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Pornography is an ever-present reality in many relationships. With the prevalence of the internet and the lowering of society’s moral standards, porn is becoming more popular than ever before. Many couples wonder if watching pornography can have a redeeming factor if it is viewed with a spouse as part of their private relationship. Many couples feel the need to switch or spice things up in the marriage and have discovered that watching porn together increases their enjoyment of their sexual relationship. But how does pornography impact marriage? The truth is, actively watching pornography can damage your relationship in so many ways. Here are five lies about pornography that could be destroying your relationship.

"It’s harmless."

You may think watching a little porn is harmless, but regardless of how frequently you look at it, you might be inadvertently telling your spouse that they aren’t enough. Though some people say that they’re fine with their partners viewing adult material, most would feel hurt and betrayed if they knew that their husbands or wives still watched porn. Even if she didn’t know your viewing habits, porn can still affect your relationship. Yes, porn is fake and you might view it as harmless fantasy but the truth is, porn isn’t harmless at all. Studies show that viewing porn makes a user more critical of his or her partner and less satisfied with their relationship and sex life. Real love requires real commitment to a real person. Porn just makes it harder for someone to have a real, loving relationship.

"It’s not cheating."

You may not think it’s cheating, but it is. Contrary to popular belief, viewing pornography is a form of adultery. While this type of adultery is hard to see, if prolonged, you will begin to physically see it show up in your relationship. Watching pornography can lead to inappropriate thoughts, visualizing yourself with a person other than your partner, fantasizing about other people as you’re sleeping with your partner and being disconnected from your partner sexually.

The internet has also made it especially easy to view pornography and have affairs. The computer gives many people the comfort of being able to hide behind their screens while also feeling disconnected from their actions. It also puts many people in the space of thinking “what they don’t know won’t hurt them.” The next thing they know, they’re so deep down the rabbit hole, they can’t get themselves out.

While this form of infidelity may seem harmless, it will silently sabotage your relationship. Physical cheating often begins with this type of cheating. If you’re doing any of the things previously mentioned, it’s best to cut this out early before it really gets out of hand. Ask yourself how you would feel if you found out your partner was doing these things. If the answer is anything other than good, stop this now.

"It won’t impact my marriage."

A lot of people think they can do things like talk privately with people of the opposite sex online or view pornography in the privacy of their home and it not have an impact on their marriage. It’s just me, my magazine and my computer, so it shouldn’t affect my marriage, right? The truth is, oneness in marriage is hijacked by sexual immorality. If you take your emotional and sexual energy and spend it on someone else, there will be nothing left for your spouse. Watching pornography will leave you feeling sexually dissatisfied, emotionally empty and your marriage broken.

"It’s just entertainment."

Some people are under the false impression that watching pornography is just an innocent form of entertainment when it’s actually a form of escapism. Escapism is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. When some people are dealing with internal conflict in their marriage, they are ready to escape in any way they can. People often escape in different types of entertainment including: movies, books, daydreaming, video games, sports, online gaming and pornography. Many turn to escapism to remove themselves from the pain of their marriage and find a new form of fulfillment. The problem with escaping reality and seeking to be distracted is that while there is temporary satisfaction, your reality continues to worsen as you avoid and neglect your marriage.

"I can still be connected to my partner."

There are also people who think they can watch pornography and also be satisfied sexually with their spouse but this is a lie. Watching pornography can lead not only to physical withdrawal but also to emotional withdrawal. When we feel emotionally threatened in our marriage, we often build walls. These walls aren’t physical, but relational, expressed in body language, words and attitudes that help us feel safe. Emotional distance and withdrawal will cause problems. The walls that we put up close us off from our spouse and keep us from accessing the deepest parts of their hearts and minds. The wall might be built by belittling, using sarcasm, criticizing or becoming verbally defensive. Some people withdraw through aggression and jealousy. Others can be controlling and selfish. These actions may cause responses of loss, hurt and anger. If you or your spouse is emotionally checking out or withdrawing and prone to stonewalling, it can seem like there is no point in investing in the relationship anymore.

If you or your partner is watching pornography, it’s important that you recognize how destructive of a behavior it is. While this action has the power to destroy your marriage, you have the power to turn this around. If you have fallen victim to any of these lies, start fixing them now before it’s too late.

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