Ken from New-York shared with me the fact that he watches pornography on the internet at night when he comes home. He does not know if his wife is aware of it, but he feels she is more and more distant. Ken works long hours in an office and usually comes home late. He wonders what he could do to help his relationship.
Pornography is a serious problem that should be addressed as such.
It offers a distorted view of what intimacy should be, with unrealistic expectations from both gender’s perspectives. It is even more dangerous than an affair because it involves no one in particular. Therefore, it can be perceived as harmless for the relationship.
Regardless of any religious views that would consider pornography as evil, pornography is deeply wrong because it gradually weakens any relationship. It is dangerous because it reveals serious issues within the relationship that will need private counselling to be sorted out.
Pornography is addictive
With any addiction there is a withdrawal effect to be considered. Even if you are not Christian you can read Mariage In The Red from Dr. Levi Skipper that shows particularly well how pornography affects a relationship, and how difficult it is to restore love and trust. This book offers a religious perspective that is valuable to some extent: it is helpful to be able to turn to a super power whatever it can be to seek for help when one struggles with his own pattern. It is probably a road preferred by many, but I disagree with the load of guilt and proselytism that go with it.
Please check this post on changing patterns which I believe is far more empowering to address any issue.
Pornography is a n alarm bell for two things:
- lack of physical activity for him
A man needs a minimum of physical activity on a daily basis for his own balance. I have written about the fact that sex and exercise are both stress relieving for men. When he works long hours and already comes home late, adding some exercise in the schedule may be perceived by his female partner as disrespectful for her long day. The need to destress is still there however for him. So he might be home without truly being home: the temptation for browsing the internet without any other interaction might be too strong to be resisted. When we are at a need level, whether we want it or not we will find a way to address these needs that become Imperious, the more we ignore them.
Watching sex will never replace having sex, even if masturbation usually goes along. And without some kind of nurturing, no sane woman will be ready for sex on call. Very often a man who watches pornography has no interest in having sex with his wife: his vision of what sex should be has been distorted, and more importantly the degrading vision of what a sexy woman should be falls far from what any proper woman would be.
So go exercise in order to relieve your daily stress, the urge to isolate yourself when you come home will lessen.
- lack of communication within the relationship
Obviously your wife does not understand what you need when you come home from work. And the fact that she is more and more distant shows that you don’t get her either. It is very easy in a long-term relationship to gradually slip in a situation where you live next to each other and not with each other. Eventually comes the question “why do I stay with him or her?” Restoring some kind of communication should therefore be a priority.
Invite her for a drink, a lunch or a dinner, and let her know that you have noticed that she is more distant. Let her know how much you care about your relationship: it might be a complete news for her! Let her know that you would love to know what she needs to make things work, and ask her to detail that in writing so you have time to process the information without being overwhelmed by her emotional state.
Decide on a private time for you two on a weekly basis.
As I said above pornography turns quickly into an addiction, and you probably need professional help to get rid of it. Emotional Freedom Technique might be of great help when you have an urging desire to watch pornography: it may take several rounds of tapping, but it will eventually bring the urge down to zero. ( An urge for something is usually rated 10 on a scale of 0 to 10). Check this video for the tapping sequence. The lack of desire you have for your wife will hinder considerably all my suggestions above. So make sure you clear pornography from your life.