Health Relationships

When Pornography Hits Home

Pornography is a serious problem that often morphs into addiction—even in Christian families. This addiction can lead to heartbreak and irreversible consequences. If you suspect a spouse or teen has a pornography problem, there are ways to cope.

Read the Signs

Most people will give clues they have a pornography addiction, sometimes without realizing they’re doing it. Watch for:

  • Excessive amounts of time online
  • Financial irregularities, such as unexplained bills or hidden receipts
  • Irritability or anger when asked to get offline or questioned about online activity
  • Disinterest in intimacy over a long period

View the History

Some spouses are reluctant to do this because they think it’s snooping. However, if your spouse is lying or defensive about his or her online activity, it may be time to pull up the history. Most internet browsers will save the places and times of all traffic for about a month. Watch for sites or pages ending in .gif or .jpg, as these may contain pornographic pictures.

Know When to Confront

Confronting a spouse or teen you know has a problem with pornography may be the toughest thing you ever do, but it’s necessary. Do so gently but firmly. Remember that many addicts want to get caught so they don’t have to face the addiction alone.

Get Help

If your spouse or teen refuses to get help, you may need backup from a “witness team” or allies you trust. Go to them with a treatment game plan in mind, whether that’s counseling, a support group, or something else. Finally, love them as hard and as much as you possibly can—because that’s what God wants to do for them.

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