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Monday, November 2, 2015

You just found out that your spouse is a pornography addict

 For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on women, though there are plenty men who are the spouse of an addict.

So you just found out that your husband is a pornography addict.

I am so sorry, and I send you a hug!

Lots of things may start to make sense to you. Maybe your husband had become more distant in the past, maybe he'd become more moody. Pornography and sex addiction changes a person. It literally changes their brain and it desensitizes them. Pornography is a crash course in dehumanization and objectification.

2 things to know:

1) Your husband's addiction is NOT YOUR FAULT. It is NOT ABOUT YOU.  Addiction cycles are beasts! Addictions consume you. Nothing about you caused your husband's addiction. Your appearance, your homemaking skills, etc. etc. etc. Nothing you could or could not have done would have caused his addiction. This is a choice he made, and you have nothing to do with it.

2) There is hope. I don't know your personal story, I don't know the situation you are in. But there is hope. If your situation is such that you and your husband are no longer together, then there is hope for you, for happiness, for healing. If you have the chance to work on your marriage, then there is hope for your marriage, for happiness, for healing.

What do do now: (Note: your situation is unique to you. You know what is best, and what you need to do. Some people find themselves in very dangerous situations. If this is the case, call and talk to a women's crisis center or shelter or another person that you know is the place to go. Or a lawyer, I don't know. Call your parents. The point is that my thoughts will not work for every situation. Be aware and act smart.)

1) Go talk to a therapist who specializes in this type of addiction. Hopefully your husband will go with you and the therapist will come up with a therapy plan. No money? Find out if your insurance will help, if the therapists have scholarships or if your church might help you with some of the costs. There are also free or discounted or normal paid church therapy programs. There are also books written by therapists specializing in sexual addiction and codependency.

Lots of spouses of addicts benefit from going to see their own therapist. You are going through your own trauma, and just like other types of trauma, it is good for you to get help with it.

2 ) Go talk to your church clergy. Get the spiritual support and help that you need.

3) Get a support structure. Legitimate support groups, therapy groups, family and friends that are good listeners, etc. No one should have to go through this feeling alone. And, unfortunately, you aren't alone. Lots of people are going through this same thing.

4) Take care of yourself. Keep to your prayers, your spiritual health and study, etc. Keep to church.  Stay groomed, eat well, etc. Do NOT change anything about you to try and fit what your husband might see in porn. It doesn't do any good for anyone, it won't help.

5) Go to my Addiction tab at the top of this page and read my addiction articles. They act as kind of a FAQ for spouses and addicts as I interviewed therapists when writing them.

But first, before you do anything, take a deep breath. I'm sure you feel like you're walking through Hell right now. What you need to realize is that you were already in this situation before, it's just that you are now realizing it. Knowing that you are going through Hell is a heck of a lot better than knowing something is wrong and not having a clue. Knowing that you are in Hell is the first step in being able to get out of it.

Some therapists say to not make any big decisions within the first year of finding out about your spouse's addiction. Sometimes this doesn't work, but you can see where they would suggest this in general. I will post about this more later.

Hugs! It will all be ok!

Again, I don't know your particular situation. I am not a therapist, lawyer, etc. This is just my personal reaction or my personal thoughts.

Also, I go into more detail about the things I talk about here throughout my past blog posts.

Good luck to you! And again, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this!!!!!

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