Porn Addiction, What To Do If It Is Affecting You and Your Relationship

This is a topic no-one talks or writes about yet it is really common and the number is rising. Why? Well for one is has become accessible to almost everyone. If you think about it nearly everyone has a mobile phone and most people have a lap top or tablet on top. Statistics show our addiction to check our phone and fill any time gaps by searching online is increasing. For these reasons sadly addiction to pornography is rising.

So in this article, I want to address

  1. What is porn addiction?
  2. What are the signs of porn addiction?
  3. How can porn addiction affect a relationship
  4. How can you stop porn addiction?
  5. How can you heal a relationship hurt by porn addiction and move beyond it.

Porn addiction affects more than just the user, the relationship and family life can also suffer. The use of pornography comes up frequently in my practice, which is why I feel called to share about it today. The most important thing to know about handling this in a relationship is that it’s never helpful to control or dictate how much a partner can and cannot use pornography. Any change has to come from the user. Try to police your partner to change any habit will drive you insane and harm the relationship. Below I will walk you through a process I take individuals and couples through in case it helps.

What is porn addiction?

It is a form of sexual addiction that is focused on pornography / sexualised images that causes a problem in the user’s life. How it can affect one’s life varies. It can damage romantic relationships, or interfere with work and finances, yet despite this, the person finds themselves unable to stop.

 What are the signs of porn addiction?

Like most addictions, it doesn’t happen over night where all of a sudden you are a porn addict. Similar to smoking, alcohol and drug addiction a person starts to abuse it, using it when they feel low, isolated, bored, stressed, unable to cope with life or a way to unwind and relax. When a behaviour is used time and time again as a way to feel good or escape reality, the brain starts to associate it with the way to get through life. The more a person abuses pornography to fill a gap or release tension etc the more dependent the person becomes on using it and the less they are able to cope without it.

Porn becomes an addiction when it interferes with a person’s quality of life. When despite the damaging effect is having on someone’s life they continue to do with as they find themselves unable to stop. There is no set amount of time or frequency.

Signs of porn addiction could be

  1. Time invested in watching porn at the expense of sleep, family time or work time
  2. Secretiveness, isolation and defensiveness on the topic or technology time
  3. Inability to stop despite making promises to themselves and or others
  4. Cravings to watch pornography
  5. Continuing despite feeling negative emotions associated with it like shame, guilt
  6. Increasing need to require higher amounts and more explicit materials to gain the same satisfaction or thrill. Where a tolerance has developed.
  7. Powerless to resist the urge
  8. Damaging effect on sexual relations in the relationship. For example impotence, erectile dysfunction etc
  9. Turning down social or work activities because of the wish to watch pornography instead
  10. Relationship problems causing tension or fall out

There may be many more signs and the key thing to note is that like all addictions they can be changed. All it takes is a willingness to break away from the old and adopt new ways of embracing life.

What does it do to a relationship?

One of the ways it most damages the relationship is in the bedroom. It’s not natural to see explicit sexual material repeatedly, it can lower interest in sex and affect arousal and the sexual/sensual dynamic between a couple. Also, it can cause impotence.

Another way I have seen it harm relationships is when promises to reduce the amount or quit have failed. The partner feels angry, betrayed, hurt, unattractive, cheated. Dishonesty for obvious reasons destroys love. Trust will need to be rebuilt if this is the case.

How can you heal a relationship and move beyond porn addiction?

For the person with the addictive behaviour

The first key is a willingness to acknowledge that you want to change it. You don’t need to or have to call yourself an addict, you just need to say yes to change. Yes to having a healthier happier relationship. Yes to freedom.

The second step is exploring on your own or ideally with a relationship or behavioural specialist what is driving the behaviour. Why are you using? Normally we are triggered by a feeling before we act, it could be loneliness, boredom, anger, stress or something entirely different.

Then look at what is it giving you. What benefit are you getting from it? How do you feel during and after? The reason some behaviours are hard to quit is that of what they give us.

The fourth step is finding a healthy replacement. Something to enjoy instead of the porn. This will be different for different people. This usually takes some brainstorming. Some of the people I have worked with have taken up physical exercise, become more affectionate with their partner, have treated themselves to long baths, couple massages or cooking worked for someone, they really got into making recipes from scratch. Another man I helped who travelled a lot took up painting to music. He was never without his paint brush and canvass on trips, it helped him to unwind without porn or alcohol.

