Husband Watches Porn – Is this normal?

  • Author: Sumit
  • Published: September 9, 2022

So you recently found out your husband has been watching porn in secret. Why does your husband watch porn while in an active relationship with you? Here are the reasons:

Your husband watches porn because he could be stressed from work and looking for instant relief; it’s part of his healthy routine; he might be looking for physical and emotional connection; he is unaware of the bad effects it has on marriage; there could be an issue of addiction.

Depending on your situation there are several ways you can approach this issue and get away with a smooth outcome that could even strengthen your bond with your husband.

Why Does Your Husband Watch Porn?

Watching porn and taking part in sexual habits is considered healthy behavior among many people (1, 2). However, some have come forward claiming that it is difficult to manage their urges once they get hooked on the explicit materials (3). For these people, self-control and managing your other day-to-day activities can become a problem.

So what’s the reason for watching porn? Have you ever wondered? Humans are complicated; yes, and there are many reasons why men watch porn. Should you be concerned if your husband watches? Well, it depends on the motivation behind his actions. We have listed some likely reasons for this behavior. Here we go:

1. He Could Be Stressed, and Looking for Relief

Let’s be honest. Sex feels good! And many men during their puberty develop sexual habits by watching pornography. It’s a natural reaction to stress for some people. When men watch porn and indulge in sexual habits, their brain releases chemicals that are associated with pleasure and happiness. So it’s almost like experiencing a hit using drugs.

Think about this: Your husband could be having a really bad day at work, and it could have been his natural reaction to the stress. If it is within the range of what is considered healthy, there is usually no harm.

2. It’s Part of His Normal Routine (Is It Healthy?)

But here is where you need to be watchful: research has consistently shown that the brain adapts these increased sexual habits and rewires itself in men who watch porn (4). It could delve into a cycle of, the more your husband watches it the more he desires it. And it is easy to get into the trap of wanting more and more.

All things considered, what normal sexual behavior is still yet to be defined by the scientific community. However, the line is usually drawn when the behavior interferes with relationships, work, and regular activities (4,5). Put simply, how often does he do it?

3. Intimacy in Your Relationship

The reasons could be deeply personal. We can understand that you might feel conflicted when you come to realize that your husband is watching porn while in a relationship with you. Likewise, it is easy to jump to conclusions that he is not being faithful to you by watching explicit materials of other women. But a much more productive approach would be to simply assess how intimate you two might have been as of late.

Keep in mind that him watching porn could also be a symptom of living a busy lifestyle where you two could barely have enough time to get physically intimate. Men are more likely to be prone to hypersexuality and the lack of connection can tip the scales towards instant gratification like online porn (5).

4. Perhaps He’s Unaware of The Bad Effects

Your husband might be under the impression that watching porn is normal. And perhaps could even think he is in the safe zone. If it has been part of his routine for a very long time, it could be hard to convince him of the ill effects of porn:

Multiple studies have linked porn with depression and diminished self-control (6). This is particularly true if the person is in an active relationship and feels morally wrong about watching porn. The short-term pleasure from porn can not hide its ill effects on the other aspects of his life forever.

5. There Could Be the Issue of Addiction

We have saved the most unlikely case for the last: things could be as serious as an addiction. As we have mentioned, the line between healthy sexual behavior and hypersexual behavior is not yet well defined.

But if you have crossed out all the above reasons, and based your instinct on the frequency that your husband indulges in porn, you could figure out the chances for behavioral addiction. “Chances” is the key word here as you should never fully come to a conclusion unless consulted with a medical professional.

Here Is What You Can Do Depending on Your Situation

Alright, now you know the likely reasons for him watching porn. But are you unsure of how to deal with this difficult situation? Before you look for solutions, you must make sure that you know the reasons and motivations for his behavior.

It could be a single reason or a mix and match of a variety of reasons mentioned. Hence, for keeping things smooth we would advise the following course of action:

Bring It Up in a Casual Conversation

The honest and easiest way to know his reasons for watching porn is to talk with him and bring the topic up in a casual and fun conversation. But make sure that the chat doesn’t feel like a confrontation or he might go into defense mode and change the topic with an awkward silence in between.

1. Be Empathetic

Stay calm. At first he will be likely shocked to know that you brought this topic up in the conversation. But if you approach the topic with a sense of empathy and compassion shown through your words. He might open up as soon as he senses your genuine curiosity. This is the most positive outcome you could hope for.

2. Don’t Push It, and Give Him Space

But there’s a good chance that he will not open up as fast as you want him to because people value their privacy. He could just go blank because there is usually some degree of shame and embarrassment in discussing the topic of porn and addiction with most men.

If you feel that he’s being defensive and does not wish to continue, give him the space and slowly change the topic. But there’s a good chance you might get some hints as to why he was watching porn.

3. Try to Figure Out the Reason

There is a small chance that he might shut you down as soon as you bring out the conversation. In this case, the only thing you can do is just figure out the likely reason based on his behavioral patterns.

If nothing works out and if you just cannot let this issue slide. You might be left with no option other than confrontation. Or your husband might open up after some time to try to keep things cool.

Relationship Issues?

We bring up this topic because human relationships are built on mutual trust. If your husband is secretly watching porn while sexually stimulating himself, your partner is opening up emotionally to others in a space that is meant for you two, only. This can create feelings of betrayal that can be hard to heal (7).

We talked about physical intimacy, but emotional intimacy is also a key factor in a long-lasting and meaningful relationship.

Despite the countless differences and opinions between couples, people usually come together because they feel they have a strong emotional bonding with each other. When this spark is ignited, the satisfaction from their sexual union is so much greater than what a porn site can offer (8).

