Cartoon by Jerry King
1. What’s the big deal? All men look at porn. It is perfectly normal.
Yes, most men look at porn. In this sense your husband is normal. But the real question is whether men should look at porn. Most men and women also lie on their online dating profiles in one way or another. Does that make it okay?
It’s like your mom used to say, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge…”
2. Pornography is a celebration of the human body.
Some women watch pornography with their husbands or enjoy it themselves. But more and more women talking about how over time this is damaging their marriage.
Sex is a celebration of the human body; pornography is not. Pornography celebrates commercialized sex: it is prostitution on film (if, in fact, the actors were compensated for their sex acts).
In the top-selling pornographic films, 88% of scenes contain acts of physical aggression (like spanking, gagging, or slapping), and 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression (like calling someone a derogatory name). Companies that produce and distribute these films promote increasingly hardcore material, not only depicting sex acts devoid of affection, but blurring definitions of consent, youth, pain, and violence. This is hardly a kind of sexuality worth celebrating.
3. At least he’s not coming to me to get all his needs met.
You might feel like your husband’s sexual desires are stronger or more frequent than your own. What’s the harm in a little porn to relieve the urge?
You may not want him to simply pester you for sex every time he wants it, but his use of porn is indicative of his whole attitude toward sex. What if he didn’t see sex as merely “getting off” or relieving a bodily urge, but as an opportunity to get close and show affection?
But what kind of marriage do you want to have? What if the energy your husband puts into porn was channeled in the direction of romancing you? What if the time he spends seeking out digital women were spent seeking out ways to build and enhance your relationship?
And where does it end? What is to stop your husband from being conditioned more and more by pornography if it is how he is training his brain to be turned on? Many clinicians and counselors tells stories of women who are now lamenting the loss of their sex lives because their husbands prefer porn to real sex.
4. I don’t like it, but at least he’s honest with me about it.
Of course it is better for your husband to be honest rather than dishonest. Many men hide their love affair with porn from their wives.
But what is worse? Hiding his porn from you because he suspects you would disapprove, or unashamedly looking at porn because he feels your opinion about this is insignificant? In the latter case, he is not only filling his imagination with images of seductive women, he’s also treating your opinion as worthless.
5. If I push back about my husband’s porn, I might lose him.
Okay, this excuse isn’t “lame.” It is rather serious. You are right to want to keep your marriage together. It is good to fight to make your marriage thrive.
But if his porn use disturbs you, I encourage you not to settle for other digital women sharing your bed.
There are better ways than others to go about confronting your husband. There are articles and whole (free) books available to help men see how porn is damaging their minds and their marriages. There are wise ways to show tough love to your husbands. There are experts available to answer your tough questions.
But in the end it is important to make clear to him that your hatred of porn is not ultimately about taking something away from him, but fighting for something. You don’t want porn to rob your marriage of a mutual affection that will not only satisfy you, but will also satisfy him.