WHAT DOES PORN ADDICTION LOOK LIKE?

Pornography is rampant in our society. It’s easily accessible. And it’s easily hidden.

WHAT DOES PORN ADDICTION LOOK LIKE

Porn addiction can silently infiltrate your marriage, destroying the trust and intimacy that you’ve spent years building. 

But what does porn addiction truly look like? And how can you get help to overcome this addiction and restore your marriage? 

Below, we share six signs and symptoms of porn addiction. It’s crucial to know what to look for so you can acknowledge the addiction for what it is.

Then, you can explore resources to help you move forward as a couple.

A Quick Note About Husbands and Wives

It’s important to note that porn addiction is not something only husbands struggle with. 

In a 2018 study, about 90% of men and 60% of women reported consuming pornography in the past month. Additionally, new research suggests that women are just as “visual” as men. 

Pornography addiction can also manifest itself in different ways for men and women.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines pornography as a material or depiction of erotic behavior that is intended to cause sexual excitement. This definition can include videos, pictures, erotica, chat rooms, magazines, and more. 

Porn addiction can be a challenge for anyone. Fortunately, there are resources to help both husbands and wives who are struggling with overcoming porn addiction. 

What Does Pornography Addiction Look Like?

Below are six signs and symptoms of porn addiction. Check the end of the article for practical resources to help you address each of these aspects of addiction.

1. Porn addiction can start at any age. 

Over 50% of Americans report having watched porn at some point in their lives. 

However, a recent report by Common Sense Media found that the average age when a teen first encounters porn is 12 years old. 

Perhaps that’s your story. 

It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that the first time they saw a naked person was from a photo their friend shared with them. Or maybe you accidentally found porn. 

Addiction can begin at any age, and it can affect every area of your life. 

2. Porn addiction traps you in isolation and shame. 

Porn addiction affects how you feel about yourself. There is often extreme shame associated with porn addiction. Trying to break your addiction can create a constant cycle of guilt if you continue to fall back into old habits. 

Porn doesn’t just affect how you feel about yourself when watching it. The effects extend into your everyday life. 

In 2022, the Survey Center on American Life found that men who watch pornography frequently are more likely to feel isolated, self-conscious, and insecure

For both men and women, porn addiction can lead to depression and loneliness. 

3. Porn addiction leads to secrecy.

One major sign of porn addiction is secrecy. For example, porn addiction might look like deleting your browsing history or using a secret device your spouse doesn’t know about. 

Hiding anything from your spouse creates cracks in your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®. It pits you and your spouse against each other. As you try to hide your porn addiction, you may become defensive or hostile. 

4. Porn addiction alters your brain. 

Pornography addiction rewires your brain. The act of viewing pornography causes your brain to release dopamine, one of the “feel good” hormones. Dopamine triggers the pleasure centers of your brain. 

After persistent porn use, the brain creates a new chemical called Delta-FosB. This chemical alters the brain, leading to more intense cravings for porn. 

Over time, the build-up of these chemicals in your brain can numb your pleasure response and minimize your willpower. 

For those reasons, porn addiction can lead you to spend more and more time online and less time with others, including your spouse. 

5. Porn addiction warps your perspective of intimacy.

Pornography is not real life. There are camera crews, makeup artists, scripts, and hours of editing. 

However, porn can easily trick you into believing that what you see on the screen is completely natural. 

As a result, you develop unrealistic expectations for your spouse and your sexual intimacy. You might fantasize about what you’ve seen rather than focus on your spouse in front of you. 

Since no one can meet these unrealistic standards portrayed by porn, it leaves you feeling unsatisfied. 

6. Porn addiction harms your marriage. 

No matter what you want to believe, porn addiction does affect your marriage. It is the same as emotional and physical adultery. You are being stimulated by someone who is not your spouse. 

As a result, constant porn use can make you feel less satisfied with your sex life.

Porn addiction also weakens the foundation of your marriage due to behaviors like secrecy, unrealistic expectations, solo masturbation, and more.

When your spouse discovers what you have been hiding, trust between the two of you will shatter. 

Porn addiction is heartbreaking for your spouse. It can rouse feelings of anger and betrayal. As a result, you will experience disconnection. You will have to take action if you want to repair your relationship.

How to Overcome a Porn Addiction

Now that you know what porn addiction can look like, here are your next steps.

Tell your spouse. 

There is no freedom from a porn addiction until you tell the truth to your spouse. Yes, it’s terrifying. But your marriage cannot move forward without honesty. 

Stop watching. 

Pornography is highly addictive, but your brain is incredibly elastic. It will take time for your brain’s chemical levels to return to normal. But this process cannot begin until you stop watching porn. 

You may need to install internet security or use a site blocker to hold you accountable.

Seek help. 

Don’t try to navigate this on your own. There are countless resources available to help you overcome porn addiction. 

Work with a professional to get strategy and accountability. A counselor, therapist, or marriage coach can help you break your addiction and restore trust and intimacy with your spouse. 

Register for The Porn Free Man Masterclass to learn how to break free from porn addiction in just 12 weeks.

There are also tons of books, podcasts, and online support systems. Here are a few additional resources that the ONE Family recommends: 

Your Marriage Can Heal After Porn Addiction

Confronting porn addiction takes courage. Anything that traps you in shame and secrecy has power over you. Remember, you are not alone. And many experts say that porn is just as addictive, or more addictive than cocaine and heroin.

So if you find yourself lost with answers and caught up in the struggle… It isn’t your fault! But it is 100% your responsibility as a man to get control of it.

The “traditional” addiction recovery methods are outdated and not built to fight against the battle of today’s readily available, easily accessible, and highly addictive internet streaming porn.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Transformational Behavioral Expert & the World’s #1 Porn Addiction Recovery Coach, Frank Rich to show you how you can break free from the shackles of this addiction and become the man you were born to be, in just 12 weeks. Register for The Porn Free Man Masterclass here. 

Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

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