Skip to comments.Marriage Damaged by Porn: A Pastorís Reflections
Posted on 06/20/2013 12:01:02 PM PDT by Resettozero
Recently I was asked about a very difficult situation.
A woman has been married to a man with a long-term addiction to pornography. The last few years hes been trying to stop, but by his own efforts alone. When she asks him if hes struggling he will deny it. She finds out hes using again and then has the double-hurt of his use and his lying.
At one point, with her husbands permission, she talked with their pastor (who is also her husbands brother) about this situation. He told her that her husband had to seek help (true) and that there was nothing he could do (not necessarily true). He then said a prayer. If her hope was for anything more than that, she was disappointed.
She concluded this part of her story (there is another piece of the story well take up in subsequent post) by saying this problem has gone on for so long I dont talk to my husband about it anymore.
(Excerpt) Read more at covenanteyes.com ...
And now we learn that his son is too...and listening to your phone calls.;-)
And he’s watching you read and post to FR...!
The Lord has the real database, and the big difference between the two?
God’s database has a delete function.
I’m not so sure the advice here is all that great.
Couple things here - is the why? Porn meets a need. Why is the husband not getting his needs met by his wife? Why is he finding it easier and more comfortable to use porn than to go to his wife and ask? Why is she finding it more comfortable to catch him and nag him than to get down to the bottom of it?
I realize that men and women have very different ways of looking at things - but if the wife were to go to the pastor and say, “I want x but I’m not getting enough of X - he’d go back to the man and have that difficult conversation about how he needs to work at fulfilling his wife’s needs!
We wouldn’t be going back and telling the husband to find a ‘support group of folks’ who understand what it’s like to deal with a woman. Would we have much sympathy here?
The first question, and the most important one is this. What need is porn filling?
It is a 'want'. Far different than a 'need'.
That’s crazy psychobabble. The man is giving into temptation, plain and simple. It is not that unusual but it is certainly NOT the wife’s fault in any way, except to the extent she enables his behavior.
I ask again, what need is porn filling?
“Thats crazy psychobabble. The man is giving into temptation, plain and simple. It is not that unusual but it is certainly NOT the wifes fault in any way, except to the extent she enables his behavior.”
Again, if we were to flip this around would the pastor be telling the man that he had to satisfy his wife? Or would he be providing the advice here that the man had to find a support group? The only thing I can see a support group doing is helping the wife find another man.
I’m not saying that’s the case here, but why is porn tempting? What need is porn filling for this man that he’s not presently getting? Why does the husband find it more comfortable to use porn than to go to his wife?
Ok, I had a friend who was wanting to wait until she was married to have sex. She had delayed the wedding when she found out her fiancee had spent hundreds of dollars on porn and anytime he was alone, he was looking at porn. Are you saying she was at fault for not sleeping with him prior to marriage?
What bunk... You're assuming or projecting this guy needs satisfaction from women and looks to porn to get it. For all we know, this guy needs a jar of lube, leather and an ass smacking from a big fat bald guy to be filled.
Don't blame this on the wife. The man is weak, lustful and doesn't deal with his impulsive behavior.
You are asking a rhetorical question, I assume. The answer is obvious. Men are inclined to be tempted by attractive women and the sight of them, and a variety of them. Even if they are otherwise happily married. Avoiding or resisting tempting circumastances is the proper thing to do, but sometimes we needs God’s help to do that. This cannot be lost on you, can it?
“I ask again, what need is porn filling?”
When Jesus said, you are not to look at a woman to lust after here, for it is the same as committing adultery, he didn’t add the caveat: “Unless of course your needs are not being fulfilled.”
” Why does the husband find it more comfortable to use porn than to go to his wife?
Because porn is easy.
Because porn requires no effort on his part.
Because porn is totally selfish.
Because porn is a sin, and we tend to enjoy sinning.
Because he has developed a mental/physical habit that is extremely tough to break.
Because porn women are not real, never have a problem, never have a need, don’t have to be sacrificed for, and exist just to please him. He can tailor them perfectly to his perceived desires of the moment. Wives are not capable, not for a minute, of this type of perfection.
In the example, she was completely at fault for finding someone too stupid to find free porn
“Porn is inadequate for fulfillment”
I’m not challenging this. I’m challenging the advice given by the article. I find the advice given wholly inadequate at addressing what is really going on.
Okay. But did you get my point that I’m sure others can receive benefit by going to the website and reading the article at the link?
Soft core stuff doesn’t show me anything I haven’t already seen.
Hard core stuff doesn’t show me anything I ever WANT to see.
“Because porn is easy.”
And asking his wife for sex is hard?
Yes, but it doesn’t fill. It doesn’t give the man what he’s really looking for. Absent actually meeting what his desires are - he’s taking what he can get.
“Because porn requires no effort on his part.”
I don’t really think it’s about effort. Are his efforts being rewarded?
“Because porn is totally selfish.”
Well sure, wanting sex is selfish, and turning down sex is not.
“Because porn is a sin, and we tend to enjoy sinning.”
Sin meets a need. Just saying, ‘It’s a sin’, doesn’t attempt to get at the why.
