Does Internet Pornography Addiction Lead to Divorce?
Pornography has never been as widely available, easy to access and easy to consume in absolute privacy as it is today, over the internet. These circumstances have led to a growing problem of internet pornography addiction, which experts say can have negative consequences. Before we can answer whether internet pornography addiction leads to divorce, it may be helpful to examine some of the negatives associated with this addiction. According to a 2014 study published in the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology, it was found that:
- Porn addiction distorts the brain — Studies have shown that compulsive pornography use can be physically addictive. It increases activity in the ventral striatum, the brain’s center for processing reward, motivation, and pleasure, the same way addictive substances such as alcohol and heroin do. Compulsive porn viewing can also produce concentration problems and short-term memory loss.
- Porn addiction weakens the sex drive — This distortion of the brain can desensitize a porn addict to dopamine, the chemical that triggers the pleasure response, so the addict no longer responds naturally to sexual cues.
- Porn addiction often involves a downward spiral — Just as a junkie needs more and more of a drug to experience a high, the porn addict needs greater stimulation to elicit a sexual response. The porn addict often needs more graphic and even violent images to achieve satisfaction. Real sexual contact no longer interests the addict, whose libido suddenly drops.
- Porn addiction can cause personality changes — Porn addicts often withdraw from others and suffer from insomnia, irritability, panic episodes, and despair.
When we consider all of these factors, it’s easy to see how a porn addiction can strain a marriage. Wives of porn addicts also view the activity as an act of infidelity.
It’s important for a spouse to understand the problem and help the addict get proper treatment. However, living with an addict, whether the substance is alcohol, drugs, or porn, can be overwhelmingly difficult when the addict refuses to seek help. Sometimes, a spouse must make the painful decision to seek a divorce to salvage her own life.
If you are contemplating divorce, learn how Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. can work for you. Call us at 1.631.683.8172 or contact our Long Island office online.