Porn. It’s a potentially deadly word for relationships.

For example, research has shown that after exposure to pornography, consumers have rated themselves as less in love with their partner than those who were not exposed. That study also found that after being exposed to pornographic images, people were more critical of their partner’s appearance, sexual curiosity, sexual performance, and displays of affection. Studies also show frequent porn consumption is also associated with being more cynical about love, relationships, and marriage.

On top of all of that, partners of porn consumers can suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, as they often feel that they can never measure up to the “perfect” images on the screen. Not to mention that porn can seriously lessen feelings of romance in a relationship and replace them with a lack of trust and suspicion.

Consuming porn takes a toll on any relationship, especially if one partner is hooked on porn or currently struggling—just look at the research-supported facts above. But even through all of that, it’s also true that going through something as difficult as a porn struggle and coming out the other side can actually make a relationship stronger in a variety of ways. And while sometimes the healthier decision can be to part ways and not continue the relationship, other times, staying together and fighting against porn as a team can be the best option for a couple.

1. Open Communication

Fighting porn, especially fighting a porn struggle, pushes couples to communicate about what is going on between them. If a couple is going to successfully make it through, both parties need to communicate. If the partners decide on a transparent communication plan, the porn consuming partner will need to communicate how frequently he or she seeks out porn, and how much of a struggle it really is in his or her life. In turn, the other partner will need to communicate how he or she is affected by the porn consumption, how it makes them feel, and their expectations for change in the future.

Related: 6 Signs Your Partner Might Secretly Be Struggling With Porn & How To Talk About It

Real communication requires both partners to be vulnerable and honest, a skill necessary for any relationship. Real, open communication can also establish greater intimacy between partners, in contrast to the fake intimacy that porn offers between paid performers on screen. Therefore, communication can actually be a way of fighting porn, and it makes couples stronger in the process.

2. Rebuild Trust

Although at first the disclosure of porn in a relationship can eliminate trust, if both partners dedicate themselves to work to rebuild trust, they can make their relationship stronger. Trust is not always a given, and knowing how to earn back trust and build up one’s trust in someone else again is a valuable relationships skill.

Through the process of rebuilding trust, a couple can learn just how important trust is and how they should safeguard it in the future. However, relationships are full of ups and downs, and when something else happens down the road that may hurt trust, this couple will know how to rebuild it again.

3. Practice Teamwork

Fighting porn as a couple means fighting porn as a team. If both people are committed to fighting, together, then this means they are committing to helping each other through their tough times. This could include relapses, emotional breakdowns, counseling, and so on. Fighting as a team makes couples stronger because they can face their weaknesses while knowing that someone else is there to help them through.

Couples will face many challenges in life, and fighting porn as a team will prep them to take on whatever life throws their way.

4. Fight for Love

Fighting for love as a couple is not easy and it may require both people to endure a lot of pain. Let’s be real, love sometimes hurts—there is no way around it. But in fighting for love, couples can learn that love is worth it. It is worth the pain and the hardship, and relationships that survive through the hardest of times can end up stronger.

RelatedCatching My Partner’s Secret Porn Habit Was The Best Thing That Could Have Happened For Us

Loving someone and encouraging someone to freedom from porn is a great gift. What could be better than seeing the person you love become happier, freer, more alive, and better able to love them self and you in turn? The couple that fights porn together learns that love requires sacrifice, but they also learn how irreplaceable love and committed partnership can be.

Why This Matters

Fighting porn together as a couple is tough work, and each relationship is unique. It takes a great amount of thinking and communicating to decide if staying together is the best option for both people. And sometimes, it won’t be, and that’s okay, too. However, if a couple does decide to stay together, they can become stronger than they ever were before.

It is possible to overcome a porn struggle, as a couple. Fighting for love is never easy, but it’s worth it.

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If you’re committed to fighting porn and raising awareness, SHARE this article. You never know who could be impacted by hearing the truth about porn’s harms.

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