“Because he has developed a mental/physical habit that is extremely tough to break.”
Ok, this I buy. He’s been accustomed to meeting and satisfying his sexual desires in this form, and it’s hard for him to break the habit.
So how can a wife help with this aside from, “finding a support group?”
“Because porn women are not real, never have a problem, never have a need, dont have to be sacrificed for, and exist just to please him. He can tailor them perfectly to his perceived desires of the moment. Wives are not capable, not for a minute, of this type of perfection.”
No, actually, he can’t ‘tailor them to his perceived desires’. He’s not getting his desires - it’s substitute for them.
Why is he preferring not having sex with his wife to having sex with his wife?
I just don’t think the article is very helpful. Sorry.
It talks about how the wife has needs and how the wife can get her ‘needs’ (I’m sure she can!) by going to a support group.
That’s the only actual advice proferred. No discussion on, “what could her husband actually want”.
It’s not her fault, but it certainly is her problem. She’s the one who’s unhappy about it. Here’s the real deal - you can remind, monitor and/or push your man to seek help, but do you want to know what will really fix it? Immediately?
Open communication about sex, open communication in general, a willingness to expend sexual energy and creativity regularly, and an interest in your own desires as well.
He is an addict; he is genuinely powerless over the attraction porn has for him.
Well, I think that's nonsense. Calling this an addiction is a scapegoat. Not that I don't think they could use some intervention, but it needs to be someone more objective than HIS BROTHER to counsel them.
Worked with a lot of couples dealing with porn.
Men will ignore warm willing loving women to masturbate to porn.
Porn is easy, and the user controls all aspects.
Relationship is messy and requires give and take.
Porn is psycologicaly addicting. It does not fill a need, just like oxycotton does not fill a need in an addict, or rat poison fills in need in rats.
The man is addicted, and most likely can no longer get aroused by normal sex any more. Just like an Oxycotton addict, the guy is toast, there is no way out for him without confesson and repentance to God.
But then, I suspect that is the lesson he must learn.
I would say she was at fault for not CANCELING the wedding but delaying it when she found out the guy was a porn addict.
By not fornicating with him before the wedding, she may have saved herself many years of trouble. There is a reason that the bible says that “Two shall become one”. Unless she wants to fight the scourge of porn in HER life for the length of her stay here, she better no polute her soul with his.
“It does not fill a need, just like oxycotton does not fill a need in an addict.”
Oxycontin does provide a need. It provides a high. Addiction doesn’t just happen. Addiction happens because it fills a need in the person’s life that’s not getting met by other things.
Quitting drugs is hard. But, you have to address other things including the desire to use the drugs and their physical dependency. I wouldn’t be surprised to see porn works the same way. However -
There isn’t a natural source for the Oxycontin high that the person is used to so they have to get used to not having Oxycontin. Porn - there is a natural source that would meet many of the desires in sex. Especially sex with his wife.
So why’s he preferring what doesn’t actually fill to something he does? Habit, yes, but I have to wonder if he’s actually having sex with his wife on a regular basis. That to me is the elephant in the room, something we’re not getting here.
What if he wants sex everyday and his wife is good with once a month?
She needs to demand that he seeks help or she divorces him... let him rot in his addiction... sorry, folks, I’ve had it with tip-toeing around those who won’t come out of sexual sins that destroys the family... God says, if they are christians, to turn them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that the sole might be saved. 1 Corinthians 5:5. The wife and her husband’s brother, the pastor, needs to stand the husband up and read this verse to him, give him a day to repent and seek help or pronounce this spiritual judgement upon him, and divorce him.
The husband DID NOT seek advice, she did.
I know someone who was married, quite young, to a guy who turned out to be abusive, both verbally demeaning and physically aggressive. A few times he pushed her out of bed and told her to sleep on the floor at his feet -- while she was pregnant. Being very true to her church, she sought advice from her pastor. He told her that marriage was sacred and she needed to do what she could to "understand" and "change" her husband. In other words -- "what could her husband actually want".
Is this the type of good Christian advice you're talking about?
Actually, that was my first response.
“Relationship is messy and requires give and take.”
Marriage requires give and take on the part of both husband and wife. So why is it easier for him to use porn than to talk to his wife? There’s serious, serious problems in their marriage that go well beyond the porn and have nothing to do with it.
“I ask again, what need is porn filling?”
The need he’s trying to fill is the need for God.
porn and masturbation are inextricable. The prior issue is self gratification. That is the fundamental sickness.
“The husband DID NOT seek advice, she did.”
Well, of course. It’s difficult in dealing with addictions. The first step has to be that the person is willing to change. That’s hard for a person who’s stuck in the relationship to decide what to do about someone who does have an addiction and how to work past that.
It’s been my experience that change only happens when something happens in the person’s life to make staying where you are less comfortable than the change. Sometimes it’s losing a job. Sometimes it’s having someone who loves and cares for you try to reach out and stage an intervention.
It’s not easy. I’ve deal with this before.
“I know someone who was married, quite young, to a guy who turned out to be abusive, both verbally demeaning and physically aggressive.”