The next is reward Charles Duhigg ‘the power of habit” states that the most effective and successful way to change a habit, is to give a reward. The reward doesn’t have to be anything expensive or time-consuming. It can literally be a chart where you tick off successfully free days.

How can you reward yourself?

Ideally have a coach or someone you are close to, to share your progress with and hold you accountable. Sometimes we need a little help to keep motivation, that’s why personal training and weight loss communities have become billion dollar industries.

After this, a real committed decision is needed. A plan to really commit to change with specific goals. Aligning yourself to the benefits when you stop will make it easier to quit. So

  1. Set yourself a goal
  2. Write down all that the habit is costing you right now
  3. The reasons why it’s important to you to change
  4. List down what will happen if you don’t change
  5. Write down the benefit of changing
  6. List how you will reward yourself with the saved time

This will keep you on track – store this on your phone and review it when you have a craving.

Lastly, I use hypnotherapy to help change any unwanted behaviour in relationships for the couples I work with. Whether that’s to reduce alcohol consumption, angry outbursts, insecurities, low libido, quit smoking it works. Considering our behaviour is driven most by our subconscious mind (95% according to behavioural expert Bruce Lipton) then it’s worth adding to the action plan in my opinion.

Hypnosis helped me to quit smoking, beat insomnia and get over my fear of public speaking, I find it always works if repeated for the men and women I support too. You can get some tailored hypnosis made to you and your habit which is generally more powerful than buying a ready made one. However, you can go to audible or Itunes and buy one too.

For the partner

Don’t take it personally. That’s the key message for you. Lots of self-love and self-care work’s wonders. You have no control over your partner’s behaviour, but you can control how much you decide to worry or think about it. Self-love is actions we take to make ourselves happy, healthy and grow mentally and spiritually.

For the relationship

Rebuild love, connection and trust by focusing on your future together and actions you can take for yourself and together to create more love. Love and compassion heals everything if it is not transactional. When love is a transaction = you do this for me and I will do that for you, it never works as you are limiting it and love cannot be limited. I speak about creating more closeness and love in my relationship secrets master class it’s free 90-minute discussion on relationships and for the next one you can sign up here: https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

From my heart to yours, Nicola

P.S If you would like more tips to improve your relationship then get my free e-book here https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage

4 Ways to Get and Stay Close to Your Partner

Do you feel like you are drifting along in your marriage?

Do you lack excitement or fulfilment in your relationship?

Do you sometimes wonder why you are still married?

 

As mentioned last week there are four elements that help build and support a shared meaning, all of which should be established and then built on over time. Read through each element and answer the questions after each section, making note of any thoughts that pop up you want to share with your lover.

 

 

Four Elements That Build a Shared Meaning and Purpose

 

Couple Counselling Tip 1. Rituals of Connection

Couple Counseling Tip 2. Shared Views

Couple Counseling Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams

Couple Counseling Tip 4. Shared Values

 

For tip 1 and 2 see previous article

 

Couple Counseling Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams

 

Part of what creates a meaningful life are the goals that we strive to achieve. Many of us wouldn’t be where we are today without setting goals and going for it. Without a direction we become aimless, lifeless even. Imagine a ship in the ocean that has no route to follow, directionless, it will float aimlessly and get nowhere. Marriages are the same. The goal of a relationship is not to get married and that’s it. As with any area of life whether that be work, fitness or hobbies, having the next goal in mind ensures your progression, sense of purpose and prevents you from stagnating. Your marriage should be no different – you need positive goals for your shared time together.

 

Too often we don’t talk about our deepest desires and sometimes we haven’t even asked ourselves about what we want for our relationship, as we’re too busy with life to notice. When we start to explore and define our shared goals we increase intimacy, meaning and purpose. When united by a goal, we can let arguments and differences go more easily.

 

What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for your marriage? List them and create some more joint ones.

 

Couple Counseling Tip 4. Shared Values

 

Like with shared views, having shared values also help marriages flourish.

 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you value most about being a part of the family you belong to?
  • What family stories do you consider with pride?
  • What does home mean to you?
  • What activities or objects symbolize a meaningful and well-lived life to you?
  • What symbols or objects demonstrate who you are in the world?

 

Analyse what you and your spouse value most by answering these questions and list anything that comes up that matters to you most in life.

