Today I was again reminded of the depth and the layers that are involved in our recovery from porn addiction.
In meeting with a client we were discussing a recent melt down that he had, which did not lead to a relapse but did create a concern in the client in regards to his overall emotional well-being.
For many recovering addicts the idea or what can seem like the newness of feeling and dealing with ones emotions can at times be overwhelming. This is why the feelings journal can be so effective it helps us to sort through and express those feelings that for so many years we escaped by viewing pornography. The other important element to our session was that we each have 6 essential needs that at some level we want fulfilled.
Not all 6 serve the same level of importance to us, so we should be aware of what they are and which ones are the most important. The 6 needs are:
What my client was frustrated about was that his spouse was interpreting every need he had as being Love/Connection which would be primarily in the form of sex.
Even though my client knew deep down this was not the case he could understand what he was feeling or why he felt so bad inside. He recognized the work he had done in recovery and was not simply always wanting sex, but what he did not know was that there were other needs that were important to him that were not being met as well.
For him the need of significance was also essential, this is the need to be needed, to feel important and that you matter.
This need as we discussed was being met primarily through work. When this need was being met at work or home it sent my client into his spiral. What my client learned from this was that:
1) he needed to be aware of his entire spectrum of needs
2) that the way he was looking for his needs to be met, in particular the need for significance, needed to take on more than just one form(sex)
3) that his wife was just as confused by this and therefor her frustration was equally valid.
In Recovery from Addiction to Pornography we each have the responsibility to know what our needs are and then be able to ask for them to met in an appropriate manner.