His lying about pornography destroyed any trust I had in him and built up a well of resentment he fed off of until we couldn't even be in the same room anymore.
"Everyone does it."
"It's not that big a deal."
"It doesn't mean anything."
"I know it's not real life."
"I don't need it."
Lies. All lies, all told to me about pornography by my ex. And while pornography isn't the only reason our marriage is ending, it is a good example of all the problems we had. Because when it boiled down to it, the pornography was a symbol of something else, a representation of what went wrong, and how one person's inability to accept it can destroy a marriage, and change a family forever.
Each of these five statements represents a way pornography can undermine a relationship, and unless some things are done to change it, ultimately destroy it.
1. "Everyone does it."
No, actually they don't. Not every single person on the planet, or even this country, looks at porn on a regular basis. Once I acknowledged that a pornography addiction was helping ruin my marriage I started doing some research and having open conversations and realized there is an entire group of people: men and women, straight and gay, that have not once looked at anything pornographic...nor desire to.
And guess what?
They're happy! They're fulfilled! They have amazing relationships with awesome intimacy and love their sex lives. And it isn't just the older generation. Nowadays, more and more young people are choosing to not look at porn because they understand that it ultimately doesn't add anything to their lives.
2. "It's not that big a deal."
Wrong, it is a big deal. It's a big deal that makes a lot of people a lot of money and has more people looking for it than anything else on the internet. If it wasn't a big deal, it would have died out a long time ago, just like any other fad that has come and gone. In today's "viral" world, pornographic material is the buzz word that keeps us...buzzing. You may not know what "af" means, but I bet you know what "NSFW" means and make a note to click on that link the next time you run out of the office to grab lunch.
3. "It doesn't mean anything."
Oh, but it does. To the partner who wonders if they aren't good enough, thin enough, built enough...it means everything. We all get older, things sag and shrink or grow...and the seemingly perfect bodies that are portrayed in pornography hold us to a standard that is always just out of reach.
Camera angles, clothing, lighting, props and even editing after the fact distort the bodies on a screen so much that most porn stars are able to walk around incognito, and even if they do admit to what they do...no one believes them. No one looks that good in real life. No one. for the wife who is made to feel inferior, it does mean something!
4. "I know it's not real life".
Okay, so you admit you know it's not real life. You know that girl probably isn't as young (or as old), that guy isn't that built and no one gets that tan without the help of a lot of makeup. Then why does it appeal to you? Why do you insist on watching it, or looking through it as "inspiration". If that is what turns you on when you're by yourself, how do we know that's not what you're picturing when you're with us?
Once I realized my spouse was still sneaking around and watching videos and looking at pictures, I tried to make myself look like those girls. I tried to bend myself into one of those positions. All it led to was me with a sore back and the worst sex experience of my life. It was also the first time, and not the last time, I faked an orgasm just so we could stop having sex. And when we were done I
It was also the first time, and not the last time, I faked an orgasm just so we could stop having sex. And when we were done I was so turned off it was months before I could make myself have a genuine interest in lovemaking again. I even went so far as to make a video of ourselves, but that stayed in the drawer while my husband turned to the unrealistic, illegally downloaded content he attempted to hide on his laptop.
5. "I don't need it."
Well if you don't need it, then why look at it at all? When we first got married I understood why he might have it around before we met; he was single for a long time and preferred porn to one-night stands. Once we were married, he voluntarily destroyed every piece of "X" rated material in our household, without me saying a word. Over the next fifteen years, however, I would find things here and there and each time he vowed it would be the last. He lied. He probably is slowly building up his collection again, only this time, I no longer care because we aren't together anymore.
His lying about pornography destroyed any trust I had in him and built up a well of resentment he fed off of until we couldn't even be in the same room anymore. These days we speak only about our children, and even then I walk on eggshells. I worry about the day my preteen and teen daughters discover this hidden world because I know they will ask if their father has seen any of it and I don't know how to tell them not only has he seen it, he's addicted to it and decided that living with his addiction was more important than living with us.
I know couples that use porn for healthy ways to build up their relationship. I know single people who chose a video over a prostitute. And I know an entire world that thinks that there is nothing wrong with exploiting people's sex lives to make a few bucks. I also know that when a couple isn't on the same page about pornography and other areas of intimacy it can slowly erode away at relationship until all that's left is anger and hurt.