Porn Addiction Questions
How do I get over my feelings of betrayal?
First of all, don’t try to do this alone. It doesn’t work. Get qualified support. It’s preferable that your support be people other than your family. Down the road, after you’ve worked through this, your family will still remember all the junk. It’s better to unload that junk with a paid friend!
I’m so disgusted by my husband, how can I ever forgive him?
Initially, many women find it seemingly impossible to get past the feelings of rage and pain of their husband’s pornography addiction. These feelings rarely go away by themselves. It is critical you seek for your own healing from this pain. It is possible for a marriage to come back together after this. Some couples even find their relationship is stronger because of the trials they have weathered.
What can I do?
There are lots of ways to be proactive. You can enroll your husband in the group coaching program, and listen to the calls with him. You can join the wives group coaching program.
You can join blogs and forums that give good advice from people who have overcome pornography addiction.
You can join a 12 step group and attend with your husband.
You can get the help of a great coach or therapist to help improve the communication in your marriage.
You can seek for your own inspiration about how to find healing from this.
What doesn’t help?
One of the worst things a wife can do is attempt to control her husband’s behavior. This will never work long term. He has to choose to be in recovery.
The other thing that doesn’t help is when a wife tries to carry this burden herself. It is too much to handle alone.
This is why it is so important that a wife find support in her healing as well as his recovery.
Most wives of addicts want to know what they can do to help their husband in his recovery. Two things make the biggest difference.
- Get educated on the subject. Learn what works and what doesn’t work. Be careful whose opinions you listen to in your education. There is a lot of mis-information on the market. We recommend that wives join their husbands on our weekly group coaching calls for addicts.
- Get emotional support for yourself. Don’t try and do this alone. We have a group coaching program just for wives of addict that helps women process the emotions that come with this challenge. Click here to find out what’s in the program
How do I protect my family from this?
The best way you can protect your family from this is to be constantly working on improving yourself. Deal with your own imbalance. Deal with your own anger issues. Deal with your own addictions. They will learn to live a healthier life because of your example.
The next best way is to be vigilant about the media that enters your home. You can’t control what happens outside your home, but you can keep the inside a place of light.
Another way is to talk openly about sex and teach them what healthy sex means. You will probably be the only person that will ever teach them.
What if my husband and I watch porn together?
Many couples choose to do this. One of the challenges that often arises is that the guy ends up being more interested in what’s happening on the screen then with you. Many women report that initially it spiced up their relationship, but in the end they felt degraded and that they couldn’t live up to the standards on the screen. They also found that their husbands began viewing it more and more on his own.
Because porn has a drug like effect in the brain, he will need more and more of it to get the same rush. You can never live up to what is portrayed there, so eventually it will draw him away from you.
Many women report feeling used after watching porn with their husband. That makes sense because the man is basically using his wife to masturbate to the images on the screen.
How porn affects a relationship?
Porn in a relationship often leads to less closeness between partners. There are several reasons for this. Women tend to compare their bodies to the digitally and surgically altered actresses on the screen. This will always be a losing proposition. There will always be a younger or prettier girl.
There is no way to ever live up to the variety offered either.
Because porn has a drug like effect, in order to get the rush, the scenarios will have to become more extreme. This introduces very unhealthy behaviors into the relationship.
Porn encourages men to disrespect women. It is a selfish habit that seeks self-gratification above caring for their partner.
For a relationship to flourish, it requires trust. Women who are used and disrespected find it hard to open up and trust their partner.
Will this lead to an affair?
Not every man who watches porn ends up cheating on his wife. But porn convinces a man that long-term satisfaction can only come through living out his fantasies. Initially, many men claim to live out their fantasies through porn, but eventually that is not enough. They will have the same cravings to cheat as they did to watch porn. It is a slippery slope.
What is realistic recovery for my husband?
He has been using a sexual release as his primary coping tool since he was a teenager. Anytime he felt uncomfortable- lonely, tired, angry, bored, horny- he could instantly feel better for a while. (and then feel really down). He probably hasn’t developed any other coping tools. This is going to take time and significant support and reinforcement.
He will absolutely have cravings for the old behavior for a long time. He will probably mess up occasionally, especially at the beginning. He will for sure have times when he wants to go back. And, he can get to a place where this doesn’t own him anymore. He can get to the place where he manages his stress effectively, and he learns to open up and connect with you. He can practice cutting off his fantasies. And he can channel his desires towards you.
But he will always be vulnerable to the old outlet. He should plan on being on guard against it for the rest of his life. And best guard against it- is developing habits that keep him in balance. Then he doesn’t need to escape.
Do filters work?
No filter is perfect. Computer savvy people can always find ways around them. But a filter is better than open access to the internet. Open access is asking for a relapse. Someone other than the recovering addict should have the password.
