What’s so bad about porn? And why do I believe it brings awful effects to your marriage?
Today, I’ll answer these questions for you as best I can.
Creates a ménage à trois.
No, I’m not talking about a bottle of wine. I’m talking about an arrangement where three people are involved in a sexual relationship. The Bible tells us that if we think it, we’ve done it. Porn feeds lustful behavior. When a man or woman looks at porn, they lust after what they see. Therefore, they’ve essentially brought another “person” into their marriage and created a three-fold sexual union.
If your husband is addicted to porn, and you allow this addiction to continue, you are no longer the desire of his heart. When you engage in intercourse, how do you know that he’s enjoying you or fantasizing about another woman he viewed online? God created the sexual union to be between one man and one woman for life.
Distorts his affection.
I hinted at this in the point above. Porn drives a wedge between you and your husband by breaking the one-flesh bond. And the woman he is cheating on you with is paid to be thin, agreeable to everything, and filter-applied perfect.
When God created you, His design perfectly fits who you are. You are God’s beautiful daughter. The images seen in porn are airbrushed or Photoshopped. No real woman can compete against this false image. Often women in porn movies are starved and emaciated to be exceptionally lean.
Porn deludes your husband about natural female characteristics. Often this manifests in criticism of your body, how you dress, or even insistence that you consider cosmetic surgery to “correct some defects” in the way you look.
Creates unrealistic expectations.
Porn uses scripted sex. Often it is sadistic and masochistic. Women and men in porn videos always appear to “enjoy” everything. But is that true? Would you like to experience an ejaculation on your face? How about being strangled until your partner achieves an orgasm?
Anyone who watches porn begins to lose touch with reality. The scenes they see appear normal and acceptable. The idea of multiple partners participating in sex acts at the same time loses its abhorrence. The addict then believes their partner will desire or at least comply with these scenes. When there is pushback, then the addict loses interest in their spouse. The spouse feels humiliated like they’ve done something wrong. Yet, the non-porn-addicted spouse sees the request for what it is—degrading and abnormal, lust rather than love, selfish, not self-giving.
For the spouse of a porn addict, the ensuing distancing caused by the porn addiction creates loneliness and isolation. The spouse wonders what’s happened, yet the addict most often fights to keep the secret, creating further distance. As the addiction increases, the addict spends more extended periods isolated. The addict may skip family meals, activities, and regular routines to pursue the porn. The spouse and family feel neglected and left out. When they question the addict, often they’re met with silence or angry outbursts. Such behavior further deepens the isolation and division felt between spouses. Because of this confusion over the addict’s behavior, the spouse sinks into more isolation.
Demands denial from both of you.
Perhaps the most dangerous to the addict and the spouse, denial of the addiction creates more unhealthy behavioral patterns. The spouse feels compelled to protect the addict’s secret at all costs. Often, she makes excuses for her husband’s absence. If there are children at home, she’ll do her best to shield them from their father’s activities. However, kids are smart. They know something isn’t right, sensing the distance as well.
Statistics tell us the average couple facing marital problems, like porn addiction, waits six years to reach out for help. Six years allows a lot of damage to a relationship. And unhealthy patterns, like denial, almost begin to feel like normal. And, with porn addiction, the denial creates space for the addiction to get a deeper hold. Staying quiet doesn’t help the addict recover.
The good news is this doesn’t have to be your story.
Any of these signs are warning flares that you’ve got big trouble in your home. It’s not irreparable, but the “hole in the dike” can’t be fixed until someone admits it’s there! You can choose a different path.
I missed the signs. But you don’t have to. There were warning signs that my kind, loving, Christian husband had a pornography addiction. I looked the other way for a while, and it almost ruined my life and our marriage.
Our marriage survived the awful effects of pornography.
That was fourteen years ago. Actually, our marriage didn’t survive. We destroyed that old shell of a marriage—the one where we smiled through our fears. Instead, we’ve rebuilt an honest, sometimes-we-fight, more fun, God-honoring union. And it’s way better this way. Why would he want to stay in chains? He needed freedom, and I needed an honest, two-way, pure marriage.
TechCrunch reports infidelity increases by 300% in marriages where there is online porn viewing. And other sources estimate porn plays a significant role in 60% of divorces. So those warning signs—they’re worth watching and then doing something about them.
I believe you find hope and healing with coaching and some practical tools for you—the wife of the addict. This addiction isn’t just “his problem” anymore. Your broken heart deserves to heal and find a path to a better future. Let’s talk.