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is watching porn cheating

Whether a partner's use of porn is a form of cheating is a complicated and often controversial topic. Couples who go to therapy often talk about their problems with pornography. The main problem is that people have different ideas about what cheating is.

RELATED: HOW TO FIND CHEATING HUSBAND ON DATING SITES? 3 SIMPLE WAYS

For example, a partner who watches porn may say that it's not the same as cheating by pointing out:

  • "It's just porn." It's something everyone does. "Why does it bother you?"
  • "I'm not looking for relationships with people in porn." Nothing bad will happen.
  • "My love for you hasn't changed; this has no impact on us."

On the other hand, the partner who doesn't use porn feels betrayed and disagrees with everything.

When you look more closely, these disagreements usually come from assumptions that aren't said but are assumed to exist instead of clear boundaries in the relationship, especially when it comes to things like pornography. A lot of couples haven't talked about porn use or where it fits in the relationship.

A study done a few years ago tried to figure out how sexual behaviors done online affect relationships. What they found was that the bad things that happened when a partner did sexual things outside of marriage, whether they did them online or in person, were very similar. The partner who doesn’t watch feels the same amount of betrayal and mental pain.

As another study found, watching porn can change how happy two people are in their relationships.

HOW WATCHING PORN AFFECTS A MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP

Within monogamous relationships, where upholding privacy is very important, a problem comes up: does watching porn count as cheating? Dr. Jaclyn Gulotta, PhD, LMHC, a Qualified Parenting Coordinator and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, says that this depends on what the two people agree on. She says, "If there is a mutual agreement about the use of porn and one partner surpasses those boundaries, it may be deemed as cheating."

Finding your way through this can be hard, especially if the couple forgets to talk about watching porn together. Janice Miles, LMFT, stresses how important it is for couples to have clear rules over their relationship. Some couples might talk about and agree to watching porn together or alone, but others may not have brought it up. Poor communication can lead to mistakes, and if one partner finds out the other is involved with porn, they may feel betrayed.

Somewhat shockingly, statistics show that about two-thirds of women and three-quarters of men in monogamous relationships watch porn on their own.

Also, 71% of men and 56% of women think it's okay to watch porn in a relationship.

To put it simply, watching porn is cheating when it goes against the trust and honesty that have been set up in the relationship.

HOW WATCHING PORN AFFECTS NON-MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP

While factors in non-monogamous relationships include more than just the main partner, the idea that watching porn is not cheating might not always be true. Dr. Gulotta says that watching porn in any kind of relationship depends on how well people can talk to each other and set clear boundaries.

If you don't talk about watching porn together with your partner, even if you're not committed, it can make you feel like they're betraying you. Non-monogamous relationships don't have no rules, despite what some people think. In fact, they may have even more complex rules.

CAN WATCHING PORN BE HEALTHY?

Most of the time, porn is seen as "dirty" or dangerous by society. But Dr. Gulotta disagrees with this idea and says that partners can watch porn together and feel closer. According to her, exploring this private area together can improve conversation in the bedroom and bring people closer together.

In addition, Dr. Gulotta says that porn can be a form of self-care because it gives people a way to relax and enjoy their own space. She stresses that as long as no harm is done to others, how one relaxes is their own choice, since self-care can look different for everyone.

Janice Miles, on the other hand, says that watching porn is harmful when it makes your life worse. If using it hurts your life or relationships, Miles says you should think again about how you're using it and what you're getting out of it. For the most part, how watching porn affects your general health and relationships shows whether it's healthy or not.

HOW TO START A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR PARTNER ABOUT PORN?

Talking about the role of porn in your relationship can help you understand it better and see it in a healthy light. Respecting each other's privacy is important in a relationship, and watching porn shouldn't be a secret too. The same openness, honesty, and respect should be shown when talking about it with your partner as when talking about anything else in the relationship. As researches show, talking openly with your partner is good for both of you and will make your relationship happier in general.

Aoife Drury, a COSRT-accredited psychosexual and relationship therapist, stresses how important it is to not judge or feel ashamed about sexual tastes. Take into account that everyone's wants and dreams are different. Make sure that discusses happen in a safe and comfortable space that gives people the time and space they need to have honest conversations.

Even though your partner might not be completely honest about how much porn they watch, it shouldn't be a mystery. Drury suggests that you all have an open conversation about what porn means to you and how you experience it.

Talking to your partner about their porn viewing habits should only be done with great care if you are worried that it is hurting your relationship. Here are some tips from Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a qualified marriage and family therapist, on how to have a good conversation:

1. TALK ABOUT HOW THINGS CHANGE WITH PORN

To start, talk about how their porn use has affected you. Talk about how it makes you physically and mentally less connected. Make sure you stress what parts of your relationship could be damaged.

Find out what worries them: Instruct your partner to talk about how they feel about it. Give them a safe place to talk about any fears or concerns they may have about their own porn use.

2. TAKE A CURIOUS APPROACH

Be curious when you start talking to someone. Your partner may need a chance to say what they think and feel about the situation. This can be easier to do with a curious, non-confrontational attitude.

3. OFFER HELP

Ask your partner if they think they need help and what kind of help they might need. This question gives them a chance to think of support systems they might have thought about but been afraid to use, like therapy or talking to friends.

Remember that the most important thing is to have these talks with understanding, empathy, and a real desire to see things from each other's points of view on this touchy subject.

WHAT ABOUT WEBCAM CHEATING?

The complexity of today's adult material market makes it possible to make out cheating even when both partners have consented that viewing pornography alone is OK. For example, this is especially important when the porn experience includes live exchanges and viewers can take part in some way.

Wilda Harrison, a relationship psychologist, notes: "Some people say that watching porn together can make you closer, but I've seen it break down trust and connection. From my own experience, the private nature of live cam conversations can break down trust in a relationship, even if both people agree to use porn. Let's not ignore the possible risks to emotional health when we talk about our needs and boundaries."

When people watch live cam shows, creators often interact with their viewers through chat and offer paid services like shout-outs to specific viewers. While standard pornography is now okay to watch in relationships, this creates a gray area. One partner might not mind if their partner watches explicit content, but things change when they can talk to the actors in real time.

Wondering how to catch your spouse cheating on webcam sites? This service can look for your partner’s activity on all the kinds of adult sites, including live XXX streams.

According to Gulotta, using porn in secret to make links outside of the main relationship could be seen as breaking trust and, as a result, as cheating. If these actions are found out, they could make the other person feel betrayed, which could cause a big split in the relationship.

This means that watching pornography on live cams in secret could hurt the trust between two people, even if they are otherwise open about it. Ever asked yourself how to find out if someone has dating profiles? Try this free tool!

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