Do you care if your partner watches porn?… | Ask SAHM

My husband and I faced an issue with porn about five years ago. During my pregnancy with our daughter I wanted to continue to have sex my husband, however he didn’t, which was upsetting to me. He said he just didn’t feel like sex at all and that his libido had just disappeared. Following this, I discovered he had been secretly downloading porn to take with him on an upcoming business trip and when I asked him about it he lied initially until he admitted to it.

There were multiple issues at play here – my lack of body self esteem due to being pregnant, his claimed lack of sex drive and then the downloading and lying about the porn. It was the hiding and lying about it that devastated me the most as I thought we were completely open with each other and had an awesome relationship otherwise. I felt undesirable.

We had lots of talks and I learnt a lot from the experience. Some men don’t see porn on the same level as they see intimacy in their relationship. (I am saying “some” instead of “all” because I am posting on an internet forum and am well aware of the fallout of making generalised statements!) 🙂

For my husband at least, it is about a “release”, and not about his lack of love or desire for me. He wasn’t into sex with me while I was pregnant – some guys just aren’t into sex with pregnant partners – and while it sucked for me, that was all that it was. He still loved me and was crazy about me.

Long story short (or not-so-short), I came to understand that men don’t think like we do (“der”, I hear you say), and with porn it is no exception. However, there are also a million variations to how porn (or anything else) can become an unhealthy obsession and interfere with your relationship. It could be porn, drugs, a friendship with someone else, sports, anything.

What worked for my relationship was to compare how we both saw porn and what it meant to both of us (for me, my initial view of porn was that it was my husband finding his lust somewhere other than me, and for my husband it was purely to get a sexual release by watching bodies do sexy things). After we gained an understanding of how the other felt, we could move forward in making sure we acted in a way that respected the other persons feelings.

He understood that I was upset because I thought it meant his desire was aimed elsewhere, and I understood that that was not the case, so we could work to be more understanding of each other’s viewpoints. I was obviously also upset about being lied to.

From there, I told my husband I was okay with him watching it as long as he was open and honest, and also if he was more sensitive to my state of feeling undesirable. That didn’t mean he had to tell me every time he watched porn, I just didn’t want the sneaking around or lying if I did ask. That also meant he made an effort to show me he still desired me, even if he wasn’t keen to jump my bones while I was knocked up.

An interesting outcome of this is while he still watches porn when he goes on business trips, our openness and discussion about this stuff has brought us closer together. But this is just my personal experience, obviously everyone’s relationships are different. I am just saying what has happened in my relationship. I found that talking to friends about their personal experiences with these situations helpful too. You can get some ideas on ways to approach these relationship issues and you might find you are not alone. 🙂

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