Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

Couples Therapy – Pornography Problem

pornography problem, couples therapy, couples counselingDo you or someone you love have a pornography problem? It’s more common than you think. Pornography use is on the rise and the age of first exposure is starting earlier and earlier. Research (Davis, Perry in 2017) has also found that breakups in romantic relationships are twice as more likely to happen 6 years down the road for those who use pornography compared to those who don’t. Others researchers have found that couples sexual satisfaction levels are negatively impacted when pornography is used (Willoughby, Brown, Busby, Carroll, Larson, Yorgason in 2017).

Barriers To Getting Help

There is no question that pornography use negatively impacts individuals and relationships (Related Articles: Help For Pornography Problems and Pornography Counseling – Common Issues). But, what do you do about it? How do you handle it when you are struggling or your spouse is struggling? Sometimes it’s hard to reach out for help. Perhaps you see counseling as taboo or something you do not want to do. Or, you might struggle with counseling because you do not want to face your marriage issues. Maybe, even, you want to attend therapy because you have been given an ultimatum (Related Article: How To Get My Husband To Counseling For Relationship Problems). You might even believe that the therapist can ‘fix’ you, so you come to therapy. It is difficult to get in for therapy, let alone getting in for an issue with pornography. Right?

You may know people who see pornography issues as a dirty, disgusting thing that you don’t talk about and don’t get help with – something that you can overcome on your own. The problem is that it is not something people overcome on their own. They need help. Meeting your unmet needs is a crucial part of this (Related Article: Pornography Counseling: Unmet Needs). Developing emotional and life skills is also crucial in this process (Related Articles: Emotions 101: How To Be Healthy and 3 Principles of Emotional Health). A competent Utah Counselor can help.

Couples Therapy for a Pornography Problem

Pornography Issue related couples therapy is different than you might imagine. It is not shamming or blaming. Definitely not. There is no sense in beating someone up for being imperfect. Usually, they do that themselves. Rather, couples counseling in these circumstances takes into consideration everyone’s experiences and emotions. This type of therapy includes rather than excludes. It certainly doesn’t excuse behavior, but rather holds them accountable in an appropriate manner (Related Article: My Spouse Is Using Pornography, What Do I Do?). And facilitates communication between both spouses in a way that can move things forward.

Disclosure Letter

During the process of couples therapy for a pornography problem, most therapists will have the using spouse write a disclosure letter. This is an attempt for the using spouse to understand themself better, take accountability and connect with others. It is also an attempt to let their spouse understand and connect with them more fully. This is a process that can take months to complete and can be very beneficial if done right.


One of the main focus of couples therapy for a pornography problem is to help couples communicate well. There is a healthy way to communicate and an unhealthy way as well (Related Articles: How To Communicate With Your Spouse and  How To Communicate Better Through Boundaries). Most of you, when hurt, want to tell your spouse what to do. You might also want to interpret them and their actions. Being the Boss or the Expert of your spouse is. a quick way to a fight (Related Article: How To Communicate Effectively; Avoid These Two Communication Problems In Marriage). This almost always leads to further hurt and heartache. Instead, you can share your emotional experience with the what is happening in an effort to be more vulnerable. This can be scary because you could be hurt even more. A good couples therapist will help you to do this well.

One Myth To Avoid About Pornography Use

One myth to understand and overcome is the idea that pornography use is a sex issue (Related Article: Pornography Use Is An Avoidance Issue, Not A Sex Issue). It’s true that not having sex with your spouse as often as you like is lonely and sad. However, you don’t then go use pornography because of lack of sex. But rather, you might use it because you are sad. You might use it because you feel disconnected or lonely. Not because you are not getting as much sex as you want. Understanding it this way will help you and your spouse approach emotions rather than just behavior. Even anxiety can lead to pornography use, among other emotions as well (Related Article: Anxiety Help And Pornography Issues).

We offer professional, high quality counseling for couples who have a pornography problem in Orem, South Jordan, and Spanish Fork. We also provide Telehealth Therapy if you live too far away from our offices.

Written by Triston Morgan, PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Utah Therapy


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