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Loved Ones Viewing Porn What Can I Do

[canvakala-video src=”https://youtu.be/UidIHGsL7fo” skin=”skin1″ width=”540″]

A spouse just found out that their husband has been viewing porn. What can she do to help him and what can she do to help herself?

I’m so glad this question came in because it’s something that many partners and spouses of those who are struggling with a sexual addiction are afraid to ask or don’t even know that they want to ask because it’s such a difficult topic to get into.

Many people in a supporting role such as a spouse or partner, or family member, are afraid to bring up their own needs because of the potential to worsen the situation with their loved one. And they’re also afraid to ask how they can support the one who is struggling with addictive behavior because they don’t want to worsen it, it’s kind of the same challenge both ways:

“I don’t want to worsen the situation.

I don’t want to trigger him or her.

I don’t want to create any further problems,

I just want to help.”

I think, I’ll answer the question about the supporting role, how that supporting person can support the person recovering from addiction effectively.

One thing is that, one of the very first things that we get into as we meet with spouses and partners of those recovering from addiction, is to think about the difference between their behavior and the emotions associated with that and what their actual desires are. Knowing that that person is not attempting to replace their loved one with that sexual, not attempting to substitute for their wife or husband, that’s one of the major things that can help the supporting person, but it’s also something that can help the person recovering, because they’re better understood.

Feeling ashamed and guilty behavior

And another element is the aspect of feeling ashamed of that behavior. Shame is one of the most powerful human emotions that you can experience. It’s deeply, deeply embedded. When we do something that we’re not proud of shame can definitely perpetuate the addictive cycle tremendously. It keeps things secret, it keeps things in the dark, it keeps things separate, it keeps us from communicating. So one of the things that we talk about a lot with couples as they come together in this process, is the idea of being able to communicate more openly about it, not in a shameful way, but in a way that does promote better decisions and healthy open relationship- honesty is such an important aspect.

I think understanding the difference between the person’s shame and their desire to improve, which we would actually term as guilt; guilt about behaviors we usually don`t want but continue to be engaged in, that can help them, both parties really feel better about the process that they’re engaged in and trying to overcome that process together.

Communication’s one very important aspect that a supporting person can help with.

  • Be there for them.
  • Be willing to listen.
  • Be willing to simply hear the challenges that they’re experiencing without attempting to resolve it, without attempting to cure or give advice.
  • Just simply listening.  

Those are some very important aspects in the supporting role.

Supporting role of a person

Now in terms of the person who is supporting such as a spouse of someone who’s recovering from addiction. That spouse also has very significant needs.

We often work with the spouse; both together, in a joint session, but also separately, individually because they do have  such very powerful needs in their own way. one of those needs is to feel that they are still loved despite that behavior of the person who’s struggling with addiction.

I think that’s one of the greatest miscommunications and misunderstandings that can happen. So know as a spouse as a supporting person know that that behavior is not intended to replace you. It’s not intended to intervene or block that relationship. Know that that is not meant to harm you. Knowing that is a huge benefit to being able to see positive growth opportunities in that recovery process.

I hope that I’ve covered some good ideas for you but I think bottom line is the supporting person has a lot of needs as well. There’s a lot of emotions a lot of things for them to work through and process and understand; not only about addiction itself, but also about the relationship and about the emotions that they experience as that process is going.