Comedian Chris Rock recently joined with other celebrities in speaking out on the life-changing harmful effects of pornography.

Rock recently divorced from his wife of 16 years, and in his recent popular standup show comedy tour “Total Blackout,” he cited porn as a big reason why. Recording wasn’t allowed at the show, but accounts from the show confirm that Rock talked about being “addicted” to porn, cheating on his wife several times while he was on tour, being 15 minutes late to everything because of his porn addiction, being unable to look people in the eye, and failing to notice normal social cues.

With counseling, he was able to overcome his addiction, but it came at a serious price—the end of a marriage that had lasted nearly two decades.

Porn’s Harms Are No Joke

Now, we know that Chris Rock is a comedian—his business is to tell jokes, to make us laugh about uncomfortable things. But that shouldn’t take away the impact of what he says, though. While we don’t know the details of his struggle or of his personal life, Rock was bold enough to lay his experiences out for all to see, and though he might not have said that porn was the reason his marriage ended, he made it clear that it was a contributing factor. And his situation would be in good company, seeing as pornography can double a marriage’s chances for ending in divorce.

We know that porn damages relationships, sometimes beyond repair. The evidence is overwhelming—just read this personal account about watching porn together, or this woman’s experience with her husband’s disinterest in sex, or this story about feelings of betrayal as a result of porn use in the relationship. The addictive nature of porn can physically change your brain, making it desire more extreme content to achieve ever-diminishing amounts of pleasure. This can lead to an increase in real-life violent and extreme acts, or to the things Rock talked about in his show—apathy, neglect, and lack of commitment.

How Relationships Suffer

They’re not physical violence, but these porn-fueled behaviors can be just as damaging to people and relationships—if you need more proof, read about how actor Terry Crews saved his marriage after years of struggle with porn, but just barely. When porn negatively affects a relationship, it’s not just a personal hobby anymore. Two people are now feeling the effects, and the fact is, porn is like a wedge that can slowly drive a relationship apart. It might not even be noticeable while it’s happening, but it can become obvious, and at that point it might be passed the point of reconciliation.

“My wife was literally like, ‘I don’t know you anymore, I’m out of here,’” said Crews of his porn addicted past.

Like Rock, Crews was only able to overcome his addiction through therapy. The difference, of course, is that Crews was able to save his marriage before it was too late, a good reminder that seeking help is a much better alternative to being ashamed and waiting until it’s too late to save a relationship.

This Growing Movement

The understanding that porn isn’t harmless personal entertainment is growing in our culture. States, organizations, and individuals are becoming more and more aware of the harmful social, mental, and physical effects of pornography, and it’s becoming more and more common to see new stories of public figures adding their two cents to the ever-expanding “Hey, maybe porn is actually a real problem” piggy bank.

These testimonials aren’t always coming from the most traditional sources, either, which just goes to show that porn negatively affects a broad cross section of people—just take a look at this short list of celebrities who have recently spoken out against porn. Add their names to the list of states like Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas that have declared porn a “public health crisis,” and you’ll see that this movement of education and awareness is growing every day.

We applaud Chris Rock for speaking out on porn’s effect on his life, and we hope that his experience would be a wake-up call to others who might be struggling with the same thing.

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What YOU Can Do

Chris Rock isn’t alone in his struggle with porn and the harmful effects its had on his life. SHARE this article to spread the word about the damage porn does to relationships.

Need Help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with an compulsion to view pornography, you are not alone. We’ve got your back. Check out the Fortify Program we helped to develop, an affordable online recovery program that will allow you take a step toward freedom. Anyone 20 and younger can apply for a free scholarship to the program. Sign up today and start getting the help you need at your own pace.

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