Here Intuitive Coach Colette Baron-Reid on porn, addiction and emotional weight gain

 

Dear Colette,

I’m in my second marriage and my husband “Matt” is not who I thought he was. I just recently found out he is addicted to watching porn – movies on TV and Internet sites. He used to go to a therapist but he stopped a few months ago. It’s hard not to take his addiction personally and as a result, I am anxious all of the time. In addition, within the past two months I’ve gained 40 pounds. Now I feel even more unattractive, which makes things worse for our love life. How do I get him to stop the porn? How do I figure out if porn is not the real issue? – Heavily Addicted

 

Dear Heavily Addicted,

Wow, I’m so sorry to hear your husband’s issues have taken such a toll on you. Let’s get one thing straight right from the start – Matt’s addiction is not your fault! It has nothing to do with how you look, how much sex the two of you have, or your value as a person or wife. It may help to reread that sentence again—aloud! Now believe it, honey, please!

All you have to do is scan a gossip magazine or online story to see that drop-dead gorgeous, wealthy, intelligent and successful women have been subjected to unfaithful and porn-addicted partners – and in the public eye, no less! Their spouse’s actions were not about them, just as Matt’s is not about you.

I also don’t believe your recent weight gain of 40 pounds in two months is a total result of just eating too much. You’d have to consume 40 pounds worth of calories (140,000 calories), above and beyond your regular eating habits. That sound’s like a full-time job to me! And unrealistic. What I suspect is the emotional stress you are feeling is causing your adrenal glands to release cortisol, which can lead to “unexplained weight gain.” I had the same weight issue when my mother was losing her battle with cancer, to the tune of 85 pounds!

What I learned from that experience, and extensive research into the correlation between weight gain and the body’s reaction to stress was the catalyst for writing my book, Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much. If you want to learn how to manage empathy, set and maintain healthy boundaries, rebuild your self-esteem and better deal with challenging situations that can trigger disordered eating, read the book and follow the easy exercises.

As for your husband’s addiction, I recommend you (and he) read Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous by The Augustine Fellowship. I can’t tell you how to stop his behavior, but I can suggest you don’t ignore it, but rather work through it. Find out the underlying causes, with help. Seek the support of a counselor or therapist for your well being – even if he won’t go. With more insights into his issues and your needs, you can make a decision about your marriage.

Another recommended book is Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. It’s not just about the addict, but also the codependent.

One last reminder…your weight is trying to tell you something. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed; deal with it for you … for your health and your self-awareness, not for your husband. It’s time to take care of you.

Love and blessings

Colette Baron-Reid

If you have a question you would like to ask Colette, write to her at [email protected]All published questions and answers will be anonymous – we honor and protect your privacy. (Please, Colette respectfully asks that you do not request a reading as the anticipated response to your question.)

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