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Is watching porn like cheating on your spouse?

Tagged as: Cheating, Pornography<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (17 December 2006) 20 Answers - (Newest, 21 April 2013)
A female age 30-35, *use writes:

If your spouse believes porn is cheating and you are watching it are you committing adultery?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 April 2013):

I personally feel that it is, and consider cheating and adultry.

I also do not feel that it is right for either person to be looking at adult sites, videos, or pictures. I just looked it up on line and here is the link to the website. It says it all there: http://www.wholeperson-counseling.org/family/sex_in_marriage.html

Check it out.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 March 2013):

Yes, I feel that watching porn is CHEATING. When I found out my spouse was watching porn I was torn apart. I felt ugly, unwanted, and just overall unhappy with myself. Especially when he chooses to masturbate TO PORN right NEXT TO ME at night when I am just too tired to have sex! That is so disrespectful and imagine how I feel while my man is getting off to these "perfect women" while I'm laying right next to him! Not only that but he looks at certain women on the Internet nude. I found this on his phone. That made me feel worse. Cause it wasn't just to get off, it was cause he WANTED and obviously NEEDED to see that women nude. It's so disrespectful. I felt like dirt. Because I know I will never be able to look like those perfect plastic surgery girls that I would now (since he has to watch them on porn) want to look like. My self esteem is out the door. And hasn't came back. And our sex life has suffered from it. I cannot be comfortable around him anymore naked. I don't look like those girls so what makes me so attractive? I just get so upset thinking about it..

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 March 2013):

Yes It's cheating. Why do you guys get married, when you are still going to lust after other women. It's cruel and selfish!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 February 2011):

Well here's my opinion, I am, and have been, in this situation. Number one, he just started doing it after a year of being together. I came home one day and the door was closed to our room, and it's never closed. I asked why and he was acting funny. Well I checked his history and he had been watching porn. Our sex life has suffered from it. I begged him one night to have sex and he said no, then I took my son to practice ten minutes later and came back and he had been watching porn again. I was pissed! Why is he not wanting to have sex with me, but then watching porn and helping himself. He had no reason and just told me to shut up.... Needless to say, he's been getting less sex from me now because that hurt me bad. In conclusion, this is how I feel...... If your man is giving you sex, and your sex life isn't being affected, than I dont think it's cheating. A lot of men and woman do it. BUT..... if he's not giving it to you and watching porn instead, hell yea it's freaking cheating. It makes the woman feel like she's not attractive and that maybe he wants woman who look like that. Sooo please men, if you watch porn DON'T stop giving it to your woman.......Maybe watch it with her if shes up for it, please don't hide it.

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A female reader, krystalrrr United States +, writes (30 November 2010):

It is cheating, because I know the first hand affects of it, my husband does not show me any affection, or compliment me. And worse our sex life is horrible. I dont feel valued and the worse part is he tries to hide it from me, but I know that he doing it because of the way he acts and treats me. I feel it's wrong and if things continue this way it could ruin us, I just pray that we can work through things because family is what I value most at the end of the day, I just hope he feels the same way and will seek treatment for his problem that has now become mine as well.

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A male reader, malachi United States +, writes (8 August 2010):

I been watching porn for a while and my wife use to tell me how she use to feel but i will never listen to her because my own selfish desires now after 8 years of being married i finaly relize what it has done to my wife i feel like crap not listening to what her feeling were so yes i think it is cheating Am a christian i aint perrfact no one is put if you have a spouse next to you that lovs you you shount have no reason are are purpose to watch porn you should always listen to the other person feelings instood of trying to feed your lustfull desires because if you realy relize it porn can be a addiction to some people its up to that person if he are she is going to over come there addiction

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A female reader, CleverClover7 United States +, writes (18 May 2010):

Some consider this to be a "gray area" whereas I do not. I don't believe there are any gray areas when it comes to morals. Moving on...

