How Porn Addiction Affects Marriage

Over the past few decades pornographic addiction has risen to an all-time high. For married couples, this can be a very slippery slope as to what you may find offensive, and what you are willing to accept. In the past ten years thanks to the internet, pornographic videos and images have become readily accessible and even free to view. It has been argued that due to the increase in available pornographic media, husband’s sexual expectations have also heightened in lieu of the fictitious films they are viewing. Here in lies the problem; real women in real life generally do not engage in the act of sex the same way that men see in in fantasy pornographic material. However, it is no secret that men are visual creatures and women are more inclined to have sexual intercourse with a man they connect with emotionally. Women want to be loved affectionately, and men want to be seduced. Men generally don’t want to hurt their wives in this activity, but it inevitably happens. It wouldn’t be acceptable to ask a woman on the street to perform a sex act in your presence as that would certainly be considered as cheating, and to wives porn is no different just because it is viewed on a computer screen.

When your spouse is entrenched in a pornographic addiction, you need to get to the source of why it has become such an obsession before jumping to conclusions. Men often turn to this because they don’t have frequent sex with their wives, or they feel they are lacking something in the marriage. There are of course, those that enjoy it for no particular reason at all, even when they have rock-solid marriages. Women feel betrayed in most marriages by this activity, they feel as if their husband is engaging in a form of infidelity simply because sexual acts/content should be only for the couple.

After a wife learns of her husband’s pornographic habit, they instantly feel hurt or even severely drop their self-worth, which is a horrible and very sad. Some couples get divorced over this, as it is all up to what the wife deems as inappropriate. This sexual habit can sometimes be resolved through various types of therapy. There are many options from cognitive resources, to inpatient treatments, to completely stepping away from anything sexual for weeks to bring back focusing on real life for the male addict.

Some steps to start the recovery process would be to initially speak candidly to your spouse regarding the addiction. How it started, why it possibly began, and if they are willing to stop the addiction if it is damaging the marriage. If it is deeper than a conversation, take it up a notch and allow the professionals to intervene. The pornography addiction help from desert solace program, is an excellent resource. They have had great success in turning relationships around that were potentially doomed for disaster. Look into what they can do for you by viewing their programs online at .

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Marriage After Pornography Addiction: It Gets Better

Pornography addiction affects a marriage deeply.  When a man becomes addicted to pornography he is training his body to become aroused to visual stimulus.  As the addiction takes hold he requires more and more specific visual images in order to be satisfied.  If he notices a tiny imperfection he can discard the image or video and move onto the next one.  These trends are not conducive to real life sexual encounters.  The pornography addict often loses the ability to become aroused unless he visualizes pornographic images. This sexual disconnect is extremely hard to bear, and may cause emotional distance between a couple. Addicts also suffer from a host of emotional problems, such as a short temper, or low self-esteem. These emotional problems serve to drive the couple even further apart.

It gets better.

After an addiction comes into the open it is possible to start the healing process.  This process must be undertaken both separately and together.  An addict must learn to break the cycle of compulsion and become trustworthy again.  His or her spouse must be willing to trust again. This process takes time, and patience, but it is possible.

As trust rebuilds a couple can rebuild their sense of emotional and physical intimacy in their marriage.  Emotional intimacy comes through complete honesty, from both sides of the relationship.  Honesty comes with vulnerability, this vulnerability can be uncomfortable, but leads to feelings of emotional intimacy.  Marital intimacy is also dependent upon being available to the other person when together, not simply spending time watching TV together.

It is important to become reacquainted with true intimacy in marriage.  It might help to spend some time not having sex. Instead slowly explore each other again.  Take some time to be naked together, to talk, to kiss, and to touch each other. Take baths together.  It is important to take this step slowly because it is likely that the addict has come to rely on sexualized images to become aroused.  If a couples sexuality is pressed too quickly than the addict may fall back to fantasizing these images to “complete the deed”. With time, it is possible to become aroused simply through the erotic nature of being close someone he or she loves.

There is often the compulsion to compete with pornography.  To be sexier, and more exciting so that the addicted spouse does not need it anymore to be satisfied.  This practice tends to feed the addiction rather than cure it.  This is because it reinforces the cycle of needing erotic images present in order to become aroused.  The erotic high associated with relational intimacy needs to be restored, not simply orgasm without fantasizing.  This means that it might be helpful to forgo lingerie for a short while during the recovery period, because it is associated with the erotic imagery that has become addictive.

Through hard work and counseling it is possible to restore a marriage after pornography addiction.  Trust can be restored, as well as emotional and physical intimacy.  The process is arduous, but worth it.

