Support for Partners of Porn Addicts

Support for Partners of Porn Addicts

 

Addiction is linked to both internal and external factors, all of which can make it difficult to pinpoint how an addiction starts and how it coerces an individual. On a psychological level, addiction can be associated with the need for intimacy or validation. In this case, considering the nature vs. nurture debate, nurture is the dominating factor. If an individual lacks basic intrinsic needs, they may seek unhealthy means to fill those voids.

When it comes to porn addiction, overcoming the addiction is more difficult than understanding how the addiction begins. Scientific studies have shown that porn addiction is linked to chemical reactions within the brain and consequently, the addiction can lead to many complications.

 

Is It Really an Addiction?

Professionals have differing opinions on the sources of porn addiction. However, most agree that porn use can become compulsive. This happens due to a variety of reasons. This can be problems with intimacy, struggles with connection, or ongoing numbing from life events. When porn is used for numbing purposes, it can become compulsive. This can lead to isolation and avoidance. These to characteristics are extremely common among addicts.

Determining whether it’s an addiction, or if it’s an “ordinary” relationship problem can be tricky. Counselors who have specific training and experience in sex and porn addictions can help you make this determination. They can also help you make decisions about what you are going to do about it.

 

Is Porn Cheating?

Since porn can become the main pathway to receiving pleasure and intimacy, an individual’s physical partner may feel like they are being cheated on. An individual may not even realize they are becoming desensitized or that their partner is being neglected. On the other hand, the partner might be wondering if they are no longer good enough or if they did something wrong. They may be wondering how they compare to the pornography that is replacing their intimate relationship.

Viewing porn also affects one’s ability to be emotionally intimate or sexually active. Reports show that individuals who repeatedly watch porn are more likely to have decreased interest in being sexually active with a physical human being, are less likely to be sexually aroused with their partner, and often struggle to orgasm without the porn.

Porn addicts bond themselves to the experience of viewing porn to receive pleasure, as opposed to bonding themselves to their physical partner. Porn becomes more than an escape or exploration of fantasy. Instead, it becomes a way of completely dissociating. Being the partner of a porn addict can be exhausting and isolating. This takes a toll on both partners and on the relationship in general.

 

Support for Partners of Porn Addicts

When your loved one is addicted to porn, finding a solution can be difficult, but not impossible. Addressing the issue starts by reacting in a positive and constructive way. If your partner admits to having a porn addiction, it is important to react in a way that does not add to what is already a difficult situation.

Encourage your partner to seek support groups, 12 step programs, or consider counseling to get the help they need. Be there to reassure them as they overcome their addiction. It can also be extremely helpful for partners of porn addicts to seek counseling individually as well as with their spouse. This is an opportunity for you to process what you are feeling about your partner’s behavior in a supportive environment. Counseling can provide you with some helpful coping tools to support you during this time. It can also help you while you’re making difficult decisions about your relationship goals and life.

 

In addition to counseling, support for partners of porn addicts can include support groups in your area, an online forum, a trusted friend, or a journal. While your partner is getting the support he or she may need to overcome their addiction, don’t forget that you need to be supported as well during this time.

Work on rebuilding trust by being completely transparent with one another and try your best to withhold judgment. If your loved one is addicted to porn, they need to be especially transparent, but you as the partner also need to be patient as they share their struggles and downfalls. Be patient with yourself as well through this healing process.

Being a partner of a porn addict can be difficult. Rebuilding trust will take time, patience, and understanding, but ultimately, it can bring you and your partner closer together and stronger than ever.

 

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