Impact of Pornography Addiction on Marriage

It is unfortunate but in many marriages today face the damage from pornography addiction. To help understand where pornography stems from and the impact pornography has on marriage, I have interviewed therapist Jeff King LCSW.

 

Tell me a little bit about yourself. 
“I am I license Specialist Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Sex Addictions Therapist. I have been working with sexual addiction for 10 years and am currently in private practice and started the Centre for Sexual and Relationship in Oct of 2008.”

Where does pornography addiction stem from? 
“Sexual addiction does not occur in a vacuum and does not have one single cause. Sexual addiction is a secrecy disorder and when one starts to keep secrets about their sexual behavior then they develop shame. This shame then leads them to behave in a way that is shameful. That is why the primary treatment for sexual addiction is disclosure and group accountability. Exposure to the internet is a common way in which one becomes sexually addicted. Because they start to view things that no one knows about and that they feel shame about what they are doing. The more they keep this a secret then more addicted they become. Most people who call me for help and say they are sexually addicted deny treatment because a part of treatment is disclosure and group accountability. It is very difficult to embark on this process therefore difficult to recover from the addiction.

I define sexual addiction as sexual behavior in which I am harming my self, my family, my social network or my employment.

The reason porn becomes such an addiction is because it has an intensifying effect. Meaning once I see and masturbate to something I must find something more or better and the internet will always have some more or better. Better meaning more deviant (out of the norm).”

What type of impact does pornography have on a marriage? 
“Porn is damaging to a marriage because most spouses feel as though it is cheating. It also takes the sexual energy away from the partner and towards the internet. The internet creates a fantasy that cannot be fulfilled by the partner so the addicted partner can only get their sexual needs met via the internet. Therefore sex does not happen in the marriage.”

What can a spouse do to overcome pornography addiction? 
“Get into treatment! Both the porn addict and the spouse. See someone who specializes in sexual addiction. I have heard many stories about couples that have this issue seeing a therapist who does not specialize in this area treating the addiction and it only becomes worse often enhancing the addiction. I cannot stress enough how important it is to see a specialist in this area. The couple has to rid the relationship of secrets. Two huge and necessary steps are disclosure and a support group for both spouse and addict.”

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