According to a study conducted by Covenant Eyes, 56% of divorce cases involved having one partner obsessed with pornographic websites. Sexual addiction and Pornography addiction are both serious issues that have torn many families apart.
To discover your spouse is addicted to pornography can be devastating and leave you doubting your relationship and self-worth. Many times spouses of pornography and sexual addicts find themselves asking if they weren’t “good enough.” They wonder what they could have done to keep their spouse from turning to porn.
Answers to Pornography Addiction?
In truth, it has nothing to do with you. Like any other addiction, pornography (like drugs, food, shopping, etc.) is used as a way to self medicate. Their pulling away is not a reflection on you, but on them. As you move forward with this betrayal, many emotions will come up and leave you wondering what you should do next.
There are no concrete answers when it comes to pornography addiction. After learning about your spouse’s pornography addiction, you will need to take time to heal and move forward in the recovery process. It is important to note that the healing process takes time and cannot (nor should be) rushed.
While you start out in your healing, here are 5 things you should seriously consider to help you move forward.
1. Create your own recovery plan.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brene Brown talks about the 3 qualities that are necessary in the healing process. They are courage, compassion, and connection. When dealing with such a blow, you need to be courageous to admit those times you need help. It’s important to be compassionate towards yourself. And you need to form healthy connections with others who can help you during this difficult time.
2. Reach out.
During this time it can be easy to isolate and retreat within yourself. Don’t. Instead, seek a trusted friend, spiritual leader, therapist, or a support group where you feel comfortable to talk openly. Having a safe place to talk about your feelings can help you while you navigate the twists and turns that will arise during this time.
3. Learn more about the addiction.
As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” As you learn more about compulsive and addictive behaviors, you can gain clearer insights to help you on your own path to recovery. Through understanding addiction and the negative effects it has on the brain, you will better understand your spouse’s addiction is not because of a lack on your part. You can then begin moving past the negative thoughts of not being sexy enough, smart enough, good enough, and so on.
4. Incorporate self-care into your day.
A lot of emotions will arise during the healing process and taking time to take care of yourself is critical. As you begin to practice self-care, you may feel selfish for putting yourself first. But consider this: how can you help your children or the other people in your life if you are drained? Take some time for yourself so you can be there for everyone else. An excellent way to take care of yourself is to write in a journal daily (Julia Cameron recommends doing morning pages). Also, sign up for a community class, or pray, and meditate. Regardless of how much time you have, take some time each day to do something just for you.
5. Connect with the community.
When you are feeling lost and unsure of what to do, take some time to do something for someone else. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in our lives, and our problems. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to forget about it (at least for a little a while). Take time to volunteer at your local library, shelter, or community center. Organizations are always looking for people who are interested in volunteering their time. If you cannot think of any place to volunteer, check out Volunteer Match for some ideas.
Every relationship and person is different. Remember, during this time, it is important to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. The journey towards recovery is not easy and takes a lot of inner work, but can help you come out even stronger.
About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy. She is committed to helping people practice open communication and build healthy relationships.
— ALSO —
Here is an additional article written by Gary Thomas that has additional information on this issue of pornography addiction. We encourage you to read: