Ask Miss Dinna
Ask Miss Dinna
Ask Miss Dinna

Dear Miss Dinna,

My boyfriend and I have lived together for over 3 years and have been together for 4.  I was recently flipping through pictures on his computer and found a massive porn collection. I was horrified!  In confronting him I found out that he has been watching porn for years, before we were together and consistently since we’ve been together.  I feel like he is cheating on me and I don’t understand why he needs porn when we have each other.  He says that it’s personal and I just wouldn’t understand.  I don’t understand!!!! Please help!  I feel like somehow I am not enough!

Signed,

Crushed

Dear Crushed –

The first thing we all need to understand is that we are all separate human beings, with our own minds, feeling, desires, fantasies etc.  Meaning, no matter how close and enmeshed and “together as one” you feel with your boyfriend, he is his own person, as you are, and will always have some facets of himself that are his and only his. 

In addition, what that means is that most everything that he craves during his personal time is rarely a reflection of your efficiencies or deficiencies, but is just that – something he craves to do on his own time.  Lastly, it’s important to understand that no one person can be everything to another person. 

The recipe for a healthy, well- rounded, fulfilling relationship, is to NOT in fact look for your partner to fulfill all your needs.  We should fill some of our interests with friends, clubs, hobbies, family, alone and personal time, work etc.   

Watching pornography privately on one’s own time, similar to masturbation, is frequently a very personal experience that has very little to do with what that person experiences with in his monogamous partnership or relationships with others. 

The act of watching pornography or masturbating or having fantasies outside of one’s own partner are very rarely signs of distress or feelings of being unsatisfied with in the relationship.  Actually, conversely, they can often times help a relationship…..allowing that person not to have unrealistic expectations of their partner to fulfill all their needs and desires, yet not needing to venture outside of their relationship with a concrete other person. 

Having a healthy fantasy life as well, one that does not or cannot or sometimes we really don’t want, to exist in reality, can also add to a healthy real life function in our relationships. In addition, it can create for more intimacy as the experience with pornography is very much not attached and conversely the time with your partner is very intimate and ultimately totally different. 

All of this to say, Crushed, what your boyfriend is doing has very little to really do with you.  Maybe THAT is actually the part that is difficult for you to process….that he has something of his own that brings him pleasure that can exist with or with out you in the picture. 

But this is good, this is healthy, AND, if you love him, truly love him, you will want him to find happiness – even if that means when you are not present.  Let him have the freedom to explore his fantasies (and keep them fantasies) on his own and I promise you that you will receive a happier, more whole boyfriend who, in turn, will have more to give to your union in THIS reality.

Signed,  

Miss Dinna

Ask Miss Dinna a question — any question–  regarding relationships, sex and sexuality by emailing her at: dinna1974@gmail.com, Subject: “Ask Miss Dinna.” She may answer your question personally or in a future column (your name will be kept anonymous). 

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