I would say get out because Scripture is very clear on this, in Ephesians, “husbands are to love their own wives like their own bodies, because no one ever harmed his own body.”
It’s part of the marriage covenant and physical abuse breaks this covenant between husband and wife.
“Is this the type of good Christian advice you’re talking about?”
Actually, I’m talking about this one:
“The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
This is the problem. Marriages without sex were never meant to work this way and the wife here is explicitly told that refusing sex without having a good reason for it in marriage is a sin.
I’ve not seen very many pastors cite this, but I think it’s an important principle to understand that in marriage, you are no longer your own, your wife has a claim to your body just as you have a claim to your wife’s body. If a husband truly understood this they wouldn’t cheat on each other and they wouldn’t deprive each other.
Wives get many things. This article does nothing to convince me that they understand this principle right here.
She needs to read 2 chapters further down before doing anything of the sort.
Actually, I don’t think that going to a pastor *first* will be of much help. It took years for this problem to develop and it will take a long time to dismantle it. Only then will the pastor be of help, but by then, he *will* be of help.
To start with, he needs a psychological *diagnosis*, because there could be all sorts of underlying reasons for this, including inability to be intimate; obsessive compulsion; compelled perversion; neurotic fixation; you name it, there can be some real spider’s nests in his head. But until you know what kind, getting rid of it is very hit and miss.
In some cases, there might even be an organic problem with his brain, in which this could be a *symptom*, of something much worse, even lethal.
But a “best case” would be that he has been sociopathically conditioned, he’s trained himself, to only get a libido response from porn. I say “best case” because this is the easiest to treat, possibly just with marriage and sex counseling. That is, he trained to get it, and his training can be redirected away from it in a more appropriate direction.
In any event, after punching through these things, hopefully he will be on the mend, and *that* is when he will need a lot of spiritual help and support, and a pastor will really be helpful. By then he should again be in a team with his wife, working together.
No, I mean what I said. Read my entire comment.
“By then he should again be in a team with his wife, working together.”
This is key. They are working at confrontation, cross purposes and not together. Telling her to go see a ‘support group’, does nothing to address this.
I truly don’t know what to say to you.
You seem determined to lay the blame for HIS pornography prediliction at her feet, assuming it’s “because she won’t do it enough.” There is NO excuse for what he’s doing, and is not HER fault, anymore than if he had gone out and had an actual affair.
You have the word want and need mixed up. I suspect you need a million bucks and can justify holding up a bank to get it with this logic.
Nobody has a need for oxycotton till they smoke it... once.
Then their life is over. Without the intervention of God, they are all dead men walking.
Blaming this guys giving himself over to his lust on his wife is like blaming hetrosexuals for Homosexuality. It is the same thing, nobody is born homosexual, but anybody can surrender to their evil inclination and become what every that path leads to. Homosexuality, Porn, drug or alcohol or pot addiction. Cutters end up “needing” to slice up their arms with razorblades.
They are not born that way. The spiritual choices you make have consequences just like the phyisical choices you make.
Its called life, consequences come built in. So does justification and excuses, but they in the end have much less effect than consequences.
What does the man want? How about this: the sight of a flawless, younger airbrushed body and a perfect make-up job, instead of a woman his age whose flaws are well known to him? NOT a justification by any stretch, but an answer to your question that is much more sensible than your psychobabble...
And some women are not warm and loving and basically drive their husbands to porn.
Not that it then becomes okay for him to indulge, but let’s recognize that some women are not interested in meeting their husband’s sexual needs. Some women are selfish, just like some men are selfish. Or sometimes they have “issues” that make it difficult for them to participate passionately.
1 Cor. 7: 7:1 Now with regard to the issues you wrote about: It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. 2 But because of immoralities, each man should have relations with his own wife and each woman with her own husband. 3 A husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, and likewise a wife to her husband. 4 It is not the wife who has the rights to her own body, but the husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who has the rights to his own body, but the wife. 5 Do not deprive each other, except by mutual agreement for a specified time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then resume your relationship, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
IOW, depriving your partner may lead him into sinning.
Tell me then, what are your thoughts on 1 Cor 7:4, about the statement that a husband’s body belongs to his wife, and a wife’s body to her husband?
Do you agree/disagree with it?
If the wife is not having sex with her husband and her husband is frustrated, that is a possible cause for what is going on. I did say that it is a possibility that he’s also conditioned from before.
You seem intent to blame the husband when all we have is the wife’s side of the story here, we have that the wife went to his brother the pastor, etc. We don’t have the husband’s side of the story.
He refuses to accept responsibility. So why does that mean SHE should not find support and advice?
Did you read the article from the above paragraph?
“What does the man want? How about this: the sight of a flawless, younger airbrushed body and a perfect make-up job, instead of a woman his age whose flaws are well known to him? NOT a justification by any stretch, but an answer to your question that is much more sensible than your psychobabble.”
So why’s he preferring to look at pictures of such a woman to having sex with the wife who’s there. Do you think that looking at the pictures is as satisfying as sex?
I don’t think so, and I’d really be surprised if the husband felt that way to.
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