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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    opinions on pornography and marriage
    skeeterman7708 posted:
    I would just like some input and oppinions from everyone on how you feel about porn and tell me if my thoughts are justified or if i'm being a man in denial. I feel like my wife has a rather strong oppinion of porn and considers too many things to be porn. I feel like she's overreacting a lot and that I don't have a problem, along with a lot of others, who have been labeled as someone who has an "addiction" to porn. First, let me tell you all about myself. I've got an app on my phone called "the chive." The show lots of funny pictures that you can download and exchange via text or post to your facebook. A lot of the pictures are really positive, such as heart warming stories of soldiers and people battling deseases. But, there are some slides that show females in bikini's and other risky clothing. I do look at these pictures, but it's not like it's the first thing that I go to when i pull up the app and I can seriously go throughout the day and not be bothered if I didn't look at them. I also like Maxim, which shows girls posing. I look at them, but also really enjoy the stories. My wife is extremely oppinionated on this issue and makes comments that it's porn. I feel like she has a strong misconception of what porn really is. Am I wrong to feel this way? I've also developed another theory on porn, which i'm sure will get numerous positive and negative reactions. I don't think porn is an issue, unless it interferes with your marriange, your work, or your kids. I also feel like, the only reason why porn is an issue, is because it's considered a problem with the church community. I've been to church before and have listened to testimonies of people talking about their addiction to porn. I just feel like churches have made this problem worse than it actually is, along with women who no longer feel attractive. My wife, goes to church a lot and also feels unattractive. Before everyone jumps on that, I do try my hardest to compliment her and ensure to her that I still find her attractive. I guess, to make my post short, I feel like porn is only an issue because of churches and wives with no confidence. My reasoning behind this, is that I've seen and heard of so many couples where the husband or boyfriend tells me that their spouse doesn't view it as an issue. I even know some, whom their wives have bought them a subscription to Playboy. My brother and one of my best friends, both have recordings of HBO's show about the Bunny Ranch on their DVR, and they watch it with their spouse. My brother is the most normal person that I know, and I know he doesn't have an addiction. I think that people that are seriously addicted are the ones who have been fired for looking at it at work, or that would rather watch porn than make love to their spouse, or that can't go a day without looking at it. It just seems like everyone that I know that has been labeled a porn addict, is labeled by a church community or a spouse with no confidence. Sorry, if i'm rambling on. It just urks me when i'm looking at Maxim or "the chive," and my wife makes comments like, "oh, I know why you're looking at that." Should I be mad, or is her complaint justified?
    tmlmtlrl responded:
    So, are you worried about being right or finding a solution? You've done a good job of displacing blame here, and wandering away from the real issue.

    You may not be an addict, or into anything 'hardcore', and some people may not think what you're doing is porn; however, It IS interfering with your marriage. So by your very own definition there is a problem. You can blame it on your wife or the church until your blue in the face, but where is that going to get you?

    The thing is your wife feels this way. You can't say she doesn't have the right to feel something. Justified or not in your eyes, this is how she feels. Have you talked with her about going to couples counseling to get a third party to help you communicate about this?

    And please don't spend your time looking in other people's backyards. That's never going to get you anywhere. What's that saying? Something like the grass wouldn't be greener on the other side if you'd spend the time watering your own grass.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
    queston responded:
    I personally agree with almost everything that you posted, but, along the lines of tmlmtirl's response, it really doesn't matter what I think. It does matter what your wife thinks, because she is your wife and I'm not.

    If I have a belief or expectation, I expect my wife to honor and respect it. If it's different from hers, then that's something that we will have to discuss and work out.

    When religion enters in, that is especially tough. We're talking about people's most deeply held core beliefs. It is a profound disrespect to a person to simply dismiss their religious beliefs.

