Does this dilemma sound familiar to you??? This question was posted in the comments of one of our YouTube videos and because it’s a contentious issue that so many couples struggle with, we decided to share this viewer’s question and an extended response from us:
Hi Susie and Otto, can you give me some advice, please? I feel jealous when my bf watches porn because from my perspective, porn is filmed at the angle where they just focus on the female 95% of the time and that makes me feel like the watchers are imagining having intercourse with that actress. I don’t know how to let it not bother me. :(
Porn is one of those hot button issues that divides a couple, causes arguments and fights and most definitely triggers jealousy. It’s not only men who watch porn or only women who get upset about it, but this is what we commonly hear from our readers and coaching clients. When you walk into the room and discover your partner enjoying porn online, in a magazine or on television, it can feel like a huge rejection. Even if you don’t actually see him viewing porn but you know he does, your mind jumps to conclusions like…
- “He’s fantasizing about having sex with someone who looks like that (not me).”
- “I’m not sexy enough for him.”
- “I can’t satisfy him.”
- “He’d rather watch porn than be with me!”
Thoughts like these cause you to either lash out and accuse him or to withdraw into yourself and turn away from him. NEITHER of these reactions are healthy for you or your relationship.
So, what should you do about porn?
Our first advice is for you to be very honest with yourself. Some people absolutely cannot tolerate porn because of their political, religious or other views and values. If this is the case for you and your partner is unwilling to stop watching porn, then you need to decide whether or not this relationship is truly a match.
If you aren’t strongly opposed to porn, but do want to stop your jealousy because of it, then communication has got to improve.
Watch what you say to yourself about your partner’s porn-watching. Interrupt your own thoughts that fuel jealousy and cause you (and your relationship) distress. Meet any insecure, self-critical or worrisome thoughts with the question, “Do I really know if that’s true?”
Work on communication with your partner as well. Create agreements with him that ensure the two of you have plenty of regular and high quality connecting time together– both sexual and non-sexual. If you don’t enjoy porn, ask him to agree to watch it only when you aren’t around. He’ll be far more likely to talk with you about this topic and to follow through with agreements you two make if you approach conversations about porn without blame or judgment.
Make it your highest goal to come to an agreement you both can be happy with and that helps you move closer to one another.