Help! My Husband Watches Too Much Porn!

As the title of this blog suggests, the most commonly raised problem with porn usually comes from wives who think their husbands are watching too much, are too interested, etc.

…But before we even dig into it, let’s first establish that every couple is going to be different, and that every individual is going to think about pornography differently. There are, however, very real consequences to consuming “too much” (again, this will be a little different for everyone).

As a broad generalization, it’s pretty safe to say that men tend to watch more than women, and feel less concerned about the impact it may have on the marriage. This difference of opinion (not to mention the porn itself) can cause trouble.

If you think your husband is watching too much porn, and raise the issue (or tell him to stop), he likely resists – and the result is not only dysfunction in your sex life, but also an argument over how that dysfunction can be addressed and resolved.

So, first things first: We’re not here to cast judgment and say whether looking at pornography is right or wrong – that’s a choice you have to make personally and as a couple… And we’re not here to determine “how much” is appropriate.

Is your husband watching too much porn?
Is your husband watching too much porn?

If you do have to have this conversation with your spouse, though, there are a few points you can bring up beyond “not liking it.” There’s absolutely no denying that porn – and more specifically, too much porn – has a negative effect on sexual health and the connection between spouses. Here’s why:

1. Unrealistic Expectations

Just like people in other forms of “entertainment,” porn stars and producers are in the business of selling appearance. This means that both the men and women featured in many kinds of pornography are not at all representative of average or “normal” appearances. Their actions, clothing, bodies, etc. are all hyper-sexualized to create a world of fantasy.

If this fantasy version of sex and sexuality starts to seem like the norm, people’s expectations can be drastically skewed. They may feel disappointed in their own bodies or their partner’s, they may have misconceptions about what their partner finds pleasurable, and they may lose sight of “real” sexuality by comparing experiences to what they’ve come to expect from this fantasy world.

2. Lost Emotional Connection

Porn is all about sex, and not about any of the emotional components that accompany the physical act. There’s no place for intimacy, love, and trust in most pornography, but these are some of the most important parts of a healthy sex life in a marriage. By glossing right over these essential, connection-building elements, porn can indirectly teach people that they are unimportant, and that all of the focus should be on sex itself. The results are emotional distance during sex, and perhaps worse, neglecting the other romantic, emotional, intimate connection that should be nurtured outside of the bedroom as well.

3. Changing Appetites

Just as expectations can be skewed, the physical manifestation of this damage has to do with actually changing the arousal process. Almost like a drug, there’s an issue of building tolerance here. Something novel and exciting (one of the reasons many people turn to porn for fantasy fulfillment) won’t stay “new” forever – eventually it also becomes common place, and people need to find something “stronger” to get a “fix.”

This can also happen with in person sexual relationships, of course, without any negative influence from pornography, but because it’s so impersonal and available at the click of a button, people are much more likely to find themselves indulging – and continuing to seek that next new thing. Unfortunately, this doesn’t quite gel with real people.

Now, there are many other problems that can arise from true addiction to pornography, but the problems mentioned here don’t even characterize an addiction, they are simply some of the side effects of allowing yourself to put too much stock in a fantasy world, and letting it change the way you think about real sex (because as real as it may seem, porn is NOT “real sex”).

Your husband (or wife) may not be exhibiting these signs yet, but if you want to have an honest discussion with them about their porn habits, these are important things to bring up.

If you talk to your spouse honestly, letting them know how it makes you feel, discussing the possible negative consequences they may be facing, and asking that they make the choice to avoid it for your sake (and also for their own), you’re addressing the issue in a constructive, communicative way.

It’s a touchy subject, so you may have trouble talking about it – and that’s a big part of why people react with panic, or assume the worst when they think they other person is overindulging.

When faced with this problem, regardless of which side you may be on, remember that the key to overcoming these problems is communication – talking about where you sexual needs may lie, what may be missing from the bedroom, how porn affects the way you feel about yourself and your partner, the potential problems listed here, and any other part of the topic that bears discussion.

After you’ve had a chance to truly discuss the issue at hand, agree to make decisions that are the best for everyone involved… Even if that means that both of you have to make some concessions.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

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1 comments

Nichole Yeager 2 years ago

Shld I leave him for all the lies and just because I am currently not able to let him by the way it's alway's rough and it Hurst me I tell him and he will promise to go easy on me but never does. I'm dealing with my own depression and now for the last ten yrs this porn thing every single day. It wldnt be so bad if he didn't lie so much about this. I don't leave my house because of my depression and now it's destroy my marriage