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Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

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Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby winginitx » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:14 pm

Getting Serious About Pornography: It is ravaging American families.

Imagine a drug so powerful it can destroy a family simply by distorting a man’s perception of his wife. Picture an addiction so lethal it has the potential to render an entire generation incapable of forming lasting marriages and so widespread that it produces more annual revenue — $97 billion worldwide in 2006 — than all of the leading technology companies combined. Consider a narcotic so insidious that it evades serious scientific study and legislative action for decades, thriving instead under the ever-expanding banner of the First Amendment.

According to an online statistics firm, an estimated 40 million people use this drug on a regular basis. It doesn’t come in pill form. It can’t be smoked, injected, or snorted. And yet neurological data suggest its effects on the brain are strikingly similar to those of synthetic drugs. Indeed, two authorities on the neurochemistry of addiction, Harvey Milkman and Stanley Sunderwirth, claim it is the ability of this drug to influence all three pleasure systems in the brain — arousal, satiation, and fantasy — that makes it “the pièce de résistance among the addictions.”

Earlier this month, the Witherspoon Institute released a report examining “The Social Costs of Pornography,” signed by more than 50 scholars representing a wide array of professions, academic disciplines, and political views. The report details the considerable social costs that pornography exacts upon men, women, and children.

The findings of the report hit particularly close to home for me. By his own account, my husband of 13 years and high-school sweetheart, was first exposed to pornography around age ten. He viewed it regularly during high school and college — and, although he tried hard to stop, continued to do so throughout the course of our marriage. For the past few years he had taken to sleeping in the basement, distancing himself from me, emotionally and physically. Recently he began to reject my sexual advances outright, claiming he just didn’t “feel love” for me like he used to, and lamenting that he thought of me “more as the mother of our children” than as a sexual partner.
Then one morning around 2AM he called, intoxicated, from his office to announce that he had “developed feelings” for someone new. The woman he became involved with was an unemployed alcoholic with all the physical qualities of a porn star — bleached blond hair, heavy makeup, provocative clothing, and large breasts. After the revelation, my husband tried to break off his relationship with this woman. But his remorse was short-lived. Within a few months he had moved permanently out of the home he shared with me and our five young children. In retrospect, I believe he succumbed to the allure of the secret fantasy life he had been indulging since his adolescence.

My husband is not alone. According to Dr. Victor Cline, a nationally renowned clinical psychologist who specializes in sexual addiction, pornography addiction is a process that undergoes four phases. First, addiction, resulting from early and repeated exposure accompanied by masturbation. Second, escalation, during which the addict requires more frequent porn exposure to achieve the same “highs” and may learn to prefer porn to sexual intercourse. Third, desensitization, during which the addict views as normal what was once considered repulsive or immoral. And finally, the acting-out phase, during which the addict runs an increased risk of making the leap from screen to real life.

This behavior may manifest itself in the form of promiscuity, voyeurism, exhibitionism, group sex, rape, sadomasochism, or even child molestation. The final phase may also be characterized by one or more extramarital affairs. A 2004 study published in Social Science Quarterly found that Internet users who had had an extramarital affair were 3.18 times more likely to have used online porn than Internet users who had not had an affair. Among other things, the Witherspoon report is a stern warning to all married women to take seriously the signs of a sexual addiction, before it is too late.

Perhaps the greatest hardship for women who fear they have lost (or are losing) a husband to Internet porn is the absence of a public consensus about the harmful effects of pornography on marriage. Consider what we know. In a study published in Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, Schneider found that among the 68 percent of couples in which one person was addicted to Internet porn, one or both had lost interest in sex. Results of the same study, published in 2000, indicated that porn use was a major contributing factor to increased risk of separation and divorce. This finding is substantiated by results of a 2002 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, during which surveyed lawyers claimed that “an obsessive interest in Internet pornography” was a significant factor in 56 percent of their divorce cases the prior year.

Porn use creates the impression that aberrant sexual practices are more common than they really are, and that promiscuous behavior is normal. For example, in a 2000 meta-analysis of 46 published studies put out by the National Foundation for Family Research and Education at the University of Calgary, regular exposure to pornography increased risk of sexual deviancy (including lower age of first intercourse and excessive masturbation), increased belief in the “rape myth” (that women cause rape and rapists are normal), and was associated with negative attitudes regarding intimate relationships (e.g., rejecting the need for courtship and viewing persons as sexual objects). Indeed, neurological imaging confirms the latter finding. Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, used MRI scans to analyze the brain activity of men viewing pornography. She found that after viewing porn, men looked at women more as objects than as human beings.

