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Reasons Why People Become Addicted to Sex and Pornography - Relationships

Reasons Why People Become Addicted to Sex and Pornography - Relationships

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Reasons Why People Become Addicted to Sex and Pornography - Relationships

Relationships are one of the most pervasive causal factors underlying the dependent use of sex and pornography.  More specifically, how people respond psychologocally and behave in the relationship context, are high on the list of reasons to be addicted.

How individuals respond within a relationship is the key here, not the quality of the relationship itself.  It is entirely plausible to behave badly in a good relationship and well in a bad relationship.  This is all about our individual psychological programming relevant to the dynamics of relating to others at work, play and intimately.  This programming, if maladapted, can be re-coded so that reationships are less problematic or anxity-provoking for an individual.  Re-coding, as I have called it here, is done through any one of different types of therapy including cognitive re-structuring (thinking in different ways), behavioural change, person-centered talk therapy and couple counselling.

Two very prominent patterns of behaviours tend to show up in my work with clients. Firstly, there is the deep-rooted anxiety that is related to not being liked or loved and which can manifest in clingy or pursuing-type behaviours.  Clients will typically tell me about how they constantly seek signs from others that they are likeable or loved and ongoing reassurance that they will never be abandoned.  Relationships can often be disrupted or may even fail because the behaviours arising from the anxiety often tire partners out and push them away.  Addictive behaviours can develop from the anxiety becoming too over-whelming and giving a need for psychological escape or safety in what appear to be safe and pleasurable activities.

Other clients experience the second most common dysfunctional response to relationships which is almost the polar opposite of the first one above.  Here clients are avoidant of close contact whether social, emotional or physical.  People who are avoidant of closeness typically do not turn to others for support and help and are usually stubbornly independent.  The behaviours associated with this style of relating, including sometimes being dismissive, judgemental or angry, arise from insecurities about making yourself vulnerable at different levels.  Often this insecurity has its roots in similar behaviour from parents and leads to us having to fend for ourselves and learning to build self-protecting walls or distance around us for safety.

Avoidance styles of inter-relating or not, give rise to addictive behaviours because people tend to bottle things up rather than share and of course generally do not build up healthy social networks they can depend on for support when needed.  

All my clients undertake an assessment of their relational behaviours and family backgrounds so we can learn where maladaptive patterns of relating have been learned.  Once known a client can begin to relate in their own, natural way and let go of fears about being with and enjoying relationship.

 

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