The Distracted Guy: Porn, Infidelity, and Emotional Cheating

All too often, I talk with guys and couples who are having issues with one or more of the three of these issues. It’s like guys have one foot in their relationship or marriage, and one foot out. Many problems stem from the use of porn, infidelity or emotional cheating, and yet there are causes to these things as well.

Most of these types of problems, I believe, come from the failure for guys to connect to their emotional selves.  When we as men can’t connect to our emotions or know what they are, there is a higher chance that they will seek gratification in some form or another from an outside source.

It’s known now that the number one reason men cheat is not about the sex: it’s about emotional disconnection, or lack of intimacy. When guys are disconnected from themselves emotionally, it makes sense that I’ll be disconnected from their partners, wives or girlfriends. That’s when the cracks start to appear within a relationship. It may be subtle, but those cracks widen over time.

As the emotional canyon widens, many distractions then have an opportunity to seize hold of a guys’ wandering mind. The guy may not know it, but he is probably emotionally disconnected and is seeking that emotional gratification from one of those outside sources. So what we see are things like hitting use of pornography, extramarital affairs, improper interpersonal interactions (like flirting or the like), or creating emotional affairs with members of the opposite sex outside of the primary relationship.

The problems usually come to a head when the marriage or relationship is about to end, and often this happens when one partner stumbles upon the well guarded truth of the other, which makes it so much worse. It’s like adding fuel to the fire, and the chances of rebuilding that trust become excruciatingly hard.

One of the things that I feel so committed to in my work as a counselor and therapist for men is to help guys become more emotionally connected with themselves, so that they can be able to connect emotionally with the women they love. It’s through this lack of emotional intelligence, or emotional blindness, that we disconnect and the problems between us start to take hold.

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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