Behavioral Changes in Pornography Users

Recognizing some of the warning signs that a loved one may be viewing pornography or involved in other compulsive sexual behaviors is not always easy. It's important to know some of the warning signs, but there may be other reasons for your loved one's behavioral changes that are unrelated to pornography use. The Spirit can and will guide you as you prayerfully seek help. What do you know and what have you observed about your loved one's behaviors?

Physical Behaviors

  • Does your loved one spend time on the computer after everyone else is in bed?
  • Is your loved one spending more and more time on the computer?
  • Does your loved one quickly change the computer screen or turn off the computer when you walk by or enter the room?
  • Does your loved one have a lot of unaccounted-for time?
  • Is your loved one working long hours at the office over prolonged periods of time?
  • Does your loved one seem tired or worn out?
  • When your loved one is confronted about being tired or worn out, what is the reason given?

Emotional Behaviors

  • Is your loved one more withdrawn?
  • Does your loved one seem emotionally disconnected?
  • Does your loved one spend less time with the family?
  • Is your loved one more irritable and “on the edge”?
  • Does your loved one become angry over little things?
  • Does your loved one blame others for what is going wrong?
  • It's important to keep in mind that some of these emotional behaviors may be just a normal stage of life, particularly with adolescents.

Financial Behaviors

  • Are there charges on your credit card from companies you are not familiar with?
  • Are there long-distance phone charges to unknown numbers?
  • Are there unaccounted-for expenditures?

Spiritual Behaviors

  • Does your loved one seem less interested in spiritual things?
  • Does your loved one make negative remarks about people in the Church or Church leaders?
  • Is your loved one attending church, reading the scriptures, and having personal prayers?
  • Does your loved one have a current temple recommend? Is your loved one attending the temple?

It's important to make a distinction between what you know and what you assume might be going on with your loved one and whether or not there is pornography use. What do you know to be the facts? What is the evidence? Are there credit card receipts, phone bills, Internet sites, website addresses, e-mails, phone calls from third parties who shared information, canceled checks, printed material that is pornographic, or has he or she confessed? It is very important that you stick with the facts. You should avoid becoming a detective, but sometimes it is necessary to make a wise decision and get the help that you and your loved one need.