Dr. Mike was interviewed by Ryan Gray for North Point Care on the subject of pornography and culture. While recorded for their care leaders, the video is available on YouTube. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Pornography and Relationships: How to Heal from Pornography Use
When you find out that your husband or wife has been using pornography, it can feel like the world is crashing down. Suddenly, everything feels different and uncertain. Trust has been broken and it can be difficult to know how to move forward in your relationship. If this resonates with you, know that you are not alone. There are people who are ready to help support and guide you and your partner. In this second part of our two-part blog series on pornography and relationships, we will discuss the ways that you and your partner can heal from pornography use and restore your relationship.
What to do if your partner discloses that they’re struggling with pornography:
In our latest post on pornography, we explained the many different ways that pornography is damaging to intimacy and relationships.
It can cause people to develop unrealistic expectations of sex, lose their sense of intimacy, and develop issues with sexual arousal. It also can cause mistrust in relationships. If you’ve suspected that your partner is using pornography, you might’ve felt like you were being lied to. Or maybe you started questioning how well you knew your partner. If your partner opens up and tells you that they’ve been struggling with pornography use, you may even think that it’s your fault. It can certainly feel like your relationship is in turmoil, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t the end.
There are many steps that you can take to heal from pornography use in your relationship.
Sit with the pain you feel
One of the first steps that you can take is to simply sit with them in their pain. This means creating a safe space where you can both talk about your feelings and concerns. It’s important to be honest about your struggles and to listen to your partner as they share their own experiences. This process might be difficult, but it’s essential to begin the healing process.
Remind your partner that they’re not a bad person
Your partner might feel like a horrible or sinful person for using pornography. It’s important to remind them that this doesn’t make them a bad person. This is something that they’re struggling with, but it doesn’t define who they are. Remind them of the love and support that they have around them, and that they aren’t going through this alone.
Encourage them and give them hope
It’s likely that your husband or wife is feeling unforgivable, or even hopeless. Give them hope. Let them know that there are things that they can do and help that they can get. This is a difficult journey, but it’s one that they can take with your support. Pornography addiction doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship. With time, effort, and patience, you can both overcome it.
Give them the tools they need to overcome their struggles
One of the best things that you can do for your partner is to give them the tools they need to overcome their pornography addiction. You can’t solve their issues for them, but you can give them tools to overcome their issues with your support.
This might include putting filters on their technology, finding accountability partners, or seeking counseling. Putting filters on their technology won’t stop them from using pornography, but it will make it more difficult.
Accountability partners are going to be people that are the same gender as your partner that they can be honest with who will hold them accountable for their pornography use. It’s important that you aren’t your husband or wife’s accountability partner. You can certainly support them, but they need people outside of their relationship with whom they can be honest. If they’re unable to overcome their pornography use with the support of you and their accountability partners, then it may be time for them to consider counseling as well.
If your partner is struggling with pornography use, know that it isn’t about you.
When spouses find out that their husband or wife has been using pornography, they tend to think that it’s because they’ve done something wrong. You might think that you’re not “enough” for your partner and that is why they’ve turned to pornography. That is simply not the case. Your partner has gotten caught up in a fantasy, and as you support them through reconciling with their pornography use, it’s essential that you understand that it’s not your fault. Pornography use is about the individual and not about you.
When is it time to reach out for help with porn addiction?
It can be difficult to determine when it’s time to seek help from a professional. If you hurt your finger, you’re not going to go to a surgeon. You’ll probably see what you can do at home with some ice and rest. So if your partner is struggling with pornography use, they might start by seeing how they can overcome it at home. They might put filters on their technology, find accountability partners, and talk to you about their struggle. However, if pornography use is something that they’ve been struggling with for a while and have been unable to overcome, it’s time to reach out for professional help.
As a Christian counselor that often works with couples who have been impacted by pornography, I know that healing is possible. However, this is something that you won’t be able to overcome on your own. If pornography use is negatively impacting your relationship, our team is here to support you to restore your relationship.
Are You Interested in Sex Therapy With a Porn Addiction Therapist Near Atlanta, GA?
Whether it’s porn addiction or anything else related to intimate sexual relations with a partner, it’s hard to talk about. We understand the taboo. However, you will not regret working with a sex therapist to gain a more intimate and loving relationship. Our skilled therapists have the skills to help you and your partner increase your passion and intimacy. If you are ready to get started at our Suwanee, GA-based counseling practice, follow the steps below.
- Schedule your first therapy visit here.
- Begin sessions with an intentional sex therapist.
- Begin working through this hard chapter!
Other Therapy Services at Building Intimate Marriages
Relationships are hard work. Besides sex therapy, Building Intimate Marriages provides other guidance for couples. We can do this with premarital counseling as well as marriage counseling. If you are looking for other relationship options, consider discernment counseling, affair counseling, and divorce counseling. Additionally, our team hosts intimacy workshops and seminars to nurture your relationships in a group setting, too. Your sex life is just as important as the other aspects of your relationship. Let the therapists at our Atlanta, GA area therapy practice help you start feeling closer in all aspects of your relationship.