Wives' Experience of Husbands' Pornography Use and Concomitant Deception as an Attachment Threat in the Adult Pair-Bond Relationship
pornography, pair-bond relationship, couple therapy
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 development of an attachment fault line in the relationship, stemming from perceived attachment infidelity; (2) followed by a widening attachment rift arising from wives' sense of distance and disconnection from their husbands; (3) culminating in attachment estrangement from a sense of being emotionally and psychologically unsafe in the relationship. Overall, wives reported global mistrust indicative of attachment breakdown. Building on this data, we build an attachment-informed model of effects of pornography use and concomitant deception in the pair-bond relationship.
Original Publication Citation
Butler, M. H.*, & Zitzman, S. T.* (2009). Wives’ experience of husbands’ pornography use and concomitant deception as an attachment threat in the adult pair-bond relationship. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 16(3), 210-240.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Zitzman, Spencer T. and Butler, Mark H., "Wives' Experience of Husbands' Pornography Use and Concomitant Deception as an Attachment Threat in the Adult Pair-Bond Relationship" (2009). Faculty Publications. 4457.
Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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