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Addiction is unquestionably a debilitating force. No matter whether the addiction is to alcohol, narcotics, or sex, it can break down an individual’s sense of self worth and may break apart the families of those caught in its grip. This can be true of private addictions that don’t necessarily afflict the body (in the way that drugs and alcohol do), but that do afflict the mind (in the way that gambling and pornography do). What harm is the addict doing to his family, especially considering that the addiction is generally carried out in private? The truth is that any addiction may affect or damage the family, despite its origins or how well hidden.

While some people argue that pornography in moderation is acceptable, it depends on whether or not the images are deemed acceptable by the significant other in the relationship. Repeated exposure to pornography may cause the viewer to objectify the people in it, to view people as merely sex objects, and to bring that point of view into the relationship itself. If the partner in the relationship disapproves of pornography, then this causes the addict to become secretive about it, leading to shame and that partner’s loss of trust when the deception is uncovered.

Even without knowing the nature of the addiction, children will respond to the changed atmosphere within the household — to the deception, to the shame, to anger caused by the trust issues. Any addiction, including pornography, also takes time away from the family, making the addict either unavailable or preoccupied and/or too tired to really engage with the spouse or kids.

While pornography addiction may bring it’s own problems to the table, the truth is that all addictions can be harmful to family life, simply because it places obsession and compulsion at the center of the family, as opposed to the emotional support and love that a spouse and children need.

The chances of the family unit breaking apart arises, as well as the chance of the children developing their own addictions, creating a vicious cycle. In order to determine whether or not you’re addicted and may need help, track how much time is spent seeking out and viewing pornography (ranging from none to every possible moment), whether or not this habit interferes with your relationships (is it the source of frequent arguments; is it causing a lack of trust?), and whether or not the type of pornography you’re seeking is becoming increasingly fetishistic (indicating that a new type of stimulus is needed in order to feed the addiction).

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1 Comment

JaniceApril 14, 2010 at 10:29 am

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