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Porn Addiction - The Partner's Perspective.

Emese Taylor, 03 October 2017

We’ve talked about addictions to pornography and it’s potential for harm in those who consume it a number of times here on the London Love School blogs, but we have yet to take an in depth look at the effects this can have on the partner of the person with the addiction.

There are many reasons why men (and also women, though the situation tends to be less pronounced under these circumstances) turn to porn for comfort. For many it can become a habit after a prolonged period of singledom and frequently they won’t realise the implication or the fact that there could be a problem.

For their partner though, a dependence on pornography can seem like a terrible betrayal. Why is the person they love offering their attention and turning towards other people? Is it because they are not attractive enough? Are they bored of them? Have they done something wrong?

These are just a few questions that will go through someone’s thoughts in this situation. Due to the taboo nature of porn, sex and their own fears of rejection, it can become a very difficult topic to talk about and as such is left to fester, growing resentment and causing other issues to rise to the surface.

It must be addressed though. For a man, what he views as his little treat or piece of special alone time that allows him a little space to unwind can feel like a rejection of their partner and it is often difficult for them to see the effects of their actions.

But at what stage does the consumption of pornography become an addiction? A good definition to use for this is “any pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior that causes problems in someone’s life”. As such, the actions of one partner causing psychological distress to the other is certainly cause for immediate action and the partner with the issue must acknowledge and understand the harm that is being caused before it can be addressed.

This in itself can be a monumental task. Men work on a far more visual level than women when it comes to their erotic desires and will usually see no relation to their solitary erotic habits and their love for their partner. Yet if they are sating their sexual needs with the use of porn then they will become increasingly less attentive to their own sex lives and the needs of their partner – not only erotically but also compassionately. And worst of all, often their use of porn will go back decades and will be nearly impossible to stamp out entirely. There is an old comedic phrase that men look forward to getting a girlfriend so they can stop masturbating and then look forward to some time alone so that they can start again and the current rise of porn usage would largely seem to back this up.

For the partner suffering with this though, it will be hard to not take this as an incredibly cruel and painful betrayal. Do be aware, that this is unlikely to be your fault. Don’t fret about your own attractiveness or blame yourself for not being able to compete with those appearing in pornographic clips. Porn is selling a fantasy, one that is not going to be able to be matched by real life, which is largely why it becomes such an appealing prospect.

If this is something that you are suffering with, we would be glad to talk more about how we can help you. Porn addiction is one of the most common things we are dealing with with our clients and we would be glad to help you in your situation. Get in touch and see what we can do for you.

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