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, an addiction that weakens a romantic 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.
Pornography is addictive
With any addiction, expect a painful withdrawal.
Even if you are not Christian you still can read Marriage In The Red from Dr. Levi Skipper. This book 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. When we struggle with a particular issue, many find great comfort in turning towards a super power for help. My understanding however is that it comes with a load of guilt and proselytism.
Please check this post on changing patterns which offers an alternative to address any issue.
Meaning of vulnerability to pornography: 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. The common factor between both activities is the physical exercise involved.
When a man works long hours it might be difficult to add some exercise into an already packed schedule. From the partner’s perspective, delaying further to come home might not be such a good idea. The partner has had a long day and respecting her would command coming home sooner rather than later.
Yet the need to de-stress and unwind is real for the man. If he ignores it, he might be home without truly being home, and the temptation to browse the internet might be too strong to be resisted.
A need becomes imperious the more we ignore it. When we are at a need level, consciously or unconsciously we will find a way to meet that need.
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. you know the saying a man needs a place, a woman needs a reason.
Very often a man who watches pornography has no interest in having sex with his wife: he has left the level where sexual intercourse is the ultimate expression of love and respect between two people in love. The vision of a sexy woman is degraded. His expectations are distorted. As a result he will not do anything to foster harmonious reunion in the bedroom.
If a man attracted to pornography starts a daily regimen of exercise, the urge to isolate himself behind a screen when he comes home will lessen. It can be as simple as a 20mn running session around the block when he comes home.
Restoring communication within your 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 understand 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.
If you still care about your relationship, the first move is on you.
Invite her for a drink, a lunch or a dinner, and disclose 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! Tell her that you would love to know what she needs to make things work.
The best would be that she details her desires and needs in writing so you have time to process the information without being overwhelmed by her emotional state.
A good idea might also be to 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 use 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.