    So, get over it and talk to your wife about what her expectations are and how the two of you can agree on how you can honor them.
    skeeterman7708 replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
    I think I was venting more than anything. Everyone that I've discussed this with, who isn't a frequent church goer agrees that churches have magnified this and made it into a major issue. But, when I talk to people who do frequent church very often, it's a major deal. I guess the main thing I'm wondering is if this is a problem only in churches. About looking into other peoples' back yards, that can also be turned around. Church goers, and people against porn, look into other couples' back yards all of the time and talk about how porn affected their relationship or how they live a healthy marriage without it. As far as couples counseling goes, we're not very good at truly resolving our issues, which isn't healthy, I know. We just kind of come up with a disagreement and argue about it for a little bit and then we just take each other's side to make the arguing go away.
    queston replied to skeeterman7708's response:
    You're not really listening, are you? All of this stereotyping is not accomplishing anything. You're not married to "frequent church goers," you're married to your wife. Worry about her feelings about the issue (and yours), not anyone else's.

    (FWIW, I am a frequent church goer and I do not share the beliefs that you are ascribing to church goers.)
    skeeterman7708 replied to queston's response:
    so you don't think she's overracting just a tad? I just read stories of porn addicts that had ruined their marriage and job. Most of them had the same thing in common. They were substituting porn for sex with their spouse. They were looking at porn on their computers at work. I don't do none of that. We have a healthy sex life, with the exception that we both work and have a 3 year old that consumes a lot of our time. there are times that we're exausted, but if we're well rested, then there isn't an issue.
    queston replied to skeeterman7708's response:
    WTF difference does it make if I think she's overreacting? (FWIW, yes, I think she's overreacting.) The only question that matters is how you (plural) are going to deal with her feelings/beliefs/values. Is honoring your wife's values more or less important to you than looking at girls in bikinis?

    (Can you imagine a scenario in which the roles were reversed? How would you want your wife to deal with it?)
    skeeterman7708 replied to queston's response:
    I care about my wife's feelings, but at the same time, I'm not going to allow her to dictate every aspect of my life. There is a sense of pride that I've got.
    queston replied to skeeterman7708's response:
    Is she trying to dictate every aspect of your life? You didn't mention that. If so, then sure, you have a much bigger problem on your hands.

    If not, then I guess you need to make a decision which you want more: your pride, or a happy marriage.
    3point14 replied to skeeterman7708's response:
    An addiction to something and liking something are not the same. Most people "addicted" to porn use it in the casual sense, as in they really, really like it. You were right in differing the justification of an addiction vs. not an addiction, as in normal porn use doesn't ruin lives, marriages, or jobs on its own.

    That being said, your porn use is having a detrimental affect on your marriage. You do have a wife with low self esteem, and as much as that's her issue and not yours to fix or solve, it's also a quality of the person with whom you decided to spend your whole life. So you both are going to need to compromise. You say you're bad at communicating? That's the crux of your issue. Have you calmly discussed with her the differences between what you both think porn is? Have you calmly discussed with her that you're not seeking this out or trying to be hurtful? Have you asked her why she considers such minor things porn?

    You both are going to have to discuss with each other why this bothers the two of you and compromise so you both are happy. Maybe limit your exposure to things she finds offensive, and you could ask her to turn a little bit more of a blind eye.

    I don't think you're in the wrong to feel she is overreacting, but I do feel like by comparing your relationship with others, blaming the church, and not taking into account her feelings about it, you're ot handling it in a way that it'll be LESS of an issue, you're making it worse.

    Best of luck!
    MissCaptainKirk responded:
    I find this discussion very interesting because I just recently had a discussion with my friend about this subject.

    Let's face it, guys need to relieve sexual tension, without the expectations of another person involved, and porn - or even pictures of girls in bikinis - often helps with that. That isn't a problem. Also, girls do the same thing a lot so this isn't just a guy issue.
    I personally don't care for that particular kind of stuff, but everyone has different outlets and mine is just different.

    The problem comes, as you and other posters have said, when the usage of any type of porn - again, including girls in bikinis - comes BEFORE your significant other.
    If it affects your S.O. negatively, yet you STILL choose to use it, that is wrong. And you may not classify it as an addiction, and you may not even classify these pictures as porn, but it's still wrong. It's being selfish.

