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I Struggle to Think I’m Enough for My Boyfriend When He Watches Porn

By October 13, 2020No Comments
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Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

Her story shows that porn undermines trust and love in a romantic relationship and can be a roadblock in allowing intimacy to grow.

Hi FTND,

If you want, I’m perfectly fine with you posting this. I just want to say thank you to all of you for actually doing this. I got into porn when I was younger and didn’t know any better, I found it interesting and I was curious and it became really addicting. Then I stopped once I got into my first relationships.

Porn began to give me a really bad view of how I was physically, and frankly, I would only just watch it to admire the girls I know I never could be. Where I live and go to school everyone openly watches porn, and you’re weird or a liar if you say you don’t, so it’s considered completely normal. But I realize now it’s seriously the worst thing, especially when you’re in love.

I’ve been in a relationship for three years, and the guy is totally amazing. He’s probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. After being in an emotionally abusive relationship and switching to a guy that actually treated me nicely, never had I felt so beautiful and cared for. The day after I lost my virginity (basically, the moment I trusted my boyfriend the most) I discovered SO MUCH porn on his iPad when he let me use for the first time. I felt so betrayed, not good enough, and so hideous. And that was about a few years ago.

Related: The Science Behind Why A Partner’s Porn Habit Hurts, And What You Can Do To Heal

I’m still not over it, and I haven’t been able to trust him ever since because he said he’d stop, and about every few months, it comes back and haunts me. He feels awful about it, he gets erectile dysfunction issues from it, but he tells me he can’t stop and it tears me apart. His porn habit brings deceit, arguments, bursts of anger and a lot of unnecessary and avoidable pain into our relationship.

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Ever since I’ve constantly found his hidden stashes of porn, I’ve been constantly obsessed with my body, comparing myself to photoshopped beauties and unhealthy standards and I still don’t feel like I’m good enough. Especially considering the fact it’s so normalized to watch porn in my social circles.

I can’t enjoy sex with him anymore because I’m too self-conscious to the point it’s painful for me. I over-think about it, and how I look nothing like the girls he watches on screens and fantasizes about. EVERY TIME we have sex I THINK ABOUT IT. Yet whenever he wants to have sex, I still give it to him even when I don’t want to because I’m so scared of him going back to porn and comparing me to animated characters or plastic women who are being manipulated into these situations.

Related: 3 Reasons Why NOT Watching Porn Is The Most Sex-Positive Thing You Can Do

I can’t stress enough how much it means to me that you guys are considering porn to be like a dangerous drug that destroys relationships. I feel as if it’s just as bad as alcohol or drugs.

I still struggle to trust him, I still struggle to discuss it with him, and I still struggle to love myself because of porn. It’s destructive and it scares me because I could end up losing or leaving someone very important to me because of it. I’d love to tell him that his little sisters, who he loves so much, may go through the same thing. They might grow up and get a boyfriend who compares them to porn, or tries to make them look more like a porn star. And then those little sisters or daughters are going to feel just like me… That they are not pretty enough, and that they will never be enough because of the IMPOSSIBLE standards created by porn.

Related: Is My Partner’s Porn Habit Harming Our Relationship, Or Am I Just Insecure?

It really doesn’t matter who watches it and when or where. If he didn’t watch porn all the time, we wouldn’t have most of the issues in our relationship. About a good 97% of our issues came from porn. Otherwise, I’m convinced that none of it would’ve happened. Porn really does kill love, and I’m just trying to keep my love alive.

The open discussion about porn and its obvious negative effects needs to start now. Thank you for starting to change the conversation.

G.

Fortify

Why stories like this matter

Ever heard the argument that porn isn’t harmful to relationships, it’s just that some partners are insecure with their significant other’s habit and that is more harmful to relationships than porn ever could be? What do you think?

Let’s entertain the argument for a moment. If porn weren’t actually harmful to relationships, then the majority of available research would reflect that it is partners’ insecurities that cause issues, rather than the porn itself.

So what do experts have to say?

Allow us to introduce you to Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Co-founders of The Gottman Institute. Together, they are considered some of the most influential and brilliant world-renowned experts on relationships, and their resources are all about how to build and maintain successful marriages and partnerships.

In 2016, they released an open letter on pornography and relationships. In a nutshell, they have concluded that, “Pornography poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony.”

Related: I Think My Partner Is Looking At Porn After Promising Not To—What Do I Do?

Let’s take a look at some more info.

• Two highly respected pornography researchers from the University of Alabama, Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillmann, studied the effects of porn and media for more than 30 years. Their findings conclude that consuming pornography can make an individual less satisfied with their partner’s physical appearance, sexual performance, sexual curiosity, and affection. What’s more, some individuals felt not just dissatisfied, but critical of these aspects of their partner.

• A 2012 study by Amanda Maddox and her team concluded that individuals who never viewed sexually-explicit material reported higher relationship quality (on every measure) compared with those who viewed the same explicit material on their own. [1]

• A new study published in 2017 examined the impact of couples where one partner consumes more porn than the other—which is a pretty common pattern. The researchers concluded that “greater discrepancies between partners in pornography use were related to less relationship satisfaction, less stability, less positive communication, and more relational aggression.” [2]

Related: 10 Reasons Why Porn Is Trash And You Deserve Better

Study after study has shown that contrary to popular belief, porn itself is bad news for long term relationships. Not an unsupportive and porn-disapproving partner, but the porn itself. The majority of research reflects that porn negatively affects satisfaction within the relationship and ultimately can lead a person to withdraw from a loved one.

Choose love, not porn.

As porn becomes more normalized, we want to be a source of information pointing out that porn is not harmless. This isn’t a moral argument. This comes down to you and your personal relationships, and the opportunity to make an informed decision about what will make them indefinitely thrive.

Citations

[1] Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior40(2), 441–448. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4
[2] Willoughby, B. J., Carroll, J. S., Busby, D. M., & Brown, C. (2016). Differences in pornography use among couples: Associations with satisfaction, stability, and relationship processes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 145-148, doi: 10.1007/s10508-015-0562-9
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