From the Blog

Married to a Sex Addict? 3 Important Tips to Help Your Relationship

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:

 

  • Set recovery goals and write them down
  • Connect with a support community and/or clergy member
  • Set up a weekly night out with yourself or with friends
  • Learn a new skill or start a hobby you’ve always wanted to have
  • Start a new exercise regime
  • Get plenty of good sleep
  • Serve others who are in need

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Porn: The Intimacy Killer

There are few words that can bring men’s conversations to a grinding halt. Intimacy is one of them. Speak the word, intimate, in the setting of a man-to-man talk and hear the deafening silence.

If this conversation makes you a tad uncomfortable, that's probably a good thing. Intimacy and pornography are diametrically opposed to one another. The two are mutually exclusive. Like light and dark. They can’t occupy the same space. 

Ok, the point is this. Fact: Viewing of pornography kills the intimacy you have with your wife.  If you’re having intimate (sexual that is) outside of the bonds of marriage, you need to revisit God’s design for relationships. Marriage, then sex. 

Evidence
How do I know this to be fact? My personal experience, which I’ll address shortly, and this article from Resurgence is another solid piece of evidence.  http://theresurgence.com/2011/11/19/7-negative-effects-of-porn, Journalist http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Paul/e/B001H9Q502/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 Pamela Paul writes: “pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships.”  

The Resurgence article accurately states: “Sex becomes self serving. It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.”

Continue Reading >

Deb wrote:

I am one of the many un-heard female voices of porn addiction. I was first exposed to it by accident when I walked into the living room of my childhood home on the way to the kitchen to get a drink in the late night hours. I was stopped cold in my tracks when I saw a reflection of porn images on the living room window. My parents were viewing it in the family room thinking we were asleep. I rushed back to my bedroom hoping not to be noticed. I was only seven years old but the sexually charged images were burned into my brain and it grew from there. I resented my Christain parents from that point on as I saw them continue to hide this practice from my sister and I for years. I don't believe my Mom was agreeable to it but was trying to please my Dad. I don't want to shame or disrespect my parents; I only want to share my story. It was from that point that I grew to seek out porn and it got worse when I became old enough to learn how to get the "high" of combining masturbation with the porn. I had a job traveling for a living and started to order porn in hotel rooms at around 22 years old. By the time I was 25, I had a habit well ingrained in my heart and soul. I met and married my husbund who was not a Christian until right before we married. Ironically, he was watching porn from the first time I ever socialized with him. I was on my way to a party at his house shortly after meeting him and the giggles in the background were apparent as I asked him for directions. "What are you guys doing?" I asked. Watching a porno he said. Although it was put away by the time I got there, I knew that I'd met my "match" in a man who also loved porn. I was in my spiritual rebellious stage of my life. He didn't know about my love for porn until after I'd asked him to get rid of his tapes. In anger, he did; but I later explained without too much detail the damage porn had done to me. He then started to act as if he no longer felt any desire for the porn he'd watched before. I think as a new Christian, he really wanted that to be true. Unfortunately, I knew that porn wasn't something you could just "stop" enjoying. That's where the lies started. I never told my husband that how ashamed I was about my continued habit of the porn cycle. After we married, we had little to no sex and I became even more drawn to porn. When we separated 5 years after our marriage, I found porn on the computer and evidence that my spouse had never really given up his own "hobby". I don't want to shame my husband, again, I am just telling my story. I still pray everyday for reconcilliation in the hopes that my husband and I can be honest with eachother about the REAL truth that we both struggle with. I am ashamed to say that I am most drawn to the woman/woman scenes in the porn, even though I am absolutely straight. I am a Christian with a sincere love for the Lord and I want SO BADLY to have a healthy, loving, and intimate sex life. The devil taunts me daily about the fact that my husband would probably be thrilled if I just decided to drop my faith and introduce porn to our marriage. I know this is a lie. Unfortunately, my husband and I haven't even had sex in 2 years and now live apart. I've since confessed my strong sexual addiction and desire to "quit"; but my husband INSISTS he doesn't watch porn; yet I wonder how he's satisfied his sexual desires for the last two years. He has strayed from the Lord but I know it's my OWN sins and not his, that I need to deal with before God can heal either of us. PORN IS A LIE. PORN KILLS, STEALS AND DESTROYS. I hope my story helps somebody. I believe the truth will someday set us free, but still struggle to find peace. I pray that the world more Christians will see this for the poison it is. God Bless all of You!

 

 

Dirty LIttle Secret

'34 percent. That's how many readers of Today's Christian Woman's online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll.'

Read the full article here:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2003/sepoct/5.58.html