What filters are the best?
We recommend SafeEyes or NetNanny
What is better than filters?
For a lot of men, combining a filter with accountability software is better than a filter alone. This software tracks every site that is visited. It doesn’t block sites- it just leaves a trail. The guy should not have the password to override this software.
I love this program. I used to feel like I had to compete with porn in order to have a relationship with my husband. I didn’t realize that this addiction is deeper than just looking at women. It has a lot less to do with me than I thought.
This program has helped me to communicate with my husband in a way that doesn’t make him feel ashamed, and lets me express myself. I learned how to help him, and what not to do. I was surprised to learn how I used to make this worse for him in the past.
I feel like for the first time we are on the same page. We connect in ways that we never did before. I have my marriage back. Thanks Tony for all that you do.
Porn Addiction Help
How do I protect my kids from this?
Being vigilant about the media that you allow into your home makes a big difference. This includes soft porn that is found in most movies and magazines. Too many women are introducing their sons to soft porn without realizing what they are doing.
But that is not enough. You have to teach your children healthy sexuality. They will see unhealthy versions all around them. You will probably be the only person to ever teach them a healthy perspective of sex.
I caught my son looking at porn online, what does this mean?
It means he has tapped into fantasy. That is the drug you can’t stop. Now its critical that you educate yourself on what helps and what doesn’t help. We have created an eBook and a CD program for parents. This is an invaluable tool that you must have. Click here to get the eBook and CD programs.
What really helps is getting educated on what you’re really dealing with. Most parents do the wrong thing and it makes things worse.
Once you are educated, open and honest communication is critical. And then you have to set the example and start working on your junk. A lot of parents don’t like to hear that, but this is the cold, hard truth- your child learned addictive patterns in your home. That means that there is an imbalance in your lifestyle that he learned from you. Before he can change his habits and patterns, you have to change the family dynamic and lead by example.
What doesn’t help?
Shaming and punishing him won’t help in the long run. He has tapped into the most powerful drug factory on the planet — his brain. He can activate it using only his imagination. And he has figured out the plumbing and how to make all his troubles go away. You are going to have to teach him better ways of dealing with life.
Giving him open access to the internet is also a recipe for disaster. Don’t put that kind of pressure on him. Get the computer out of his room. Put a filter on it. Let him know there is accountability software installed on the computer that tracks his every click- and he can’t disable it.
And finally, thinking this is only his problem. You raised a young addict. It is a family problem.
How most parents make the issue worse?
Unfortunately, most parents freak out and shame their son or daughter. Then they try to use punishment to threaten them. This never works long term. Never. The kids just become better liars.
Parents need to radically alter the family dynamic if they want to help their kids. It begins with an honest look at the parent’s coping tools for dealing with stress. Recovery is a family affair.
I have gone longer without a mishap than since I married my wife. While I recently messed up again, I see myself constantly improving and the temptations are almost always vacant. I notice the chemical reactions and changes far more now, and I am almost always doing things that are substituting them, and they are working beautifully. I am more balanced than I have ever been in my life.
How do you define porn addiction?
The term “porn addiction” is used rather loosely on this site. Because most guys don’t like the idea of saying they have a porn addiction, they think it means they don’t have a problem. I would call it a compulsive behavior- because most guys can admit that they deal with compulsive feelings to act out sexually. And they can’t change until they admit there is a problem. So call it an addiction, a compulsive feeling, a bad habit- in the end- it is very difficult to stop on your own. So whatever you call it, start getting help today.
Do I have an addiction to porn?
That question could be better worded- do I have a problem with porn.
If you find yourself acting out compulsively and going back to the behavior after you have said you’d never do it again, then I think you have a problem.
If you look at pornography and masturbate at least once a month, I think you have a problem.
If you find that in certain settings, it’s like your brain just shuts off, and you just act out- like you can’t control yourself- then, yes- you have a problem.
A lot of men and women fall into this category. And they also want to BS themselves that they don’t have a problem.
This will lead in only one direction. You will keep acting out compulsively- and your brain will get more and more wired to this behavior- until it causes more problems in your life. And then, you will eventually admit you have a problem.
Why not skip all that pain, and all that brain wiring- and just join the group coaching program and start fixing this today? You don’t have to admit to being an addict to get help. Just admit this is a problem, and get help before it gets worse, because it will not go away on its own.
I only look at it every 3 or 4 months — am I an addict, should I join the program?
If you find yourself looking in a compulsive way, then yes- you should join the group program. Or you can just keep wiring your brain with the most powerful chemicals our body produces. And eventually you will start looking more and more often. I guess you can wait until it becomes a bigger problem in your life, but doesn’t it just make sense to start working on it now? It doesn’t go away on its own. It just gets worse. Would you rather have an easier recovery or a more difficult recovery? Get into the group program and start heading in the right direction sooner rather than later.
