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          Is Internet Pornography Cheating?

          September 03, 2002


          Internet pornography is a growing trend that has many people worried about their relationships. Is it cheating? And is it a “normal guy thing”? Here’s what Dr. Phil believes:

          • It is not OK behavior. It is a perverse and ridiculous intrusion into your relationship. It is an insult, it is disloyal and it is cheating.
          • Consider how it makes your partner feel. If it makes your partner feel ugly, hurt, deceived, lied to or inadequate, then it needs to stop. If it is eroding your relationship, it’s gone too far.
          • Pornography isn’t real, it’s a fantasy. It’s makeup, beauty lenses, hair extensions, camera angles, lighting and silicone! It’s also 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 people who are funded by you. It is a sick, demented, twisted world. It’s not healthy, it’s not natural and it’s not normal.
          • Viewing Internet pornography or engaging in cybersex is a short step to 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 between the pornography or the relationship.

          Ask yourself or your partner:
            • 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? You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, so find out if you or your partner have a problem.
            • 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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