By: Aaron Anderson, FamilyShare
Pornography is one of the largest online industries. And it's mostly men who view it. As a result, a lot of wives feel shocked and even betrayed when they discover their husband views pornography. And when they try to talk about it with their husbands, it often ends up in an argument or in silence and without any concrete steps moving forward.
Perhaps the most difficult thing is knowing just what to bring up and how. After all, you feel hurt and betrayed, and you want him to know how much it hurts you. But you also don't want to create more problems. You want to talk about it in a way that is effective, but you may have pretty strong feelings about it that can keep you from being calm and rational. So here are some tips you can use to help you address the topic of pornography. Also, here are some tips on how to talk to your children about pornography.
Here are 5 tips to talk to your husband about his pornography viewing.
1) Don't take it personal.
Oftentimes, a wife will take her husband's viewing of pornography as meaning something personal towards her: That she's not pretty enough, not sexual enough, etc. But, in fact, this usually is not the case. When men view pornography, most don't view it in retaliation of their spouses at all. Research shows that men are more visually aroused than women. This means that for many men it's simply a pleasurable activity, the same as any other pleasurable activity like sports, etc.
2) Don't overreact.
Many men know that their wives wouldn't be happy if they knew they viewed pornography. Many times they hide it from their wives out of fear of the reaction that she'll have if she knew. So the husband hides it. And because it's hidden he's able to continue viewing it.
Instead of getting angry at your husband talk openly with him about it. Remember, him viewing pornography is nothing personal towards you. Whenever you begin a conversation in anger the conversation will usually not end well.
Instead, talk openly and supportively. Be supportive of him stopping his viewing of it - just like you'd be supportive if he was trying to stop smoking. Getting mad at him will just create a greater divide between the two of you that you don't need and may even compel him to try harder to hide it.
3) Don't assume that he is a monster.
There's a misperception that pornography is a "gateway drug" to bigger and worse things. However, this is not true. Millions of men view pornography in the world and a very slim minority ever do anything sexually or otherwise deviant. Just because your husband may enjoy viewing pornography doesn't mean he's a deviant or that he's on the road to worse things.
Having a true understanding about the effects of pornography can help you keep the conversation calm and focused on the important things without creating unnecessary hype about things that likely won't happen. Talk to him as your husband and remember all the good things about him. You know how to talk to him about other important things that bother you (like in-laws, finances, etc.) A lot of the same things apply here.
4) Remember, it's a personal choice.
Casual and infrequent pornography viewing is your husband's choice. Just the same as if he was smoking cigarettes or had a hobby you didn't like. He may not stop viewing pornography immediately just the same as you don't immediately stop some of the things that he's annoyed by. He has found ways to tolerate it for the time being and so can you - if you want. You do have the choice of whether to tolerate it or not, but the worst thing you can do is give an ultimatum as a way to strongarm or bully him into compliance. In fact, this is one of the most unhealthy ways for a couple to communicate.
These four tips can help you and your husband talking openly and non-judgmentally about pornography. It also gives you specific tools that create conversations that foster understanding, healing and can lead you and your partner down the road to relationship success.
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