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.

We received this personal story from a Fighter whose heart and family have been deeply hurt by her partner's porn habit. Stories like these show how watching porn isn't just a personal pastime, it's something that affects others, sometimes even more so.


I walked into an empty house today. My husband of 11 years, the man who I love and wanted to spend my golden years swinging on a porch with, moved out today. The ink from the divorce papers still fresh. His keys are not on the hook, his coffee mug is gone. He won’t make me bacon on Sundays or drive us around. He won’t take a much needed Sunday afternoon nap with me or eat the dinner I cook.

Because he chose porn.

He’s a good man. A hard worker, sweet, kind, thoughtful and gentle. He made my heart dizzy when he looked at me. That man would take a bullet for me or my kids he has raised for 11 years, I know this to my core. But now we live 800 miles apart. Because he chose porn.

A Dark Side Of A Sweet Man

He was a good stepdad. He was there for every football game with my son, and taught him to drive a stick shift. He spent countless hours driving my oldest daughter to cheer practices and competitions and knew her routines as well as she did. He taught my youngest daughter music theory, him on the guitar and her singing or on the saxophone. But he will miss my oldest son’s final football game as a senior. He will miss my oldest daughter’s first prom and my youngest daughter’s first day of high school. Because he chose porn.

Related: When Porn Wasn’t Enough For My Partner, He Turned To Prostitutes

This wonderful man had a dark side. Long before he ever met me, he met porn. It kept him company through the awkward middle school years, and became his answer to everything in high school. By college, he had escalated to prostitutes, by his early 20’s he was stealing from his job to support his sex obsession.

I didn’t know he had a mistress named porn when we got married. I didn’t know this mistress had cost him so much before me. He thought we would cure him, he really did love us. I only saw the knight in shining armor who I adored. But porn was always there, slowly taking over, and I didn’t even know it.

Porn Was Just The Beginning

As the years progressed, his porn continued and when that wasn’t enough, it was affairs, massage parlors, and prostitutes. With the re-escalation of his compulsion came the mean husband. The gentle man who porn distorted and turned into someone I couldn’t even recognize, the man I married seemed to be gone. Replaced by a violent man with no emotions other than greed and anger. Then I discovered the enemy named porn. Four years of hell followed.

Related: True Story: What Porn Taught My Husband To Do During Sex

My husband, the sweet guy who made me weak in the knees, would come back when the porn left. But the porn kept coming back, each time things would get worse rapidly. Thousands of dollars and countless hours on therapy and support groups, and this pattern of clean for a few months followed by a relapse lasting twice as long, for years.

A year in residential treatment for porn addiction gave me back my husband and my hope for a few months. He could never stay sober, though. A slip would turn into a long, intense relapse, just as bad as before the discovery. The man and the monster, always at war. I wasn’t involved in the war, but my children and I are collateral damage. The anger, the blame-shifting, the lying, the violence, the lack of empathy—each relapse seemed worse. Today, the monster named porn won.

Because He Chose Porn

I lost my husband, my kids lost the man they call dad. My family will never be the same. My marriage is over. Porn killed it. Because he chose porn. Tonight, I held my daughters as they sobbed so hard they could barely breathe. Crying out inaudible words mixed with some really raw ones. “He promised to stop, he said we were worth fighting for, my dad is gone, he’s just gone,” they cried.

He doesn’t want to choose porn. I know this. He hasn’t figured out how to not chose porn, though. He’s an amazing man, trapped under a horrible compulsion that makes him a monster. Today the monster left, and I miss the man. My kids miss their dad, and I miss my husband.

Related: True Story: The Father Of My Son Chose Porn Over His Family

Porn kills love. Porn kills trust. Porn kills intimacy. Porn kills marriages. Porn kills relationships. Porn kills hope. Porn kills. Period.

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Why This Matters

This story is like so many others that we’ve received over the years. And while it is just one person’s experience in one relationship, the research is backing up the fact that porn truly does tear apart committed love.

Here are the facts: an increasing number of couples in therapy report that pornography is causing difficulties in their relationships. [1] Research shows that pornography consumption is linked to less stability in relationships, [2] increased risk of infidelity, [3] and greater likelihood of divorce. [4] While this applies to men and women, studies have found that men who are exposed to porn find their partner less sexually attractive and rate themselves as less in love with their partner. [5]

A recent study tracked couples over a six year period, from 2006 to 2012, to see what factors influenced the quality of their marriage and their satisfaction with their sex lives. The researchers found that of all the factors considered, porn use was the second strongest indicator that a marriage would suffer. [6] Not only that but the marriages that were harmed the most were those of individuals who viewed porn heavily, once a day or more. [7]

So, what does all of this mean? It means that society needs to wake up to the facts. Too many couples and consumers are investing time in something that can damage their relationships and mental and emotional health. Porn isn’t harmless entertainment, and it isn’t the relationship enhancer that it’s sold as. Don’t buy the lie—porn can kill love.

What YOU Can Do

Porn kills love and is can be a serious relationship killer. SHARE this article to spread the word on the harms of porn and raise awareness on this issue.

Spark Lasting Change

This movement is all about changing the conversation about pornography. When you rep a tee, you can spark conversation on porn’s harms and inspire lasting change in individuals’ lives. Are you in? Check out all our styles in our online store, or click below to shop:

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Citations

[1] Olmstead, S. B., Negash, S., Pasley, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). Emerging Adults’ Expectations For Pornography Use In The Context Of Future Committed Romantic Relationships. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 42, 625-635. Doi:10.1007/S10508-012-9986-7; Mitchell, K. J., Becker-Blease, K. A., & Finkelhor, D. (2005). Inventory Of Problematic Internet Experiences Encountered In Clinical Practice. Professional Psychology: Research And Practice, 36, 498-509. Doi:10.1037/0735-7028.36.5.498
[2] Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects Of Cybersex Addiction On The Family: Results Of A Survey. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 7, 31-58. Doi:10.1080/10720160008400206
[3] Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 27(2), 41–44. Doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(00)00137-3
[4] Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects Of Cybersex Addiction On The Family: Results Of A Survey. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 7, 31-58. Doi:10.1080/10720160008400206
[5] Bridges, A. J. (2010). Pornography’s Effect On Interpersonal Relationships. In Stoner, J. & Hughes, D. (Eds.), The Social Cost Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 89-110). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Kendrick, D., Gutierres, S., & Goldberg, L. (1989). Influence Of Popular Erotica On Judgments Of Strangers And Mates. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 25, 159-167. Doi:10.1016/0022-1031(89)90010-3
[6] Perry, S. (2016). Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence From Longitudinal Data. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 549-559. Doi: 10.1007/S10508-016-0770-Y (Porn Consumption Was The Second Most Predictive Factor. The Most Predictive Factor Was The “Lagged-Dependant Variable” Which Is A Statistics Term We Probably Couldn’t Explain Even If We Wanted To.)
[7] Perry, S. (2016). Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence From Longitudinal Data. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 549-559. Doi: 10.1007/S10508-016-0770-Y

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