How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
50444359
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband is addicted to porn and Asian massage parlors. He

Customer Question

My husband is addicted to porn and Asian massage parlors. He has been flirting with women at work and saving naked pictures of ex's on his phone to masturbate to. We have been together for 3 years. Married for 1. He has been doing this for at least 6 years he has admitted to. He says he can stop on his own. Is it possible?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how distressing this situation must be for you. You are clearly a loving and caring woman and this is so hurtful. It is unfortunately not a rare occurrence today. And it is very difficult to stop once it begins. Your husband is not in the beginning stages; he is a long term addict.

Is it possible to quit cold turkey on his own?

Well, of course anything is POSSIBLE. But that's not really your question. Your question is how likely is it that this will work? And the answer is that it's not very likely. I'm more concerned though about this:

When addicts, including pornography and masturbation addicts, say "I can take care of this myself; I'll stop on my own" this is most often a stall tactic, an attempt to get the family member who's hassling them about the addiction (usually a spouse) off their back. That is the unfortunate situation. Very, very rarely is it a real statement of intent. And even rarer does it work.

When a person knows he has a problem that has dominated his life for over 6 years, then he needs to signal that he will do whatever it takes to try to get better, not to minimize it.

I know I'm being very open and honest but your pain is so intense and you are such a nice and good person and I want to help you and illusions have been a problem here for too long. So I have to tell you how it is in reality: your husband is fooling himself. He is immersed in his addictive behavior and he is giving himself into the cycle of addiction: use, get caught, repent, repeat.

And so you have to decide if you can live with an addict. So is it better to stay or to leave? I cannot tell you. You love him. You have a lot invested in the marriage. But you are a human being and you have a right to not be enabling addiction and to not have his addiction take over your life.

Here is the website to the Codependents of Sexual Addiction website. They have a meetings directory. I can't tell you if there is a group in your area, but try:

http://www.cosa-recovery.org/

Here's the web address for Sex Addicts Anonymous: http://www.sexaa.org/

I don't know if there is a group in your area. But the organization can help you find out. The importance of groups is both for support and skills. This is very important in dealing with the addiction and feeling more functional in your relationships and life. So please take action in this area.

He may need to work with a psychologist or psychotherapist. And you need someone who is experienced with sex addictions. Here is an excellent directory if you don't get a good referral from another source. This directory lets you see a photo of the therapist and gives you some information about them. Very important is to make sure that you feel confident in the person before you commit to the therapy and that he or she shares your life values.

http://www.sexaddictioncounselor.com/

 

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If he says he can quit on his own....how long do you think that is possible? for him to stay abstinent that is.....it's been 2 months. As far as I know, the only thing he is still doing is porn and masturbating. He says it is getting better.....? Is this just to get me to shut up about it?


 


 


 


He does not want to attend meetings, we can't afford a therapist. And he has a hangup about them anyways. Says it's all about the money and they don't help.


 


I have looked into Cosa.....I just needed to know if i'm disillusioning myself or how long to wait and watch....

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.
I can't answer the question about whether this is an illusion or not until I understand:


You say he's masturbating and watching porn. How is this quitting on his own if he's still watching porn and masturbating instead of having sex with you?


Dr. Mark
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Hi. I see you've viewed but haven't yet responded to my follow up questions to you. I would be very interested in hearing back from you with your responses and then moving forward on your question if it is still an issue. Or if you feel there is no need to reply, I would appreciate your give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons.

Let me know,

Dr. Mark

Related Mental Health Questions