Help! My Narcissistic Partner Won’t Stop Watching Porn!

By Kim Saeed | Narcissism

Jan 15

Of the many maltreatments that partners of Narcissists endure, discovering their partner is watching porn is one of the most upsetting.  And with good reason…secretly watching porn while in a relationship is a form of infidelity if one partner is unaware that it’s happening, especially if it’s a topic that’s been discussed previously.

If it’s something you have to hide, you shouldn’t be doing it.

As a relationship coach, I can tell you that the introduction of porn typically has ill side effects.  Even if a couple decides to watch pornography together, it often leads to unexpected results.  One partner may decide they want to explore having sex with same-sex partners; one may decide they like porn so much that they start watching it without their partner; others might go on to develop unhealthy obsessions and begin contemplating taboo sexual practices.

While the introduction of porn may enhance the sexual relationship for a while, other elements of the relationship will often begin to suffer.  Insecurities surface.  Trust fades.  The intimate bond between the couple tends to get weaker instead of stronger.

And there’s the fact that when we watch porn, we are contributing to human sex trafficking, including children.

With all of that being said, to each his own.  If you’re single, a voyeur, or the rare couple who can watch porn without detrimental consequences, then this article isn’t for you (though there’s still the trafficking issue to think about).  If you are single and watch porn, you may want to consider that you could develop porn-induced erectile dysfunction.  Consequently, there is the possibility that you wouldn’t be able to perform when you encounter a real partner.  (PIED is a common condition in Narcissists, who then blame it on their partner for not being “desirable enough”).

I wish I had better news, but if your partner is a Narcissist, they absolutely will not stop watching porn.  They see no reason to.  If you have discovered your Narcissistic partner fapping, you can bet with 99% certainty that he or she also has online dating profiles and is probably hooking up with other people behind your back.  At the very least, they are likely having cyber-sex with people they’ve met online.

Further, if you have discovered your partner watching porn, especially if you suspect they may be a Narcissist, avoid the following destructive justifications (whether from your partner or from yourself):

Thoughts to Avoid Regarding Your Partner’s Use of Porn (the short list)

  • Everybody does it; it’s no big deal
  • At least he/she isn’t out cheating with a real person – or, “wouldn’t you rather I do this than cheat on you?”
  • I can’t blame him/her, after all I need to lose weight, anyhow
  • He/she pays the bills, I should allow them to have “a little fun”
  • Well, I haven’t been a perfect spouse, so I can’t complain that they are watching porn
  • If you had sex with me more often, I wouldn’t have time to watch porn
  • Why are you taking it so personally? It has nothing to do with you!”
  • All guys masturbate to porn; I thought you knew I was doing it, too

…and the list goes on.

To be fair, there are times when a person might turn to porn if they aren’t getting satisfaction from their spouse/partner.  Ironically, some individuals are traumatized when they find out their partner watches porn, though they haven’t had sex with them in weeks or months.  It’s one thing if they began to abstain because they caught an STD from their partner or discovered an affair.  These are cases that would require trust-rebuilding and couple’s counseling…or, severing the relationship if there is a suspected Narcissist involved.

However, if a person has stopped having sex with their partner because they’ve gained weight, are always tired, have lost attraction to their partner, etc., then one may need to be a little more understanding and work on ways to get the spark back in the relationship.  A couple may even consider making their own videos together and/or solo for their partner’s viewing pleasure.

Those are just a few scenarios that might transpire in a non-Narcissistic relationship.  Not all people who watch porn are Narcissists, but almost all Narcissists watch porn.

In closing, if your partner watches porn, mistreats you, degrades you, abuses you emotionally and physically, and engages in typical Narcissistic behaviors, no amount of couple’s counseling or pleading will help. Further, Narcissists are notorious for blaming their partners for their use of porn.  Sadly, most victims go on to accept and normalize this blame.  If this sounds like your situation, you’ll want to consider contemplating your exit plan.

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(10) comments

anonymous. February 18, 2017

When I discovered my narc was using porn he blamed his ex. She kept him trapped in a sexless relationship and like all men he needed an outlet. However, he refused to stop, as he saw no harm in it, and it gave him a little bit of pleasure and distraction (several times) during his hard-working days. When I objected he laughed in my face and said I was being ridiculous: ALL men and most women enjoy porn. My objection was dismissed in a wave of his hand.

We hit a sexual problem early on: I could not make him climax, not by any of the usual means. Naturally, I blamed myself (partly because we are brainwashed to, but also to save his face). He let me take ALL the blame for it. At no point did he so much as hint that maybe it was him. He was cheating on me at the time, but he kept that a secret, so I could not ask whether he was the same with other women. I was excruciatingly ashamed that there was something “wrong” with me inside, and I paid £120 for a Kegel machine, using it every night of the week for months. It made no difference. Obviously I tried with hands and mouth, for up to an hour, but he repeatedly said I was not doing it right. No matter how I tried, I failed and he would tut and huff and roll his eyes and then he’d take over and do it himself. I felt an absolute failure. He destroyed my sexual confidence. This was deliberate torture on his part, because he was cheating on me at the time and so he knew for a fact that HE was the problem, and not me. (This was also confirmed when I had sex with other men later on and had no difficulties with them in this regard.) I am still staggered at the cruelty he inflicted on me, just in this one arena, not to mention all the other stuff like Narc Rages, Silent Treatments, Triangulation etc.

