Pornography is generally thought of as harmless, but in rare cases, children may be harmed. There’s a universally accepted “crossing of the line” when images of child pornography are used.
With the advent of high speed internet, pornography can be accessed easily and anonymously in any home, office or mobile phone.
With just a few clicks, cyber-porn can be accessed from any computer. Cyber-porn is just one or two clicks away for anyone who has access to the World Wide Web. Marriage counselling can be sought out when one partner wants to moderate the viewing habits of the other.
Impact on Marriage
While most women do not like the idea of their partners watching pornography, the effect it has on their relationship varies from person to person.
In our marriage counselling clinics, we’ve found that watching internet porn can lead to an addictive sexual behaviour. Pornography is often seen as a form of self-gratification, a substitute for human relationships.
Whereas other addictions, such as gambling, drinking, or drugs, may allow one to function without them, the need to walk away from locations and people who may be supportive of these behaviours may be a fundamental requirement for living. People can leave behind locations and people who are supportive of their addiction and still be functioning normally.
It’s been shown that for cyber-porn addicts there are two main deeper causes: one is a history of childhood sexual abuse; and the other is a premature exposure to sexuality. The timing is typically before early or mid-adolescence.
“PORN IS NOT HARMLESS “
The impact of porn addiction on a marriage may be wide-ranging and include the following negative behavioural impacts:
- Emotional disconnection
- Unrestrained negative emotions such as anger
- Reduced intimacy and affection
- Frequent reports of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
- Compulsive masturbation
- Ongoing infidelities
- Overly-active sex drive, such as those caused by the persistent view of pornography despite distress caused to the partner
Research in marital counselling has shown that the use of pornography increases over time for couples, particularly for men who are viewing more of this type of material. Men view pornography more often and more intensely than women. Pornography also is used in many cases to fuel or satisfy sexual activity. For both men and women, the viewing of pornography has increased over the past two decades. Pornography includes sexually explicit images of persons or things, whether of real or virtual people.
Our couples counselling sessions consistently find that when pornography is discovered by one partner and they feel betrayed and deceived by their spouse, they often feel hurt, angry, and conflict occurs between the couple.
This person either recently discovered their partner uses pornography, or until now, there has been a hesitant acceptance of their partner’s use of pornography.
The behaviour of their partner is starting to affect their marriage negatively. They’re feeling depressed, angry, withdrawn, disconnected, and less intimate with each other.
Marriage counselling is a place where a couple learns about the many factors that influence the sexual relationship and its effects on their marriage. Counselling can help a couple build a stronger marriage and learn to cope with the effects of pornography.