Now the vast majority are dealing with the devastating impact of pornography on their marriages.
It is, as they say, an epidemic.
It is beyond my gifting and education to address the issue in an substantial way…the problem is so large and solutions so complex that it is overwhelming.
It is not just a problem in the secular culture…it has permeated the church world, (including pastors) as well.
Pornography has become ubiquitous, it is everywhere in all different forms of media and avoiding it would almost require cutting oneself off from the outside world.
It sneaks onto Facebook and Twitter, it fills our junk mail folders, and beckons to us on cable TV.
I go through my 14 year old godsons phone everyday…and everyday I delete some unsolicited filth from it.
After many requests for me to write on this subject and much thought about how to respond to them, I think the best course is to simply start the conversation and let the community here speak to how this issue impacts their lives.
My friend has had to walk through this fire and she graciously wrote the following for us;
“I had known for a long time that something was wrong. There was often a distance between my husband and myself. Sexual intimacy had long ago left our relationship and I had a deep and enduring sadness that I could not explain. He always told me that I had an “issue”, yet I begged him to seek a Christian counselor and work on his own intimacy issues. But he would not.
I thought we had a strong relationship with trust and openness and honesty and there was a lot that was good about our marriage. But there was rot in the middle of it I could not explain. Using blame shifting, he always pointed back to me having some kind of a problem.
I found out he was doing porn because a counselor I went to told me that if he had confessed to doing it earlier in life, he was probably still doing it now. So, I asked. And he said that, yes, he had been doing porn on and off for 10 years or more. When I asked if there was more I should know, he said no, but God kept revealing things to me about what he had been up to. So, when I asked again, he would say, yes, that is true, but there is nothing more. After about 5 rounds of that, I realized my husband was a liar.
And when the reality of what porn had done to our relationship, I was so hurt and so angry at him that I threw him out rather than continue the downward spiral I was on. He confessed to manipulating me, using me, controlling me (all things he had accused me of for years), lying to me, deceiving me, and throwing me under the bus when needed. I was devastated beyond belief and thrown into such fear as I had never experienced before in my life.
Porn rewires the brain. Men who do porn habitually are wired to do porn, but no longer wired to have sex with a woman. That’s why the woman feels like she is a prostitute or feels this disconnect when having sex. There is no emotional tie. Sadly, the objectification of women can reach down to the children, which it did with both my daughters. As a result of our unhealthy relationship, they learned some bad patterns they have had to overcome.
We split up, but to pray and go before God. I no longer loved him or cared for him at all. He was dead to me in so many ways. I had been his pawn, I had played along, and I came to blame him for everything that went wrong. Everything! And when we were apart, we did talk on the phone at night and pray and commit our lives to God. Slowly, healing came. One day I realized I no longer had a broken heart. Another time I realized I could trust him and when I sought God about this, He revealed that my husband was doing everything God told him to do.
He went to a 12 step group. He went into private counseling with a Christian counselor. He began to learn who he was. He was always, before this, a persona. The guy everyone loved. People used to tell me how much he loved me and I had come to learn that it was his persona, the person he wanted people to believe he was, who loved me. Not him. He was a shell, a person who didn’t know who he was. Porn was a stress releaser but a prison for him. He had to learn who he really was and what he really wanted so he could start meeting his needs in healthy ways rather than just hiding in porn.
We are three years out. Much has healed. God has been good, but we have been faithful to pray for healing, to be willing to do anything God asked of us, to repent of and change our bad relationship behaviors. For me, it was the pointing of the finger. God hates the pointing of the finger and I had to repent and change that behavior.
There are plenty of books to read on porn use. I read 23 in two months. Some were helpful. Each had some little piece of the puzzle in it for me. But the answer to this problem in a marriage is two hearts, both committed to God, both able to forgive, both able to do what God asks and do it quickly, and a commitment to stand in righteousness, no matter what.
I hear that healing and trust are hard to get back. They are, but it can be done. Trust is earned. A man who has erred so egregiously has to earn it back. That takes time.”
How has pornography affected your life?