All addictions negatively impact a relationship, and pornography addiction is certainly no exception. The adult entertainment industry generates billions of dollars annually, and with an estimated 40 million Americans visiting porn sites regularly, pornography addiction is a problem for many families.
With an estimated 28% of women viewing online pornography versus 72% of men, pornography addiction isn’t a problem specific to men; women can also become addicted. If you’re concerned that your partner has developed an addiction to pornography, here are some signs to look out for.
They spend a lot of time on the internet
The porn addict will spend hours, and sometimes even days, online viewing pornography. If your spouse spends an increasing amount of time alone, either with a phone, laptop or tablet, he or she may be developing an obsession with pornography.
They’re critical of you
Porn stars are typically young and attractive, often times surgically enhanced. The more your partner watches pornography, the more negatively you may be compared to the models he or she is watching. Porn addicts tend to objectify their partner, and as your spouse spends increasing amounts of time watching porn, they may start to become critical of your body.
Unusual spending activity
Checking your bank or credit card statements, you may find unexpected or unexplained charges. Adult entertainment websites will often mask the charges to benefit the confidentiality of their customers, so you may have to do a Google search or make some phone calls to uncover the source of the charges.
Your sex life has changed
When someone is addicted to pornography, they may no longer have the drive or desire to maintain a sex life with their partner. Conversely, some addicts become more demanding. They may want to engage in acts you’re not comfortable with. As a person becomes more and more addicted to pornography, they will have to watch increasingly unusual material. This may result in your partner becoming more rough or aggressive.
So what can you do if you suspect your partner is addicted to porn? First, know that his or her addiction is not your fault. People become addicted as a way of coping with unwanted feelings and emotions, or as a way to avoid real life stress or difficulties. Second, seek support from trusted loved ones and find a therapist who can help you both on the road to recovery.
Still aren’t sure? Begin by responding to the free and confidential Sexual Addiction Screening Test (https://www.recoveryzone.com/tests/sex-addiction/SAST/index.php). This assessment is designed to help you decide whether you or a loved one should seek further help. If you have questions please call me at (208) 366-5053.