Pornography use is a somewhat controversial topic primarily because there is disagreement on whether its use is harmful, benign or sometimes beneficial. Nonetheless, this article will gear toward its use as harmful, especially in the area of marriage relationships. While there are definite moral and spiritual views on the use of pornography, there are practical reasons why its presence in relationships is harmful. Although men and increasingly women view pornography, the majority of users still tend to be men. Nonetheless, no matter who viewer is, pornography use and addiction creates problems that typically lead to unhealthy and unsatisfying relationships. There is hope, however, for the relationships and individuals affected by pornography.
The basic problems with pornography are:
- Creates unrealistic ideas about women and sex
- It decreases intimacy between the couple
- It creates insecurity in the other partner (the people in the videos or pictures are usually very attractive)
- The other partner feels they cannot live up to the images
There are those who accept the view that some use of pornography is not harmful to their relationship, and that it may even enhance it. Nevertheless, many have reported that pornography has an addictive quality, and that its use typically increases and often broadens as use continues.
For couples that are affected adversely by pornography and want to restore their relationships, here are some suggested strategies:
- The other partner needs to hold the user accountable and not accept that the use is okay
- The pornography user should seek help by attending individual or group counseling (group counseling is highly recommended, if available)
- Consider putting controls on computer use that prohibit the availability of internet pornography
- Attend marriage counseling together, to learn how to increase and improve communication, as this is usually an element that is lacking when pornography use is involved
- Purchase a resource such as the book Â“Every ManÂ’s BattleÂ” which deals specifically with overcoming pornography.
If couples are to be successful in restoring their marriages, pornography use needs to be viewed as if the user is having an affair; and just as marriages damaged by physical affairs have been restored, so too can marriages affected adversely by pornography.