The social implications of these data are significant, but we need to know more. The American Psychiatric Association is likely to add pornography addiction to their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual this year. Congress should fund a long-term, multidisciplinary analysis of the effects of porn addiction on marriage and family life. The National Institutes of Health are granted billions of taxpayer dollars for research on a wide variety of public-health problems, and yet pornography addiction is not among them. Most health-insurance companies provide little to no coverage for treatment of this problem, and the health-care legislation signed into law last week promises more of the same. The fact is that the moral and financial needs of couples struggling with this form of addiction will remain unaddressed in a country that views pornography use as a constitutional right.

I will never know with full certainty that pornography caused my husband to abandon me and our children. Although I loved him deeply, I was far from a perfect wife. In retrospect, I wish I had understood what he was experiencing and had acted to help him. If anything is clear to me, it is this: We must learn more about this scourge and its effects on families. The Witherspoon report makes it clear that countless women — and increasingly many men — have experienced the devastating effects of their spouse’s pornography use. Countless more will experience it in the future. It is our obligation as a nation to pursue the truth for their sake, no matter how inconvenient for some the verdict may be.

— The author is a psychologist who lives with her children in Virginia.
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby winginitx » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:28 pm

Sorry for the long OP, but when i saw this article, it floored me because it fit me to a tee....and so many women here on this forum are besdies themselves looking for answers and wondering what is happening to their husbands.

Gentlemen, just a few shorts years ago , my defense of this article would have been something like, "Well, I only view the amatuer stuff - not the hardcore stuff, and haven't increased my viewing or scope of material, ergo, I must be the exception to this rule." Of course, in true addict fashion, that would have not only have been a lie, what is imperically a fact, is that pornography changed how I viewed my wife.
With the benefits of hindsight, it changed how I viewed love. My love became a selfish love; not based on who she was as a person, but for how she can make me feel.

Luckily, my Catholic wife doesn't believe in divorce and stuck with me through the tough years - even though I gave her every reason to leave me. I have had more affairs than you have fingers and toes and have done every indecent and depraved sexual act imaginable. none of it made me any happier in the aggregate. Just more miserable....and i was crushing the spirit of my wife.
I just couldn't see that i was a slave to this stuff. I actually though my course of behavior was reasonable based on my 'special' circumstances.

I was in coma of sorts....but no longer. I am not perfectly clean....but I work on it daily. I asked my parish priest for help and I follow an action plan that helped me see through new eyes....and the path of destruction and hurt that i have caused.


There is healing out there for all of us.
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby Leviathan » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:43 pm

It's like anything else, alcohol,drugs, okay if they're not used in excess and the same goes with porn. They say porn affects the brain, other studies show that violent video games also affect the brain but only a minority become violent. Just like only a minority become alcoholics or drug addicts or porn addicts. Those people have other issues and that's why they get addicted to whatever it is they're addicted to.
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby jaybaines30 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:29 pm

Porn industry is just like any other business out there, like McDonalds, Wal-Mart etc. People are in it to make money. Who wouldn’t like to have a job that is pleasurable and fun? Porn industry isn’t the culprit. An industry cannot sell a product that's not wanted in the first place. Porn addiction is an issue of addictively using sexually explicit material. There are millions of people who watch porn on regular basis and are not addicted. Porn addicts are deeply attached to fantasy. To find out what is the usual, but not always, reason for porn addiction go to my webpage http://www.addictioncontrol.blogspot.co ... ction.html
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby winginitx » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:27 am

Okay, this is what I meant - and I knew this would happen. The previous two posters just excused away porn and its influence. The commercial aspect is not the point. It's the damage that is causes that is the relevant point...and one does not have to be an addict to allow porn to do harm.

It is like any propaganda; is skews the perspective of the subject to a favorable viewpoint. If viewers of porn ever fantasized of a porn scene or doing something they viewed in porn with their spouses...then they have been influenced by the propaganda. If a husband tried to introduce sexual behavior they viewed on porn into the sex life....they have fallen for the propaganda.

I am not saying to make a law banning the material. The change on this happens internally. Porn make us view sex as a selfish desire....not something we can give, but something that we can get.

Wake up people. It sneaks up on you gradually....and sooner rather then later, you start making excuses to view it and incorporate it into you rlife...like it is normal...and even view those that don't as the abnormal ones. That is the insidious nature of porn.

You dont' have to believe me....and I am not selling you anything, unlike some others on this forum. Search your heart for the truth.
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby Leviathan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:08 pm

So you say that porn can influence people in regards to sexual acts right? It can, for some, not everybody. Also, the very first porn film that was ever made (I don't know what that was), who influenced those people to make that movie? The first anal sex scene that was ever done. Who influenced them? Could it be they were sexually abused as child? Right, who influenced the child molester to molest that child. Was that child abuser also abused etc...

The point is, somewhere along the line there was no influence other then the imagination of the person.