Porn is a symptom — the real problem is imbalance
The problem isn’t porn. The problem is how you’ve been coping with life. You have had too much stress and no other tools (besides porn and masturbation) to decrease your stress. You’ve been eating awful food. You haven’t been getting enough sleep. You’ve told yourself that if anyone knew you, they wouldn’t accept you. Bottom line- your way of dealing with life is out of balance. Porn is just a way to make it all go away for a while. The problem is the imbalance.
What are the steps to end a porn addiction?
The only way I know to end a porn addiction is to very intentionally implement new habits into your lifestyle. Habits that help you process your stress in healthy ways. Habits where you change you inner dialogue from negative to positive. Habits where you find ways to enjoy your life and have fun and adventure. Habits of eating really healthy food- the way nature intended it. Habits of connecting spiritually. With these new habits as your way of life, there is no need to escape.
What doesn’t work in ending a porn addiction?
What doesn’t work to stop a porn addiction is punishing and shaming yourself. Trying to use self-control. Not changing any of the imbalance in your life and at the same time taking away your only coping tool. Trying to change on your own, without any outside support and reminders. Pretending this will go away on its own.
Can I get over this on my own?
Einstein was a pretty smart guy. He said that a problem can’t be solved by the same mind that created it.
If you had better coping tools, you would be using them. I promise you this- because life is WAY better with better coping tools. It is calmer. It is 100 times more satisfying. Relationships are better. You can look yourself in the mirror and feel great about who you are and where you are going. You can create things in your life. You rest better. You feel better because you’re eating better. You have accountability partners in your life who are there for you and love you.
Having new habits like this is infinitely better than sitting in a dark room with a computer, chasing that ever-elusive satisfaction that you keep lying to yourself is just a click away. But you can never find it. And the pleasure ends too fast. And that empty, alone feeling comes back.
So, NO — you can’t fix this on your own. Get help from people who have gotten over this.
Can I ever get over this?
Absolutely you can get over this. And absolutely, there will be moments when it will seem like a good idea to go back. (usually when you haven’t been using your new tools, and have gotten out of balance.)
Horniness won’t ever fully go away. Interest in sex won’t ever fully go away. But those are a part of life. It’s a part of what makes us passionate human beings.
When you learn to channel your sexual feelings in the way nature intended it, you can experience the satisfaction you are designed to experience. But this is only available when you stop using sex like a drug that you think will fix you. Sex can’t fix you. Its not meant to fix you. But when you use sex appropriately in your marriage, you can experience closeness and connection and intimacy. And that is what it is designed for.
Why is a porn addiction so hard to end?
You have been using a sexual release as your primary coping tools since you were a teenager. Anytime you felt down- you could feel “up” again. Anytime you felt lonely, hungry, tired, stressed, horny- you could instantly make it all go away for a while. It was so predictable. It worked every time. And then it made you feel rotten every time.
Then you added porn into the mix, and you started chasing a high. Chasing an ever-elusive fix. Chasing this emotion that if you got it just right, you would feel totally satisfied forever.
And every time, you almost got there- but not quite. So you kept chasing.
This behavior triggered the body’s naturally occurring endorphins- and eventually your brain got hooked on these chemicals.
If this is the only way you know how to deal with life, and you just take it away without adding new tools to deal with life- of course it will be hard to quit. Nearly impossible.
The only way to get over this is to fill your life with new tools. Make new habits that keep you in balance. Then you don’t need the old outlet as much.
That’s what the group coaching program is all about. Every week you practice new tools of dealing with life. Over time, these tools become your habits, and eventually, you are free from the old chains.
Could you go back? You already know the answer.
And that is why the new tools have to be practiced until they are habit. Until they are simply your lifestyle.
What are endorphins?
Endorphins are your body’s naturally occurring “feel good” drugs. They include adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine and many others. They have been shown to be 100 times stronger than heroine.
Will I always have this addiction to porn?
You can overcome the addictive and compulsive behaviors by replacing them with healthier tools.
You will always be susceptible to it. You could slip back if you stopped implementing the tools that got you out of it. You should plan on making recovery a lifestyle.
What are the steps of recovery?
- Step 1: Admit you can use some help in overcoming this
- Step 2: Join the group coaching program and participate
- Step 3: Find an accountability partner
- Step 4: Make recovery your lifestyle.
- Step 5: Incorporate your spiritual beliefs into this process
- Step 6: Repeat, repeat, repeat
What does recovery from porn addiction look like?