You want to know if it's considered cheating if you watch porn if you spouse feels it is? Well, let me ask YOU a question....does it truly MATTER? Follow what I'm saying please.

Your spouse considers it cheating? It seems as though you disagree. I think this issue boils down to consideration other than porn. Your spouse dislikes it and sees it as cheating and you, it seems this way, you want to still do it. How is that considerate to your spouse? You know it will obviously make them not trust you, feel inadequate among other things. Why would you, someone who is supposed to be in love enough to be married, want to put a wedge in your marriage over others nudity? Are you THAT immature that you just have to see the opposite sex, or same sex for that matter, naked even though it hurts your spouse?

Bottom line...some people need to grow up. I am probably going to get argued with now but oh well....Porn=immaturity.

We are eventually supposed to grow up and realize that there are wonderful things in life that are meant to be shared with those we love.

Keep in mind your loved ones feelings. Divorce rate is extremely high nowadays and it's no wonder.

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A male reader, shadowman United Kingdom +, writes (15 February 2010):

There is at least to my knowledge a huge proportion of men who like to watch porn. The fact is sometimes we have a fantasy that you want to keep as such, and you want it private and i firmly believe we are entitled to our fantasies.

Its a morally gray area in my opinion if you are in fact cheating on your partner watching porn. If you are masturbating instead of having sex then your in trouble but otherwise i think its maybe not normal but not cheating!

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A female reader, jessylisa United Kingdom +, writes (23 April 2009):

i have recently found out my boyfriend of 2 years has been watching pornography since just after we started going out, and im devastated, i have asked him several times during our relationship if he has watched it and he said no, i looked at the history on his computer yesterday and saw tons of different sites, what hurts is the fact that he was getting sexual pleasure from watching other women perform acts on each other and other men, i feel inadiquite and unwanted, what does he get from these images that i can't give him? i do think watching pornography is cheating because ive caught my boyfriend doing it and it hurts. also because he lied i feel i can't trust him.

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A female reader, LadyDi United States +, writes (16 December 2008):

Every time my husband watches porn on the internet it makes me feel useless ugly and I stop taking care of myself,at first I thought he was watching to learn new ways to perform sex with me but No our sex life is less then ever and when we do have sex he gets off and I never do i'm very angry not to mention in need of being satisfied..so is watching porn like cheating Oh YES!!!!!!!!!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 November 2008):

Gslady1, did you say "watching" porn. Let's get real--most men who repeatedly use porn are having orgasms.

There's a growing theory among family therapists that the non-using partner must be treated the same as a partner whose spouse commits adultery because therapists are finding this to be the case over and over again. This isn't a sometime occurrence, the numbers are huge. This is certainly an indication of the deep betrayal that people feel.

Some therapists also believe they can tell the future success of the relationship by how well the porn user can handle the "craziness" of the person in pain. This does, to an extent, validate the insanity that women so often feel when in this situation. So to all the men aren't there who claim their partners are just controlling bitches, maybe YOU are the ones who need to get over it.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (30 October 2008):

eyeswideopen agony auntIf your husband/wife thinks viewing porn is the same as adultery then in their eyes you ARE committing it. But the wife/husband who does the viewing may NOT consider it to be adultery so therefore when they view it they are NOT committing adultery.

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A female reader, qslady1 United States +, writes (30 October 2008):

qslady1 agony auntCan any of you wrap your mind around the possibility that this woman may mean this question in a totally opposite way? Could she possibly be asking if her husband believes porn is cheating and she is watching porn, is she committing adultery? What would your answer or advice be then? You are all quick to assume that it is the male spouse that is watching the porn! Adultery is the voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not his or her spouse, though in many places it is only considered adultery when a married woman has sexual relations with someone who is not her husband. So, in my opinion, watching porn is NOT committing adultery!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 June 2008):

