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8 Signs You Are Addicted to Porn (And How It Ruins Relationships)

A male that is addicted to porn and looking on his computer.

As a porn addiction therapist, I have seen a steady rise of problematic porn use throughout the last several years in Fort Worth. You might not think that it is a problem.  But, is your porn addiction ruining your relationship? Now, this is one of those questions that most people don’t like to ask themselves. However, with the rise of the porn industry and the ease of access, it is certainly a valid one. 

Up to 65% of young adult men and 18% of young women report watching porn at least once per week. Although, the frequency can be much higher. Furthermore, a survey taken of potential porn addicts, revealed that 29% can’t help but watch porn no matter how hard they try and stop.

The latter falls into a category known as problematic porn use (aka porn addiction). Verywell Mind defines this as, “a compulsive need to view pornography despite negative consequences.” Essentially, what makes a porn addiction an addiction (and not merely a keen porn interest) are the many negative ways it impacts someone’s work, relationships, and day-to-day life.

So, how do you know if your porn use is problematic? As a porn addiction therapist, I am revealing the top 8 signs you are addicted to porn (and how it’s ruining your relationship):

1. You Live a Double Life

Generally, people with a porn addiction live their life feeling as though they’re on the brink of getting caught. So, if you find yourself hiding out in the bathroom at night, or sneaking off during work hours, it might indicate that your porn use is interfering with your day-to-day life. Recovery begins the moment you shed light on your addiction. A professional addiction therapist can help you do just that.

2. You’re Experiencing Sexual Dysfunction

As men get older, there is a natural decline in sexual function. However, if you’re finding that you can’t get an erection with your real-life partner, and you can while watching porn, then it might be time to seek professional help.

As a professional porn addiction therapist, I have ample experience helping people overcome their problematic porn use. Not only can I provide techniques and skills to help you overcome your addiction, but together we can explore any hidden issues that might be lurking beneath the surface.

3. Your Guilt is Overwhelming

For some people, watching porn is a way of coping with difficult emotions. For others, it serves as a distraction from the reality of their life. Of course, the nasty thing about excessive porn use is that it usually just makes the viewer feel worse in the end. Then, to manage the resulting feelings of guilt and shame, many people will simply dive right back into porn, perpetuating an endless cycle.

If the situation I’ve just described sounds a bit too familiar, then it might be time to schedule an appointment. A trained addiction therapist, like myself, can help you break what feels like an impossible cycle.

4. Your Porn Use is Escalating

A hallmark of addiction is escalation. If you’ve watched your porn addiction escalate from minimal viewing to frequent viewing to viewing illegal or extreme porn, then it’s time to see a porn addiction therapist. As your brain familiarizes itself with pornography, it will crave more and more stimulation. For this reason, problematic porn use becomes incredibly hard to quit without professional help.

5. You Lose Interest in Your Partner

Pornography fosters a distorted perception of sex and intimacy. If you suffer from porn addiction, then you might notice yourself setting unrealistic expectations for your partner, their appearance, and your shared intimate moments. Over time, these expectations can cause you to lose interest or attraction to your partner.

Psychology Today put it this way: “Not many real women are porn-worthy ever, and it’s discouraging that desire in men is seemingly being conditioned to be excited only by an impossible standard.”

6. You’re Spending A LOT of Money on Porn

Just like substance abuse, porn addicts will find themselves spending more and more to feed their addiction. Not only does this escalated spending run the risk of financial distress, but your job and your relationships will also be affected.

7. Your Work or School Life is Suffering

Another sign of problematic porn use occurs when your work or school life starts to suffer. If you are spending so much time watching porn that you are unable to fulfill your regular responsibilities, then it is time to seek professional help.

8. You Are Becoming Angry or Irritable

Addiction rewires the brain’s pleasure and reward systems. This causes an addict to become angry or irritable if they are unable to engage with their stimulus (in this case, watching porn). If you notice that you become angry or restless in social situations (or any situation where you’re unable to watch porn), your porn use has probably become problematic.

How Porn Ruins Relationships

So, is problematic porn use ruining your relationships? If you thought this wasn’t a possibility, you might want to think again. While the consequences of porn addiction are scattered throughout one’s life, there are specific ways that it can impact relationships:

  • Porn teaches viewers to objectify their partners. Porn objectifies and dehumanizes both men and women, and it can deceive viewers into perceiving the people around them as objects existing solely for their pleasure.
  • Porn sets unrealistic standards. Your partner might feel as though she is competing with pornographic women for your sexual and emotional attention. Of course, the latter set unrealistic standards for beauty, sex, and intimacy.
  • Porn cuts into quality time. If someone is addicted to porn, they might prioritize watching porn over spending time with their real-life partner. Not only will this deplete their loved one’s self-esteem, but it diminishes the quality time a couple spends together.

Best Porn Addiction Therapists in Fort Worth, TX

After learning the 8 signs you’re addicted to porn (and how it’s ruining your relationship), you might consider making an appointment with a porn addiction therapist. If you are looking for a therapist in the Fort Worth area, Fort Wellness Counseling is here for you.

Having more than a decade of experience helping clients overcome porn addiction and substance abuse, I am confident in my ability to help you. Your freedom from porn addiction starts now. Contact our team to schedule an appointment.