Pornography is a rampant problem for couples I see. For the record, porn use is an affair. An affair is defined as, “giving to others what belongs to your partner.” No, it does not look like the same as having an actual sexual relationship with someone other than your partner but its effects on the relationship are equally disastrous. Pornography in a relationship is not harmless. Your partner will often feel they are not enough and this can seriously affect their own sense of self-worth. Here are five indicators that you might be struggling with a porn addiction.
- You are withdrawn. You seek out more alone time from not only your partner but others as well.
- You feel deflated or uninterested about life in general. This is sometimes referred to as porn depression. It might have more to do with seeking private time in order to access porn. For example, staying up later than your partner so you can access porn now that they have gone to bed.
- You prefer masturbation to real sex. Having the real thing does not have the same draw for you as it once did. Masturbation is quick, easy and available any time, but robs your partner of sexual intimacy.
- Difficulties getting or staying aroused. Simply put, if you are getting spent through porn viewing and masturbation, there is not enough left in the tank to meet your partner’s sexual needs. Feeling desired is important to our sense of self-value.
- Your partner is complaining about your use and you are hiding its frequency. Privacy is not the same as secrecy. Secrecy is the number one killer of trust. I may close the door when I go to the bathroom but I am not necessarily keeping that a secret or lying if my partner asks if I just used the washroom. People who use porn tend to keep not only their usage but also their frequency a secret from their partner to avoid conflict and dealing with the issue.
Pornography addictions are very treatable and we have an excellent track record here at Bayridge in helping people win over this issue. It can not only have long term consequences for your health but it can also be a reason for divorce. Is porn worth ending your marriage and access to your kids?
Mark Laing Relationship Therapist – Hamilton/Burlington
Focus: Individual, Couple & Marital Counseling, Communication, Pornography Addictions, Affair Recovery, Boundaries, Anxiety/Depression, Anger