Should I be upset that my husband watches porn?

should i be upset that my husband watches porn?

“Should I be upset that my husband watches porn?” Whether asked explicitly or just inferred, we get this question a lot. And our answer is always, an emphatic, “Yes!”

“Should I be upset that my husband watches porn?”

The fact that we get this question at all illustrates a point. Pornography has become more and more culturally acceptable. Popular movies and shows like 50 Shades of Grey or The Game of Thrones make content with heavy nudity an acceptable topic of everyday conversation. Or jokes about porn use in comedies make it seem like watching porn is no big deal. Today’s entertainment encourages women to answer the question, “Should I be upset that my husband watches porn?” with a strong, “No, and actually, you should watch it with him too to spice up your sex life.”

In a presentation given at the Witherspoon Institute, Dr. Jill Manning spoke about the impact pornography can have on wives. “It has been troubling and intriguing to me,” reports Dr. Manning, “how many times I encounter derogatory beliefs about this group of women, beliefs that dismiss the magnitude of the issue and the legitimacy of it, by framing them as pathological, overreacting, and frigid women who need to lighten up. ‘After all, he’s just looking?’”

Some women, in fact, have “lightened up.” Not all wives react negatively to their husbands using pornography. Ana Bridges from University of Arkansas’ psychology department says in her own research she has met many women who have justified their husbands’ behavior. “All guys look at porn.” “It’s better than him having an affair.” “At least he’s not always coming to me to get his needs met.”

Bridges labels these rationalizations as “permission-giving beliefs:” things we tell ourselves that make certain behaviors seem normal or healthy. Ironically, it is pornography that often teaches and reinforces these beliefs in the first place. If we receive a steady diet of media that portrays illicit sex as the norm, it is easy to get the impression that “boys will be boys.”

Our Perspective of Faithfulness Often Impacts Whether or Not We’re Upset

When we think of “being faithful” to our marriage partner or “cheating” on our partner, often our minds jump to black-and-white examples. When I have sex with someone who is not my spouse, I’m being unfaithful.

While this is true, the spirit behind our marriage vows is far deeper than this. Faithfulness is not so much an all-or-nothing achievement as it is movement in the right direction. If I intentionally drown my life in hobbies to avoid romantic interactions with my wife, flirt with the cute woman at work, or masturbate to porn, I am moving in the wrong direction.

When you promised to “forsake all others,” there was no fine print that said “except for digital prostitutes” (i.e. porn).

Many men will say pornography is only fantasy—it isn’t really “cheating.” Is ogling the cover of Maxim tantamount to hiring a prostitute? Well, no. The ramifications and consequences are vastly different.

But whatever we might say about FHM or Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, the supposed fantasy vs. reality distinction breaks down entirely when we think about the high-definition videos available now at the click of a button. Ross Douthat, former senior editor of The Atlantic, observes that over the past three decades, one technological innovation after another has made pornography more immediate, visceral, and personalized than ever before. “Nothing in the long history of erotica compares with the way millions of Americans experience porn today,” he writes, “and our moral intuitions are struggling to catch up.”

The hardcore video pornography at the heart of the porn economy blurs the line between fantasy and reality to the point where the line becomes invisible. “The whole point of a centerfold is her unattainability,” says Douthat, “but with hard-core porn, it’s precisely the reverse: the star isn’t just attainable, she’s already being attained, and the user gets to be in on the action.”

If you limit your definition of faithfulness to the black-and-white examples, you may not be upset if your husband watches porn. However, if you have a healthy perspective of faithfulness, one that focuses on movement in the right direction rather than a specific action, you’ll start to see porn’s negative effect more clearly and allow yourself to have an appropriate response for your husband’s porn use.

5 Myths About Porn Every Wife Should Reject

A wrong perspective of faithfulness isn’t the only thing contributing to the cultural acceptance of porn use–there are so many other misconceptions about how porn impacts our health and relationships. We put together a video of five common myths about porn we either hear from wives or directed to wives. These myths often confuse us about whether or not we should be upset by porn use. Take a look, and let us know below in the comments if there’s one myth you’ve heard more than others.

Remember these five myths the next time you ask yourself, “Should I be upset that my husband watches porn?” You definitely have every right to be upset that husband watches porn.

Free Book for Hurting Wives

Porn and Your Husband: Free E-BookCovenant Eyes has recently rereleased a new the book Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives. If your husband watches pornography or seems hopelessly hooked on it, this book gives you practical and down-to-earth advice about what you can do for your marriage.

While quitting porn must ultimately be your husband’s choice, the personal boundaries you put in place and ways you communicate can make an enormous difference in your own life and possibly your marriage.

Download the book today for free!