One of the most common search terms that brings people to this blog is the title you see above: “Signs Of Pornography Addiction.” As a former pornography addict I suspect there are two main types of people who use this search term: 1) Men and women who suspect they are pornography addicts; 2) Those who suspect their significant other is a pornography addict.
If you fall into either of these groups, I invite you to read the four common signs of pornography addiction below so you can know for certain if you or your significant other is a pornography addict:
- You’ve tried to quit in the past: If you’ve tried to quit using pornography in the past but somehow keep coming back to it, that could be a sign that you are a pornography addict. Think about it: Have you tried quitting Twinkies but somehow keep finding yourself peeling the wrapper off those tasty golden treats? No? That’s probably because you’re not a food addict.
- You keep using pornography even though your job or relationships are jeopardized by your use: By definition an addiction is a compulsive activity that continues despite the threat of severe consequences. If your spouse has threatened to leave you if you don’t stop using pornography and you keep up the habit, you are probably a pornography addict. If you suspect that your significant other uses pornography and you want him to stop (and as a former addict I strongly suggest that you get him to stop) you need to confront him. Understand that his use of pornography makes your relationship abusive. Would you tolerate it if he hit you? No? Then you shouldn’t tolerate his pornography use either. If he continues using pornography despite your ultimatum, your significant other is probably a pornography addict.
- You keep your pornography use and purchases a secret: Many pornography addicts hide their pornography use and lie about the money they spend on their habit. If you stay up late at night or rush home from work to use pornography so your significant other won’t discover you, you are probably a pornography addict. If you spend money on pornography of any form and keep those purchases hidden from your spouse, you are probably a pornography addict. Think about it: Do you wait until your significant other falls asleep before you sneak into the living room to read your favorite novel? Or do you keep the fact that you bought groceries for your family a secret? No?
- There is a wide gap between your public opinion, and private use, of pornography: Not everyone who uses pornography is an addict (although one study revealed 90%+ of users are compulsive users) but many addicts experience significant cognitive dissonance. In other words, they secretly use pornography while publicly speaking vehemently against pornography and those who use it. If you see yourself as a “pretty good guy” other than your pornography use, you are probably a pornography addict. If your significant other reacts strongly to stories of pornography use or rails against the evils of pornography, it’s a good bet he’s an addict.
If only one of these signs applies to you, you may not be a pornography addict (though you are very likely a compulsive user). If all these signs apply to you, you are almost certainly a pornography addict. If that’s you, take heart: There is hope for you. For your sake and for your family’s sake, get help before you are asked to pay a price you are unwilling to pay.