Pornography addiction doesn’t just affect the person who uses porn. It creates a vacuum that sucks the life out of everyone surrounding it. When my husband was looking at porn regularly, he thought that it had no effect on me. I’m sure that is a common thought process, but boy, is it wrong. Porn hurts your spouse’s self-esteem; in fact, his pornography addiction led to the downfall of my own self-esteem and worth.
Face it: many women are already prone to feeling poorly about themselves and comparing themselves to other women.
Add your husband yearning to look at other women and you have a recipe for a crumbling self-image. Here are three ways porn addiction hurt my self-esteem.
When I knew that he was looking at porn, I felt the need to compete for his attention. I thought that if he needed porn to be satisfied then I was not doing enough. I tried to “win” his affection back by attempting to imitate what he liked to watch. In essence, I thought I needed to look like a porn star and act like a porn star just so he would notice me.
But trying to look and act like something or someone you’re not just takes a toll after a while. I was just a regular person, flaws and all—how could I compete with a professional production? Pretty soon I lost who I was. I became numb. I forgot how to enjoy sex. I distinctly remember asking him one time if I was better than porn. Of course, he said yes. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. There was this blurred line of sexual intimacy and putting on a show.
Have you ever tried to reach a goal or be part of a team over and over again only to realize that you just weren’t good enough each time? It hurts. Porn hurts your spouse’s self-esteem. I never felt good enough. He wanted to watch other women instead of being with me. Every time I thought I satisfied him, he would still go back to pornography.
I lost weight, put makeup on every day, and made sure to dress “sexy.” I tried to act the part of a porn star. None of that mattered. Again, I didn’t measure up to the images that were ingrained in his mind. Eventually, the feeling of inadequacy led me to believe that I had no worth; no worth as a wife, a woman, a mother, a friend, a person. The feeling of never being enough crushed my self-esteem.
It’s often said that pornography addiction leads the individual to see other people as sexualized objects. It is so true. I felt like an object. I was only there to be pretty and fulfill every sexual need. At that point, there was no connection, no true intimacy. I was just body parts and sexual acts. I knew that he didn’t see me as a whole person then because sex wasn’t about connecting deeper or putting each other first, it felt like it was only about what he wanted.
I spoke with my husband recently about this aspect of porn addiction. He said that when he was looking at porn, it didn’t feel like the performers were real people. He said that, to him, watching porn was basically watching body parts. When people are stripped down to only being seen as body parts, dehumanization begins. Talk about a hit to your self-esteem when you don’t feel like a human.
Porn hurts your spouse’s self-esteem. And after it’s been torn down, self-esteem is a very difficult thing to build back up. It is something that I struggle with to this day, to this minute, this very second. I am no longer the person I was before this addiction affected my marriage.
Having gone through this addiction and come out the other end (God is so good!), trust me when I say, get help for your porn addiction, but don’t forget to find help for your spouse’s well-being. One great place you can start is MyPilgrimage.com, and tell her to check out Recover.org.
Porn addiction causes more damage to the people around you than you think. But there is hope and there can be healing, my husband and I are proof of that! So don’t give up.
There is hope and healing for women who have been hurt by sexual betrayal. Recover.org is a brand new program launching this fall just for women who need to find restoration and peace after the damage done to them by a spouse’s infidelity.
The post 3 Reasons Why Porn Hurts Your Spouse’s Self-Esteem appeared first on XXXchurch.com.