Part 2 of 3
Jay never saw pornography as a problem. He certainly didn't think he was addicted to pornography. Looking at porn is pretty normal guy behavior he thought.
Once in a while he'd wonder if he could be addicted to pornography, but he'd quickly rationalize the question away. How could he be addicted to pornography? He didn't obsess over it, he didn't plan his whole day around looking at porn, he didn't have an expectation and build-up for the next time he could look at pornography. He wasn't like that.
What Jay didn't see was how routine looking at pornography had become for him. He didn't see that, just like the addictive patterns described above, he also was dependent on porn. Pornography gave him a little pleasure, sometimes for only a couple of seconds, in his otherwise stressful, demanding, non-stop life. And he needed that. (Learn Is Porn Cheating?)
Jay almost never got on the computer to go right to porn. But he usually ended up there. He did like to check his email every day though, and mainly to see if any buddies had sent him any clips. Also just like the addictive behavior he believed described someone who is pornography addicted, he'd became religious about checking his email. It never occurred to him that his irritability and constant fights with Charlene the week the computer wasn't working were because he couldn't get into his email.
Jay's awareness changed after he began men's counseling at Guy Stuff. Here's what he's shared with me since about his being addicted to porn:
- "It was a distraction."
- "It became an escape. I'd get lost in it."
- "I'd sit down to check my email real quick and before I knew it 2 hours had gone by."
- "I'd go to it out of boredom."
- "It was almost instinct to click on pics."
- "It became a game to find pics to fulfill a fantasy."
- "It wasn't an obsession. I never thought, 'I can't wait to get home to get on the computer.' It wasn't like that for me."
As Jay and I have worked together he's confessed that "lusting after women is huge for me. It's my biggest challenge." He says, "I live a life of fantasy. What could be. Not just with porn, but in my work, my relationship with Charlene, my whole life."
Are there any parts of Jay's story you can relate to? If you're wondering if you could be addicted to pornography, and maybe even denying it like him too, talk to a professional counselor who knows porn addiction (be careful though, not a lot of counselors really know porn addiction). Get an expert's opinion. It's too easy for us to talk ourselves out of the truth. Just like Jay.
(Read Part 1 of Jay & Charlene's story - What Porn Addictions Look Like - A Guy Confesses He's Addicted and Part 3 Porn Addiction Help - A Wife Finds Her Husband's Porn)