Discuss InnerGold's answer to: When your mate is addicted to pornography

Should I go back home after leaving my husband for watching porn? Recently I found several 15-20 porn movies charged on my cable bill. These movies were all rented in a 3 month period. Me and my ...

It is important to understand at the outset that pornography is extremely addictive by its very nature. Pornographers understand this very well and know how easy it is to manipulate people by their material. Pornographers are making millions of dollars off the natural vulnerabilities of people. What they offer destroys meaningful relationships quicker than anything else I’ve seen in my clinical practice. It trumps depression, anxiety and even drug addiction in its ability to destroy trust and peace of mind. Pornographers would have you believe that their material is harmless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Listen in part to an email I received recently. “My fiancé has a serious addiction to pornography. I’m slowly falling out of love with him because of this… I have no clue of what to do. This has broken my heart into a billion pieces. I don’t know if I will ever feel good enough again or if I want to even marry him”. Sexuality can be a strong and binding force between two people when based on trust, commitment and fidelity. It is a very personal and private part of any relationship. Those who make this private part of their lives public lose a part of themselves in the process. Those who view the private sexual lives of others through pornography also have something drawn out of them. Clients have described it this way to me, “When I’m viewing pornography I feel like my positive energy is being sucked out of me and then replaced by this negative energy that leaves me feeling heavy, dark, depressed and ugly.”

I find it interesting that every time a client talks about a slip or a relapse they always say this same thing “I feel dark, anxious, depressed, frustrated etc.” Never in the 20 years that I’ve been doing this clinical work have I had a client come to me and say “I feel really good inside about my last slip or relapse.” For the most part, those who regularly view pornography or even produce it would describe themselves as moral and ethical people. How could this be? Pornography and sexual addiction have a tremendous capacity to skew the normal thinking processes in the brain. Viewing pornography directly has a tremendous capacity to stimulate a certain part of the brain known as the limbic system. Once this part of the brain is stimulated in certain ways it is very difficult if not impossible to control. This part of the brain has the capacity to induce behaviors that are against ones own personal values and morals. The limbic system can do this because of its capacity to influence and inhibit another part of our brain known as the Pre-frontal cortex or rational/logical brain. The limbic system does not feel guilt nor does it care about consequences because those functions take place in the pre-frontal cortex.

This is why one can watch and be stimulated by images that otherwise would seem disgusting.The moral part of the brain has checked out and is no longer functioning properly. When this part of the brain has checked out all sorts of strange behaviors can occur. The limbic system works on the premise of more and more pleasure while simultaneously having no morals or concerns about consequences because those functions only come into play when the pre-frontal cortex is functioning properly. One can get to the point where the limbic system is almost completely controlling a person’s life. When ones moral system comes back on board that is when feelings of guilt and remorse are noticed more fully. 

I am sure there is part of your husband that wants to stop and never view it again but the survival part of the brain, his limbic system. Makes him want it more and more.

"Once is to many and a Thousand is not enough."

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