Reply
    Kim Saeed February 19, 2017

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience, Anon. This is an issue that not many people talk about, but which is a serious problem in relationships with narcissists.

    Reply
Aurora January 15, 2015

Thankyou Kim for another informative and helpful post.
As we all struggle to come to terms with what has happened to us on a whole variety of levels (physical, emotional, spiritual etc) these posts keep me focussed, reminded and also appreciative that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the closer I walk towards that positive light, the more the shame and ugliness of my own experience with the disordered one leaves me.
much love and gratitude to you for helping us all xxx

Reply
Elisabeth January 15, 2015

I was wondering why he was so into sex the last years of our relationship. It increased in all those years. I didn’t do things I don’t want to do. He didn’t know I could look in the history of the sites he was watching. I found out he was watching sites like ‘Daddy loves his daughter’. That was the main reason I left. I have a granddaughter of five. I told my daughter about the sites he was watching and warned her to never leave my granddaughter alone with him. For our luck he found a new younger and very ordinary woman. So now he leaves my kids alone too. That doesn’t mean I am all over the situation. I also discovered he wasn’t faithful all those years (31). Another thing to think off and the emotional abuse. I have to do a lot of hard work to get over this.

Reply
Heartafire January 15, 2015

To imagine that porn has a totally negative impact on a committed relationship is naïve.

Reply
    guiniverep January 15, 2015

    In context, the deceit of how it’s done is the issue, mutual agreement is an option, behind your back is not consensual and it is betrayal. You will too have something that no matter how open you are will break trust if done behind your back. But as the blog says, if you have success in relationships with this as a factor works for you, great. Before him I academically explore the psychology of S&M, I do get the idea that a society shunning prostitution is paving the way for a more aggressive society, we can talk pros and cons all you want, but fundamentally if you have openly spoken about it with someone going behind your back means they are hiding something, it’s dishonest, it breaks trust, and trust, I’m sure is something you can appreciate.

    Reply
    Kim Saeed January 15, 2015

    Thanks for commenting, Heartafire. I can appreciate your perspective. As I mentioned in the article, there are some couples that can do this together without any problems, but that’s not typical.

    The most common conflict that arises is that one partner starts watching it behind their partner’s back. The outcomes from this generally include: Porn addiction, loss of trust when discovered, and/or a detrimental shift in the dynamic between the two people, sexually and otherwise.

    Reply
guiniverep January 15, 2015

Caught it by accident, he swallowed hard, seemed sincerely sorry. It didn’t stop till he told me he can’t see anything wrong with it. I’ve heard also that he’s stopped it isn’t worth the pain it causes me somewhere in between. Once I got up in the middle of the night and checked his phone, yip, it was very active, I left in the middle of the night and for such a prude the stuff he looked at was contradictory (from his parents house, yes still lives there at 41,whole other topic of excuses why he never moved in) still took him back. In the end, found he watched it on my computer, except it wasn’t of adult women, nope of a young girl. My mind could not make peace with it, where is the line between young and babies, where is the line where I catch him cheating in life, exotic emails I saw and watched it delete in front of my very eyes. If he cheats will hesswallow hard and tell me after a time he can’t see anything wrong with that? I’m a big girl but the porn is the thing that still torments me, then he’ll say I was good to him in that department in one of the many failed no contact efforts, in these talks… He’ll say he didn’t realise it hurt me, like I kept quiet all this time, seriously?! Do you know the last I saw him he still tried his lunch, his final blow of devalue was met by me saying very clearly stay away or I will ask you in front of your friends of you’ve graduated to babies yet. He runs a huge group of social photographers and they often hang out with kids taking pics, he even won a prize for kids in underwear in a fountain playing, playing not realising (as of they should) hoe perverted the man behind the lease is. I’ve had to work very hard to accept I can’t protect these people, I can’t do anything, if I said something Nobody would believe me him being so gentle and yeah that stuff, this is a troubling topic for me at a deep level.

Reply
    Kim Saeed January 15, 2015

    Wow, that must have been devastating. Especially that he was looking at young girls.

    I hope Karma pays him a visit.

    Reply
      guiniverep January 15, 2015

      His life I would imagine goed on unaffected, be it as it may, somewhere someday stuff add up and it catches you. I suppose being a small city and similar interests I’ll bump into him and I’ll see. For now I’m scrubbing off guilt for loving something so aberated.

      Reply
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