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10/06/2014 02:29 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Is Watching Porn Considered Cheating?

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So, your man likes to watch pornography … is that a “normal guy thing” or something to worry about? Dr. Phil offers his point of view without mincing words:

It is not OK behavior. Not only is it an intrusion into your relationship, but it’s also an insult, disloyal — and it is cheating! If it makes your partner feel ugly, hurt, deceived, lied to or inadequate, then it needs to stop. It's not healthy, it's not natural; and it's not normal.

It’s not real. Pornography is a fantasy. They're not real people. There's no intimacy, you're not talking to anyone, and you will never have a thinking, feeling, breathing relationship with the people you see on a flat-screen. It’s simply makeup, hair extensions, camera angles, and silicone, silicone, silicone! Your real-life partner will never measure up to the fantasyland you’re watching — nor should she.

It's exploitative. You’re looking at somebody's daughter who has taken a really, really wrong turn. She's demeaning herself, debasing herself, humiliating herself, and she's being exploited — by you.

It opens the door for cheating. Viewing Internet pornography or engaging in cybersex is a short step away from taking cheating to the next level. You need to tell your partner that viewing pornography is absolutely, unequivocally unacceptable in your relationship. Draw a line — your partner needs to choose the pornography or the relationship.

9 Tips For Bringing Passion Back Into Your Relationship

If you enjoy viewing pornography online, ask yourself these questions:
  • Would you do it with your partner standing right there?
  • Are you turning outside of your relationship to meet a need that should be met within the relationship?
  • Do you justify the behavior by saying, "It's harmless," "Everyone does it," or "It's just the Internet"?
  • Does it intrude on your relationship?
  • Which is more important: pornography or your relationship?

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