Is Porn Addiction Jeopardizing Your Marriage?

Watching pornography isn’t something that most people talk about, and because it’s such a taboo subject, many couples have no idea what their partner’s habits might be like. In today’s world of high-speed internet, mobile devices, and hyper-connectivity, people everywhere are more susceptible to becoming addicted to porn.

While opinions of highly sexual material vary greatly among individuals – from people who view anything beyond a glance at a magazine to be an affair, to couples who use pornographic material to add spice to their sex life – there’s no denying that porn addiction is a serious problem, and can be absolutely devastating to a marriage.

True addiction is characterized by obsession. When porn consumption leads to dishonesty, changes in behavior (both in and out of the bedroom), excessive spending, or other negative behaviors, it is a problem that deserves addressing, no matter how embarrassing it might be to discuss. But how can you tell?

Below are 8 telltale signs that pornography may be hurting your marriage, and while each of these problems individually may not indicate an addiction to porn, if you’re seeing several of these behaviors in conjunction, it just might be time for a less-than-comfortable talk about this touchy subject.

In an internet based world, people are much more vulnerable to becoming addicted to porn.
In an internet based world, people are much more vulnerable to becoming addicted to porn.

1.  Emotional Distance During Sex

This can be characterized by a lack of emotional connection in and out of the bedroom, and particular lack of “presence” during sex. This problem may also be illustrated by physically “going through the motions,” but without the intimacy you once shared.

2.  Overly Critical of Appearance

If your partner seems to have unrealistic expectations about the way you look, seems increasingly concerned about your appearance, or is more demanding about looking and acting “sexy,” it may be an indication that their impression of sexual attractiveness is changing.

3.  Lack of Sexual Interest/Response

This symptom may be characterized by a lack of interest in sexual activity with a spouse, or by difficulty performing or becoming aroused. In turn, this can result in a decrease in physical affection, frustration in the bedroom, or even a demand for more stimulus or out of the ordinary behavior.

4.  Change in Demeanor

Keeping secrets tends to make people defensive. Hiding an addiction to pornography can result in emotional outbursts, picking fights, and other typically “guilty” behaviors. Feelings of being “on edge” can result in difficulty calming down or sleeping.

5.  Anti-Social Behavior

This could mean skipping out on activities with friends or family, demanding an increased amount of alone time, or simply acting disinterested in social activities altogether.

6.  Too Much Time Online

Spending significant amounts of time online in private may be cause for suspicion, especially if it has affected bedtime rituals, sleep schedules, or is surrounded by secrecy.

7.  Uncharacteristic Behavior in The Bedroom

This could be new, unexplained roughness, speech, or any other activity that seems drastically out of character. It could also mean demanding activity that may be physically or emotionally uncomfortable for the other person, objectifying language, and a distinct lack of restraint when engaging in such behavior.

8.  Dishonesty

Addiction of any kind often results in “cover-up” behavior, little white lies, dodging questions. For this particular problem, the dishonesty may also include maintaining private email or bank accounts, unaccounted for stretches of time, or making up excuses for time spent behind closed doors.

Again, these behaviors individually do not necessarily constitute evidence of a problem, but because porn addiction is such a serious issue, and poses such a significant threat to marriages everywhere, they are definitely worth taking note of. If you are noticing these types of behaviors in your spouse, it’s not too late to say something and get your marriage back on track. It may be difficult, and your partner may have to deal with some serious denial, but approaching the problem head-on will make your marriage stronger and happier for the both of you.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

There are helpful resources available as well, you don’t have to do it alone:

Porn Addicts Anonymous: https://www.pornaddictsanonymous.org/www.pornaddictsanonymous.org
Sex Addicts Anonymous: https://www.saa-recovery.org/www.saa-recovery.org
Sexaholics Anonymous: https://www.sa.org/www.sa.org
Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health: https://www.sash.net/www.sash.net

Do you suspect that your spouse may be struggling with an addiction to pornography? Leave us a comment below!

Want to heal your marriage from the damage caused by porn? Check out the video below:

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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

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4 comments

BKB 9 years ago

Great article. Many still think that porn use doesn't have consequences but new studies are showing that the impact is even more devastating to marriages and families than previously believed. For those readers looking for help for their own or a spouse's porn viewing, 12-step programs can work but tend to have a higher relapse rate. Cognitive behavior programs, like Power Over Pornography, ten to have lower relapse rates.

Juston 9 years ago

https://overcomingpornography.org

SOSwife 9 years ago

Thank you all so much for what you all are doing in helping to save marriages. This article was helpful for myself. My husband is not a porn addict, but whenever he is alone or away from home (by himself) for a length of time, he struggles extremely hard. For the past year, I've just felt like we have been struggling and I couldn't explain why. Well, he finally confessed to me that he's watched porn and has masturbated while fantasizing about other women (and me *gags*) while he was away for work. He told me exactly what and how many times. This is only the third incident, since we've been married (3 years). Yet, every single time this happens, it stabs me in the heart that much more! Also, the healing process seems to take even longer!!! This time, it has hurt the WORST because I've recently given birth and my body is NOT anywhere near back to the way it used to look. I'm trying to get over this, but honestly, it just seems impossible. Everyday I struggle. I struggle with judging myself, with hating and resenting him, with comparing myself to skinnier, sexier women. When I go to the gym, I wonder, "Would he fantasize about HER?" Etc. etc. etc.

Mike_Olsen_SMN 9 years ago

SOSwife, I'm so glad you found the article helpful. I'm sorry to hear that you have been hurt by your husband and his actions. It is good to hear that you two are able to talk about the situation. Be sure to keep your communication lines open and the two of you will have a much easier time working through this rough time.