Is Pornography Destroying Your Marriage?

Couples watching porn together to increase intimacy have become common.

Love, satisfaction, and happiness are the few things one looks for in a marriage. Great sex is like icing on the cake. At the start the passion is strong, and physical intimacy is great. With time the passion mellows down due to various reasons such as work pressure, children, financial problems etc. We look for ways to spice up our sex lives and fall prey to misleading information. We read misleading articles which suggest emulating a porn movie to re-ignite the passion. Sometimes we give too much importance to marital sex. We place it above everything, which can lead us to treacherous paths of porn.

Couples hoping to improve intimacy do not realize that pornography will destroy their marriage in many ways. We need not be sex gurus or highly experienced playboys to have great sex. When we are genuinely fond of some, the passion grows strong. We naturally enjoy intimacy with each other, and the sex feels great. But misleading information on the internet advises us to view porn to better our sex lives, and we fall prey to it. We start by watching porn on special occasions. We get excited watching porn for the first time. It seems like harmless fun, which gives us a rush. We do not realize that this casual viewing of porn will slowly become a habit.

Viewing porn releases dopamine in the brain, which gives a sense of high. The dopamine wears off in a few hours. We start missing the good feeling and the dopamine rush. This high makes us want more of it, so we go back to watching porn. We spend less time with our spouse, creating a distance in the relationship. Over the years, we see too much porn, not realizing that we are now addicted to it. Too much porn can erode the trust in our relationship. Women do not feel threatened by the porn-viewing habit of their husbands. We start obsessing over porn stars and comparing our spouses with them. They soon realize that our minds are preoccupied with porn stars leading to insecurity in our relationship.

Frequent viewing of porn alters our perception of reality. We develop unreal expectations from our sex lives and partners. Fantasies and unnatural sex shown in the moves do not happen in real life. Hence, real-life sex seems unfulfilling and boring. We slowly move away from our partner and prefer viewing porn over a real intimate relationship. Routine sex does not give us the same dopamine high as viewing porn. We yearn for wild and unnatural forms of sex shown by pornographers. We look forward to such fantasies and get disappointed in not having them. Natural sex seems like a daunting task with poor outcomes vs the quick gratification of porn. Due to explicit visuals and extreme content, the brain receives a very high stimulus, making us reach orgasm faster. Some may suffer from premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. This impacts our performance in bed. We find it difficult to last long enough in bed, leaving our partners dissatisfied. We start becoming lazy in bed. Physical sex seems too much of an effort.

Irrational expectations make us look beyond our marriages. We hope to find similar excitement from different partners. We start cheating on our partner. We start hiding information and lying to our spouse, which puts our marriage on shaky grounds. As we fall deeper into the addiction pit, it impacts our marriage. This leads to fights and arguments at home. To avoid an uncomfortable conversation, we spend time away from our homes. We blame our partners for our shortcomings in the relationship. We blame them for our poor performance in bed, our absence in the relationship and our cheating. Shame and embarrassment soon engulf us. It widens the distance between our marriages, taking us on the path of separation and divorce.

A study was conducted by Samuel L Perry on the relationship between viewing pornography and divorce rates. The study compared married Americans who viewedpornvs married Americans who did not view porn. The results showed that watching porn doubled the rate of separation in men who viewed porn and tripled the rate of separation in women who viewed porn in comparison to those who did not view porn. The study also reported that 25% of men start hiding their porn use from their partners and are unable to get over their habit. It also highlighted that 33%of women felt insecure about their partners andfelt that pornography impacted their intimacy negatively.This study proves that watching porn can do no good to our marriages.

To appeal to a larger audience, pornographers start making content based on violence. Sadism and masochism are widely promoted and viewed. Frequent viewing of such violent content starts impacting our psyche. We start normalizing violence in our relationship/marriage. Women face domestic violence and sexual abuse. It also increases street violence and molestation against women.

To bring these crimes under control, the Indian government has banned such websites. Watching porn in our private spaces is not an offence under Indian Penal law. However, to curb the impact of pornography on society, laws have been laid down.

Under Section 67A, we are prohibited from electronic transmission (WhatsApp, Bluetooth, email, etc.) of sexually explicit material. The punishment for such an offence is a jail term of 5 years with a fine of Rs 10 lakh.

Section 67B prohibits child pornography. POSCO 2012 prohibits the possession, transmission and circulation of child pornography.

Section 292 prohibits obscene behaviour in public. A first-time offender can be jailed for up to two years with a fine of up to Rs 2,000. For second-time offenders, the jail term can be five years and a fine of up to Rs 5,000.

Porn is like a slow poison. Frequent consumption damages our hearts and brain, eventually leading to death. It not just kills the body but also the mind. It impacts our morality and our choices. Our conscience is destroyed, and we become secretive. It destroys our productivity at work and our personal lives. We feel helpless as we are unable to get out of our habit. The situation does sound grim, but there is always a solution. With patience and support, we can overcome every challenge. Talk to your spouse for their support. They will surely understand. Distract yourself with a hobby like reading a book, playing a sport, watching TV, music etc. Every time you wish to watch porn, do an activity, go for a walk or join a gym.

Keep away from temptation. Most of us watch porn on our mobiles or laptops. Delete all such content, and deactivate all your porn accounts. Ask your spouse to install a firewall on all your gadgets. It is a slow process. In a few months, you will get over your temptation and be back to your normal life. Stay strong on your resolve. It has worked for me and will work for you too. Do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can visit a counsellor or check into a rehab. If you feel depressed, consult a psychiatrist or call your local helpline number.

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