Yes it is cheating. My husband and I were going through a difficult time and I questioned him once he said NO..then I asked again and he admitted it. From that moment on I didnt care if it was one time or 14 times or what excuse he used for doing it. I felt betrayed and sickend and I kept thinking of what the scene must have been like. Him logging on looking enjoying and getting himself off..non of witch included me...so yes that makes it cheating and the affects of it are just as bad and lasting. Thats my own oppinion

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 April 2008):

Yes, it is and mentaly hurtful to the other partner especially if the other person does not have any sexual activity with the partner no one should be treated this way it's the same as cheating with a real person that's all I have to say my husband doesn't sleep with me and completely destroyed my confidence i feel like i'm not pretty or good enough for him so yeah its definitely cheating.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2008):

I would like to thank you for the post(s). I didn't realize the magnitude of the impact of what I have done. Even as my wife let me know about my actions. As Christian man, I feel terrible and ashamed that I have put my wife through the pain. I would like to seek help and I fully acknowledge the pain I am causing. I believe all things are possible through God. I wish to ask for help in that part of me. I truly Love my Wife with all my heart and I want to help reverse effects of my infidility with the pornographic material I viewed. How do I start to correct the problems is the question I have?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 February 2008):

For starters if you realy love that person youre supose to love her enough to respect her feelings,as far as religious wise that IS commiting adultry.

If you have kids it will affect them as well because she might hurt so bad as to take the child not because she hates you for your pour choice of a habit,but she just doesn't want that around your kids.As a victom please stop before its to late he never knows what he has untill its gone.

signed,broken heart

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2007):

First ask her what cheating means to her. Does it mean being physically unfaithful with another person? Does it mean deriving sexual satisfaction from anything other than her? I am assuming it is the latter. Your spouse's feelings count because this is who you chose as a partner.

I personally define it is sexual betrayal. I don't think it is cool to have given your heart and committed yourself in a relationship and be looking at sexual images of others private body parts. Isn't part of the marriage commitment about committing your body to the other person and that we will hold sexual and physical intimacy as sacred to one another?

I also think that porn has been integrated into society through the internet and we have yet to begin to see the full ramifications of it. studies show that people that engage in porn actually have lower satisfaction in their sexual relationships.

You are cheating you and your spouse from having a healthy satisfying sexual relationship.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 December 2006):

Excellent answer from Zim. Every couple comes into a relatioship with a set of values. Sometimes those values don't match and that is where marriages and relationships get into a heap of trouble. If she feels it is cheating, then it's not important to have us Aunts on this website, validate or confirm who is right nor wrong. The whole point, is that what 'you' are doing is likely making 'her' feel 'devalued, disrespected and very unworthy'. And is she is the woman you love, value highly and cherish.. you need to realize that this is something you don't do because it deeply hurts her. She's told you and she's put up a boundry with you and I credit her for that..more people should do that.S

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A male reader, Zim United Kingdom +, writes (18 December 2006):

Zim agony auntIt can depend on two things really. Your spouse's religion and your spouse's feelings. Lets start with her feelings:

The majority of people who watch porn, I would imagine, do not think it is cheating. However, since your spouse is the one person in the world you respect and love the most, wouldn't it be prudent to respect her feelings? If she believes porn is cheating and she catches you watching it or finds evidence of you doing so, this could create tensions in your relationship. She might see it as being as bad as adultery. This is not a good view to have in a marriage. Also, you must take into account what watching porn will do to her self-esteem. If you watch porn, she may begin to feel inadequate and less attractive because you are looking for sexual gratification without her. This would most likely have a detrimental effect on your sex life which would increase the downward spiral and damage your relationship further.

Moving on to a religious factor, if she is a Christian, she would believe that any man who looks at a woman other than his spouse with lust in his heart has committed adultery with her in his heart. This would basically mean that you would have cheated on her in your heart. With regard to other religions however, I am not sure what the effect would be.

These are the two most likely explanations I can give. I hope I have been able to help your situation. ZIM

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