 

 

Now Create Your Shared Meaning

 

In my time supporting couples to develop a fresher mindset towards their respective marriage, I have heard many different rituals, views, goals and values because every couple has their own story. Here are some shared meanings from previous couples I’ve worked with:

 

“to heal and have a peaceful existence” (after a difficult previous relationship and childhood)

“to create a family filled with laughter & love”

“to enjoy life to the max: travel, explore, adventure and excitement”

“to step into parents footsteps and care for the whole family and business”

“to give our children the best education and watch them flourish together”

“to have our dream home on the beach and retire (early) in luxury”

“to live God’s mission together, wherever that may lead us”

“to set up our own business and leave a legacy”

 

Above all, it’s important throughout your journey to remember one thing: this is your journey. I have offered examples of other couples shared meaning to show that every couple is different.

 

Share your dreams with your partner and list your one-, five- and ten-year goals and come up with some ideas for a shared meaning that is personal to you and your partner.

 

Summary

 

Happy couples create a family culture that includes both of their dreams. In being open to each other’s perspectives and opinions you become more receptive to each other which naturally brings you together as a happier couple with an aligned future to get you through tough times.

 

These four elements: rituals of connection, shared views, shared goals and shared values are what constitute a shared meaning. Your shared meaning may evolve over the coming years and it’s important to stay connected and support each other when life changes occur. Always remember that discussion is key here and you should agree on any significant life changes you make before moving forwards.

 

From my heart to yours, Nicola

 

Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of the Save My Marriage Program

Contact or find out more about me at www.nicolabeer.com

 

P.S If you are wondering what the save my marriage program is let me explain…

 

The Save My Marriage Program is a relationship strengthening program designed as an alternative to marriage counselling. Recent case studies show that it’s twice as likely to successfully save and restore a marriage than traditional counselling. The program works well for those who set out to transform their marriage on their own, as well as for couples. It covers how to increase love, respect and trust, improve communication and connection, as well as help you individually to let go of past hurt, resentment or negativity.

 

It is available as a 10 week online course with full support from me, 1 to 1 online or in person consulting and in 5 star marriage retreats.

 

To see if the program could be a fit for you – Book your FREE – SAVE MY MARRIAGE CONSULTATION now www.savemymarriageprogram.com/consult

 

 

Or watch the Video outlining the 10 ESSENTIAL KEYS TO AVOID DIVORCE & TRANSFORM YOUR MARRIAGE HERE – It’s FREE

10 Essential Keys to Avoid Divorce & Transform your Marriage Here

4 Keys to Staying Connected in Your Relationship – Part 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Marriage isn’t just about raising kids, splitting chores and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together — a culture rich with rituals, and an appreciation for your roles and goals that link you…” Gottman, 7 Principals of Making a Marriage Work

 

There are different elements that help build and support a shared meaning, all of which should be established and then built on over time. Read through each element and answer the questions after each section, making note of any thoughts that pop up you want to share with your lover.

 

Four Elements that Build a Shared Meaning and Purpose

 

Marriage Counseling Tip 1. Rituals of Connection

Marriage Counseling Tip 2. Shared Views

Marriage Counseling Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams

Marriage Counseling Tip 4. Shared Values

 

 

Marriage Counseling Tip 1. Rituals of Connection

 

A ritual of connection refers to the small things you do as a couple or a family which build and strengthen the emotional and spiritual connections between you all.

 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you and your partner connect with each other?
  • Have you developed your own family rituals?

This could be a special meal on the weekend such as a takeaway on a Saturday or Sunday roast or movie night every Friday.

  • In what unique ways do you celebrate religious holidays?
  • Do you have a ritual for love making?
  • Do you dedicate a day or night per week for family or romance?

 

Many couples find love and connection flourishes when they have an intimate ritual to look forward to. The key here is to find something that you do together regularly that you can look forward to.

 

Answer the above questions and think about the rituals of connection you have: do they work for you? Could you improve them to increase your connection or create some new ones?

 

Marriage Counseling Tip 2. Shared Views

 

Support for Each Other’s Roles

When couples come to me a lot of the problems stem from the fall out of what they think their partner “should” be doing versus what they are actually doing. I often hear: “As a husband…” he “should” be doing this, fixing that, paying for this or giving me that. Similarly I hear it the other way round too: “A wife “should”  look after the home, stay in with the family and contribute to the finances.” The problem stems from the fact that these assumed roles are often never discussed so each person develops their own views on situations without taking the time to understand the perspective of their partner. This where resentment builds.  The happiest couples agree on the roles they define for themselves and support each other with them. This is crucial as it helps to build a shared meaning.