    I agree that having a discussion about it is a good idea. Your wife is obviously very upset by it and even if you, as you say, try to make her feel attractive, looking at those pictures is hurting her self-esteem more than you know and it's negating every positive thing you say about her attractiveness.
    And it seems that you look at these pictures when she is with you (you mentioned her commenting on you looking at them). Why are you looking at them while she's around you? At the very least do it in private.

    As far as churches go, I've only ever been to one church where they talked about it. I don't think it's something that should be preached about from the pulpit, I think it's something that should be addressed situationally.
    But if your wife's religious beliefs are also strongly mixed up in this, that could cause great distress in her internally.

    You obviously want to feel justified, and I'm sorry but you are not. And it's completely wrong of you to blame it on the church and on the wives.
    As I am a wife of a person with a porn addiction, I can tell you that I have pretty good self-esteem but still have a problem with the addiction. It's the selfishness of it that is wrong. If my husband didn't put it before me or replace me with it, I think at this point due to my views on it I'd just turn a blind eye to it.
    Any kind of addiction will hurt your S.O. whether it's porn, shopping, hording, etc.

    The point is, you are putting this issue of looking at these images ahead of your wife, and blaming your guilt at being selfish on her and the church.

    There's a lot more going on here than your wife just not liking how you look at those pictures, so please keep that in mind if/when you talk with her about it. Be very open to what she has to say. I'm sure that this issue can be worked on and eventually resolved to a point where you're both happy.

    I really do wish you good luck and I hope that you and your wife find a happy middle-ground.
    An_241873 replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    I heard a POV about this that I thought was very insightful. My father who has a porn addiction (has since beaten it although it lingers) went to a sex therapist about the matter. She told him the chemicals released in the brain from the viewing of pornography and masturbation is the same chemical as when someone does any drug. This chemical is what eventually makes the viewing of pornography and drug usage an addiction. It may take much much more time for the porn viewing to become an addiction than it would for a drug addiction, but the reaction in the brain is still the same. That being said I also want to share that my husband also has a porn addiction that he has hidden from me. I caught him once, 3 MONTHS after we got married!! and the sad part.. we were virgins when we got married!! So sex was NEW! That was the only time I caught him, and he fessed up. But since then we have been married 2 years in Oct 2012... and sadly to say 2 months ago this addiction that he hid, made him want more... and he cheated on me. His selfishness got to the point where I was no longer a factor or a desire. Since then he has relapsed twice into viewing and has told me although he did not want to. So making great strides there. Other then this our marriage has been great and he is a great friend. Sorry if I paint a horrible picture of him. We have tried to reconcile things and he is working to show me he does love me and that eventually my trust will grow back, but it is very difficult. Please, if you love your wife stop the porn. It is selfish and may lead to things like what my husband eventually searched for. It is very hurtful and although I am a confident person in myself, it does sting the self esteem to think that these disgusting porno women were better to look at then me. Porn also paints a picture of expectations in your head of, "that's how it's supposed to be" when everyone is different, and every sexual relationship is different. Communication is key, and putting your partner before your self will make a world of difference.
    skeeterman7708 replied to An_241873's response:
    thanks everyone for their comments. I can see from many of your comments that my primary fault, is that i put too much emphasis on what other couples do and try and base mine off of those. I do need to take my wife's feelings into consideration. She has a VERY low self esteem. I don't purposly look at images in front of her. There are times when i'm looking at maxim and it's like as soon as i come to a woman in it, she just happens to walk by and see it. Kind of like when you're at work, working hard, and when you take a break, your supervisor just happens to walk up. lol I think one of my biggest faults, is that i'm inconsiderate and selfish to others' feelings, my wife included. That's obviously something that i'm going to have to work on, through communication. We actually weren't arguing when I originally posted this. We actually hardly ever argue over this, but some of the little comments that she makes just kind of built up inside of me and I kind of felt the urge to get on here and vent. I guess I always picture porn addicts as guys like I explained in my earlier posts, and I didn't like being categorized like that. I guess in society, I'm not labeled as one, but in her eyes, she she's me as being addicted. Thanks for everyones' insight.
    sandyraven responded:
    in my opinion, the problem with pornography in a relatioship is that if both partners do not feel the same way about it, this can cause serious problems. Pornography is a visual representation (not always realistic) of sexual situations. Sexual intimacy in a relationship is a very personal aspect of a relationship, and not one to be shown any disrespect. Honor and trust are two vital aspects of a relationship, and it is important that those two aspects are always considered. If one partner has an obvious issue about porn, then I feel that the other partner should respect that. Sex and intimacy are very deep, personal aspects of a loving relationship, and these should always be handled with the greatest amount of respect. An honestly loving relationship should never be put at risk for something like pornography. There are many ways that a couple can use to help spice up their relationship without the risk of feeling betrayed, or to have their self-esteem take a hit. A truly loving relationship is where both partners respect each other and how they feel. one partner would never intentionally do something that would hurt the other. Unless both partners are on the same page in regards to porn, other alternatives should be considered so no one gets hurt.
    janeyflowers01 replied to sandyraven's response:
    I would first like to start out by saying that 3point14's outlook on the situation at hand is just sad. It's women like you who empower men (like the one that posted this original thread) to treat women, their feelings, their bodies, and their self esteem as secondary to a man's ego and sex drive. How pathetic. You don't have self respect, therefore the right to tell this man that his wife has "very low self esteem".

