5 MIN READ | Relationship

Dennis Relojo-Howell

How to Deal with Porn Addiction While Married

Cite This
Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2022, January 20). How to Deal with Porn Addiction While Married. Psychreg on Relationship. https://www.psychreg.org/how-deal-porn-addiction-while-married/
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Communication is key in any relationship, especially in marriage. But what happens when one partner is harboring a dark secret? Most porn addicts suffer in silence. Porn addiction is a very private, sometimes embarrassing, compulsive behavior. Like most other addictions, those closest to the addict often suffer just as much as the addict themselves. 

Dealing with a porn addiction while married is a complicated and emotional situation that poses unique challenges. Dishonesty, lack of intimacy, and self-esteem issues are just a few ways that porn addiction can negatively impact your marriage.

In this article we’ll discuss the hurdles porn addicts must face when married and ways to overcome them while also repairing your broken relationship.

What is porn addiction?

Nearly 30,000 adults are viewing pornography right this second. Since the introduction of internet porn and the influx of free explicit content, there are pornographic images and material everywhere you turn. While some people can view and utilize this content in moderation, others become dependent on these racy images and videos for not only sexual pleasure but overall happiness and wellbeing. When someone becomes emotionally dependent on porn, despite the negative impacts it has on their personal lives, careers, mental health, and physical well-being,  it’s characterized as porn addiction. 

Porn addiction and marriage

Any addiction can negatively impact your personal relationships. Most people suffering from porn addiction withdrawal feel compelled to lie, sneak around, and spend exorbitant amounts of money to support their addictions. And porn addicts are no different. In addition, personality changes, mood swings, and even depression are all unpleasant side effects of porn addiction that may destroy your personal relationships. 

Marriage is built on a foundation of honesty and trust. Without it, one partner will start to feel insecure and may develop feelings of doubt and resentment. People with porn addiction that are hiding their addiction may act suspicious without even realizing it. Lying about their whereabouts, keeping secret content on their computers, or viewing pornography in private inside the home are all dishonest behaviors. And ones that your spouse will likely notice. 

People with porn addiction are often on-edge and paranoid about their spouse uncovering their secret. This may result in mood swings, irritability, and even picking fights with your significant other. Intimacy is often compromised in a marriage where one partner is addicted to porn. The addict is getting sexual satisfaction and gratification from pornographic material. In time, they no longer require or desire having sex with their partners. In addition, pornographic films depict sex in an unrealistic, fantasised way. 

People with porn addiction may expect their spouse to look, act, and perform like the actors they see in porn films. Placing unfair pressure on your spouse to perform certain sex acts or being disappointed by their apearance or performance can cause serious feelings of shame and low self-esteem in your partner. This greatly impacts intimacy between you and your spouse and only deepens the emotional and physical divide you’re likely feeling.

Excessive use of pornography and masturbating can also cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. When a man becomes reliant on porn for sexual arousal, it makes it much more difficult for him to get aroused by normal means. Over time, men can become desensitised to pornographic images and videos. 

Like with other addictions, after long-term use, the same amount of porn won’t generate the same effect, compelling the addict to watch even more porn more frequently or choose more extreme or taboo content. In serious cases, a man may not be able to get sexually aroused regardless of the circumstances, resulting in chronic ED. Lack of sex in a marriage can have disastrous effects. 

Your spouse may experience low self-esteem and self-doubt or become concerned that you’re being unfaithful. Sex and intimacy are two important components of a healthy marriage and the first two that are impacted by porn addiction.

Overcoming porn addiction and saving your marriage

Even though facing porn addiction while married can be an emotional and difficult journey, it’s not impossible. With honesty, patience, and commitment, you can not only overcome your porn addiction but save your marriage in the process.

  • Be honest. First things first. Without honesty, it’ll be difficult to salvage your relationship. Start by telling your spouse about your addiction. This includes how and when it started, how often you view pornography, when and where you watch it, and if you masturbate. You may even want to share the type of pornography you watch and why. Be prepared to answer some difficult questions. Let your partner tell you how they feel without judgment or defending yourself. Answer their questions as openly and honestly as possible. You can’t fully embrace the recovery process without telling your partner all of the details surrounding your addiction.
  • Express your feelings. What most people don’t realise is that porn addicts are often facing numerous internal demons. Porn addicts often suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, and embarrassment just to name a few. Let your partner know exactly how you’re feeling. Also, be specific about what emotional needs watching pornography met for you. By telling your spouse how porn made you feel and why you continued to consume it, you may discover a new way for you and your partner to connect on a deeper level. In many cases, porn acts as a replacement for something else that’s been missing from your life or your relationship.
  • Seek counselling. When you’re ready, you and your spouse should attend counseling or therapy sessions. This can be done individually, in a group setting, or using an online treatment programme, such as Stop Together. Many porn addicts prefer anonymity which is why online therapy programs are often best. They allow you to complete therapy in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Support groups offer another unique approach to porn addiction recovery by showing you that you’re not alone. Find a couples counseling group that specialises in other married couples facing porn addiction. A healthy mix of therapy and marriage counselling can help you start to rebuild your marriage.
  • Never stop fighting. Marriage is a beautiful bond shared between two people. But a successful marriage takes hard work. And a marriage recovering from one or more partners being addicted to porn might take a little bit more effort on your part. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open. Be honest with your spouse if you’re feeling the urge to view pornography and why. Focus on your sexual relationship and intimacy together rather than seeking sexual gratification elsewhere. Be patient. It will take time to rebuild the trust, emotional bond, and physical relationship you once had. Don’t get complacent. Porn addiction can be as serious and damaging as any other addiction.

Hope after porn addiction

Porn addiction doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. If you and your spouse are both willing to work on things, there is hope for the future. In fact, some relationships that overcome porn addiction are stronger than ever before. Start the healing process by being completely transparent with your partner. You can’t work together toward a common goal if you don’t share all the details of your addiction. With patience, positivity, and determination, you can reestablish a happy, healthy, honest marriage free from porn addiction. 


Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. 

VIEW AUTHOR’S PROFILE


Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only; materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Don’t disregard professional advice or delay in seeking  treatment because of what you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer

Copy link