Guest post by LifeStar
There is a stereotype around pornography that it only affects men, but, the truth is, women can also become addicted and struggle with pornography and sexual addiction. In a recent study conducted by Christian Women, 40% of women surveyed considered themselves as an addict and many women are opening up about their own struggles.
How many times do you see a half-naked woman (or man) on a magazine cover, TV, and social media each day? A lot. It has become so common in society that many of us probably don’t even notice these images anymore or see anything wrong with the objectification and unrealistic expectations we place on each other and ourselves.
With the recent release of the film, Fifty Shades of Grey, we’ve seen mainstream media romanticizing the addictive and manipulative behaviors pornography and sexual addiction have on the way we view each other and build our relationships. What is it about Christian Grey’s controlling nature that appeals to women? There is nothing romantic about a man (or woman) who is on a destructive path that will not only hurt them, but the people in their lives. However, there are some positive aspects to take away from the way media portrays films like Fifty Shades to grow and create healthy relationships.
Promote stronger relationships with these 3 healthy relationship tips to take from the film:
1.) Set your boundaries. Boundaries are an important skill to have for building healthy relationships and a better understanding of yourself. Take time to decide what your limits are and write down what makes you uncomfortable or stressed. While you are creating your list of boundaries, include what compromises you are willing to make in the relationship. Remember to consider all the areas of your life and your needs in the following categories: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
2.) Practice good communication. We all get busy with our lives and sometimes finding time to talk openly with your spouse is pushed down on the list. Setting time aside for you and your spouse (or boyfriend/girlfriend) to really talk, at least once a week, is important to allow you to have more meaningful discussions. When having a deeper conversation with your partner, remember to also listen to them. How are you going to solve any problems if you aren’t listening to what the other person is saying?
3.) Self-awareness. In order to set purposeful boundaries, having a strong sense of who you are and honoring your feelings is vital to the process. Create healthy boundaries by asking yourself the following questions: “What is happening in this situation that is making me feel resentful or stressed? Is it something I am doing or the other person?” Once you’ve gotten clear on those, consider: “What are you going to do about the situation? What parts of the situation do you have control over?”
Relationships come with their own ups and downs. By having a strong sense of what your boundaries are and keeping the communication lines open with your spouse, you can build a deeper relationship with the person you love.
About the Author: LifeStar has over 20 years’ experience of helping individuals, spouses, and families heal from the devastating effects of pornography addiction and other sexually compulsive behaviors. Developed by Dan Gray and Todd Olson, LifeStar is run by highly trained and licensed therapists who specialize in sexual addiction recovery.