Many woman seem to feel threatened by pornography. When they realise that their partners are looking at porn, they assume that it is because they are no longer desirable. They personalise what is actually a very normal healthy trait.
“He obviously doesn’t fancy me anymore. I’m not enough for him. There must be something wrong with me.”
This type of thinking is irrational. Pornography serves many good purposes. It relieves stress and allows individuals to relax. It also takes the edge off from the pressure of always having to behave and act appropriately in a ‘politically and socially Â correct’ world. It releases tension that could possibly be projected in a more negative manner towards others – such as a violent outburst.
Fantasy is normal and many people enjoy sexually explicit images, especially men who tend to be more visually oriented.
Psychologically healthy men don’t have much trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality. They can watch crazy porn and then feel completely separated from it when with their partners. Very few men compare fantasy and reality.
The problems arise when someone starts to become addicted and spends too much time watching porn. According to research by the lateÂ Alvin CooperÂ of theÂ Silicon Valley Psychotherapy and Consulting ServicesÂ people looking at pornography online for less than an hour each week said it had little impact on their lives. People using it for eleven hours or more each week said it affected their self image and their feelings about their partner. There is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy porn viewing and the motivation behind the urges are often analysed in therapy and counselling.
Some complain that their partners have put on weight and are no longer attractive. Others feel their partners neglect them sexually..and then of course, if the relationship isn;t going well on an emotional level, that can cause problems too.
I have met many clients who have retreated emotionally from their partners because they became tired of the constant nagging and criticism. Escaping into their own world of fantasy and porn provided a much needed release from their miserable day to day existence.
Relationships are complex and adding pornography into the equation can add unnecessary strife to the mix. Couples that are connected and communicate well fare the best in these situations.
David Snarch – Resurrecting Sex
Understanding the compulsive internet pornography user
Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow – Marnia Robinson
For a bit of fun..try Mandy’s iphone app: Life Wisdom https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/life-wisdom/id392898772?mt=8
Â More on Mandy: https://www.mandyjane-lifedesign.com The author of this blog lives in Surrey, UK and offers counselling to couples and individuals. All names have been changed to protect the identity of clients. Personal client stories shared in this blog have been published with prior permission from the relevant clients.