“Addict” is a strong word. It conjures up an image of a junkie with needle marks in his arms. How can you be an addict when you have a good job, you volunteer at the church and you are respected in your community? The difference is that porn is easy to hide and the effects of long term use are felt most painfully in the marriage; however, the hallmarks of addiction are the same for a drug like heroin as they are for a process like watching pornography.
Have you continued in spite of the consequences to your marriage?
Have you tried to manage or control your use?
Have you promised to stop?
Has someone close to you been hurt by your use?
The difference with porn addiction is that the damage does not show up in the pupils or in your ability to drive a car. You can view porn and nobody will be able to smell it on your breath. You don’t have to buy your drug from a dealer, just tap on your browser. You don’t have to cover your tracks from the money you spent because it is free. You don’t have to drive to a scary part of town in order to obtain it, you just turn on your phone; anonymous, affordable and always available.
You won’t have needle marks on your arm, but porn will turn your marriage into an emaciated, empty shell of what it once was. Your relationship will look like the skinny heroin addict with vacant eyes and yet you may not see this, but your wife will. She will acutely feel the pain of living with an addict. She will know something is wrong, but you won’t tell her the truth but will instead point to your busy work schedule or the stress of raising kids as the culprit for the distance she feels. Keeping this secret takes a toll on you as well, causing ever present anxiety which you attempt to mask by withdrawing from her emotionally.
Porn addiction is real. The damage is real.
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