What started as the perfect relationship for Jane (name changed) and her relationship with her childhood friend turned into a relationship nightmare because of his addiction to pornography.
The Red Flag
Being close friends and a couple who shared many experiences, Jane suspected that there was a dark secret with John*(name changed) behind his addiction to pornography. She eventually found out that he and many other kids were sexually abused from the age of 5 till he was 15 years old by a man that was close to their families.
The trauma of the sexual assault John faced further deepened when the sexual predator killed himself, and the victimized boys never got a trail in court.
After 13 years of marriage to John, Jane finally came into terms with the damage that the childhood trauma had caused on her husband and his addiction to porn.
John was continuously anxious, aggressive or depressed and nervous about his privacy and he was defensive when she tried to talk to him about his masturbating habit and how it affected their relationship.
John had unrealistic expectations for her to be sexually satisfied within a few seconds just like the pornography that he watched. Since Jane could not live up to that expectation, she felt performance anxiety, distant and unattractive and even helpless though she wanted to care for him and help him.
It took a toll on their marriage when John refused to admit his addiction and made Jane feel betrayed and disrespected and hurt even though she was trying her best to be understanding.
Their 15 years marriage finally dissolved after they consulted a marriage counsellor. Jane could not see a reason to stay and had no assurance about their future and John wanted to start another life with a younger woman.
Dr.Smith, a clinical and forensic psychologist, explains that though the number of pornography addicts is less, addressing the issue becomes a problem. Even though it is not all related to childhood trauma, there are cases of past influences behind the addiction. The treatment is similar to drugs and alcohol abuse and involves various approaches that involve communicating and adapting.
He says that couples like Jane and John dealing with pornography addiction can seek help from couples therapy or sex therapy where they can find common grounds of understanding, abstinence and controlled usage if they want to save the relationship.