When You’re Partner is Addicted to Porn

 

First of all, in my honest opinion, I think there is a difference between a person who does porn every now and again, and a guy who is addicted to porn. I have always been one of those women who is very hurt by porn. When I was younger, it would send me into a deep spiral of self hatred, because I felt it was my fault that my partner turned to pornography and that if I could be fit enough, pretty enough, or loving enough there would be no need for my partner to do porn and it would just go away. Now almost forty, I am very aware that sometimes you have to compromise. Statistics show that most men view porn regularly. I still don’t like pornography. It still bothers me at times, but in an effort to compromise, I was willing to overlook a few pictures here and there. I soon realized that for some people, that is not enough. I have finally come up with my own personal definition of what is too much. I think everyone has to determine where his or her line in the sand exists. To me, a picture here and there is tolerable if my partner really feels he has to do it. I have to be realistic, and statistics show that if I want a partner by my side, more men than not are porn viewers. Porn addiction to me is when a person cannot go more than a day or two without porn, and routinely spend four to six hours a day viewing it, or if a person begins to replace his or her partner with pornography. This has been my experience. I have since talked to many women who agonize over what to do with a partner who knows that pornography hurts them, but does it anyway. My advice is always to decide what your farthest boundary is, and then it is up to you to enforce it. You cannot change a person. If your partner is truly addicted to porn, he cannot stop doing it alone. Not for you, not for the children, not for the sake of the marriage.

In my case, my husband does not want help. Intimacy is murdered when you live with a person who is addicted to porn. A person addicted to porn might start to withhold from his or her partner. He or she might even feel bad about it and know that it’s going to bring about an end to the relationship or marriage, but they are unwilling to stop. This has nothing to do with how pretty the person’s spouse might be, nor does it matter how fit you are, or what you’re willing to do. This is not about you. This is about your partner. No amount of crying, pleading, or threatening to leave will make him or her stop. This is when you have to find the strength inside to do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. Can you live with little or no intimacy. Can you live with the fact that this will go on behind your back? Can you live with it when the porn addicted spouse or partner escalates the behavior to calling sex lines, dating services, or singles in your area? As a woman, I know that I went through many phases of anguish during the 11 years I was emerged in pornography through my husband. Even though I didn’t see it happening in person, I knew it was, and I’d caught him in many lies. I’d catch him year after year chatting online with singles, or calling phone chats because it gave him a high to feel like he was getting a more real “fix”. I was devastated. It stole a piece of my soul. I tried extra hard to win his attention, to seduce him, to let him know I wanted him. Nothing worked. Today I realize that this was not my problem. It was and is his. I gave up the helpless victim mentality and began to remind myself that people still find me attractive, because they tell me from time to time. I started to look inside myself and the internal inventory turned up the fact that I had done nothing wrong. Many times I had the option to cheat on or do my husband wrong, and I hadn’t. Meanwhile, he was doing whatever he could, and I realized it’s because I’d let him get away with that behavior. He had nothing to lose but me, and he obviously wasn’t worried about that because he knew how I felt and continued anyway. To get through this, you have to stop isolating yourself. My husband always made me feel guilty for having friends of any gender, yet he wanted nothing to do with me either. I finally had to stop letting him make me “alone”. It is a choice to allow someone to treat you this way. It took me a long time to realize that. I had to take my dignity and power back. Fear will keep you paralyzed. What will I do financially if I leave? What if I miss him? What if I can’t find someone to love me again? What if he does change, and I left and someone else gets to be with the person I love. All of these things are fears that will keep you trapped in an unhealthy relationship. Find a support system. The more I talked to normal people who had normal, healthy, loving relationships the more I could see the dysfunction of my own relationship. If a person won’t get help with his or her porn addiction, the only choice you have is to save yourself, or “sell your soul to the devil” and live with it. I have decided I have to value and love myself as much or more than I do my partner. You truly do teach someone how to treat you. If you allow things that hurt you to continue, you are letting that person think they can go on infinitely. I look at it like this: I can hurt for a little while and get myself out of this vicious cycle of porn addiction or I can hurt for the rest of my life staying in a situation where I am not respected, cannot trust my partner, and sink into an abyss of depression while he continues doing what feels good to him. If you hear yourself in any of these words, please know that you can do this. You can get yourself out of this abuse. The same way I was willing to compromise and deal with “some” pornography, if your partner really loves you and values the relationship he or she will slow down or even better, GET SOME HELP! If they do not, it is time to help yourself. This is your decision, but the bottom line is if you can’t tolerate it anymore, leave it behind you. I know as soon as we take that leap of faith, life will be bright again. The birds will be singing. The clouds will look more fluffy to you. You will slowly find yourself. Your laughter will come back. You might even look in the mirror and like what you see. It’s all about taking care of YOU. So, I say it’s time to stop wasting time. The best indicator of the future behavior, is to look at past repetitive behavior. The truth is hard to look at sometimes. It’s time to step out of the role as enabler, and get on with your life. Someone will love you. Someone will see your potential. Someone will care enough about you, that he or she would never jeopardize your relationship in any way. If you cannot get through to the person addicted to porn, then removing yourself from the situation may heal your soul. The question is: What are you willing to do to make it happen, and how bad do you want it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *