent you from exacerbating an already difficult problem.
1. Don't kid yourself about what is happening
No one wants to believe that their spouse has a pornography addiction. However, ignoring the signs will not make the problem go away. The best thing to do is face the problem honestly and candidly. Talk to your spouse about the issue and express your feelings about his or her sexual activities.
Often one partner will allow it to continue because they fear that if they don’t, their spouse might turn to something worse, like an affair. This is not an effective way to deal with problems in your marriage. If your partner is getting sexual fulfillment from any source other than you, this will inevitably cause damage to your relationship and pornography is no exception.
3. Don't agree to sexual actions that make you uncomfortable just to make it stop
Sex between a married couple should serve to increase intimacy, unity and love and should not include anything that makes either of you ill at ease. If your spouse has sexual requests that seem unpleasant or distasteful to you, try to compromise with something that you will both enjoy.
A. Lynn Scoresby, founder and president of My Family Track , First Answers , and Achievement Synchrony , and has been a marriage and family psychologist for more than 35 years. He has published more than 20 books and training programs.