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Marriage Success Stories of Couples Who have Overcome Porn Addiction

Pornography and sex addiction are both terrible burdens on a relationship.  Trust is broken, feelings of betrayal abound, and it feels like the world is slipping out from under you.  There is hope. It is possible for a couple to recover from addiction.

The first step towards healing is to fully acknowledge the problem and any false beliefs.  Pornography addiction is a type of obsessive-compulsive cycle.  This compulsion is often reinforced by several false beliefs. One false belief is that the addicted member is basically a bad, unworthy person, rather than just someone who has made mistakes. Another is that no one can love the addicted person as they are.  It is also common for addicts to believe that their needs will not be met if they have to depend on others, and that sex is their most important need.  Acknowledging these beliefs makes it possible to over come them.

To heal as a couple it is important for each member to make his or her individual healing a priority.  After an addiction comes into the open it normal for both partners to feel conflicted and angry, and for the self-esteem of both partners to decrease initially.  Couples who successfully come away together from this pitfall seek out counseling, and the help of support groups in their area. It might also help to journal, or to seek out written, or audiovisual sources for information. These are powerful available tools that can aid in the process of individual healing.

As a couple focuses on healing individually it is possible to come together and work on rebuilding trust and intimacy in their relationship. Trust will not come easily, and trust is impossible to force from either side of the relationship. Trust in a relationship comes from both parties. The addicted person must show that they are trustworthy and their partner must be willing to trust again.  Regaining trust takes time, and commitment.    The addicted partner must show that they are trying to be trustworthy in ways that are meaningful to their spouse.  They must be the one that makes the effort to move the computer, or to attend couple’s meetings.  They are the ones that must be willing to tell the whole truth. Their Partner must be willing to forgive, and to trust again. Patience is also required from both ends of the relationship.

As trust rebuilds a couple can work on rebuilding the emotional intimacy in their relationship.  Intimacy requires trust and open communication.  At times open communication requires a large degree of emotional vulnerability.  A couple must share their concerns and their doubts.  It is a mistake to try and force normality by avoiding issues. Avoidance will only increase the degree of emotional distance felt by both parties.  To have open communication a couple might have to learn to skills in fostering openness and understanding.  “Communication skills such as empathic listening, being respectful, and expressing vulnerability, are essential to both partners’ recovery.”

Sexual addiction can be a terrible blow to a relationship. It possible to come away from addiction as a happy couple but it takes work and understanding.  A couple must be willing to trust and be trustworthy again. A couple must also have open communication.

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Desert Solace – Addicition Treatment Program

Desert Solace Addicition Treatment Program Philosophy:

Desert Solace will provide intensive residential treatment for adult male clients who suffer from addiction to pornography and other sexual behaviors through the use of a holistic, task-oriented approach.  Focused intensive treatment in a residential treatment program has been found to be a very successful method of initial treatment of addictive disorders.

Desert Solace will help men into recovery from sex addiction by progressing through the us  Desert Solacee of therapy, education, program structure and other experiential therapeutic interventions.  Through research and clinical use, the task-centered approach has been shown to be very effective in assisting those who are addicted toward lives of recovery.

Desert Solace
1239 W 4200 N, St George, UT 84770
(435) 817-1351
Desert Solace views treatment as a unique opportunity to make significant changes in our patients lives. The wholesome, serene setting of Desert Solace facilitates the process of recovery. Our philosophy adheres to a belief that addiction is a disease of the brain. We believe the person is afflicted and thus we treat them physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.  We also believe that addiction (of any kind) is a symptom of deeper underlying issues that must be addressed in order for healing to take place.

Desert Solace believes that addiction is not only an individual problem, but also a family problem.  As this is a family problem, spouses and other affected family members will be heavily involved in treatment concurrent with the residential client.

This will include periods of intensive on-site couples and family counseling at the beginning and conclusion of the residential treatment, though family members will not be housed overnight at the facility.  During the client’s length of stay, spouses and other family members will receive therapy from professionals in their area of residence who will work in close consultation with Desert Solace therapists with the common goal of healing the family unit.  At the conclusion of residential treatment, staff and local therapists will create a carefully formulated aftercare program to help ensure continued and complete recovery.

Description of long and short-term goals at Desert Solace:

Desert SolaceDesert Solace’ short-term goals include:

  • Providing a safe environment where men can reside for a time and feel comfortable while establishing sexual sobriety.
  • Providing therapeutic and education services to assist in establishing sexual sobriety.
  • Assist families of clients to acknowledge their loved one’s addiction and understand their important role in the client’s recovery.
  • Maintain strict compliance with city and state regulations.

