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Divorce and Porn Addiction

addiction to porn is a leading cause of divorce

There Is A New Epidemic That is Lurking Behind the Scenes And Has Become A Root Cause To At Least Half Of The Divorces Reported In The United States

The issue of porn addiction and its effects on the current divorce rates is an extremely serious issue that everyone needs to be aware of. In a 2006 study, it was found that 86% of individuals age 18 to 49 view porn. Marriage counselors, as well as divorce attorneys, have taken notice of this growing problem in recent years.

This is not an article that intends to shame anyone for their lifestyle choices or what they decide to do in their spare time, however, 86% of married people age 18 to 49 are viewing porn which is highly addictive and utterly destructive to the intimacy that is necessary to maintain a healthy relationship with a spouse.

If your spouse was experimenting with some other type of highly addictive behavior such as the use of crack or heroin you would sit up and take notice and in this writer’s opinion use of porn is not much different and requires everyone’s constant vigilance.

Divorce Lawyers Are Also Recognizing the Effects That Porn Use Has on Divorce

All the way back in 2002 the American Association of matrimonial lawyers questioned 350 divorce attorney members and discovered that about 60% of those polled had noticed that Internet porn played a significant role in divorces with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half of the divorces that they saw.

Now, I don’t know if you caught this or not, but the Internet itself, the number of websites, and everyone’s quick pocket access to the Internet have increased dramatically from 2002 until now. I believe that it would not be unreasonable to assume that these numbers discovered in 2002 would be significantly higher in 2019. This is a big problem.

In 2005 Dr. Jill Manning, a licensed family and marital therapist presented the results of her research to the Senate in the hopes of gaining some traction in addressing this looming crisis. Her findings suggested that as of 2005 56% of divorces were contributed to by one of the partners having an obsessive attraction to pornography. Again, the growth of the Internet and the ease of access to the web has exploded between 2005 and today leading to the realistic conclusion that these numbers have probably increased dramatically since then.

Dr. John Gottman, of the Gottman Institute, is another example of a well-known professional in this field whose experience and research has made him a staunch advocate against the use of porn by married individuals stating that it is destructive to intimacy.

As Dr. Gottman sees it intimacy is a vital component of a successful relationship and provides necessary emotional communication between spouses. However, when one of them is viewing porn they are obtaining that intimacy from an outside source and without even realizing it they are cutting their partner off from that intimacy connection. Over extended periods of time, this loss of intimacy is devastating on a marriage making it difficult for any marriage to survive.

Another destructive result of porn use according to Gottman, is the fact that the porn user becomes accustomed to being in complete control of the sexual experience. This leads to them having the unrealistic expectation, even if they don’t realize it, to be in complete control of the sexual experience with their partner.

Unfortunately, that is not a realistic view of healthy sex and can easily cause one or both of the partners to become disenchanted at the thought of sex with their partner and can lead to serious long-term consequences such as loss of intimacy and even divorce.

What Do I Do If My Partner Is Addicted to Porn?

There are many similarities between treatment for porn addiction and treatment for substance abuse. First, the partner with the obsessive attraction to porn needs to acknowledge that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Until they admit to themselves and their spouse that this is an issue most people will not be able to emotionally and spiritually commit the necessary effort needed to effectuate a solution.

Next, there needs to be absolute admission to the other partner of all conduct to the point where there are no more secrets. When secrets or details of conduct are withheld from the other partner there is an open door to relapse as well as eternal suspicion and lack of trust on the part of the partner who was not engaging in the porn use. Complete and absolute admission to your partner is usually an important step in beginning the healing process and building trust for the future.

In many cases, sex addiction therapists even send their patients for monthly, quarterly, and yearly polygraph tests to ensure that they are not keeping secrets from their spouse and that there has not been a relapse.

Though this may sound extreme, the goal of this therapy is to save a relationship and a necessary part of saving that relationship is the non-porn using partner’s ability to trust again and that will be dependent on their confidence in the fact that their partner is no longer engaging in the obsessive porn use.

Of course, there must also be a strict cold turkey end to any and all viewing of pornography. This can be a challenge for many couples due to the fact that sexually suggestive material can be found everywhere in our society today. From billboards to magazines, and especially on television sex and sexually suggestive material is everywhere and is a huge potential trigger for the porn addict to relapse.

If you are facing a divorce due to a spouse’s porn addiction, then we normally recommend seeking intensive therapy for porn addiction in addition to couples’ therapy before you file for divorce. We have recommended providers that we can refer you to based on your individual circumstances.

If, however, the therapeutic process is unsuccessful and there is no other option but divorce then there will be a complex web of legal issues that will need to be navigated through in the divorce process. Our Orlando divorce lawyers can assist you through this process not only by providing zealous legal representation, but also having an awareness of the emotional path that you have been navigating leading up to this point.

Resources:

https://verilymag.com/2017/07/causes-of-divorce-effects-of-watching-pornography

An Open Letter on Porn

https://www.affordablefamilylawyer.com/can-i-reconcile-before-my-divorce-is-final/

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