Part 2 of 3
Being addicted to pornography is a problem for many men. Unfortunately, there are a lot of men and their partners that have a hard time recognizing pornography as a problem. For many it seems normal for a man to watch porn - the truth is that it’s not. Porn viewing causes issues for men in their personal lives and in their relationships.
Most men will ignore the signs of a problem with porn addiction until they not only have to contend with their porn problem, but also the other aspects of their lives that have been damaged. By the time they accept there’s an issue and do something about it, there can be a lot to untangle and it can take a lot of time and work. Just check out Jay’s story below to see what I mean.
How Men Ignore Becoming Addicted To Porn
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, and he didn't have an expectation or anticipation for the next time he could look at pornography. He just 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.
Jay almost never got on the computer with the intention of going right to porn. But he usually ended up there. He did like to check his email every day - mainly to see if any buddies had sent him any new porn 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 or online to go to some of his favorite sites.
Real Problems Caused By Pornography
As Jay became more addicted to pornography things with Charlene got worse. Of course, in his mind, one had nothing to do with the other. Eventually, however, she convinced him that they needed help – counseling. He didn’t really see the need, but agreed to go to make her happy.
Jay's awareness of his problem changed after he began men's counseling at Guy Stuff. He’s begun to see there was more going on than he realized and that his behavior was anything but normal. Here's what he's shared with me 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 continued to work together, he's confessed that,
"Lusting after women is huge for me. It's my biggest challenge. I live a life of fantasy. What could be. Not just with porn, but in my work, my relationship with Charlene, my whole life."
Jay was starting to understand he had a number of things he needed to work through, and that porn addiction had not only exacerbated existing problems but caused many, many more. The behavior he thought was “no big deal” and “just a normal guy” thing, had nearly cost him his relationship with Charlene and his family.
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 how to treat an addiction to porn). 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 and Part 3 Porn Addiction Help - A Wife Finds Her Husband's Porn).
Editor's Note: This post was originally published September 12, 2012. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- A Guy Confesses He Has an Addiction To Porn (Part 1)
- A Wife Needs Help with Her Husband's Porn Addiction (Part 3)
- You Love Your Husband, But You Think He Doesn't Love You
- Get More Help with a Porn Addiction