How do I know if my loved one is viewing pornography?

By Don Monson |

Man cheating on spouseDon Monson MSW, LCSW
Addictions Therapist

As a therapist having worked in the field of pornography addictions for many years, it has become very apparent, especially in the case of youth, that the question is not what do I do if my kids are exposed to pornography, but when they are exposed.

In today’s society there is a strong, powerful culture of pornography and sex. It is prevalent in our schools, movies, TV shows, on mobile devices, you name it.  There is almost always a flavor of sex and pornography anywhere we go for work, play, and school, even in the elementary levels.

But again, the question: how do I know when my loved one is viewing pornography?

There are many subtle signs that most times go right over our heads until some hard, cold evidence falls in our laps, and then we say, “I should have known, all the signs were there.” But by then they could have been viewing porn for months or even years.

Until the evidence hits us in the face, we want to trust our loved one and hope for the best, but again it’s not what if, it’s when will they be exposed.

A few of the subtle signs are:

  1. Boy not eatingAppetite – Noticeable change in their appetite; they don’t eat as much as they used to, or eat noticeably more or more often than usual. This could be caused by being more interested in viewing pornography, or lack of appetite due to the stress caused by living a double life and doing things that conflict with their moral values, or fear of getting caught.
  2. Isolating – Not participating in family activities, meals, conversations, etc. Spending inappropriate amounts of time in their rooms, in front of the computer, with their mobile devices, staying up when everyone else has gone to bed, just to mention a few examples.
  3. Demanding privacy – Privacy of their rooms, phones, mobile devices, not willing to explain how they spend their time, who they spend their time with. They become very upset and defensive when asked or pressured for an explanation, or to turn over their device for your inspection.
  4. Moodiness – Very irritable, defensive, argumentative, wide mood swings, depressed, or aggressive, just to name a few. This is especially important to notice if this is a drastic change from their typical temperament.
  5. Staying up late on laptopChange in sleep patterns – The most common change is they stay up all night, or late into the night, viewing pornography and then want to sleep all day, or get up late for work or school. They are then tired and unable to focus where they need to.

These are just a few signs that could alert you a loved one is involved with pornography.

It is important to note these signs aren’t exclusive to people involved with pornography. They could also indicate involvement with substance abuse, some forms of mental illness, or other self-destructive behaviors.

If you see any of these signs, don’t ignore them, take note of them, and look deeper for the cause of these issues, especially if these signs are not typical behaviors for your loved one.

NetAngel can help you manage this issue by blocking and sending immediate notification if your loved one is using their mobile devices to access inappropriate material online with our apps and routers which monitor all online use 24/7. Visit NetAngel’s web site at and see how we can help you help your loved one who is struggling with this destructive addiction.