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After you learn of your spouse's pornography addiction, you’ll probably experience a whole gamut of emotions including shock, anger, desperation, depression, and more. You may feel like distancing yourself from your spouse and marriage, but there are better things you can do for healing.
Follow these three tips to learn how you can slowly, but surely, improve your relationship and begin to move forward on the path of forgiveness.
1. Educate yourself on addiction. The first thing you can do when you learn about your spouse’s addiction is to educate yourself on what addiction is, how it starts, and why it’s so hard to stop. Learn about the symptoms of relational trauma you may be going through during this time, such as fear, obsession, the need for control, and the unhealthy actions that might go along with these emotions.
Speak to a professional therapist for answers to your questions and to get the support you need, which can include a support group, therapist, spiritual leader, or trusted friend, in order to move forward on the road to forgiveness and healing.
2. Distract yourself. At this time of struggle it’s easy to get into the trap of analyzing every last detail of your spouse’s sex addiction. Resist the urge. Dwelling on unpleasant details won’t help you and will probably make you feel even worse.
Instead of keeping yourself in misery, now is a good time to invest more energy in yourself. Here are a few productive ways you can build your spirits up during this difficult time:
By giving yourself a positive distraction from the struggles, you’ll replenish your soul and have more energy to effectively deal with your relationship.
3. Work to rebuild trust. The most important thing you can do for your spouse and your marriage is to encourage them to seek professional help from a marriage therapist (preferably who specializes in pornography and sexual addiction) to help them quit porn.
At the same time, the two of you can talk openly with your therapist for relationship guidance and healing. Set boundaries with your spouse to stop behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Once these are set and followed, trust can start to build up again.
Communicate openly and non-aggressively throughout the healing process. Have the hard conversations. Learn to use “I” and “me” to avoid sounding accusatory, such as “I’ve noticed that…” or “Lately, I’ve been feeling…” By formatting your sentences more around your feelings, your spouse will not go on the defensive and will, more likely, hear what you have to say.
This is not an easy time, so remember to practice patience with yourself and with your spouse. Each day is each of you must recommit towards healing and working together (and individually) to rebuild the trust, improve communication, and focusing on your future.
About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy (http://www.lifestartherapy.com/). She is committed to helping people practice open communication and build healthy relationships.
Nearly 12 million people in America today fight a sexual addiction, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Pornography is recognized as an addiction in the counseling and psychological community. It has been treated similarly by Alcoholics Anonymous since the late 1970’s.
Addictions are labeled as diseases and disorders by the medical community. I’m not writing this to dispute those labels, but to speak to what my experience and education by said experience has taught me about addiction. And in particular, my (past) addiction to pornography (sexual addiction).
Pornography in and of itself is sin. Therefore, a pornography addiction is sinful. The bible teaches us this in 1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” Galatians 5:19 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;”
I normally do not write posts directly to husbands. Because of my own journey, my passion is to give hope to wives whose husbands have or are currently struggling with an addiction to porn. However, this post is different. I cannot keep silent on this subject any longer. As your sister in Christ, I write this in love and in hopes that God can use it to encourage you to be different from the husbands that I hear about. Please bear with me as I explain what I am talking about.
Friend, we serve a God who forgives, heals, restores, redeems, and sets the captives free! Below is a beautiful prayer I received from the heart of a man who understands the consequences of sexual addiction. Whether you are battling an addiction yourself or you are a wife who's heart has been broken because of your husband's addiction, this is for you. May this prayer minister to you and bring hope to you no matter where you are at on your journey!
The Stories Behind Sex Addiction
How Desire And Powerlessness Can Lead To A Compulsion For Sexual Behavior
Broadcast Sunday, November 16, 2008
YouTube CBS Video needs to go here:
YouTube is the 3rd most trafficked site on the web, according to Alexa Internet statistics. Everybody is using YouTube. It has revolutionized media communication just as much as the television did back in the 1950’s.
But there is a big difference between broadcast television and the user submitted content on YouTube. The difference is regulation. When TV hit the scene five decades ago, your choices were “I Love Lucy” or “Gunsmoke.” Not exactly TV-MA material, much less XXX. We all know that the FCC has a tight grip on what television networks can and cannot show on network TV. Even though most of us are quick to point out the tolerance of questionable (ok, downright scandalous) content on network TV, it pales in comparison to the increasing selection of sensual videos and pics available at our fingertips on sites like YouTube.
Now don’t get me wrong, as a professional video producer myself, I think the concept and model of YouTube is brilliant. But for those of us (might I say all of us) who have major temptation issues when we see a video titled “lonely girl in bedroom,” the amazing innovation of YouTube also presents a huge stumbling block that begins to reveal why we are facing an epidemic of pornography addiction. And even though YouTube attempts to block actual nudity, porn producers do just about everything to drive you back to their site after clicking on one of their teaser videos.
Understand that I’m not pinning the moral fallout of our society on YouTube! I’m also not blaming them alone for the crisis of pornography and sexual addiction. Just a few minutes of surfing around on sites like MySpace, Flickr, and Friendster can be like running the gauntlet of sexual temptation all while sitting in the comfy secrecy of your bedroom. These sites are full of sultry images and videos just waiting to trip us up. I know I’m not saying anything earth shattering here and you may be wondering where I’m going with this.
I mainly just want to ask a question. Is it safe to assume that all of us struggle with sexual temptation on some level? I’m not just talking about guys here. Girls, you struggle too and that’s normal. If that is a safe assumption, and we know that porn is thrown at us constantly without discretion for age or situation, how can we win the battle and find real freedom from pornography and sexual addiction?
What do I think? I think it starts with ruthless accountability. If you haven't installed accountability software already, do it now! Through our partnership with Covenant Eyes, you can download a free 30-day trial here: Download Covenant Eyes Trial