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“Should I Marry A Person Who Struggles With Porn?”

While it’s tempting to view an article like this as a marriage or relationship advice column like Ann Landers, that’s not what it’s meant to be. We really like to offer research to you on a regular basis. Research based on science is important to us, not just expert opinions.

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When you read this research, see how it applies to the particular person you’re considering for your very important decision. Who you marry does affect future generations. So should you marry a person who struggles with porn? Let’s think this through together.

Porn Use and Your Future Mate –– A Healthy Dose of Realism

A 2014 study –– and that data is getting old –– stated that a group of researchers studying porn and its effects on society couldn’t find a single man who hadn’t been exposed to porn.

Now maybe these researchers didn’t have deep ties to the Amish community, where they may possibly have had better luck. Or they didn’t tap into remote villages in the Himalayas with no cell phone towers.

Considering the explosive growth of the global porn industry since 2014, though, it’s safe to say that almost all men and women have been exposed to porn. And many have been hooked by porn.

So we’re starting with a basic assumption –– many of us struggle with porn. If porn is so widely used, though, is porn use really a problem? Does it really matter to your future marriage?

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4 Reasons We Think You Should Talk About Porn Use Before Marriage

1.) Data points: porn influences mental health and damages relationships

If you’re concerned about how porn use affects marriage, you have good reason to be. Current data shows that porn harms an individual and spreads out to affect their closest relationships. You can read more on our blog, but here’s a brief summary:

2.) Porn use: a secret habit that should be fair game for radically open conversations

Maybe you both struggle with porn –– this is not uncommon. But if porn use has become compulsory for an individual, it is common to minimize, hide, or downright lie about the habit. Shame and fear are the potential culprits.

You can take shame off the table by sharing porn facts. Try bringing up this potentially difficult conversation in a low-key, non-judgmental way such as, “Hey, I read this article about how porn affects the brain. Porn is everywhere. How do you feel about porn use?”

No topic should be taboo in marriage, if it’s talked about in a mutually respectful fashion. We’re not talking about in-law bashing or body shaming, for example. Open conversation about difficult topics is key to successful relationships.

“The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” Tony Robbins

3.) Warning signs: when you should be concerned about marrying a person who struggles with porn

  • Does your potential partner carefully evade the topic when you clearly ask if they’re currently using porn? A taboo topic is a clear warning sign. You may be dating a charmer with more than a few challenging secret habits, then. These secrets will come out and haunt you for a lifetime.
  • Are your concerns about porn use and marriage being scoffed or belittled, like porn is no big deal?
  • Is your potential partner willing to give porn up completely, or are they just wanting to “tone it down” so they can keep using it?
  • Are they isolating themselves from friends and family? When porn use gets to the point of isolating the user, a conversation about compulsive behaviors is very important.

If you think porn use matters to your future marriage and your special person doesn’t, you’re clearly not on the same page.

4.) Next steps: what if your special “someone” is already open about their porn struggle

That honesty and transparency is a massive step toward a positive relationship.

It’s only fair to test the waters and see how they respond. How far are they willing to go to fight against porn? Talking about specifics steps to quitting porn is one key way to discover this.

Should I Marry A Person Who Struggles With Porn: 5 Helpful Questions To Ask

  1. “Hey, are you okay with me looking at your phone and computer screen at any time –– as long as my phone and internet is open to you equally?”
  2. “Are you willing to find and meet regularly with an accountability partner?”
  3. “Have you been accountable to anyone in the past?”
  4. “Do you share your struggles with anyone else close to you, besides an accountability partner?”
  5. “What if we need to get rid of the internet to break free from porn?”

If your potential spouse is willing to work to build trust, you’re on solid ground! Trust is a two way street. Keep their trust, too.

One key way is by not sharing their porn struggles without their permission.

What if you sense hesitation in your partner even while they’re willing to have an open conversation about porn? There are a number of potential reasons that hesitation could arise.

  • Your potential spouse may have secret concerns about you being abusive and controlling. What is their family background?
  • If they have trauma and/abuse in their background, did they get any professional help to work through this?
  • Shame is paralyzing and could be the root of reluctance to talk about porn. A trained therapist is a great potential help to overcome this.
  • They’re not convinced that porn is really a big deal, but might be a slight problem.

Bottom line: Take some time for silence and deep thought.

Is your potential spouse willing to do whatever it takes to build a strong relationship foundation in marriage? Are you? No one walks into a marriage as a perfect spouse, but two are better than one. You can face a common enemy better together!

people of color hands Should I Marry A Person Who STruggles With Porn?

Create A Plan For A Porn-Free Marriage

Face the reality of porn’s impact on your personal lives. Then join forces and make a plan to overcome challenges. Now, that’s a life-giving relationship!

So, any successful venture in life requires a plan, right? It’s helpful to view accountability to one another as a lifelong commitment.

Here are a few tips for planning and working towards a porn-free marriage.

  • Include accountability software as part of your expected expenses.
  • Plan to review accountability reports (and think of clean reports like a love note to each other).
  • Give each other full access to all devices that access the internet; create mutual trust.
  • Set standards as a couple for acceptable movie, television, social media, and music content.
  • Expect and plan for human error and slip-ups.
  • Plan for growth with therapy and couples counseling.
  • Celebrate every single win –– because love is worth the fight.
14-Day Free Trial

Protection From Pornography

Change your habits, change your life: Start our 14-day free trial to help get rid of pornography for good.

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Love Is A Choice That Affects Your Quality of Life.

Porn will affect your relationships, so give this topic your best time and consideration. We’ve given you a framework of porn’s effects on people. What’s the next step?

This sounds totally unromantic, but writing a pros and cons list often helps to clarify your thoughts.

Do you have someone close to you that you trust and admire? Ask them to give their opinion (confidentially) about your pros and cons list. You’re taking the commitment of marriage seriously, and they’ll respect that.

With this mindset, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether you should marry a person who struggles with porn (which is many of us).

Be encouraged! The best marriages are a union of two givers and “forgivers”.

Walk into marriage with your eyes wide open –– and you’ll be free to love your choice passionately with all your heart.