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AddictionBetrayal

11 Shame-Provoking Lies People Tell About Porn Addiction

By June 22, 2020January 13th, 2023No Comments
lies

You and I can justify any behavior, decision, or action. We’re masters at lies even when we know the justification causes damage.

Damage to us and those close to us.

Is the justification “successful” if no one questions it? Or is there damage regardless of outward, public wreckage?

A porn addict relies on keeping his secret hidden.

The longer he can deflect responsibility for his behavior, the longer he can justify his behavior and the deeper his addiction for porn grows. So even if his addiction is found out, he can sidestep responsibility if he blames you and induces shame.

                        “He can justify his behavior if he blames you.”

As a coach to wives of porn addicts and the spouse of a recovering porn addict, I urge you to look at the lies told to you by your porn-addicted husband, other church-goers, some pastors, and even some counselors.

  1. You must forgive and that’s it.

    Here’s the lie in this statement. Forgiveness doesn’t give your husband a “get out of jail free” card to continue looking at porn or acting out on the porn. Frankly, I’ve been told this, believed it, and said it to others. There is some truth to the statement. Forgiveness of the sin frees you from the emotional and mental gymnastics your mind goes through while trying to grasp the lure of pornography. So, while I forgave Dave for his sin, I didn’t trust him or believe anything he said until he gave evidence of his desire to change his behavior.

  2. It’s your fault.

    Seriously, whenever I hear this one, I feel sick. The husband tells his devastated wife that the whole reason he’s looking at and seeking porn or breaking their marriage vows by having sex with other women is his wife’s fault. What?! How ridiculous is this statement? But, when your world has been shattered by your husband’s revelation of his pornography and sexual betrayal, you may believe this stupidity. “After all,” you reason, “there must be something wrong with me that my husband doesn’t find me attractive enough to be faithful to me.”And the husband who isn’t willing to admit his sin takes advantage of this wound and digs the knife deeper by deflecting blame onto his wife. Not only is this wrong, but it’s also unbelievably cruel.

  1. You’re being unreasonable.

    Really? It’s unreasonable for a wife to expect her husband to remain faithful to her? If she can’t trust him to love her and cherish her enough to protect their marriage vows, who can she trust?

    Our counselor told us that looking at porn is the same thing as having a physical sexual relationship with a person not your spouse. The same thing! Unchecked, pornography addiction destroys marriages. Every. Single. Time. A wife who calls her husband to respect their marriage vows and keep their sexual life between the two of them draws a healthy boundary for their marriage.

  1. You aren’t having enough sex.

    Viewing pornography has more to do with titillation and vicariousness than sex. Men or women who pursue pornography do so to please themselves without the messiness of a relationship. Pornography trains the brain to seek selfish pleasure to feel good and deaden whatever underlying pain the person refuses to confront. It’s all about “me,” not the “we” God designed in sex to create special intimacy.

    When I asked my counselor if I needed to have sex more often with my husband, she told me that having sex while he is still in a pattern of watching porn wouldn’t help. Pornography cravings do not go away when you engage in sex with the addict.

  1. Don’t talk about it.

    I hear this one a lot. And I lived this one. I believed this lie that if I didn’t confront Dave about pornography, it would eventually go away. Not talking about it enables him to continue his destructive path. The sin of pornography whispers that we must stay silent. What problem is ever best solved in the dark?

    The BEST thing we ever did was talk about it. We saved our marriage thirteen years ago when we sought help from some spiritually mature and wise people. The lie every person fears is that if we tell the truth we’ll be rejected. Every human being wants to know they are accepted and valued. Only when you reveal the truth about pornography will the healing begin.

  1. Be a better wife.

    Once again, the problem doesn’t reside with you, the wife. Whether or not you’re a “good” wife has no bearing on his pornography usage. Your husband chooses to violate you when he watches porn. He chooses unreality over loving you for who you are and the richness you bring to your marriage relationship. You know your failures and areas of improvement as I know mine. But, your husband using this lie to convince you his pornography addiction is your problem is manipulative and wrong. Don’t fall for it. He’s deflecting his responsibility for his behavior onto you.

  1. It will go away.

    This lie rides on the wings of number 5. I’ve lost track of the number of women who tell me they believe their husband will stop watching porn without any intervention. Nothing is further from the truth. Unless God does divine intervention, which can and sometimes does do, pornography’s grip will tighten and eventually destroy your husband, you, and your marriage. We think we can dabble in just a little and be safe—control this raging monster. When I think about trying to control pornography’s grip, I think of a rattlesnake who’s been run over by a car. While the snake is partially stuck in one location, he snaps and hisses and bites anyone who gets close to him. His deadly venom drips from his fangs just waiting for his next victim. If anything, his injury makes him more dangerous. That’s how I see pornography. It has no intention of going away. Instead, it lashes out with more and more deadly venom to weaken every person within its grasp.