People have been doing depraved sexual acts since humans existed. I mean incest must have happened for humans to breed in the first place.

Porn can influence and can make people selfish. It can also give ideas into doing different things, but not always be done in a selfish way.
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby winginitx » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:14 pm

I didn't say it adversely affects every mariage. Also, it is a bit disingenuious to give micro examples to negate macro points. Meaning, i am generalizing about the effects of porn on marriages and families. It's like I am saying "seatbelts saves lives," which is a true statement. Has there ever been someone who died because they couldn't get out of their seatbelt? Probably. But that doesn't negate the general point.

If porn is so inocuous to marriages, why isn't it a part of a majority of marriages? Why aren't wives - who desire to have stronger relationships with their husbands - out buying loads of it to share with their husbands?

I - like the OP author in the article - is not making a 'chicken or the egg' analysis about the desires of men. Porn promotes the darkest nature of mans sexual desires - and magnifies it expodentially. All i am saying is that it is silly to not recognize that fact.

I am a leader in a sexual recovery program and I can tell you that porn is central - perhaps not causal - to every man in recovery. It doesn't add to the value of your life or marriage.

If you think it has little effect, ask your wife to have sex with you while you both watch porn? See what happens.
Or, tell her that you MB while you watch porn occassionally and see how accepting she is of that behavior?

Any husband with a consciuos knows it crushes wives when we do this. This is why we have our little stashes and we watch it in privacy away from our spouses. We know it on a gut level that it is not enobling behavior - but we cave in to our lower natures, and then justify it later in some way.

Porn is the antithesis of any healthy relationship. They are polar opposites...and the sooner guys recognize that fact, the sooner they can start making their marriages stronger. If you want to makes exucses why you watch go ahead. if you want to fight for your right to engage in that behavior....fine. Just ask yourself those questions and don't lie to yourself. thats all i am asking
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby Leviathan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:11 pm

winginitx wrote:If porn is so inocuous to marriages, why isn't it a part of a majority of marriages? Why aren't wives - who desire to have stronger relationships with their husbands - out buying loads of it to share with their husbands?


Because some women see men who view porn as a form of cheating. Truth is, men will masturbate, and they won't always be fantasizing about their wife/GF when they do and you don't need porn to do that either.

I - like the OP author in the article - is not making a 'chicken or the egg' analysis about the desires of men. Porn promotes the darkest nature of mans sexual desires - and magnifies it expodentially. All i am saying is that it is silly to not recognize that fact.


Yeah it may do, but really it's not a problem unless it becomes an addiction or the man starts to want to do some of the more extreme things you may see in some porn. It's jerk off material for most men, and may actually stop some men from going out and cheating on their wife.

I am a leader in a sexual recovery program and I can tell you that porn is central - perhaps not causal - to every man in recovery. It doesn't add to the value of your life or marriage.


Neither does drinking alcohol or smoking, but people still do it. Those two things kill more people then porn does.

If you think it has little effect, ask your wife to have sex with you while you both watch porn? See what happens.
Or, tell her that you MB while you watch porn occassionally and see how accepting she is of that behavior?


I don't have a wife. But when I do have sex with someone I don't watch porn because I like to concentrate on the person I'm having sex with. And turning around and trying to watch porn whilst have sex would be a turn off for me, but some people do do this. I wouldn't bring up I watch porn but if someone asked me I'd be honest and say I do and will continue to occasionally watch it. I think you may as well be honest with people from the start.

Any husband with a consciuos knows it crushes wives when we do this. This is why we have our little stashes and we watch it in privacy away from our spouses. We know it on a gut level that it is not enobling behavior - but we cave in to our lower natures, and then justify it later in some way.


Actually, a lot of women know their BF/husband watch porn and just accept. The ones that have a problem seem to be a bit insecure about themselves and think maybe they aren't attractive enough. The reality is, men are designed to procreate with as many females as possible. We're not designed to be with one particular female, but the western world objects to this. In some cultures/countries it's not uncommon for a male to 15 wives and have fathered over 50 children. Now I'm not saying that's all good, but that's how it is in some places

Porn is the antithesis of any healthy relationship. They are polar opposites...and the sooner guys recognize that fact, the sooner they can start making their marriages stronger. If you want to makes exucses why you watch go ahead. if you want to fight for your right to engage in that behavior....fine. Just ask yourself those questions and don't lie to yourself. thats all i am asking


I'm not lying to myself, I'm just trying to be realistic about the situation. Too much of anything can be bad.
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby winginitx » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:01 am

Morning Star - we are going to disagree on this...and that's okay. i don't think it is axiomatic that men must masturbate just because of their male nature. Responsible men who value self-discipline control their male nature...the best they can. Not always successfull, but they try. Responsible men also control aggression - another instrinsic male-nature feature. That's our battle...for those who want to be better men. Women have their own issues - and these are mens issues.

