Are You Living With a Porn Addict?

The Moment of Realization

woman_computerIf you searched on this topic, it’s possible you’ve just had the shock of your life. Whether your partner just admitted something to you verbally, or you’ve just uncovered a troubling internet history, finding out that your partner is, or may be, a sex or porn addict is very difficult to process. Emotions are swirling right now – anger, confusion, betrayal, and even embarrassment are all typical responses to your situation. And why wouldn’t they be? You’re in love with your partner, but you’re suddenly unsure if you know them at all.

 

As much as modern society has loosened up its attitude towards pornography, women can still feel overwhelmed when they discover that porn has become a huge part of their partner’s life. You may hear jokes and casual mentions of internet porn peppered throughout casual conversations and the media, but that doesn’t mean you’re okay with it getting between you and your partner. It becomes an intruder, a third entity in what was supposed to be just the two of you. Suddenly, your core sense of security is gone.

 

What You Want In Your Relationship — And What You Don’t Want

We’re living in a time of transition. We’re blazing ahead in our education, our careers, and building our families. We have choices and opportunities unlike anything our grandmothers ever dreamed. Still, there’s often one aspect of romantic relationships that remains, no matter how the world changes around us — we want to be our partner’s one and only. We want to be, and ought to be enough. Realizing that you have a porn addict on your hands undercuts that notion completely.
 

To further demonstrate, let’s look at a hypothetical client named “Sally.” Sally’s been in a relationship for a while, and is now becoming more comfortable, and cooling off, so to speak. Even though she thinks everything is going well, her partner turns up the pressure. He wants to explore their sexual life, and add more spice. Sally becomes upset that she and the relationship she’s been building are not enough. She now has to stop and recognize that things aren’t quite what they were before. This begins her journey of letting go of the image of her ideal life. She had a romantic notion of being in a great love affair, but now has to realize that her life is not at all like she’d been imagining.
 

If Sally sounds like you in any way, you’re not alone. Other women have faced situations just like yours, and have also come looking for help.
 

“So What Do I Do Now?”

If you discover that your partner is a sex or porn addict, the first step is to talk to him. This will not be an easy conversation. You might even have to go into the conversation realizing he won’t admit the whole truth, which only deepens your suspicion. The reality is that your relationship is in a critical situation right now and you need help. You need to take control back. You begin by talking.

 

Looking after the health and stability of your relationship is an aspect of meaningful self-care. Think of all the energy you’ve put into your relationship up to now. You’re not wrong to feel hurt. If you sense that something’s wrong, it’s because you’re paying close attention. My job, as a therapist is to help you from this point on. Together, we’ll take apart the fantasy and lies, and face the reality of your situation. We will begin to make the unconscious conscious.

 

by Faye Reitman, LFMT, MA, Compulsion Solutions Counselor

 

 

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