Effective pornography treatment often includes family members. As I have worked with hundreds of individuals struggling with pornography use over the years, I have found that those who have loving, supportive family members often have better outcomes. For example, couples therapy is often a good place for you to learn how to connect with others instead of checking out or numbing through pornography use. This is a difficult thing to do because your spouse is someone who has the power to reject you in a way that can really hurt. It is hard to be vulnerable in these circumstances because of this fear of being hurt or rejected. It is also difficult because you are also working to heal the pain your spouse feels because of your pornography use.
One thing that you need is someone to be a ‘real’ person to you. Pornography is a fantasy world where there are no consequences and where other people’s emotions don’t matter. This is why couples therapy is so important – your spouse becomes more real to you as you let her describe and share her pain with you. She becomes more real to you as she is someone who your actions impact. She becomes more real to you as her experience is just as important as yours. A husband can turn their wife into pornography by not letting her be real – discounting her experience and not asking to hear it. A wife, inadvertently, can turn herself into pornography for her husband by thinking that she doesn’t want to stress her husband out by telling him about her feelings and therefore doesn’t say anything even though she is hurting.
Consider the impact that working with your spouse can have on your recovery from pornography use. As difficult as it is to face these issues, it’s a crucial part of your progress.