  1. It’s not his fault.

    We’re so good at finding excuses for why we do what we do. Yet, the truth is we are responsible for every thought, action, and word. You may have been exposed as a child (Dave was), but you didn’t have to keep looking for it. No one forces your husband to open an Internet browser window and search for porn. Each of us, alone, is accountable for the choices we make. Believing the lie that it’s not his fault enables him to continue this destructive behavior. And, it deludes you into thinking he’s helpless to stop. Nothing is further from the truth.

  1. It’s your issue, not mine.

    This lie is a tricky one. Well, all lies are tricky, but this one caught me for a long time. I believed Dave’s porn issue was his problem to deal with on his own. That’s true—he does have to own it and choose healing, restoration, and redemption from this sin. But, this issue is mine now too. Pornography destroys love. The wife of a porn addict reels from the utter devastation of her self-image, security, home, beliefs, and future. I’m not being dramatic. The aftershocks of her husband’s revelation last for years and create chasms of pain throughout her being. That’s what makes this such a devastating lie. The wife needs to recover from her husband’s addiction just as much as he does. It’s not a simple “get over it and move on.” It’s a moment by moment, day by day working through the trauma of his revelation. The wife experiences spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical devastation. That makes it her issue too.

  1. It’s better you don’t know the full extent of the addiction.

    Until the wife is fully convinced that her husband revealed the full extent of his secret behavior and choices, she cannot hope to begin healing. She’s always wondering when the next painful revelation will come. The husband couches his continued lies and secrecy as protecting his wife. Another lie. He’s protecting his ego, reputation, and desires. As Earl Wilson describes this in his book, Restoring the Fallen, this is false repentance. The person caught in the pornography addiction just wants to get it over as quickly as possible because it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing. What happens when we adopt this attitude is a false sense of coming clean. The damage continues because the wife wonders if she can ever trust her husband again. The marriage rift widens and deepens. If he found it okay to look at in your home, then now is the time to admit ALL of it to the person he shares that home with.

  1. You must extend grace to your cheating husband.

    How we must grieve God’s heart when we cheapen His grace to justify our sinful actions.“Cheap grace nullifies the effects of sin, while genuine grace watches out for the broken cries of the survivor while bringing to light the sin (and crime) of the one perpetrating.”

    Mary DeMuth admonishes every person who claims to be a Christian to rethink our view of grace. Jesus’ grace asks for radical repentance for our sin. Too often, under the guise of misunderstood forgiveness and grace, we gloss over pornography’s devastation and slap what DeMuth calls a “grace Band-Aid” on it.

    As a fellow sinner, saved by Jesus’ death on the cross for MY sin, I wanted to be part of the healing process. My initial forgiveness of Dave’s pornography revelation helped me begin my personal healing process. But the consequences of porn addiction still need to be dealt with. Jesus forgave the thief on the cross his sin. However, Jesus didn’t remove the thief from the cross.

    Too often, under the guise of extending grace, we negate the natural and necessary consequences for the perpetrator. We gloss over the real, devastating effects of pornography on his wife, family, and marriage. Until we deal with the root issue and the consequences of the sin, we’re simply slapping a spiritual Band-Aid with a false sense of repentance. Unless we break the cycle of sin and shame, we enable the pornography addiction to thrive. And we cause more pain and suffering to the wife, family, and addict. Don’t confuse forgiveness and extending grace. God’s grace always seeks my best, which might be painfully suffering the repercussions of my sin. He desires that I turn to Him for salvation and redemption.

Which of these 11 shame-provoking lies have you believed?

Don’t beat yourself up. Now that you recognize the lies, you can do something. It’s time to take corrective action.

Your next best step is to reach out for help. As the wife of a recovering porn addict, I know what it feels like to ride the aftershocks of pornography addiction. My husband takes steps daily to protect me and our marriage, to stay in recovery, or as Dr. Sheri Keffer calls it, remaining sober. I like that. We understand sobriety.

Continuing to live with any of these lies keeps you from recovery and sobriety. Don’t allow your fear to keep you from healing. There is hope for you, your husband, and your marriage.

I believed the lies. But you don’t have to.

There were warning signs that my kind, loving, Christian husband had an addiction to pornography. And it almost ruined my life and our marriage.

But our marriage survived those lies. That was thirteen years ago. Actually, our marriage didn’t survive, we destroyed that old, shell of a marriage. The one where we smile 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 60% of divorces are caused by porn. So those warning signs? They’re worth watching and then doing something about them.

I believe you can be healed. I can help you. The wife of the addict. You deserve to heal.

  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.