Sitting down with your partner and talking about the effects a porn addiction has on your relationship may help in the long run. Sydney Berenyi says, “Stop watching porn if you are in a committed relationship; if you are truly devoted to your partner, their feelings should come before any of your lustful desires.” Photo by Breanna Biorato.
Imagine walking into your dark bedroom, only to find your partner pining over an explicit video on their computer screen. Or perhaps you happen to see their browsing history is filled with popular pornographic websites like Pornhub.
Whatever the case may be, nothing can trigger instant feelings of betrayal or emotional pain more than realizing your partner is addicted to pornography.
Stop watching porn if you are in a committed relationship; if you are truly devoted to your partner, their feelings should come before any of your lustful desires.
An NPR article stated: “Married men and women who use pornography are more likely to get divorced than men and women who do not. Porn is a driver in making relationships worse, increasing divorce risk.”
Pornography instantly takes sexual intimacy, which might be considered special or even sacred to one partner, and turns it into something sought-for and convenient for the other.
These videos are dangerous; they create unrealistic sexual expectations in people’s minds about how their relationship is supposed to function.
An addiction to pornography can lead to your partner feeling as if they aren’t worthy of your love and attention. They may even begin to compare themselves to the people on your screen and feel as if they will never achieve those actors’ physique or sex-appeal.
According to a study reported by PsychologyToday, “Amanda Maddox and her colleagues found that people who didn’t view any porn had lower levels of negative communication, were more committed to the relationship, and had higher sexual satisfaction and relationship adjustment.”
This report also concluded that porn-free relationships became stronger and lowered the chances of infidelity. The addiction can eventually lead to those addicted, turning to porn when things get rough in their actual relationship; it will become their outlet.
Pornography can also remind the partner who is addicted of all the potential sexual partners they could be missing out on. Their satisfaction levels with their current partner will drop once they compare the actors on their screen to the person they are in a real relationship with.
This fantasy of wanting the pornographic content on their screen to be real-life may even lead those addicted to imagining different men or women in bed with them instead of their actual spouse or partner.
I have a close friend who recently discovered that her boyfriend had an addiction to pornographic content online, specifically a website called OnlyFans.
OnlyFans is a subscription based website where anyone can view pornographic pictures and videos for a specific fee. My friend saw that her boyfriend had an account created for the website, his search history was filled with visits to that website, and he even subscribed to certain women to view their content.
The amount of pain I felt as her friend, watching her bawl to me because she felt as if she would never measure up to the women her boyfriend constantly “drooled over” on his screen was indescribable. My close friend who initially thought of her boyfriend as “the perfect man” soon described him as disloyal, untrustworthy and a liar.
Long story short, my close friend and her boyfriend are no longer together because of his addiction to pornography — something he told her he cannot change nor control.
If you feel like you have to hide the fact that you watch porn from your partner or spouse by constantly clearing your browsing history or only watching videos when they are not home, then you should not be watching it in the first place.
An article from VeryWellMind states: “When romantic partners keep secrets from each other, their trust in each other erodes and their confidence in their relationship starts to waver. But even if porn isn’t kept a secret — even if partners are open and honest about their consumption — it can still do real harm.”
If you feel that you struggle with an addiction to pornography, the best thing you can do is apologize and be honest and transparent with your partner. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed to come clean about it, but in the end it will save your relationship from any long-term negative effects — it’s the selfless thing to do.
Although your partner may initially be upset with you, your honesty will be something they eventually appreciate and they might even offer to stay by your side and help you through your addiction.
An article by Addiction HQ recommends a 12-step process to break your addiction to pornography.
It states: “The good thing is that the minute you start thinking, ‘I need help for porn addiction,’ you have already taken a major step. Write down all the ways porn addiction has affected your life. Add examples of the harm it has caused you and how you have harmed others.”
Fight the urge to watch pornographic content that can have detrimental effects on your partner’s mental health. Save your relationship by being selfless instead of selfish.