COVERT PORN

IMG_3263It is usually the man. Possibly because men are more stimulated by what they see (woman more through what they feel). He comes to bed later and later, spends hours on the computer – the screen turned away from the door. Or maybe it was the video or pile of magazines that you found hidden away. Pornography. And possibly more than just naked woman, things that you haven’t even imagined were possible. How long has it been going on, this deceitful glancing? And why?

As with any addiction, a single episode of simple curiosity has led to many revisits. Sometimes this person may be sexually frustrated and married to someone cold (for whichever reason) and pornography becomes the substitute. Often the peeper has a poor self-image and it is safer to have sex with a picture. This has a negative effect on the marriage, even before the truth is revealed. To do things behind someone’s back leads to feelings of guilt and to get rid of guilt, one seeks punishment.  In this way the spouse is often put in a position where she has no choice but to discipline (this can obviously lead to justification of the behaviour).

Eventually the man wants to be caught out and to indirectly convey the message that something is wrong.  With the truth revealed the woman may first experience disbelief and then rejection, anger, heartache and even disgust.

It could transpire that there is a permanent break and that the trust has been permanently scarred, but the positive side is that this usually initiates a communication process. It is necessary for the woman to off-load her frustrations and only thereafter should a plan be worked out to eliminate the behaviour and to address underlying or resulting factors. As with other addictions, complete abstinence of pornography should be a priority. It is even advised to find a positive substitute, such as daily physical (not necessarily sexual) contact. Simple routines such as going to bed together every night and sharing in religion can already be of help. Throughout this process understanding, guidance and forgiveness are of prime importance and the relationship may even emerge strengthened through this.

Reference: van der Walt, T. (2003). Porno-skelm. In Maartens, M. (Ed.). Die Groot Huweliksboek. (pp. 448-449). Pretoria: Lapa Uitgewers.

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About thatpsychologist

Clinical Psychologist in private practice in George and Mossel-Bay Kliniese Sielkundige in privaat praktyk op George en Mosselbaai.

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