The Negative Impact Porn Is Having On Love And Intimacy
Despite the incredible complexity of the human brain, at least one thing is clear—as human beings, we are hardwired for connection. 

As world-renowned researcher and author Dr. Brené Brown has stated, “We are psychologically, emotionally, [and] cognitively… hardwired for connection, love, and belonging. Connection, along with love and belonging… is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

To some extent, we all share the desire to love and be loved in healthy relationships. So, how does porn fit in with our biological instinct to connect with others? The truth is—not so well.

The Impact Of Porn On Relationships
To start, dozens of studies have repeatedly shown that porn consumers tend to experience more negative communication with their partners, feel less dedicated to their relationships, have a more difficult time making adjustments in their relationships, and are less sexually satisfied. 

Research also shows that porn consumers tend to become less committed to their partners, experience lower relationship quality, and commit more infidelity. 

Meanwhile, partners of porn consumers also report negative effects, such as lower self-esteem, worse relationship quality, and less sexual satisfaction. 

Research also suggests that porn consumption can undermine trust in a relationship and fuel couple conflict. Obviously, relationship problems like these are not new and are not solely caused by porn. Yet, research shows that porn can play a substantial role in fueling these issues—and that’s not something that should be ignored.

With less trust, poorer communication, and less relationship satisfaction—all of which are important pillars of healthy relationships—it becomes clear why many porn consumers tend to struggle in their relationships. 

Ultimately, research shows that those who never view pornography report higher relationship quality—on every measure—than those who view pornography.

Pornography Concealment
Another key way porn can harm couple relationships is that many consumers conceal from their partner how much and what types of porn they are viewing.

According to a 2017 study, the study found that only 4% of women who were casually dating men reported that their partner regularly consumed porn, when in reality, 50% of the men who were casually dating reported that they regularly consumed porn. 

Relationship experts have long recognized that relationships last when partners develop a secure attachment with each other, where each partner trusts that the other will be physically and emotionally responsive to his or her needs. 

It’s understandable, then, that any behaviors that have the potential to disrupt or erode this trust can have a negative impact on couple communication, intimacy, and satisfaction. 

When someone hides their porn habit from their partners, it can not only hurt their relationship, but can also leave the consumer feeling lonely and more vulnerable to depression, poor self-esteem, and anxiety. Plus, when romantic partners keep secrets from each other, their trust in each other erodes and their confidence in their relationships starts to decrease.

A Growing Concern
As we’ve discussed, research suggests that there are a number of ways that porn can negatively impact romantic relationships. 

As the evidence of porn’s potential harms continues to pile up, many leading therapists and relationship experts have started to express concerns about the impacts of pornography on relationships.

In fact, world-renowned relationship experts, Doctors John and Julie Gottman wrote an open letter through the Gottman Institute to express their concerns. Here’s some of what they had to say:

“Research on the effects of pornography use, especially one person frequently viewing pornographic images online, shows that pornography can hurt a couple’s relationship…

… There are many other factors about porn use that can threaten a relationship’s intimacy. First, intimacy for couples is a source of connection and communication between two people. But when one person becomes accustomed to masturbating to porn, they are actually turning away from intimate interaction. Second, when watching pornography the user is in total control of the sexual experience, in contrast to normal sex in which people are sharing control with the partner…

… Worse still, many porn sites include violence toward women, the antithesis of intimate connection…. Pornography can also lead to a decrease in relationship trust and a higher likelihood of affairs outside the relationship. Many porn sites now offer an escalation of sexual activity beyond simply viewing porn that includes actually having sex with other individuals.

… In summary, we are led to unconditionally conclude that for many reasons, pornography poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our readers around the world to understand what is at stake.”

On the surface, porn may seem harmless, or may even seem like a good way to learn more about sex. But the research is clear—porn can have devastating impacts on relationships, both sexually and emotionally. There is no substitute for real connection, and porn isn’t worth risking that.

If you feel your relationship has been compromised by pornography, Watch the Free Case Study to learn how our clients overcome the negative impact of this insidious habit.

Sal Harper

Sal Harper helps women regain confidence, self-worth and self-esteem. She is an expert at helping betrayed women conquer infidelity by deploying her secret weapon and using her signature 4-step process even if it's been years since the initial discovery. If you're interested in overcoming betrayal faster or eliminating emotional triggers and negative intrusive thoughts then definitely contact us and request a free strategy session today.
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