Porn Addiction Ruining Marriage

Ask Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

It’s been almost four months since I had a conversation with my husband. We don’t talk anymore; we don’t hug or touch each other. No smiles of fondness. Nothing.

My husband is not away on business travel and he’s not deployed. He comes home from work every day. Seven days a week, he is closed away in his small office, tucked comfortably away from me and the world on his computer. He even sleeps in his office and not in our bed.

He prefers cybersex and video queens over me. He chooses them because I’m not good enough.

At first, we used to view movies or flicks together just to add spice to our bedroom. This became too much because he wanted me to do everything the video queen was doing. He wanted it more and more. It was like he was making love to an object, not me. Slowly, I closed down because he calls me bad names.

Now, I think my marriage is over. I have told my husband that he’s addicted to porn, but this only leads to a huge argument that doesn’t get us anywhere. What should I do now, Ms. Vicki?

Sincerely,
Wife of a Porn Addict

Dear Wife,

Military couples tell me all the time that their problem with pornography began by viewing different material to spice up their bedroom activity. It started out as enjoyment for both of them. Or one person decided to join in to make their partner happy.

Then something happens. Pornography use becomes more frequent, more intrusive and more controlling of your life. I’ll explain this by using my grandmother’s old adage: “It’s like allowing the devil to sit in the back seat of your car.  Before you know it, he’s behind the steering wheel!”

Pornography can wreak havoc on a relationship, ruin your self-esteem and self-worth and become a gateway to addiction. It can lead to isolation, relationship problems (e.g. poor communication and frequent arguments), sexual dysfunction, and/or a lack of intimacy with your spouse, partner or other family and friends.

I hesitate to diagnose someone based on a letter, but truly porn has become a major problem for you and many of the clients I see every week. A pornography addiction is diagnosed when a person participates to the extreme or the abuse of pornography until they experience harmful consequences like your husband. 

He has a negative behavioral pattern that he is not able to control. He is powerless to stop even though his relationship is suffering. In turn, as his spouse, you face low self-esteem and low self-worth. Moreover, the verbal altercations have become emotionally abusive and could lead to physical altercations. I urge you to seek professional help with this. Start with MilitaryOneSource or Tricare

And for those of you who are happy and you know it with your current use of pornography, next time I’ll share my pornography quiz.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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About

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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