Pornography and sexual addiction are rampant issues couples face in today’s world. For those struggling with this type of addiction, opening up to their spouse and loved ones is not easy. But it is a step in the right direction to help the healing process.
However, for spouses of addicts, this news can be devastating and leave them feeling numb and unsure what to do. If your spouse has admitted they have a problem, now is the time to make sure you take care of yourself too. This isn’t an easy for anyone and the more you can focus on your own healing, the better you’ll be able to move forward in your own recovery and find the strength to heal.
Here are 6 important relationship tips to consider as you and your spouse fight the battle to quit porn together with God’s help.
6 Tips To Help you and Your Spouse Fight Pornography Addiction
1. Educate Yourselves – When faced with the reality of your spouse’s addiction, it’s natural to blame yourself, assuming that you weren’t good enough, sexy enough, smart enough, and so on. The more you can learn and understand the real reasons behind the draw towards porn and sexual addiction can help you throughout your recovery process.
Use this time to understand their addiction has more to do with themselves and less to do with you is important.
2. Find a Support Group – While you’re dealing with this difficult time, you should find a support group to give you a safe place to open up about how you’re feeling. This is important because the more you have a place to express your feelings, the more you’ll see that others can relate to how your feeling and provide insights and suggestions from what they’ve learned through their healing.
Along with your support group, having a trusted friend, therapist, spiritual leader, or someone else you feel comfortable with can help you take the steps towards your own healing.
3. Open Communication is Key – Without a loving and compassionate approach, your spouse will not feel comfortable discussing his/her issues with you and this discussion is vital to recovery. Try to avoid immediate emotional responses and try to use responses such as “This happened and it made me feel this way…” to remove blame from the discussion.
An open line of communication will allow your partner to express when they’re feeling tempted without fear of being reprimanded.
4. Create a Recovery Plan – A plan of recovery needs to be created not only from the person suffering from the addiction, but also the spouse. Use this recovery plan as a way to work to heal yourselves, support each other, and repair tears in your relationship caused by the addiction.
This may include setting up time for self-care, creating boundaries, taking on new hobbies, writing in a journal, etc. Personalize your plan to the level of addiction and the support needed to recover.
5. Fight Trauma with Self Care – Relational trauma is a common occurrence after such a confession. Struggles with self-esteem, ability to trust, and issues with control are imminent. Recovery begins from within and if you’re not taking care of yourself and expressing your feelings in a healthy, positive way, recovery can’t happen.
Even an amount of time as small as 5 minutes set aside each day for yourself can be self-care. Read, write in a journal, talk with a support person, or practice positive affirmations—whatever necessary to assist you in your recovery.
6. Find Support – Sometimes you and your spouse can’t do it alone and that’s okay. There are more people than you know out there who have dealt with these same issues in their marriage and they’re willing to help you through. Find someone to talk to whether it be your spiritual leader, a support group, or even a close friend.
Be careful about who you choose to talk to about the situation and remember not to place blame in any of the conversations which could push your spouse further away. Whoever you talk to, just know that you can overcome this and you’re not alone.
The path towards recovery is a wide road and one that will take time.
Don’t be afraid to let your spouse, friends, and God walk beside you on this journey to recovery.
About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy. She is committed to helping people practice open communication and build healthy relationships.