Is Pornography Destroying Your Marriage?

 Is Pornography Destroying Your Marriage?

Is Pornography Destroying Your Marriage_ichhori.webp

Since pornography's transition from publications and videos to a digital format, it has become more accessible, private, and anonymous. As a result, the use of pornography has increased. According to a 2020 study published in the Journal of Sex Research, 91.5% of males and 60.2% of women used pornography in the previous month.

Women watch porn, but men are the biggest customers. Pornography can be an acceptable method to explore and express sexuality, but it can also become a problem for certain people, causing harm to their well-being and relationships. Pornography can hurt marital intimacy and relationship satisfaction.

This article discusses what you should know about pornography and marriage, including how it affects relationships and why people use it. It also offers advice on how to deal with porn if it has become a problem for you or your partner.

Porn and Marriage

Pornography is generating problems in the relationships of an increasing number of couples. According to research, pornography use is one of the strongest predictors of poor relationship quality and stability in both dating and married couples. It's even been associated with divorce. 

But what is it about porn that is so damaging to relationships?

Breaks Trust

Typically, the person watching porn does not want their partner to know. The secrecy, humiliation, loneliness, and falsehoods that this type of sneaking around puts into a relationship frequently snowball into a slew of issues. 

Keeping secrets from your partner is a bad idea. When love partners hold secrets from one another, their trust in one another deteriorates and their faith in their partnership begins to dwindle. This, in turn, can have a detrimental impact on your relationship.

Even if couples are open and honest about their intake of porn, it can still cause serious harm.

Decreases Satisfaction

Some research suggests that watching porn can improve a couple's sex life. It may add a little "spice" to an already fantastic experience for some couples. However, evidence shows that porn has the opposite effect on the majority of people. 

Drs. John and Julie Gottman, world-renowned clinical psychologists and relationship experts write in "An Open Letter on Porn" about how porn damages relationships.

When one partner engages in pornography, the pair has considerably less sex and, as a result, marital satisfaction suffers… We are persuaded to believe that pornography is a severe threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony for a variety of reasons.


Obstructs Emotional Intimacy

Pornography can also cause users to emotionally distance themselves from their partners. According to Michael Taylor, a marital and family therapist in Kentucky, "Pornography is an inadequate alternative for bonding sex. Pornography removes the vulnerability, making it too simplistic to provide the security and bonding that are an important element of a couple's physical contact."

In the most extreme circumstances, porn can physically and emotionally isolate the user from their relationship. The consequent emotional separation from sex is extremely harmful to the marriage's sustainability.

Creates Unrealistic Expectations

When you go to the movies, you know the film has been edited and that the people on the screen are actors who have been paid to play a scripted character.

People, however, have a harder time making these parallel connections when they watch porn. They fail to recognise that real sex is not the same as the carefully planned scenes they see on the internet. As a result, they have unrealistic sexual expectations and a distorted perspective of what a sexual partner should look like and be prepared to do—expectations that can never be realised.

Decreases Self Esteem

"Pornography can impair the feeling of self-esteem and self-worth of the wife because she may compare herself to the ladies that her husband is viewing on the screen," says Janie Lacy, a licenced mental health counsellor and certified sex addiction therapist in Florida. Her assessment is correct, according to the study.

Some women, for example, are concerned that they will be unable to compete with the attractive young women their boyfriend is observing on the screen. Many people develop to believe that they are "sexually unwanted, useless, weak, and foolish."

When you are continuously assaulted with negative thoughts about yourself, they gradually seep into how you interact with your relationship. Low self-esteem eventually leads to envy and a general lack of trust in the relationship.

Reasons Why Your Spouse May Be Watching Porn

You may feel disturbed, furious, or betrayed if you discover your partner has been watching porn. Some people may even believe that watching porn is equivalent to cheating.

Understanding some of the reasons why even a devoted partner might watch porn might be beneficial.

  • Pornography may serve as a substitute for affection: According to some researchers, when the desire for affection is not addressed, people may resort to pornography to meet these social requirements and combat feelings of loneliness.

  • Porn may be used to cope with stress: When people are suffering from stress or other mental health concerns, porn may be used as a coping method. It can be used as a means of escape or to relieve stress.

  • Porn activates the brain's reward pathways: Porn may be seen because it engages the brain's reward circuitry, producing "feel good" chemicals that induce feelings of pleasure. Pornography can have a profound effect on the brain, which is why it is sometimes referred to as addictive.

Porn addiction is not a recognised addiction, and some experts believe that labelling porn use as addiction fosters negative views toward sex. According to research, attitudes around pornography cause greater distress than pornography itself. 

If Porn Is a Problem in Your Marriage

Of course, there are partnerships in which both parties like porn. However, if porn is not acceptable to you, it is not acceptable in your relationship and should be handled. Unfortunately, far too few couples have this critical dialogue.

Here are some suggestions for how to bring up the subject of porn with your partner and get back on track:

Begin your conversation correctly. In most cases, the first few minutes of a difficult talk influence the result, so be direct and cool. Use the same tone and attitude that you would for any non-stressful topic. Do you want to have steak for dinner? Are you interested in having a pornographic chat with me tonight?

Leave your ego at the door. Take your time and consider your words carefully. Nothing is more unpleasant or alienating than having your sexuality judged.

Pose inquiries. Inquire as to what they enjoy about porn. Determine whether their porn consumption is an issue that needs to be addressed, or if they believe that porn is OK.

Take charge of your emotions. Take the time to communicate your feelings regarding porn in a calm and precise manner. Be truthful about why it affects you. This may necessitate you disclosing any insecurities you have about your appearance or sexuality.

If you cannot fix the problem on your own, consider seeking the assistance of a couples' counsellor or sex therapist. You might also consider marriage counselling if you believe other issues in your marriage contribute to your excessive pornography use.

Taylor cautions that while dabbling with porn is understandable, doing it solely to satisfy your lover can backfire. It will not only "reinforce or rationalise avoidant or abusive dynamics," but it may also lead to addiction.

A Word From Ichhori

Pornography is a perilous business that, if used excessively, can devastate a relationship. If pornography arises, use it as an opportunity to communicate your sexual desires and collaborate on ways to improve your sex life. Do not brush it under the rug. Your marriage could be at stake.

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