When your partner is addicted to porn

 

What is it with watching porn? 

Regularly watching porn and the incidence of porn addiction is a wide spread, social issue in the world today. With the explosion of the internet there has been an unregulated stream of ‘fodder’ for us to choose from.

The statistics on porn use are unsettling:  

  • 1 in 5 internet searches on a mobile device are for pornography.
  • Men in happy relationships are 61% less likely to look at porn.
  • 20% of men admit to viewing pornography at work.
  • 88% of porn scenes contain physical aggression. 49% contain verbal aggression.

According to these statistics it is clear that we love watching porn, but is it actually harmful or just a bit of light relief? 

As Ran Gavrieli shares in the clip above that before he started watching porn, his idea being intimate or making love was born from a foundation of love and care, with intimacy being about sensuality and mutuality, there was a narrative. His definition of love was about the whole person, it was about connection.

Ran goes on to say that after watching porn for a period of time he felt like his mind was invaded by those images, that they had taken the place of his original fantasies of romantic love. He makes a pertinent point when he states:

We should not only be careful about what type of foods we put in our body, but also the nutrition of our minds.

When we watch porn we take on the energy of porn into our bodies, it infiltrates our energetic space, a poison we carry with us long after we stop watching – this energy remains with us when we interact with everyone, including those we love, our partner, our children. 

Pornography is addictive and paralysing, why? Because porn excites our primal tendencies, the part of us that is all about desire, with the primary focus being on ‘self’. It stems from our overwhelming need to be satisfied, to get that ‘rush’. It is the ultimate distraction away from a less than fulfilling life. 

Computer guy

What Causes Porn Addiction? 

There are many factors that can be precursors to porn addiction, such as a predisposition to impulsivity, emotional dysregulation, high levels of testosterone, childhood environmental factors such as abuse or exposure to sexual content, mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression or personality disorders, rejection in relationships, social isolation, and peer influence.

When we look at these factors more closely we can see that they are underpinned by a basic lack of connection and a lack of intimacy. Not everyone with high testosterone is compelled to watch porn. If we choose to live in a way where we are shut down to others in an attempt to prevent ourselves from getting hurt, to avoid rejection, we just end up feeling isolated and alone. But by allowing ourselves to be open and choosing to let others in we feel a closeness, a connection, a feeling of being met, something many it seems, avoid doing. Could this be what we are actually craving when we view porn?

Watching porn it is usually done in private, we feel safe and protected, we do not have to open up to others and risk rejection, we can have our needs (intimacy and connection) met in a pseudo kind of way, but in truth are we not just medicating the unmet need? 

When a person watches porn it floods the brain with the feel good chemical dopamine, the same chemical that is released when taking drugs. When these ‘surges’ are repeated the brain becomes desensitised and requires more and more extreme type images to get the same rush. Regular sex becomes boring. This widespread problem is now creating a demand for more and more extreme, hard core porn that producers are quick to supply – our behaviour is creating the demand. 

* Newsflash * – Watching Porn shrinks your Brain!

In a 2011 a study was done by German researchers that found the area of the brain called the striatum, that is linked with the reward and motivation response, actually shrank in size the more porn a person watched. 

What to do if your partner is addicted to Porn 

If you are in a relationship and your partner is regularly viewing porn you can feel rejected, alone, and unloved. It may be difficult for your partner to be aroused by everyday sex and ‘making love’, and being tender can become a foreign concept.

There is a seeking of instant gratification which ends up being all about them and what is going to get them there – you no longer seem to factor. 

  • Its important to talk with your partner and be honest about how you feel. Going into judgement or blame is not going to support them, you can’t make them admit they have a problem, it is up to them to take responsibility for themselves. 
  • Take a good look at the current state of your relationship. Look at what role you are playing within it. See if you are in some way enabling their behaviour. When we fail to call out what we are not ok about, it is the same as saying, ‘what you’re doing IS ok’. 
  • Seek professional help for yourself,  so you can begin to open up and make sense of how you feel and look at what you can do to best support yourself. 
  • If your partner is open to it, seek professional support as a couple. This will give you a forum to get honest together about what has been happening and gain a deeper of understanding of why the compulsion is there and look at how to address it. By understanding your partner more deeply it can support you to support them and yourself.
  • Take time to get your partner reacquainted with true intimacy – find ways to open up to each other, look into each others eyes. Lie naked together and hold each other, get used to touching each other again, take things very slowly with no expectations of a certain outcome. Give your partner time to become aroused being with you. If there is pressure to perform or a rush it can push them back into fantasy, so patience is the key. 

Kate Chorley is an experienced psychotherapist and couples counsellor in the Blacktown and Parramatta areas of Sydney.

Kate has worked with many individuals and successfully helped them overcome addictions of all kinds including porn addiction.

Click this link to make an appointment Or

Call Kate today on 0402134097 for a FREE 15 minute phone consultation. 

 

 

 

Are you Addicted to Love?

 

What is an Addiction to Love?

Being addicted to love means having on overwhelming need for adoration, attention, recognition and even physical touch. This is coupled with the initial rush of having these needs met by an individual or “new kid on the block so to speak.” The deep emptiness that the individual holds is now being filled, which gives a great sense of relief, and this is not unlike any other type of addiction pattern.

Woman trying to kiss a man desperately

Chasing a new target becomes the drug of choice used to medicate that which we do not know how to address or overcome ourselves by truly loving, supportive means.

