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The effects of adult viewing materials on relationship health

Adult viewing materials are easily accessible both in local shops and on the Internet, and they can be an important aspect of an individual's sexuality. On the other hand, not everyone appreciates them, and they can cause issues between partners in a relationship. For instance, Fallon, in Norfolk, VA, writes:

“I found a huge stash of adult DVDs in my husband’s closet. I’m totally grossed out, and now I feel like I'm not hot enough for him. What should I do?”

Ok, my advice to Fallon is, you definitely need to talk to your husband about this. Now that you know the stash is there, you’re not going to be able to forget about it, and if you don't clear the air, it's just going to drive you crazy. Now, if you confront him and he tells you he’s just holding onto it for a friend, I would find that highly suspicious. However, there are other possibilities. For one thing, he may not even be using it; it could just be a memento from his bachelor days.

Before confronting him, you need to discover in yourself what your real issue with the porn is, because if you approach him out of a place of anger, it’s going to cause him to become defensive; and then you’ll get defensive, and it’ll turn into an all-out battle. However, if you are able to really figure out what the problem is, you can communicate this effectively to him, and the conversation will go much more smoothly. For instance, do you feel that porn is degrading to women? Are you just grossed out by it? Or do you feel like he’s cheating on you when he uses it? Whatever the reason is, if you can express this to him -- you never know -- he might just take your feelings into consideration and pitch the whole lot out, no questions asked.

However, if your husband wants to keep hold of the porn, the two of you are going to have to have a very serious conversation and come up with some sort of a compromise, if you really find that you can't accept it outright. Maybe you can agree that he will use it as a masturbatory aid when you are out of town, or when you have declined sex that night. Or maybe you can decide together that he will use magazines, but not videos. Whatever the compromise becomes, the two of you need to talk about it, so this does not becomes a rift in your marriage that can eventually impact your own sex life. If the conversation feels uncomfortable, you can always seek the safety of a sex therapist’s office. She can help guide the conversation, which can be a little bit awkward, but she can help the two of you talk through it and figure out what you want to do with this. Hopefully, it’s a non-issue and you figure it out very easily, but you don’t want this to become a problem in your marriage, either. So please, talk to your husband and come to an agreement. Good luck!

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