    In response to skeeterman: I found this post because I was searching for other's who might've had an issue with this "chive" site you're speaking of. I found out my husband was/is going to as suggested by one of his coworkers. We've only been married for a two years, we have an 8 month old, and have/had a very loving relationship with some minor bumps in the road during our engagement. He works offshore and needless to say, I know he masterbates as he's out there for weeks at a time. However, when I saw the chive on his internet search history and that he was strictly looking at the pictures of women, I was crushed. This one a month ago, and I can't tell you how hurt I still am. I do NOT have low self esteem. I know I am an attractive woman as I get looks from men everyday. I have a college degree, a great job, came from a normal family, etc. Another thing that caught my eye in your post is that you feel church going somehow facilitates your wife's view on porn. Let me just tell you that I never habitually went to church until I met my husband; I actually converted to Catholicism when I met him as I was no real religion. The respect I have for myself and my body, and the respect that I feel a man should have for me developed from me as a person. I also have to tell you that ever since I found out that my husband looked at this site, and to see the individual women he clicked on (who by the way look nothing like me), on this site has disgusted me and made me feel betrayed. It has affected my self esteem to the point where I no longer want to be naked in front of him, I have faked orgasms which I never did before, etc. I even feel like I have fallen out of love with him and have a whole lot less respect for him. I almost feel like what we had is no longer special. I'm not one to brag but I will tell you that I get told that I'm beautiful by coworkers and random strangers on a DAILY basis.

    I feel very strongly that when a man decides that he wants to be married, he should only have eyes for his wife. This has less to do with religion to me, and more to do with respect. Because if you ask me, the people at the Catholic church I attend, are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. I told my husband straight up before we got married, "if you feel like porn needs to be a part of your life, there are plenty of women out there that will accept it and probably even watch it with you, but I'm not one of them. It doesn't make you a bad person, it just makes you not the person for me." He told me without a doubt I had nothing to worry about. Now my husband hasn't looked at actual sex on a porno, but I DO feel like looking at women in bikinis, nipples through sheer clothing, and Kate Upton "doing the cat daddy" in a video to see her breasts jiggle is lusting with your heart and mind. Why in the hell be married if you want to look at other breasts?! It's not like I'm sitting at work at my desk looking at pictures of cock in tight shorts! It goes both ways guys! If I wanted to look at other dick I wouldn't have gotten married. I'm sure my husband would be just as disturbed if I was at work looking at pictures of half naked men and fantasizing about other penises. I bet he'd think he wasn't doing his job in the bedroom, and the thought would probably cross his mind that I might eventually cheat. I'm sorry but if you're married and you're not bothered by the fact that your better half looks at someone else naked, you have no self respect. If I didn't have the job that I have I'd post a pic.

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