 

 

Family and Parenting

Having similar views on parenting also adds to a strong sense of shared meaning, so does your views on the level of interaction you expect to have with your parents, siblings and cousins. For example, do you both consider extended family part of your daily family life or do you prefer distance and more of a nuclear family?

 

Work and Career

Even the views on what it means to work and the significance of work in your life is important to discuss. How much work is part of your life can be disputed, potentially causing friction, so having a shared outlook is crucial. Where you can talk about its importance in your life and share your experiences. Some individuals I work with get jealous and annoyed at their spouses involvement with work and staying late or socializing with colleagues on the weekends and this can cause tension for some couples. Compared to couples who agree that work comes first and encourage each other to be the best they can possibly be. Which couple are you?

 

The extent to which you feel similar about these issues, the stronger your marriage and connection becomes. This doesn’t mean you need to agree on everything but often it’s the couples that are more closely aligned in their views and approaches that are happier and more fulfilled.

 

What views do you share when it comes to living out your life? Are there any expectations that are a cause of frustration for you that you have not communicated? Could you benefit from some more support when it comes to your roles, family or career?

 

I will discuss shared goals and values in part 2 so stay tuned for that.

 

From my heart to yours, Nicola

Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of the Save My Marriage Program

Contact or find out more about me at www.nicolabeer.com

 

P.S Have you watched the FREE Marriage Transforming Video Yet?

10 ESSENTIAL KEYS TO AVOID DIVORCE & TRANSFORM YOUR MARRIAGE HERE – It’s TOTALLY FREE and couples have shared it has made a huge impact in their marriage. 

 

Copy this URL to watch now https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup/

PP.S Struggling to know if your marriage can be saved? Get the Quiz Can My Marriage Be Saved here

Take The Free Quiz

See it, Smell it, Taste it! How to Create the Perfect Holiday

Every year in December, magazines cover the same old story, how to survive the holidays. Every year they generally say the same thing; keep it simple, have a plan, be organized, don’t worry. It’s pretty much just recycled and repackaged advice year after year.

So, let’s look at a different way of approaching the holiday season that just might just take you by surprise. Let’s start with your imagination, because as we all know that’s where every story begins. I’d like to take you back to a story you probably heard as a child, a story about a man called Scrooge.  Scrooge was not the nicest of people to be around, especially during the holidays. Right before Christmas, Scrooge was visited by three ghosts; one from his past, one from his present, and one from his future. The ghosts’ mission was simple; to awaken Scrooge to the fact that he needs to change, that if he carries on living his life in the same old way it will end badly. To cut a long story short, having a preview of his past, present and future enables Scrooge to really ‘get it.’
Scrooge is horrified by what he sees and begs to be given another chance to live his life differently. He awakes on Christmas day with a new perspective and is able to change his life for the better. By looking at his future life he was able to see what he was doing wrong and what he needed do to change his future for the better.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, you too can take this journey into the future.  I’m not talking about time travel. I’m talking about the power of your imagination. Think for a second about your upcoming holiday and all the things that could go wrong and all the things that you are afraid of…

Now Stop.

Those thoughts will play out and become a reality for you unless you put in new thoughts. What do you want? How would you like your holiday to look like if you could have your heart’s desire? It’s a well know fact that what we think about we will eventually create. As we approach the holidays our gut instinct is often to want to control everything. We want that special day to go perfectly and for everyone to be happy and healthy and having a good time, right?

Well, instead of trying to control things, fearing it will be another disaster or hoping it will be ok, why not take control of your holiday by visualizing ‘the perfect day,’ by using our most powerful tool – our mind.

As Jack Canfield, co-author of the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ books once said: “You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize and the actions you take.” So, lets go on a journey into your future and create ‘your dream holiday.’

Before we get started, think about watching the movie ‘A Christmas Carol’ or it’s equivalent ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.’ It will really help you understand this concept and its importance. When you are ready to begin, close your eyes and really think about how you’d like things to go. By really thinking about and focusing on what we really want we are setting our intention and we are sending out the message that says ‘this is what I want to happen during the holiday’.

Walt Disney famously said ‘If you can dream it you can do it’. He wasn’t the only one. Countless people throughout history have based their lives and built their dreams based on this simple yet overlooked concept. Everything we physically have right now from the TV to our cars, was once an idea in someone’s mind – they saw it in their mind first and then they created it. You can do the same with something as simple as ‘the perfect holiday.’ When you do the visualization remember to use all of your senses to bring your ideal holiday to life in your imagination. Smell the turkey coming out of the oven, taste the freshly baked minced pies, see all your family getting along great around the dinner table, hear the laughter of your kids and feel the warmth of a genuine loving hug from your in-laws.  Just try it. See it all going perfectly. If there are usually certain problems that occur every year, see it all working out perfectly. If you don’t celebrate Christmas then use this for new year celebrations or other family gatherings.

