Re: My partner is addicted to internet porn and chat rooms
From what I understand about any kind of addiction, including porn, its usually not about the addciive substance its whats driving the person to the addiction. A lot of it stems from intimacy issues--people afraid of being intimate or not knowing how to be intimate. There is obviously something that is driving him to pornography--do you have any idea of what's below the surface?
There are some good resources out there on pornography addiction. I am only familiar with a couple that are Chrisitian based. Even though you don't have a problem with pornography it can be highly addicting and lead to all sorts of things down the road.
The addiction can start out as something "innocent" and then lead to things that may seem unimaginable. Someone who is an addict will go to all sorts of lengths to get the next fix. Just like with drug addiction, what starts out as occasional use turns into a full blown addiction--and the person ends up trying harder and harder drugs. Pornography starts out as "soft" porn which may lead to more risky behavior in order to maintain or get the next "high." Your partner is already lying about his behavior, which is typical of addicts. Sometimes, men who start to use pornography end up using prostitutes and even rape to get what they want. I only say this to let you know that pornography, like any addiction, is dangerous. It should not be taken lightly. And unfortunately, in the age of the internet--more and more men (and women) are able to get instant access to pornography.
Pornography can also have an affect on how a man views women--seeing them as objects to be used for their own gratification vs being someone, a person, to be connected with on an emotional and spiritual level. So with that perspective, I am concerned about you in this relationship and how safe it is for you emotionally, and physically. People who are in relationships with addicts, themselves can become co-dependent--becoming sort of an "addict" in the relationship--
I would suggest getting yourself educated on pornography and addictions. And perhaps see an counselor. Unless your partner admits he has a problem and is willing to get help there is nothing more you can do--you can't MAKE him stop--he has to decide to do that. Also, what happens with people who are in relationships with addicts, is we begin to make excuses for them and become enablers. For example, with an alcohol addiction, the family makes it easy for the person to stay in the addiction--maybe his boss knows he's a drinker and allows him to miss work or come in late, the family cleans up after a binge, etc. And usually what happens to an alcoholic is that he finally loses his job, his family, his home , etc...and then hits bottom. And then its only at that point that they realize they have a problem and look for help--because they've lost everything. And then they have to decide if their addiction or their life is more important.
Is there something you can do to help your partner get your attention that this behavior is no longer acceptable? Are you able to move out and start putting limits on the relationship? Right now, his addiction, in his eyes, is not costing him a thing--he still gets his "fix" as well as maintain a relationship with you. Just something to think about.
I know this is a hard situation to be in. Perhaps Liz and Kate have some insight? This is a great place to find support.
Good luck to you. Keep us posted.