You don't have to agree and i won't get in your way of you justifying base attractions. All i am saying is that there are behaviors that add to your life and marriage and those that don't. In the aggregate, I think porn does not add to the union of married life.

What you regard as simply 'jerk off material' is actually marital theft. Husbands steal intimacy that should be had with their wives when they use porn.....it is simple as that. MB'ing to porn syphons off intimacy - and many husbands think they can have that seeminly innocuous private intimate life AND an intimacy life with their wives....without any complication. It may work short term - but it doesn't last because poeple cannot successfully live dual intimate lives. We are not built that way....and marriages SURELY are not built that way.

Then....and this made me kind of laugh because admittingly you are a single guy .....the whole thing about women who don't like porn are 'insecure' about themselves. Most women are insecure about their bodies to begin with and yes, their men watching porn makes them feel lonely, unloved and feelings of worthlessness. But even taking your 'insecure' comment as the sole truth, the question then becomes: What husband would continue to watch porn knowing how that makes their wife feel? is that the kind of husband you want to be?
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Re: Porn Addiction is Ruining Marriges and Families

Postby Leviathan » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:18 pm

winginitx wrote:Morning Star - we are going to disagree on this...and that's okay. i don't think it is axiomatic that men must masturbate just because of their male nature. Responsible men who value self-discipline control their male nature...the best they can. Not always successfull, but they try. Responsible men also control aggression - another instrinsic male-nature feature. That's our battle...for those who want to be better men. Women have their own issues - and these are mens issues.


Yeah you're probably right. We won't agree, but there's no right or wrong side, just our opinions. Well that's how I see it. As for controlling our male nature... well, I'm not sure that holding back from masturbation is really that good a thing. In the end if you hold back from masturbation and sex you'll end up having a wet dream anyway. And in that dream you could be thinking about anyone, might not necessarily be the person you're currently with and you have no control over what you dream about. As for aggression, I'm not sure holding back from aggression is healthy either. Now I'm not saying, that's it's okay to go around looking to have a fistfight with everybody, or be abusive for no reason, as that type of behavior will only land yourself in a whole lot of trouble. But if something is pissing you off, I think everybody (not just men, women as well), has the right to let off some steam. I think there's no harm in standing up fro yourself, and if that has to be done in an aggressive way so be it.

You don't have to agree and i won't get in your way of you justifying base attractions. All i am saying is that there are behaviors that add to your life and marriage and those that don't. In the aggregate, I think porn does not add to the union of married life.


You're right, porn doesn't really add anything to a marriage for most people. But some couples do actually watch porn together. Also, although porn doesn't really add much to most married couples, I would argue it's only a hindrance if it gets in the way of a sex life between that couple, or if they guy starts trying to reenact sex scenes from porn that his wife/GF isn't happy about doing.

What you regard as simply 'jerk off material' is actually marital theft. Husbands steal intimacy that should be had with their wives when they use porn.....it is simple as that. MB'ing to porn syphons off intimacy - and many husbands think they can have that seeminly innocuous private intimate life AND an intimacy life with their wives....without any complication. It may work short term - but it doesn't last because poeple cannot successfully live dual intimate lives. We are not built that way....and marriages SURELY are not built that way.


Fist of all that depends. If the person becomes addicted then yeah, that is a problem. But for a lot of men they just use porn because the wife/GF isn't up for sex on certain days and for them it's a release. Isn't it better in that situation for a guy to jerk off to so porn then to keep pestering his wife/GF into sex when she doesn't want it at that particular time? Jerk off material isn't intimacy.

Then....and this made me kind of laugh because admittingly you are a single guy .....the whole thing about women who don't like porn are 'insecure' about themselves. Most women are insecure about their bodies to begin with and yes, their men watching porn makes them feel lonely, unloved and feelings of worthlessness. But even taking your 'insecure' comment as the sole truth, the question then becomes: What husband would continue to watch porn knowing how that makes their wife feel? is that the kind of husband you want to be?


Well let's be realistic about the situation. It is impossible to only find the person you're with to be sexually attractive, and that goes for both sexes. First of all, I would be honest from the start that I occasionally watch porn, before any feelings develop. I will not change who I am or my beliefs for any woman. Because to me, porn is harmless , and there's a hell of a lot worse things people could be doing then occasionally watching porn. Now if my wife/gf told me she watches porn, I'd have no problem with that.There's nothing wrong with her finding other men attractive either. I'm realistic about the situation, that you can't just expect your partner to only be attracted to you, it just doesn't work like that.

Of course when I say porn is okay, I mean adult porn. Child porn is sick and should rightly be illegal.
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