Recovery from pornography addiction is a long-term process where you increase the time between relapses and shorten the time of the relapses. You keep implementing the new tools over and over. And when you mess up, you get right back on track and keep implementing and practicing the new coping tools until they start to become habits. This takes time and reinforcement. That’s why we have the group coaching calls every week, and that’s why the program lasts 9 months. To keep giving you a reminder to stay on track, or get back on track.
Then, the cravings decrease over time. And you no longer feel the need to escape.
Eventually, porn takes its rightful place- an occasional temptation that you shake off and avoid.
If you have cravings come up- you implement the tools you have learned, and you use it as a reminder to get back in balance.
That is real recovery.
All porn addiction starts with fantasy
If you really want to get over this, you must learn to stop fantasizing. This is one of the tools we teach in the group coaching program.
When we fantasize, our brain releases a small dose of the chemicals and we get aroused. It is not enough to satisfy so it ALWAYS leaves us feeling emotionally hungry. This increases the cravings, and eventually we act out compulsively.
The key to creating a new habit here is to stop yourself once you notice you were thinking of a fantasy. Open your eyes and look around the room. Notice details that you ignored in the past. Notice sounds, smells, tastes. Focus on very small details of your surroundings. Look all around- up, down, from side to side. What this does is cause your brain to focus on something new. And your brain can only hold an intense focus in one direction at a time. The fantasy will fade.
This is not nearly as fun as fantasizing, but if you want to recovery from pornography addiction, this is mandatory. There is no other way.
The biology of recovery from porn addiction
An important aspect of recovery is looking at the body, the mind, the spirit and stress management. All are important pieces.
From the body perspective — you must give your brain the building blocks it needs to replenish the chemicals you have been depleting. This means eating really healthy food and eliminating the junk. It also means resting and exercising the body.
From the mind perspective — you must replace the negative inner dialogue with positive beliefs. This is done through the custom affirmations that are part of the group coaching program.
From a spirit perspective — this means getting still and learning to listen within. It means experiencing spiritual connection based on your beliefs.
And from a stress management perspective- you must decompress your central nervous system in healthy ways. This can be done through meditation, exercise, and rest.
You must replace the old chemicals – you can’t just take them away
If you just try to take away these brain chemicals, your brain will revolt, and you will lose. You must learn to replace the chemicals in healthier ways.
The emotional side of recovery from porn addiction
Recovery requires you to face the negative stories you have made up about yourself. In the group coaching program, we do exercises to face these irrational fears an replace them with the truth of who you are.
There will also be ups and downs, especially since you will be learning new ways to deal with life. That is part of the journey. Eventually, things will stabilize, and you will be grateful for the experience.
I am humbled by Tony’s kindness and generosity. So if you would like a review, please know that I love the program, have seen real results and change in my life, and will be referring others to his program that I hear about that are struggling with pornography addiction for the rest of my life. I sincerely hope that you and Tony and your families have a marvelous blessings. You certainly deserve it.
Recovery Program Questions
What is included in the porn addiction recovery program?
- Weekly Group Coaching Calls — To give you the step by step tools of recovery that will help you make real change in your life, and empower you to make new choices in difficult moments.
- Lifeline Call — Available 24/7 to give you the extra support you need in the moment of temptation.
Is the porn addiction recovery program based on any religion?
The group coaching program is not based on any specific religion. We talk about spiritual principles and encourage participants to apply these principles to their beliefs.
All faiths are welcome in the program. If someone does not believe in God or any spiritual ideas, they can still benefit from the tools of recovery taught in the program.
When are the weekly calls?
The weekly calls are held on Thursday evenings at 6pm PST, 7pm MST, 8pm CST, and 9pm EST
What if I miss a call, or can’t join the call?
That is fine. After each call you will receive an email with a link to either listen to the call from your computer or download the call as an MP3. That way you can keep up with the program as it fits your schedule.
Why do phone calls instead of online meetings?
We have found that people recovering from porn addiction have a hard time watching videos online for extended periods of time. Kind of like holding an A.A. meeting in a bar…
Healing takes place away from the battlefront. For this reason, the program is done with weekly group calls. It gives you a chance to get away from the temptation and start practicing new habits and new tools in a safe place.
How soon can I join a group?
We start a new group every Thursday, so you can start now.
What if I want to quit the program?
You can participate as long as you are receiving value from the program. You can cancel at any time.
What Filters do you recommend?
We like SafeEyes and NetNanny
In addition to a filter, accountability software is a powerful tool to help you make the right choice. This is software that tracks every page visited and reports it to your accountability partner. You should give that person the password. It helps you to do the right thing even in moments of temptation.
When you make your online behavior transparent to others, you will do the right thing. Eliminate the secrets.