He Said/She Said: Is it Okay if My Husband Looks at Porn?

computer-probs-in-marriageDear Aaron and Rachel,

This is kind of embarrassing to say, but my husband has begun looking at porn all the sudden. Our sex life is still as active as ever (he’s never expressed any complaints) but all the sudden he’s talking about things he saw in a video. He also says that he wants to try new things like he saw online. I’ve always considered myself to be a little more open sexually (especially for my conservative Christian upbringing) but I don’t know what to think about this. I’ve heard about sexual addictions and how porn is a ‘gateway drug’. Should I be worried that he’s looking at porn and wanting to try the stuff he sees?

Sincerely,
Worried wife.

Rachel RussoShe Said

Dear Worried Wife,

Totally understand your concern. A lot of women are put off and worried about their man’s relationship to porn–and understandably so as what the men are seeing is often sexual activity that women aren’t comfortable with bringing into their bedroom. It is possible for your husband to have a healthy “relationship” with porn. It does not have to be addictive and thus far you have no reason to believe it is.

I think you should consider what your husband is asking you to do on a case-by-case basis. If you are comfortable with it, you can do it. If you aren’t, you don’t–or perhaps modify things to suit your preferences. If you become uncomfortable with anything else at any time, just tell him. This is new territory for you, just communicate openly and honestly with your husband and think positive. It can all totally be okay as in healthy, normal, and no problem for your relationship if you don’t let it become one.

He SaidAaron-Anderson-Marriage-Counselor-small

Dear Worried Wife,

I’ve heard the words ‘pornography addiction‘ spoken on my couch thousands of times. It usually comes as some reassurance, then, when I tell couples that there is no such thing scientifically – at least so far. That doesn’t mean that pornography doesn’t cause problems in people’s relationships. It just means that it’s not an addiction like alcohol or drugs. When people talk about pornography addiction, what they usually mean is a series of behaviors that are causing problems both personally and in various arenas of their life (e.g. work, relationships, hobbies, etc). So if your husband is showing up to work late because he was watching porn or if he doesn’t want to go out with the family on the weekend because he’d rather stay home to watch porn, then he might have an “addiction”.

If your husband’s porn viewing doesn’t cause problems at work or at home then there’s probably no need to be worried about it being an “addiction”. As Rachel said, a lot of women feel insecure about their husband viewing porn because porn shows women doing things sexually that a lot of wives are uncomfortable with. As a result, wives feels like they’ll be compared to the porn stars and when they don’t do what the porn stars do, they’re afraid their husband will start looking elsewhere. The truth is, most men know that stuff they see in porn videos is just fantasy (like any other movie they see). And yes, they probably will want to talk to you about it. But don’t be intimidated. Use it as a way to open up conversation about what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not. It may even inspire you to talk about stuff you’ve wanted to try and can help you both have a more fulfilling and rewarding sexual relationship.

About Rachel: Rachel Russo is a Dating, Relationship, & Image Coach who works with marriage-minded singles and couples in NYC and throughout the US. Checkout her website at RachelRusso.com

About Aaron: Aaron Anderson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado and writer for various websites on marriage and relationships.

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