What happens when you and your partner can't compromise on the porn issue? - from Em and Lo

Em & Lo Em & Lo
This week on EMandLO.com, we published a letter from a female reader who just can't stand her husband's porn habit. We asked other readers to weigh in on the issue: What do you do when your partner's porn habit turns you off sex completely? Or, on the other hand, what do you do if what you see as a perfectly harmless habit upsets your partner so much? Is there a way to compromise? Is it ever right to issue an ultimatum: me or the porn? What would you do if you found yourself in this situation? You can read the entire letter from the reader, as well as the responses it has generated so far, here.
02/08/2011
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El-Jaro El-Jaro
There's a LOT more wrong in that relationship besides the porn. The girlfriend/wife doesn't respect her man at all! Ultimatums are the worst! So what if he looks at porn, why does she feel so threatened by it? So it's "grotesque"...so is the "Faces of Death" series; just don't watch them if you don't like them. But putting it into an ultimatum is the worst way of dealing with it. Ultimatums are disrespectful and controlling behavior, agree to disagree and move on.
02/08/2011
DeliciousSurprise DeliciousSurprise
One of my big rules of relationships is this:

When you offer me an ultimatum, no matter what it is,
I will not pick you.


However, when your porn use is preventing us from having a satisfying mutual relationship it's evaluation time!
02/08/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by DeliciousSurprise
One of my big rules of relationships is this:

When you offer me an ultimatum, no matter what it is,
I will not pick you.


However, when your porn use is preventing us from having a satisfying mutual relationship it's evaluation time!
I feel the same way on ultimatums.
02/08/2011
PassionQT PassionQT
I agree with JR and Delicious. I'd say more, but I have a wicked headcold so I'm being brief today.
02/08/2011
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
There's a LOT more wrong in that relationship besides the porn. The girlfriend/wife doesn't respect her man at all! Ultimatums are the worst! So what if he looks at porn, why does she feel so threatened by it? So it's ... More
This is what I was going to say. There is a lot more wrong. There is a reason it bothers the person so much, perhaps their self esteem or they have trust issues. If my partner's porn habit turned me off from sex completely, I'd leave. Simple. It would have to be REALLY bad to do that. If I was doing it and I thought it was harmless but my partner didn't, I would try to explain and include them. If they didn't like that, then they can leave. Compromise goes both ways. Which brings me to...

I hate ultimatums, I think they are for weak individuals. For example, my friend's girlfriend wanted him to pretty much give up all his girl friends. He was going to agree if she gave up all her guy friends. I basically told them they were acting like children. You can't simply remove things forever to be comfortable with each other. They had to deal with their trust issues instead. It wasn't going to make them strong, it was going to make them weaker by not dealing with the real issues.

The only ultimatum I can see that is fit is in the case of substance abuse or infidelity.
02/08/2011
Emma (Girl With Fire) Emma (Girl With Fire)
That sucks PassionQT, me too. Get well!

Ultimatums don't work because you cannot make a person change what they want by demanding they do so.

I used to be far more insecure than I am now, I never really had a problem with porn, but I did feel like I had to compete with the "actresses" in the movies/magazines. I thought, "Obviously, if this is what you like to see, then this is what you are attracted to, and I do not fit into the parameters in any way shape or form. So why are you with me?". I felt like I was a substitute for what he REALLY wanted, and a poor one at that. I have grown a lot since that point and now watch a lot of porn myself. A LOT. It is essentially just and auditory and visual stimulant, designed to cater to fantasy, not reality. The things that I enjoy most in porn are those things that I won't likely ever do, and sometimes even things that freak me out a little. I do not expect that the man I am with will have the exact same views on pornography that I do, that is silly, his brain is not my brain. I do however expect that he/she will not let pornography interfere with our sex life, except to be beneficial.

Porn is not meant as a substitute for sex, it is meant as an aid in stimulation, the same as a mental fantasy, or the sensation created by a sex toy. I think that it is a great way to add variety to ones sex and fantasy life, without feeling the need to look elsewhere.
02/08/2011
Emma (Girl With Fire) Emma (Girl With Fire)
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
This is what I was going to say. There is a lot more wrong. There is a reason it bothers the person so much, perhaps their self esteem or they have trust issues. If my partner's porn habit turned me off from sex completely, I'd leave. Simple. ... More
I agree but I have given an ultimatum before, and I do not think that it was unwarranted. My husband at the time, was working throughout the day (4 - 5 days a week as a security guard which meant that he was sitting on his ass reading 80% of the time) and leaving me with all of the housework and childcare. I explained to him that a child created a lot of extra housework, I had less energy due to constant breastfeeding, no time to myself and on top of that I was cleaning up all of his mess(he was a bit of a slob) and he was a grown man. With him being almost 30 there was no reason that I should be taking care of once child ALL BY MYSELF when he was there, and I certainly did not need to be taking care of TWO. His attitude made me feel like he did not consider a relationship with me worth changing a few diapers and doing a load or two of dishes a week and if it didn't change I would eliminate the child who was fully grown.

I certainly agree though, compromise goes both ways. If neither party is willing or capable of compromise to a point of agreement, they are probably incompatible in other areas as well and the relationship should likely end.
02/08/2011
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by Emma (Girl With Fire)
I agree but I have given an ultimatum before, and I do not think that it was unwarranted. My husband at the time, was working throughout the day (4 - 5 days a week as a security guard which meant that he was sitting on his ass reading 80% of the ... More
I should have specified, I apologize. I meant more for like sex stuff or friendships that the person has. Most often those have an underlying issue. Yours did not. He wasn't pulling his weight. Simple as that. I'm glad you put your foot down. I would have too. I actually did break up with a boyfriend once because he just stopped caring about himself and turned into a dead beat. He was barely even taking care of his hygiene. He would come over after work and sleep at my house instead of taking time to do anything with me when that was the only time we had together. Breaking up with him woke him up though. We later broke up for entirely different reasons.
02/08/2011
Quadropheniac Quadropheniac
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
There's a LOT more wrong in that relationship besides the porn. The girlfriend/wife doesn't respect her man at all! Ultimatums are the worst! So what if he looks at porn, why does she feel so threatened by it? So it's ... More
What this guy says. ^^^
05/02/2012
smashthepatriarchy smashthepatriarchy
Well, first I think it's unfair to pass judgement on this couple, either partner. Women are unfairly socialized into repressing sexualities, and this often manifests into insecurities.

I have worked through this with myself. I felt that my ex-husband looked at too much porn. I felt that it was personally insulting because I felt like he would rather watch porn than have sex with me. However, you have to ask yourself honestly why it bothers you. And my ex husband's habits made me feel insecure with myself. It's perfectly legitimate.

What people in a relationship need to do is talk about these concerns and insecurities. For a man to brush it off as just insecurities, just get over it, is wrong. If you really care, you will talk to your significant other about the porn watching and work on her insecurities and self esteem.

Women are bombarded with ridiculous body image ideals 24/7, and that can really mess someone up. Take the time to talk with your partner. Communication is key, as well as some honest soul searching and making it okay to have flaws and insecurities.
05/02/2012
Total posts: 11
Unique posters: 8