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We know that when a husband uses porn, he hurts his wife.

We know that the effects of porn on a guy’s sex life are devastating.

But what we rarely talk about is that porn hurts the guys who use it, too. And maybe if we started talking about some of these issues, we could get through the fog that so many porn users are in and we could help them to see how much quitting would benefit not just their wives and not just their marriage, but they could help themselves.

A longtime blog reader and commenter sent me these great thoughts, and I wanted to share them with you today because they’re important. For obvious reasons he’d like to remain anonymous, but I hope that we’ll all think about what he has to say:


We all know that porn hurts women. But it hurts men, too. Here are 5 ways that porn hurts the men who use it, too:

As an ex-porn user, I am dealing with feelings of regret, remorse and guilt.

I regret hurting my wife, I regret poisoning the first two years of our marriage with lies, and I regret feeding industries that horribly exploit and harm young women. But I also regret what I have done to myself.

Watching porn is often seen as selfish and egoistic behavior. I can see how it can feel that way from the point of view of another person suffering from the betrayal and the consequences. But I think it is rather a self-destructive activity. The porn user is hurting himself, maybe as much as he is hurting others. Especially if he is not willing or managing to quit, or if he is quitting in a partial, ineffective way. This maybe sounds counter-intuitive, so I will try to explain why:

1. Watching porn is like treating a bacterial infection with painkillers.

Porn users deal with their buried pains and traumas by numbing the pain through the habit, rather than treating its source. This, of course, makes the infection worse day by day, and it also makes it harder and harder to face it and treat it day by day. Porn users become so good at numbing the pain using artificially high dopamine levels, that they typically don’t even know that they are numbing some pain, and what the source of that pain might be. Only quitting can uncover that, and allow to heal, and have a much fuller, much more satisfying painkiller-free life.

2. Like smokers, porn users feel that they need their habit to help them deal with anxiety.

What both smokers and porn users often do not understand is that that anxiety is actually created by the habit. Quitting gets rid of the anxiety, and thus destroys the need for the habit. Porn users inflict unbearable levels of anxiety upon themselves on a daily basis, and this can often also lead to depression and other issues.

3. A porn user does a lot of harm to his self-confidence.

He is aware that what he is doing is immature, but he feels like he really needs it, which makes him feel weak. That can have effects on all aspects of his life that require self-confidence and inner strength. Quitting the habit convinces a person of their inner strength, and that makes them stronger when dealing with other challenges in life.

4. A porn user cannot experience the intimate union with his wife in a deep and powerful way.

A porn user is limiting himself from one of the strongest and most amazing experiences in life, watering it down with falseness, blocking it away with his unresolved intimacy issues. It is a terrible thing to inflict upon oneself. And it is a life-changing event to break out and experience what one had been depriving himself of.

5. Many porn users feel that total quitting is out of reach, and try to quit partially.

By doing this, they extend the process of quitting indefinitely, and therefore cause much more suffering to themselves. Just like quitting any other drug that causes artificially very high dopamine levels, quitting porn is a process that causes very strong suffering to the person undergoing it.

My experience, as well as that of the majority of the ex-porn users in online support groups and forums, is that in order to successfully quit porn, one has to quit it fully. That means no porn substitutes (suggestive TV shows, music videos, pictures, etc.), no fantasies, no masturbation, no looking at or inappropriately discussing with other women, and no occasional relapses with any of these activities.

Only in this way can one reach a point of relief, where the anxiety and the low self-confidence are gone, and one can deal with the underlying pains and traumas. Partial quitting just extends the period of suffering from quitting, without ever bringing the relief of successful quitting.

I think that the case is very similar with those who are, seemingly or openly, not willing to quit. They are probably trying to achieve some level of “addiction management” (which is very similar to partial quitting) that they judge “reasonable”, and this way they are inflicting upon themselves both all the negative effects of porn use and the suffering of a never-ending quitting process.

In summary, I think that when dealing with a porn user, it is important to think of all the suffering they are also inflicting upon themselves, and how stuck they are in it; and for porn users, it is important to realize that the only way to get relief of the negative impacts of porn is to commit to complete quitting, and to work on achieving that in the quickest way possible.


I’m grateful for my reader for sharing this with me.

Do any of you have success stories with your marriages? How did you or your spouse recover from porn addiction? Share it in the comments and let’s encourage each other!

CE AddictWives 772x178 7 29 14 - 5 Ways Porn Harms Men: A Former Porn User Explains
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