Once you’re done remember to re-visualize your idea of your perfect holiday every day until your holiday arrives. If you do this daily by the time your holiday arrives you will be giving off such a relaxed positive vibe that you will feel amazing and that feeling will no doubt rub off on everyone else and change how they act, without them even realizing.  Don’t forget though to keep the positive visualizations going throughout the holidays to keep the momentum.

Remember, your energy can change the vibration of the whole house so make it as positive and optimistic as possible.  Whatever you visualize, make it fun and forget don’t forget to imagine yourself giving and receiving the perfect present.

Sometimes people say to me, “but Nicola I can’t visualize”  to which I reply  lovingly “Neither can I, so make it up instead. Just use your imagination, that is exactly what those that visualize are doing too… making it up. It’s easy.”

From my heart to yours, Nicola

Contact or find out more about me at www.nicolabeer.com

 

P.S If your marriage is in serious trouble or you are currently going through or coming out of a separation or divorce and are dreading the holidays – get in touch with me. Throughout December I will be making time in my schedule for 3 Free Consultations each week.

PP.S If you know the holidays are a trigger time for you or are scared that things may not go as planned. I will be available to support you through it and to help you create the 2017 you truly want. I already have several confirmed appointments for Christmas and New Year already and want you to know, that I will be here, ready if you want someone to help you deal with any challenges, fears, loneliness or other stressful situations. Where we can look at overcoming the past and creating a fresh start. A year to look forward to. If this resonates with you my number is +971509454233 you can what’s app me to book your slot if and when you want to.
With love and best wishes x

Remember Michael Jackson’s Hit Man in the Mirror?

CHANGE YOUR WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

If there were any lyrics that best describes today’s message it would be from Michael Jackson’s 1987 hit song ‘Man in the Mirror’ “I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways and no message could have been any clearer – if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change.” You might ask yourself what does this classic pop song have to do with my relationship but if you take the time to really listen to the words the underlying message is loud and clear; to make our world a better place we need to start by looking at ourselves first and making an internal change. Whilst many of us are familiar with ‘the law of attraction’ – which states that we attract certain things into our life based on what we think (whether conscious or unconscious), there is another universal law which explains this concept perfectly; the law of reflection.

THE LAW OF REFLECTION

Carl Jung once said “If there is anything we could change in a child, we should first examine and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves” If you replace the word child for partner it basically says that we can change our partner but only by changing ourselves first. Read that again. We can only change others by first changing ourselves. What I love about that quote is that when we take the time to really think about what’s going on with us first and we have the courage to do the inner work to change ourselves for the better, our relationships will change in an effortless way. Think about it for a minute, wouldn’t it be nice for your relationship to change without you pushing, striving and trying to change your partner. How many less arguments would you have? Would your life be more peaceful? Wouldn’t it be great if your partner just changed for the better with no real effort? Well, that’s the law of reflection. When you change, they change too.

This is how one person can save their marriage on their own and why so many men and women join the online 10 week Save My Marriage Program by themselves.  The Save My Marriage Program is a relationship-transforming program, that starts in January and a wait list is starting now.  If you are interested in either, don’t hesitate to contact me. All you need is an internet access and the desire to improve your situation. Oh, and you can do it with or without your spouse.

Have a great week, from my heart to yours Nicola

Nicola Beer

Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of Save My Marriage Program

I specialize in a proven 10 step program to help couples increase the love, passion and happiness in their marriage in 30 days or less…Guaranteed!

Contact or find out more about me at www.nicolabeer.com

 

P.S Struggling in Your Marriage? Get the FREE Report – 7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage!  And learn

  • The 6 Essential Keys to Keeping a Marriage Happy
  • How to Increase Love, Happiness and Passion in your marriage in less than 2 weeks!
  • How to Motivate and Inspire Your Spouse To Change
  • How to Overcome Past Hurt, Resentment, so You can Rebuild Respect & Trust

Get the 7 Secrets Now – https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage/

Marriage Counseling Dubai and Online, Marriage Counselor, Relationship Counseling, Coaching, Dubai, Addictions, Anger, PTSD. Stress, Alcoholism,

Nicola Beer is based in Dubai, UAE, Middle East, Expat Community