When Porn Comes Between a Marriage

Recovering from a porn addiction together

How fast porn can consume us. It’s like a skinny little flame finally finding its way into a big pile of drought-dry kindling. A couple months ago, you pulled up a site, so unassuming. You had the house to yourself and nothing better to do, so why not? The whole episode couldn’t have lasted more than 10 minutes. A few days passed, and you found yourself back in the same position. Nothing then signaled any kind of issue. Everybody does it, you thought.

But the next night you found yourself plotting to steal a few minutes with your tablet. Porn Addiction From there, it became a daily habit. And the more you did it, the easier it became to explain away. The porn no longer felt taboo, making time for it, no longer deceitful. Hell, it was a stress-release, and you so desperately needed one in your life. You’d wake in the morning and immediately feel the weight of your work. Anything your kids or your wife asked of you—and they were always asking something—felt like piling on. Ten minutes to yourself was a small ask.

Your appetite was growing, though. The same scenes that instantly stimulated you just last week did nothing for you now. You needed more hard-core action and you needed it more often, some days three, four, five times. Your wife was starting to notice your absence, and you’d come close more than once to being caught at the office. But all of that—the suspicion, the threat of being caught—was only fueling your desire.

You were so fixated on the plotting and the action on the screen that you failed to notice the extent to which porn was causing trouble in your relationship. It took your wife confronting you to bring it to your attention. Until then, you assumed you were getting by relatively unnoticed. Sure, you were skipping out more often than usual and staying up later, on your own, but you were attentive to keeping up appearances. Your wife saw otherwise. Your interactions with her and the kids had become noticeably shallower, she said. On your best days, you looked constantly distracted.

The realization that you were in over your head came shortly thereafter, when the exchange caused you not to reconsider but to increase your frequency. For the first time, it began to feel like it was out of your control. You were watching, not necessarily because you wanted to, but because you could. Just that fast, you’re wondering, How do I save my marriage?

Angela Winslow is a professional marriage counselor based in San Diego who has extensive experience treating couples who’ve been torn apart by a porn addiction. Couples therapy is a means to highlight each partner’s role in unhealthy patterns and provide new perspective, not point fingers. This may be your addiction, but your wife’s behavior, however indirect, contributed to it. When each of you begins to understand and own your respective parts, the way to an open, loving relationship will come naturally.

To schedule an assessment, contact Angela’s office. If you live in California, online appointments are available through Breakthrough

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