There’s no question that porn can potentially be a destructive force within a marriage – but is it adultery?
For some couples pornography is okay, while for other couples, the use of pornography is a deal breaker and is considered a form of infidelity. As I promised in my post from Monday, our discussion topic for this week will focus on the question as to whether or not pornography use is a form of adultery.
First though, let me give you a little food for thought based on some information I found around the web.
“Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.”
Of course, religious and legal interpretations of what constitutes adultery vary widely, but based on this definition, it would appear that porn users have been let off the hook and would not be considered adulterous. Though intercourse involves a physical aspect that the internet, Penthouse or a DVD player cannot provide, does our view change when we consider what’s going through the heart and mind of the porn user?
Dan Savage, a popular Seattle-based sex columnist wrote:
“All men look at porn … The handful of men who claim they don’t look at porn are liars or castrates. Tearful discussions about your insecurities or your feminist principles will not stop a man from looking at porn. That’s why the best advice for straight women is this: GET OVER IT. If you don’t want to be with someone who looks at porn … get a woman, get a dog, or get a blind guy … While men shouldn’t rub their female partners’ noses in the fact that they look at porn—that’s just inconsiderate—telling women that the porn “problem” can be resolved through good communication, couples counseling, or a chat with your pastor is neither helpful nor realistic.”
Here are a few reader comments on the subject found around the internet:
“It doesn’t really matter what the public thinks about it, or even what the husband thinks about it. If it hurts your wife, if you hide it from her, if you are ashamed of it…then you shouldn’t be doing it. You might think it’s not a problem but if your wife has a problem with it, then it’s a problem.”
“When a wife discovers that her husband is viewing pornography, she often has feelings of rage, repulsion, disappointment, and mistrust. Her feelings of anger and hurt are intensified if he prefers viewing porn over having sex with her.”
“Some women regard this pastime as tasteless but essentially harmless. Some claim it makes them uncomfortable because they believe that their husbands compare them to the images on the internet and find them less attractive. And there are some who regard it as a form of illicit sex and regard it as a betrayal equal to any affair.”
Sam Margulies PhD, Esq. in Psychology Today:
“I am unaware of any state court rulings that found that these non sexual interactions were adulterous. But they are clearly having an effect on the psychological definition of infidelity.”
Focusonthefamily.com uses the term virtual infidelity and says:
“Think of virtual infidelity as anything—images, wood pulp with words on it, chat rooms with words in them—that replace your current spouse with someone else in the recesses of the undisclosed regions inside you, where discontent grows and festers into a new, ugly, and unintended creation.”
So, in your opinion… Is Pornography Use a Form of Adultery? Why or why not?
Leave your comments below and please feel free to reflect on any personal experiences in your response.
Linda & Doug