Long-term goals of Desert Solace are:

  • To gain and maintain a reputation as a leading provider of treatment of pornography and other sexually related addictive behaviors.
  • Assist in healing families adversely affected by the addiction of the client.
  • To provide long-term sobriety by assisting client in creating an aftercare treatment plan, and work closely with local therapists in implementing and maintaining that recovery plan.

Desert Solace services provided and the population to be served:

Desert Solace is a residential treatment program for adult men suffering from pornography and sexual addiction. Our staff has received specialized training for the treatment of sex and pornography addiction. The program is under the direction of a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist trained in the use of materials developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes. Dr. Carnes’ 30-task model, which embraces the 12 Step principles to recovery and healing, serves as the basic curriculum for treatment of men and their families.

The therapy staff brings additional significant experience in treating the concurrent issues of depression, ADHD, bipolar, PTSD and anxiety. In addition to sex addiction treatment, our therapists are experts in relationship problems, marriage and family issues, compulsivity, co-dependence, family of origin issues, and trauma resolution. The three components of the program, which are comprehensive diagnosis and assessment, residential treatment, and family support, have been established to assist those individuals and their families who have made the choice of recovery, but struggle with establishing sobriety.Desert Solace

The Desert Solace facility has a 10-person capacity, as defined by Utah Department of Human Services Office of Licensing Residential Rules. The population served by Desert Solace is limited to men 18 or older. These men may present with other concurrent mental health, or family issues and can expect that those issues along with the addiction issues will be effectively addressed during their stay at Desert Solace.

Although mental health issues may be significant, the primary determining factor for a person to remain in treatment at this facility is the stabilization of the sexual/pornography addiction.

Men who have committed sexual crimes such as child molestation, rape, or other “level three” behavior or men who have potential to commit severe physically aggressive acts against another individual are outside the treatment scope of this program.

Men who are have a history of suicidal behavior, self-harm or are actively involved in substance dependence or behavior which requires close observation and strong medical staff support to ensure their safety or the safety of others in the program, or those that require detoxification are not appropriate for this program until their behavior is stabilized to the point they are determined to not be a significant or immediate danger to themselves or others. A substance-addicted person who is undergoing detoxification is not appropriate for this program until the detoxification is completed.

A person who is actively psychotic and is a danger to themselves or others is not appropriate for this program.

Family members of residents who are physically aggressive and have a history of out-of-control behavior or who are intoxicated or under the influence of any illegal substances or determined to have impaired functioning due to any mood altering substance, will not be allowed to participate in program activities nor allowed on program property.

Desert SolaceProgram administration has the right to refuse treatment of anyone who is judged for any reason to not be an appropriate fit for this program and its treatment. Notice as to the reason a person is refused treatment, along with other possible treatment options will be provided such a person in writing at the time of their refusal.

Desert Solace provides care, structure, education, therapy, and treatment to its clients.


  1. Provide room and board
  2. Maintain 24 hour supervision


Rules, expectations, and consequences for each resident while participating in the Desert Solace program which are outlined in the resident manual provided to each client, and included in the policies and procedures.


Residents will receive information and coursework around the tasks of recovery from sexual addiction.  Dr. Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. developed this task-based program of recovery, which is recognized through decades of worldwide clinical use as the gold standard of sexual addiction treatment.

Therapy and Mental Health:

Residents will participate in:

  1. Assessment and treatment planning
    1. Sexual Addiction Screening Tool
    2. Sexual Dependency Inventory
    3. Beck Depression Inventory II
    4. Family history assessment
    5. Spiritual assessment
    6. Admissions assessment
    7.    Face-to-face assessment/treatment planning with clinical director
      1. Diagnoses
        1. Personal Assessment (Bio-Psycho-Social)
  2. Two one-hour private therapy sessions per week with a licensed clinical professional.
  3. Five two-hour group therapy sessions (facilitated by a licensed clinical professional) per week.
  4. A minimum of six hours of couple and/or family therapy biweekly.
  5. Other activities indicated in individual treatment plans which may include, but are not limited to, hiking, sports, equine assisted learning, community service, field trips, “ropes” course work.  The Managing Director and clinical staff will approve all activities.  To ensure the safety of the residents, activities will be facilitated by those experienced and familiar with safe practices or are trained in the activity they are facilitating.  Staff supervising residents on an activity will follow the emergency procedure as outlined in the policies and procedures.  Prior to participation in any activity each resident participating will need to sign into the activity log, which will indicate their voluntary participation in the activity, and sign a form indicating a release of liability.

Desert Solace – Addicition Treatment Program

Treatment Center / Rehabilitation Center / Addiction Program / Addiction / Sex Addiciton

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