Unfortunately this initial high is short lived, as those intensity of feelings cannot be maintained, what was once the greatest love story ever quickly descends into a horror movie of co-dependency, insecurities, controlling type behaviour, emotional, mental or even physical abuse patterns, constant bickering and fighting, and of course the barrage of text messages or calls.

What is happening here is the demand within the individual that is no longer being met at the level that is required to give them relief, so desperate and demanding type behaviour begins to surface. This type of behaviour incites feelings of guilt and unworthiness in both individuals. Unfortunately this sort of relationship can be very difficult to break away from.

So what is love?

The question here really needs to be – “was this really love in the first place or something else?” From what my understanding of what love is, it is certainly something else! I understand love to be a gentle and unimposing way of being, that is compassionate and deeply caring and accepting of others. Love is who we are not something we do or get from someone else. Love is an expression that we share. Love is complete and full and totally without need.

How to overcome this addiction?

To overcome this pattern we need to start with honesty. By being truly honest with ourselves it will direct us to finding true answers and ultimately true healing. I feel it is important to get some support, someone we feel we can trust and open up to; a professional and experienced therapist is geared to provide the kind of support needed here and is one of the best ways to go.

Any type of addiction has a pattern that needs to be identified and broken and replaced with new more loving ways of being. The bottom line here is to overcome your addiction to love you must start to love yourself first, where there is no self-love there is an emptiness and this is what drives the addiction.

There are many reasons for the lack of self-love but is usually comes from not being loved, respected and met for who we truly are from a very young age, we then hold onto these hurts, shut down, create false beliefs about ourselves and decide that all people cannot be trusted, the world cannot be trusted.

We stop expressing from the love that we are deep down, we instead express from our hurts and live in protection and simply do not live in a loving way with ourselves or others.

So right there creates a deep well that must be filled, so if it cannot be filled with true love anything else will do that gives a sense relief, even if short lived, so we confuse what gives a relief as being the answer, thinking it is love which it surely is not in this case. Take the time to build your relationship with self one that it is solid and true, and based on love, then we can go forward and build that with another.

Dealing With Addiction Relapse

 

Many of us are struggling with addictions of all types on a daily basis whether it be drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, porn or any compulsive activity that takes us away from who we truly are. After working hard at getting yourself back on track and feeling positive about life again, you somehow find yourself slipping back in your old patterns and behaviour and feeling terrible about it! First thing I want you to know is, its OK! Don’t panic.

7StepstoBreakingtheCycleofAlcoholAddiction

I have listed a few very practical steps you can begin to implement right now, so lets begin..

1.     Be kind to yourself – remember life was never meant to be about perfection, it’s about finding a way of living that truly supports YOU and then simply living that way. It’s not about adhering to some external plan or idea someone else has fed you. It’s very personal and unique to you. It’s basically about being honest and true to yourself. So be gentle, this is not a time to start beating yourself up and being hard on you, he or she needs help right now not self condemnation!

      There is always a reason behind why we slip back, we may be stressed, overwhelmed, having relationship difficulties, starting a new job or it could even be that we are trying to live up to some ideal we think we should be living up to, very toxic! As I said now is not the time to start beating yourself up. Just recognise and be honest that you have slipped back – that is, nominate your current state and then begin to work from there- objectively not emotionally.

2.     Seek Help. It’s ok to ask for support if we need it. It takes courage and strength to be honest and open about what has happened. Its great to discuss this with another to feel their love and support. There are many amazing, loving people in this world willing to be there for another, one of them may even be you! So don’t be afraid open up and let people in, you don’t need to do this alone.

3.     Be Honest. By being really honest with yourself and using tools of self-reflection like journaling or talking with a friend, you can begin to realise what is going on at a deeper, subconscious level. You may be scared of failing at something, or you may be afraid of losing something or someone, or you may have gone into self doubt or perhaps deeper, unresolved issues may be popping up to be healed. Whatever it is for you its OK! By realising what it is we can begin to move forward with a deeper understanding of ourselves.

4.     One step at a time. I know it’s an old saying but I believe a very wise one –  just take one day at a time. Break it down to even smaller chunks if that works for you. It always amazes me how quickly we can come back when we work in this way.

5.     Regroup & Plan – Next step is about finding your way back to choosing a way of being and living that really supports you again. You know how to do this because you have done it before but this time we are going to refine the plan further, make it more specific to you. And that is the key, its needs to come from inside of you, not from me or anything outside of yourself. If you take time to be honest with yourself, you know what choices support you and which ones do not. A new day is a great place to begin again. Write down how an amazing day would look if you were living in a way that would make you feel really yourself again one that you could feel really good about.

·      How much sleep would you get, what time would you go to bed and wake up?

·      Would you enjoy having some gentle ‘wind down’ activities before bed such as a lovely bath, peaceful environment and some candles, fresh sheets? Much more appealing than being stressed and disorganised!

·      How would you prepare for the following day, what will you wear, etc? How would you like your room to feel like when you wake up the next day? Lovely, fresh, clean and organised feels good to me.

·      What will you eat? What and how much we eat has a huge impact on how we feel. Discover what truly feels right for your body and shop, prepare and cook the foods your body needs. Eating less can be more supportive also.

·      Incorporate some gentle movement, a lovely walk in the early morning helps you really start to re-connect back and support yourself again.

·      How would you be in relationship to others, what would that look like for you? When we support ourselves lovingly we are having a direct effect on those around us. We all have a responsibility to really care for ourselves, imagine if the whole world did this? What would life look and feel like, very very awesome I say! Ok so that’s a way off at the moment but if we do it in our little corner of the world it does make a difference.