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Pornography's devastating effect on marriage: The latest research

Women are often told, regarding pornography use, "That's just men being men." Indeed, 90% of American men admit to regular pornography use (and 60% if church pastors).

But if something being "normal" means that it is "OK," I would be out of a job as a therapist. While I have treated cases of pornography addiction, much more common "normal" use can also have devastating effects on marriage, especially in the area of intimacy.

Let me give you a good explanation for the most common effect on intimacy. Pornography is a one-way street--click, watch, masturbate. But healthy sex is a two-way street, and that's what makes it fulfilling. Let me expand on that:

Healthy sex is about enjoying each other's pleasure as much as you enjoy your own. Healthy sex is about giving and receiving, with the beyond-words intimacy of being "one flesh." Pornography is the exact opposite, and its use destroys intimacy. The user is slowly conditioned to being aroused only on a one-way street. The connection is gone, and it's increasingly clear to one's partner.

There are many other pernicious effects porn has on marriage, but don't take my word for it. Read this recent post from the world's leading marriage researchers at the Gottman Institute:

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