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Help For Pornography Problems
People looking for help for pornography problems need to understand this principle: Pornography use is an avoidance issue. It’s not a sexual addiction or a sex issue. Rather, it is an avoidance problem. When you use pornography, you release chemicals in your body that feel good, or comfortable (Related Article: 3 Principles Of Emotional Health). These cover up the uncomfortable emotions that you are experiencing otherwise. The more you feel uncomfortable emotions and then use pornography to numb them, the more addicted you become. This act creates a pattern in your brain that is strengthened the more you do it. It becomes habitual and then addictive (See Fight The New Drug for other articles on this).
If you use pornography, you use it because you are avoiding, not because you need more sex in life. If not having sex makes you feel lonely and disconnected, then using pornography has to do with numbing ‘lonely and disconnected’ rather than a simple lack of sex.
What Do I Do About My Pornography Use?
So, if it has to do with avoiding emotions, then start feeling your emotions. At this point your emotional muscles are weak. They need to go to the gym. They need opportunities to break down and then build back up stronger. You don’t get stronger muscles through staying at home. You get them by working out.
Emotionally speaking, picking up your emotions will give you a workout (Related Article: Emotions 101: How To Be Healthy). It’s difficult and counterintuitive. It might not make sense to you how to do it healthily. Don’t you want to not feel uncomfortable emotions? Don’t you feel weaker when you do? You might not want to feel them and they might give you the sensation that you are weak. But, so does going to the gym. You feel sore and tired physically. While at the same time your muscles are building themselves up stronger. Emotionally it’s the same way. When you feel your emotions, your capacity to feel them increases. In the moment it’s hard, but you are building strength long term.
How Can I Help Someone Who Uses Pornography?
First of all, know that you can’t fix them and take away this problem. It’s not your responsibility, but you can be part of his (or her – I’ll use ‘his’ for simplicity, but this happens to both men and women) healing. Secondly, know that when he is trying to recover form pornography use, he is going to be working on his emotional development (Related Article: Pornography Counseling: Find Recovery And Healing). He will share his emotions and talk about what he is experiencing. This doesn’t mean that your emotions are invalid. In fact, your emotions are very important to your process and healing as well as his (Related Article: My Spouse Is Using Pornography, What Do I Do?).
Couples therapy is another way to get help for pornography problems. Pornography use is an issue that doesn’t go away easily. If you’re reading this article, you probably need professional help (Related Article: Couples Therapy – Pornography Problem). Most couples come in years after they need to, so don’t hesitate.
Schedule an appointment with a Utah marriage counselor to get help for pornography probelms in your relationship. We have counseling centers in South Jordan, Orem, Spanish Fork and American Fork.
Written by Triston Morgan PhD