And this brings us to the question, how emotionally close have you been as of late? Physical intimacy aside, have you two been chilling, bantering, and laughing together creating those emotional bonds? It’s these kinds of activities in which you both feel valued, loved, and listened to.

Lack of Connection and Intimacy

The issue with porn is that it tends to weaken the emotional bonding in marriages because it can create fantasies about sexual behavior which are unrealistic in a committed relationship (9).

In marriage, the pleasure from physical intimacy is mutual and is supposed to be an expression of emotional bonding. This is in stark contrast to satisfaction from porn where only your husband feels sexually stimulated and from sources outside your marriage.

With these reasons in mind, how strong is your relationship with each other? Perhaps your husband feels there is a lack of connection and intimacy that was once present in the marriage. And it is no longer there and the relationship doesn’t feel as satisfying as it used to be. Hence, might have turned towards porn for the not-so-genuine connection but the excitement it offers.

It is easy to figure out if this is the problem if you have carefully answered the questions raised in this section. When you have come to a conclusion that the relationship is the issue, you can then take steps to rekindle the passion and affection.

Essentially means, spending time with each other and doing things you like to create those emotional bonding that was once there. With time there’s a good chance your husband might stop watching porn, like we mentioned, the satisfaction from a genuine connection is greater and should give him the motivation to quit.

Is Addiction the Reason?

Your relationship is really strong; you have a great understanding and share a deep attachment with each other. Yet, your husband watches porn. His phone history is full of explicit materials in the morning and this is just after that sweet conversation you both had before sleep.

Addictions can develop at any point in life, and your husband might have been addicted to porn at a young age. Which can be the result of having little to no emotional connections before your marriage (10).

Hence, porn might have been the only way to feel connected to something and this habit could have been continued well into your relationship and marriage. At this point, he is a patient that is looking to quit. What are the ways that you can help him with this behavior and salvage your marriage once it for all

1. Help Him with a Solid Plan To Quit

The ideal plan starts after a lengthy conversation with your husband on why porn is bad for your marriage and health in general. Use the citations used in this article to your advantage and show him the scientific proof and the benefits of quitting porn altogether.

Your number one goal should be breaking the cycle that your husband is stuck in. Get to know his routines and come up with a plan for distractions at the time that your husband dedicates to porn. Smooth and soft. At times, this might feel like you are invading his privacy. But soon there’s a good chance your husband will come to love the support and care that you extend.

2. Get Actively Involved (In This Together!)

An excellent way to be involved in his journey to quit is to occupy his time when he feels the urge. This could be a simple, casual banter between the two or engaging in fun activities that you both enjoy together. It could be even as simple as joining the NoFap community on Reddit and closely following stories of people who have been through the same but have overcome it.

3. Approach a Professional

Don’t feel bad if your plan fails. It will take time for the brain to rewire itself following years of addiction, and the journey can be tough sometimes (11). So if you feel like you both are constantly failing in the plan to get over your husband’s addiction, perhaps the best way is to approach a medical professional for extra support and help. Hope for the best!

Final Thoughts

Your spouse watches porn because it gives them instant relief from stress and could have become a part of their normal routine after repeated indulgence. Other reasons are lack of connection and intimacy in the relationship and a possibility of an addiction that might have been present even before the marriage.

Be open and empathetic towards your spouse as you might develop stronger bonds and attraction towards one another after going through this situation. Stay strong and calm. All the best!

References

1.Zimmer F, Imhoff R. Abstinence from Masturbation and Hypersexuality. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2020 Mar 4;49(4):1333–43.

2.McNabney SM, Hevesi K, Rowland DL. Effects of Pornography Use and Demographic Parameters on Sexual Response during Masturbation and Partnered Sex in Women. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [Internet]. 2020 Jan 1 [cited 2020 Dec 16];17(9):3130. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/9/3130/htm

3.de Alarcón R, de la Iglesia J, Casado N, Montejo A. Online Porn Addiction: What We Know and What We Don’t—A Systematic Review. Journal of Clinical Medicine [Internet]. 2019 Jan 15;8(1):91. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/8/1/91/htm?fbclid=IwAR2Mn2LSAUToSyVby186taSLXr4N9yaKEOnWjOZDIo8r-TdnyHYm93OlNA4

4.Kühn S, Gallinat J. Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 Jul 1;71(7):827.

5.Robbins CL. Prevalence, Frequency, and Associations of Masturbation With Partnered Sexual Behaviors Among US Adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine [Internet]. 2011 Dec 1;165(12):1087. Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/1107656

6.George M, Maheshwari S, Chandran S, Rao TSS. Psychosocial Aspects of Pornography. Journal of Psychosexual Health. 2019 Jan;1(1):44–7.

7.Finkel EJ, Rusbult CE, Kumashiro M, Hannon PA. Dealing with betrayal in close relationships: does commitment promote forgiveness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology [Internet]. 2002 Jun 1 [cited 2022 Jul 28];82(6):956–74. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12051583/

8.van Lankveld J, Jacobs N, Thewissen V, Dewitte M, Verboon P. The associations of intimacy and sexuality in daily life. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships [Internet]. 2018 Mar 23;35(4):557–76. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5987853/

9.Maas MK, Vasilenko SA, Willoughby BJ. A Dyadic Approach to Pornography Use and Relationship Satisfaction Among Heterosexual Couples: The Role of Pornography Acceptance and Anxious Attachment. The Journal of Sex Research. 2018 Mar 26;55(6):772–82.

10.YODER VC, VIRDEN TB, AMIN K. Internet Pornography and Loneliness: An Association? Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity. 2005 Jan;12(1):19–44.

11.Bourzac K. Neuroscience: Rewiring the brain. Nature. 2015 Jun;522(7557):S50–2.

Sumit is a chemical engineer and a motivational speaker. He is a regular contributor to MrMindBlowing.com.

Sumit


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