I Need Help with My Husband’s Porn Addiction

However you feel right now, there is specialist help available for porn addiction. There is support for your husband – from porn addiction therapy through to residential addiction treatment. As the partner of a porn addict, there is help for you too, if you need to talk in confidence about how you feel.

There are many reasons people contact Addiction Helper about their partner’s porn addiction. You may be concerned about how much porn your husband is watching or about the type of porn he uses; you may wonder what it means for your relationship, including having problems with sex and intimacy. You might feel angry, confused or betrayed; your husband may be increasingly distant or cross with you. He may have asked for your support to get help with porn addiction. There may also be drugs, alcohol or other – process – addictions involved.

Porn Addiction – How It Begins

Porn addiction is a type of sex addiction which develops from repeated exposure to pornographic content – including sexual images, pre-recorded videos, live webcam pornography, virtual reality videos or X-rated games.

For most people who enjoy porn, their use will not escalate to an addiction. Their health, relationships and everyday life will not be significantly altered or harmed. Today, regular porn use by men and women is very common, due to the availability and choice of porn online – including free and paid content. Data published in 2017 by the world’s most popular porn site, PornHub, showed that their website alone had 75 million unique daily visitors. Each visitor spent an average of 9 minutes watching porn on site.

Surveys about porn use show that men typically use porn more than women – but regular usage by women is now common. A 2015 survey of 3000 women found that 31% watched porn at least once a week. A 2014 survey found that a similar proportion of men (32.5%) watched porn daily.

The combination of pornography, usually with masturbation or sometimes sex, can progress into an addiction for some people. Researchers have drawn comparisons to drug addiction, in terms of how the brain’s reward centre responds to pornographic images. A Cambridge University study in 2014 found that brain activity in men who were watching pornographic videos was similar to the brain activity of drug addicts when they see their drug of choice.

It’s also increasingly common for children and young people to be exposed to pornography. Research carried out in 2016 by Middlesex University for the NSPCC found that 53% of 11-16 years old had seen explicit material online. Nearly all of them (94%) had seen it by the age of 14.

There is evidence to suggest that the younger people are exposed regularly to porn, the more likely they are to develop an addiction. In some cases, people have been exposed abusively to pornographic materials in their childhood. This is illegal sexual abuse of children. If this happened to you or your partner in childhood, please speak to Addiction Helper about intensive therapy for childhood trauma, as well as expert help for porn addiction.

Porn Addiction – How It Progresses

When porn addiction sets in, tolerance can develop to the type or amount of pornography being used. The original content is no longer as exciting or sexually satisfying as it once was. It isn’t possible to achieve the same effect anymore – whether that’s sexual release, stress or pain relief, escape from reality or the same level of high.

At this stage, dependence on porn can become more problematic. People may spend more time using pornography, interfering with responsibilities at home or work. The dependence can progress to seeking out more explicit material. This can result in accidental or knowing exposure to violent, degrading or illegal content. As the partner of a porn addict, this can be particularly frightening or disturbing to discover.

It’s very important to understand that porn addicts are often just as disturbed by this escalation in their porn habit. Although they feel compelled to use more porn or increasingly graphic content, there is often a growing awareness that they have lost control. Porn addicts describe the obsession and craving to use porn in the same way as drug or alcohol addicts describe their substance use.

They often don’t like what they do but they feel unable to stop. The cravings can be so powerful that they find it hard to regulate their use of porn, including taking risks to watch it at work or in public places. They often feel shame, guilt, confusion and fear, which affects their health and self-esteem.

Eventually, porn addiction can lead to desensitisation. This is where porn is no longer thrilling at all. Instead, people feel numb or disconnected when using porn. As with any advanced addiction, feelings of desperation and greater consequences can mount up. It can seem like there’s no escape. If your partner is in this situation now, please do not delay in contacting Addiction Helper.

Porn Addiction – Problems with Sex and Intimacy in Relationships

Porn addiction can also lead to sexual dysfunction, where it becomes harder to achieve or maintain arousal during sex with a partner in real life. If your husband or partner is currently struggling with porn addiction, this may be one of the areas where your relationship has changed. He may have become completely unavailable for physical intimacy and sex with you. Or he seems preoccupied or frustrated during sex, including experiencing erectile dysfunction.

It can be hard not to take this personally but it’s important to understand this as a side effect of porn addiction. It isn’t something you are doing differently or wrong. Just as alcohol or drug addicts can find sex to be a physical challenge, so too can porn addicts in the grips of their disease.

With specialist treatment, however, recovery of sexual function and arousal can be achieved.

Breaking the Silence аround Porn Addiction and Seeking Help

For both men and women, porn use is often a solitary and secretive activity. This isolation around using porn, as well as the taboo around talking openly about porn, can feed into an addiction developing and progressing.

Addiction thrives when people feel unable to admit or discuss the problems they are having. There can be fear or embarrassment about talking about porn use with your partner. It can also be hard to know where to go for help – should you go to your GP, individual therapy, couples counselling or an addiction treatment centre?

Taking the first step towards addiction help is often the hardest part. Please be assured that if you get in touch with Addiction Helper, your enquiry will be taken seriously and it will be treated in confidence. Our addiction treatment advisors understand the nature of addictive disorders.

There are many therapeutic techniques that can successfully treat porn addiction – including psychodynamic therapy, 12 step therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, family therapy and alternative therapies. Often addiction treatment centres will use a blend of these techniques for the best outcomes. Inpatient and outpatient treatment is available across the country and abroad. We can advise you quickly on the range of options available to you – to restore a sense of choice to your life about the way forward.

Call, message us or contact Addiction Helper via live chat, to find out about help for porn addiction.

close
Who am I calling?

Calls will be answered by admissions at UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step

0800 024 1476calling