Q: What does my partner’s porn addiction mean to our intimacy?

You say your husband is in counseling for his addiction to pornography. You haven’t had sex in years, and are now getting different advice about how to resume intimacy. 

Respect is a vital component of a satisfying sexual relationship.

If you’re not in counseling yourself, as well as your husband, I strongly suggest it. A therapist can help you decide when you are in a position to have regained trust and feel respected to re-initiate sexual activity. I don’t see a “calendar” assignment to this; it might be next week or it might be never: I’ve seen both.

I think of this important definition of sexual health (from the World Health Organization), which I hope you’ll read and reread:

A state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.

It’s only when you feel emotionally and mentally healthy in the relationship, can determine it is pleasurable and safe for you, and, above all, are respected sexually, only then can you return to a satisfying sexual relationship. This will take time. I wish you patience and courage.


Dr. Barb DePree MD
Dr. Barb DePree MD

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