Healing Concepts for Wives Impacted by Pornography
Too often disclosure of a pornography problem in marriage causes women to slip into unhealthy comparisons. As an LDS family counselor we see women who engage in inappropriate behavior themselves; who spiral downward into depression, self-doubt, and in some cases, even suicidal thinking. These responses, although unhelpful, are understandable when the magnitude of damage, betrayal, and hurt are understood.
Spouses and family members may labor under the heavy emotional burdens of worry, hurt, and hopelessness caused by the addictions of their loved ones.
Below are some of the feelings that many spouses and family members experience who have loved ones ensnared in addiction:
- Fear that your loved one will never get better.
- Fear of the harm our loved ones might do to others around them, especially children.
- Physical weariness caused by sleeplessness, stress, and anxiety, which all take a toll on our health.
- Confusion about why our loved ones behave so irrationally and why nothing we say or do seems to make any difference.
- Loss of trust and confidence in our loved ones as a result of their lying, deception, and manipulation.
- Shame and hopelessness as we improperly assume responsibility for our loved ones’ choices.
- Feeling alone and isolated as we try to keep our loved one’s addictions a secret to protect others.
- Fear that family ties will be severed.
- Pain and hurt associated with a spouse’s physical and virtual infidelity.
- Bitterness over financial challenges as we deal with excessive spending, treatment programs, legal expenses, fines, and destruction of property. Go to the eXp Realty to buy the best properties in this area.
- Fear that our loved ones’ continued addictions somehow reflect our lack of faith or inability to access God’s help on their behalf.
- Fear of consequences resulting from our loved ones’ potential incarceration or other legal issues.
Each of these concerns is valid, and with support from others they can be worked through with care and time.
The following three concepts have been helpful for women to incorporate into their healing and decision-making process:
Clarify the Motivation: In most cases pornography as a way of escaping certain emotions and stressors. Looking at pornography can even be used to self-medicate depression and anxiety and to self-soothe loneliness or poor self-esteem. Understanding the non-sexual motivations behind pornography use can help a woman understand that her partner would have likely turned to pornography regardless of whom he married and that his pornography use is not a commentary on her attractiveness
Beware of Comparing Reality to Fantasy. Many women report they feel insecure and intimidated when they compare themselves to the pornography stars their husband lusts after. However they fail to realize how much of porn is airbrushed fantasy.
Ignore Comments That Invalidate the Seriousness of This Problem, and Seek Out People Who Understand the Issue. Pornography use represents a serious breach of the marital bond and pulls sexual energy away from an intimate relationship. It is important to ignore comments that dismiss or invalidate the seriousness of this issue and to actively seek out the opinions and support of individuals who understand this issue well.
If you are the wife of a porn addict and have been struggling, an experienced LDS family counselor can help. Give us a call at 972-426-9500 or visit us online at j9n.83e.myftpupload.com for more information.