Wives’ Experience of Husbands’ Pornography Use and Concomitant Deception as an Attachment Threat in the Adult Pair-Bond Relationship


Zitzman, Spencer T.; and Butler, Mark H.


2009 in Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, Vol. 16(3), pp. 210-240

  • This interview study found that pornography use is linked to feelings of infidelity and the erosion of the attachment bond in couple relationships.
Evidence is growing that pornography use can negatively impact attachment trust in the adult pair-bond relationship. We employed a qualitative methodology to understand attachment implications of a partner’s pornography use and concomitant deception. A qualitative analytic team analyzed interviews of 14 women in attachment-idealizing pair-bond relationships in couple therapy for their partner’s pornography use. Analyses uncovered three attachment related impacts from husbands’ pornography use and deception: (1) the... READ FULL ABSTRACT
  • "Our research examined the impact on the pair-bond relationship of husbands’ pornography use with attendant deception, specifically targeting effects on attachment security or relationship trust. Inclusion criteria stipulated that pornography use was the only sexual behavior occurring outside the pair-bond relationship. Our findings supported the development of a model linking husbands’ pornography use and concomitant deception to significant attachment injury and trauma-like experience and symptomatology for the pair-bond partner. The following discussion first outlines an attachment model of pair-bond betrayal through pornography use and deception, then fits this study’s findings to that model."
  • "Analysis of wives’ comments revealed (1) a breakdown of expectations and assumptions central to wives’ evaluation of the marriage; (2) distance or disconnection from their husband; and (3) a general sense of being betrayed and harmed by their husband and subsequently feeling unsafe (emotionally and psychologically speaking) and insecure in their relationship."
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