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Helping a Spouse Overcome Addiction to Pornography

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What can I do to help my husband overcome his obsession with porn?

All the signs say that he’s addicted to pornography. I’ve suspected it for a long time, and now I know it’s true: The other night I found my husband watching hard-core porn. He says that looking at sexually explicit material isn’t a serious problem, but I disagree. Is pornography addiction recovery possible?



Before we say anything else, we want you to know that you and your spouse aren’t alone. Sexual addictions of all kinds are widespread. And it’s not just a male problem. It affects men and women, boys and girls, from every age group and all walks of life.

Understand the root of pornography addiction

Sexual addiction is relentless and escalates because it’s rooted in the basic human craving for relationship. In other words, porn is powerful because it offers a counterfeit form of intimacy and attachment. That’s important to keep in mind when trying to help a loved one who’s fallen for the lie that depersonalized sex can ultimately satisfy the longings of the human heart.

Learn how to win the battle

The good news is that you can find effective help in your husband’s battle against pornography addiction.

Start by getting professional counseling — together. The most successful treatment takes a family systems approach that involves an initial program of intensive therapy, followed by regular and ongoing counseling sessions. (Another key to recovery is to identify a trusted friend or group of people who will provide support and accountability.)

Our staff would be happy to give you referrals to programs like this or a list of qualified therapists in your area who specialize in treating sexual addictions. You can contact our Counseling department for a free over-the-phone consultation.

In the meantime, you and your husband might want to install accountability software. That’s not the ultimate answer to the complex problems your spouse faces, of course. But it can play an important part in helping you keep tabs on the entire family’s online activities.

For further insight, we offer a series of articles on Pornography and Virtual Infidelity. And you’ll find other resources and referrals below to help your spouse find healing from porn addiction.

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