Even when their partner’s porn use is known, some women are still in the dark about the extent of the use and its significance to the porn user. They may have some knowledge that their partner likes and uses porn, but no idea about how much damage porn use can do to both their lives and their relationship. When Hana invited her boyfriend Ri­cardo (the man whom she would eventually marry) to move into her home, she found a box of porn videos, books, and magazines among his stuff. But as a sexually open-minded person, she thought nothing of it and never even mentioned it to Ricardo. “I knew that some people use porn for stimulation, like a sex toy, so it didn’t bother me that he had some,” Hana said. “Our sex life was really good, very open and experimental. I never thought negatively about the idea of him having or using porn. It was much later that I learned a box of porn like that is a big red flag.”

Slowly, over the course of the first year of marriage, Hana began to notice that Ricardo was spending a lot of time during the day on the computer before he went to work in the evenings as an executive chef. He began neglecting his daytime responsibilities and became emotion­ally distant and less affectionate. Ricardo’s changed behavior bothered Hana and she began to wonder what was wrong. “Even though I knew Ricardo had a history with porn, it never crossed my mind that he was using it regularly on his own or that it could be the reason he was acting this way toward me. When we were married the label ‘porn addiction’ didn’t exist. I didn’t know that watching porn could be unhealthy and destroy a relationship.”

Paula, a twenty-six-year-old secretary, also knew about her husband Brad’s interest in porn early in their marriage. At the time, when he told her about it, she didn’t think it meant that anything was wrong. “I had seen sexy pictures in a magazine as a teenager and didn’t think it was so bad,” she said. “I just figured porn was something a lot of guys did. Plus, I assumed Brad was talking about something he had done before we were married or just a few times since. I didn’t want him carrying around a lot of unnecessary guilt so I just replied: ‘Thanks for confessing. Don’t worry about it. No big deal.’ ” Even when Brad started demanding things from her sexually that she was uncomfortable with and being insensitive to her needs, she did not realize that porn was the cause.

Hana and Paula were both naive about porn’s negative potential. Like many women, they assumed that porn was something that most men do and was “no big deal.” They felt it would be best for their relationships not to make an issue of it or “blow it out of proportion.” Because they had dismissed porn as a possible problem, Hana and Paula initially had difficulty making a connection between the problems they began having in their marriages and their husbands’ involvement with porn. Thus, like women who have no clue that their partners are using porn at all, women who are somewhat aware may also be left wondering what’s going on, worrying about the changes in their relationship, and not seeing any so­lution in sight.