Mark asks :

Hi Lucy,

I was on our family computer a few months ago and accidentally discovered that my dad had started watching porn. I am 22 (male) and have a great relationship with my dad and, however unsettling it is, didn't really see any reason to bring it up. However, I checked again the other day and it's become more frequent. I'm worried that my mum (they've been married 30 years) might also accidentally stumble across it at some point. I don't want to bring it up as it would obviously be an uncomfortable conversation but I'd rather that than my mum seeing it and being hurt-broken/angry/disgusted. I've cleared the history once but that's not going to stop it so don't know what to do now?

 

Hi Mark,

 I have cleared his history for now

I have cleared his history for now

It can be uncomfortable talking to your parents about anything of a sexual nature, especially when it’s about their particular preferences. It might be that your mum already knows that your father enjoys watching porn, however if she doesn’t then feeling protective of her feelings is a natural reaction.

Perhaps have a conversation with your dad if you have a good relationship with him- there doesn’t need to be any discussion of details if you find that difficult to listen to- just an exchange of the facts. Maybe give him the nudge to make sure he clears his history so you don’t have to. It might make the conversation a little easier if you focus on how your mum might react to finding it instead of you. He might not be aware that the history can be tracked and grateful that you have told him so she is not faced with this when she uses the computer.

He may just be looking at porn for simple gratification; however it could be the sign of him missing the intimacy he once shared with your mum, in which case, that is within his power to change. Perhaps you finding this could give him the jolt he needs into spending more time with your mum and not with this computer. The embarrassment of knowing you are aware of the sites he is visiting might simply put an end to it. 

Or you could trust that if she does find out that they will find a way to deal with it- after 30 years of marriage- they might be able to navigate themselves through their problems quite effectively by now- if in fact your mum sees it as a problem. 


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