How to Recover from Porn Addiction and Save Your Marriage

    There’s no doubt about it: porn has caused a desensitization of the modern generations. What was once taboo (nudity and sex) is now so commonplace as to be almost considered “normal”. People of all ages can get their hands on an incredibly wide variety of pornographic materials, even things that were once highly taboo.

    Many men will argue that an interest in porn is normal and natural, but there is such a thing as “too much”. Up to 10% of U.S. adults admit to Internet sexual addiction, but only 28% of those people are women. Men tend to have a far higher likelihood of becoming addicted to porn, and experts believe that porn addiction is on the rise.

    Signs of a Porn Addiction

    How can you tell if you are or are becoming addicted to porn? Here are a few of the telltale signs:

    – Excessive amounts of time spent watching porn (days or hours)
    – Intense feelings of shame, depression, and isolation
    – Loss of interest in non-porn activities (work, family activities, etc.)
    – Legal and financial issues caused by porn use
    – Sexual dysfunction with real-world partners, including ED, inability to reach orgasm, or delayed ejaculation
    – Physical injury resulting from excessive masturbation
    – Drug or alcohol abuse combined with porn

    There are many more symptoms to look out for, but these are the primary signs that you are addicted to porn.

    What Can You Do About It?

    If you find yourself struggling with a porn addiction, you may feel like there is no hope. Addiction is a truly terrifying monster, one that will take all of your willpower to defeat. But it can be done! Here are a few steps you can take to recover from porn addiction and save your marriage:

    Stop Using it as a Comfort — Just like alcoholics drink or drug addicts take drugs when they feel angry, frustrated, stressed, or sad, porn addicts turn to porn. You have to find a new coping mechanism, one that doesn’t involve porn. Try exercise, cooking, cleaning, social activities, recreation–literally anything that gets you away from porn and helps you to cope with your problems.

    Don’t Obsess —You may find yourself thinking a lot about wanting to watch porn, but obsessing over the fact that you CAN’T. But that’s allowing the addiction to rule your life, just in a different way. Instead, you have to stop thinking about porn completely. Focus on every other aspect of your life, and let the unimportant (porn) fade into the background.

    Take Porn Off the Table — For many people, porn is never a problem because they don’t allow themselves to use it. Take porn “off the table” as an activity, and live your life as if it never existed in the first place. If you don’t let yourself consider it as an option for enjoyment or sexual release, you will have an easier time controlling your urges.

    Get Away from Temptation — Out of sight, out of mind! Electronics are just one source of temptation for the porn-addicted, but there are many more: bookstores, magazine stands, even billboard ads! There are many things you can’t avoid, but do your best to stay away from the things you can. If that means cutting your internet service and living offline for a few months, do it! It may be the only way to get your habits under control.

    Understand “Why” — Why do you watch porn? If it’s to spice up your sex life with your partner, it may not be a bad thing. But if you do it compulsively or because you feel you “need” to, it’s crossing a line. But why is there that need or compulsion? What makes it so important to you? Understanding the “why” of it all can help you to take steps to adjust your mindset and attitudes toward porn.

    Have a Stick and Carrot — There has to be a reason for you to WANT to avoid porn, not just doing it because you HAVE to. You need both the stick (consequence) and carrot (incentive) if you’re going to succeed at quitting. You’ll never make it if you’re always chastising yourself without giving yourself a reward for all the progress you do make.

    Get Help — You’re not alone in this fight! Your spouse is there to help you, and you can even bring friends and family in to help as well. It may be humiliating to admit this particular problem, but it’s vital to do so if you’re going to succeed. You need those checks and balances provided by the people around you. Overcoming this addiction isn’t something you’ll be able to do alone, so get help from the people in your life!

    Try Therapy — Therapy is not a solution for everyone, but anyone who goes into therapy with an open mind and a willingness to change/improve stands a very real chance of success. Therapy won’t “cure” you, but it will help you to understand the “why” of your addiction. The more you learn about yourself and the reasons why you make the choices you do, the easier it will be to take steps to correct your attitudes and choices.

    Join an Online Community — Sites like NoFap are intended to help you overcome your addiction through interaction with other people fighting the same fight. You can find advice on how to cut yourself off, tips on how to limit contact with potentially pornographic materials, inspiration to help you stay motivated, and friends to help you through the struggle. These online communities can be an immensely valuable resource to people who are dealing with addiction of any sort.

    The truth is that overcoming a porn addiction is VERY hard work. It’s going to take months or even years until you are fully “recovered”, and even then it will always be a weakness. But you’ve taken the right first step to overcoming the addiction, and you have the strength to keep going. Believe in yourself and you WILL succeed!